On paper, looking at the basic recent form of both Arsenal and Swansea, the Gunners should be betting favourites for gaining a routine win at the Emirates tomorrow afternoon. But the facts are different of course, regardless of what the latest Arsenal betting odds say!
There is no such thing as an easy game in the Premier League any more (except in hindsight!). Last season we should have won easily too, but we ended up getting beaten 2-1 by a depleted Swansea side, so nothing is set in stone. Also the Swans could be boosted by the ‘new manager effect’ after the arrival of Bob Bradley. Lastly, our players have just returned from an international break just a couple of days ago do Wenger’s favourite word today is ‘refocus’
Wenger was reminded of last year’s result yesterdayand he opined: “I think that’s what is at stake now for us. We have a home game on Saturday against Swansea and that’s a good opportunity to show that we have moved forward. We were a little bit in a difficult period at that time and we were a bit unlucky as well on the day, I must say. But it could be a similar game.”
As I said in a previous post, October is full of winnable games, but Wenger prefers to be cautious: “You just told me that I have a lot of experience and because I have a lot of experience I’m very cautious. Last year we had a very negative experience with Swansea who killed our opportunity to win the Premier League. We have a good opportunity to show that we have learned from that and that we are capable of dealing with these kinds of opponents. That’s what is at stake for us. We have to refocus because the players have been away and we’ve basically had nobody here. We have to show that we can deal with the kinds of fixtures where we are the favourites. We were not always capable of doing that last season and we want to show that we have moved forward.”
Le Prof’s multi use of the word ‘refocus’ is explained as prepating for a match after the annoying interlull. “Yes, but I’m used to that and maybe the quality of a Premier League team is to be capable of refocusing quickly coming back from international games. That’s what is at stake for us – to show that, despite the interruption, we can restart at the same level we had before.
“Although if I look well at the results after the international breaks, it’s not negative. For us it’s not only that that is at stake. We play in a very difficult Premier League and what is important is to show that we can move up to the next level now and continue to improve. There is some room for improvement and the quicker we refocus on our targets, the more chance we have to achieve that.”
There is that refocus word again. He is obviously trying to get the team back to our September level and attitude. IF he gets that right we should expect a better outcome than last season…..