by .

Arsenal vs Manchester City is coming tomorrow.

Mikel Arteta will not be present because he has COVID, but rest assured, the man will be going overdrive to ensure he’s delivering all the strategy meetings and making sure there are no excuses for the players.

This game is the hardest we’ll play all year, City are immense, there is no better-coached team in world football right now.

… but Arsenal cannot let them happen to us again.

We have to show up tomorrow. If we’re going to lose, I don’t want it to be a City gimme. I’d like constructive failure if there has to be a failure at all.

What I’d really like is a point or more.

Everything has to roll our way for that to happen.

City concede about 6.7 shots per game. That means we need to take our chances because they control the space better than anyone.

City average 19 shots per game. We have to be ruthlessly efficient in defence and make sure those 19 shots are speculative.

We also have to have a bit of luck, you simply don’t beat City without all three of those things going your way.

… but why not?

Leicester beat Liverpool earlier in the week and they’ve been awful all season. They nearly made a game of it against City pulling back 3 goals after going 4 down. There is no reason we can’t make a go of it if the belief is there.

There’s a bit of a worry that Tomiyasu wasn’t pictured in training, I know last week they were expecting him back. So fingers crossed on that one, I’d rather Ben White as right-back than rolling the dice on Cedric or Chambers.

Outside that, we’re rolling with a full team. Everyone is in great form right now, so I have no idea who he’ll select, all we can be sure of is there will be a plan constructed by an inside that might give us a chance.

Short post today.

It’s New Years Eve and I want to thank you all for reading.

We had our best ever month with The Arsenal Opinion. We had more listens this year than we did the three previous years combined.

We had our best year for website traffic and repeat visitors.

We gave you 301 stories.

There were 152,000 comments on the blog.

Our top 9 countries by traffic looked a little different. I see you India, climbing into the Champions League spots.

  1. England
  2. America
  3. Nigeria
  4. India
  5. Ireland
  6. Australia
  7. South Africa
  8. Kenya
  9. Sweden

We started live streaming this year and we have a Youtube page. We made 34 videos and people watch them… like, really watch them 20,000 hours of time.. It’s tiny in comparison to the big channels, but it’s still cool, and we are only just starting.

… and most importantly, we end the year with Arsenal in the top 4.

Without doubt, this last year has been one of the hardest I’ve ever had to write for, and I’ve taken on some pretty meaty topics over the years. There’s been a lot of character assassination, a lot of pretty aggressive commentary because of my views, and it’s been very stressful. 14 years of writing doesn’t make you immune to it.

… but we’ve come out the other side. It might be harder being team positive, but people seem to prefer it. I get more traffic on all channels after a win, than a loss. That’s a big change. More people visit my Twitter page monthly than the blog by about double (people prefer to search and read than admit they follow). So the pivot is doing ok.

Arsenal is top 4. People are saying this is one of the most exciting projects in world football. We have a squad of players everyone loves. The fans are rocking in The Emirates.

What more could you ask for? I mean, bar all the good bits continue at a faster clip.

Arsenal might be back people, for once, the hope is well placed.

So here’s to everyone having a great send off this evening, here’s to your health and wellbeing, and here’s to us all having a spectacular 2022.

I love you all, thank you for keeping me going, see you in the comments. xxx

1,119 Responses to “HAPPY NEW YEAR x”

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  1. Thank. You and goodnight

    Oliver Holt
    Result harsh on Arsenal. With the benefit of video replay – which is surely supposed to be the point of VAR – crystal clear that Ederson fouled Odegaard in the box in the first half. Simply don’t understand why VAR does not give that.
    2:54 PM · Jan 1, 2022

  2. Thank. You and goodnight

    Henry Winter
    VAR will not work properly in @premierleague until the quality of the officials is improved. Inconsistency over the 2 #ARSMCI penalties, both were pens, only 1 given. Frustrates fans, players. Ruins game. Some good refs but overall quality not good enough for an elite competition
    2:13 PM · Jan 1, 2022

  3. Thank. You and goodnight

    So 2 well known sports journalist agree with majority of Arsenal fans. Attwell is not fit to ref as was shown when Godfrey got away with a blatant stamp on the face. As for the guy behind VAR, this isn’t Aussie rules football you prick, stick to the game you know about. Also can I just say I loathe pep, as overrated a manager as I’ve ever seen. Spent a billion pounds yet called a genius. Arsene Wenger was a genius, pep is just like those money grabbing hoes , choosing the richest clubs or a 2 club league to manage in. Anyone but city to win the title

  4. The Bard

    VAR issues aside, Martinelli should have taken one of those chances. His miss from a few yards out was a shocker. We either live with this for a few seasons while he matures or we buy another striker. Great performance from the team until Gabriel’s brain fade. Xhaka’s poor tackle on the box was nothing new. We have the nucleus of a decent side the next bit is the tricky bit.

  5. David Smith

    Atwell is a very poor referee, but ambitious with it, he knows exactly how to please his boss Riley., as most of them do.
    I would suggest, within the bounds of the stadium rules of course, fans in the stadium use this years passion and noise to make his life hell every time he visits.
    We do have some history with this ref
    I know this goes into the bounds of conspiracy theories, but I am still convinced the powers that be would rather other teams in the top four, we will have to fight this all season to get a place . Compare and contrast the refereeing we get with that of Utd, or Spurs

  6. CG


    “””believe there should be an enquiry as to why Attwell was so card happy towards Arsenal players”””

    Young Attwell clearly replacing the retiring Mike Dean as Arsenal’ s nemesis. Dean is probably giving him tips.

    A.Wenger would have gone x 100 games unbeaten and bagged x 6 league titles without Dean & Co shenanigans.

  7. Thank. You and goodnight

    @David Smith

    Yeah seems that when it comes to Arsenal we get many Michael Masi moments going against us. Enough is enough and it’s time Arteta twisted the pressure back on to them. He should call all the referee’s out and complai about them.

  8. Thank. You and goodnight

    Who remembers the unbeaten run coming to an end at old Trafford. United could of used their tractor/ cutter to run over and mutilate the majority of our players and would of got away with it, in fact he probably would of sent the Arsenal player off for turning the tractor off. Cheating cunts

  9. Bob N16

    TheBard, I agree with you that Martinelli should have scored yesterday but his performance as a whole was electrifying- he nearly scored two goal of the season candidates. My favourite moment was when he left a City player for dead when he feinted to slow down and then accelerated away leaving vapour trails. Cancelo can’t have faced many more challenging games this season.

    Martinelli is 100% worth a place in our starting line up and if he can improve his finishing, he’s going to be a player that all the top clubs would love to have in their squads.

    Let’s also not forget that we’re playing with a link man at CF not a great all rounder, a player that we’re targeting before the start of next season. Imagine the fun opposition defenders are going to have with Martinelli on the left, Saka on the right and a dynamic, skilful finisher in the middle!

  10. Thank. You and goodnight


    Yeah love our young lads, ESR,Saka and Martinelli. Ronaldinho rates him, all of Brazil rate him, klopp rates him, I think if he can remain injury free and continues with his progress we will have a real baller on our hands. Get in a proper 20+ a season striker, Martinelli, Saka, ESR and ode with a bit more experience will add another 10+ plus goals each from midfield and it’s been a long time since we’ve had a free scoring midfield

  11. Gonsterous

    Elneny for saka spoilt the game for me.

    Should have brought on pepe. Martinelli and pepe hitting them on the break would have been better than trying to absorb pressure in the last minutes of the game.

  12. Pierre

    Fantastic performance from Martinelli, great first touch, fast aggressive and played without fear..

    I thought he was a little unlucky in front of goal , the curler to the top corner would have been superb, a couple of good attempts after skinning the full back that were very close, he would have scored if the referee hadn’t decided to obscure his vision and subsequently snatched at the shot..

    At the moment he seems like a 60/70 minute player that loses energy and speed towards the final third of games, but the more he plays , the fitter he will become.