Welcome to Talking Heads.
Before and after every first-team fixture, our MatchDay Show guest and an Arsenal blogger will have their say on the game.
Arsenal took on Swansea in the Premier League on Saturday and our Talking Heads for this game were former Gunner Stephen Hughes and Andrew Mangan from Arseblog.
STEPHEN HUGHES, STUDIO GUEST
It was very disappointing. This was a good chance for Arsenal to build some momentum after the draws at Aston Villa and Everton, but they didn’t do that at all.
I don’t think we can really argue with the result. Swansea are in very good form, they played really well and created numerous opportunities. Michael Laudrup has got a talented squad at his disposal and they play some great football. Arsenal’s performance wasn’t up to it and they can have no complaints with the outcome.
We need the three points. Swansea are in good form and will come to the Emirates full of confidence but if you’re going to have a good season, it’s vitally important to be consistent at home. A victory is really important.
Michael Laudrup has done a very good job since taking over at Swansea. He’s brought in players of his own, integrated them into the team quickly and got them playing the way he wants. They’ve been very impressive so far. Michu has made an instant impact. He can score goals, he links play well and he’s tall. I’ve been really impressed with him. Nathan Dyer is a real handful too.
Theo Walcott is in excellent form at the moment - it’s amazing what confidence can do. He’s really taken his opportunity in the team. He’s scoring goals and has been outstanding. I think he’s a massive player for Arsenal. I think it’s going to be a great game of football. Both sides like to get the ball down and play. Hopefully we can get three points. It will be close, but I think Arsenal will nick it 2-1.
ANDREW MANGAN, ARSEBLOG
We were hoping for a response following the two draws against Everton and Villa but sadly none was forthcoming. Credit has to go to a Swansea team who played very well and deserved the three points, but it's very worrying that we seem unable to lift ourselves for a home game which should, on paper, be winnable.
I think we're struggling with some heavy legs and our options are limited even further when Arshavin and Chamakh are not considered viable subs. Although we're only five points off fourth place, we're eight points worse off than we were this time last season, so it's hard not to be concerned about where we are and how we get ourselves going again. There's a lot of football to be played between now and the opening of the transfer window, which is like a small light at the end of a very long tunnel right at the moment. Two points from the last nine is no kind of form and we need to find some again, and quickly.
After just two points from six away from home, Arsenal need to get back to winning ways at home on Saturday. Swansea will provide a tough test, confident off the back of a great win over high-flying West Brom, and knowing they're facing an Arsenal side going through a difficult period. It took a rather fortuitous Andrey Arshavin goal to take three points in this fixture last season, and while I'd take that again, I hope there's a bit more panache to our performance than against Villa and Everton.
Arsène Wenger needs his players to dig deep and really scrap their way into some form. Although we're unbeaten in six games, four of those have been draws so we need to up our game a bit. Perhaps playing a team like Swansea, who like the ball and want to play, might help us find space, especially at home, and we just have to hope that the legs aren't too tired after the two away trips. Hopeful, rather than confident of three points, but I think we'll just about nick it.
* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd
Join the conversation on Twitter: #AFCvSCFCCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 3 Dec 2012