Date: 27th October 2016 at 1:29pm
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We look at five key talking points from the Arsenal cup loss on Tuesday night.


We gave a good account of ourselves, but we could have been braver – Let’s get one aspect right, we did not embarrass ourselves at all on Tuesday, quite the opposite. We had a few shaky moments, but for a good majority of the game, especially the first half, we had Arsenal under control. However, for that reason in that we were comfortable at times, we should have been braver in the final third. I appreciate our wingers were up against experienced full backs in Jenkinson and Gibbs, but considering they’ve only just come back from injury, I would like to have seen McCleary and Harriot fancy themselves more. There was one occasion where McCleary had a one-on-one with Gibbs in the middle of the park – he could have drawn a foul or a red card or slipped in Samuel, but delayed and lost the sting of the attack. Considering Arsenal looked vunerable at times, we could have done more.

Stam tries to play Arsenal at their own game, but ends up costing us – Coming into this game, it was going to be interesting to see how the Dutchman approached it tactically. Would we play our usual passing system or play a bit more direct considering the pace our front three possessed? Stam went for the former, attempting to play Arsenal at their own game, but to be fair, for the most part, it worked. Ultimately though, it did cost us the first goal as Joey’s poor pass let Oxlade-Chamberlain through to score. You have to give it to Stam for being stubborn with his usual approach – it didn’t work in the short-term for this game, but I’m sure it will help for the long-term.

How close is Tennai Watson to taking Chris Gunter’s spot? – Probably the most exciting prospect to come through the academy into the first team recently has been young right back, Tennai Watson. The 19-year old started in Chris Gunter’s absence and put in another mature and assured performance. The jury does still seem to be out on Gunter, despite his solid start to the season. He was linked with a move away in the summer, but would it have been that big a miss? On his cup performances, I would argue Watson is ready to start regularly, but not at the expense of Gunter, who I feel has plenty more to offer. One thing is for sure though, Watson’s time will come.

Liam Kelly bounces back – The young midfielder would have been disappointed to come off against Rotherham just 25 minutes in last week, but would have soon forgotten about that when he was told he would be starting against the Gunners. Liam didn’t let the occasion faze him and put in a decent performance in the middle of the park, moving the ball well and getting stuck in when he needed to. I’m not sure if he is ready to start week in week out yet, but like Watson, he will eventually have his time.

Dominic Samuel deserves more of a chance – In recent weeks, fans have been asking questions at why Dominic Samuel hasn’t played more of a starring role, after being named in the squad in Joesph Mendes’ absence. He has proven his credentials away on loan, so some speculated it could be his breakthrough year. However, Stam has not used the young forward off the bench before Tuesday’s game, but gave him his chance as he started against the Premier League. Samuel was one of, or if not, our best player on the park, leading the line fantastically well and showed he had pace to burn. He has given food for thought for the gaffer and I’m sure Kermorgant will be looking over his shoulder soon.