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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sly

He will never beat me ( Pep on arteta)

Thorough

To the

MidwestGun

Brilliant chess match of a game.. and we got Checkmate… with Martinelli.

TR7

Great result !! This City woodoo.needed to end.

Jesus a real nuisance for City in the second half.

Mozi

Fucking get in! COYG! Great subs from tets. Played really well 2nd half! Whatever he said at HT worked a treat!

Chrispy

Well fuck me sideways.

Un

Noticeable hiebabsent marko is
Wanker
Sniveling little wanker
Go and cry marko

Samesong

I don’t care who’s right or wrong. We beat city finally.

China1

all this talk of them beating us 100 times in a row. yes it’s a friendly but we beat them in the charity shield as well. we’ve won the last 2 matches and I don’t find that insignificant

London gunner

Amazing result beat the scum

ArGooner

Yes little afters fk off harland

Reggie

Massive fucking win

Wardo

Wolves beat city!! City are not at 100% focus against wolves

City be Arsenal? City treat as cup final and they lost

So enjoy and to all the people slating arsenal players, go hang your head in shame

COYG

City luck ran out. Soon the Spud luck will too…

Goona

Haaland little bitch owned by our back 4….

Zacharse

ZacharseOctober 8, 2023 06:24:49 even if whats going on in the west bank is the 2nd act in the foreshadowing of WW3, it shouldn’t overshadow what’s happening in a few hours time, at least on this blog, at least for those of us who’ve been coming here since we had cesc in our squad. not to get too sentimentally sappy but this really feels like a milestone moment. say what you will about mini pep lego head eyebrow guy yall love to hate. he’s done a lot. i like him. i liked him as a player. i like him as… Read more »

London gunner

That was a master class we played with intelligence more science than art. Hats off to Arteta

MidwestGun

Most tense I’ve ever been on every pass… But my God that was good.

Zomber

The test went well. On the pitch Rice was the best, but the motm is Arteta 10/10 fir both the game plan and man management

Goona

That win mentally for the players is EPIC….

China1

I was very concerned about Jorginho starting. thought he started badly in the first 20 mins. he was fantastic after.

rice, the back 4, Jorginho, Jesus, ode and Martinelli all put in the massive performances today.

I’d give MOTM to rice probably. fucking imperious, what a player

Aaron

Mikel w a G performance…

ArGooner

Even without Ake face that’d go in

Guns of SF

Ode, Jesus and Rice put in a mega shift

Madhu

Rice was the difference maker won all the duels

psuedo warrior

City players look like they’ve lost the hunger.

Arsenal have a huge chance this season, need to keep our players fit

Thorough

That’s what Partey brings – progressive passes Why we cant pair him with Rice permanently I don’t understand

zaco

i’m an advocate of taking shots within and around the area, anything can happen.

G8

Never in doubt 😆 🤣 😂 😹 😆
One nill to the Aaarsenalll!

LoveSausage

Credit to Arteta. He set the team up to be defensively solid and played a low margins game. It’s the only way to beat these cunts.

Dissenter

Declan Rice was immense, same as Odegaard

MidwestGun

How about TT getting forward for a box rush.. didn’t see that coming… sweet.

Guns of SF

Ake is a secret gooner
2 x now helped us

Madhu

Kai is better as false 9 not as left 8 please. His height gives him something to work with you too when Jesus doesn’t play there.

Marko

Don is gutted it’s another clean sheet and win for a keeper not named Ramsdale.

G

Some of you should just keep quiet before the game.. can’t win with this line up .. bla bla fuckin bla

Benjamin

Even Withouth Saka!

Markymark

Shit no 2-1 but 1-0 is fucking brilliant. C’mon you Gunners!

Matt

Rice was unbelievable today, that was almost a perfect performance. Ode wasn’t great with the ball at all today but I agree he worked his arse off.

salparadisenyc

Feels like a very pivotal moment for Arteta, whilst beating City we’ve just found our best Midfield and in that our best place for Havertz which is in the #9.

China1

man our defensive unit (Raya aside) was fabulous. their attack was absolutely wrecked by the entire defensive unit, that was world class. Gabriel and saliva showing themselves to be the best pair in the league. Zinchenko and white were also great. white nutmegging someone and skinning them near the end was proper showboating. fucking good player he is considering we have a fully fit Martinelli to return, Saka to return as well, that was a brilliant second half. absolutely brilliant. game was very entertaining as well. normally when there are no shots on target it’s because the game is ass.… Read more »

Moray

Brilliant. Horrible game. Great result.

Guns of SF

Kai just needs to really work on his speed. He seems so lethargic, was not aware of danger all round him, Not an intense player whatsoever. A sub false 9 maybe?

Luteo Guenreira

Had a feeling we would pull this out. Amazing result for us.

Dissenter

Arteta won the chess match today. He out-thought Pep
He got all the key decisions right today
All we Internet analysts, eh😄😄

Raulishuss

MarkoOctober 8, 2023 18:26:19 A lot of melts on here giving Odegaard stick and tbf he wasn’t good going forward but he puts in a shift every game.Rice great again. Nketiah absolutely shite again. Gabriel very good and Raya much better in the second half but special mention for Saliba today who came out on top against the best striker in the world. Absolutely one of the very best CB’s in Europe Absolutely nailed it. In big games especially what you can offer consistently off the ball is just as important as on it, ode gets this to a tee.… Read more »

Little Mozart

Well done!!!!

psuedo warrior

What an awesome way to head out to the Interlull

Marko

Honestly Rice has elevated his game since joining. He’s been immense and consistent and this is coming from someone who wanted Caicedo and thought he was overpriced. 105 million well spent it’s looking so far.

Of course Bellingham for less is looking like a steal with how he’s playing for Madrid

Mikel Coneteta

Declan Rice is a unit.

Havertz is an outlet at CF.

12 game losing run ended for the Arsenal, get in.

China1

yah rice was MOTM, that was a ridiculous performance against city. I hate clubs spending silly money on players but every time he plays all I see is value. he’s a bargain even at that price. stunning performance

MidwestGun

I thought all of our players had their moments today.. Not mad at anyone to be honest. But ya Rice was immense as was Martinelli. When I saw him come on at halftime .. I was like we are winning this. .

Batistuta

Rathet Havertz at 9 than Nketiah. Good to get the City hodoo off our backs

Spanishdave

As I said yesterday we miss Martinelli for his pace and being a bloody nuisance in the box.
Partey and Rice must play together.

Pv4

Yeah Rice is quick becoming a fan favourite. I think he’s a brilliant player. Massive game today from him. I’d like to see him made captain

Curse

CL and the league, the double is ON!!!!

Gunnernet

Boring game the one we would usually lose to city. Great win huge step moving forward phycologically. Mental Strength!

China1

anyone who thinks Ode didn’t have a good game wasn’t watching. he wasn’t flawless but his overall contribution was integral. he was mostly very good on the ball and was absolutely central in leading the players on in the second half. he was one of many difference makers.

Marko

Martinelli returning is a good boost. Lad is a vital player for us

Vickingz

Got the win, so happyyyyyyyyy

Goona

Rice….world class.

MidwestGun

Ohh and Kovacic is a cunt… he should have been sent off.

Gunnernet

City lost the battle of the midfield. Kovacic and Lewis never had a chance against Rice. Jorginho also did well. Kai with an assist. Timely subs to refresh the side from Arteta also

Dissenter

Odegaard has grown into that captain role
He leads by example
I suspect his production is down partly because he’s working so hard pressing and putting himself about

City used to beat us from us making defensive mistakes
Todays we didn’t make anyone that resulted in goals

Vickingz

We only needed a pacy attacker today and as soon as we got one, City folded

Guns of SF

Ake face shot was classic. Just seen the replay, damn looked like Ederson had that covered by props to Akes cheeks

salparadisenyc

As Eagle has said from Day 1 with few others, Martinelli is our only player that does that, purely vertical. ESR has a bit of it but not this level. He is our game changer and match winner.

China1

again all this talk of 12 games in a row was BS to me. we won the charity shield which is the last time we played them. it’s not a league game but it’s a trophy pep VERY MUCH wanted to win as could be seen by his erratic behaviour throughout that match.

we’ve beaten them BOTH times this season. don’t let the media let you forget….

Freddie Ljungberg

Another lucky goal but who the fuck cares, finally a win against City! Rice motm, Gabriel and Saliba immense. Ode worked his socks off, that’s the difference with him and another certain player who someone on here still can’t let go of. Even when he isn’t on his creative best he still doesn’t hide and does nothing. Jesus really good on the wing. Eddie awful. How Arteta can’t see the vast guld in class between him and every other player on that tch is beyond me. I don’t care how much he huffs and puffs in training he shouldn’t be… Read more »

Little Mozart

Buzzing….

Gunnernet

Did anyone get the feeling that it was tactical for Tomi charging the box. His header started everything after all

Dissenter

I think we miss Martinelli for the FEAR FACTOR he causes in the opposition
He draws at least two players away, same as Saka

Hopefully we will have both back in two weeks, starting together

Curse

Gotta say, haven’t been convinced on Rice, till today. His close control, speed of thought, passing accuracy and consistency playing forward passes was elite.

Chrispy

Didn’t think it was possible before the game. Wasn’t impressed with lineup but what the fuck do I know. So happy to be proved a melt.

China1

with Saka out, Martinelli returning was key. I pray we have a full strength team after the internationals.

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli again would be a beautiful thing. and with Partey back alive again, curious if arteta will put him at 6 and rice at 8. again.

dunno, just can’t wait for these fucking international borefests to finish already, who do we play next?

Chitrak

Rice is brilliant. Props to the center backs too. Martinelli is mustard. His gap with trossard is easy to get. Tomiyasu fantastic

Karsa

So much negativity pre game.

Unbelievably weak comments.

Great team selection and perfect subs.

Let Pep blink first with subs then counter with style.

Arteta won the stand off hands down.

Gonsterous

During the last 20 mins of the game, only one team looked like scoring and that was us. Finally a win against city. Next up chelsea FC. Lets bag them up real good.

MidwestGun

Yep.. Arteta got it right today… have to say it. When he does well he should get praise.

China1

our next match is Chelsea away

city’s next match is Brighton

if we can win this game, we might get lucky and find us stretching the gap on city

Marko

Nah Rice has been by and large very very good all season. Keeps it nice and tidy with his passing but his positional sense has been outstanding all season. Always in the right place making the right decision. Complete opposite of Xhaka when he was a holding midfielder

WengerEagle

Rice was fantastic yet again, what a signing he’s been so far. MOTM for me along with Martinelli who made all the difference when he came on and actually provided us with an outlet and cutting edge.

Cannot be understated what a huge win that is, not just Arteta’s record vs City but ours in general going back years is dreadful. I remember that win with Santi being at the heart of it in 2015 but outside of that can remember fuck all victories in the league.

Freddie Ljungberg

Against teams in the top half of the table maybe it’s time for a Partey-Rice combo and leave Havertz on the bench to come on late as CF?

We lose one attacking player with that lineup but it’s not like Havertz is pulling up any trees offensively in that left 8 anyway, might as well go with our best 11 players then.

Seems to be our best bet for now.

Pierre

Raya had a quality 2nd half ….redeemed himself ..

Half time I said We should win this game as we have a good bench, subs made the difference……absolutely solid at the back 2nd half , looks like the back 4 and Raya is here to stay …apparently city’s number of shots were the lowest under pep ever in the league.

Curse

Big shout out for Tomi, he initiated the winning move

Marko

I’ll give Mikel credit for taking off Zinchenko before he cost us a goal with another mistake. But Nketiah is a serious problem for him. He keeps starting him and keeping him on when he’s obviously playing poorly

Pierre

The pace and directness of Martinelli is what the side needed today and need for the future.

allezkev

I think that the result at Wembley was a precursor to today, it was the way to beat the best team in europe, you give them nothing but that means you sacrifice some attacking elements which doesn’t make for a good game but the ends justify the means. We were the better team in the second half and deserved the win, we’ve just gotta maybe control those nerves a bit better because the first half was hard core at times. Rice was amazing, Odegaard was all over the pitch, White was so solid and Saliba , was Haarland playing? Gabriel… Read more »

TR7

Raya got a lot of undeserved stick today. City were pressing like crazy especially Alvarez and these kind of things happen (misplaced passes). He is still better than Ramsdale.

Marko

WE I suppose a Saliba masterclass is so common now he doesn’t get a mention? I really enjoyed seeing him against haaland today

karim

TR7October 8, 2023 18:06:29
Why are people surprised that Ode hasn’t done anything. It’s almost like you guys don’t pay attention. He is a falt track bully, a pretender!!

Post of the week

rollen

Tets is the daddy now!

WengerEagle

I actually was more impressed by our solidity and in making City looking toothless than anything else even if we were average going forward which is to be expected in such a cagey fixture.

Haaland didn’t get a sniff, well handled by Galiba who are immense as a partnership, our best since Sol and Kolo.

karim

Yes we showed patience and maturity for once.
Good times

Steve

Saliba was awesome Haaland didn’t get a kick

Mikel Coneteta

Raya got no undeserved stick, he was terrible first half and almost directly cost a goal twice.

“Good pressing” doesn’t absolve that, he was a bombscare.

Was much better second half, as the team was collectively. One of our better defensive shifts as the game went on in recent memory at home. Glad we didn’t revert to type with some of our slack defending.

Dissenter

Glad we rested Saka
Arsenal can tell England he’s withdrawing from selection because they didn’t play him for the biggest game of our season
Had he played, even a few minutes that case would have been harder to make.

China1

our next 3 games are Chelsea, Sheffield Utd then Newcastle

next round the other interesting games are merseyside derby and city Brighton. I could see both games ending in a draw if we’re lucky

nothing other special matches next round, though of slight note is spurs’ next 2 matches are London derbies.

interestingly city play Utd after Brighton, so there’s another chance of dropped points.

salparadisenyc

Saliba bossing the Haaland on that run was pretty special, pocketed the shit out him.

Feels like Havertz in that 20 min has put forth another option and dimension to Eddie which is required barring some of the usual noise on here. Havertz did quite well offered some hold hope we really lack, far more control. And in that the MF picks itself sans Kai.

WengerEagle

Marko

Saliba is a victim of his own success in a way as he can be overlooked, yes. Comes with the territory of being one of the best CBs in Europe at 22 but oh do I love him very much.