The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Swansea (h): Team News, Thoughts And Predicted Starting XI

Andre Mariner’s pre-game preparations became more thorough.

Morning, folks.

What a few days it’s been. Barring the obvious horrors of recent football, I’ve been working far, far too hard for my liking. As I type, my weary bones creak and ache and I’ve bags the size of lemons underneath my eyelids. I look like a distressed Panda.

Mercifully for you lovely people, I retained just enough energy to write this post last night before a well earned snooze. Yesterday I discussed Arsene Wenger and some of the reaction to the notion of him being elsewhere next season. Seems to me the camp is almost completely split down the middle on that one. I’m still unsure myself, often veering wildly from one extreme to the other.

However, there is a slight glimmer of good news today and that comes, according to 888sport in the form of no suspension being handed to either Kieran Gibbs or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaim after the Andre Mariner fiasco of Saturday.

I’m unsure how we’ve managed to avoid any ban at all given we had a player sent for an early bath, but I’ll assume we have a keen legal team behind closed doors eager to exploit loopholes in moments like this. Whatever the reason, it’s good to know we won’t lose another player.

On the subject of players, I’ve seen a few dubious rumours floating about that state we could be in for some rotation in tonight’s game with Swansea. We all know that a reaction is needed and a positive one. I daren’t think of the atmosphere amongst supporters should an infinitely winnable home fixture go pear shaped. Arsenal are under a total media blackout at present, so it’s tough to guess what Arsene will do, but I doubt we’ll see wholesale changes, but maybe the odd surprise. With “clear the air talks” alleged to have taken place I wouldn’t be shocked to see a few players axed, in the short-term if nothing else.

Fabianski in for Szczesny seems to be the main idea floating about, followed closely for Yaya Sanogo coming in for the much-maligned Olivier Giroud. Laurent Koscielny will definitely miss the game with a calf injury, but aside from the usual list of absentees, everyone should be just fine. Notably, Chuba Akpom has returned from his loan at Coventry. Abou Diaby isn’t included in the squad as he’s currently in Amsterdam entertaining tourist for remarkably reasonable rates.

My totally wild guess at the team, assuming a few rumours are true, would be:

This is the part where I’d put in a graphic, but I can’t, Why? Because of fu*king Google surveys preventing me from doing so.  I’ll guess at a team of Fabianski; Sagna, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Vermaelen; Flamini, Chamberlain, Gnabry, Rosicky, Cazorla; Sanogo. 

Victory today is essential. We’ve a decent chance to do so as Swansea aren’t exactly riding the crest of a wave at present, but they’ll fancy their chances having seen up capitulate so breathtakingly. What I hope to see is the players come flying out of the blocks eager to make amends and a couple of early goals. Should the game go into the 2nd half still goalless, the nerves are going to start jangling and that is something we have to avoid.

I’m going to say a routine 2-0 victory. I don’t want to consider anything else. The thought is bloody awful.

That’s all from me, folks. All that remains is for your thoughts in the comments. Let me know your views on rotation and the players you’d select. Tomorrow I’ll be back with more, until then and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Match previews
  • sans says:

    I dont know James,but i think Giroud is our best striker,playing Sanogo will not necessarily bring about the change we crave(cos i think he still got a lot to learn).so i’ll go for Giroud and who knows …..

    March 25, 2014 at 9:13 am
    • bharat says:

      How about playing chamberlain as a striker, he is certainlu strong, has pace, can run at defenders, let flamini pair with Arteta in midfield with Rosicky and carzola,podolski on the wings. Just a thought.

      March 25, 2014 at 9:30 am
  • Cristian says:

    smart post, the Diaby jokes never get old and Andre Mariner’s pregame prep was funny too. I wanted to congratulate you on the consistency of your daily posts(you’ve obviously learned something from AW ;) ). cheers!

    March 25, 2014 at 9:37 am
  • Joy says:

    Still morning our mauling, James. Thanks for consoling me the other day. Asides from your blogs, haven’t been able to bring myself to attempt reading any of the other Blogger’s viles about our club and Arsene, especially those on Arsenal.com. Even facebooking is Scaring right now for me.

    March 25, 2014 at 9:41 am
  • nijjy says:

    i think arteta and flamini should start together with the ox on the right. i agree with sans on giroud. for all his troubles against the so-called big teams, giroud actually plays well against the so-called weaker teams. he isn’t exactly a super flat track bully as the buck-toothed guy from liverpool, but he’s done well against teams in the lower half of the table. sanogo for me, is still very raw and needs to learn more about the nuances of the game, specially his movement.

    the ox on the right because of two basic reasons: one, because he doesn’t look like the complete central midfielder yet. although he put in a couple of decent performances from the middle, he still has a lot to learn before he can become like ramsey. second, playing him out wide provides us more width, which we have lacked badly since walcott’s injury.

    March 25, 2014 at 10:45 am
  • Ashley says:

    As I said yesterday , we are not going to change the way we play so it should be another struggle against a team that will try to play on our weaknesses .. Swansea might not be having a great season but when ever a team is in need of a win or they haven’t beaten us in ages or we desperately need to win or all our pre game stats are better than theirs or Swansea have never beaten Arsenal at home or Arsenal always win Tuesday games or Swansea never beat arsenal after 7 pm or if swanseas manager has 3 weetabix they never beat Arsenal … You can be damn sure we will lose .. We never win games in hand , we never win when we absolutely need to we never take advantage of good situations we get ourselves in .. I’m sorry if you read this and think how is this guy an Arsenal supporter ? I’m just fed up if us being so poor .. We never look totally in control , this whole season we have been teetering on the edge of getting smashed , even when we were top we didn’t look like staying there , to be honest I’m lost in my own rant right now .. I’m slowly learning how to not let our bad results ruin my weekend , I think other Arsenal fans should try and work on this skill as I think we are really gonna need it from now on

    March 25, 2014 at 10:58 am
    • Chigooner says:

      I hear you buddy. Our loses don’t affect my weekends anymore. I know the formula: Get trounced by top 4 teams, struggle against mid-table teams unless we score early goal, beat lower table teams. This is predictable because we don’t change our tactics and everyone knows how to play us and the only reason we don’t lose more is because the lower table teams don’t have the personnel to pull off the tactics to beat us, the mid table teams have some of the personnel and the top tier teams are totally stocked with top talent. Look, if a teacher gives the same exam to the same class every week even the dumbest kids will pass the exam once in a while.

      March 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm
  • Ahmed says:

    I really don’t wanna see Chamberlain in the midfield again after that horrible display against Chelsea. His natural position is on the flank, whether left or right he can produce in both. We paid a heavy price due to that mistake so please Arsene don’t do it again. I’d like to see Sanogo that kid has potential and we got to give him a chance against smaller teams. As for the midfield Arsene should play Kallstrom, his experience in that position will serve us better than Arteta or the Ox. Finally, thank you for this post James.

    March 25, 2014 at 11:52 am
  • meo says:

    Mentally,these guys need to stay focused.and I kinda agree with chambo on the flanks this time.arteta and flamini in CM with kalstorm* coming in the 2nd half……COYG!!!!!….if u can’t win for Wenger,win for the fans…..

    March 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm
  • lance says:

    8 more games with giroud..yeah

    March 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm

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