ARTETA MATURITY TEST AWAITS

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Arsenal vs Manchester City hasn’t seen a win go the way of the red & white in 12 straight games. Not even a draw. We are extremely bad when it comes to City.

There’s no way of getting around it. We’re damaged goods psychologically when we see that lighter shade of blue line up against us. Now we’re the second-best team in the league, that quirk has to change. Losing twice to City last season cost us the league. If we want to be in with a sniff this time around, losing to them like that again cannot be on the cards.

There are some advantages for this game. KDB is definitely out; he can’t haunt us with his magic tomorrow. Rodri is suspended, there can be no magical horse-placenta-induced return for him. John Stones is ‘unavailable’ but we all know that’s Pep playing games, he was on the bench for Leipzig and didn’t play a minute, but that means very little. My hope is he’s rusty at the very least.

Arsenal have some problems they are dealing with.

Bukyao Saka is the biggest story. He’s on his 3rd injury in two weeks, best case scenario is the pull-up against RC Lens was fatigue-induced, and if that’s the case, he’ll very much be in the redzone. Arsenal have let England know they are still monitoring things and there will be a late test. I’m not sure I believe that for a minute. We’re 8 games into the season, rolling out our best player and subjecting him to the risk of aggravating an injury we’ve all seen would be beyond the pale of dimness. Arteta cannot possibly flirt with his starboy exiting the squad for 3 months.

The only thing that panics me there is he was clearly pushing for Saliba to play at the end of the last season. This is slightly different, we were chasing immortality then, we’re not quite there right now. Context is key here. The only reason Saka plays tomorrow is sheer ego – because I can’t imagine any medical/performance pro is looking at the last two weeks of Saka recommending he start – especially knowing the consequence of that is either an injury or a trip away with Gareth Southgate on international duty. I just can’t buy that we’d be able to play him tomorrow and negotiate him away from England. That would set a terrible precedent for Southgate.

There’s also the PR… fans will lose their minds if Arteta breaks a player because of his Pep G daddy issues.

We also have some other players teetering on the cusp I’m not so worried about. Thomas Partey will most certainly be ready to start if Arteta wants to roll with a double pivot. The idea of having Partey AND Rice will be intoxicating for him and I’d imagine Thomas will want to show the world what he can do against top opposition.

I’m also expecting to see Martinelli available and Trossard ready to start.

The major question for me is: How do we want to play?

Most teams success against City comes from playing a deepblock and hitting them in transition.

Arsenal don’t have deepblock in their new DNA. But we have the personnel to play that way this season. Kai Havertz hasn’t had a hero game yet, but wouldn’t it be fitting if he did playing as a loan striker? He gives us the physical edge we’ve lacked in important games, he can hold the ball up, he’s good a linking play, and I’d imagine his big game nature might be suited to this one.

This is also a huge one for David Raya. His start has been decent, but not wild yet. He will be the busiest he’s been all season against City. He needs to be switched on, his passing needs to be electric, and we cannot see any gaffs. The Ramsdalians will be watching closely.

Home games aren’t our best. The players try and go for the game too early on. There’s no patience. We have been prone to rolling out the dumb.

The key to City is don’t lose… the key to don’t lose is patience.

We need to be on our game tomorrow in a way we haven’t really seen this so far this season. The passing needs to click, players need to step up, and we need to offer up some serious clinicality.

I’m not sure what to think about the game – I’m intrigued more than anything else. Arteta is the most interesting character of the day.

Can he contain his ego when going up against his sporting Daddy?

Can he offer up Pep a true surprise with his tactics?

Can he contain his emotions and keep the players feeling relaxed?

Can he motivate his players to believe that they can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best?

We’ll learn a lot tomorrow – don’t lose is the key message. Don’t do anything dumb is the underlying one.

Let’s see where we land.

Also, check out our latest content below! We have an elite before the whistle – and Johnny spent some time with a City fan. Eat them up today! x

We also have a great free-to-air Manchester City fan interview.

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Geehok

Let’s get ‘em tomorrow and be where we belong!

TR7

Arteta has a terrible record against Pep, may be Pep understands his tactics very well. City have a few players injured, can we take advantage?

TR7

Rashford one of the most overrated players in the world. One trick pony who gets a lot of undeserved hype when he scores a few goals. His all-round football ability is very basic..

WengerEagle

ETH is surely close to being done, this will make it 7 defeats in their opening 10 of the season and they were incredibly lucky to get their Forest and Wolves wins.

Samesong

Burnley 💩
Luton 💩
Sheffield Utd 💩

TR7

Man United team is incredibly average in terms of quality too. ETH a very poor judge of players in my opinion.

Markymark

Looks fairly nailed on Luton / Burnley / Sheff Utd – relegated. I think even this early the win today for Everton more or less guarantees safety

WengerEagle

It’s absolutely absurd how hard a 20 year old Bellingham is carrying what really is a pretty ordinary Real Madrid side now with Benzema gone and most of their best players aged.

2 more goals for him today. Has any individual player won their club more points this season than him? Highly doubt it.

Chitrak

This stupid burnley is making Chelsea confident.

Samesong

This Palmer dude for Chelsea looks the real deal reminds me of ESR. I want to see more of ESR this season.

andy1886

Raya has been average at best. Very average. And it’s lone striker, not ‘loan’ although we may end up loaning Havertz to get his wages off the books at some stage. Hoping for at least a point, I think that Rice could make a difference with Rodri out of the picture for City. Need to be clinical for once though.

Markymark

Rashford can score near worldies though. If he was at Arsenal I could see him being as lethal as Van Persie

WengerEagle

RVP had more ability in his right pinky toe than Rashford throughout his entire body.

Leftside

Rashford had a 4 month purple patch and then those special Man United fans were crying into their cornflakes that he wasn’t nominated for the Ballon D’Or

Guns of SF

Come on Brentford hang in there

Guns of SF

How is martial still at Manure. So much hype ages ago, guess he just likes the bench

Guns of SF

Good post Pedro.
Building a team that can beat City should have been the ONLY plan last summer.
We have great players but are they able to do it? Regularly?
I think we bombed with Kai, Maddison much better option.
This is a real litmus test tomorrow

Josip Skoblar

Mbappé is taking a lot of flak from French media at the moment. His mind is not on football and he enjoys too much night-clubbing. In short, he is becoming complacent and lazy. It is time for him to leave the non-club called PSG or he is going to ruin his fabulous career.

andy1886

Kompany showing that this ‘City IP’ stuff is a complete load of bollocks. Difficult to play the City way without an absolute shitload of cash. Pep will be yesterday’s man at some point which is why I’d rather we develop our own methods than copy his (false nines, inverting FB’s, passing the ball to death etc.).

Guns of SF

I cant stand Mbappe. Full of himself

TR7

Pedri will have a better career than Mbappe, mark my words !!

Josip Skoblar

De Zerbi told Italian media that his football inspiration is Milan AC from the early 1990s with Maldini, Baresi, etc.

Zacharse

” Kai Havertz hasn’t had a hero game yet, but wouldn’t it be fitting if he did playing as a loan striker? ”

come for the inside info, stay for the dyslexia

on a serious note, its gonna be weird tomorrow. no rodri/kdb/saka. total free for all. at some point tactics won’t make any difference and players need to step the fuck up and write some history.

and what a whiff by antony, my god gonna be a long season up north

Josip Skoblar

Mbappé is cocky but also clever. He just plays for the most useless and toxic club in the world.

TR7

Brentford GK should have done better there.

Zacharse

whatever, utd were always gonna put one in
im just loving the benny hill shit, garnacho now

raptora

Flekken has done a shit job as Brentford’s GK. But his job is safe with Strakosha competing. What a garbage GK.

That’s prolly a good score for us. ETH gets to stay for longer.

Benjamin

Ten Hag stays for now!

Zacharse

too funny. mctominay their new CF

how long til the celebration police arrive

TR7

And Brentford GK again…..such a poor performance.

Northbanker

I see Myles Lewis Skelly signed his first professional contract yesterday

Great news – he will be challenging Rice very soon

MidwestGun

Whenever Pedro goes hard for one position.. like Saka shouldn’t play.. …..he plays. hahaha

So I expect him to… and the internet to break.

Leftside

Good news imo, a jammy win which prolongs the comedy show over at OT a little while longer. They’re going nowhere fast with ETH.

Paulie

How bad is that Brentford goalkeeper

Josip Skoblar

United win. Fergie time…

China1

Crap capitulation

Unfortunately all my predictions about our rivals winning is coming true

You honestly have to laugh tho when Utd are so poor that they need Mctominay to come on as a sub and score two injury time goals to save them

Zacharse

china
there was a lot to laugh at in the last 15 of that game ffs!

Ramdas

“Pedri will have a better career than Mbappe, mark my words !!”

Seriously doubt it. Mbappe just needs to be at a club where he’s just playing and not calling the shots. He’s just too good – speed, ball control, dribbling, passing, shooting – he’s got almost everything but heading, so not sure how Real line up with him AND Vini jr. As a pure CF, I’d rather have Haaland…

Madhu

I was saying this earlier but Arteta mimicking Pep will not.worl.we are Ars eal.andwe need our one style. It’s should be real deal not some.copied version of pep. Unless Arteta discovers his own Mojo and style.he cannot.beat Pep.

Zacharse

mid
even if saka plays, it wont be like he’s actually playing. he won’t make it to the 60th if he starts and if he pops on for the last 10-15 min that would be the only worthwhile risk to take in a close game

Zacharse

RamdasOctober 7, 2023 17:07:26
“Pedri will have a better career than Mbappe, mark my words !!”Seriously doubt it. Mbappe just needs to be at a club where he’s just playing and not calling the shots.

somewhere like madrid for instance… derp

Habesha Gooner

Ten Hag has totally shot the bed at United. Most of the players he signed have been average. He stays for now, but United are in trouble.

I would go with a Havertz Trossard and Jesus frontline for City with Partey back in the middle with Rice and Odegaard. Saka should only play if he is fit. Anything else isn’t needed.

Siddeeq

Arsenal struggle to defend cutbacks.

Doku will make runs into the box from the flanks, our defence will focus on Haaland, Alvarez /Silva will be free.

You can take this to the bank!

Chris

Surely Burnley, Sheff Utd and Luton is the worst class of promoted teams there has been in many years.

Kind of expected with the latter two but Burnley you may have expected more from although in mitigation their fixture list has been a tough start.

Looks like Leicester are coming straight back up, already ten points clear of playoff places

Chris

The “you jammy bastards” phrase was created for Man Utd

WengerEagle

Mbappe is a generational talent but he’s more Neymar than Messi.

Can see his career going off the rails a bit potentially if the desire dies like with Neymar.

Dissenter

Knowing us, we’ll probably gift City an early goal and everything with go south from there

If I were Arteta, k wouldn’t play Saka tomorrow because that will invite Southgate to beast him over the international break.

into the red

Arteta will play Saka tomorrow, with the intention of pulling him off after an hour, and hope that makes the difference. Then, if he’s smart, will tell Southgate he is not releasing him, so he can have a break. Tets has a history with gambling on players’ fitness, he’s not going to change now.

raptora

The Football Association and Arsenal are considering a compromise over Bukayo Saka’s involvement for England next week which is set to see the attacker rested for the game versus Australia.

Supposedly.

Dissenter

Arteta doesn’t have the right to say he;s not releasing Saka, except there’s a medical reason to do so.
…and the England medical team reserves the right to verify that “injury”.

Then there’s Saka, he won’t agree to that because he looks like he does enjoy playing for England.

Samesong

Doku was doubled up by Wolves players.

Nigel Tufnel

Mysticleaves, Again, respect for sticking with your positions on Onana and TenHag. Nobody else on LG will even admit in a comment they were wanking over them for 2-3 years at least. I still disagree of course. Most everyone that was even interested in him as a keeper must seriously be put off, and thankful that United jumped for him. For Ten Hag the wheels are already coming off regardless of today’s result. Ten Hags personality is fine for Dutch, German, or clubs without expensive stars (overpaid)… for that he’s never going to be successful at United or Chelsea, and… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Dissenter,

We all know that any tiny discomfort and diagnosis can be enough justification to refuse to send a player. We all see Pep doing it, and others.
I wouldn’t be frightened by the phrase about England verification.. it’s a bluff.

It all depends on whether Saka really wants to go.
I get the feeling that he enjoys the experience and looks forward to starring for his nation. He’s really well liked by England teammates I’ve noticed.
Plus…… he’s also a Bible boy who might not want to lie or exaggerate about his condition.

Siddeeq

Wolves played 3 CBs and LB Nouri, RB Semedo.

5 defenders in total

Berg10kamp

Arteta should risk Saka if he is even 70% fit, this is a big game and will be massive psychologically if we beat City. Without kdb and rodri we stand a good chance. I do however also think Saka pulling up against Lens was a smoke screen, arteta is capable of playing these games. Saka may get injured but he is strong and won’t be out for long. If we win its gives us the impetus and confidence we need for this season.

Ernest Reed

I’d like to believe that Arteta will become Captain Sensible, but history and that massive head of his will never permit common sense to even inch into his thinking. So he plays his horses, risks everything now and for what, short term glory?

As much as I believe Arteta to be a major league dickhead, even he can’t be so ridiculously stupid as to throw away the season so early…can he???

There is more to potentially lose tomorrow than just a game to ManCity. Here’s hoping that there is an inkling of common sense made available to Arteta.

Nigel Tufnel

Midwest, Pedro went hard for a long period of time that Ramsdale would be replaced because Arteta wasn’t satisfied. Most people didn’t believe it, I scoffed…..but he got that one very right. As always I’m guilty of not watching or appreciating opposing players enough… as most of us are. I love Aaron, and I don’t like him being cast aside, but if I’m purely going on attributes… I give a slight edge to Raya.. but it’s still a small sample so far. I love sweepers, and Arteta is using him as an eleventh ball player more than any other manager… Read more »

Bertie Mee

Start Havertz instead of Jesus …really?

Samuel

Saka must play vs City. No other way around it now. He should have been taken off at HT last weekend and ESR should have started instead of him in the UCL game but those ships have sailed.

raptora

TikiTakaConnor 16m
Bukayo Saka expected to start against Manchester City. Gabriel Martinelli in contention to be in the squad also.

Zacharse

“I’d like to believe that Arteta will become Captain Sensible, but history and that massive head of his will never permit common sense to even inch into his thinking.”

oh thats right The Damned support CP

Vickingz

Arteta should save his face by not playing saka tomorrow, he doesn’t need to rush or risk any player, he made his bed this way so he should enjoy it. No player’s career should be played with by a manager who talks more than he thinks. One thing is sure tomorrow, Pep schools galaxy brain again

rollen

There is no excuse for not beating City tomorrow at home. How many games in the row is Atreta planning to loose to City?

rollen

Premier League table looks disgusting too.

jwl

raptora – was just reading arsenal twitter and Saka has been seen with squad at team hotel tonight.

rollen

not 13 times in the row.

Morgy C

Whilst I’m desperate for him to succeed, even if Havertz has a blinder tomorrow, for me the jury is still out. Even when Pepe came in, there was a contribution every 2-3 games. With Havertz we haven’t seen that in the slightest.

On the game, I take the draw – I know it’s negative but at least it shakes CIty – they haven’t drawn against us in 5 years or so – shows times are a changing

Aaron

Need to smash $h*tTy without rodrI and kdb end of, question is can Arteta do it without playing Saka?
$ dollar question…..

Nigel Tufnel

I had been assuming spurs would finish 8-10th this season. Now seeing how bad Ten Hag and Pochettino are doing.. I think they can get 5th-6th.. 5th is champions league. They will have a lot of this good luck balancing out in the next 30 games. So no threat to us in the end. That’s why I was cheering for them to beat Liverpool. Spuds place in the table does not worry me. It’s just like those late Wenger teams looking good near the top for a while in most seasons. Same inevitable failure. No other clubs worried about us… Read more »

Aaron

Pedro,

You are correct.
Was assuming that those 2 would be playing for sure.
Feel way more confident if Partey plays as long is it in not at inverted rb at the expense of Zinc on the left.

Let’s go!

Guns of SF

If TP is RB , then I dont know man.

Gonsterous

The only reason arteta has such a terrible terrible record against pep (never won against pep in the league), is his stubbornness to change tactics against the best team in the country. Going head to head only results in one outcome. If arteta does the same today, it will be the same result. Play defensive and soak up pressure, play for the draw and counter attack intelligently. Only then do our chances go slightly up to get a point or a win. Sure it will infuriate pep that his disciple used those tactics but arteta has to decide whether he… Read more »

Gonsterous

If we play Eddie and hacertz, then we are already playing with 10 men. Another galaxy brain addition in TP playing at RB and we will be playing with 9 men.

MG42

Arteta has met Pep 7 times in the EPL and lost every time, Sunday evening it will be 8 times and if Pool or BHA plus Villa win, Arsenal will be 5th with trailing City by 4. Enjoy the pain on Sunday and many will then analyze why we are playing worst than last season and it all will point to only one person.

Aaron

Guns,

How you feeling about this?

Ambivalent in that if our team get’s too pumped, that is exactly what pup wants us to do, not so good, however, Rice and Partey are both really calm with the ball, can stabilize our mid and shield back line, we have a damn good chance.

Score first, and even feel better about the game.

Madhu

https://www.givemesport.com/arsenal-best-academy-prospects-emirates/#ethan-nwaneri This is the only way to find out own path to success. Not an expensive reject from Chelsea. We are The Arsenal and we have to integrate Academy players better into squad and not just as fillers. If not scrap the Academy and just keep buying rejects from other clubs. Let’s see how.many of these prospects does Arteta really integrates. I am prepared to die with academy players playing than a Kai trudging uninspiringly in the midfield. We have to chatt our own course and not copy Man C. They sole Cole Palmer a kid from their own academy… Read more »

allezkev

Saka and Martinelli back, who would have thought it?
Partey in the squad, maybe a starter?
Timber back in the gym…

Gotta say the medical dept at Arsenal certainly seem to have gone up a couple of levels.

China1

You have to say if the England CMs can maintain club form for country, a midfield 3 of rice Bellingham Maddison would be the best midfield in the world. One of the best 6s, an amazing 10 and a ballon d’or contender at 8. You can’t ask for more than that for your country

Guns of SF

Aaron
I think we score first. But I think early, and they equalize. then its a matter of wills, who wins the game.
I think we win 2-1

Guns of SF

China
Imagine Bellingham instead of Kai in our midfield.

Guns of SF

Madhu
Mike does not really seem to consider the academy a place to pluck from. He would rather buy expensive washed up Chelsea crud.
Timber was a really nice pick up, hope he works out. Thats waht we need more of, scouting other countries, getting their good talent if he is gonna ignore the academy.
Please no more EPL rejects.
Someone needs to put a clause in his contract. ” you cannot buy anymore chelsea players”

Madhu

GOF I agree. I can’t see a player who shows no passion or understand the previlage of playing for AfC anywhere close to my club. I am fine with rice and Timber thye show it us as to hwk previlage they are to play for us. But Kai trudging along with no passion just infuriates me when we have ESR and other prospects. We are anyways not doing great with him might as well play our Hale enders and get exp. I livid at how they are being treated

China1

Bellingham Ode Rice would be a ridiculous midfield yeah – the best in the world. Nice dream!

China1

We should be banned from buying Chelsea players in any way shape or form lol

None have been worth it. Pretty please be the exception Kai, I really don’t enjoy bagging on our own players.

Guns of SF

China,
If Kai gets the game winner, is all forgiven?

jwl

“Still, counterattacks remain the most effective way to upset City, as Loïs Openda demonstrated with his goal for RB Leipzig on Wednesday …. Brentford were the only team to beat City twice last season: they did so with 25% possession away and 32% at home. Last weekend Wolves beat City with 32% possession … Going into the bunker, though, is not enough: there must also be an attacking threat, ideally initiated by somebody who can carry the ball in wide areas. Pedro Neto’s runs advanced the ball an astonishing 215 metres last Saturday, Dejan Kulusevski’s 130m when Spurs beat City… Read more »

Guns of SF

I hope Martinelli is fit enough, another injury to him, if he is being rushed back would really suck ass.
TP also,
Saka, starboy, take them cortisone shots.

I think our talisman tomorrow is Rice. Without KDB or Rodri I expect him to eat them for breakfast.

WIth TP in the double we should win that midfield battle easily.

Madhu

I am sorry but as of now I don’t have the confidence in Arteta that he would worked magic with Jude. He would have stifled him in a regimented style and run him into ground. These prodigious talents doesn’t need micromanagement but a unlocking of their potential with minor tweaks and giving the confidence and freedom to use their talent to affect games.

China1

I really think with rice so good as a single pivot we really should be looking at having the left 8 be more creative attacking threat Yes single pivots are at risk on the break but if you have one this good and your attacking players are top quality you can force the issue more and pin teams back That’s why I’d like to see ESR, Trossard or Vieira in that role more often. OR Kai has to do much more. I’m afraid being good off the ball and keeping things ticking over isn’t enough. Xhaka last year had all… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Mg42gd4 – the VPN king Catastrophizing the future: “Arteta has met Pep 7 times in the EPL and lost every time, Sunday evening it will be 8 times and if Pool or BHA plus Villa win, Arsenal will be 5th with trailing City by 4. Enjoy the pain on Sunday and many will then analyze why we are playing worst than last season and it all will point to only one person.” Why even bother with sport with this miserable attitude? Must be fun down the pub or at parties. What on earth did they do to you in your… Read more »

China1

Madhu there’s definitely two types of players Those who benefit from help and instruction to achieve their potential and those who you need to leave the hell alone and let them do their thing without much intervention That’s why wenger succeeded with his early teams. He is a totally hands off manager but he inherited a big bunch of players who had already been really well drilled (especially the defense) and added to them players who fit his hands off style (our midfield and attack). The defense already knew how to organize itself and the attack just needed setting free… Read more »

Freddie Ljungberg

China

“he’d make a farting run”

Yeah, we definitively need some more of those, will confuse the hell out of City.

Nigel Tufnel

China, ESR is really giving exciting vibes for the first time in 2 years or so. Until now I was a bit reserved on him because he was undependable and ran out of gas early always. He really looks a stronger physical specimen now, and some of that attacking spark is evident again. Even tracking back and combative play from him for the first time ever. Even though I’m one of very few Havertz backers (he’s going to come good with goals and assists, and he’s been good in midfield already)… if Emile pushes his way into the lineups nothing… Read more »

Guns of SF

Rice and Partey gassing the midfield area out, ill take it!
No city players will be anywhere in sight

China1

LOL Freddie.

I stand by what I said!!

Madhu

China precisely and I didn’t mention Wenger because he is pariah in Pedros blog. The football that we are seeing is not inventive in yeh final third and very regimented. It’s virtually playing with a permanent handbrake on. We go outside then come inside then gain go outside to another flank come.insidefo backwards and so on. Stretching yeh defence is fine but if you are not going to take advantage of spaces and move the ball fast or dribble aggressively then what’s the point.

Guns of SF

norotateta

China1

Yeah trossard was our best player in pre season

Don’t understand why it’s only injuries that allowed him into contention in the league

That guys finishing is 🔥

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