Another game, another struggle for Arsenal, but it was rather unsurprising that the decisive goal in their favour against Swansea came courtesy of a player who has shone brightly in recent weeks even when others around him have been flailing.
Jack Wilshere's well-struck effort eventually broke the deadlock at Emirates Stadium last night as Arsenal finally saw off Swansea City having upped the ante considerably in the second half following a tame opening period. Wilshere, though, was impressive throughout, frequently driving forward with the ball and linking the play effortlessly.
It just seems rather a shame that Wilshere, who recently turned 21, has become Arsenal's key player at a time when the club are going through a considerable drought in terms of silverware. Cesc Fabregas didn't look out of place in the Invincibles side as a 17 year old and Wilshere, especially in light of his recent performances, would certainly have been able to play on the same wavelength as the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.
It is rather unfortunate that he was not born a few years earlier, but, in this current Arsenal incarnation, only Santi Cazorla seems to be capable of replicating Wilshere's drive on a regular basis. Much of Arsenal's play against Swansea was too static, with little in the way of off-the-ball movement, and, apart from a couple of early chances for Oliver Giroud, Arsene Wenger's side created very little in the opening period.
That changed in the second half, with Cazorla, who was nominally stationed on the right-flank but frequently drifted in-field, becoming increasingly involved. The lack of a bona fide defensive-midfield player continues to be a thorn in Arsenal's side, as this allows the opposition frequent opportunities to make runs towards goal, whilst the lack of pressing from the Gunners as a whole was rather worrying.
Arsenal eventually piled on the pressure and, late in the second half, Swansea finally cracked. Theo Walcott should have done better when well placed on a couple of occasions, but Wilshere's late intervention settled it and secured a trip to face Brighton in the next round.