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Bellerin and Hayden feature but Arsenal struggle to cope with Southampton in Capital One Cup


The Capital One Cup may be the least glamorous of the four major competitions that Arsenal participate in on a yearly basis, but it still represents a genuine chance of silverware. That possibility for this season was eroded as Arsene Wenger’s side suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Southampton at Emirates Stadium this evening.

Arsenal, having made ten changes from the win over Aston Villa, took the lead through a superb free-kick from Alexis Sanchez. Thereafter, however, they struggled to deal with a hard-working Southampton side, who levelled courtesy of a penalty from Dusan Tadic before scoring what proved to be the winner when Nathaniel Clyne beat David Ospina with an excellent strike.

Arsenal fielded an unfamiliar-looking defence, with Hector Bellerin and Isaac Hayden being called upon, whilst Francis Coquelin was deployed at left-back. This was a side that hadn’t played a competitive game together and it showed. Abou Diaby played some neat passes in his first start for over a year and Jack Wilshere attempted to drive the team forward without much success, but Tomas Rosicky and Lukas Podolski, two of the more experienced players on show, struggled throughout.

The majority of the players who featured for Arsenal haven’t played regularly of late and, as such, the team seemed to be devoid of sharpness as well as quickness of thought with regards to decision-making.

Joel Campbell demonstrated his technical ability but his decision making, on this evidence, still requires some work. Hayden made some good interventions, but Arsenal were guilty of not closing down Clyne for his goal.

Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chuba Akpom were all called upon as the game wore on, but Southampton, with better finishing, could have inflicted further damage on the Gunners. Akpom can count himself a little unlucky not to have started, especially with Podolski being so ineffectual. The visitors used the ball intelligently throughout, something that could not be said of Arsenal.

Bellerin and Hayden didn’t disgrace themselves, and it can be argued that the latter was one of the very few Arsenal players to put in a positive performance this evening, but, with Arsenal now out of the competition, it appears that there won’t be too many further opportunities for youngsters in the first-team this campaign.

It was a disappointing night, and, like last year, Arsenal have exited the Capital One Cup at a very early stage.

9 comments

  1. Rosicky and Podolski really let the side down tonight,
    Rosicky’s challenge for the penalty was stupid to say the least, and wilshere should have closed down the clyne shot. Podolski showed more desire and passion at the Koln game on Sunday than he did for AFC tonight, which is totally unacceptable. A real lack of proper attitude.
    Felt sorry for the kids like Bellerin and Hayden who put in a real shift, as did Coquelin. I hope we see more of them this season, and not only in the cups.

  2. Hayden was really fun to watch. He got immense technical ability on the ball. Great vision and played really really well vs a really good side. I have no doubt he can play in the DM spot or CB for us.

    Joel Campbell was also really good. I hope from now on Campbell will be the one playing in the wings, middle or upfront for us because Podolski and Rosicky was really bad.

  3. Maybe Hayden can get a few starts against lesser Premier League competition before we hopefully strengthen CB in January. He really showed some promise today.

  4. Blessing in disguise, it will mean we can send some youngsters like akpom gnabry sanogo ajayi martinez out on loan to championship club’s. Players like podolski and rosicky who were both really disappointing need to really up their game and like arteta and flamini appear to be on a bit of a downward spiral in terms of form.

    Was most impressed by hayden, diaby, bellerin and coquelin to be fair. I actually think hayden and coquelin have far more to offer than arteta and flamini especially as coquelin is more than comfortable at left and right back..

  5. Impressed by Bellerin, Hayden, Diaby, Coquelin. Hayden was much like Lolo. Diaby is new signing for Arsenal. Sad we lost, we would have wriggled something out of the game actually, but nice to see great performance from the young lads.

    1. What you doing? Don’t you know the only correct reaction to any defeat in any circumstances these days is negative whinging ( subtext : boo! Why can’t we have billionaire daddies and sign the best youngsters, loan them for years and maybe then give them a game once established… If we’re 3 nil up) kidding of course. Loved the positivity. As for podolski ski, I fear it’s worse than bad attitude: much of his play reminds me of what I’d do at rugby before I understood it: run around a bit while ensuring I was not in position to receive ball. He is only effective, because of physical ,and perhaps some techical ,limitations in a small number of situations. His game is about trying to disguise this while hoping one of those situations arises. I feel bad for him ,as he appears a good guy and his NT record merits respec, but it really looks that way, against all teams now instead of just in the big matches. His place is cologne or slightly bigger where he can play every game and notch 15 a year on account of a great shot if given space

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