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Arsenal v Man City; why 4th is a trophy, the teams, and the real meaning of the word “pundit”.

By Bulldog Drummond

According to the Guardian Pep Guardiola was asked if he thought that securing Champions League qualification for next season would be as great an achievement as winning a trophy, Guardiola replied, “Here, yes. Definitely.”   It is interesting that there has been little backlash from the fans of Man City.  And remember he is saying fourth is as great an achievement as first.  It is, thus, a trophy.  I wonder how long he would survive at Arsenal saying such things.

According to the BBC, all is not plain sailing at Manchester City however.  Their website says,  “If Arsene Wenger finds himself at a crossroads, so do some members of City’s staff. It’s hard to see anything other than a major Etihad clearout in the summer, with Pep Guardiola having judged a squad with an ageing core and found it wanting.”

But no matter, we have a game to play and as might be expected there is quite a lot of debate in the papers about the match.  Some statistics are there too.  But here’s one that gets very few mentions…

Game Date Opposition Venue Result
13 27.11.2016 Bournemouth home W3-1
15 10.12.2016 Stoke City home W3-1
18 26.12.2016 West Bromwich Albion home W1-0
19 01.01.2017 Crystal Palace home W2-0
22 22.01.2017 Burnley home W2-1
23 31.01.2017 Watford home L1-2
25 11.02.2017 Hull City home W2-0
.
One defeat and six wins in our last seven home games.  Not perfect, but not too bad.  Add this to the point made yesterday that Arsenal are undefeated in their last 5 home matches against Man City in all competitions, and a little ray of sunshine might appear – although not for the confirmed doom mongers.
.
Indeed I have oft wondered what it is like to be so utterly negative about one’s football club all the time.  It must lead to quite a depressing life.  And since most clubs don’t win anything most of the time, an inevitable life for those of that turn of mind.
.
Anyway we should see quite a few goals today as there have been three or more goals in seven of the last eight games.  If we can just get them down the right end, all should be fine.  And that is going to be vital given that Man City have not conceded in their last three away games.  Plus as the statisticians have been telling us with glee, they have won their last three away games.  (They love to get these things in twice).

And thus we get the game summed up by the Guardian, as “Given the toxic atmosphere currently surrounding the club, a visit from one of the Premier League’s best teams and a direct rival for the top four could be daunting for Wenger.”

Indeed looking at the previews and the way the entire crowd is being presented as anti-Wengerian, it would seem that Arsenal could count themselves lucky if Arsenal don’t concede ten and Mr Wenger isn’t assassinated while watching the game.

Now – the pundits.  This week I looked up the origin of that word, mostly to escape the toxic atmosphere of the media, and found that it comes from Sanskrit “pandita” meaning a learned man who is versed in the philosophy, religion and jurisprudence of India; but later one who is an expert. later a learned expert or teacher.  That was the 16th century meaning, but by the 18th century it was used in a jocular way (all this according to the wonderful 6000 page multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles – one of many volumes on the English language that regales the book cases of Untold’s editorial HQ.)  In short calling someone a pundit was to point to someone who claimed he knew it all but actually knew nothing.

Thus it is interesting then that in order to laugh at the pundits for their absolute lack of knowledge and utter (but not admitted) bias one simply has to call them “pundits”.  An interesting thought.
.
Anyway, here’s a couple of extra thoughts on today’s game which the BBC unravelled:

First, this is only the second time in Premier League history that Arsenal have been outside the top five in April. The other was in 2006.

Second, Alexis Sanchez has been involved in an unrivalled 27 Premier League goals this season, scoring 18 and providing nine assists.

As for the teams the Guardian goes with an interesting option.

Oooooooooooooooooooooopina

Bellerin   Mustafi   Koscielny   Monreal

The Ox   Coquelin   Xhaka

Alexis   Welbeck   Ozil

 On the other hand WhoScored has

Oooooooooooooooooooooopina

Bellerin   Mustafi   Koscielny   Monreal

Xhaka Ramsey

Walcott   Ozil   Welbeck

Alexis

Which is the pundit, and which has insight?

The latter looks more conventional, and quite a bit depends on how you feel about the Ox.  The Man City manager was heaping great praise on him this week, while the pundits (using the 18th century meaning of laughing at someone who proclaims knowledge but most self evidently doesn’t have it – the jocular version) were knocking him as hard as possible.

So the beach will be made up of some of Martínez, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Holding, Gibbs, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Iwobi, Giroud plus the players who miss out in one of the two versions above (The Ox, Ramsey, Walcott, Coquelin).

Thus the issue is, does Mr Wenger go for the tried and tested approach (the Who Scored version) or the radical departure (the Guardian).   Either way at least he has a fair number of quality subs available to him.

Here are the players listed by both websites

Oooooooooooooooooooooopina

Bellerin   Mustafi   Koscielny   Monreal

Xhaka

Alexis   Welbeck   Ozil

Fill in the missing two and you’ve got the team.  Get it wrong and you can be called a pundit (in the jocular mode).

Arsenal v Man City

74 comments to Arsenal v Man City; why 4th is a trophy, the teams, and the real meaning of the word “pundit”.

  • Stephan

    ‘I’m not saying it’s more important than winning the FA Cup’
    You forgot to add that part
    Let’s have a great game today
    COYG!

  • para

    There is a fallacy that to think negative is bad.
    This is completely false.

    It is bad to be negative ALL THE TIME.
    Same for being positive ALL THE TIME.

    We need a balance that creates movement between the two, else we may as well be dead.

  • Jimbo

    Anybody know how many of the simpleton sheep are taking part in the Wenger out protest today.

  • Menace

    well done para! nothing more positive than the obvious – death.

    Always want & hope. Never resign to others desires if they are not what you want.
    One team in London – Arsenal.

  • Menace

    Jimbo – It will be reported as 100%. Sheep counting sheep.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The reality on ground now as far as Arsenal are concerned is if they beat Man City this afternoon they will go to 5th in the table. But will the Gunners beat the Citizens to go to that 5th spot in the table to dethrone Man Utd from that position on goals difference?

    Both Arsenal and Man City teams are stuffed with world class and top quality players with Arsenal having the edge in 3 world class players of: Ozil, Sanchez and Mustafi as against Man City with only one looking to be in Aguero. But they have more top quality players than Arsenal have. Apart of Aguero being the only looking world class in their first team, the rest of Man city first teamers are top quality players. And that’s where a problem in the game can come for Arsenal save if Ozil, Sanchez and Mustafi can step up the quality of their game for Arsenal to compensate for not having all the Arsenal first teamers made off top quality Gunners but a mixture of 3 world class, top quality and average quality. The average quality ones if fielded by Le Prof in this game could cause problem for Arsenal.

    The Gunners current game playing form is looking to be dipped while that of Man City is looking to have recovered from dip and on the rise in form. Therefore, this game is not going to be easy for Arsenal to win save if they play a defining dominating game against Man City by defending immaculately, attack relentlessly without giving up even with seconds to go, and above all, convert the chances they created and the ones that fell to them during the match. In particular, I want the Gunners to limit their passing game to not more than 1 – 2 passes, 1 -3 passes and 1 – 4 passes then shoot at goal. This has become necessary in this big game so that the Gunners don’t play a passing game passing to the gallery.

    My starts:
    Ospina
    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Gibbs
    Ramsey Coquelin Xhaka
    Walcott Sanchez Chamberlain.

    My bench:
    Martinez Debuchy Holding Monreal Elneny Giroud Iwobi.

    My predicted scoreline: Arsenal 3-0 Man City.

    God help Arsenal.

  • MickHazel

    Lineup confirmed

    Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck.

    Subs: Gibbs, Gabriel, Giroud, Iwobi, Martinez, Elneny, Maitland-Niles.

  • ARSENAL 13

    No Ox and Rambo….

  • MickHazel

    ARSENAL 13
    Apparently Chamberlain misses out with a hamstring injury, while Aaron Ramsey is recovering from a calf problem.

  • MickHazel

    Both Ox and Ramsey came back from international duty with the injuries.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooooooo Danny buoy…..

    @mikehazel….Got to know it now…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Oops

  • ARSENAL 13

    That’s a red

  • dan

    Man city should be 2 up

  • ARSENAL 13

    @dan.

    Wonder why we have a keeper….If hez done the job????

  • dan

    Arsenal 13

    Yes the goal and hit the post. We haven’t had a attempt on target.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ohhhzillll

  • ARSENAL 13

    @dan.

    Ospina had it covered…Dint he…

  • dan

    Arsenal13

    That’s why we are leaving 1nil.

  • Leon

    No screeching for a penalty?

  • Leon

    Xhaka’s obligatory yellow

  • ARSENAL 13

    Tthheeeooooooooo… Yyyyyueeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh
    Ccccooommmmeee ooooooonnnnn

  • dan

    Yeeeesssss

  • dan

    Pathetic, truly pathetic!!

  • Gord

    Yes Dan, you truly are a pathetic Arsenal supporter.

  • Sid

    do we have a defence ? we looked all over the place for their 2nd goal … confidence shot

  • Leon

    Amazing! My stream must be running appx two minutes late because I received a text of Theos goal and now City second before I actually saw them

  • dan

    Gord

    Yes mate, I support Arsenal not Arsene, wonder which kit they wear.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooooooo Theooooooooo

  • dan
    you remind me of my wife……

  • dan

    Gord

    Must be my fault can’t keep blaming the ref, our wonderful defence didn’t collapse within two minutes.

  • dan

    Kwzariel

    She can’t b that ugly!

  • Fransicos

    Wenger Out……Hang on a minute: Wenger In…..Hang on a minute: Wenger Out.

  • dan

    Kwzariel

    U must b ashamed.

  • Gord

    No Dan, you don’t support Arsenal. I will accept you don’t support Arsene.

    You might support Pierce Mrgan. You might support the spuds or Chel$ea.

    But, in terms of summary statistics, the game is close. We have an entire second half yet to play. From what I can read (I am not watching), there is everything yet to play for.

    All I can do as an Arsenal supporter, is to try and emulate Arsenal 13.

    COYG!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Wow……Pundits think Theo shouldn’t be on the pitch…..Ok.fair enough. What about Navas?????….No talk of that challenge at all????

    And we say the media doesn’t have an agenda.

  • dan

    Gord

    Sure pal what ever you say, sorry enlightened one, Im wrong you’re right!!!

    I hate Arsenal, I realised this only after your saying.

  • Jammy J

    Why is it than whenever we get rid of one arsehole, another one pops up under a new username? Weird that..

  • Leon

    “All I can do as a supporter, is to try and emulate Arsenal 13”
    With respect Gord….you’re really aiming high there aren’t you?

  • dan

    Yessssssssss, now hold onto, don’t let it go.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Mustafiiieeee

    Yyyeeeeaaahhhhh cooooommmmeeeee ooooooonnnnn….

    Come on ARSENAL…Now steady. Come ooooooonnnnn

  • Gord

    LiveScore suggests that Koscielny was substituted due to injury. I don’t see anything at LiveScore, WorldFootball or GoogleNews about any possible injury to Koscielny.

    Wonderful! We’ve tied it up (as yet unknown who).

    COYG!

  • Leon

    This is turning into quite a good game now.

  • Gord

    How to go Mustafi! And Ozil, is back in the assists again.

    COYG!

  • Leon

    Whoah! Xhaka showing some studs there’s

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ohh… Mustafi good ball

  • ARSENAL 13

    Come on Emirates…Make some noice….Shout for the team. Be the 12th man….Come ooooooonnnnn

  • ARSENAL 13

    Oooooosssspinaaaaas

  • Gord

    Come on Giroud, make some goals!

    COYG!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Good game Danny buoy.

  • dan

    We can’t even get the ball, come on.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Iwobi…Super skill

  • ARSENAL 13

    @dan….Are you watching the game seriously???

  • ARSENAL 13

    Whatever the scoreline…This has been a good contest….

  • ARSENAL 13

    Iwobiieeeee… Come on GUNNERS.

    Come on GUNNERS.
    Come on GUNNERS

  • Gord

    Not much time left, a goal soon would be nice! Who has the mojo? Iwobi? Giroud?

    COYG!

  • ARSENAL 13

    I am surprised only 3 mins???

  • Gord

    Most of the substitutions and one treatment, and there are only 3 minutes?

    COYG!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Amount of time it took for their goal keeper to decide on taking a goal kick?????Not added.

  • dan

    Arsenal13

    Yes watched the poor performance, useless yes!
    he dare sign a 2 year ext.

  • Leon

    I enjoyed that. Hope the semi is as good
    Where was the fifth official today?

  • WalterBroeckx

    match report is online

  • dan

    LEone

    Screw the fa cup – why be in a Thursday night Z grade cup run.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dan you are obviously only here to troll.
    this will be no longer allowed.
    Thank you for your clicks.

  • Leon

    dan

    I love the FA cup, always have and it’s about as good as it gets for us anyway.
    And if we end up in the Europa cup then it’s because we deserve to, and I’ll enjoy that also.
    Looks like you’ve been banned for trolling.

  • Jimbo

    A few simpleton Arsenal haters have found their way onto this site,get back to the spud and chav loving Online Gooner or Le Grove..

  • Leon

    Jimbo
    There’s no Arsenal haters here at all. Everyone of us has different ways of supporting the team (and thank God we do) that’s all.

  • Jimbo

    Leon I was mainly talking about Dan the man

  • Leon

    Jimbo
    He’s definitely a bit “alternative”, but I wouldn’t exactly call him a hater though.😉
    Looks like he’s barred anyway.

  • true

    Sadly this is yet another comment that comes from an email address that doesn’t exist. As always we don’t publish these

  • Menace

    Just got home from the match. I was not disappointed by the officiating. Standard card for a nasty tackle. Then card after card as per the Laws for Arsenal. The offsides need technology to disturb the train of corruption.

    However, watching the officials on Sky TV with Carragher & G Neville it is because they are human. Humans communicate but these do not. They seem to have some warmth for some players & total hate for Arsenal. Surprising that they talk about low sunlight but don’t wear hats. The thing that is obvious is there is a room full of people without any diversity. Select is such an indictment to social……………………………….incorrectness.

    The official today was struggling in the sun, yet still chose to give an offside against Arsenal. Same guy didn’t see a handball from less than ten yards. The time wasting by goalkeepers was unacceptable. Both the City Keeper & Ospina were taking extra time. Both should have been booked in my view (I pay hard earned money for my ticket).

  • Jared

    Arsenal:8 fouls, City:15 fouls, now who had more players yellow carded for the majority of the game? Games are NOT officiated fairly. Why was Stones not carded the way Mustafi was? Why aren’t these questions ever answered?