Arsenal 1 Doncaster Rover 0
Walcott 25

Arsenal saw off Doncaster Rovers 1-0 in the two side’s encounter in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night thanks to Theo Walcott’s first half strike. The Gunners were later drawn to a fourth round hime time against Norwich City. Arsene Wenger made 11 changes from the side which started in the goal less draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Sunday, but the combination of experience and youth came though with Jack Wilshere especially reminding us all of his undoubted talent. Wilshere made his first Arsenal start in over a year and completed a full ninety minutes in about the same time frame. Following match, Wenger was pleased with the contribution of Wilshere, insisting that his future at N5 will depend on what transpires from now on in.

“It is down to the fact that he can remain fit or not,” said Wenger who has continually backed Wilshere and given him every opportunity to progress despite being hit with a seeming unending injury list.

“I think he’s an Arsenal man and an Arsenal player. He would certainly like to stay but we haven’t spoken about that because at the start of the season I thought we had to see how it evolves and see what kind of influence he can have in the squad throughout the season.”

” I wanted to leave him on to give him 90 minutes and overall I think it was an ideal game for him tonight to gain confidence and fitness. We’ll see after that how he will respond, normally he’s alright after the game.”

Wilshere looked sharp and up for the fight. Physically he’s gained strength, but when jokingly asked, Wenger denied that this was due to his being on the same diet as Arsenal’s powerful summer arrival Sead Kolasinac. ” to don’t think they eat together ” Wenger smiled. Against Doncaster, Wilshere was certainly hungry to make up for lost time and get his Arsenal career back on track.

After half an hour Wilhere struck from range to see his well struck shot deflected for a corner. But then, Arsenal were in control having taken the lead when Walcott finished off from Alexis Sanchez’s cross. Only deeper sate defending and some good fortune by Rovers’ keeper Ian Lawlor preventing the Gunenrs from scoring more as Olivier Giroud, and Alexis in particular continually threatened the visitors defence.

Alongside Wilshere, Mohamed Elneny had another solid outing, with his supply line to Giroud in particular as well as his overall midfield play, something which Wenger will have noted. As he will of Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Josh Dasilva, the latter two coming off the subs bench.

The only surprise was that Arsenal didn’t win by a bigger margin, and had the lively Rodney Kongolo netted from an early chance, the game would have taken a different juncture. In cup football however, the maxim to win and be in the next round is precisely what Arsenal did. Now they wait to host Norwich City in the fourth round.