This week, Arsenal swept away another opposition on their way to defend the FA Cup and kept up the hopes of lifting it for the 3rd straight time. Oh what a pleasure that would be. Burnley at home and you would have thought that they would be a comfortable opposition at most but then they are the Leicester of the Championship and currently stand 3rd in their league table. To have taken them lightly would be disastrous as we have seen recently that teams getting promoted are hardly pushovers- add Watford and Bournemouth to that.
In a game which saw the debut of Mohamed Elneny (more on that later) and also the return of a host of players to action namely Ospina (you forgot about him, didn’t you?), Coquelin, Arteta and Rosicky (like after forever) it feels like we are close to having our full squad back. News is that even ‘That Guy’ a.k.a Welbeck will be available in 2 weeks time while the only notable absentees are Wilshere and Cazorla. We also saw Iwobi at midfield yesterday where although nothing flashy but he was calm and kept his composure on the ball.
Elneny appeared a bit shaky at the start but gradually grew into the game. He completed 80/84 passes but frequently seemed to have been brushed off the ball. Time to hit the gym, fella. Also, as the commentators pointed out, he is quite unlike the Arsenal mid-fielders in the recent past as he has the knack to shoot from distance when presented with a decent opportunity. As for the game yesterday, he took 5 shots- all of them from outside the 18 yard box. Alexis was the main fulcrum of the team while the finish from Chambers (he calls himself Candaldo now) for the opening goal was unexpected from a defender although Wenger confirmed after the game that he does finish quite well in training.
Defensively I thought Gibbs had an excellent game and Gabriel did very well to keep up with the pace of Gray (the Burnley centre-forward). Surely a starter vs Southampton then? One can only hope.
On to the draw for the next round later today then. (Tottenham please)