Man City v Arsenal turned out to be men against boys. In every department on the pitch, they were superior and they exposed every weakness Mikel Arteta’s team had and with ease. Time and time again they just went through our midfield as if it wasn’t there.
Guardiola has been at Man City since 2016. He, or rather Man City have spent big during that time.
Arsenal’s reported net spending since Mikel Arteta became manager is reported to be £280 million. Utd’s figures are astonishing and they’re still a football club struggling to find consistency on the pitch.
If Arsenal don’t win the League, which let’s face it, they’re not, it’s not the mauling last night which did the damage. Ever since that Xhaka and Alexander-Arnold spat at Anfield, Mikel Arteta’s team have looked devoid of belief. All that was good has got up and gone. City’s first goal last night was as simple as it gets, not the finish from de Bruyne but the build up. Arsenal press, a ball up to Haaland, he brushes off Holding with ease and lays the ball off for de Bruyne who has about six Arsenal players chasing his tail.
City’s second, on the stroke of half-time was offside in my opinion but I guess David Coote opted to view the camera angle which showed White’s big toe keeping the City player onside . Not for one minute am I trying to suggest it made a huge difference to the outcome but to go into the break 1-0 down might have given us a bit more belief.
Regardless of that, Arsenal were really disappointing. Not because of the result but because of how the result came about. As a team, we simply weren’t at the races and we haven’t been for a few weeks now. Our passing, which for much of the season has been crisp and accurate, is now error strewn. Where there was stability, organisation and confidence, there now seems to be nerves, fear and little fight. Other than off the ball that is but that’s not the solution to our woes.
A friend and I were talking a few weeks ago about this Arsenal and how good they are. The quality of Odegaard, the new Xhaka, the wide men. All of them really as well as Arteta and what a great job he’s been doing. We should have keep quiet really because just a few days after that conversation, Arsenal went to Anfield.
Do Arsenal need better players than already at the club? Of course but then we knew that. I see little point in berating Rob Holding for being bullied by Haaland because big guy has done that to most defenders he’s come up against this season. De Bruyne is one of the best footballers in the game right now, if not the best so struggling against him is no crime in my opinion. But even so, defensively as a team, we handed them the opportunity to breeze through us with great ease and when I say defensively, I mean from the front through to the back. Last night we were toothless.
I thought Mikel Arteta might change tact last night and go with a more defensive setup in attempt to stifle City’s attack and try to catch them on the break. Instead, we fought fire with fire, or at least tried to. It didn’t work. It was never going to was it….
Catch up in the comments.
Morning Rico. Good write-up I think.
It’s a black day for Arsenal fans around the world but, with CL football hopefully on the horizon, it seems clearer then ever where we need strengthening. Every year we say it but, if we’re going to push on, it’s looking like we will need some serious investment from Stan. No more flakes though and no more City cast-offs for me. We need killers.
I don’t think that last night’s result came as a great surprise to any free thinking supporter. Certainly I was not shocked but disappointed by the way that it happened.
In many ways we were the architects of our own downfall , in fact we allowed City to do what they wanted Partey and Xhaka were ineffective , Odegaard was anonymous and Saka and Martinelli were starved of any good possession and when they did get it they found Jesus was nearer our penalty box than theirs.
We are a poor parody of the way City play , a very similar system but without the belief and the extra talent . One thing was proven was that Pep has moved on and Arteta is till playing two years ago . Pep bought Haaland for a reason . He understood the need in English football for a focal point up front , with Jesus we do not have that .
You say that Holding was bullied by Haaland but there was a direct line to him through our middle Partey was being bounced off the ball and his partner proved why he should be on the list of replaceable if we want to get to the next level , he disappeared and apart from a bit of push and shove with the detestable Grealish who played the ref like a fiddle.
Is Balogun the answer ? who knows , he went off like a rocket in France but has gone off since the media decided that he would be sold to the highest bidder ( confidence ? )but he is not a large mobile unit like Haaland , I believe that he stands a little over 5 foot 10 ” . I doubt that his return will have the effect that a fit Saliba had.and I really believe that Arteta and EDu have a lot to do to revamp the system , and our manager , who I support , needs to realise that tactical substitutions need to be nearer the hour mark to give players the time to get into the rhythm of the game , bringing them on at 85 minutes doesn’t give them a chance .
Ask yourselves how many touches did Nelson and Smith-Rowe get last night and what effect did they have ?
Morning Adam, thanks.
Agree and no more for the future, we need for the now.
Agree Potter. Last night taught us nothing we didn’t already know, or thought we knew.
There are certain teams we play or grounds we go to where something different is required but we don’t have it. I hope Arteta really isn’t as rigid as his changes suggest he might be. We’ve been there before and know what happened.
Potter. Excellent comment.
I thought Eddie and Nelson did at least show a willingness but it was late in the game and City just snubbed them out. I’d still play one or both of them in the Chelsea game. Smith-Rowe came on but obviously has the hump or something. Did he get above a gentle trot?
Performances like last night raise question after question.
This is the point where fans start talking about spending money to catch up, ignoring the fact that if one side has oil money and the other doesn’t then the one with the oil wells will always be able to spend more and buy the best players. The premier league is now as uncompetitive as the French and German leagues. Which makes me wonder how long it will stay attractive to world wide audiences.
I would say there’s always next season but that probably isn’t true. City will still have the strongest squad, Newcastle will be stronger, maybe Ten Haag or Klopp will have sorted out their squads. Its more likely that this is a Leicester City season, one shot at the title. If you don’t take it then the opportunity is gone.
Maybe the one weakness that could be addressed without having to spend a fortune is tactical. Arsenal have now lost their last 12 league games against City, Spurs have won their last five against City at the Spurs stadium without Guardiola’s side even scoring a goal. Its obviously not because Spurs are a better team. Its just that they’ve recognised they can’t go toe to toe with City and figured out a counter attacking system that works. Its great to impose your game on the opposition but its not always possible. Sometimes you have to adapt to them and I’m not sure Arteta recognises that.
I’m all for seeing Nelson start against Chelsea. ESR is probably cheesed off with lack of playing time. Definitely need earlier changes in a game when things are going well.
Disappointing performance and result, but not unexpected. We seemed to be neither set up to defend or attack. It was clear an extra midfielder was needed early on, but we didn’t change the formation or bring on a sub.
Ramsdale made some good saves, but I think he should have saved a couple of the goals. The 2nd was offside, but didn’t change the result.
This was always a tricky game, but the previous 3 draws have cost us.
Jod, exactly. It’s only my opinion but we might have faired better had we tried to nullify their strengths instead of giving them a green light.
If Arteta isn’t going to use Jorginho as well as Partey at the Etihad, when will he use him. As soon as it was clear how open our midfield was, the door could have been shut but instead, we were three goals down before reinforcements were introduced.
Morning Pete, we’re on a similar hymn sheet. Lol
@Potter extremely harsh on Arteta. 2 years ago we finished in 8th place, last season 5th. The progress has been clear.
Morning Rico and all.
Losing to Man City is no disgrace, but I stick by what I have said for a while, we need to learn to kill of other sides, then matches like this won’t heart as much.
Pete , I said I support Arteta but I do believe that he is showing signs of his inexperience and I hope that he learns from what has happened because as much as we have improved last night we hit our glass ceiling and were shown to be way behind the chance of winning against the financially backed teams .
I was always worried about the purchase of Jesus and Zinchenko not because I think their bad players but because they are not the ones we needed and I think last night proved why Pep was willing to let them go.. He knew that to improve his team he had to change and I think that Arteta is playing City mark one whereas things have moved on .
We have to re-evaluate and change things too otherwise all the usual suspects plus Newcastle will be gunning for us next year because City are way out on their own.
We could do with a Plan B that’s for sure. I expect a big forward will arrive this summer. I thought we should have got Toney at the end of last season. He ticks all the boxes apart from the forecoming ban.
We’re work in progress. Guardiola has been at City 6 years, spent huge amounts on a squad that was already one of the best in the country. They have also broken the FFP rules.
We will get a goalscoring midfielder and a full back. Kiwior will challenge the centre backs.
PS City fans are a 2bob. Huge swaths left 15 mind before the end. Arguably the biggest league game of the season.
I remember them bringing about 500 fans to Highbury in the 90s. At some point they will return from where they came.
We didn’t win a game 4 games ago. We have 2 more games in relation to some clubs and one more in relation to the majority. I think there was an unnecessary accumulation of games and I remember that we had less games 2 months ago.
Overload affects the injured and many (or almost all?) players: Partney, Saka, Xhaka, etc.
I also think that the elimination of the Europa League, as it was, was crucial.
As we all knew. we had a very complicated schedule in the end. When Leicester was champion, the 2nd also won their 2 games and comfortably. The accounts are done at the end. I have little faith in this team’s morale, but if they win the next 2 games, it puts a lot of pressure on M.City, overloaded with games.
Okay, I’m a dreamer, but it doesn’t matter.
I think it’s been said before that we have players who are similar, other than Saliba and Partey who don’t have like for like replacements/cover. We need a younger and quicker version of Giroud, someone who can play with his back to goal, can hold the ball etc. same in midfield really.
We still look a bit small and fragile in games which don’t suit our style. We could do with finding a clone of Haaland.. lol
Pete, and a strong b2b midfield player or two too. I think Partey is done in this league.
let’s hope we get deals done early this transfer market, and not wait the whole time and still not get the player they wanted.
Wonders never to happen at Arsenal! Why do other, even much inferior teams play against Man city and put up a fight, even when lossing, and even get a decent result? We know Halaand and De Bryune are world-class, but the the tendency in this Arsenal,(for all the notable improvement witnessed this seasons), to suddenly crumble when it matters most, is unprecedented. I’m just imagining, that with champions league already guaranteed Arsenal and already out of the other competitions, even for pride’s sake, why not turn up in a match like this and get a decent result against a team probably dreaming of a tremble this season and halt their early stroll to the league title? Arsenal never ceases to amaze me😔.
New post up now