Arsenal delivered another dominant performance on Tuesday evening in the League Cup, defeating Championship side Nottingham Forest 4-0 at the City Ground.
While it is a generally accepted rule that a title contending Premier League side will defeat a Championship team, it was the ease in which the Gunners brushed their rivals aside that has led fans to finally believe this could be their year and sent the #WengerOut campaigners into hiding.
A brace from new signing Lucas Perez, his first goals for Arsenal, and another 30-yard thunderbolt from Granit Xhaka, also a summer signing, punctuated a night that sees an Arsenal side now almost back to full strength and seemingly ready to take on all comers as they bid to end a 12-season wait for Premier League glory.
Combining for three goals in one game has left Wenger feeling pretty pleased with his summer investments and following their rout of Forest, he was quick to praise his two new boys.
Speaking to Sky Sports of Perez’s contributions, Wenger says,
“He has shown what I expected from him.”
“He has shown he works hard for the team and he can score goals but he has shown he can also be a team player, especially for the fourth goal that Oxlade-Chamberlain scored. He played a big part in that.”
“I’m very pleased with the effort he put in and with the quality he showed.”
Switching then to Xhaka, Wenger admits that he was not aware the 23-year-old had such long-range goal scoring abilities.
“Honestly, not really. I knew he had a good shot but he played very deep last year and didn’t get forward a lot.”
“I hope that will give him a taste for more but it’s great for him to get confidence as well and to know that he can score goals.”
A very happy Wenger then rounded things off with a final stamp of approval for his two new goal scorers,
“They have shown they have the quality to play for Arsenal. That’s never easy because the demands are very high on the players.”
“I hope they’ve convinced our supporters and everybody that loves our club that they can be part of us.”
Following an underwhelming and very fortunate result against PSG on September 13th, it appears that Arsenal have clicked, with new signings Perez, Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi in defence all settling in quickly.
Scoring eight goals in their last two matches is certainly a clear warning to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and the still floundering Manchester United that this season the Gunners are a real threat for the title.
With the brand of football they are now playing under Wenger, who would deny them?
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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