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- Arsenal and Man City injuries, and how injuries are linked to yellow cards
By Tony Attwood
Whether you were there or not, it was a time to boo and jeer the Arsenal team for the first half, and then celebrate like mad.
And it wasn’t hard to understand why. Because from the moment we first realised that Arteta was adjusting Arsenal’s gameplan to avoid the weirdness of PGMO decisions I thought, “at last”. Most of the rest of the crowd thought “why are Arsenal being so ****ing negative,” and said it. A lot.
So let’s start with Havertz the substitute. The worst signing ever along with Pepe (said Goal.com) Worst deal of the Summer said the Athletic, (what a bloody awful magazine that site has become) while the Sun (well we know about them anyway) claimed without evidence that he was voted the worst transfer of the last window.
And on and on. “Arsenal mocked” chimed the Express. It’s a lot to put up with. But still he came on as a sub, and sent a gentle pass to Martinelli. And well you know what else happened.
14 minutes was all Havertz (“worst signing of the summer – Caught Offside) got. At least the Guardian found an amusing excuse saying “This is a footballer who will always carry with him the air of a slightly limp and disappointed Jane Austen minor character, but on his better days does so with an air of upright authority.” It’s gibberish of course to compare a footballer with a writer of six novels in the 18th/19th centuries, but then, it’s the Guardian.
But by far the worst thing about this game was the appalling and disgraceful negativity from alleged Arsenal fans in the first half who were booing and jeering, and above all complaining about a set of tactics that utterly and totally worked. OK it was not pretty to watch, and it was designed to frustrate the opposition, but it worked and allowed the late subs to come on with the score still equal.
There was no replacement for Saka and Martinelli being absent – of course not as there couldn’t be, but Manchester City had to be contained, and if going sideways and backwards was a way to do it (and it certainly worked) I was all for it, even if half the stadium seemed to think that Arteta ought to be kicked out at half time and replaced by, well… anyone, according to the nut total idiots behind me.
It was not exciting football, except with the notion that it stopped Manchester City, and the players stayed on task no matter what nonsense the crowd came up with. Jorginho was there just to stop all the fancy work, and ensure that no one got carried away, while all around the majority of the crowd were utterly appalling.
And no, to the people who want to argue otherwise, my view was not obscured. I am lucky enough to have a season ticket seat upstairs in the front row. Manchester City were nullified, had no idea what to do, and the only encouragement they got was from the negativity of the alleged Arsenal fans around the ground.
And so when the second half subs came on, Manchester City couldn’t adjust to the sudden change at first, and when they did the subs came on and four combined to score. Something that, as others have suggested, has probably never happened before, at least not in the Premier League.
And what caught Manchester City out, (and let us not be churlish and not admit they are a bloody good team), was that suddenly everything changed. Manchester C had brought on Doku, so Tomiyasu came on to sort out that issue. He did. He headed it to Havertz (no booing this time when he came on, maybe because everyone had run out of boos in the first half) and Havertz sent it to Martinelli. Tomiyasu started running, which utterly distracted the Man C defence and Martinelli hit his target (which was either Nathan Aké or the net, according to your mind-reading skills). Either way he seemed quite pleased about it.
Will that stop the booing of Havertz? Probably not, as there are a fair number of idiots with season tickets but without reality. Of course Declan Rice was wonderful throughout the game, and worth every penny, but we knew that already. (I don’t think they saw that either).
And certainly the media, tucked away in their sanitised bubble, with their own special entrance and refreshments won’t notice as they work on the basis that they can change their review of the first half right at the end, to make them seem knowledgeable. Anyway, they get paid no matter what tripe they write before a game. Just as Arteta gets paid no matter how appallingly negative the crowd is for half the game. The only difference is Arteta just worked out how to beat Manchester City
I wonder, what would Jane Austen say.
Yellow Cards to date
- Tottenham: 27
- Manchester City 15
- Arsenal 12
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