As expected, Arsene Wenger fielded a much weakened side for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash against Norwich City on Tuesday night.
Eleven changes from the 5-2 win over Everton saw Matt Macey start in goal, Mathieu Debuchy partner Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding at the back, and Olivier Giroud lead the line.
The experienced trio of Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott were also handed starts, with the latter named captain.
In his pre-match press conference, Wenger spoke about the importance of having strength in depth when it comes to winning competitions like the Carabao Cup.
“That’s the luxury I have at the moment and the difficulty I have as well,” the Frenchman said. “All these players do well, play well and they deserve to play.
“Fortunately, we have important games every week, so I can give competition to everybody. We have so much offensive force on the bench as well. It’s really a strong point of the club.
“I always used it [the League Cup] to give a chance to young boys. We went to the final with a very young team and nearly won it.
“I always focus on winning trophies in the Premier League and FA Cup domestically, and always used the League Cup as an education for our young players.”
Despite selecting a strong(ish) starting line-up, Wenger’s men found themselves 1-0 down in the 34th minute courtesy of a tidy finish from Josh Murphy.
James Maddison’s through ball found the 22-year-old winger, who made no mistake in chipping the ball over the onrushing Macey.
Edward Nketiah’s goal in the 85th minute saved Arsenal and took the game to extra-time, but very few of the home players did themselves justice against Norwich.
Their dour performance saw two players in particular destroyed on social media and it’s easy to see why: Walcott and Coquelin.
The pair are considered senior players at Arsenal but showed nothing in the way of leadership throughout the 90 minutes. Simply put, they were terrible, with Walcott constantly offside.
Arsenal fans are now calling for this to be their last season as a result, as you can see in the Twitter reaction below.
Surely Coquelin & Walcott’s last season with the club. Surprised they’ve lasted this long. #afc
— Sam (@samuelJayC) October 24, 2017
Surely this has to be Coquelin and Walcott's last season at the club, they're long overdue #Craps
— 9ja Arsenal (@Frankumez) October 24, 2017
So what did we learn from that half? Coquelin is still turd and Walcott is still turd.
Didn't learn anything.
— Paul C (@mr_gooner14) October 24, 2017
It's great not having to watch Ospina in these games. It's not so great still having to put up with Coquelin and Walcott.
— Martin Hawkins (@dartistik) October 24, 2017
We should bin Walcott, Elnenny & Coquelin in Jan. Awful awful players.
— Sello se (@GolazoPhile) October 24, 2017
Yeah starting with selling Coquelin and Walcott to China https://t.co/GD9tbmFM5B
— _ (@Sindre_lk) October 24, 2017
Coquelin and Walcott are everything that is wrong with Arsenal, nicking a living ?
— Joey Stevens (@joeystevens86) October 24, 2017
How Coquelin n Walcott have lasted this long at Arsenal I'll never know
— Miss Nalikungwi (@ChloeMW_AFC) October 24, 2017
Walcott and Coquelin are two miserable disgusting players
— Hamza (@Haxz_fcb) October 24, 2017
Coquelin and Walcott needs to fuck off from the club.
— Pink Lucozade (@ItsJayJAmin) October 24, 2017