Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arsenal v Manchester City: The Boys Are Back In Town

by Rachid

If you're an Arsenal fan planning on watching the match later today against Man City you must be a masochist, like myself. After a completely dour performance against Wigan last Sunday we have to dust ourselves off and regain focus as continuing our poor form which has seen us gain only 1 win in our last 6 games in all competition could mean we may well slip into a fight for third place with the likes of Tottenham and Man City. As I type this the match between Man United and Tottenham is locked at 1 and should the score remain the same after 90 minutes a win today could take us to within 3 points of United and we could still push to finish 2nd in the league.

After losing our last 3 games, to Barcelona, Tottenham and Wigan respectively we need all the help we can get to restore some confidence to the team. Arsene Wenger has revealed that he's expecting Eduardo and Alex Song back though so we should expect to see the latter of the two in the starting line up with the former on the bench. Andrey Arshavin remains a doubt though.

Wenger however wouldn't be drawn on his choice to man the goal today as Manuel Almunia is still out with a wrist injury. Many have been doubting the truth behind whether Almunia's really injured but after Lukasz Fabianski's flapping around against Wigan last Sunday it would only make sense to believe that Almunia is really injured as I can't see why Arsene Wenger would keep him sidelined with such a walking calamity in our goal. Wenger always backs his players when they come in for heavy scrutiny from the media and he did just that yesterday when speaking about Fabianski. According to Wenger:
"I think he will be a great keeper. If you ask how many mistakes you can afford [at this level], I would say zero. But it is also part of the game.
"I believe Fabianski has total talents, with a great quality and spirit. Now he has a good opportunity to show how good he is.
"Of course, he was disappointed on Sunday [after the Wigan game], but I believe he was not the only one involved in our defeat."
Many would wonder if Wenger did that interview while having a round of vodka shots but I can understand why he says that. I'm pretty sure he doesn't actually believe Fabianski will be a great keeper at Arsenal in the future but given the fact that he isn't sure who he'll start in goal today he wants to build the Pole's confidence just in case he decides to put him in to flap around at the ball some more.

Apart from all that though, we have 4 Ex Gooners returning to The Emirates today. Hopefully Kolo Toure, Sylvinho and Paddy Vieira return to a rapturous applause while Emmanuel Adebayor returns to nothing but the sound of 60,000 strong booing him for 90 minutes. Wenger has urged the Emirates faithful to not be desrespectful to Adebayor but after his disgraceful display in the last Premiership meeting it's hard to see how the fans will heed Wenger's words.
"I am stubborn, but not stupid - sometimes in the heat of the moment you can do things that are not right," admitted Wenger.
"It is not only Adebayor, but also Patrick Vieira and Kolo Toure - we will welcome them all back.
"We have always had the same line of conduct - to respect what they have done for us and we want our fans to respect that as well and encourage our team."
Arsenal should use Adebayor's behaviour as a reason to be fired up for this game. Robin van Persie will no doubt remember Adebayor's stamp in his face and Song should remember his stamp on his shin as well. We should definitely use the reminder and embarrassment of that game as a motivator for a win today. Now is as good a time as ever to prove to the doubters and the naysayers of this team that we do have heart, despite the craven performance shown against Wigan last Sunday.

It's important to note that of all the teams in the Premiership this season, Man City is the team who has scored the most points after coming back from losing positions. This is not good news for us after how we allowed Wigan to score 3 goals and snatch a win from defeat with only 10 minutes to go against us last Sunday.

I'm predicting that the result won't be pleasing for us in the least bit. I expect Tevez and Adebayor to give us a warm time on the pitch and I can see the match ending 3-1 with us taking no points.

Predicted line up:

Sagna     Campbell     Silvestre    Clichy
           Diaby                   Nasri
Walcott           van Persie            Rosicky

Predicted score: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City

Key man: Lukasz Fabianski - The Pole to provide various goal scoring opportunities for our opponents today.

We need to make sure we don't see one more of these moments but with Fabianski likely to start it's very much a possibility.

Can't say I'm expecting much today but I'll watch and see. I'll be back later with post game thoughts. Until then, dust!


  1. good article, i agree with u fabianski is rubbish

  2. Yep, I'm gonna be surprised and very pissed off is he's still in the team next season.