Showing posts with label Arsenal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arsenal. Show all posts

Sunday 17 May 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 17th May 2015)

There are not many Sunday's remaining this season and as you read this Swansea are hours away from kicking off their penultimate game of their 2014/15 campaign against last season's Premier League champions (...unless you got up too late and have missed the match, in which case Swansea won 6-0!)

Either way, grab your cleanest cup, fill it with the strongest coffee and read about what's been happening this week at Swansea City.

Swansea City vs Manchester City

While there's one fixture left after this, today is the final home game of the season. And what a way to end, with the chance to cause the second big upset in a week against second place Manchester City.

I had a good feeling about the Arsenal game and was right - Swansea defended like hell and came away with a well earned three points, taking full advantage of the new goal line technology.

At home against the big spenders who are more clinical it may be a tougher ask, but a draw is surely not out of the question. My prediction for today is 1-1.

The biggest talking point will probably be if a) we see Wilfried Bony take the field, and b) if he scores. He's said in a recent interview that he wants to score against his old club - let's hope that doesn't happen (although I have put a few pound on Bony to score last... just in case he grabs the winner).

Goodbye Gerhard?

It looks like the popular, but certainly not Premier League-confident Gerhard Tremmel will be leaving the club in a few weeks as his contract runs out.

There's little chance he'll stay as the Swans have apparently lined up the 25-year-old Swedish international Kristoffer Nordfeldt as a replacement.

Whatever happens we'll always remember the huge part Tremmel played in the Capital One Cup success of 2013 - undoubtedly his greatest period with the club.

Lawro eats his words

It seems Mark Lawrenson finally admits he was wrong about Swansea. This week he was reported as saying that the Swans had 'stuck a pie in his face' after constantly predicting failure for the club.

His predictions, like many pundits, were based around the departure of Wilfried Bony in January, with Lawrenson expecting Swansea to 'sink like a stone'. But, in his own words...

"[Swansea] have done the opposite and have gone higher than probably even they thought possible, with a top-six finish within their reach. That is very different to their position in the league table based on my predictions. By some distance they are the team who I have been the most wrong about, so I am sure their fans will be pleased rather than annoyed that I am going to tip them to lose again on Sunday"

Ten years since the Vetch

Last Monday (11th May) marked a decade since the Vetch closed its gates for the last time, following the FAW Premier Cup win against Wrexham in 2005. Just in case you didn't know.

Have a look at this Swans website for some great nostalgic photos of the Vetch!

Sunday 5 April 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 5th April 2015)

Happy Easter!

Swansea City were finally back in action after a long break and won their Premier League clash against Hull City pretty comfortably.

So grab your Easter egg and cup of coffee, and let's catch-up on all the action of the past week:

Swansea City 3 - 1 Hull City

Ki Sung Yueng opened the scoring in the 18th minute, adding to his growing tally after slamming in a rebound from Jonjo Shelvey's saved shot, before Bafetimbi Gomis scored a surprisingly good acrobatic shot from close range, five minutes from half-time.

Gomis on fire (never thought I'd say that!)

After the break it took just four minutes for Hull to nab a goal of their own, with Paul McShane scoring from a free-kick floated into the box. Hull piled the pressure on after that, with a few corners making Swans fans a little nervy.

However nerves were settled when David Meyler was sent off in the 52nd minute for a challenge on Kyle Naughton. With the extra man Swansea probed a little, then defended against a few potential Hull equalisers, before Gomis stole the show with a cheeky chip in the 91st minute. Undoubtedly his best game in a Swans shirt. Wilfried who?!*

(*Bony. Just in case you did forget)


Tom Carroll scored the only goal in the England U21's win against the Czech Republic last week, however in doing so he managed to injure his ankle and now faces up to six weeks out of action.

Carroll - like Leon Britton - has found it difficult to get into Swansea's starting line-up recently, thanks to the form of Jack Cork and Ki, so this is a big blow to his chances.

Injured again...

Elsewhere, the international break saw another injury for the Swans, with Jefferson Montero straining a muscle in Ecuador's 1-0 loss to Mexico in a friendly last week. However it's not as bad as Carroll's and he's likely to be back in action very soon.

Rescheduled matches

Earlier this week it was announced that two upcoming Swans matches have been moved for TV.

The game vs Arsenal at the Emirates will now take place on Monday, 11 May (8pm), while Man City's trip to the Liberty will now happen on Sunday, 17 May (1.30pm).

Swans fans weren't too happy with the Arsenal change and I can't blame them. Many had bought train tickets and booked time off work to go up to the Emirates and now they'll have to reschedule (with no reimbursement) or not go to the game. They get my full sympathy.

Michu recovering

It's been reported that Michu is on his way to recovery over an ongoing ankle injury. He's still with Napoli and in an interview earlier this week he talked about his want to repay Rafa Benitez for his faith.

The midfielder, who will always be remembered for his first glorious season with Swansea, has said on his future with the club:

'Will I return to Swansea? I really don’t know, the truth is I’m not thinking of my future right now. I just want to heal.'

However, I seriously doubt he'll ever pull on the Swansea City shirt again. But then again, with Gomis on fire, who needs Michu?!

Thursday 26 September 2013

Read all about it (or don't): Blog is back! Swans out of cup! Arsenal visit Wales!

Yes, we are back!

Sorry if you have tried to check the blog over the past two days - if you did you would have been presented with a spam page advertising tooth-whitening services and, possibly, dirty photo...

For the past three years I haven't had to think about renewing my domain name - money just left my account and things sorted themselves out automatically. However, for some reason, this year Blogger decided I had to do it manually. Cue me procrastinating, missing the deadline, losing my domain account password, emailing five different support accounts, crying, then eventually getting the site back up.

I'm gutted because for the first time in three years ForzaSwansea registered a day without any hits!

Anyway, let's put this behind us and enjoy Swansea City's defence of the Capital One Cu... oh, yeah. The Swans are out. That was fast! It's pointless me lying and saying I was going to make a prediction that Swansea would lose 3-1 to Birmingham last night because, truth be told, I wasn't. I would have predicted a second string team would have defeated Birmingham quite comfortably but, like the world of blogging, not everything is simple.

It's a shame that Swansea didn't maintain any run in the Capital One Cup. It was our trophy to defend and bowing out in a dismal display (from what I heard - I didn't see the match) isn't what we were hoping for.

Then again it was unlikely that the club would be able to sustain a good standing in the Premier League AND get to the knockout stages in the Europa League AND defend the league cup, and I think we'd all rather the first two happen, so it's probably best to be out of the cup early on.

So onto a tough game against Arsenal on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium (5:30pm). It'll be an interesting game and one we should probably expect to lose, with Arsenal holding a great away win record at the moment.

But we have done Arsenal before (a win and a draw last season for starters) and, with a rested squad, we should have the determination and energy to get something from the game. Yes they have Ozil (I don't know how to do the little dots over the O...) but we have Michu, Bony, Canas, Shelvey, Vorm and the rest!

I'm going to say 1-1 (around 5/1) is my prediction at the moment, but you'd be silly not to cover Arsenal to win 2-1 (at around 7/1). Then again my predictions have been dire (...Nathan Dyer) recently, so you'd also be pretty silly to listen to what I say!

Sunday 15 January 2012

Swansea 3 – 2 Arsenal: All round complete

Well, well – Super Sunday truly lives up to its name if you happen to be a Swans fan!

An exciting and significant game, with goals from Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer and Danny Graham, cancelling out the two Arsenal scored (Van Persie and Walcott). It's significant in the sense that Arsenal are the first “big” team Swansea have taken three points from this season. Notice I said first – Chelsea are just around the corner.

So, what went right this Sunday?

The team selection worked. While the keeper, back four and striker usually write themselves, midfield is always a headache (albeit a good one). This time, the combo of Allen, Agustien and Britton worked well in the first half, with Dyer and Sinclair both well on form at the same time (for a change).

Dyer deserved the man of the match award – well-earned from the little winger after setting up the penalty and scoring a fine strike himself. It was the third game in a row in which he scored, meaning he is becoming more of a well-rounded player, combining dizzy runs and an abundance of speed with goals... finally. He'll be a target for a number of teams come the summer.

This kind of thing I felt was missing in the first half of the season: long shots. by anyone, not just Dyer. Walking every ball into the goal was never an option in this league. I'm not sure what has changed recently – a managerial decision or just more confidence – but long shots are being taken more frequently, with some being scored. Good.

At half time I felt Kemy Agustien was taken off a little prematurely – he was having a decent game. However, Gylfi Sigurdsson made an appearance and the decision paid off. Nice to see the Icelandicman (Icelandian? Ice... forget it) slot into the squad with ease. Midfield is surely well equipped now, especially with Josh McEachran on his way next week. Britton, Allen, Gower, Agustien, Orlandi, Sigurdsson, McEachran... as each game goes by, it is hard to see where Stephen Dobbie will fit in.

Captain Ashley Williams did well enough to quell most of the danger, though his passing was uncharacteristically sloppy at times and, though he looked dangerous going forward, his runs left a few gaps when the ball was intercepted. He did enough to have a good game though, as did the rest of defence.

Arsenal were decent. I personally don't mind them as a team (apart from when they consistently cock up my betting accumulators!) and there is plenty of talent in their ranks. I'm sure you'll agree when I say I wasn't comfortable with a one goal lead at 2-1 or at 3-2. It could have feasibly gone three ways with ten minutes left on the clock; thankfully it went the right way.

I'm not praising Arsenal too much – just enough to drill home the fact that it wouldn't be such a significant win if they were shit! I'm sure a number of those sitting in the home stands / corporate boxes only came to see Thierry Henry and team-mates grace our small city, yet left with a new found love for the Swans (or so you would hope).

So, Swansea start the week 10th in the table. With a winnable game against Sunderland on Saturday, the Swans are finally looking like the complete Premier League team.

Friday 13 January 2012

Swansea City: Weekly thoughts

Time for a very brief Swansea City catch-up.

Dobbie + Lita + Cash = Maynard?

Rumours were confirmed earlier in the week that a 'cash and Dobbie' deal is on the table for Bristol City's Nicky Maynard.

Dobbie was so influential in Swansea's final championship season – a true fan favourite – but is he worth hanging onto? I guess if he never warms to the different game that is the Premier League, the answer is no. But I can't see this being it for Dobbie and the Swans. I feel he still has something to prove. His time is running out though, so he'd better shape up soon or he will be gone.

Lita is another who has been rumoured to be included in that deal, but it hasn't been confirmed by the club and seems a little unlikely. Dobbie AND Lita AND cash for one decent Championship player? I think not. Lita is one worth hanging onto for his clinical (albeit rare) goals and strength up front.

Nicky Maynard has scored eight goals for Bristol City this season, from 25 appearances. This is in the Championship mind you, and we all know the step up the player would have to take. Star boy in the Championship can mean nothing in the Premier League. Look at Danny Graham – last season's top scorer, but took a while to get going (though now, thankfully, he is putting away a few good goals).


The club needed a little exfoliation – scrubbing off the dead players and replenishing them with new, moister players (is it me, or is this blog turning a little erotic...?)

Are you really sad to see David Cotterill go? I can't say I'll give it much more than a shrug of the shoulders. The club have cancelled his contract by mutual consent, which I feel is fair enough. In the past few weeks there was chat of Cotterill moving to ADO Den Haag but it didn't happen.

He had a few good seasons with Swansea (along with a few terrible penalty misses), but in a midfield rammed with speed, accuracy and strength, he would never have made a starting line-up/bench/cup match line-up/cup-match bench, so he's essentially just dead wood. Cheers David, but it was unlikely to work.

Olympic Team

Brendan Rodgers has essentially given his blessing for Ashley Williams, Joe Allen, Neil Taylor and Steven Caulker to take part in Team GB after the players were shortlisted.

As Mr Rodgers says, it would disrupt pre-season and the start of the 2012/13 season, but if the players want to play in the Olympic squad, who are we to say no?

Frankly I couldn't give a shit about football at the Olympics - there are enough major tournaments to be a part of and it will easily be overshadowed by Euro 2012.

For the three Welshmen it may well be a once in a lifetime opportunity as Wales may not qualify for a major tournament in the next ten years. However, the players should be aware that they're club needs them more than Stuart Pearce, for a competition that... nobody really cares about.

Swansea vs Arsenal

Swansea can win the game on Sunday! Back in September the travelling Swans were unlucky not to grab a point at the Emirates (thanks to the rare mistake from Michel Vorm, who threw it at the heels of Angel Rangel, leaving Andrey Arshavin to slot in a fine strike). In fact, with a little more cutting-edge, a win wasn't that far out of reach for the Swans.

With the home crowd behind them, it's more likely this time around. Saying that, Arsenal have warmed as the season has progressed (currently 5th in the table) and may appear more dangerous this time.

The Arsenal legend that is Thierry Henry has returned to the club, and I expect to see him feature at the Liberty. We all know he is capable of scoring a few, so Williams and co will have to keep concentration up at the back. Going forward it's got to be Graham, Dyer and Routledge starting, with Sinclair coming off the bench later in the game.

I predict a cheeky, though well-earned, 2-1 victory to Swansea.

Sunday 11 September 2011

Swansea 0 – 1 Arsenal: Take two magnets...

You don't have to be scientifically gifted to follow Swansea (as some of the regulars in the East Stand will confirm), but a basic experiment to carry out is this: take two magnets and try to place the opposite poles together. Feel the strong force that pushes the magnets apart? Well, scientists have discovered that that is the same force which pushes the ball away from any goal that Swansea try to score in!

Questionable physics aside and we are left with another game where Swansea are unable to score, despite many chances.

The positives were clearly there once again – the game against Arsenal showed that Swansea can be consistently solid against a strong Premier League opponent (apart from the occasional blip) and can push forward with relative ease at times. The fact is, Swansea should have taken at least a point away from the Emirates. They deserved it – if not, all three.

In fact, Arsenal didn't particularly look like scoring that many. Yes they had some wonderful chances, stopped by Michel Vorm and the post, but they didn't threaten as much as I expected. It's a shame, then, that Swansea lost to one of the oddest goals we'll ever see!

Let's clear the white elephant from the room – Vorm's uncharacteristic mistake was stupid. There's no two ways around it. It took a few seconds for everyone to register what had happened, but soon it was apparent that Swansea City had secured their place on at least one 'bloopers' DVD this Christmas. 'Danny Dyer's semi-amusing football-related cock-ups' will not be on my Christmas list this year.

Vorm, like the rest of us, was clearly disappointed, though it's easily forgiveable – the amount of points he's already saved in his short career with the club means I'd let him do it again next game (…maybe not). Kudos to Andrey Arshavin and his fat tongue, whose reaction time was incredible and easily put the resulting mistake in the back of the net.

As well as a pretty solid team display there were stand-out individuals for Swansea. Stephen Caulker showed a lot of talent, and his goal saving, potentially testicle-destroying sliding save in the first half was enough for a Man of the Match award for me.

Nathan Dyer's work rate was top notch as usual. Scott Sinclair caused trouble to Sagna at times and he was unlucky not to score when his powerful free-kick slapped the crossbar in the second half.

Talking of unlucky, it's time to scrutinise Danny Graham. Again he showed plenty of enthusiasm and will to score, but again he failed in his efforts.

It's a tough decision now. It's only been four games (five including the Shrewsbury fiasco), but Graham hasn't scored. A selection of pundits believe he isn't cut out for the Premier League. I'm not sure – technically, he has looked like scoring plenty of times. It probably is just bad luck, but for the West Brom game should Graham start on the bench and be used as an impact sub? No doubt I'll look at this option further in my West Brom preview in the week. (Your opinions and thoughts are more than welcome - leave them in the comments box below)

Either way, Swansea must score in the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. West Brom are another of the 'easy' teams and, at home, Swansea will surely have chances to put them away. Things may start to get a little awkward if they don't score.

Brendan Rodgers was naturally not present in London due to the unfortunate death of his father on Saturday morning. It goes without saying that all fans' thoughts are with him and we hope he is able to return soon to guide the team to their first Premier League victory.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

The Preview: Swansea vs Arsenal

While the international break is needed in the long run (trust me, you'd be annoyed if there was no Euro 2012 next summer!) it's always nice to get back to normal. If that's what you can call supporting Swansea City.

This Saturday sees another 'glamour tie', where the Swans will take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. It's highly anticipated as both teams have a similar brand of football: fast and entertaining, with wonderful passing abilities, but sometimes struggle with the end product!

Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor return from international duty to join new defenders Darnel Situ, Rafik Halliche and Fede Bessone, though at the time of writing only Bessone was cleared to play - the club are still waiting on Situ and Halliche. With Rangel and Caulker also fit and ready there is finally a little competition in the back line, with all four spots theoretically up for grabs (though I can't see Bessone starting ahead of Rangel or Taylor). Garry Monk is still struggling with his foot injury, so it's unlikely he'll feature.

Mark Gower has spoken of his hopes of finally pushing for a place in the starting line-up, though probably won't be first on the list. Personally I'd use the Britton, Routledge and Agustien combo once again. It's been working at home: goal scoring opportunities have been created, and Agustien and Britton add defensive security.

Starting Stephen Dobbie instead of Routledge may also be an idea - his confidence doesn't seem to be that high currently, so a start may give him a boost. Then again, decisions should be for the best of the team, not the best of the individual. He needs to use the times he is subbed on as a platform to show how capable he is. So far in the Premier League he hasn't been able to show that.

As usual Scott Sinclair and Nathan Dyer are vital for creating chances on goal so they're in. That leaves the starting striker. Is it time for Lita? Many would argue no, and I may agree this time. Danny Graham should start, though if he fails to get a goal his confidence may take a further knock. Despite Arsenal going through a low, they will be harder to break down than the likes of Wigan and Sunderland, so any chances that are created must be put away!

Onto the opposition: the Gunners have recently hit a low point, with the 8-2 demolition by Man United surely rock-bottom.

The main area they've struggled with recently appears to have been transfers; both bringing players in and letting them slip, most notably Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Samir Nasri to Man City. However, they managed to rejuvenate the squad on transfer deadline day with German international Per Mertesacker and Brazil international Andres Santos - both add to a back four that were seriously lacking against Man United, and, with Bacary Sagna expected to be back from illness, Arsenal's defence is looking a lot healthier.

Arsene Wenger also added Mikel Arteta from Everton and Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun to the midfield, and with Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie in the squad it won't be a simple task by any means. Luckily for the Swans the likes of Gervinho and Alex Song will miss the match, both still serving bans from recent red cards, while Jack Wilshire is out with an ankle injury.

My prediction is 2-1 to Arsenal (odds currently around 7/1). I see Swansea getting their first goal, though can see an exciting Arsenal attack finding a way past the defence and Vorm.

Ultimately it's Arsenal's game to lose. Swansea aren't expected to win (with 9/1 odds confirming this), so, with less pressure than the games against Wigan and Sunderland, maybe we'll see a goal? A loss isn't ideal for Swansea (obviously), though a draw would be seen as a wonderful success. Either way, with both teams out to play attractive football, it's bound to be an entertaining game!

Read more of my thoughts on the Arsenal match here – an interview carried out by an Arsenal blogger (towards the bottom of the page). Interesting reading about the opposition too!