I’d love to know what our numbers are when it comes to playing against a team who have just appointed a new manager. We've got to do that more than any other team surely.
Well Paul Clement certainly looked the part on the sidelines, I mean what a dashing coat that was. I’d be interested to know how he does in the Premier League though given his coaching background, time will tell.
The line up was what I expected although it was a little harsh on Lucas who had been producing in recent weeks, but Alexis Iwobi gives us a balance that we lack when the Nigerian is absent, his second half display more than justified his selection.
Swansea were very aggressive and front footed from the start and they restricted our attacking game. We really need to find some sort of answer to that because we suffer from that approach so often. Not that there is a simple answer because most teams struggle when the opposition put so much into closing you down, I’m just not sure we cope better than our rivals at it. In fact I'd use the Bet365 Code to bet that we don't.
We were not able to create many scoring opportunities during that first half until an Arsenal counter attack on 37 minutes. Xhaka intercepted Nathan Dyer’s pass and then some neat combination play down the field resulted in Ramsey sliding the ball across to Giroud at the far post but the Frenchman could not quite get a connection. Is it me or does that happen quite a lot to ‘ol Ollie? I can never work out if the crosses aren’t good enough or if Giroud just isn’t quick enough to turn them in. If he starts to score those, he’ll be scoring 30 a season at this rate.
But the chance was not gone, as Alexis collected the ball from the other side, dinked in one of his standing crosses to Ozil who headed off the defender and into the path of hot streaky Giroud who couldn’t miss from close range. That is 5 in the last 5 games for Arsenal, that’s a record not to be sniffed at. Emmanuel Adebayor was the last Arsenal player to do this back in 2007/08, bet that was a surprise to you, was to me too.
Funnily enough, I don’t think Giroud is playing particularly very well at present, nothing bad but just not his best football and his presence impacts the way we want to play. But, but, BUT! The point of our attack playing well is to score goals is it not? And big Oliver Giroud is doing that for fun.
As soon as Giroud netted his chance he grimaced and twirled his fingers towards the Arsenal bench. Did anyone actually come on to check his injury? I don’t even know as the replays of the goal dominated the screen until we were back in the attack again. Maybe we wanted to get him in at half time before making a decision.
That goal really settled us down though, we started to show our quality after that.
On 42 minutes, Mike Dean would have been in his element, a chance to give a penalty to Arsenal’s opponents. To be fair, I thought Koscielny had tripped over Ki when watching live. I was bracing myself for the yellow card to be shown in Laurent’s direction. It is still very difficult to tell from the replay just how much or how little contact was made so I have nothing but sympathy for referees (well, most of them) in those circumstances. It may have changed the game, it may not have made much difference at all but it was nice for us to get the rub of the green in the box for the first time in quite a while now.
Second half we came out a different side, we gave the Swans a taste of their own medicine and pressed them hard. We had basically camped them inside their own half and continued to attack them at will.
on 54, Alex Iwobi had his deflected shot/cross [delete as applicable] sail over the head of Fabianski and into the far corner for 0-2. How many Weetabix did Iwobi eat at half time? He came out a different player I thought. He is beginning to show more confidence on the ball now and is starting to add a bit of swagger to his game.
He is starting to show just how physically strong he is by holding players off with his shoulders and bursting past players. Iwobi had a big part in our third when he drove at Swansea and blasted a left footed cross off the boot of former Spurs player Kyle Naughton for 0-3.
I loved Iwobi for our fourth, dancing between two, shoving Naughton to one side and still showing the composure and quality to thread a pass behind the defence to substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. His cross was eventually turned in by Alexis Sanchez.
I thought Aaron Ramsey was largely influential yesterday. Some of his errors, mainly in the first half will stick in the memory as some of his passes were badly misplaced and that will cloud opinions but Ramsey was involved in pretty much every Arsenal attack yesterday.
Ramsey cross for Giroud on the first before the cross came back in, Ramsey occupied the defender before it rolled to Iwobi for the second. For the own goal Ramsey was the one in the box and for our fourth it was Ramsey fighting for the ball that allowed Alexis the chance to score our fourth.
It was not only his presence in the box that made the difference, it was his energy when it came to pressing Swansea. He, Alexis and Iwobi forced Swansea into so many errors in the second half.
So what to make of the Sanchez reaction to being substituted? I mean come on fella, you gotta chill out a little. Imagine his reaction if he was in Pires’ situation in the Champions League final? He would have exploded. I get the whole desire to play thing and that’s great. Heck, if I have to miss Tuesday night football I find myself in a bad mood at home but he’s taking it too far now.
I did like Arsene’s comments though about how he was more interested in the player who has been out for so long but yeah Alexis, still loves you and all can you sign that contract now etc..
Anyway yesterday was a game much like last season really. We had to fight for the right to spank Swansea. By that I mean we had to do our job and earn the right to score our goals.
Pep’s City have just been handed a can of whopp-ass from Everton while Manchester United and Liverpool play now (1-0 the Pool) so it’s still all very tight at the top.