Swansea Preview: Giroud must play, Rosicky For Sale, Coquelin to Start?
I must admit to being in two minds about our game against the Jacks tonight: one of anticipation and one of apprehension. As per yesterday’s post, Arsenal have a number of seemingly structural problems; every time we believe the team has made significant progress, they let us down again with the same problems resurfacing once more.
I am repeating a paragraph in yesterday’s post to sum it all up:
What is more worrying is the lack of form and shape to the team; the inability to organise our defence and get a run of solid defensive team performances; the lack of balance in midfield and inability to totally dominate this area anymore; the unsettledness, and unpredictable level of performances, by our strike-force; and most importantly, the lack of cohesion, leadership and collective fighting spirit throughout the team.
If Arsenal are to beat Swansea tonight, it will have to show a significant improvement in all the above areas, in my view. And that is where my apprehension is coming from: there is a lot that needs sorting and I am not sure we can do it all at the moment.
Swansea have nothing to lose tonight and will play their well-drilled game of absorbing pressure and try to catch us on the break.
It has worked against many teams, notably most recently against the Chavs, and why would they change it?! So, that is the tactics done again: Vermaelen to devour Michu and our team to play at a tempo that will not allow the Jacks to settle; oh and taking our chances when they arrive. Simples!
Rosicky For Sale?
What is going on with regards to Tomas Rosicky? He had a fantastic first half game against Olympiacos and then he got substituted and we have not seen him on the pitch ever since (if I remember correctly). I cannot get my head around the fact he was not played at all during the busy festive season, as the likes of Wilshere, Cazorla and Podolski could have done with a break.
Tomas is Arsenal through and through, signed a new contract not that long ago, he knows how Wenger wants to play better than anybody else, and he gives us shape and purpose?
So, why has he not played at all? The only answer I can give you is that Arsenal are planning to sell him during this transfer window, and for that they would have to keep him fully fit. Not playing him might also make him more keen for a move, as Tomas is the kind of guy who loves to play football rather than sit on the bench and collect his pay cheques.
Apparently, he has a slight muscular problem and won’t be fit for tonight….
Giroud must play.
Theo alone up-front is a work in progress and Arsenal cannot afford to play the same strike-force again against Swansea: the risk of another disjointed performance in attack is far too high. Swansea will also allow us little space which makes playing a fluid-three – Pod, Theo, Ox – up-front not our best option, in my view. Tonight, we need a strong pivot in attack.
I hope we start with Giroud in the centre and either Theo on the wing, or next to him in a 4-4-2 formation.
If we are to beat Swansea tonight, we need to get behind them as much as possible via our wings; and a lot will be asked from the most likely wing-combos of Sagna and Ox (or Theo) and Gibbs and Pod. Chelsea failed to use the wings enough against the Jacks last week, and they paid for it. On top of that, we need a strong target man, which Giroud clearly is. All other attackers should be able to benefit from Giroud presence in the box and I hope we’ll see goals by him and/or Pod, Ox, Cazorla (and Theo?).
Is this Coquelin’s chance or will it be Diaby again?
Enough has been said about Diaby’s rustiness in the ‘Arteta’ role and whether it is his best position in the first place. There appears to be a continuous reluctance by Wenger to play Coquelin in the Arteta role, and although I have doubts myself about his readiness, I feel Arsene needs to start him tonight. This should be the sort of game in which he can make his mark and we all need to know how ready he is for regular first team football.
Predicted score: 3-1 to the good guys.
Written by: Total Arsenal.
Come on You Gunners!!