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July 2021

A bad result, a good performance: the Man City retrospective.

By Walter Broeckx


Sorry for not being able to give my thoughts on the game earlier but sometimes you just don’t have enough time and have other obligations in life. But because of the low score from the ref I had to review the game again to check things a bit and thus got the chance of taking another look.

After seeing the game again one could say that this game could have gone both ways. City won it but they can thank whoever they must thank that they were very lucky. The decision to rule out the Robin Van Persie goal for offside was wrong. The not given penalty decision was wrong. So howdy Dowdy did it again with the help of his assistants. Maybe not as blatant as he did it at Newcastle but the way the game went he didn’t had to do it as blatant as that day.

But I will try not to talk too much about the ref and concentrate more on the team and the players. And I think most of the team did a great job. Remember we went to City the richest club in the league who can buy any player, even Messi if he would feel the need to earn even more money. A team that has beaten Man United 1-6 at Old Trafford. That has beaten Tottenham at their home with 1-5 at White Hart Lane.

A team that had scored 24 goals in their first 7 home games and this is an average of almost 3,5 goals per game. In fact this was the first time in the season they won at home with only one goal difference between the two teams. And by the look on some of their faces they were glad howdy Dowdy put an end to the game.

After the game I felt sad. Very sad. And disappointed. Because we shouldn’t have lost the game. A draw would have been a more justified final result but justice and football …. They had their chances, we had our chances. They took one, we took one but it got ruled out and that was the wrong decision. But at the end of the day we cannot but look at the league table, think what might have been and double our effort.

I think we would have won any game against any team with the way we played on Sunday. We would never lose a game with the way we played like we did on Sunday. Except for the game on Sunday against the team we faced… and the refs we had to face. City is not just the richest but probably also the strongest team in the EPL this season and I really feared they could go unbeaten the whole season until last Monday. But luckily Chelsea made this impossible.

But this is the kind of team we were facing and once again we could/should have taken a point at least. So terribly disappointed by the final result but was happy with the way we showed that they are not really a better team by that much. Our handicapped back four was even more handicapped and I cannot but feel that the goal only came because the organisation was lost a bit at that time. The inexperience of Miquel maybe showed with the goal but overall he did a fairly good job I think.

But as we cannot change the history that happened on Sunday we should be looking forward. Because what is important now is to pick up where we left before the City game. And we should try to win our game against Aston Villa. Two away games in a row for Arsenal this time but if we can win our next game we should be back on track and build on a new series of going unbeaten for a while. I’m sure the team can do it. They are as good as City if you don’t take in account the wrong ref decisions. We pressed the league leaders at their home for the last half hour for a great deal of the time. We shouldn’t be afraid of anyone.

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On another note, just imagine RVP and how he must feel. A valid goal ruled out to make him joint Arsenal top scorer and get in touching distance from Shearer. Or do some people want to stop Robin from taking this spot? Well let us hope he does manage to set a new record even just to annoy the people who would hate it to happen.

We just should keep our confidence level high and try to get back on the winning track from Wednesday evening on. Let us just hope that we had enough of decisions going against us for this season. The list is too long : Newcastle, Liverpool, Blackburn, Tottenham, Man City. That is 5 games we have lost points because of wrong decisions from the refs. 5 games out of 16. Way too much if you ask me.

And maybe in a way this defeat could be helpful in the long run. I think the “forces” will now consider us as over and done. And maybe Wenger talking like he did after the game was trying to put a smoke screen. Because if Arsenal are out the title race we could avoid that the forces are interested in us and so maybe the instructions to the refs will not be as clear any more. We can hope.

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25 comments to A bad result, a good performance: the Man City retrospective.

  • Cape Gooner

    The list is too long : Newcastle, Liverpool, Blackburn, Tottenham, Man City.

    Against Fulham the TV own goal was after a Zamora tug and the Dempsey penalty was not given. Six games.

  • Cape Gooner

    “We shouldn’t be afraid of anyone.”

    Right on!

    Sagna is the best RB in the league. Kompany and Toure challenge TV & Kos, but no one else does. Song is the best DM in the league. Wilshere/Ramsey/Arteta/Diaby are not equalled by any other team. The only reason I have not mentioned Gibbs/Santos is that there are some very good LBs around.

    RvP is the best striker in the league and Theo/Gervinho are comparable to Bale/Lennon, Valencia/Nani, Mata/Sturridge and Silva/Nasri.

    However, the team of Dowd, Dean etc are too good for us!

  • Xave

    Sorry, I love Theo and Gerv but there’s no way they compare to Mata/Sturridge or Silva/Nasri.

  • Mandy Dodd

    It certainly was a good performance, but we come up against another unsurmountable object. Surely this club have enough evidence to take things further on the standard of the refs we get.
    Maybe Wenger needs to feign interest in the England job, get every decision going for a few months, win something then tell the FA where to go with their silly job, and expose the FA /EPL / PGMOL for what they clearly are.

    Lots of games coming up, no more injuries please

  • Wenger as England manager? The FA couldn’t face that nightmare. He’d insist on picking the teams/squads for all levels, from England schoolboys and up for a start. Every youth team would be designed to produce players for the senior side and half the big name ‘stars’ would have their international careers terminated for giving the ball away cheaply.
    End result, an England team that plays reasonable football, features quite a few English players no-one has heard of and hundreds of disgruntled vested interests demanding Wenger’s head.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Lol, very true WP!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Time for us to finally get a penalty decision in our favor?!!

  • bjtgooner

    Good article Walter, the team played really well and matched the billionaire oilers. Had the oilers been restricted to 11 players instead of 12 we probably would have won. Credit must go to our players for their performance.

    It looks as if fair refereeing is something we can only wish for until rancid Riley goes, or is fired in disgrace. At present he is far too comfortable with his subserviant sixteen.

  • Gooner Gal

    Yesterday I tried and failed to get hold of a Man U fan who agreed with me that Man C played them off the park when they were beaten at home 1-6, even before the Evans sending off. He insisted that we would probably go down 12-1 when we played Man C but this wasn’t the case as many people agree that the match could of gone either way.

    @ Mandy, the thought makes me a little sick, but maybe we should feed John Cross rubbish, perhaps get Tom Watson to drop a picture of the England badge with a heart drawn round it and with the words Arsene Wenger in bold with question marks scribbled over it near him to see if he bites. I know it’s outrageously far fetched but I think he would class that as a concrete source of information and could run with it for weeks.

    @ Woolwich, never mind the FA – that would be my nightmare to be honest. I feel no remorse when I say I put club before country nowadays. I hope Arsenal remains Arsene Wenger’s consuming passion for a good while yet. The only fitting job in football after Arsenal would be head of UEFA or FIFA.

  • nicky

    During the game, the thing that sobered me was the way, at times, Citeh’s attacking reminded me so much of Arsenal not so long ago.
    I wondered whether Vieira had had a hand in this.

  • Gooner Gal

    A bit off topic, but I have just found out some surprising news that should have a few Ghanians cheering. loudly.

    I reckon, it will get appealed and reduced as the Liverpool fans amongst the press get to work on their lobbying articles and support for Suarez.

  • Byo

    Great synopsis. I was sitting here in Fishersville, VA(USA) thinking to myself last sunday how fixed some games in the PL must be! What with the various non-/wrong decisions of late(of course the Arsenal matches concern me more)
    The other issue(which I honestly do not want to bring up)-what is the contribution of Arshavin and Chamakh to the team now? There are definitely some on the squad that need to move on, so we can get players that bleed the red and white of Arsenal.

  • Mahdain

    anyone knows when was the last time we had a penalty? Correct me if im wrong but wasnt it in the match i will not mention? When was that? August?

  • bjtgooner


    I am not 100% sure, but I think you are correct. The other question is – how many penalties should we have had?

  • Mandy dodd

    Nicky, think vieira has had a hand in a few things over the last few months, and some of them maybe not becoming of an arsenal legend, but guess he works for someone else now. Think he is a big part of the arsenalisation of citeh, shame we did not get him on our employment in some capacity, but then again, maybe not on what city are allegedly paying him.
    Gooner gal, interesting! Anything that could work would be good for me
    Mahdain, think the last pen was aug, and vp missed it , stand to be corrected here! Since Eduardo , and a few other things, very few pens. Dowd would probably rather chew off his member whilst dowsing it with neat hydrochloric acid than give us a pen, as would a few of his colleagues

  • Andrei

    Not to take anything away from the Arsenal’s performance which exceeded all my expectations but the main reason they deserved anything from the encounter on Sunday was City’s inability to finish off the game. Arsenal were outplayed most of the first half and at times were really scrambling at the back. Only Aguero ineptitude in front of goal and Szczesny heroics prevented City from leading by at least a couple at the half. The second half was more balanced mostly because City looked like they ran out steam towards the end – it seems to be a recurring pattern with them.

    As for bad calls the penalty was probably the closest but still not clear cut case. And you cannot really blame officials for the disallowed RVP goal. It was unbelievably close call that required a split second decision. It seems like everyone on this forum believes it was a legitimate goal but even after looking the the multiple images/videos posted on the Internet I still think there is no conclusive evidence that it was a wrong call. The ref could have given RVP the benefit of doubt but he didn’t and he was in his right not to do so.

    A good performance from Arsenal I agree but City were the better team on the night.

  • Shard


    The better team that also got the rub of the green, or the charm of having Dowd as their own personal genie..whichever scenario takes your fancy.

    The ‘better’ team CAN and often does lose..and I mean not just the better team on paper, but even the team that plays better.. Results don’t always correspond with performances. Sometimes it’s referees, sometimes it’s just I said..whichever scenario takes your fancy.

  • bjtgooner


    The point that is pleasing to Arsenal fans is that the difference between the teams was very slight. No one else has gone the oilers’ ground and given them such a game. As Walter and the ref. reviewer pointed out, Arsenal could have and should have taken a point if not all three. Thanks to the officials we did’t – I have no hesitation in blaming them for wrong desisions – and not just with the major decisions – Dowd failed to call a lot City fouls!

    At the end of the game the City players were very relieved to hear the final whistle. So perhaps you are being a bit unfair in your comment.

  • bob

    It’s not Riley that’s the problem – it’s who put him there.
    Here’s been put there because he’s Riley. Once he goes, if nothing else changes, there’ll be Riley by another name. It’s the position, not the man in it- because the structure is rotten.

  • bob

    This ref on this night has been the same ref on many other nights, when he’s set loose among the Arsenal. We have a history with him which you may not know about, or have chosen to ignore.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Andrei, right or wrong the call was wrong at the end of the day and that is what matters.
    And if it is too difficult to judge (and I do admit it is sometimes too difficult to judge) well…why don’t they do something about it? Like using images to check the decision?

    Maybe football supporters should stop making excuses and start demanding improvement?

  • @Andrei,
    This would be the same city that has scored 49 goals in the league already if I’m not mistaken and gave United a battering at OT that makes our 8-2 look even worse in hindsight?

    Much like Almunia’s 45 minute goalkeeping masterclass from Barca’s first visit to the Emirates, there are three levels of defending:
    Deny any shots on target > deny any unsaveable shots on target > take a hammering. If you can’t manage the first, you’d better go all out for the second and pray your keeper is in form or suffer the third.
    Keepers often have the game of their season against us because their defence is smart enough to somehow force us to take shots the keeper can handle.

  • Andrei

    @Walter and others. My comment was in context of original post asserting that Arsenal had a good game deserved at least a point and were denied because of the bad calls. I agree on the good game part, neutral on the bad calls and argue about the reasons why Arsenal was in contention and deserved anything in the game. My point is that City had a sub-par game and were there for the taking. Had they not been sloppy in finishing their chances all that talk about bad calls would have been moot. It would have been 3-1 or 3-2 at best. It seems that City is on the slump at the moment. They were sub-par against Chelsea too. Chelsea took their chances and won the game.

    The bottom line is: Arsenal had one of their best games this season. City on the other had an off day but were still the better team and all Arsenal realistically deserved was a point.

  • bob

    And we didn’t have our full complement of players, a battered back line, and so forth. So with that, I would say we had an off-day. N’est’ce pas?

  • @Andrei,
    My point was that if City had an off day, we are partially responsible. They’ve shown no hesitation in battering poor teams, like Tottenham or United. Only when confronted with CL grade opposition have they been held to a single goal lately…