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Arsenal Doesn’t Deserve to Win the Premier League

Sportsmail's Kevin Quigley captures the moment Francis Coquelin and Petr Cech comfort the Spanish defender after the 2-1 defeat

Arsenal 1-2 Swansea

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference (via Arsenal.com)

 

There are mornings like these I wake up and wonder why I even blog about Arsenal football club. It’s one thing being an Arsenal supporter that watches a terrible game like yesterday and finds a way to allow it get out of your system, and it’s another thing for an Arsenal supporter to watch such a shitefest and re-live it in writing. I may never be as consistent as my Arsenal blogging mentors, Arseblog, and A Cultured Left Foot, but the way I feel at the moment cannot be explained with mere words.

Following the insipid and lackadaisical performance against a weakened Manchester United side, Arsene Wenger came out to defend his players stating that the criticism they were receiving was over the top. According to the gaffer, he stated the obvious that the team was fighting for the title, not trying to survive relegation but he was confident that they would channel the criticism into a better performance against an out-of-sorts Swansea side that was just a couple of points above their fellow relegation strugglers.

As you would expect from a fragile squad like ours, Laurent Koscielny suffered a calf injury just before kickoff, so a Gabriel Paulista that probably wouldn’t have played courtesy of his torrid show at Old Trafford retained his place alongside Per Mertesacker. One positive was seeing Joel Campbell return to the side and I wonder what he had done to the boss to lose his place in the team in the first place. He was one player that looked to make things happen and was a breath of fresh air. Heck, he even scored the opening goal after some nice team play and we were hoping for a rout to close the gap on Leicester.

Arsenal's Joel Campbell slides on the ground after getting his left foot to the ball to propel past Swansea City's Lukasz Fabianski

What came afterwards was worse than a cheap horror flick.

It was a case of maybe or maybe not on the foul incident that led to the equalizer. Mesut Ozil was clearly impeded by a Swansea player and in my time watching the beautiful game I have seen referees give that as a foul but the man with the whistle waved his hands for the game to continue. Then came the typical Arsenal lapse in concentration – Jack Cork sent a through ball to an onrushing Wayne Routledge that had crept in behind Mertesacker and the out-of-form Hector Bellerin before placing the ball neatly past Petr Cech.

What the hell happened to Bellerin? Last I checked, he was the reason Mathieu Debuchy left the club and may never come back. He showed off his inexperience when he was clearly impeded in the opposition box and instead of unleashing his inner Jamie Vardy to hit the turf for a penalty that would have been given, he relied on his acceleration to cross a ball that was quite meaningless. Then he was even possessed by the ghost of Bacary Sagna as all his crosses were downright erratic.

Then of course, there was our lil’ ol’ bad luck that decided to come around yesterday. Ozil swings in a dead ball that would usually connect with a teammate but the ball manages to evade everyone. Alexis Sanchez in shambolic form worked as hard as usual, makes some space for himself and blasts a shot that Lukasz Fabianski knew nothing about but the ball clips the post and returns to the Pole’s hands. Mr. Bad Luck wasn’t done with us just yet as Sanchez had a free kick that left Fabianski flat-footed but the cross bar came to his rescue.

Mertesacker stays in the box and flicks it to Giroud and he blasts it onto the cross bar.

Then Arsene Wenger would sit in front of some pressers and say that Giroud is world class. He should continue deceiving himself.

With Arsenal contriving to cock up, there was that potential for Swansea to give a sucker punch and it arrived when Ashley Williams reacted to Gyifl Sigurdsson’s cross to put the Swans ahead. Not that I wanna play the ‘blame game’ but our defending was pathetic and I actually expected more from my ‘world class’ goalie as he fluffed at the ball instead of anticipating it.

As if we weren’t having a horrible night already, Wenger, that has famously made 50,000+ substitutions replaces Campbell with Danny Welbeck. It’s not like I didn’t want Welbeck to come on, but Wenger should have taken out a confidence-bereft Giroud, instead of a player that played so well. But what do I know. He then goes on to replace Sanchez with that fraudster that earns 140,000 quid-per-week for being anonymous and anonymous he was yesterday.

Did I forget to say that Cech suffered an injury? Hold on while I stifle my laughter with the prospect of seeing a clearly unfit David Ospina in goal against Tottenham at the Lane and potentially Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

So at the final whistle, Wenger was faced with a collection of boos from the angry Arsenal fans that had seen their team bottle it yet again. To make things worse, Tottenham lost at West Ham and Liverpool exerted some revenge on Manchester City which ultimately means that Leicester’s dropped points on Tuesday counted for nothing. Watching Wenger after the game, you could see his disappointment as he even stormed out, albeit respectfully, but in all honesty, it doesn’t count for shit.

He is fully responsible his team’s slump as after Christmas. Arsenal has won just three of their last 11 games and it was a second division team in the FA Cup third round, a struggling Bournemouth and a 10-man Leicester. With the Gunners’ next game coming at White Hart Lane, one wonders the kind of shitefest the lads are preparing for us but frankly, I’m not bothered anymore.

As an ardent Arsenal supporter, I will make out time to see the game but I won’t attach anymore expectations to this team, because they have shown me that they clearly do not have what it takes to challenge effectively for the Premier League title.

Congratulations Leicester, this league is yours to lose because as far as I’m concerned, Arsenal doesn’t deserve to win the league.

Sayonara.

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Swansea Preview: Team News, Injury News and Predicted Lineups

Confidence isn’t high at the Emirates in the wake of the recent run of results at the club. The loss to Barcelona wasn’t much of a surprise but losing to that second-string Manchester United team raised a lot of questions about the team’s ability and potential for this season’s Premier League title. However, the manager has stated that the team can be motivated by the heavy criticism they have been receiving.

The Gunners cause was helped yesterday when stubborn West Brom went to the King Power Stadium and earned a hard-fought point. It was a rather nervy and tense affair but they held their nerve to put the Foxes at bay. Despite dropping points, there was a lot to be admired about the way Leicester never gave up and kept trying – something we didn’t see from the Gunners last week Sunday at Old Trafford.

Today, Arsenal hosts Swansea with a chance to close the gap on Leicester to three points. With half an eye on the weekend’s clash against Tottenham in the North London Derby, the Gunners would want to ensure that they play to their full potential while hoping on fellow London outfit, West Ham, to do them a favor against Tottenham.

The game against Swansea is always know for being a drab affair in the first half before coming to life in the second half. In the last nine meetings between Arsenal and Swansea, both sides have four wins apiece and sharing the spoils once but it’s also worth noting that two of Swansea’s last wins have come at the Emirates.

Arsenal Team News

Wenger has confirmed that he would need to be cautious with Danny Welbeck, as the English forward just returned to full fitness after a 10-month layoff. Welbeck has a good record against Swansea, scoring three in his last four against the Welsh outfit. The manager also confirmed the lengthy absence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that suffered a knee injury against Barcelona last week.

“[He will be out for] six for eight weeks. No surgery. We feared surgery at some stage before we saw the MRI. In the end we got, on that front, positive news.”

The manager believes that he will be fit enough for the Euros though.

Arsenal Injury / Suspension News

Jack Wilshere (ankle), Santi Cazorla (knee), Tomas Rosicky (thigh), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Carl Jenkinson (knee)

Arsenal Predicted Lineup

Arsenal 4-2-3-1 football formation

Swansea Team News

The Swans put up a spirited display against Tottenham with Lukasz Fabianski making a plethora of saves but in the end, they suffered yet another loss that has seen the Swans languishing in 16th place and they are flirting with relegation. Since Francesco Guidolin took over from Garry Monk, he has been trying to steady the boat but from all indications, I believe that Swansea has what it takes to remain in the Premier League.

Swansea Injury / Suspension News

No first team injuries / suspensions.

Swansea Predicted Lineup

Swansea City 4-3-2-1 football formation

Team Form

Arsenal

  • Last Five Games: D W D L L
  • Last Result: Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal
  • Leading Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud (18)

Swansea

  • Last Five Games: W D D L L
  • Last Result: Tottenham 2-1 Swansea
  • Leading Goalscorer: Andre Ayew (8)

Gooner Daily predicts a 3 – 0 win.

Sayonara.

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Lukasz Fabianski: Living Life After Arsenal

Anytime I think about Lukasz Fabianski, my mind goes to his FA Cup penalty-saving heroics against Wigan in the FA Cup semifinal. The Gunners had gone nine pain-staking years without a trophy and we would have gone into meltdown if Wigan, a team in the lower division had won that game. With Wojciech Szczesny a regular in the Premier League and Champions League, Fabianski was offered a run-out in the domestic cup competitions and he made the best out of the situation.

The Polish goalie wasn’t satisfied with playing second fiddle to his younger Polish compatriot and at 29, he needed to be featuring consistent to get a chance to be the No. 1 goalie for his nation. When Swansea came calling, Fabianski grabbed the opportunity with both hands, stating that he left Arsenal because he wanted to be No. 1 at Swansea.

Fabianski’s cause was helped when Swansea’s first-choice goalie, Michel Vorm, was sold to Tottenham, making him the undisputed number one at the Welsh club. He was an ever-present in Swansea’s squad last season, making 137 saves in the Premier League and keeping 13 clean sheets. On the 11th of May, Fabianski arrived at the Emirates but he was on the other side. That night, he unleashed his inner Manuel Neuer and put up a Man of the Match performance, making 10 saves as Swansea left the Battle of the Emirates with all three points.

Fabianski had a couple of words to say after the game,

“I spent seven years here and I have loads of friends here so to play against them was a strange experience, and sometimes it even felt like a training game. It was tricky. You never know how you are going to feel until you experience something. It was strange arriving at the ground and seeing all the people, but there was a game to play and I had to be focused.”

“I am past that frustration (at Arsenal). It has been a long time since I left Arsenal so I am just enjoying my position at the moment at Swansea. I am very happy with my decision to come here and I am really proud of the team’s performance.”

Swansea finished in eighth place and Fabianski played a vital role in the club’s high position in the league. His performances earned him a new contract with the club, extending his stay till June 2019.

At the start of the new campaign, Swansea made a couple of signings with Andre Ayew, Eder and Franck Tabanou being the highest-profile players the club purchased in the transfer window.

However, the Swans couldn’t replicate the form of last season and after quite an impressive start with two wins and two draws from their first four Premier League games, the club slumped with eight defeat in the next 12 games which led to the departure of Garry Monk. In the cup competitions, Swansea struggled badly, losing to lowly Oxford United in the FA Cup and Hull City in the League Cup. Since Francesco Guidolin took over, Fabianski retained his place in goal but their form isn’t really improved as they are currently in 16th place.

Tomorrow, Fabianski will visit the Emirates again as the Gunners host the Welsh club in their bid to inject some steam to their fading title challenge. The Pole has featured consistently for the club, keeping six clean sheets and conceding 36 goals in 27 games. In this period, Fab has made 82 saves, including 12 in the game against Tottenham last weekend.

I would be hoping that he won’t be at his best tomorrow but it’s fair to say that Lukasz Fabianski is…

Living the life after Arsenal.

Sayonara.

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