Admit it - you'd have taken a replay with 10 minutes to go

By Avenell Dave

There's a sad inevitability about Swansea's equaliser on Sunday.

I was bracing myself for a defeat that would have had the hacks and fairweathers crying crisis once again and when we scored twice in a ouple of minutes, it really looked as if we'd turned it around.

Such is the ridiculous nature of football fandom that Michu, who scored with his first touch, got the man of the match award despite doing precious little else during the game.

As soon as he scored, Swansea sat back, we pushed on and but for some fine goalkeeping and wayward finishing we'd have put Swansea out of sight.

I'm not afriad to admit that when Kieran Gibbs scored our second, I was out of my seat screaming like a baby.

Why? Because despite our dominance in the second half, we looked as if we had run out of time and to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat was a real boost as I contemplated going out of another cup competition.

But then we seemed to withdraw just as Swansea had and I don't altogether know why.

We looked a shambles at the back, our clearances were half-hearted and we didn't maintain the pressure that had put the hosts on the back foot.

When Danny Graham scored, it was predictable given the way this team performs and a draw will add to an already congested period of fixtures for us.

We can complain, we can worry about fatigue and injuries and it certainly doesn;t help us in the pursuit of fourth, but given the way I felt after 75 minutes, I'll take it every day of the year.

I wonder how much fatigue is playing a part in the form of some players at present.

Bacary Sagna looks a shadow of his former self and whether it's because he wants to leave, he is suffering a dip in form or he's just knackered, he is a bit of a liability at present.

Carl Jenkinson is injured but the fact that he's signed a new deal suggests to me that Bac may be off in the summer and when fit, I'd like to see Jenkinson come in, if only to give the France international a rest.

Full back is an area of concern though.

Sagna was at fault for goals at Everton and Newcastle but Gibbs isn't doing much better despite the plaudits he received from Arsene Wenger after the game.

It's all very well having roving full-backs that add something when we're going forward but their main job is to defend and the number of crosses we let come across is shameful.

Someone should have all our fullbacks study videos of Dixon, Winterburn, Cole and Lauren to see how attacking instincts can be fused with defensive rigidity. Any side wanting to get at us simply focuses on attacking us out wide and knows we're vulnerable.

A reason to move back to 4-4-2? Maybe, but that's not a discussion for today.

We're in the hat for the fourth round, we have a huge game against Citeh on Sunday and between now and then, let's hope AA23 moves on and we get some recruits who'll help ease the pressure on the squad and give us something extra as we look to establish ourselves in the second half of the season.