Could Wenger's stubbornness actually prove to be justified?

By Avenell Dave

Let's not get too carried away.

We beat a tired Swansea side in the last five minutes after spurning a load of chances and finally getting through to the fourth round of the FA Cup. Whoohoo.

We should be beating Swansea every time we play them, right? We have a big stadium and expensive tickets and the low attendance underlines the troubles the club is facing from its fans.

Listening to some Addicts and other football fans in the gym this morning, that's the sort of thing I had to listen to.

I think if I'd spoken out, there may have been more than just words exchanged.

Regardless of their standing as minnows on the world stage, Swansea are a decent team at the moment. 

That's why they beat us in the Premier League and why they beat Ch*vski by the same scoreline in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final.

And yet last night we battered them.

Ten of our team put in superb performances.

There was a steel, a resolve and a determination that is too often lacking at Arsenal and I'm sure Arsene Wenger must wonder why the team doesn't exhibit it at all times. It's his job to motivate the team after all, but you could argue that the players should be motivated enough themselves. Maybe that comes down to who Wenger buys but every player should have that winning determination within them.

Look at Barca. For all their effort, they suffocate the life out of everyone when they don't have the ball and while good teams like Swansea find ways to retain possesion, putting them under pressure means they're so much more likely to make mistakes.

We looked so much more of a team last night.

All the plaudits will go to Jack Wilshere for his superb goal and all-round excellent performance.

I understand why Michael Laudrup tried to play down how good Jack is, but we all know he is one of the greatest midfield talents seen in the Premier League since...er...Cesc Fabregas!

But while Jack benefited from playing in the advanced midfield role, everyone else played their part.

Abou Diaby looked solid and won a lot of balls in the air in midfield. It underlines why we need height and power in midfield, something Mikel Arteta for all his talents does not give us.

Francis Coquelin has long been touted as the missing link in midfield, the grit we need, a driving ball-winner who doesn't just pass sideways. He kept running for 90 minutes, his positional sense was superb and while there is plenty of room for improvement, could he be the general we've been missing?

I've been saying for a while that we need a bully to protect Santi Cazorla and Jack in midfield and Coquelin could be that man. Time will tell.

It would certainly prove Wenger right not to buy M'Vila or others we have been linked with in that position.

The defence also did a far better job than they have done for a long time. Kieran Gibbs married his attacking verve with greater defensive positional sense and Thomas Vermaelen dived into challenges in a way we haven't really seen since he first arrived. Captain-eqsue.

I thought Olivier Giroud did well leading the line, winning the ball, holding it up, chasing defenders and providing flicks and openings that suggest while not world class, he could be a real asset. he just needs games to polish his finishing but he's not doing badly for a first season.

If there was one disappointment, it was Theo Walcott.

The boy looks lost, arrogant and I'm not sure he can be bothered. He looks as if he's morphing into C@$hley Cole, someone who loves himself more than he should.

We know he can be a match winner and that his pace is vital but the resentment over his contract drama is turning many against him and he isn't regularly doing enough to justify his demands.

Let's hope he sees what an example Jack is to the team.

We have to build now. We can go to the Ch*vs and win, I now believe that, but we have to show the same level of performance we had last night. We should show that every game.

We still need some more trickery and firepower to supplement the squad, but for now, I'm just delighted to watch Arsenal and really enjoy the spectacle from start to finish.