Are Arsenal good enough defensively to get a result at Man City?

As you know, once a week I predict on the Premier League, so I was simply going to wait till the next round of fixtures.

But seeing as though tonight’s game represents the first chance to see Arsenal in 3 months, I thought I would give a more detailed breakdown of my thoughts on our trip to Man City.

I read a lot of wishful thinking about why we can get a result. No fans, players lacking sharpness, and Arteta having had a first lengthy spell to work with his squad are the most common. Yet I think some gooners are trying to convince themselves. You can twist details to suit your argument. The fact is, are we good enough defensively to get a result? If you had to put money on it, you would have to say no.

We are currently 9th in the League. They say the table doesn’t lie. 9th means you are fairly inconsistent. It means you have talent who can be very good one game and not great the next.

I read an article a couple of weeks ago where the columnist (who claimed to be a gooner) gave a forecast of us winning seven, drawing two and losing 0 till the end of the season. To highlight how optimistic that is, we have won 6 League games in total, now we are going to magically put a run together?

Yes, we are unbeaten domestically in 2020, but I was at the Olympiakos tie, so let’s not pretend we are perfect. It would take a level of performance to win at the Etihad that we haven’t produced yet in this campaign and in fact, I can’t remember when we last did away from home?

It’s hard to gauge how sides will adapt to empty stadiums but Man City don’t remind me of a side who rely on an atmosphere. On the contrary, they struggle from losing positions because their supporters are quick to get restless. If we are 1-0 up with 20 to go, you want thousands of people showing nerves. Instead Pep’s men can treat this like a training exercise where they will have the majority of possession with zero pressure on them. Unlike us, win, lose or draw they will finish top 4 (their fate off the pitch will decide if they qualify for the Champions League).

I’m sorry after 3 months away to start with a negative tone, but I just can’t see us defensively able to keep them out. In that sense our best form of defence is attack.

I will go for Man City to win 3-1 at which point we won’t miss football all of a sudden.

At least not till the weekend!

Dan Smith

**Watch Dan’s Vodcast Preview of Man City v Arsenal with Wax Online here**


  1. Sadly I do agree with you that we will be beaten by City in their home BUT this is football anything can happen on the pitch.
    I will be excited if we even get a draw.

  2. Thanks Dan, a realistic point, best to not expect win, may realize and fight harder…

    Arteta is saying we have no excuse to not win; that is scary, it boosts City players to demolish us! Scary!

    In contrast, Guardiola said it will be real tuff get back with 3 weeks training!

    I will go with you Dan, at least we can hope for the best…

  3. Really about how our assistant coach picks team.

    Might sound as a joke but we can win.

    Or lose 4-1 or even 7-2. 🙂

  4. Your forecast could be spot on Dan.The fact that Man City will be lacking the energy home teams invariably get from their fans could work in our favour, but realistically you have to go for a home win.A point would be a great result for us. If Xhaka is given the job of picking up KDB that is an area which would concern me.

  5. Seriously, upon team he picks, we will know.

    This team he should play, issue is not back 4, Bellerin & Tierny are fine.

    Bellerin Holding Mari Tierny
    Niles ………………..Willock
    Nelson Auba. Saka

    Pretty much, have Luiz infront of 2 CBs in order to lock more that area and help defend in set piece specially. He likes to also move team higher, forward when in that position

    Then Niles & Willock both make efforts to defend and dangerous going forward. Same for Nelson and Saka.

    Help balance team, in modern football, all team defends, makes difference.

    Going forward as well, each flank will be very difficult to handle for City. With bellerin, rushing forward , Niles as well, Nelson, all combining with Arsenal speed football play.

    Keep them under pressure, rush forward, score, defend like angry wolves, keep attacking .

    They can’t do so but back up and defend then. Nor so secured defensively, with Auba, it will be more pressure on any defense.

    If Arteta put Luiz in back 4, his Xhaka and Ozil non sense, be same. scary game, a beat down..

  6. ……,………………..Leno
    Bellerin Holding Mustafi Tierny
    ……Niles Willock …….. Saka

    Auba Martinelli

    He must play a Balanced and attacking team, not expected. Difficult team to defend…

  7. The main problem at Arsenal is not the defence, but in the midfield. With Ozil, Xhaka, and Torreira in the midfield, we not gonna beat City

  8. I have seen very weak teams beat ‘invincible’ Man city at Etihad this season. Why does anyone think Arsenal can’t do it? Pessimism of our fans is one of our greatest attributes! When our fan is pessimistic he is applauded for being a realist but when he gives a positive view he is derided for being delusional! What double standards!

    1. David, Or he could just be that much derided person , a thinking realist who weighs up the ability of City rationally and without fan bias and then weighs up our ability, again without fan bias. And whan he comes to the sensible conclusion that a vastly superior side will almost certainly beat a lesser one at home he is not delusional at all but just an honest, free thinking, realist. I realise you will not appreciate that alternative view but that’s life my friend!

  9. The midfielders of Arsenal will never match those of City. The better is gonna be won in the midfield

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