Man City 3-1 Arsenal: City get official help to show gulf in quality

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Before the game Arsene Wenger said it was an opportunity for his team to show they could compete with the best side in the league – something Man City clearly are. Leaving aside some unhappiness over the offside decision for their third goal, it was hard to look at that game and think we’re anywhere close to the level they are.

The team selection was something of a surprise. Not simply because of the presence of Francis Coquelin in the back three – because both Rob Holding (thigh) and Per Mertesacker (illness) were unavailable – but because of Alex Iwobi being brought in ahead of Alexandre Lacazette. If the young Nigerian was going to start I thought it would ahead of Mesut Ozil, but once again in a big game away from home this season the manager left his record signing on the bench.

Having been caught on the break from our first corner – will we ever learn? – I thought we started quite brightly, to be fair, working well together to press City and try and force them into mistakes, and there were some moments we caused them problems.

Slowly they began to exert control though, and after Petr Cech had made a good save, Kevin de Bruyne bypassed Aaron Ramsey with a one-two and his low shot beat the Arsenal keeper to put them ahead. My initial thought it that he could possibly have done better but it was a good finish from a hugely in-form player, and Cech saved our bacon more than once subsequently – along with City’s sloppiness in the final third.

Their second was, it’s fair to say, a soft penalty. Sterling went down very easily, Arsene Wenger labelled it a dive, and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. Sergio Aguero just about scored it in off the post, and it was going to be an uphill struggle from there for Arsenal. It prompted Wenger into a change, putting on Lacazette for Coquelin and going to a back four.

Having a striker on the pitch paid dividends when the French international got us back into the game with 25 minutes to go, cracking home a low shot after being played through by Ramsey. It’s almost as if having players who can score playing up front is a thing we should try more often.

City were still on top in general but at 2-1 the game is still there. However, the linesman failed to spot a clearly offside David Silva and he squared it for Gabriel Jesus to seal the three points for City. The Brazilian’s finish was made all the more easy by the fact the Arsenal players stood around with their hands in the air rather than closing him down, something we had time to do.

It’s the old adage of ‘play the whistle’, and it’s possible to be unhappy at the poor decision from the officials and the way the Arsenal players reacted to it. Had we kept going I think we could have prevented him scoring, and that’s the thing we had control over, not the official. It’s a rubbish decision, no doubt about it, but we can’t ignore our own failings in there too.

Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud came on and made little difference. We never looked like scoring again, and the final stages of the game were punctuated by moments when they found us pushed forward and but for the last-ditch interventions of Laurent Koscielny would have scored more I think.

Afterwards, Arsene Wenger was clearly unhappy at the officials and the part they played in the result:

I would say, overall, once again the referee made the decision today with a soft penalty and an offside goal. We are used to it. I feel they don’t work enough. The referees don’t work enough, their levels drop every season at the moment. Overall, it’s unacceptable what happens.

The decisions … the third goal, at 2-1 we are in the game, but he gives a clear offside goal. That kills the game for us.

I get it. Who doesn’t? It’s annoying when bad decisions go against you, and a team as good as City doesn’t need a helping hand. Maybe at 2-1 we might have scored again, but when you look at the two teams and their overall performances it’s hard not to see the obvious gap. I didn’t think we played that badly, I just thought they were a lot better.

I’d be curious to know Wenger’s thinking regarding the Lacazette decision, because having gone into the game so weakened defensively – and I think Coquelin did as well as could be expected in the circumstances – why did we then also weaken ourselves at the other end of the pitch? Lacazette showed what he can produce when he came on, and on the day Alexis was very much blunted as an attacking force.

He was wasteful and careless, causing us all kinds of problems by giving the ball away, while his contractual compatriot Mesut Ozil once again failed to impose himself on a big game away from home. He ended up with a petulant yellow card, shouting and swearing at his teammates, and you don’t bat an eyelid anymore because even after Wenger building him up pre-game he couldn’t produce.

It’s not just Ozil though, it’s this team and this manager away from home. Not just in the big games either. Losing to Stoke and Watford as well as to Liverpool and Man City isn’t simply down to nefarious officiating, it’s because this team is fundamentally flawed. A goal difference of just +4 after 11 games tells you we’re not scoring enough and/or conceding far too many. I think it’s much more the latter than the former, actually.

A look at the league table tells you something you already know as well: this Arsenal team are not title contenders. I realise what City are doing is a bit special, and they’re leaving almost everyone in their dust, but to be 12 points behind the leaders at this stage of the season is the kind of gap that proves insurmountable more often than not.

It’s just gone November, and while I didn’t really expect us to challenge for the title, there’s always that bit of hope. Misguided as it might be, you hope your team can hang in there until the final months and then who knows? But it’s time to manage expectations.

I don’t see any reason why Arsenal can’t challenge for the top four, and a place in next season’s Champions League, but that’s it. That will have be the ‘silverware’ the Premier League provides, while there remains the possibility of an actual trophy in the cup competitions.

It is what it is, and we are who we are. I don’t think anything’s going to change radically until there is that most radical of changes in terms of the manager, but that’s 19 months away unless things go really, really wrong.

Top four or bust.

There will be an Arsecast Extra this week but as I’m writing this from the departures lounge at Sydney airport, it won’t be until Tuesday evening – assuming I can stay awake, but that’s the plan right now.

Andrew Allen will be here with tomorrow’s blog, catch you later in the week.

70 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a mark of our slow demise that some are relieved we didn’t get hammered.

    In spite of the dubious decisions and the almost respectable score line, the truth is we did get soundly beaten.

  2. Arsenal have only won 16 percent of matches against their top six rivals with Ozil in the team. He is not Arsenal’s only problem, but he remains part of their failings. Just wonder why Arsenal sold Gabriel to Valencia. When you are playing with a back 3. You need the extra cover. And leaving our most expensive signing on the bench again? WTH is Wenger thinking! Playing players out of postion. He can’t even park the bus properly. Look like he is running out of idea to solve the problem he causes. Can’t ignore the facts we are a top 7 team now. And as for the fans we have to live this nonsense for the next 2 year. And we fans in Asia are getting tired staying up late in the night & getting up early in the morning to watch some shit matches from Arsenal.

    • Why did we sell Gabriel? I imagine we had to take advice from KSE which was to make a profit in the last transfer window due to falling out of the CL. For Silent Stan its money first, matters on the pitch second…… or third or something

      • At the start of the season I remember thinking, and know others too felt, that we were well stocked at CB. There were 3 positions and 6 options:

        First choice: Kos the established lynchpin, Mustafi a £35m CB who was expected to grow this season, Monreal had proved himself as excellent there as at left back

        In reserve: Our Big Fucking German having reminded us all of how valuable he can be in a superb cup final display, then two very promising youngsters in Holding and Chambers both off the back of solid campaigns the year before and excellent performances with the England youngsters in the summer who looked like the could be the future of the Arsenal defence for years to come.

        It seemed only decent to let an improved but still not quite good enough Gabriel leave to get a chance of first team football elsewhere. After all we’d probably revert to a back four soon enough anyway and likely had too many defenders.

        Fast forward 3 months and how things have changed: Koscielny looks as though age and injuries are catching up on him rapidly, Mustafi turns out that he wanted to leave but is crocked again anyway, Monreal has been largely excellent but inevitably lacks some of the weapons in a typical CB’s arsenal; Per looks a liability against stronger opposition and has one eye on his new job, and the two up and comers are not trusted and looking ropey. To top it all off there’s no cover at wingback and we’re one injury away from a disaster.

        Suddenly we are playing midefielders in the back in Europe and the league, Debuchy is a valued member of the squa, and now we wish we hadn’t sold Gabriel.

        Couldn’t make it up really could you?

  3. Not sure why the majority of Arsenal fans are all fawning over Manchester City now. Lets not forget that their club is entirely funded by a nation with a dodgy human rights record, yet we were vociferously opposed to allow in anyone, let alone a nation, who may have any blemish on their record, proven or not, so that we may compete with their likes. So we can always stand on the moral high ground and look down on the likes of Citeh, PSG etc. Oh but hang on, Kroenke tries to set up subscription slaughter channels… and causes pensioners to commit suicide by chucking them out of their homes… and he doesn’t pay a penny of his own money to help the club… hmmmm…

    • Of course, they bought their success like Chelsea. Unfortunately it’s the norm now though, only the pure Scandinavian leagues have rules to prevent rich filth coming in and buying success.

    • Oh and or team, the one funded by the guy that has a hunting channel that funds and supports killing of animals with guns for nothing more than to say “I am rich and I can kill big things with guns”…
      I seriously believe that they keep Wenger is his job because of his morals so people like yourself @gmv8 continue to back everything about the team and its vantastic morals. Sure we do somethings a better way than other teams, but we pick on and exploit the small teams like everyone else. We play the game and football is a now a dirty dirty game run by degenerates like Kroenke

  4. Very objective report. “caught on the brake from the first corner” and “not playing to the whistle”. We look a team that is never drilled. There are always many inexcusable dots in our play that you’d not expect in a professionally coached team. There was such an obvious gulf in quality caused not least by City’s superior athleticism (agility), their quickness of mind and movements.

    Poor officiating, yes. But the score line did not favour their superiority. The Ozil/Sanchez exit saga has only helped drag the team down. It’s a muddle. Our midfield was the poorest.

  5. If we don’t win a trophy and fail to get top four, surely Arsene will call time next summer (if time isn’t called for him). When he goes, there will be such conflicting emotions for me.. A great sadness, mixed with huge excitement for something different.

      • Two?! Someones forgetting the triumphant 2-1 loss to Sevilla in the Emirates Cup. Wonder if Wengs is gonna go full Mourinho and get the squad to jam three fingers up every journalists and cameramans noses at the end of the season.

  6. Ozil has become an empty shirt. Sanchez at least put in a shift, a poor and ineffective shift but a shift none the less. Ozil telling a team mate to fuck off was the most he contributed yesterday. If any top 6 team came in with a bid for either in Jan I’d snatch their hand off, as they’d be weakening their teams with displays like that.

  7. I don’t think ozil was swearing at team mates, ( he was fired up footage of him and alexia just before kick off of second half showed there commitment, as they argued debating tactics) I think ozil was saying fuck off, then swearing in German this ref is crap etc.. And looking towards Sane , a fellow German to express his frustration with the ref. which all arsenal fans should have been feeling. Come on Jesus was off side in build up to third goal as well as silva. I was with some Man Utd and arsenal fans and we were all saying Man City are rocking at 2-1 and I don’t think it was just hopeful. Iwobi could have shot earlier twice then hang on to ball til get shut down.laceette showed shooting at goal, when you have the chance scores goals, who knew! . I have to say I only saw from 35 minutes in but we played a decent. The man Utd fan said , ‘ well one thing arsenal have done is not let Man City play patterns and combinations, like they have all season ( the first goal and third off side goal. Not withstanding. ) This was meant as a complentant at our defending as a team , pressing and is a positive to take out of the game performance

    • I saw much the same game as you, Riku. Arsenal was not terrible. The one swearing at teammates was Giroud – once when noone picked up his return after a header and later, when he didn’t get the ball in what he thought was a better position than the other forwards.

    • By that standard we should finish 4th every season then as only 3 teams spend more on transfers and wages than us but then we should also beat 15 teams in the league 30 wins and ninety points if we had done that we’d have been title winners on several occasions the lastime 6 or or 7 years ! The problem with our team is Wenger his team selection, playing style and “tactics” and in game management!

      • Agreed. Get those players ion another team or get another manager in and they would perform. Or be able to perform because the shape of the team would be set up correctly. I like Le Coq but sticking him for the first time this season in the back 3 against the runaway leaders is not the result of sound judgment.

  8. I’ve been asking for a change of manager for like 7 years already, including after our latest cup wins because it’s clear he’s a ‘past’ manager already. Absurd choices like leaving Lacazette on the bench on such big games are just the ice on the cake. There are very good younger managers out there as the other top english teams have shown us, let’s just get one ffs!

    • Same here, pretty much. At least since 2011 anyway, the year that involved a cup final loss to a rubbish relegated team and ‘that’ game at Old Trafford, with a new 3 year contract and a terrible transfer window in between.

      Managers simply can’t spend so long at the same club and keep up the consistency of their most successful periods. Ferguson was an exception, but he was always a much better manager than Wenger anyway.

  9. I saw in this game that Arsene Wenger wants his teams to play like Peps teams starting with the Barcelona teams, but he isn’t able to train them in that style. Pep is a maniacal overpowered trainer who burns what he wants into his players. Arsene should go back to training what he does best and get his type of players. Watching Chelsea beat Man U today and seeing Bakayoko be Patrick Viera really drove this point home to me. How would a player like Lemar help this team? He wouldn’t. The fundamental flaw is Arsene isn’t built to train a team like Pep. Stay in your lane Arsene and you will have more consistent success and less frustration.

  10. Outplayed. No complaints.

    Top 4 was always our maximum ambition. It’s all quite sad. Still; atleast we have our values.

    Put them in the bin.

  11. We clearly lost to a better team on the day, a better squad, a team who has strengthened their squad tremendously over the summer and genuine title favourites. But we showed heart, we were committed, even our contract rebels fought so with that, I am happy. We didn’t put in a limp performance like the Liverpool game. We were never going to be title contenders with the level of investment in our squad so I say let us fight to get back into the top four first and address other issues subsequently. COYG

    • Sadly most of your points are true. When exposed to the best teams Ramsey, Iwobi and the currently off-form Bellerin too often get their pockets picked or just run with the ball into cul de sacs, Xhaka is no £35 million defensive midfielder. Mr Wenger’s purchasing record has been pretty poor over the last 10 or so years, we may have a great stadium but the days of a great team are getting dimmer and more distant. A change must happen soon!

    • good comments. It’s not the players’ fault they are only ‘good’, while the city players are on a different plane.
      Our team is full of good not great players,managed by a past-it manager. A big clean out is required.
      In the mean time, we can only expect the team to try the best and push for top 4

    • I don’t think that Arsenal are not as good a team as City, but the two Managers obviously bring something to and take something away from the players.
      I’ll leave you to work out which manager does what.

      • I just voted you down. Pep The Magnificent did fuck all his first seasons in England. How much did city spend over the summer, 350M? Think about that. And the summer before that, what did they spend? Pep has the “awesome,” “unbelievable” ability to get a team of all stars, some of the best players in the world, to win football matches. For Fucks sake, my 13 year old nephew could “manage” that city side to a top 4 finish – and probably the title. Same at barca, same at bayern. He’s a great manager, when his teams are composed of 75% of the best footballers in the league. Give me a freaking break.

        Wenger, is clearly past it. You spend 50M on a player to not start him? What the FUCK is that?

        Arsenal well beaten by city. They changed, evolved, with blood money. That’s how it is today. Arsenal are stuck in 1999. Changes needed, and tougher times are ahead I’m afraid.

  12. we looked aimless, not really attacking, not really defending. all our pluses were nullified, mostly by our formation. the runs of Kolasinac, the passing of Xhaka and Sanchez and Ozil were poor

  13. I can come to terms with the bad decisions, our inability to beat the top teams, our title hopes this season, and everything else that comes with being a gooner, but what I can’t cope with are commentators (I think it was Smith yesterday) who look at a picture of a man where only half of his leg is onside and continue to say things like “he was being kept on by ___” or “xhaka should focus more on tracking back than complaining” or even “play to the whistle”

    Sure most of those things are true. But what the actual f? i feel like i’m taking crazy pills here. He was offside! That’s not a goal! Is there actually a press agenda against us

  14. ha, we have known what is and where we are for the last ten seasons, and I have never rated ozil, im not blaming him for our defeats, but as a player, and as for fourth place, well don’t hold your breath, we are only above burnley on goal difference, maybe wenger will go at the end of the season, but I don’t know if a new manager will make much difference with stan still there, so for now im not bothered if we win loose or draw, I wont let it get me down

    • The penalty was never a penalty, two players shoulder barged(which is allowed in the game) and both moved towards each other. The fact that Sterling fell and played for the penalty(which players do, even Arsenal players too) should not have swayed the ref, but he was looking for a chance to do his misdeeds and Sterling gave it to him.

    • The penalty was a very good dive by a man who was taught how to dive by one of the best divers in the world, Luis “McBitey McDive” Suarez.

      And as for all the “All the Neutrals” Fuck me!! All the “neutrals” take great delight in relishing in the abject pain of other supporters. As I do with the Chavs, Manure, Oilers, Spuds and Mugsmashers. I can take pleasure from other supporters misery just as much as an Arsenal victory. So equally they do the same. So in reality there is no such thing as a neutral supporter. Just a sliding scale of teams you want to do badly.

    • Yes it was a pen very soft but a pen, thing is if it had been the other way around would it have been given ? I can hear the commentators saying things like ” the Arsenal man went down far too easily should have been stronger “

    • Agreed. I can’t believe people are saying it wasn’t a penalty or even that it was soft. It was more than a shoulder barge, he entangled sterlings legs from behind. It was a very clumsy foul. Wenger calling Sterling a diver is pathetic. He didn’t dive when Kolasinac lumped fouled him in the first half and he didn’t dive when Monreal fouled him in the second half.

      • The reality is that you save up for penalites. There was a situation in the very beginning of the match where city wanted a penalty – and frankly with greater reason. Most refrees will then lower the threshold in the next situation.

      • Do not think wenger used the word diver – fake news -media spin- he did imply sterling went down easy, which , sterling did, he had the option to plant his left foot, but he pulled his leg away therefore he fell.

      • ‘It was more than a shoulder barge, he entangled sterlings legs from behind.’
        Yes! People must be blind or severely one eyed if they couldn’t see the leg entanglement!!!!
        Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to give up ALL objective analytical ability, for crying out loud !!!
        The offside – that was clearly a shocker

  15. Was braced for 7-1 shit-show so, all told, not so bad…

    Arse didnt lose because of poor refereeing
    they lost because Arsenal football club is a giant pot of boiling frogs.

  16. I super don’t care if we get back into the Champions League. I don’t care if the Europa League is a lesser competition. I care that it’s one where we aren’t just there to make up the numbers, not just add our “Brand” to the viewing figures. I care that even when the games are boring, I can at least watch new young talented players to see if there’s anybody on the up. We might even do well in it. There’s possibility. There’s none of that in the Champions League or the Prem, until changes are made.

  17. So, what are these famous Arsenal values?
    1. play like shyte.
    2. moan.
    3. blame it on anything and everything but own shyteness
    4. accuse everyone else of cheating
    5. repeat…

    Them’s some top, top values, them is…

  18. This would have been a lot more palatable had we beaten Watford and Stoke, as we should have done. Sure, we’d still be 6 points behind Man City, but in solid second, ahead of Spurs but having been beaten by a vastly more expensive team. As others have said, you can win the league by consistently beating the dross and getting better than average results against top teams. We drew creditably (deserved to win) at Chelsea. We didn’t expect to win this game and if the team performed to potential consistently we didn’t necessarily need to.

    Notwithstanding the above, not starting Lacazette is mental.

  19. Yes, i thought Iwobi should have replaced Ozil in the 1st half but did not expect Lacazette to be on the bench. Every time Wenger seems to prove that he has no sense of strategy conception, or is just not any good at it.
    This team is not as bad as people think but there seems to be a handbrake(speak Wenger) applied to stop them using their full potential, except at certain moments when he is forced to release it.
    Arsenal brought me to football, and Arsenal are responsible for my (soon)complete loss of motivation about football alongside the stupid official media and the ref organisations.

    In 6 months i will probably have no more interest in football again.

  20. Sorry blogs your assertion that we wernt “that” bad for me is wide of the mark ,our passing overall was poor on occasions awful ! Our hold up play non existent the first touch of just about all our players was way off allowing City to rob us of the ball far too easily making them look world class gengenpressers! Our decision making was quite simply bloody awful except for the one pass from an otherwise poor Ramsey to Laccazette! Cech made some good saves but also dithered with his kicking almost costing us dearly at one point and free kick which saw Xhaka clip the ball against the back of Ramseys head about summed us up ! The manager’s team selection and in game management was yet again awful ! He really does take trying the same thing over and over again and failing to the limit of the alleged quote from Einstein which informs us that doing so is insanity! City are good ,very good BUT we certainly did our level best to try to make them LOOK great ! Going to an in form team like city and trying to pinch a win was only ever a long shot but this team never look comfortable playing that way and when you leave your top striker on the bench knowing that chances will be as rare as hens teeth that’s not optimising that game plan ! Yes the officials were awful but we should expect that and not expect to get the rub of the green play to the whistle for Christs sake ! This result was more predictable than saying the British weather will be unreliable ! We made schoolboy error after schoolboy error our technique was poor to say the least! Until Wenger is gone these results will come along everytime we play against a top side and when we play teams like Watford and Stoke who just love to push the boundaries of fair play ! Catalyst for change my arse ! Nothing has changed nothing at all in fact if anything we have got even worse so I suppose there IS some change just not change for the better ! If we played Bayern Munich next game we would as sure as the sun sets in the West get our arses handed to us yet again! I predict a draw against the scum at best then a we’ll win a few games against the premier leagues whipping boys and get soundly beaten when we face another top four side ! Oh yes our league cup adventure is over West Ham will definitely be at our kids and reserves because Wenger won’t accept that the cups are our best hope and play a “strong ” team !

  21. Nothing soft about the penalty blogs, about as plain and penaltyish as they come.

    And some pretty sour comments from Wenger on Sterling afterwards. No need for that.

    We definitely won’t be signing Sterling now. Chortle chortle…

    • Wish I could thumb that comment down a million times.

      The penalty was soft as a puppy’s fur.

      Sterling is a cunt and he dived like a cunt

      • I know they’ve tried clamp down on diving for penalties, but I think these manufactured penalties should get the same treatment, or even harsher, as it’s even more thought out, and getting more common.. Richarlison, or whatever his name is, did one for Watford against Everton as well. They try and put their leg infront the defender, making it difficult for the defender to avoid contact. As in the handball rule, it should be defender to leg, not leg to defender. Shame it’s got to this. Money again.

  22. I admire your optimism re qualifying for the top 4 Bloggs.
    I think we have zero chance because of these ridiculous team selections Arsene makes.
    We had the travesty at Liverpool first where I swear there were more players out of position than there were in, and the leaving of Lacazette on the bench, many times, but especially yesterday is unbelievable. I joked with my mates when I saw the team selection that Wenger was playing 4-6-0. We didn’t have a striker. Little did i know that Le Coq was part of the back 3 when ‘obviously’ we should have gone 4 at the back and had a defensive mid helping out. And it is obvious, to everyone except Wenger. Unsurprisingly, after bringing an actual striker on, we scored.

    I know the malaise within the club comes from the top, but Wenger really has lost it, he is incapable of making rational decisions any more. I think top 6 is possible, but i genuinely think we should be aiming for the magical 40 points because you never know what could happen with this fragile, unstructured team.

  23. I have said this before and will say again here:
    to actually spend real money on a real quality finisher and then not start him in the one game of the season when…
    – it is patently clear that we will need to grab every and any chance that is offered
    – that Citeh – albeit scoring almost at will, still have a defence prone to offer just such chances
    – and to ‘not start’ him in favour of an inexperienced, work-shy and error-prone youngster (Iwobi) who has only this week informed the media that the Boss has told him he needs to work ‘very hard’ on his defensive contribution?

    W T F ????

    Does Arsene not see what is so patently clear to even the most casual observer?
    Does he know realise that, against, City’s pace and guile, EVERY SINGLE player will need to press like the bollocks and run their socks off? Yet he benches our most consistent goal-getter and plays the bloke he’s only just admonished for not doing sufficient work on the pitch!!!

    I’d rather have 15 mins of Ozil than 90 of Alex shuffling around pretending to almost maybe perhaps put in a tackle!

    • Iwobi works really hard from what I have seen, each game this season.
      I only saw from 35 minutes. But Man Utd fans I spoke to who saw whole match said arsenal pressed well and cut out Man City passing and triangles well.

  24. Seriously, what does Lacazette have to do? There have been so many discussions about the arsenal defence and how Steve Bould needs to make his presence known and people seem to have let Wenger off easy with our up front goings on. To be fair, he obviously has a great track record with the likes of Henry (the King), Bergkamp, Overmars, Ljunberg, Pires and Van Persie but he also has had some bad decisions. Plus some just plain weird ones. Park Chu Young for one, Joel Campbell is another. I am terrified that Lacazette isn’t going to go down the Perez route. Come on, look decent, score some good and crucial goals, the spend months on the bench before being sold.

    Also when he came on he was moved to the right after about 15 mins when Giroud came on. What is going on?!

    Wenger has often had his methods questioned and rightly so. But his attacking prowess often gets him off the hook from scrutiny. But this needs to be addressed and bloody soon otherwise our record signing could end up a record flop. And it won’t be his fault, it’ll be the Managers.

    • Just being pedantic here Ashley but the Lord God Bergkamp was a Bruce Rioch signing and needed no guidance from Wenger on how to play the game ! Dennis along with Adams, Dixon ,Winterburn, Keown, Seaman ,Parlour and for all too brief a time Ian Wright were the backbone of Wengers first two double winning sides none needed coaching on the defensive side of the game or on work ethic or passion and fight ! Without them Wenger is unlikely to have had the early success he did have !

  25. Alan Shearer thinkw Wenger should apologise to Sterling for calling him a diver – aka – pointing out the truest of all truths.

    Silly twat

  26. The Sterling/Ref think is a Jose Esq diversion tactic that has diverted away from Arsene’s awful record away against the bigger teams (Although Mourhino’s is pretty horrid). I don’t think we were dreadful but anyone who thought we could win the title is as delusional as yesterdays linesman.

    • I don’t think we were dreadful either. We were average, but made to look less than average at times by an excellent team.
      As I’ve said before, we are a good team full of good players that is a chance for 4th place this season – it will be a battle between us, Manure and Pool (although I think we are the least favored of those 3 teams to make 4th). It’s just that we are consistently well below the quality of the very top PL teams (Leicester miracle aside).
      That won’t change until we:
      1. Spend much more money on better players; and
      2. Get a new coach with fresh ideas and energy

      There’s no point in stressing about those things we can’t control. Just need to accept and hope we play well given our limitations.
      We really do need to finish 4th though OR win Europa. It’s going to be really chicken and egg stuff in terms of getting excellent players if we aren’t in the CL.

      • Not dreadful ? Perhaps, bloody awful ? Yes ! Our basic technique let us down too many heavy first touches allowing City to close us down and rob us of the ball , our decision making was indecisive and awful all game with one or perhaps two notable exceptions ,far too many inaccurate passes straight to the opposition and a free kick by Xhaka straight against the back of Ramseys head ! Sanchez was playing in a bubble where only he mattered to himself Ozil was played too far forward and even allowing for his record in these games was nullified by doing so ,our defence was a shambles unsurprisingly considering it’s personel were like a Woolworths pic n mix ! Take all the aforementioned then add the “managers” decision to leave out our top striker and still continue with a back 3 conceding the midfield and you get what we got NOTHING !

  27. I agree that AFC aren’t at the level of City at the moment. How far apart I honestly can’t judge with sub-par, seemingly biased officiating. Of course if I say that I’m whinging to many. Sterling’s penalty? I’ve had more contact at the grocer’s and haven’t complained. Silva’s offside? Measured in meters, I suppose. Lacazette’s? measured in millimeters if even measurable. More like pixels. On a level playing field AFC may not be the measure of MC. But we won’t get the chance to judge.

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