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Swansea boss Garry Monk aiming to draw on past success ahead of Arsenal clash

Published 30/10/2015

Swansea manager Garry Monk is seeking to improve his excellent record against Arsenal
Swansea manager Garry Monk is seeking to improve his excellent record against Arsenal

Swansea manager Garry Monk will remind his players of their good recent record against Arsenal before the Gunners' Liberty Stadium visit.

Monk has not lost any of his previous three meetings with Arsene Wenger, Swansea claiming a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium in March 2014 before doing the double over Arsenal last season for only the second time in their history.

Wenger criticised Monk's approach after Swansea's smash-and-grab success in north London in May when Bafetimbi Gomis scored an 85th-minute winner, the Arsenal manager complaining the Welsh club "refused to play completely and just defended."

Monk felt the result vindicated his tactics on the night and he hopes to again shock Arsenal, opponents who have lost only twice in the Barclays Premier League this season.

"They are always very tough games against Arsenal but we've managed to get some decent results against them home and away," Monk said.

"We're always confident against the big sides at home and we've shown time and again if we put our best football on the pitch we can win.

"I think it's good to remind the players that we've beaten them in the past.

"But it's not like when you first came up to the league and you want to beat one of the bigger teams to give you that belief you can do it.

"From the very first game last season, when we beat Manchester United away, it showed the players are established Premier League players.

"They're not naive, they're very experienced at this level, and more than capable of beating any team."

Arsenal have had a difficult week with a 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott join Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck and Mikael Arteta on the injury list.

But Monk feels Arsenal have more than enough quality in their squad to cover for those high-profile absentees.

"I don't think it matters how many injuries they have," Monk said.

"They have an excellent squad packed full of world-class talent and this is the advantage the bigger teams have.

"They have such powerful squads they can afford a lot of injuries.

"If you flip it around and we had those injuries we'd obviously be thin on the ground.

"Of course they wouldn't want those injuries, but they've got depth in talent to deal with it."

Swansea claimed their first victory since the end of August when they won 2-1 at Aston Villa last week.

The win lifted Swansea into 12th place and Monk says he has been surprised by some of the criticism aimed at both him and his players.

"We haven't played the last four or five games to the level we're capable of," Monk said.

"But, for me, it's all about perception and we're on a par, if not very close, to more illustrious teams in this league on vastly superior budgets to ourselves.

"Our record is the same or as close to theirs, yet the perception is we're not having a good time and they're having a good season.

"There will be periods within a season that you don't perform at your best, but it's important to put points on the board in those periods and we've done that."

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