Arsenal-Swansea: Match Preview, Predicted Line-up. Win or Else?

A) Our Title Hopes are Done

B) The World Will End

C) Wenger Should Immediately be Sacked (if not Drawn and Quartered)

D) All of the Above

Many Gooners will go with D but surely the manager himself is looking at the question the other way around.  If we can win this match we go back to within three points of the league lead–which, with a win at West Ham today, could be held by Tottenham after Leicester City could only draw yesterday–leaving us in with a chance to catch Spurs early on Saturday.

So… Maybe… All is not lost… Yet…

Not the most inspiring words, but still food for (positive) thought… Perhaps?…

As much as Winston Churchill or Henry the Fifth might have spoken the more inspiring words, I’ll go with this guy:

Elvis joining the Air Force might have been–like the words of those English leaders–a call to arms, or, as it was for the King of Rock and Roll, the end of an era, with little beyond a string of cheaply produced movies and Vegas shows to come before a bloated descent towards an early demise.  Papers are reporting, after all, that Arsene Wenger already has a new job lined up: commentating at the European Championships this Summer in his birth country.  Cue additional outrage among those Gooners who want him Gone (GWWHoGS?…) over his lack of focus, greed, egomania, etc., etc., etc.

All of that being said, the match tonight is actually more than just a referendum on Arsenal’s manager and (believe it or not) there’s a game to be played.

Swansea City make their second trip to North London in eighty hours.  They took a lead on Sunday (while we were shipping one at Old Trafford) and held it until the 70th minute but then gave up a second one to come away empty at White Hart Lane.  If they were smart, perhaps they stayed in the Northern part of the capital and prepared for this one where they will hope to improve on that result.

So much has changed since we last played this fixture–and lost it–ten months ago.

Like so many Gooners would like Arsenal to do, Swansea have changed managers.  (This was my favorite of all the Arsenal blogging after the disappointing ManU match… Note the title of the blog, not to mention the failure to proofread the title: http://www.afc4life.co.uk/2016/02/29/goodbye-i-am-official-done-with-arsenal/)

😀

Gary Monk, despite having led Swansea to their best league finish last season, was sacked after a series of disappointing results in this wide open Premier League campaign.  After a bit of interim-ing, the club settled on Italian Francesco Guidolin.  Unfortunately, he has not been able to stop Swansea’s slide toward the relegation zone.  Currently they sit in 16th place, on 27 points, just three points clear of trouble.

If blaming the manager isn’t always the answer, then what is?  Maybe it’s the players.  Guidolin has gone away from using Bafetimbi Gomis,  the guy who scored the late winner against us, as his main man up front, and, instead, chosen his fellow Italian, Alberto Paloschi, bought from Chievo in the January window. Paloschi scored against Spurs (and had additional chances in that very open match) but we also should beware Gyllfi Sigurdsson, Andrew Ayew (who looked so promising after his summer arrival from Marseille) and Ki Sung-yueng who can also take chances if they are presented.

Swansea will likely be looking–as they did in that match last May–to defend first. We all know the man in goal, Lukas Fabianski as a great shot stopper but, perhaps, not as commanding in the box as some of the Arsenal goalies we chose to keep. Ashley Williams, the Swansea (and Welsh National team) captain is small but strong and organizes his rearguard effectively. That group, including Neil Taylor, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez and/or Angel Rangel, has done it before.  Ahead of them are solid if not physically imposing players like Leon Britton, Jack Cork and Wayne Routledge. If all else fails, Guidolin might throw on (currently out of favor) Jefferson Montero (and Gomis) who tortured our right flank in a come from behind win at the Liberty Stadium in Autumn 2014.  I’m sad to tell Gooners who believe we should always beat these “lesser” teams, but our recent record against them isn’t strong.  Yes, we won 3-nil in the reverse fixture earlier this season, but the last time we actually beat Swansea (in the league) in our stadium was in September of 2011 when an Andrey Arshavin strike was the difference.

That very fact should indicate that this might not be so easy. Add in the insipid performance up at Old Trafford on Sunday and it’s truly a worry.  Of course, if the object is to confirm a narrative about just how poor this Arsenal team–and the leadership of Arsene Wenger–might be, then chops should be licked–not to mention torches dipped in fuel and pitchforks sharpened.  Whether or not Wenger’s effigy will be burnt in the pre-match protests I cannot say.  If the team does not win the full points I shudder to think of the sticks (figuratively, at the very least) with which he’ll be beaten.

Of course, It won’t be the first time and how much worse can it (actually) get than what he’s already taken?  Even if the territory is familiar, Wenger must somehow do it again and elicit a response from his charges.  How?

At Old Trafford, starts for Theo Walcott and Gabriel Paulista didn’t pan out.  Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey looked notably out of sorts and bereft of ideas when they looked up to strike final balls and Mesut Ozil, although he provided an assist (for Danny Welbeck, on another set piece, much as he did with the final kick vs Leicester City in the previous league match) and a goal himself, cut a very frustrated figure.  My hunch is that Olivier Giroud returns to the line-up and that Joel Campbell also gets a start, probably for Welbeck, who has played a lot of minutes since returning from his long layoff.  A bigger question is who goes in the middle of the park, particularly in the deeper midfield positions and at center back.  As much as Gooners were cursing the usual villains, Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Flamini, after they combined to give away a penalty in our Champions League match vs Barcelona (just a week ago) they will have been far from convinced by the options Wenger used to replace them at Manchester United.  My guess is that Mertesacker starts and that Flamini at least takes up a bench place.

Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Elneny, Flamini, Walcott, Welbeck

Of course, as always, what do I know?

Many will argue that it doesn’t matter who Wenger puts out or even whether or not the game goes our way.  He didn’t do enough in the transfer window(s) and this team, like all his other teams, is doomed.  Others, perhaps with a more hopeful bent, argue that we need to shake things up more dramatically and have players starting in different positions or bring in some guys I haven’t mentioned.

Where do you stand and who (or what) would you like to see?

Given our spot in the table and the big showdown with cocks on balls from up there in Middlesex, Wenger will have to do something which gets us the win.  Or else…

Go on then!!!

by 17highburyterrace

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128 Responses to Arsenal-Swansea: Match Preview, Predicted Line-up. Win or Else?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Love the Swansea background stuff, Seventeenho, and thanks for a typically sharp preview. That includes the starting eleven. I expect Wenger to have done his talking with the team and to go back to our plan A, which is reflected in the line-up. And I expect it roughly to be the same in the PL for the remainder of the campaign. It is time for structure and belief and we need to play to the nature and strength of this team. We need the crowd to sense that all is not over yet and full support could get us all the way to the trophy. There was a season in the last ten years in which we beat Man United home and away but they still won the title. So fuck Sunday’s game and let’s crack the Jacks. COYRRGs! 🙂

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers, TA… Hopefully you didn’t think I oversold the importance of the match…. 😀 😦

    You probably saw Gerry’s comment at the bottom of the last thread… I feel bad stepping into that (longer-term issues) sort of discussion, but we play here pretty soon… I doubt he likes my editorial work, but (IMO) the content is worthy of discussion as a post of its own…

    On that same note, I meant to respond to PE’s response to my comment… Indeed, Rambo on the right, I thought, worked well… Unfortunately, the (new and not too surprising…) injury news re: Jack and Santi probably means Ramsey has to play in central MF. To my mind, he just has to play better… 😀 We could use him getting in on the goals (and assists) same as Alexis…

    Anyhow, sun’s shining here so time for a quick bit of exercise before the match…

  3. retsub1 says:

    Well written 17ht I think you have selected the team most people aere expecting. I I can’t help wondering if the introduction of a youngster or two might stir things up a little (ala Rashford?). A dangerous strategy but it has proved successful in the past.

    MY spurs season ticket holder friend said that Swansea were pretty poor at the Lane the other day and Spurs were firing in shots from all over. Let hope we do similar.

  4. Pony Eye says:

    Great post, HT. Your line up looks very much like Wenger’s who bends backwards not to show misfiring player that his faith in them is up. On the other hand there is the severe pressure of getting the team back to consistent winning ways. Swansea at the Emirate affords a better space for a little tweaking.

    —————Cech—————
    Bel——-Per—–Kos——-Nacho
    ———–Coq—–Eln———–
    Alexi———-Ozil————Ram
    —————–OG—————–

  5. allezkev says:

    Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker (c), Gabriel, Monreal, Campbell, Coquelin, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud
    Substitutes: Ospina, Chambers, Welbeck, Walcott, Flamini, Elneny, Gibbs

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Kev, no Koz then…

  7. allezkev says:

    Koscielny must have a slight injury, or Wenger is saving him for the NLD..?

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    10/11 Seventeenho- just one short. Up the Arsenal!

  9. allezkev says:

    A big big 90 minutes Total, at both the Emirates and Upton Park…

    COYG
    COYHammers

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Kev. I like this team and set up and I reckon we will play well. What happens at the Bolyn Ground bothers me less tonight. Let’s focus on us. 😍

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey fellas… 6 changes for Swans but only 3 for us… Theo and DW to the bench, Kos rested to give the BFG a chance to put a friendly arm round his shoulders…

    Swansea team is still dangerous… Leroy Fer is a player who can hurt us…on loan from QPR?…

    We have kickoff…

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Do you guys have telly coverage for this one?…

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    No telly cover here, 17, so any comments re the game would be appreciated, if you are up for it.

  14. Ab says:

    Well done HT. This is our best current 11, less Kos of course. If they are up for it and play well we should get the win. If not there will be a heck of a lot of soul searching. COYG!!!

  15. allezkev says:

    Kozzer, slight calf strain…

    Radio for me 17…

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers AB, will do TA…

    Quiet early at the grove but there was some good buildup play from Giroud and Rambo who both took shots…The first one by the former was blocked back to the latter….

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    5 mins… Giroud well found in the box by Alexis but his first touch is poor and his backheel is to a guy in Green and Blue…

  18. allezkev says:

    West Ham 1-0

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Better noise now with the greatest team cheer…

    7 mins: Possession play near the middle with Campbell at the center of it…Giroud’s right footed shot, however, was extremely weak…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice news from bubbleland there, kev…

    Swans have a bit of the ball but we get it and run a very halting counter… which ends with Nacho offside…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    10th min: Bellerin and Campbell can’t keep the ball from a throw-in…

    We get it back and route 1 yields 2 chances for Alexis… The fist is WHIFFED but the second hits the post and deflects to Fabianski…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    first, I meant…

    Another run by Campbell but he misreads Giroud’s mind and passes straight to keeper…

  23. allezkev says:

    We seriously need a break

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    JC wants a FK near the corner of the box, but ref doesn’t give it…

    Rambo works hard to try and win a corner on a ball over the top but the defender does enough to convince the ref it’s a goal kick…

  25. allezkev says:

    Get in

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    CAMPBELL!!!!!

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    All set up by Alexis… Very good finish on the half volley but the pass was to his correct foot…

  28. allezkev says:

    Now, let’s see the boys relax, especially Alexis, we need him firing big time…

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    The entire move began with Ozil and Alexis working very hard (and together) to dispossess Jack Cork near the right touchline center of the pitch…

    Swansea immediately look enlivened as they press up… Kyle Naughton, in fact, got the ball in acres but his pull back is straight to us…

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    19th min: Alexis throughball too can’t find Giroud…

    We need to be careful here…These Swansea guys might not want to defend but they aren’t bad on the ball…

    Le Coq takes it from Gomis…and back to Cech…

    Still with us…

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Campbell, again not sussing his teammates moves, passes straight to a defender…

    Swansea possession comes to nothing but Rambo is taken out before a counter can develop…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    23rd: Swans throw in but they can only play it backwards before losing it… Alexis loses it back but wins a FK near the center circle…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    The match is fairly open but Swansea look happy to let us have the ball…

    25th: Campbell truly doesn’t want to use his right foot (for crossing) his pull back finds Ozil but his shot is blocked. Bellerin’s belter is grabbed by Fabianski on the second try. Hit hard but right at the keeper…

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    Chance for Swansea…

    Routledge finds Fer at the top of the D… His shot is over as well as too central but he hit it very hard…

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil fouled coming back to help defend on Ki…

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Swans are trying some long shots…Gomis from25 yards but blocked at the point…

    Campbell tries to cross with his right but it’s also blocked and falls gently for Fabianski…

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Both teams are happy to back off in the center of the pitch…

    30th: Bells has a cross blocked for a throw in…

    Alexis over the top ball intended for Ozil is taken down by Campbell who tries an audacious shot from 30 yards… Deflected, it eventually dribbles to Fabianksi…

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    thanks for the updates, Seventeenho. Really happy with lead. A second would be lovely.

  39. Ab says:

    I don’t believe it

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    1-1…

    Ozil fouled under a long ball… and everybody is caught waiting for the whistle… Ramsey gets the wrong side of Cork who found Routledge between the CBs…

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gotta do it all again, TA…

    If that’s not a foul (on Ozil) nothing is…

    Ozil now showing frustration with Bells for failing to find him with a pull-back… A 2nd Bells cross is also to no one with Ozil open nearby…

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Campbell and Alexis switch sides and we have some good possession in the box but can’t find a final ball…

    Back with Swansea…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    38th min: Ozil early ball for Alexis’ run is well off… He wanted Alexis to come more central…

    Nice tackle from Le Coq starts another promising move. Bellerin’s chooses to cross instead of shoot and the ball deflects back off him for a goalkick…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    40th min: First yellow is given to Ayew who has fouled Nacho giving us a wide FK…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cleared for a corner…

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Fabs punches but Rambo finds Mert who knocks back to Giroud who SMASHES the crossbar…

  47. 17highburyterrace says:

    Two pieces of lumber and an uncalled foul stand between a level match and one which could be 3-nil…

    Gotta get the lead again or the team will be booed off the pitch, I fear…

    Rambo and Giroud on different wavelengths as is Ozil’s ball between them…

    Swansea in our end but Gabby makes a good clearance…

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    45th: Campbell fouls and gives Swansea a wide FK…

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Over everybody and Alexis scrambles it away for a throw…but then gives a corner… Final kick of the half…

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Taken short and wasted… Only a few boos and grumbles that I can hear…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    No comments from anybody here at Halftime?…

    Since I switched over to the “main” TV channel, Pool have scored two vs City…

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Arsenal out and in position, waiting on Swansea to take the pitch…

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sigurdsson on, Ki out…Swans now even more dangerous, esp. at set pieces…

    Ayew gets behind the lines but his cross is cleared for a corner.. Taken short but back to Gylfi who sends it in with pace and curve… Giroud clears it however…

    Giroud fouled as we try to break…

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    48th: Bells might’ve gone down for a pen but keeps his feet and (again) his pull back doesn’t find its target…

    49th: Building again but all left foot Campbell AND Alexis end up on our left side. Alexis shoots from an impossible angle but it’s blocked at the point and cleared.

    Swans plenty dangerous with a cross at our end, but it comes to nothing…

    Next goal wins?…

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis called for a foul…

    Swansea happy to take it short but BFG cannot boot it clear… Eventually out for a throw…

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis…plays with it in our half before booting long for Ozil. He wins it with his body but whiffs his shot…

  57. Ab says:

    What’s your prediction here HT? Is it going to be another one of those nights where we do everything to win 6 nil, but still can’t get a win….

  58. Ab says:

    I won’t believe that the Spuds aren’t going to win still until the ref blows the whistle. We need a goal big time

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud wide right crosses but Swans kind of defend it… Bells was flatfooted as it fell just in front of him…

    Very, very narrow with both Alexis and Campbell as well as Ozil and Giroud all clogging the works…

    Ayew tries a left footed shot well wide and high at the other end…

    More miscue from Alexis too strong for Ramsey…

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    57th min: another giveaway from Alexis but they give it straight back… Ozil can’t control but wins a corner…

    Oooh…Alexis strong shot is deflected just wide…

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil gets a whistle this time… FK coming…

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    How does Alexis miss it?!?!

    Great chance there…

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo and DW warming up…

    Alexis with another giveaway…

    We try to play it out but Ozil and Bellerin lose it…

    Swansea growing in confidence with a bit of possession and Ayew turns on Nacho…Gomis can’t beat the BFG… Fer seems hurt but Arsenal slow play and the ref stops it…

    Welbeck stripping down…

    Fer being treated for cramp as the seconds tick on…

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Campbell off… for DW at the next stoppage… I think this could help us with our width…

    Change is made to a chorus of boos…

    He scored and (he pointed to his number in celebration) but he also gummed up the works (IMO)…

    Oh my…big let off as Sigurdsson rounds Cech after dancing past Gabby but cannot finish from the extreme angle…

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud offside so the fact that he’s mauled is not a pen…

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil gets a call just outside the box, slightly to the left… should be Alexis to take, I’m guessing…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Deflected onto the bar… Geezus…

    Gabby does well against very static Gomis…

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    End to end now… But Swansea pull it back for a bit of possession…

    Gomis flagged for offside…

  69. 17highburyterrace says:

    70 mins have been played. Replay shows the FK deflected off two Swansea heads in the wall before crashing the bar…

    Fer off, Fulton on…

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud pressures Fabianski who has to kick into touch…

    Another poor Bellerin cross….easy for Fabs to grab… Ramsey might have shot but put Bellerin in instead…

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    Very late call but Gabby gives up a wide FK…

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on Arsenal! Am listening to the West Ham game and reading your comments, 17ho. Pffff we is making it hard for ourselves.

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    2-1 Swansea…

  74. Ab says:

    can it get worse!

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Perfect FK but awfully close to Cech… End of the line for Arsene-L or 15 mins to save the season…

    Alexis off, Theo on…

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Corner for us but Giroud’s header is weak and Fabs has it…

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    78th min: Routledge given yellow for time wasting but then we’re flagged off…

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Feck, every time I have commented we conceded 😦

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    79th min: Gabby looking hurt…

    We’re struggling to play it out of our half…

    80th min: Gabby ball for Giroud falls to Swansea but we get it back…

    Better but Giroud’s layoff to Nacho is pushed over…

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    82nd minute:Giroud called for a high foot…

    The ground’s gone quiet…Except for the Swansea fans…

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    83rd: DW does well down the touchline but can’t round the FB…

    84th:Gabby giveaway allows for more time to slip away…

    He intercepts a ball but tries to push it forward but it only goes out of play…

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Not sounding good, 17. I was not expecting that.. CoyG!

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    85th: Trying to build… Nacho sends one in but over Giroud…

    86th: Builidng again…Williams clears into touch…

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey and Ozil get a pair of crosses in but only get a corner…

    Theo pops up on the left but all we get is a throw…

    88th min: Giroud wins a corner…

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Free header but it’s only looped by Theo to Fabianski…

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    90th minute: Swansea gonna waste some time with a late sub… Ayew off, Rangel on…

    Ramsey with a pen shout in the box but only half hearted…he was in the shooting motion but Routledge was goalside of him…

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Gabby plays one into touch…

    1 of the 5 extra have been played…

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo takes a few touches but then lofts one for DW… He gets a head to it but weakly and wide…

    3 of the 5 have been played…

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    4 of the 5 have been played but Theo wins a FK akin to the Leicester last chancer…Gomis should have held it up better…

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Fabs punches into touch… Out for a corner… Cech comes up…

    Full time and that’s it…

    Boos rain down…

    End of the world, surely…

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m gonna turn this over to others…

    I thought the effort was there, but this is a devastating result…except that both Totts and City are losing (have lost)… Leicester City’s point yesterday puts them one closer…

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Funnily enough, with all our competitors losing, it does not hurt us as much as it could have. Things have not changed that much from the weekend. But of course, today’s game was one we needed to win for confidence alone and I can’t quite believe we lost again. Our inability to stand up and be counted, defend properly and take our chances is staggering. The game at WHL can still make us but also most definitely break us completely. We know more, much more in 70 hours from now.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    many thanks for the updates, 17. You made a great effort and it cannot be easy to do this when you are watching us losing a game.

  94. Admir says:

    Unlucky against Swansea Part Deux.

    Last season we lost after missing number of sitters. Now we lost because of three crossbars, a terrible referee’s decision and Čech’s blunder at their free-kick.

    As I’ve said before, it looks like a 2010-11 all over again – a knockout in Champions League against Barca (check), all results in the league going our way except ours (check), our star playmaker will leave us next summer because he won’t want to waste more time on mediocre players like Walcott, Giroud et al (check?).

    Next stop of humiliation: NLD.

    Oh, Man United are four points behind us.

  95. Pony Eye says:

    Campbell was the best attacking player when he was yanked off. Ditto Sanchez. Or didn’t I see correctly?

  96. Simba says:

    To be honest Wenger is so lenient to underachievers either the likes of Giroud go or he resigns himself. Despite age and lack of experience Iwobi is better than the likes of Theo

  97. Admir says:

    @PE

    Alexis created a goal and hit the frame twice. Campbell scored and defended the wing. Both, however, didn’t have the best night in terms of passing. Campbell’s style of play is that he runs a lot, always makes a full-strength sprint and that probably makes him more prone to fatigue than the others.

    Anyway, I hope Simeone will persuade Godin and Griezmann to join him at Arsenal next summer. Mertesacker’s reaction at Routledge’s goal was surreal and he didn’t covered himself with glory for their second either.

  98. Simba says:

    With Chambers and Elneny on the bench at least we needed someone like Gnabry nthan Flamini onnthe bench

  99. Admir says:

    Predictions till the end:

    Sp*rs-Arsenal 2:1 (Kane, Chadli – Alexis)
    Arsenal-West Brom 0:1 (Berahino)
    Everton-Arsenal 2:0 (Deulofeu, Lukaku)
    Arsenal-Crystal Palace 2:1 (Giroud pen, Özil – Adebayor)
    West Ham-Arsenal 2:0 (Payet, Valencia)
    Arsenal-Watford 1:1 (Alexis – Deeney pen)
    Sunderland-Arsenal 1:3 (Defoe – Giroud, Özil, Walcott)
    Arsenal-Norwich 2:0 (Özil, Alexis)
    Manchester City-Arsenal 3:1 (Agüero 3 – Welbeck)
    Arsenal-Aston Villa 2:0 (Özil, Walcott)

    7.Arsenal 38 19 7 12 64

  100. Ab says:

    Tech out for the weekend now too

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir at 22.12 that is hilarious! Statistical Dooming hahahaha 🙂

    The road is long buddy.

  102. Admir says:

    TA, Čech is out for NLD. He suffered a muscle problem while trying to help our attack at the last corner. You can’t make things like that up.

    The road is long and bumpy with an old driver with a poor eyesight behind the wheel. If we qualify for Champions League, our players may celebrate like they have won the league. I can only imagine the WTF-look on Čech’s, Alexis’ and Özil’s face afterwards. The truth is, we have a team consisted of mental midgets. I had been crediting most of them with intelligence (Per, Ollie…) but I have my doubts about that part now. Most of them would end up fourth in a game of chess.

    Giroud hasn’t scored since his well-taken goal against Liverpool. Wenger’s reaction tonight? He leaves Giroud on the pitch and sends Welbeck for Campbell. The old man has completely lost the plot but if he hadn’t been sacked after the defeat to Swansea in 2012, he won’t certainly be sacked after the defeat tonight.

  103. Pony Eye says:

    Admir, Campbell had 86.8% pass success rate, second only to Ramsey amongst the front 6 players (whoscored). Yes his tracking pace can be quite exhaustive but at the time of the substitution he looked like he had at least 15 min gas left in him.

    Unfortunately Welbk who replaced him had a poor game today. And then Walcott replaced Sanchez. With those two changes our forward thrust got blunted.

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    It is shit on a stick, Admir, but I still think we will win the league. It will be an ugly title win, maybe the ugliest one ever, but our name is somehow on that cup. Had Citeh won tonight, I would not have said that.

  105. Admir says:

    Hm. It looked to me that Campbell’s passes in the final third didn’t work. Most of them failing to beat the first defender.

  106. Admir says:

    @TA

    Kudos for your optimism. 🙂 I like it and I can’t say that I don’t envy you on that.

    1.The refs are totally against us. I have never seen an Arsenal team being cheated by the refs on a regular basis like the current one. And I have seen a lot of robberies since 2004.

    2.We can’t buy a goal because someone tried to be a smart ass by not spending big on a world-class striker. Now we are stuck with mediocre strikers who could have formed one top striker if all their qualities had been melted into one.

    3.We can’t defend. We have four central defenders and not a single combination has worked properly. We need a world-class CB but with the current manager in charge, that won’t happen.

    4.We don’t have a top complete midfielder. Yes, yes, Rambo this, Rambo that, Cazorla this, Cazorla that…but all our lines are like our attack: “Oh, I wish if Per had Kos’ pace! If Kos only had Per’s organizing skills! If Rambo had the passing ability of Cazorla! If Caz had the engine of Rambo! If I only had Flamini’s money!”

    5.We have a manager who can’t convince his players to perform better. He is basically doing a Mourinho except Mourinho at least won the league last season (and my money is on Mourinho winning the league with United before Wenger does it with Arsenal).

  107. Ab says:

    A hard night for positives. Beyond the big one that the Spuds lost too. For all the effort, the bad luck and the possession and shot stats, the plain fact is that we bottled this game, and a big opportunity went begging with it. It could have been far worse of course, with different results last night and today, but the bounce back we haver been waiting for has still not arrived. We cant wait now beyond this weekend, and we will have to achieve a step change improvement without Cech or Kos. TA is right in that we can still win ugly – let’s face it, the alternatives/competition now are Leicester or Spuds. Can we not catch them over 10 games? That would be no miracle even now.

    Time’s running out, but if we can get our bounce back game next time out, knocking the spuds back in the process, then we can still do it. But there is precious little room for any further such games. As ever, this time is not a good one for the nerves. But we are still in the mix, where in many other seasons we would be effectively right out of it by this time of year. Something to cling onto whilst watching the footage of all our missed chances.

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    “If you are going through hell, keep going” Churchill.

    Night all. ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️

  109. davydavy says:

    Nevertheless the other teams all losing means that the premiership race is still very much alive. In fact, if we win against Sp*rs this weekend as I fully expect us to do, I would say we would be favourites. I’m not too worried about losing to Swansea because somehow we always do.

    Six points is nothing over a ten-match sprint. May the best team (us) win!

  110. njk84sg says:

    Davydavy,

    I seriously do not see us winning against the spuds with this form.

    Its the same thing altogether last year. We had lost against Barca, fell into a black hole, and only managed to win after a few games.

    So, i seriously do not fancy us winning against spuds, although that will help us get the points we needed so badly.

    JK

  111. davydavy says:

    I dunno about that. I think the Spuds are looking exhausted after a long year of hard-out running and pressing. They were lucky to only lose 1-0 against West Ham. Equally, we were unlucky to lose against Swansea, with that missed foul on Ozil, their offside second goal, and their crossbar taking a real hammering tonight.

    To be honest, our weakest link is probably our gutless home support, who were already whining and moaning at half-time with everything still to play for. They’re dragging the team down instead of lifting them up. To win this race everyone has to do their part.

  112. allezkev says:

    Was you there at the ground then davydavy?

    What was the atmosphere like where you was?

  113. allezkev says:

    Wenger will be without Laurent Koscielny (calf) and Petr Cech (groin) for Saturday’s derby at Tottenham Hotspur. Koscielny did not play here while Cech appeared to pull up after going forward for a last-minute corner. “Cech had a little groin problem before the game and I think he struggled a bit,” Wenger said. “I don’t know how bad it is. He will not play on Saturday. Neither will Koscielny.”

  114. davydavy says:

    Nah I watched it all on TV and the negativity came across loud and clear – also a heck of a lot of empty seats, in prime positions as well. All of these empty seats, abuse of players, moaning and booing do nothing to lift the players and we’re really missing that essential 12th player that the home crowd should be.

    Also, a lot of the players, like most kids today, have not grown up in a tough environment and I feel that their mental state is susceptible to the atmosphere of hostility and negativity that surrounds them. It’s generational and you can’t really blame the players for it.

  115. njk84sg says:

    Cech was easily our best player, and he will be missed with Bosscielny.

    We have been bad in scoring freely. We need to get that swagger back.

  116. Pony Eye says:

    We are 6pts below the table topper, and 6pts above the 6th placed team. Wedged in the middle it is time to begin to mind our rear also. That’s being realistic. Too bad if you have gotten addicted to the ‘GREAT DREAM’.

    9pts from the last 8 games translates to 42.75pts for a season. Form-wise that’s swimming in deep relegation waters. We must wake up to our true current form, so we can do something about it.

    Our true problem is the goals not coming. I don’t need Walcott even on the bench. Am no more part of the great self deception of the ‘famed’ hold up play. What about the unfamed clog in the wheel. IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE STARTING WITH ALEXIS AS STRIKER, CAMPBELL,MATCH AFTER MATCH, AS RIGHT WING.

    That would give us a fighting chance to the trophy. Otherwise my worry will be our rear which has been creeping up on us in our stupor of day dreaming.

    Can Wenger escape the spell of his pejudices which obviously favors Giroud and Walcott? Our form is broken. It’s got to be fixed. If he can see it this way, that spell would be broken too.

  117. njk84sg says:

    PE,

    I do not see Giroud or Theo starting on the bench anytime soon.
    And we need Welbeck, Alexis and Campbell to be firing on all cylinders for the spuds match.

    If the ref sucks again that’s it..

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha PE, who is going to argue with you now? 🤓

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    The team owe the fans to get themselves together and put in a full performance on Saturday. I feel like not putting up any posts till then, except a preview if Seventeenho is still up to it. Time for reflection and delivery.

    Have a good day, FFGs. ⚽️😛

  120. Pony Eye says:

    TA, you are so on top of your emotions, you are there to argue with me. Ditto HT. I try to put a lid on mine, but there is a little crack through which it hisses out. Hssssssssssssssssss…….we need some folks benched!

  121. Admir says:

    When I grow up, I want to be Arsene.

    To earn 8 million per year.

    To have no responsibility for results of my work.

    To have enough followers who will take my words for The Only Truth.

    Maybe to start my own religion?

    @TA, I don’t know how much Arsene cares about two completely different reasons. 1) Arsene’s father was a member of Vichy’s army (which means he fought alongside Germans, even if Arsene himself said his old man hadn’t served whole-heartedly). 2) Apart from occasional glimpse of genious, Churchill was a racist while Arsene has always been on the right side of that battle.

  122. Admir says:

    * anout Churchill

  123. Gerry says:

    On a lighter note …

    Thanks HT for your comment on the previous post. I had to chuckle though, as I sent TA a longer version AS A POST … lol!
    That was just a hastily edited version as a comment. Mind, I tried to keep to the main point with my editing, which probably improve it, ha ha..

    I did not see the game either, only the updates I had from the live match at Anfield.

    It would appear confidence is at an all time low. It is probably good we have the NLD next, as these unique games have an atmosphere which can nullify previous form?
    I hope so, as I shall be watching it live.
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  124. davydavy says:

    Spot on with your last comment Gerry. There ought to be a cracking atmosphere at White Hart Lane this weekend.

    Our away supporters are going to raise merry hell to lift our players, and boy will they respond! Meanwhile the Spurs team are starting to feel very real pressure of dealing with wildly delusional fans and their crazily inflated expectations.of dodging the inevitable St. Totteringham’s Day.

    Looking forward to this one immensely!

  125. The_smilinwarlock says:

    Been reading this blog without commenting for about 2-3 years..

    and right now everybody need to believe in the boys now. no matter what.

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Warlock, nice video. 🙂

    Please come back again when we put out a new post.

  127. Cheers from me too, Smilinwarlock…

    Nobody commented upon it, but check out that link I put in the post (by afc4life…) above if you want to see the plastic-y part of the problem… Jack Cork said the home support (or lack thereof…) is what the Swansea guys spoke about at half-time…

    In many respects, being a football supporter is ALL about the suffering… That’s why I say, if you can’t take it, just find a “favorite” (American spelling…) team that you “like,” and enjoy them until they become insufferable or a better one comes along…

    Plenty of folks treat their marriage(s) more or less that way… 😀 😦 Divorce can be the path to happiness, but sometimes the problems stay even when she (or he) is gone…

    Enough philosophizing… (philosophising?…)

    Anyhow, I just wanted to alert you, TA, that a match preview is on its way… Can we count on you to deliver a match report?…

  128. 17highburyterrace says:

    New Post…

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