While it would be easy to dismiss Arsenal’s 5-0 thrashing of Southampton in the FA Cup today as men against boys, it is worth remembering that Arsene Wenger took a chance by fielding an exceptionally young midfield today away to St. Mary’s Stadium.
Giving Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Francis Coquelin the night off ahead of an important game against Watford in midweek, Wenger entrusted the midfield duties to his favourite hyphenated trio – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide, two amongst the three being teenagers.
All three excelled in their respective roles today, brilliantly defined and extremely well performed on the pitch with Maitland-Niles providing cover in front of the back four and slipping into the full back positions when needed, Oxlade-Chamberlain playing box-to-box and Reine-Adelaide the head of the triangle looking to provide a creative spark.
Wenger, who watched the trio from the stands above, shared after the game, “They were the surprise of the day. I believe that they did very well.”
And you could tell that the Arsenal boss enjoyed the game as he quipped, “When you score goals, it looks good from everywhere!”