Arsenal v Man City Review – Promising performance against great opponents…

Arsenal v City Match review…. after the dust settles by Tom

Ramsay, Mhki and Auba were our top 3 pressing group, while Ozil sat deeper with Xhaka and Guendouzi – which was good to see. And as much as the start was impressive from Arsenal… on the 9th minute City started to purrrrr. When City do that 25 mins is all they need to score 2 or 3. And on the 14th minute it was one-nil with press after press of forward movement and passing from City before finally… Sterling cut in to fire a tame but on target shot. Cech saw it late to make a dive but in truth…it was coming. To be fair to Arsenal, they didn’t fold and fought on.

The main difference with City and most teams is that Pep demands aggression. He tells his teams ‘go win the ball back. I demand you to get it’. It’s not that they are better at it then most, it’s that they have been given the orders to get it – and their reward is possession and play. You could say ALL managers would demand, but Pep’s demands run to the core. It’s business, you do it and you are a winner, if you don’t you are not good enough. Such demands at a Stoke sidewouldn’t quite work for Pep (unless he channels his demands in a more fruitful way – but even that doesn’t work)

Its not often Pep comes out and gives instructions unless he’s on that perfection mode, but on the 44th minute he was barking orders in retaliation to Arsenal pressing so well that Edison was facing our forwards one on one – panic levels must have risen and against a lesser opponent Arsenal would’ve been able to make more of that.

Equally when Niles was injured it was good to see Unai giving instructions to Bellerin (guidance I feel any young player needs and one he missed previously) and also for Guendouzi coming to discuss tactics.

City scoring on the 64th minute was a killer and one Pep knew was important (seen with his celebration). He has seen like me that Arsenal will not be a push over.

Just when Arsenal needed to score and make the last 10 mins interesting…City controlled the game. They took the attack to us. The problem for Arsenal (and all teams in the league) is how do you score against City? That’s the difficulty of what is the task at hand to win the league.

The rest was just fan chat, Aguero through on goal, Laca with 2 important moments that could have influenced the game, Bellerin’s shot…

For me, it gives Unai a sighter at the levels he needs to surpass but as I keep saying…And many see…we need to work towards what we need in years rather than matches.

Not many matches you can walk away from and feel ‘looking forward to see what we can do in the coming games..’
I have to face facts. We turn over £70m after tax (pure profit) and City spend that on 1 player!

Tactically we had to be compact and give up wide possession, then central, Which if we had pacey wide men then that could be different. But our defence was far better. Ozil in the middle is better, and future games he will have more impact…Ramsay and Auba didn’t connect enough. We wouldn’t have seen enough of what Arsenal could be going forward because a lot of the tactics were centred around what we need to do against City first… And that stopped real forward creativity.

To build an army we need patience – but it can come, why not? Just give it time. Top 4 is still the aim for me. City are ahead of the game for us and most teams in this league. For Arsenal, this is day one in what will be the start of something special.

PS. I liked how Unai walked on down the tunnel straight after the handshakes for a man who will feel this hurt until the next training session (after hours on video I’m sure)…



  1. Shekar233 says:

    I think the only natural leader in the entire arsenal squad is Lich. He needs to be given the armband. It doesnt matter if he just came in to the team. He will command respect from all other players around him and will get into thier faces if they don’t do as directed.
    As long as Koalsinac is out injured Lich has to start. And it is not so difficult to play a RB in the LB position. We are not goin to whip in crosses anyway so we don’t need a traditional left footer in the LB.
    Chelsea have used Azpicuelta in the left for more than 3 seasons. On many occasions he even got picked for spain as a back up LB for Jordi Alba.
    And we need to use Niles in the midfield, we need his strength and drive from midfield. So should stop playing Niles in LB.

    Don’t you agree?

    1. niyi says:

      my thought exactly. our major problem is the midfield,as long as our midfield is still feeble we will never get the best of ozil and our attacking players. Torriera and AMN will offer some steel and stability in the midfield both for our defence and attack. Damn it..

  2. TheIndianGooner says:

    This was by no means our worst performance. It was very evident we had a plan, a strategy which the players are trying to learn. The players will require few games to be in sync with each other, to perfect the pressing game which we are trying to adapt to. Although we conceded two goals we did not role over like we did in all the three games against City. And our pressing game clicked few times and we our able to force the city players in mistakes but we were unable to take advantage from those mistakes. It little bit of quality and composure in the final third and we would have had something tangible to show for the game. We can only go upwards from this performance against a very tough and organised team. COYG!!!

    1. Shekar233 says:

      Wow, you are an Indian? I am too, it is really hard to find an Arsenal fan from india.

      All I meet is the stupid MANU fans and Chelsea fans and very least majority of Liverpool fans. And now the fan wave has changed to city from UTD. These brainless UTD fans are now supporting City citing the reason which is absolutely pathetic(“It doesn’t matter if it is city or utd both are from Manchester and now city are having better players than utd so Manchester city is the only club in Manchester” they say).

      by the way which city are you from in India?

      1. TheIndianGooner says:

        Good to meet another Indian fan.

        I am from Pune. Where are you from.

        1. Shekar233 says:


          1. stubill says:

            One word for you two, CRICKET lol.

          2. Akshayy Garg says:


      2. Suhail Ahmed says:

        No now in India every major city has gooner association

  3. Red and white says:

    Emery tactics? Just a young deluded manager to pick Ramsey mikhi and ozil together against the most vibrant midfield in the EPL.Even Arsene was better at that age. Think of it against Chelsea and Liverpool, not to mention spuds and manure.Thats 30 points on the line.Ramsey should have been sold seasons back, ozil just a waste of wages (maybe one good performance against cardiff or Watford) mikhi and socrates – useless with no resale value and all the time Arsene was wrong!!if if Arsene had to sign Socrates,then ??

    1. Red and white says:

      BTW we improved Arsene lost 3-0, Emery lost 2-0 to city.Yes going in the right direction

      1. Shekar233 says:

        Yeah we have literally improved a lot than last seaons, we put in more effort than when it was wenger sitting there struggling with his zip.
        But we still have degressed as we are unable to get rid of fans like you.

        If you can look back and recall, how many times in the last 2-3 season have arsenal lost interest in the game after conceding 2 goals ? How many times have wee just passed the ball around from the back to the midfield and again back tot the midfield in the past even after conceding 2 goals(instead of putting the ball in the opposition box and trying to take shot)?
        What people like you didn’t notice is the intensity we showed till the last minute of the 90 even thought every human in the stadium knew the result is done and dusted. So what we need from emery is a feedback book from the game and correct the mistakes we did. And it is going to take time and a lot of patience from the fans.

        I was really gutted to see huge empty spaces in the stadium after the 2nd goal went in in 64th min. The real problem with arsenal is the fans at the stadium, zero tolerance we have. They are were happy and patient to give Wenger over 400 games across 10 years to do something good with the team but have no tolerance to give emery even 1 game.

        As for you Mr Red and white, if you are so impatient then please go support a white and blue across the town then., while you are at it change you user name to blue and white as well.

        1. Red and white says:

          Bro, I’m a gunner for over 23 years, no one can tell me whom to support.My heart bleeds for AFC but am gutted with what I see. Ive sacrificed my days and nights to watch the games.End of the day results matter, not efforts!Damn with that Socrates, Mikhi, Ramsey, Belerin and so on. Hope Juan Carlos Carcedo has kicked all their rears in today’s training. The empty spaces are a reminder to Emery to get the results or walk, force the board/owner to get real players and not those 29+ for cheap (Torrera excluded) BTW I’m Indian too.

          1. Gab says:

            You have watching Arsene Wenger’s team for 22yrs and 1 game of Emery. i think you exercise some patience.

    2. Gunner says:

      @Red and white
      Dont think its fair to pick on Emery. His 1st game in charge against the champions – and the next fixture also doesn’t help.Lets give him some time.

  4. jon fox says:

    Two gripes with your post Tom. Firstly, it is unsporting and wrong to shun the after match handshake. It is not the sign of a winner, just a bad loser and reflects poorly on the club and the values it stands for. THE OTHER RATHER PUZZLING REMARK WAS ABOUT OUR TURNOVER BEING JUST £70 MILL. IT IS NOT TURNOVER BUT PROFIT(AS YOU INDICATED , BUT WRONGLY STATED). THAT MAKES NO SENSE, AS YOU SHOULD SURELY KNOW. Articles that misuse language are confusing and the poorer for doing so.

    1. Pablo Picasso says:

      I agree fox, Unai needs to shake his opponents hand win or loose.

      Its not Pep’s fault his team was beaten (didn’t like City’s managers hugging Arteta and all especially after the 2nd goal although rubbing it in that we didn’t pick him & all – of course I might be reading into this a lot).

      1. Shekar233 says:

        lol. exactly my thought about that arteta footage. I wonder What it was all about, pep wven kissed him on the cheek after the silva goal.

    2. Tom says:

      Hi Jon.
      Thank you for your correction. Turn over/make/produce But not ‘turnover’ i understand how it can be confusing.
      It should be read as; ‘profit after tax on turnover is…’ – As that keeps it clear. Well noted.

      Fair point on unai none handshake. But I felt it was more a sign of his frustration/disappointment towards the arsenal performance then towards pep (who I’m sure they met after match) or losing as such.

      1. jon fox says:

        A humble acceptance of my points and a sensible reply. You have gone up in my opinion. I salute you!

    3. Serbian Gunner says:

      Emery was going towards Pep, but he was busy hugging Arteta and congratulating his team. He just didn’t want to wait and be embarrassed more

  5. Wolfgang says:

    Mustaphi was hauled to the ground.I have seen penalties given.
    According to one ref ,a spot kick shd have been given had the ref seen it.
    Of course you cant trust these guys.If it were any other team ,except Arsenal,I
    believe a penalty,would probably have been given.
    The FA shd severely reprimand/punish such refs for ignoring blatant fouls.
    Don’t believe me. Watch videos of past seasons when Arsenal were repeatedly denied clear cut penalties.
    As it is Arsenal are playing against 14 guys.
    Btw, I know we lost but had the penalty been given ,who knows.

    Don’t believe me. Watch past videos.
    Btw,I know Arsnal were beaten 2-0. However had s

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Wolfgang, I have the same view as you, that the northern England centric referees have not done Arsenal many favors over the years regarding penalties granted or conceded.

  6. Gifted says:

    This is the team I would pick for the next game against Chelsea..

    Lich. Mustafi. Papa. Monreal
    Guendouzi Torreira
    Nelson Micki Auba

    Nelson should play on the right wing because its so frustrating watching Micki and Ozil on the wings …They can’t defend and have no pace to deliver decent crosses..

    1. wcrown says:

      i was just thinking about this same team. You read my mind buddy.

    2. Red and white says:

      What matters is that Emery should read this post and apply or else cut a frustrated figure in the dugout. Just banish that Xhaka, Ozil, Belerin, Socrates and Ramsey from AFC.At the least Welbeck and Perez would have shown some interest in the game other than Ozil & Ramsey. Mikhi would be better in the middle rater than on the flank.Best of luck Senior Emery for the next game and get your tactics right.

  7. Innit says:

    People keep in mind this fact. I’m not saying Emery and the players did nothing wrong. Emery didn’t get the line-up right imo and several of our players didn’t play well enough.

    But the fact is that Man City are far superior to us. Not in terms of strikers but basically everything else.

    Look at their attack. These are the players they have at their disposal: Aguero, Mahrez, Debruyne, Silva, Sane, Jesus, Sterling.
    Most of these players would walk straight into our starting line-up.
    How many of our players would get into the starting line-up of City, United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spuds: 2 maybe 3

    My point is let’s not define our season by what happened against City. They are a superior team to us. We need to accept that. Let’s wait and see how we improve as a team. It’s early days yet. We will improve

    I believe we could actually beat Chelsea. I don’t think we are far apart. Their defense is superior but I think we have far better strikers. I think starting Torreira and Lichtsteiner will improve our defense

    1. enagic says:

      you sum up there mate! squad width will be a biggest problem going forward unless we do something again in january and bring in two world class wingers or a left back who can also fill in as a winger and probably another striker in case we loose either laca or Auba through injury/suspension and playmaker if we can or try Guandouzi in that position if it was down to me i would have kept Carzola on pay as you play contract and let ramsey and Ozil go, otherwise in my honest opinion i see wenger’s era all over again under Emery.

  8. John Ibrahim says:

    its game 1….we will beat chelsea and finish top 3….

    Emery needs time

  9. Midkemma says:

    I enjoyed the game, was upset we lost but I always am when we lose, that’ll never change XD

    I thought Ozil deserves some praise, he was getting back nad putting in a def shift, more than Rambo does which is irritating as Rambo can tackle when he wants…

    That game was the one for me where Rambo has shown he shouldn’t even be on the bench until he has signed a new deal, he didn’t offer good press and he wasn’t offering good enough support for Auba, he is acting a bit like a spoilt brat and I for one want to give him a clip around the ear.

    Xhaka should be dropped in our next match as well, we looked better when Xhaka and Rambo had gone off, this should speak volumes.

    Team for Chavski:


    We have seen how well Laca and Auba play together, they looked a much better unit against City when Laca was playing with Auba then Auba being the lone CF, we also know Auba plays well with Mkhi…

    Guendouzi energy next to Ozil as they push forward can cover Ozil, Ozil shown good willingness to get back and help the team defend and while he is by no means a DM, he can put in a def shift which can be aided with someone like our rising star Guendouzi. Having Torreira behind them adds to their protection, both Guendouzi and Ozil can lose the ball in attempting to push the game forward and having Torreira in the mix will help quickly win the ball back in the middle for the talent to build from.

    Big well done to Lich for his EPL debut, playing on the left and yet he improved us defensively, Bellerin is lucky to have this man here to help guide him towards being a better RB. Such knowledge… his pace didn’t get exposed all that much because he could read the game and oooooh it was nice to see 😛 lol

  10. Paul Jordan says:

    City have never spent £70m on a player. If you are going to write stuff like that at least do your homework.

    1. Admin says:

      Mahrez may have been just under, but what about De Bruyne?

      1. McLovin says:

        De Bruyne was £55 millions.

        1. Gab says:

          What about Laporte? The defender.

  11. New Era says:

    Under Unai Emery we played way far better than we played under Arsene Wenger. I have lots of Hope for the future. Unai needs some two years to rehabilitate the wreckage of lack of clue, ambition and passion left behind by his predecessor

  12. Innit says:

    I’m very happy with Torreira and Guendouzi signings. I feel both players will be very important for our future.

    Those criticising Guendouzi. Remember he is only 19. I think he is very good for his age and he just lacks experience. I think he will improve a lot this season being part of the 1st team squad. I also think he will become much better than Xhaka very soon.

    1. jon fox says:

      He is ALREADY far better than Xhaka, who is useless in our frantically paced Prem. I have great hopes for Guendouzi, as he is mobile, has speed, determination, inventiveness and defensive nous. Comparing him to Xhaka is like comparing a gourmet meal to stale bread.

  13. ruelando says:

    Emery now has a chance to correct his selection for the starting 11 for the Chelsea game base on performance in the Mancity game. Our previous manager normally gave players a chance to correct their errors in the next game, will Emery do the same.

    Defence is an issue, but that is not the Major problem, our issue has been our MIDFIELD. There are teams which will allow us the time and space to play our game, those are teams not found in the top six. The use of players such as Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil and Mik in the starting 11 weakens our defensive organisation and tempo against top six oppositions. We need workers and runners in our midfield.

    A midfield trio of Guendouzi, Torreira and Elneny should provide us with the technical skills and mobility needed in front of our back four.

    An attacking trio of Ozil, Laca and Auba should provide us with the attacking threat needed to get us the goals and put Chelsea defenders under pressure.

    But this is my view and not the view of the manager, one more thing i think should be considered is keeping Campbell for the long road ahead.

    1. Agree with you on midfield i will go with Guendouzi, Torreira and Elneny and deploy Auba as a winger on righ wing and MIkh on left and Laca as striker and Ramsey as 2nd striker, we should kept perez and also give campbell as chance since that the only option we have

  14. nigerian nigel. says:

    we need to buy 2 leicester city players, imanacho, and,bumdiddybum. then we will see how good the arsenal will be . bring in these 2 world class players and all will be well . play them with iwoblly on the pitch and watch the gunners soar about the rest.

  15. Kenya001 says:

    Now we can win the league even conte lost his first and went ahead and won the league … We r gonna win big. Sue where did disappear to

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