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Man City vs Arsenal In The Shadow of Covid-19

#MCIARS at 15:15, Wednesday, June 17, 2020

It’s been more than 3 months since Arsenal last played. For a while it looked like the season would need to end prematurely. But thankfully, it seems the effects of the virus have not been as bad as earlier feared. Not enough anyway to override the profit motive of the PL, who have decided to end the women’s league. (Money talks – Editor)

Cynicism aside, I am really pleased to have Arsenal back. It may not be a new season, but it almost feels like it. A similar sense of excitement, and also no real idea of what we will look like once we get to the league. Highlights of a couple of friendlies are all we got. But hopefully, this break has allowed the Arsenal players to get more familiar with our new manager and his methods. The players have been given regular assignments and training programs, and I must say, they came back looking quite fit.

I wonder if that will also be the case for our opponents, the previously unstoppable ManCity.

Of course Pep Guardiola is Arteta’s mentor and famously demanding of his players. So you can be sure that he will have done the same for them as Mikel has done for ours. But will those players have the same desire? Soon to be unseated as Champions and nothing left to fight for in the league, the Champions League would be their dream. A European ban looms though, which could be either a motivating factor, or lead them to be distracted and question their futures at the club.

Arteta of course will not make the mistake of underestimating the team he spent 3 and a half years with and knows all about. I’m sure it will be somewhat of a surreal experience for him, but I’m looking for him to give us an edge in a way similar to how he was for City when facing Arsenal.

This is a difficult game to start things off for Arsenal, but no less important. We’re currently in 9th place. A win would see us overtake Tottenham in 8th, and draw level on points with Wolves, both of whom have played a game more. Sheffield United are 3 points ahead and play Aston Villa before our game kicks off.

The top 4 race keeps it interesting and is important from a financial perspective. But I don’t believe this season needs to be about that. All I’m hoping for is to see us play some good, entertaining football. See us build our style of play, develop our youngsters, and have a ready platform to build on next season. If we can gain a CL spot, and/or the FA Cup along the way, that will be a bonus. For now, I’m just happy that Arsenal are back. It’s been a long 3 months, but hopefully, it’ll have been worth the wait.

Things to look out for:

  • Whether Arsenal go toe-to-toe with City in a possession based attacking game.
  • How our players cope with the City press.
  • Players’ fitness. When the Bundesliga started there were a few players who were quite visibly not up to the usual fitness levels. But even for those players where this is not the case, it has still been 3 months away from competitive football. The rust might take some time to shake off.
  • How the referees officiate the game without the pressure of the crowd, and with the TV mics able to pick up any conversations they have. The referee is Anthony Taylor.
  • Goal celebrations. Are the players going to celebrate goals in a socially-distanced manner?

It’s a new world and a new start, and I will be making no predictions about the starting lineup going forward. A losing proposition anyway. As are score predictions. But just as a bit of fun, I have a sneaky feeling we’ll win this. Martinelli to score the winner.

Written by @ShardGooner.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Shard – Interesting how your questions panned out.

    Whether Arsenal go toe-to-toe with City in a possession based attacking game. – NO

    How our players cope with the City press. – Very well, Not even David Luiz who was beaten by the press. Instead he was let down by two moments of madness.

    Players’ fitness. – Nothing surprising. Both teams showed pre-season levels of fitness.

    How the referees officiate the game – Same old. Anthony Taylor showed his usual level of inconsistency that saw him let Mari go without even a foul for pulling down Nketiah but a red card to Luiz for a similar but admittedly more blatant offense.

    Goal celebrations. Are the players going to celebrate goals in a socially-distanced manner? – Yep.

    You forgot to ask; who is going to cock this up for Arsenal?

    Reply
  2. Hello!

    A decent start against these opponents from the callow decimated midfield that Raul has left to the club before…

    We knew all we needed to know about Luiz before Raul and his network benefitted from the players overpriced move to the Arsenal after not playing much football for the previous two years (what is an athlete? Raul does not know the answer, evidentially).

    Of significance yesterday was the dodgy call that might keep the Villans in the league.
    Those running this league couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery, or a decent national football team.
    Evidentially.

    Reply
  3. when the nasty idiots were frothing at the mouth towards the greatest coach any of them will ever see , including these awful parasitic bloggers, we did warn them all about the vampires that they were enabling.

    They only way any of them could ever begin to repair the damage done to the club that they say they love is by mustering the footballs to call these vampires out.

    It’s not hard.

    But to this date only one has began to admit his Great error without having the footballs to admit it but by beginning to echo what has long been said here about the vampires that were circling the club and who were then enabled by these very clowns and idiots to enter and suck on the marrow of the corpse they intend to leave behind them (much to the Kronkes delight, otherwise how is Raul still in his job?).

    With Raul still at the club Arteta’s job is impossible.
    This is simple stuff. Not complicated.

    Reply
  4. Well that didn’t go as planned.

    But two injuries wouldn’t have helped before David Luiz dropped probably the worst performance in the history of the game. I liked that he was willing to face the press afterwards and say he was at fault, but it was frankly a bizarre interview. Something to do with his contract and maybe he was just in a bad state of mind? I don’t know.

    Auba cut a frustrated figure when players didn’t pick out some, honestly very obvious, runs. People link that to Ozil, and it’s unfortunate that once again he becomes a topic of distraction rather than discussion for his abilities on the field.

    From so much hope, we suddenly look like a team on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Conflict and drama. Arteta’s got a major job to get things right. But a win in the next game and it should all calm down a bit.

    Still no one’s asking why Raul is even in his job. He alienated Koscielny to bring in Kia’s client David Luiz, for a larger transfer fee and more money. At this point it doesn’t even make sense to ask Kroenke to make funds available (funds that he took out of players’ pockets – but not Ozil’s) Any funds we have will be ill spent by this monster we’ve let in. While Raul is here, we’ll never be on an upwards trajectory. Hopefully Mikel’s voice will be heard by Josh and Stan over the fat Montana’s.

    Reply

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