I don’t know about you but I like Swansea. They are easy on the eye, love to play smooth passing football, and as a club, they are run with a good vision and effective succession planning. I thought they would suffer after losing Rodgers to Pool, but targeting and successfully recruiting Laudrup was a mini-master-stroke by the club’s board, and you can bet on it that Laudrup’s eventual replacement will be another excellent manager. Getting this right is probably the most important aspect of club management, and you only have to look at the likes of QPR, Sunderland and Aston Villa to know what I mean.
Today’s game is another fine challenge for the boys. We played the Jacks eight times in the PL and it never ended in a draw, so it probably will do this time hahaha 🙂
Swansea are likely to miss their captain, and Arsenal summer pursuit, Ashley Williams and the excellent Hernandez is also out, but as they also rested many first teamers in Birmingham – where as holders they went out of the league cup without much fight (1-3) – the Jacks will relish Arsenal coming to town.
Arsenal will have to give their all, remain defensively solid, which means winning the battle in midfield and play very disciplined in front of the defence, and as always, take our chances when they arrive. We did this better than our opponents in recent games and that’s why we won time and again.
Arsenal have quickly become an efficient team: even when not playing our so acquainted fluid football, we still manage to win games by remaining relatively solid defensively – although one clean sheet in the PL indicates need for further improvements at the back – and deadly upfront, with both Giroud and Ramsey in the early-season PL top-scorers list:
Every season we seem to have an area where for a long period of time we have multiple injuries: centre backs, full backs; and this season it looks like our mid-wing positions are suffering with injury after injury. We will miss Theo’s speed and thrust: he offers an extra dimension which makes it harder to defend against us with total control. Both Ryo and Gnabry had long games and look not yet ready to perform on the big stage from the start. I expect them to be on the bench though, and at least one of them will come on as a sub.
Luckily, there is good noise coming from Arsenal regarding Podolski, Santi and Rosicky returning in the next few weeks, and let’s hope Theo comes back within a month as well. As a result of our lack of ‘wingers’, I reckon Arsene will play all his established midfielders from the start today. It makes us nicely compact and effectively allows us to play 4-5-1, one of my favourite line-ups for Arsenal. We will need to be compact in midfield because that is Swansea’s strongest area: control the midfield and we’ll control the game.
I have no doubt the Swans will approach this game as a ‘let’s go out there and enjoy ourselves’ one, and we need to be focussed from the start. This is the sort of game in which we need to set the tone from the start and be on top of them for large parts of the game. Many of our first teamers had a well-deserved rest and so we should be able to win this game, but only with hard work and focus will we do so. Luckily we have Flamini and Arteta to make sure we’ll do just that.
I am expecting Arsene to give the BFG a rest, after playing so heroically against West Brom for us. It looks like our French maestro is not so keen anymore on the Koz – TV partnership, although it is still early days. Therefore, I am going for Sagna replacing the German in this one. I admit, it is a bit of a gamble but it looks to me Arsene believes Sagna is better than Vermaelen and Koz at replacing the BFG’s ability to organise our defence.
In midfield I expect a lot of rotation during the match, but I reckon we’ll see Arteta and Flamini playing in the double DM positions. In the ‘3’ in front of the DMs, I am expecting Jack, Ramsey and Ozil to start: all can play in the hole and on the ‘wing’ in our formation, but I reckon Ramsey will get a chance in the hole today – just a gut-feeling though.
I don’t like doing predictions, as I am a bit superstitious about jinxing it that way, but please feel free to give us yours, as well as what you believe the starting line-up will be. I am asking for the boys to give their all and then somehow our quality should make the difference.
OGAAT fellow Gooners: one game at a time! Focus, hunger and decisiveness at the crucial moments: Bring on the Jacks!
UP THE ARSE!
Written by: TotalArsenal.