I had my doubts about Paul Clement heading over to work with Swansea, it felt like another decision based off the wrong checklist. The last one read, ‘is he American, we trust American’s who interview well’, this one read, ‘does he have a fancy resume with BIG teams.’
I think you need a steady head to bring a shit team out of a hole. Paul Clement set up his new side that hasn’t put in a hardworking performance in a year to press Arsenal like rabid dogs. It was like playing against a slightly shite Liverpool side. Very effective for the first 30minutes, but you could see where it was heading because you need a certain level of confidence to play that way and you need to have an incredible level of fitness to make it work.
Arsenal, worryingly, showed a real lack of smarts around being hustled. Our midfield struggled to keep hold of the ball, our defence didn’t really have much idea how to play around the situation and Swansea looked like a reenergised side. Watching our defenced hoof the ball to counter the press was a bit embarrassing, especially as we’ve been having this issue for a month (I mean, years if you go back).
The party didn’t last long, on 36minutes Olivier Giroud made it count, again. Iwobi moved the ball to the right of the pitch, he played into Ozil who one touched to Ramsey. The Welshman cut the ball across the 6 yard box to Giroud who missed. The ball went back out to Sanchez who looped a cross to Ozil who headed down for Giroud to rifle high to the left. A good goal that totally deflated the home side. Giroud hurt himself in the process but insisted in going all John Terry and trying to run it off.
The second half was a bit less of a struggle. Swansea tired and we took advantage, 11 of our 14 attempts on goal came in this 45 and we really blitzed them in the opening ten minutes. Our 2nd came on 52 minutes, a cleared Iwobes cross was intercepted by Monreal, he fed in Ramsey, who looked like he missed the ball but we’ll call it a dummy, Iwobi picked up the other side of the box and rifled it against Cork, the ball ricocheted over Fabianski in slow motion and we killed the game right there.
Giroud finally gave into his injury and we switched him out for Chambo rather than Danny or Perez. Our third followed soon after, another own goal, this time from Kyle Naughton. Ozil picked out Iwobi out wide, the Nigerian scuttled into the box and teased a ball across the box, forcing Kyle to tap home. I hope Iwobi racked up the two assists there.
Our fourth came from a lovely slide rule pass from Iwobes into The Ox, he cut the ball into the box, Ramsey bundled into the ball, it teed up for Sanchez who watched the ball over his shoulder volleying high across Fabianski. A superb finish.
The only talking point left after the game was the bad behaviour of Alexis sulking when he was subbed off for long-term absentee Danny Welbeck. He then sat on the bench and hid in a big coat like a sulky little boy caught sticking lego bricks up the cats arse. Not the sort of reaction anyone wants to see away from home against Swansea when you’re 0-4 up. What does that say to everyone else? It says you’re a brat.
After the match, Wenger played down the tantrum.
“Looking at the game tonight, that is really minor, minor, minor,” “All players are frustrated when they come off — some show it, some don’t. I am long enough in the job to know that. I just make the decision I feel is right and that’s it. Nothing more than that.
“All players are frustrated when they come off — some show it, some don’t. I am long enough in the job to know that. I just make the decision I feel is right and that’s it. Nothing more than that.
“He’s a good guy who gives a lot and wants to do well, always, for the team. There is no problem. But every culture is different. Some South Americans are a bit different to Europeans, Southern Europeans are different to northern Europeans. You have to respect that. That’s why we are a multi-national team.”
I don’t think this has anything to do with culture. Saying other cultures care more is a bit sour if you ask me. This is a player who is at the peak of his powers, the leading man for our club, the team deserves better. This comes off the back of us having to read countless stories about his reaction against Bournemouth because he couldn’t control his emotions there. I’m all for people caring, I’m all for his incredible contribution to the side, but his increasingly bratish behaviour is becoming a hindrance in the media and I do wonder what the impact of having a player beyond discipline is like for the other players.
Chelsea dropped Diego after a bust-up with Conte. Would Wenger have the balls to do something like that? He did back in the day with Thierry Henry when he benched him against Middlesborough. Can’t help but feel Wenger needs to get his star man in check before this spills over into team morale.
Overall, you can’t knock a 4-0 win, though it’s hard to take too much heart from the performance. Swansea are just a very bad side. That said, they caused problems for us in the first half with an issue we seem to struggle with, that’s being pressed. Something we’ve had problems with for years. Something big teams target us with. City, Bournemouth and Everton examples of this. Not just that, Swansea had 12 attempts to our 14.
I kind of feel Aaron Ramsey had a day to forget. He made some pretty salty passes in the final third, racking up a 70% pass completion rate. He doesn’t look confident at the moment. However, he does move the ball forward positively and he offers much more of a threat in front of goal than Coquelin. He also contributed to two goals by having his body there, forget the body didn’t do what he wanted, it was there.
Mesut Ozil also had a quietly effective game. Involved heavily in three of our goals, he also dropped in a jaw-dropping 11 ball recoveries. Mustafi and Xhaka managing 7 each. As for whether we missed Coquelin? I’d say we didn’t. We struggled on the ball as it was, I’m not sure having Coq against a team who press hard would have helped. Xhaka made 4 interceptions, 2 tackles and 7 recoveries. Once we bring Ramsey up to speed on his role in the team, I’m sure he’ll contribute more to the defensive side of the game (LOL AT MY OPTIMISM).
My star man was Iwobi today. Not because he was the best player, more because he’s starting to deal with the pressure. He created two own goals today directly, he also played a lovely pass to set Ox off for fourth. A really promising game. Hopefully more of those in the backend of the season.
Two massive match-ups tomorrow morning to pay attention to, preceded by a very strong win from Spurs and a solid 3 points against the worst Champions of all time for Chelsea. City vs Everton could be curtains for Pep this season. Liverpool vs United could tell us who has the guts to make the top four this season. The momentum is certainly with a United side who have won all the games they should be winning with the monstrously expensive squad Jose has assembled, and a whole bunch of pressure is on Jurgen Klopp who has seen two bland cup results go against his teams as he rested stars.
A very exciting morning, making our 3 points all the more promising.