So Arsenal v Manchester City after a frustrating weekend. To be honest it doesn’t feel like a David v Goliath situation at all, maybe it never was. Some people view Arsenal as a weak team and City as a strong one. I have news for you, within the weak team are strong elements and within the strong team are weak elements.
Arsenal’s main weapon is possession. Some may criticize possession as a strength but in reality no one can test your keeper if you are in possession of the ball plus it reduces the other team’s chances. Manchester City on the other hand is good on the counter attack (Ref: Manchester United v Manchester City 4th, 5th and 6th goals). If we can keep possession and avoid being caught off position on the counter attacks, we should be able to neutralize City threats.
The gunners have a culture of closing down the midfield. Opponents will find it hard to create chances if they can hardly move the ball around. City’s midfield has a lot of gaps so I don’t think our flow of football will be interrupted a lot. The trick will be to find that final defense splitting pass to reach our forwards. Now that our beloved duo, Cesc and Nasri, are forever gone our style of play is more direct, no more toying with the ball in the opponent’s area. Our dynamic ‘pacey’ wingers are always causing problems to the full backs helping contain them in their own half.
In a game like this our forwards need to be more effective (REF: Norwich City v Arsenal, in a game that we had 20 shots, we should have scored 4 goals if we were 20% effective). City’s forwards are clinical finishers and that would be a big problem to us. Packing City players in their own half would be the difference between winning by a small margin and loosing. Frustrating them to shoot from a distance would be key, they should not be allowed a sight of goal. Conceding dangerous free kicks should be avoided and so are red cards, our tactics highly depend on 11 fit players on the pitch (REF: Barcelona v Arsenal 2nd leg).
Arsenal players easily switch off during a frustrating game. One goal lead is never enough, and neither is 2 nor 3, in fact any kind of lead is never enough (REF: Newcastle 4 – 4 Arsenal). City players are aggressive and have no record of giving up without a fight. (Off topic: if every Arsenal player could have Vermaelen’s fighting spirit, we could be invincible again you know #justsaying). Our players should remain united throughout the game and to never lose focus. If it comes to defending it should be done as a team. If the worst happens, composure should be maintained if we are to bail ourselves out of any situation. City depends more on individual talent rather than team strength. Individualism should however not be ignored, goals scored from individual battles are quite too many.
On paper the gunners look the lesser force but the magic that happens at the Emirates time and again is not to be forgotten, Fergie and Pep Guardiola know best. The best way to win against City is doing it step by step. It all starts from midfield; balls don’t reach their strikers, a fast game makes them sit back and then that surprise strike from a cut back creeping through a defender’s legs into the back of the net at the far post should complete a closely contested 1- 0 win at home. Right now there is no better team out their well equipped to win against Shitty City other than Arsenal. So C’MON YOU GUUUUNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS!!