How wonderful, a second away win in a week. A clean sheet too.
I was at the Emirates earlier in the season when the Swans scored two break away goals late on to take three points from us and although Monreal’s goal was scrappy it was marvelous to score a real ‘old-fashioned’ Arsenal goal yesterday to seal the win.
Ramsey and The Swerve really did make a difference when they came on and I love the idea of Gibbs playing in front of Monreal late on in a game. AW has used this tactic before with the left-backs, Cole/Clichy, Clichy/Gibbs even the much maligned Santos added something to the left wing when used in front of Gibbs or Vermaelen.
Rocky has written some excellent player ratings below so I won’t go into too much detail about individual performances.
Much credit must be given to this Swansea team who played some excellent football, they really do spray the ball around well and always seem to find each other. They are a team full of confidence and Michu could have put them ahead early in the first half but it wasn’t to be their day.
We are still in with a shout for a ‘top four’ trophy. Yes, we have to hope that the teams above us drop points and that we can find some consistency but lets face it now is the time. Arsène Wenger believes in this team and this week they have repaid his belief. His own decision to drop Vermaelen and Szczesny must have caused him sleepless nights but the result has been beneficial to the team.
Look at the passion in these guys eyes …….. they loved that win yesterday and so did I.
Written by peachesgooner
Player ratings from RockyLives
Fabianski: I’m afraid the younger of the Poles in Goal won’t be getting his place back just yet. Fab didn’t have much to do but he did well when called upon – in particular one low save against Michu (the Swans striker was offside, but Fab didn’t know that). He had one “Flappy” moment from a cross and was not really tested in the second half – but a very steady game to follow on from his good outing in Munich. 7
Jenkinson: the boy is becoming a man; the Corporal may be ready for his third stripe. One ill-advised pass across his own penalty box aside, Jenks was assured in defence and a constant outlet going forward. He is also very, very fast. If it were down to me, I would keep him in the team, with Sagna as bac-up. 8
Mertesacker: why so many people still doubt the big German sausage is a mystery to me. He marshalled the defence, was composed on the ball and very vocal. 8
Koscielny: Stan Laurel is forming a fine partnership with the BFG. I like many of Vermaelen’s qualities, but I have felt all season that the Kozzer-BFG axis is our best central defence pairing. Two clean sheets in two difficult away games bear that out. 7.5
Monreal: looks a very tidy player. Still finding his feet as an Arsenal man, but defended well and got the all-important first goal (which definitely merits and extra point). His understanding with his team mates is improving and he should turn out to be a good buy. 8
Arteta: it’s a tough job for any holding midfielder against Swansea, because their ball retention and movement is so good. For someone like Arteta, who is not really a holding MF by instinct, it’s an even bigger task. There were periods in the first half when we couldn’t get the ball and Mikel struggled. But once we got going he was absolutely vital to our play, orchestrating our moves from deep and tidying up well when we lost possession. Unspectacular, but undoubtedly essential. 8
Diaby: started poorly, giving the ball away unnecessarily a few times early on and failing to get to grips with the Swans’ midfield. But he improved as time went on and made some excellent turn-and-runs to threaten the home team’s area. Had opportunities to shoot but always seemed to need one touch too many. 7
Santi Cazorla: had a quieter first half, but his influence grew as the game went on until he was pulling all the strings in attack. Had some good shots, was always looking for the ball and his combination play with team mates was outstanding. 8.5 (MoTM)
Oxlade-Chamberlain: I’ll admit I was starting to get worried about Oxo, who seemed to have lost his mojo. But this was a real return to form and confidence. He sought out the ball, was always direct, hit the crossbar not once but twice and would have given Cazorla a run for MoTM if he had not been subbed off after about 70 minutes. 8
Walcott: not Theo’s best game. In the first half he seemed to want to cut inside all the time rather than use his pace round the outside. He was involved in some good second half moves but really needed to have been more involved. 7
Giroud: can’t fault his work rate and some of his hold-up play was very good in thankless circumstances. I do worry that, overall, Ollie is A- class rather than A or A+. 6.5
Gervinho: when he came on for Chamberlain I couldn’t understand why Arsene was taking off one of our best players on the day. But The Swerve was immediately effective and caused mayhem in the Swansea defence by taking on and beating defenders. He had one typical “Oh no Gervinho” moment when he brilliantly cut inside from the left, only to fluff the simple lay-off. When he put the game beyond Swansea’s reach I was delighted for him and so, it was obvious to see, were the Arsenal players. Arteta even made a point of sending him back to milk the applause of the (again excellent) travelling support. This guy will never be Henry of Pires, but if we give him a chance he might just be a valuable member of our squad. 8
Ramsey: after a fine game in Munich, Ramsey was – as we have come to expect – full of energy and endeavour. He made a couple of great bursts from midfield and set up Gervinho for our second. 7
Gibbs: looked very comfortable as a wide left player in front of Monreal. It’s definitely an option to use him in that role in the future. 7