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Arsenal vs. Swansea City

Ashburton Grove

1st December, 2012

3pm

Arsenal v Swansea City Match Preview

Arsenal come off the back of a pair of lukewarm draws at Aston Villa and Everton, knowing that only home wins against Swansea and West Brom will put those results into a more positive context.

Meanwhile, Swansea City have put a September blip behind them and having moved Muchu into a centre forward position, they have moved up to 8th place in the Premiership, having comfortably dismantled West Brom on Wednesday evening.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger was fulsome in his praise of Swansea's technical ability, 'Of course, Brendan Rodgers has made the basis of what the club is today and Michael Laudrup has added some players he knew from Spain who are very good additions.

'They have Michu, Pablo Hernandez, de Guzman. And by keeping Britton, Rangel and the players at the back they are a dangerous side throughout, and having a good season. They are a complete unit, very creative, very technical and very mobile."

Meanwhile, Michael Laudrup is fully aware of the dangers posed by Arsenal, 'Arsenal are a very good side, with great players who like to play on the ball. They also have a manager in Arsene Wenger that has been there for 16 years and done wonderful things for the club.

'But we go there with no pressure and can surprise people. We have picked up four points this week which has been a very good return for us.'

Arsenal Team News:

Bacary Sagna is a massive doubt for the Gunners with a foot injury picked up against Everton. Laurent Koscielny's thigh strain puts him out of the picture for 3 weeks. Lukas Podolski is expected to return from illness.

Abou Diaby (thigh), Andre Santos (stomach), Lukasz Fabianski (ankle) are out, Theo Walcott will have a late check on his ankle. Tomas Rosicky is back in the squad.

Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Djourou, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, S.Cazorla, Chamberlain, Walcott, Gervinho, Arshavin, Podolski, Chamakh, Giroud.

Player to watch: Lukas Podolski

The German international has settled in well in North London with six goals in home games already. Without him on Wednesday night, the temptation to simply hit Giroud with long balls became too apparent.

Podolski ensures a varied threat with his movement inside the box, in Angel Rangel he faces a right back that likes to attack too.

Swansea City Team News:

Pablo Hernandez misses the trip to London with a thigh injur, Jonathan de Guzman is back to full fitness and expected to take his place.

Danny Graham has recovered from illness but won't be risked. Chico Flores is expected to pass a late test on a shoulder problem.

Swansea City (from): Vorm, Cornell; Rangel, Bartley, Flores, Williams, Monk, Tiandeli, Situ, Taylor; Britton, Dyer, Routledge, de Guzman, Sung-Yeung, Michu, Moore.

Player to watch: Wayne Routledge

Much has been made of the form of 7 goal Michu, correctly so. But Laudrup has tinkered with the system and played nominal winger Wayne Routledge just off of the Spanish frontman.

Routledge responded by scoring two goals against West Brom on Wednesday night from a free role.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal and Swansea have met six times in the league, with both sides having won three times each.

Swansea have lost 6 of their last 10 away games, winning two and drawing two as well in that period.

Michu has registered six headers on target this season. Four have been goals.

Kyle Bartley faces his former club.

This fixture has never been separated by more than two goals.

Ref Watch:

The referee will be Mark Clattenburg.

Match Prediction:

I'm going for 2-0 Arsenal. Goals from Giroud and Podolski.

Next Fixtures:

Arsenal play away at Olympiacos on Tuesday night. Swansea's next game will be at home to norwich City next Saturday.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 30 2012

Time: 1:57PM

Your Comments

Not an easy game to call this. Their team is more settled than ours and as a result they're playing with greater fluency than we're managing at present. They may well have more possession but hopefully we can be direct enough to take advantage when we do have the ball.
Amos.
Agree with Amos. This is going to be one game that will task our players' capacity to focus and do their jobs. I recall this side did edge it on the possession stats last season, against us so, it wouldn't surprise me if they have a little bit more of the ball, seeing as we appear to keep possession only in defensive areas and are less assured once in the final third. Still, we are at home and should just nick this.
Naijagunner
We shall need our creative players to be at their best tomorrow, to give their defenders something to worry about just as we know their wide players and full backs will task ours. Wayne Routledge is one player whose improvement over the years has tickled me. Very skillful and tenacious on the ball and bound to whip in some crosses (I will expect them to go with 1 striker). So, I quite like the idea of Gibbs being up against him. That will be a contest. Hope Jenks gets to play as well. It is a game for our English players, if you ask me.
Naijagunner
I fear teams will have seen how Fulham played and got considerable joy against us and there's simply not enough fear factor about playing us anymore. With the form that Swansea are in, I can see them scoring more than once and therefore not losing.
Gooner_Vin
Observation so far. Swansea are willing to play the ball to a player under pressure and use him to draw our team out of position. Our players are always using the easy option, and only managing to get chances through sheer persistence really.
Arsenales F.C
"It's a game for our English players". Whoever they are....
Henry Baker Brown
Observation thus far: Les Francenals haven't won anything for almost a decade....
Henry Baker Brown
You're aware we started with no French players on the pitch, right?
Arsenales F.C
you are aware that Hank Baker Brown is a Spud, right ??..... Man Utd - 2 box-strikers Man Citey - 2 box-strikers Spuds - 2 box-strikers I see a pattern here peeps....
Viyyash-Ramosh
We paid for that first-half display. Grew increasingly desperate for a goal at the end and lost our shape, allowing them to come on again. I fear in selling v.Persie we've gone one sale too far, now we lack a genuine world-class striker and they're not easy to come by.
Arsenales F.C
Not just Fulham. Even Aston Villa have sussed out how to negate this team. Our players don't really pressure opponents as much as just close down the zones.
Wyn Mills
THIS is the time when you Arse supporters have got to put aside your negativity and rise above your circumstances...THIS is when the REAL supporters of the club stand up to be counted and don't just go with the (easy) negative BS that will inevitably descend.... are you up for the challenge ?
Viyyash-Ramosh
i officially call for the gaffer's head! so disappointed !
e dubbz
Anyone know how Arsenal got on today?
asherthesmasher
Up for the challenge... Are you up your own arse or what? We've won 5 prem games all season and nearly half the season is gone. We need to win at least 3 out of our next 4 games. I think we've gotta just trust Giroud at this point, no point
Arsenales F.C
wow, arsenal in 10th now? How do you feel?
Guyver
***** OFF WENGER AND THE BOARD. SO LONG AS HE GETS THEM TOP4 THEY WONT GIVE A *****
Gunnerfan1987
teheheheehee
jljyid
personally i'd like to see you relegated
Cape Town Spurs
top four, your having a laugh, the way this bunch is performing, well be very lucky to finish in the top half.
cornish gooner
won't be relegated.... the team must HATE playing at the Emirates the last few weeks, you can feel the 'supporters' just sucking the confidence outta the team within minutes of games starting.... if I was a player, Id just keep my head down and not take a chance to do something creative in case it goes wrong, best leave it to 'someone else' to mess it up and get the fans groans and rollicking.
Viyyash-Ramosh
We just need Denilson back...
Gooner_Vin
We have sold too many top class player and replaced with average and hence the consequence- we look average. The is a lack of anyone who is going to perform out of the ordinary. We are miles from the best team that Wenger has produced. Well the board will be happy as average they want and average they have now got!!!!!!
deadlydave
It's not Wenger's fault, no matter how motivated he gets them are they just aren't good enough. The real blame goes to the person who assembled the team and has sold all of our best players over the past three years. This year it will be Theo and Jack, mark my words. When he says he is going to evaluate the team at the end of the year, I hope he considers himself in the evaluation. Still, we should be beating teams like Swansea at home - man for man we have the superior squad, so it's pretty damned obvious where the problem lies. Stick a fork in his ass and turn him over, he's done.
elbondo
Well we won't be in the champions league next season. Not that we do much in it year after year.........
Will-i-am10
arsenal fc needs a change, we've stuck with the status quo and really it HAS been a steady decline since our high achieving teams of past. im not prepared to see wenger leave completely but perhaps take on a role as director of football. get a coach like pep guardiola in and see what he can do to turn things around. kroenke and gazidis out, replaced by usmanov and dein. we need to stop kidding ourselves, because the continuous disappointment from failed expectations is getting tiresome.
supersof
I'd like to see a change for Wenger, maybe a seat on the board, but NOT director of football - he'd just buy and sell in the same fashion as he's been doing the past three years. He should have left after the four or so years of performing miracles with no money due to the initial impact of funding the stadium. "Here you go, the team is in great shape financially and on the pitch". It's sad really, as the team regresses year-on-year his reputation does as well. Ideally, he'd run against Platini in the next UEFA elections and take on that broken organization for his final project.
elbondo
I'm not going to be knee jerk.....after lat season anything is possible....someone said we're in 10th, I think last season we managed 17th. I'm sure we will be scrapping for 4th till the end and be there or there abouts. The league has evolved over the past few years.....very competitive. Gone are the days of teams winning this league with just 1 or 2 losses. The champions elect have managed to lose 3 already. I'm perplexed why the dominance of the first 4 games or so has vanished. Has to more to it then diaby.....as good as he was for the few games he played. Nobody can tell me it is because of the quality of player we have now. There are teams above us with squads you wouldn't swap for. Unfortunately it seems robin made the right choice....and good luck to him. He obviously knows what is happening behind the scenes. Wenger needs to steady the ship fast.
gunnerman76
Good to see Spurs fans here have learned a lesson from the last 17 years and haven't started gloating in December.
Little Dutch
Ive become comfortably numb.
Sajit
Yes LD, uncommon restraint from the spuds. I look at their squad and I would only take Bale and Dembele, and yet they are five points ahead. So if they are doing better with a thinner squad it must come down to the manager. Maybe Chelsea should have given AVB more time and power, but that's of no interest to me. What is of interest is that three teams with better squads are ahead of us in the table, as well as six teams with crappier squads. Everybody thinks Wenger has a job for life, and those 10,000 empty seats yesterday may have been paid for, but Kroenke is no dummy. I've seen him in action with his gridiron football team in the NFL, and if he sees revenues dropping and the team under performing (Amos, fourth highest payroll should mean fourth in the table, right?) he will pick up the phone, call Ivan, and say 'get rid of Wenger'. He rarely interferes in the day-to-day running of any of his teams but if he sees empty seats and no results, he can be brutal. If we sack Wenger and get fourth place, or higher, great. If we sack him and finish in fifth or sixth but play better than we have been recently, I'm okay with that. If we keep him and get third or fourth, awesome. If we keep him and finish fifth or lower then giving him the sack is the only alternative. Think back to the movie Boogie Nights. Yeah, you're a star and have done a great job but if you can't get it up anymore, ***** off.
elbondo
That was not good enough and Swansea were full value for their 3 pts-well deserved. I think this team can do better, and can get 4th place - just need to get on a run of good results. We might need another Jan signing like Arshavin who pretty much delivered 4th place on his signing. For the 2nd season in a row, 4th place is really at risk unless things improve.
prits
LOL on taking only 2 players from the Spuds squad... I feel the same about yours ( Diaby and ..... actually, just the 1
Viyyash-Ramosh
Can't say I'm that surprised by the result. I felt that Swansea were the more settled and fluent side which told in the end. It's not really about which players you are prepared to take from which team - whether Spuds, Swansea or anyone else. If you have 11 players that have been playing together for a couple of seasons or so then chances are you'll be able to create some fluency. We haven't managed that and we'll only gain it slowly. It's going to be a long hard season. Elbondo's logic is right that 4th highest spenders should mean 4th place but despite that we gained 3rd place last season so would 5th place also be seen as within normal deviation? Recently I'd argued that it will take us 2 or 3 years to create a genuinely competitive team from the position we've arrived at over the last 2 or 3 years. Could we have done better? Maybe but probably not. Much has happened that we couldn't properly control and that which we could would only have been with the benefit of hindsight. There's too little time and too little understanding left to help Arsene. It's now just a matter of how long he'll wish to endure the crap that will be dumped on him.
Amos.
So is Arsene doing us a favour by staying here then? Enduring all this crap? He's massively well renumerated and unquestionably respected from within the club, he most certainly is not the victim. And if he is (selling players/not spending the money we make) he should come out and enlighten us all, otherwise, i dont see any of this crap that's dumped on him unfair at all i'm afraid.
shewore
Also, my favourite player Rosicky's attempt at defending the 2nd goal, what an embarrassment.
shewore
Arsene has certainly served us well by staying as long as he has. He wouldn't have had any problem taking any number of high profile positions with greater resources that would have enhanced his reputation along with his bank balance. From his personal perspective that's what he should have done. Like Spuds and Liverpool we would have had a couple of managers or more trying to find someone that could defy the odds and would probably have spent much more money and made much less. The reason you don't see the crap being dumped on him and that which will continue to be dumped on him if he stays over the next couple of seasons is much the same reason you see Rosicky (who you understand only as a player off the front man), the only player to make any attempt to cover, as an embarrassment.
Amos.
Elbondo so Vertonghen, Sandro and Lloris wouldn't make your team then? Ok then bye bye then.
HuddersfieldYiddo
Changing managers in the middle of the season is unlikely to get us achieving better results in my opinion. AW has assembled this squad so he should be the one manager that can get the best out of them. He knows the club and the players and a new manager would take a long time to adapt. I don't understand his excuses about the players being tired after playing European games. Other teams play in Europe and seem to cope with it a lot better and he should enough quality players to rotate and prevent this problem. If he can't rotate it's his own fault for not adding to the squad when he had the chance. We have no choice but to wait until the end of the season and see where we finish and then judge him. I'm just hoping things improve soon as we're running out of games slowly.
bowiecokemirror
Ha! Rosicky's attempt was laughable, appalling, he only did it cos he was the one in that position so felt obliged. Anyway, back to Arsene, would he really get paid that much more elsewhere? He's on some of the biggest money in europe, i don't see him being here as a massive favour to us as you clearly do, he's a football manager - and he gets a lot less crap than a few other managers that can be named. What crap does he get that's undeserved in your opinion?
shewore
6 of Swansea's starting XI yesterday have been at the club less than a year. Their manager has only been there six months as well. I really don't think we can say they're more settled.
Little Dutch
I think the attempt to denigrate Rosicky's attempt is the more laughable - a true embarrassment. Of course Wenger would have made more money elsewhere but I'm not arguing that he doesn't have to take the crap now. Just that if he'd not stayed around he would have been able to enhance his reputation. He's the manager he has to take the flak but from his own perspective he should have quit in 2006 or 2007. The 4 players (2 defenders) Swansea signed this summer were integrated into a settled team of largely mature players and for the most part in different playing areas. Certainly their midfield and forward line is more settled which is what would determine the degree of fluency. Laudrup hasn't had to change their system of play significantly at all. By contrast Wilshere, Arteta and Cazorla have never really played together. Poldolski, Gervinho and Walcott is a fledgling forward line which isn't any more experienced with the addition of Giroud or Ox [Edited by Amos] [Edited by Amos] [Edited by Amos]
Amos.
Been a busy 36 hours, or so, for me. Couldn't even see the game real time, but did expect the backlash on here. The disappointment is understandable but the blood-lust going on here is exactly what the media and rivals want us to do! The players need the fans too and maybe, questions should be asked about the support and efforts to drive the team on. That was how the team recovered last season to place 3rd; fans accepted the team couldn't win, placed less pressure on them and just enjoyed the day (yes. This team wilts under pressure). Same unconditional support is needed now, then lets see where it gets us. Anything else and we could be toying with mid table mediocrity.
Naijagunner
*accepted the team couldn't win the Title*. The irony of having our most successful Manager preside over a return to mediocrity, as against restoring our pride. God forbid it!
Naijagunner
He stopped to let him shoot Amos, watch it again. Naija, the performances are not the fan's fault - don't start all that claptrap.
shewore
I've watched it more than once. Rosicky only stopped when it was clear that he was never going to get close enough to stop him shooting. As an observation it's one of your more blinkered, partial and silly quite frankly. You might well ask why this 'off the front man' player was the last man defending. Perhaps because at some point he had realised the whole team had gone walkabout and someone had to show some responsibility yet in your eyes he's the one at fault. preside over a return to mediocrity that would depend on how you see mediocrity. If it's a failure to win the EPL or CL then there's little debate to be had. If it's the position the club and team is in/has been in over the last few years with all that's gone on around it, and the ability to progress as a club from where we are then, in context, it might not be seen as mediocre at all. In terms of our expectations the team's performances of late have been rather less than mediocre at times but it's not that hard to understand why we are where we are either.
Amos.
Said I would never write again on this blog and by the number of people taking part i was not on my own. Amos I concur with you mate a pity a few others fail to take the time to read your comments properly. Its time to batter down the hatches and wait out the storm; can we not as fans support our team? We have enough knockers against us without turning on ourselves. Silly comments that Jack will be gone by next season are total rubbish Mark my words. I will wait till at least March but then if we do make 4th by the end of the season or 3rd like last season the knockers will be out again screaming we have not won a trophy for eight years. What a load of Bull sh2t. Second thoughts i like knockers. (Pity our fans are not more like Pool fans; now the are real fans).
alwaysgunner
What looked apparent to me at the stadium yesterday was that one side looked as though they know exactly what they were doing and were confident in their game plan and the other had no idea what they were doing. Irrespective of tiredness or new faces or lack of funds over the last seasons, the only thing that seems clear is that these players are either not being properly coached or are being coached but then not listening or taking on what they're being trained to do. Lots of sideways passing, no one really knowing what to do with the ball. If that was Barcelona that put on that performance yesterday against us I wouldn't have been surprised; but it was Swansea City that actually looked a class above us. I think these next 5 games we have coming up are pivotal in the context of both this season and Wenger's reign. If we don't pick up at least 12 points we're in trouble. With the current state of a squad that shorn of confidence, freshness, quality and coaching, I'm not optimistic Wenger can turn this around. There's been far too many games where we're not even creating chances for that to be an anomaly.
Gooner_Vin
Not being coached properly? Did Pat Rice make the difference then? We've failed to score in 5 PL games this season. That's usually about the average for a whole season. The only time we've failed to score more than six since the unbeaten season was in 2006 when we scraped 4th on the last day of the season. We failed to score in 11 PL games that season. Our problem is in the midfield/forward balance. Finding that is still some weeks but more likely months away yet.
Amos.
Here comes AG again. Instead of this tin hat trench perspective why don't you wake up and start to formulate a view on why this team aren't doing it? Questioning the leadership or team application doesn't automatically make anyone less of a fan or a traitor. We live in a tough world where rewards are astronomical, but performance is also monitored and judged. Managers and players demand huge salaries and they should expect to be put under the microscope in return. It's no longer a gentleman's game, its an investment business with thousands of shareholders, and that includes the fans. You said you would never write on here again, so why have you? I suspect its as you concluded, you just love those 'knockers'.
Wyn Mills
From what i saw yesterday, no, that looked like a side that had no gameplan (or one at was severely deficient at best) and no idea what to do with the ball nor could cope with Swansea when it didn't have the ball. You can come up with stats till the cows come home but it was clear to me yesterday that one side knew what it was supposed to do and the other appeared almost clueless. You don't even have to take my word for it, just look at the exasperation that some of our players were showing.
Gooner_Vin
Of course it's ok to question leadership and application of the team, players, manager. coaches, or anyone associated with the club - that's why it's also ok to question the attitude and understanding of supporters and followers. It might have looked like a team that didn't have a gameplan Vin but you don't need stats to tell you that one would have existed. That they weren't able to execute that gameplan efficiently is clear enough and we'll all have different opinions as to why that is usually starting from 'the manager and players are crap' upwards. The team has been pulled apart especially over the last two seasons and not always for reasons the club has complete control over. It's right to pick fault with those decisions that in hindsight they might not have taken but that'll always be the case in football. It'll take some time to get it back together but it's fixable largely thanks to the way the club has been managed.
Amos.
Shewore, I have not suggested the performances (or a lack of it) are the fans' fault; but, you will feel the players need the home support to do a little more to help them. The team is, no doubt, in a difficult situation and the last thing they need is their own fans turning on them.

Amos, when I referred to "a return to mediocrity", I had the per-Wenger years in mind, when we were, largely a mid-table team. Maybe, a bit extreme but you get my drift, I hope.
Naijagunner
It is going to be a very difficult period for the boys. Shorn of confidence, not sure the fans won't turn on them, worried about letting the manager down and anxious about missing out on our "holy grail" 4th place. Not a good time to bring back the players returning from injury but bring them on we must. Is it cruel fate that we now have to play Swansea Away in the FA cup? Lets hope we have turned all these issues around by that time.
Naijagunner
It is going to be a very difficult period for the boys. Shorn of confidence, not sure the fans won't turn on them, worried about letting the manager down and anxious about missing out on our "holy grail" 4th place. Not a good time to bring back the players returning from injury but bring them on we must. Is it cruel fate that we now have to play Swansea Away in the FA cup? Lets hope we have turned all these issues around by that time.
Naijagunner
*pre-Wenger years, that was meant to state*. Not that we haven't been close to mediocre, at times, in the last 7 years;-)
Naijagunner
no, he stopped well before, it was completely half arsed. If that was 0-0 then he makes a challenge or at least attempts a block, he just didn't bother, in truth it's so obvious anyone can see it. Why are you talking about him being 'off the front man'? Is it in reference to me mentioning he played there off Adebayor and his goal return is really poor? Cos if so, it's a very poor attempt to twist words, your default stance appears to be 'question Arsenal? i'll question you!!', Vin makes some good points about the coaching, Pat Rice was the AM, he wasn't formulating the coaching was he?
shewore
nice to see Naija picking up on my points.... the 'fans' ARE AND MAY WELL CONTINUE TO KILL THIS SEASON FOR THE TEAM (flippin caps!!)..... the players will not perform individually nor collectively with this powder-keg poisonous atmosphere permeating every home game now and recently (and probably next few wks) where even thge slightest mis-control or errant pass, not to mention small and honest error will be greeted with a torrent of abuse and disgust... except for golden-titch Jacque of course (which the other players will no doubt 'love' and 'motivate' them even more.... play the safe pass, if it goes tits up make sure your not the patsy nearest the ball.... hoof it, hoof it good.
Viyyash-Ramosh
You do make some good points, sometimes, Viyyash.....but only sometimes. It is hard to know on whose side you are, at times.
Naijagunner
It's only obvious when the tunnel vision is as acute as yours shewore. The irony is that the 2nd goal that was conceded had nothing to do with any lack of effort on Rosicky's part and at the same time he was virtually the only one making any effort to show any responsibility or awareness but I understand your need for an Aunt Sally figure. There's no default stance other than to look beyond the superficial explanations and to try to see some context but I see absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the attitudes and understanding of supporters and followers either.
Amos.
*yawn* same old defence of the manager and board eh Amos, still fighting "the good fight", while trying to be as patronising as possible? Some things never change.
Scotch Eggs Rule
It does get boring *yawn* but folk like you will always feel patronised ScotchEgg. You should have outgrown that complex by now though.
Amos.
think you meant 'no default stance than NOT to look beyond superficial explanations', Amos..
Viyyash-Ramosh
....for the majority, tho' not for you, so within context after all....ooooohh I made a booboo!
Viyyash-Ramosh
 

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