By Editor Wayne Veysey
Ringing the changes backfires
This was the result Arsene Wenger did not want. Yes, his team remain on course for a third consecutive FA Cup triumph but an already gruelling fixture list now has an even more congested look as the schedulers try to find space for a replay both clubs were desperate to avoid. Wenger made nine changes from the title-chasing team that defeated Leicester 2-1 last weekend and, although Arsenal peppered the Hull goal, they could not find a way past the inspired Eldin Jakupovic, who made an astonishing 11 saves.
Welbeck gives Wenger forward options
The fit-again forward got 67 more minutes under his belt after his dramatic return as a substitute last weekend. Surprisingly used in a left-flank role, with Theo Walcott spearheading the attack, Danny Welbeck showed he can be a major asset to Arsenal in the coming months. He looked sharp and his combination of power and mobility caused the visitors problems, and he was only denied what would have been an outstanding goal by an exceptional Jakupovic save midway through the second half. Welbeck brings so many added qualities to the attack.
Iwobi continues upward trajectory
The teenager was involved in some horrible Arsenal defeats earlier in this season – Sheffield Wednesday and Bayern Munich spring to mind – but he has taken full advantage of his three FA Cup starts. Direct and comfortable on the ball, he caused problems to the Hull defenders with his dribbling and turn of pace. An impressive 72 minutes showed he is at home on the big stage.
FA Cup proposal seems sensible idea
With both managers changing virtually their entire teams, a subdued atmosphere and vacant seats everywhere you looked, this fixture did nothing to support the idea that the FA Cup should remain untouched. Scrapping replays and rebranding it as a midweek competition might just be the boost the world’s most loved domestic cup competition needs.
Sanchez still searching for mojo
Following a recovery from a hamstring injury that proved far more complicated than initially expected – hardly uncommon at Arsenal – Alexis Sanchez has looked a shadow of the player who was once in total mastery of English football. In six matches since returning to the team, he has scored just once, in the FA Cup against Burnley, but it is his performances that are of more of a concern to Wenger and his coaching staff. Used as second-half sub against Hull, Sanchez’s touch was once again heavy and he looked a little off the pace.