If you’re wondering where my usual posts have been the last couple of days, I can explain… At present, my life is a marathon run of epic proportion in which I must navigate many stress hurdles. The perils of moving home and selling a house currently is paramount amongst those. In place of my customary tripe you’ve had a few guest posts – I’m using those to fill a little space and, hopefully, give you a little enjoyment – yesterday’s post with a quiz on Arsenal’s history is worth a look.
With a bit of luck, the mayhem will relent soon and I’ll be able to get back to writing everyday properly. As things stand, Daniel and I will be taking a break from the Goonersphere Podcast for a few weeks as he’s as busy as I am with the birth of his first child.
I’m sure you’ll all understand.
Right, onto more pressing concerns and today’s fixture; the visit of free-scoring Manchester City. I can’t lie to you, boys ‘n’ girls, this one has me filled with dread. In weeks gone by, City haven’t just beaten the teams around them, they’ve battered them. Whilst I still think they have weakness at the back that can be exploited, their forward line is so formidable you wouldn’t bet against them simply outscoring anyone they play.
Today is going to be an enormous task, but once I cast that dread to one side I allow myself to have positive thoughts. It might seem like an impossible task, but if the players available to Arsene perform as well as they are capable, then we certainly have it within ourselves to offer City a decent game. Home advantage certainly helps matters also.
The team news is as it was on Tuesday; we have no fresh concerns, but will still be missing Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny. Losing 5 players of that importance for any game would be a blow to the vast majority of teams in Europe. Wether it’s purely coincidental bad luck or mismanagement of the much-fabled ‘red zone’ is irrelevant to me; I just know it’s a shame they’re not avalable. Abou Diaby won’t make the squad either due to an unfortunate accident involving a lemon meringue pie. He could be sidelined for some time…
My guess at the team is:
I’m not all that keen on offering a prediction. Stating you see your favourite team losing an upcoming match has always struck me as being a touch overly pessimistic. After all, you have to at least have an element of faith otherwise what’s the point. What I will say is this; I do believe Arsenal are capable of winning the game. Much will depend on how we set-up. Should we take the field with our usual mentality I think Man City will know exactly how to beat us.
I’m hoping Arsene has a trick up his sleeve. We’ve been resoundingly trounced by the ‘big’ teams this season and the approach we’ve adopted in those defats has seen us overrun within the first 30 minutes. It’s a safe bet Pellegrini will send his team out to press us high and fast and force mistakes. I think we need to come out with the intent to win the ball back fast and take the fight to them, and we need to show a willingness to do that with vigour from the start.
If we do, then maybe, just maybe, we’ll get something from the game. Flamini and Arteta will both be important and will need to offer as much protection to the defence as possible. Whatever occurs, I don’t think it will be boring.
That’s all for today, folks. I’ll leave you with the usual nod towards the comments and a request to hear your thoughts – who would you start and how would you play? Let me know. Tomorrow I’ll return with a review of the game. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading you beautiful bastards.