By Bulldog Drummond
The general chit chat is that Arsenal should win this at a stroll, but Arsenal will always let you down just when you expect them to win.
But we must note that Swansea change managers as regularly as Tottenham, and the Untold view that this doesn’t normally work does include the word “normally”. Change managers enough and it will work out in the end, and this time it could be the right man. Or not.
Bradley did come close to getting Le Havre promoted – which is good, but then they were promoted from the second division in 2008, so it was not really the act of God that some commentators have suggested.
But Mr B has done the talking saying, “Whenever there’s a change, at any club, it’s a fresh start for everybody. You can see that on certain faces, that’s clear. Even at a time in a season when it’s been difficult, when there’s been managerial change, you see enthusiasm and a certain amount of excitement.
“That doesn’t automatically mean because you’ve changed some things everything’s going to come together right away. But it’s a start.”
There is talk of the American equivalent of “getting stuck in” and “letting them know they’ve been in a game” and the other euphemisms for “kick the shit out of them”. The BBC are predicting 2-0.
However everyone is quoting the same old stats…
Arsenal have won one, lost three and drawn one of the last five against Swansea and Swansea are unbeaten in their last four league games at the Ems drawing one, winning three.
But here’s the thing – they have won those games by coming in with wins at the end. We have a much stronger defence now, and the chance with our attack of going several goals up early on.
And of course the big point is that all runs come to an end sometime. Besides Swansea have conceded at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches in the League.
So far Arsenal have knocked up 999 Premier League points at Highbury/The Ems. Only Man U have more, and we are gradually catching them up.
A victory would be our sixth League win in a row, which is getting close to the eight game run between February and April 2015. And we tend not to go behind these days, which given the strength of the midfield and defence is a very effective approach. It means the opposition really have to come at us, and that leaves the gaps to attack.
And here is a particularly jolly factoid from the BBC…
- Arsene Wenger has won six of his eight games against managers in charge of their first Premier League match – losing the most recent (against Slaven Bilic’s West Ham in 2015) and first (versus Stuart Pearce’s Nottingham Forest in 1996).
We’ve been noting this week how Arsenal have the ability to change tactics and position game by game – which might explain Ozil’s lack of assists of late. This sort of game could well see a change around from that.
As for Swansea they have four points from seven games; their worst ever start to a season in the 1st division or Premier League. If they lose again that would make it equal to their worst start ever in any division.
Overall the BBC’s computer has a 78% chance of a home win and a 7% chance of an away win.
The Whoscored website has ariel duals as Arsenal’s weakness and Swansea’s strength. Elsewhere they note
But of course the new man may have changed that all around.
Arsenal not only put in more shots per game than Swansea (15 to 12) Arsenal’s conversion rate of shots into goals is double that of Swansea. Arsenal also average 10 through balls per game, against a Swansea total of zero – it just isn’t their thing.
Arsenal at present have the best away record in the league – unfortunately we are at home. But by way of compensation Swansea have the worst away record – and they are away. Here’s the home league table
So on the basis of our home figures we are ok but could better. But with Swansea away’s form a different picture occurs…
|18||State Aid Utd||0||0||3||4||9|
Thus away from home Swansea have scored 2 and let in 3. At home Arsenal have scored 8 and let in 5, four of those eight being in the opening match.
I think I’ll go for us to win. Next up, the teams.