|Lukas Podolski came on and changed the game for Arsenal|
Wenger got slated a lot for his tactics on Saturday lunchtime but his decision to bring on Podolski when he did was a great one. Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to have faded after his brilliant return from injury and as a result has been subbed early in our last two fixtures. Podolski changed the game and gave us a different dimension. Kieran Gibbs who I thought had a very good game, at least going forward anyway, provided the assist. He did brilliantly to get to the byline and then find Podolski who fired home for his seventh of the campaign. The second goal was pure brilliance though all round. Podolski got down the left hand side and then put in a fantastic ball on a plate for Giroud who couldn't miss. However, if you are looking for another reason to question the Boss then that could be the decision to bring on Sanogo for Giroud instead of a defender late on. He's gone defensive in the remaining minutes of games a lot this season so the sudden change was a bit bizarre.
Giroud had got a lot of stick throughout the match. His movement was very below par and his hold up play wasn't great but at the end of the day his goal almost won us the game. He's got 19 goals this season, an improvement on last season but if we're to really challenge we need someone that can score on a more regular basis.
Another man that was below par, and has been for a while now is Mikel Arteta. He's been a stalwart in the middle of the park since his move from Everton but this season his performance levels appear to have dropped. It's no wonder the likes of Lars Bender have been rumoured in recent days. He seems to give the ball away far too often and that has cost us a lot this season as he desperately tries to chase back and win the ball but fail. It may look as though I'm being a bit harsh on him, but I do like him as a player. I thought he was a cracking signing when we bought him on transfer deadline day in 2011.
If we're looking for positives in a big week of negatives then Kim Kallstrom is your man. He made a late cameo appearance in the game against Swansea and was very impressive on debut. His passing range and vision looks brilliant. One ball across the pitch to Giroud was of particular note. I didn't realise how big of a player he was. He looks like he could provide Arsenal with the power in midfield that has been much needed this season. He did the dirty stuff well but also plays an attractive brand of football, throwing in one or two fancy flicks at points too.
Next up is of course Manchester City at home. I can't see us winning it but who knows? If we are to win it, then a drastic improvement will need to be made in terms of quality, commitment and urgency shown on the pitch from the players.
The teams line-ups:
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain(57), Rosicky(79), Cazorla, Giroud(88).
Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Kallstrom(79), Gnabry, Podolski(57), Sanogo(88).
Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor(73), Britton, Shelvey(79), de Guzman, Michu(63), Routledge, Bony.
Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Davies(73), Canas, Hernandez(79), Dyer(63), Vazquez.
My man of the match: Kieran Gibbs.
Referee: Lee Probert.