BIGGEST GAME OF THE DECADE

by .

I’m writing this the night before the game.

Why am I not scared?

What is this tingling feeling… ah, it is confidence. A sensation I have not felt in an away game at City in many a moon.

But it is justified.

Arsenal is the best team in the Premier League this season, by any metric. We fight and control, we have big-game players, our defence is beastly, and our attack is on fire.

Professional footballers tend to peak between 27 and 31. Arsenal doesn’t have many players over the age of 26 years old. Why am I telling you that? Because a game like the one we’re about to face is a learning experience on the biggest stage in the world. If we win, we’ve managed nerves in a big game. If we lose, we’re going to have to learn to bounce back for two competitions. If we draw, we’ve learned to manage a big game away from home and escape unscathed.

Whatever happens, we’ll be developing our IP code stack. Don’t buy that? Look at how long it took the most expensively assembled squad in the league to win a Champions League final under the greatest manager of all time.

Football is a process. Big teams don’t happen overnight. Our wage bill is about half of the team we’re about to play. Our trophy cabinet is empty by comparison.

We are winning just by being part of a moment like this.

To give the game context Gary Neville has not… during the battle years between Klopp and Pep, neither manager won away at their major rival in the big moments. Maybe Liverpool beat City in the COVID season when it didn’t matter? I can’t be arsed to look.

This is an article from March 4th.

But City’s difficult run at Anfield goes back well before Guardiola’s arrival. Across their 26 Premier League trips to Anfield, City have recorded only TWO wins.

Seventeen of those meetings have ended in defeat for City, who have only claimed seven draws there.

I think Liverpool’s last success at The Etihad in 2018 in the CL quarter-finals.

Whatever the stat… it is a rare occasion when the two giants of the last 5 years take a win away from home.

So when Gary Neville says Arsenal’s inexperienced squad of youngsters needs to win… he’s teeing us up for a fall. It’s weak sauce analysis from a guy that fears his ‘I don’t get the strategy’ comment will be hung in the Premier League Hall Of Fame before he is.

Anything more than 0 points would be huge. If we lose, it’s not over. If we win, we haven’t won anything yet.

It’s an exciting match-up. Arsenal weren’t great against Porto in the first leg. Nerves got the better of us. Will we let the occasion get the better of us in the game today? Or will the fact we’ve tasted victory against them already reduce the fear factor?

My big worry is the Premier League has put Jarred Gillet on the game. He’s an awful, awful official, and the league just loves dumping him on big games despite his Liverpool fandom. Having someone so controversial in the VAR room for a game this important shows you how flawed the process at PGMOL is.

Selection-wise, the only major concern will be Martinelli. He can run, the risk is 1) did he feel pain in the last training session 2) is he actually fit enough 3) is it worth risking a monster player with 25% of the season still to run.

I think we’ll see Gabriel Jesus. He was a winger for City, he’s better than Trossard, and he’ll absolutely relish the chance to put one on Pep G.

Then there’s the second big question: Do you keep going with Kiwior, or do you introduce Zinchenko to help unpick a 4 center-back setup?

So many questions… they’re all about to be answered. I cannot WAIT for this game.

Just remember Arsenal fans… we didn’t think we’d ever be in conversations like this again. Here we are. Try to enjoy it.

If you want to join us LIVE after the game, sign up to our Patreon and get involved in a big one! x

PATREON LIVE LINK

472 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Luteo Guenreira

“I’m not the biggest fan of Jesus but today he has been immense at the back”

We’ll see how Tets plays it. I don’t completely disagree, prioritizing Jesus’s industry away at City is probably the smart play but I don’t want us to play for a draw either.

Goona

We’re always crap when Jesus plays…look at our run in last season, he came straight back in and our play/ dynamic completely died….

Useroz

Ffs Lewis bumped Jesus not the other way

Useroz

Jesus missed a foot to score a sitter

LaPlonk

Jesus – no anticipation

LoveSausage

Jesus has no instinct for a goal. Why doesn’t he just peel off Akanji??

Useroz

Gone up a few notches in intensity… still no cards amazing

C’mon Arsenal

Dissenter

Jesus is doing God’s work tpday
This is one of his best games in recent times
If he stays healthy, anything is possible

ArGooner

Now it be heated..get in gunners

Useroz

We now playing more in the final third… c’mon

TheLegendaryDB10

Jesus getting closer to scoring a goal.

Come on you Gooners!!!

Sakablyat

City looks more nervous than us

ArGooner

Jesus off please…trosson

Luteo Guenreira

I don’t know what Rico Lewis has done to earn a cap besides be a City player.

ArGooner

Take him down Fabby

ArGooner

Brains trust looks little nervous

Goona

Defending to deep, conceding far to much ground….

Luteo Guenreira

There’s been a bit of a momentum shift the last couple minutes. Can’t lose our heads.

Useroz

City 2 subs
Foden
Kovacic
Off

LoveSausage

Dumb and Dumber coming on. We need to take advantage.

Dissenter

I effing hate Grealish
He’s had his way with his too many times

rollen

Pep is going for it!

LoveSausage

Diss,

He’s the English Gervinho.

Luteo Guenreira

Pep taking off Kovacic for Grealish, he’s going for it.

Tomi coming in cold to the game where his error cost us last season, not sure I agree with it.

Vickingz

As shitty as United was, they played city better than this. These crops of players are ever learning but never maturing. Arteta is hoping things would remain the same cos he’s confused as usual.

Useroz

Tomi and Partey to come on

London gunner

Foden is a much better player than grealish happy about that sub

Useroz

Jorginho and Kiwior off

Mysticleaves

Arteta reacting to pep’s sub is awesome to see. The subs also tells the tale of who wants what in the game. I think a draw suits us down to a tee

rollen

Jesus guarding Halland.

LoveSausage

Let’s hope TP has worked off the rust.

TheLegendaryDB10

Interesting.

Tomi on for Kiwior.

And Partey on for Jorgi.

raptora

Jesus has negative IQ absolute melt…. Wtf????

Goona

Ffs get Jesus off

rollen

Good subs, is Partey ready?

Useroz

Finally a card for Jesus carrying another ball haha. C’mon don’t get yourself sent off man

ArGooner

Now tries and mb esr…get some attack going

Le Groove

Strong changes. So many decisions going for City ffs

Dissenter

I don’t like these rusty legs coming in
Party and Tomi have more cobwebs than a Sarcophagus

LoveSausage

Jesus should be subbed off for that. Wtf is he doing?

ArGooner

Tross

DMDM (formerly DM)

Wtf Jesus?! Absolute twat for doing that, obvious booking, and for what?!

Vin

Jesus is secretly playing for City by rallying up the crowd

Wardo

I can’t help but think we’ll only score if martinelli is on the pitch. Maybe he can come on for last 15 mins

Le Groove

Trossard for Jesus pls

Useroz

Greta booting it out Ben

Dissenter

You can see the rust all over Tomi

Useroz

Where’s the card for Silva??

Goona

Thank fuck for that the BOSS! come on!!

Useroz

Trossard for Jesus. 💪💪💪

Le Groove

How the f is that not a yellow for Silva?

LoveSausage

Let’s go Tross! Settle this!

Vickingz

We can all see how useless Gab Jesus is as a winger and as a striker.

rollen

How is it not yellow for silva? ref is a bent twat!

TheLegendaryDB10

Tross the Boss for Jesus.

Good sub by Tets.

rollen

Poor game from GJ.

TheLegendaryDB10

I really don’t like when we shoot our corners at the first post.

We always, always lose possession.

Aim for the middle ffs!!

Goona

Saka is having a fucking mare

Useroz

Saka isn’t 100%surely to consider a sub ?

Scrappy Doo

raptora

Saka is absolutely disinterested or wtf is he doing??? Literally playing for City today.

LaPlonk

Saka way off it – needs to be subbed

Useroz

Martinelli ready

Luteo Guenreira

Interesting to see Partey pressing further up the pitch than Rice. This isn’t a grouping we’ve seen at all this season and it’s making me nervous.

rollen

Saka is bad today too.
Chatty have much more experience.

gunnerman

Whole team is off today. I’m very certain we would be much better if this game didn’t come right after the internationals

Davedale

Get saka off he has been a liability all game……

Le Groove

Yesss Gabi! Come on!

LaPlonk

Partey just bloody strolling!!!!

Goona

Agree saka hasn’t turned up…no idea how he’s still on the pitch!

TheLegendaryDB10

Marti getting ready.

Yes!!!!

Spanner

Saka needs to quicken up those clearances

Useroz

Rather we overnight the final ball than under… City got a couple counters from the intercept

Big Tone

Another big game disappearance from Odegaard.

Dissenter

Doku aint no Mahrez

raptora

Marti on the right gonna be interesting.

Dissenter

Saka isn’t 100%
It’s like we patched him up for today

Le Groove

Partey not bothering to run?

LaPlonk

Saka should have been off 20 mins ago

rollen

Good subs today Tets!

Marti for a winner!

LoveSausage

Why do we do this? Suck an unnecessary booking…

TheLegendaryDB10

Saka indeed is subbed off.

He wasn’t 100% today.

LaPlonk

Already looking better with GM on

Useroz

Great play Odegarrd good try Martinelli

C’mon Arsenal

andy1886

It’s pretty obvious that Saka isn’t 100% fit, not even close, no need for the negative comments tbh.

rollen

Halland fouling Saliba from his pocket.

Jamie

Brave of Martinelli to be playing with a broken foot, says Dr Nigel.

TheLegendaryDB10

We are defending so well today.

Spanner

Ode’s having a fine game. This is the European champions we are playing

Leftside

Saka was penned in, basically playing the RB role today.

ArGooner

Cut foot not broken

LaPlonk

A point looking good at this stage – we have had zero threat in 2nd half

Leftside

I am very tense and nervous but this has been a strange strange game. You wouldn’t know anything is on the line by the pace, atmosphere etc.

Wardo

If we score now make no mistake this is a tactical master class

Come on Arsenal

ArGooner

Squeaky bum time

Luteo Guenreira

Tomi and Partey have had some atrocious touches today.

Dissenter

We have two rusty players in the defensive half as we try to close pout the game

Useroz

Ffs Trossard should roll to Martinelli omg

Mysticleaves

Partey doing what only partey can do. Glorious player.

Leftside

Tross had to hit that across goal for a tap in