Petr Cech, Granit Xhaka culpable as Arsenal switch off at Swansea City

There was mild excitement before this fixture as Arsenal fans expected to see new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the starting lineup, and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to sign from Borussia Dortmund, it was set to the be the start of a new attacking era.

Sadly, Arsene Wenger left the Armenian on the bench and it was the same old story in midfield and at the back as the Gunners capitulated on the road once again. Although Nacho Monreal gave them the lead, they conceded an equaliser within 90 seconds, and on the basis of the dangerous moments each side created, the home team deserved their win.

Arsenal played like a group of disparate individuals, with no real sense of cohesion or teamwork, and their sixth defeat away from home is a further illustration of the manager's inability to fashion these players into anything that looks vaguely like a team.

It was shambles again, and you have to ask how long can it go on for without somebody doing something meaningful about it.


Some early defensive excellence from Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny aside, and another goal for Monreal, there really weren't any.


Arsenal were pedestrian and predictable, passing it across the pitch with little or no penetration. The players seem unwilling to take any risks, perhaps a consequence of seeing mistakes punished so frequently, and without any hint of invention they posed little threat to the Swansea goal. The defending for all three goals was the kind of stuff you'd see from a bunch of hungover 40 year olds on a Sunday League pitch, and at no point did they look capable of turning it around when they went behind.

Manager rating out of 10

2 -- When you preside over a sixth away defeat, to one of the league's lowliest teams, and your players look as if they don't want to play for you anymore, you've got problems beyond those which can be solved by the transfer market.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 4 -- Made a terrible mistake for their second goal. Perhaps Arsenal should have dealt with that possession better, but it doesn't excuse a rookie mistake from the team's most experienced player.

DF Hector Bellerin, 5 -- He had plenty of the ball down the right-hand side, but as has been a problem often he had nobody to link up with. His only option was to go backwards and that was perfect for Swansea.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 5 -- Passed the ball very well, but will wonder if he could have done more for their third goal. Stood watching rather than attacking the space.

DF Shkodran Mustafi, 4 -- He's capable of great games, and other times he looks like it's the first time he's ever been asked to play in defence. Tonight was the latter.

DF Nacho Monreal, 6 -- Not quite sure why he didn't keep the ball alive instead of letting it run out for a throw in the lead up their second, but it was a tiny part of why Arsenal conceded. Got another excellent goal.

MF Mohamed Elneny, 6 -- Arsenal were at sea defensively all game, and the Egyptian went some way to offsetting that with some crucial interventions. Was unlucky to be taken off when others around him were floundering.

MF Granit Xhaka, 4 -- How many times do Arsenal fans have to watch the Swiss international switch off in the defensive third in a way that costs them a goal? Based on how Wenger has dealt with the previous indiscretions this season, the answer is "some more times".

MF Aaron Ramsey, 5 -- Just back from injury and saved a certain Swansea goal in the opening stages with a great tackle, but looked a yard off the pace all night.

MF Alex Iwobi, 5 -- Bar the goal had the most dangerous Arsenal moments on the night, forcing Lukasz Fabianski into a good save in the first half. But he's not yet mature enough as a player to make the kind of impact required in games like these.

MF Mesut Ozil, 6 -- Made 116 passes at 94 percent accuracy, and added an assist, but with nothing around him to help create danger it was all too sterile. He needs more to work with.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 5 -- This wasn't the performance of a man who knows his club are about to sign another striker and who wants to remind his manager what he's capable of. Disappointing.


MF Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 6 -- Not a debut he'll remember fondly, found it hard to get into the game and change Arsenal's laborious playing style.

FW Olivier Giroud, NR -- If this is to be his final appearance in an Arsenal shirt, it's a sad way to say goodbye. He's given a lot to the club and the team, and deserved a better send off than this.