Bring in experience on Wednesday? by Dan Smith
There’s a certain irony that Gary Neville has got a lot of grief regarding his opinion on the title race. Because he’s the type of character we are desperate to have in our dressing room on Wednesday.
The pundit said Sir Alex would often ask his squad if they had one game to win the championship, no matter how hard the task, would they take that scenario?
He feels Arsenal should be excited about the challenge at the Etihad and motivated about what they are on the brink of achieving.
That instead of focusing on their poor record at the stadium, they should treat the occasion as their World Cup Final, the game of their lives. If they do that, form possibly goes out of the window?
Not just do Man City have a group who can handle ‘squeaky bum time’, they are doing it with a smile on their faces.
The question is how many Gunners truly believe they can get a result in Manchester?
I have long said, talent in sport gets you so far. What separates the good from the great is your mentality.
Ramsdale, Gabriel and Partey have been good all season. It’s zero coincidence that they are making mistakes in April.
This is where Arteta earns his money in the next few days. He sees these players almost daily so will know who is handling the pressure.
If Friday was a dress rehearsal for midweek so many individuals failed. Individually and collectively, there was evidence across the pitch that players are crippled by the fear of failure. Just like the majority were last campaign in the race for 4th.
I believe we are not guaranteed to be in this position for a long time. We need to grasp the opportunity and be brave. It’s pointless our manager picking people he knows don’t have the stomach for the occasion.
It would be neglect on the Spaniard’s part if we wake up on Thursday morning saying certain names choked when we already knew that was the case going into the fixture.
For example, Partey should be dropped for his recent performances. There’s no point noticing that when it’s too late.
I personally would flood the team with as much experience as possible.
Tierney, Jorginho, Zinchenko and Jesus all know how to win high stakes games.
Against Southampton at 2-1 after 20 minutes, we acted like there was only seconds of the whole match left, way too stretched, rushing to win back the ball and lacking composure.
If that was our level of mind set at home to the side bottom of the table, why would it be any different away at the Champions?
It would be incompetence if the same tactics were administrated that haven’t worked in our last three matches.
You know Pep Guardiola will have something specific up his sleeve to counter out strengths.
In February that would deploy Silva as a makeshift left back, with his constantly tweaking his system from the touchline.
Whether it’s bringing Tierney into a back three, putting Zinchenko into midfield or bringing in Jorginho in to keep possession, we can’t simply change nothing when we know it’s not working.
It’s worth considering our last two wins over City when we shocked them in FA Cup Semi Finals, came when Arteta and before him Mr Wenger switched to a back 5.
Saka White Gabriel Tierney Zinchenko
That is my idea of an experienced team that could win at the Etihad. What is yours?