By Avenell Dave
I was away this week so only saw the highlights of the WBA game.
I saw the penalties updates on twitter though and when we missed our first, I said to myself, more in hope than expectation, that the side who miss first usually wins.
As I said the other day, the importance of League Cup wins is in the experience it gives younger players.
It was superb to win and set up a tie with the Ch*vs but equally, WBA made a lot of changes and it could be said that they were there for the taking.
It's always encouraging to see young players and I do hope some of them prove to be good enough to make the step up.
I was surprised this week to get a message from one of my friends saying that he wasn't convinced by Serge Gnabry.
I thought he did well on Sunday and if fitness towards the end of 120 minutes is the only real shortcoming, it's not exactly the end of the world.
He looks strong, as Arsene Wenger suggested, which automatically gives him the ability to hold opponents off rather than being pushed around.
His passing is crisp, he rarely lost the ball and he wasn't afraid to have a shot when the opportunity presented itself.
He has a real chance now, with Walcott and Chamberlain injured, to show what he can do but he will have to focus on the defensive side of his game - something he certainly showed against Stoke - when we face Swansea on Saturday.
Never have I wanted the international break to come around as much as I do this next one.
We are running out of players and there is only so long we can cope with the same team playing week in week out with no rotation.
Swansea have been inconsistent this season. Sometimes they have been sublime and others lacking the heart that they've shown since they were promoted.
Let's not forget that each of the Premier League seasons has seen Swansea record a win against us and they have the players capable of doing it again.
In Michu and Bony they have players that can hurt any side and while it's a shame Ashley Williams will be fit, I'm still not convinced he was worthy of our attentions in the summer at the prices being quoted.
We need to keep things very tight and hopefully the hosts' open play will help us to exploit some gaps.
With City looking in ominous form and points being dropped between the Ch*vs ans Spuds, victory in Wales would set us up nicely.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
Flamini Wilshere Ramsey
Gnabry Giroud Ozil