'Improvements, Positives' - But Result Still The Same
Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung Yueng and head coach Paul Clement told us about the positives and improvements made at Arsenal, but the result was yet again the same - as we threw away a 1-goal half time lead to lose 2-1 at the Emirates.
Paul Clement seems to be coming out with the same soundbites these days, almost clutching at straws and trying to draw out the positives that he can, but the reality is that the defeats keep on coming.
Last week against Leicester, it was a fourth home defeat in five games, then we lost in midweek in the cup, and Paul Clement simply said that we just have to hope that a 'good performance is around the corner.'
Ten games in now and to say we're struggling would be an under-statement. We did see an improvement today, but that's not difficult on the back of some awful displays of late.
The positives were mainly that we took the lead in a game, in the first half as well no less. We were able to cope in that first half well enough without a left back, Sanches and Bony.
But the frustrations of the second half simply cannot be forgotten about. We barely managed 5 minutes after the restart without conceding, and were soon 2-1 down. What was also very frustrating was the complete lack of activity from the bench after suddenly going 2-1 down.
We needed something different around the hour mark, a change of system, a bit more pace and attacking quality but it didn't come until the 82nd minute. Absolutely baffling if you ask me. I can only guess that Clement didn't want to sacrifice our defensive shape with a change and was hoping we could score on the counter, but Arsenal were in complete control by this point and had about 82% possession.
But again, that shows just how negative and conservative that Paul Clement is as a coach. You've got to show some sort of ambition when we're behind. I had hoped for a switch to 4-3-3, keep three midfielders in the middle but get some much needed pace on the pitch. Narsingh is hardly a world beater but pace can help. Dyer proved to be far more skillful against Leicester and I'm sure he'd have offered something if he'd have come on earlier.
Clement was also left to rue the chance wasted by Ayew, when he went for goal himself rather than squaring it to Abraham for a simple tap-in. 2-0, could have been a lot different Paul said, but again the reality is that we're so desperate for chances. Every chance is so crucial because we create so few opportunities in front of goal.
Clement told the official site:
"We have played in games this year where we have not performed and not got a result,"
"But I can`t say we haven`t performed at a decent level today, and maybe deserved bit more than we got.
"Maybe we will play at a similar level in the not too distant future and get the result we`re looking for."
"I thought we were worth a point,"
"We played well in the first half and we took our chance on the counter-attack, which is where we thought our opportunities would come.
"It`s always going to be a difficult test against an Arsenal side with so many quality offensive players - you have to be so focused for the whole game.
"But we didn`t get the details right in that period after half-time.
"I thought they had a bit of fortune with the first goal. The ball bounced off a few of our defenders before it fell to the left wing-back.
"But we were too open for the second goal. We were too open and we made some mistakes."
"It was a big chance,"
"2-0 at half-time would have been a totally different situation - these are the fine margins that decide games.
"If that had gone in. maybe we would have got a different result.
"What I liked about today was that we were always in the game, right up until the last moment.
"When we have got someone like Tammy Abraham on the pitch you always believe you will get a chance, but unfortunately we didn`t get it today."
Ki felt that we could take positives from the performance, despite the result.
"It is difficult to talk about the game after leaving with nothing,``
"I thought we were very disciplined and organised in the first half and deserved not to concede.
"We scored a good goal and had a great chance to add a second through Jordan (Ayew) at the end of the half.
"But it`s always tough against teams like Arsenal and the top six sides, especially away from home. They have quality players and can really punish you, as they did at the start of the second half when we lost a bit of our edge.
"We are all disappointed with the result, but we kept pushing it and we can take a lot of positives into the game against Brighton next week.``
What do you think Swans fans? Will we turn things around? Were there positives from today's performance? Share your thoughts in the comments below...