Opposition view – Arsenal

We catch up with Giles Anyiam from The Gooner Ramble ahead of the Swans’ weekend clash with Arsenal at the Liberty…

How’s your season been so far?
We came back well from the opening day defeat to Liverpool. We were unbeaten and winning without playing fantastic football but the wheels kinda came off at Everton and Man City. We’re at a critical point of the season now. It’s not about champagne football, just pick up as many points as possible. It’s the results that count.

You’re currently 8 points behind Chelsea and are 5th in the table. Is the title still the main target or is it all about the top four?
The title should always be our target. I tend not to look at the table until February (coincidentally we play Chelsea at the start of Feb…)
Chelsea have been on a great run and we must stay near them as they are due some bad results!

Alexis Sanchez has played a lot of games at centre forward this term, how has that impacted on the team?
His conversion to CF has seen us play a faster game. When we’re firing we’re more dynamic, and our conversion rates are better than last season.
He sets the tone for the rest to follow.

Who have been your star performers and who needs to up their game?
Alexis Sanchez is our star man, as I said earlier he sets the tone.
Olivier Giroud has pitched in with some vital goals, he’s benefiting from not being flogged like a mule all season.
Laurent Koscielny is arguably our most consistent player. He’s our colossus at the back.
I think Mesut Ozil needs to find his best form now he’s returning.
We need Petr Cech to return to his dominant best.
Nacho has been consistently exposed down our left.

Is there money available to strengthen this month and which areas need to be improved?
We’re down to our bare bones in central midfield. So I’d bring in someone athletic in that position.

What do you make of Swansea and which players if any do you fear?
Swansea have looked like relegation candidates this season. Guildolin and Bradley couldn’t motivate or get a tune from the squad.
But you’ve just brought in Paul Clement, he’s worked with the best of the best. I expect him to come up with a game plan.
In the reverse fixture Barrow was causing us so many problems down our left side.
But the first name that jumps off the page is Sigurdsson. Very classy act.

Predict the score and where both teams will finish
I gotta predict Arsenal will win, so I’ll go 3-1.
I’ll go as far as saying Arsenal will finish top four.
It’s gonna be a tough ask for the Jacks’ to stay up. All 4 bottom clubs have new managers, and the head-to-heads will be key, so it’s hard to say who’ll beat the drop…