Swansea Home - Wednesday 21:45 @ Brazenhead in Fourways, Leaping Frog Centre

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I’m not sure about you but I tend to go into hiding when we’ve had a disappointing result. I shun emails, ignore twitter and tend to look at cricket or rugby results on the web. But it’s difficult to hide and there comes a time when you just have to man up and face it all. You try to leave it for as long as possible but eventually the time comes when you have to look the beast in the eye. And the reality of it all is that we are just the supporters so when we have to handle the fact that we bottled it, all it means is that we have to read about what we already know, having watched the 90 minutes on Sunday. We have to accept the harsh judgement from friend and foe and determine where exactly we fit into the range of feelings that is being expressed. So just imagine how those people who are more connected to that display actually feel. The players, the manager, the coaches…… And if they don’t feel absolutely sh!t then there is something majorly wrong.

My feeling after that display is that it’s not as if we’ve never been here before and the fact that we’re visiting here again means that whatever we have done in the past to try and correct the errors of our ways is just not happening. And it’s not for the first time. There always seems to be that period in the early part of the new year when things go awry. I’m not sure anyone can really put a finger on it. How do we go from riding on the crest of the wave, scoring goals and putting opposition teams to shame to the shambles we saw yesterday? And it’s not just yesterday’s performance that is the issue. That could have been put down to a bad day at the office if there had not been the build-up that has seen us take just 9 points from the last 7 games. 12 points dropped since we won 1-0 against Newcastle on 2nd Jan.  I’m not one to point fingers and I have always backed Wenger to the hilt, but when one keeps on hitting the same old bad runs when we get ourselves into title winning positions, then we’ve got to look a bit further than the players that come in and out each season and look at the common denominator. And that’s as far as I’m prepared to go at this point in time.

We do have the chance to redeem ourselves, but it’s a chance that relies heavily on our opposition failing (something that Leicester very nearly did against Norwich on the weekend). We’ve got to beat Swansea convincingly and take the three points on offer when we meet Sp*rs on the weekend. If we don’t take the six points from the next two games, then it’s title over in my books – I’m sure some supporters have already written us off and there will be others that will still hold out hope. So, one game at a time, and if we don’t take three points from a Swansea side that has just been beaten by Sp*rs then we’re close to taking up our annual third/fourth position in the league.

As for the other teams we are competing against, Sp*rs have got an interesting one on Wednesday night, away to West Ham. This is the sort of match that could make or break their title challenge. They won their home fixture in November 4-1 which gives me a feeling that they know how to handle their London counterparts but that was at the beginning of a poor run for The Hammers, where they had last won a full month earlier against Chelski and their next victory only came six games later. Looking at West Ham’s results as of late, it doesn’t look much better as they scraped through at home this last weekend against bottom dwellers Sunderland 1-0 and have only won one of their previous five matches, and that being against that other bottom dweller, Aston Villa. One just gets the perception (well at least I do) that they are a good team coming into form and based on that I will put my hopes and aspirations on Sp*rs dropping points.

Leicester seem to have another easy one, at home to West Brom. They beat them 3-2 at the Hawthorns at the end of October. The only thing that gives me any hope here is that it is the small teams that can trip you up as Leicester nearly found out on the weekend against Norwich. But having watched the second half of the WBA v Crystal Palace match on Saturday, it’s hard to have any hope that Leicester could stuff it up on Tuesday.

And finally Citeh. As is often the case, they meet the same team that they played in the Capital One Cup final this weekend – Liverpool at Anfield. Liverpool will obviously want to get (another) one over them as part payment for their loss in what may have been Liverpool’s only ticket into Europe next season. Liverpool dished out a 4-1 hiding in their match at the Etihad in November and they will be keen to complete the double. Go Liverpool!

Our opponents are Swansea who managed to take the lead against Sp*rs on Sunday but eventually lost out 2-1, which was really no surprise. This is a team who tend to flourish at The Emirates and it was as long ago as September 2011 that Arsenal last beat them at home, being an unconvincing 1-0 victory where Andrei Arshavin took advantage of an ‘errant throw’ from goalkeeper Michael Vorm to slot into the net 5 minutes before half time. You won’t find many Swansea victories away from home this season (only Villa and Everton, both 2-1) and my feeling is that it’s gonna be squeaky bum time on Wednesday night.

So, if you’re brave enough and you’re hungry enough, why don’t you c’mon down to the Brazenhead on Wednesday night and have yourselves some fun!