COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Arsenal’s 5-0 win against Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Welbeck is the striker Arsenal have been waiting for
Danny Welbeck made his comeback from a long-term injury in the last round against Preston as a seven minute substitute. He has since racked up 11 more minutes in a 4-0 victory over Swansea, but the Saints match saw his first start for the club since May. The 26-year-old finished the game on the south coast with two goals and his dynamism and pace up top is something Arsenal have been missing in Olivier Giroud, while Welbeck’s scoring instinct is what has been missing with natural winger Alexis Sanchez. The England international proved on Saturday that the north London club have been missing a player of his capabilities and he could inspire a successful second half of the season for the Gunners.
Gibbs is weak link
Kieran Gibbs made his 13th appearance for Arsenal in all competitions this season on Saturday. However, it was obvious that the Southampton attack were targeting him, while they did get some joy at times. The 27-year-old had to be bailed out by his teammates on numerous occasions and it was only because of them that they kept a clean sheet on Saturday. Gibbs is clearly the weak link when playing in the Gunners back four and with 18 months left on his contract his time at the side may be nearing it’s end.
Valuable experience for youngsters
Unlike the Southampton young players who played, the Arsenal starlets would have gained some valuable experience from the comfortable victory at senior level. Each of Rob Holding, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide looked comfortable alongside their first team counterparts. They will now take performances like this into the future as they hope to become stars of the north London club for years to come.
In other Arsenal news, this 22-year-old suffered a stress fracture earlier in the week.