Match day it is. 17th vs 15th. If the table is an indication of what we are, Arsenal are probably relegation candidates as well. Swansea, by virtue of having drawn their opening 2 games, currently sit above us with 2 points. Arsenal is so going down. Blah blah blah.
If that is you right now, then you are probably the saddest gooner ever! It is only the 4th game of the season, and we have 34 more to play catch up with mate!
Before anything esle, LET’S WISH LAURENT KOSCIELNY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY! The Frenchman turns 26th today, not so young squad anymore aye.
Right on, so today’s match is exciting for numerous reasons. Firstly, we get to see a few of our new signings make their debut. With injuries to Vermaelen, I would be inclined to think that Mertesacker would be given a start. Another potential debutant would be Arteta in the middle of the park, whereas Benayoun might just edge in front of Arshavin, though I doubt the Boss would want to risk having too many new players play in the game. As good as these players may be, the playing style would differ of that from their previous team all the same.
For those wanting to see our latest Korean import, you may be left disappointed as Park Ju Young is still awaiting a visa as of last night. Wenger believes that there is a good chance of Park making it back on time, but I would find it perplexing if the Korean does play. Firstly, he just came off the back of 2 games during the last week. Then to fly from Kuwait to Paris for a visa, and back to London would surely be taking a mental toll on the player. Fatigue or jet-lag may kick in, and the striker may not be able to play up to his usual standard, so I wouldn’t start or play Park Ju-Young if possible.
Andre Santos looks likely for the bench, as Gibbs has returned from his injury. Santos is lacking match fitness as well, having played his last game in July for Brazil in the Copa America.
This match against Swansea, on paper, should be an easy one. However, the past few seasons have taught us that on paper, Arsenal is in fact number one, for selling its players at high profit margins. Worthless shit of paper this is.
Swansea likes to play as Arsenal do, and that is to pass and probe, until you find a way into goal. Their main threat would be from Scott Sinclair. Against Wigan, Scott Sinclair showed pace and power. He worked hard and harassed the back four as much as he could. Alongside Sinclair is Wayne Routledge, who is fast and tricky with both feets.
Should Swansea chose to play as they had, then the win is there for Arsenal’s taking. Going to Emirates as an attacking team is suicidal. Just ask Barcelona. Hence, I reckon Swansea would do what most other teams do, and that is to go to London and set up stall. The main plan would be to rely on the pace of both Routledge and Sinclair, and hit Arsenal on the counter.
Arsenal is most likely to go with Mertesacker alongside Koscielny. The German is good aerially, but his pace is a suspect. This is where his experience and positioning comes into play. Arsenal loves to play a high line and offside traps. Hence, The German must make a judgment call to move up accordingly with the line. Mertesacker’s reading of the game would be essential tonight. Hopefully, Koscielny is not in birthday mood and dreaming about the pretty babes waiting for him at his birthday party, wanting to strip him down to his birthday suit. CONCENTRATE MY KOSCIELNY!
Gibbs, if started, would also be up against Wayne Routledge. If the youngster sticks to Routledge most of the time, and ensure he is not given space to run riot down the left wing, then Routledge’s threat would be nullified significantly.
It must be noted that Swansea are still to score a goal this season, and Arsenal loves doing charity so fingers crossed our team is feeling less generous after the 8-2 loss.
In midfield, Arteta, Frimpong and Ramsey would be my choice to start. Frimpong being full of energy, should be given the task of the holding midfielder, The youngster is still on the learning curve, hence will need to maintain his discipline to avoid getting needless bookings. Arteta and Ramsey would be the core of our creativity, providing the key passes to our front man.
Up front, Captain Persie would lead the line, and should be flanked by either Arshavin or Benayoun, and Walcott. Walcott’s pace would be much needed to trouble the Swanseas defense. By doing so, Van persie would be allowed space to run into, thus creating spaces to either make some shots or lay off passes.
Hence, the starting 11 should look something like this:
Szczesny, Sagna, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Frimpong, Arteta, Ramsey, Arshavin, Robin Van Persie, Walcott.
There is absolutely no excuse for not winning this time. The team is much improved, and we possess the superior squad. Any result other than a win should be viewed as a failure. I wager a 2-0 or 3-0 win for Arsenal today.
So that’s about it for today! Hope to report back tomorrow with some great news!
COME ON YOU GUNNERS!
Update: Arsenal vs Swansea live streaming at sop://broker.sopcast.com:3912/6816