After Arsenal held on to 3 points against Burnley at Turf Moor, the Gunners defeated AFC Wimbledon 3-0 at the Emirates to book a place in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Lacazette converted from the spot before turning provider for Emile Smith Rowe. Eddie Nketiah scored a beautiful flick to wrap up victory for the Gunners. Three things stood out for me:
The Goal Keeping Situation
The goal keeper situation at Arsenal will continue to generate discussions since Ramsdale made his Premier League debut. In his press conferences, Arteta has hinted that Ramsdale is doing what is required to be selected ahead of Bernd Leno. Leno was Arsenal’s number #1 goalie last season but the high value purchase of Ramsdale indicted there will some tussle for who mans the goal weekly. He has not disappointed with 3 clean sheets from 3 games.
After missing out of 2 Premier League games, Leno returned to Arsenal’s starting line up with Karl Hein as the sub goalie on the bench for the Carabao Cup. The team excluded Ramsdale, Aubameyang, Pepe, Tierney and Tomiyasu. You can deduce that these excluded players will start at the North London Derby over the weekend.
As it stands, it seems Aaron Ramsdale will be Arsenal’s Premier goalie while Leno will have to take charge of the cup games with Karl Hein as 3rd choice and Arthur Okonkwo 4th. Weird that Hein is not listed on the first team list on the official website.
Flo and Nokia
Despite having goals in the U23 this season, Folarin Balogun could only feature for 6 minutes against Wimbledon. He came on for Eddie Nketiah who scored a beautiful goal (Arsenal’s 3rd) and had a hand in the penalty Lacazette converted. He found Martinelli who was brought down for the goal.
Watching the highlights of Arsenal’s U23, you could see the ease at which Flo scores goals for Kevin Betsy. They have eased past Manchester United (3-1) and Chelsea (6-1) despite playing over a half of the game with a man down. Wonder why Flo didn’t start ahead of Nketiah who tweeted after the game about being “stronger than a Nokia brick”. Love the confidence.
With Aubameyang and Lacazette the top strikers for Arsenal this season, it is unlikely for Flo and Eddie to get more minutes other than left overs from cup games. Arsenal should have loaned out at least one of them to increase their game time and possibly their marker value in case they decided to count their losses.
No TV for Arsenal
The Carabao match was not shown live anywhere around the world. That was weird and I understood it as how low the Gunners have fallen in the pecking order of required viewership. I wonder how the TV guys make their decisions but unless they looked the Premier League table and decided to give preference to those above Arsenal, then the decision will continue to be questioned for a while.
This is the first time I can remember that there was no way to watch an Arsenal match. Well, I have watched the highlights. Arsenal may not be doing so well now but fans around the world will still want to an Arsenal match.
Up Next – The North London Derby