It’s been a decent fixture in recent years for the Arsenal. Some of the City players, including their captain, have said that Arsenal are the best team they’ve faced in the PL in recent seasons, and they should know. I’m happy to agree.
In the wider media the same old trolls are trolling the Arsenal fans, as usual: Arteta, no power in midfield, yadda yadda yadda… Arsenal are D**Med. Because they have no D**M. You all know the drill. Which, of course, ignores Arteta’s record in these games (his record overall!) and the speed and control of the Arsenal midfield in the recent super cup/community shield game. It also ignores the comparisons some Old Skool Gooners make between Paul Davis and Arteta, which is interesting fodder for the rest of us who like our football. None of us expect the skipper to play every game, but if he’s fit for the next two Big ‘uns that’d be nice.
It’s Pellegrini vs. Wenger. Two of the best managers in the game with two of the best teams. A game of football that will excite all football fans. Not only do these two giants of the game trade tactics (whatever they might be!) they trade players too (easier to spot those!). Though to be fair to Pellegrini his new club, The Arsenal B Team (even their stadium is a smaller cheaper knock off), have been keen on AFC players for a while. For some reason that the Groaners can’t understand. Perhaps because they are good at football? Maybe, it’s a possibility…
The last league game was the 1-1 in N.London in the Spring. During this game quite a few were having meltdowns because Olivier Giroud is an Arsenal striker. I even heard some S&M fetishists start to cry and groan when OG found some space down the right hand channel when Arsenal were a goal down and scream “What is he doing there! Useless!” as the ball then wound itself around the arc of frustration following an attack set up by the accursed Giroud before arriving at the feet of Flamini for his one and only goal of the season. And what a nice goal it was too. Quite a good celebration too.
City are a dangerous opponent and even with a jaded Toure they’ll be capable of taking advantage of any or too many errors. After that game in the spring meeting City friends all we could do was wish them luck in their title bid at that stage of the season. City over Liverpool or Gazprom-upon-Fulham, all day, every day. And they wished us luck in the cup. All’s well that ends well, I guess.
What scares me is the pace of Navas and one or two others. Who will MP start? That is one question. Dzeko is a good player, but there are not light years between him and Giroud, and he’s not super fast either! An example of the poor punditry we football fans have to put with was the description of Chambers getting beaten for pace when he was simply out thought by the more experienced player.
Does Mertesacker in for Chambers change things for the Arsenal? Is the BFG looking down over his shoulder? Not quite just yet, but it’s good to know he has an apprentice.
Speaking of which will the Master return to continue his duel with Yaya Toure? My money would be on minutes for Rozza back in Dortmund, Wilshere to play today I guess. Cazorla too should start after sitting out Spain’s last game.
In the Super Cup game (what with all their cuts to grass roots footy, etc. I don’t think the FA believe in community) the rookie Sanogo had a fun first half as Arsenal tore through City. Slated by the Arsenal trolls, the new scapegoat for these demented people, this is a young footballer who in his own words arrived at the club “on one leg” following horrific injuries for a young player. A player who was essentially re-learning how to play football last season, to run, shoot, the works. Not hard to understand why. We won’t ask the self-declared redzone experts to acknowledge this, that would be, well, it would be honest, would it not?
In that Super Cup game our young Bambi terrorised two City CBs who have more experience than he does, who are older, and who between them probably cost upwards of £40M! The aforementioned trolls, they will continue to troll the gullible, when all they need to do is listen to what their players and coaches actually have to say for themselves. It’s not rocket science, it’s just anatomy.
I wonder how the new senior striker will get on against the senior CBs for City, will he start or will Sanogo soften them up for a half?
Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m looking forward to this game. The trolls have been ignoring Arsenal’s good record at Home of late, let’s hope they keep it up.
A guest post by Finsbury