Arsenal Need To Crush City’s Fighting Spirit

Manchester City arrive at The Emirates this evening presenting Arsenal with the first opportunity since 2006/07 to take six points from a top four team. On their travels, City have taken more points (20) than Arsenal (18) have won at home. That they have played one game more is not overly important, simply that the visitors have so far significantly improved.

So far this season, City have only travelled to Tottenham of the top four, a goalless draw on the opening day of the season. In short, they ought to be in the position they are in with the way that the fixtures have fallen. It might explain in part why their away record is looking good at the moment.

They arrive bereft of their most creative force – David Silva – and denying Jack Wilshere the chance to go, “Mario Who?“, with Balotelli out injured. Whilst the Italian international is beginning his City career, another is coming to an end surely with Adebayor losing to Kolo Toure by two falls and a submission in a training ground incident yesterday. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with the icy stare from Patrick Vieira either.

It is an unsurprising event; Adebayor cannot claim that he wants more money from Madrid since City will probably end up bearing the brunt of his wages when he leaves. Picking a fight with a colleague is the only other way out. He is perhaps the first high profile departure. How far his star has fallen is marked by his suitors: (the unrealistic) Real Madrid, (the realistic) West Ham and Malaga.

His fall simply serves as another warning to those whose head is turned by the offer of more money elsewhere: leaving Arsenal is not always a good career move.

Onto Arsenal. Arsene reported that he has no new injuries to worry about with nobody returning either. Given that the XI which took the field against Chelsea and Birmingham won those games at a canter, it would be a brave decision to change that line-up. Two players spring immediately to mind for resting; van Persie and Djourou. Yet with both likely to get a ten day rest for the matches against Leeds and Ipswich, they must surely start tonight.

Having pressed and harried in both recent wins, it is imperative that there is more of the same tonight. City will more than likely string five across the middle and look to frustrate. Arsenal need to get their passing game into full swing from kick-off,  stretching the visitors from the start. Walcott’s pace is more than a match for either of the visitor’s full backs, especially as Lescott is little more than a converted centre back, suspect positionally when faced with a quick opponent.

The line-up I would expect is:

Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy; Fabregas, Song, Wilshere; Walcott, van Persie, Nasri

With Manchester United winning last night, avoiding defeat is essential. A win would seriously damage the vanquished party in terms of a title challenge. Yet as we have seen this season, consistency is not easy to come by. If Arsenal do not lose, it will be the first time since the opening month of the season that they have gone more than three games undefeated in the Premier League. A good time to put that run together is now.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 5, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 422 Comments.

  1. Mongolian Gooner

    First…

  2. Tonight will be my first ever visit to London to see this match! I’m so excited to watch The Arsenal live! Hope it will be a great match and a good victory for the men in red! As a fellow Swiss, I hope that Djourou also plays! COME ON GUNNERS!

  3. Spot on as usual Yogi. With the way the blue mancs play we should not be surprised if this game ends up in another stalemate. The team will have to be patient and look for the few chances that will come and most importantly, make sure they are cynical when presented with an opportunity to score. I’m still hoping for a win though and I will be doing my part from the North Bank Upper Tier – come on you Gunners!

  4. Yep, we must defeat City today. I have more optimism with the form we’re in right now, though I’m a little worried for the fitness of RvP and Djourou. Are 4 days rest enough? But yes, they MUST start. We’d be 2nd of the table, just 2 points behind ManU.

    Tevez must be tamed and our passing play stomped upon the opponents from the fist minute. Anways, GO YOU GUNNERS!

    (btw, great to see Mongolian Arsenal fans online!)

  5. Mongolian Gooner

    Great to see you too.

  6. Arsenal Need To Crush City’s Fighting Spirit

    Good luck with that boys!

  7. YW,

    A great write up on what will prove and important (yet, I suspect, not a critical) match tonight: I feel there are many more twists and turns to come before the end of this strange season. I’m also convinced the ManUre will be found out when the start visiting the top four teams on their turf.

    I totally agree with the selected starting 11 but share AMG’s concern about the four day gap and RvP and Djourou’s performance. Fingers crossed it is within their compass and we produced the best performance so far tonight – as part of our ongoing improvement. 3 points would be great and is definitely achievable but it will be difficult.

    Given my belief that Citeh are still fairly shakey at the back, I’d hope for a 3-1 scoreline when the dust settles.

    COYG

  8. Gr8 post

  9. For the kill boys; let’s send the moneybags up north with bank bills in their arses

  10. It has to be the eleven that started against Chelski and Brum. Hopefully we can get one early before they really settle into their defensive game to make them have to come out and present us with more opportunities.

    COYG!!!

  11. If Lil Jack, Sagna and Kos6 start tonight, they are going to start or play the 4th game in 10days.. Will they be physically ready for such a game?? This is my main worry even though all 3 will get atleast a week to recover.

  12. How astonishingly quickly Wilshere’s star has risen, to the point where it would seem strange to see him not in the starting XI. A great achievement.

    We should have too much for City today.

    Come on Arsenal!!

  13. YW, well said

    I think the same team as brim should start and hopefully at about the hour mark, those that need rest can start to come off.

    Sagna and Kos would have played all four games, but if their stamina can take it, they might as well.

    Are none of the reserve CBs likely to step up for Carling cup and FA cup duties?

  14. “Arsenal need to get their passing game into full swing from kick-off, stretching the visitors from the start.” > Yes please! COME ON THE ARSENAL!

    Passenal, North Bank Upper you say? See you there, my dear.

  15. Nice post, YW. I see your point, but Squillaci and Djourou should play tonight. It’s Kos who needs the rest.

    I would like us to just take the team we last beat City with and keep RVP , Jack and Theo ready to help if needed. My guess is Jack and Kos will be rested, but RVP will keep his place, and perhaps Arshavin could still find himself watching Theo start.

    Fabianski
    Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy
    Denilson Song
    Fabregas
    Nasri Arshavin
    Van Persie

  16. How unfortunate, just when we were looking forward to a great opportunity to introduce the one and only “Super Mario” Balloteli to our very humble and very own Jack “the bean stalk” Wilshire, the giant cant attend the party. Seems there wont be any fe fi fo fum’s tonight only the slaying of the Manche$ter giant.

  17. Furious STyles

    Why does koscielny need to rest, LA? did he look tired on sunday to you?

  18. We definitely need to give Kosicelny a rest, play Squillaci and Djourou at CB. And Denilson in for Wilshere, if they play 5 across midfield to dictate possession, Denilson could be vital.

  19. Furious

    He looked fine on Sunday. but he’s played on the 27th, the 29th and the 1st. Arsene will want to rotate before injuries hit tired players rather than when it’s too late.

    Djourou and Squillaci pretty much shut down City last time (who will probably play with Tevez on his own upfront again).

    Besides, Squillaci really isn’t such a bad player!

  20. Man City are in a tougher spot with Silva and Balotelli out, and Ya Ya Toure and De Jong having played major minutes in their last 3 games (26th, 28th and 1st).

    That’s why I can see Theo playing again, perhaps even more for his pressing defence than his attacking skills. With an already tired City midfield, we really could run them ragged provided we defend with the same intensity as we showed against Chelsea and Birmingham.

  21. LAGooner,
    I can agree with your line-up..

  22. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice post as . City can’t match us and im predicting Super Samir to bag a brace.

  23. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ugh that should of read nice post as usual, YW.

  24. Koscielny’s positive passing through the middle brought a lot of joy against Chelsea, as it always will do – so I’d start him and big Johan again.

    If we’re looking for a dynamic start it’s got to be Walcott on the right, Nasri on the left for me. Arshavin is a great gambit to have up the sleeve… or rather on the bench.

    Most interesting is: our Euclideo vs. Our Jack. Arguments to be made for both. Jack’s harrying directness vs. Denilson’s sophistication and prescience. I’d be very happy with either… though at this moment Denilson just about edges it for me. I know plenty of people who would call it the other way though. “You know we’ve got a great squad when…”

    Can’t bloody wait. Can’t even bloody concentrate! Roll on The Arsenal…

  25. Hey, NJN. Enjoying that Kurt Vile fella you posted before Christmas. Good tip that. Hope you’re well.

  26. the main players can be given a rest with the 2 cup games coming up, and ought to play unless they are seriously jaded or physically unfit. city is, sadly, a good team, and unnecessarily resting players in such a game would be madness if you ask me.

  27. It seems to be that Johan is fast becoming the number 1 choice centre back. Is that right? I do hope so. I think he has it all. Can you imagine what could have been had we had him last season. Hopefully some of the doomers can now see why Wenger was nothing but unlucky in central defence. He lost Johan right before the start of the season. Wenger will have known then what Djourou was capable of and therefore rightly stuttered to sign another replacement for him.
    Not to undermine Kos or Squillies but i’m salivating at the prospect of Djourou and Verm as long term Arsenal centre backs.

    This may be dumb, perhaps a joke completely flew over my head from the great post from Yogi. But…. did Toure really give Ade a slap? What happend?

  28. Is the new North Bank Upper the ACLF stand?

    Although I only just make it – last block before it convert’s into the East Stand!

  29. I’m not sure what will happen as regards resting centre-backs. I would like to see Djourou and Koscielny starting tonight and resting for the cup games, but then who partners Squillaci in those games? Without Vermaelen one of them might have to play in each game. There doesn’t appear anyone in the reserves to come in, Kyle Bartley probably would have been ideal, but he’s out on loan. The only other one anywhere near a League Cup appearance would seem to be Ignasi Miquel, but that would surely be taking a huge chance just one step away from a cup final appearance on a kid who hasn’t played for the first team at all.

  30. Wenger says we need to build momentum – therefore play the same team as last time so they can do that – we can rest all the starters of 4 games in 10 days then, as the next 2 games are cup games, where we can rotate a bit

    Against City
    Fabianski
    Sagna, Djourou, Kosser, Clichy
    Jackie Song
    Theo Fabregas Nasri
    Van Persie

    Against Leeds
    Chesney
    Eboue, Djourou, Squil, Gibbs
    Denilson Song
    Rosicky AA23 Vela
    Chamakh

    Against Ipswich
    Chesney
    Eboue, Kosser, Squil, Clichy
    Jackie, Song
    Nasri Cesc AA23
    B52

    Should mean we can play this again away to West Ham in the league

    Against City
    Fabianski
    Sagna, Djourou, Kosser, Clichy
    Jackie Song
    Theo Fabregas Nasri
    Van Persie

  31. els- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1344009/Kolo-Toure-Emmanuel-Adebayor-scrap-Manchester-City-training.html

    I think you have the starting line up spot on Yogi. With Arshavin and Chamakh off the bench we have more than enough ammo upfront. We just need Nasri and Fabregas to be their usual brilliant selves.

    Was it just me or did anyone else find Stoke’s defensive play last night against Utd an absolute disgrace. They provide nothing interesting going forward and stand off and take it up the arse on the defense. They have Jones spearheading the attack with no quality supply whatsoever. Stoke really need to start using Fuller and Jones together upfront when thing arent going their way (which is often). Pullis is exactly the type of manager that is ruining the quality of football in the league. Rant over (just had to let that out because Stoke could’ve easily taken point of United if they were a bit more adventurous going forward).

  32. Centre Half is not as a physically demanding position to play as midfield, so it is less likely to need rotation.

    I would guess the reason Djorou has been rotated this season is more to do with him returning from long term injury than anything else.

    Typically, stability at the back would seem to be the best option.

  33. Such a pity Diaby got injuried again though maybe he might make a cup game? Id also say sub earlier than we normally do in the cup games if the result is safe with the likes of B52, JET, Vela, Denilson, AA23 getting 25-30 mins from the bench, that way sone of the starters dont have to get through a full 90 mins 3 games in a row

  34. Where is Chamakh? He didn’t even make the bench against Birmingham. With City likely to park the bus I think he might be a better option up front. With a packed midfield (city will play three in central midfield – at least) we could do with him holding up play and allowing our own midfield time to get forward.

  35. I reckon Chamakh got the day off as Wenger was saying he was a bit jaded – he did do it all up front on his own while RVP and B52 were injuried – wel see him in the cup games no doubt and on the bench for the West Ham game

  36. Markus

    Wenger and the player both observed recently that he had taken a battering in the absence of RvP – I think AW has given him a break of a week to recharge his batteries. I think he will start on Saturday.

    YW

  37. This will be an intriguing game- the decisive factor will be speed of movement and guile. With Nasri,Cesc, RVP and Theo (who many assume will start) we have the edge. But I have sneaky feeling this game is tailor made for Arshavin. Without Silva and Baloteli City will have De jong, Yaya and Bary shielding the defence and dropping deep. This may restrict space for Theo to use his pace but Arshavin has the guile to make something happen. I also think subs will play a crucial part- Chamakh (who may start) coming on for RVP and/or Bendy perhaps gives us an edge as well- I cant see City with any alternative if it aint happening for Tevez. The interesting part is Wilshere or Euclideo. I would go for Euclideo and bring Wilshere later on. I think with City lacking pace Euclideo’s short quick passing may just be the key that gives our attacking players a chance to unlock City. But we have to force the issue and get Yaya backpedling- the ones to watch for city are Tevez and Johnson. Tevez has that annoying habit of scoring messy goals and punishing defensive lapses and Johnson has been City’s second best creative player behind Silva. We are in for another epic game tonight!

  38. Oh hel be on bench against City too i reckin – we need to get RVP up to his best – hes a better finisher than Chamakh too – although rustiness meant he was a bit wasteful against Brum – plus we are likely to get a few free kicks just outside their box if City come to park the bus and counter attack – RVP is the man for that, might make them a bit hesitant in th taclke too, allowing our tricky tricksters to ping one twos through them 🙂

  39. Speaking of the spat between Ade and Toure, Wenger is a genius for pocketing 30 mill and avoiding that hissy fit altogether.

  40. Nice post YW (as usual).

    If Arsenal are to build self belief and win something this season, the Chelsea win was the starting point and a win tonight will add to the foundation.

    Mancini will pack the City midfield with defensive minded players. I can see Arsene making a couple of adjustments from your suggested line up.

    Fabianski
    Sagna – DJ – Kos Clichy
    Denilson – Song
    Rosicky – Cesc – Nasri
    Chamakh (or vP)

    Its important we control midfield play and I feel Denilson and Rosicky provide a higher level of skill and experience than Theo and Jack. (imo)

  41. Cesc is the key to this one. It is a big game at a critical point and Cesc is a big game player. I would be tempted to start Arshavin left and Nasri right (where he tends to be more influential) and super-sub Walcott for Arshavin a little earlier than usual, 65 mins. RvP ‘completes’ this team, his mere presence seems to create opportunity, and his starting is important but it just depends on what the physios say. If not I would personally select Bendtner for his poaching skills. He seems hungry anyway. Wilshere I’m sure will start this one for his physical presence, but who knows, Euclides is fully capable and also a big game player. Arsene always has his own mind. I look for 2 things from the start: those crisp passes and hunting in packs. If Arsenal is in that mood, it will be a tough away fixture for Citeh.

  42. Thanks PIRESAHOLIC for the link. Great news that!!!

  43. So… good news for Newcastle that Arfa broke his leg. He’s signed permanently. I get the feeling if he’d carried on the way he did before injury he would have signed somewhere a little better.

    But also a bit of good luck for Arfa that somebody has took the risk on his recovery. He no doubt will be relieved he’s won a contract after such a bad brake.

  44. I like the Koscielny Djourou combination better!!

    My team would be
    ………..Fabianski……..
    …….Sagna…..Djourou….koscielny…clichy
    …….song…….cesc…..denilson
    …..Walcott…..Van Persie….Nasri

    Wilshire, Chamakh, Arshavin, Squilachi, Eboue And no2 Gk(53) on the bench.

    3-1 to the Arsenal tonight!!

  45. damn!!..Bendtner, Rosicky did’nt make my bench!!we really have a deep squad!!

  46. firstlandy,
    You named only 6 on the bench.. So one of Big Nic or TR7 can make it…

  47. @Firstlady,

    You can stick one of them in for mothing, you’ve only named six 🙂

  48. I would go with firstlady’s line up. 4-1 to Arsenal

  49. This game will be tight-Man City are more organised and better than Chelsea. For me especially with the loss of Silva and Baloteli, this has the hallmarks of a draw written all over it. Without Silva in particular, Man City will try and disrupt the game and get us out of sync. A draw also suits Man City more than us. I hope Wenger sets the tone and tells the boys that this is a must win game, a 6 pointer as we get 3 and Man City loose 3.

  50. Intriguingly – Le Grove, Untold and ACLF all agree on the starting team. This is probably a first and could be an omen – it’s certainly a sign that we are, as a club, getting a feel that we collectively have a clearer picture of what our best starting XI is.

    Personell changes and injuries have robbed us so consistently in the past, that we have’nt really had much of a chance to get a feel for this. It’s a matter of some delight for everyone to (AT LAST) have Cesc and RVP available for a run of games – if it continues we could truly start to put a signifcant run together.

    The obvious missing first XIcandidate is Vermy (for Kozz?) and there are those who feel Gibbs is ready for Clichy’s spot but other than that we have, for the first time in a long time, a pretty good idea of our best players for each position and how they fit together.

    I get a real sense these are exciting times – strength in depth has been robbed of us in the past but, looking at the benches of the other big clubs, it is clear where the balance of power now lies [when we have all our players fit].

    A win tonight would go some to confirming this of course!

    BRING IT.

  51. Personally I see no reason to tinker. This is a very important match that requires, in my mind, the strongest XI. I would expect the same squad that played chelski and the forklift operators of birmingham.
    Come on you GUNNERS! I hope to hear another massive crowd response over my tinny little computer speakers!

  52. I can imagine Wenger having to do the old ip dip dog shit you are not it when picking his team now.

  53. Who the heck is Euclideo?

  54. I agree with YW’s starting 11. No reason to change. Wenger obviously thinks Wilshere adds a lot to this team and I do not seem him making any changes at that position for this game.

    I think 3 points is vital tonight. The Manc’s are 5 points ahead and we have to stay in touch with them. Manc’s are on course to concede more goals then any season in the last decade. Can we count on them to be this lax at the back for the rest of the season? Historically they have been much better in the 2nd half of the season. Can we count on Rooney not scoring for the rest of the season? We have an easier schedule going forward so this is the time to take advantage of it. There are enough games left but we need to start making our move.

    I suspect Citeh will park the bus. We need to make sure they pay for playing defensive football by dominating the game and not letting them score. If they can sit back with 10 men behind the ball and still nick a goal or 2 on a counter or set piece it will be tough for us to win. If teams start to realize they will not score with that type of football they will eventually have to start sending men forward which will open the field for us.

  55. Team i’d select to play the money men;

    Fab

    Sagna Djourou Kos Clichy

    Song Wilshere

    Theo van Nasregas

    Bench: Szczesny, Squillaci, Rosicky, Chamakh, Arshavin, Denilson, Bendtner

  56. euclideo is Denilson

  57. Whats this I hear about a kne thing with Djourou?

  58. Many have left chamakh out of the starting line-up.I suspect he’ll start.He’s had well over 2 week’s rest and his strength and technical play will be crucial to unlocking City’s defence.
    Still on the game,I dont see City as being unbeatable.Most of their play will be initiated by Yaya Toure from midfield.Their defence is not rock solid either.However,the stumbling block we must have avoid is not to concede the first goal thus allowing them to lock up and try to hit us on the counter.
    Overall I believe we’ll win this game.A draw will not do for me.
    Over to United,the shallow thinking press are again waxing lyrical about them not playing well and still winning.This is usually followed by the rider ‘and that’s what a championship winning side are made of’.I think I heard this before with a certain team called Chelsea? It’s a matter of time before Man United get undone.However our own task is to stitch together an unbeaten run.
    Still asking: who is Euclideo?

  59. These players! They don’t play and they throw hissy fits. Give them too many games and they get jaded.

    Nah, I know the big Morrocan has played a lot, I read that quote from him about ‘taking a battering for 90 minutes and then three days later we do it all again’, or something. I just like him and think this game may be suited to him. Great work rate and commitment. If we’re feeling really brave we might see both him and VP at some stage.

    Arshavin has been trying to work on the defensive side of his game. He hasn’t got a lot of credit for it, but you see him trying his best to get back and help Clichy. Maybe just lacks that extra bit of fitness to run for 90 minutes.

  60. AA to start in the next two cup games; tough call between RVP and Chamackattack; Superman and Koz would be the dream combo; also tough call between Denilson and Jack; I think Jack will get the nod;

  61. Thanks for answering the question Goonerwife.Much appreciated.

  62. The first eleven (Vermaelen excepted) spanked Chelsea and Birmingham, there’s no need to risk dropping silly points by messing about with the team tonight. Going forward City will be limited by the absence of Silva, their only really creative force. They’ll play one up front and starving the service to Tevez will be the key to blunting whatever goal threat they have. At the back they don’t look impregnable, at least our players should know all about Kolo’s weaknesses. If we can getone or two in the first half it could be a rout, the key then will be to come out with the right intensity and focus in the second period.

  63. WE’RE THE NORTH BANK
    WE’RE THE NORTH BANK
    WE’RE THE NORTH BANK ACLF!

    (Try ‘Acey-ehleff’)

  64. Fucking hell I’m up for this one…

  65. Watch the speakers, Gris Gris. We’re gonna pop a hole in those…

    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NAAAAAA!!!

  66. Limestonegunner

    Chamakh has been a terrific player for us during the first several months. He has been a bit jaded recently and slightly less effective. While RvP isn’t at his clinical sharpest yet, I think we have played very well the last two games with him in the correct position leading the line. His movement and passing from that central position has been so dynamic. Even though he missed some gilt-edged chances, he makes us play better. I think he is going to get the knack for goals back in this game.

  67. So do I, Limestone. So do I.

    Btw, I also agree with Firstlady. Team and scoreline.

  68. For anyone who can get it the game will be one ESPN3 which has an excellent streaming video feed if you can not get to a TV.

  69. Limestonegunner

    I say Wilshere or Denilson will not make a difference–both good players in this matchup with ManCity. I say 2-0 (brace for RvP) and Bill gets to celebrate a clean sheet!

    Honestly, it is going to be a tight affair. ManCity is coming to our place after seeing what happened to Chelsea with a draw in mind. They will park the bus, take off the tires and remove its engine. We are going to have to be patient, have great home support cheering on the team rather than contributing to the sense of anxiety, and try to break through and around the clogged midfield. I’d like to see us take some shots from distance, just outside the box, to bring them out and open up a bit of space for the psychic understanding of Cesc-Nasri-RvP to thread something through for RvP to fire into goal–so maybe I am talking myself into suggesting Denilson starts.

  70. Cheers Bill, is that available in the uk? I’ve got access to TV tonight, but would be handy for the future…

    Absolutely itching for the match to start! Really can’t wait. I’ll go with Firstlady or Yogi’s lineups, and I think we’ll win 2-0 or maybe 3-0. I can’t see a lineup with Milner and Johnson as their main creative stream causing too many problems.

    For me it’s got to be Djourou and Koscielny until TV5 is back, then I’d have the Swiss-Belgium connection. A nice balance me thinks…

  71. The best website for watching games is Sportzpal.net

    You need never miss a game again with this badboy in your favourites list

  72. Cheers James, I’ll check that shiznit fo sho. Who are S*ds playing? or have they played already?

  73. Anyone know of a good film streaming site? Used to use TV Shack but it was shut down recently…

  74. Spuds play Everton. I see dropped points…

  75. Here’s hoping mj…

  76. try surfthechannel.net!

    Although, it should go without saying, if you like a movie enough I’d urge you pay for eventually. And if anyone asks, I don’t believe you should trade gold for shit

  77. Limestonegunner

    Unfortunately, Everton have really fallen below expectations. However, they have pulled out the odd big result, like their defeat away to ManCity. Hope they can do it again. I thought they would be challenging for the top four this season.

  78. I hope the spuds drop points but really i couldnt care less, WE need 3 points. END OF. And i dont care how we get them once we get them

  79. As for streaming games, downloading sopcast was one of the best things I did! Did it over the holidays and I’ve not stopped singing its praises.

  80. I think we will buy a new centre half- TVcinq’s injury seems a pretty serious thing and there is no gurantee that once he returns it will be all systems go! If anything we should really not take chances given the experiences we have with Diabb, RVP et al! So the chances of another center half are pretty high! A lot rumuors regarding Metersacker but there are other options out there, Sakho, Cahil are all good prospects. They may not be cultured like Koscielny but perhaps we just need a big meathead at the back as most of the PL teams play like Neanderthals!

  81. A Fungus-Coated Right Hand

    Adebayor to Malaga? The new owners down there are throwing money around to “build something special” so a Togolese fighting machine with constantly declining interest in football could be right up their alley. Come on the Arse we can beat City even without Adebayor who Mancini will probably never select again. Arsene knows and knew he had to get rid of Ade years ago.

  82. The problem with good runs is that they have to end sometime, I’d be happy with a point tonight but the Yid in me is expecting a defeat.
    Then again this Tottenham team keeps suprising me…….

  83. Geo:

    Unfortunately I have been told that ESPN3 is not available in the UK. Sorry wish I knew a better site that you guys could use. I will have to check out sportzpal.net.

    I know it is hard on the players but I love having games with this frequency. I always hate having to wait between games. The game starts at 2PM my time and waiting until then is always tough.

  84. This can either be a very exciting game or a very dull one considering how City is going to pack their midfield.

  85. Which team do you guys think is best for Vela to go out on loan to?

    My personal choice would be Blackpool due to their attacking style, but I doubt they could afford him.

    I’m pumped as a mofo to watch the game in HD.

  86. Gadget- Sopcast was always the way to go but unfortunately for Mac users like myself, Sopcast isn’t an option.

    Atdhe.net never lets me down though.

  87. Mongolian Gooner

    http://www.myp2p.eu/ I use this site for a stream when our match isn’t on TV. Quite useful one.

  88. I use http://www.myp2p.eu/ and Atdhe.net but atdhe.net more reliable and consistent!

  89. Here’s Blackpool’s excellent D-Fence against $iteh (via 7am):

    Why not to Blackpool? JET played at Blackpool last season.
    Ian Holloway shares a name with a road/district near Highbury, maybe he has football (as opposed to hoofball) in his DNA?
    Be interesting to follow what happens with Vela & JET after the cup games.

    “Very proud of the way we played, we showed great fighting spirit. Not only us but also the fans. Atmosphere was brilliant, Thanks Gunners.”
    RVP after the Chel$ki game.

    COYG.

  90. rumours kos and squilly are struggling Miguel may start!

  91. A pessimistic yid! never. rare as rocking horse shit!

  92. Getting nervous. Everyone (including myself) has mentioned Man City parking the bus. If it’s that obvious to everyone what they’ll do maybe they might just decide to try and catch us off guard and go for it in the first 10 minutes before bringing on said bus.

    Need 100% focus tonight.

  93. Mancini doesn’t do surprises Markus. He’s going to play to his strengths.

    Rune where did you read this?

  94. Limestonegunner

    Markus, they might try something like that–if they did, we could very well find space to play and hit them before they hit us. With Johnson and Milner playing instead of Silva, you’ll see crosses in for Tevez, YaYa, and the like. Djourou can handle that, don’t worry. I hope they do try and attack us–best thing that could happen.

  95. I hope Tottenham win purely because it’s so much more fun when there’s more teams in the mix, hopefully it will be Arsenal v Man Utd v Man City for the title with Chelsea v Tottenham for 4th. Then 6th or 7th can be contested by a wide range of teams.

    What a season.

    I predict 2-1 in favour of the gunners tonight, btw..

  96. I hope when the teams come out, sky sports makes a comparison between the cost of assembling the two staring XI’s that would be interesting

  97. Vroom, 3:0 to the Arsenal! Expect the usual ugly football speciality from mancity.

  98. According to sky Arsenal are unchanged from the Birm game

  99. Team to play Manchester City: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Wilshere, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie

  100. Forgot to add

    Come on Arsenal

  101. Manchester city

    Hart, Richards, Zabaleta, Kompany, K. Toure, de Jong, Barry, Milner, Yaya, Jo, Tevez

    Is that 4 DMs?

    Not far off it anyways

    Park the bus indeed!

  102. Very strong team selection by Arsene Wenger
    A title winning side. 3 – 1 to the Gunners. Onwards and Upwards. COYG.

  103. Fabianski, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott, van Persie.

    Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Denilson, Squillaci, Arshavin, Chamakh, Bendtner.

    The bench looke too attacking to my like.. Would have liked to see Eboue instead of one of TR7\Chamakh\Big Nic..

  104. Deise,

    I guess they would line up 4-4-1-1…

  105. Maybe its a 3 centrally with Milner and Tevez on the flanks

    Hart
    Richards, Kompany, K. Toure, Zabaleta
    de Jong, Barry, Yaya,
    Tevez Milner
    Jo

  106. Come on, Arsenal!

  107. A strong lineup by city though I really don’t rate Jo.

  108. This isn’t a match for the feint hearted. It’s 22:32 hours in Nairobi. Mongolian Gooner what’s the time in Ulan Bator?

  109. Mongolian Gooner

    It’s 3.35 in the morning in Ulaanbaatar.

    Hope we give a good kicking in the ass for the Fight Club.

    Although I liked the movie.

  110. I hear Fabianksi has injuried his shoulder in the warm up and we might have to start with Wojciech Szczesny …….

    2 keepers injured now / a way back in for almunia? / or will it mean we have to buy?

  111. Mongolian, thanks for the right spelling for your capital city. I gave the anglicised version.

  112. Mongolian Gooner

    Bad news indeed. At least we know Chesney’s a very good deputy.

  113. Mongolian Gooner

    @Kenyan Gunner: That’s actually Russianized spelling spread through the internet.

  114. No, Fabianski is out there, Deise.

  115. Deise,

    where do you hear these rumours from??

    First it was kos n Squilly.. Now its Fabianksi when all three are in the squad with Kos and Fab starting….

  116. What a great start.. Man$iteh defence looks very very shaky..

  117. Mongolian Gooner

    wow close from our guys.

  118. Jo playing on the left wing!!!!

  119. Fabianski starts despite the ‘injury’ – just a scare so….

  120. FUCK YEAH

    keep it up!

  121. Opening up Man$iteh with ease….

  122. Own goal Ashley Cole!!!! Ahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  123. Enjoy the match guys! I’ll be coming back to read comments after watching myself, but that wont be till long after N5 has quieted down following what was hopefully a celebratory night..

    Players like De Jong make me anxious. I really hope he can keep it undercontrol, and that he can keep the flying drop kicks in the dojo!

    Sing loud you ACLFers attending!! Ill be standing in my living room with my scarf over my head echoing back!!

    COYG!!

  124. Or perhaps he was never injured in the first place. There are a lot of wind-up merchants out there.

  125. Gr8 shot from RvP!!! Unlucky yo hit the post..

  126. Irish, that is fantastic!!!! A Hole Own Goal

  127. Wolves 1 – 0 Chelsea

  128. One has to go in soon!!

  129. What the hell is happening!!! Opening them up at will.. Scoring a early goal could lead to a rampage..

  130. ooh, my heart! I hate listening sometimes, it’s so much more nervewracking than being there

  131. Playing them off the pitch, aren’t we? But guys, please start adding goals. 😦

  132. bosingwa scored not Hole, I hear. Never mind. Still a great scoreline.

  133. Agree, Evil.. The first goal will help in settling the nerve…

  134. Furious Styles

    brilliant start. lets get that goal.

  135. Mongolian Gooner

    These Russian commentators are good. Very unlike English commentators with heavy accents. Informative and fair.

  136. Eerily like when we played Barca in that first game, accept this time we are Barca!!!!! Let’s hope unlike Barca we can score!!!!!

  137. need a goal – need a goal – need a goal – need a goal -need a goal

  138. But, honestly, are City one man down again or why are they so shit? They are time wasting from the start on, they can’t seem to do anything else but hoof the ball and if it were for some more clinical finishing we would be up 2 or 3 goals. Are those “genuine title challengers”?

  139. What a gr8 move from Song to get the ball out of our half!!

  140. 1-0 to Everton. Saga!!!!

  141. *Saha

  142. Is it just me or time flying faster than usual!! Can’t believe its 20mins already..

  143. @IG
    I agree, he managed to turn a very dangerous situation in a great opportunity for a counter attack. Our boys are up for it and the goals will come, they just have to keep the concentration up.

  144. Sagna is so f’n cool! And Barry deserves a yellow for that.

  145. Mongolian Gooner

    Good to see Theo fighting back for the ball.

  146. Evil,
    The determination is there.. Just the calmness in front of the goal is required…

  147. Haha, Fabregas listening in on MAncini and De Jong XD

  148. Furious Styles

    mancini is fucking meticolous at directing his players’ positioning. must be awesome playing like that, like preprogrammed robots or something

  149. Bad foul to give….. And we almost payed for it…

  150. do cold wednesday evenings in get any better?

  151. I can’t believe it! Please let it not be one of those nights

  152. What the hell??
    2 shots on the post… The domination getting better and better.. The crowd is getting better and better..

  153. How have we not scored?

  154. Mongolian Gooner

    3 times on the goalpost. Its going to go in soon.

  155. well I suppose a goal or 2 would help but supremely enjoyable none the less!

  156. FunG,
    I hope soo….

    De Jong’s booked.. Now we can breather little easy..

  157. Furious Styles

    supporters at the emirates are awesome tonight

  158. Furious Styles

    I agree – if I were a top class player I would want to play for a coach who actually trusted me to make a decision!

  159. Mongolian Gooner

    Its not going to be one of those nights FG. Its going to be our night.

  160. Van der vart just tied it up for spuds

  161. ESPN commentators defending De Jong

  162. Boys, we know you are so much better than City, no need to gloat. Just score a couple of goals and sit back, no need to embarrass them by hitting the post all the time and give them scares.

  163. My money’s on Fabregas to score first.

  164. Why is Roy Keane at the stadium?? Surely, not for the league cup preparation.. Would be foolish if it that because the team for wed won’t have many of today’s starters…

  165. FunG,
    My bet is on Song..

  166. Mongolian Gooner

    I think Roy Keane wants to be entertained. Maybe even the assholes want be entertained. And who can deliver it better than Arsenal.

  167. I want to see Ade coming on and scoring an own goal, then getting subbed back off because he’s crap!!!

  168. IG
    We’ll both be happy either way, eh?

  169. Would love Cesc to get his first hat-trick.

  170. Wtf!!!! Outstretched hand and not handball…

  171. I was lookin for Walcott to shoot

  172. Mongolian Gooner

    I want van Persie to score at some point.

  173. FunG,
    I would be happy if it comes anyone.. Even Fabianski… Need an early one to settle my nerve..

    BTW, Song is really looking wierd with his beard and hair combo… And Mr. Arsenal, Tony Adams, is in the stadium…

  174. Nice to see Adams at the Emirates

  175. Man$iteh playing, 6-3-1.

  176. What a move by song!

  177. Mongolian Gooner

    This Russian commentator joked about Song looking like Santa Clause.

  178. We are defending superbly!

  179. agreed Bill?

  180. Is that little cutie your daughter, Paul N?

  181. Yes, thats my princess FunGun!

  182. MongalianG,
    hehehe..

    Why are our players not going for the tackle in our half??? AFraid of giving easy fouls??

  183. Blackburn up 1 against Liverpool

  184. Furious Styles

    nasri has been pretty quiet. lets hope he can turn it on in the 2nd.

    great first half!

  185. What a gulf in class! the goal post has been City’s best player, then Yaya Toure.

  186. What a donkey Milner looks. We may need to make substitutions count later, maybe AA to provide the moment of brilliance?

  187. Losing is not an option, drawing is not an option. City are playing like Stoke and similar. We need to score.

  188. Mongolian Gooner

    5 shots on target.
    3 off target.

  189. Bad Karma, we should be 3:0 up!

  190. Mongolian Gooner

    That handball should have been a penalty. Even if it didn’t seem intentional. A handball is a handball.

  191. 1 loose cannon

    how is it not 3 nil ? I hope it is not one of those night. Djourou An Kolcieny looked after Tevez with ease.

  192. Blackburn 2 up now, bye bye Woy!!!

  193. Funny how so many people want to talk crap about Arsenal, all these teams of overpaid players do is sit back and try to counter. They have no shame!

  194. What a first half. We played some awesome football for the first 35 minutes. How could we not score. I expected them to play deep but 3 holding midfielders is extreme. City looked dangerous a couple of times near the end of the first 1/2 and they got their defensive organization back. We need to get a goal early in the 2nd half. The longer at 0 – 0 the more dangerous it gets. Van Persie gets the first around minute 50 and Nasri finishes them off late. Lets go guys.

  195. Blackburn 2-0 up on Liverpool..

  196. This has to be the best football the PL has seen this season, and no goals!!!!

  197. Paul N,
    It doesn’t matter how others play… Everything matters only when its Arsenal…

    If at the game ends in a draw, the heading of newspapers would be “”Battling Man$iteh” or “Wasteful Arsenal” and not “Lucky Man$iteh”..

  198. I know IG, my point was that people have some nerve.

  199. espn3 is class, you can watch 4 matches at the same time!

  200. It’ll be a sucker punch if we concede.We atleast neeed to score the first goal.The city defence look like it’s hard to break down.
    We also need to be tighter in midfield.I’m very uncomfortable with Toure and Tevez’s ocassional breaks from midfield.
    Here we go for the second half.

  201. Off topic, but:
    Just seen that Mark Hughes first name is Leslie… so now we know.

  202. @IG
    Maybe they really want to avoid giving away fouls. After all, City only really seemed to be threatening from standards. They could not create from open play if their grandmother’s lifes depended on it.

  203. If any of the Arsenal GKs concede the goals Reina let in today, they’ll be made tomorrow’s sacrificial goat..

  204. Evil, I agree.. They stopped the silly tackles after Milner went down like a feather..

  205. Liverpool down two. Maybe those Verky fellows realised the damage Allardayce was doing to rovers and they admitted knowing about football!

  206. Just hope the Full Backs stay fit until the finish.. There is no Eboue in the bench..

  207. Mongolian Gooner

    I gotta say van Persie so elegant on the ball.

  208. Mongolian Gooner

    Nice attack.

    Joe Hart was good. I hate it.

  209. Need a goal urgently…. Its 55mins already…

  210. Time to get Big Nic or Chamakh in??? Their height and heading heability would be very welcome…

  211. Song is having a monster if a game!!!! Great agility…

  212. 1 loose cannon

    We had so many corners its a shame Chamakh is not playing. I guess he might come on to out jump the Man city’s high break wall

  213. What a shot from the left foot of RvP!!! Joe hart was up for it though..

  214. What a shot. 😦 Joe Hart, I hate you!

  215. 2 men on Nasri at all times.

    wow!

  216. on a philosophical note, I think this game just goes to show that even if we win F all over the next few years there really is no price on the value of entertainment we will get from this team every single week.

    the on-demand generation can just bugger off and follow the money if they want because the fact we can perform to this level whilst always remaining true to our princibles and being throughly sustainable for the next 10 years at least… well people just dont make em like that anymore.

    win or lose we can take huge pride from intelligent purity and practical guile of our beliefs.

  217. Mongolian Gooner

    there were 4 men on Fabregas at one time

  218. come on Arsenal score FFS

  219. Newcastle up 5

  220. Well done Fabby-anski!

  221. Gr8 reaction from Fabianski to stop and then Djourou.

  222. Newcastle are either awful or they’re brilliant, nothing in between.

  223. True, Word.. The pure entertainment this team gives is worth the support..

  224. Phew. Might Johnson coming on help us? Make them less compact?

  225. Hope Arshavin helps Clichy defend!

  226. early sub for once? what a luxury to have 16m AA availble to come on and change a game

    johnson looks more like a threat than anything else, we are always open for a counter…

  227. Wow 3-0 Blackburn, hodgson must be gone now

  228. 1 loose cannon

    we have to be a little biy cautious with Johnson. Man city have changed their tactics slightly. We have gone a little flat at the moment

  229. True Dat word! I was thinking the same thing.

  230. regarding the entertainment that you get from our team.

  231. Hope RvP isn’t injured.. He is just on his way to his best..

  232. True FunGunner, but he may find space on Clichy’s side to exploit. Good thing Wenger deployed Arshavin on Sagna’s side.

  233. 1lc, That is why Nasri is playing on the left wing instead of AA.. Just for Johnson..

  234. Bloody Hart.

  235. 1 loose cannon

    we need to up the tempo. Come on Captain rise your players

  236. Fucking commentator..
    Saying Cesc gets lot of decisions in our favour… Like others dont..

    Big Nic’s coming on…

  237. Mongolian Gooner

    B52 is changing.

  238. 1 loose cannon

    tirdness is creeping in. Chamakh need to come on

  239. City has been defending quite well. We seem to be getting tired.

    wow what a run from Song!

  240. What a Diaby-esque run by Song!

  241. PN + IG – just how average would this typical wednesday evening be without such theatre? my anticipation has been building for days and straight away I am relieved with an electric start. the nerves are starting to build now but whats new…. thats how it goes for everyone.

    great run by song! philosophy over mob mentality anyday!

  242. Game’s getting little nervy.. SO am I..

  243. Milner should be booked for that nonsense

  244. Mongolian Gooner

    Nick on for Jack.

  245. I dont see where the team is getting tired, just a little cautious.

    The commentator talking crap about Arsenal bouncing off of City players, the ironic things is that Arsenal have the blasted ball most of the time!

  246. I got a bad feeling. I don’t see us scoring.

  247. Milner is like a dove. His flight is so elegant.

  248. is there a squarer shape in world football than milners head?
    (please disregard the lines of the pitch)

  249. The crowd needs to get back into the game!

  250. word,

    I know.. But I want us to win today.. One of my colleague is a Man$iteh fan and He has been saying October that our 3-0 win at Eastlands was a fluke.. Doing a double over them would be sweet..

  251. gack! no bad vibes!

  252. I honestly hate Citeh. How many millions did they pay to assemble a team that plays like a relegation candidate?

  253. Bendtner ….come on

  254. fucking Manc is just playing for a draw. What a shite team

  255. How fit are these city guys? Its the same players for the most part that played during the holidays and they’re still looking strong, even after we’ve run then ragged for much of the game…

  256. Nervous moments. Game can go anywhere.

  257. Henristic, they are fitter than no one else.

    Think about it, if all you do is try to hit teams on the counter you undoubtedly will not use as much energy like a team playing offensive football.

  258. Ha Sagna has blown a gasket!

  259. Sagna lost his cool… Red for both Zabaleta and Sagna..

  260. IG- bragging rights are akin to vanity which is in turn akin to sin…
    but yeah, even a draw would heavy the heart

  261. That’s fucking ridiculous

  262. Mongolian Gooner

    my commentator says all the things we are saying. playing for a draw, parking the bus, expensively assembled team and etcetera.

  263. word, it’s just not the bragging right.. Its the reward for today’s performance..

  264. Oh damn. Takes a lot to wind Sagna up. What happened?

  265. and you know that would not have happened were it not for bowyer….. cunts

  266. The sendings off I mean

  267. 1 loose cannon

    get on with the game please

  268. Sagna lacks brains sometimes

  269. Spuds losing at least

  270. Shut up, Tokala. Please.

  271. Looks like four teams are throwing the league forcefully to Manutd. Even Vidic knows they don’t deserve!

  272. 1 loose cannon

    we had enemy of football mourinho now we have another in Mancini

  273. What is it with these money-rich teams. Why do they always play such negative football? All that f*cking money but where’s the spectacle?

  274. 1 loose cannon

    surprised Chamack did not come on

  275. Man City should be ashamed.

  276. fuck manchester city. fuck them.

  277. Damn damn damn.

  278. Evil you are not very intelligent

  279. IG – yeah i know, it was no real jibe. im in a slightly facitious mood tonight 😉

    unfair result in the end but great to see a full strength team work its magic. problem is we are so good that even top teams can only sit back on us….

  280. This City display is laughable.

    Arshavin, didnt do much at all.

    I am starting to believe that Chamakhs size was what we needed. Get him on the end of some crosses.

    Anyway, I am very proud, City is not even close to the class of Arsenal.

  281. All that millions and all they do is to fucking park the bus.

  282. OOU – it’s BECAUSE of the money, I reckon. They’ve invested so much can’t afford to lose so they can’t afford to take any risks.

  283. Lost ground on ManU..

    But with Chelsea and totts losing, We’re better placed now..

  284. Just wasn’t to be our night. Woodwork eh? Come on Everton. Well done to Wolves too

  285. “invested so much that they can’t afford to lose”

  286. Manchester City- the most expensive bus of all time

  287. We played some of our best football of the year in the first 30 minutes. Citeh defended very well after minute 30. They played for a draw and got what they wanted. All credit to us for keeping our concentration at the back and not conceding a goal. City rarely looked they had any chance to score.

  288. team tried hard, ManC defended only…lots of woodwork…at least not many regrets really

  289. Gerard just missed a penalty lol

  290. Chamakh must be really burnt-out… Maybe the next week or so will help in getting back his energy..

  291. Takola, I am only surprised that it took Song so long to lose his cool.

    He personfies level headedness, so I am not sure where you get this rubbish from about him.

  292. Is Mancini trying to emulate Mourinho? That loser.

  293. And that is what you get if you only play for a clean sheet. 2-1 is always better than 0-0.

  294. Big swolen hairy donkey balls. Missed chance there. But we have game in hand on city so wel overtake em. 2 cup games next, 2 wins please lead – play like that anyway and ill be happy

  295. FunG,
    LOL..

  296. Good point, FG.

    After I posted I wondered whether it’s easier to gain quick success with a negative tactics because attractive sides probably need to get to know each other a bit more before the combinations start to develop.

  297. Sagna, that is

  298. The sight of those losers irks me to no end, to be honest.

  299. Looks like it, gackt13.

    Was there enough added-on time? Considering we had the sending off as well as all Manshitty’s time-wasting?

  300. Is this what you want football to become, Bill? It’s time to pick a side.

  301. Paul N
    He misses 3 games for nothing…hard to see how smart that can be ?

  302. @Bill
    But if you let a team get 10+ shots on goal, how is that good defending? Most of their defending was the odd piece of luck, the left goal post and Joe Hart.

  303. 1 loose cannon

    i can’t believe we did not score. it looked like one of those night were the ball wasn’t going in. It sad we you hear comenmtators praising Man city’s defensive display. I can understand if its a poor team with no money and can’t afford to play good football . how can you praise negative football when they spent loads of money. Mancini has really gone down in my estimation, no shame at all. If they beat us when style I would applaud them. But this is simply shit football

  304. Yes, Deise, at least it was a good performance apart from not being clinical enough. If we play well, you will win most of the time.

    Huge sense of frustration which I hope we take out on ManUre when the come to the Emirates.

  305. We were unlucky, but this starting XI looks unbelievably good. Can you imagine how good they will be if they can stay fit for the coming weeks?

  306. I think we didn’t really “run Manc ragged”. All they had to do is to pack themselves around their penalty area with minimum movements actually. We are the ones doing all the runnings with our one-twos and passes and runs. We actually uses more energy than them. Hence you can see a lot of our players losing steam in the final 15 mins.

  307. @Tokala
    Just stop spewing BS. The guys lost his cool and reacted in the heat of the moment, but you do not have to insult him for that.

  308. FG:

    We did not play for a clean sheet but we did keep one. Huge difference. You can keep clean sheets without playing defensively. Thats what we did today and it saved at least a point for us. We were just unfortunate not to score early in the game. Once City got organized it was never going to happen.

  309. 1 loose cannon

    both cards were soft it was hand bags nothing more yellow should’ve been enough but Eboue is good enough to fill in for Sagna

  310. We played very, very well. Better than I expected in fact. I’m well proud, even though slightly disappointed.

  311. Tokola is control personified.

    Sagna gets stamped on and fouled much and doesnt even retaliate. Again, I am only surprised it too so long.

    Big Ups to Sagna, kool kat!

  312. I meant Man City played for a clean sheet as I am sure you well know, Bill.

  313. Cant really fault the boys tonight, they pressed for the winner.
    City had no ambition whatsoever, if they were looking at relegation I could understand their tactics!!!
    We just played four games in 11 days and this was obviously a game to far!

  314. Frustratingggggggggg. What a load of negative overpaid c@nts city are. £175million wasted. If this is the brand if football that Mancini is peddling God help us.That takes parking the bus to a whole different level. We threw everything at them in the first half but faded a little at the end. Could not have asked the guys for more effort. Carlos who???.Undefeatead and another clean sheet. Chelsea well and truly f#cked…now thats a crisis.Dave blues very quiet out there mate.COYG.

  315. Half a billion pounds for Stoke City quality. Shameful. What a shit manager Mancini is.

    We’re definitely not giving the league away to the Mancs as some have been saying. This is actually not that bad as MU still has to play all of the top five and we’re done playing the toughest two. From what I can see we’ve gotten the better out of these big games as we’re way ahead of Chelsea and we got the better of City by beating them away.

    Chelsea has the worst squad of any team in the top three. I knew they were going to drop points against Wolves. Those hailing Ancelotti for not resting his players how’s four points out of a possible twelve sound?

    Our players deserve a rest. None more than Bacary.

  316. 1 loose cannon

    United were the winners tonight, but we will have our night don’t you worry about that.

  317. Well at least the Chavs and Spuds both lost

  318. Sorry guys just would prefer Bak than Eboue for the next games. If our players retaliate when fouled over and over we’ll get red cards almost every game. Refs don’t protect us we know it unfortunately and our players know it as well…there is no way around it i am afraid…
    but enough, no need to write a thesis on this

  319. 1 loose cannon

    Hodgson is possibly gone and Ancelotti still packing his bags at moment.

  320. Ray of sunshine – Spuds and Chelski lost.

  321. I can’t wait for Chelsea to hit form, honestly. They will play ManU twice … in the end we could win the title because of Chelsea.

    As for City: I officially hate them more than Chelsea now. They are a disgrace to football and I hope every City supporter is deeply ashamed at that piece of sh*t team.

  322. At least we are looking like we can defend again though eh! Gonna need to be at our defensive best from here on in as we cant afford to lose any more games.

  323. This guy John Cross saying that Arsenal cannot supply the finishing touch.

    Arsenal have scored 42 goals, 1 behind United while playing a harder schedule.

    Bwoy mi ah tell yu, some people chat pure rubbish!

  324. @Tokala
    I think Bac is going to be banned for Micky Mouse and FA Cup games as well? So he will only miss one league game. Not that bad, imo.

  325. Bill with all due respect that is bollocks.

    City “got organised” and we still tore them apart. The post, a clear penalty not awarded, excellent saves and desperate last ditch defending were the only things that spared them from a good old drubbing.

    £4oo million….for that. Shocking.

  326. I have a funny feeling that the winner between the return game with Arsenal and Man IOU will win the league.

  327. But i will say, this is a game you can allow for a draw – its the points we dropped against WBA, Newcastle and Spuds at home that will be the really damaging results.

  328. @ Paul N
    And just to back up your point, up until this game our shots/goals ratio on Opta was 48% which was the highest in the league.

  329. Deise,
    I agree in the case of the Sp*ds game – given that we were on top. The other matches, on paper we should have won, but on the night we didn’t really deserve to win those games.

  330. @Evil
    This is a good point.
    conceded 🙂

  331. I do not know who is the worst commentator Steve Mcmanaman or Wayne Barton!!! Personally I think they are both retarded but at least you can understand Barton. Not saying what he says makes any sense whatsoever but it is English unlike Mcmanaman with his scouser accent!!! who thought that was a good idea to hire Mcmanaman as a commentator for ESPN in the States?

  332. Can’t really do anything about those games, Deise. Look at all the draws MU has gotten. They have dropped almost the same number of points as we have. Now they have to face a much tougher schedule with a much thinner squad.

  333. “Those hailing Ancelotti for not resting his players how’s four points out of a possible twelve sound?”

    Good question G69.

    Yes, Evil, my stomach is upset by the crap I saw in this match.

    People keep saying that this is a good point for City but they dont realize that this is to the detriment of the game on a whole. What in the world would happen if all teams decided to park the bus?

    They are crap!

  334. It’s Warren, Irish. McManaman is a machine when it comes to spitting out empty platitudes and cliches.

  335. Wow ours was the only game with no goals. Even Blackburn scored 3!!! Poor form Citeh, all that money and no teeth. I do understand taking a share of the points is tactically good but as sheer entertainment it sucks ass!!! Would demand more if Arsene had spent over a half billion in 2 years myself.

  336. Deano,
    I missed the clear penalty that wasn’t awarded. When did that happen?

  337. OOU:

    We did not play defensively today but we played excellent defense. That is total football. Man City put 10 men behind the ball and played for a 0 – 0 draw which is crap football and something we will never do. However, no matter how great your attack is you still have to play good defense to win trophies. If we continue to defend like we did today eventually teams will realize that they are not going to nick 1 or 2 goals a game and at some point they will come out and try to play against us. It was bad luck that we did not score early in the game. If we had gotten a goal early they would have had to come out and we could have killed them. However if they had hit on a rare set piece or somehow nicked a goal we would have lost. We played well on both sides of the ball today, the fact that we drew is a result of bad luck and strong defending by City in the 2nd half. Most teams are not able to defend as well as City did today so we will get goals against most teams and if we continue to defend as well as we did today we will win most of our games.

  338. Exactly, Paul N! Teams like Man Citeh are like parasites, living off the efforts of clubs that make the effort to attack and take a few risks. If everybody played like them, would the PL be the most profitable league in the world? I doubt it.

  339. I agree with G69 on the Manure situation. they won 2 games away and most of those draws were really lucky how is that champions form? contrary to what so called expert are saying about them having a better second half of the season I think those draws will turn into losses at some points.

  340. Paul N,
    I’m not sure where you’ve been for the last few years but teams almost always park the bus against us and this has been going on forever!

    A poorer defence than City’s and we would have racked up a cricket score tonight. We were playing that well

  341. Disagree with most comments so far ~ we were damned good defensively, Fab did well, and basically we were by far the better team. Trouble is, both mancs have good defence and top ‘keepers.. But what a joy to watch us cut them open time after time!! Another day it could have been a 2-0..

  342. I really don’t have any qualms over this draw. City are our closest rivals and they will trip up along the way when they face teams that park the bus like they do. You can’t very well win the league by drawing games. Fuck ’em.

  343. @Henristic
    There was an (apparently) unintentional handball, which from the sound of it shouldn’t have been a penalty, however people are annoyed because our unintentional handballs have been penalised eg Clichy against ManU.

  344. To be honest, if City had come to play and won, I think I wouldn’t have these negative feelings. But I really can’t stand the way they played today. I genuinely hate them and I wish them only the worst. I hope Adebayor goes on another training ground rampage and beats up the whole City squad (especially Milner, that c*nt, and obviously the left goal post) and I hope Tevez decides to leave them after all. Can he be happy with football like that? And Hart should move to ManU or whoever else is in the market for a goalkeeper.

  345. @ ponyboy
    We’re narked off with Citeh, not with our lot.

  346. Sagna misses the cup games + one?

    No problem, I thought Eboue had the cup games?
    Eboue needs to play a little before the CL anyway.

    Unless my ruby goggles deceive me,
    Koscielny ‘mugging’ Tevez in almost every encounter was fun.

  347. if united win their games in hand and we win our game in hand we should be second with 5 points off united and that is not a bad situation to be in. we saw in the past 5 or even 11 points is nothing.

  348. Henristic, obviously I know that most teams park the bus against us.

    I am saying if EVERY team was to play this way overall football would be boring as hell.

  349. Let’s just say City play this way against the Mancs and Chelsea. That’s four points they drop not to mention if we win our game in hand. That leaves them five points behind us. They can keep on drawing the rest of the season for all I care.

  350. This was a draw for Arsenal but a loss for football.

  351. I love Nigel Winterburn!

  352. Finsbury, the doomers keep on harping on about Koscielny’s lack of quality but he keeps on putting stellar displays. I think Koscielny was one of the shrewdest buys of the season.

  353. PB, we were great, Just lacked a break.

    Wonderful performance

    City knew if they came out they wouldve gotten a beat down.

  354. I really can’t see any negatives from our part. With a tiny little bit of luck the ball would have hit the post and went in but it wasn’t to be. If we play like that in every game then no worries at all. The only player I would’ve loved to see on the pitch is Chamakh.with him in the side you have a chance, a header could go in. I think the worst thing for a team who park the bus is high balls into the box but That is simply not Wenger’s style at all.

  355. But Paul, why would EVERY team play that way? Its never been the case up till now. Its not as if parking the bus was recently invented. The italians have been doing it for ages.. Catenaccio and what not…

    FunGunner…
    Thanks for the info. I saw the handball but the replays didn’t help to conclude either way. I forgot about it because so much was happening…

  356. Not a loss for football, Evil. I bet this game was watched by millions of people around the planet who will not become City supporters anytime soon.

  357. That tackle in the beginning of the match by Koscielny when whoever it was (not sure) seemed as if he was through on goal was something else, a thing of beauty. He is class!

  358. 1LN,
    Like others have said, I think Chamack is being rested. We had Bendtner on the bench though who could have offered a similar threat, but he came in too late to make much of a difference.

  359. Ferguson is Italian? Who knew?

  360. United did the same thing by the way but they just happened to get a clumsy goal by Park

  361. Henristic, See FunGun’s response @ 10:07, she gets where I am coming from.

  362. @ Henristic
    Because they are scared to lose?

    The reason why a team might play like that isn’t the point. The wider point that Paul N is making is that attacking football is a lot more fun to watch (and play, I would think) than defensive football. Do you disagree with that?

  363. @ G69 at 10:27pm
    heh heh!

  364. Yaya, Paul.

    In all honesty, I would’ve taken off Wilshere for Arshavin instead of Theo. Theo was right on the verge of getting the best out of the City defense. That’s why he was so pissed when he came off.

  365. @Irishgray
    For the most part, yes. Unfortunately we also played more defensively in that game. Another proof, that we should not go out defensively and try to “draw” games.

  366. Bradys left foot

    We were immense tonight, Alex Song what a player (had the doomers poster boy in his pocket). Nil nil frustrating result but if we keep performing like that well do it. Utd have the tougher fixture remaining.

  367. Bradys left foot

    We were immense tonight, Alex Song what a player (had the doomers poster boy in his pocket). Nil nil frustrating result but if we keep performing like that well do it. Utd have the tougher fixtures remaining.

  368. I’m off, people. Looking forward to Leeds on Saturday and seeing the other boys get a game. Arsenal for Ever!!!!!

  369. Evil,
    You’ll have to get used to it. As FG said, given the amount of money invested, pretty football is gonna be the least of their worries for some time. Their best bet for winning is to play defensive football. Its the only way to get this motley crew of mercenaries to succeed.
    I do envisage a situation where after eventually delivering silverware, Mancini will probably replaced by a more flair minded manager, much like happened with Chelsea and Mourihno.

    Attacking football is the only thing that brings long term glory..

  370. FG,

    I thought the Paul N’s point was that there is some risk City might influence teams around the world to adopt their type of football. Apologies if I got it wrong…

  371. Where would one find one of these flair minded managers, Henristic? As it stands Wenger is the last of a dying breed. Even the Manc Alcoholic has gone anti-football.

  372. Athletic Bilbao is giving Barceloana a hard time.

  373. One of those f ucking nights.for a top 4 and richest club city were really shitty!

  374. Kool Henristic.Just a general statement of how crap the type of football City play is.

    I am shocked with the talent they have.

  375. Larry the gooner

    Sadly we ran out of idea’s after a brilliant first 15 mins.After the early onslaught City played with two banks of four and the truth is we couldnt break them down.We needed a Chamakh on with half an hour to go.To bring Bender on before him was madness and then to put Bender on the wing was crazy and why take Theo off???.The only winner tonight was Utd.The dropped points at Wigan have come back to haunt us.Motm:Djourou

  376. We’ll get our chances to catch up to the leaders eventually. Surely Manu can’t keep lucking it out? I admit there’s a chance they could raise their game forthwith, Rooney could start scoring for instance… but I haven’t seen any signs that this will happen.

    I don’t mind dropping points when we play like that to opposition of such quality. I just hope those horridly dropped points to Tottenham, Westbrom etc doesn’t come back to hurt us come the season’s end

  377. Gains,
    There are loads of attack minded managers available. Look how the newly promoted teams are playing for instance. Look at coaches at the leagues in Spain, France, Germany, Holland etc.
    See how poorly supported the Seria A is in comparison…

  378. Larry the gooner, after first 15 minutes?

    We caused them problems for the most of the match. Maybe it was not as intense but matches are usually never like that, however, we were the truth tonight!

  379. From twitter

    “Most teams park the bus, but City showed their wealth by raising the Titanic and plopping it in front of their goal.

  380. No worries Paul N, Although unlike you, I’m not at all surprised at all that they play like that despite their talent. Its probably the best recipe for short term success like I said earlier.

  381. Can’t wait for the cup games. Will be a nice break from teams who park the bus cos they know they have to go for it. Plus we owe Leeds!!! I know it’s been a few years but I have a long and troubled memory 🙂 That and the fact that they are doing very well this year, should be a great game COYG!!!!

  382. @ Dupsffokcuf

    “Most teams park the bus, but City showed their wealth by raising the Titanic and plopping it in front of their goal”

    Classic!!! And true , more is the pity!!!

  383. Be realistic, Henristic. Look at the managers who go to these sugar daddy clubs. If you think they’d give Ian Holloway a job you’re just dreaming.

  384. Just back from the game totally incredulous that we did not win it. We were vastly superior to that over priced shower of shite from manc land. Complete and utter waste of money – absolutely no ambition. They played like a small team only intent on not losing. Not one solitary shot anywhere near the target! Shocking time wasting by their goal keeper and players constantly going down ‘injured’ whenever we looked threatening. They were shockingly poor and I cannot believe we let them get away with it.

  385. Passenal – that style of play seems to be the norm in Manchester now. It seems the teams from there are really frightened of us.

  386. 1. Our best football display of the season.
    2. Alex Song (my MOTM) will be an Arsenal legend.
    3. Manure are the luckiest team on planet.
    4. Apart from the sending off, ref had a good game.

  387. MJ Gunner Ref did not have a good game. he ignored a blatant hand ball allowed the Man city players to waaste time without warning them . we had a similar penalty given against us with Manure. Now 2 penalty were not awarded to us one against Birmingham and this one against the shitty.

  388. To be honest I think the penalty was so/so. You would expect to get one like that in a home game but, well, I think we were lucky against Birmingham not to concede a penalty for RVP’s handball … karma, I guess. On the other hand the time wasting thing has been massive. Refs MUST take action against that. Especially when, for example, the goalkeeper walks all the way across the field, to take the goal kick from the opposite side the ball went out.

  389. I think that we played well but agree with G69 that our subs were ineffective. Theo was well annoyed about being taken off and he was giving us the option and opportunity not to go through the middle of City’s parked megabus, and to put AA out on the wing (exposing Sagna and possibly playing a part in his frustration,) instead of in the middle where he might cause some trouble, was a waste. Same with B52 on the left when he needed to be on the end of a couple of wasted crosses.

  390. Weah …… arsenal go forward, create beautiful goals.

  391. Shower of shite. That’s what I’m going to tell my employees when they do a bad job from now on.

    “You didn’t get that account? You’re a shower of shite, Dan. Now go home and cry to your wife.”

  392. Morning all,

    Still recovering but thought I’d get in early before the insane and lame doomers crawl out of the woodwork to decry everything AFC after last night. In keeping with MJG’s above points, I’d like to emphasize that:

    1. This was our best performance of the season;

    2. We were very unfortunate and it wasjust a matter of centimetres between the draw and our winning (hitting the woodwork, a few just-out-of-reach passes, and a few great saves from their keeper);

    3. There tactics were forced on them as Mancini noted after that thye had come to win but our performance forced their response (this was also repeated by Kolo during his interview when he noted that we were so good that they were pleased to get the draw);

    4. Given the price of their squad, the difference in quality that we demonstrated last night has to be seen as a vindication of Arsene’s approach (an approach, I hasten to add, which will be proven even more wise in the near future when EUFA introduce their new regulations regarding financial management);

    5. The match also emphasised the merits of Wengerball;

    6. Yesterday’s results do indeed demonstrate what Arsene has already noted: this season is far from decided as everyone is capable of losing (I am willing to take any wager that ManUre will lose shortly). It also should be seen as a good result for the the top 3 teams with all the other pretenders losing;

    7. If we continue at the rate of progression that we have seen between each of our recent games, the future looks very bright indeed. Now we have the small matter of Leeds in the FA Cup and then… onwards and upwards

    COYG

  393. From Telegraph live commentary:
    This City performance is no longer “cautious”, it’s straight-up “negative”. Take that, Mancini. City have a free kick which goes backwards.

  394. Dgob | January 6, 2011 at 6:55 am |

    I have to disagree with you on a couple of points. man citi may say they came to win, but no shots on target tells it’s own story. They are only saying that now because they are being criticised for their negative tactics given how much money has been wasted to produce such poor quality football.

  395. Agree with Passenal. At Eastland Mancini said with 11 men, he’s sure City would have won. Well they had the opportunity to back that talk, and yet they hardly ventured out their half. Their performance last night was such a stark contrast to the one they put down at Eastlands, it’s rather baffling

  396. Just keep that level of performance until the end of the season and ill be happy. You know that kind of performance will win you the game 99% of the time against 99% of teams.

    Two cup games to get through now. Dont tinker too much. By all means change it up a little but keep the core together so we keep the momentum going. Its all about getting a run going to build to a grandstand finish.

    Stat Attack – Man City – 4 attempts on goal – ZERO on target

  397. Proud of the boys for last night’s performance.. They were just magnificent.. Only sad points were the overly negative tactics and us not finding the back of the net… Not complaining though..

    Now onto the 2 domestic cups and to see the younger ones step up.. Who might be the ones this time around?? I feel we might see Miquel at center back for atleast one of the 2 games.. Was hoping to see few of this year’s reserve players to come of the cup games, but with a reserve league match on the 10th and Academy League games on 8th and 15th, I guess we wont be seeing a lot of the younger ones for the cup games..

  398. There’s a very good feeling around Highbury at the moment. Turning Chelsea over has really got the blood up in the stands. There’s a strong belief now and you can see the team respond.

    Very proud of this team. They really are something special. Nailed on penalty and that might’ve been the one thing to coax them out of their ridiculous £400 million shell. Boring, Boring City. The poor mancs looked very embarrassed and rightly so. Completely humiliated. That’s what football is, you sky blues. Try it some time.

  399. Imagine watching your club have that much money ploughed into it… only to wake up with “YOU’RE SHIT AND YOU KNOW YOU ARE” ringing loudly in your ears.

  400. Yeah, dups, in the bars and all through the streets around the ground. A great swell of belief and togetherness is striking up. It hasn’t felt like that in a long time… for me at least.

  401. My bad, you mean the area I thought you meant the stadium.

  402. I heard that wanker, hairy hands keys, on sky bring up the usual stat last night.

    “That’s 83 red cards under Wenger” So Fucking what.

  403. That random bunch of players they’ve got! It’s just the sort of indiscriminate splurge you’d expect, I suppose; but watching these over-hyped muppets (sorry, Muppet) struggle to string a pass together in our half was fucking hilarious. No connection there at all. What a sterile experience being a blue manc must be. I honestly feel sorry for them. Bit like being a Chelsea fan, I suppose.

  404. Man City looked as frightened as the Aussie cricket team who bowled out England for a miserly 644.

  405. Man city v chelsea was a bore man city v man utd was an even bigger bore and but for us man city v arsenal would have been a fukin bore. and to think they are going to be sticking around at the top with their money and we all have to put up with their shite. no neutral is going to be interested in watching any game that their involved in. their will be no classic top of the table clashes with them cunts.

  406. Shy are having a ‘poor Chelsea’ day. You would think they were the only team who ever had injuries.

  407. I fukin hate that Wenger red card stat. some silly useless cunt started that and now they all come out with it everytime we get a red even though it means nowt. fukin got one of the best fair play stats and have had for the last couple of seasons.

  408. Right, so earlier in the game Fabregas was eavesdropping on Mancini giving instructions to DeJong. DeJong later got a yellow. Then at the final whistle Fab went straight to Mancini to let him know he wasn’t happy. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Mancini’s instructions were. Disgraceful.

    And what about this for a comment from the manager of a team with title ambitions:

    “If you can’t win, don’t lose, and we didn’t.”

    Way to fill the team with confidence Mancini. As someone said earlier, 400 million and last night is the best they can do. Pathetic.

  409. I reckon 9 out of 10 times, with last night’s team, we’d beat any City squad that would play with such tactics. We’ve broken down many teams this season, so personally, I think Mancini is quite lucky to have even got away with the point.

    To have such a negative manager let alone play for one… no wonder poor old Ade’s gone crazier

  410. We need one-inch thinner uprights on the posts at Emirates, possibly with little square corners. I agree with someone above, Arsenal played their best football of the season in the first half last night. Magical, wonderful and mesmerising – and effective too. We got into great positions, took our shots intelligently with the odd exception, and exposed this pitiful jurassic football performed by what is now the most backward team in England.

  411. That’s right, dups. So fucking what. He’s a spurs fan, I think, and you know how petty they are. Clutching on to the negative – very predictable.

    Incidentally though, I thought that situation was very badly handled by the referee. It was a clear foul on Sagna who was knocked clean off his feet by a player nowhere near the ball. The ref – who had a piss poor game – needed to give that foul and nip it in the bud. Instead he stood there scratching his arse waiting for the inevitable handbags to happen, and then he gets his cards out. Prat.

  412. It speaks volumes, that a so called top team comes to our place and are perfectly happy to battle their way to a draw. They were frightened of getting battered and rightfully so, it’s just a shame we didn’t make a breakthrough earlier. You are right LA, when you say there is a good feeling around Highbury at the moment. It’s the sort of feeling that creates belief and momentum, and helps win titles. It’s growing and I’m sure other teams in the Premier league can feel it too. Psychologically I believe it will be a vital component in helping us lift a trophy this season.

  413. It was football that won last night, no it did not lose. You see in fan circles it’s “I don’t care how or what, but I just want to win (or draw in Man Citeh’s case)”. But in football circles it is Arsenal performances, like that of last night that ignites and inspires people say “I want to be/play just like that”.

    And so you get a Berbatov, or a Drogba, or even a Pienaar saying now that (Arsenal at it’s most fluid) is the best football in the land, the very best. If only it were me …

    Well done lads. You did us very proud.

  414. RvP seems very close to recapturing his best form. He stil seems a little short on fitness, but my, what class!

  415. Passenal/Gadget,

    I agree to a very large extent but just reported what they claimed – in the belief that, whether or not it was a premeditated defensive approach, there approach was an acknowledgement of our superiority and attacking prowess. This point being emphasized by Mancini’s later comparison about playing against us or Barcelona and needing to defend or suffer in both instances (not bad bed-fellows)!

    I do share your disgust with their approach and can only laugh at the funds that have been spent to achieve what they do.

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