Cool Kyle proves his worth

7th January 2013

Defender Kyle Bartley hopes he's shown manager Michael Laudrup and the Swansea City faithful exactly what he's capable of after an outstanding display against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Bartley gave a faultless performance in the 2-2 draw against his old club at the Liberty Stadium in only his second appearance since his £1m switch from the Emirates in the summer.

Having been ruled out for three months with a thigh injury, the 21-year-old earned plenty of plaudits alongside Chico Flores in the heart of a Swans defence that had to cope with the likes of Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla.

"I think I've shown everyone a little of what I can do,'' explained Bartley, whose only other appearance came against Barnsley in the Capital One Cup. "But I'd also like to think there's more to come from me.

"I hope I can push on and get a few more minutes; I hope I get more opportunities and then I can show everyone my best.

"It's been tough because the injury has meant I've only played a couple of games in the six months I've been here.

"That's why I really enjoyed the game against Arsenal. I'm very happy because it was a massive game against my old club.

"The pace was how I thought it would be and I felt I handled it well. It was a shame we couldn't hold on to the 1-0 lead, but it was a good result in the end because they are a quality team.''

Bartley's opportunity came after Laudrup opted to rest Ashley Williams ahead of Wednesday's Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg at Chelsea. And he had no regrets after singing his praises following the game.

"That was only his second game of the season,'' confirmed Laudrup, "and I think he did great. For a manager that's really nice to see.

"I wanted to see what Kyle could give us for the present and the future. Some may have said it was too big a game for him to start, but I looked at it the other way. It's against his old team and everyone would be focused, so it's a good game to start. I think I was right - this time!

"Kyle's been very unlucky. When Chico picked up his red card earlier in the season, he could have had his chance, but he gets injured the day after and is out for three months. Garry Monk came in and played well, while Chico and Ash have been doing great, so it's been difficult for him.

"We are lucky though because it means we have four good centre backs. But we can only play with two and one on the bench, so one has to be in the stand sometimes.''

Bartley, who spent five years at Arsenal after a junior career at Bolton, also earned credit from his former manager, Arsene Wenger, who admitted: "He had a good game.

"We bought him when he was at Bolton, when he was a young boy of 16. We know he has the quality.

"He played (on loan) at Rangers. Sometimes when players have been out on loan and played a lot, they do not want to wait anymore when they come back.

"He was especially impatient and I couldn't promise him to play with the number of centre-backs we had.''