After a two-year wait, Arsenal & # 39; s forgotten man Carl Jenkinson finally has something to laugh about
You wait 701 days for an Arsenal look – and almost two come along at the same time. There must be a London joke somewhere.
It's something for Gunners, Carl Jenkinson, he has to laugh at.
Jenkinson, the forgotten man for the best part of two years, earned a second start in just over a week when the side of Unai Emery came one step closer to qualifying for the Europa League knockout stages against Sporting Lisbon in the Emirates Stage.
Carl Jenkinson had to wait a long time for the chance to make an impression on Arsenal
When Jenkinson was announced last month in the squad for the previous group match against Sporting, where he was an unused replacement, fans were so surprised to see his name that many admitted that they had not realized he was still at the club.
Emery had even mentioned Jenkinson as one of the three players who, together with David Ospina and Joel Campbell, were able to leave the club this summer. The other two have left. Jenkinson, who has a contract until 2020, stayed on.
The 26-year-old returned last week in the Carabao Cup against League One, Blackpool, his first appearance for Arsenal since a new cup outing in November 2016.
The 26-year-old defender got a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon
However, this was a step up. A European competition, albeit with Arsenal & # 39; s passage through the group, all but insured. His last of this was also two years ago in the Champions League against Paris-Saint Germain.
There is not much football between them. Only nine games to rent in Birmingham last season, the enchantment of the former English international was exacerbated by unfortunate injuries and an uninspired form.
It was therefore no surprise that Jenkinson lost himself in this on the left side of the defense.
Jenkinson has not played a lot of football lately, but he was solid enough on Thursday
He did not have much too early, but completed the necessary tasks with quiet efficiency. No silliness. Keep it in touch instead of trying a complicated turn. A solid tackle at Abdoulay Diaby received an appreciative applause from the home fans. Safety first.
Ventures to the last third were few. Better to keep it simple. It has been a while. When he landed on crossing positions, there was so much rust on his delivery that they barely got into the penalty area.
But he was strong enough.
Jenkinson appeared ready to work out in the second half. When he saw an open corner on the edge of the penalty area, he was ready.
Jenkinson shakes hands with manager Unai Emery after he has been replaced in the second half
Jenkinson took the goal, waved both feet off the ground, almost missed the ball completely, but still managed to push him straight to Matteo Guendouzi, who was 15 meters behind him.
To his merit he followed the moment later with a strong block to deny Diaby again. Back to that base.
He arrived at the hour. Another wave of applause. A smile. A high-five with Emery.
The Arsenal boss played three different players in the absence of an injured first choice Nacho Monreal against the left in his last three Premier League-games. One of them was the central midfielder Granit Xhaka.
Has Jenkinson done enough to celebrate four this weekend when Arsenal Wolves is playing? Maybe not, although the potential hamstring injury of Stephan Lichtsteiner will increase his chances.
Anyway, you would think that Jenkinson does not have to wait another 701 days for his next game.