“Right,” said Fred, let’s be having you.
The faltering champions are coming to town and it’s time for Freddie Ljungberg’s Arsenal to stand up and be counted.
Who thinks we’re going to beat Man City today at the Emirates?
…and answer came there none.
You lily-livered bunch of chicken-poop surrender monkeys.
Of course we’re going to win. It’s way beyond time we all got out of this defeatist funk we’ve been in for months.
Here’s why I think we will prevail this afternoon:
- Slowly, slowly you can see our confidence returning. Players who had lost faith in Unai Emery are starting to believe again.
- I get the sense Freddie and Big Per are beginning to earn the respect and trust of the squad.
- Our young players are turning in quality performances on a regular basis and that is bound to have a motivating effect on the senior pros. It also makes them an excellent asset off the bench.
- We tend to perform better against top teams than against strugglers whom we are expected to dispatch easily.
- Man City are watching the title slip away from them and their own confidence is in question.
- Aguero will miss the game through injury and David Silva is a doubt.
I can hear the objections that have no doubt formed in the minds of many of you:
“But, but, performances…”
“But, but, injuries…”
“But, but, players are not good enough…”
“But, but, defending like the Royal Society for the Blind’s second team…”
I’m not going to argue with you, certainly on performances. We still look shaky and unconvincing, but something quite significant has happened since Emery left. We have started rescuing games from losing positions rather than throwing away games from winning positions.
The win against West Ham after being 0-1 down; the point salvaged against Standard Liege after falling 0-2 behind… these betoken a team that is starting to believe it can force results.
And how better to continue that progress than by beating the reigning champions? I reckon our lads are going to be well up for it.
Although City are without Aguero, we have our own injury problems. Tierney needs surgery on a dislocated shoulder (that young man has Debuchy levels of bad luck), Ceballos, Holding Bellerin and Xhaka are all ruled out. The good news is that Pepe, who was a doubt, is expected to be available. I expect him to outshine Raheem Sterling today.
Here’s my predicted starting line-up.
Maitland-Niles – Chambers – Luiz – Kolasinac
Torreira – Guendouzi
Pepe – Aubameyang – Martinelli
If we play without fear we have the ability to really trouble the City defence. We know how good they are going forward so there’s no point trying to sit back and soak up pressure.
Let’s go at them.
Let’s be proud of wearing the shirt.
Let’s play sexy football.
Let’s leave the field with a 3-2 win for the Mighty Arse.
Ready, Freddie… GO!