Arsenal fans won’t like to admit it but the Carabao Cup presents the best opportunity for the club to win some silverware this season.
Through to the quarter-final after wins over Doncaster Rovers and Norwich City, next up was a home tie against West Ham United.
The Hammers have stepped things up considerably following the arrival of David Moyes, beating Chelsea and Stoke this month, and certainly wouldn’t make things easy for Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger named a weakened side for the match, handing starts to David Ospina, Rob Holding and Joe Willock, but there was still plenty of first-team experience.
Sead Kolasinac started at left-back while the attacking trio consisted of Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.
Kolasinac’s inclusion in the starting line-up left many supporters bemused. With Liverpool coming to north London on Friday, it seems as though 20-year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be the one tasked with stopping Mohamed Salah.
The Gunners will need to play at a higher intensity if they are to beat Liverpool, for their first-half performance in particular was very stale.
There had been just one shot in the entire match through the first 30 minutes. Viewers had to wait until the 42nd minute, when Danny Welbeck opened the scoring, for the first interesting moment.
Walcott was destroyed by Arsenal fans
Wenger was clearly looking for one of his players to seize their opportunity, just as Eddie Nketiah did in the previous round, but one man who failed to impress was Theo Walcott.
The 28-year-old, who hasn’t started a Premier League match this season, was handed the captain’s armband but he certainly didn’t set an example to his younger teammates, producing a dismal performance that left Arsenal fans on Twitter fuming.
Walcott’s worst moment came in the 39th minute when Kolasinac found him unmarked in the box. The forward, however, sent his diving header wide of Joe Hart’s goal.
The fact that Walcott was trending on Twitter shows just how bad he was.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to his display.
Walcott has been an Arsenal player since 2005 and has enjoyed some truly great moments, but it’s hard not to feel that this level is beyond him now.
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