There is a belief that today will have a big impact on how the season will develop for Arsenal, I understand why but do not agree. This is just a 3 point away game – same as any other. Yes, MC are Champions and rivals and one could say this is a 6 pointer but we have seen teams win the title whilst losing to their direct opposition; consistency is the key to winning the title, ask SAF.
And what is point of the above? Well, it is about pressure, pressure causes fear and fear results in our not playing to our highest level. Think of the young Theo Walcott. First games he was superb and we thought we had signed the next Overmars, but Theo was too young and impressionable to cope with such expectation and suffered accordingly. Thankfully he has rediscovered some of his youthful verve and precocity, assisted but the new kid on the blocks maturity. Fear messes you up (I was going to use language Peaches’ mother would have found offensive :-) )
Today is not a Championship decider, far from it; a loss to Norwich/WBA will do as much damage to our pretensions. But, of course, we are not going to lose…..
Manchester City: MC come into the game on the back of two tough away games. I thought they played very well against Madrid and were unlucky not to get at least a point, however they were fortunate at the Orcs and we must hope they perform as poorly today. I fear that if both teams play to their maximum potential we will lose. City have a truly stellar team particularly in attack, however there are weaknesses – Maicon or Kolarov are susceptible to pace. Clichy we know is prone to the odd quirk. Sadly, Kompany has proved himself to be an excellent defender – possibly the best in the PL.
€400m buys you a very good side, in fact it buys you the title of Champions. It can buy you YaYa Toure, a colossus of a player, and the will o’ the wisp talents of David Silva. A front line of Aguero, Tevez and/or Dzeko is potent but we have a defence which on a good day can cope with their movement.
Which brings me onto the manager. I liked Mankini, he seems to be a principled man, a deep thinker about the game and he has that wonderful Italian brio, BUT in my eyes the Tevez palaver lost him any kudos he had. How can a manager bend over to a player like that? Pragmatism is one thing, public humiliation another. Would Mr Wenger have given Tevez another chance? Ask Pennant, Bentley, Song, etc etc Diss the Arsenal and you get shown the door – no matter how good you are. Watching Tevez kiss the badge is sickening. If any manager could be arsed to deal with Tevez’s advisors he would be anywhere but in Manchester, but no-one would take the risk of signing a flake, a brilliant footballer but a flake.
Arsenal: Koscielny or Mertesacker or Vermaelen? The playing of BFG midweek would indicate that Mr Wenger will start with Koscielny and TV. That said, Kos has no pitch time and BFG has been superb so far, plus there is a 5 day gap between games. Tough decision and an important one. Will AW risk an attacking midfield or go for a more defensive set up with Coquelin instead of Diaby? Diaby was poor second half in France, but he gives height to the midfield which could be important at set pieces. I would like to see Coquelin but expect to see Diaby :-)
The full backs pick themselves though I would love to see Santos get a game - he offers something extra insomuch as he is a better crosser than Gibbs and can play left side midfield.
Should AW continue with The Gerv in the centre or bring back Giroud? Will OG’s aerial expertise trouble the City CB’s more than the pace and unpredictability of The Mekon? The Ox or Theo ?
The bench is getting stronger as players return from injury. We must hope Don Vito gets through unscathed. Good as Shea is, he is not ready for such a high profile game watched by a billion people.
Just loved this man – a season ticket holder in the West Stand
My hope is that we play our possession passing game and not revert to the second half performance of Tuesday. Should we continue to play as a unit and work hard in City’s half, we can win this fixture. If we sit back and defend it will be a long afternoon.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” (FDR Inaugural speech 1933)
written by Big Raddy