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Arsenal v Man C; the Untold preview with all the facts that you never knew you needed to know.

By Bulldog Drummond

Part one of the preview is here.

Now onto what we might (in a state of revolutionary fervour) call “part two”.

It seems only yesterday that every match against one of the so-called big teams in the League was preluded by a run-down of a big defeat of Arsenal.   Defeats at Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool! defined the order to the day and showed everyone who cared to believe it, that Arsenal couldn’t take it against the big teams.
Now with Chelsea fighting relegation and anxious to find a way to get above the mighty Bournemouth, while the “fans” boo their own players and shout the name of the ex-manager, and while there is open talk of a total crisis at Man U, and while Liverpool! sinks below Watford, the focus is elsewhere.
Yes, Arsenal had a tough time against some other top four clubs, but we stayed in the top four and didn’t enter the meltdown zone.

And then on 18 January before the Man City game, that almighty font of all knowledge and dubious contractual dealings, Graeme Souness, said of Arsenal that the team was “a team of son-in-laws…there are no Arsenal players who you wouldn’t want your daughter to bring home…they’re a bunch of really nice guys”.

We played 4-1-4-1, and it worked.  Even at 2-0 Sky was still saying, “Arsenal have to be very careful now,” suggesting we were about to go gung-ho and try and get six.  We won with 35% possession.

Since scoring the final goal Olivier Giroud has become the bete noir of Arsenal, utterly usual, hopeless, the reason the club is a shambles, the reason for sacking Wenger.

And then he wasn’t.

And even now, we are told that “even a win will leave Arsenal trailing Leicester by two points.”   Oh well, it’s all over then.  Leicester for the title.

Of course the press are full of the fact that nothing like Leicester has ever been seen before, so, certain of the answer, the press asked Mr Wenger if he had ever seen anything like it before.   The journos were already sketching “I’ve never seen anything like Leicester before” as a headline when Mr W upset the applecart and said,

“It happened once in my life, when my friend Jean-Claude Suaudeau was  coaching Nantes.  He called me at the beginning of the season and asked me to give him on loan one of my players who was not a 100 per cent regular. I said, ‘I cannot give him to you, because I need him.’ He said, ‘You’re unfair because I will go down, they have sold my players and I have nobody left!’”

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“Because he had no choice he played all the young players. For fuck’s sake, 32 games unbeaten.   In the end he won the championship. That was the first time I had seen it. Now we have a second.

“Of course, it inspires everybody.  The teams behind by five or six points all think with a good run they can be there. It is very open, but that’s what is sensational. It is not only a league where you think it’s only Real Madrid or Barcelona. I find it very good and very healthy.”

Of course what Mr Wenger loves about Leicester is that they are not Man City or Chelsea with their infinite amounts of unearned income.  Half a season’s rise up the league does not mean that financial doping is done and finished, but that other clubs are latching onto his idea of finding gems hidden in other clubs who suddenly become available for a great price.

Now this argument is used to say that it was money that forced us to let all our best players go during the Stadium Building years, but I am not sure that was always the case.   When Man City bought Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré in 2009, I think there was a lot of grins at Arsenal behind the scene at how much they paid.   And although we didn’t want van Persie to go in 2012 we knew Man U paid an insane sum for him on the gamble that he would be fit for a season.  He was, the gamble worked for Man U, but it so easily might not have come off.

Of course Man City have finished above us for the last five years – but all runs like that come to an end sometime.  And maybe facing City without Kompany is just what we need.   They don’t often win with him not playing.

And besides we are the only club to have beaten Leicester.

So who will play?  I suspect it is fairly obvious


Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal

Flamini Ramsey

Walcott Ozil Campbell


 On the beach I would go for seven out of  Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Gibbs, Gabriel, Sánchez, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain.  I guess if Alexis is fit for the beach then young Jeff has to miss out for a change.
Arteta I think is probably going to be given Christmas to get completely ok, and the Jack will appear in January.
And so on to the silly bits of tittle-tattle also known as the “Match Facts” in some quarters…
  • Man City have failed to score in their last 3 away matches in the Premier League.
  • Arsenal have scored at least two in five of the last six games against Man C
  • We have a run of six undefeated at home.

In terms of playing Man C…

  • Arsenal have lost one of the 18 Premier League home games against Manchester City.
  • The last two league games between Arsenal and Man C at the Ems have ended in draws.
  • There have been five red cards in the last five Premier League matches between City and Arsenal at the Emirates.

Back to Arsenal

  • We have scored in each of the last 10 league games.
  • We have more points away from home than at home this season.
  • Mesut Ozil has 13 Premier League assists this season (but you knew that already)
  • Petr Cech has equalled David James’ record of 169 Premier League clean sheets.  Ditto.

And the other lot

  • Man City haven’t won a league game away from Empire of Human Rights Violations since September
  • Man City have not won back-to-back league games since mid-October.

And that I think, is it.   It’s chucking it down with rain in the East Midlands and pretty horrible outside, but the journey south will soon begin with the usual cheery smile.


  • 21 December 1991: Arsenal 4 Everton 2.  All four goals by Ian Wright who also scored two hat tricks.   He went on to score 24 goals in 30 league games through the season.
  • 21 December 2002: The Arsenal programme had Robert Pires on front cover in Emperor mode and he duly scored the second as Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 2-0 to stay top of the league, two ahead of Chelsea, four ahead of Man U and seven ahead of Newcastle in fourth.

45 comments to Arsenal v Man C; the Untold preview with all the facts that you never knew you needed to know.

  • JohnW

    Just give me 1-0,to the Arsenal, it will do for me. I would also love 12-0 spanking but its not as painful as 1-0. COYRs

  • Arsenal 3 oil reserve 1.


  • proudkev

    I am going 3-1 to The Arsenal.

    1. The goal we concede will be highlighted by the pundits as proof we can’t win the league. (They will not mention the fact no team has conceded less than us since start of last season)

    2. The three we score will have been down to poor City defending or good fortune.

    If we lose, even if we go down to 8 men, expect the naysayers claiming we can’t beat the teams in the top 6(they will forget to mention the 5-2 Leicester win and the thrashing of Man Utd, of course) and we need two defenders, two holding midfielders a world class striker and should go all out to get Klopp, Mourinho or Garry Monk.

    As far as the media and their mates the WOB’s are concerened, tonight is lose/lose for Arsenal and win/w for them.

    You read it here.

    Now hit that dislike button……..!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    I am totally in agreement with your starts and bench, Mr Bulldog Drummond. And I think that the starts and bench the Boss will start and have on the bench tonight at the Ems. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Boss decided to start Duracell Sanchez ahead of Campbell at the Gunners’ mid-left front 3 runners.

    Arsenal have come of age in the big game in the recent past season as they’ve not lose to Man City last season in particular when they took 4 points from the available 6 on offer off Man City.

    Mr. Pellegrini’s stars studded Man City Citizens side will not be abled to withstand the Boss’ Gunners side game onslaught tonight in this Barclays Premier League encounter at the Ems. Because, the Gunners will pounce, pound and hammer Man City relentlessly by 3 goals to nil at the blow of the final whistle that ends the match by the officiating referee.

    I believe Mr Pellegrini himself and his Citizens side know they are coming to the Ems tonight to unavoidably received a RUTHLESSLY hidding from the Gunners. And therefore they will not contest the game with Arsenal but just make a formality appearance on the Ems field of play to avoid being sanctioned by the FA.

    Arsenal will not jeopardized their placing position in the League table to allow a Citizens side of Mr. Pellegrini steal away a point from this game. Rather, the Gunners will by RUTHLESS application take all the 3 points at stake in this battle to remain in stricking distance from the title pretender leaders on the table till they push them away. And push Man City farther down from them tonight.

  • Menace

    Proudkev – there must be Arsenal coursing through your veins.

    Al, Josif & all the Untolders enjoy our football. It is the best value for money in sport.

  • nicky

    Home to Citeh tonight and away to Southampton late on Boxing Day.
    No real travel and we stay in the South over the holiers.
    We are favourites to take 6 points and there’s the rub. We simply have to avoid complacency, work for every point and assume both games are cup finals. We will get no help from match officials so we must win IN SPITE OF THEM. 😉

  • proudkev


    Definitely mate, Arsenal have more than rewarded my passion for the club. Everytime I walk into the ground I get goosebumps.

    I’ve been married 29 years but been married to the Arsenal since my late Grandad started taking me at the start of the seventies. Entire family of Gooners so it’s def in the blood.

    I really do pity the latter day fans who seem detached from the club and appear to always be unhappy. Nothing has given me more pleasure than the football club I support. Being a Gooner is a privelege and no matter how hurt I am with results, I never forget that.

    So pleased I wasn’t born as a modern fan, imagine moaning like that & extracting all the fun. No thanks.

    Fingers crossed for the lads tonight.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    I think City will be up for it though, they want a jump start through the Christmas period,playing away cant be much fun for them though when they want to be watching Coronation street. back in Norvenchester. However for us to win will also mean great confidence in the oddest time of the league; the weird dark days of the Christmas games and Bournemouth will be up for it too. Key play will perhaps rest with the Flam and Rambo.
    Lucky horses to the Guns!

  • goonersince72

    Great preview, Bulldog. Arsenal have had decent results against City lately and I anticipate a tight game. Which brings me to Mr. Marriner. A bad call in a game like this can be the difference.

  • serge

    The last badly refereed match against City ( that I recall ) was the 6-3 a couple of seasons back.
    We had two perfectly good goals marked off and just to rub it in Milner dived for the penalty.
    Should have been 5-5

  • Vince

    @serge : And we should also have had a penalty for a blatant handball from Zabaleta, Yaya should have been send off for a very late challenge (and possible leg-breaker) on Giroud. I also recall 2 wrongly awarded offside in the first half against Monreal and Walcott when they were in goal scoring position…
    Atkinson refereeing that day was one of the more one-sided performance I ever saw, maybe even the worst since the match 50

  • Al

    City players making illegal tackles from behind when they lose the ball, with marriner doing nothing….

  • ARSENAL 13


    Theo Theo Theo Theo Theo Theo Theo Theo..


  • Al

    Where did that come from? 🙂 He’s struck a similar shot to the one that was disallowed v Villa, bend it round the keeper. Top drawer strike.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahaha… Yeah. Now we are talking.. Ripping them apart.

  • Menace

    One yellow card to Silva & Theo gets a goal. Citeh being careful not to get second card allowing Arsenal to play ‘unfouled’.

  • ARSENAL 13

    That Delph guy is not good…he is doing that thing on Bellerin for long now….whats it called ‘leaving it’!!!

  • Menace

    The commentator on Star sports is a perfect example of an employed idiot. He should be cleaning toilets with his tongue. He is trying to for Citeh with his gob, excusing every foul as if it were an Arsenal trait to get kicked or hand in face as Kolorov did to Campbell.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ozil gets his 14th assist….

  • Al

    The nearside linesman, Brooks, is the same person who asked city players to go acknowledge their fans. Keeping an eye on him

  • ARSENAL 13

    Girouuuuuuuu… Yyyeeeeaaahhhhh

    Mesut Ozil baby..assist no 15

  • Al

    Make that 15th, ARSENAL 13 🙂

  • Menace

    What a beautiful move by Arsenal. Ozil to Giroud after some premium work by Hector & Joel.

  • Menace

    We love you Arsenal, we do!

  • ARSENAL 13


    Waiting for the star sports commentary team say the word ‘injury’ to discredit our hardwork.

  • Menace

    Joel Campbell playing some truly good football. Thoughtful defence & calculated passing.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    looking good so far 🙂 A bit of space for Man City down their right (Walcott…time to track back a little better) BUT we have dodged those bullets and our TWO world class strikers have done their job (with a little help from their friend..Oezil)

  • Menace

    The belittling of Ozil before the game started was annoying. These pundits are totally devoid of intelligence. They see quality, they know the stats, yet they comment like dildos on holiday!

  • Josif

    Fantastic first half. 🙂

    Great job by Theo, great job by Giroud, magnificent Özil…yes, yes, yes.

    But Joel Campbell? Wow. If Tony Adams watches this game, he had to remember his famous words about the name on the shirt watching Campbell’s heart of a lion in action. 🙂

  • Menace

    Commentator says that Girouds reaction to fouls is theatrical nonsense. I think the commentator is full of Bull shit.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Sagna looking at Campbell.. All surprised. ‘Is he the same Campbell’

  • Al

    Should that not have been a penalty, otamendi bringing Campbell down in the box without getting any of the ball.

  • ARSENAL 13

    There should be 2 booking for simulation…..

  • Menace

    In summary, there should be competent officials!!

  • ARSENAL 13

    That was a lucky goal there…..

    Cech thought he had it covered.

  • Al

    Well done lads.

  • ARSENAL 13


  • Shakabula Gooner

    Arsenal 2 MAN City 1
    Great win guys.

  • Vinnie Losada

    We’re top of the leagueapartfromLeicester!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Match report online in 1 – 2 – 3…..

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Apart from scoring a great goal, first i saw Walcott play a defensive game as if his life depeneded on it!

  • Menace

    Carragher – stick to selling stolen hub caps!! You need to take ‘O’ level oral English to do your job. Your employer needs to get their HR educated as a dumbo like you cannot be employed in a role that needs some sense.

  • Chris

    And here is the 2017 preview !!!

    Help Untold, we are not going to win the 2017 EPL !
    My world crumbles….I am terrified to get out of my home
    I will net be able to enjoy games for the rest of this season !

    They er saying we cannot win in 2017….

    I mean, well,words fail me.
    I hope Untold is going to look into these 2016-2017 stats and do some fact based reporting !

    And believe me it AW’s fault. He is utterly responsible and should be sacked in advance.

    Wonder how the press would act had he Pellegrini’s away record this season…And yet with this record they are seen as serious contenders and Arsenal just an injury away from losing any chance…..

  • dan

    So according to Carragher, we’re sitting pretty because the other club have been below par, Arsenal have just been consistent whereas the likes of City/Chanvz/manga are firing blank, wasn’t this case last season with the stupid ones team ?