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Arsenal: Liberty Rises

@LaboGoon spies out the Land of My Fathers

Henrikh-Mkhitaryan.jpg

Good morning Positivistas.

It’s the day before the transfer window slam shut and Arsenal is travelling to Swansea City, and as it’s known on these streets, to escape the transfer hoopla even if just temporary.

Last time we played Swansea they were in a bit of a mess but in Carlos Carvalhal they now have a new man at the helm. Life has been pretty kind to him thus far as his new team, while still rooted to the bottom, seem to be finding their stride a little bit as they come in this fixture having lost just once in his seven games in charge. Them playing in the FA Cup this past Saturday make this a short turnaround while Arsenal is coming in a bit fresher and off the back of two convincing victories, which they will want to follow up with another win to stay in touch of top 4.

When Carlos looked at the Swans’ fixture list and saw Liverpool and Arsenal in back-to-back PL games he probably told his team that if they can pick up 3 out of 6 points here it would be a great return. After picking up the 3 points vs Liverpool it now mean that although they can still fancy their chances, they can also afford to revert to a more defensive approach by looking to just restrict us whilst waiting patiently for chances to open up, which would be fair enough when even getting a single point will do it for them.

That being said, with our away form a bit of a worry we can expect a difficult game, so tonight we will have to put in another great all round team performance to batter through a proverbial bus.

On team news: Giroud is back from injury and our new boy Henrikh Mkhitaryan look set to make his debut in what is expected to be a very strong line-up and bench.

After a bumpy start to the year this last week has been great for us. We can sense there’s a real feel good feeling in and around the club, so win here tonight and we will have an opportunity to really kick on as we approach the final quarter of the season.

Good luck to everybody going to the game and all watching via the small screen. With Deadline Day looming… the Arsenal squad look set to be in much better shape than we started the season.

Come on you rip roaring you know what’s!

( a little musical interlude to get you in the mood – very emotional the Welsh)

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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170 comments on “Arsenal: Liberty Rises

  1. More on Aubameyang

    Are you confident?

    The confidence doesn’t help too much in that because the deals nowadays are so complicated. As long as you are not finished, to be confident doesn’t help too much.

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  2. More on Giroud possibly leaving

    He’s an Arsenal man, after that he needs to play as well because he has not played many games in the Premier League since the start of the season. He’s a regular player in the French national team. He has a World Cup where France will go, places of course are difficult to get.

    It was a difficult situation for him but he always had his heart 100 per cent in the team and was committed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On giving away 15pts from winning positions this season

    It’s amazing because we have won 14 by being behind.

    What is for sure that tonight I believe just they won more decisive duels and at that level offensively we didn’t do anything and defensively we lost too many duels to have a chance to win the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So much for the feel-good factor, that didn’t last long!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mandy, glad I didn’t see it if it got you that bad.

    Clucas having three shots on target all year, all against us, all goals doesn’t feel like just a freak thing unfortunately.

    As I just don’t see us sorting out defensive side reliably this year, I had all my hopes on the attack improving and being good enough to deliver a good end to the season.

    Still stands, I guess.

    Really hate that average teams can regularly put us in a world of pain away from home and, if this was like bournemouth and Watford, when damage is done we can barely muster a response.

    I’d guess nearly all slip ups from top four rivals have been more get done by one goal and then fail to break through a bus. Only Stoke was like that with us.

    Lord knows what ref was like tonight but it has to be a factor,typically, and from all I’ve seen, in just how tough going many away games are vs same teams with same players at home.

    But then you have to try build a style which takes account of that.

    Oh well, sick that we got ourselves back into top four frame, and then immediately lost that ground again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Rich, just don’t watch it, but we have seen the same several times this year, and before, too many times.
    The ref let a few things go off the ball, but he cannot be blamed when we play like that.
    I don’t know, it’s almost like as he nears the end of his great career at this club, Arsene is becoming more ultra in his views on the way the game should be played, nothing to loose I am going out with a bang etc, in reality this approach mainly works at home, but not away.
    His contract ends after next season, but I get a horrible feeling he will spend the rest of this season doing it exactly his chosen way, and leave this summer , in the event it does not work out, and in the league, this is looking increasingly likely.
    What gets me, apart from being shit this game, and in others this season, wish he would just be a bit more pragmatic, and remember what bought him so much success, and prolong his career, rather than go out in a romantic I did it my way, but was shit at defence , fashion

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  7. Arsenal Statistics
    ‏ @ArsenalStatist1
    42m42 minutes ago

    Arsenal’s attacking players’ percentage of forward passes vs Swansea

    Ozil 64%
    Xhaka 63%
    Ramsey 49%
    Lacazette 46%
    Monreal 37%
    Iwobi 37%
    Bellerin 27%

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  8. Reports Debuchy could be on his way to St Etienne. If so, can only wish him well, decent player, affected badly by two of the most cynical assaults .and others, often unpunished.
    There are times recently when I wished we had him back at his best, when he was a solid player

    Liked by 2 people

  9. looking like this window we will see leaving Arsenal

    Coquelin, Walcott, Giroud, Debuchy, Alexis

    and young players

    Eyoma, McGuane, Akpom

    with
    Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang

    and young player

    Mavropanos

    Joining us,

    That would see our 25 man squad of over 21’s, go down from 25 to 22, and that 22 would include illiev who is not close to getting any game time, plus Macey who is unlikely to get any game time.

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  10. Mandy, I actually found it odd that Debuchy has not got game time recently, over the busy christmas period for example, I thought he had played well in the games he got, and was good in the few reserve games i seen him in.

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  11. well in 24 hours we will know the squad we have for the remainder of the season

    13 BPL games

    1 CC game

    and a max of 7 EL games to play

    so max of 21 games remain. Certainly in the league we have to get our act together very quickly or it will all go tits up big time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We have lost a lot of decent players in the last few months , perhaps one of the few adhering to EPL FFP?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. hopefully the clearing of those wages will see us get Ozil, Rambo and Jack signed up quickly to new deals.

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  14. Mandy

    Watched highlights of first half (2nd can wait)

    Looked like Swansea made a huge push immediately after our goal. Bus instantly dismantled, centre backs spread wide, pushing on in numbers, Mawson high up pitch.

    As with Bournemouth recently, we should recognise the opportunity that brings, and the necessity to tighten up significantly for a period, attempt to deal with what they have, and then proceed from there.

    We’re not especially built for that with our players, but the principle doesn’t look to be there. Instead we had Ozil dribbling out from deep in our half. Nobody looking particularly alert to the danger of that. Space behind us for a runner.

    That’s what I find depressing. Do we have it within us to take sensible steps having got into a lead in a game we’d been struggling in? To change our shape and style so we can decrease the possibility of a relatively easy goal for them, and be set to capitalise on precious extra space in the process?

    They only showed four clips of us in their half. Nice move for Iwobi to shoot, utterly fantastic Ozil pass for goal.

    The other two had me thinking of Barca, and Santi. Each time we had loads of numbers forward against the wall (or in that heavy traffic); the sort of challenge Barca in their peak were constantly set, addressed in the same way (loads of numbers forward high)…and we surrendered the ball extremely weakly trying an extremely hopeful, ill-conceived one touch flick when it wasn’t on.

    It’s unfair to expect us to be like Barca, but if you’re going to attempt it (the alternative being to shift some focus to defence, and be less willing to commit so many forward) the only choice is to try show the same care with the ball. Recycling if there’s nothing on.

    So if you’re going to try a risky flick or whatever, you’d better pick your moment, or have real confidence in it, and it should be worth any risk as well, i.e to try penetrate the defence.

    I thought of Santi of course because he was of the technical level of that Barca team and had the same care for the ball. Both the flicks/passes were something I couldn’t imagine him attempting.

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  15. A time for quiet reflection I think.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Rich, agree, we are not set up to defend especially well in principle or in practice.
    When we are at our attacking best, that is our form of defence, we can scare teams witless, eg recently against Palace, when we are not at our attacking best, usually away, in adverse conditions, we are sitting ducks, and that spreads right through the team, even if we take the lead.
    We are missing a Cazorla, hopefully Jack or Mikha can take on that tech lead role, that will certainly help.
    But am left with the inescapable conclusion that our coaching staff should be doing more, sorry to be so brutally simplistic, but how long can these type of performances carry on with seemingly nothing done? Anyone can have a bad day, but away from home, we have had a bad couple of seasons, surely someone can drill these basic mistakes out of internationals, if the will is there?
    Wenger is a great man, but should be severely embarrassed by some performances this year, as should his coaches

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  17. The telegraph saying Swansea had 26% possession, and a guy who only ever scores against us, how did we allow that to happen?

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  18. I know there may be good reasons, but at this moment , the thought of a man who cares about this club, who scores as many goals ,who has got us out of so many situations, has helped win trophies, a man like Olivier Giroud leaving for a club we are trying to catch fills me with dread.
    Sanchez, Giroud, Theo, that is a lot of goals to replace in a team that can look a bit goal shy.
    Feels like a lot of change at the club
    If he is going,,that is a huge gamble, things may in time make more sense than now, but good luck and thanks OG

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Short answer : you’ve a decent chance of thwarting our attack with numbers and hard work; and our defence is vulnerable, with plenty of space to operate in when you pick your moment to go at us.

    ————————————————————-

    Also conceding first to us does not spell near doom and take smaller clubs straight to the endgame- how many can we commit here, and how soon? we need a goal, but it’ll be tough to get, and they are primed to kill us as we try- as it does elsewhere.

    An electric striker should help us in that aspect, but is still largely dependant on the defence holding firm long enough for attack to make use of the extra space in opposition half.

    Why things are so much harder away isn’t so easy to understand. There’s playing surface and pitch dimensions. Some psychology. Then crowd and ref. There’s only so many sly kicks, pushes, etc a team can get away with on us at home, typically, before crowd responds and ref has to behave better. Away they tend to get free rein for nearly any amount of small stuff and some bigger. I think that has a huge impact.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. New post up

    Like

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