Which Arsenal head to Swansea today?

by & filed under News Review.

Good morning Grovers, you may think this post is late because I was drinking last night. You’d be wrong. I’ve been penning this since 7. My arm is in so much pain. Damn that bin. Damn it to hell.

Anyway, we’ve got a lovely trip to Wales today to play Swansea. We’ve not had a lot of fun against them this season. We’ve not really enjoyed the company of Michu either. So really, it’s about time we did have some fun against them. Now, things that’ll be going against us today.

1) Swansea have had a week to prepare for us both tactically and physically. They’ll have been working on ways to nullify us today, so we should expect a pretty strong test. I’d imagine they’ll press us like they did in the first game and I’d imagine they’ll put pressure on our midfield to force Per Mertesacker to be the one playing the ball out of defence. He’s not the most creative of passers, but he is  usually the most accurate. I think he was the other night with something like 88% pass completion.

2) We’ll be slightly knackered after the game in Germany in the week. How Wenger has positioned that result with the players is key. How the players have positioned that result is also important. Did they see it as deflating because of the bigger picture, or have the seen it as a positive stepping stone… the type of step that could finish the season on a high note? Maybe. I hope so. The fans need something to cheer this year.

I’m hoping the coach continues his policy of rewarding good performances. If he does give the mentally transformed Lukas a run in the side, I hope the keeper can reward him. I’d really rather not see Szecdesdfkhnarvy in the side. I’ve heard a few relatively negative things about our normal number one that all centre around a complacent attitude. Wenger spoke about competition at the highest level in the press conference, but for me, half the issue we have with this side is that there is no competition

“Everybody faces the same competition and the players who come in have been on the bench for a long, long time. The job of a top-level competitor is to deal with that.”

Not everyone faces the same competition. In fact, very few of the starting 11 face competition. You don’t need two world class players for each position, you need a world class player and a bit of world class potential… or a world class work horse for back up. Our number one hasn’t had competition on any level over the last two years. He lacks motivation and that can be said of a number of others in the side. The fact they can turn up and play against Bayern Munich away from home… you know, an exciting match, kind of says a lot about the set up these days. Like I’ve said all year, the players are better than the position in the table indicates. The boss isn’t getting the best out of them these days, which is a real shame.

Anyway, today would be a very nice place to kick off a run of wins. We have to win every game until the end of the season to be in with a chance of qualifying in the top four. I still think we can do it. Spurs have lots of games coming up and the jitters have already kicked in. Chelsea, according to one of their fans in my office yesterday have two games a week until the end of the season, which again, for an inconsistent side is a positive. A win today puts us within touching distance of both.

Which side turns out today? No one knows. Not even the players. Lets hope for the fans sake, it’s the one that’s going to turn Swansea over with ease.

Finally, before I go, I noticed that Arsenal have ramped up their charm offensive on the blogosphere. It’s interesting for me, because I work in an industry where bringing on bloggers for brands is standard practice. When you’re a sports club, you don’t have to offer financial inducements to do stuff like this. Being on the clubs main website is enough of a back scratch. From the clubs perspective, they’ll have people on first name terms, which, they hope will lead to positive press in the good times… and an easing up in the bad times. Not only does this help them shape opinion, it also means younger bloggers start up with the ambition of being on the clubs main site as well… kind of the opposite of what I think being a blogger is all about.

When you become an extension of the Arsenal PR machine, you invite uncomfortable questions. Clever work by Arsenal though. A very American approach to digital marketing.

314 Responses to “Which Arsenal head to Swansea today?”

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  1. Johnny5

    Bazza

    Sorry bud but wenger lost my respect when he started lying to fans to sell season tickets. He doesn’t really deserve anyone’s respect.

  2. Johnny5

    Yes Tom they do mum says I’m not ready for big boy pj’s. not until I stop pissing the bed at least and I ain’t ready to give that shit up

  3. bazza

    Johnny5
    You really are a vile idiot. You have nothing interesting to say just the monotone of slagging off Wenger.

    Yes we would all love Arsenal to win pots, but realistically overtaking the 3 super rich clubs would take a miracle.

  4. tom

    bazza,

    The vitriol expressed here just makes me dig my heals in and defend AW more than I otherwise might.

    Reality is some where between the two opinions but dont be dissing AW in front of me as I will bite.

  5. Johnny5

    Baz

    Clearly you got me wrong I’d love nothing more than wenger to be a great manager again but he won’t. And there’s nothing vile in what I wrote and I’m no idiot I see things as they are not how I want them to be and probably contribute more reasonably than you wenger lovers.

  6. bazza

    Sam Allardyce –
    “You can see the importance of your fans being behind you rather than not,” he said.
    “I think Chelsea’s team has suffered at Stamford Bridge because the fans have not been fully supportive of what has happened. That is nothing to do with Rafa, he can’t help that.
    “He is a manager trying to do a job the best he possibly can and he’s obviously got a great CV at the jobs he has done at his other clubs.
    “But it shows the importance of a volatile fan base that turned the other way, what effect it can have on a team.
    “In the reverse of that we all know the extra man that fans can create. You see the opposite of that at Chelsea and certainly in the early stages when Rafa took over and Chelsea suffered some poor results because of that. That’s the effect the fans have on the team that plays on the field.”

    Ring any bells?

  7. jeffozgooner

    The last two games agaist what is considred very good oppposition have shown that this team can play and can fight for each oter, the question is why are they just finding this out at this stage. IF we continue in this vein of form and we get a bit of a break with other results we could amazingly end up with CL football next year. Now I know that I have just stated the obvious but not many bloggers on this would have expected this and next week we could revert to mediocrity, but beating BM and Swans away by 2 goals and not conceding is top form by any standards.

    I still dont think our players are good enough but maybe AW has realised what his best defence is at last. If we spend a few quid strenghening every area with one player that is a keeper, a CB, DM and a quality striker it could be the start of a move in the right direction.

    Lets hope Fulham get a result against spdders

  8. goonerboy

    I dont know if it is by fluke or design- but the Kos/Mert combo is the best we’ve got in the centre of defence and Jenkinson is a functional defensive fullback, and Monreal knows his position- that is the platform that these last 2 wins have been built on. If we get the defence right we don’t have to be perfect to win games.
    I dont expect those on here who wrote Kos off to admit they got it wrong- because they NEVER admit when they got anything wrong. Ain’t that right Johnny 5? Leader of the Gambon fan club. By the way where is Gambon? If the team had lost he would be all over this blog like a rash.

    Its not often that I agree with Bazza- but he’s spot on this time. I know moaning can be pleasurable and Wenger has to go etc etc but how does the team benefit from a loss which only benefits Spurs?
    Only the most perverse fans want their own team to lose to teach the manager a lesson- FFS.