Arsenal – Swansea City Preview: Same team bar Koscielny?

Time for our Lion of Flanders to motor us forwards again?

Time for our Lion of Flanders to motor us forwards again?

 Get Back on the Horse!

Kicked off the horse (and then stomped upon) Arsenal must hoist itself back into the saddle to play Swansea City tonight in a league make-up match.  This is a match that we simply must win and win in a bit of style to right the wrongs from Saturday’s indigestible lunchtime date with Chelsea.  Unfortunately, it’s not the first time this season where we’ve needed a visible response.  After shipping 6 goals against Manchester City in mid-December, we held Chelsea goalless at home in a nil-nil.  That same score-line followed our horrific 5-1 loss at Anfield in a similar home match vs another “big” club: Manchester United.  Swansea, even though they beat us 2-nil in this same fixture last season, have had a difficult season, replacing (up and coming?) manager Michael Laudrup, with Garry Monk, but still languishing only 4 points above the relegation zone.  Arsenal, we thought, was having a much better season but amidst another (all too predictable?) “injury crisis” seems to find itself unraveling at just the wrong time, despite the fact that winning this “game in hand” could see us pull within 4 points of the league leaders–despite the spanking we’ve just received at their hand.  Dropping points against Swansea would move us from another single (and isolated) 90 minutes of humiliation into a full blown end-of-season crisis.  We need to move on from the Chelsea beating by winning the 3 points we gave away so easily on the weekend.

Additionally, the match has implications for more challenging encounters on the horizon.  Manchester City comes to our stadium on Saturday and we must show a certain readiness for that one.  After that, Everton away looms.  They’ve just beaten the team we play tonight (Swansea, in a 3-2 scoreline) and they are the team who will be hoping we drop points to make that match a true “6-pointer.”  We stand 8 points clear but they have a match in hand, so any incentive we give them means our CL spot will be “up for grabs” in Liverpool, to borrow the famous quote of twenty five years ago….

We can only play the matches one at a time, so let’s keep our eyes on the ball and focus on this one.

Swansea come to Ashburton Grove not having won in their last 8 matches, but they may catch a big boost with the return of Miquel Peréz Cuesta, more commonly known as Michu, the man who scored two late goals to beat us in this fixture last season.  If he takes the pitch, many will fear his “sounds of silence” goal celebration and it could be an interesting test for our central defenders, given that Captain Tomas Vermaelen will be at the start of “at least 4 matches” alongside Per Mertesacker due to a Laurent Koscielny calf strain.  Wilfried Bony, always a handful just because of his raw strength and power, may also prove a threat.

On the other hand, new Swansea manager Garry Monk may try and control the match by keeping possession rather than pressing for goals.  In their position, and with so many Arsenal midfielders missing, this could be the best path to nicking a single point or more.  In a relegation battle, each point is precious and given our own troubles, the Swans may be sniffing blood in the water.  If they can keep us from scoring (as they did in last season’s fixture) putting Michu in as a sub might further inhibit our attack, given that I believe we’ll start with our better attackers on the pitch rather than the bench.

With that, I give you our starting 11.  I believe Wenger, a manager who believes or at least wants to believe in his players, will go with the guys who “failed to show up” at Stamford Bridge.  As such, the only change will be Vermaelen for Koscielny.  I realize this is at odds with those who favor dropping as many as possible, but so it goes.  We’ll see.

If there’s some fiddling in between those two extremes it could be a chance for a debut for Kim Källström (in place of Tomáš Rosickỳ).  I know nothing about the Swede, but he provides double the umlauts which we’ve been missing since Mesut Özil twanged his hamstring at Bayern Munich.  On the other hand, Rosickỳ has three special accents/symbols above the letters in his name….  My expectation is that KK could make his Arsenal debut as a sub if we appeared comfortable in the match; otherwise, his signing is another albatross around our manager’s neck and I doubt the legendary manager, under immense pressure once again, would dare to use him.  If we must chase the win, the more expected subs would be Yaya Sanogo and Serge Gnabry.  Not a lot of experience scoring late goals, but you never know, and Gnabry’s nice one against the same team in South Wales earlier in the season might prove a lightning-can-strike-twice sort of opportunity…. Flamini and Monreal or Jenkinson might be the more conservative route to help lock up a win.

Predicted starting 11:

Arse v Swans March 14

 

Bigger issues.

In this age of an in-your-face, everyone-is-a-pundit news (and scream) cycle, we went—in the space of 15 minutes—from celebrating Arsene Wenger’s 1000th match as Arsenal Manager to lamenting that it probably meant he was due a few more.   Jose Mourinho’s words about Wenger’s “legacy of failure” echoed—without even being uttered—after our 6-nil defeat.  Can the manager turn that humiliation into “just 3 points” or will it be the straw that finally cracks the camel’s back, and now, out of (what remains of the concept of) respect, we are consigned to watch the big humped beast fall into full collapse?  My hunch is that Wenger is a better “manager” than many of us think and that we will respond to the adversity and build the tiniest of platforms heading into another tough battle against a club with which we aspire to actually compete.  Or at least that’s my hope…

What do you think?…

Written by: 17highburyterrace

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156 Responses to Arsenal – Swansea City Preview: Same team bar Koscielny?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine preview Seventeeno. Typically you: well written and full of support for the team and manager. 🙂

    Busy right now but back around lunch time.

  2. alcide says:

    Nice one 17ht.

    On the line up – I would like Flam back. Since he was red carded for his silly two-footed challenge, our best results/performances lately have been with him on the pitch while he was benched/out for our most miserable outings. I’d prefer Ox to play wide (even if it’s to play FlamTeta, but maybe FlamSicky), and I haven’t been convinced by the Pod lately – or this season – yes he can shoot like no one, but his contribution has otherwise been very average.

    However raw he may be, I’m tempted to start Yaya – OG has been frustrating lately, falling on his behind (almost out of disapointment) for every challenge lost. Hopefully he finds his fighting spirit back.

    Let’s go 2 up by sub time so that KK can come in for the last 20′. I really liked the guy, an unsung classy player who was key to Lyon’s past successes – I hope he has some of the stuff left, he could be a better defensively balanced version of Arteta.

  3. alcide says:

    TA, will send you an email later on re:Switzerland.

  4. Admir says:

    Nice preview, 17, except I don’t agree with your team – I have a feeling that Ox might get a bit of a rest ahead of City or at least play on the wing and given that Gibbs wasn’t a safe bet to be available for this match, I’d go with Nacho instead (he scored an opener against the same opponents a year ago). When it comes to strikers, Giroud – no matter what I think about him – has been far more efficient in home games than on the road. Wenger did change the team last season – Vermaelen hasn’t been a member of starting 11 for over a year because Wenger had realized he had to make changes to reach CL-place. Fabianski would have been on the goal for our whole run-in last term hadn’t he got injured after his fifth consecutive game (and fifth consecutive victory).

    When it comes to Kallstrom, I expect him to show his dead-ball qualities if he gets a chance. We have wasted too many of those in the last few years and perhaps our left-footed Swede might change our luck.

    I’d go with:

    Fabianski-Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal-Flamini, Rosicky-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski-Giroud. Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Arteta, Kallstrom, Gnabry, Sanogo.

    I wrote a preview for allarsenal.com (you can see it by clicking on my name) and noticed a bizarre fact that it’s second time in recent history we host Swansea after we had lost with a six-goal-margin. They have also played against Napoli this term and lost with two-goal-margin at Liberty Stadium with Higuain being on the score-sheet.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    I fear you might be right with line up, 17. It would be typically Wenger, and it might work a treat…. Or not. 😦

    The problem is we need runners at the back and upfront and we carry a few Ladas at the moments, especially through the spine. So starts for Flamini and Sanogo for me, as well as Oxy and Rosa in advanced roles.

    CoYG!

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Alcide! 🙂

  7. Admir says:

    It seems that Griezmann and PSG agreed terms. 30 million euros.

  8. Evening Arse Bandits !. 😆
    Not bad for a Sasquatch…..although your praising up of Swansea has turned me from thinking we will win easy to being on suicide watch !. Michu and Fried Willy Boner up front……we`re dooooooooooooooooooooooomed !. hahaha
    I have tried to press gang another Charlie Georgetown ( Charlestown ) Gooner into coming on to the site……another Chef from Wreckers !……..a fine eating establishment overlooking a harbour of Tall Ships !.
    Hope our Dutch Tart has a great evening………..are you meeting up with Stretch ?……….when I say Dutch Tart, it`s not for you bastardildos to assume he is a Trannie Netherlander, but more of a………………………………….http://d2s4ckmcfyogn8.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/styles/programme-header/public/header_main_images/apple-pie-recipe.jpg

  9. Gerry says:

    It must be safe to talk football again, and with little mention of the last game, HT, so all must be calmer now?

    I too, don’t fully agree with your line up though, but you may be right in so far as AW will not want to point the finger at any individual … just yet??

    If Ox plays, then Sanogo would be my preference. Keep Giro and Podolski for 2nd half subs.

    With half an eye on the next game, I think Rosicky and Gibbs may well sit it out too?

    Given the CB’s are getting thin on the ground, Hayden could also be useful to have around.

    I am afraid I moved on from the last game at half time, so I am not looking at this as a recovery mission, but rather as a very winnable opportunity. A lot depends on whether Swansea can high press as effectively as the Chavs, or have the quality of players to read our passes in the same way? The way this season has panned out, that has been the difference, imo. The good teams have quality players to know when to nip in and take the ball, outside of the top half dozen, they do not have the players to do that for 95 minutes. Swansea, are very much in that latter category?

    If our back 4 are defined by injury, and either GK is not a problem, then it is the midfield that needs the attention. Reverting back to the more 4-5-1 system, then you pick whoever is available from:(in alphabetical order) – Arteta*, Cazorla, Flamini*, Gnabry*, Hayden, Ox*, Podolski, Rosicky.
    With Giro or Sanogo* up front.

    My choices = *

    Sorry not around for chatting these days, but I am immersed in the world of horse racing, so your opening comments did not go without a 🙂 Thanks HT.

    I shall of course, be listening to the match, which I repeat, is a very winnable game.

    Enjoy …

    and remember, we do have an FA Cup semi final to look forwards to, so the players too should be aware that places on that bus are limited?

    Cheers

  10. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers 17, just a quick one before I shoot off to the match. Your posts are always consistent and make good reading my friend. I know you like to gage the crowds mood, so will give you some feedback later.

    Admir, had a look at your report, very classy stuff. I expected some blood letting from the Chelsea game, but you were very logical and fair. Which left me a bit disapointed as i was planning to surprise you with a strike back comment. hahaha

  11. Let’s do this. To be honest after the first 10 mins at Stamford Bridge I just didn’t know what to say or have anything to say for a while.

  12. Ice Ice baby……I need to experiment in my Lesbanian dungeons to find a similar lack of speech formula to inject into my wife !…………..or from your experience, making her into an Arsenal supporter could do the trick !.

  13. Stretch !…………..instead of gaging the crowds mood, how about gouging Arsene !…..you will be OK, he wont see it !.

  14. rofl Cockie, quality 😀

  15. Alcide says:

    Hey Gerry, nice to hear from you, your insights are always missed!

    FlamTeta it is…

    Team in full: Szczesny, Sagna Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla, Giroud

    Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Kallstrom, Sanogo, Gnabry, Podolski

    I will probably not post until half time… Let’s win this!

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey guys, nice to hear from Gerry (and everybody else)…Cheers for the comments…

    Well, I only missed one and it seems rather wacky that Flamini comes in for Poldolski, creating a more defensive set-up than we tried at the Bridge, though I guess it indicates that Ox will play on the right rather than central. In truth I like this line-up better than the one we played on Saturday (which, of course, is the same, minus Kos for Verm, as what I thought the manager would choose tonight)…

    Swansea go with Bony and Michu. Shelvey likes a pop from distance and DeGuzman and Routledge work hard. Personally, I always worry about little Nathan Dyer but he’s not starting tonight. Gotta control the ball, make chances and take ’em… (Please…)

  17. So that`s Michu with Boner up front !………lets hope he playing right into BFG`s hands……the dirty bastard !.

  18. Dylan says:

    Disappointed to see Gnabry and Yaya on the bench. As a player I have experience with good players being in bad form and coachs not giving others a chance. Yaya and Serge both deserved chances. I hope to see them play sooner in this game rather than later. Early subs Arsene!

  19. Lets hope you`re true to form Dylan !………last time you moaned about Giroud coming on, he scored two !. hahaha

  20. Gerry says:

    Bellerin on the bench … there’s progress for you 😀

  21. Dylan says:

    Stadium is too quiet. Someone speak so a I can focus on something other than the fact that Pubert Addams is our ref.

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    Probert’s called the fouls correctly…so far…

    Swans sitting off us and we look pretty eager. Arteta getting well forward and they can’t play it out of their half. Giroud looks lively, as well and that was a pretty nice shot early from Ox…

    Finally Swans have the ball in our half, but not for long…

  23. Dylan says:

    Completely lost sound at this point. Thanks NBC.

  24. Dylan says:

    Well that was not what I expected.

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bony, so easy, and we’re down a goal…

  26. water says:

    First goal in 45 secs manure r no help.
    I feel sorry for moyes.

  27. Alcide says:

    I think I’m going to cry!

    Come on!

  28. alexgunners says:

    hi guys,
    one forward attack by them , 1 goal.

  29. Poor defending from Vermaelen and not clinical enough prior to that. Come on.

  30. alexgunners says:

    very poor from TV5. We look rattled, passes just not happening for us now.
    They re definitely feeling the pressure at the moment

  31. Alcide says:

    Yep, bad defending from Verm on an average cross…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Our passing is extremely loose. Ox can’t seem to get a touch right. We need to level this or at least make some chances sooner than later…

  33. water says:

    Coyg
    The oilers can’t have it easy.

  34. alexgunners says:

    we need to be more direct rather than trying to play Wengerball at the moment. It gives them too much time to drop back and get numbers behind the ball

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Doing a bit better now, getting the ball into the box. BFG side netting from the corner and Swans wasting time…

  36. Alcide says:

    Agreed, we have the skills, let’s calm down, we’ll get chances.

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice work from Ollie…Deflected out for a corner…

  38. Admir says:

    It seems we lose two games for price of one.

    The good thing from opening 20 minutes? Kompany is on a yellow card at Old Toilet, perhaps he might get another one until the end.

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    They keep giving it to us…and then we give it back… Better final balls from Santi and we’ll be in…

    Ox gets another corner…

  40. Admir says:

    Like we haven’t had enough crap spilled on us tonight – Everton lead 1:0 at St James Park.

  41. The atmosphere in the stadium is crap. Wish I could be there to help but am in California. lol.

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Let off on their break from OUR corner… Hard to feel very good about things right now…

  43. Dylan says:

    Not really a foul by Verm. Weak call from Pubert.

  44. Dylan says:

    Someone take a shot from range! Santi, Rosicky, and Ox all need to hit one from range.

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Santi wastes a corner, but on the plus side, they can’t break from it… Don’t think we’ve had a shot since the early Ox long effort…

    Another corner…

  46. Dylan says:

    Pubert calling very soft fouls now.

  47. 17, not had shots partly because the quality of final balls has been poor. Not sharp enough.

  48. Dylan says:

    Soft foul for us this time and nearly a shot on target only for Rosicky to block it.

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ox tries one, but straight into Sicky…

    Ollie and Ox fighting hard but it falls to Sagna on his left foot… not pretty…

  50. Dylan says:

    Rash foul by Bony. Free kick central. Tipped out for a corner. Then tipped out for a throw after Ollie tries a bicycle kick. Ox’s shot goes well wide.

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Working hard but it’s all too slow and then nobody’s in a scoring position… Frustration starting to show and now we’re 5 mins from the halftime boos…

  52. Alcide says:

    FFS Santi, so close

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    The Swansea back-pass looked promising (toughest work of the half for Vorm?) and then Santi shoots but an easy save…

    A bit of possession but very, very static in the box… This isn’t looking good…

  54. Admir says:

    We look like we did last season at home against Schalke or, even worse, against Blackburn – poor, slow and toothless.

    Gnabry, Podolski and Kallstrom on.

  55. Alcide says:

    Well that is another nightmare scenario. One down, bus parked. We’re playing well, but need better last passes and touches. Let’s not panic (talking to myself) and we will find he net.

    Damn stupid lousy conceded goal.

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Another wasted cross from Sagna and the boos (not too many, in truth) rain down… Not sure how we’re gonna salvage this one…

    How simple was their goal and how hard are we working to create almost nothing? 2 shots on target but at least we kept Swansea to only one…

  57. Alcide says:

    Yep more pace needed,

  58. Dylan says:

    Would love to see a change at halftime. Yaya for Santi, preferably.

  59. That first half cannot be sugarcoated in terms of words. That was not the right reaction to the poor performance at Stamford Bridge, and one could say the players are tight, but if they are then one has to question character, mental strength, and grit. Out of our senior players Arteta and Santi tend to be a bit quiet on the pitch, but BFG needs to knock some heads together and provide leadership on the pitch that he is capable of.

  60. proudgooner says:

    I am a bit worried about our play, it is to predictable .
    Dylan,
    I agree i want Sanogo on, i am not sure i want him on for Santi myself. I want Santi to stay on i think. I would take of Rosicky. or scrap that i would take of Arteta or Flem, i would take of Arteta this team that started should have started v Chelseas, i dont think we need Flem -Teta v Swansea.
    Now we are behind and need goals badly, we are not scoring anywhere near enough. All we need is goals.

  61. proudgooner says:

    You can see the players are under pressure . It’s not easy that is for sure. I think we can still win this we are the better team by far.
    COYG.

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Quite a run and goal from Barkley in the Everton-Toon match…

    I don’t quite understand the calls for Yaya. We’re gonna put our season on the shoulders of a guy who’s never scored a goal for us? I think we need this group to just do better. We seem to be struggling with the most basic of touches and I don’t know why. Indeed, there is lack of pace out there but also (I think) guys may just be cracking under the pressure of the situation. This is a match we’ve gotta win and now we need two goals to do it and we’ve got no sign where they might come from…

    Not a good scenario…

    2nd half on…

  63. Alcide says:

    We are very superior, but it looks like they’re playing with a sword above their heads. Would keep Santi, remove Mikel.

  64. Dylan says:

    17, raw talent (Yaya) beats out of form players any day. Sometimes even in form players. His raw drive can put the ball in the net.

  65. water says:

    Lukaku scored nEverwin r 2 up

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    We make a bit of pressure but no final ball. Better chances, in fact, are probably falling to Swansea…

    Looks like Lu-lu Poldolski is coming on…Ox off…

  67. Dylan says:

    Positive. Early sub.

  68. alexgunners says:

    As I’ve said before, too many passes and not enough shooting. We want to score form 2 yards out

  69. alexgunners says:

    At least Rosa is having a GO

  70. Dylan says:

    Right, next up is Gnabry and Yaya on. Santi and Arteta off. Play a 4-4-2.

  71. Admir says:

    I feel like a moron for watching this. An Arsenal-lovin’-moron, to be precise.

  72. alexgunners says:

    It is ugly to watch, the self belief has just left this team. We need a goal now to spur them onto victory

  73. Lack of mobility up front means we are too predictable, falling into a trap of trying to play killer balls that are low percentages for coming off.

  74. alexgunners says:

    @ Iceman
    Well said we are too static and the passing is too predictable. We now have 20 minutes to find 2 goals, bring on Gnabry for Arteta and Yaya for Santi, we need to inject pace to change the way things are going

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    1-1

  76. alexgunners says:

    PODOLSKI YOU LEGEND!!!!!
    Great play by Gibbs

  77. Dylan says:

    Poldi has been invisible but finally a goal.

  78. Admir says:

    POLDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! FINALLY SOMETHING WORTH WATCHING!

  79. Goal! Yes! We needed that. Come on.

  80. Alcide says:

    Well done, one to go.

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gibbs to Lu-lu…Nice…

    Let’s go…

  82. Dylan says:

    YES!

  83. alexgunners says:

    FUCK YEAH!!!!
    POLDI, what a pass

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    2-1

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lu-lu to Giroud…Nice…

  86. I have to ask, wtf did we retain Arteta and Giroud for this match and drop Poldi? I don’t understand why AW is so tough on Poldi and not other players.

  87. Admir says:

    POLDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII CREATES THE GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  88. Alcide says:

    And that’s how you do it. Wig gunners

  89. Alcide says:

    WTG

  90. oz gunner says:

    What a pass by lulu. He’s turned the game on its head

  91. alexgunners says:

    What an impact player he has been. Poldi needs more games

  92. Admir says:

    Giroud deserves credit too – his first-touch reaction was proper one. Now let’s keep this result. Or score one more to make my prediction correct.

  93. Dylan says:

    Kimmy making his debut!

  94. proudgooner says:

    Podolski = the man tonight. Great sub Arsene

  95. Admir says:

    So, Kim Kallstrom does exist!

  96. Dylan says:

    Kim looks steady in his first few touches. Nearly creates a chance. All about keeping our shape now.

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    One Santi Cazorla, goes the crowd…

    Replay shows Lu-lu shouldered Bony down on the FK…

    Bony header easy for Sir Chez…this time…

    A little possession would be a treat…Or a 3rd goal…

  98. Dylan says:

    Kallstrom with an incredible ball downfield but no space for Ollie.

  99. Admir says:

    Gibbs’ flank is full of holes. Nacho needed.

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice work there, Lu-lu (and Santi) to play it out… Can’t we kill this with possession?…

    Yaya coming in for Giroud…

  101. Dylan says:

    Yaya coming on to protect Ollie from injury for the last few minutes.

  102. Admir says:

    Can’t wait to see a free-kick for us on 25 meters of the opponents’ goal. Kallstrom might have a clue how to score that one.

  103. 17highburyterrace says:

    2-2… Off Flamini…

  104. Alcide says:

    Ubekievable

  105. Alcide says:

    Per to Szczesny to flam to goal 😦

  106. alexgunners says:

    we have to kill off teams not hold on to a 1 goal lead.

  107. Dylan says:

    For gods sake.

  108. alexgunners says:

    this makes the next 2 games against Man$hitty and Everton so important

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oops…

  110. Alcide says:

    To come back and lose like that… This is just too much.

  111. Alcide says:

    Well not lose, but… Kind of lose

  112. Gino92 says:

    What a comedy of errors! Very unlucky for Flamini. What the hell is going on?

  113. Admir says:

    Only we can concede this kind of goal. Our overall performance didn’t deserve three points anyway. If we lose our fourth-place-trophy, we can forget about any major signings in the summer.

  114. Wow, that was a kick to the guts.

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Brutal…

    We almost snuck the result but not quite… Plenty of possession but no cutting edge, then boom we’re ahead, but then we can’t keep the ball to kill the match… Not very good, I fear…

  116. alcide says:

    At a loss for words… this was a nice “coming back from one down & build confidence”, turned to crap by a &%#!@ own goal. They should not have been allowed that close though.

  117. Admir says:

    Our defence without Koscielny is very, very shaky. Chavs and Swans scored eight. What will City do to us this weekend? 😦

  118. Admir says:

    Oh, and we were saved by the bell from defeat.

  119. alcide says:

    We lost the real cutting edge some time ago with injuries 17ht. The 1st goal – crap defending from Verm, (good header from Bony though). We then did ok, at least what we had to do, considering the parked bus. Their 2nd goal… sigh, but they got into the box much, much, too easily.

  120. It was unlucky to concede that goal, in the way it went in also, but I don’t understand how from the match at Stamford Bridge we started most of the same players but not Poldi. That didn’t make sense to me, and the players who were retained didn’t show the reaction expected for the benefit of the doubt afforded to them.

    The key with that purple patch when we scored two goals is that we need more mobility up front, down the middle and down the flanks. Without that we are too predictable relying on low probability killer final balls which end up looking telegraphed. Some is bad luck with injuries, but the boss needs to trust Poldi on the LW more.

  121. alcide says:

    Indeed Admir, Verm needs to start blending FAST. And what was that the last 2 minutes? If we had conceded another half a million fans would have thrown their TV out of the window…

  122. Gino92 says:

    Oh how I wish Per had just left that ball for Szczesny to pick up. Leon Britton had a heavy second touch and the ball was running away from him while he was on his way down with Szczesny advancing…
    The 6-0 trashing by Chelsea was a morale sapper. This 2-2 draw is a morale killer! To fight so hard to get back into the game only to concede an own goal at the death is just not right. This must feel like a defeat especially with City coming to town next…
    Not only do we need a good Summer transfer, we also need to revamp and investigate our training regiment as well as our entire medical staff. We just cannot be this unlucky with long term injuries to key players 5 years running!
    I am more angry with this draw than with the Chelsea humiliation. From being at the top of the league for more than half the season to having to fight for 4th Place??? Come on now… This is not good for my health!

  123. proudgooner says:

    the word harsh comes to mind.
    The league title challenge was over anyway. It is all about the FA cup now for me.
    The good news is Podolski and Giroud are scoring again.
    Bad luck again, its all going against us at the moment and we are missing Ozil. In fact we are missing 3 starters in Walcott, Rambo and Ozil.
    Wenger looked shell shocked , i am too i think. Such a shame to undo all the good work of what has been a good season up to now.

  124. alcide says:

    Ice, I think Podolski generally hasn’t been very effective as a starter, his workrate dropping a bit fast. He has been very effective as a sub however 🙂

    Well at least, between a FA cup semifinal and a 3 team race for 4th place, the end of the season is going to be interesting 😉

    Oh and we’re still up on the chart of doom 🙂

  125. Admir says:

    Nine years ago my father had a stroke. It was a heavy stroke, a direct result of high blood pressure, diabetes and fat. Thank God, he survived it and recovered relatively well. His right arm has been useless since that day, he gets tired when he talks for a while and he limps a bit but he is OK. However, for a man who had worked between 18th and 55th year before he had a stroke, it was a mental blow.

    As a fighter, he managed to learn how to write with his left hand, he could still drive a car (automatic) and he has always enjoyed in making pictures with his camera. Whenever someone from my family suggested that he shouldn’t have driven, he would get angry and say: “I’m invalid but I’m not dead yet!”

    About six months ago he gave me the keys of his car and said: “I won’t renew my driving license next April. I can’t drive anymore.” I spoke to him and he told me that he nearly got killed on the road. He hadn’t had a crash or something like that – no, but he was close to it so he realized his reflexes weren’t good enough to drive and decided it would be for the best to quit driving for good.

    What I am trying to say is, sometimes, even if you get out of accident unscathed, you realize that you are not a good driver anymore because your reflexes weren’t what they used to be.

  126. Actually we have increased our points in The Chart of Doom from +2 points to +3 points !. Yes, I know, it`s unbelievable, but The Chart of Doom is sometimes the bearer of good news !. hahaha

    Bring of Mansour City, they aint all that !.

  127. Don’t take it so hard Arse Bandits !. Remember, The Protector of the Chart of Doom did warn you earlier in the season when we were top about the inevitable demise due to probable injuries and a Torturous sequence of fixtures that would have Mother Teresa effing and jeffing !.
    I was ridiculed, but I will forgive you all !. Sometimes I think it is a curse endowed with such a Soothsaying Sausage……….NO !…..Muvver T……not the vibrating crucifix again !. hahaha

  128. Adders
    Best of luck to your Father, sounds like a fighter who could put some of our players to shame !.

  129. alcide says:

    Apparently, Arsene confirmed that none of Özil, Rambo, Jack or Kos will be back before another two weeks – i.e. probably too late for the now oh so important game at Everton, and they also might be lacking 100% match fitness for the semi at Wembley.

    Unfortunately, all we can do for now is regroup and get a result against oilers… the consistent level of performance and confidence we’re getting from the current squad does not bode too well.

  130. Now back to someone who isn`t so brave……me !. I`m thinking on Saturday of putting one sofa on top of the other, a sort of……….double decker sofa !………what`s our biggest loss at The Emirates ?.
    Wtf `s going on with Rambo`s thigh`s………Stretch, you`re a thigh specialist, having had your neck extended by wife #1 thighs, what`s your take on it ?.

  131. I don’t know about you alcide, but with the possibility of those players missing and also Theo (that`s 5 first choice players !) for the semi-final, I would make Wigan favourites !. Thing is, the media wont look at it that way and we will be ridiculed to fcuk by them and every man and his dog if we lose !. I don’t feel one bit confident for the semi !.
    I preferred last season when we were chasing 4th spot, not trying to defend it like now !.

  132. Simba Murerwa says:

    SHAME. From league contenders to top four contenders. Lets be honest guys we need a revamp of the team. I’ll be happy if we can offload Giroud, Sagna, Djourou, Arteta, Flamini, Mertesacker, Ozil, and Monreal. Why Mertesacker? He is awful in big games so whats the use of having him. With the following team I dont think we could have lost with 17 goals against 2 goals against City, Chelsea andLiverpool whilst in the process failing to beat an awful United team. 1 Sceszny, 2 Jenkinson, 3 Gibbs, 4 Koscielny, 5 Miquel, 6 Coquelin, 7 Walcott, 8 Ramsey, 9 Akpom, 10 Rosicky, 11 Aneke. They would do better. Lets give the vice captains role to TR7 whilst grooming someone younger like Gibbs or Ramsey. Proposed new buys Bender, Delph, Falcao, Draxler, Mangala, Chambers, and Kroos. We seem to sympathise with these players more than necessary. They are failing. At least they can win the FA Cup and that will be a good seperation party to have. I dream of a team oozing class in this mould: 1 Sceszny, 2 Jenkinson, 3 Gibbs, 4 Koscielny, 5 Mangala, 6 Bender, 7 Walcott, 8 Ramsey, 9 Falcao, 10, Kroos, 11 Draxler Subs Fabianski, Coquelin, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Carzola, Sanogo/Akpom, Chambers, Delph. ENOUGH RESPECT TO THE CURRENT SQUAD THEY HAVE TRIED THEIR BEST BUT ITS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN THE LEAGUE. I CANT SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE GIVING THEIR BEST TO THE CAUSE.

  133. It will be interesting to hear two different views on tonight`s game from both Stretch and Totes, who were both at the game !. Did Stretch finally lose it and try to suffocate Arsene with his syrup ?.
    Did Totes threaten Arsene with the full force of his Klompen Dildo ?. I expect some juicy gossip once I have awoken in the morning !.
    Sleep tight Arse Bandits !. 😀

  134. alcide says:

    I’m with you Cockie, Wigan has been impressive lately, they were behind 1-2 at home vs. Yeovil Town 1-2 after 85′ and they managed to snatch a 3-3 draw! It would be great to beat them at Wembley… Let’s hope Sheffield beats Hull though, or we’re going to be the underdogs…

    Off to Ikea to get an additional sofa 🙂

  135. alcide says:

    I didn’t realize they were at the game… looking forward to their report.

  136. Milo says:

    Ok, anyone who would name Ignasi Miquel in their starting 11 must either be present at Leicester’s training sessions, or must be a fortune teller, as he hasn’t gotten anywhere near a start or a full match, if memory serves me correctly. This isn’t top secret knowledge, by the way. Just send a tweet or e-mail to Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal youth team website, and MAYBE you’ll get the idea. You think Mertesacker is slow??? Miquel is almost as slow and much weaker and also vastly inexperienced. I don’t know how you found this site Simba, but maybe you should shop around and find more deluded supporters like yourself. I mean really??? MIQUEL is a solution??? Wow. That blows my mind more than this past week, watching our club try to win a title. Christ.

  137. Milo says:

    Also, we need Bond back, like NOW!!! Ever since he’s fucked off, we’ve gone tits up on the pitch. I’m only half-joking, unfortunately 😀 hahahahaha, Maybe I’m not as desperate as Simba, but anything to turn things around, I guess…Ever since Water’s been on here, we have looked more like Liverpool than Liverpool. (again, half joking) What the fuck is going on here??? It’s like we’ve been possessed by evil demons (failures past, lack of winning experience???) and need a fucking exorcism. You can only laugh or speculate or masturbate to porn to give oneself some relief!!! (half-joking??? 😀 ) Fuck it.

  138. Dylan says:

    All we need to come back is for Wenger to take every player into the dressing room imdividually tomorrow and tell them to be slightly more selfish and try to score. Then give them this speech:

  139. Simba Murerwa says:

    Kkkkkkkk Milo I never said Miquel is better or faster than BFG all I am saying is these youngsters would never loose with such embarrassing margins. All the big games we loose such Per is just but he is Wengers favourite and also note that if Miquel is not playing at Leicester then he cant do something for us. For sure most ofour senior players are a mess in big games. They are supposssed to lead they but they are not. I bet that team with Miquel would never embarass us 3 times in one season never. Can you really tell me that Coquelin would not do better or equal what Arteta is doing this season? Yes players like Sagna have served us well in the past but now he is better than Jenkinson. Flamini failed to make it at Milan for five years. Why? We are relying on players who are miles off in quality to the players they replaced and that will never work. Imagine Giroud for RVP, Carzola for Cesc, Arteta for Song, Podolski for Nasri, its unbelievablehow the quality has gone down. Its also bad because players like Wilshire are failing to live up to expectations because of injuries and pressure. Milo please dont think I am deluded. Maybe its you because you are not welcome to different opinions. This is a discussion forum let others speak and then debate not to attack other people.

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning FFGs

    It was a game o worry, hope, despair, elation and deflation, all in 95 minutes. I made plenty of observations and aim to put these down in a post later today.

  141. Admir says:

    @Simba – Arteta for Song? If I recall well, it was Arteta who allowed Song to go forward by covering his back. Thanks to Arteta, Song had had the best season of his all-sorts-of-troubles-ridden career.

    Our medical staff and fitness coaches should be sacked at the end of the season. Neither of them did their job well and that’s the main reason why we have five important first team players out during the most important period of season.

  142. 17highburyterrace says:

    Total, looking forward to your match report…Please bury this one…

    That’s all I’ll say for now… Cheers!

  143. I`m only looking forward to Totals post if he vents a spleen !……no holding back Totes, both barrels !. I want something juicy and something we can get our teeth into !. So no sucking up to Arsene… Stretch style !. I want frothing at the mouth stuff !. hahaha

  144. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I’ve got too much to do (leaving for Mexico tomorrow…) and maybe it’s better that my (mamby-pamby) comments get buried. IMO venting one’s frustrations are a lifelong process, not to be undertaken merely because of a bad result… (Winks at the Cockie Keeper of the Gloom…) I’m looking forward to Total’s report and maybe also Terry will give us his in-stadium impressions. I will try to keep reading at the very least… We’re bringing a ‘puter on our travels, so who knows, maybe I will be able to, er, keep people abreast, of my thoughts on the beach (and in the cities)…

    Anyhow, after the match, things look bleak–and getting bleaker with ManCity and Everton looming and nobody coming back to freshen the squad… We will, in essence, be big underdogs in those matches, not unlike Dylan’s Jamaican bobsled team… (Smiley) Boy oh boy it would be to get a point or three from those couple of games…

    Longer term solutions (or short term, more satisfying expressions of frustration…) seem to focus on whose head(s) must roll, which is not really my bag… Firing people (or just taking away the steering wheel…a great story btw, Admir…) is one way to go if blame MUST find a home, but to me it’s less satisfying than having better alternatives at hand (i.e., people to hire, things that would actually help, etc). Of course, there’s also the “let’s buy EVERYBODY approach, which is great IF you live in a fantasy world AND the only way to cope is pretending the season’s over and Summer’s begun. In the real world, where Skint Stan and his manager live, the market is skewed (by the silly money clubs) and Arsenal will always be working under the radar, leaking many a false rumor (rumour?) and (always) searching for bargains (i.e., callow youth, long-in-the-tooth retreads, etc.)… Another way to go is the ANYBODY on the bench approach. This one at least is an immediate solution and thus seems popular during the in-match commentary. Maybe you guys know these kids better than I do… Props to Milo and Gerry and the like who DO seem to know them well enough AND (while “believing” in their talent) seem aware that just because somebody is on the bench (or in the reserves or out on loan or otherwise in Arsenal-utero) it does NOT make them a necessarily better alternative to the frustrations on the pitch..Funny, yesterday, how our goals came from our (IMO–quite inadequate…) older forwards (Poldolski and Giroud) who we hoped would see us through losing RvP. If only Lu-lu (or late sub Sanogo or maybe Nacho instead…) could’ve done a bit of that hold-up/possession work that is Ollie’s bread and butter to help see out the win… As it was we need to be thankful that the two forwards got us enough goals to eke out the draw…(Real credit probably needs to go to Gibbs who actually got round a defender and turned the match our way…)

    The points would’ve been nice but only a (paper-thin) cover for the massive cracks in our depleted squad…

    Why do we have so many injuries and why can’t our boys recover from muscle strains? (If we fire the medical squad and hire the horse-placenta guy, will they all be back for Man City?…) I know it’s not a popular sentiment (and even considered a cop-out…) but sometimes luck is a factor. (Both our So’ton boys: Ox and Theo tearing ACLs in the same season, for example, seems poor luck–Or should their weak ACLs show up in their medicals? Maybe that’s why we didn’t buy Falcao… winky face…) Our injuries (to me) seem unlucky but also probably come because our squad is a combo of youth (still learning how to stay fit) and the aged (trying too hard to squeeze too much out of tired bodies)… It’s getting better (over-time–we’re no longer losing our best players as they hit their prime…) but it will take time for the luck to even out. It probably doesn’t help that (I think) our players WANT to reward the faith shown by the manager and maybe try to come back too quickly from their lesions. Of course, others (vehemently) disagree with that notion and think the players are just lazy, don’t work hard enough or (the horror…) don’t WANT it badly enough…If they did, surely they could “play through the pain,” or something…

    Similarly, the late Swansea goal was unlucky but it also came because we could not hold the ball, or maybe we had worked too hard to break them down when we did have the ball earlier. Bottom line: we’re not good enough so there’s not enough (good) luck (or, maybe, we “make our own” bad luck…). Luck will be key in the remaining matches to get the results that might make us all happy (for a minute, until we move the expectations up)…

    Anyhow, enough from me…Bury this post, please, and maybe we’ll catch up from Sur de la fronterra… (Happy face, for me at least…)

  145. 17highburyterrace says:

    Szczesny AND Fabianski would’ve stopped that Gerrard FK (I think, perhaps?)… Mannone, almost got his wrong hand to it…

    Liverpool up a goal over Sunderland…

  146. Milo says:

    I’ll tell you a funny story. Over the past two years my house has been receiving phone calls from an air duct cleaning service. It is very annoying, to say the least. Well, about 40 minutes after the last match, low and fucking behold, I get a ring from them again. Knew who it was right away. So what could I do??? Well I let the poor bastard have it, I tell you!!! I told him how pissed off I was that we couldn’t hold the lead, and how we were embarrassed at Chelsea. He let me yell and scream and shout and swear for a bit and then I heard him hang up 😀 I feel much better now.

  147. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha Milo, you are one character! 😛

    Cheers 17. Make sure you copy-paste your comment into the new post, which I am still writing…

  148. alcide says:

    17ht, excellent post – it may not reflect everyone’s thoughts, but I can recognize myself on the different issues you touched base on, and on how you approach supporting the team in general. Have a great trip!

  149. water says:

    Another nervous match. But a win none the less.

  150. Admir says:

    Cookie, thanks for support! 🙂

    Milo’s story is a funny one. 😀 When I was young and Arsene Wenger was still a world-class manager, I had a phone number that was similar to the one certain family in the other part of the city had. Some guy called a few times and asked for someone from that family (for a guy named Meho). I’d replied several times that he made a mistake before my father took over. When that unknown guy called again, my father picked up the phone and with the most polite voice in the world told: “Oh, I’m sooooooooo sorry, Meho just left the house. Do you want to call him again or you’ll leave the message?” Guy called again and he was met by father’s response: “Oh, you’re so unlucky – he was back home, I told him you had called but he had to leave again.” It happened two more times before my mother decided it was enough and yelled at the guy: “For the umpteenth time, this is not Meho’s house!”

  151. Hahaha I like it Milo !.
    Early night for me as I have long journey to Orc City tomorrow !.
    Will have to read post tomorrow. Make it a Vindaloo one Totes, plenty of chillies !.
    Great writings on your othersite Adders, you should do more here !.
    Have a great trip Squatchie !.
    Where`s that Frenzied Fiendish Furry Fcuker Fozzenstein ?……having cotton wool stuffed up his rectum by Jim Hensons rigor mortised arm ?.

  152. Admir says:

    Thanks, Cockie! I have an idea but I’ll see it with TA in the next few days. 😉

  153. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

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