Arsenal v Man Cistercians; the preview

By Bulldog Drummond

So with the Almighty Wenger meeting with his holiness the pope, and then claiming devise intervention for the signing of our Danny, while Sky whipped up a load of passing yobs on deadline day and got them to boo when they announced the deal to sign Welbeck was on, and cheer when they announced it was off (which Sky did repeatedly through the evening), this is clearly going to be a game of religiosity.

And with the press announcing that “a substantial win for City could see them lead the Premier League for a short while, before leaders Chelsea kick off later in the day,” it looks like Arsenal have no chance.  I know that because I read it in the papers.

So where can our other-worldly and spiritual help come from?  Given the name of Manchester City easily morphs into Cistercian that must be a devise clue.

Thus: the Cistercians are the Bernardines and the White Monks who emphasise the need for self-sufficiency (rather like Arsenal) as opposed to the reliance on oil and gas revenues (as per Man Cistercian).   A breakaway bunch called the OCSO also known as the Trappists, focussed on receiving the ball from a team mate, killing it dead and then moving on with it or passing it.

Clearly the divine support and the pope’s good wishes will help us out now, although the press, with precious little else to do down the pub, have discovered that our defeats to Manchester Cistercians, Liverpoodle and the Soviet Republic of Kensington all kicked off at 12.45, and so the result is a foregone conc.

Apparently, such knowledge makes “breakfast a little harder to swallow for the Gunners and their fans.”  So now we are being told not only what to think, but how to eat our breakfast!  Mr Wenger said, “It’s not about the kick-off time, it’s about the performance.”

Anyway as Mr W said, Danny is 23 and when he signs players at that sort of age they do rather well.  He was thinking of Henry and Overmars perhaps who were just around that sort of age.

Louis XVI of Manchester said that Danny went because he weren’t good enough.  But then if that were the case, why did it take them til the last window banging moment to sign off the deal?

King Louis also said Danny doesn’t “have the record of Van Persie”.  Well no.  He doesn’t get injured that often.  And he’s not at the end of his career with no sell on value.  In fact, given the lies Man U had to tell RVP to get him (the entity known as Ferguson in particular telling RVP that SAF was staying when in fact he wasn’t) and the overlong contract at a high salary, Arsenal have not only made a profit but got a better long term deal.   Welbeck will still be playing when RVP will be slumbering like RVW.

But Welbeck is total Wenger.  A player he can mould and develop, and whose game he can explore and expound.   As our Arsene revealed, he met Ferguson just before the deadline, but he’s keeping that conversation secret.

For Danny, the game’s afoot, as our Sherlock once said.

But for Ramsey, the foot’s afoot.  Or rather the ankle.  Of course I wouldn’t have stood for such namby pamby what-not in the trenches with the lads, but it seems the poor mite twisted his ankle in the foothills of the Principality of the Valleys and might not play.

However Ramsey can stew, because we also have Jack who is fit and well, plus a number of other men about town all ready to lay down their lives for the cause including Gibbs and Areteta not to mention Lt Colonel Mesut Özil.

Thus and therefore we have confidence at a rather high level.  We beat Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his money with a jolly load of Sheikh Rattle and Roll [a quasi-humorous reference to early recordings by both Bill Haley and Elvis Presley which may be lost on readers under the age limit – Tony]

Since then the works team of the  International Petroleum Investment Company has gone forth and been beaten by the Stoke Market XI, so all will not be mentally well in the mansion of the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.

On the day of lines which have died (deadline – geddit?) the team of the half brother of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan let Micah Richards, Alvaro Negredo and John Guidetti find the door and step beyond.

So I have had the tactical and analytical johnnies do their stuff down on beach, sorry bench, and this is what they have reported to the Nissan Hut that serves as the Untold Centre of Strategic and Psychological Combat.  Here we go…

  • The Mighty Arsenal have won 52 out of 86 home league games against Manchester City.  Tht is 72%.  The team of the fifth son of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has won 14 (16%).
  • Looking at the last five however we might detect a little hokey-pokey with three of the last five being draws.  They’ve won one, and we’ve won one.
  • The most oft-repeated statistic in the history of oft-repeated statistics of the summer is that we had the worst record in games against the top four.  It has been said so many times one wonders why anyone still says it.   [You just did – Tony]  [OK well take that bit out – Bulldog.]  [No you do it you lazy dog – Tony]  [Who are you calling a lazy dog? – Bulldog]

OK – I have now taken over as editor until tempers calm down.  Bulldog please finish your piece.  Tony go and lie down.  Dr Billy “The Dog” McGraw, senior psychologist at the University Hospital of the North Circular Road.

  • The overwhelmingly wonderful Arsenal have not lost any home league games since the inglorious Villa and their lapdog referee appeared in August last year.  The results are 14 wins and 5 draws.
  • Of the three matches in which teams had the most possession this season, we featured in two of them.  We had 76% of the ball when playing Crystal Palace and 69% when playing Leicester.
  • Only Arsenal and Liverpool had a better away record than a team owned by a graduate of  United Arab Emirates University last season.
  • Arsenal have scored an average of 1.63 goals a game against Manchester City (of whom I have spoken).  They have averaged 1.17.

The last game

Arsenal 3 (Cazorla, Ramsey, Giroud) Manchester City 0, Community Shield, August 2014

The betting…

  • Arsenal to win: 2.87
  • Manchester City to win: 2.37
  • Draw: 3.5

The team…

Szczesny (no spelling mistakes note!)

Debuchy Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

Arteta Wilshere

Sanchez Ozil Cazorla


In the sunloungers down on the beach:  The Ox, Podolski, Chambers, Flamini, Monreal, Campbell, Rosicky, Sanogo.  

And don’t forget: Man City in September – the historical prelude

Final footnote: With Walter on his hols, and everyone else at the game, we might not be able to get an article up this evening, so please do keep commenting here, until we get back from the pub, sorry, no, our research and analysis centre in the aforementioned Nissan Hut.  Thanks for reading.  Bulldog.

PS to the footnote, Untold started exploring slightly different styles of previews of games four or five years back.  The press stuck their noses up and did nothing, but this week one of the newspapers has a preview which quotes Kate Bush in its Arsenal analysis.  Now there’s a thing.

The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.


102 Replies to “Arsenal v Man Cistercians; the preview”

  1. We play Bor Dortmd on Tuesday and they are playing Sport-Club Freiburg. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on that game.

  2. Blimey Colario I thought for a moment you were suggesting that our game against Dortmund kicked off at 2.30. Trouble is, the Untold team won’t get back to Northamptonshire until 5.30 at the earliest – let us know what happened.

  3. Great fun read, Bulldog. (Thanks Tony for reminding me I am over the age limit – I remember the Elton Prestwick recording particularly).

    I would think Ozil may be on the devine bench whilst he gets some extra ‘healing’.
    Thus Santi in the middle, Ox on the left, alternating with Alexis?

  4. As always an excellent amusing article Mr.B.Drummond!But does anyone remember that Bill Haley was with the Saddlemen before the Comets and playing country boogie?
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  5. @Tony Attwood
    September 13, 2014 at 7:47 am
    Will do. Sorry to have put the scares on you. I think perhaps if I had written:

    “We play Bor Dortmd on Tuesday and they are playing Sport-Club Freiburg” – “today” my point would have been clearer. Sorry.

  6. Welbeck is total Wenger…….couldn’t agree more, despite all these conspiracy theories that have come out this week.

  7. This preview is much too intellectual and non-xenophobic to have been written by Bulldog Drummond. The original wouldn’t have known how to spell Cistersians or missed some racist banter about the opposition. Maybe it was written by Bulldog Drummond Jr? Or if the clan has emigrated to the US, Bulldog Drummond II or III?

  8. Welbeck was a great Wenger signing, and yes of course he wanted to sign him, can’t believe people think otherwise. Wenger will have seen those possession stats regarding the Leicester game and will have known we needed to be more ruthless and got another striker. He knows dominating possession is only half the game, you have to exploit that possession.

  9. Amusing read 🙂
    Found van gaal’s statement on Danny’s record not matching that of the Dutch traitor or the granny chasing asbo lout coming across as sour grapes at the very least. Danny is only 23, compare their records in 8 yrs time if you must. And the idea of getting rid of a 23 yr old in favour of an injury prone 31 yr old doesn’t sound very clever does it.

  10. That all those in the media up and down the country will be willing, rather loudly, that city beat us shows they know what a threat we pose and I find it as a compliment that we can’t be ignored. Were we average side such as the spuds, as they’d want everyone think, then there wouldn’t be any need for all these articles would there.

  11. @Al, Falcao is 28 and he’s the reason Welbeck was sold because Manu wanted a world class goalscorer. Very risky as he’s just come back from injury. Manu’s approach is short term, ours is more forward thinking. Welbeck is a great prospect for the next ten years. Falcao is an immediate balm to Manu’s troubles that may or may not work but something they can afford and we can’t. I sincerely hope the risk blows up in their faces and they finish in the bottom half of the league. And it would be most amusing if Welbeck outscored Falcao this season.

  12. And the line up….
    Arsenal team: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Welbeck

    Arsenal subs: Ospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski


  13. Strange game, We field an ex manu and manc field an ex Chel.

    Win win win lads, thats what we need.
    Focus and concentration and we will do it.

  14. Yeah, Welbeck hit the post.

    Fernandinho and Milner should have both been shown yellows for two heavy tackles. But wait for any Arsenal player to make a bad tackle, and they’ll be booked.

  15. Milner getting away with a lot. A bit unlucky, but have to up the game a bit in the second half

  16. Feel city were trying to hit us on the counter, and this goal has just given them that. We really can’t use our pace as there’s no space to run into. Perhaps switch to long balls to Welbeck? Not ideal but there’s hardly any space at the back to exploit.

  17. Unlucky to be behind, but score’s on track.
    Now we just need 3 in second half.
    Ozil needs a talking to from AW at half time to wake up a little, and we need to be more focussed when we do not have the ball, and fight to get it back.
    Three goals to come from us I hope.

  18. Let’s deploy our new world winning strategy. Give the ball to Ramsey. And let’s see what happens…

  19. Ramsey and Wilshere have a problem playing together. Still, damn u luck, why does that ball had to fall on Navas damn legs, why not go out, as it always happens to us. Really, why didnt the ball hit Sabchez on the first place, and help him pass his last defender. Its Aweful, depressing, I dont know how our players can play after this, they played their best, and then pufffff, everything goes out.

  20. Milner: total protection form Clattenburgerbrain. ALs prediction at 1.06pm came true with Debuchy.
    Wenger will fire them up at HT. Just a tiny bit more and this game is ours.
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  21. The game can be so cruel. One lucky break they got out of a deflected clearance…..

    Go Gunners….

  22. Next half, if we show up, we will wim it, come on you gunners, this is our field, we got better players, and we have Ramsey, lets do it come on!!!

  23. I agree that Ramsey and Wiltshire seem to have a problem. Lets see what AW does after half time to change our focus.
    He will have a plan, lets hope it works out.
    Players need to focus more, like it’s a final, i know we have Dortmund, but we cant think of that now, that’s the managers job.
    Would like to see Carzola.

  24. Damn, where are these freak injuries coming from? First Giroud, Debuchy and Welbeck.

    Too bad about the mixup between Szczesny and Flamini for their equaliser. Good point against a side that clearly was set up to be negative till the last 10 minutes. COYG!

  25. I just cant believe this City team today, they couldnt master a damn 3 consecutive passes, and still they reached our goal, just by running at the ball with hope they get it. I just wanted to see them attack from defence first, all theyy did is run at our players, and wish the ball reflect to their damn legs, and that is what happened.

  26. Gutted to see that equaliser but I think that the result is fair on the balance of play. I have no problem with the referee (saw the game only from the 41st minute though).

    Two great goals and a net point of zero from last season’s equivalent fixture: not jumping for joy but have no cause to be depressed either. Onward, forward!

    Hope Debuchy can be back soon.

  27. Yes agree Yassin. City goals were a little bit lucky, especially the second. Ours were well worked beautiful goals. I think we’re ok, we can match anyone from this showing. Just hope Debuchy is not another long term absentee.

  28. Ref was ok Bootoomee. Didn’t make an important wrong decision. Just felt he let city players, particularly Milner, off with some cynical challenges.

  29. Thank God Arteta is back, we were like ping pong balls out there in the defence, why has our defence collapesed like that?
    Now really we have to takw this pressure we are carrying off our back, why are we always nervous? Why every single team plays us like champions while we always are nervous?
    This is to frustrating, one moment we play awesome, and then we are mixed up. And wr should buy this Navas thing, he is the only player on the world who can attract any loose ball in the air to his feet, any ball no matter how far and what direction,it will just settle there.

  30. AL,

    I agree with you re Milner. These days we’ve seen so many bad performances against us from the refs that the type put on today looks pretty good.

  31. Still unbeaten, two great goals,Jack on fine form, Mesut much better in the second half.Shit luck for Debuchy. Shame we didnt squeeze the third. We also had a bit of luck.
    Grit and Skill. Onward we march,still only September.
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  32. @Bootoome, thats because u watched since 41st min.
    In those 41st min he missed yellow on lampard, yellow on fernandineo, and two on milner. Other than that, yes he was ok. I too prefer him to those other refs out there. Still he wasnt good enough i believe.

  33. On balance a fair result. Both teams had their chances. My impression is that ManCity is more cynical than us or we ar more naive with regards fouls. The broke up a lot of our counterattacks with fouls whereas we probably should have done more of that a la Flamini. Commentators were all over us for Aguero’s goal…typical Arsenal blah blah blah…no cricism of Man City for our goals, though. Referee…average

  34. Yassin,

    I understand your frustration about the City players just running into our balls. I think it must be their game plan because they played like that throughout the game. And it worked for them because we play the patient passing game (which I absolutely love) but which teams that are willing to get down and dirty can sometime find a way to neutralise.

    Having said that, our 2 goals were excellent and I think the players gave it their all.

  35. I think coming from a goal down to within 13 minutes of victory against a side such as city is nothing to be sniffed at. Good result imo.

  36. City should have been at best down to 10 at worst down to 9!!!! Clattenburg protected Milner who intern damaged our play…

  37. @GoingGoingGooner, and the first time Flamini makes that foul, boom a yellow.
    Man we cant play like other teams do, they wont let us. Today our problem is we were too much dreaming of the 3pts. And we were frustrated after their luck damn first goal, or maybe i was.
    Our midfield was empty, and Jack and Ramsey should get to play more together and coordinate more, thats what happened on the equalizer. And really today shows that Arteta is the best DM around available, he really is good u cant see it until he is out. Flamini is good, but no one is like Arteta.

  38. GoingGoingGooner,

    True about the media.

    When we win it’s because the opposition is poor, never because we are good. When we lose, it’s both because the opposition is great and of course because we are poor and naturally need to buy new players.

  39. Yassin,

    Sadly, as long as we are playing in this league, it’s the best we’ll ever get. I did not call the officiating great by any stretch but in the 55 minutes that I saw, he was okay in my opinion.

    BTW, I think his yellow for Flamini was too enthusiastic, especially after the sort of stunts that Milner and co pulled. But I don’t think that he officiated with any agenda against us as he did not make any bad game changing decision against us from what I saw and general reports.

  40. @Bootoomee
    Man I agree, our players did give their best, its just that damn luck, they played the Morinheo ugly football, and they deserve no respect for that way of play. We should do that one day, maybe it works, but still I became an Arsenal fan for their beauty game. Am not sad about the way we played, we arw still getting to gel together, its just other teams have much more luck when they play.

    @apo Armani,
    What are the chances Debuchy got injured from thosr fouls from that player who never plays for city except against us cause pellegrini knows how we suffer from the ref ignorance?

  41. @Bootoomee,

    If u watched 55min and u say we played good, then man rewatch the watch from the beginning and look how great we started, they were luck with that goal, this is what frustrates me, after then we lost our concentration, and still we were better. And when we got back to our best, we scored two almost three. And out of a sudden everything went against us. Their two posts hits where of lucky moves they and wasnt good play. Its hard for the players to keep running forward and backward without losing shape of the defence. That is why I say they were lucky, I hate those dark boring tactics. Just run like an idiot and have some hope. These are destroying football.

  42. Fair result Arsenal looking like the real deal Ozil not quite in the zone yet hope there’s more to come from him

  43. Debuchys looked like a fracture to me. Isn’t it the same leg that Milner took out at the begining of the game??…. left leg wasn’t it???.

    I fear the worst for him. It looked that bad on TV. I hope I am wrong.

    Mid week will be tough after this game. But the silver lining is that Gibbs and Arteta are back. And Ox is fresh enough for that game. Rotation is possible…

  44. And yea not to forget, Wilshere was the best player on thr field, and he scored and assisted. Man now that stupid redknapp should just shut up, and apologize that he knows nothin about football, abd he is lucky to be on TV to talk rubbish.

  45. From my seat in the ground the ref didn’t call nearly enough fouls on City, some of whose challenges were agricultural at best and would certainly have resulted in cards had our players committed them. City could easily been down to ten men.

    Best I’ve seen Jack play in a long time capped off a fine performance with a great goal. MOTM for me. Great goal from Alexis and a fine shift from Danny, unlucky his chip came back off the post. A different game if that had gone in.

  46. I just do not understand why they keep sending gifts to opponents. It was a great game with two beautiful goals to come back.

    If its once in a while, I’m fine with it. Its been years Arsenal look bad against dead balls. It was ok for a while last year. It became slowly become a problem and it happens frequently now.

    Some people blame it on zonal… its not a problem of zonal or what. Its a matter of poor play.

    the defending team always have more men than the attacking. Why always got one or even more opposing team players getting free headers?

  47. Clattenburg was soft on Man $ity, who clearly had a plan to kick us all over the park. Everyone is picking on Milner, maybe because he’s English, but Fernandinho was just as bad. Silva, Kompany, Zabaletta, Lampard and Navas weren’t far behind. Clattenburg should have stamped down early when it was clear it was going to be a part of their tactics, but he repeatedly let things go. And he goes and gives Flamini and Monreal cards at the first possible opportunity. Very poor from Mr Clattenburg.

    And that was some of the worst and most biased commentary I’ve heard in a while. Danny Mills was truly awful, he gave Stewart Robson a run for his money . No surprise he’s a former Man $ity player.

  48. Great entertaining game with Arsenal playing some fantastic football going forward. Unfortunately the lack of attention to detail and simple mistakes on defense, which seem to be the theme these days , has cost us yet again.

    Flamini ball watching and turning his back on one player he should never lose sight of and four Man City players walking into Arsenal penalty box untouched from the corner, are mistakes you just can ill afford to make against a club like Man City.

    You can overcome Cazorla leaving Huddlestone unmarked in the FA cup final, or a 5 foot 7 inchez Sanchez marking 6 foot 6 inches Brede Hangeland against Crystal Palace, which in both cases led to goals but not against the top teams.

    It’s a real shame because both Arsenal goals were top draw and Wilshere’s performance was legendary, while Welbeck was unlucky in his great effort.

    Referee had a very good game I thought. He let some fouls go unpunished perhaps but he was fair. Milner probably should’ve been booked on his challange on De Bouchy but Wilshere also got away with what I though was a dive and a real bad , high challange on Clichy.

    Wilshere was the man of the match but Fernandinho close second. Put him on Arsenal and we would have a finished product.

  49. A hard fought match and a reasonable result on the balance of play. That the match was always going to be hard fought was to be expected, but it was made even harder by Clutterbuck allowing Milner to kick us at every opportunity.

    We played some great football, scored two classic goals but unfortunately did not defend as tightly as we should.

    With the team not having had a pre-season together and with the team still adjusting to new players it was quite a good performance overall – but we must become a lot tighter at the back.

  50. We get has referred to it as systematic fouling, Milner did get away with it. But by now , all teams know they can do that to us. Then Flam and Nacho get booked at haste. If we had a fernandinho or a Matic, we would have a walking red card on our hands.
    Still a good performance against a quality team. A very very tricky first few games of the season, but still unbeaten.
    But that defence needs working on after today’s performance, don’t want old failings creeping back in and ruining the fine work of our forwards and MFs.

  51. we played great, hanging a little near the end. Sanchez was motm. I do think we need to change our attacking approach, May b more direct.

  52. Milner swept Dubuchy’s standing leg with his trailing leg and one of the comment’s on my stream was ‘that’s not enough for me’. I guess he need to take a bigger backswing on the axe he was wielding. I though the yellow’s that Zambaleta and Monreal got were soft but Milner should have been tossed as should have Navas and Fernandinho for repeated fouls.

    I don’t think Arsenal’s defence is that bad. We made errors without a doubt but we were playing the defending champions for heaven’s sake. Should we be surprised that Aguero was able to score? And, what of our goals? Was it poor defending, too? Maybe City has a problem…leaking goals all over the place? eh? eh?

    2-2 not a perfect result but one we can build on.

  53. I haven’t seen the game today, I have taped it and will watch later. Sounds like a fair result to me, notwithstanding Pellegrini’s moaning afterwards.
    However can I ask a question from those who saw the match today? Given the popular opinion in the media and elsewhere that our championship credentials are suffering due to Wenger’s inability to buy a beast of a defensive midfielder, were either of the goals conceded today caused by Arsene’s failings in this regard. Indeed how many of the goals conceded so far this season were due to our lack of such a player? Can an advocate of the purchase of a big, powerful DFM tell me which goals conceded recently would have been prevented had we had such a player?

  54. @Mick

    The first was a counterattack…we had too many many committed and Aguero slid in behind Flamini to knock in a low cross…I think Flamini just lost him at a critical moment. That was a defensive error not a size error. The second goal was a free header because of lack of organisation/communication. That was a defensive error something that an individual player or a team makes…it has nothing to do with whether a player is aggressive enough or not. More time on the training ground with Mr. Bould is needed.

  55. Mick
    In simple terms to answer your question, Fernandinho has been the defensive player of the season not only for Man City but entire PL thus far.
    He again was immense for them today and had it been him tracking Aguero , I have no doubt he would’ve kept him covered all the way and off the score sheet.

    Now, can Arsenal spend some £30M on e defensive midfielder is another question entirely. IMO, Arsenal are a player like him away from being a serious threat to Chelsea and in Europe.

  56. Mick,
    I’ve said it before and will repeat it again, if we ever sigh the mythical ‘beast of a midfielder’ with the general referee bias against our players any such player would be carded so frequently that he would be suspended as often as he played. A waste of financial resources.

  57. GoingGoingGooner wrote:

    “I don’t think Arsenal’s defence is that bad. We made errors without a doubt but we were playing the defending champions for heaven’s sake. Should we be surprised that Aguero was able to score? And, what of our goals? Was it poor defending, too? Maybe City has a problem…leaking goals all over the place? eh? eh?”

    You, my friend, need to understand that blaming Arsenal and criticising our game while hyping the players of others is what shows a ‘proper’ fan. True, we scored 2 beautiful goals against a team who have a player called Fernandhino in whom we would “have a finished product”. I wonder how a team with such a player would concede such goals against a hapless team like ours. I guess Man City needs to get better defenders.

    I agree with you that on a balance of play 2-2 was a fair result today but more than anything else, like you, I have faith in our players and manager. No second-guessing or back-biting. Just plain old faith and support.

  58. Mick
    Fernandinho is only one player and can’t be everywhere. Our two goals were a result of Wilshere’s individual brilliance leaving Clichy for dead and chipping Heart up high at the near post on first goal, and his vision to find Sanchez with a perfect header , who in turn volleyed it past Heart again.

    While our goals were a result of brilliant individual and team play, City’s goals were a result of our mistakes.

  59. Fair enough Tom, point taken. But can you, as a big fan of the powerful DFM answer my other question though which was….
    Can an advocate of the purchase of a big, powerful DFM tell me which goals conceded recently would have been prevented had we had such a player?

  60. Flamini can’t be everywhere either. There was a number of times he was covering for the fullbacks and saved our bacon. I thought he was left with too much to do at times, which is not his fault. A decent performance I reckon from Flamini.

  61. Quincy,

    Just as scoring goals takes a team effort, conceding them is a team fault too. Both Alexi and Jack scored excellent goals today but they didn’t get the ball from our goal to the opponent’s by them lone selves. Some times mistakes are made resulting in goals but it is unfair to keep blaming a single individual or single position for goals conceded.

    Sadly until that mythical monster of a defensive midfielder is bought at a high cost, every goal we conceded will continued to be blamed on that position and the poor guys (Arteta and Flamini) playing there for us now.

  62. Agree Quincy. Flamini was quite good today,his half clearance of the ball leading to City’s first goal he was left exposed by himself, and he had that second from city covered too. As for Fernandinho, surprised some are hailing his performance. The only way he was stopping our players was by hacking them down. Another time he teamed up with kompany to haul Sanchez down. The only surprise is how he managed to stay on the pitch the full 90 minutes. There was absolutely nothing special about his performance today.

  63. Mick
    I thought I did answer your question based on Aguero goal today.
    I’m not sure what ‘recent’ means to you but those examples can be found in every other game, with the most infamous one being against Villa last season, where Agbonlahor was allowed a free run at our back four all game long.

    This argument about DM reminds me about arguments we had last season about Arsenal being one demensional on offense with their lack of speed up front. Many on here said we didn’t need any more speedy players, as we had Sanogo , Ox and Gnabry. Arsen went out and got Sanchez and Welbeck.

    I fully expect him to bring in a DM next season.

    And since you didn’t watch the game, allow me to contradict some on here and say Aguero didn’t score because our team shape was poor and we got caught on the counter. We had four defenders against three City attackers. Flamini simply lost track of Aguero and not because Aguero is a great player.

  64. Tom
    How on earth can you use the Aguero goal to support your DFM argument, you’ve already said that was a common or garden mistake. Why are you now using it to support your DFM obsession? Make your mind up! You may be right to say Flamini was at fault but absolutely not in the context of the merits or otherwise of a DMF. Then you have to go back to the first game of last season to try to support your argument, a game where we were more stitched up by the the appalling A Taylor who gave two dodgy penalties and an even dodgier red card rather than a DFM issue. Come on now you have to do better than that, give me an example from this season if they ‘can be found in every other game’ as you claim.

  65. Tom, I have now watched the game and Aguero’s goal had absolutely nothing to do with defensive midfielders at all.

  66. Actually, it was the two CBs and Flamini defending at that time, the fullbacks were high up the pitch because they were involved in our attacking play. And when Flamini is facing three or four Man $ity players, trying to stop them before they reach the CBs, well there’s very little he can do.

  67. @Mick, Tom,

    First goal could have been SAVED by Flamini has he kept track of Aguero, agreed, still not a defensive beast kind of error. I dont remember, but one of our goals, maybe first, was a ball which Fernandinheo had a mistake in? It was stolen from a player who looked like him, as I remember.

    Otherwise, I agree with Tom, we could have won today had we not made mistakes… Still not the defensive midfield is the solution, and not Fernandiheo. Its tge free roaming of Wilshere and Ramsey leaving Flamini exposed the problem.

  68. Mick and others

    This is my last ward on the subject. Firstly I’m not ‘obsessed’ with a ‘beast of DM’ but simply stated the way Arsenal play pushing our wing backs up the pitch , a player like Fernandinho would fit the bill to a tee. Mobile, technically gifted, good on the ball and strong in the tackle with ability to cover a lot of ground. Neither Arteta or Flamini have all those attributes combined. A modern type of a DM doesn’t just sit in front of the CD’s but is required to cover on the wings.

    As for examples for when Flamini wasn’t quick enough , strong enough or effective enough( take your pick) in recent games, which you so strongly press for me to give, I really don’t feel motivated enough to go back and review the games but just from memory.
    1. Arteta not closing down Swansea winger for a free and uncontested left footed cross to Wilfred Bony for a header and goal. ( last season)
    2. Flamini not closing down Jeff Schlupp( I believe) on the left wing for a free cross over Koscielny’s head for a free header and Leicester City goal.
    A lot was made of Koscielny’s involvement on that play and how I thought he should’ve been off with the head injury , but very little or nothing was said about Flamini’s . The fact I’m only bringing it up now proves I’m not at all ‘obsessed ‘ with the subject.

    Having watched all Man City’s games this season I can point to at least three players when Fernandinho closed players down in similar circumstances to prevent a scoring opportunity .

  69. Well maybe the bloody fullbacks shouldn’t be so high up the pitch if it leaves No legs Flamini(or Arteta) horribly exposed,epecially as mertesacker is ridiculously slow.Is Ozil indroppable? When are you going to admit that he is a big fat 42.5 mistake,completely unsuited to the PL and the way this team play.Alexis is showing him up for the lazy,disinterested waste of money he is.And to think we turned down Cesc,who has got 6 assists in the first 4 games ,because of Ozil.Seems the manager carse more about Ozils feelings and being proved right than what is good for this team. If there is no improvement Ozil should be sold next summer while he still has some value,but I expect we will hold on to him until he goes on a free,unless of course we are not in the CL when he will be out the door quick sharp. I am sure all the Ozil fanboys will be defending their hero,the so called best no 10 in the world according to Mourinho,so good that he didn’t try to buy him for his Chelsea team,so good that Madrid won the CL when he was no longer in the team,and so good that the German public were calling for him to be dropped during the World cup so limited was his impact.

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