Morning all.

Man City were knocked out of the League Cup last night, the competition they’ve won for the last four years. It took penalties for West Ham to beat them, just as it did Leicester City to get past Brighton at the King Power Stadium. Brendan Rogers made ten changes to the team which last turned out in the League. No surprise. Toots, Liverpool and Brentford all progressed too.

But back to our victory over Leeds and the way certain players performed. AMN, the man who wanted to leave in the summer because he felt unwanted. Understandable I think because his playing time had been restricted. Considering I’ve read many times around the blog world that Mikel Arteta is a bad manager of players, he clearly sat down for a chat with AMN and as a result, the player stayed. And he’s playing. Admittedly he’s not starting League games but he’s often finishing them but in the League Cup, he’s played more. His performance against Leeds was probably the best he’s played in his favoured midfield position. His speed, energy and awareness has improved greatly. I hope Mikel Arteta sticks with him for the quarter-final regardless of who we draw because as the year turns, he’ll be needed.

Bernd Leno. What a strong performance from him on Tuesday night. He kept us in the game during the first half and his distribution was much improved I thought. That’s the way to play when you want your place back in the first team.

Rob Holding. Much much better on the ball as proved when he suddenly thought he was a midfielder turned striker. He looked stronger and as odd as this mind sound, just better at everything he did and he wasn’t that bad before.

Eddie Nketiah. His goal ratio in this competition is excellent and like many Arsenal fans I’m sure, I think wherever he ends up, he’ll score goals for fun. He’s bulked up, doesn’t get beaten on the ball as much and his awareness is very good. I really hope he wants to stay at the club and tells his agent to make it happen.

Calum Chambers changed the game but not because of his defensive abilities. If Mikel Arteta needs someone to score goals, stick Chambers up front. I jest of course.

Mo Elneny and Sead Kolasinac didn’t disappoint. Nothing fancy, just did their job. Kolasinac did his rather well I thought and when he’s in that mood he’s good to watch.

Gabriel Martinelli struggled to stamp his mark on the game and looks a shadow of the player we saw when he first arrived. Whether that’s down to the lack of playing time or being low in confidence I’ve no idea but we know he’s a very good player because we’ve seen it. It’s difficult for him I guess because he needs playing time but if he struggles when he gets it, his opportunities are likely to remain limited. However, with Pepe and Aubameyang both disappearing after Christmas, his time will come I’m sure. As will Eddie Nketiah’s if he’s still at the club.

Seeing the so called second string of players come into the team and perform well is a huge positive for the club and of course Mikel Arteta because at some stage of the season, they’re all likely to be needed so to see their attitude and level of commitment so high when they do play is so good.

What I especially loved seeing against Leeds was the way Calum Chambers celebrated with the staff in the dugout. From the outside looking in, it seems that Arsenal are in a good place as far as togetherness goes. The players, or at least most of them are back playing with a smile and look as they’re enjoying themselves the pitch. Happy players equals better performances, better performances equals better results.

See you in the comments.