Man City Cup defeat shows Arsenal cannot get complacent in title race

One of the words I like that Mikel Arteta keeps using is humble.

Quite frankly some Gooners haven’t been humble over having a 5 point lead at the top of table, refusing to acknowledge that we are only half way through the season with a lot of football still to be played.

I read this week that Man City are unlikely to put together the winning sequence needed to close such a gap, even though that’s what the Champions have experience of doing.

We still have to face City twice, a League fixture we haven’t won in years.

You can also be humble in defeat as well.

Unfortunately, some of my peers gave a predictable reaction to our 1-0 defeat.

‘Glad to be out of the Cup’, ‘one less distraction’, ‘extra rest‘, etc.

We got a whole week to prepare for our trip to Everton, so how losing at the Etihad improves our title hopes I don’t know?

There’s zero evidence that a cup run cost you the championship, hence why Pep Guardiola often adds a domestic cup to any Premiership triumph .

There is only one way Friday might benefit us long term and that is if any of our players were in danger of taking Man City lightly, thinking they have one hand on the title, this tie showed there is very much still life in the Champions and that there is still hard work to do.

If anything our cup exit highlighted why if you were betting with your life, Man City should still be considered favourites in the run in.

Don’t get me wrong, we were not humiliated like we usually are on our visits to Manchester.

City had another couple of gears but in a way that is just as scary.

Man City won 1-0, restricted us to one shot in the second half (off target). We at times struggled to retrieve possession and yet this wasn’t even City at their best.

Yes some Gunners will hide behind that we rotated but so did our opponents.

I saw laughable comparisons this week with our current squad and the Invincibles. City just beat the League leaders without Ederson, Diaz, Cancelo, Foden, Silva or LaPorte starting.

Most telling was once they scored; our opponents experience really was in evidence.

A late push to siege at City’s goal never came because we couldn’t get the ball back.

Where our pressure over Man United was so relentless they essentially buckled due to the intensity of pressure, we couldn’t do that without the ball.

With zero need to chase another goal, City expertly played down the clock with ease.

Normally when 4 mins of added time goes up, you say that’s enough time for the team chasing a goal to make a chance.

We couldn’t even go direct with City simply passing the ball around in comfort as they saw out the game.

Dan Smith

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Tags Man City v Arsenal


  1. “Yes some Gunners will hide behind that we rotated but so did our opponents.” really?

    U are just looking looking for reactions.

    There u go

      1. They made two changes from the team that started the previous prem game and one was the GK. Hardly rotated is it?

  2. Can’t believe how many are saying Glad to be out of the Cup.🤔
    That game was there to be won.

    We can’t pick and choose what competitions we want.
    City to play twice, get injuries & suddenly we are in trouble in the league.

  3. Dan, anyone who is complacent with Arsenal having only a 5 point lead with a game in hand over Manchester City with half the season to play does not understand the vagaries of sport.

  4. Chase everything and end up with nothing. It has been a long time since we were in the position (in EPL) we currently find ourselves in now. So it’s better if we focused on fewer cups. EPL is one cup that has eluded us for many years and this is a golden opportunity to nick it. I am sure in the next few years it be harder to even achieve top 4, what with the likes of Newcastle joining in and who knows how many other teams will join with big money. Our squad is also thin so you can never compare it with Man City’s, they can afford to have more injuries than us.

    1. @mat
      RealTalk. That’s how Leicester City won it. They forfeited the other cup ties in favour of winning the league. And it paid off…Jus sayin…

  5. Our eyes tell it. Clearly in the first half we were the better team. As usual Partey bossed and wide, Leo Trossard taunted them. Viera looked frail and a little boy lost. Our eyes tell us with our full team, City are there for the taking. We are at home first in the Prem against City and can build a huge lead. Nothing is for certain, but with a new PL ready Partey midfield cover we can very well win the EPL. Sadly Lokonga is not up to it. Trossard looks the real deal. Our eyes tell us we are as good as City.

  6. Interesting to see the different takes o n our situation and last night defeat.

    Imho there is positives and negatives to both.

    1. The game was 50/50 apart from a few moments and one was taken by city.

    2. City rotated 1 player we rotated 6. However, City have a bench of 1st team players atm with KDB, Phoden etc

    3. 5 points ahead with a game in hand. Not bad. Not guaranteed but I’d rather be arsenal than City atm.

    4. Partey injury will mean we must get more cover for CM because lakonga isn’t the guy. I think that if any is the position where we could come un stuck.

    Overall I am still very optimistic for us to win the title. Possibly europa as well but utd and a few other teams look good again

    1. A generally balanced take. Most fans are disappointed that we lost and we have a reduced number of chances to win a title. However, there are still positives to take in that we are still in two of the most important tournaments.
      Man City evidently have a stronger squad so rotating has much less impact on the the quality of the team playing at any given time. The strength of the squad also means that Guardiola does not need to make changes from game to game as most other managers do.
      There is little chance that Arsenal will get complacent. This has been a loss to reflect on in a balanced way. The team can then be better prepared for the challenges ahead. We still have most of our main players fit and the squad is being strengthened.
      We are still ahead in the PL and overall playing well so we need to look forward with a positive attitude.

  7. Ooh yes as soon as we lose the clown rises with his crap opinion. You haven’t released an article in weeks but as soon as we lost you returned triumphantly 🤣🤣

    1. Apart from the article praising us for beating Man. United ?
      Oh and saying how balenced the squad is ….not both in the last week ?

        1. Insult ?
          You didn’t insult me mate
          I accept we have fans who can’t handle anything negative being said

          1. DAN SMITH We also have many MORE fans – evidenced by the manay critical posts about your negative mania- who cannot understand why any Gooner writer of normal intelligence would so often write relentlessly negative pieces.Especially as we sit a full five points clear, plus a home game in hand, on the so called “best team in Europe”.

            And then defiantly parade it as his right!


            You appear to we “lesser mortals” to be proud, as well as determined, to be negative!
            That seems to me to be, frankly, WEIRD.
            NOT NORMAL, ANYWAY.

            1. Jon what did you call Xakha after we beat Palace ?
              You on that day were negativel in a game we won , I cant be negative in a game we lose ?

              1. Dan, Many are negative at times. I see you mention being negative after a “single game” though.

                I prefer to be a realist, whether for good or bad. But you have made a religion , with almost daily worship, out of NEGATIVITY.
                Negativity, back in the last of the Wenger dog days, was FAIR COMMENT, BUT NOT IN THIS ERA. It has, above all, to be true and relevant, to be of any worth!

                It is your constancy of it that so upsets Gooners. Esp when we are top, clear and playing thrilling football. It is distinctly ODD still to be negative , given the healthy state our club is in.

                No Dan, it is simply how you ARE. YOU CAN NOT HELP BEING NEGATIVE.

                I do not, of course, suggest you are not a keen Gooner, but any stranger, knowing nothing about JA, who read your regular pieces , would have trouble believing it.

                On the other hand and what saddens me, is that you certainly CAN write well, so why not write some bullish pieces instead, as they go down so well?

                Many others say the same to you as I do but instead of fighting their honest views and making yourself an outsider, why not change tack? Its never too late.

                1. Tell the readers what you called Xakha after we beat Palace ?
                  A game we won !
                  In other words it’s okay to be negative when you want too but not okay when you want to be positive ( the irony being your mostly negative )
                  Nah , you are not going to control me

                  1. DANIEL Ah, you gave the game away in your final line. You DO suffer from paranoia, after all. IF you actually think I aim “to control you” then you are more in need of help even than I thought!
                    I note you totally IGNORED my detailed post and esp the comment I made about you talking about a SINGLE game, when accusing me of being negative about XHAKA, instead of a period of time.
                    I do not need to wonder WHY, you chose to ignore it though!

  8. Why are we disturbing ourselves because of the loss Look football results vary. It is possible we play with our first 11 and still lose to City. It’s also possible to play city with a few changes and we beat them. A game at a time please. We have been performing well. Let us be positive. I believe if anybody had predicted that Arsenal will be leading the table by now, many of us will not accept the prediction

  9. I wish these articles by Smith were not posted saying they’re “by Admin Pat”.

    It’s a complete waste of people’s time having to click on it, see the first couple of lines, realise who the author (probably) is, scroll to teh bottom to confirm it… notice a couple of comments… and click away again.

    I can see from the comments above that many people are as sick and tired as I am of hearing Smith’s rewriting of history and his feeble, convoluted attempts to justify his negativity, past and present.

    Another Smith article I clicked into by mistake was “his” predictions league. A comment of Smith’s said that he was chucking someone out of that league for saying pretty much the same as I said above in a different thread. My personal view is that if someone uses this site to run a competition then it shouldn’t be their personal fiefdom, it should be something that’s being done on behalf of the site so it’s not for the individual running it to chuck other people out based on some personal factor, it should be matter for the admin team.

    All in all, it would be good if we had the author’s name showing – even if site limitations mean that it has to be in brackets at the end of the title. But I guess Pat won’t to do anything that reduces the click count.

    1. Sorry IDKWIC, but I enjoy reading the views of other fans and Dan always gives me a good read.
      I disagree about 50% of the time and this is one of them.

      Dan, there is no way the majority of fans on JA are getting ahead of themselves.

      What is being enjoyed, is a very good, consistent approach to the way we play.
      I’m certainly getting value for money and OT one other PL team has outplayed us – so, of course I’m optimistic.
      Double over the spuds, beating Chelsea, united and Liverpool…. it’s a long time since we have been able to claim that and we’re only half way through the season.

      Enjoy 5situation Dan and, if the wheels do come off, then that’s the time to discuss any negativity

    2. Okay IDKWIC
      A: It was me that threatened banning someone for Predicting a correct score AFTER the game was already over.
      B: If I had to create a new login for everyone who wrote an article I would have to create over 20 a week, “Posted by” means….. Edited and proofread for publication (By Me!)
      C: And i don’t give a damn about click count thank you, an extra two won’t make a difference to our 2 million hits a month numbers, but thankyou for caring….
      D: I normally put the writers name at the end of the sub title of the article. As Dan has been doing his predictions for over two years (Plus the HEADLINE says “Dan’s EPL Predictions” I think that most people would have a guess at that one!

      1. 2million hit, wow! aploud yourself and remember this sort of attitude will bring ur sites downfall. 2 makes a million, minus 2 from a million and it’s no longer a million. Everything has its time dnt be so proud

        1. Hee was basically accusing me of using underhand tactics for extra clicks.
          I have built this site by probviding varied quality opinions from all angles.
          I don’t need to cheat and never will do.
          I am also very honest..

    3. IDKWIC, I agree wholeheartedly.

      DAN far exceeds his “authority” on here, aided and abetted by Ad Pat. IT IS NOT ETHICAL.
      Dan has attained a sort of status on JA that his relentless negativity and refusal to face up to the many posts which regularly call him out, means he does NOT deserve .

      He may be tolerated by those who take part in his predictions league, but even many of those, PLUS I suggest,most of those who choose not to take part, have much scorn and disdain for his extremely negative regular articles.
      He refuses to take fan feedback serously and that is WHY I think he makes a huge and regular mistake. I find it distinctly ODD that a manwho claims to be such a keen Gooner should always choose to be negative.

      Reminder to DAN: WE ARE FIVE POINTS CLEAR AT THE TOP WITH A GAME IN HAND, clearly a worrying situation, at least for you!

      1. But Jon
        I literally wrote an article praising our win over Man United and saying how balenced our sqaud was
        When we lose a game of football it’s natural the article won’t be as positive ?

        1. No DAN it is not natural to anyone who has the normalvision to see what has and still is happening, which has transformed our team. It is natural to YOU, as we all know, but to hardly any others, given thePrem position and thriling football we are playing this season.

          You are, sadly for yourself, a boneheaded man who is incapable, or unwilling, or both , of listening to overwhelming Gooner feedbackand reacting accordingly.

          Instead you refuse to take on board all posts that oppose you. That is stupid behaviour and though you are plainly NOT stupid, you persist in BEHAVING stupidly.

          That is your own personal tragedy!

            1. When a presumably mature admin needs to use in childlike fashion, “IJS and lol” it can be no surprise that a mature and worldly wise fan such as I does not choose to take such a junior style retort seriously!
              If you care to rephrase Pat and remember rthat we both are older adults, then I MAY WELL ANSWER YOU. BUT I PREFER TO AVOID CHILDISH TYPE POSTS.

          1. Like I said I praised us for the man u win
            I’ll refrain from getting personal as it’s a bit too much for lol
            Too deep

        2. I didn’t realize that ANYONE had “authority” within JA, except Pat!!!

          I’m not sure what you meant with your reply to me Dan, can you please explain? Thanks.

          1. Ken not you mate
            It was for the other lad who apparently hates my work yet cares enough to write a long response too lol

          2. You say he is writing negatively. But the fact is that it is just an opinion and he is entitled to it as much as you are to yours.
            Whose opinion is correct we won’t know until the end of the season. He is basically saying ….don’t count your cchickens just yet

            1. PAT BUT HE IGNORES AND ARGUES AGAINST, inhis follow up replies , all the huge and constant barrage of Gooners who nearly all tell him he is excessively negative.

              That means he acts as a fool and I CANNOT RESPECT AN ADULT WHO ACTS AS A KID WOULD.

              As Admin, I suggest in all seriousness that you have a role to play in discouraging CONSTANT negativity, as in fact you often do with posters other than DAN.
              WE ALL KNOW YOU RELY ON DANS SHEER QUANTITY OF ARTICLES. instead of being an impartial admin.

              1. Come on Jon…
                During the AKB and AOB days (months!) how many people kept telling me NOT to post contrary opinions.
                As long as the writer is a real Arsenal fan, they are entitled to their own opinion, whether you agree with them or not. Yes or No.

                (And i don’t know how many readers have asked me why I continue to allow you to post your vitriol at times)

                1. Pat to answer you seriously, as a thinking man ought to, my answer is that NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT to continually post opinions that he well knows will inflame the overriding majority.

                  Esp when many of we thinkers will have worked out that the actual reason DAN is constantly negative, is that he suffers from “Piers Morgan syndrome”; the determination to get widely known and recognised at whatever cost, even of truth itself.

                  No person has the right – hiding behind that old canard “freedom of speech” ( which is itself a double edged sword, as one persons freedom to enrage is anothers freedom not to be taunted) to deliberately and constantly inflame the majority of sensible fans who can see how well we are doing.

                  And who surely think that negativity, when there is no reason sensible for it, save Piers Morgan syndrome,is distinctly ODD.

                  1. Apart from my articles praising us for beating Man United and saying our sqaud had a great balence lol

              2. Its only CONSTANT negativity if it does not agree with your viewpoint.
                Dan’s opinion is that we should not be overconfident, and it remains AN OPINION.
                Truth will out at the end of the season, but as of this moment, he COULD be right…

                1. Not true, unsurprisingly, coming from you of all people PAT.

                  That is just the latest of your foolish and untrue digs at me.
                  Instead of having the nous to listen to not only me but to many of the other deep thinkers and those on here who care for accuracy and truth in word meanings, you persistently care only about clicks, at the expense of quality and accuracy, in YOUR misleading headlines and in many of your “digs” at your users.

                  Truths remain truths, whatever various opinions attempt to mislead.

                  That DAN WRITES NEGATIVE PIECES – perhaps not 100% of the time – but well above 90% – is not opinion at all; IT IS TRUE!

                  1. That is just the latest of your foolish and untrue digs at ME!
                    AND if we had a poll on who writes the most negative comments on JA, you would win hands down.
                    Your continual digs at me, the website and all my writers can become extremely tedious to say the least…

                    And to your final point. Yes Dan has written lots of what you call “Negative” posts (In your opinion), but the fact is that they are Dan’s OPINION, and as such should be respected, whether you agree or not!

                    1. An interesting admission Pat,one which I will certainly remember.
                      You are saying that we all should respect any other persons opinion, whether or not we profoundly disagree with their whole philosophy on what they regularly write.

                      Never my friend, not in a million years, will I accept that untruth. I WILL however always respect a true thinker, eve one who I often disagree with; example, Ken 1945.I also respect such as Grandad, Sue P, Durand, Fire and a good deal of others too, though it neve rstops me challenging their thoughts if i disagree with their views.

                      Challenging someone though is not the same as disrespecting them. Only snowflakes misconstrue that difference.

                      If everyone did as you are suggesting, we would have a most unworthwhile BLAND set of posters on here.

                      Is that what you truly want!? Somehow I DO NOT THINK YOU INTEND TO COMMIT SUICIDE FOR YOUR OWN SITE.

                      Oh no PAT, whatever anyone may think, and I DOUBT ANYONE AT ALL DOES, you are certainly NOT a foolish JA business man!

                      I and many others – at least those who have a brain, although not just pig ignorant bluster posters (and there HAVE been quite a few of those, some of whom you have rightly banned for good) – have long called your bluff on that idle threat.
                      If you could only accept that I CONSTANTLY try my level best to promote those who will actually THINK before posting,then you and I would be far better friends.

                      It is not agreeing that is key but seeing a level of intellect in whoever posts. I know and always have known that I am not a person who suffers fools gladly. I freely admit that!

                      Witness how often I praise thinking peoples pieces and posts, but never non thinkers.

  10. Typical negative editorial from the author.

    Arsenal didn’t have their full team out. Its clear there was not 100% effort from our team and yet the domain and gloom merchant is front and centre again !

    The league matches are the key test of our potential to win and even then if we lose both we can still win the league due to our current lead and game in hand. The key now if how we and City play in the other matches as we have been able to more or less have a free hit in the league games.

    To date we have come through a number of tests against Chelsea Spurs Liverpool and Manchester United…further tests to come as Newcastle are dark horses for upsets and lots of other teams will be contesting for Europe or against relegation .

    You can sense there is one big transfer to come this window with a CDM back up / competition for Partey.

  11. Someone remind Dan Laporte, Silva, and Foden are no longer starters at the Oilers. He should also be reminded that the “famed” Laporte and Silva came in for Stones and Gundo and city had a massive one shot in that time. And saying city off is just plain DUMB! Maybe they just met a team that made them look average?

  12. We will smash them 15 th February Emirates.
    The stadium will be rocking.
    Have to beat Everton and Villa away first.

    1. Ah, that old trick so loved by evasive politicians and certain writers too. Making a point of advertising a rare exception whilst ignoring the constant norm!

  13. ” there’s a zero evidence that a cup run cost you the championiship, hence why pep Guardiola often adds a domestic cup to any premiership triumph”
    My thoughts as well Dan and its inexcusable. And as for your articles, I read them and I love them, keep the good work

  14. Arteta tested the waters with that game. Pep understands what Arteta did and now he will be worried. The 2 EPL matches will be played with different intensity and determination. City is for the taking, unless we have injuries to key players before then.

  15. In DANS predictably negative piece, there is one line that stands out to my mind as being SO false, that it must be challenged.

    DAN claims that there is” zero evidence that a cup run costs you the championship”. I say there is an historically long MOUNTAIN of evidence to the contrary.
    Just think about that CLAIM . Does it occur to any of you, as surely it must, that IF Dans claim were true,then the the domestic LEAGUE AND CUO DOUBLE WOULD HAVE BEEN WON VERY OFTEN INSTEAD OF HISTORICALLY VERT RARELY.
    After all, one would think that each seasons champions would have also won the FA Cup very many times too – as has NOT happened – since the league champions, by virtue of being the seasons best team ought also to have won many cup doubles. But only a very few have happened, which to my mind shows the falsehood in DANS claim!
    Obviously having to play more fixtures, by having a long cup run, means more player fatigue, more likelihood of injury and being caught between two (or more )stalls. Obvious, IF you choose, to think about it, as plainly DAN has not done.

      1. Dan, Typical of you is a mere oneline retort with no explanation save only an untrue claim.

        You now add the word”contenders” to the discussion which was about only champions. Moving the discussion goalposts in mid debate does not help your incorrect case.

        FACT: only City has won the domestic double in that ten years and they are untypical in that they have more money to spend then God and did so in massive amounts in order to enrich their squad when the murdering oilers took over that rotten club and for years after.
        They and your comment have NO bearing on OUR club, which does not have that sort of money available and needs to spend wisely, which of late it has, largely, done.

        Returning to my original post and your incorrect claim of there being “zero evidence that an FA cup run costs a club the title”, it is abundantly plain to all sensible fans that extra games, more fatique,more chance of injuries, are all OBVIOUS hurdles to winning both those competitions. Only a stubborn fool would deny that truth!

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