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FA Cup Fourth Round and Deadline Day

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FA Cup Fourth Round

Our FA Cup Fourth Round match-up turned out to be a decent match.  It’s very positive to see the “second string” getting on the pitch and looking strong.  We are on the cusp of having a very Arsenal bench of substitutes, similar to successful seasons past.  By that, I mean that the divide between the first team and the rest of the squad seems to be a bit tighter.  This is most clearly judged during the early cup ties, where a few first-team players are placed in with the rest.

Iwobi and Gibbs were certainly my standouts on the day.  Iwobi played very confidently in the number ten role and created as much as he defended from the front.  Gibbs showed his class and experience as an Arsenal player and had a very strong performance from the wing-back position.  Elneny was solid in distribution and while he mostly played the way he was facing, his movement and distribution were very exciting.  He wanted that scorcher of a goal from outside the box, but still had a great debut with no negatives.

Burnley never punished us on the long breaks allowing the defenders to play rather comfortably.  I must say that I am exciting for Gabriel and Koscielny to develop their partnership during Mertesacker’s suspension, but they will not be able to be so casual in the premier league on Tuesday.  With Debuchy’s imminent exit, Chambers did very well filling in at right back.  With Coquelin and Elneny pairing up for the first time, we were missing the leadership and positioning from Per was missing from the back four.

On to the FA Cup Fifth Round Draw!  Manchester City and Chelsea will be taking each other out, with Arsenal and Manchester Utd drawing Hull and Shrewsbury, respectively.

Transfer Deadline Day

The transfer speculation seemed to die down after the signing of Elneny.  Even though this weekend was the first time that we were able to see him outside of youtube, it seems that most fans are satisfied that Arsene sealed up a deal in January at all.  The usual rumors are flying in with deadline day fast approaching and Wenger has been less than secretive about new injury setback for Wilshere and Rosicky.  

With the trendsetters Real looking down the barrel of a transfer ban, I wouldn’t be opposed to a summer purchase of one of their castaways so they’re not offloaded to our rivals.   It would take one big move to open the floodgates and watch a mad-shift unfold.  There does, however, seem to be a shortage of true forwards in Europe and a divide between very young and aging defenders.

We have signed the likes of Gabriel and Monreal in recent seasons, and wouldn’t it be great to make a statement with another solid signing.  Historically, deadline day picks up immensely (for everyone else).  As ridiculous as the speculation, one must admit that the fanfare, minute-by-minute websites, and deadline day radio shows are really fun.  While it seems entirely illogical to expect to see anyone walk into the club tomorrow, we have to hope that Wenger has a solution up his sleeve for the imminent release of Flamini, Rosicky, and Arteta this summer.

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