FA Cup: talking points from the third round

11 January 2016 09:08
Héctor Bellerín could be the best right-back in England; Kelechi Iheanacho deserves his chance; Jon Walters is the Cup specialist; Oxford provide an upsetWhen Arsène Wenger was asked after Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Sunderland if there was a better right-back than Héctor Bellerín in England he could not help laughing a little. “I don’t know,” Wenger said, clearly wishing the question could simply go away, before adding: “Look at the numbers, defensive and offensive, the fact he’s only 20 years old.” Wenger had just finished talking up Alex Iwobi’s contribution after a promising half-hour from an occasional team-mate of Bellerín’s in the development levels, valuable praise for a young player in need of reinforcement. With Bellerín the opposite is true. That laugh was Wenger initiating the reverse thrusters and taking an alternative path. Some might suggest the only real countdown now is how many seasons Wenger can hang on to him before the lure of one of Europe’s super clubs, perhaps a return to Catalonia, becomes irresistible. For now Bellerín seems to have it all: poise, craft, the athleticism and intelligence to cover his own mistakes and real creativity going forward, as he showed with two decisive surges to make Arsenal’s winning goals. Already his emergence has rearranged the careers of a few players around him. Mathieu Debuchy may well be off. Calum Chambers, who might have expected some time at right-back, is now popping up in central defensive midfield. Barney Ronay • Giroud puts seal on Arsenal’s Cup win against Sunderland• Roofe falls in for Swansea in defeat at Oxford Related: Mark Sampson’s tactics at World Cup propel him to Ballon d’Or awards • Harry Kane spot-on to earn replay for Spurs • Stoke class tells at Doncaster thanks to Walters’ Cup special• Saturday Sundae: Goodison Cat v Anfield Cat• Mirallas and Koné ease Everton past Dagenham & Redbridge• Scholes: Manchester United players looked bored• Rooney saves Manchester United’s blushes against Sheffield UnitedMatic was arguably the player of the first half of last season and his fall from form and favour has been remarkable• Loftus-Cheek helps Chelsea see off Scunthorpe• Touré’s agent warns Manchester City that Pep Guardiola is overrated• Manchester City ease past Norwich City as Agüero shows his class • Touré’s comments lack class and risk overshadowing his wonderful talent• Deeney pounces to put wasteful Newcastle out of FA CupYou wonder how Darren Bent's career would have panned out had he stayed at the Stadium of Light• Bent destroys Hartlepool dream with late winner• Match report: Exeter 2-2 Liverpool• Klopp to pick callow Liverpool side again for Exeter Cup replay• Liverpool struggle to find right wavelength after warm Exeter reception• Jelavic scores late for West Ham to defeat Wolves on dismal day• Murray rescues Bournemouth with late Cup winner at Birmingham City• Bournemouth complete £9m record signing of Wolves striker Afobe• Eastleigh denied Cup glory by Bolton’s Darren Pratley but earn replay• Blackburn sign winger Elliott Bennett from Norwich City• Zaha fires Crystal Palace through, making Southampton suffer• Koeman: Mané and Wanyama will stay at SouthamptonPeople were telling me it was the biggest game for 30 years and I felt if we'd covered the pitch, we’d have got started Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian