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Arsenal v Swansea: The injuries, the horrible negative approach, the form, the teams

By Bulldog Drummond

 

And so to the final part of the match preview… and in case you missed the story thus far here it is

We are looking at Swansea and their away form: their away win was early in the season and against a team not doing very well.  In fact Swansea have notched up quite a few away wins against teams where the headline would be writ large if they did not win…  Here they all are

Date Match Res Score Competition
15 Aug 2017 Cheltenham T v Swansea City W 1-2 League Trophy
22 Aug 2017 MK Dons v Swansea City W 1-4 League Cup
26 Aug 2017 Crystal Palace v Swansea W 0-2 Premier League
19 Sep 2017 Reading v Swansea City W 0-2 League Cup
10 Oct 2017 Newport County v Swansea W 1-2 League Trophy

As part of the 11 man defence away from home they also got a goalless draw against Tottenham at Wembley, but although Tottenham are not a total disaster at home this season, they are certainly (in the laughable terms used by some) not making Wembley a “fortress”.

Here is Arsenal’s home form as already noted we’ve won every home game in all three competitions making seven games in all.  This is the league form.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 5 4 1 0 21 3 18 13
2 Manchester United 4 4 0 0 14 0 14 12
3 Arsenal 4 4 0 0 11 3 8 12
4 Newcastle United 5 3 1 1 7 4 3 10
5 Liverpool 4 2 2 0 6 1 5 8
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5 2 2 1 7 4 3 8
7 Southampton 6 2 2 2 6 7 -1 8
8 Huddersfield Town 5 2 2 1 4 6 -2 8
9 Chelsea 5 2 1 2 8 6 2 7
10 Brighton and Hove Albion 4 2 1 1 5 4 1 7

Thus we are starting to see a pattern; an all out attack by Arsenal against and all out 11 man defence by Swansea.

In terms of recent games Swansea have two wins in the last six matches

Date Game Res Score Competition
23 Sep 2017 Swansea City v Watford L 1-2 Premier League
30 Sep 2017 West Ham United v Swansea C L 1-0 Premier League
10 Oct 2017 Newport County v Swansea C W 1-2 FL Trophy
14 Oct 2017 Swansea City v Huddersfield T W 2-0 Premier League
21 Oct 2017 Swansea City v Leicester City L 1-2 Premier League
24 Oct 2017 Swansea City v Manchester United L 0-2 League Cup

Arsenal on the other hand have five wins in the last six, and indeed the run goes on further than that for it is now one defeat and one draw in the last 11.  The other nine, in case you were wondering, were wins.

But we’ll stick to the last six for now…

Date Game Res Score Competition
28 Sep 2017 FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal W 2-4 Europa League
01 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Brighton and Hove W 2-0 Premier League
14 Oct 2017 Watford v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
19 Oct 2017 Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal W 0-1 Europa League
22 Oct 2017 Everton v Arsenal W 2-5 Premier League
24 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Norwich City W 2-1 League Cup

As for the history of the matches between the two clubs…

Date Game Res Score Competition
25 Mar 2014 Arsenal v Swansea City D 2-2 Premier League
09 Nov 2014 Swansea City v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
11 May 2015 Arsenal v Swansea City L 0-1 Premier League
31 Oct 2015 Swansea City v Arsenal W 0-3 Premier League
02 Mar 2016 Arsenal v Swansea City L 1-2 Premier League
15 Oct 2016 Arsenal v Swansea City W 3-2 Premier League
14 Jan 2017 Swansea City v Arsenal W 0-4 Premier League

So three Arsenal wins in the last seven – not so good, or to put a better spin on it three wins in the last four, with seven goals from Arsenal in the last two matches between the two sides.

The key fact however is that these days Swansea are a horribly defensive team away from home, hoping to frustrate, never to entertain.

But enough of that I hear you cry, what of the injuries?

We are stuck on five injuries, although the manager has said that Ospina and Chambers are back in training.  Here is the top 12, incorporating Swansea.  We’re in the bunch that takes in fourth to eighth place.  Figures as always from physioroom.com

Pos Club How many? Last man down What happened
1 Manchester United 8 A Herrera Ankle Injury
2 Watford 7 R Pereyra Hamstring Injury
3 West Bromwich Albion 6 G Barry Back Injury
4 Arsenal 5 D Ospina Groin Strain
4 Liverpool 5 G Wijnaldum Knee Injury
4 Everton 5 M Schneiderlin Illness
4 Huddersfield Town 5 E Kachunga Back Injury
4 Burnley 5 S Vokes Abdominal Injury
9 Stoke City 4 B Martins Indi Calf Strain
9 Crystal Palace 4 L Chung-Yong Muscle Injury
9 Swansea City 4 M Olsson Hamstring Injury
9 Bournemouth 4 J Defoe Hamstring Injury

What is interesting at the moment is how there is such bunching in the middle of the table with nine of the 20 teams (fractionally under half) in the league on four or five.  And as I regularly say, Santi Cazorla should not be counted because he is not in the 25 nominated players, so he couldn’t play even if he suddenly was declared fit.

So here is our five man injury list, including two back in training and one not in the 25.  Physioroom don’t have any latest news so I’ve added it.

Man down What’s he got? Coming back to life? The news
D Ospina Groin Strain November 2, 2017 Back in training
D Welbeck Groin Strain November 18, 2017 No
S Mustafi Thigh Strain November 18, 2017 No
C Chambers Hip Injury November 5, 2017 Back in training
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury January? Not in the 25

Now onto the team.

You will recall that we won the last match against an admittedly poor Everton team, but still with Arsenal playing with gusto and verve.  That line up was…

Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, Lacazette, Alexis.

With the sandcastlesMacey, Holding, Coquelin, Wilshere, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud

No one is injured from that match, so the strong temptation must be to use the same XI – especially up front where that selection was what we have been waiting all season to see.

But there is the issue of Wilshere.  As Walter pointed out this week, he played all the game against Norwich, and there is another Europa coming up.  The Red Star game this Thursday is particularly interesting, not just because they look like the main challengers to us in the group, but also because a win would make qualification to the next round certain, meaning that more of the kiddies could be tried in the remaining two Europa games, if wanted.

So I’ll go with Walter and leave Jack on the beach for this one with a little run around later if all goes well.  I’ll also go with Tony and keep Xhaka in the team despite the howls of anguish.

I have also mentioned many times in the past how Mr Wenger speaks so clearly about how he values Arsenal’s identity, its traditions, its style and its class and how the great past of Arsenal should always be a good to its future.  But I think in the interviews before this game it was the first time I have known him ponder whether these matters concern people any more.

Speaking on his drive and ambition he said, “I was always hungry but I’m more hungry than ever because the demands are higher and because I didn’t win the Premier League for a long time and I want to do that before you get me out of here.

“I have always got something to prove. If I play 4 v 4 with you now, you will see that I will try to win. We can play 1 v 1 if you want.   There are two ways to go – you ignore your age and you live like you live for ever or you think: ‘OK.’

“I am born for competition. I don’t know why and what happened to me but it is like that. No matter what I do.   The desire to compete is my real need. It has never been financial. If it was financial, I would not be here.”

So to the team.  I’m keeping it the same as I suggested before…

Cech

Koscielny Mertesacker Monreal

Ramsey                 Xhaka

Bellerin                                                 Kolasinac

Ozil             Lacazette        Alexis

And making sandcastles on the beach…

Macey, Debuchy, Elneny, Wilshere, Walcott, Iwobi, Giroud.

And one final snippet.  I thought I would take a look at the yellow card table.  You know how Huddersfield are being lauded, and all the commentators are saying what a wonderful team they are and what a breath of fresh air they bring to the Premier League.  But when we take a look at the yellow cards list, well!

When Arsenal were mid-table in this list the club was called out for being dirty and cheating.  But now Huddersfield are top… not a word.

Huddersfield have 21 yellows so far this season.  Arsenal are in 18th position with nine.  Swansea are 14th with 12.

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49 comments to Arsenal v Swansea: The injuries, the horrible negative approach, the form, the teams

  • Nitram

    When Wenger talks like that about football it just reminds me why I always have, and still do, admire him as much as I do.

    The pure passion of the man. The way he expresses himself. The way he just rises above those that insult him. The way he handles the immense pressures of his job. All still amaze me.

    How he hasn’t kicked the shit out of some of those imbecilic numb nuts in the media still amazes me as well.

    How he still allows so called icons of the past to sit at his table whilst they sharpen there knives behind his back still fills me with admiration.

    I simply could not do it.

    He is, as a human being, pure class.

  • Chris

    Just watching Man*ure against Sp*urs
    The way it looks, it might well end up as a boxing match….
    Not that the ref or the FA will do anything about it anyway.
    Maybe they are exploring another form of entertainment….

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Sp*rs are dominating the midfield and Rashford and Lukaku are getting no service up front. Phil Jones is looking decidedly shaky and Deli Ali is diving all over the place.

  • Nitram

    Given what I read on untold earlier this week regarding how Pochettino should be regarded as one of THE best managers EVER, I found the following statistic put up by SKY that he has only managed 1 win in 15 away games against top 6 (not even top 4) opposition unbelievable.

    Not unbelievable as a FACT, but unbelievable that it hasn’t been rammed down my throat every time spurs are on tv.

    I’ve also heard that Spurs have won just 1 trophy, the league cup, in 25 years.

    I’ve also heard how the league cup is in fact a ‘Trophy’, at least when United and Spurs win it.

    It will be demoted to a ‘non’ Trophy should we win it this year of course.

    Anyway, crap game so far hopefully heading for a dull nil nil.

  • Nitram

    Given what I read on untold earlier this week regarding how Pochettino should be regarded as one of THE best managers EVER, I found the following statistic put up by SKY that he has only managed 1 win in 15 away games against top 6 (not even top 4) opposition unbelievable.

    Not unbelievable as a FACT, but unbelievable that it hasn’t been rammed down my throat every time spurs are on tv.

    I’ve also heard that Spurs have won just 1 trophy, the league cup, in 25 years.

    I’ve also heard how the league cup is in fact a ‘Trophy’, at least when United and Spurs win it.

    It will be demoted to a ‘non’ Trophy should we win it this year of course.

    Anyway, crap game so far hopefully heading for a dull nil nil.

  • Nitram

    Sorry about the double post. Don’t know what happened there.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Team exactly correct – subs. Mackey, Holding, Wilshere, Iwobi, Coquelin, Giroud, Walcott

    Nketiah playind for the U23s at Chelsea halftime score one all

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Mr Drummond, I support your starts and bench. it the correct starts and bench Le Prof should play fir this our Swansea City match. But don’t you think Holding should be the defender on the bench instead of Debuchy. But maybe you feel Le Prof should give Debuchy his first Premier League appearance in more a season if he’s brought on in the 2nd half of the match.

    Will the match between Man Utd and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford end in a draw game? Which if it does, it will be to the advantage of Arsenal in the table as they will close the gap between them and these duo clubs to 2 points by beating Swansea City this afternoon at the Ems. The same thing applies to the WBA vs Man City match at the Hawthorn and at Anfield between Liverpool and Huddersfield when points could be dropped by Man City and Liverpool to give Arsenal the chance of reducing the gap between them and Man City to 6 points and further widen the points between them and Liverpool who are below Arsenal in the table. I hope so.

  • Gord

    Can I hope for spuds to tie the game? 🙂

  • Nitram

    You can hope but alas it ended in a 1 – 0 home win for United.

  • Nitram

    oh, and make that 1 win in 16 against top 6 opposition for Poch.

    I do hope that guy who made those claims is suitably embarrassed. Not just because of today, or that pathetic record, but because he’s so obviously talking out of his arse.

  • Gord

    Damn, ManU won!

  • Nitram

    Sorry, to be fair it is AWAY matches, if that helps to make him not look quite so bad.

  • Gord

    OT: Some strange basketball news

    The Oklahoma Thunder (NBA) were enroute to Chicago, when they hit something at 30,000 feet. Front of plane has a big dent in it.

    I haven’t seen any news identifying what they hit. My guess is a Canada goose.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The match between Man Utd and Tottenham Hs did not end in a draw game afterall as I’d wished it wiil. But nevertheless, Arsenal will close the gap between them and Spurs to the striking distance of 2 points and still limit Man Utd to 4 points above Arsenal in the table by beating Swansea City later. Therefore, the Gunners on behalf Arsenal FC should beat Swansea City this afternoon and beat them very well to make Arsenal get and maintain these points and goals difference advantages on Tottenham Hs and Man Utd.

  • Gord

    Headlines:

    1. Arsenal vs Swansea: Paul Merson makes big prediction,

    > Merson: At the conclusion of the Arsenal-Swansea game, my name will be Paul Merson.

    2. Arsenal v Swansea: Confirmed team news – Sanchez, Lacazette …

    > Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette are both awake.

    3. Arsenal vs Swansea LIVE: Premier League updates from the Emirates

    > The game has just started, and the referee has already missed a card.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Horsefeathers! Come on Arsenal, get some goals!

    COYG!

  • Steve Vallins

    It seems being an Arsenal supporter is a rollercoaster ride

  • Gord

    Statistics

    %Arsenal Possession
    _5 64
    10 76
    15 78
    20 76
    25 79
    30 78
    35 76
    40 76
    45 77
    45+1 77

    Shots on target 3:2
    _off target 2:1
    Corners 5:1
    Fouls 5:4
    Goal kicks 1:5

    The fouling is even?

    COYG!

  • Josif

    Awful first half from us, the worst at home this season. The defence is shaky, midfielders don’t create and forwards don’t have anything to work with.

    They may have been playing with parked bus but we have spent around 160 million pounds on Xhaka, Ozil, Alexis and Lacazette to deal with those kind of teams.

    Giroud to turn this one around in the second half.

  • Gord

    How to go Sead and Mesut! Now let’s get the lead.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    How to go Aaron and Sead! Now let’s expand that lead!

    COYG!

  • Gord

    How did Sead get injured?

    COYG!

  • Vince

    Late kick from Naughton after the ball was played. Of course Lee Mason did not give a yellow card or even a foul…

  • Al

    Good result, well done team, coming from 1 nil down.

    Mason was subtly influencing the match again; apart from ignoring the kick on Kola there were 2 occasions where he stopped our attacks by giving us free kicks instead of playing advantage; once when the ball hit him in the back around 80 minutes and then again in the 92nd minute. On both occasions we were threatening to break as Swansea had most of their players up in our own half. We see you pgmol.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sorry guys but due to continued problems with the internet on my side of the wire I couldn’t really talk about this match. So no live match report from my part.
    But we won! 2-1 goals from Sead and Ramsey. Whooooohoooooo

  • Gord

    Final numbers

    50 78
    55 78
    60 79
    65 78
    70 78
    75 76
    80 76
    85 77
    90 76
    90+4 76
    Shots on target 6:2
    _off target 8:2
    Corners 5:2
    Offsides 2:1
    Fouls 9:9
    Goal kicks 1:17

    Still odd to see the foul count so even. But playing almost the entire game with at least 3 times the possession of the opposition, sometimes flirting with 4 times is wonderful.

    Drat, Liverpool!!! and Man$ both won.

    Come on Bournemouth!

  • Josif

    Excellent response by the boys in the second half. Hopefully Seo will be fit for City and Spuds. He was immense today. If Danny Rose gave a performance like Seo did, we’d have media creaming over his back-heel passes.

    Jax, it’s a shame Seo is from the same Godforsaken part of the world I come from, eh?

  • Nitram

    I love stuffing teams, but there is something to be said for winning by the odd goal when you’re not quite at your absolute best.

    And one point behind the best manager in the World that ever existed, that hasn’t actually ever won anything, ever, is quite an achievement.

    That’s a lot of ever’s. Oh well, what ever !

    Bring on City !!

    COYG

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO, HOO !
    Great fightback and a welcome 3 points. Just one point off the Spuds .
    Dare we hope for an upset by the Cherries?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic – congratulations to the England U17 team on winning the World Cup, beating Spain by 5 – 2. I don’t think Emile Smith-Rowe got on the pitch for this one but his cross for our third goal in the semi-final was exquisite.

    Our U23s drew 2 – 2 at Chelsea this afternoonNketiah and Akpom both started but this time neither found the net. Vlad Dragomir got our first equaliser and Joe Willock the second. Iliev went off with 10 minutes to go following a knock to the head, Keto taking over in goal.

  • Gord

    Mirror reports that was Wenger’s 800th EPL game.

    How many managers struggle to get to 80 games with their clubs?

    Football London has to bash Xhaka from what I see in the Google snippet.

    Islington Gazette reports Sead Kolasinac injury as a slight thigh niggle. And then they have to bash the Arsenal executive about the recent AGM.

  • Gord

    OT: Strange news

    On that Oklahoma NBA team. Apparently turkey vultures are slight more common than Canada Geese and Snow Geese slightly less likely. These kinds of bird strike are most likely after dark during migration season. The NBA players seem to think it was a UFO, or possibly superman.

    —-

    Minor league Salford City’s goalkeeper Max Crocombe was shown a red card against Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday after urinating on the pitch during the …

    Maybe he should have urinated on an official?

  • Damilare

    Congratulations to Arsenal. Anther 3 point in the bag. Hope nothing serious with Sead the tank.

    Congrats to A. Wenger on his 800th premier league game.

    OT: congratulations to England for winning the U17 World Cup. England won the u20 WC back in June, could this be a sign of what to expect from the 3 Lions in Russia next year?

  • Nitram

    Yep, never allowed to win, then just enjoy it.

    Always has to be a negative, yet some twats insist we get a fair shake from the media.

    How long will it be before they’re here again winging and whining about something?

  • Gord

    Reported by Arsenal.com, that Aaron Ramsey’s goal was his 50th for the club. Congratulations Aaron!

  • Gord

    Not a lot of help from the other games today. Maybe we can see a draw in the Southampton and Newcastle games?

  • Cong’s Team Arsenal, guys don’t get it. Could someone tell me why of all coaches The Professor’s face is ZOOMED up to his eye balls?? Who amongst you have seen any coach being zoomed to his eye ball? Tell me and which match. I just remember one guy zooming Fergus and he was shaking like a zombie. Please need some answers, thanks.

  • Gord

    A bit of trivia from Metro

    > 13 – Arsenal have won their last 13 games at the Emirates in all competitions, their longest ever winning run at the stadium.

  • Chris

    Kampala Gun,

    now that you say it….and he is the one where there always is the comment : Wenger really looks worried, or AW really has to worry, or something along that line. Each and evey game.

    Then maybe they find him handsome and class ?!?!

  • Gord

    The game report on the U23 vs Chelsea is up at Arsenal.com now.

    https://www.arsenal.com/fixture/under-23/2017-Oct-28/chelsea-under-23-2-2-under-23-match-report

    I think the goal for Dragomir is his second of the season. Someone must know how many Willock has (our second goal to tie game again).

  • Pat

    I love that quote from Arsene Wenger, Tony. The one about age, competitiveness and money.

    In the post match press conference one of the journalists pointed out Kolasinac was on a free. I wish more of them would say things like that.

    13 homes games unbeaten – an Emirates record. Congratulations to the players, manager and coaches.

    800 matches for Arsene. SAF is on 810. I’m looking forward to the match when he overtakes him!

  • Pat

    Josif

    I read your comments at half time and at the end. It looks like our manager’s half time advice made the difference. We were being blocked on the right so he advised to get the ball on the right and get it over quickly to the left to guess who – Kolasinac!

    Don’t forget though, he doesn’t do tactics – or so the media and the pundits tell me.

  • Nitram

    Pat

    “Don’t forget though, he doesn’t do tactics – or so the media and the pundits tell me.”

    Unlike Mourhino of course, who we all know is a tactical genius. This morning we get this piece of ‘how far up your arse can I get’ journalism from the fawning Daily Mail:

    “Jose Mourinho ordered his critics to take a vow of silence after pulling off a masterstroke substitution in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Tottenham at Old Trafford.”

    So at 0-0 at home, with just 20 minutes to go, and desperate for a win, replacing an in effectual striker with a striker from the bench is a ‘MASTERSTROKE’ is it? Because of course no other manager would of thought of doing that would they?

    F***ing unbelievable.

  • Nitram

    From the same fawning hack we find out that Jose’s ‘fingers on lips’ instruction is because apparently he’s been ‘stung by criticism of his sides bore draw at Anfield’ !

    Are diddum’s.

    If he wants to know what criticism is he ought to try being in Wenger’s shoes for a couple of hours.

    And perhaps he shouldn’t spend £100’s of Millions of pounds then play like Wimbledon should he?

    I wonder if Talkshite will be accusing Mourinho of being ‘Paranoid’ on Monday as they did Belerin?

  • Pat

    Nitram – ‘play like Wimbledon’ – I love that!

  • Nitram

    Pat

    You remember the days of ‘the crazy gang’ then!

  • Jax

    Danny Murphy was creaming himself over Kolasinac on MOTD.
    I see some resemblance to Malcolm Macdonald with this guy.

  • Jax

    ‘Jax, it’s a shame Seo is from the same Godforsaken part of the world I come from, eh?’
    And he doesn’t even have a speech impediment, which probably makes him world class.

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