It’s @LaboGoon once again
“Daunting”… That’s the word many in the media space use to draw us a picture building up to our game at the Etihad. I don’t necessarily think they do this to dishearten us per se, it’s more to do with the excitement and the ‘aura’ that encompass Pep’s team at the moment.
Now let’s be fair; scoring 35 goals in 10 games, 21 in 5 home games, is nothing to scoff at. That is impressive.
With this ‘runaway train’ narrative comes the question: “Can anybody stop them?”
I found this on the Beeb:
• Mancity’s only win in the last 9 games vs Arsenal was a 1-0 PL victory at the Etihad last season.
• Arsenal have scored at least 2 goals in 8 of the last 10 fixtures, with City failing to keep a clean sheet during that period.
Now THAT is nothing to scoff at either and it does show Arsenal is the one team that can stop them.
I’m not gonna fool myself and pretend today’s game will not be difficult, because for us to get any joy we will need to put our backs in, stay focused through out (all over the pitch) and play to our potential.
Man City has been creating and scoring goals from everywhere, and for us to have any hope of getting a positive result we can not afford to be all over the place defensively. Petr Cech, the back 3 and Xhaka will need to be aware at all times and ensure their reading of the game is near perfect, as well as trying to be in the right positions at all times, especially in anticipation of something happening against the run of play.
Bringing me to this point: if there is one thing we need nothing of today, it is our propensity to give the ball away rather cheaply when on the front foot. The majority of our goals conceded is because of this and Man City will hurt us if we just gift them chances. We can expect them to make us work for it so there is no reason why we shouldn’t let them do the same.
That being said! Man-City conceded twice mid-week as well as twice vs WBA last Saturday. So Alexis, Ramsey and Lacazette can expect getting goal scoring opportunities, and against a team of this quality it’s crucial to make the most of it.
In our last game vs Man-City in the FA Cup semi-final Mesut Özil was the rock on which a brilliant Arsenal performance was built, and my wish is for him to provide us with that same composure today.
On team news there’s some mixed reports on whether Sead Kolašinac will be available. If he’s not we can expect Holding or Debuchy playing alongside Koscielny and Mertesacker with Monreal moving to the wing. Whether Sead will be available I guess we won’t know till few hours before kick-off.
Whatever happens the Arsenal will need show their testicular fortitude to keep a very good City team in check.
Brace yourselves Gooners, don’t listen to the great and good of Arsenal twatter that doesn’t give us any chance. If we can be resolute in defense and quick-witted in attack this will be an exciting game.
Good luck to everybody watching and supporting the Arsenal from all over the globe. To quote Shotta from the previous comments thread: keep the fingers and toes crossed.
If there’s one thing in the back of Pep Guardiola’s mind it’s that a game against Arsène Wenger’s chargers – be it from his time at Barça, Bayern or now City – it has never been easy. In fact it’s been quite “daunting”.