Arsenal 0 – 2 Swansea – Match Analysis & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 0 – 2 Swansea

With just two wins from their last six games, Arsenal welcomed Swansea to the Emirates Stadium in dire need of a win. The Swans sat just one point behind Arsenal in the table, and were hopeful of leap-frogging the Gunners.

Against Aston Villa & Everton, the Gunners were dull, lethargic and defensively vulnerable. Unfortunately, the first half of the Swansea game was no better. Within minutes, Szczesney was forced into a great double save to stop Rangel from scoring, and Vermaelen had to make a dramatic last-ditch challenge on Dyer. Arsenal on the other hand, created nothing.

Arsene Wenger decided to drop the in-form Olivier Giroud for the awful Gervinho. The negative results of including the Ivorian were almost immediately recognisable.[quote_right]”Losing at home in the Premier League can happen to anybody. The real worry is the all too familiar way in which Arsenal lost. No desire, no urgency, no excuses.”[/quote_right]

Gervinho was leaving Gibbs exposed, allowing Swansea to attack freely down the left flank. His first touch was awful, and when he was given a free header in the box, he managed to put it out for a throw-on. It was embarrassing to watch.

Swansea were largely untroubled by Arsenal in the first half. Cazorla, Wilshere & Arteta had yet again failed to provide much spark in the final third. It was looking like yet another lost cause. Arsenal’s style of play was unmotivated and lacking any kind of real cohesion. Light boo’ing rang out in the Emirates stadium, as the Gunners walked despairingly down the tunnel.

Arsenal began the second half more positively. Cazorla, Wilshere & Arteta began to move the ball forwards, and our full backs were attacking well down both wings. For a few minutes, it almost looked as thought the old Arsenal were back. But for a few minutes alone.

As time passed, and chances were missed, Arsenal yet retracted themselves from Swansea’s final third. We sat back, passed with little urgency, and invited the Swans to attack us. We were desperate for a goal, yet playing as if the game had already been won.

Arsenal found themselves drawing at home against a side they should be beating, and the clock was ticking. However, it was about to get far, far worse. In the 85th minute, Michu found himself through on goal after an impressive move by Swansea. He positioned himself perfectly, and curled the ball past Szczesney with ease. Every fan in the stadium knew Arsenal didn’t have the desire to save even a point. The game was lost.

Swansea had deservedly won all three points, and admirably wanted more. They possesed a winning mentality, something which Arsenal have lacked in recent weeks. In the final seconds, Jenkinson hesitated on the ball and lost possession on the half way line. Swansea sprang forward yet again, setting Michu free. The excellent Spaniard had acres of space to run into, but made no mistake with his fine finish. Arsenal were humiliated.

Losing at home in the Premier League can happen to anybody. The real worry is the all too familiar way in which Arsenal lost. No desire, no urgency, no excuses.

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[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]

Szczesny: [8.5/10]
MOTM. For the second game running, Our Pole in goal in the star of the Arsenal show. This is not a good sign. None of the goals were his fault, but he made three excellent stops throughout the game which gave Arsenal a chance to get themselves going. To no avail.

Jenkinson: [6/10]
He was doing so well until the final seconds. He hesitated on the ball and lost possession at a vital moment. Entirely to blame for the second goal. Did well beforehand though.

Mertesacker: [7/10]
Nothing to complain about. Did his job well enough, and made some good challenges as usual.

Vermaelen: [7.5/10]
Perhaps one positive from today’s defeat was Vermaelen looking better than he has done all season. Made two great challenges, one of which averted a certain goal. Surged forward and nearly scored from a header.

Gibbs: [6.5/10]
Good to have Kieran back, but needs to work on his crosses. Perhaps him and Sagna should put in some extra shifts at the training ground.

Wilshere: [6.5/10]
In and out of the game today. Wasn’t helped much by his out of form colleagues alongside him.

Cazorla: [6/10]
Gave the ball away far, far too often. He is easily shrugged off the ball and even threw himself on the floor to try and win a penalty. Despite having a few good shots, sometimes I wonder about Cazorla.

Arteta: [6.5/10]
Worked hard as usual, but had little effect on the game. Defensively did what he had to do, and not much else.

Gervinho: [5/10]
A truly awful display again from the Ivorian. Bad touches, worse passes, and finishing that would be-fit a sunday league player. No idea why he was started ahead of Olivier Giroud. Subbed.

Walcott: [6/10]
Didn’t see much of the ball thanks to a lacklustre midfield performance. He tried his best to get into dangerous areas when he could.

Podolski: [6/10]
Isolated. Got one tame shot away in the first half and never saw him again. A frustrating day for the German. Subbed.

Subs:

Giroud: [6.5/10]
Came on and worked hard. Almost nicked the ball off a Swansea defender to go through on goal after chasing down well.

The Ox: [6/10]
Didn’t see much off the ball, but was far from impressive when he did receive it.

Rosicky: [5/10]
Didn’t have much time, but should have put in more effort to stop Michu from scoring his second. His lack or urgency to tackle the Spaniard summed up Arsenal’s performance.

[title]Down The Swanny[/title]

In my last match preview, I said that Arsenal needed a win at home against the Swans. Losing to them by two goals never even crossed my mind. Silly me.

I recently wrote an article on why I believe Wenger is still the best man for the job, however, he will once again be questioned as to why he started Gervinho ahead of Giroud, and why our team seems to have no urgency at all to win games. And rightly so. Our midfield trio of Arteta, Cazorla & Wilshere promised so much, but is delivering so little. Results need to come, and fast.

What did you think of the Arsenal Vs Swansea Match? Should Arsene Wenger be questioned? Share your views below by leaving a comment.

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