Arsenal vs Man City: Preview

With all the transfer talk that has consumed us this week, and of course, the distraction of the Champions League midweek games (which saw Inter go 3-1 up at Barcelona and Munich go 1-0 against Lyon – more on that later)… we’ve totally forgotten about the big game this weekend against, none other than Champions League contenders, Man City. Time to look ahead to this weekend’s game…

Earlier this season, we lost 4-2 to our new rivals, and it was a highly charged affair, with Emmanuel Adebayor exactly some physicality on our players, injuries to Cesc and Van Persie, not for the faint hearted. We let our emotion get the better of us that day and in our desire to equalise, and then win, we lacked defensive discipline.

This weekend has to be a different game, we have to start with intention and try our best to control and force the issue. The worries of course, going into this game have been the lack of defensive strength in both the central defensive area and the defensive midfield area. Our first choice triangle would normally be Song ahead of Gallas and Vermaelen, but now we’re looking at having Eastmond or Diaby ahead of Campbell and Silvestre – it’s just not the same.

Going into the end part of the season, with Almunia dropped for the remaining three games, we’ll most likely have Fabianski in goal and he really doesn’t look the piece, despite what pundits and our goal keeping experts say – and despite what Arsene says of him. We have seen him 18 times last season and another 7 this term and he’s failed to impress and instead done the opposite, and even been nicknamed Flapianski… I’m sure he’ll get another chance to impress or unimpress this weekend.

Earlier this week, there was story about Arshavin possibly returning for this weekend, but he revealed yesterday that he won’t make it:

‘Alas, the latest data says I should fully recover within a week, so on Saturday I won’t be able to enter the pitch,’ he said on Wednesday night.

‘I hope to play in the remaining matches of the season – against Blackburn and Fulham.’

Which brings me onto the rest of the team news. Rumours are that Robin Van Persie will start up front, and we’ll continue with the 4-5-1 approach that we’ve regressed into, thus fielding only 1 striker, and 5 midfielders… here’s the potential line up…

Fabianski

Sagna – Campbell – Silvestre – Clichy

Eastmond – Diaby

Walcott – Nasri – Rosicky

Van Persie

With a bench of Mannone, Eboue, Merida, Henderson, Bendtner, Vela and Eduardo

With big games, sometimes, I take a look at the opposition, and today is one of those games…

Given

Richards – Toure – Kompany – Bridge

De Jong – Barry

Johnson – Tevez – Bellamy

Adebayor

After seeing Henry return to the Emirates not that long ago, we now have another two players back at ground in Kolo Toure, the captain of Man City and Adebayor, the striker whose has netted 13 times this season… compared to Niklas Bendtner’s 12… Kolo Toure has asked for Ade to remain calm, so hopefully he’ll listen and not go crazy again…

With us just 7 points ahead of Sp*rs and 10 ahead of Man City, who both have a game in hand on us, it’s more than vital that we win our remaining games. We have to start this weekend by disposing of Man City and I’d love to see Van Persie get back on the scoresheet after his prolonged absence from the team!

Come on you Gooners!!

  • max

    arsenal win the league? You’re having me tits on right? We will be lucky to get 3rd – i would not be surprised one bit if we got 5 th.

  • devday

    Correction – 7 points ahead of Sp*rs and 9 ahead of City, who both have a game in hand… with our losing streak, we have to be worried, but we do have the ability to win at least 2 out of the remaining games. Blimey, we HAVE to.!!!

  • Francis

    Dev you forgot to mention that Vieira might be in the frame and a warm welcome awaits him….i hope

  • Nick

    I really believe Toure and Vieira will bet a very warm welcome that they rightfully deserve. Vieira’s will probably be on the order that Henry got. Adebayor is likely to get a reception that Ryan Shawcross or Martin Taylor might receive. Rightfully so as well. He’s a petulant child and his constant playing the victim role is so transparent it’s not even funny. He’s a lazy, greedy, self-centered boy with no sense of loyalty, honor or class.

  • gooner4life

    toure warm welcome?have a laugh.yes he may have been part of the invicibles but he lost all respect leaving us for city for money.as for adebayor all i can say is revenge is sweet hopefully someone will kick him in the head/face

  • Yemi

    Just a little diversion
    “Juventus hope to convince Arsenal to part with Robin van Persie by tabling a multi-player swap offer(Tribal)

  • Nick

    That’s a very intriguing offer for RVP. As much as I love RVP, his injury problems have proved that he can’t complete a full season and really provide what we all know he can. It’s a very tempting offer to have one of the worlds best goalies (age may be an issue for Wenger, but he could really help mento Szczesny) and Melo who could definitely help strengthen the midfield.

    You think if we lose RVP we still have B52, Edu, Vela (maybe), and Chamakh coming in the summer (unless that falls through). In reality if there were a close to even swap of RVP for those 2 players we could afford to buy another striker to help out as well. Balotelli, Rodallega, Bent, Cole, etc.

    Very intriguing offer indeed.

  • devday

    @ Nick: First of all, I doubt the offer is true… secondly, if it was true, you’ll first have to think: Why are Juventus ready to sell Buffon and Melo?

  • Kuka

    In addition, RVP is one among the players who seems to have the Arsenal DNA in him. I always feel his loyalty is rare in the current game. Anyone would blunder to let him go. But again, I said that about Toure and before I could sigh, he had been shipped off. So in this trade, am all eyes……

  • Kuka

    I don’t know if anyone else is struggling to comment on the City game. I think the loss against Wigan just rendered the rest of the season ceremonial. The City game should have been a chest thumping game, partly given the Adebayor saga earlier in the season. In addition, it would have been a chance to hopefully close the gap ( that is if we won at Wigan). But now, it’s hard to say anything about it, other than pray that we don’t loose. The fit players don’t make any easier for us……. To be honest
    extremely scared……

  • gooner4life

    we should never sell van persie he is pure quility when fit he is top 5 players in the world.if they are willing to swap these players then that means they could get tempted by straight money offers for them.

  • Yemi

    @ gooner4life:
    I agree with you. We should offer money for melo and get hart instead of buffon.

    @ Kuka:
    You are very correct, It is really difficult to talk about the city game. it might be easier to talk about it after the man u spurs game. If man u beat spurs, then a little respite for us. If spurs beat man u, Them we start looking over our shoulders !!!

  • peres

    I can understand people questioning Arsene Wenger, I really can, but what I don’t understand is people calling for his head and demanding that he is replaced.

    Of course Wenger isn’t the only man in the world capable of managing Arsenal Football Club but you have to concede that the next bloke in charge will have a massive job on his hands.

    Arsene’s eventual replacement has got to be the right man. It has to be thought out.

    Who out there at the moment would you suggest Wenger pass the managerial baton too? I can think of a couple but they are not available.

    Josep Guardiola is my personal favourite, and I think in the future it’s a possibility, but if Wenger went tomorrow then the Spaniard wouldn’t be an option.

    For now we are ‘stuck’ with Arsene Wenger and I’m pleased. Despite the lack of silverware at the club I still feel he is the right man for the job.

    Yes, the last few years have been frustrating and Arsene has got questions to answer but I can’t join the queue of people demanding he be sacked.

    The media don’t help. They constantly remind us Gooners, and everybody else, that we haven’t won a thing since the Stone Age.

    I think a few Arsenal fans, and this is no insult, have been taken in by the media-spin. Although it’s been a difficult time I find the way the media treat us disgusting.

    It seems to me the media have taken great delight in dividing Arsenal supporters. I wish it worked the other way and united us but that’s life.

    You don’t hear that Liverpool haven’t won a thing since 2006, only a year less than our last trophy, do you? Why not?

    Sometimes I wish that Arsene Wenger DID go to Real Madrid when they courted him last season. I think a few people would realise that ‘you don’t realise what you have got until it’s gone’ or ‘the grass isn’t always greener on the other side’.

    I include Gooners and the media in that.

    I think sometimes we Gooners forget that we already have one of the best managers in the world at our club and the media forget what a fantastic man Wenger is.

    In our case we have to realise that if Arsene Wenger were available he would easily be the most-sought after manager in the world. No doubts.

    The media have to realise that Wenger never ducks a press conference or a question unlike the ‘favoured’ Alex Ferguson. So why do they try to mug him off?

    It’s obvious the financial situation (because of the new stadium) at Arsenal has restricted Arsene Wenger. I think he has been throwing hints that the restrictions could finally be lifted.

    He wasn’t tight before the stadium was built so I expect to see investment this summer.

    I think Wenger has done a tremendous job trying to compete with limited funds over the years compared to the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and even Spurs. Not forgetting Manchester City’s new found wealth.

    Could Fergie, Mourinho or Benitez have done same? I doubt it.

    Arsene Wenger is a brilliant manager. Of course he has his faults but had he gone Real Madrid we would have suffered.

    Wenger is suffering for Arsenal Football Club. The future of Arsenal is secure because he sacrificed himself for the good of the club.

    I think he deserves a chance to have a go at managing Arsenal without financial restriction. And it looks like those times are just around the corner.

  • Kuka

    @Yemi. You are right. I hadn’t thought about that dimension at all. All a long I had been wishing that Spurs beat United so that we can close on 2nd position. But with you mentioning, I realize that it becomes only valuable of we beat City. Am I confident about that? Not now to be honest. Then in that case, United win will be a break for us….

  • Yemi

    I Hope i can cope with the rest of the season and transfer rumours. The uncertainty involved in both of these events can make one go gaga.

    We need to beat city but do we have the personnel to do that ?

    ————-Fabianski

    Sagna – Campbell – Silvestre – Clichy

    ——–Eastmond – Diaby

    —–Walcott – Nasri – Rosicky

    ———–Van Persie

    I think we should never play Diaby, Rosisky and nasri together in a match. They seem to perform the same role.
    I’d prefer a 4-4-2 against city.

    ————-Fabianski

    Sagna – Campbell – Silvestre – Clichy

    Walcott – Eastmond – Diaby – Nasri

    ———Van Persie – B52

    B52 sits back a lot so he would be more like a midfielder. In the end it would be more of a 4-5-1.

    So confusing !!!

  • Kuka

    I have never been one to criticize AW, but I will try this time round. I do think he makes transfer windows a nightmare for the fans. I do not understand why he cannot not be honest enough and say ………”hey guys, am looking to strengthen the squad” or you know what, “I am happy with my squad and will not strengthen”. Then leave it at that. Off course if he does not strengthen, he can come up and say…….I could not afford, or there were no players on the market.

    …….Unfortunately for him. At one point he says he is looking, next minute – he is not on the market. At one point, he is looking to strengthen, the next minute, all of them are rumors. Case in Point: – A few weeks back (before the Wigan game), he stated very clearly that Chamarch (sp) has a good chance of joining Arsenal. Today in his press conference, he mentions that all those rumors (Charmarch’s included, because he did not single out any), are false and non-existent. He even mentions that Arsenal are not on the market.

    …….One can call it being shrewd or secret or smart, but for me, its FRUSTRATING. Am a guy who prefers to know. Period.

    …..One aspect that kills me as an Arsenal Fan, is the TRANSFER Season. It scares the hell out of me more than the actual football season.

  • Yemi

    @ Kuka:
    Exactly my thoughts. The transfer window is filled with uncertainty for arsenal and the pressure is not good for the health. One minute we are in talks with melo, next he signs for juve. Next we are interested in hangeland, the following week he extends his contract….. So frustrating!!!!!!

  • Kuka

    Yemi-That is why I don’t warm up to the speculation discussions. Because we wet our appetites then grow gray hair at the end of the transfer window. Given AW’s uncertainty when it comes to transfers, I would rather we dialogue on how we can make use of the current squad. Who should leave and who should stay. That way, even if AW brought in someone, then its a pleasant surprise. If he did not, then its OK. One thing am sure about is, that there will be someone leaving……..I have no clue who….

  • Nick

    Not that it means anything, but I was thinking about it and looked at the stats and this season each time we’ve lost (in domestic play) it’s been 2 losses in a row followed by a win, never a tie. We lost to Man U then Man City early in the season and bounced back. Can’t remember the other matches but always domestically we lose 2 and then get back in the win column.

    I hope the wake up call the lads received last week has lit a fire under their arses.

    We can do it!

  • Pissed off

    Wenger is F***ing up the fans emotions like he does not care. I really think he needs to be thought one or two lessons.

  • Nick

    @Pissed off…. to what are you referring? Wengers comments about all the transfer rumors being false and us “not being in the transfer market” after saying we were gonna definitely spend in the summer?

    You have to look at it tactically. If you were a player and found out the manager has lost faith in you and you were likely to be traded what would that do to your confidence?

    Essentially you don’t rock the boat until you need to. All the buying & selling that will go on in the summer will happen regardless of anything he says right now so why discuss it? You don’t want to alert the players you have now, or draw attention to players you might go after as to avoid alerting other teams who always steal your prospects away (Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, Barca, etc). It’s why we all get so annoyed with Barcelona’s constant links to Cesc. Stop putting things in peoples heads and deal with this in the summer when the market is open. STFU during the campaign.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I have a question about transfers. When would be better to buy, before the world cup or after? On one hand you could pay less before the competition but run the risk of them getting injured and wasting money or on the other hand we could end up paying more if they play well?

  • Francis

    @ Nick

    I agree with you…no need to rock the boat…in the squad ..also no need to alert our competitors either. What will happen in the summer, will happen.

    Most of the time it’s us fans who want Wenger to buy this or that player…without knowing the ins and outs of securing a player….let alone the prospect of moving to a foreign country, diff climate, social life etc. I’ve heard that many a deal has fallen through bcos of the latter reasons as opposed to the club not trying hard enough.

  • Francis

    @ Gooner get ya:

    preferably most of the deals are wrapped up b4 the world cup, esp if the player in ques is not playing in the said tournament…but the selling clubs also know this so they tend to drag their feet until after the world cup in the hope of squeezing out more dollars. It’s not simply a buyers market

  • vj

    please no flapyhandsky tommorow i really wan to see mannone and wenger has just qushed rumours bout joe hart i really hope he has someone else lined up

  • Pissed off

    Yeah no F Flapiansky tomorrow.

  • no.1 fan

    i dnt blame AW for anythng at the moment. I blame untimely injuries- Song, Fabregas, Gallas, Arshavin- if they were there i rate we’d have been much better against barca. I only blame wenger for ignoring the physical aspect of the game coz if we had strength and could still play arsenal futbol we’d be the best in the world… Jst look at the invincibles… And Wenger will never truly leav Arsenal, a wise move 4 Arsenal BOD would be to move wenger to youth academy and bring manager with more of a drive to win…