View From The Opponents – Swansea vs Arsenal

View From The Opponents

by Vivek Arulnathan

Arsenal
sit comfortably at the top of the table after five games and while it could be
too early to talk about a title challenge, there’s no harm in enjoying when we
are doing well. There was more to cheer for Arsenal when a young team managed
to out shoot an experienced West Brom in the League Cup and set up a clash with
Chelsea at home in the next round.

All
this has set us up nicely for a tough away game at Swansea. With players rested
and high on confidence, Arsenal will be geared up for a challenging day at the
Liberty stadium. While Swansea have troubled us since their comeback to the
Premier League, we managed to get a crucial win there in our final run in last
season and that should give the players confidence as well. And ahead of the
game, I’ve managed to get in touch with James White of http://scfc2.co.uk/. James is a lifelong Swansea fan and apart from running
SCFC2, Jim is also the Vice Chair of the Swans Trust who own 20% of the club.

James feels Arsenal would’ve been huge
favourites for the title had they added a few more players while he also
confesses that all Swansea fans want Arsene Wenger to sign a new contract so
that Laudrup doesn’t get his head turned buy the lure of Arsenal.

1. We are five games
into the league and seeing from what has been a tough fixture list, are you
happy with Swansea’s start?

Yes
I am. We all knew that the first 2 games would be tough and even though we were
bottom,
I wasn’t worried. It was important to get a result away at West Brom and
when we did it built our confidence for the Liverpool and Palace games. We are
playing good football and we look more potent going forward as well so yes I am
pleased with the start!

2. Swansea produced a
master class against Valencia in Spain. Do you think that performance is an
indication of what the Swans are capable of?

We
were very good against Valencia and the pleasing thing about this result was
that the players weren’t overawed by the stadium or the club itself. We have
been capable of big performances against big clubs for some time but actually
going and making it happen is another step forward for the team and the club

3. What is the fans’
take on the manager?

Having
one of the greatest ever footballers ever to play the game manage your team is
quite surreal! When he brings you your first ever major trophy in 100 years
then it tends to elevate him to god like status and when you combine that with
him signing players like Michu then you will realise that Swans fans worship
the ground on which he walks! I think the issues in the summer with his agent
tainted things slightly but he has been another step forward for the club and
we all want him to stay and take us onto bigger and greater things!

4. Having retained
the core of the squad while also adding some quality names, do you think the
pressure is on Swansea to perform this year?

No
I don’t think so to be honest. Whilst many fans would love us to be progressing
higher and higher, most still realise that we are a small club in terms of the
Premier League and ensuring we survive each year is our main priority for the
moment. We needed to strengthen with the different competitions we have this
year but most fans are enjoying the European journey and the thrill of seeing
our club progress on and off the pitch.

5. Michu is a target
for quite a few top clubs. Do you think there is a danger of losing him if he
carries on from where he left last season?

There
is no doubt that Michu is a fantastic player but the media keep show casing him
as a striker and his best position is as the leading midfield attacker. If he
scores 20 goals again this season then I am sure other clubs will sniff around
him again but he won’t be leaving Swansea for less than £30m!

6. Swansea’s MVP?

Michu
is always the one that gets the attention but without a strong spine to the
team we would not be the company we are. Ashley Williams and Leon Britton are
both key players
for us as well and so those plus Ben Davies our left back alongside Michu would be my 4
MVP’s!

7. Arsenal sit top of
the table currently. Your take on the club and its credentials this season.

I
have to say it but with Man U, Man City and Chelsea all having a change of
managers in the close season, I honestly thought that with the addition of 3 or
4 real top quality players, it could be Arsenals year. Ozil is no doubt 1 of
those 4 but I feel with 2 or 3 other additions, you would have really put
yourselves as a main challenger for the title. I like the Arsenal model and the
club and stadium is great but I think you will be a bit short defensively and
up front and so think you will be top 4 again but not title winners being
honest!

8. One Arsenal player
you’d love to have in your team
.

I
think Mesut Ozil is a world class midfielder and I think any team would love to
have him in their squad. I also think Walcott’s pace is what makes him
dangerous and him down one of our wings wouldn’t be bad either J

9. Michael Laudrup is
the guy a lot of Arsenal fans want to see succeed Arsene at the Emirates. You
think he’d fit in with Arsenal?

Yes
I think he would. He would gain the respect

of players (because of what he did
in the game) and he loves the passing game and so would fit in with your
philosophy! All us Swansea fans are hoping Arsene signs a new contract! In all
honesty, I am not sure Laudrup wants the pressure of one of the big jobs but if
the role became available, you never know!

 

10. Arsenal v Swansea
has always produced quality moments. What are you expecting from the game?

Everyone
is seeing this as the ‘pure football’ game of the weekend and so I hope it
lives up to expectations. It will be a fast and pacy game I think with a few
goals in it! I just hope we get one more than you!

 

11. Do you agree that
Ozil could be a game changer for Arsenal?

For
sure he is and I think you will win more games as a result of his creativity
and genius on the pitch. However, as per my point above, he could have been the
final piece in a title winning jigsaw if Wenger had strengthened at the back
and up front and 1 man can’t win you every game!

 

12. Predictions for the weekend and the season?

My
heart says 3-2 to us on Saturday but my head says we could lose 2-1.
I hope it’s a good game but the reality for us is that Arsenal are in a different
level in terms of finance and club size and so our season isn’t decided by
games against people like yourselves! I think you will finish 3
rd this season and
we will finish 8
th.

 

 

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