So here we are; two International breaks down, one to go and then we’ll have the imminent arrival of Yuletide/winter football on our hands; a period which in the last decade, hasn’t really painted a clear picture (and misled the fan base) of where we eventually end up, season after season.
This therefore makes it difficult to express high levels of optimism for the next dozen Matchdays between now and Boxing Day/end of the year, despite the team currently playing with the confidence needed to thrive in title races, as we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, most notably, home wins against Southampton and Chelsea, as well as that last gasp win at Burnley’s “Tough Moor”.
Putting this in a slightly broader perspective, It would’ve been classic Arsenal receiving a reality check, had we dropped points to S’oton and the Blues, with Arsène also adding that a reverse result of that recorded at Burnley could have been the case, especially with the set-piece appetite consistently shown from Sean Dyche’s side.
This doggedness currently brewing in the team will need to be at razor-sharp ruthlessness from kick-off, especially as today’s opponents, Swansea have a stunning record against the Gunners, regardless of any sort of form Arsenal seem to be experiencing.
Since the Swans’ Premier League bow in 2011, they’ve taken NINE points from their five visits to the Emirates Stadium, only recording their sole defeat in North London in their debut season. To put this into a broader context, only Chelsea have amassed as many points (nine) against Arsenal in the same period. Quite staggering for a club with such a modest pedigree.
Now when you consider the Swans will be visiting the Emirates with a new manager, Arsenal’s task of getting the better of Bob Bradley’ new side becomes more tricky, as we’ve seen with teams being given a new impetus to put up good performances right in front the new guy in charge.
However, Arsenal have too much riding on this to record another slip up against their visiting nemesis from Wales. Contrary to the opinion of many, this game is just as important as Arsenal’s last home game, which saw the Gunners finally come up with a cutthroat performance against Chelsea.
Lots of talk on “potential banana skins” have been labelled to The Arsenal in recent years, but in the case of Swansea’s awkward, recurring, nauseating pedigree in north London, the banana tag doesn’t do justice to express how important it is to end this Welsh hoodoo at the Emirates, and bag a 6th consecutive league win for the first time since April, 2015.