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Arsenal starting to recover with Swansea draw

Feature 26 Mar 2014, 12:33 IST
Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (L), Wojciech Szczesny (M) and Mathieu Flamini (L) are shocked at conceding the second goal against Swansea.

Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker (L), Wojciech Szczesny (C) and Mathieu Flamini (L) are shocked at conceding the second goal against Swansea.

I am a huge Arsenal fan, I will support the club till the very end and I read about it first thing in the morning every day. I believed this year was our year, even though the opening day defeat to Aston Villa brought in panic but it is finally time for all of us to accept the fact that we’re out of the running for the Premier League title.

Unlike what most people would say, Arsenal did play well against Swansea yesterday, it just so happens that the pent-up frustration that people have amassed since the 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea has, to put it in a subtle way, clouded their judgement about the performance.

I thought Rosicky and Giroud did well pressing high up in the game and I don’t even have to say anything about Santi Cazorla, he is our little magician and he did all he could to set up the team for nearly every attack.

Defensively, Kieran Gibbs was our best and his constant threat down the left-hand side proved handful for Angel Rangel and the rest of the Swansea rearguard. Bacary Sagna did well going forward but when it came down to finding the right final pass, he was left with minimal options causing him to look back to Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Flamini.

The commentators on Star Sports last night spoke about how Wilfried Bony had given Thomas Vermaelen ‘a handful’ and that the Belgian was way off the monumental presence of Bony but in truth, Vermaelen did just fine and he coped well with nearly all of the attacks that the Swans put forward.

I’ll admit it was strange to see Mikel Arteta higher up the pitch, but while the Spaniard was in Everton, with the number 10 on, he thread in some beautiful passes and maybe Arsene Wenger spoke to him about contributing more to the attack and he did well. Defensively, from the way we conceded both the goals, its evident that he didn’t do what he was supposed to but he is a instinctual attacker and very few footballers can convert their prowess in attack to defense.

While on the topic of attack, I think the Boss got the substitution spot on! Not that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was terrible, he did play his part and nearly scored a screamer by lacing the ball well, but the introduction of Lukas Podolski added another dimension to the Arsenal front-line. It’s clear that Gibbs and Cazorla aren’t entirely compatible with the latter drifting to the center to ‘create’ something but with Podolski, Gibbs has a direct pass he can always find and the German is more than capable of bombing forward and crossing the ball to Olivier Giroud, which he did.

Kim Kalstrom made his anticipated debut and he looked very promising from the minute he was introduced. First, he cut from the left of the box and nearly found Giroud with a peach of a ball only for Ashley Williams to clear. Then, he found the Frenchman with a beautifully weighted long ball only for the former-Montpellier man to scuff it. Defensively, the Swede was sound clearing the ball when needed and he found an Arsenal teammate with almost every pass. This is the kind of experience that can win you trophies and we should be more than happy that that’s what we’ve got.

Overall, I think the team played quite well and Arsene Wenger got his tactics and choices right. Onward to face the toughest game we’ve played yet and you can be guaranteed that the players know what this means. It’s Manchester City. It’s at the Emirates and it’s time we brought a smile back on Arsene Wenger’s face.

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