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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Arsenal vs. Manchester City

The Grove

25/08/07

15:00GMT

Arsenal V Man City

Although tomorrow will be a testing game for The Gunners, Arsene Wenger's team will be somewhat relieved to face the in-form Man City.

Although City wont come to The Grove with the intention of playing exciting, attacking football, they wont come to kick lumps out of us, unlike most of our visitors. And hosts for that matter!

You can call Sven a lot of things, but a thuggish tactician is not one of them.

Expect the Swede to deploy a 5 man midfield, and try to keep the ball more than his team managed in the Manchester Derby last week.

Arsene Wenger has already confirmed his intention to play two strikers, so Van Persie will be a happy man, Sven will not.

Gilberto Silva might be rushed back to help contain the exciting Geovanni in midfield.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger heaped praise on new Citeh Gaffer Sven-Goran Eriksson'Maybe he [Sven] wants to show you how good he is. He is a very good manager.

'I know all his signings and they have done well.

'Sometimes you take a risk buying more than three players because you could disturb the unity of the team but they have clicked super-quickly.'


The former England manager can see some similarities between his approach and Arsene Wenger's to managment: 'Arsenal's policy is to buy young players and let them grow into a team and to some extent that is what we have done here.

'The players I have bought are already good but their best is still to come.

'I didn't want to buy any players who were well into their 30s and perhaps had done their best days.'

Arsenal Team News:

Good news for Arsenal fans. Adebayor and Gilberto Silva both return for Arsenal, while Denilson and Eduardo Da Silva came through their return from injury with no problems.

There is also some bad news, Gallas, as I'm sure you're all aware, will be out for at least 3 weeks with a groin injury. Jens Lehmann will also be out for a similar length of time with an Achilles problem.

Tomas Rosicky and Manu Eboue are also both still missing.

Player to watch: Van Persie

A strike partner will bring out the very best in Van Persie, and the probable lack of bullish tactics will also do the Dutchman no end of good.

Despite the excellent start to the season made by Kasper Schmeichel, I think Robin will have a superb game. His first Arsenal hat-trick? We'll see.

Manchester City Team News:

Rolando Bianchi will return to the City line-up after an injury to Valeri Bojinov ruled the striker out for 5 months.

Stephen Ireland is also likely to return after having the Spurs (squits).

Player to watch: Deiberson Geovanni

Could I have picked any other player after his start to the season?

He'll be a constant threat coming from midfield, and his lethal shot can be deadly, just ask Citeh's Manchester neighbours.

Ref Watch:

Chris Foy will over see the battle of the brains. He'll not take any mouth from the players, nor will he allow the managers to get too heated before he sends them packing.

Match Prediction:

Most people are predicting a cagey affair, not me. I know City will play a defensive game, but with the movement of Eduardo and the lack of Thuggery, I'm predicting a comfortable 3-1 win for The Arsenal.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 25 2007

Time: 12:34AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
What about elano? he's surely THE MAN TO WATCH!?
korodon
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25/08/2007 04:03:00

great to hear Adebayor is back. He is going to be perfect with RVP upfront,
gunnerkid107
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25/08/2007 04:32:00

Yep great news about Ade but he wont start the game with RVP I am sure Dudu will and Ade will come on for him in 60 mins
afghenry
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25/08/2007 05:52:00

I hope we can rely on you to assist us in our quest to top the table by tonight :-)
merlin
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25/08/2007 08:05:00

Elano has been by far Svens best signing so far. Geovanni has had an impact but his Man U goal was all luck and the West Ham goal was taken well but came off of someone elses good work and was due to West Ham pushing forward and there being no right back. Elano has assisted 3 of 4 City goals so far and he is their man main. If Gilberto is to start, which i hope he will, his main job will be holding Elano as everything goes through him.
Ozi Gooner
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25/08/2007 08:57:00

Ozi you are right about everything going through Elano he is a very intelligent player! I share your hope that Bert will start as Flamini gets caught out of position far too often. I dont understand why Flamini spends most of the game in a position further advanced than Cesc as its not his role and it hinders the performance of Cesc as he is then left to cover. Flamini is another Zokora he runs about alot but contributes very little - he is weak in the tackle, has limited range of passing and far too often takes up poor positions. I appreciate his desire and commitment but at this level its not enough. We need to be very careful today this city team will punish us with super quick counter attacking football.
gunner1981
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25/08/2007 09:48:00

I can see City winning this one . But since the other team's original "player to watch" is injured, you lot will probably win .
k_chelski
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25/08/2007 13:00:00

I can see you losing, or at least drawing, to Portsmouth to Kev.
Ozi Gooner
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25/08/2007 13:08:00

Bert in for Phillipe who injured himself in the warmup, our CBs are dropping like flies. Can we have Djourou back please!
JakeB
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25/08/2007 15:04:00

Sagna out now too
SUX2BU
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25/08/2007 16:12:00

CESC!!!
JakeB
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25/08/2007 16:42:00

I'm blaming my mistakes in the preview on the fact that I was in a bit of a rush so I could get some treatment for my broken wrist. Now is that dedication to you lot or what? Most footballers come off if they break nail, not me, I carry on with a broken wrist. Yeah, love you too. :D
simmy8_2000
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25/08/2007 17:08:00

cool we bagged 3 points... now a days FAB/HLEB are scoring the decisive goals in crunch times... I think RVP is relieved at least :)
KnightOfARSENAL
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25/08/2007 18:39:00

Great result, but we should have won it by atleast 2 goals
afghenry
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25/08/2007 18:46:00

Gilberto Silva MOTM, the man was ******** brilliant. Did both the invisible wall and Tony Adams jobs impecablly, what a legend and what a proffesional.
Ozi Gooner
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25/08/2007 18:47:00

This is the 3rd game I have watched this season and I feel we are a striker short. I thought Bert and Kolo were rocks, Cesc and Denilson were outstanding, the flamster did a good job covering on the right for Sagna. RVP had a good game, Ade was poor. I dont know how many times he was caught off side, he lacked pace and when he needed to break early he didnt. If Wenger doesnt buy a striker then I think Dudu and RVP will be our best attack. Dudu needs to get used to the pace of the game but he puts himself about and he is always looking to get in the box. I would even go as far as to say that if he had started today, I think we might have won more comfortably. Anyway who cares, 1 nil to the Arsenal.
themadafrican
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25/08/2007 18:52:00

Also a couple of interesting ones. Check out the stats on the Chelsea game. Cole cleared off the line , Pompey had more possession and more shots at goal. It will be interesting to see what Chelsea say but I think next weeks game could be tough. Lastly where was Freddie for the Hammers, I think he is injured AGAIN, but I wonder what he thinks about what he said about the Arsenal now.
themadafrican
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25/08/2007 19:16:00

i tot both ade and rvp had bad games....but u hav to give credit to the city defence...they were solid esp. dunne....god we cudnt get a shot past him
karley
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25/08/2007 19:20:00

Credit where it's due, City played prett well today, espescially their defence. What has Dunne got against us? Glad of the three points though and I don't think we'll have to put up with manygames where both Ade and RVP are both out of sorts. Hope Sagna is okay though as he's been awesome for us so far.
flv
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25/08/2007 19:34:00

Shame City's most important player didn't play. He would've won them the game. Who do you lot play next?
k_chelski
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25/08/2007 19:35:00

Should have won by more but no complaints at all. Great goal from Cesc, great assist from Hleb, and well done Flamini & Bert for helping a makeshift defence keep a clean sheet. 3 points is the main thing and we dug it out.
JakeB
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25/08/2007 20:56:00

Sparta then Pompey. And K_chelski I think you should worry about your own woes. You were outplayed at home just barely scrapped by. We outplayed our opponent and deservedly got the 3 points. The same cant be said about you.
gunnerkid107
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25/08/2007 20:57:00

Gilberto was indeed excellent in a position he normally doesnt cover so well... Hleb and Cesc were good, as was Almunia in denying a goal in a 1-on-1 situation towards the end. Tommy and Clichy faded in the second half and I dont think RVP played that well.
Andy-bayor
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25/08/2007 21:16:00

Worried? Nono sugar. we got a goal, chilled out, and waited for the counter attack. we have several clear chances of goal.I would be worried if my team was Spuds or MAnyoo, why would I be worried when my team is 1st? But you truly got lucky that City's best player was injured for this game.
k_chelski
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25/08/2007 21:45:00

Bluddy 'ell Kchav how can you bang on about luck with the amount of deflected goals that your dieticianally challenged midfielder Flumpard has jammed in??... beggars belief.
nikolaijns
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25/08/2007 22:07:00

Ok you got a point that you shouldnt be worried but their best player is either Elano or Geovanni and they both played.
gunnerkid107
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25/08/2007 22:08:00

Nikooos! Congrats on your win, I knew Arsenal would be dangerous, and I got that right, if you lot can keep you, you lot wil bel on the race for a long time. He missed a penalty in a World Cup, I think it's balanced! Gunnerkid, City didn't have the most vital player for them on the pitch today, he is injured. Out for two weeks...or is he?
k_chelski
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25/08/2007 23:07:00

(( But you truly got lucky that City's best player was injured for this game )) ... oh i didn't know that maradona plays for city ! ok the blugrian guy is really good player but u can't say they lose the match for that !! and it is TEAM game ! they beat united without him !
Gooner SA
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26/08/2007 01:01:00

Nop nop, not that guy. Btw, you might see Maradona playing against pele soon (seriously).
k_chelski
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26/08/2007 01:29:00

My feeling after this game is that we still need more width. I keep ranting about this... Schmeichel looked so vulnerable on crosses and the only crosses we made were through Clichy (a wing back). I really feel that we were too narrow at times and that Hleb looked anonymous for a lot of the first half. Overall.. relieved that we got the win but long term.. there are things to sort out without a doubt.
arsenalrulz4ever
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26/08/2007 05:12:00

It was a good 3 points, despite Ade/RVP not looking their best. Hleb had a good game, winning a penalty and providing the assist on the goal, and it was a good finish by Cesc. Gilberto was very good at CB, and our defence looked rarely troubled, which is a recent positive trend. 1st clean sheet for the season !!
prits
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27/08/2007 06:57:00

seen a few arsenal highlites you seem to be playing some nice football but not scoring as many as you have done in the past, what or where is the problem ?
Custard
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29/08/2007 04:48:00

 

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