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Team News: Man City vs Arsenal

Teams news for today`s massive fixture.

Man City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Negredo

Man City subs: Hart, Lescott, Kolarov, Garcia, Navas, Milner, Dzeko

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott, Ramsey

Arsenal subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Gnabry, Bendtner

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 14 2013

Time: 12:02PM

Your Comments

The surprise for me is not playing both Arteta and Flamini and Gibbs not even listed. Hope he isn't injured.
If we remain true to our quick passing and counter-attacking philosophies, we should get something from the game. Good luck, boys.
Wenger playing a team that is going for the win here - surprised and excited! COYG!!!!!
Galway Gooner
Just thinking that Cazorla should be starting this one.....he can't be happy to be on the bench.
Nacho and Jack have no idea what defending is down our left. Get with it fellas.
Bloody crap.. Poor defending from Nacho
And unfortunately, today we are facing the good city..not the crap city.
We have to have improvements in the 2nd half. While City have looked better in the 50-50s and all round assured play, if we can up our level of commitment, there is no reason we can't trouble them. Jack needs to patiently, pick his passes instead of being hurried and Walcott has to give more precise support to his full back. Sometimes, you feel he tries to shirk the defensive side of his role while flattering us by looking interested.
Injury to Kos spells another one on the treatment table for us and a stint in the side for Vermaelen, who I hope, will make the best of the opportunity. Ozil has again gone missing. Why not throw on Rosicky and Cazorla so we can have our core on display.
One thing though, the officiating for the offsides has been wrong a few times, favouring City and working against us. For the first goal, Negredo was offside when Kos headed the ball for the corner from which Aguero scored. Then the offside calls against Monreal and Theo were wrong.
3rd goal is self inflicted. Why do we try to be so intricate in our dangerous areas?
Get in there! Theo!!!
What happened to our "best defence" today? I understand Kos-Mert partnership broken but I would say Monreal has shown his weaknesses as well.
Unfortunately fellow gooners we are pretenders for the title.
City have been very very good. To have a chance against them we need them disinterested but they haven't given us a sniff today.
FT: Here comes the numpties. Bad time to mancity
Bad time to play Mancity
6-3 > 1-6 > 6-0 . ***** you spurs.
1 point from the 3 big games this week. We failed this test big time. Must win very Chelsea now.
Credit to City. They are good. Especially at home. We made a game of it but weren't quite good enough and not the best time for us to face them. Wilshere disappointing Ramsey not much better, poor decisions from both, but Walcott looks a threat again.
We were terrible today there's no getting away from that, but the officiating was beyond pathetic. Two goals and a penalty all taken away from us incorrect. These refs and linos are getting worse every season.
Giroud was wastefull, so unlike us we were so had so many mispalaced passes, and am i the only one who feels that Ozil should work his socks of the team?, sometimes he seems like he is not interested.
We have 9 days before the next game. Wenger needs to scrutinize the video of this game with the players. The mis-placed passes were countless and at times, we dwelt so long on the ball and then look surprised when dispossessed. Our boys just didn't turn up for this one and rather looked like they wanted it to be over with by the 3rd goal.
After watching this game, i have come to conclude that 1. We will not win the league with these players. 2. Jack Wilshere, Nacho Monreal and TV5 should have the privilege of starting a game for Arsenal taken away from them. Defensively they are liabilities, offensively the contribute nothing.
Interesting how the comments on this site seem to go up when we lose a game. Long lost friends materialize from the wood works to give their prophetic viewpoints which were not offered while we lasted on the top of the log. Curious too.
And where do i start with Giroud the last 6 games, he has been absolutely pathetic. Adebayor will do a better job that Giroud at the moment. I dont want Adebayor, i am just comparing big striker that holds the ball. Theo, Ozil, Sagna, Ramsey were the only 3 that did a good job today.
*comments count*
Naijagunner How can you not love BFG
Naija, tbh, just ranting mate. Will be fine in a few horus and few drinks down.
I can understand Wenger not putting Arterta, Carzola, and Gibss in the starting line up because they have been pathetic the last few games and he was hoping their replacements would do better, unfortunately the replacements were worse.
Naija - It has always been that way. We win a big game and nobody has much to say, but as soon as things look a little dodgy it's comment city. I doubt it will ever change .... and probably the reason Vital Spurs is so busy :)
Lol, Rocky7, re: Vital spurs. And there was thinking it was the size of their fan base responsible;-)
I think people tend to come here to drown their sorrows more than they come to celebrate their victories :) the only thing I wish is for us to just not lose one of these big games, just come away with a point. 6 goals against is laughable
Especially, considering we had the best defence in the league. I think the Manager didn't set up the squad to defend well, but rather had this brainwave about coming to their ground to show who coaches the side with more flair, which is a shame because it is naive and shows we haven't learned to negotiate our way to a trophy.
Big games vs big teams = we do not do the biz, anyone else worred about Chelsea on Monday? Just me...?
Rocky7 Vital Spurs is so busy because we love out team and as such we tend to have rather long involved meaningful debates, All I see on here is desperation and a lack of belief in your own club. Oh well looks like you are going to drop into the EL next season whilst WE will be in the CL.. Unlike you lot who with your own admission only seem to come on Vital Arse to moan and Whinge.
I would just like to say thankyou Arsenal for a great game. You are the best team we have played at home this season. Today I think we had too much all round power.
All you goons that came on to vital Spurs taking the ***** when we conceded 6 against Man City are strangely absent today, I wonder why? LOL. I rate that pratt of a goalkeeper of yours who was taking the ***** on facebook was man of the match today. The way he picked the ball out of the net 6 times was magnificent.
No dramas, we were outplayed by a very good side. Not many teams will score 3 at Etihad this season. The team will bounce back & go on another winning run. Consistency wins the league & so far this season we have been quite consistent compared to other title contenders. COYG!
The difference is Hot_Spur, you were completely embarassed, however we, despite playing very badly, we unfortunate not to come away with at least a draw.
Good to see Spurs fans are alive and kicking. We have missed you lot a while. Who knew that a defeat would bring your sorry arses back here. .[And this is to the trolls / not the sane ones ]
Had a go at the team on Wednesday for giving Napoli space to punish us. They did it again today. We won't win anything with defending like that. Curious that in the space of a week or so our defensive concentration has gone AWOL. Complacency has crept back into our game. Not sure why Rosicky wasn't on the pitch today.
Wyn Mills
OUCH!!! Top of the log and hit for six! That must hurt real bad. Ha ha haaaaa!!!
neymar, like that is a first.
I've said it before and i'll say it again, wilshere is not yet ready for the 1st team. Always misplacing passes and losing the full back he is supposed to track. Monreal had a bad day at the office but the real culprit was wilshere, gave the ball away for a goal(as usual) and failing to track zabaleta throughout the match.
Wilshere plays like he believes his own hype. Someone needs to tell giroud that no matter how many knock downs you win, a striker will be judged by his chance conversion ratio. Take a bow wenger, you've led from the front in complacency.
"If we remain true to our quick passing and counter-attacking philosophies, we should get something from the game. Good luck, boys."....Naijagunner.

Got something from the game alright......Thrashed!!!.
Cider spurs
Wilshere obviously didn't cover himself in glory but he's not a specialised wing player and along with there being no Gibbs and Nacho not having the best game, it didn't help. Really it was just a poor team performance and you can only imagine Arteta was injured or tired otherwise why in a game against City would you not play him and Flamini together. Perhaps Naija is right and Wenger's insistence that we will try to play our game was our downfall whereas we should have tried to be more solid. City have a great attack capable of making space but at times there were oceans for Toure to pick his passes right outside our penalty area. Whilst us scoring three is also good and shows that City are vulnerable because they are so attack focused, there's no way we should be conceding 6 goals. Very surprised we didn't see Cazorla, Arteta and Rosicky on at some stage because they might have seen us have control of the game for certain parts. I certainly think we are capable of beating Chelsea at home but Mourinho seems to know how to set up his teams to beat Wenger, similarly to how Fergie did.
Naijagunner....On a sensible note, banter aside, i must admit i thought some of the Refs decisions were baffling. Offsides, and for me a definite penalty. May have come of his thigh first, but what was the arm doing out there in any case. What's up with the boy Ozil?, does he not like the big games?. Said it all season, you look good going forward at times, but to be fair Citeh' could have scored more, and the warning signs were there pretty much from the off, Aspirations will be tested against Chelsea, so we will see if you really are going to be worthy of a Champions elect tag. on that performance...i'm not so sure.
Cider spurs
Vin....i too think that was your downfall, too much emphasis on attack. It has served you well thus far, but a rampant City team at home is maybe a step too far. As a neutral, i enjoyed the game and without trying to wind anybody up, i felt that to many of your creative players had a mediocre game. As you state, maybe Wenger could've mixed it up a little more in MF.
Cider spurs
Trouble is that sitting back away to City doesn't work either. Which is why they'd only previously conceded two goals (and not more than one in a game) in the league at home this season. We might have scored more - but then we might have conceded more too. The 3 goal winning margin is the same as they had against ManU and less than they managed against 3 other teams - and only as low as a 2 goal margin in 2 games. So far they've seemed less effective away from home. Disappointing but room for some perspective too as the season has still some way to settle.
Cider spurs, obviously, we didn't stay true to our quick-passing and counter-attacking philosophy, so don't blame me for predicting we would get something from the game ;). To be fair, we looked drained of any fight at some point; I had stated earlier that this is the one fixture in which Alex Song's value shows. African to African, he always was able to shackle Yaya Toure. Yesterday, we gave him far too much space and our players appeared to be bumped off the ball too easily by him. I like the fact we have some rest days; some freshness would certainly make for a more energetic performance against Chelsea.
well doe Szczesny man of the match the way u picked that ball out of the net 6 times no 1 can better
*I stated that this is one fixture I missed not having Song around*

Gooner_vin, Wenger has to agree that there are some games you just try to stay solid for. We did start out that way but, when we come up against certain Managers, old buddies of his, he becomes a little kid again, out to prove he is still the same old master of the flair play. This is evident from his post-match take of the events, where he would say things like "their keeper was their best player", or "we could have scored more too, so little in between", completely missing the fact that we just dropped the points. I must say he has curbed that habit this season and I really believed he was playing mind games when I read he intended to set out to attack, until I saw the team sheet. After a gruelling week, we would have been happy with a draw and starting Arteta and Flamini, maybe playing Vermaelen at left back would have helped send that message to the players. Anyways, I still trust his judgment.
Naijagunner....That's a fair comment ref: Song. He offered your team alot, and his assists from deep for RVP made for good reading. Like you say over a week off now before Chelsea. As a neutral this one will be interesting. Both blessed with talent in the final 3rd, probably both one up top, could make for an enjoyable spectacle.
Cider spurs
On a closing note. You believe that maybe Wenger should have kept it tight and seured a point out of the game and moved on. That said, because this was not the case and no points were gained, do you now feel that you have to go all out to win vs Chelsea??.( not sure who's home so please excuse), or again would you rather stop a rival to your aspirations with a shared points haul?. All out attack, or cautionary tight affair settling for a share of the spoils?.
Cider spurs
Amos, didn't see your post before sending my last one. However, we could still be solid without sitting back. With Theo starting, we could have only Sagna as an overlapping full back while all the rest of the back 3 stay back mostly. Midfield of Arteta and Flamini would cover for any spaces left in front of the back 3/4. We could look, at times, like a 5-3-2, when going forward or 4-5-1 when defending.
Cider, Arsenal would go all out and beat Chelsea! We are home (not that that counts for much). That defence of theirs isn't about to stop a refreshed Arsenal side.
On that note, i'll wish you good day and concentrate on all things Spurs. Thank you for the responses.
Cider spurs
Strange how players that weren't always lauded when they were with us somehow acquire unmatchable qualities once they're playing in the reserves elsewhere. I'm not sure that Toure was 'always' shackled by Song nor that Toure was the player that needed shackling in yesterdays game. In fact he was at fault for our first goal. Would Song have been able to shackle the more effective Fernandinho? Not that trying to shackle City at the Etihad is anything other than a fool's errand this season as results have shown. Give them the credit their home form deserves. We gave it a go yesterday at the result could just as easily been 5-4 as it was 6-3.
Just love Mertesacker's rant at Ozil. Some players will need reminding what it means to put on that jersey, and what it takes to get back up when you're knocked down. Per and Flamini seem to understand what it means to roll up their sleeves.
Wyn Mills
Amos, some more conservative side would still go to the Etihad and beat them. Bayern Munich did so; true, they beat them in the reverse, but head to head..... The point about Song is he won't allow the dominance they had in midfield, especially with Toure playing. While he was with us, they never did. Toure or Fernandinho, it would be the same for Song. Look, he is gone now, but one only wanted to point out some aspects of his good side we miss. is my opinion, I guess.
Though you're perfectly entitled to hold it I'm not sure where this opinion that Song was somehow an indomitable force in midfield comes from. For much of the time he was criticised for deserting his post allowing others to dominate us. As far as I can see in the only full game Song played against Toure in City colours City won.
Hmmmm....24 hours after mocking us for a 3 goal losing margin away to City, Spuds are now having to reflect on their own 5 goal losing margin at home to 'pool. You'd think they would've learned to keep their counsel until after they'd played by now.
In hindsight, Wenger got his starting line up and tactics slightly wrong. We should have started with Arteta and Flamini, either Rosicky or Ramsey ahead of them with Ozil and Walcott on the wings. We gave the City midfield far too much time and space. Everything is easier in hindsight tho. At the end of the day Wenger was badly let down by his players, especially Wilshere and Monreal. I think it was a big mistake to play Wilshere and Monreal on the left flank together for the first time in such a big game. Awful to lose a game like that where we shoot ourselves in the foot so many times by making basic errors. Giroud missed some easy chances and the officials gave a lot of important decisions in City's favour also. Still it was not a game we were expected to win. I think we have to learn our lessons and move on. I think we have more than enough to beat Chelsea. We need to give them a good thumping and make a statement.
Yeah Spuddies, they are beyond embarrassing LOL
Spuds were well and truly outplayed. It's a joke how they never learn. I do hope Cider spurs returns here to "gloat" about their performance :-)
Amos, I do not wish for the return of Song; however, when he needed to be disciplined, he was effective and would usually be disciplined with Yaya Toure playing. I can't argue with your knowledge of the stats/records but I do recall we beat them 0-3, with Yaya absolutely bossed by Song. After that, we did have a couple of 1-0 reverses and a couple of draws, all the time, Song stood toe to toe with Yaya. He was always the player we put on the key midfielder of the opposing side in the big games. Worked most times.
See spurs fans.. look at what you did.. :D
Its gonna be aurevoir to AVB soon. Glad we are out of the league cup or it would have been us playing on Tuesday and chelsea having a 9 day rest. Our knackered squad does need a rest.
That 3-0 was against 10 men with a City a man down after 5 minutes. Toure was subbed at half time when they were only 1 down. As I said the only time they've played against each other for 90 minutes City won. I think Song was underrated to some extent but not to the extent that he 'worked most times' in suppressing other key midfielders. I think Arteta has been far more effective than Song ever was.
Hahaha! I said I can't compete with your record of the details, Amos. But, pray...why do you figure Yaya was substituted? Could it be vI am not so certain but I think we beat them 1-0 two seasons ago and Yaya was on full time. I just recall that in all of the games they squared up against one another, Yaya has had a torrid time.
I won't argue that Arteta has probably, been more effective but that would be down to the way Arsene set up the team. While he used Arteta as strictly a DM, he would either shift Song forward or to CB, taking off a defender for a striking option, depending on what he wanted of the team and that's because of his versatility.
Yaya would have been a tactical substitution. One that didn't work as they conceded more goals when he was off the field than when he was on. We did beat them 1-0 at the Emirates back in April 2012 but Yaya went off injured after only 17 minutes. Earlier the same season they beat us 1-0 when both Yaya and Song played the full 90 - that haven't squared up that often otherwise.
Where does this sudden myth that having Songwould have meant the shackling of Toure? I suppose that we will be having the Diaby is the new Vieira one next! Song was a good unloader of the ball from the opposition but in his last two seasons very undisciplined defensively.
That would be correct, Amos. I just recall there was a 1-0 where Yaya played full time but wasn't so dominant. And as for his substitutions, could it be because he was "shackled"? Going off injured too was after a challenge from Song (I don't advocate players hurting others). You need to see those games again. Yaya could never boss Song. Again, all I observed was how he always stood up to the challenge of Yaya; no regrets he left. At least, I am allowed to reminisce after we allowed Yaya and Fernandinho the freedom of the park on Saturday.
The only big game I remember song doing a great job in d.m was at home against barca which we won 2-1 and he was given a man marking role on messi. He should have been sent off twice or thrice in the ist half cos he kept commiting blatant fouls despite being on a yellow card. Wenger eventually subbed him off after yet another blatant foul.
....and that was a "great job"? Lol! Be fair to the man, nna. I recall how we were gushing about him and fans even going so far as to name him the best DM around, at some point. Like I said, look up those games again.
Those games were not big games and he was adored for his ability to join the attack better than flamini could esp threading 40yard passes to v.p of which most were hit and miss. He wasn't lauded for his grit in tackling or marking but for his 'new found' flair and goal threat. Didn't you notice that his sale was much like xleb's , wenger knew he was dispensable because we had shifted away from playing the old fashioned d.m. Added to the fact that he began to get carried away with his 'flair' and began shirking defensive duties leaving us open to counters. Arteta on the other hand possesses all the required flair but knows how to remain disciplined for the team
I already made the point about how Wenger's change in approach to DM role influenced the way Song played. If he had no grit tackling, why do you figure he was given the job to mark Messi, and, as you stated, he did a great job? Why would Wenger take off a natural CB for a striker and withdraw Song to the CB role? We forget so easily how we all lauded his presence, even beyond his 'new found flair', in the midfield role, in between flaying him for lack of discipline. 'Nuff said.
Of all the big teams, only chelsea still uses the traditional d.m, that's why even barca converted mascherano to cb, and song gets to make cameo appearances from time to time.
Everton have Barry; Liverpool have Gerrard or Lucas; United use Carrick; Chelsea have Mikel or Essien; Spurs Sandro/Paulinho; City Fernandinho; to be fair, I think pretty much every team in the premier league plays a defensive central midfielder. Some of them might also be good passers (like Song was, arguably), but every team has them...

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