Good Morning Positive Arsenal fans,
A fine Sunday morning here, windy but bright Autumnal sunshine and mellow fruitfulness.
Of yesterday’s contest as expected a well drilled Swansea defensive side posed a number of problems for the first 45 before cracking and allowing us to pocket the three points, as expected.
Some comments I see have been made about our “laboured” first half performance, not least by the manager. I did not think we were poor, but as in previous home games despite 80%+ control of the ball we got no further than the final third and never really opened up a clear chance. Clearly compared to our ripping-Everton-a-new-one of six days before any performance was likely to be “laboured”. It may however be worth reflecting however that the Swansea were no Everton. They sat deep, had three solid centre back who Lacazette had to battled with on his own, and a screen of midfielders who dropped back to soak up and disrupt. Having gifted them a silly opener they dug in ferociously and denied us space and time in the final third. On another day that might have been enough for the Swans, as in previous painful encounters (!).
We are an older team now, more mature, and with better players. I doubt the teacups flew at half-time in the home dressing room. I suspect the message was more a reminder to the players that we had to use every inch of the pitch to stretch Swansea, and that it is important for players to be dynamic and quick in creating space for themselves to receive a pass.
If that was the message then within 11 minutes the scoreboard had been corrected and the wining goal despatched by Aaron. “Tidy” as they say in the valleys. Sead’s rocket for the first and involvement in the second earned him the man of the match.
The left hand side of our football team I thought stood out yesterday. Nacho, Sead and Alexis click together like the passenger door on a Mercedes-Benz, solid, dependable but with the potential to go very, very fast when required.
Good performances from Granit, Aaron, Lacazette and Ozil and they’d get a 7/10. The right hand side of our side ? Hector and Laurent are not quite in tune and the Frenchman has looked out of sorts since the start of the season. It may be he is playing out of position in the ‘three’ or playing while injured. His slip yesterday was uncharacteristic and just last week he was caught in a similar moment late at Goodison when picked up a deserved yellow card. He is a fine player but has just passed his 32nd birthday. It may be he needs a few games officially injured to rest and recuperate as he has played a lot of football.
Of the opposition as I said yesterday Fernandez seems a capable centre back. At 28 years old he is no spring chicken but he knows his trade. And (inevitably) one top, top class save from Fabianski. Good to see his career has led to football every week, which his talent deserved.
As a general point, having watched Kosc and later Per slip and slide on what seems to me a perfect grass surface, would the club PLEASE STOP watering the f******* pitch obsessively before the game and at half time. The grass won’t die if you leave it alone, trust me.
So onward to the Etihad and a very different challenge next Sunday. In the interim I’d guess we can expect the B team to give Red Star a sound bashing on Thursday.
Enjoy your Sunday.