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Arsenal Versus Swansea: An Ugly Lovely Game

Ever wished you didn’t have a game to watch quite so soon? Usually I find a quick turn around to be the best medicine, get the stench of defeat out of the emotional laundry with the fresh breeze of a new fixture. Unfortunately I also like to spend a few days convincing myself that it is after all only a game and asking why am I getting myself so worked up about it and telling myself there are many more important events in my life with which to concern myself. All the usual self deluding froth with which one hopes to obscure the windscreen of one’s thoughts.

After a wholly unexpected and unwelcome result at the Old T however I needed more than these past two days to want even to think about the round ball game. I had the distraction of the rugby which helped enormously as it gave me and my Man U supporting pal some safe ground over which we could walk together, deftly avoiding the potholes and land mines of football.

All credit to him. He knows I don’t talk footy to friends or enemies after a defeat. I don’t find shouting and arguing and looking for someone to blame as cathartic as others do and so prefer to change the subject and he didn’t mention it even once. Given the season they’re having and the fact that he thought we would clobber them, that must have taken some restraint.

So when I glanced at the fixtures and saw we are opening the doors and welcoming visitors from over the bridge tonight I greeted the news with slumped shoulders and a weary resigned sigh. Of course we all know that the best antidote for disillusion and regret is a thumping good victory. Should we pull one from the bag then, like you, I shall wake up on Thursday morning and place my hat at a jaunty angle before tucking into the eggs and bacon. Such are the shallow, insecure vagaries which dominate the psyche and personality of the football fan.

It is bloody silly placing our happiness in the hands of others isn’t it? I don’t mean those we trust at home, work or at play I mean people we neither know nor are ever likely to meet. Distant millionaires who know nothing of our existence and who’s lives would be entirely unaltered were you and I to perish in a freak ballooning accident over the Pyrenees taking with us all of the readership of Positively Arsenal in the resultant cabin fire.

The more I think about it the more it seems akin to that nasty habit and dangerous addiction, gambling. You decide that your mood, and that of those about whom you purport to care most, is best served by flinging all of your hopes on a bonfire set by people without your best interest at heart and who will only profit from your weakness or affliction.

And still we come back for more.

Of course if you were thinking of quitting and trying to change your life it doesn’t help when Leicester go and drop two points at home against West Brom on the eve of our next fixture. Suddenly they have extended their lead over us and the Spuds but we can, with the right result, claw back a couple of the lost Old Trafford points.

We ought not to be surprised by this. I don’t see any reason to suppose that such a topsy turvy, fairground ride of a season should suddenly level out and become predictable just because there are only ten or eleven games to go. A return to form for our men, a little help from the Hammers and Jurgen Klopp’s Flying Circus and Thursday may dawn bright and cheerful after all. Of course the reverse is equally possible and there would be many a mattress in need of changing in many a cot were that to be the case. Sales of Sudocrem would no doubt rocket judging by the infant out pouring after Sunday’s result.

In among all of this emotional wreckage Swansea FC are quietly making their way along the M4, stopping no doubt for a go on the Space Invaders and a family sized bag of Revels at Leigh Delamere, and rocking up to N7 in time for this evening’s 7.45 kick off. What mood will they be in I wonder? Buoyed by our indifferent results and their history against us they should be in the right frame of mind to give us a game tonight. I certainly hope so. I don’t want us to be faced with another packed defence, it makes for such an excruciating match.

Swansea looked like doing us a favour when they took the lead at WHL recently but according the readers of the South Wales Evening Post they are incapable of defending a lead which given our propensity for conceding the initiative is music to my ears. We all know what is wrong with our side right now, a couple of key players horribly out of form and the necessary rotation during the fixture clog disrupting the rhythm of the rest. The question is can these things be put right in such a short space of time? Who the hell knows? Not me.

It all depends how deep the malaise actually runs. It’s all too easy to look on from the outside and presume there are seismic issues here. That is usually because we are so desperate for the team to do well that we fear the worst and allow that fear to overcome our reason. The side might be just one goal away from clicking, a couple of slick moves away from rediscovering their balletic, telepathic poise – it would not surprise me one bit.

So come on boys and girls, mums and dads, let’s not allow the occasional setback to spoil the fun of following the finest team in the land. Let’s not invest so much in success that we are robbed of our dignity in defeat. Let’s try instead to remember why we are all here in the first place. To enjoy the game of football played by some of its finest practitioners, and maybe, just maybe, see them come away with a trophy every now and then. Sounds like a plan to me. You in?

 

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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132 comments on “Arsenal Versus Swansea: An Ugly Lovely Game

  1. and as if things could not get any worse, it looks like Cech done his hamstring in the last seconds of the game when he was up for the corner. Ospina in for the NLD and for next few weeks if it is his hamstring.

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  2. i am pissed..i wonder what treatment do the players deserve..

    fucking disgrace really..i am going to take a break from all of this..need to disconnect from the negativity RIGHT NOW!

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  3. Look, Swansea were being outplayed, then they concede. Arsenal continue playing well and trying to score. Swansea already look shot.

    Swansea make huge, obvious foul on Ozil. It’s ignored. Ars players unable to readjust, after all, in every game their opponents know the ref will allow all kinds of cheating.
    Swansea score.

    What does this do to the psychology and rhythm of Arsenal?

    What does this do to the psychology of Swansea?

    The commentators said Arsenal came out early for the 2nd half. Really?
    Could it be that Swansea came out late, before doing warn up routines on the side of the pitch?

    Swansea can do what they like. They know they’ll get away with most infringements.
    I counted 3 not given cards for Swansea players fouling to stop Arsenal attacks, and they were in our own half. There was a not given penalty on Ramsey. Williams should’ve had at least 2 yellows.

    The look on Campbell’s face when Swansea scored their first – was mirrored by most players.

    Yes, our players are professionals and they see this crap very often, but boy, it’s difficult to look spritely when 4 or 5 shots hit post or bar, or when you know the ref is going to screw you every which way.

    You can’t always play with freedom and absolute confidence when this stuff is happening regularly.

    Besides the cheating, there’s Luck. Arsenal’s will return.

    It’s back into hibernation for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. well mandy I would say that Campbell was taken off and not Alexis, cos Wenger was trying to “play” Alexis back into form, same with Giroud, and if anything both look like they are playing themselves more out of form if anything.

    I’m a big fan of Ramsey, but my God that was so awful from him tonight, apart from looking to make runs forward, he was useless, never showed for the ball off our defense, he had a bigger turning circle than Mertesacker, and when we lost the ball he looked like he could not muster even a fast job back to help the defense.
    Add in that Coquelin was poor on the ball, and it all adds up to a very dysfunctional midfield, which means we have a dysfunctional team.

    Alexis, Giroud, Ramsey, Walcott all off form at the one time, and for a considerable length of time now, others with dips in form during this spell too, and it goes a long way to explaining why we are fucking up this title bid big time.

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  5. Wenger has confirmed that Cech is out of the NLD, and that Ospina will start.

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  6. i dont get campbell being taken off either… wither Sanchez or giroud were the ones to have gone off

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  7. Arsenal went top of the table after 19 games, with 39pts, ahead of LCFC on goal difference, in the 9 games since Arsenal have picked up 12pts, scoring only 10 goals (3 of them came in the 3-3 at LFC), conceding 8. LCFC have picked up 18pts, scoring 14, and conceding only 6.

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  8. so which of our players will be rolled out tomorrow or friday on Arsenal.com to give the “we must improve”, or the “we must learn” article, must be Ramsey or Monreal’s turn by now.

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  9. Hard to stick up for the boys tonight.
    Arsenal were as poor as I’ve seen since the collapse in 2009, but this time we are supposed to have better players.

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  10. So Cech and Koscielny out of the NLD on Saturday.

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  11. Ed, agree, our MF is not working to its full capacity, and hasn’t done for a while. Ramsey is out of position , despite his protestations, I also wonder if he may be carrying something…..with nobody really available to cover for him, he also looks like he could do with being moved further forward…off to the right
    Armchair manager here….and MF issues aside, shouldn’t they be able to coach so many out of form players into better form? Would like to see Elneny and Coq in the middle at the weekend, and give the defence a bit more protection, because at the moment, teams are scoring against us with virtually every shot on target. Penny for Cechs thoughts!
    Hate to be negative, but starting to wonder if this is going to end up in a bit of an unwanted place.
    On another note, listening to Wenger, can agree with a couple things…what on earth do the team have to have done to them to get a penalty…..and what now defines a foul on Ozil? Answers on a postcard to Mike Riley

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  12. Eddy
    The only table that matters is the one after 38 games.

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  13. well DC after all the media focus on our lack of “leaders”, and how the players are “bottlers”, one would have expected the entire squad to go out and shove it down their throats, but what we got was the sort of performance lacking in character that the pundits, media, and so many fans accuse them of, it is impossible to put up a defense for our lot.

    Talking about being in a title fight seems so very far fetched, as I said in an earlier post, we have taken 12pts in our last 9 games, its akin to what some of the relegation battlers have taken in the same time, WBA 13pts, Bournemouth 12pts, Sunderland 12pts, Swansea 11pts

    by the way Chelsea have taken 19pts in the same time.

    We have spurs away on Saturday, and Hull away in the FAC on Tuesday, anything other than two wins and our season could be in total free fall, and the AAA will get what they so want, Wenger out. Our players are letting the club, the manager and the fans down, big time.

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  14. yes DC the only table that matters is the one at the end, but we are in relegation form, and little sign of that changing, the performances are insipid

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  15. THE BOSS ON DEFEAT, SWANSEA AND CECH

    Arsène Wenger faced the media after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat against Swansea City at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below:

    on the result…
    It was a very unlucky defeat because we created many chances, we were unlucky in our finishing and they only had two shots on target which were both goals. It’s a very disappointing result. The players are very down but we have to respond to that.

    on whether it is a confidence issue…
    It looks like it a bit.

    on how he solves that issue ahead of the north London derby…
    We focus on our job and come back reminding ourselves that we have some quality as well. Of course we have to analyse it as well and bounce back. We have a big game in three days.

    on whether he is worried that the league is slipping away…
    At the moment I am worrying about our results. We just lost three games and that is always a very disappointing moment for the team. At the moment we don’t dream. We have to be realistic and come back to what we do well, the basics.

    on Petr Cech…
    He struggled. He had a little groin problem before the game and I think he struggled a little bit tonight.

    on his injury…
    He will not play on Saturday.

    on how big the setback is…
    I trust Ospina completely.

    on how serious Cech’s injury is…
    I don’t know, we have to see. It’s a muscular problem, a calf problem and I don’t know how long he will be out for.

    on Laurent Koscielny…
    He has a calf problem as well. He will not play on Saturday.

    on subbing Campbell for Welbeck…
    Campbell hasn’t played for a while and he started to tire. He played against a very young left back and I thought Welbeck could give him some problems with his runs in behind. These kinds of decisions don’t mean that Campbell did badly. I think he did quite well tonight. I also think that there was room on that flank to be very dangerous.

    on the atmosphere…
    I don’t know. Let’s focus on our job and ignore that. We have to get the fans back on our side. The fans were ready to support us tonight I think. They were quite good. We faded in the game and we could see that in the last part of the game we had a lack of movement to create dangerous situations.

    on the title race…
    I don’t know. It is very difficult to say because everybody drops points. At the moment, I believe that we need to get back to positive results before we speak about the Championship which is at stake at the moment. It is very difficult as it is unpredictable. Manchester City lost, Tottenham lost. It is very difficult to predict what will happen in this league.

    on if Arsenal can still win the league…
    Let’s focus on winning the next game and not talk about the title tonight. I’m not in the mood to do that tonight. It is a big disappointment for us to swallow this and we need to bounce back.

    on what was wrong with Koscielny…
    Calf.

    Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160302/the-boss-on-defeat-swansea-and-cech#Sl0RzHkB4QAmRAGH.99

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  16. Their first goal should have never been and we smacked the wood work all afternoon. I’m confident we’ll start putting some good performances together and we’ll either win the title or end up a point or two away.

    The fans reaction to Joel Campbell being taken off was disgraceful.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Roy Keane on empty seats at the Emirates: “It would be helpful if their fans logged out of twitter and filled up their stadium.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Arsenal are in their worst rut of the season, and are still third.
    I guess we must not be the only bottlers around then.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. the Emirates with five minutes to go

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  20. yes DC it seems there are others bottling it too, but surely all that should concern us is that Arsenal are fucking it up big time, this is not just our worst form of this season, but our worst run of form for many a season.

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  21. Show a picture of most stadiums on a weekday evening kick-off with 5mins to go and spot the difference. Especially if there’s sod all chance of anything changing. What’s it matter? The supporters aren’t the problem, never have been.

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  22. photo/

    Never a foul on Ozil!

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  23. Don’t think he was convicted of a foul in a football match. Something significantly worse.

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  24. Decided to have a look-in on facebook just after the game, and the posts and comments by my many Arsenal acquaintances got me laughing like mad – actually elevated my mood some, I don’t think there was one Arsenal related post that I came across for the short while I was in there that didn’t blame Wenger for one thing or another…or everything about the loss.

    Seriously though, what is really going on with the team? Almost like nothing we do comes off anymore, we seem to need four times the effort+luck+grace(by the officials) to get even the tiniest of things to go our way – compared to our rivals/opponents. I seriously pray we – the team and fans together – can hold on through this stormy period and then turn it around.

    Anyway, I still believe we can win the league…. Also we will knock Barca out of the champions league, it is not over yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. At least the media didn’t have just an Arsenal loss to report this morning….I had an awful night’s sleep. How pathetic is that!

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  26. I feel we have regressed to the time a few seasons ago when I was petrified with any set piece we had to defend….

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  27. There is a lack of creativity in the midfield i.e., we sorely miss Santi or Jack…

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  28. Arsenal lost a game.Heres some perspective.

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  29. Arsenal lost three games. Heres some perspective:

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  30. Arsenal lost a few games.need Dr.Flicker?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. New day, new post up

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