Should Arsenal Rest Players And Lose Against Manchester City?

This weekend Arsenal travel to Manchester to take on the blue half of the city, in a game which is important to us in terms of remaining in the Top 4, but also for Manchester City it’s a huge game because they currently sit 5 points behind Liverpool, who play on Monday night against West Ham United.

Regarding Arsenal, we currently sit in 4th place on 47 points – equal on goal difference with Chelsea but above them based the greater number of goals scored. A resurgent Manchester United, who have won 8 and drawn 1 of their 9 games under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, are two points behind us in 6th.

We are in the best league position we’ve been in so far under Unai Emery and at this stage of the season crept into the Top 4. With Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on another level, it is essentially a 3 horse race for that last Champions League spot. So a win after this weeks football would be massive in terms of giving us a chance to finish the season in 4th.

This weekend, Chelsea host Huddersfield Town and Manchester United travel to Leicester, so you would imagine that anything less than 3 points against Manchester City would mean that we drop to 5th or even 6th.

For Manchester City, who sit 5 points behind Liverpool, a win is vital against us as they would put the pressure on the scousers. A win would put them 2 points behind and then all eyes would be on Monday night where the hope would be that Liverpool bottle it (like that have done before) and lose or draw that game.

Now, I would never hope that Arsenal lose a match, that’s obvious. But my question would be should Arsenal play their strongest team?

After the Manchester City match, our Premier League and Europa League fixtures are:

  • Huddersfield Town (A)
  • BATE Borisov (A)
  • BATE Borisov (H)
  • Southampton (H)
  • AFC Bournemouth (H)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (A)
  • Manchester United (H)
  • Wolverhampton Wanders (A)
  • Newcastle United (H)
  • Everton (A)
  • Watford (A)
  • Crystal Palace (H)
  • Leicester City (A)
  • Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
  • Burnley (A)

If you look at the Premier League fixtures, the only fixtures which you would think would be really tough games are the ones against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Take those games away and that leaves us with 10 winnable league games.

Consider we have struggled really badly with defensive injuries (do we have a curse?) then you would like to avoid a situation like we did in the FA Cup game against Manchester United where we couldn’t get into the game, were never in a position to win it and ended up hauling off Koscielny and Sokratis with injuries.

So is it worth rotating the squad against Manchester City, ensuring we don’t lose any more defenders or even some of our important attacking players, such as Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ramsey or Özil (hehe).

If it was up to me I would give some of the first team players a rest, especially when they’ve been through a gruelling winter schedule, and then allow them to be fresher for the remaining games in the Premier League and in Europe. This way, we give ourselves the best possible chance to secure a Champions League spot for next season either through the league or the Europa League.

But what do you think? Should Arsenal go all out against Manchester City? Or should they be conservative, rest some of their first team players and then just see what happens?

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section!


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What Are Your Predictions for the Arsenal v Chelsea Match?

Arsenal are in a bit of a slump at the moment, struggling against West Ham, Brighton and Liverpool, only picking up 1 single point from those 3 games. Chelsea are up and down as well, but have done better this season and sit a comfortable 6 points above us in 4th place. A defeat would increase the gap to a massive 9 points, with only 15 games remaining – and with Manchester United flying high with the Baby-Faced Assassin at the helm, losing today would be a massive massive dent in our Champions League hopes.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. A win would bring us to within 3 points and 4th place would be all to play for. And a win against a top side like Chelsea would be a big confidence boost to the team and players, and hopefully signal the start of a better run in the league than we have seen of late.

So what do you think? Can we put in a top performance and beat Chelsea today? Or will we make the same defensive mistakes yet again and lose the match and any chance of finishing in the Champions League places?

Personally, I think Arsenal can pull it out of the bag and win 2-1!

Leave your predictions and thoughts in the comments section below, and COYG!!

Vote Here – Who Is To Blame For Arsenal’s Slump In Form?

Arsenal went on an impressive – and surprising – 22 game unbeaten run which was brilliant and showed that with the right ideas and training, we can improve on the football pitch. But even with the new management we are still lacking in key areas, and it seems as if investment is not forthcoming.

It’s been 10 years now since Stan Kroenke got involved with Arsenal and to date has not invested a single penny into improving the team, and constantly hides behind Arsenal’s “self sustaining model’. And correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s possibly the first ever owner not to put any money in and try and help the team on the pitch?

Under Arsene Wenger Arsenal slipped from title challengers, to a Top Four side, to a Top Six side. Unai Emery has taken over and let’s be completely honest here – inherited a Top Six squad. Arsenal are currently 5th and in reality that’s where they should be. Arsenal need investment to go to the next level.

Some players have under performed this season, notably our defence. Lichtsteiner and Mustafi in particular have been awful this season and at their age, won’t improve. The Mesut Özil situation has become a farce – the second highest paid player in the Premier League is out of favour and always “injured”. He’s worse than bloody Darren Anderton!

Then we have the manager. Unai Emery has taken on a mammoth task and has had a lot of problems to deal with. But has he got some of his team selections right?

It’s clear we’ve reached a crunch time in the season and things aren’t falling apart just yet, but could descend into a real slump.

So how can we get back on track? Does the manager need to re-think his tactics and ideas? Do the players need to get their act together and start playing for the badge? Or does Stan Kroenke (finally) need to put his hand in his pockets and actually help strengthen the squad?

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comment section!

How Do You Think Arsenal Are Doing Now We’re Half Way Through The Season?

Arsenal lost against West Ham 1-0 today as we still sit in 5th place, which could change depending what happens to Manchester United tomorrow.

The question is how has our season been so far? Has Unai Emery done a good job so far? Is he underachieving or overachieving?

Personally, I think his impact has been overwhelmingly positive and he’s brought new ideas to the club. For me, he needs time and with the amount of money Silent Stan will give him he needs at least 3/4 seasons to make his mark.

After this weekend Arsenal would have played 22 games – having won 12, drawn 5 and lost 5.

With the mess of a squad he inherited, I think Unai Emery has done a great job. Several players like Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka and Alexander Iwobi have improved under the Spaniard, and we do play with more of a structured system.

The ridiculous scenarios regarding Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey are in no way down to him and a result of the mis-management from Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis. Under Emery, he can improve things.

So how do you think we’re doing this season? Are you happy with the progress we’re making so far?

Leave your thoughts and comments in the section below!

Who Has Been Arsenal’s Best Player Over The Last 10 Years? Vote Here!

I was having a debate with a friend and fellow Arsenal supporter about who has been Arsenal’s best player over the last 10 years. Several names came up, and we agreed that the shortlist would include:

  • Alexis Sanchez
  • Theo Walcott
  • Cesc Fabregas
  • Aaron Ramsey
  • Robin Van Persie
  • Jack Wilshere
  • Andrei Arshavin
  • Laurent Koscielny
  • Olivier Giroud
  • Santi Cazorla
  • Mesut Özil
  • Hector Bellerin
  • Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

I argued that Alexis Sanchez was the best Arsenal player we’ve had in the last 10 years – simply because he the closest thing we’ve had to a world class player in that time. He scored goals that no-one else could score, his desire and determination was something else and his overall play was unreal – we talk about Messi and Ronaldo as players who are from another planet, but I tell you what, Alexis Sanchez’s level was close to those two.

He was that good.

My friend however said that the best player we’ve had in the last decade was Cesc Fabregas. He believed that in terms of having the most impact and doing most for the team, our former captain edges it.

Anyway, below are a couple of videos to look through, with the players best goals, skills, etc. so take a look at those first and once you’ve decided, cast your vote and thoughts below!

Alexis Sanchez

Cesc Fabregas

The Vote

Remember, when casting your vote below you’re not voting for the player who has done the most for the club, but for the player who was the best in terms of outright quality, talent, ability and class!


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