Arsenal fans won’t exactly be singing in the rain tonight, following a dismal performance against an impressive Swansea side, who took advantage of the Gunners in a 2-1 victory.
Many supporting the Arsenal will be facing a dreadful case of de ja vu, after they failed to hold on to a 3-0 deficit in mid-week against Champions League opponents, Anderlecht.
In a game that was yet another story of our season, the loss becomes Arsenal’s second of the Premier League campaign, and leaves them behind the Swans in sixth place, and a whole six places off the pace of league leaders Chelsea.
And don’t think it will be a simple case of ‘back to the drawing board’ for Wenger, because the drawing board will be well and truly thrown into the bin.
The last thing these players need is a long journey home from Wales, and it won’t be the toll bridge queue that’s annoying them this time. For many of these players will know this was their last chance, and I think it’ll be a big shift around when Arsenal face their next Premier League fixture, Manchester United.
Here are your player ratings from the loss at the Liberty Stadium:
Wojech Szczesny – 6
Very little he could do about either of the goals, no keeper in the world was saving that free-kick from Sigurdsson. First half he made some important saves but struggled towards the end when rain hampered his vision, but that is absolutely no excuse.
Calum Chambers – 4
Really not the Calum Chambers we are used to seeing. Failed to link up with the brilliant Chamberlain down the right hand side, resulting in the loss of possession on multiple occasions. At fault for a majority of the Swansea counter attacks, and made Montero look better than he has ever been.
Chambers will be so much more beneficial playing as a centre back against Manchester United, with Bellerin coming in at right-back. Players that know those positions are key in a defence that has not impressed once so far this season.
Per Mertesacker – 5
The man is really missing his partner in crime. Without Koscielny by his side the big German has looked lost in recent fixtures, failing to grab a hold of the game with his dominating influence. At fault for the second goal, after a lack of concentration resulted in Gomis jumping higher in the air to head past Szczesny.
Nacho Monreal – 5
Uncomfortable, sub-standard and never looked concentrated. Again, it’s hard to rate Monreal in these types of games, because it’s not his fault Wenger has to play him out of position. Wilfried Bony latched onto the small defender for the whole game, and although Monreal looked unfazed, his attention was drawn away from the rest of the pitch.
Kieran Gibbs – 7
Gibbs is the only highlight in our defence today, just look at his heat map to back up that accusation. Chasing down all over the field, he maintained his maturity to get forward at the right times. He has fully established himself as a week-in, week-out full-back. Gave away the foul for the free-kick which resulted in Swansea’s first goal though.
Matthieu Flamini – 7
A very good game for Flamini today, it was hampered by the two goals of course. He had to play the majority of the match on his own in the centre defensive midfield, which was understandable seeing as everything was going down the flanks today. Made no silly tackles today, and special recognition for not losing his mind when the pitch got slippy.
Aaron Ramsey – 5
Such a shame for Ramsey at the moment. Made very little effort in his play, and chances just didn’t come for the Welshman. A couple of shots for him but they went well wide, in a game where the crowd got the better of him this year. He is trying too hard to be the player he was last year, and that is only hampering his performance.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 8
Our best man on the field today. Chambo is learning a lot from Alexis, and his drive to work hard off the ball just as much as on it is paying off. The goal is completely down to his hard graft that helped Arsenal counter with pace. Not afraid to get at the defence, the Englishman is really giving Wenger a selection headache with the anticipated full return of Theo Walcott.
Alexis Sanchez – 7
He did his job and he did it well, and grabbed another goal for his impressive tally. Alexis didn’t manage to steal the headlines again this week, but he worked just as hard as he ever does, especially when we went 2-1 down. Always looking to close down the keeper and showed us he can work as a makeshift striker when paired with Welbeck up top. His frustration showed when given a yellow card in the 78th minute, but that is just confirmation of his passion for this club.
Santi Cazorla – 4
What is he still doing on the pitch? It’s not helping anyone with him struggling this much. Everything he does he just looks fed up, and is hating the fact that Sanchez is stealing all the limelight. No shots on target, not at all relevant to the goal scored and struggled when required to track back in the last 20 minutes. You could question whether he is still the player he was when he joined 4 years ago, but dropping him could do him the world of good. Lukas Podolski would be perfect to step into Santi’s role, and change something in this tired Arsenal set up.
Danny Welbeck – 6
Another frustrating game for Welbeck and I think he’s ready for the return of Giroud just as much as we are. Although he was the key man who yet again set up the goal, Welbeck isn’t enjoying the pressure week in, week out. Very few chances fell for him today and the lack of ambition proved in the second half when Arsenal were very poor on corner kicks.
6 – Jack Wilshere (On for Matthieu Flamini 80″)
Looked like he is ready for his place back in this side. Unhappy with the fact he played just ten minutes, Wilshere wanted to change the game the moment he came on. His frustration is the problem for I’m though.
5 – Theo Walcott (On for Aaron Ramsey 80″)
Did very little to change the game, ineffective on his first touch which showed when he failed to bring down a perfectly weighted ball in from Alexis. Not a great game for him to come back into, we must start him vs Manchester United instead of Santi.
N/A – Yaya Sanogo (On for Callum Chambers 90″)
No contribution, and never a confident move that this is your match-winner…