Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny were in my opinion our best two players on Wednesday. In a game where some of the best players in the world were on show, our youngest, most inexperienced players were the best two players on the pitch.
Szczeny came off his line almost Schmeichel like, his arms outstretched, making himself as big as possible (See the following times in the youtube video below 0.37, 1.18, 2.12, 3.25). There were a few one-on-one situations where I’m certain any other of our ‘keepers would have conceded. I have never seen a 20 year old goalkeeper look so composed, so confident, show so much quality. Usually at that age they are still making mistakes and sent out on loan to learn the trade.
In a midfield which contained Fabregas, Xavi and Iniesta, Jack Wilshere bossed it! He really did look the real deal. He looked composed when he had the ball and worked hard when he didn’t have the ball. There were plenty of times where he received the ball in difficult situations but still came out on top.
In the summer Wenger signed two centre backs, everyone was crying out for a goalkeeper. Szczesny seems to be ‘like a new signing’ and it looks like he could be our goalkeeper for the next 15-20 years.
Over the last couple of years there has always been a weak link in midfield. Song and Fabregas were usually joined by Denilson or Diaby or a more attacking midfielder like Nasri or Rosicky. Denilson and Diaby, whilst considered more physical, give the ball away too easily. Nasri and Rosicky are good on the ball, but are forwards, defending doesn’t come natural to them. Jack has it all, whilst long term he will have his eye on Cesc’s role, he is equally as good in the more defensive role that Capello seems keen to play him for England.
There were other noteworthy performances on Wednesday, Van Persie and Arshavin took their goals well and Koscielny has been receiving rave reviews. But for me, on what was a brilliant night for us Gooners, Wilshere and Szczesny stole the show. They have saved Wenger a fortune and are evidence that finally his policy of investing in youth appears to be paying off!!!