Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.

Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.

Arsenal take on Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup on Tuesday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck, Adrian Clarke and Andrew Mangan, the man behind Arseblog.

Read on for their post-match thoughts and recap what they said before the game.

Dan Roebuck - Arsenal Live

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stole the show but, make no mistake, for an hour Shrewsbury looked capable of delivering a major shock. They pressed superbly in the first half and still had the energy to get men forward in support of Marvin Morgan. Fatigue set in during the second half and that's when Arsenal ran away with the tie. The Ox's goal was an absolute stunner and I was also impressed by Coquelin, Benayoun and substitute Ozyakup, while Gibbs was a reassuring presence when the game was in the balance. A solid win was needed to lift spirits on and off the pitch and this will do Arsenal a world of good ahead of the Bolton game this weekend.

These cup ties are often special occasions at Emirates Stadium. You think back to earlier fixtures against the likes of Sheffield United and Wigan and there is a great buzz around the ground - with fans taking advantage of cheaper tickets - as well as some eye-catching displays from young prospects. Carlos Vela's hat-trick sticks in the mind and Jack Wilshere is one of many who cut their teeth in this competition. I'm looking forward to seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryo on the flanks with Emmanuel Frimpong hopefully given another chance in central midfield. Shrewsbury are no mugs but a hungry young Arsenal team should have too much pace and panache for them.

Adrian Clarke

After a very shaky first half Arsenal delivered a much-improved performance after the interval and ran out deserved winners in the end. The star turn was unquestionably Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who just got better and better as the match wore on. The visitors just couldn’t handle his creativity. I was impressed by Francis Coquelin too. His passing was excellent but he showed that he can mix it physically as well, making several superb tackles and interceptions. The atmosphere inside the Emirates was great and although it was a far from perfect performance I’m sure most fans will look back on the night as a positive one.

After another disappointing away defeat it’s imperative that Arsenal bounce back with a good performance against Shrewsbury Town. Often we see the boss experiment with his starting line-up in this competition and while I expect some youngsters to be given a run-out I don’t think too many risks should be taken. This is a match that the Gunners need to win, and win well, to avoid further embarrassment. Personally I’d like to see the back four that played against Blackburn given another chance to help develop their understanding as a unit and I also hope to see the likes of Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ryo and Ju Young Park in the flesh for the first time. Shrewsbury are flying high in League Two and will come to the Emirates with a nothing-to-lose attitude so it's vital that Arsenal begin the match sharply and with an appetite to perform.


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Conceding first won't have done much to settle down a team that is struggling defensively at the moment, but perhaps coming from behind to win the game will provide something of a confidence boost. Seeing three players score their first goal for the Club in the same match is something of a rarity, and while the size of the investment in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain raised a few eyebrows he provided a real glimpse of why the Club was prepared to spend that kind of money on a 17-year-old. Overall it was a game you expected Arsenal to win, and we did that. Here's to round four.

The Carling Cup game against Shrewsbury could provide something of a morale boost after what has been a difficult start to the league season. With the likely inclusion of some fresh faces it'll be interesting to see if they can respond to the challenge. I'd hope to see Ryo and Ju Young Park and, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won't be too keen on remembering his debut at Old Trafford, I suspect our most expensive summer signing will be keen to impress on his full home debut. This competition has been something of a launch pad for many young Arsenal players and hopefully good progress this season will see more of the same. Given our current form I'm taking nothing for granted but with slightly less pressure on the team I hope we'll see a good result.

* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

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21 Sep 2011