Arsenal: The Sting of the Swan


Good morning Positives,

I can still feel the damp discomfort of last night’s result but the effect is gradually reducing, dulled by time and the opportunity to review the event and look forward.

It would be difficult for anyone to add much more to Arsene’s comments about the game pivoting on a number of mistakes by us, from experienced defenders on several occasions and the absolute  howler from Cech. Having had a second watch of the ‘highlights’ this morning that we went home beaten 3-1 was not as bad as it could have been.

I think as well as those crucial lapses there was just not enough quality in our attacking threat. A beautiful ball from Mesut and finish from Nacho for our first, a bit of trickery from Alex Iwobi, some nice movement from Aaron and Laca but it was nowhere near enough to unsettle the Swans back four.  I watched Klopp’s Liverpool lose at the Liberty last Monday, and Fabianski put in a MOTM performance and made a 10-12 excellent saves. Last night he had perhaps 2-3 stops to make. I saw a little bit of what I wanted from Henrikh but it was no night to make your debut, chasing a game in a monsoon.

A man I would excuse from criticism last night was Mo Elneny. He put in one goal saving tackle in the first half that was almost perfect. Not the man to replace as it turned out or the time to replace him, thought at the time I can see why the change was made.

Apart from the instinct to chase  the players and the managers’s through the streets demanding their blood and waving a rope can we earn anything from last night ?

Well my fourpence worth would be to decide to either play with a back four, or a back five. I don’t care which but stop changing from one to the other. Hector and Nacho seemed to be playing very wide and  up the pitch, as wing backs in fact, leaving Kosc and Mustafi on their own. When  Mo went off their isolation became critical.

At the other end of the pitch we saw the home side much better able than us to find space around and to open up the gaps in our defence, and they did that by aggressively running with the ball at their feet towards the aRsenal goal, inviting our defenders, Mo and Xhaka to either get stuck in or get out of the way. It was the SPEED at which they ran towards the defender with the ball that fractured us, not the quality of the attackers’ touch.

I would finally say a deserved win for Swansea. Clucas, Ayew and Mawson all stood out as impressive but a very good ‘team’ performance. Considering a few of them had played 90 minutes against Notts County in the Cup on Saturday they kept at it to the very end. If they are able to continue with that they surely will not end up relegated.

So six days on from the burst of joy and adrenaline the win against Chelsea gave us we bumped back to earth on the green, green grass of home.

We are fortunate to have a game on Saturday to clear the head and set the course for the run in with 13 PL games to go. Enjoy Wednesday.


128 comments on “Arsenal: The Sting of the Swan

  1. Andy: what is that photograph all about? Early 60s I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am going to support Chelsea to win this year’s FA Cup now.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It is a picture of a block of Liverpool council flats in the 60s Tim and the crowd watching the kids involved in what is probably quite a serious game of football in the yard below.

    I am sure you will recognise one of the adult spectators on the upper balcony keeping his beady eye out for the next Tommy Smith.

    Innocent world.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I was fairly correct;


    Some great pictures of Shankly in the ‘gallery’ section

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yesterday was, for me, yet more evidence of what an extraordinary player Mikel Arteta was. He organized everything, cleaned up in front of the back four, and launched attacks with his distribution.

    I agree with George that Xhaka was meant to replace Arteta. But thus far, the only responsibility he’s ably fulfilled is distributor.

    In that light, what is the approach? Work with Xhaka & see if he develops in the other two essential areas? Do we have the time and margin of error for that? Start a midfield rebuild with Maitland-Niles? Also risky.

    I am sure the club’s leadership has grasped this issue for longer than we have. Will be interesting, if at times frustrating, to see the response(s).

    Liked by 3 people

  6. A health and safety box checker would have a heart attack looking at the photo of that balcony but as we all can observe the engineers and builders got their sums (financial and mechanical) right.
    I have a lecturer (from Liverpool) who will know all about this building, it still looks beautiful as a semi-ruin, and is still standing up!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Arteta, Cazorla and the BFG.

    Hugely experienced, hugely motivated, and last but certainly not least highly talented players.

    Whilst the plundits were bemoaning the lack of a Tony adams or a Paul Snorting Merson geezah in the dressing room the above crew were pulling up all and sundry by the short and curlies. They bought in the baubles to proove/show for it.

    great players for The Arsenal. PA was bascially the only place that was appreciating their impact on the club, at the time that they were making it.

    Thanks again to all at PA! For having kept their eyes on the Football.

    The decks have been cleared.
    Time for a new squad & the new signings to step up. Auba didn’t have much joy as a wide forward against a peak BFG in 2014 but it seems like he’s matured since then. On the curve of his own peak! Looking forward to some goals! And more

    Shotts I think HM will be our sub for Cazorla, JW not too far behind. but it looks like a new experienced CB will also required at some point (with Kozza also needing to rest more and more often).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elneny defintely unlucky to get the hook


  9. when was the last time we sold so many first team players in the one window,

    Coquelin, Alexis, Giroud, Walcott, Debuchy(not confirmed yet), also Akpom sale not confirmed yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Blimey. Conte scrubs up well. Mind you, many would make such an effort for Giroud.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. one thing from last night that I found odd, was that we did not bring on a 3rd sub, maybe Nketiah, or even AMN might have given us a bit more than what we had

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Eddi
    No point in putting the youngsters yesterday,when experienced players had messed up so badly,
    No need to put that one on them.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. What a lovely chap;

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Three Arsenal men gone in Gibbs, Walcott and OG.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. The master of the One Touch Finish
    Big Sexy
    Sir Larry

    The most called for player apart from a DM from the fanbase, a Plan B.
    Bought in the shadow of RVP acrimonious departure, the fanbase were looking for a replacement for the Dutchman. He IMO was not bought to replace RVP that I believe was supposed to be Poldi, but he was more interested in marketing(He is very good at it on social media) football was second.

    Giroud on the other hand had something to prove, he may have come here as a planB but he turned into a Plan A- . He could adapt his skillset enough that he could be a solution in more than a Plan B scenario. Way more effective than Podolski had ever been. He has been a bit unlucky if Arsenal were in a position to buy any Aubameyang at the time we bought him his value and legacy would be stronger. As Giroud only goal scoring weakness was, he did not score enough half and quater chances,I can only remember one time he scored a goal , where he picked up the ball where there was no chance of him scoring, then he did. That is what ‘World Class’ players do they score goals where they pick up the ball in a neutral position they use their abilities and score as if from absolutely nothing 5 times a season.
    He showed great heart and desire along side his talents, he has been involved of some of the best Wenger ball goals of the las 10 years.
    108 goals for Arsenal is great he can leave with his head held high

    What a sound that made at The Grove

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Olivier Giroud is leaving us after five-and-a-half years of fantastic service.

    The France striker has moved across London to join Chelsea, having netted 105 goals in 253 appearances during his time with us.

    Oli scored some spectacular goals in an Arsenal shirt, including THAT scorpion kick against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day 2017.

    He received a Fifa Puskas Goal of the Year for arguably the best goal we’ve seen at Emirates Stadium.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/goodbye-and-thanks-olivier-giroud#IfuZoLsx3RiCxMra.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/goodbye-and-thanks-olivier-giroud#0O5I5szxDXs87AxB.99

    Liked by 1 person

  17. reports in France say Jeff Reine-Adelaide has joined Angers on loan for the rest of the season, no option to buy


  18. I see now it’s only because Maureen changed his mind that Ozil signed an extension. FFS, anything but anything to put negative spin

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Bielik might be going to Walsall on loan


  20. Chelsea is the new normal Paul.


  21. Debuchy has joined St Etienne


  22. FH, there is hardly any similarity between arteta and xhaka. one is a master of quick short passes while the other is in love with long passes and needed thegame to run slowly for to take good decisions. arteta can play comfortably in barca.


  23. so with just under four and a half hours of the transfer window left Arsenal have seen Debuchy, Walcott, Coquelin, Giroud, Reine-Adelaide all leave, with young players Pleguezuelo, McGuane and Eyoma also leaving.
    Bielik out on loan is possible, and the sale of Akpom might happen too
    and there might yet be more leaving.

    that is a massive exodus of players this month.

    Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Mavropanos have been signed.
    We might get one more in the coming hours.


  24. confirmed now that Akpom has gone on loan too

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Luca Moira, that’s where spuds £30 gift from the council went then

    Liked by 3 people

  26. well he is a road runner Markyb

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Telegraph reports that AFC have had a late £12m bid for Evans rejected. He is set to stay put at WBA.


  28. After the real disappointment of last night, it’s a joy that we’ve been able to make by far the best signing of any club in this transfer window..I’m talking about Mesut, of course.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Walsall FC Official
    ‏Verified account @WFCOfficial
    25m25 minutes ago

    ✍️ Walsall Football Club are delighted to confirm we have signed @Arsenal defender Krystian Bielik on loan for the rest of the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Get French Football
    ‏ @GFFN
    54m54 minutes ago

    Breaking | Lille captain Ibrahim Amadou has got on a train to London in an attempt to force a move to the Premier League – Sky Sports http://bit.ly/JanDDay2018

    sounds like that time Peter Odemwingie sat ousdie QPR’s ground trying to get a move from WBA


  31. Mahrez’s reps are claiming that LCFC wanted a massive fee for him, and that city’s bid fell £15M short of what they would accept, they say RM is not a happy chappy about this at all.


  32. 11 players have left Arsenal so far this month

    our of our 25 man squad Debuchy, Walcott, Coquelin, Giroud, and Akpom have either been sold or loaned out, and of the young players McGuane has been sold and Eyoma is on trial with a view to being released, and gone out on loan are Reine-Adelaide, Pleguezuelo, Bielik and Sheaf

    that is 9 players who have played for our first team, 8 of them this season

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Theo has scored his first Everton goal

    Liked by 3 people

  34. A very strange window for this club. Wenger is not usually one for such wholesale change, key arrivals, and a lot of departures, including a player wenger rates very highly.
    Firstly, congratulations to the club for getting an immense striker,and extending one of the best players there is. Add Mikha to the equation, that is very decent business.
    We have a tremendously exciting attack
    On another note, sad to see OG go,especially to a club we are supposed to be chasing. I understand the reasons, he wants and deserves games, and was part of a complex transfer but still sad, and a bit worried, I hope we havent given up on top 3 or 4.I cannot bring myself to wish OG good luck at Chelsea, but sincerely hope he ends the summer with a World Cup winners medal.
    We have made strides with forwards, now to concentrate on defence Mr Wenger.
    The excitement today,for me, still a bit ruined by last night. Wenger seems to be moving further and further away from the art of defending as time goes on, he once had the best going, now for whatever reason, he does not.
    These away performances should not be acceptable to anyone at the club, top to bottom,If our manager cannot or will not improve things on that front, I hope he delegates, or brings someone in who will. I really hope the shambolic performances we have seen away for some time now are not in some way partly down to our managers principles and beliefs, there is nothing beautiful, pure or virtuous in managing a team who defend so badly so regularly.
    Over to you Mr Wenger, if you love the club, FFS find a way to sort out the way the whole team defend, a lot depends on it


  35. Theo’s has scored again for Everton

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Raul Sanellhi starts his new role as Head of Football Operations at Arsenal tomorrow


  37. No replay of Lloris looked very like he was out of his area. BT wank fest commentary. Nauseating


  38. Spuds are disgusting diving and snide fouls no criticism or comment whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Two of the top cheating sides in the PL doing their best to dive, scream and writhe around on the floor following negligible contact.

    Some of the antics absolutely extraordinary.

    I blame Marriner.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. yeah and so you should anicol, cos its his job to book players for diving, why is he not doing it, why.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. A cheeky late bid for Jones ?


    Liked by 1 person

  42. I just noticed that in my post earlier about ins and outs this month at AFC, I have the outs at 11, when it should be 12, I had forgot about Alexis, now how could that have happened.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Kane and Vertonghen in particular. Jones got booked for nothing and Dier trod on pogbas ankle and they complained about it being given a foul. Big dive for a pen by Alli.


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