Post Match View – Manchester City F.C.

This meeting was supposed to be exciting. It was supposed to be memorable. It was neither.

We played Manchester City to a stalemate Saturday in a match that provided very little entertainment. There were times when I felt like the child who is forced to go on a long road-trip. He sits in the back seat wondering, ‘are we there yet? are we there yet?’.

The weight of expectation for this game was a big factor but that we went into it knowing our season’s top prize can only be finishing third further dampened the occasion. Roberto Mancini choosing to be conservative didn’t help matters. As Arsene commented, maybe they feel that they can get a draw against us and finish the job of clinching fourth head to head against Spurs.

Fuck Spurs!

I didn’t even bother noting the action for this post as I usually do.
The interest was there.
The passion and anticipation were there.
The levels were just slightly off.

I hate feeling like the game doesn’t matter as much as it could. Oh, by the way, FUCK SPURS! And didn’t they live up to “expectation” against United!?!? I hope Wilshere gets a hat-trick against them and then they get smashed at Eastlands.

As for us, we’ve definitely reached a crossroad with this squad. It’s fast approaching time to make some decisions about its makeup. A player like Clichy has done well enough to turn around his recent performances but ideally, a fit Kieran Gibbs is the least he should have to worry about. And now that Fabianski has kept a clean sheet, will Arsene reiterate that Greasy Hands will be great one day? Having Eboue to replace Theo is not the worst option, especially from a tactical point of view, but there’s much, much more that we can/should expect from a right sided forward and neither player provides it. Diaby has improved. There’s no doubting that. To think though that Denilson is still a question mark and that injury-prone Rosicky turns 30 in October begs the question of whether we can match our opponents going forward. No play on words intended.

Our keeper situation – some might say our squad depth overall – is a joke. I wouldn’t go as far as the latter but I understand the frustration, having come so close again this season and finishing with nothing. The frustration mounts, especially when we read that Arsenal F.C. is the third most valuable club in the world. A very simplistic but valid position would ask if our commitment to winning matches our ranking. It’s an interesting debate, financial restraints notwithstanding.

Is it time to start spending more now that we’re on a better plane where the stadium debt is concerned and that many players have proven to be less than reliable?

The UEFA 8:25 rule complicates matters and will make for even more interesting times at Arsenal this summer. I imagine the development of players like Craig Eastmond, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jack Wilshere, Henri Lansbury, Tom Cruise, Sanchez Watt, Kyle Bartley, and a few others from that Youth Cup winning side will now be even more important. And what of veteran reserve but still young players like Nacer Barazite and Mark Randall? Will Conor Henderson and Francis Coquelin make the step up? Is there another Jack Wilshere amongst the youth?

Will the rule give Wenger more reason for staying committed to giving these kids a chance or will he modify his plan by bringing in a few established, super talented players? I know he likes David Villa. Those thoughts were running through my head as I watched City play a very cautious game. Tevez was hardly a factor. Bellamy found out what it’s like to face Alex Song. He has come a long way attitude and behavior-wise but he did manage to anger the mild-mannered Song. Bellamy should consider himself lucky. I wouldn’t fuck with Song. Abou Diaby (who almost won it with the shot that KO’d Shay Given) was in Patrick’s face like our former hero had something of his. A ticket to South Africa perhaps?

Those were the only highlights for me. The game was tepid at best. Seeing Patrick in City colors was a bit unsettling but I got over it pretty quickly to be honest. I still love the guy though. I remember how proud I used to feel seeing him patrol the pitch. A great man recently described him as one of the best ever. No argument here.

It would be interesting to see the number of matches we’ve played this season with our full team. The injuries excuse is one I will not use but let’s be clear, one of the reasons for Wenger’s position against “financial doping” is that it allows clubs with sugar daddies to bench top quality footballers when others are forced to include youth or average players. The 8:25 rule may change that. How it will affect our club remains to be seen.

One thing is certain however, we must get this nightmarish injury situation sorted one way or another. The City match was supposed to be meaningful. It turned out to be just another game. What would have we done to City with a fit Cesc, Arshavin, Gallas, and Vermaelen?

While some are debating if finishing third is really an improvement, I am left asking why have we failed, again???

I’m suddenly feeling empty. Worse, I don’t have much more of real interest to say but I do feel this needs to be said; FUCK SPURS. I’m out.

Keep the Faith

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