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!