Can Arsenal afford not to beat Swansea on Saturday?

By Avenell Dave

At last, a home game and a chance for Arsenal to put some draws behind us and get back to winning ways.

Swansea will be no pushovers - no one is these days - but the absence of their first choice goalkeeper Vorm is something of a bonus.

They swept aside a WBA side who have been flying in midweek, so we can't be complacent.

Much has been said about the lack of squad members to allow us to ease the burden on some of the guaranteed starters. Thankfully a dead rubber next week should allow us to rest some of the first team.

We simply have to win. While it's easy to lose perspective that we only lost one game in November, a month where we usually struggle, there were too many draws and we have to start turning them into wins to stay in touch with the top pack.

Will Arsene Wenger shuffle? I doubt it, given the lack of options he has.

How refreshing to hear reports that he is planning on signing a couple of players in Janaury. Let's hope they're 23-26, top quality players who can walk into the first team and have the attitude not to get sloppy after a few months (Andrey Arshavin, take note).

Will one of the players be a replacement for Theo Walcott? Let's hope not, however likely it now seems that he'll depart. At least we're getting some value out of him after seasons where he nveer quite played to his potential.

I can only see Carl Jenkinson coming in for the injured Bacary Sagna and Lukas Podolski replacing Aaron Ramsey although if we are rotating, perhaps Gervinho will come in.

Judging by the uproar every time we fail to win, Wenger has lost a lot of support from Arsenal fans. We know he makes mistakes, but then, so do I and so do you.

I really hope that the fans get behind him and the team tomorrow. We're called supporters, after all.

Finally, a word about the Black Scarf march taking place tomorrow.

I'd be lying if I said I don't share some of their frustrations even if I don't agree with everything they've demanded of the Club.

One thing I've always been proud of with Arsenal is how open the Club are with fan groups and while Black Scarf may come across as agitators, perhaps there is a case for Ivan Gazidis to meet with them and discuss their concerns.

Any large business - and Arsenal is no different - have to retain some sense of confidentiality and we will never know in entirety the reasons for some of the decisions that, on the surface, may bemuse or frustrate us.

What I will say though, is that while this Club will live long beyond the lifetime of any of us and any of the Board, we have enough sniping and overtly harsh criticism from the media at the best of times.

This demonstration will add fuel to the 'Arsenal in crisis' headlines, especially if we lose and while we're not chasing hard to the title, I do think airing our dirty linen in public is unwise.

Addict XI


Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs

Cazorla Arteta Wilshere

Walcott Giroud Podolski