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 game..no handshakes for a man who will feel this hurt until the next training session (after hours on video I’m sure)…