Swansea – Arsenal 3-1: the story of Jekyll and Hyde

By Walter Broeckx

As expected Mkhitaryan starting on the bench. Wilshere was sick so he couldn’t make the trip to Wales today.

Arsenal team : Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Lacazette, Özil.

On the beach: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Mkhitaryan, Nketiah, Giroud.

A lot of water on the pitch it seems will it affect our passing game? Arsenal with the passing game but Swansea looking for the very long ball and a deflection leading to a first corner of the match for Swansea. Arsenal can’t really get the ball away and a low cross is stopped by good tackle from Ramsey and then Cech smothers the ball. Iwobi trying to play it to Ramsey but he just can’t get on the end of the low cross.  Elneny with an excellent tackle on the ball to prevent a Swansea striker going alone on Cech. That had to be inch perfect and it was.  0-0 after 15 minutes.

Arsenal cannot penetrate the Swansea wall for the moment with too many passes going backwards. And too many times the wrong option taken for a pass. Monreal with a cross but Lacazette is surprised by the miss of the defender in front of him and he can’t control the ball. Swansea counter and again Elneny being first on the ball to stop a real chance for Swansea. From the resulting corner a shot is deflected for another corner. Finally a good Arsenal attack finished with shot from Iwobi but an excellent save from Fabianski.  Still 0-0 after 30 minutes.

And when you need them most who pop up? Özil with the vision and Monreal popping up at the far post and putting the ball over the line. GOAL! 0-1 after 33 minutes. Again Monreal!

Xhaka then goes to sleep and lets his man run away and Swansea equalise hardly a minute after the Arsenal goal. 1-1 after 34 minutes. Might be a hint of a foul on Özil when Swansea won the ball…..  But still how we let our man go…. Özil being targeted when he releases the ball now a few times and Mason mostly letting it go. Özil was indeed tripped when Swansea won the ball with a late challenge. Well typical Mason we will say. Ramsey losing the ball but luckily Fer can only give a tame shot that is easily saved by Cech on a rare Swansea counter. At the other end Koscielny with a tame header so another easy pick for the keeper. Mason for the second time in the way of an Arsenal attack…. luckily we didn’t lose the ball this time. Xhaka blasts over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area. Arsenal playing too slow and the passing not up to the standard required to break down the white wall of Swansea who sit back with all 11 players deep in their half most of the time. 1-1 after 45 minutes.

No real change in the first 5 minutes. Arsenal trying to pass their way to a packed defence and Swansea trying to counter with a long ball. Elneny goes in the book for a handball. Özil with a shot but not enough power to get it past Fabianski. Mkhitaryan getting ready to make his Arsenal debut. Bellerin with a few dangerous crosses but no Arsenal player at the end of it. Mkhitaryan comes on for Elneny after 60 minutes. Still 1-1.

Monreal lets the ball run out of play, the throw in is given to Cech who miskicks the ball completely and the ball drops in front of the feet of Ayew who scores from 6 meters out. 2-1 for Swansea after 62 minutes What a terrible error from Cech.

Iwobi with a shot but well over the crossbar. Bellerin goes in the book, that is how things go with Mason. Cech concedes a corner when the ball went well out for a goalkick. Mason now penalising every contact from an Arsenal player. Swansea can almost capitalise when Mustafi is pushed but no foul is given but Dyer misses the goal. Özil with a great cross to Mkhitaryan but his header is saved by Fabianski. He was offside though so wouldn’t have counted. Still 2-1 down after 75 minutes.

Giroud enters the field for Iwobi after 75 minutes. Arsenal players still running too much with the ball always turning to the wrong side. Arsenal pressing Swansea completely back in their own penalty area but the crosses just can’t find Giroud for the moment. Ajew goes away and when his cross is not cleared Swansea score again. 3-1 after 86 minutes. This time Monreal with an error and then Xhaka gives the assist when he tries to clear the ball.

The difference between Arsenal home and away is really unbelievable at times. There is no confidence in the team when we play away from home.  We commit errors like schoolboys and our passing is nothing compared to what we see at home.

The absence of Jack Wilshere may play a part, the pitch didn’t really suit our passing game but we were outran by Swansea for the whole 90 minutes. But that is no excuse to make the errors we made in this match. Too many players who where invisible in this match: Iwobi, Ramsey (okay his first real match back from injury), Xhaka too many to be good. Next time we play at home … hopefully we will see the other side then….

30 Replies to “Swansea – Arsenal 3-1: the story of Jekyll and Hyde”

  1. I just do not understand how a manager can sit there and watch his team lose so dismally without losing it, no wonder the team does not give a shit when things go wrong.

    I do hope he goes soon, and the team gets some proper training on how to win football matches especially when conditions are not perfect. There was no fight, in this team tonight.

    Or maybe there is a completely different reason?
    I am beginning to think that this PL is just a joke and completely fake, like wrestling on TV used to be. Fake PL for better viewing figures? A little nagging voice keeps mentioning that and i have ignored it for too long now.

    Anyone thinks that is impossible just do not know the world we live in. Bah!

    So, back to Black Mirror.

  2. What garbage defending. Maybe we should be focusing less on Auba, and more on defenders and midfielders that actually do their job. We’re now on pace for 63 points. Liverpool, in 4th, are on pace for 76. We’ll need 11 wins and a draw in our last 13 just to match that number. It’s sad that we’ve already reached the point that we need to hope someone else collapses in order to salvage our season.

  3. How many times do we have this same shit? No desire, no pace, no defence no nothing. When,bwill they ever show any consistency. You call these professional players, but its happening so often, one really really needs to look at manager now.

  4. I hate to say it (but I’m going to anyway), that in all the time I’ve watched arsenal there has been few players I’ve been more disappointed by than Elneny. For such a pivotal role I really can’t see what Wenger saw in him that he has indeed so far failed to produce for the fans. He has had the occasional solid game but my main issue is that the guy has either no vision or no just confidence to try anything outside the box, both metaphorically or unmetaphorically speaking, of course. I am having similar levels of anxiety over Xhaka too.

  5. Oh dear, we lose and they all come out of the woodwork. Suddenly Wenger is an idiot and doesn’t care. And as for Elneny, the match I saw him in just a few days ago he was great.

    Sorry we lost. Hope we win next time.

  6. At what point of Liverpool don’t stumble, do we start doing what Mourinho did last season and start resting players from the premiership to play them in the Europa League.

    Given aubemayang will be cup tied losing giroud on top of sanchez, Walcott and Chamberlain will leave us short of attackers for the Europa League.

  7. Such a shame, we are on the verge of possibly one of the most exciting transfer windows for many years and the team has just completely deflated the fan base.
    If we don’t sign PEA tomorrow I feel carnage on Saturday at the Grove between the supporters.

  8. I don’t want Wenger to go, but I do want him to change things, too many times we see the same performances, same mistakes, and same results against sides with lesser resources, namely, Swansea and Watford these days. If Stan really does put no pressure on our manager, I hope wengers professional pride and motivation is sufficient for him to act on these performances, and maybe not before time.
    That was very very poor, not for the first time this season. Wenger needs to do what it takes to sort out these away performances especially, a bit of organisation at the back would be a good starting point, along with perhaps a fresh approach to GK coaching.
    But ultimately, that was just not good enough

  9. Mandy I don’t think Wenger will change. Too late for that. We’ve gone from being a title challenging team to a top four team and now sliding down the table quicker than Katie prices knickers.

  10. Bonaroca:- Your Comment Arsenal 3-1:- the Story of Fekyll and Hyde is a fact with the Arsenal
    Team. Many would blame the players, but in my opinion I would blame the Manager who has occupied
    the seat for 21 years, and had not been able to keep up with updated systems of the game. Apart
    from that when one sees so many talented young players being loaned or transferred to other
    clubs shows that the board with all its facility, were not capable to specifically build a young
    team Man Utd Ferguson’s way, but now in a panic Arsenal have gone out of their way to get top
    players in bits pieces to play with the same system the Manager has been more or less playing
    for 21 years.
    This is the right time that Arsenal will obviously the choice of being on the board as Diretor
    adviser to the Board, and bring in a new Manager to build a team for the coming season with the
    priority to introduce young players mainly from the academy, obviously keeping top quality
    quality players.
    I have been an Arsenal supporter since 1946, which means a good 72 years. So realise what
    Arsenal means when I have the privilege to see every match from my country

  11. It is true that the defence was terrible, the midfielders were not building anything and the attack was not inspired in the box.
    But attributing responsibility for mistakes to one or the other could be misleading…
    How can the defence be serene when midfielders multiply passes to opponents, ball losses or bad choices?
    How can midfielders be inspired when they feel that attackers are not (or badly) exploiting all the options? And how can attackers do when the balls received are approximate?
    One person’s mistakes influence others, confidence flies away while the opponent’s one grow up and it becomes very difficult to tell what part of the game is causing this mess.
    We missed Jack (or Santi: -)). We are certainly missing a striking and decisive midfielder. Aaron had no weight on the game. Xhaka and Elneny had no inspiration, Iwobi making bad choices, Lacazette was waiting for a miracle, Mustafi and Kos panicked… Even Cech leaned under the burden of an ineffective defense… Ozil and Nacho tried to revive the machine, but what could they do alone?
    Above all, the players were not confident, they had neither the fighting spirit nor the energy to win. The whole team seemed destabilized.
    However, remember… this team managed to beat Chelsea recently and shake MU like hell a couple of months ago. They can, they know how to play. And Wenger knows how to make them play well.
    So, what’s going on in these kind of crappy games? Mystery. The same mistakes over and over again. Surely Wenger has to do something, but what? I trust him.
    Hurry up, we have to make it up to Everton on Saturday! Let’s keep faith in this team! COYG!

  12. Elneny is average at best and as for Iwobi, what Wenger see in him is beyond me. We have a manager that thinks ‘we’ll score one more than you’ is the best defence except for one thing… we just don’t score!

  13. I think they have accepted the fact that 4th place is beyond them. They have basically given up. People were saying how good it was that we are not in the CL, players can rest and we can mount a title challenge….hahhaha.

  14. We lost to Swansea, so did Liverpool. Unfortunately we have also lost to other rather poor relegation fighters like Stoke and Bournemouth. It’s strange that one week we can beat Chelsea and put 4 past Palace and yet collapse against probably the worst side in the league.

    Winning the Europa maybe are only passport into the CL so I hope we’re putting out the first team in the coming rounds. I was quite confident we could win that but with Sanchez gone I have my doubts.

    I look forward to the positive response from Andrew Crenshaw at the end of the season when he tells us we should have had 104 pts instead of the more likely 68. Oh well, bring on the next game, COYG.

  15. How can anyone here think that AW is able to change any thing:
    ‘I felt defensively we were very poor and made big mistakes. It’s better not to talk about the second or third goals…..is what he said after the game. So here we go…. no one adresses the problem but keeps thinking it might change next time. This is de facto the definition of being an idiot. This (or these) idiot(s) promised us a fantastic future if we left our beloved home and moved and see what has happened. There is only one answer: No shirts, no tickets no contribution to this cirkus until AW and his fellowship has left. Been here since 71 and have nowhere else to go. There is only one club but I cannot support this madness without writing idiot on my own back.
    Will be back 110% again when they are gone.
    PS: In the danish “Superliga” you can buy a whole defensive units (Two centrebacks and two wingbacks) for less than £ 10 mio. and they will by guaranty be better than the useless bunch of millionaires we are looking at every day. My mother of 79 have seen enough in her life to be a far better coach so I can bring her for free….)
    Go a head make my day….

  16. Something is definitely wrong with this Arsenal team.Complacency is a polite word i will use to describe this team.Most of the managers in the PL knows that our defenders lack pace so they use it against us.Arsenal used to be a team with lots of pace and i feel that this is the difference between us and the top teams.We sold Theo & Chamberlain with nobody to replace them just yet.Isn’t that just foolish.We sold Coq. no one brought in to replace him.Xhaka for me is a huge disappointment.I am lost for words to describe how absent minded he is when it comes do his job as a DM.He is not just good enough. Back to Our abysmal performance against the Swans.Lethargic and mediocre. School boy mistakes.Jack was sorely missed. Nobody to drive the team.No one to take the game to the opponents. No one in this current team can do that .We need players that can hold the ball and call out defences.That should be our priority. Auba’s signing good but we need to recruit smartly.For example, look at Oil Money FC up north, they make up for their susceptible defence with a good midfield and potent attack.Their manager knows that.Now he has recruited another defender.That’s smart.
    For all the excitement about Auba ‘imminent signing I strongly believe we have not recruited smartly in this window.Don’t get me wrong Miki and Auba are good signings.We need to shore up our midfield with pacy wingers and a good and mobile DM.

  17. Lars:
    ‘I felt defensively we were very poor and made big mistakes. It’s better not to talk about the second or third goals…..is what he said after the game. So here we go…. no one adresses the problem but keeps thinking it might change next time. This is de facto the definition of being an idiot.
    That is probably the funniest non-sequitur I have read in 10 years of publishing this blog. Thank you.

  18. I think Lars is Danish, applying my Sherlockian intelligence, as he has some decent knowledge of the Danish league, so perhaps is English is not quite adept as some on here.

    The point he is trying to make, I think, is that he thinks Wenger would rather ignore the mistakes leading to the two later goals than address the issues that led to them. He reaches this conclusion by Wenger saying he doesn’t want to talk about them. Or maybe I’ve got it entirely wrong.

  19. I’ve watched the Swansea equaliser a dozen times and I still don’t see a trip. What I see is Ozil dawdling – a Swansea player approaching from behind and then Ozil trying to thread an impossible pass to Bellerin – it’s easily intercepted by Mawson. There may have been some sort of contact with Ozil well after the ball was gone – but frankly it looks more like Ozil was so embarrassed by his mistake he took a tumble. He didn’t appeal either. We are too quick to blame the refs when we screw up – what’s the point in blaming the ref when it’s just down to lazy, casual, overconfident football.

  20. But the equally valid interpretation is that he was saying that he didn’t want to discuss this with the press but would discuss it with the players. There is no reason to pick the interpretation Lars took, not least because it is the more bizarre of the two possibles.

  21. Maybe you are right about that Tony, but can we count the number of times this season, the boss has confessed he didn’t know how we conceded goals? Maybe he truly just doesn’t know

  22. That was in no way Arsene’s fault.

    Blaming Elneny, he’s been a revelation in that position, goal saving interventions, numerous goal saving interventions.

    Wilshere being unavailable, was detrimental to that loss, if he starts, we don’t lose.

    Koscielny being moved to the right, should have been addressed, Mustarfi was near ineffectual.

    Bellerin was missing outlets, Xhaka’s movement was terrible am deathly not one person has straight pointed out that the two goal losing margin came from 2 diabolical individual errors.

    Cech was guilt for the last set of dropped points. I’d be tempted to bring in Macey, let’s see, a lift due to a desire to impress I feel.

    Bellerin was at 70% but had nothing to hit with, no target man and Iwobi rately making it to the back post or byline.

    Ramsey was good for 40min, but ran out out steam, due to a lack of match fitness, understandable.

    Next fixture:

    Mikhitaryan Ozil ,Ramsey (RWF) match fitness
    Wilshere Elneny
    Kolasinac Monreal Koscielny Bellerin

    Ospina Chambers Lacazette, Iwobi, Nketiah Xhaka Niles

    We need to sign a winger,

    The team was let down by a glaring GK error, we can’t afford to go begin for to back markets.

    On their first goal, it’s Xhaka, everyone else went were they should be, for goal 3 Mustarfi; who was poor all game, whilst Monreal’s pace was exposed.

    The boss was guilty of not switching Mustarfi for Sead; but he’s probably looking down the line, regarding rushing people back. 3rd is Spurs.

    Also Ramsey and Mikhi had to get match fitness and match sharp.

    He should have dropped a Xhaka rather than Elneny.

    Buyback collectively, confidence is rock bottom.

    I can vary on supporting, he signed the catalyst.

    If only Alexis had stayed.

    2 for 1 is good. Rival bid on Ryan.

    No Butland m, not important to get a GK?/

    Defensively we can’t cover weaknesses as proven cyber the numbers of intervention by Mo.

    Russia planted emails etc, get the feeling we got that here. Orchestrated attacks.

  23. @Mr. Attwood, I agree, it would indeed be bizarre if Wenger didn’t focus on those two calamitous goals. I think Lars got the impression he wouldn’t talk about them to ANYBODY.

  24. Dwaine,

    for the 3rd goal, I had the feeling that I could ‘see’ in Mustafi’s body language the thinking : just don’t touch the guy, just don’t move wrong or it will be a penalty.

    This is where the ref’s attitude has direct implications without them acting… players get scared of acting because they know that the chane they get called out wrong is so big, even if they are right.

    Then again, this is my ‘reading’ of the movement leading to the goal

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