Arsenal v Manchester City: Open Thread

I have arrived back in Berlin after a two-week break in Sweden and that means the usual blogging service will resume shortly.

No time for a preview of the Manchester City clash tonight though, unfortunately, so I’ve opened up an open thread for any thoughts of comments on the game.

Get him Kolo!

Play nice. Well, at least nicer than our old friends Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor here.

Have your say on Arsenal v Manchester City by leaving a comment.



  1. City fan in peace.

    Looking forward to tonight’s game although with a lot of trepidation. Should provide a litmus test for a) how good we are and b) how mentally strong we are. Apparently we’ve not won at your place since the dinosaurs and such stats, though meaningless really since we have the best team we’ve had in – well, arguably – ever, can play on the fans’ minds. Maybe that’s why our “bogey teams” (Everton and Spuds) keep on causing us trouble.

    We’re missing David Silva which could prove our undoing. Personally I’d like to see Milner given his role as he’s best in the middle dictating play. Seems strange to buy a player and then not play to his strengths.

    Whatever happens it should be a good game. Your defence isn’t what it has been and ours has got away with quite a few unpunished errors lately. City are finally playing more fluid football but with no big target man we need to make sure we play balls behind the defence which tends to go out the window when the wingers are playing on the wrong wing. Maybe though tonight will be the night that Kolarov will open his account with a thunderstrike (bound to happen some time).

    I used to want Arsenal to win the league because it prevented United from doing so and because I actually like the football you play. So in ordinary times I’d be wishing you good luck for the rest of the season after tonight, but if we stay in contention I’m going to have to wish you second place instead! Maybe the FA Cup?

    May the best team in blue win.

  2. Who said anything about Adebayor(or even Toure or Vieira) Mr. Dirtdipper, we replaced those a very long time ago and moved on. Today we will thrash Man city home like we did at their own background. Am predicting a 3-1 wallop, we have no choice but to thump them……..

  3. One of the exciting matches awaits us tonight. Arsenal should come out on top tonight. Arsenal’s team is full of talented and exciting prospects who have played together for years and their togetherness is clearly shown on the pitch these days. Cesc and Nasri are playing in tandem and it reflects the Xavi-Iniesta chemistry. Should Arsenal lost today, it could be a huge blow but should they win it, the season can get nothing but better for us.

    GO GO Gunners..Looking forward to see RVP, Cesc and Nasri tear apart the City defence and turn on the Emirates faithful!!!

  4. If City come to emirates ready to play football. It is gonna be a thumping for them. Last season at emirates they packed the bus and got away with a draw. I expect them to do the same tonight.We are soon becoming a boggy team for them.

  5. I would put my money on a win, but I would still advice against overconfidence. Man City is no.2 in the league for a reason and even though we beat them the last time, we had a nasty habbit of losing against teams we already beat, and I remember here specially a couple of UCL games or the time we beat Newcastle in Carling Cup and then they got back at us on Emirates. Man City has the power to remind us of our home record this year, though I hope they don’t get the chance. Anyway, a couple of hours untill the game, excitement in the air, I hope to see RVP, Sagna, Djourou and Song in the starting 11. Go Guuners, grab that 2nd place and keep fighting!

  6. I think Nasri Chamakh RVP front line is the way to go.
    Chamakh should be fresh after a break and also adds the aerial threat in the box against the big city back four, also hes not bad in defending the set pieces.
    Hope city leave their bus in the parking lot otherwise gonna be tight game with few chances.

  7. @Andrew: just a maintenance issue, I hope, but I have not gotten a direct email of the blog for the last 3. Have to go to the Chelsea thread, then hit blog, then go to current post. Hope this arose from your being in Sweden.
    My only comment re today’s game, which I put on a previous thread, but haven’t seen any response to is: would a draw today be a disaster?

  8. Answer to my own question: it was a disaster. $ity played for the draw and we couldn’t break them. Okay by me to let Arshavin have a go, but Bendtner plays like a wing. He is a waste in our system. Thankfully, nobody else closed on us but do we want the title or what?

  9. Luck wasn’t with us today…otherwise top,top display by our team!!
    RvP is definitely finding his form. Very encouraging!!
    The substitutions, however, were uninspiring. Both AA23 & B52 added little to, if not worsen, our game.
    We lack depth on the wings (I mean a real winger in Nani mold who can spread our game, which at the moment is virtually channeled through the middle).

  10. Bit over the top JJ. I thought a draw given the other results is not the end of the world. Performanace wise I thought it was our best football this season along with the first half against the Spuds (didn’t see the Chelski game though). Hit the woodwork twice (three if you count Theo’s follow up although he was probably offside) and Hart pulled off some good saves. Song, Wilshire, Fabregas definitely our best midfield combo and Koscielny and Djorou snufed out what little threat Tevez and jo could muster.

    Just on City – all that money spent and they play negative shit like that. The most expensively parked bus in history!

    I thought we all played outstandingly with the exception of Walcott who continues to frustrate. I don’t count the subs – but agree with the point made above – what’s the point of Bendtner coming on and then he plays on the flanks?!

  11. @MTY and @Terry…agree with you. It was a really great performance by the squad. The best defensive team in th league parked the bus and the squad still looked dangerous. The squad was unlucky Joe Hart was top class. I’m confident that this starting 11 can win at least one trophy this season.

    Man, Arshavin is definitely having his Eboue moment. Hopefully, he can turn it around. If not, Vela deserves a chance. I can’t imagine he can play any worse.

  12. Game showed that we are one level higher than city.City realised early and decided to stick to defending .Frankly we lost our game when our substitutes doesn’t make any difference at all.Lot of positives to take from the game.

  13. Rosicky for Wilshere would have been a better choice than Bendtner.As it wouldn’t have let Nasri off the throttle.

  14. Well i am very disappointed with the result not the way the players played, this means utd are now if we consider their game in hand to be won 7 points clear, seriously speaking they can afford to now slip up in games (i.e. get a few draws) and still remain comfortable, useless city..

  15. The best offensive display this season. Even Barcelona would watch the game in appreciation.I dont know how many big teams will pack the bus at Emirates again and get lucky like these moroons did. I hope we thump United when they visit. We cant blame any of the first eleven players. Some one said Walcott was shit. I guess he didnt watch the game. My only worry is not playing Carlos vela ahead of Arshavin at times. This boy is the second fastest player after Walcott and skilled. We are mis using this boy benching him . I loved the Bendtner substitute cause he is more of an impact player than Chamak. We still have a game in hand which means mathematically we can be ahead of City if we win it. We also have only two remaining big games at home which are winable by our standards of display eversince Persie came back.The next two carling and fa cups should really not bother us so much. Ipswich having to play Chelsea and then playing the gunners is really asking so much from them. I think the tie will be completed right in their backyard .

  16. Well played the lads. Once again we were damned unlucky – plus that little run of getting the penalties we were having at the start of the season has well and truly dried up. The media’s all over Arsenal, praising them for their style and Le Boss for creating this side without the vulgar financial extravagances of others. There’s a lovely piece in the on-line Sun of all places. Recommend it.

    good to read that after the disappointment of not actually beating ‘shiteh’.
    No Bac Sag for a few games now i suppose. Yet another reason for Arsene to splash out just-this-once and buy that defender. sigh – well I can dream can’t I?

    PS – I read that Chris Samba was brilliant in Blackburn’s game…

  17. Of the top 5 teams we now only have United at the Emirates and the tiny Totts at the Lane. Meanwhile all our rivals have to play each other again and United and Chelsea meet twice. It will be interesting to see what sort of team plays against Leeds on Saturday. I also wonder how strong the Carling Cup team will be. I’d play a really strong team in the away leg to get a couple of goals advantage so we can relax in the second leg. Last night we played well and had we got the penalty, City would have been forced to push on and I think we could have scored a few more. Have to say it’s a pretty sad state of affairs when a top 3 team sets out to get a draw and I just wish we could have got the goal that would have been the punishment that City’s approach deserved. Still another point and Sagna has got himself a little rest as well, although I’m not sure he would have played the next 2 games anyway…

  18. Arsenal fans, you never cease to amaze me. Self justification through and through.

    I must admit though, you played VERY WELL, but you needed to win this game AND YOU DID NOT. AND WINNING IS WHAT MAKES CHAMPIONS.

  19. It was a frustrating game to watch, no doubt. Echoes of Inter and Chelsea parking the bus in front of Barcelona crossed my mind. However, you can only play the team in front of you, and the team in front of us came to defend and catch us on the break once or twice if they could. We still have a game in hand on City and squeezed four points out of them this season when we only got one last season. Chelsea and the spuds both lost their matches, which opens the gap between us and them. The biggest issue is that we are still 4 points behind Man Utd who have a game in hand on us. Luckily, they still have to face Chelsea at home and away as well as Man City at home and the spuds away. We also have another chance to take some points off of them when they come to the Emirates in April. Theres still hope, but Man Utd are definitely in the drivers seat. Maybe some of you dont want to hear this but we played a good game today. It was very much a team performance where no one player had to step up to save our butts. Defensively we had a decent game, though we were never really threatened. I think that with the chances we missed, quite a few balls off the post, and Man Citys stubborn defense, we were a bit unlucky to come away without a win. It happens though. They concentrated so much on not conceding and rode their luck quite a bit at times themselves. At the end of the day, not a terrible result, but one that is extremely annoying. If we keep playing in this same manner I still think we have a good chance at stringing together a very good run of results for the next couple of months. We dont have another league game for a while with FA Cup and Carling Cup matches around the corner, so we’ll just have to accept the result and focus on pushing ahead in the cup competitions. Keep the faith.

  20. If I’m not wrong, Sagna will miss only one PL game b/c our next 2 games are the FA cup tie against Leeds at the weekend & the League cup semi mid of next week. Lucky?

  21. Well, yes, we have the game in hand on $ity, and nobody made up any ground on us, and the first 11 played very well, just very unlucky, but we are still 4 point PLUS a game in hand for Manure behind them. They are the only ones we should be worrying about other than our next game. That next game is always the problem when we don’t score and/or don’t keep a clean sheet!
    Fact is, both Manch teams got 10 of 12 points over holiday break and we got 8. Disaster is probably over the top, but I wrote that within 10 minutes of full-time.
    Always amazes me to see non-gooners comments on here. Support your own team as we do ours. Gooners forever!

  22. For once I agree with Wenger’s post game assessment. We did everything but actually score.

    If we keep playing with that kind of committment then we will win most of our games. City have spent a fortune and have a great defensive set-up and an excellent goal keeper. £350m and they posed less threat to our goal than any team I’ve seen us play this season or last, CCup and FA Cup against championship sides included. West Ham this season were probably the most defensively minded “lets see if we can nick a point” team so far this season. They were more threatening than City last night.

    What does this say about Sheik Mansour? He doesn’t care about football. Love him or loathe him, at least Abramovich actually likes and understands football, has developed a love of Chelsea and sacked their best ever manager when he thought they were too boring.

    And what about the number of City fans? They had the absolute minimum allocation ususlly seen for bolton, Blackburn and Wigan or those far eastern european teams in the CL. I know it was midweek but that wasn’t the support of a big club. Maybe the City fans are tiring of seeing a mutli-million team of defenders.

  23. I am just soooo happy that I don’t have watch the 11 ugliest players in the league playing the ugliest football in the league until 2011/2012. Horrendous, even worse than “boring, boring Arsenal”.
    Sagna’s sending off is a big loss for us, as he is having a tremendous campaign. Wonder what set him off, especially after being so composed against Birmingham? Back in the day I could put up with a lot but I always seemed to lose it over racist comments and collected far too many yellows and reds because of my failing to control my anger. If that’s the case, I do sympathize, but no excuses – he’s too good a person for that and too good a player right now to be out for 3 matches.

  24. Arsenal need a clinical finisher up front, I know city parked the bus but we created some chances @ least 1 should have been taken.

    Vanpercy is not a striker he can play behind a frontman, but not as the main striker

    He is too slow and he is NOT a finisher, in the system we play you need @ least 1 clinical finisher in the front and am sad to say vanpercy is not the answer.

    Finally, defensively we look a lot better, hope we keep it up.

    Wenger made a substitution yesterday that has been puzzling me all day, you bring bed52 on and put him on the wing when he should have been sent to the middle, he is a better header of the ball than percy, yet wenger puts him on the wing and wasted a sub he was useless vanpercy should have gone out to the wing.

    We also mis having an out and out winger, if we had that AND a striker with some pace down the middle we would have won this match.

    Folks am not picking on vanpercy, BUT the guy has no pace, is not a good header of the ball,
    and is not a great finisher, How the hell can this man be our main striker this is MADNESS.

    BUT know new players are coming in for now so were stuck with this blunt attack……

    GO gunners………

  25. Echo the sentiments not a bad performance ,I think credit must be given to our defence, especially how they managed to stay awake and spring into action when needed . but i must say wenger missed the trick with subs, walcott did not have a bad game but if he was to go it should have been chamakh on. RVP could push right while chamakh could give more of a threat in the six yard box. it just seemed there was never anyone in there ready to pick up the spills and rebounds, granted we created plenty of chances but after the double rebound of the post and Hart save of RVP you knew it was gonna be one of those days.

  26. Its nice to see Theo mouthing foul words under his breath when he was halled off unfairly i may add by Arsene. More of that Theo. What the hell did arshavin do, he is not playing for the shirt. RVP is treading water, he needs at least another 5 games to regain his sharpness, if he ever does!

  27. I agree with other people on here saying RVP is not the clinical finisher we need. At this point i don’t know if we have one in our squad. BUT we are making great progress with the squad we have. With the finesse and control of RVP in the CF position, we need wingers to be making runs off his side. Walcott was almost put through once or twice last night. Anyways enough of my nitpicking i trust Arsene over myself. I do believe in this squad and also believe that our intricate passing patterns will be able to pick apart ALMOST any defence that decides to do some bus parking. If we had one of those shots hit the back of the net instead of the post (or Joe Harts fingertips for that matter) city would have opened up and we could then begin the slicing. c’mon arsenal!!

  28. Thinking more about the performance of the squad, I am continuously impressed by Djourou. What I especially have appreciated about Djourou is his passing from the back. I think that Djourou should get a bit more credit for his ability to pass the ball. Koscielny also passes well from the back.

    Theo had a nice match. I am concerned that he is getting too predictable in his runs, however. I think Theo cut inside maybe once during the match at Man City. A lot of Theo’s better runs and performances earlier in the year came from his willingness to cut inside of his defender. If Theo can do this a bit more, I think his speed will become more of a threat.

    Looking forward to the continued improvement and good performances from the squad.

  29. Since Andrew’s not around I’ll just quietly mention the cricket for which England were superb. Jimmy Anderson, best bowler of the series is a Gooner!

  30. If a team assembled together at a cost totalling over a trillion pounds, 1973 pure gold bars, 45 Ruby’s, a diamond mine and a sack of potatoes come to you and play pure lock-down tactics then I think they are paying you the ultimate compliment.

    Its either that or the club has an Italian manager in charge.

    Of course its easy for us to mock Manchester City for coming to the Emirates with such a negative attitude but the truth is they came for that 0-0 result and that is what they have achieved.

    I prefer to mock them with the fact that they have long grumbled about only having ten men when we whopped their rich asses 3-0 at the Eastlands earlier this season. Excuses, excuses in my book.

    This time the match began and ended with an even amount of players on the pitch but still they couldn’t defeat us. So that argument is done. They can no longer try to use the excuse of only having ten men in that loss.

    City had eleven players until the final minute and despite this numerical fact their supporters have completely embarrassed themselves because Mancini has shown that even with an equal number of players on the pitch, he will do just whatever possible to avoid defeat.

    Despite City’s obvious lack of ambition, Arsenal showed the complete opposite and were very unlucky not to have won the game. On the other hand lady luck smiled on the Sky Blues all night, so much so, you would thought they were shagging her. If they had managed to have signed John Terry the other summer then they probably would be.

    I thought Arsenal were excellent last night. So excellent in fact I could waiver the fact we only picked up a point when on another day it would have been three. Look at it like this, had a genie or Mystic Meg came to you in the summer and said these very words; “You will take 4 points from Manchester City this campaign” you would be happy right? I would have bitten her hand off there and then.

    On that note its quite obvious how far they have come and that they are serious title contenders this season. Whether you like it or not, City are here to stay even if it means parking that big blue bus at every ground this season.

    Arsenal too are very much in the title race and the signs are that the squad is beginning to believe it. Of course they will be frustrated at not winning but believe me if we perform like that for the rest of the season we have a great chance of winning the league.

    Talking about City I have to add this. Until this sudden influx of Arabian cash came flooding in like a flock of mice who have spied a cheese sandwich I found Manchester City fans quite charming. I actually liked the fact they were humble but I’m afraid now some of this cash richness has gone to their swedes.

    I remember the same happened to Chelsea fans (although Chelsea fans have always been arrogant). They began to think they were a huge club straight away and demanded to be cast in the same league as the elite. They became very arrogant.

    I would hope that City fans wouldn’t do the same. Use the example of Chelsea and do the exact same opposite. Yes you struck gold but be humble with it, and endear yourselves to people like you used too.

    Other clubs supporters are not jealous of you and all your green, we just don’t like it to rubbed in our noses every five minutes. Manchester City are more loaded than an AK47 or Amy Winehouse after visit to the bogs, we know that, but we don’t need to be reminded of it.

  31. @oldtimer, in did well to win in this way but it’s a shame that the gravy train of world class players being produced from Aussy land seems to have come to a holt for the time being. England were not really tested but if they continue to perform at this level then maybe they are the Real Deal. Still dont think Peterson will score runs like he did in Austraila. Well done though.

  32. Well folks,
    That will be enough Man City talk for a spell and to be honest more talk than footie. We tried but not hard enough to risk the point we got. Does that mean we’re not good enough or that we’re learning? No Matter we need to beat Leeds on the morrow or die trying. A third clean sheet on the trot would be keen. I’m afraid Denilson, and/or Squillacci may spoil that
    I do like Eboue for the cup run though he’s always up for the scrap.
    Arsenal 2-0 Leeds.

  33. Forgot to say Congrats to England’s Cricketers and of course long.long,long suffering supporters.
    Take a long swig, a deep breath, and yell like the devil. Well done.
    (sorry Drew)

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