Made my first trip to see a match at the Emirates today to watch Arsenal play Swansea. Luckily I saw Arsenal win 1-0. But it was far from an impressive performance by the Gunners.
Yes they won via an Arshavin goal, but Swansea really should have equalized late in aded time when Danny Graham shot over from the edge of the six yard box.
The Emirates in a fantastic place to watch a match. The way the stadium is designed really enhances the atmosphere. The problem is that the Arsenal fans are really quiet. For the most part the 3,000 Swansea fans outsung the Gunners fans. Strangely, I rarely heard an Arsenal song for a player. Almost all the songs were “Arsenal” related, but I don’t think I heard one song for Robin van Persie for example.
It was frustrating seeing Arsenal players time and time again turn inside instead of heading to the touchline, making it easier for Swansea to defend. The one time Arsenal got in an early cross, Chamakh had his header well saved late in the game.
If you have been a long term reader of this blog, you know I am not a fan of Andrei Arshavin. But Arshavin changed my opinion today. He is one of the few Arsenal players who are always moving into space. Unfortunately, after six or seven good runs into space and not receiving the ball, his head goes down as does his effort.
Theo Walcott has lots of speed, but no football brain. Too often he runs into blind alleys instead of keeping his head up and delivering a quality pass.
Kieran Gibbs really struggled tonight. It is easy to see why Wenger signed another left back. Almost everything that Swansea created came down the Arsenal left.
Szczesny made a great save early in the first half and commanded his penalty box really well. I was very impressed with him.
First match for Mikel Arteta in a Gunners shirt. He looked really good at times but drifted in and out of the match. As he gets fitter and more comfortable playing alongside Ramsey and Wilshere I believe that he will have a great season.
I was impressed by the quality of Swansea’s play. They looked very solid defensively and the goal they conceded was the kind of error that will not happen the rest of the season.
What has to worry Swansea fans though is that they have now gone four Premier League matches without scoring. They desperately need a quality center-forward who can score 10-15 goals this season. If they don’t get one, then I cannot see how avoid relegation.