The future’s bright – the future is Arsenal?
Arsenal 5-0 Nottingham Forest – League Cup review
Orange may have morphed into EE – but their old and paraphrased slogan seems applicable here.
Old heads like Ozil performed well, but the young and new guns shone.
All of this was mixed with our good friends losing in Essex – it was a grand night.
Our German World Cup winner and once record signing has been much maligned, though he had a capable game.
He was energetic, looking to connect, and played some telling through balls.
I believe he and Emery hold some beef – but clearly he stepped up today, which is pleasing.
Torreira has – oddly – played in a more box to box-oriented role lately. However, in this game, he was firmly in a deep midfield role and looking to break up play and give the ball to the forward players.
However, the midfield balance has been an issue lately, and seemingly Emery got it right in this game.
Joe Willock scored some telling strikes here, and he is providing the box to box energy we need.
Since his performance in the Europa League final, the good play in the ICC pre-season and in our previous PL games, he is proving a talent, and perhaps part of an enhanced midfield balance on show.
Maybe he is our “Ramsey replacement” that was muted last season, as he is mimicking the energy and output of our former Welsh midfielder.
Our Scottish new full-back had a reasonable debut. He defended well, but got forward better.
Whether he will start at Old Trafford is moot – but then I believe he can be a prime asset for us going forward.
Holding and Chambers
Both had excellent games – with Holding scoring a powerful header in the second half.
I want both to succeed, and either hold the potential to be England regulars in the future.
Let’s hope both now can secure regular game time, as they need it, and we’d be better off for it.
Saka and Nelson
The hero of Frankfurt again showed what he’s about. As did Nelson. Both contributed to goals, and Nelson himself scored.
Both showed strong attacking width and trickery, and it seems we’re in good stead if they can complement Aubameyang and Lacazette.
The assist from Mr. Spanglish (Spanish guy with a London accent….) showed his returning quality.
Bellerin showed capable form before his injury last season, and let’s hope that he resumes it.
Whether he will feature vs. United is another story.
But he proved his value tonight, and long may it continue.
The Brazilian youngster has proven good in his brief appearances. He could be a top star in the years to come. He may not get much game time with Auba and Laca as our starters upfront. But like in midfield and defence, the future could be bright if he can translate these goals (especially his second) into the Premier League and Europa League.
The overall pattern of play, bar some limited Forest strikes, was all Arsenal. We passed and moved the ball well, and overall seeing the new and young guns (and returning guns no less) do well was pleasing.
We’re usually strong at home – and a win vs. Championship opposition was expected. Though we cannot look down our nose totally at Forest. They may covet our PL status, but they’ve won the European Cup twice – and it’s wrong to say we don’t covet that. They may be down as a club – with no PL football for nearly 20 years now. But the club of Clough, O’Neill and Pearce didn’t really trouble us tonight.
The draw for the next round will occur after the remaining games on Wednesday – but could this be Emery’s first trophy for us? Who knows? There may be bigger and better cups out there to win – though a potential run to Wembley isn’t something to be scoffed at.
Smith-Rowe went off injured in the first half, and I trust he will be fine. He showed good touches in his time on the pitch, so let’s hope he can recover soon.
Emery – 8 – “El jefe” has come under some serious scrutiny lately. And rightly so given the side’s continued defensive lapses. The level of opposition here must be accounted for. Nonetheless, the youngsters are adapting well, and this could bode well for Arsenal’s future. The team selection, formation and tactics were all on point.
Man of the match – Martinelli
His brace and overall attacking showed precision, sharpness, an eye for goal, and clinical finishing.