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Arsenal 0 Swansea 2: Same old story


When it was revealed Gervinho was in for Giroud. His presence was far from our only problem yesterday but it was so symptomatic of our greater malaise. Playing as the lone front man is, for me, as specialised a position as there is in football and many, many forwards and strikers who were excellent as part of a duo have found it beyond them. Dennis Bergkamp and Eduardo Da Silva are two obvious examples. So it is fairly depressing when a rest for your first choice striker means bringing in a guy who is so patently unsuited to such a roll. God only knows what the story is with Chamakh but it is hard to believe we wouldn’t have been better served by his presence yesterday. But as we all know, one position that we’ve had well filled over the last couple of years is expensively acquired/paid striker who can’t even make the bench. You worried that with Park leaving that role might not be filled, but Chamakh is doing it with aplomb.

When with the exception of Szczesny who kept us in it at times, this was a woeful performance. We were so slack in the first half, epitomised by Theo Walcott’s half hearted jockeying of his opponents when they were in possession. We improved for a time after the break but created virtually sod all and the eventual result was unarguable.

Are that the players we have are not terrible but not only are we simply short of numbers in certain positions (up front, in midfield etc), it would seem the management are simply incapable at the moment of getting anything remotely like what they should be getting out of the players they have. That must be a concern.

And I have some sympathy with them. If the aims of their movement are slightly imprecise it is hardly surprising given the completely muddied picture that emerges from within the club. Nobody has yet been able to explain what the hell has really been going on in terms of available funds and the investment of them.

Is that in a healthy manager-board relationship there should always be a little tension: the manager perhaps agitating for more funds, the board pressuring him to improve poor results. And to some extent it is not altogether unhealthy if that tension is played out in public. In our case, there does not appear to be a cigarette paper between the public utterances of board and manager and it feels as though they are two ailing institutions who see unswerving loyalty to each other as a component of holding onto power.

15 Responses to “Arsenal 0 Swansea 2: Same old story”

  1. Elvis says:


    All credit to Swansea City who played with joy, youthful optimism, pride for the shirt and a sense of solidarity with their fans. I am genuinely glad for them that they went away with three points. They deserved them.

    Arsenal were just one-paced, predictable and boring They were rewarded with precisely what they put into the match; nul point.

    Every club goes through periods with a lack of form – but 5 wins from 15 games is more than a blip. All teams need to do is press Arsenal because they are no longer good enough on the ball to play their way out of trouble. The second goal yesterday was a microcosm of the fundamental weakness of this team; it is technically average and mid-table is its natural home.

  2. Piers Fallowcherry says:

    It’s a cheap jibe and shallow to boot …

    “it feels as though they are two ailing institutions who see unswerving loyalty to each other as a component of holding onto power.”

    … but codependency.

    Alcoholics, marriages, parents & children and now boards and managers.

  3. David says:

    I do not agree that AW should show more tension with the board on two grounds. Firstly do not thing playing out tension in public is healthy – you do not see AF do that at MUFC for example. And secondly AW HAS said things which hint to tension with the board whether it is about not having ambition if you sell two of your best players or more recently that he does not have the money or even more recently that he THINKS the board will support him in the transfer window. That should be plenty, the fact that he does not mouth off to the press shows his class and is one of Arsenals strengths

  4. West Upper says:

    The first half yesterday was as bad a performance as I can remember and let’s face it we’ve seen some shite over the last few years.

    Swansea should have won by at least 4 goals and completely outplayed us.

    It’s been obvious for at least 3 years that Wenger has serious limitations which have been rumbled by the rest of the Prem. Last year Wenger was bailed out by an extraordinary run of form from RvP – that won’t happen again and a top 4 place is a fantasy.

    Perhaps the lost revenue will prompt the owner to put Wenger out of his (an our) misery.

  5. skillz says:

    Its starting to look like these players believe they are “shit” ..there appears to be absolutely no self belief in their game anymore..what exactly has gone wrong? At Westham we looked great with largely the same team…I don’t buy this fatigue story, in fact it annoys me when I hear iit! these aren’t kids anymore..look they need to Man-up evey last one of them…this has gone beyond unnaccptable..its ok if u lose but the fight has to be seen..when we beat liverpool by the same score they fought and didnt go out with a whimper kike pussies..I’m sorry I’m just very angry right now

  6. Wallace says:

    i think he had to rest Giroud and he would probably have liked to rest Arteta & Cazorla, also. the fact that he didn’t feel able to tells its own story about our squad depth. there must have been some kind of fall out with Chamakh.

    interesting theory re tension beween board and manager. although i’ve always liked the fact Wenger has never complained about money for new players, unlike Harry, Rafa(at Liverpool) and now Mancini at City.

  7. ChicagoGooner says:

    Swansea deserves lots of credit for their performance, they played excellent.

    With that being said, beating this Arsenal side is very simple and every Prem teams knows how to. Defend neatly at the back, give part of the midfield to Arsenal so their passing goes laterally and then counter attack. It is quite an easy formula.

    Does Wegner need to go? I am not sure. Do we need a bigger squad with more quality depth, for sure. The scary part is that Wegner never changes his tactics and with our current roster he needs to figure out a way to win with this team. There is lots of quality in the side and a good amount of class, but they are just so boring right now. No imagination at all.

    Fourth place is a dream right now, they will need a considerable amount of luck and some good form to try and climb back into fourth.

  8. PD says:

    I have said consistently since the transfer window closed in January 2011 that Arsene should go for 2 reasons : a) the longer he stays in the job, the further back to the top his successor would have to go & b) unless he went at the end of that season, he would reach a point where leaving amicably was no longer possible.
    It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to be proved more right with every passing month.

    In all the fallout since the weekend, I have not seen much reaction to this quote from Arsene on : ‘At the moment it looks like, away from home, we are quite consistent and our results are positive. But at home we have not produced the performances since the beginning of the season that you would expect from us, and that is where we have to find the solution.’

    Surely I can’t be the only person that thinks this is the most bizarre comment he has ever made & is extremely worrying ? In 8 away league games, we have won 2. In our last 4 away games, we have just 2 points. 1 decent performance v Everton, 1 average (at best) one v Villa & two simply appalling performances at Man Utd & Norwich.
    It makes that a quite extraordinary statement. I simply cannot comprehend what he was trying to say or who we was trying to fool. Just incredible.

  9. MDP says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into that PD. It seems to me that most things that Wenger says publicly are just a load of fluff to get him out of the press room as quickly as possible. I’ve never found Wenger interviews the slightest bit enlightening or ever felt I have any more insight into how Wenger the person or the club really think. I read very little into what Arsene says publicly. Arsenal are generally a closed book at management/boardroom level with Wenger at the opposite end of the spectrum to Harry Redknapp who always spoke from the heart. Arsene seems a tad robotic to me, preferring to protect his players and his dealings in the transfer market than risk showing his cards. This is actually one area that narks me. I think if the club were a bit more transparent about their plans for now and the future maybe the fans could have a better sense of perspective than always second guessing what is going on, even if it does mean bearing your soul. It’s got to be better than the confusion and unrest we are dealing with now.

    Wherever you stand on the managerial situation, it doesn’t matter, it’s been debated to death over the last few months and the fans are split. One thing I’m positive about is that Arsene will still be in charge come April because the board are 100% behind him. It’s now a case of getting to the transfer window with what we have in the squad, and chalking up as many points as possible because there is little else we can do until January 1st.

    If protesting, booing, shouting and screaming is your thing, save it til then when something can actually be done. We all know the squad is short but they are better than this showing and as things stand, clearly effected by all the unrest around the club. It pains me to see the amount of grief Ramsey (as an example) is getting on the pitch and off it on the social media circus. He’s 22 (minus a season and a half on the sidelines) and playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders. The footballing landscape has not just changed financially but with social media, the footballers know exactly what the fans think like never before.

    For now we need to put our heads down and get behind this team because they will continue to disappoint otherwise.

    Rosicky is back and I’m pleased. He might not have the glamour of some but his driving runs between midfield and attack will be a bonus in the coming weeks.

  10. PD says:

    MDP, agree that most of what Arsene says to the media is just fluff to shut them up but it’s generally some version of the truth. I have never heard him before say something so ridiculously factually incorrect. It’s just an extraordinary stupid thing to say & I’m amazed at him for it. He’s been very lucky he hasn’t been crucified for it.

    Again, you say you don’t want to debate the managerial situation but yet – consciously or not – you’re defending Arsene continually. This team will continue to disappoint because they’re not good enough. It’s as simple as that. When all other excuses fail, blame the fans – it’s been the standard AKB response for at least 3 years. Are our fans flawless ? Of course not. But they’ve been mostly great this season. Booing at the end of a game does not affect the performance that came before it. We were outplayed at home by Swansea. But you – and countless others – constantly try to suggest that somehow our players are more affected than those at other clubs. It’s not an Arsenal problem, it’s a football, or even a societal problem. Other club’s players are treated as harshly – if not a lot worse – than ours are.

    As for Ramsey…..I have stated many times…..Ramsey’s confidence for me has been destroyed by continually being played on the wing more than any other reason. This, from a manager who stated very clearly soon after Ramsey’s arrival that he didn’t have the speed or trickery to play out wide. Years later, he’s still playing him there. It’s just poor management that is the biggest factor in his current poor form.

  11. slc gunner says:

    On the Ramsey debate, I would like to see him develop into a traditional box-to-box midfielder. On midfield in general, it’s not as clear-cut as this, but I would like to see a holding midfielder (the #4), a box-to-box type player (a #8) and an attacking midfielder (#10). OK, the modern game requires fluidity and interchange-ability, but if you take my breakdown, who do we have in each slot:
    #4: Coquelin, Arteta (but he’s better as an 8)
    #8: Jack, Arteta, Diaby, Ramsey
    #10: Cazorla, Rosicky, Diaby (better as an 8 imo), Ramsey
    We’re clearly weak in the holding role. With Jack slow to come into form, Arteta played as a holding player, Ramsey’s rotations, and Diaby constantly injured, we’re not strong at #8 either right now. if Jack improves, Diaby regains fitness (big if), and Arteta was to be relieved of his holding duties, we could get a lot better in this slot. #10 is ok, but we’re overly reliant on Cazorla. Rosicky’s return will hopefully lessen that dependence. It’s amazing how a little bit of one-touch passing can speed up play and that was what Rosicky contributed last night (although he also has been guilty of over-playing in the past. By the way, I haven’t given up on Ramsey – he’s almost trying too hard at times.
    The only good news is that we can only get better! This is the lowest ebb that I can remember in a long time.

  12. PD says:

    MDP, wasn’t trying to have a go at you personally. I know your convictions are true. I’m just tired of excuses. So far this season we’ve had all of following thrown out as the reason for our poorer performances : injuries / referees / the tactics of opponents (how dare they play for a 0-0) / the effort of opponents (imagine trying their best against us !!) / the international break / the effects of having to play midweek in the CL. We even had someone blaming the weather against Villa ffs ! And now it’s the fan’s fault…..the point is all of the people who throw out these excuses always talk about them as if we’re the only club affected by them. It’s just crazy.
    We have 5 wins in 15 games. Dress it up any way you want but those facts speak for themselves : we’re not good enough; we’re not even close to being good enough.

  13. MDP says:

    My reasoning for not wanting to debate the managerial situation on this occasion was because, we’ll just end up on the same old merry-go-round, churning over the same points again and again.

    So, to jump on the merry-go-round…
    Yes, I happily hold my hands up and say I’m leaning towards the Wenger side of the argument as things stand. However, my views are not as clear cut as yours PD. I’m one of the many fans who are often baffled, unclear and confused by some of the things going on at Arsenal at the moment but I don’t have enough inside knowledge to satisfy myself either way.

    One of the big criticism’s levelled at Wenger is in the transfer market, an area where fans have no first hand experience. I look at Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool and they are all short up front this season. Why? My reasoning is, I would expect these clubs all had a list of potential targets and for whatever reason whether it’s down to availability, cost, wages etc they didn’t get them. Then they had a choice of trying to sign someone less suitable that could possibly fill a gap. Then you risk ending up with a Park, a Squillaci, a Chamakh on high wages, not performing and clogging up the squad. Look, there’s an element of me being devil’s advocate here to try and prove a point. I know despite 3 pretty good signings this summer Arsenal have under performed in the transfer market but it boils down to the fact Arsenal are a closed book at times and there’s so much we don’t know. Add to that my belief that replacing a manager successfully is incredibly hard and rarely a road paved with gold and that’s why you find me so often on the Wenger side of the fence. I’ve said many times I agree with a lot of what you say, I’d love to see a defensive midfielder and in addition a bigger more physical element to the side but as Wallace (I think) pointed out the other week, there’s not a huge list of top DM’s knocking around at the moment ready to be snapped up.

    I can assure you, I’m not jumping on the blame the fans band wagon. I appreciate the mistakes and failures of the manager and the board of late (as well as their initial success of steering the club into the Emirates virtually unscathed). But, the fans hold a lot of power and currently we are in a viscous circle where the frustration of the fans creates a flat atmosphere which in turn affects the players, causing yet more frustration. I was just trying to say above, that we need to put our emotions to one side for now and play our part in getting this team at least playing to their potential. They are better than the results suggest. 7 more games until the transfer window opens and then shout and scream at the manager and board to do their job. Hopefully we won’t be dead and buried by then.

    The Ramsey thing is a whole new debate. I just think some of the comments made against him on forums and other social media is shocking, vile and undeserved, representing a nastier side of the new football landscape. Of course being played out of position (despite a great performance against City in that role) hasn’t helped but I’m convinced at 22 his game has been influenced by fan reactions. A great player is desperately trying to get out.

  14. MDP says:

    PD, not taking it personally, we want the same thing at the end of the day, Arsenal to be back at the top.

    In fact, I like the way you express your views whilst still showing respect to those who disagree with you as well as the manager who once gave us so much and I hope will do again.

    I enjoy our discussions, it helps to get my confused thoughts on Arsenal in atleast some kind of order!

  15. PD says:

    3 pts & a clean sheet. It’s a step forward. Have to build on it now.

    On another note, are Djorou & Miquel both injured ? They’re not listed on as injured but I asssume they must be otherwise there’s no way Squallici would be on the bench….

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