Man City vs Arsenal Preview – The BIG Game!

We travel to Man City tomorrow in what becomes one of our biggest games of the season. I don’t deny it, playing Man City always seems like a bit of a grudge match – with two clubs playing each other with completely different philosophies. It’s a battle of the self-sustaining model of Arsenal vs the splash the cash model of Man City.

The fact that we’re close to them in terms of playing staff is testimony to our scouting network, training and player development despite our financial constraints. All this talk is fine and dandy, but the real talking is on the pitch. For us, tomorrow marks the first real test of the season. We’ve deployed Arteta as a defensive pivot this season and without Alex Song, don’t really play with a defensive midfielder in our ranks – yes, this worked against the teams we’ve played so far, but will it work against Man City. We’ll find out tomorrow…

Vice-captain Mikel Arteta was in the press discussing the game and talked about the impact a win would make:

“It’s still too early, whatever happens on Sunday, and I don’t think it’s going to change anything. But if you get points there, and you win then you make a bit of a statement. It grows the confidence of the team and everyone around it who believes we are as good as anyone in this league. These are good places to show that. It’s a huge test for us. We’ve been playing well. We played really good when we went to Liverpool – that’s a tough place to get three points but we did it.  [This is] another test. Man City haven’t lost at home for a while.  We know it’s going to be difficult but I’m sure they will be thinking the same thing.”

Of course, a win would be magnificent, and would make an excellent impact and statement to the league and league table. But it is early, and our team is relatively new and we do have some inexperience dotted around – sometimes, inexperience can be a positive thing, as it spurns hunger, desire and innovation on pitch, but sometimes, it can be negative if it relates to mistakes – Jenkinson & Metersacker are two players who’ve shone for some parts of the season, but also shown that they can make errors. I believe Koscielny is back and ready to start tomorrow. We’ll have to see what Le Boss does… the potential line up could be…

Mannone

Jenkinson – Koscielny – Vermaelen (c) – Gibbs

Arteta – Diaby

Oxlade – Cazorla – Gervinho

Podolski

Mannone has played well this season and the Szcz has been marred with injuries and bad form, so I don’t think Arsene will make the switch. Similarly with Giroud, he’s not been firing on all cylinders and tomorrow’s game is no time to experiment with integrating a new striker into the team, it’s more important to play a team that can win, and I think that’s why Le Boss will chose the team above.

Arsene spoke about the hunger in the squad:

“I have no doubt about the desire and hunger of my squad. It will just tell you how strong we are at the moment. I believe we are quite strong but we have some room for improvement. All is not perfect but the signs we are giving are very good and very strong. The hunger is massive in this squad. They want to do well. They are focused. They want to win. We want to continue to improve because we have many new players. It is a big test to see how strong we are.”

For me, player for player, there isn’t too much difference between to the two sides, and a lot of the game will come down to who wants it more. Let’s hope we do and let’s hope we come away with a result of some time. It’s time to beat City and time to show the league what we’re made of…

Here are some random facts about us and City (courtesy of the Guardian):

  • There have been just six goals scored in the past six matches between these sides in all competitions, with all three meetings last season ending 1-0
  • If Arsenal do not concede, they will have kept three clean sheets in a row away from home in the league for the first time since May 2005
  • City are unbeaten in 10 league games since Arsenal beat them 1-0 at the Emirates in April, which was also the last time they failed to score
  • Arsenal have won just one of the past 14 league games they have played with Mike Dean as the referee
  • City have allowed opposing teams just 11 shots on target against them so far this season – only Arsenal (10) have a better record

Til tomorrow…

  • damsen

    Wrighty talks about the invincibles, but I wonder: how much money did that team lose that year? Did they finish that year at a £50 million loss? I’m genuinely curious if they at some point decided to stop losing money every year, or are just unwilling to follow the rest of the “big spenders” off a cliff. City have lost something like £500 Million since the new owners took over. Losing that much money and saying you’re “winning things” is a fucking joke.

  • ArseFan101

    The invincibles didn’t cost us more than we could afford.

  • ArseFan101

    In fact when we had the invincibles we had ZERO debt

  • German

    I think we actually have a more balanced side and think the team above is the best one for the game

  • ArseBum

    Man City 2 – 2 Arsenal – I think it will be a cracker!

  • damsen

    What a midfield we’ve got at the moment, it has to be said! I honestly believe that, if we can keep these guys fresh and fit, then we will give anyone in the league (or even in Europe!) a game. Not to mention the strength in depth EVEN in the case of injuries. With the defence looking solid for the most part, the only real issue with the team is the clinical striking to match the strength, skill, creativity and dominance of this midfield. Over the last 5 games, I just shudder to think how many of the dropped points that we would have been able to hang on to with an ice cold assassin up top. I like Gervinho – he works VERY hard for the team – but he is not that person. I really hope Giroud is because, if we could convert 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 of the chances created by this midfield, we WILL win something this season!