UK time is: 08:29:09
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Arsenal 1 Swansea City 0

After the trials and tribulations of Manchester and the breathless fallout of the transfer window, married to another tedious international break, this game felt like something of a clean slate for Arsenal. The atmosphere inside the ground was notably perkier before kickoff, with Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker making their debuts, whilst Park Ju-Young, Andre Santos and Yossi Benayoun on the bench. The lingering air around the club seemed to have been lifted, with all eyes focussing forward now- as the legend beneath the club crest invites.

Initially, the Gunners fed on the feel good factor and almost took the lead inside 55 seconds. What was notable about Arsenal`s midfield was that Arteta and Ramsey swapped roles constantly throughout the game, with Arteta happy to sit back and dictate from the centre circle, allowing Ramsey to furrow forward- and vice versa. But inside 45 seconds, Arteta pressed Agustin high up the pitch and robbed him of possession, before slotting a through ball to the onrushing Ramsey. For reasons that escape me, Ramsey delayed his shot with only Vorm to beat and bafflingly allowed the ball to travel slightly away from his body, forcing him to slice a gilt edged chance high, wide and not very handsome. A very poor miss.

Yet Swansea, with their fleet footed wing duo of Dyer and Sinclair, offered plenty for Arsenal`s full backs to think about. But it was Agustin who patrolled over to the right flank and sent in a conniving cross to the penalty area, Danny Graham edged just ahead of Per Mertesacker and toe poked towards goal. Szczesny brilliantly adjusted his feet, changed direction and flung himself low down for a cracking stop. But the Gunners still looked very much on top and were again inches away from taking the lead when Arshavin`s clever through ball saw Walcott burn past Taylor through onto the Swans goal, Vorm got the merest of touches to Walcott`s finish, which slowed the ball`s progress towards the line sufficiently to see Stephen Caulker clear off the line.

What was quite remarkable was that, even in that life or death, goal line clearance moment, Caulker still wouldn`t use his left foot for that clearance, instead twisting his body to use his right and happily colliding with the post and hurting himself. It beggars belief that a professional footballer won`t use his weak foot to make the most unostentatious of clearances. He even preferred to cause himself physical pain than to use his left foot. Gibbs was similarly guilty in this regard later in the half, ignoring a simple pass with his right foot, preferring to put Szczesny under immense pressure in his own six yard area. Luckily for Gibbs, Szczesny was able to Cruyff turn his way out of the danger.

Swansea continued to provide enough off a threat to keep everyone alert. Neil Taylor`s cross from the left fooled everybody and rolled heart stoppingly across Swansea`s six yard box. Arsenal`s early verve rather sagged, with Caulker and Ashley Williams providing a sturdy Maginot line in front of the Swansea goal. But Arsenal did get their breakthrough in surreal circumstances five minutes before half time. Walcott turned on the edge of the area and his left foot shot deflected into the arms of Vorm. In his anxiety to get Swansea moving, Vorm had a momentary brain fart and rolled the ball against the legs of his own defender. I really can`t make out who he was actually trying to get the ball to, but in any case it ricocheted very nicely into the path of Andrey Arshavin, who nonchalantly rolled the ball in from a very tight angle, for his first goal since March 19. It was a slice of serendipity that the club has badly missed in its opening games.

The second half saw Arsenal, still scarred by early season results, retreat into their shells slightly. This in turn encouraged Sinclair and Dyer onto the Gunners back four. Early in the second half, Sinclair found space in a central role, Mertesacker backed off and Sinclair progressed to the edge of Arsenal`s area, before Laurent Koscielny cynically took him out. Sinclair clipped the crossbar with the resulting free kick. Not to be outdone, it was Arsenal`s turn to strike the woodwork. Arshavin found van Persie on the edge of the Swans area; he brilliantly rolled Williams and Gunter, eking out space for a right foot shot which hit the outside of the post. A good example of a player that worked on his weaker foot to his advantage.

Sagna`s cross caused consternation in the Welsh side`s penalty area just a minute later, with Williams and Vorm leaving the ball to one another, but van Persie didn`t gamble at the back post and the ball drifted wide. At this point, Wenger was rather forced into a change by the threat of Sinclair and Dyer. Despite being one of Arsenal`s more potent attacking threats, Arshavin was withdrawn for Yossi Benayoun. The manager explained afterwards that this was as Benayoun offered something "more dynamic." Which is a diplomatic way of saying that "he`s not a lazy bastard like Arshavin is." In fact, Arsenal`s deference to the visitors` threat showed in all substitutions, with the more physical Chamakh on for van Persie and the less enterprising Coquelin replacing Frimpong.

Chamakh`s physicality very nearly bought another goal too, when Ramsey`s searching pass found Gibbs on the left, he pinged in an accurate cross which Chamakh climbed above Williams to head goalwards, only for Vorm to save. The last 15 minutes were edgy and tense, with the Gunners dropping back and "trying to get over the line" in the manager`s words. Quite understandable given the events of our last two league games. Swansea nearly snatched an equaliser right at the death when Szczesny, for once, made a meal of his attempt to punch Gunter`s corner under pressure from Williams. The ball fell to Graham inside the six yard box with Szczesny grounded, but he could only swivel and send the ball over the bar, to the collective relief of the chanting Arsenal hordes.

The final whistle was greeted with great relief. The performance was far from the most fluid or fulminating, but it was unlikely to ever be. Confidence takes time to rebuild and we were always going to have to scrap and work our way back. This is an important first step, a building block rather than the plateau of our season. There will be plenty of time to reforge that pyrotechnic football, but for now we need points. Badly. We got them, by hook or by crook. We might be slightly fortunate that Swansea don`t really have a striker of any note and the goal was clearly a slice of fortune. But when you look at the first goal we conceded in the Liverpool game, it was fortune due to us. Not that that will be of any comfort to Swansea, who can be pleased with an enterprising performance that gave their hosts plenty to chew on. Particularly on the fingernails. This game is money in the bank; the win is behind us, so let`s move Forward. LD.

13.SZCZESNY, 3.SAGNA, 4.MERTESACKER, 6.KOSCIELNY, 28.GIBBS, 26.FRIMPONG (39.Coquelin `73), 16.RAMSEY, 8.ARTETA, 14.WALCOTT, 23.ARSHAVIN (30.Benayoun `62), 10.v.PERSIE (29.Chamakh `80). Unused; 9.J-Y.Park, 11.A.Santos, 20.Djourou, 21.Fabianski.

Follow me on twitter @LittleDutchVA

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 11 2011

Time: 10:29AM

Your Comments

Still slightly worrying that yesterday's victory felt like a gift from Lady Luck than a true statement of intent. Ramsey and Walcott did not perform, and Frimpong really did look as if he'd been scarred by his red card. But on the plus side Szczesny looked well nigh impregnable and will no doubt soon be on MMan $hitty's shopping list. At the moment We have a good keeper on our hands, something weve not been able to say for a while. When Gervinho, Jack and TV return we'll be able to guage whether this team can gell in the way we all hope.
Wyn Mills
Top write up, we have a long long way to go before I can relax again. I think I wrote when Man city was acquired by the Middle East mob and the millions spent that this would be the end of football as we know it in England. Well it looks as if it will come true. When a club spends almost half a billion pounds on players and (with the possibility of spending the same amount again) footballers willing to sell their souls for money; then football will be the loser. Once they have destroyed the game I love and they become bored I really think it will be all over. But that of course is only IMO.
arteta & benayoun were very dynamic as wenger put it. it will take time for the midfield to gel but the defense was still very shaky. walcott & arshavin seldom track back when we were countered. van persie was also left rather isolated. it has been the case for all our previous games. there were not much penetration & and lacked of cohesion in defense. basically the game was concentrated in the middle of the park for most of the time where possessions were won and lost. it was quite worrying because players were neither committing themselves in defending nor attacking. nevertheless, 3 points is 3 points. hope we can build on it.
Wyn Mills, when Gervinho, Wilshere and Vermaelen return knowing your luck with injuries Van Persie, Song and Walcott will be injured instead :P
Why would we want a second-rate Polish keeper when we've already got the best keeper in the League Wyn Mills? I see the bitterness runs deep if you need to mention City on an article discussing your teams fortunate win over Swansea.
We didnt look like scoring to be honest as we were not creating chances. Cesc's departure means we need to find a new style of play. Walcott huffed and puffed but he just hasnt got it on the wing for me. I remember the day of Henry when he would make minced meat of the opposition right back. Theo seems to have got some attitude now though but that aint enough. Still unconvinced by Gibbs as 1st choice left back. Happy that chance came to Arshavin. I'm quite sure Theo would have shanked it. We'll take the 3 points for now.
Filthcolumnblue - there's no bitterness towards Man *****-t-y at Arsenal. Congratulations though on buying success, I'm sure it makes you feel very proud. Any old fool can buy a load of players. Now off you go, go back to supporting a club that pays Wayne Bridge 4.7m a year for training by himself. That's what I call class.
Oh No! lickle old City have ruined the spiteful vile Gunners - Pathetic it was you lot that ruined the English game many years ago with your all foreign teams! - You do realise weve given you over 70m in the last 3 years and your owners have put the lot in there pockets! - So once again who is ruining footy by taking all the money out of the clubs? and saddling them said clubs with HUGE debts oh thats right the Arsenal and manure boards!
I think Wenger should consider playing Arshavin more centrally. He needs to be closer to RvP and largely absolved of defensive duties because he's clearly not up to it or for it. Gibbs inexperience means he needs someone ahead of him that can support him defensively. As fans, we probably need to forget about what happens this season and just get behind the team every game and see where we end up. Now let's get a good result in Dortmund, based on a good defensive performance.
markmcfc - the only thing you're ruining is the game of football, and inside you know it.
No bitterness? Really? Then why are several vital arse posters talking about how City are ruining football on an article that is ostensibly about your match against Swansea? I'll admit that we are ruining football - for Arsenal. Your unchallenged procession in the Chamion's League is now under threat because of us and you don't like it. Arsene said it best - selling Nasri and Fabregas makes you a small club - failing to qualify for the Champion's league will cement that position. I'll enjoy seeing City finally able to compete, your bitterness towards us will just be the icing on the cake. Now you know what it's like to live in fear.
Was it bitterness that similar accurate accusations were made against Chelsea when they artificially sparked a transfer frenzy between 2003-2006 and bought two league titles? Opposition fans which include not only Arsenal fans call it like they see it. If the majority of Gooners, Yids, Scousers and neutrals agree on one thing, it is that City have demolished what little sanity there was left in the game.
GV, Agree Wenger should consider playing Arsh in a roving central role, similar to Messi. His close play and quick feet could bamboozle the slower centre backs and relieve him of the defensive duties he seems to have little appetite for. He's also not too concerned with scoring the perfect goal. But then as always its easy to be an armchair manager.
Wyn Mills
Swansea proved to be a good side needing just a cutting edge in the form of a goal poacher to give any side the same kind of trouble they caused us yesterday. Arshavin was buzzing and was really our most dangerous offensive player while he was on the pitch. There is still time for the team to gel and build the required confidence (not easy after that OT drubbing); but 3 points is a good start. If we can get a string of 3 to 5 wins, the cycle should be complete.
unconvincing win. hope things can only get better for Arsenal
Ah, back to Swansea. As we discovered earlier in the season, Swansea are a very good footballing side and very well organised, but as several of you have pointed out, they lack a cutting edge (and possibly a bit of luck). It's not surprising that Arsenal didn't bag a hatful of goals against them, as your team is in a period of transition at the moment. You can't sell your two best players, have injuries to others and bed in 5 new signings all the while maintaining the fluid, attacking football of seasons past. You may have a few more scraped wins before your team gels, but nobody will remember the manner of the win in 6 months time, just the fact you got 3 points.
Lol, seems to me there are more than a few touchy $ity fans around sensitive to any suggestion that their financially doped club has moved the goalposts. My comment was really about how good Szezsney was playing and the fact it would alert your scouts, who seem to spend most of their time hanging around the Emirates. But i guess the stigma attached to being a billionaire's plaything must be getting really irritating now.
Wyn Mills
Yep, I'm sorely****ed off at being second on goal difference and having an attack that looks as though it can score 6 or more goals every game. Oh the burden! Don't even get me started on how difficult it will be to watch us in the Champions League....
Yes, but how galling to know that whatever you do and whatever you win, it will always be devalued by the manner in which it was achieved. Still, dont let me spoil your fun. Where were we? Are yes, Swansea!
Wyn Mills
You must be pretty bored of it FCB because you are over here commenting on games that have zilch to do with Man City on a regular basis. Its pretty sad to see a once decent fanbase turn into such a paranoid bunch...if being in your position is so enjoyable go and enjoy it, go and Virtual Poznan away on VMC. If its so great and your loving it so much you wouldnt be here defending your clubs every move, I certainly didnt give a s*'t what outsiders thought about Arsenal when we were winning our titles and I wont be bothered when its our turn again.
Mark, Arsenal's TPA is ringfenced, so the money hasn't gone into the owner's pockets. That would be fraudulent accounting if it had. The owner has saddled us with no debt. Anyway, it's been my pleasure to educate you. Next week, I'll walk you through your ABCs if you like.
Little Dutch
Yes, of course, I'm so utterly bored of being successful that I read most Vital sites - it's just that most other Vital sites don't feel the need to mention how Big Bad City are runining football in every other post.
Stop spouting *****e about us all the time and I'll gladly never darken your doorstep again - until we've given you another kicking on the pitch that is.
Successful? You won your first trophy after 25 odd years and qualified for the Champions League, that's all. And you spent half a billion quid to get there. We've achieved far more success than City with a an actual net profit on transfer spend. Like I've said before, any old chump can do that Sh*tty-boy, now off you go, enjoy it while it lasts, coz it never does.
And by the way, it was us that you a kicking at your place last year, 3-1 I believe, and then you came with your bazillions to our place and stuck 11 men behind the ball and played for a 0-0. Get real.
Hope to see Gervinho, Santos and Arteta playing in the next game. Walcott still continues to perform like he always does, which is worrying. Even RvP seems a bit off form at the moment.
Fancy your chances of doing it again mate? And it's 35 years BTW. Remember when we were constantly fighting relegation? Remember when we were in the second division playing the likes of York City and Macclesfield? No of course you don't, you are the mighty arsenal, with the divine right to dine at the top table in perpetuity. Tell you what mate, what we've been through in the last 2 decades makes our current situation feel pretty damned successful to me. And know what? We kept our heads throughout all the garbage we had to put up with, the 5-0 hammerings by the likes of yourselves (remember? That was when you all still loved us! LOL). You can have your past, you can do all the petty sniping about how we're ruining football, spoiling the game, etc. etc. ad nauseum - I'm quite enjoying myself and a few bitter gooners won't stop that in the slightest. Good luck in the Europa League next season - if you make it. Don't forget - lack of success is character building. PMSL
I mean, frankly, I can't be arsed to begrudge Citeh anything. It all feels a bit cold in truth. I know Citeh fans don't care what I think- don't expect you to. But there's no rivalry there. If I raced Usain Bolt in the 100m final with a jet pack and won I wouldn't expect the victory to get many people talking or congratulating. But I think your last post has proved a lot of people's point FCB. Enjoy it by all means, I'm sure not having had it before you won't consider it hollow. Just as long as you're cool with the fact that nobody else will respect it. If you're cool with that (and I'll presume you're going to say you are) then that's cool. But I'd say demonstrate a little bit of tact. You meet the same people on the way up as you do on the way down. If the Sheikh one day decides to pull the plug- and I'm not saying he definitely will- but if he does, you might just be rattling your buckets outside Eastlands, asking for our loose change to save your football club.
Little Dutch
Gooner_Vin, it was 0-3 to the Arsenal at their place last season. Our chances of doing that again? Mhmmm. Certainly, not by the same scoreline.
As Bill Hicks once said "It's just a ride". I'll enjoy it until it's time to get off.
Bill Hicks was also once offered money by an Arab heckler who Bill had asked to pipe down during one of his shows. Hicks took the Arab sheikh's money, clambered up on stage and wiped his arse on it. :-)
Little Dutch
Yep, you supporters of the 5th largest club in the world byu revenue - Keep sticking it to the man.
There is no divine right to perpetual success, our continued ability to compete with the worlds biggest richest clubs is testament to the shrewd behind the scenes engineering at Arsenal which whilst still expanding globally is also building a worldwide multitude of academies to spread the clubs vision of how it desires to see the game played. Building on the 13 league titles not one of which has been bought gives us all a pride in how things are done here fcb so you'll excuse us if a few here sneer at the likes of ridiculous pillocks like abramovich and your beloved sheikh, whatever you do go on to win from now on noone will take it truly seriously, Just as to me Chelski have only really won two league titles as they bought the other two, anything you win I won't recognise it, a first FA cup for 35 yrs you'd have doubly enjoyed it had it not been purchased, you can front and say it's cos all of us are bitter, but £hit we have a haul over the years you lot will take another 25 yrs to even equal. After all is spent and done what your peers obviously think means something otherwise why bite?
There is an curious fact that's worth checking out for scrutiny. It will seem United play at home in all of their domestic games following all 6 of their UCL group games! All 6 games!!! Is that a team living a charmed life or was this set up that way to ease things up for them in their quest for a 20th title? Surely, that is unfair advantage over other EPL sides in the league. It is not easy going Away in the EPL after playing the UCL in midweek, worse still, if the CL game was Away. And, all the other teams have that problem on occasion, except United.
*a curious*
I didn't say anything about sticking it to the man. The point was more about not relying on handouts.
Little Dutch
Come on. City have been awesome. Show a little respect even if it hurts. Let's face: people can't take their eyes off United and City but no one wants to watch your lot kick it around 60, 000 times and fall flat on their faces. They want watch real men not ******** useless fags like Theo *****cott. Besides, if your argument had any validity in it then United would be suffering too; look at their debts! But no, in spite of the difficulties Fergie has UPPED his game arguably. Wenger has made ***** up after ***** up over the past seven years, but I bet he's well pleased there are still a few supporters who will blame others and not him. By the way, I thought you looked shockingly low on confidence yesterday, really poor. Top half of the table this year will be an achievement for you.
Henry Baker Brown
Henry Baker Brown
'A worldwide multitude of academies'. Yeah, cos every kid from a third world country dreams of defending like tailor's dummies. I've never seen such a bunch of ****s on a pitch: they were running around like retards trying to F.U.C.K a doorknob.
Henry Baker Brown
Henry baker brown great name, surname matches the **** coming out of your gob. l just hope you dont ruin the game of Football but I think this time you really will.
You probably won't find anyone here who would deny United's supremacy or their right to it Henry. But then again, judging by your posts, you'd have trouble finding your nose even when you sneeze.
Little Dutch
TBF Niko there is a decent argument that we were the money club when Chapman was here, nothing compared to this scale tho.
Just to follow up Naijagunners point about the rags having all of their post CL games at home, City have all of theirs away. Maybe I'm paranoid, but that's a pretty strange result for a "fair" draw to have come up with wouldn't you say?
I wonder whether this team is capable of making the top 4 this season. That is the only realistic target, as title aspirations are not realistic. A Cup win, in the FA or Carling Cup would make it better.
U guys should be serious,what d u mean by a lucky win? 4 ur information d players work very hard to earn dat 3 points so cudos to them & remember some of our players did not take part in dat match due to one reason or d other,i believe dat d match against Dortmund will be the decider of how we are going to perform this season.
@ shewore yeah Chapman was accused of buying success at Arsenal and we became known as the "Bank of England" club. However, between 1925 and 1934 Chapman had spent £101,000 in fees and received £40,000 for those he sold. A yearly average cost of £7,000. This was easily made up for in increased revenue from gate receipts. For example, in his final year as manager, the club made a profit of £35,000. So we have always lived and spent within our means (ie even with backing from a rich tory like Norris although he spent to bring in players it was still based on earnings from the gate) No way on earth either the northern or southern lotto chavs can claim that.
Excellent bit of writing and a fair description of the game. Arsenal just about shaded it although Swansea with a bit of luck and a decent striker might have done better. An enjoyable day out in your marvellous stadium. Good luck for the season and I look forward to wecoming you to Swansea later in the season. A Swans fan.
Tony what's up...
Saturday's game was not very good, But We so needed the 3pts and that was what we got! So let's hope that this team gel together quickly and start winning more game and move Us back to the top of the prem! As this half way position just doesn't feel Right at all! Come on The Arsenal!
Dan,am smilling as u can see,i hope dat ur team Chelsea is ready to face d bombardment from Man-u.
That's the feeling of entitlement playing out there again, Hackneyval. We have to take this easy, now you'd feel.
FCB, I will have to say I agree with you there. This cannot be coincidence as it is easy to see how that can be 'arranged'; it is too convenient but I imagine it is a rather sensitive subject.
Prits, Szczesny thinks the team can make top 4. Infectious optimism right there.
A whole paragraph slating Caulker, you'd think he was a Spurs player! Oh wait
another 1-0 win tonite pleaseeee

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Arsenal Articles

Arsenal Games Switched For TV (Friday December 19 2014)

Bellerin To Play With More Freedom Now (Friday December 19 2014)

Wenger - Monaco Completes The Circle (Friday December 19 2014)

Liverpool v Arsenal Match Preview (Friday December 19 2014)

The Ox: Don't Blame Wenger, Blame Us (Thursday December 18 2014)

Ozil Slightly Ahead Of Schedule (Thursday December 18 2014)

Archived Arsenal Articles

List All Vital Arsenal Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Amos. 64
2. Naijagunner 47
3. paul_ownz 25
4. Galway Gooner 22
5. luckys_10 13
6. Little Dutch 12
7. shewore 12
8. Nwankwo25 11
9. alwaysgunner 10
10. Wyn Mills 10

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Arsenal 4 - 1 Newcastle
Stoke 3 - 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 - 0 Southampton
WBA 0 - 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 - 2 Man Utd
Swansea 2 - 1 Arsenal

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
4. West Ham 17 9 4 4 10 31
5. Southampton 17 9 2 6 15 29
6. Spurs 17 8 3 6 -1 27
7. Arsenal 16 7 5 4 9 26
8. Swansea 17 7 4 6 3 25
9. Newcastle 16 6 5 5 -4 23
10. Everton 17 5 6 6 0 21

Breaking League News

Pardew In Confident Mood
» Sunderland : 21/12/2014 08:04:00
Kevin Phillips Backs Sunderland For A Win.
» Sunderland : 21/12/2014 07:48:00
Newcastle vs Sunderland... Draw Likely?
» Sunderland : 21/12/2014 07:13:00
Harry Hails Hatrick Hero
» Q.P.R. : 20/12/2014 23:12:00
» Swansea : 20/12/2014 21:40:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Liverpool v Arsenal
Suggested By:  Site Staff
Arsenal win 100%
Draw 0%
Liverpool win 0%