Arsenal’s first major pressure test and why cards are stacked positively 

by .

Today is a tipping point and we’re only in December. Lose to Manchester City and we hand momentum to Pep and Chelsea in a title race that already feels heavily advantageous to the Blues. Win and Wenger will have a proper title challenge on his hands, we can look at the Everton game as a blip and we can start thinking about how many points we can rack up in the remainder of the festive period.
So what do we know about City? ‘All the minutes man’ Fernandinho is not playing because of a suspension he picked up against Cesc, they have no Gundogan to pull strings and they have no Kun Aguerro. That’s a gift right there, it’s not as if they don’t have great players to step in, but the core is interrupted, especially in midfield.

We also know that City have only kept two clean sheets in 15. One against Watford in their last game which was perfect timing for us. John Stones has looked anything but a £50m defender this season and we know he can be rattled by an agressive press, or just being asked to make a simple pass. We also know Claudio Bravo is super suspect. His positioning has been consistently poor this season, he’s poor from crosses and it seems to get worse by the week as he struggles for confidence.

The key for me today is aggressively attacking them where their moves start at the back. Spurs had a great time employing that tactic. I also think we can damage them on the counter, they are such a mess at the moment. This was a great summation of City under Pep from Paul Doyle of The Guardian.

‘City could not cope with Leicester’s energy and directness and at times seemed confused by their own highfalutin scheming, with Pablo Zabaleta’s wandering role a particular puzzle. It is not anti-intellectual to suggest they were trying to recite poetry before showing they had learned their ABC.’

I don’t think City will be confused forever this season, so this is a major opp to do damage while they’re licking their wounded brains. But, as is a familiar pattern, when we’re called upon to fight, we’re always found wanting. This is a pressure game, the sort that will define our season. We already collapsed at Everton, when we should have taken a draw. Can Wenger summon something special, or will we be talking handbrakes and fatigue post game?

Who knows… but it’s going to be exciting whatever happens.

Buckle in and we’ll talk tomorrow!

P.S ok, so I was wrong about Ibrahimovic. But not wrong that we didn’t need him. We have Sanchez and a far more mobile set up because of it.

738 Responses to “Arsenal’s first major pressure test and why cards are stacked positively ”

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  1. Paulinho

    WE – Said last week we should play Sanchez just off Perez.

    It’s too much over the long haul for him to be up there by himself.

  2. izzo

    How Sanchez is still on the pitch is beyond me. Hes been injured yet hes left on. How fans can accept this incompetence from Wenger is mind boggling.

  3. EN1AFC

    Can someone please explain to me, why oh fucking why is Coquelin our furthest forward player on so many occasions in games this season?! It makes no sense whatsofucking ever. This has been such a bad performance along with midweek, when it matters. I don’t know how anyone can still support the manager, totally clueless.

    Oh yeah 2-1..as I type… Arsene OUT

  4. useroz

    Xhara ducked when KdB took the shot rather than charging at him. Only arsenal players do that.

    FUCK. FUCK. Not charging at Sterling huh same fucking old

  5. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    Yeah Sanchez can get away with playing at CF against most BPL sides but like you, I’m not convinced he has what it takes in knife-edge encounters like today when you might only get one chance.

    Lol, Citeh score again, shock horror.

  6. izzo

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL… and there you have it. “Oh we can beat City” “They are there for the taking” HAHAHA! You guys never learn.

  7. Bamford10

    And that’s Arsenal’s season. Goodbye, Monsieur Wenger! Please fuck off.

    2-1, City. Fantastic long pass from De Bruyne. A #10 who shows up in big games.

  8. Ankit_gooner

    “an someone please explain to me, why oh fucking why is Coquelin our furthest forward player on so many occasions in games this season?! It makes no sense whatsofucking ever.”
    To win the ball high up.He is the best ball winner in the team.

  9. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    One cunt of a manger repeatedly holding the club back

    Second game in a row his half time chat fucked it up

    Bring back chambers

  10. Bishop

    Guys

    Xhaka isn’t really good I must confess…hes got no presence whatsoever.

    Just a 15mill pounds player.

    Xhaka not Coq should be off in fact Ozil.

  11. Sadgoon

    Not surprised this is happening. Wenger personally unsettled a settled team with his constant chop and changes with his favourites.
    He basically stopped the team’s momentum with the likes of Ramsey ,Giroud and Ox

  12. useroz

    Wenger I just rubbish. Where’s the fucking tactics?? Giroud?

    People find ways to shoot. We fucking pass.

    Known shitty keeper and we don’t even test him…ffs

  13. vicky

    What a shamble we are, City were there for the taking in the first half and we once again give the game away after taking a lead. Another season ruined by Wenger.

  14. David Bolo

    Oh my God how terrible is Ozil today?? And how much worse should he get before being subbed? How many balls has he lost today?

  15. Frost

    2nd Offside goal for city imo. No issue with sterling’s run & strike, but silva who is clearly in an Offside position goes for the ball. Simply an Offside in the new rules.

  16. EN1AFC

    Ankit

    So whats he gona do with the ball when he gets it that high? We want him winning it in front of the back four as a DM should do!! Its ridiculous.

    This is nothing short of pathetic

  17. Paulinho

    Xhaka is okay facing the play when he has time to pick a pass, but so far he showing the exact same flaws I pin-pointed with him in the summer.

  18. leftsidesanch

    game was there for the taking, this team dont take their chances and inevitably each and every time – get punished when facing a side not in the bottom half of the table

  19. izzo

    LOL when i was telling you all Xhaka won’t hack it and is practically cb playing in midfield, i was slated. Next time listen to a voice of reason. Wenger wasted 90 million on average to add to his already average squad. You get what you pay for.

  20. Thank you and goodnight

    Can the AKB’S now understand why we want wenger out. The man is a bottler of huge proportions and it’s rubbing off on the team. Unlike some who believe this team is totally shite, I still believe under a better manager we would be serious title contenders with this team. Please please please go wenger

  21. Dissenter

    Wenger created an environment where Ozil thinks all he needs to play is to have a pulse.
    He doesn’t play this lackadaisically for Germany.

  22. leftsidesanch

    and why is elneny coming on the pitch when we have perez who hasn’t been seen since scoring a hattrick???

    Fuck this team – another 4 more years of this coming.

  23. Bamford10

    Look at De Bruyne battling, and they’re 2-1 up.

    Ozil is thinking about what he’ll do after the game to please himself.

  24. Ankit_gooner

    “Wtf is this bozo Elneny going to contribute besides a few crab passes?”

    City cut off the supply to ozil and alexis.So he added an extra midfielder to help progress the ball to the final third

  25. Paulinho

    Zero off the ball runs

    Zero transition play linking up with other players

    Zero ability to deal with pressure facing his own goal.

    And nowhere near the ‘crazy’ hard man Wallace had him tagged as being.

  26. Samesong

    Gabriel coming into team has upset the balance defensively he’s utter garbage Monreal is suffering with kos having to tidy up Gabriel’s mess.

  27. Bamford10

    “We are 2-1 down … Wenger the cunt brings on Elneny instead of Perez … joke of a manager … why can’t he fucking do something ” – @AsadBalal

  28. vicky

    A big LOL for all those who thought Xhaka was a good replacement for Santi, I never saw the hype, yes he’s a good long ball passer when he has plenty of space and time but we’re never gonna get that against good teams. And as far as lack of physicality of Santi is concerned, Xhaka is equally handicapped.

  29. gonsterous

    Wonder what Chris has to say on arsenal fan tv ?? We know that cunt dt will go on a rant but how are the akbs gonna defend this one ??

  30. Thanos

    I had a row with my mates who support pool and villa an they were defending wenger to the hilt. Even when I was talking about what a new manager like Conte brings to a team. Shows you wenger has acolytes everywhere

  31. Ankit_gooner

    “He doesn’t play this lackadaisically for Germany”

    Because he has a detailed role.He doesn’t at arsenal.He is asked to improvise.Fans praise alexis for running around which often doesn’t have much effect because it is a collective effort.Ozil seeing the lack of organisation,doesn’t bother.Not his fault.
    Today,he was asked to wait higher up for the ball and try to initiate breaks but city cut off the ball supply to him,that’s not his fault.

  32. Paulinho

    “The team is full of bottlers bar sanchez. We won the league when we beat Chelsea 3-0 didn’t we? ”

    But Ozil put Kante on his ass didn’t he, there is a trophy for that surely?

  33. Roaaary

    Wenger let us retreat from the moment we scored.

    It’s embarrassing and we should have kept going for them.

    We were going so long without the ball that when we got it we couldn’t keep the rhythm. Weak and tepid performance. Blown over by a depleted team

  34. Ishola70

    Wenger will be in his element after this game = the battle for the CL places.

    He might even come out on top in the scrap for 2nd place down to 4th.

    That’s even if Arsenal get out of jail here at the death as they did at Old Trafford.

  35. karim

    Rambo

    Because this team is only good when things go their way, absolutely no reaction in stormy weather….

    Sanchez starting to think seriously…

  36. WengerEagle

    I’ll hold my hands up on Xhaka, bigged him up for yonks but he’s been pony since he slapped on an Arsenal shirt.

    He was much better over in Germany but I suppose he wasn’t playing with any real pressure.

    So far he has wilted under the cosh.

  37. reality check

    Can someone please make sence of what happen with the Ox. he came on. Few minutes later. he goes off. why?

    All pep did was go from 433 to 4141 and it completely fuked wenger up

  38. Frankie T

    Your Comment Herethis had been one of the most pathetic displays I’ve ever seen. It’s as if the players don’t give a shit. Xhaka so casual on the ball no urgency and Ozil walking around. Absolutely pathetic!

  39. WrightIsGod

    Said it before after the Everyon game and I’ll say it again for every game whether we win, lose or draw:

    You cannot win the league with a team built around Mezut Ozil. He has many positives but his negatives are far more detrimental to the team on a whole.

    I wonder if he’ll go and thank the fans at the final whistle?

  40. Sekard

    This should confirm why you shouldn’t be handing £250 k a week to Ozil.Goes missing in the big games.When the going gets tough the tough get going…but not Oil.Let him go.

  41. leftsidesanch

    The matter of the fact is, NOBODY – No single flipping journalist will ask that bastard Wenger why when you are chasing a goal – you bring on a defensive minded player who isn’t even good at his core job instead of a goalscorer.

    Ozil, after today is pathetic.