Arsenal went out of the Capital One Cup at the first possible stage last night and, although some sections of the Arsenal fans have taken this as another sign that we are going to struggle this season, I am not too concerned and would rather focus on five big positives the Gunners can take from the game against Southampton.
1. Alexis Sanchez had another game full of energy, determination and no little talent. His free kick, which was a pinpoint beauty that gave the Saints keeper no chance, meant that the Chile international has now scored in all three competitions that Arsenal have entered since the start of the season. He really is looking like a fantastic signing by Wenger.
2. Abou Diaby took another big step towards rescuing his Arsenal career from all that time in the treatment room. As the boss said before the game, Diaby must have some amazing mental strength to come back after all his bad luck and frustrating injuries. He may not start too many games for us this season, but he could prove to be a vital part of the squad in a long hard season.
3. The academy players. Coquelin was the old man of the back four at 23-years old and he was out of position but showed his versatility. Bellerin and Hayden also did really well and suggested that there is a bright future ahead at Arsenal for both of them.
4. Joel Canpbell got some valuable time on the pitch with the first team and, although he was criticised a bit for being wasteful at times, he showed some skills and invention. The Costa Rica striker is a raw talent and will take some work to develop, but he has got pace and dribbling ability and more qualities to suggest he will be worth the wait. And with Podolski looking awful, we might need Campbell to play on the left at times.
5. Arsenal were able to rest almost all of the first team, showing that our squad is now stronger but more importantly, leaving us fresh and ready to put Spurs to the sword on Saturday. As long as we do that, will we really worry too much about this League Cup loss?