The speculation and rumours linking Ashley Williams with a summer trasnsfer to Arsenal are not going away, and the Swansea City captain has not actually denied that he is planning to move to North London. The Welsh centre back is simply trying to focus, he insists, on the remasining five Premier League games, but he could really do the Gunners a big favour tomorrow when his current team travel to Stamford Bridge for a game against Chelsea.
The Spanish forward Michu has been one of the revelations of the Premier league this season and has caught the interest of the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has praised his qualities already. Despite usually being played as an attacking midfielder or support striker, Michu has relished his forward role and responded by scoring 14 league goals already this season, two against the Gunners.
That is why his manager at Swansea, Michael Laudrup, has issued a hands off warning to Arsenal and any other clubs plotting a January swoop for the 26-year old. His boss believes he is perfectly happy where he is, and the club has no intention of letting him go. He has a contract with the Welsh club until 2015, which they will be trying to extens soon, I am sure.
Swansea vs Arsenal (FA cup) preview, predicted line up and score line. by KJ
The magic of the FA cup has started this weekend already with an upset at Brighton. This cup means a lot to Arsenal fans. We are the second most successful club in this competition (10) only behind Manchester United in the trophy tallies (11).
We go to Wales to face the very formidable Swansea City at the Liberty stadium. It’s quite hilarious that a team only promoted last season is already a thorn in Arsenal’s side.
Michael Laudrup is preparing his players to face Arsenal in the FA cup tomorrow, and if his words about Theo Walcott are anything to go by, Swansea will be concentrating heavily in keeping Walcott quiet. The Dane has already steered his unfancied team to the semi-finals of the Capital One cup, and will try to gun down the Gunners tomorrow.
Swansea may have some of their attention on Wednesday’s league cup tie against Chelsea, and Laudrup is worried that Walcott’s pace and finishing could give his defenders a nightmare, wherever he plays. There has been much debate about whether Theo can really operate down the middle as a central striker, but Laudrup has no doubts that he can.
One of the low points of the season so far for Arsenal and Gooners everywhere was the 2-0 defeat by Swansea at the Emirates. It was not so much the defeat, but the manner in which Arsenal were outplayed by Michael Laudrup’s team at the start of December that caused so much anger and concern amongst fans of the Gunners. That defeat was soon followed by another low point, the exit from the Capital One cup to lower league Bradford City.
The Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is preparing to face Arsenal at the Emirates today, but he doesn’t think that Arsene Wenger’s team has any chance of competing for the Premiership title against the Big Three of City, United and Chelsea.
In the pre-match conference Laudrup was asked if he thought that he was coming up against a team that could win the title, and he replied with an emphatic “No.”
“Not because they have dropped points but because I think the title is only between the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, and at the moment the Manchester clubs have the advantage in terms of points and momentum.
The well-known Polish Gooner Wojciech Szczesny is (as always!) in a very confident mood going into todays clash against Swansea, despite the Welsh side being just one point behind the Gunners in the Premiership table.
The Swans have been very consistent in their first two seasons in the Premiership, and Woj has been very impressed with their attacking style and is under no illusion that it will be an easy game for Arsenal.
“I think they’re a quality team, so it will be a very tough game and a very important game,” Szczesny said. “They have changed their style a little bit, they don’t keep possession for ages, they are a little bit more direct. But they still try to play very good football and as a football fan, I appreciate that: I like watching them.
Swansea City have had a remarkable few years, and Arsene Wenger knows that Arsenal will need to put in a good performance to stop the Gunners becoming another positive in their recent results. Wenger is aware that Swansea will be in a buoyant and confident move after midweek victory over one of the Premier leagues other surprise packages, West Brom.
“They have bought intelligently and, of course, that gives them the basis they had last year, and the addition of the players they have bought in. That makes them dangerous.
“Of course, (Brendan Rodgers) has made the basis of what the club is today, and Michael Laudrup has added some players he knew from Spain, who are very good additions.