Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ten Thoughts on Swansea 3 Arsenal 2

* It's worth remembering that we started well. Arshavin, for all the criticism he's received today, threaded a lovely ball through to RvP who finished with aplomb. Funnily enough, the goal worried me slightly - scoring early can be a bit of a double-edged sword with a team that is struggling defensively as much as we are at present, as it encourages the opposing side to attack from an early stage. Maybe it's an indictment of the current team that my first thought was about how we were going to hold onto the lead, rather than whether we were going to run away with the game.

* Incidentally, that was Robin's 18th league goal of the season, thus equalling his best ever tally. That we're only half-way through January shows how important he has been for us this season.

* The penalty was very harsh. I didn't think it was a foul, but I can see why the ref gave the decision. But let's not blame our defeat on this, please. The ref didn't score the other two Swansea goals.

* I like Ramsey and I think he's a huge talent. But he has no competition for his place at the moment. Even if Wilshere's return doesn't solve everything, it's vital that we have quality in the rotation of our midfield spots. Ramsey didn't do enough to dominate the midfield today, and he was badly at fault for the second Swansea goal. He needs a rest.

* We missed Arteta hugely. His ability to dictate possession and tempo in midfield is crucial, and Benayoun just wasn't an adequate replacement, I'm afraid. Indeed, while I like Benayoun, I struggle to think about what his role is in the squad. Attacking midfielder? Central midfielder? He doesn't really do either position well enough to justify a start at the moment.

* I don't understand Theo Walcott. Sometimes he looks like a massive talent, like when he spanked home our second goal. Other times, he can barely control the ball. And he goes missing for huge sections of games. Personally, I think he is the archetypal impact sub. It's a testimony to our lack of attacking options that he has started so many games this year.

* Indeed, it's an indictment of the strength of the squad that a 34 year old and an 18 year old were expected to change the game for us. Unsurprisingly, neither did. We need more players in their prime - not prospects and ageing superstars. Speaking of which, Park yet again did not get on the pitch. Increasingly he looks like £3 million (plus wages) that we have completely wasted. Unacceptable.

* Szcz was at fault for the third goal - his positioning was terrible. Again, I like him and think he's a huge prospect, but he has cost us points in consecutive games with poor goalkeeping.

* As a whole, the game was eerily reminiscent of the 4-3 at Blackburn.  We started well, but blew it through repeated defensive mistakes (made in both midfield and defence) and couldn't cobble things back together in the end. The third goal was particularly galling - to concede immediately after scoring is something you simply should not accept from a top-four side. As the SquidBoy on Twitter has pointed out, we've now thrown away wining positions in three of our last four games (Wolves, Fulham, Swansea). Worrying.

* Everything comes down to this, for me. The transfer window last summer was a catastrophe, which directly contributed to our awful start. We now have money in the bank, but we are making no signs that we'll spend it. If we finish fifth, in my opinion it is a self-inflicted wound caused by chronic mismanagement of our transfer strategy. And that is where we are heading, at present.


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Anonymous said...

Mind the gap :)

Anonymous said...

firstly well played Swansea nice to see a side prepared to play the passing game and entertain
did u hear pardew say 1 shot on goal at home he doesnt care as long as you win.(lucky for him all the thick geordies dont understand)
did you clowns find out today that this is the worst squad under wenger? yossi lightweight not good enough for chelski
arsavin aint paid enough to run
walcott only paid to run(took his goal well though)
derooooo no more a premier player than most of us boy just got lucky to play so often for a former top side(must be on low wages or swallows)
miquel the lad tried hard wont slag him off as out of postion
ramsey look at his stats gives the ball away too often works hard and at least trys but just not good enough
ro sicky always plays like we are 4 nil up
big german trys but all too quick for him
van p top man but who would blame him if he left?
TH still better than Chamak

i could go on but bored already as the yank that owns us just in it for the money and we all know that we wont buy any quality this window or the next
just in case it stops the development of all the above

oxo kid looks top drawer maybe we should send him out on loan as he has no chance of playing ahead of wengers favorites

Anonymous said...

been a gooner for nearly 50years. totally agree with all of the above. worst squad i have seen under AW. no passion or quality. if anyone wants walcot i will send his taxi fare. that goes for arshavin also. sad as it may sound the yids are well ahead. Manure & yids up in the next few weeks. god help us.

Anonymous said...

....that ramsey makes the starting line-up every game is shocking, that guy is rubbish, he just runs all over the place winning balls and losing them almost the first place, he should'nt even be at a club like arsenal, he should be playing in the for djourouh or whatever he calls himself he should be released so that he can find anoda club....alway jittery in possession, walcott is brainless, arshavin has lost interest in football,........i wonder why wenger has not seen this

Anonymous said...

wow, a lot of introspective stuff on here.

I've seen more matches at the Nuevodome this year than the Liberty but i've seen the Swans play on various Satalite channels this year and last. The are terrific to watch.

Yesterday Swansea simply appear to have um....out-Arsenaled Arsenal(?) i.e. outplayed and beat you at your own Philosophy.

I agree with some of the critisism re defense, Walcott, Arshavin (especially Arshavin) but ultimately, the Swans had too much for you on the day and out played you for the vast majority of the game.

If you look at all the stats, Swansea (especially at the Liberty) are VERY difficult oponents in a neat little stadium where the people really(!) support their team and understand that possession is the best way for them to defend.

you shouldnt feel bad that you lost. All the Arsenal fans i know were seething at having lost to little old Swansea City but you really shouldnt feel bad. Swansea are very very capable and other top 5 teams have struggledL:
Spurs and Man U both came unstuck despite coming away with points. Swansea utterly dominated Man U and Spurs and deserved more points from the games.

Liverpool and (MAYBE Man City) will also get a good game down in beautiful Swansea Bay.

I hope you guys make the top 4 (ive got £20 on it) and hopefully i'll get to see some more of you at the dome.

PS - to see Henry come on (let alone score) at the Neuvodome was a very special moment in football history and one i'll cherish.