Britton: We'll keep grounded

BY foxsports • January 16, 2012

Goals from Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer and Danny Graham sealed what was arguably Swansea's greatest victory since their last stint in the top flight under John Toshack 30 years ago, and dented Arsenal's hopes of securing Champions League qualification.

While the south Wales club have been lauded for their attractive passing game, victory over the Gunners showed they have plenty of substance.

Brendan Rodgers' men fought back from conceding an early goal to the prolific Robin van Persie to take a 2-1 lead, before administering the knockout blow through Graham less than a minute after Theo Walcott had got Arsenal back on terms.

The win, which moved Swansea up to 10th, was deliriously celebrated by the home support, understandably so given that just nine years ago Swansea had been bottom of the Football League, while Arsenal were top of the Premier League.

And while 29-year-old Britton, a former Arsenal trainee, hopes the win has brought Swansea to the attention of a wider audience, he says the success will have no effect on their work-ethic over the remaining 17 games.

He said: "There are the games that make people sit up and take notice a bit more.

"When you beat a big team, especially on the telly, you get more people watching and it gets your name out there, but we are very grounded as a bunch of lads and we will be keeping our feet on the ground.

"It's been coming. In our last home game against Tottenham we played well and were unlucky, we got a draw but could have got the win, and we did well at Aston Villa to get our first away win and now we have beaten Arsenal. It has been a good start to the new year but we are not getting carried away.

"We said after we got that first away win at Villa that we wanted to beat one of the top sides in the country and we have done that, but we have to kick on and make sure we keep getting results."

Britton, whose pass completion percentage of over 93% is the highest of any player in Europe's top leagues, was one of several Swansea players who would have caught the eye of watching England boss Fabio Capello, along with goalscorers Sinclair, Dyer and Graham.

And he has backed the attacking triumvirate to challenge for a place in the Three Lions' Euro 2012 squad.

He said: "It's nice that he (Capello) made the trip down to come and see the game, it's nice to have the England manager watching us.

"I don't see why the guys should not be in the frame for England. They are playing regularly in the Premier League, they are scoring goals and playing well in a team in the top half of the table.

"I don't see why they couldn't get chance of a place in England squad, although it's up to Fabio Capello."

For Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger defeat would have proved a chastening experience, and the Frenchman's mood cannot have been helped by a heated verbal exchange between Thierry Henry and a Gunners' fan after the final whistle.

Henry made his first Premier League appearance since 2007 as a second-half substitute, but could not repeat the impact he made in scoring the winner in last week's FA Cup win over Leeds, and images of the post-match incident appeared to show him gesticulating at the supporter in question.

An Arsenal spokesperson said: "Thierry was encouraging the players to go and thank the fans for making the long trip to Swansea.

"One of the supporters expressed his disappointment at the defeat and Thierry asked them to continue to support and get behind the team."

For Wenger, who has not been able to bring in much-needed cover at left-back so far in January, there were plenty of worrying signs defensively with out-of-position left-back Ignasi Miquel being given a torrid time by Dyer, and the central-defensive pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny looking vulnerable throughout.

Wenger, who was less than happy with referee Michael Oliver's decision to award Swansea the penalty from which Sinclair scored, admitted the display at the back had not been up to scratch.

He said: "There were other turning points (apart from the penalty) like when we got back to 2-2 and made a defensive mistake, we showed a lack of appreciation for the ball and the defensive performance was not good enough."


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