Arsenal v Swansea: every option explored every possibility explained. Or not as the case may be.

by Bulldog Drummond

How do you measure the volume of criticism?  Is it in pounds or grams?  Or in critical mass or critical waves?

The Guardian thinks you can have an avalanche of criticism.  Which presumably you could also have a barrage of criticism, a volley of criticism, a flood, a deluge, a torrent, a tide, a stream, a storm, a shower, a spate, a wave, an icefall, a landslide…

According to the paper Mr Wenger received the avalanche, which I suppose is the maximum measure; you can’t get more criticism than an avalanche.

So that’s it.  Maximum activity.  Can’t get any more than the avalanche.  So, although talking of avalanchees it might be inappropriate to say it is now “downhill all the way,” life can only get easier for Mr Wenger.

Presumably it was in recognition of this that Arsène Wenger thanked the hacks and hacketts for their deep concern over his job security.  And then, as the Guardian article admitted, he responded with his normal good humour  and the viewpoint that can only come from being the person with the highest win ratio of any long term manager in Arsenal’s history.

“What you want from your fans is to fight together until the last game of the season. What we have learnt from the league is that it is very tight, that everybody can drop points, and the teams – and the fans – who can show togetherness and solidarity until the end might come out of it in a positive way. That’s what we want, to fight together until the last game of the season and not give up when you have a bad game or a bad result. That’s what fans and players and teams and clubs are about…

“We want to transform the negatives into positives around us and create even more solidarity. Let’s not go overboard. We do not play to be relegated. We are playing to fight for the title. That’s why we have to put criticism in the right place.

“We had a very, very bad week and it’s down to us to make this week a very good one. A bad week is not permanent. It’s what you make of it and how you respond. That’s the beauty of sport. Things change quickly one way or the other.”

So, moving on to today’s game: Swansea City.

“It’s possible I will make changes,” Mr Wenger said. “Some players are still not out of it. I will have to see if I have to be cautious with Danny Welbeck or not. Medically, I need advice on that and I will see.”

Elsewhere, as you will have heard, the Ox is out for six to eight weeks, Santi Caz has had a set back with his Achilles, and Jack is still not ready to return.

And because of everything above, this is the moment for talking up the notion that Swansea have a good record at Arsenal Stadium (as it is now called on European nights, and I rather prefer that title I think), with two wins and a draw on their last three visits.

It is also time to welcome back Lukasz Fabianski who will undoubtedly play a blinder against his old team.

So where ever you turn you see the same stat: Arsenal have failed to score in four of their last six home matches in all competitions.   And you can read that and say, “this is awful, disasterous, sell all the players, burn down the stadium etc,” or you can say, “all runs come to an end, so this one must be overdue for an ending.

There have been nine Premier League matches between Arsenal and Swansea.  Each team has one four and there’s (rather logically given that piece of information) been one draw.

So here are the other statistical snippets…

  • Arsenal have lost their last two competitive matches and haven’t lost three in a row in all competitions since April 2010.
  • Arsene Wenger’s side have won eight and lost just one of their last 12 league matches at home.
  • Mesut Ozil has 18 assists this season in the Premier League – only two behind Thierry Henry’s competition record, set in 2002-03.

But counteracting all this…

  • Swansea have gone four league games without a victory (D2, L2).
  • Their current points total (27) is their worst in a Premier League season after 27 games.
  • They tend to let leads drop away once they have scored.
  • They are nearly as useless as Aston Villa in terms of scoring.

The University of Salford’s Sports Analytics Machine gives this match a 57% chance of being a home win, 24% a draw and 19% an away win.

As for the team


Bellerin Mert Kos Monreal

Coquelin Elneny

Welbeck Ozil Alexis


I’ve left Ramsey out to give him a rest and give Elneny a game.  Elsewhere on the beach that would leave Theo, Gibbs, Ospina, Gabriel, Campbell, Iwobi.

It was snowing earlier today in the Midlands, and I was fearful of making it to the game, but now the sun is out, so looks like we are all ok.  Everyone in the car!  Oh hang on, Mr W is on the phone asking for a copy of the team sheet…


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From the anniversary files…

The Untold Books

The latest Untold book is Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 with a Foreword by Bob Wilson, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon.   Details of this and our previous and forthcoming titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.

164 Replies to “Arsenal v Swansea: every option explored every possibility explained. Or not as the case may be.”

  1. About Herbert Chapman not making it past his 2nd season had social media existed back then, I have to disagree. Back then we were a mediocre club at best, and not one that people would consider capable of landing trophies. So expectations were low, and fans would not look at every loss as a disappointment but rather accept it as normal.

  2. We haven’t beaten Swans in the league at home since Andrey Arshavin’s winner in 2011-12. And, we were lucky in that one with Sinclair (?) hitting the bar from the free-kick.

    Since then, we’we had:

    Arsenal-Swansea 0:2 (Mahrez…sorry, Michu 2), Arsenal-Swansea 2:2 (Podolski, Giroud – Bony, Captain Planet own goal), Arsenal-Swansea 0:1 (Gomis).

    We’ve won the cup replay in 2012-13 with Jack Wilshere capping absolutely brilliant performance with a late winner. Wilshere was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch.

    We have failed to score in seven league games out of 27 played despite having The King of Assists in the team.

    Theo Walcott has scored just four goals in the league this season. He has scored against Swans in our 3:2 defeat in 2011-12.

    Nacho Monreal has scored his only league goal against Swans in our away 2:0 victory in 2012-13. He is yet to score in front of the home fans so…maybe tonight is the night.

    Olivier Giroud hasn’t scored since Liverpool but has been doing his “big-guy-knocks-the-ball-down”-thing for Koscielny (Newcastle), Ozil (B’mouth) and Walcott (Leicester). He would have done it for Ox against Hull but the shot went wide.

    So, an easy 1:0 victory tonight as a warm-up for Spuds combined with Klopp’s victory over City and Bilic’s over Spuds.

  3. Just seen an article on Just Arsenal and to say I’m disappointed with their lack of support to a game that we must win is an understatement .The writer of the piece has lambasted Wenger(no surprise there) but what he is hoping for is that those in attendance deliver a message loud and clear that Wenger must leave at all costs and that it’s made loud and clear that those players are also on the recieveing end. Now I would have thought in my humble opinion that now is the time to shout from the rooftops our support and get behind the team and the greatest manager we ever had because now we can encourage them on the pitch and kick every damn ball with them until the last match is played. This man seem’s to think that we are following Arsenal and Wenger blindly but the way I see it is this, I’m a Gooner and the love for my club run’s very deep and as a Gooner I call myself a SUPPORTER and the meaning of the word SUPPORTER is to SUPPORT. Sunday was bad and I hurt like hell and wondered what was going on but this I know, Arsene will do his damnest to put it right because no one has given more of himself to this great club than he. His love for Arsenal run’s so very deep and I’d bet my house on it that he did not sleep sunday night. We our in a fight and I’m in it with him all the way whatever the end maybe and those WOB should also be in that fight as well.

  4. Had a bad dream last night that we lost 2-1….i really really hope it’s the other way round.

  5. Opened up a bit there didn’t he (Wenger that is)?
    Swansea will park the bus (I hate that term) and try the usual once in a game counter and score for a 0-1. We must get an early goal.

  6. Not to prolong the issues in our tonight match against Swansea City with a long comment, Arsenal have no any other choise to choose from other than the choice to beat the hard fighting but struggling Swansea City resoundingly well by 4 goals to nil, if at all the Gunners want to remain in the race for the BPL title trophy lifting this season. And also up their goals difference in the table before they meet their North London club rivals – Tottenham Hs for a biggest showdown of the season on Sunday afternoon in a match that could help define both Arsenal and Spurs title seasons.

    My starts:
    My bench:
    My starts & bench looking like an FA Cup replay starts and bench against Hull City before the big encounter at Camp Nou? Yes, that’s the kind of prolific energy sharpen starts we would need tonight to start the match to overrun Swansea City. The Boss should not be afraid of my start not winning the match. They’ll win the match handsomely well. Because, that’s the most correct starts to do job successfully under the prevailing match lacklusterness by a group of Gunners.

  7. Gouresh – go back to sleep. You don’t know the difference between a ‘mare & a dream. If you wake up just check that you haven’t wet the bed.

  8. All this negative talk by some some so called fans is not what we should be reading at this point in the season, every game is like a cup final frame here on in, having won Two FA Cups recently we’re in with a chance.

  9. Bulldog, you missed one. Heck, even Menace missed it. 🙂

    The stand-in Swansea manager will not be at the game. He was admitted to hospital with chest problems.

  10. Hammers are one up against Spuds!

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGH, Alexis… 🙁 He doesn’t have luck.

    BTW, is it just my stream or stands at the Emirates look like a graveyard? Come on, Gooners, make a bloody noise!

  11. JOOOOOOOOOOOOOEL CAMPBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL! What a classy goal! If bloody Vardy or Kane had done this, Lineker would have already asked either of those two to make him a baby.

    And, Alexis got an assist! Great thing for his confidence too!

  12. Come on Gunners! Come on Gooners! Follow Arsenal13 and Josif. West Ham, beat those spuds!


  13. Nice shot from Hector. He has a powerful right peg, I thought it was just a quick one!

  14. The boys look comfortable tonight. Perhaps playing against a team that prefers football ahead of rugby suits us better?

  15. Foul on Ozil…but not given Swansea scores…

    Happened the other game.too. similar

  16. We’ve been wasteful with right-hand-side crosses. Bellerin could have tried himself…

  17. Just saw mate! so blatant its unreal! foul counter is happening so many times

  18. Oh my…

    Was Emirates built on the graveyard or some other sacred place? That would explain games like this one.

  19. Referee giving a goal to Swansea… just as against Leicester. Are English referees racist against Germans?

  20. Yeah, we have to get used to such crap its irritating but it will go on and on until we either conquer or collapse the devils are on our case. They shudder to see us near they want us to be very far not near the top and after their darling team to drew don’t expect any favours.Our luck we could have been 3 up already,damn but lets stay strong. Come on you GUNNERS

  21. @Walter

    Nah, just against Özil.

    Some good news: Liverpool are one up against City. Now it’s all down to us to return ourselves in the comfortable position before the biggest North London Derby…ever.

    No, seriously, has there ever been a bigger meaning of NLD for both teams?

  22. Lallana and Milner scored for Liverpool. Klopp for Ingerland!

    We can win tonight. All we need is a final touch. Maybe the rain helps Swansea to deal with Özil’s passes and our crosses. Perhaps a shot or two from the distance would come handy.

  23. Quick summary after Joels goal. Ozil fouled but nothing given as ball played forward eventually getting to Routledge close to offside but not called he puts the ball past Chec. Arsenal make a beautiful footballing move & Mert heds back for Giroud who belts the ball against the bar. It was an open goal that Giroud missed. More shots on the woodwork than any other club by Arsenal this season.

    Another example of selective vision by a PGMO official though he has been very good. That’s just me being faceious. They are all corrupt cheats.

  24. The foul on Ozil was a headlock. Why it wasn’t given is pure corrupt officiating. Could have been a red card, it was that bad.

  25. Menace
    The referee didn’t make giroud miss a sitter or us concede one of the softest goals you will see.

  26. Alexis needs a goal.

    Here is what I don’t understand.

    When Alexis returned against Chelsea, he looked as sharp as the old Alexis.

    Now he looks…jaded?

  27. Well John, ref dint make Giroud miss his chances, but sure did he make us concede a soft one.

    How is it not a foul on Ozil!!!!! Clearest there ever will be

  28. Trying to hard Josif, the longer it is the worse it gets, once he gets his goal he will get that feeling back again but now it seems nothing has worked and its pissing him off!

  29. I swear, if this Swansea lad had stayed a single minute on the pitch, I would have asked him to pay the rent to Arsenal FC!

  30. Unbelievable officiating but after almost going behind, Arsenal get a freekick that Alexis hits the woodwork again.

  31. Arsenal just not getting anything from the ref. Swans fouling to their hearts content & being helped by the officials.

  32. Free kick by Siggurdsen bundled in by Williams. 1 – 2 to Swans. Alexis replaced by Theo.

  33. What is the manager doing? What are the players doing? This is fuckin horrendous. We’re playing Swansea not Barcelona.

  34. A Swansea player runs into our player and that’s a free kick, Vardy all over again. Why do we waste time following this league??

  35. I have no idea Al foul goal now dive goal what else can we do? cross bar challenge?

  36. Lets face it our strikers are good but not great and certainly not world class. In defense no Kosceleny means no wall. I’m a supporter of Wenger but even I have to admit he has no tactical nonce. Anyone who thinks Giroud is worthy of leading our front line well…

  37. Belief ,mental toughness ,desire…Its all wenger goes on about but in reality we have none of these atributes absolutely none of them..

  38. Akasuna – how can you say that. clearly its all the fault of the referee and nothing to do with the players or managers.

  39. Lets face it guys, Wenger has had his day (10 years ago) and if Pep was coming to the Emirates I doubt anyone wouldnt be excited!

  40. We will concede one more until the end. The players look lost. Unfortunately, we don’t have a mentality of the champions, quality of the champions, luck of the champions and, most importantly, at least fair refereeing of the champions.

  41. so there goal was nothing to do with swanseas first goal? second dive was nothing to do with there second goal then you haters?

  42. Swansea manager taken to hospital before the start of game…no wins in 5 and another team we’ve rescued. Get out wenger you’re finished.

  43. Five more Minute, We need our Lady luck back, gud for us Leicester has drawn, Man City and Totty also losing…

  44. Season depends on Steve Bruce. In Wenger we trust ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  45. Gutless and absolute pathetic display. Hope the club has the decency to refund the fans after such atrocious play. Get out wenger you’re a specialist in failure

  46. Oh well next season will be ours. YAWN! Only if we lose the idiot Wenger!

  47. Dear Mr Kroenke,

    if you have bothered to watch the game tonight and don’t order your lawyers to do something against the English football cancer called PGMO afterwards, go f..k yourself.

  48. No kamala gun you’re the prick and the other idiots who keep blaming the ref at every juncture. It’s because of fans like you wenger can sit there thinking he’s untouchable. I say open your fuckin eyes and man up.

  49. Spurs next to bring misery to us. The players can relax now. We are out of the title challenge. Just focus on what they are doing now and try to hold on to that 4th spot, Arsenal customary spot.

  50. Gouresh your nightmare was true. Try to dream of Arsenal winning the league.

  51. WOB are unbelievably childish and their agenda is just sooooo obvious.

  52. Oh well lets blame another year of failue on the refs. I was a fan of Wenger ball, shame its been missing for the last 10 years.

  53. Another chance on a plate goes begging and Q dickheads will come to protect Lord wenger

  54. Cant score, hit the bar 3 times, but, failed to make the keeper work. Another weak display, this team can’t handel pressure.

  55. We lost, Being an Arsenal Fan is very dangerous for Heart, Six points of Top now, Had gud Chance to cover some point on Leicester city…
    Very Disheartened by our performance. Lets Hope better for next week. Good no excuse of Injury…And I have accepted level of Referee for our Games. Still with poor referring we should have won this Game…

    Win, lose or Draw, will always support Arsenal…

  56. i had control on my dreams, we would be winning every single time……but alas!!!

  57. I am astonished in the negativity here. Remember the mantra of this site – supporting the club third, the players second but in first place the manager.

    If you are not an Arsene Wenger fan then why not go and join one of those sad websites like Le Groan that are especially designed just for Arsenal supporters.

  58. Are we serioulsy blaming the PGMO for another capitulation? God Wenger must be rubbing his hands with glee. Always the officials fault. Seriously? Guess the PL and the CL will never be ours again….

  59. Milan well said.And by the sounds of the commentary the chorus of boos werent aimed at the referee.They were all aimed at the team and the manager!!!Enough is enough.But we shouldn’t be surprised as every we year we see the same debacle.

  60. Josif – spot on. A lawsuit needed.

    milan, john fuck off from this site you dont’t support Arsenal.

  61. Jinxed, cursed, one of those days, take your pick. One foul not given for their first goal and three times the ball crashes against the woodwork. Football.

  62. Dear me. What a crazy season this is turning out to be.
    Arsenal, 3rd, fail at home to beat the team lying 16th.
    Spurs and Man Citeh both lose and Leicester City smile.
    Roll on the cricket season……and then the opening of the Window. 😉

  63. How can we play so well, hit the woodwork 3 times, them have only 2 shots on target, very little possession and them win the game? That was the cruellest loss of all. All the players played well, although you can’t help thinking that these players should be winning games 5:1 week in, week out. Something has gone very wrong and lady luck has so far deserted us, I can’t remember such a terrible set of nasty events. Spurs lose and Leicester draw and we end up losing ground. It is just one of those shitty days where you have to accept that there is no justice in football. People who say the team didn’t play well tonight and didn’t thoroughly deserve a win are watching another game. They played their hearts out and got nothing…It is horrible being a fan sometimes. It’s not over, of course but it feels like it is just now…

  64. Very poor. Woodwork, should have had a penalty, but again, an opponent scores with virtually every shot on target.
    What is wrong with them? Why cannot Wenger …or someone coach some solidity into them….a platform to build on…..and why on earth did he take Campbell off…..can think of other candidates.
    Come on Wenger….you need to do something…..surely we can do better than this?
    This is getting serious, they need to get out of this and salvage what was a very promising season

  65. You are right, lets just accept mediocre because the team are trying their hardest. BS!!!!

  66. Its not time to insult each other or continue to blame the refs. The team lacks belief..ok we were unlucky if one or two had gone in off the woodwork. Wenger must change things..I would pull Sanchez into midfield drop Giroud who basically was a waste tonight. Campbell and Welbeck up front with four in the middle. Wenger wont..he will plough on the same. Cazorla and or Wilshire are a big miss in this period. Continue in this vein and top four is shaky. The cup replay is now very important.

  67. Hope he gets hounded out. His time is up and the more we stick with this loser the worse it will get.

  68. John Milan what is your point? enough is enough of what? the seasons not over where’s the support you muppets? being shit fans is going to help us win then you imbeciles!

  69. 2nd half was like schoolboy football. far too open. end to end. zero control or shape in midfield. jeez, how many times ive we seen that? just so amateurish. laughable almost. we even had an early goal to settle the nerves. one last chance on sat to prove that wenger isn’t a serial chocker…

  70. The refereeing we’re having to deal with week in week out has become absolutely appalling.

    Today we’re denied YET ANOTHER penalty (that’s what, one in each of the last games refereed by PGMO referees), and we once again concede because a referee grants them a counterattack off the back of a blatant foul on Ozil (just like with Leicester).

    This league is rigged. Six points is obviously surmountable, and Leicester aren’t nearly as good as the media want to tell you they are (remember how the media talked about Leicester’s pitiful performance at the Emirates?)… but how do we put together a winning run when the referees are doing this to us?

    Today’s game went from being fairly comfortable to difficult because of one bad decision, and when we needed the referee to be fair at the end, to give us a chance, a penalty isn’t given.

    My mind tries to understand what is happening. Leicester’s run defies all logic. We know very well that the referees are giving them every benefit of every doubt, and we now see that we get the precise opposite. There is something deeply, deeply unnatural about the course of events.

    Were we good enough today? Surely not, but I can’t help but feel our players are being affected by their continual bad luck. We’re being taught that we HAVE to play FAR better than the other team to win, and I don’t believe any team wins the league in those circumstances.

  71. I agree I dream of winning all the time but it’s March and I think we’ve only won about 4 games across all competitions this year?

  72. Rodelero playing with shackles is what we have to do to win, its so blatant even my 10 year old nephew was asking whats going on with the ref he’s a cheat!

  73. @Mandy

    Wenger’s substitution of Campbell for Walcott, why? It’s like his trying to prove something, Walcott is football is very poor this season, players like Wiltshire/Walcott/Rosicky just warm our injury bench, they cost us big time. Wiltshire will play 3 games and drop out injured.

  74. Menace.I support arsenal with a passion but i know our manager has taken the team as far as it can .You on the other hand are an Arsene Wenger supporter . No matter how many mistakes he makes year after year and knowing that hes not good enough to win the PL ,you make excuse after excuse, constantly slagging off referees to hide his deficiencies.

  75. Right I’ve had a session to calm down. In all seriousness I admire Wenger for his loyalty to his players and his courage to always front up. He’s really admired by all fellow managers and the media. Very engaging and highly intelligent about the game. He transformed Arsenal make no mistake. He brought a new era. But he shouldn’t let this legacy waste away…cannot live on past glories. He can’t motivate or skill the team to challenge when it matters. So he should leave in a dignified way. He wants it more than the players. You can see his passion and desire but he’s not infusing that in the team either from endeavour or technical ability. If his team can’t play for him he needs to draw the line before he is remembered for his failures rather than successes

  76. Oh and Milan, you are the type of supporter that no club wants. When was the last time you said something positive about the team or the manager, after all they have done for the club?

  77. @Va Cong Where is the support? Have you only been supporting the Gunners for a year?

  78. 3-4 player in the 1st line and no movement. yeah.
    No players on the flanks- headless chickens
    Pasess to Swansea players -no cold blood t.
    Atraciouis shootinh -blah besides one Campbell shot
    Most seroious tile chanlenger to laughing stock. 9 pts in 8 matches and counting!

    Leicester is now 6 point ahead
    Biggest chance of 10 years went begging becouse thsi team simply can only have wet dream of the level they played in 2015.
    What a pity!
    I probably lost 15 years of life in 2 months.
    Arsnene have faith in many of these players, but they show and show and show again that they are not the ones
    I was enchanted by the club style and etos, watched all matches from 10/11, have studied its history etc.
    This Arsenal team broke my heart. This was the last match I watched live and maybe I never come back.
    I know what is important and rewarding in life. Watching football that is not an art is not.

  79. We struggel against so many team at the Emirates – Swansea/Southampton/Chelsea, they have the indian cross over us.

  80. And Milan – apologies – heat of the moment stuff followed by a reasonable post and you have retracted your earlier vitriol. Many people feel like you do but I can’t help thinking the only thing we need is just lady luck to smile on us again. They certainly did everything right except it didn’t work out tonight. We were flying apart from their two shots which found their way into the net whilst ours hit the woodwork or bounced randomly out of danger.

  81. Seems like year after year we have the same discusions. Lets face it Wenger has run out of ideas and its time we started to compete. Worst PL ever and yet we still struggle. we need to evolve and not continue to live in the 20th century!

  82. john you’re a liar. If you support Arsenal then why so negative about the team. I hate the cheating PGMO witha passion. We were robbed of a pen again tonight. Don’t tell me that you think the referee was good. But just go somewhere else because you piss me off.

  83. Sally
    “Say something positive about the team and the manager after all they have done for the club”?And what is that exaxtly??They dont play for the love of the club.they get paid millions .Even our manager who loves the club has been paid just short of 100 million pounds since he last won the league .Yes 100 million pounds.Not bad for a serial loser and bottler.

  84. I’ve been watching football for sixty years – Ozil was pulled down. No foul was given. Swansea go directly down the other end and score.

    That scene can be played again and again and it doesn’t change.

  85. No 5th Gen Gooner it is the WOB that has run out of ideas. Selective blindness and reliance on deception will do that to you.

  86. Menace
    The feelings mutual but i must admit your constant insane rambling about referees does make me chuckle now and again.

  87. First of all anyone with eye sight saw Ozil pulled down now how on God’s green earth he did not see it nor the ref’s ass on the line either beggar’s belief. The people in the Stadium and those watching on TV seen it and it’s almost indentical to the one on Ozil that led to a penalty that in its self should not have been given and you have people on here saying we alway’s blame the ref. Take along hard look over our season without the agenda of Wenger out clouding your vision and if you cannot admit what you have seen with your own bloody eye’s that something is very very wrong with the bias of these ref’s then the only person you are trying to fool is yourself. Now it’s not the usual suspects because people have seen what is going on and here on Untold they have done a fantastic job of getting it out there but the Dean’sand Atkinson’s are letting the rest do the job for them because of the bad publicity since the Chelsea farce. I know we are not playing well enough but I also know that Arsene Wenger will be doing his damnest to try to put it right. We have the players who should be winning these games so it’s not all down to Wenger. They have let him and themselves down also but as I love my club like many thousands I feel let down also because I know we have the talent and I’m going to be there at WHL shouting and singing at the top of my voice because that is what you do when you support a team as I have said before and I will say it till my last breath. I will tell you this Arsene is more of a man than any of the haters on here because he has took nothing but abuse from all the away fans and from so called Arsenal fan’s and has stood his ground because he loves this club more than any supporter and has given up a hell of a lot for her,, remember that the next time before spewing your hate.

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