Arsenal put in a superb display of confidence, guile and togetherness, but silly mistakes ultimately cost us against Manchester City. Guest post by Sarah Rohan
First off, Happy New Year to you all. If anyone from the Arsenal team needed a New Years resolution it’s Xhaka! To not make silly mistakes that put our team at risk, again! Why does he keep doing this to us?
We owned the game yesterday. I couldn’t have been any prouder at how the team performed in the first half. Everybody performed their duties, even the liability that is the Swiss star was doing well. Partey bossing it alongside him in midfield may have been keeping him on the straight and narrow until he got caught. They had a strong partnership but is that because Thomas was so good? Was he papering over Xhaka’s weaknesses? What a loss he will be over the coming weeks. On his 40th appearance for us in the Premier League, he showed us why he was such a wanted man.
Our defenders performed excellent once again. Tierney constantly running and creating an assist for Saka’s goal. White was calm and collected. Tomiyasu had a top game as usual and didn’t let Sterling get into the game much. Our only real threat was from De Bruyne’s through balls which nearly caught us out a few times.
Even the usually reliable Gabriel was stopping the Manchester City attack, until more moments of stupidity cost us. We can’t keep losing our heads in these games. If we still had eleven men on the field yesterday, without a doubt, we would’ve walked away with all three points. Even down to ten men we stayed strong and just have to consider ourselves unlucky in injury time. Ref and VAR decisions didn’t help us either…
So back to our main problem the weakest link in our team. What exactly can be done about Granit Xhaka?
I must admit I was a fan of the Swiss midfielder, whilst he is like marmite, some like him and some don’t. He can be a creative part of our team and he can have good games. Unfortunately we just cannot risk him anymore. Time and time again, it comes down to him that changes our game. He cannot defend. He must know himself by now that when he does those challenges, he will come under bigger scrutiny because it is him?
But will Arteta get rid of him? I cant see it. I don’t know what he has to do for our manager to sell him or make him a bit part player. I also cannot see him ever changing. He will always have the recklessness in his play that will weaken the team and cost us games. So sorry Granit. I don’t like Marmite anymore.
I cannot be upset in our performance yesterday in anyway however. Frustrated yes, but no way upset. I now believe we have what it takes to start competing again, to get into the top four.
Our team was exciting to watch and they’ve given me optimism about our future.
Roll on our cup game in the week against the Reds.
Keep the faith Gooners!
Watch Albert Stuivenberg’s FULL Press conference here….