Manchester City Preview: Ever Get The Feeling You’ve Been Etihad

Arsenal travel to Eastlands for a top of the table clash with Manchester City, a team which is now going to reveal its character to the footballing world. Having maintained their record of failing to progress beyond the first round of the Champions Cup / League, City suffered defeat in the Premier League against Chelsea. Certain members of the squad had been espousing their ability to remain undefeated, the footballing gods decided to knock their confidence. Training ground spats do little to improve the appearance of a club at the beginning of a downward spiral.

Which is all that it is; an illusion. A team of talented individuals does not become bad overnight, despite what the media may inform us. This is as tough a match as Arsenal will have all season. Pointing to last season’s demolition ignores crucial facts; City had ten men and it was one a day when everything fell into place for Arsenal.

Three months ago, Arsenal were on the road to oblivion following the drubbing at Old Trafford. A flurry of activity and a squad showing its character has hauled them back into the fight for a Champions League spot, sooner than their manager had expected. This match is an indicator of how far down the road they have travelled, no more. If nothing else, this season has shown how readily the top six are going to take points from each other with freak results along the way. Not irrelevant, these results will not define the title’s destination although they can divert it from its course.

City remind me of George Graham’s 1991 team. They are not as defensively sound but similar in their outlook. Mancini, perhaps more consistently than any other Premier League manager, believes in strangling the life from the game before allow his talented players to open up the opposition. Stereotypically Italian, historically Arsenal. Previous Arsenal teams have struggled in such situations, too readily passing into nowhere. This one has a difference, more of a directness. We are still profligate in front of goal but for all of their failings in that department, Walcott and Gervinho are more than making up for it with the attacking play and runs that are creating space for van Persie to take his chances.

The Dutchman will be pivotal today. Aiming for Alan Shearer’s record for goals scored in a calendar year, the Premier League’s rampant forward is proving his worth to Arsenal. Fears that Barcelona will come knocking following David Villa’s injury might be borne from our own insecurities from previous history but also recognise the contributions that a fit van Persie can make. It underlines how much he has been missed in the past and how much of a contribution he is making this season.

It is too easy to label Arsenal a one-man team, too lazy as well. That is a charge that can be levelled at all of the top teams; United are a shadow without an in-form Rooney, Real similarly so without Ronaldo whilst do not even get me started on the Catalan dependency upon Messi. Quite simply, each team has a key player without whom, they are less effective. For City, it is David Silva who is key. Balotelli has the glimpses of genius, Toure the power but Silva has the consistency of performance with the impish skills, a genuine inventiveness about his play that makes him the rarest of players; a joy to watch along with an envy that he is not at Arsenal, more so than Mata in my opinion.

Defensively, Silva and Adam Johnson may fancy a run against centre backs playing as full backs. Whilst Djourou may be seen as the weaker link of the two, he has a tenacity in his tackle that might provide a surprise to the wider players of City. As for Vermaelen, his stature is such in the English game that he will be recognised as a formidable opponent by Mancini’s men. A duel between he and Silva would be an interesting act inside the wider context of the game.

This preview is written early on Friday morning as I’m in Wiltshire for a family wedding so is ahead of Arsène’s press conference. Unless there has been a miraculous recovery or a desperate training ground injury, I would expect the same line-up as last weekend’s win over Everton. There was a durability in that performance which hints at the strength of mind, a willingness to pursue to the bitter end a cause for victory.

As for the Champions League draw, there are no teams to be feared. The matches bookend the FA Cup 5th Round and trip to Anfield. A trip to Russia ahead of the FA Cup might be physically demanding but with the possibility of a free weekend should Arsenal not progress that far in the domestic cup. The second leg will be unaffected by Liverpool, being at The Emirates. The only team Arsenal might not want is CSKA with the match presumably played on the artificial surface in the Luzhniki Stadium rather than on grass, as Uefa insisted on for the Champions League final three years ago. That said, for a passing team such as Arsenal it might be a chance to show their technique on a relatively true pitch. It might even bring about our first win in that country.

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

Posted on December 18, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 481 Comments.

  1. Just Another Luke


  2. yesterdays chelsea game highlighted john terry at his best. Having climbed all over his opponent and what should have been a free kick to wigan on the edge of the penalty area, he proceeded to call for the trainer for what appeared to the commentators to be a serious injury, therefore drawing attention away from the foul he commited. No free kick given, he then ambled off limping slightly only to return immediately for a remarkable recovery. This happened 3 more times within the space of 10 minutes to 2 other chelsea players, ‘feigning’ injury in order to waste time. Justice was done in the end with a Wigan’s equaliser.
    Chelsea…. a waste of time ? or a bunch of time wasters.

  3. Amedi@7.02
    You limped in at a distant second.BB wins again!

  4. Early post. I expect a tough match from the Shiekhs of ugly football. We will win it but it wouldn’t come easy.

  5. @Dave B
    a little bit of both.
    JT is such an embarrassment to his club, the game and his friends. wonder why chelski aren’t cutting their loses with him. its not like Roman has run out of money.

  6. KENYAN ,i feel it too. its a good time to play these bums and deliver a knockout punch to their psyche. the friction between their players had started and hopefully will continue. the drama will provide us with much needed laughter. but all that aside ,ALL I F***ING WANT IS THE WHOLE THREE POINTS.

    oh, did you hear? UEFA has thrown a lifeline to manure at the expense of poor BASEL FC and they have a chance now to get back into the champions league. it gets you so angry , manures luck, one feels like punching a wall…

  7. One of the best posts i’ve read here Yogi. Thanks once again and hope you had a nice time at the wedding.
    Big game, tough game today. We are playing a top side. But I’m quietly confident we can come away with a result. I’ll be dissapointed if we lost. I think we match them department for department in the first eleven despite our team costing fraction of theirs.

  8. I’m thinking two nil to the gunners..
    UP THE GUNS!!!!!!!

  9. Man City may not have turned to shit overnight, but they’re not as almighty as everyone makes them out to be. Most of the teams they’ve beaten this season, including United, seem to have payed them more respect than they’ve deserved. In a way, they seem to have benefited from trouncing Manure in much the same way Manure benefited from thrashing us. What this victory did was get everyone talking about them and it gave them self belief. Thanks to that they were able to show up and beat teams easily. Now that they’ve been knocked out of the CL and have suffered their first defeat in the league, their belief may not be as solid as it was earlier in the season, hopefully to our benefit.

    As far as today’s game, I think we have all the tools to take the game to them and even beat them. If Mancini plays an open game against us we can punish them with our speed. If he plays negative we can beat them late. I think that them not having Clichy for this game will be an advantage for us seeing as Kolarov is an attacking left back more than he is a defensive one. If our midfield is firing on all cylinders and they can find Theo with some nice through balls we’ll cause them problems. The keys tonthis game, for me, are keeping Silva quiet and Song keeping Yaya nutralized.

  10. Betting on Robin to score!

  11. 15th!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Dave, did you notice how he grabbed his wrong knee? He never put weight on his left knee yet he rolled around on the floor holding it like he’d been run over by a bus.

  13. oh i hope we win”……….” i dont know how iwill react but its gonna be just awesome

  14. Morning all,

    It will be hard. No matter what the result, we have to realise that today poses a big challenge. However, I do not really care about the market purchase prize of their team. Man for man, our squad is more complete than Citeh’s.

    Most importantly, I think we beat them with speed. If we are at our game and players close down, make themselves available, find precision and show their recent committment, I expect a close win.

    I feel that this match and its outcome could be vital to our season and to the outcome of the EPL. Same starting line up as against Everton.


  15. Gains ,the halfwit commentator said”He has super extended his knee.Its a bad one ,you can see that.He will be out for a while”
    Brilliant.such a perfect summary.

  16. Yogi, I don’t think Johnson is going to start. I reckon it’s going to be Balotelli, Aguero and Milner on the left because of Theo. There’s just no way Mancini will play both Balotelli and Johnson in the same team given how neither of them are adept at tracking back. Gervinho is going to have to be very sharp in this game in order to take advantage of the space Balotelli will leave on his side.

  17. John Terry & Ashley Cole; the most odious defensive partnership in the history of the league?

    Happily for all, both past their sell by date although the Chavs will struggle to replace them; you can’t teach or train people to be that obnoxious, it’s a certain undefinable attribute that you have to be born with.

  18. I heard that, George. Apparently the networks are plucking their hacks straight from medical school.

  19. More importantly, Andrew, they will not have any Arsene trained left backs to poach in the near future.

  20. in a way the refs. have to wisely to these cheat basterds or the FA should punishthis type of behavior by retroactive measures after video viewing..
    i know, i know. dreaming right along now.

  21. Arsenal (4-3-3) Man Shitty (4-4-2)
    Gerv-RvP-Theo vs Richards-Kompany+Toure-Zabaleta
    Djourou-Mertz+Kos-Verm vs Aguero-Balotelli
    Song-Arteta-Rosick /vs Milner-Yaya-Silva-Nasri

    Almunia, Ramsey, AA, Miquel, Chamakh, Park, Benayoun
    Pantilimon, Lescott, Savic, Djeko, Johnson, De Jong, Barry

  22. Its in the midfield that the victory will be won
    How quickly defence is turned into attack
    Silva vs Rosicky’s the battle for me
    I hope TR7 & gets the nod over Rambo to set the pace & then AA & Aaron come in to kill off the game.

    Theo & Gerv need to be lethal also
    Djourou’s got Nasri to deal with…

    abundant scenarios
    should be a cracker.

    2-1 to the Arse!

  23. Good man Irish. Good man.

  24. 3-0 to City, easy.

  25. Cbob – Thank you sir, I thought you would appreciate that 🙂

    Goonerkam – “you are both wrong. the correct spelling is panties.

    BOOBS……” – too funny mate!! Still drinking that tequila I see.

    YW – I prefer funerals myself, for some reason there are always better stories to be had. But I hope you really enjoy the day nonetheless. Good point made in your article when you said Citeh did not become shit over night, we must respect them butnot fear them. Should be a cracking game.

  26. Johnno – A bit fucking early to be on a wind-up, isn’t it?

  27. ” I prefer funerals…”

    Typical bloody Irish, Irish!

  28. “oh, did you hear? UEFA has thrown a lifeline to manure at the expense of poor BASEL FC and they have a chance now to get back into the champions league. it gets you so angry , manures luck, one feels like punching a wall…”

    Nah they haven’t. FIFA (not UEFA) have threatened to ban all Swiss teams. All UEFA have said is that they will review who would replace Basel. They also have the option of just giving Bayern Munich a bye to the Quarter Finals (unlikely due to the money they’d lose)

  29. Barca vs santos about to kickoff.

  30. I’m going for 3-2 to the gunners COYG

  31. today will be have won every single game at home this season only conceeding 4 goals (we have the 2nd best defensive home record btw)

    although if we beat them we are back in the title race, i would settle for a draw..

  32. Cbob – You got me there my friend but there is just something intrinsically moving about a funeral, whereas at a wedding you must truly know and like both parties to really enjoy the moment and that is not always so.

    Well there is that but also at a funeral because the poor bastard is dead everyone has a story to tell about him/her. Usually great ones too 🙂

    Now to crawl my way to the sofa and watch Santos kick Barca’s ass!!

    Unless someone has a link and then I will stay in bad and watch it, anyone?

  33. Barca vs santos too bloody one sided. Messi goal already.

  34. Yea, on second thoughts I will just stay in bed and watch the highlights later on. if it turns out to be a classic I will have recorded it anyways.

  35. Barca outsamba-ing the Brazilians!

  36. It’s a massacre in Yokohama.

  37. no wind up mate, 3-0 City. You watch.

  38. Whilst a draw is a credible result against the early pace setters in the premier league a victory will be very satisfying, Not just to shut the doomers and pundits who were hailing city better than barca and who are peddling the lazy robin to city to win trophies mantra, but because the gap will be down to 6 points.We lost her two seasons ago because it became too personal like against spurs when blood and guts takes over and players loose thier heads. However listening to and watching Robin and the team post OT the team are like assasins.2 – 1 Arsenal and Blue moon fading. Money cant by class..

    In the world club championship. Santos dont know what hit them. Though santos defending is awful,Not a single tackle on a barca player for each barca goal honestly,they might as well just be standing the time and space they are giving barca Another goal and a trophy for Fabgregas..sickening, We will have thier number though.

  39. Are you guys like me? all week I have been anticipating this match, with the butterflies multiplying daily and literally tickling my tummy. The suspense and expectation is killing me. If I didn’t have a life outside of football I would probably be puking. Yes, the latter statement was a bit over-dramatic but I am sure you all get my drift.

    Good god, it would be so sweet to trash those Oily chavs. But my head tells me it will be a tight game and either team can win. They might have bought up all the talent that money can buy but deep in my heart I know they can’t buy our spirit and class. That spirit and class, I am hopeful, will make the difference.

  40. Nice stuff Yogi – I see what you mean with the GG1991 team comparison. I believe Mancini will revert to type when times get tough.

    A draw would be a significant result for us today. I see City`s main threat coming down their right side with Richards looking to get forward. Hopefully he`ll leave plenty of space for Gervinho to canter into. Should be a Christmas cracker (how long before Sky use that one). Looking forward to it in the same way as Shotta.

  41. HAHA irish, i like to watch the game clearheaded so its coronas now till game time.
    yes, better stories at a wake but usually the food and drinks are better at the weddings. at least the jewish ones. and more b**bs.. 🙂
    at any rate , if the swiss FA don’t take action against FC SION as uefa has demanded by jan. 13. they will disqualify all swiss teams which includes BASED FC.
    this could mean manure might take their place in the comp.
    ergo, a lifeline and yes for manure a chance to gain entry back in ,through the backdoor….. it is sickening…
    even when they get dumped out for playing crap and not achiving, they get this break and they might be back. no justice… why punish BASEL for the supposed sins of sion…

  42. Bayern getting a by is also unfair. not only they draw a relatively weaker teams in the tournament, now they might not even have to play them and get a free pass to the next stage.. both options suck..

  43. Today’s match will be a litmus test as to where Arsenal have progressed since our early losses to Pool, Spurs, and United.

    If the line up is to duplicate the Everton match……then the midfield play will need to step it up and Gervinho, Theo, and vP must improve on converting their chances.

    I believe the key to this match will be the performances from Gervinho and Theo.

    I’m hoping that when the match is finished, main talking points won’t center around subjective interpretation of the laws from match officials.

    My preferred line up…..
    Dj – Per – Kos – Ver
    Song – Arteta
    Theo – Gervinho

    – clean sheet
    – 3 points
    – no injuries


  44. shotta..i understand the nerves..
    we could be on the end of a city backlash here…they felt hard done to in the CL and last week against chelsea..

    theyve spent alot of money but have managed to assemble a great set of players…like you say it will be spirit that sees us through today..

    if the team has bonded and gelled like we think it amount of oil money will be able to compete..individuals they may have in abundance but if we stick together and fight for eachother we can definatley come away with something.

    it will be interesting to see how city come out to play..we will be ourselves and go for it but if city go for it too it could make for a very interesting game..much like stamford bridge…but whatever chances we create we must take..its a good job we have the best striker in the league isnt it..but it would help if gervinho can find that composure today cos im pretty sure he will get in the positions…

  45. This is going to be one hell of a battle today. Our lads will give their all. We’ll give more in a big game than we would in any of the past five seasons.

    I feel Arsenal FC are still “on the ropes” but we are coming back with some fuckin great blows to the top four. Man City will be our second Knock Out to land us back where we belong. And we do belong, City have bought so much firepower, but it’s only skin deep. They don’t know what it’s like to be in a champions league scrap and come may we’ll see who is the class act. As said in the post a collection of talents will get you so far but with egos battling and not enough places to keep them in check, cracks will show.

    All the while we are putting together the foundations of a truly great team, a team to rival any other Wenger squad. Performances all over the pitch are bettered only by our fighting spirit and togetherness. We have a great mix of experience and youthful skill (possibly the best yet). All of those fans gagging for that world class midfielder, well let’s just count how many world class midfielders Wenger has signed to date?…. that would be zero wouldn’t it. No we make world class players and right now I count at least 4 contenders for the throne in Song, Wilshere, Ramsey, Chamnerlain I think you’ll agree that’s a conservative four too.

    Many of the big issues with the squad have been resolved, perhaps at the expense of cesc, but if you ask me it’s looking like a good deal. Notice I don’t count the departure of Nasri as a great loss. He’s all mouth with very little trousers and was replaced amply by Gervinho. We have fixed the capitulation from defensive set pieces with the likes of a first class Goalkeeper (the best since seaman) and muscle, height and togetherness in defence with the signings of Mert and Kos. Also we now truly have a leader who while playing from the front has still managed to bouy the team and instil a never say die, never accept anything less than three points ethos.

    Midfield has so much quality and with no input from Jack or Abou – two players when on form could stroll into a EPL XI, we look good to go all the way to the seasons final whistle.

    If we can get goals coming from the wide players we have cups in the bag. It will only take a one small thing to start the flood for either of Gerv or Theo. Perhaps the AFC is coming at the wrong time for us regarding Gervinho but with Arshavin and Chamberlain looking to fill the gap who knows what will happen.

    We can also boast that this team was put together not in “cheat mode” on some oil tycoons football manager save game. It’s been put together despite stadium moves, scouting sharks, rival excessive wages and transfer fees. Also despite the press’s best attempts to skittle our manager and his philosophy. It’s something to be proud of. Come ten past four, we have another opportunity to bury a few dismal results that had fuck all to do with anything about this particular team. No matter what happens we’ll have a good fucking go and just may end up with a fair share of the points.

    Onwards and upwards, COYG!!!

  46. Come on arsenal

  47. *ACN not AFC.

  48. 3-0 Johnno? That scoreline sounds familiar from somewhere.

  49. lol merlot…maybe Johnno got sent off that day.
    Me sniffeth an Andrei Arshavin revival today….
    Assisted ably by lil’ Mozart.

    headlines read:
    a Shitty demolition by the Arse”

  50. ..Confucius say…

    “the circle of life must continue.”

    “Man Utd wallop the Arse 8-2”
    “Shitty twack Utd 6-1”
    “Gunners bushwack Shitty 4-0”

    ..i smell an arsewaxin’

  51. is this game really as consequential for both teams as some in the press today are making it to be?
    A City loss would be a minor setback for their title aspirations.Neither will a defeat be a massive blow to our own quest.A win for us would be fantastic but a draw would not be a bad result either.

  52. Damn..united and liverpool would/should win by our kick off

    hopefully the sp*rs will do what they normally do and start losing easy games at home

    I would start with Rosicky today, will be very tight to begin with and I think he has the experience and nous to create that little bit of space

  53. I can’t see the Spuds throwing this one away, as it is all one way traffic in the first 20 minutes or so. Would like to see us play even better against Citeh, explode out of the blocks and scare the Shiteh out of them!!

  54. Same line up for us as the everton game

    City unexpectedly positive though

    Silva, Yaya toure, Barry, Nasri, Aguero, and Balotteli

  55. Szczesny; Djourou, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen; Arteta, Song, Ramsey; Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho.

  56. Hart, Richards, Kolo Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta, Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva, Balotelli, Nasri, Aguero.

    So Nasri to start. Beeatch!!!!

  57. Irish

    Prediction time..3-1 to Arsenal for me 😀

  58. I think Rambo is still gonna get the nod ver Rosicky simply because of his immense work rate.

    But i would love to have rosicky play, he is a joy to watch.

  59. PLzz I wish Djouro would put Nasri in his pocket and his stays there before his inevitable substitution.

  60. Come on Lads

    This is it People.

    Who’s getting jittery like me?

  61. Moe ,I have been jittery for 4 days now.

  62. pedantic george

    Its gonna be fine, im sure its gonna be fine………(Gulps)

  63. Bit open from Mancini isn’t it? At least he will not play like last season where he parked the bus at home.

    Good luck boys and girls.

  64. I’ll take a draw though with the attacking line up city have this game will be a far cry from the carling cup. Above all what I want to see regardless of the result is the team turning up and giving their best. And for heavens sake if the result doesn’t go away can the usual suspects refrain from tearing each others Adams apples out!
    If we play intelligent counter attack a la Napoli city are in for a rude shock!

  65. Why is kick off delayed to 16:10

  66. No fear my friends, no fear. It’s almost time.

  67. kompany and lescott are sh$tting themselves because Theovaninho is going to make them look like Wigan. All we need is a ref with balls.

  68. Come on…

    Theo and Gerv performances will be decisive.

  69. A bit tense in my joint. Go gunners!

  70. Oh dear it’s that Graeme Souness on sky again..

  71. Here we go again Arsenal a one man team bollocks from Souness. Micah richards is going have to defend for his life because he will be running back to defence all game. The turncoat nasri also gets a start. COYG.

  72. Anirudh – 4-2 to The Arsenal. Even Warren Barton is going for an Arsenal win today!! Nasri to score an own goal and then get sent off for a second bookable offense. Theo is going to rip them a new one. 🙂

  73. Man City playing with 5 in midfield, Smart move

  74. STREAM??!!!

  75. Jon jon frimpong on the bench. They are waving a Nasri shirt in front of him.

  76. i hate my nerves, fuckin Shaking i am

    Yh yh i know , im a big wussy

  77. Game on bitches!!!!!!!!

  78. ateeb, try this one


  79. LMFAO Moe! 🙂

  80. Irish and CBob are the same person!

  81. Nice try MDGunner, childish and smacking of desperation but nice try all the same 🙂

  82. Oh man we need to settle our passing

  83. Song yellow. Not good.

  84. Song’s yellow a bit too early in the game.

  85. Djouro’s side getting torn to pieces

  86. They are targeting Song for a red.

  87. I wonder if Dowd is going to get a nice trip to a middle eastern country for his christmas holidays?

  88. Nice move that by Gervinho

  89. Gervinho should of squared it

  90. Theo needs a kick in the arse as he lost that ball and then did nothing to try and get it back.

  91. What a keeper Scezney is

  92. RVP come on!!!!

  93. How fat is the ref? It should not be allowed.

  94. Our defence is doing credit to the team today

  95. Walcott playing like shit at the moment

  96. we need rosicky

  97. – Is Kos all that? Seriously?

    – Absolutely.

  98. Irishgray

    i second that and Ramsey as well

  99. The Kos is pure awesomeness.

  100. Was that a penalty denied?

  101. City’s defence is really not that good

    we just need more creativity

  102. Gerv is on fire today. Love him.

  103. Moe – ramsey is simply being crowded out in midfield but every time Theo gets the ball he loses it. They are marking him very close. We may need AA on that wing.

  104. Can somebody please tell me why Koscielny shouldn’t be considered the best defender in the league?

  105. Rosicky, Arshavin on for second half

  106. It is saying a lot that noone will pass to Theo.

  107. great save again by Szzezzzzzzzzzny

  108. Kos has been excellent, Szezzer even better. Good away performance so far. Clear pen turned down, two very good chances created .of course a lot of pressure from them but they are at home

  109. In my opinion Ramsey has been too often guilty of slowing play down when we could’ve had a quick break. Maybe replace him with Rosicky?

  110. Solid Defending, Solid Keeper

    Poor very poor midfield

  111. we don’t look like scoring right now. Need a moment of brilliance from someone if we are going to get a goal.

  112. RVP is ok, you can always tell by the way he curses out the Citeh player trying to help him up 🙂

  113. Nice to see VP telling that cunt Dowd where to stick it!

  114. Theo’s the weak link thus far. Ramsey’s alright.

  115. @Irish
    I think it was Dowd trying to help him up?

  116. KOS is awesome!!

  117. phew van persie back on his feet

    phil dowd tried to give him a hand up van persie patted it away

    Koscienly yellow card

    Phil dowd i hate YOU

  118. Dowd is at it again!

  119. Kos takes one for the team. Considering the money spent on their team and the truly makeshift nature of our defence we are holding on well.

  120. Good show from the boys.

  121. Is he never going to book Yaya?? He has been fouling persistently during the whole half.

  122. Halftime. Djourou looked to have some kind of a groin strain, hope it is not too serious.

  123. Chezzer has been excellent and our defense is again the key. Now if we can nick a goal in the 2nd half.

  124. Half Time

    We need more creativity, simple as that

    But credit to an IMMENSE defence

  125. Wow…cheezer has been phenomenal. The whole team have dug in and put in a great team defensive effort in. A game for a smash and grab I think. One chance one goal will win this one.

  126. A game made in hell this. Koscielny and Gervinho our standout players in the first half.

  127. Dowd is so fat it is as if he ate Mike Riley, who has not been seen for a bit by the way. Just saying!!

  128. Agree Kenyan.Theo needs to up his game.He could make the difference here.

  129. Yeah, haven’t been able to impose ourselves in the midfield. But getting better. Theo and Gervinhio need to provide more options and take on defenders, Theo is simply passing the ball back, I don’t even remember him taking on a defender once.

    Szczesny has been great so far. Some defensive mix ups that led to openings, but not too dangerous I guess.

    Second half will be better, they began to tire and press less, by the middle of second half. Our attackers need to be closer to the midfield, too big a gap, hence the passes back to Szczesny.

  130. Yaya Toure.Is he a bully or what. Did same thing against the small Spaniard at Chelesea the other day.

  131. Theo is letting the side down big time. He is not tracking back and every time we pass him the ball, he loses it instantly. Citeh are having a field day down our right wing because of that. Almost every chance they made came down our right wing. If he is not going to defend then I would rather put Gervinho on the right and AA on the left.

  132. Arshavin for Theo.
    Djourou looks injured ,might see Miquel for him and every one else shuffles to the right.
    Rosicky for Ramsey about 70 minutes mark.

  133. @ Irish

    Dont think it was a strain but an “impact injury” where you definitely do not want one

  134. we’ll take this so far..

    but rambos inconsistency is very frustrating its little wonder wenger wants gotze..

    theo might have well stayed in the changing room…we need theo to look for the ball more this half..

    other than that so far so extra 25% from certain players this half and we might just grab this..

  135. Szcesny has also been brilliant!

  136. Ramsey has been immense. what do people want its tighter then a ducks arse out there.

  137. Man city are playing a super high intensity game, hoping to score a couple before the hour mark, If we are tight till then I think we can dominate the last part of the game

    Maybe even bring on AA and Rosicky on 60 to take advantage

  138. its rocket science to decide arsenal worst player of the half from ramsey, walcott and djorou…..

  139. I am tempted to say give it about 15 minutes and then bring on Rosicky for Song and let Arteta sit back. I can see Song getting a second yellow as he likes to tackle and Dowd likes to punish players for doing exactly that. Well Arsenal players anyways.

  140. JonJon

    A tad unfair has been really tight in midfield

  141. Our play was waaayyy too slow, we could have caught them out so many times but a lack of support and also some players slowing play down i.e Ramsey.

    Walcott was atrocious, but its probably because they were marking him so tightly

    Koscienly IS the best defender in the league

    Gervinho i have no idea what to say, hot and cold

    Scesney excellent as always, so was the whole defence

    Van Persie marked too tightly, coudln’t get into the game

    Song was pretty good, above average for him anyway

    I think city are doing a number on us, they’ve obviously come with a game plan, shut down the space, defend in numbers etc etc…..

    But when they do get the ball they are soo much better with it at the moment

  142. I do not understand the Djorou criticism today..I know lots of people do not rate but jeez…get a grip people

  143. Spuds won 1-0 over Sunderland.

  144. Keep it tight for the first fifteen minutes and City will start to fade, Mancini’s defensive instinct will kick in. If we keep our composure we can nick a goal !

  145. Hahahaha. I agree with Duke. Ramsey has been immense, only balls through him are making it into the attack.

    And I doubt Arsene want Goetze. I have no doubt that Arsene would stick with Wilshere and Ramsey for the next 5-10 years. Ramsey is getting closer, to being a complete player, his finishing has let him down at times. But he’s young.

  146. @ Moe

    Agree but they are having to work so so hard to make it work…a bit like barca hoping to finish the game off before 60-65 minutes, its impossible to keep this up for 90

    if its 0-0 at the 65 minute mark we are odds on to win this…

  147. Boys are battling fiercely. Agree Walcott has been anonymous. Midfield is getting no space or time and Ramsey getting muscled off by Yaya, Richards. Overall pretty even but adjustments might be needed. Gervinho looks good, but Arshavin or Benayoun for Theo? Not right away but if Walcott doesn’t get a handle on the play by 65, I’d make that change. Same for Ramsey at 70, with Rosicky, as Ramsey can tire in late stages. Djourou with groin strain? What can we do, move Kos and bring on Miquel? Tough situation. Rvp did not look too pleased with Dowd when he offered a hand up for missing Zabaleta’s clear yellow from behind.

  148. @Anirudh
    That’s why it would’ve been even more important for Ramsey when we are on a quick break to look to play a decisive pass instead of waiting and passing it back. He has been very good in his build up play and has done his defensive duties, but I can remember clearly at least two quick breaks that broke down due to Ramsey waiting and then passing it sideways or backwards.

  149. I think there are some unfair criticisms here today.Ramsey has put in a good shift so far.Get behind the boys and stop whinging.

  150. unfair on who??
    rambo? workrate is superb but hes lacking the creative edge as seeing as though hes playing 10,,
    theo?? nothing to do with it being tight in midfield..hasnt stopped gervinho has it?

    we need a little bit more from rambo, songs been amazing recently in the final third but hes in dog of war mode with yaya so we now need the number 10 to impose himself..

    we need a whole lot more from theo..hes touched the ball less than chezzer…

  151. Djourou only looked exposed a few times because Theo is not defending at all!! He is leaving Djourou against 2 players at all times. On our left wing Gervinho has been tracking back and it shows as almost every attack we launch goes down our left as that is where we win the ball back. Several times Theo was open with his arm up but Ramsey and others would not give him the ball as he is having one of “Those” games. AW has to either kick him up the arse or take him of. Citeh are not a team I want to have to come back against by gifting them a goal.

  152. @ Evil

    agreed it has not been 10/10 from Ramsey but certainly not 5/10 either to warrant such criticism…

  153. wierd how everyone sees the same things differentley, for me Ramsey has played fukin well in a tight midfield. how can he get the ball to our attackers quick in this game, he is using his intelligence to try to create a little bit of space for a forward pass. unbelievable that he is getting critisized in this game.

    we have played well.

  154. Good call, Irish. Arteta can play DM and it would give us more creativity in attack. Passing looked slow.

  155. Dowd is such a massive cunt, cant somebody just take him out?

  156. What a diving cunt that Silva is.

  157. FUCK!!!!

  158. Unlucky.

  159. Aaaaaaaargh. COYG

  160. The right flank has let us down.

  161. Walcott. We’ll pull it back. No worries.

  162. How did TV remain alone with two city scum?

  163. Crap. The switch in Cbs messed it. Kos, forgot that he’s to play as a LB.

  164. We needed to keep it tight now city will fall back n hit us on the counter

  165. Fuck!!!!!!!

  166. Dam that was close on the offside

  167. a test of character now

  168. why did city have more numbers on the rebound…??

    tv was battling against two of them for it…where was the rest of them??

    weve responded well though..just gotta be careful not to push everyone forward looking for the goal..we’ll just get hit on the break again…

  169. Dowd is starting to favor City.

  170. coz we now have a rookie at the back jj .

  171. that sub has unsettled us.

  172. We need a change. if we keep going like this we will get slaughtered. theo has to go off. Rosicky I think is needed in the center too.

  173. Djourou off i see – curse of the fullbacks strikes again!

  174. city taking charge

    we need a change ….arshavin step forward…and bring your A game this time…please…

  175. Regardless of the result the boys are committed we just need a bit of composure and the rub of the green.

  176. Rosicky and Banayoun I think could turn the tide in our favor

  177. they are cutting us apart right now. Hopefully we can hold them and nick a goal.

  178. oh shitt this is going to be a long half.

  179. Gervinho

  180. We will soon have a Abou Dhabi style lock down.

  181. thought sure RVP would score there. Come on guys get that equalizer.

  182. oh mannn!! city are ripping us to pieces

    Ooooh van persie shot saved

  183. Miquel wins the award for worst facial hair by the way 🙂

  184. Theo’s soooo down today.

  185. Our lack of a consistently creative midfield play is killing us.

  186. Haha. Playing like kids now. We’re forgetting that we need to defend as well. Kos, needs to stay behind. We could have conceded 2 and scored 1 in the last 5 mins. Not very mature.

  187. Flippin hell wot a plonker nasri is should have been two for city n minutes later rvp should have scored! We are playing kamikaze defence !

  188. just surviving

  189. why are we losing our heads?! there’s lots of time left.

  190. why is it we decide to wake up when we are a goal down?

    good attack but this half the defence is creaking

  191. saved by the post. I think the fates are going to give us the next goal.

  192. 3rd referee can go fuck himself. Bad calls.

  193. AA coming on

  194. andreis coming on…

  195. That wasn’t offside.

  196. fuckk offside van persie

  197. Walcott is playing fucking useless

  198. We lose the ball too often in that creative position or create nothing.

  199. sorry didnt turn up today..

    come on AA…come on…

  200. No surprise there. Now AA take your finger out and show Citeh what you can do. Why does Theo look pissed off at getting subbed? He played like shit!!

  201. There is a goal for us in this game

  202. one to forget for theo.

  203. ohhhh come on arshavin better ball and we equalise

  204. And what a fucking bad cross by Arshavin. Ffs…….WE should have scored at least one by now. COme on RVPPPP!!!

  205. Theo started turning up to late. His second half was good, but he didn’t produce anything in the first. Let’s hope that AA is up for this. Still waiting for Rosicky, though.

  206. city going defensive with Milner on for balotelli

  207. One for the core gunners!

  208. Yaya Fucking Toure, still carries Barca’s diving cunt DNa.

  209. I think we need Rosicky

  210. We need something special.

  211. Ref is itching for a red card arteta better watch his step

  212. i think we need a goal!

  213. penalty
    fucking stone wall penalty

  214. What a stupid tough guy Vermalen is, takes a punch in the penalty box and doesn’t raises his fucking hands for a penalty. Ridiculous!

  215. ok after seeing the replay it was 50-50 but ive seen them given..

  216. Micah Richards may claim to be a gooner but that was a fucking penalty!

  217. where looking more like going down to 10 men than what we are scoring…

  218. What a dive. What a fucking dive.

  219. BFG injured now??

  220. Deise – You fucking serious mate!?

  221. We can still get a goal from this. City have stopped trying to create. If we can get a goal we can leave here with a point. That would be huge. No matter what happens we proven how far we have come this season. We are a really solid team.

  222. We just need a little bit of luck! now Per is injured! Bloody hell

  223. What has happened to andrey.

    c’mon chamakh.

    the unlikely lads.

  224. what do you think irish 😉

  225. Our passing has been horrendous.

  226. Does Arteta ever give the ball away?

  227. Wtf. LRichards was offside.

  228. Fuck Phil Dowd. Clowning around with the players, helping Kompany up and shit, fucking attention seeking fuck.

    Fuck Nasri too.

  229. AA doesn’t look like much of an improvement over TW.

  230. Micah Richards just did what Theo should be doing every game. Starts his run about 10 yards before the last defender and by the time he gets there he is uncatchable. Theo tries to sit on the shoulder of the last defender and is almost always offside.

  231. @shotta
    It’s only offside if it’s against us.

  232. Why is Mancini allowed to be outside his technical area all the time???

  233. Instead of AW bitching and whining at the fourth official, should he not be using that energy to talk/yell at our players? It must be somewhat distracting to see your manager like that on the sidelines.

  234. We have played well defensively but there has been no cutting edge offensively.

  235. Arshavin is utterly useless. Fuck man.

  236. Composure arshavin composure

  237. AA not looking good today. Still time for him to come up with a brilliant moment.

  238. clear to see why theo is infront of andrei.

  239. What a fucking save!!!

  240. Irishgay, he’s got plenty of reasons to be’bitching and whining’, because of the bad calls!

  241. Not our day folks !

  242. Fucking Hart.

  243. Game over now I think. Have to say we did not deserve to win it but a draw would have been fair enough.

  244. Chezzer and Hart are the best young GK is the world.

  245. Joe Hart saved them. Not our day.

  246. Irish, Theo needs service for that. One can make all the runs in the world, but if they don’t give you the ball it counts for naught.

  247. now there really are positives to take from this game.

  248. Ateeb – I agree there were some bad calls but in all honesty our passing was atrocious today. theo played like shit and our midfield kept giving the ball away.

  249. ah well not expecting much these last few minutes

    well played lads unfortunate

  250. Vermaelen.

  251. Fucking Hart was well beaten there. Good game yet disappointing for us.

  252. Not our day. Vermaelen wide.

  253. Well played boys.There’s hope for Arsenal.

  254. No Matter the score we have made a few people take notice

  255. John Salako on SSN gives man of the match to Nasri!

  256. not alot in it. if djourou never went off we would not have lost.

  257. Fuck

    game over


  258. Gains – Every time they gave Theo the ball, he immediately lost it. Thats why towards the end of the first half they would not pass it to him! I am a huge fan of Theo but today he was way off. Should have brought on Rosicky, we lost the game in midfield.

  259. They were marginally better. But we played well, very shaky at times, but the passion and fight for the game was there for all to see. Unlucky at times.

    Arshavin needs to figure out his problems. We don’t have too many exciting options after Gervinhio and Theo.

  260. We need to cut out the sloppy mistakes and stop being so naive..fuck. Not our day. Fucking great performance though, immense character shown by all.


  261. Caught out in the shift between Djourou and Koscielny. Not a bad game at all. The boys did well. I thought Gervinho was our best player. Szczesny a close second.

    I thought taking off Theo for Arshavin was a bit wrong headed considering how his pace would’ve helped us late on.

  262. Fook. I know it is the AW’s job, but I don’t care about any moral victories today, I just wanted something out of this game and we deserved it. We never gave up.
    Always my gooners.

  263. Duke – Do not kid yourself. How they did not score at least 2 more is beyond me. That being said I think we played much, much better in the second half.

  264. Played well. AA is useless!!! Rosicky should have come on instead of him. Walcott wasn’t much better.

  265. Irish,

    How we didn’t score more than 2 is beyond me as well. Very tight offside calls, some great defending from Hart, and perhaps Arshavin at his worst.

  266. Ironically even after loosing this game will instill more confidence in the team, few teams will go to city and create as many chances as we did.

  267. I honestly believe that Rosicky could’ve offered us something in this match. It didn’t help that we kept the tempo so low in the first half. When we had to turn on the afterburnes and play with some urgency after they scored we created plenty of chances. Would’ve loved to see that in the first half as well.
    However the performance was good. Fight shown and Miquel is coming along really nicely. Did he dominate the diving cunt Silva or what?

  268. Irish you were talking about runs. And if we’re talking about starting a run from ten yards back it would help if we had a fullback running alongside Theo who could push up and put him in the same position as Richards’.

    Oh god, Warren Barton is prescribing solutions for Arsenal.

  269. irish i think once miquel came on we were all over the place for the next 15 mins hence they scored and could have scored more and had us on the ropes.

    well thats what i’m sticking with anyway.

  270. Can’t believe we’ve changed our ENTIRE defence, started with JD-PM-LK-TV and ended with LK-AS-TV-IM. No wonder we conceded shortly after Djourou was out.

  271. im with you shotta just wanted some points (1 would have done) today no matter how it came…. ah well, onto to wednesday, we need to bounce right back

  272. Ateeb – i agree we should have scored with all the chances we made. But we didn’t and I think the reason is we are missing our regular RB’s and LB’s. The cover did decent but they are not as good going forward. It was only in the last 15 minutes that Kos was popping up on their right wing causing problems. We missed Santos and Sagna.

  273. i fucking hate losing…especially in games as good as that..

    this game just places more emphasis on what we have been saying for the majority of this season..we have a wonderful spirit and we can dig deep and battle but theres times you wish we had more attacking options…

  274. Christmas window target Reus just did his knee.

  275. For those of you slating Arshavin, what did you expect from a player who rarely if ever gets playing time nowadays? Did you expect him to just come back into his best?

    It does not work that way me amigos, he needs a run of games. Confidence is shot completely, no faith in himself anymore.

  276. Proud of the heart we showed today,..performance wise not our best passing day, but the second half was a bit crazy for both sides..a complete lack of shape and defensive discipline..unfortunate we could not go in 0-0 into the last 20 minutes, we would have had a great chance then

    Sad to say that the writing does look to be on the wall for AA

  277. Hear Hear JonJon – with Jack back and a striker in Jan we will have more options going forward – a couple of back to fitness fullbacks would be nice too eh?

  278. @ moe

    Agree with you to a large extent about AA, but he really needs to start digging himself out sharpish, I guess with him its more a mental thing, lets hope he can sort it out

  279. I’ve been a big fan of Arsha since he came, but he’s at a point where even his more ardent fans have to start asking what he brings to the team. Personally, I don’t think he’s disinterested or any other cliche that’s thrown at him. I just think he’s not the same player he was a few seasons back. Sometimes players fall off for no particular reason. Arshavin is one of those players.

  280. @ Evil

    Really surprised we did not see Rosicky today…

  281. The two best teams in the league by a country mile. Non stop end to end stuff. Arsenal deserved a draw. Dont by this Arsenals defence being crap stuff. Despite Citehs gazzillion pound team a mistake in the end decided it. Nothing in it all.It is hard to pick the MOTM in this one. But Sceczny, Kozzer, Arteta, Vermaelen, Gervinho were immense today. Covered every blade of grass. Oh and the away fans. Awesome. Onwards and upwards. COYG

  282. Great performances from Szcz, Verm, Per, Kos, Dj, and Song……

    Imo, our attack was too conservative as Arteta, Ramsey, and Theo never got out of the blocks.

  283. i think the real reason is that it is almost impossible to play 4-3-3 without attacking fullbacks with real pace. They get forward all the time, doubling up on the opposition. Just like they were doing on Djourou in the first half. With Santos and Sagna I think we would have nicked it.

  284. @Gains
    Full agreement. When you buy a player who’s closer to 30 than 20, it can happen that they will give you a good coupl of years but then their performances will drop slowly and steadily. Arshavin must’ve had his peak just around the time we bought him in 2008 and it looks like it’s going downhill for him with hardly a way back up. It’s obviously sad to see because he had the ability to produce magic out of nowhere and that he had better numbers than the French mercenary last season despite being second choice and playing less is a testament to that. However with his current form and his age I feel that it might be time to give younger players a chance.
    I was originally against fast-tracking The Ox, but I think that he would’ve given us more tonight if had been brought on instead of Arshavin.

  285. Moe, if he needs game time, then he should be play a few games in the reserves.

    I’m kind of disappointed with Theo’s attitude as he came off. I didn’t like how he acted towards Pat Rice.

  286. even without the FB’s we did well today defensively..

    the only thing that let us down was too many ball watchers on the rebound..we had players there and they walked away or stood and watched..

    dissapointing goal to give away..

  287. Yes Ramsey was instrumental in building our attacks, but gave away the ball too many times,. How the fuck did he not score the VP deflection is beyond my understanding. Rosicky ahead of Aaron please!

  288. Did anyone else notice that almost every time they kicked the ball clear towards the midfield, a Citeh player won it uncontested almost all the time until near the last 10-15 minutes when TV was basically living in the centre circle? Normally that is where you would see Song but he was being dragged all over the pitch, serious lack of cover for Song today for large parts of the game.

  289. i reckon you are right there irish – Sagna and Santos know that position inside out. Santos has now nous going forwards but Sagna is a machine up and down the line.

  290. I agree, Irish. Without proper attacking fullbacks the system is missing something. This being said, Djourou and Vermaelen didn’t do too bad considering the opposition.

    I saw Djourou pull up with a groin injury, I hope it’s nothing serious.

  291. JJ – i agree we did well defensively as all the defenders on the pitch today played excellent but my point is we missed the attacking qualities of Santos and Sagna combined with their abilities to track back instantly.

  292. The next five games should all be winnable with perhaps fulham way being a bit iffy! The comes united at home, we could if we don’t have any injury nightmares be picking up 18 points from the next 6! Now that would be some run!

  293. me too gains.

    im suprised by theos reaction..its not like he was contributing anything..he was quite frankly…shit…theres other managers who would have subbed him at half time..

    poor display and poor attitude from theo today..but focusing on him will tarnish the effort and attitude the rest of them had..but theo really did let everyone down today..

  294. Good game of football. Joe Hart saved it for them. We played well. Our wingers didn’t have enough support in the form of attacking fullbacks. Our options on bench looked weak in comparison to City’s. Rosicky was a better option than Arshavin.

  295. Best analysis from Irishgray at 6:17.

  296. Gainsbourg69

    Yeah Walcott was rubbish and i think that he needs to realise that when he under performs he WILL get taken off. But because Arsene Wenger puts so much faith in his players, they can’t see themselves getting subbed off.

  297. I guess Theo was unhappy because he was starting to find his feet. He had a shot saved and then produced a magnificent cross for Robin which Hart saved (and Ramsey then turned into the post).

  298. totally agree irish..
    going forward wingbacks are vital…

  299. Onwards and upwards.
    We showed good fight today but came up short. On another day we could have got a result.
    Time to rally behind the team,during this busy Christmas period.
    Only a small set back.

  300. It may be a wrong game to make conclusions. Could have gone both ways, and J’s injury did not help. Our below par finishing is nothing new. So, not so bad.

    But I will really be worried if we do not take 3 points from Aston Villa. It’s a crucial run of our season.

  301. agree..
    we have the fixtures now to pick ourselves up and go on another run..

  302. Irish, we commit a lot of players forward through the middle. It’s only natural that they’d fill the space we left open. The important thing is that they didn’t get too much joy in that area. I see more as ceding ground to gain in other areas. It’s like when we allow teams possession in their half in order to keep them at bay.

  303. I think we made a mistake in bringing on Chamakh. I quite like the guy and think he will come good (a debate for another day please) but I think Rosicky in midfield was who we needed most. Rosicky is full of confidence this season and is a real scrapper in midfield, especially in games we are chasing. For some reason he seems to play even better when we are behind. Hindsight is 20/20 i know but still was very frustrating not seeing him come on.

  304. Oh if only our little jackie boy was playing today…..

  305. awesome match.enjoyed myself immensely.funny thing though,arshavin did more than theo.thats an indication of how desperately poor theo was

  306. Moe, Theo wasn’t rubbish. He tracked back and ran well off the ball. The few times he got the ball weren’t optimal for him to make runs. He was thwarted. That’s not the same as being rubbish.

  307. I would have taken a point from today and again away at Villa. But Villa are really poor so ill take a win from that game if you please – that way 1 point better off that i had originally opted for ; ) he he he

  308. Gains – Normally that territory would be owned by Song but without Santos/ Sagna supporting the attack, we had Ramsey and Arteta being dragged wide, which left a space for Song to drift into to try and support RVP, nut this left a big hole behind him. We were close to being finished off several times because of that. It was not Song’s fault as such but I feel Rosicky would have helped out in closing up that gap. Still we did play very well in parts, looking good for the Arsenal 🙂

  309. its always a mistake bring on chamakh 🙂

    but yeah maybe rosicky would have been a better option..

    i though AA was a good sub to make though but as the games go on id rather use oxo now i think..

    AA’s time at arsenal is running out he needs a fresh challenge i think…his career with us is naturally fading and you can see it everytime he plays…its nothing to do with gametime or where hes playing, the twinkle in his eye has gone..hes just not the same bloke..he just looks unhappy..

  310. Gains – Theo tracked back my arse!! he jogged back behind the play several times, even though it was he who lost the ball and should count himself lucky they did not score on any of those occasions. For a man who prides himself on his pace, seeing him lazily tracking back like that was very upsetting. Especially considering Benny was on the bench as he will chase down everything.

  311. Well I guess its time to forget about if’s & but’s. We still got time to claw back to fourth. This is how it looks like –

    1 Manchester City 16 41
    2 Manchester United 16 39
    3 Tottenham Hotspur 15 34
    4 Chelsea 16 32
    5 Arsenal 16 29
    6 Liverpool 16 29
    7 Newcastle United 16 27

  312. So what do we think, signing/s in January?

  313. the game stats for today read almost identical
    man city 15 shots to our 14
    both 6 shots on target
    6-4 corners in our favour
    we just shaded possession 53% to 47%
    just needed a chance to be finished really

  314. Anyways. At least we were in it til the end, unlike Utd and the Spuds. A lot of positives to take from the game, none more so than Sczezzer, outstanding as always. TV and Kos were immense as was Per. In fact I would say TV was MOTM for us. Arteta a close second. Later fellow Gooners 🙂

  315. A wing forward would be pretty handy in Jan. AOC & Ryo are pretty far from first team football it seems..

  316. How about a pacy box to box runner in the middle of the pack like ramires for the chavs, that would be handy.

  317. A real shame we didn’t bet anything from that. A great performance by the team.

    Disappointed with Theo’s little strop. Zabaletta pretty much had him in his pocket for most of the game, he was the obvious candidate to get subbed. We just that little bit of craft in midfield I thought. Ramsey puts in a good shift, but whoever plays in that position needs a bit more guile for games as tight as this one.

  318. what walcott should do after this game is to sitdown and watch a video of the runs made by gervinho, gervinho is a genius at runnning into space though is finishing……walcott is always running back to get a pass hence being hustled. instead he should be making the runs into space for his teamates to thread balls.

  319. Returning in the new year santos sagna Gibbs jenks wilshire diaby, (hopefully Per,Djurou will be ok ) going to ANC gervinho big loss, chamakh may get the games n confidence back at the ANC. If we add intelligently to the squad in Jan to complement young guns like frimpong, coquelin miyachi the Ox, we should really be set up for a rip roaring finish to the season

  320. Irish, if you watch the game again pay special attention to Theo. I thought he did well running off the ball today.

  321. We showed how much physically and mentally stronger we are this season. Our defense is so much better then in the past couple of years. We battled the whole way. Need more goal threat up front. RVP had one good chance but our best chances especially in the 2nd half came from Vermaelen. Add a player or 2 and we could make a great run in the 2nd half of the season. We have played most of our tough away fixtures.

  322. A lot of shoulda, coulda, woulda. Disappointed as we all are, the boys did put on a good game. Well, onto the next I suppose. 🙂

  323. I think the most frustrating thing about all this is that:

    We can all see how good our team, Arsenal are an “almost” team, we just need that bit more of quality and we are serious contenders for the title.

    Problem is will we invest that bit more of Quality to challenge?
    Because as well we need to show Robin Van Persie we mean Business.

  324. i disagree gains, walcott’s tracking back was casual. i clearly remember hin losing the ball at middle and then stroll leaving two men on’s you who needs to watch the match again.

  325. Rahl, with Theo and Gervinho it’s the same thing as with Cristiano Ronaldonand Di Maria. Either player has his own qualities and responsibilities on the pitch.

  326. i thought that too andy..
    rambo was all over, battled hard but lacked abit of something in the final didnt help that we had little width with missing fbs and missing theo..but its in tough games like that where song and arteta are having to sit a little deeper, he has to impose himself more and find the keys to unlock the defence the minute it seems hes fumbling around for them..songs been helping out alot recently but when you up against yaya and barry its not so easy for him to push up..

  327. Gains – “with Theo and Gervinho it’s the same thing as with Cristiano Ronaldonand Di Maria. Heh, it really isn’t.

    PG won’t like this but AA really is not showing any reason as to why AOC should not be on the bench ahead of him. I can’t remember the last time he really influenced a game. I think his time really might be up with us.

    Theo has been great recently, but did not get past his man once today. Zabalettaa hardly broke a sweat against Theo.

  328. We matched City,Now imagine Sagna,Santos and Jack and tell me we are not better!And considerably .
    Also throw in Diaby.

  329. another good thing is verm’s hunger for goals that man hates losing with a passion,instead of putting on AA we should just throw TV forward and push song back.

  330. Andy.How can you judge someone based on 20 minutes chasing the game?

    “I can’t remember the last time he really influenced a game.”
    Bolton CC.

  331. I’ll prbabaly get slated for this, but i really do not rate Ramsey right now

    dont get me wrong he is obviously talented, but i think we look at him with the fondness of someone we had almost lost to injury and now we want him to do as well as he can.

    The one thing that irks me sometimes is his touch, his touch is way too heavy, especially today because the midfield was packed out and there is no space for lax dribbling.

    The other thing he needs to improve is understanding the pace of the game, when you have to put pressure and pass into dangerous areas and other times relax the pace to calm things down.

    He is young but he needs to improve because in my eyes apart from his immense work rate, Rosicky is a better option at the moment. And there is also Wilshere coming so he does need to start worrying about his position.

  332. JD could be out for a bit…

  333. Right, Andy, because Ronaldo dribbles defenders like Di Maria does, right?

    Andy, I didn’t see Zabaleta run up the left even once when Walcott was on the pitch, did you?

    Why are you guys looking for scapegoats when there really aren’t any?

  334. SHIZEN!!!

    Feel sick – thought we were brilliant. Kompany and Yaya Toure are an exceptional force, hard to find elsewhere in European football.

    The Men in Black were atrocious – alas, lets not make light of complaints, and ifs and buts, City had chances to kill the game.

    If we play like that for the rest of the season, we will be absolutley fine. Arteta my standout player alongside Kolscieny (again)

    Plenty of positives – but what the game did show, and echoing Jon Jon, we 100% need a new striker / wing forward. Preferrably both.

  335. PG – I am not judging him that 20mins. More l,like his last 20 games. I like him, but when we are chasing a game or looking to make a change he rarely makes any difference at all these days. Shame as I really like him

    You could argue that he can’t be expected to come on and perform from the bench, but unfortunately that is the reality of his situation. If he can’t perform from the bench, then we should put somebody on the bench who can.

  336. rambos still raw…
    hugely talented but hugely inconsisent..its taking him a while to ‘grow’ and for now jacks place is being kept warm but rambos still a huge player for us..

    hes coming along nicely and although hes not shining hes not a hinderance either so theres no still go with him over rosicky

  337. I disagree, Moe. Ramsey may be young, but he’s more creative than Rosicky because he has the stamina and strength to create better plays.

  338. George, I saw him holding his groing after a challenge he made on Balottelli. If it’s a tweak to his groin, and depending on the severity, he may be out for up to a month.

  339. Gains,that is a bit of a leap.
    Stamina ,yes,more creative ?
    Over 90 minutes ,I understand what you are saying.Bur Thomas has way more vision.

  340. Gains I saw that .But when he came back out it made me think it was not a strain.

  341. Gainsbourg69

    Rosicky has better passing (eye of the needle passes and also one-twos), technique and dribbling.

    Ramsay chases after the ball too many times, he just doesnt seem in control of the ball alot of the times. He over runs it or chase after it and then lose possession.

    But he is still young, and maybe thats just hes style of play.

  342. Gains – “Andy, I didn’t see Zabaleta run up the left even once when Walcott was on the pitch, did you?

    Indeed I didn’t. But as he is a full back that is no big deal. I didn’t see Theo whizzing past him either as it goes. Not looking for a scapegoat, it certainly is not his fault we lost. Just saying I don’t think he had a particularly good game today. No big deal really.

  343. Well, stamina means he can stay at a higher level longer and not fall off after making a streneous run, for example. Strength has to do with speed and the ability to muscle through people.

    Personally, I though Ramsey had a good game today against Yaya and Barry. That we could’ve beat them on their ground pretty much speaks for itself.

  344. I think Ramsey would be better deployed slightly deeper. For me he is a box to box midfielder.

  345. torn groin..
    might as well say another fucking hernia..

    but we’ll see…

  346. Not saying he was not good Gains.
    The point I was making was that to say he was more creative than Thomas,was at least debatable.

  347. Fucking hell, we really are down to the bare bones at the back. Squillachi time!!!

  348. 1 in 1 out .
    Gibbs is back for Villa.

  349. good god man take that back ! Squallaci……..

    Only jokin, im sure he’ll come good.

  350. Andy, Theo could’ve whizzed by him all game. The only problem with that is that he would’ve done so without the ball. As it is, against any opponent, Theo maybe gets three or four clear cut chances to run at his defender all game. Today, against a much better organized opponent, he didn’t because he never got a ball that would have allowed him to whizz by Zabaletta. To me it was down more to the way City marked him than him having a poor game. It happens some times.

  351. Kos ,Per TV,Jethro,is a better back 4

  352. Gains – Fair points. To be honest my only gripe with Theo today is that a number of times when the ball got played into him he did not hold it up well enough. Too often Zabeletta got in front of him a took the ball of him. Between him and Djourou we lost the ball too often on our right hand side.

  353. for all rosickys neat touches and stuff hes not the creative force he once was..he hasnt hardly scored or assisted in two years, which is why i look with raised eyebrows when i read he should be deployed as a 10…his games totally paul scholes at utd…after a while stopped attacking and started playing deeper.. rosickys best role is the arteta role now i think.

  354. Poor Johan. I hope he makes it back before March.

    George, I’m not saying that Rosicky is not as creative as Ramsey, but in a game against a quick, sharp opponent Ramsey has the ability to be creative at speed. Rosicky, unfortunately doesn’t.

    Andy, where did you get that Ramsey is not a good box to box midfielder? I think our recent winning streak proves that he can hack it in that position, no problems.

    Rahl, Ramires? Why in the world would you want such a bad player in our team? The guy is devoid of any creativity and all he does is run back and forth without much to show for it.

  355. Andy .I agree,They we the weakest link today.
    But hey,whatever.

  356. Gains – Additionally you say that he never got in the position to allow him to run at the full back. Maybe this is where he needs to improve then. Better movement off the ball will create the space and get in positions to do do. Good player impose themselves on the opposition. Look at Messi (not comparing, just using an example). He gets marked heavily but still gets himself in positions where he can get the ball and attack players.

  357. I thought we were immense today and either side could have won it; seems a pity some people are fixating on supposed failings of one or two of our players. I thought it was great that Theo was upset to have been subbed – he SHOULD be upset! Compare his attitude with J Woodgate for Stoke yesterday who looked positively delighted to come off.

    The fact is, although its three points for Oil City, it won’t especially feel like a win because it was so marginal. Factor in how many non-first teamers were out for us and quite honestly, if I were a Shitty fan I’d be feeling less than convinced by their prospects – they (the Shits) still don’t look like a team, still just an expensive collection of mega-egos, albeit, talented ones.

    Up the Arse!

  358. Gains – No mate, I am saying Ramsey is a good box to box midfielder. I don’t think where we a re currently playing him is his best position. He is better starting from deeper.

  359. I agree, Andy. But, then again, the passes that did reach him often came from a diagonal position while he was pinned against the line and had no support from the fullback. Further, he was marked by both Zabaletta and Kompany. Not too many players can dribble themselves out of that sort of position. I hate to go back to Cristiano Ronaldo, but that’s exactly how Barcelona neutralized him the other day.

  360. i think we should still sell squillaci…its pointless playing him after relegating him to 100th choice…it has the possible same downside of what happened with almunia last year where he made cock up after cock up and got relegated to no mans land and then we ended up having to use him again and he looked like a pub keeper..we had to use 149 year old jens instead..

    if we are down to the bare bones then we should just recall kyle..fuck rangers hes our player if we need backups then lets go with him..

  361. What the fuck does “box to box”mean anyway?
    Its a redundant term.And if it is not then it should be.

  362. Torn groin??? March???

    Any links to the JD injury news??

    didn’t mean to shout

  364. Ramsey gets to roam all over the pitch, Andy, and he’s pretty good at doing that. Besides, Arteta is the deep lying play maker in the team while Ramsey drifts through the middle like Cesc did. That’s what he does for Wales to great effect and does for us with equal results.

  365. Gains- Not knocking him. He has been pretty good for the past few weeks. Just (for me) not on his game today.

    I do wonder about our options from the bench at the moment though. When Chamakh and AA I hoped they would make a difference, but in all honesty did not expect them to. I genuinely believe that AOC should get his chance from the bench. When he has been given chances so far in his Arsenal career to date, he has taken them with relish. He can’t be any less effective than AA at the moment could he?

  366. Djorou has a groin problem and should be out for 21 days according to AW

  367. Gains – I see what you mean about Ramsey. Personally I like to see him starting his runs deeper as he is harder to pick from there. I don’t think he has quite enough craft to play the No10 in his game. Similar to when Gerrard was playing further forward for Liverpool; still pretty good, but he effected the game more from a deeper position. Still, I think he is only being deployed there in Wilshere’s absence.

  368. never studied much of anything george..
    preferred playing football and chasing girls 🙂

    why?? is kyle contracted to rangers for the season or something?

    i see a mccoist interview the other day where he said he was worried we might take him back so i dunno if weve got a recall from loan clause in the contract you speak of…

  369. “He can’t be any less effective than AA at the moment could he?”

    So in your world there is more chance of an inexperienced teenager doing it at the highest level than there is a proven world class player regaining his form,and doing it again.

  370. Andy: “Additionally you say that he never got in the position to allow him to run at the full back. Maybe this is where he needs to improve then. Better movement off the ball will create the space and get in positions to do do. Good player impose themselves on the opposition. Look at Messi (not comparing, just using an example). He gets marked heavily but still gets himself in positions where he can get the ball and attack players.”

    You just proved my point about Di Maria vs Ronaldo just there. The reason why Messi can impose himself on his fullback is because he can dribble himself out of the tightest of spaces, just like Gervinho and Di Maria are able to. Players like Ronaldo and Theo can’t. They’re at their most effective when they have the momentum of an attack at their advantage. Without space they are worth very little. Give them some space and they’ll crucify you. City pretty much gave up on attacking through the left because of Theo. Had we had a proper right back making runs up and down the pitch we would’ve seen a different result.

  371. It will deffo be a contract and how will we loan players if we are inclined to just take them back at random.

  372. here george

    ‘It would be a concern that Arsenal might want him back because of their injuries, no doubt about that. We are hopeful we have got him for the season, we are checking that up just now, but Kyle is very happy up here.

    seems like mccoist dont know either…

  373. Gains – I agree about dribbling style, I was more talking about movement to isolate your marker, thus creating a chance to “get at him”. Theo could possible improve in this area. His movement off the ball when looking for balls behind the defence is top quality though.

    PG – Well, yeah sort of. AA has continually underperformed coming on as sub. There has to be a point where we look at the situation. We have a young lad behind him who has played well pretty much every time he has been given a chance to so the manager what he can do. Why not?

  374. “Had we had a proper right back making runs up and down the pitch we would’ve seen a different result.”

    If you need fullbacks to play 4,3,3 should we be having a rejig at the moment?
    Or would the disruption be more of a disadvantage?

  375. I don’t think it was about craft today, Andy. City played with Barry and Yaya through the middle and we didn’t have fullbacks that helped us on the wings in order to move them away from there. Playing him from deeper today would’ve left Van Persie too isolated and we would’ve seen a repeat of Chamakh against Olympiakos.

  376. Gains – When I say play him deeper, I mean with somebody else playing the No10 role in front of him. Not all 3 sit deep. And I don’t mean at the moment either, I am just talking about him in general. As i said, I would expect Wilshere to play the most advanced of our midfielders on his return. Ramsey will battle with Arteta for a midfield spot I think.

  377. No movement would’ve isolated their marker, Andy. Van Persie plays withdrawn and Kompany was always there to bail out Zabaletta because he didn’t have to mark anyone tin the middle. The only way that Theo would’ve isolated Zabaletta is if he had to worry about a fullback coming up from the wing. Other than that he was basically playing as a lone striker except pinned against the touchline.

    I wouldn’t touch the 4-3-3, George. If we can play at such a high level against one of the best teams in Europe with our CBs out wide it means we’re doing something right. Now that Jethro is coming back I think we’ll be a lot better. In fact, I think we’ll see Theo playing down the left when Gibbsy comes back into the team.

  378. when jack comes back id push him into the 10

  379. Gains – In that case we should have taken him off sooner then. You said yourself that he is worth very little unless less he can get into space.

  380. Nah. I don’t see Ramsey as a take and pass sort of player. Ramsey is at his best running at defenses with passing options at his disposal. The boy is a throwback to the classic number tens from south america except that he’s big and strong.

    We also have to remember that the boy is only 20 years old and coming off a year long injury. Personally, I think he has it in his locker to become one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe.

  381. jacks basically our version of gotze..

    just hasnt had the chance to play up there yet cos we had cesc and nasri and no real partner for weve got arteta and kicked the two tossers out we can let jack loose..

    i even think jack can play wing..anyone who watched him in the reserves will know what i mean..

  382. JonJon – Yup I agree. I think that was always going to be his best position. I think Arsene played him deeper for a spell to give him a better understanding of the game. And of course we had Cesc playing further forward as well.

  383. Gains – We will have to agree to disagree on Ramsey mate. I think he is better in a deeper position. Either way it is a nice option that he can comfortably play in both positions though.

  384. “We also have to remember that the boy is only 20 years old and coming off a year long injury”

    This fact is often overlooked.
    And that it will also apply ,to a lesser extent,.too Jack on his return.
    People thinking Jack will return as he was are asking for a lot.

  385. PG – Good point. Hopefully we won’t have other injuries around that time and will be able to ease him back into the team.

  386. Not me, Andy. I think we should’ve persisted with him and kept at it until City’s midfielders tired. I think Arsene jumped the gun on that one. That’s probably why Theo came off pissed and reacted to Pat Rice the way he did. I’m sure he sensed that City were tiring and felt as if he could’ve punished them.

  387. Gains – Maybe, he had shown no signs of getting the better of his man all game though. Unfortunately we had nobody on the bench who was capable of changing the game for us anyway, so in that respect maybe he should have stayed on. I can understand why he was hooked though.

  388. ive got no probs rambo playing 10 either..

    think he could do a job at 8 or 4 but we have better options there…rambo is indeed box to box but his ball retention in short spaces isnt as good as the likes of song and arteta..even jack..and thats what basically starts our attacks from deep…

    prefer him as a 10 but he does need to up his goals and assist averages…5 assists and 2 goals in 21 apps aint bad..but for a 10 it aint great…and we kind of saw that today..

  389. I would have hooked Theo at half time.But then again I would have put Andrei on at half time.And as he is a useless fat disinterested lazy has been that does not want to be here ,that would clearly have been a mistake.

  390. A brave performance with lots of positives today. My stand outs were Arteta & Kos but there were a handful not far behind them.

    Loved the never say die spirit when we went down to 10 men after Arshavin`s introduction (sorry George) but we needed something to fall our way late on & didn`t get it.

    Oh, & considering it`s PRE Christmas just how lardy is Phil Dowd ?

  391. george
    i dont think thats the case with jack, mate..
    some players need time, the super duper quality ones fit right back in..

    think rvp and tv…i put jack in that category..he’ll come back and slot right in no probs

  392. I thought Szchezy and TV5 were both excellent today. Props to Miquel as well who came on and made some good tackles.

  393. JJ,Even RVP is bedded in slowly.
    You have just forgotten.

  394. I disagree on Jack. I think his best position is in the deep lying playmaker role. That he can get forward and combine excellently with the attack is just one of his many excellent attributes. With Cesc gone he is the best passer on the team by quite some distance.

    And in case you guys don’t agree all I have to say is Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo started his career as an advanced attacking midfielder a la Totti, but his career took off when he was made to drop back and organize from deep. I feel that Jackie has a bit of Pirlo in him. He’s a passer more than he is a runner. The thing is that he’s so skilled that he can play anywhere on the pitch.

  395. Martin keown's Beautician

    We have played the other 6 teams in the top 7 and won ONE!!!!!!

    Theo was absolute shite today.He was up against Zabaletta a player almost as slow as PM but did Walcott get passed him?Did he fuck

    Gervinho was not much better.a headless chicken with no final ball

    Wenger surrendered the game when he brought on Lazy Arshavin(Where was Chamberlain??????) and Chamakh.When is Wenger going to realise they are both not good enough and dont care about the club.They want out

    And finally……………………………………….What has happened to Park?

  396. I don’t think any player could do what Theo can. The only way I would’ve played differently would’ve been to start Arshavin and bring Theo on later on. It’s not like we would’ve needed him to track back having four defenders playing at the back.

  397. not really george..
    i dont remember him being made to sit in the bench too many times when he was fit..
    maybe had one or two sub apps and 2-3 starts but within a few week from returning from his last injury he was scoring the goals that started him on this run..
    maybe a month at the most before he was in full steam..doesnt take 6months to a year does it..

  398. Dont blame Martin keown’s Beautician for that stupidity.He and his ilk have had a long wait for their victory.

    Cunts is to good for them.
    People like him make me feel physically sick.Sad bastards to a fucking man(or school boy most likely)

  399. Zabaletta is not as slow as Per, you fucking numpty. His only deficit is that he is not a natural left back.

    Gervinho was our most dangerous player today. Where did you get all this headless chicken nonsense?

    Funny how Arsene surrendered the game eventhough Vermaelen got close to equalizing twice.

  400. No JJ perhaps not .but RVP is the finished article.Jack is not,by a long way .So he will be more like Ramsey than RVP .
    We will see.Lets hope I am wrong

  401. well he’ll have to play somewhere gains and to be honest i think the arteta song partnership is set in stone now..
    jack can play there with ease but i think wenger played him there with every intention of developing his passing game and moving him forward in the future..

    he played at 10 until he reached the first team..i see no reason why he wont move back there..

    even cesc said when he left that jack was ready to take over

  402. So taking off our most defensive player and a CB to bring on another striker is surrendering the game nowadays?

  403. ouch..
    someone obviously wasnt happy with todays performance..

    dude..we might have played all the other ‘top’ teams but chelsea, city, utd, spurs were all away from home and newcastle and pool got lucky cos we had no fucking players..

    come the end of the season i expect that record to read played 12 and won 7 but who gives a fuck about three of them anyway cos we’ll be in the top four in any case..

    and since when has it become a top 7???

    might as well go all out and call it a top which case weve won 9 times in 16..

  404. correction..we were away to newcastle as well..

    5 home games to come from the other members of this top 7…

  405. I have a feeling tommorow will see alot of hits for YW.

  406. its ok dukey
    im sure george is has his tin hat and his trench dug already…

  407. I predict an early uprising of trolls.

  408. i think we should play a 2-2-4-2 formation and do away with the full backs as we have been cursed.

  409. Duke ,what the fuck can they find to moan about?
    I swear,I seem to spend half my life arguing with people who don’t deserve the time of day.

  410. maybe we should go for a back 3 instead while the injuries are upon us..


  411. —————ches

  412. Solution for injured defence

    Yennaris – Vermaelen – Koscienly – Gibbs

    Yennaris is excellent from what i have seen of him.

  413. JonJon

    OXO cannot be played in that formation because one of his problems is his concentration and tracking back and covering the flanks.

  414. Nothing to moan about from todays game. We were unlucky against a very good team. Play like that most weeks and we won’t go far wrong.

  415. i agree moe..
    but having what is basically two wingers on each flank gives us the penetration and ability to overlap..
    besides having three cbs as well as song and arteta to cover the ground it would still remain solid..
    its an attacking formation i know and could leave us exposed at times…

    just thinking out loud

  416. we play like that over xmas and we’ll win every game..
    and we will score cos its not every day you have to face 50billion quids worth of defence..

    but the defensive injuries are becoming a worry now..

  417. Guess which club is top of the physio-room injury list?

    We played well today and deserved at least a draw. Our downfall was the injury to Djourou, until then we were organised quite well.

    Theo was not on top of his game but he did have to cope with Zabaleta & Kompany for most of the time he was on the field.

    Cannot decide MoTM between Arteta, Kos, TV ot Gervinho so they will have to share.

  418. I think you nailed it, Goonerandy, when you said that between Walcott and Djourou we lost the ball too much. I’m not sure it was about losing the ball so much though, as not taking the game to City down that flank. Djourou is not a fullback and as such doesn’t offer any overlap whatsoever. Walcott with Sagna behind him and bombing beyond him – as you know – is a completely different proposition. Walcott has been hung out to dry by our fullback injury woes far more than the defence has. He had Kompany and Zabaletta doubled up on him and it was too much. Would’ve nullified anyone.

    Vermaelen has done much better at supporting Gervinho on the left side, but still, he’s no Samba Santos or Kieran Gibbs. The sooner we can get some bloody fullbacks back the better!

  419. Anyway, clashes with the top teams are all about winning the home games IMO. A point today would’ve been a bonus and we looked pretty good for it in the end.

    Dowd is fat fucking fuck handle.

  420. No Dowd we could have won.

    Some twitter stats

    “Mikel Arteta – Pass Accuracy = 92%; Accurate long balls = 8; Fouls = 3; Fouled against = 3; Tackles = 2; Interceptions: 6; lost ball = 0.”

  421. Bradys right foot

    I’m still gutted but because of the performance and quality we displayed today i’m actually still buzzing following a defeat. So many positives to take, I can’t wait for the next game. Put it like this left footers if we play like that for the rest of the season well do very well. Some fantastic performances today from TV5, The poor mans Gary Cahill, Song, Gerv and the motm Arteta.

  422. Limpar – “Anyway, clashes with the top teams are all about winning the home games IMO. A point today would’ve been a bonus and we looked pretty good for it in the end.

    Dowd is fat fucking fuck handle.

    Agree on both points.

  423. Poor old Mertesacker looks absolutely knackered when he came off.

  424. RVP onside and the penalty. I didn’t think we deserved to lose that in real time. Watching the replays – we deserved to win it.

    As Bradys right foot says though, so many positives – and if we keep playing like this we’ll get a good haul over Christmas.

    Come on the Arsenal.

  425. I do think RvP was offside. Just.

    And the pen, well I am not really sure to be honest. I know if it had been given against us I would have gone mad. It was a shout but not nailed on. In fairness Richards hands were by his side and he could not have gotten it out of the way. Shame RvP’s was ruled out, what a superb finish.

  426. GA

    RVP’s arm was offside. As you are not allowed to use your arms to score it should not be considered offside.

  427. Wasn’t Dowd the ref who gave those soft penalties against us at St James park last season?

  428. Dups – Can’t find a replay of it at the moment, but I thought it was slightly more than his arm. Very close, but still offside unfortunately. Just the way I saw it anyway.

  429. Yeah it was. He is a fat cunt.

  430. Tennessee Arsenal

    Good match boys.

    Dowd actually had a good game. RVP was not offside, but it’ s not Dowd’s call, and the shot did not go in. Still, it’ll take a few more decently called games before I’m inclined to disagree with you, Goonerandy.

    Apart from lacking threatening attacking substitutes, we were and are in good shape. We’re missing two of the best fullbacks in the world–Sagna and Santos. We largely stifled a gazillion dollar offense without them, and left our wing attackers without valuable support.

    I was proud to support Arsenal today.

  431. Tennessee Arsenal

    OK, wrong offsides. The one I was thinking of was the missed shot. Might have to eat my words on the shot that was scored.

  432. Just Another Luke

    Thierry Henry would be a good loan signing to fill the ACN gap left by Gervinho’s participation.

  433. Proud of my team

  434. I agree with mumbaigooner

  435. GA

    According to Lee Dixon on MoTD2 RVP’s goal was not offside and Richards will consider himself lucky not to be called for handball.

  436. Dups – Both calls were close whichever way you look at it. I think the ref got both right, but in all honesty I am more interested in the performance of he team which was excellent. We really do work well as a unit, and defensively look a million miles away from he team of the past few season.

  437. Its not up for discussion,the RVP disallowed goal was on side.MOTD showed it (still frame and line drawn)
    The hand ball? well I would have been upset if it had been given against us,So although it could have been given we should not complain.
    Playing like that City destroyed United and Spurs away from home.Yet we matched them and but for an injustice it was one one.
    But instead of hailing it as a great game and performance,which it was both,some would rather finger point and scapegoat.
    Imagine the difference Sagna,and Santos would have made.
    Anyone complaining should be taken out into the steet and have the shit kicked out of them by an unruly mob of AKB’ers

  438. Dups ,not according to Lee.According to fact.Its not an opinion when its proven.

  439. “But instead of hailing it as a great game and performance,which it was both,some would rather finger point and scapegoat.”

    Very good point PG

  440. I think having full backs would have turned the tide in our favor. The 4 players that occupied that spot for us during the game acquited themselves well, and it is fine playing CB’s at full back if you are a defensive side (which we aren’t) but it is not natural for them. We slightly lacked width, and both of our wingers rarely have a player overlapping them. It is a fundemental part of our game.

    If you were being really picky you could have argued that Sanga (for example) may have positioned himself better than Kos, when the ball to Balotelli was played. Kos naturally was possibly attracted too far centrally and was not aware of Ballotellis’ run.

  441. A truly great game of football yesterday. In a league where every game is overhyped and usually fails to deliver excitement, that game was the real thing.

    Either side could have won, no complaints that City did. They had the edge in the end. We ran out of game changing players.

    The injury to Djourou led to the goal. No time for the rejigged, rejigged defence to settle. That happens.

    The whole starting 11 were immense, I got the impression that Theo was playing to instructions, protecting Johann. It didn’t work out. The lack of full backs was the problem from the start. It was always going to be a struggle against a side with so many top class offensive players.

    No complaints against the officials either. Good, close calls.

    When it got to the time to make changes It went a little wrong. Chamakh and AA couldn’t alter the result. Pundits on Sky said that the benches showed Arsenal’s problem. No quality there. They were wrong. The quality is there but the performances aren’t.

    I agree that it is difficult coming off the bench and finding your form, However, there is such a thing as a desire to impose your talent. I didn’t see that from AA. I don’t understand what’s going on there.

    No real damage done. Plenty of positives to build on.

    January reinforcements? I think so. We are a bit threadbare in places. Who? No idea!

  442. Consols – I think that sums it all up quite nicely actually.

  443. “No complaints against the officials either. Good, close calls.” can a wrong call be a good call?The off side goal was close .I concede that,however it was ultimately wrong.

  444. Honestly george, I thought it was offside.

    If replays show that it wasn’t, then it was a marginal wrong call but blimey, that happens every week.

    I can’t get too worked up about that.

  445. The pen was a pen for me. Arms by his side yes, but he drops/leans his body down and to the right to block the ball! And RvP was onside. Both very close calls of course and no issue with the result really – just annoying because we deserved a point and did enough to earn it. Onwards and upwards though.

    Poor old Andrey having trouble locating the old ‘gate’ as he likes to call it. Unusual because he is one of best finishers in the squad.

  446. I’d have given the penalty but then I’d have been upset to see it given against us.

    Can’t really complain then.

  447. Bob I am not getting worked up about anything.
    And yes it happens almost every week.To us.
    My point is it was wrong.And if they got it right(just right ,not asking for any favours)we draw.And I think that would have been a fair result.

  448. The pen was one of those incidents that some refs would give, and some won’t. Peronally I think it would have been very harsh and I would not have been happy if it had been given against us. The ref got a great view of the incident and given he kept his hands near his body decided no. Meh.

    I must admit that when kolo took down Ramsey in the box I was screaming for a pen. But even then the replay showed he got the ball and it was just a big tangle of legs.

    Yesterday was just one of those things. Both teams plays very well, and either could have won. It just so happened that yesterday City got all 3 points. A draw would have been a fair result, but we can’t really begrudge them a win from yesterdays game. They emphasised why they will be champions yesterday I think. By the same token we emphasised why will will not finish outside the top 4. If we had not had our mental start to the season we would be in the thick of the race for the lge.

  449. I think the focus on the offside against RVP is born from the forlorn hope that such decisions ‘even themselves out over time’. Of course, Silva was inches, maybe half an inch at most, closer to being ‘onside’ then RVP as the linesman called it. If the advantage is given to the attacker then both were onside.

    Onwards and upwards.
    That was a game where many would’ve enjoyed the option of playing TV5 & LK6 at CB, yet a game against McLeish could play into Per’s paws.

  450. No arguments that a draw would have been a fair result.

    So would a win or a defeat.

    You are sensitive george. I said that I can’t get too worked up. I never said that you had.

    Marginal calls are made every week and affect every team. I haven’t seen us suffer more than our share this season.

    I thought Dowd had a good game.

  451. Finsbury.
    The only way “decisions ‘even themselves out over time’”,is that for every bad decision we get our rivals will get a good one .

  452. Even thhough the “daylight” rule caused a bit of confusion when they tried it a few year back, I would have liked to see them persist with it. Some of the calls given are so so close it seems pedantic. RvP’s on Sunday is a good example of this.

  453. “Marginal calls are made every week and affect every team. I haven’t seen us suffer more than our share this season.”

    At home against Liverpool.Both their goals were off side.
    Away at Blackburn ,The Yak was off side.
    Yesterday RVP on side.

    I cant recall one occasion where we have been allowed an off side goal.(I could be wrong though)

  454. PG.

    We’ll just have to gr*t our teeth and wade our way through the crap.
    Eyes wide shut.

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