SWANSEA CITY 0
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger last night hinted he is ready to deploy midfielder Jack Wilshere in an advanced role more often after his late winner set up an FA Cup fourth round trip to Brighton.
Wilshere started behind striker Olivier Giroud in a re-shuffled Gunners line-up, and settled the third round replay against Swansea in the 86th minute when his half volley fizzed past Michel Vorm.
“He was outstanding tonight,” said Wenger. “He was in a different position – he was high up and it suits him well.
“He is the complete midfielder, he can play anywhere. He is a guy who can dribble and give a final ball, so the closer he is to goal, the better it is.
“He has quality and enthusiasm, and love for the game. That is the most important thing to me.”
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott hit the post and Swansea cleared off the line three times in the second half, as the home side strove to uphold Wenger’s record of always progressing from round three.
Giroud repeatedly missed the target or shot too close to Vorm, while a Swansea side missing top scorer Michu went closest before half-time when former Gunners defender Kyle Bartley headed onto the crossbar.
But Wilshere, in his brightest display yet since a 17-month injury absence, calmed Arsenal nerves four minutes from time when he collected Giroud’s lay-off and fired home left-footed from 20 yards.