City Review – Poor Officials Mask Arsenal Deficiencies

Manchester City 3 – 1 Arsenal

Defeat was no surprise. Manchester City, the best Premier League team by some distance, against a pale shadow of Arsenal. Even before the bizarre team selection was announced, we were cast as lambs to the slaughter.

It sort of turned out that way. City were profligate in front of goal and in their build-up play. It meant that come half-time, only Kevin De Bruyne’s goal separated the two sides.

The scoreline could – should – have been better. Edersen’s save from Ramsey at the death – quicker reactions from a younger, nimbler goalkeeper – preserved the lead but De Bruyne’s goal was avoidable. Laurent Koscielny, slow to close down the shot, proved to be the perfect cover to fool Cech.

Arsenal woke up in the second half. A brief surge of promise early in the game developed into a slumber as City dominated. In the second, we improved as the half wore on. Or at least until the officials intervened.

Michael Oliver saw Raheem Sterling’s lean into Nacho Monreal as a penalty, the sort we are routinely denied. I don’t blame Oliver for awarding it; there was nothing unusual in the decision per se but we need consistency with the interpretation of those situations.

Arsenal’s game picked up. Alexandre Lacazette reduced the deficit with a cracking finish.

Until incompetent officiating stepped in. Level with play, the lino didn’t spot two City players offside. The first, David Silva, picked out Gabriel Jesus with the perfect pass; 3 – 1, game over. How can an official spot Lacazette’s toe being offside at Stoke but not see Silva and Jesus both being offside with half their bodies?

Yet we were architects of our own downfall. Sanchez played Kolasinac into trouble and both were staggeringly slow to try to recover the situation.

You can see why Arsène was upset. But…

Things Are Never Quite That Simple

He didn’t help himself. Nor did Mertesacker’s illness or Rob Holding’s thigh strain. Francis Coquelin played better than against Red Star but that bar was set so low that it is no commendation. The unanswered question is why Coquelin and not Elneny who has experience of playing there.

Should we be grateful he didn’t shove Kolasinac into the centre, Bellerin to the left and Coquelin – or Maitland-Niles – on the right? Even Debuchy. Small mercies don’t always explain situations away.

However, the most contentious decision was not included Alexandre Lacazette yet again, for a big match. This is a £52m striker, the club’s record signing. If he didn’t want to play the French international in big matches, why the hell did he sign him? If he doesn’t trust the striker in big matches, why the hell did he sign him.

That he scored underlines the sheer folly of Wenger’s decision. He’ll no doubt come up with the excuse that he had to fit Alex Iwobi into his side, and that Lacazette is still adapting. It’s rubbish; smoke and mirrors.

The real reason is that he sense Mesut Özil might stay so he has to play him in these big matches but the German isn’t enough of a goal threat or guaranteed to work hard on the flank, so Sanchez retains his place. Lacazette was the easiest to drop because he’s the new boy.

In short, Wenger doesn’t trust Özil to work hard enough but not losing him next summer on a free probably earns the Frenchman another three-year contract. The narrative will be set as Özil signing for Wenger, rather than the reality of no-one meeting his wage demands bar Arsenal.

Meanwhile, £52m-man sits on the bench wondering how he can’t get into this Arsenal side.

Distorting Perceptions

The manner of defeat is distorting the perception of the game. It’s easy to point to the officials and say that’s the reason we lost. Pep Guardiola nailed it when he dismissed their intervention and declared “we won because we were better.”

You can’t argue with that. However, did we lose because of Wenger? The team selection begged for 4-2-3-1 but he doesn’t trust Xhaka and Coquelin as a defensive midfield pairing. If he did, then going toe-to-toe with City might have brought more reward such was their own weakness at the back. It might have brough a slaughter…

The danger in all this is that Wenger looks at the game and thinks ‘my team is as good, why don’t we get the praise?’ We’re a long way from City’s level and not only that, their consistency.

Theirs is an expensively assembled squad which is built with a plan. Ours is partially built, always one or two players short.  This is the Billy Beane world, the one with which Stan is so enamoured; the one Arsène is perfect for.

I’m not expecting any change to this situation any time soon.

’til Tomorrow.

64 thoughts on “City Review – Poor Officials Mask Arsenal Deficiencies

  1. Good morning folks, cheer up you all knew we weren’t going to win so 3 – 1 wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

  2. Once again Ozil gets a clobbering, how can he be expected to perform when he never gets the ball. He’s not expected to be a ball winning midfielder so he must have some smidgen of service from those who are. Yesterday even when we got the ball we couldn’t hold onto it for long enough to play two passes.

    Sanchez is also criticised for his “attitude”, he was totally isolated up front and left to the tender mercies of the otherwise unoccupied Stones and Otamendi.

    Yes Sanchez and Ozil are supposed to be the outstanding pair of players, but we either can’t or won’t play to their strengths.

  3. God morning,

    Thank you YW, for yet another precise and measured post.

    This has nothing to do with refs and potential bias. Its a large gulp of quality between us and them that was the difference and it showed.

    That and that alone should be cause for concern for Wenger. Not that I think it will really bother him.

  4. City were better, bla bla..but why the hell should they need the help of a Mark Oliver to beat us? Wenger realized his initial mistake in his team selection but corrected them in time, and the game was going on par before that bizarre penalty and a more bizarre offside goal. Anyway ,i think City are the anointed team to win this season’s premiership, so no Jupiter can stop that.

  5. Orson Kaert,

    Well, yes, but seeing Ozil get outmuscled for the umpteenth time in an away game and losing possession has taken its toll. Its gruesome and really tiresome however lovely player he is.

  6. Chairman Gallant,

    Unfortunately Wenger has limited options when it comes to team selection because he has not managed to build a squad from which he can select a coherent team capable of challenging for the title. While money helps you also have to spend it wisely, which he has failed to do. If you want examples then take Xhaka for £35m when we need a real DM, or Ozil for £42m when we needed a top class striker. Only Alexis has been a true success and he’s leaving for nothing come the summer.

    Since we signed Ozil we’ve outspent Chelsea who have won two titles and Spurs who have a clearly superior side on a fraction of our budget. And Leicester showed us that a team rather than individuals win titles.

    Our problems are much greater than one or two instances of debatable officiating in a single match. Not that we haven’t benefited from dodgy decisions ourselves against smaller sides of course. Wenger signed on again to have another crack at the title we were told. Well it’s over before Christmas and probably the only person who will be surprised is Wenger himself.

  7. Wenger’s starting 11 again proving his eccentricity. Three stood out:
    – Coquelin at centre back (WTF)
    – No Lacazette (Top Scorer)
    – Ozil on the pitch (Invisible)

    Cech made a mess of the first goal, and the ref gave Wenger an excuse to follow, but we were 2nd best by a long way.

  8. andy1886,

    We’ll see how desperate Wenger is getting when we get into the later stages of the Europa League. If he puts out the full side it will be because he doesn’t think we will make 4th place in the Premier League. On current form that looks very likely.

  9. Pete the Thirst,

    Exactly. I could live with us losing that game, City will win the vast majority of their home games and losing itself is no real shame. What is shameful is making excuses and looking to blame others in a failed attempt to hide your own inadequacies. Sometimes you just have to take it on the chin and accept that you made a mistake. Wenger simply cannot do that, his ego will not allow it, and until you can accept that you make mistakes you are never going to be able to take an objective view and make whatever changes are necessary.

    So more of the same for the next eighteen months or so then.

  10. Pep says , they won cause they were the better team. Since when has being the better team guaranteed 3 points. Decisions by the officials and , once again , poor team selection cost us a point. And I am starting to think that we would be better without sanchez. He is greedy and selfish and on two occasions I counted this led to break aways almost leading to a goal. His passing at times is pathetic. If that was him showing off to pep then I fear we might get stuck with him.

  11. Mo,

    While Alexis had a poor game it’s a nonsense to start labelling him as selfish when things go badly yet when he was scoring and winning us matches he was feted. We’re not going to get stuck with him, his contract is up in the summer and we’re not obliged to offer a new one. And I seem to recall that AW told us that he would be 100% focused on doing his best. Ultimately though I agree with YW, we should have sold both Alexis and Ozil early in the summer.

  12. “How can an official spot Lacazette’s toe being offside at Stoke but not see Silva and Jesus both being offside with half their bodies?”

    By guessing, mostly.
    Also, it’s easier to get it wrong for the home team and not listen to the home crowd yell out profanities at you the rest of the the game.
    Who wants to be called a wanker or a cu#t by hundreds of rabid fans sitting a few yards away?

    Also, the media tend to gloss over the mistakes that cost Arsenal as opposed to when Arsenal benefit from them.
    How many times have we seen Arsenal dominate a smaller team at home with possession, corners and shots on goal, only to have squeezed by a tigh score line due to a favorable referee decision, and then have the pundits say the other team deserved something from the game if not for the ref’s mistake?

    That said, I have no problem with the penalty call.
    As a matter of fact, Sterling probably should’ve had one before for the shove on him by Kolasinac- something Arsene surely would’ve wanted called the other way but failed to even mention.

    This easily could’ve been another 6:1 score line in a long history of embarrassing Wenger score lines if not for City’s profligacy and Koscielny’s astute positioning against City’s numerous two on one.

  13. Tom,

    A pretty fair summary there. You could argue that officials have to make their best judgement rather than calling it guessing, but the result is the same, mostly they get it right but to be right all the time would be impossible. And then you factor in cheating players (and it is cheating, not ‘clever’ as some ex-pros might claim) and they are in an impossible position.

    I think that one of the reasons we get poor support from the pundits is exactly the type of feeble moaning that we saw from AW yesterday. We all expected it and were not ‘disappointed’, but I for one have long been fed up with our failure to accept and work on own own deficiencies rather than cast around for anyone else to blame, and I’m that everyone else be they pundits or fans are sick of that too. It certainly doesn’t make them well disposed towards us that’s for sure.

  14. Tongue in cheek of course and you make a fair point about Wenger never taking responsibility for his mistakes.
    Case in point – calling the Liverpool fiasco a loss due to “special circumstances “.

    Meaning , I suppose , circumstances out of his hand. Like a team selection , player positions and tactics. You know, things managers can’t control.

  15. Tom,

    VAR is only good for line calls, the “offside” goal would not have been given, the “penalty” was a judgment call. Various pundits, having watched all the replays, we’re unable to come to a unanimous decision. Pity the poor sod in the VAR box. 😕

  16. Good stuff Yogi.

    For all the the talk of Sanchez and Ozil, my question is more why was our midfield so dire? Yes De Bruyne plays as their box-to-box midfielder and he is quality but FFS it was only made easisr by the fact that neither Ramsey nor Xhaka actually wanted to or tried to close him down. More to that, Orsey is right, there was no service because our midfield waa being bossed.

    I’m sorry, the Sterling penalty happens, remember earlier in the season when Ramsey got a similar penalty called and we benefited from it; guess people tend to forget about that one.

    The Lacazette thing is inexcusable and again, I do think the match would have been different if Lacazette starts over Iwobi(who was meh yeaterday).

  17. I know some think it is nailed on that Sanchez is going to Citeh but I ask you a couple questions:

    Why would they want him? Sane is a sublime talent who at 21 is only going to continue to get better, Sterling is getting better and better, Jesus and Aguero are scoring for fun and both want to stay, Bernardo Silva is young and extremely talented.

    Did you see how pissed Pep got with every pass that didn’t connect, why would he want a player that lost it a match high 16 times yesterday?

    I think Sanchez might want Pep but I really do wonder if Pep will want Sanchez.

  18. C,

    An interesting view, but ignores the obvious in that rather than tinker with personnel the best way to make us more solid is to change the formation and the tactics. Given our propensity to push our wing backs too high and to be weak in the middle of the park I would have gone for 4-5-1 and told Bellerin and Kolasinac to stick principally to defending. Lacazette up front, Alexis, Ramsey, Elneny and two from Ozil/Iwobi/Xhaka in MF and the best back four we had available.

    With Alexis and Ramsey to support Lacazette on the counter I believe we would have been both more secure and more dangerous at the same time. But AW isn’t one to ‘do’ tactics or formation changes to adapt to the situation or the opposition.

  19. andy1886,

    I agree, I would have gone something like:

    Cech
    Bellerin–Kos—Nacho-Sead
    —-Xhaka—–Elneny
    Ramsey—Ozil——Sanchez
    ———Lacazette——-

    Or Ozil outside. The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that you start Iwobi over Lacazette because he works for the team and is good in close areas yet Lacazette offers both of those thinga plus goal scoring.

  20. C,

    It reads as if the journalist has tried to give Wenger an excuse. As you highlight with your formation, the same players (with Lacazette instead of Iwobi) could have lined up in a way which would reduce the defensive responsibilities of Sanchez and Ozil whilst having Lacazette on as an attacking threat. LeCoq could have played in for Elneny if Wenger were concerned about the 90 minutes he played on Thursday. I’m still not that sure about Nacho as a CB in a back 4, but specific instructions for the defensive players (including the 2 midfielders) to largely hold position would have allowed us to be solid at the back. And we would still have had Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette working up the pitch.

  21. on why he played Coquelin in defence…
    I can explain to you that Mertesacker came into training yesterday morning, sick. That Holding had a thigh strain. That Debuchy had just come back from [being] a long-time absentee. That I don’t see that big a problem to play in the middle of the [central defensive] two. You’re a defensive midfielder or a defender, it’s exactly the same. I don’t think that was a problem in our game.

    I think C pointed out before that there was no mention of Chambers in his explanation. I just don’t understand why he is completely ignoring a player who has now played at senior level as CB for an extended period and who captained a junior England team in that position. Chambers was in full training this week and it makes no sense why he would put a defensive midfielder in instead Chambers. It seems clear that Chambers is heading out of the club and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went on loan, or was even sold in the January window. It appears that Wenger has no intention of using him, so his departure seems to be a certainty to me. I think Ozil would get a run at CB ahead of Chambers in a Wenger team at the moment.

    Defensive midfielders and defenders are nowhere near the same.

  22. Why weren’t Arsenal wearing red yesterday?

    Commercialism over tradition and history.

    Commercialism is fast becoming our new history.

    I would recommend a visit to the Arsenal museum. It’s the only way that I can retain my love for the club.

  23. C,

    Reading that it seems a polite way of saying the man is deluded. Something we’ve all known for a while.

  24. Great review yogi.

    Realistically we were never going to challenge for a the league title but yesterday was the official end of hopes. Double digits behind the leader is always the point where you give up. Now we can concentrate on our real goal which is 4th place. We have finished at least 10 points behind the leader in every season but 1 since 2008 and this year we are already 12 points back after only 11 games and we may end up further behind then anytime in the Wenger era

  25. I thought the penalty was legitimate. It looked like nacho knocked him over. I understand the distaste with players who dive but there was clearly contact and I don’t expect a player to make an extra effort to stay on his feet just to be a good sport when someone runs into him.

  26. Wavey

    He did say earlier in the week that Chambers is back after the international break. Only returned to training on Monday.

  27. Close offsides decisions are basically 50/50 whether they get it right or wrong and we have seen the same thing for as long as there they have had multiangle stop action replays. The random nature of those calls is even more obvious since they developed the technology to draw the line on the pitch on TV. The random nature of the callls give the conspiracy theorists a chance to find an excuse when they don’t want to admit the truth.

  28. With regard to Chambers time will tell how it plays out. It seems pretty clear that Arsene is not a big fan. Credit where its due and the one thing Arsene has been just about 100% spot on is knowing when a player is not going to be good enough to play for Arsenal. I can’t think of any player that Arsene decided was not going to make it who has moved to a different team and played well enough that we wish we had him back. Arsene makes some strange decisions but knowing when to give up on a player is one of the few decisions that history tells us we can trust Arsene to almost always get right.

  29. I am a big fan of Sanchez and I love the way he plays and he is arguably the one player not named Lacazette that you would expect to score in any game and score in double figures this season. However, he is just not producing and while stats are not everything you need your best players to produce goals and/or assists. The notion that either Sanchez or Ozil do things that we don’t really notice and don’t show up on the score sheets but really are important to the team is rubbish. When either Sanchez or Ozil are playing well we notice and they produce numbers. We definitely noticed both in the Everton game and they gave us goals and assists. Ozil has not been producing for 2 years and its long past the time where we should drop him. Unfortunately no one is going to buy him in January so we are stuck with him until the end of the season. Sanchez on the other hand produced last season so there is still hope that he can figure it out. I would keep running him out becasue we need him to start scoring and if he does start to score he will have a huge positive impact on our ability ability to challenge for 4th place. However, if he does not pick up the pace by New Years then even I will admit that we should sell him in January.

  30. Bill,

    Don’t agree Bill he stayed with Diaby and Thomas Rosicky to long. IMO Gibbs, Walcott, Jack, Ox, have been much too comfortable at Arsenal under Arsene and have produced

  31. Trying to blame the poor form of Ozil and Sanchez on anything but themselves is also rubbish, IMO. Players are responsible for their own form and these guys are supposed to be 2 of the worlds better players and if neither of them can fugure out a way to be effective then its on them. Sanchez was brilliant the first year he came when our team was in the midst of the worst run of World Cup hangover for in 2014/15 There is no doubt that he could find a way to make an impact. Same with Ozil. I have heard it said that he is being starved of possession but Sanchez found a way to the ball even though in theory as CF he should be even more dependent on service. Ozil from a few years ago could surely find a way to get the ball at his feet and make something happen but he just does not have any sort of consistent positive impact anymore and he has not for a couple of years.

  32. I have to say that I was totally unimpressed with the game yesterday.

    And the criticism of Arsene Wenger and his strange selections are valid (no, not the Lacazette one) but the one where we continue to play silly buggers over the CB positions.

    We fielded a 5 : 4 : 1 strategy, and the 5 at the back comprised;
    — two full-backs playing as …. full backs, and;
    — three CBs, of which one was really a fully accredited CB in Kozzer, who is not fully fit, and then …. well, another full back in Nacho, and to round things off nicely – another strapping full back – erm, a suspect ‘defensive’ midfielder in Coquelin.

    So, that’s OK then, because Mr Wenger said when asked, that Coquelin is a defensive midfielder, yes, but that is the same thing as a defensive CB.

    I will not talk about the midfield or the forward positions as you guys have already laboured mightily over that — altho I disagree with the view that Sanchez played up front on his own ( the 1 in the strategy) as watching the game, again, it is Özil who was primarily leading the line for periods of the match with Sanchez nowhere to be seen)

    But listen – it would not be fair unless some attempt at balance is brought to bear, and I offer you this, to counter the accusations that Wenger cried in his beer over goals 2 and 3 for City
    And I have to say that regardless of whether or not AW later complained about the refs and Sterling, I had already been shouting much the same thing at the time. I want my team to win – and I think they were hard done by, even of their performance overall was dire.

    Here is what ex-referee Mark Clattenburg had to say about City goals 2 and 3 :-

    — “Michael Oliver was right to award a penalty for Nacho Monreal’s challenge on Raheem Sterling. It is very clever of Sterling because he slows down so that there is always going to be contact from Monreal, who cannot stop quickly enough.

    Wenger has more justification to be annoyed about the third goal, because even as a referee I thought, “That looks yards offside,” when I first saw it. It usually comes down to a few centimetres but David Silva had one leg and a part of the body that could score a goal beyond the last man.
    I was surprised that Wenger was not more angry about that last one.”

    So, for the highlighted part above, Clattenburg could have cut down on the words and simply said “Sterling cheated”. Cheating can never be conflated with Clever. It is not clever it is cheating — Wenger was right.

    As for goal number 3 – Clattenburg has said it all — the officials screwed up — it was not a goal.

    Leaving aside what others think of Mr Wenger, my team was robbed by two goals that should not have been awarded. I’m a fan — I am prone to being very passionate, and objects were hurled at the TV screen, because I was bloody raging at the unfairness of these two poor decisions – and I still am.

    That does not explain what the hell has been going on with our defence line ups this season, because not only is that beyond weird — it also highlights the poor quality of many of the team — and the near-certainty that two of the better ones will be leaving in the near future.

    And whose fault is the lack of quality shown in those players, and the throwing away of good money from the sale of the ‘better’ players that could have been spent on replacements? Eh?

  33. Wavey,

    A culture of excuses leading to a culture of failure.

    How on earth he equates that with the story he tells Stan about how he’s a managerial genius defies belief. Maybe he just hands him a balance sheet….

  34. Strange how Arsene didn’t seem too bothered about the standard of officiating when the referee / linesman ruled out a perfectly good goal for City in the FA Cup semi final earlier this year.

  35. HenryB,

    I admit I thought that it was a pen, these days almost any contact that doesn’t result in winning the ball in the area runs the risk of being a penalty. By contrast I thought Watford’s pen a few weeks back was a blatant dive, there didn’t even seem to be any contact at all. I agree that players looking to ‘earn’ a spot kick are cheating but that’s the way of the game these days. If the FA actually had the balls to take the cheats to task (Richarlison for example, or Delle Ali last season) then maybe we’d get somewhere, but there is no sign of that happening.

  36. Wenger admit that he’s had the rub in the past? Don’t be silly Ian.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King.

    Ian:
    Strange how Arsene didn’t seem too bothered about the standard of officiating when the referee / linesman ruled out a perfectly good goal for City in the FA Cup semi final earlier this year.

  37. I see that West Ham have sacked Bilic and are set to appoint David Moyes. Poor Hammers fans, haven’t they suffered enough? 😨

  38. Arseh*le Wenger, frickin, clueless. F’king Ozil, Ramsey, Coquelin and Xhaka in midfield. F’king clueless son of a b!tch. I hope he goes to hell. For christ sake give us a manager who has some nouse!

  39. I understand that, Andy, but it is not right.

    You have touched on a related complaint of mine – not that I can claim to be the sole complainee – but all this pernickety acceptance by the referees that any touch, even something initiated by the ‘victim’ himself causing him to go down is all that matters in awarding a penalty is utterly ridiculous.

    But something that should result in far more penalties, is the constant holding of opposition players’ shirts, the illegal nudging with hands or elbows when challenging for a ball in the air, or the wrapping of arms around another player like doomed lovers entwined in a final passionate embrace, should unquestionably result in penalties. And the final one should result in an early bath! Not necessarily together. 🙂

  40. Do you think there was any plan to attack City’s weak defence? Delph is no full-back, Walker can’t defend, Otamendi is over-concerned about his eye make-up, Stones is slow.

    Their keeper almost dropped the ball in the net. Was there any instruction to shoot from distance? Doubt it.

    I get the feeling City can be got at if they have to defend.

  41. I hope that Wenger doesn’t accept a swap for Raheem Sterling. He’s a great fit for Arsenal in the long line of fast wingers who score rarely, can’t pass accurately , and will disappear into the reserves given hard competition.

    OVERRATED.

  42. I would of gone 4-5-1

    ————–Ospina———————
    Bellerin—Kos—Holding—Kolasniac
    ———Nacho——-Elneny———-
    Iwobi—–Wilshere—–Lacazette
    ————-Giroud——————–

    Sorry Cech’s had his day and it showed. Ramsey and Ozil aren’t good enough to be a number 10 in the big games. Nacho can do a job as a defensive midfielder, better than what Coq or Xhaka could. Although Maitland-Niles can also do a job better than what Coq and Xhaka could. Iwobi, just gets the nod ahead of Walcott, but if Welbeck was fit, he would start ahead of Iwobi.

  43. Wavey,

    I think ultimately the journalist was making the point that any excuse as to why you don’t start your record signing goal scorer makes absolutely no sense but gave him an excuse just because. I think there is always a way to have players doing a specific job and if they are weak at another than you hide that. For instance against Citeh, Pep knows that Silva isn’t going to track back so he plays in a system to hide that. Conte does it with Cesc and so forth and so forth. I was just throwing out a system were we defend with 6 or 7 and attack with the rest. Shame is, I can’t work out why Arsene can’t work that out.

  44. A significant segment of the fans of any team that concedes a penalty will believe with all of their hearts that it was a dive and if the situation was reversed and the same contact happened to our player they will believe it should have been a penalty. That is just the nature of fans. However, there is controversy and legitimate differences of opinion on a significant percentage of penalties even after 10,000 ultra slow motion replays. That indicates to me that the rules and the way they are enforced are ambiguous and having consistency in the way they are called is completely impossible. Unfortunately I have no idea how to write the rules so they are not ambiguous. Even with video review we would still have inconsistency and controversy

    Offside on the other hand the rules about off side are not ambiguous and we could completely eliminate the constant mistakes and inconsistency with video review.

  45. Anytime the ref has to make a judgement call you will by necessity have inconsistency. “Was there enough contact to call it a penalty”. Was it ball to hand or hand to ball? Anyone who watches American football knows those refs have the same issue with pass interference calls.

  46. It gets even more dicey for the refs when they are asked to make a split second judgement about a players intent. Did he dive? They have a split second and very often they do not have the correct angle and a play often looks completely different from a different angle.

  47. Watched the game on TV with my 7 year old son. After 10 minutes he asked why we were letting Man City have the ball all the time.

    And I thought. There was time when we used to be the better team, have mistof the possession but still end up losing the big games.

    Yesterday it was almost like when the goal when in it was a relief to the Arsenal players and they actually, I thought, started to play a bit and were the better team until the third city goal.

    Strange game. Strange team selection. Strange manager.

  48. HenryB,

    I for one wasn’t too upset with the pen decision. Today football is a contact sport up until the point that there is contact when it no longer becomes a contact sport. We’d all be better off watching rugby where our frustrations and emotions can be somewhat relieved by a couple of “good hits”. Speaking of which, How’s the telly?

  49. “… Lacazette was the easiest to drop because he’s the new boy… ” Well said.
    They should put that on Arsene’s gravestone.
    Maybe it’s time to shift Iwobi into the centre of the park. Highly mobile, covers a lot of ground, can dribble a bit. Surely he couldn’t do worse.

  50. HenryB,

    How is it cheating for Sterling to slow down and cover the ball? That’s just good play. He put himself in the box seat. Monreal has to adjust to him, no the other way around. He didn’t and it was a penalty.

  51. Pete the Thirst,

    The point I’m making is that he on that occasion we got a decision, this time we didn’t…….it happens, I know he’s talking after the game ‘in the heat of the moment’ but just accept it man!

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