Arsenal (0) 0 Manchester City (1) 2
Sunday, 12th August 2018
(4-2-3-1) Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Ozil, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan; Aubemeyang.
Substitutes: Elneny, Lacazette, Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Iwobi, Leno.
Welcome to the working week. After the backstage shenanigans of the previous few days, and the love me/hate me opinions about the Kroenke takeover flying around like broken beer bottles in a pub fight from all and sundry, it truly is a blessing to get back to normal with what we all do best, which is getting behind the chaps on a matchday; and this not being just any old match either – the first game of a new season, which also heralds in some stressful situations, namely the visit of the the Premiership champions, a new manager, new players, and most importantly, for the first time in living memory, real hope for a successful new era, nearly a fifth of the way into the 21st Century.
Okay, let’s start as we mean to go on; it is a fact that the lads are not going to meet this kind of quality in the Premiership throughout the season, but having said that, the standards that Citeh have set over the past few seasons in England are ones that we need to aspire to, and very quickly indeed, otherwise the only way that we are going to get into Europe next season is by a budget airline of our choice.
Overall, it was a very difficult afternoon for Arsenal, as they were playing one of the top teams in Europe, and it has to be said that we were fortunate to be able to keep the score low, as there were times that Manchester City looked like that they were going to get a hatful against a very unconfident and shaky defence. The midfield were unable to stamp any authority on the game, which of course led to the strikers not always getting the service they needed in order to take their chances on the visitors’ goal. Both of the Mancunian goals were preventable, as a tighter, more solid Arsenal defence would have neutralised the threat long before it became apparent.
Mr. Emery has his work cut out for him; this is very early days remember, and the weeks and months ahead could have some sticky moments along with experimentation with line-ups and formations which will be the order of the day. Expect players to leave and new faces to arrive, but above all this, we have all got to stick together behind the team and the manager, as this is crucial for our future success. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.
Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.