It’s even sweeter that Arsenal beat Man City without our starboy on the pitch

Sweet wins hit the spot even more than normal! by Shenel

Are we all still smiling today Gooners?

I know it is the beginning of the season but we deserve to enjoy this victory now more than ever, so go all out!

And no doubt many an Arsenal fan would have been sweating over the fitness of Bukayo Saka before the game against Manchester City, hoping he would be fit enough to make the team, given that Gareth Southgate ignored all injury news and still called him up to the England squad for the upcoming internationals (although he has now been withdrawn).

But I am sure when the team sheet was revealed a lot of Arsenal fans put their heads in their hands because Saka was not even on the substitutes bench for one of the biggest tests and games of our season so far. And I know I was one of them.

And of course, Arsenal didn’t start the game as strongly as we’d hoped, with nerves and tension all around, and I thought it would only be a matter of time that we would concede, especially as the ref failed to send of Mateo Kovacic for what I believed should have been a red card.

So, the tension and nerves came as no surprise, it was always going to be the case but the way we handled it was something different, and the longer the game went on and the longer we kept a clean sheet and kept City out, the more the belief from the players and the fans began to grow.

Then lo and behold on came the angel Gabriel Martinelli in the second half, and I must admit I raised an eyebrow when I saw his name on the bench as I didn’t expect him to be back so soon, but it was a welcome surprise, and he went on to get the winner and bag the three points for the mighty Arsenal.

So, from here on in, and I’m not saying we will win every game, but we have just won a game – one many people thought we never would – against the best team in the world, without what many people call one of the most key and best players at Arsenal in Saka.

And although injuries to our players are never nice, it is nice to see that we can win a game not playing our very best, but also without one of our star players.

As I’ve always said, Arsenal is not a one-man team and the win against City just goes to show as much!

Onwards and upwards with pride we go!

Shenel Osman



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Tags Man City Saka


  1. Arsenal didn’t seem to need Saka for the match. Jesus was a major nuisance for Man City on the right wing, because of his tricks, hold-up play, dribbles and tackles

    Man City were weakened by the absences of Rodri/ De Bruyne and Guardiola made a little blunder by not playing his tricky wingers at the beginning of the game, but Haaland was still a major threat

    Fortunately, we had Saliba who handled the world-class CF very well. I think his comment about Arsenal losing the title last season due to his injury was spot-on

  2. Started with no Martinelli, Saka and Partey, AND no top striker, as Nketiah started upfront (although that was MA choice).

    What it does tell you is just how good MA is tactically. Some, especially neutrals, may claim it was a boring game as there were hardly any shots on target, and only one goal, but just like the Community Shield, it was a fascinating tactical battle between Pep and Arteta.

    Our last two games against City, we’ve really put in two mature, controlled performances, and got the rewards.

    1. Jen, That was a masterclass from Arteta. He actually mentioned that he changed tactics three times in that game to counter the changes made by Gurdiola within the match. if he keeps up with that habit, he will be up there with the top managers. Also, a factor that helped him was that he had abled bodied on the bench to make the changes he needed. Having Martenelli, Tomi, Partey and Harvetz on the bench is a good option to have. sometimes it doesn’t matter what tactics you want to use when there is no one good enough on the bench to use

    2. Couldn’t have said it any better Jen – I love playing chess and this was just like that.
      Probing one minute, defending the next and trying to out think the master – Pep nearly did it, but Mikel showed him who the Grand Master was.

      All I want know is to see the consistency that city have shown these last five years and a new goal scorer in the January window.

  3. Even sweeter that we won in spite of the referee’s antics and obvious bias. If he had given what was an obvious red card to Kovacic, our victory would be attributed to City playing with 10 men

    1. Indeed, even Howard Webb has said that the decisions need to be looked at – can’t believe that they are actually admitting to their mistakes at looooong last.

  4. Well, I never know why fans think Saka is indispensable. That we cannot win without him. Arteta constantly plays him, for him, not for the team. Saka needs to play, suffer and improve. If he follows the bad path like most English talent and he is gone. Arteta replaced a lot of fan favourites before and the team improved. No doubt,
    the talent of Saka
    but he lacks
    the maturity of Odegaard,
    the mentality of Martinelli,
    the swagger of Jesus,
    the industry of Nketiah,
    the tricks of Trossard,
    the confidence of Nelson,
    the mystic of Havertz,
    the heart of Rice,
    the flair of Viera,
    the presence of Partey,
    the passion of Gabriel,
    the poise of Saliba,
    the discipline of Tomiyasu,
    the dependability of Kiwior,
    the class of Timber,
    the wizardry of Zinchenko,
    the soul of Ramsdale,
    the cold veins of Raya,
    the shithousery of White.
    Did I miss anyone?

  5. Any side must play what’s in front of them. A win is a win gained by the efforts of all players, manager and staff.
    Let’s not get into who is available for Arsenal and the opposition. Yes, Arsenal was without Saka and Timber, with Partey returning from injury; however Manchester City had at least two world class players in KDB and Rodri unavailable. Luck of the draw.

  6. Saka getting injured is partly because arteta overplays him. Playing 87 consecutive PL matches is no small matter and it takes a toll on the body. The stress and strain adds up and finally the player is injured. I hope Arteta knows by now how best to use Saka. No doubt he is our main player but he is also human. That said, winning without our superstar was really great but I thought Arteta would use Nelson in place of Saka and start with Jesus upfront. Anyway, we won and thats all that matters but I am sure in future Arteta will use Saka wisely.

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