Arsenal 2 - 2 Swansea City: Battling for that 4th Place Trophy

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Post by Jay29 Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:04 pm

Put simply, there needed to be a response tonight and there wasn't one. There was no fire in Arsenal's belly. There was no energy or intensity to their play; no verve in their attack and zero conviction in the way they were passing the ball. There was no one player taking charge, nor any one player that looked remotely like making something happen. Pathetic, lacklustre, abject... just take your pick.

Everything that has been identified as wrong with Arsenal's attack this season, even the past few seasons, was on display. A team full of passers who always want to get on and distribute the ball to other, but not one with the desire to take that ball and stick it in the back of the net, lead by a striker who spent more time pretending he was a playmaker than making life difficult for the Swansea defenders, either with his strength or running in behind. The single pacey player was playing centrally, leaving our threat on the flanks as the fullback who, when he found himself in a crossing position, would look up and find one player in the box, and that player is going away from the goal.

I'm watching all that with a sad indifference because I've seen it so many times this season. When the commentator announced that Swansea had not kept a clean sheet in their last 19 away games, I wasn't surprised. Arsenal's attack these days offers too little threat and can't even trouble the worst of defences.

That's why, when Bony headed in, rising far above Vermaelen, I had that feeling we wouldn't win. I didn't want us to not to win, but we didn't look like we could create a decent chance, let alone score the two goals required to take the lead. That we actually we did in the end was a shock. Kieran Gibbs surged past the Swansea full-back, kept his composure and picked out Podolski who did this strange thing called getting into the box and into a scoring position. Seemingly learning from his example, Giroud did the same thing a minute after, tucking in Podolski's unplayable cross. Incredible what can be achieved when players actually bother to get into scoring positions.

Since that second goal, though, we never looked like we would see the game out. We looked nervous, and failed to keep the ball for any significant period. Swansea kept coming back, and we let Britton run into the penalty area and completely lost our heads. Mertesacker had to come back to make a last ditch challenge, and the ball comes off Szczesny's shins onto Flamini then into the back of the net. A comical own goal, resulting from a mixture of misfortune and chaotic defending.

Arsenal should not have even been in a position where they needed to see out a narrow lead. Swansea sat deep and invited pressure, and any sort of cutting edge would have seen us in a comfortable position but we were just so easy to shut down and lacking in any ideas.

Now it's time to worry. Everton won 3-0 at Newcastle, and they're now six points behind us with a game in hand. Our next two games are City (h) and Everton (a). It's now gotten to the point where if we don't buck our ideas up we're going to fall out of the top four, and once again we'll be fighting for fourth place in the final two months of the season. Amazing how in a season where we've been top of the table for a significant amount of time, we could end up finishing outside the top four.

I worry for us since we didn't get the reaction we needed tonight, and tonight ended in a way that'd knock the stuffing out of most teams. This has become a massive test for Arsenal's strength of character and one way or another they need to find it, otherwise this season will end in disaster. I don't want to be saying things like that, but Arsenal haven't been doing much in March to encourage me.

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Post by Raptorgunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:11 pm

January has defined our season.
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Post by RealGunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:15 pm

The team was negative in their approach. We did start quick and early signs indicated that we might as well get a goal with the high pressure and swansea sitting deep, but by Negative i mean that we didn't look like doing anything with our attack. It was a toothless 1st half in terms of actually creating.

We have too many average players. These players look great when the likes of Ozil, Wilshere, Ramsey and Walcott play because their goals and creativity hides how average they are.

Ah well. race for 4th.

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Post by Raptorgunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:27 pm

Have to say Kallstrom did more in 10 min than Arteta and Flamini and is a strong player to have in the midfield who can pass 100 time better than Arteta.

Its time to drop Cazorla, Arteta and Giroud for good.


Last edited by Raptorgunner on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by RealGunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:29 pm

Kallstrom's passing range is fantastic. But that's always been his strength. I do have some worries over his mobility but his technique and vision are both better than Arteta's.


Kallstrom-Flamini-Cazorla midfield for City. Doubt it though as Arsene won't drop Arteta.

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Post by REWB Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:29 pm

Raptorgunner wrote:January has defined our season.
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Post by RealGunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:35 pm

Wenger confirms that Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil and Koscielny all at least two weeks away from coming back



That means 4 weeks.
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Post by Raptorgunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:37 pm

RealGunner wrote:Kallstrom's passing range is fantastic. But that's always been his strength. I do have some worries over his mobility but his technique and vision are both better than Arteta's.


Kallstrom-Flamini-Cazorla midfield for City. Doubt it though as Arsene won't drop Arteta.


We cant start Flamini and Arteta, it just does not work. Arteta offers absolutely nothing and I would drop him but Wenger has too much respect for him to drop him. Kallstrom is lil slow, maybe needs more time but he can do better job than Arteta.

It dont matter who we start for the City game, it will be a long game. I dont think we can even get a point in the next 2 games.
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Post by DuringTheWar Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:41 pm

RealGunner wrote:Wenger confirms that Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil and Koscielny all at least two weeks away from coming back



That means 4 weeks.

WTF IS GOING ON WITH RAMSEY?!

Is he the new diaby?

"err, yeah he iz still 3 weeks away, err ask me again in 3 weeks"
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Post by RealGunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:42 pm

Yep. "Diaby is 10 days away" - September 2009


Ramsey has had 3 set backs. There is something wrong somewhere.
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Post by Raptorgunner Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:45 pm

No point risking Ramsey, best is to give him the rest of season off.
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Post by Twoism Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:47 pm

4th place and Chelsea win CL teehee wonder what would happen by then. Our most promising season since Birmingham fiasco slowly but surely turn out to be our annual choker fest, at least this time we held on til March.

As for this game, I would laugh or cry ? if this is the response players were able to pull off after days behind closed camp. Simply not enough
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Post by Jay29 Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:17 pm

Just checked out our form post the 5-1 at Liverpool:

Arsenal 0 - 0 Manchester United
Arsenal 4 - 1 Sunderland
Stoke 1 - 0 Arsenal
Tottenham 0 - 1 Arsenal
Chelsea 6 - 0 Arsenal
Arsenal 2 - 2 Swansea

Two wins in six, with seven goals scored (four in one game) and 11 goals conceded (six in one game). So to put it another way, in five games we've scored just three goals while conceding five.

I don't think we've actually recovered from that Liverpool result, let alone the Chelsea one.

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Post by urbaNRoots Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:24 pm

We had just recovered from the Liverpool game when we beat Everton and Tottenham, drew against Bayern in one week only to be destroyed by another rival in Chelsea. It's going to take a few weeks till we're back again.
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Post by Shed Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:41 pm

Twoism wrote:4th place and Chelsea win CL teehee wonder what would happen by then. Our most promising season since Birmingham fiasco slowly but surely turn out to be our annual choker fest, at least this time we held on til March.

As for this game, I would laugh or cry ? if this is the response players were able to pull off after days behind closed camp. Simply not enough


Well actually, under that scenario, nothing. Even if Chelsea did somehow win the CL, as they'd almost certainly have finished in a CL place themselves, it wouldn't affect whoever finishes 4th at all.

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Post by Chumlum Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:41 pm

That own goal was incredibly unlucky, but it was Arsenal's own fault that the match was so demanding and that a piece of misfortune could scrap those two points.

Källström did all right. I thought Gibbs looked good, especially as the match wore on. Podolski really helped. Sometimes the guy's anonymous (not even really a mentality thing with him I suspect, at least not anything he can fix), but when he shows up, he can be a really helpful player.

Arteta is a player I have immense respect for, but his efficacy is running up against a wall. He's not even close to a bad player, even now. It's just that at his age and in a squad like this, he's gradually sliding into liability-status when he plays the role he's asked to play at Arsenal. Sad to see.

I have defended Giroud in the past. Remember that for a few months, he was playing very well (when the whole team was clicking). Overall I think he is a fine guy to have in the squad. But it's just facepalm-city watching Oli these days and knowing there are basically no other options. Just hot-or-cold Poldi, who can't generally play up top on his lonesome, and Sanogo, who might turn into a good player but is currently so raw that his personal soundtrack should be ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."

But when Giroud is off, man, he looks helpless. Bad positional sense, he's basically never where the ball is going on crosses right now, and always a stride or two off the pace. He can't seem to beat anyone on a dribble. It's agonizing. At least he got a goal.

I want to see Wenger fix this shit. I hope it can happen.
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Post by Jay29 Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:58 pm

Remaining fixtures:

Arsenal: Man City (h), Everton (a), West Ham (h), Hull (a), Newcastle (h), West Brom (h), Norwich (a)
Everton: Fulham (a), Arsenal (h), Sunderland (a), Palace (h), Man Utd (h), Southampton (a), Man City (h), Hull (a)
Spurs: Liverpool (a), Sunderland (h), West Brom (a), Fulham (h), Stoke (a), West Ham (a), Villa (h)

Looking at that, I think that if we get though the next two still in the top four, we'll get fourth. Our fixture list is quite kind after that Everton game, and so long as get our shit together we should be able to put a good run together. Everton's end to the season looks tough, and Spurs are unpredictable.


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Post by silver Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:32 am

The match for me (and Arsenal's attack in general this year) could be summed up in one moment: Rosicky taking the ball at about half way, makes a lung bursting run through the Swansea defense, looking up and seeing every single teammate walking/standing still waiting for the ball to feet.

Pathetic.
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Post by since1996 Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:11 am

http://m.101greatgoals.com/blog/an-arsenal-fan-loses-it-after-swansea-we-pay-the-highest-fking-prices-what-we-got-a-fking-lamppost-up-front/
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Post by since1996 Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:15 am

i actually believe we dnt have the right quality for the type of play wenger wants. the players keep toying around with the ball with no intend of going forward. Rozza was a positive but we really lack those runs theo makes.

this goes down to wenger, he shud have strengthened the team in January.

im glad we ddnt win that match coz its an eye opener for everyone 2 c how fragile we are. wenger shud understand that we need a squad not just a team
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Post by Raptorgunner Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:22 pm

Never learns, give him another 20years and will still be the same man. Time for Wenger to to go back to Monaco.

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Post by Arquitecto Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:32 pm

Less than 10 minutes and Kallstrom's passing, vision and technique is way better than Arteta's Laughing

Guess you haven't seen him for Lyon or Sweden.
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Post by Raptorgunner Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:04 pm

Arquitescu wrote:Less than 10 minutes and Kallstrom's passing, vision and technique is way better than Arteta's Laughing

Guess you haven't seen him for Lyon or Sweden.

Arq, its sad to say this, but that's how shit Arteta is now, cant even pass backwards like he used to do. Even Denilson would look good compare to Arteta. Laughing 
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Post by Sina Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:10 pm

how many competitive minutes Kim has played in last few months?
far from ready to start such big game
if Nacho was available i would have actually started him @LW vs Zabaleta
we dont offer much threat offensively lets at least solidify and protect the defence  Embarassed 
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Post by Arquitecto Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:21 pm

Raptorgunner wrote:
Arquitescu wrote:Less than 10 minutes and Kallstrom's passing, vision and technique is way better than Arteta's Laughing

Guess you haven't seen him for Lyon or Sweden.

Arq, its sad to say this, but that's how shit Arteta is now, cant even pass backwards like he used to do. Even Denilson would look good compare to Arteta. Laughing 

You know why literally all of your players (including Oezil) cannot create at the moment? It's called Il criss italiano. In Italia, or even in Cesare Prandelli's Italia, the #1 mistake the Italians make is playing far too many playmakers, most of them especially wide just to implement them. Versus Brazil in the Confed Cup, Prandelli's team were being massacred until he removed the 6 play makers he had on field and then resounded to a comeback.

Arsenal at times play Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla and Oezil when fit. When you have too many playmakers in a team, without the runners to compliment them; you have a team who is only open to receiving passes in a continual cycle. Where is the creativity? Playmakers of any creative mould are trained to receive passes and move into areas to further receive passes, yet in Arsenal there is no one bar Giroud who is making direct runs into the box, the receive and pass cycle does not fit in the pace of the premier league given there is a lack of cohesion and vision beyond Arsenal's passing cycle. Only exception is Rosicky who I've said all season has been your best creative player, simply because he thinks twice as fast as the rest and actually has the team perform in a tempo above Arsenal's actual propensity. Arteta whether fitted in a pivot or the sole man ahead of the defence in a 4-1-4-1 will not succeed given all the defensive responsibility that is hindering his offensive operations. Why has he dropped in quality when it comes to even his tactical role? Well he is quite obviously out of form for one. I cannot excuse him of being out of his natural tangent given that he has performed wonderfully for Arsenal many times in this role and against more big teams than you may think. Yet like Riccardo Montolivo of Milan (who also is defensively a liability in a pivot), Arteta in this particular role will succeed when the team plays well. If it does not, his role will be downsized yet if Arsenal are in unison, he is their tactically most important player.

Until Wenger doesn't understand that more playmakers does not equal more creativity, the team will continue to look ponderous and slow and without direction. Keep in mind, the ones who compliment the creative players are the ones who provide the vectors, playmakers provide only the blueprint.
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