Eddie to the Rescue as the Kids show up Old Arsemal Pros in Carabou Cup

Eddie Eddie


From match-day to match-day there are certain individuals in the Arsenal team whose performance leaves them standing head and shoulders above the rest. The ones whose blood, sweat and tears are shed to ensure the team wins or at least makes a good attempt doing that. This weekly feature is going to make an attempt at picking the best player from each phase of play; DEFENCE, MIDFIELD and ATTACK. A simple, uncluttered review of the top players in each phase, with a shout to notable mentions in each phase, if there are any.


P.S: Here’s to hoping we do not have any match-days like we did against Liverpool, when there was no player worthy of praise. J





Convincing display

Trust me, I had a hard time settling on the young graduate as the best of our defensive players. Our entire makeshift defence proved to be exactly that on the night and you really begin to question why Arsene is keeping up with the El Neny at CB experiment. Once again, he was the weakest link and it smacks of disrespect for our opponents which also creates a sense of complacency amongst the players. Debuchy looked leggy which was warranted considering he is returning from a long period out with successive injuries and Holding, the slide continues. Ultimately, Macey came up trumps and saved us in some key periods, allowing us to fight and claw our way back into the game. The El Neny experiment should be shelved, he does not offer much as a CB and Holding needs a break to catch up with his form from last season.



Best of a bad lot

Another tough choice today. Sigh. Our midfield was in shambles today as Arsene made another terrible pairing in the middle of the park. Jack looked a shell of his former Cup performing self from this season as him and Coquelin could not handle the midfield at all. Nelson on the day was pegged back many times by the excellent Murphy but he shows he has the skill and ability to try to affect a game positively if he wants to. He showed flashes of his drive on some occasions but needs to learn to take games by the scruff of the neck. Arsene declared Niles close to dethroning someone from the first team, unless there is a spot open for ball boy or something I cannot see it. He is being played out of position, but when you get into some of the positions he got into your final decision making should be of the highest level, to prove you belong at the highest level, no more, no less.



SUBS. (B+)

Forgotten man

Oli G cut a frustrated figure up front today, and could not be bailed out by a golazo, unfortunately for us Gunners and fortunately for next year Puskas competitors. He did hold the ball up well when needed but those around him could not jump on that to any advantage. Some of you who read my columns think I have it in for Theo Walcott, but for a 28 year old captaining a team he has been at for 10 years, in the League Cup with a bunch of youngsters looking for inspiration, his performance encapsulates all that has been wrong with him ultimately the club in ages. The man just does not deserve to start, as he does not apply himself enough or well enough even. The number of times he runs offside, at 28, after a decade at Arsenal, my Lord! He comes up with goals when necessary sometimes, but in totality the man should be shipped off. We need ruthlessness ad sentimentality put to the side if we are ever going to recapture our glory days. Iwobi was a mixed bag as well as he could do nothing positive to affect the game but to throw his hands up when he got dispossessed as the opposition run to counter.


Our saviours ultimately were off the bench. The uninspiring bench threw up Nketiah and Akpom (yes he is still here) whose energy, verve and zeal lead to us creating some key chances and ultimately winning. Nketiah especially oozed of confidence and calmness with the way he took both goals. He seems to be a younger version of Iheanacho and that is only a good thing. I hope Gunners though can temper expectations and allow the young man room and space to properly develop, lest he becomes like perennial ‘potential talent’ Theo.



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One Response to Eddie to the Rescue as the Kids show up Old Arsemal Pros in Carabou Cup

  1. Victor Thompson October 25, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    As I live in Belfast, I wasn`t at the match and I could not find any links to watch it, so I was looking forward to reading about it today.

    Having read your article Faisal, I am so disappointed. The only mystery to me is how we managed to win the game. Holding is a bit of a puzzle and I am beginning to wonder if the constant chopping and changing at the back is confusing him. As a young recruit to the CB position he is being asked to play with Kos, Mertesecker, Monreal, each of whom would be the kingpin on his day, and the one he would be paired with. None of them play the same game. Add Mustafi, who is a bit of a loose cannon and now Elneny, who is trying to be a Franz Beckenbaur. In a back three system, the task of this unit is simple. Stifle the opposition attack and shield the goalkeeper.

    In these days of wing-backs, their first point of release is to look for the person ( Bellerin or The Beast ) to pass to and start the counter attack. Basically he has to keep close to the nearest CB to him and keep it tight at the back. When he gains confidence and experience he will get opportunities to carry the ball out of defence himself and support the forwards. Monreal does that very well now.

    Don`t forget Chambers started well as a novice CB and he too went downhill. There has to be a reason and I suggest that it is the fact that they are losing confidence because they do not play consistently with the same players and they are constantly having to adapt and start again to learn what he has to do with a new partner beside him.

    Concentrated coaching is required to give the young guys – confidence in themselves and familiarity which breeds confidence, in the system. The senior players around him should be more adept at playing to a system and they need to assist the young guys to settle in. The last thing they need is constant changing.

    For the rest, I think the fact that we played on Sunday and then had to play again on Tuesday, did not help. Xhaka and Coquelin were bound to be stale especially as Coquelin has been off for some time. Debuchy, ditto. I agree with Miles, I think he is some distance away from playing first eleven regularly.

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