Manchester City 1 – 1 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

This was going to be an open game but Mancini’s team selection also made it a very interesting one. The Italian went with only one defensive minded midfielder, if you can call Garcia that, while picking Silva on one flank and Sinclair (what is he doing at City!?) on the other. It was difficult to understand the exact reasoning behind these choices. It could be that the City manager wanted pace on one side and creativity on the other but freshness is more likely to be the reason as he made five changes to the side that lost against Madrid.

His counterpart also made a couple of changes. Vermaelen was left out, reportedly, due to health issues, with Koscielny coming in and Ramsey came in for Giroud with Gervinho moving from the wing to a more central role. Clearly, Wenger wanted greater technical quality on the pitch to deal with opponents who can hold on to the ball.

It worked for Arsene and the game might have left Mancini with a headache over his squad depth. There aren’t many teams who come and dominate possession at the Etihad stadium but the Gunners did just that. In fairness though, Hart wasn’t the busier Keeper.

It was relatively tight in the first half. Arsenal were cautious and didn’t commit too many bodies forward. City weren’t able to hold on to the ball and build attacks as they normally do so their moves seemed rushed or reliant on Aguero conjuring something up from the left. Neither side created too many clear chances although both had a few moments that could have been productive but for poor choices and/or execution in the final third.

The Gunners combined well to create some openings on the counter-attack as they found space against an attack-minded City line-up. But none of these forced a big save from Hart. Gervinho’s horrible first touch in the 15th minute was a prime example but there were many others. Gibbs (as has been noted here after at least a couple of previous matches) didn’t get his final pass right after getting into promising positions in attacking areas. Diaby and Podolski were also guilty of either holding on to the ball for too long or picking the wrong pass. Arsenal just had two shots on target in the first half but both were from outside the box and rather innocuous.

The hosts didn’t create much either. Mannone made a couple of saves but you expect the Keeper to make those. He did make a mistake on a corner in the 39th minute and City scored but it would be unfair to single the Keeper out.

It was a simple corner and a backpost header from a running jump. Arsenal have been using zonal marking on set-pieces but it didn’t work this time. It’s difficult to say whether the system was at fault or the individuals. Koscielny and Podolski couldn’t get any elevation from a standing jump, Mannone came but missed the ball by an embarrassing margin, and even if he’d stayed back odds of saving a bullet header to the top corner were pretty low.

So is it the system’s fault or that of the players? The answer lies in the abilities of the individuals. If they cannot get enough elevation from a standing jump – Vermaelen does – then using such a system is very risky. If they can, then they are at fault for not executing their roles in a desired manner. Time will tell whether the system works for this team or needs to be changed. Meanwhile, some routines in training will probably help the coaches assess the player-system fit.

The second period was somewhat different. Mancini introduced Rodwell for Sinclair. After an initial push at the beginning, the hosts played deeper in their half and allowed Arsenal to control the middle third. But the Gunners still struggled on the chance creation front with Hart having a peaceful time. City looked dangerous on the break but it was their turn to waste promising positions. For instance, Toure went on a powerful run down the middle in the 80th minute but took an age to make up his mind allowing Arsenal to get bodies behind and salvage what was a 3-v-2 in favour of the hosts.

The equalizer came from a corner that resulted from another Cazorla blast from distance. This time Hart saw it late and barely kept the ball out. Arsenal benefitted from a couple of mistakes by City’s defenders. Lescott didn’t get any power on his clearance even though he wasn’t under pressure. The ball fell kindly to Koscielny who was left free by Toure. The defender’s shot was unstoppable.

Both sides had one glorious chance to win it late. City’s came from another set-piece. Kompany controlled a partial clearance and tested Mannone with a bicycle kick. The Keeper made a good save but the ball fell in a dangerous central area inside the six yard box. Koscielny rushed his clearance and ended up passing it to Aguero at the near post. The striker tried beating Mannone at the far post but missed by a whisker.

At the other end, Gervinho found himself in space in a central area just inside City’s box but his shot was as woefully high.

On the balance of play a draw seemed a fair result but City might be aggrieved Aguero didn’t get a penalty after a foul by Koscielny. If strikers don’t get the call when they stay on their feet, you can’t blame them for going down at the slightest of touches. Then again, Mike Dean was unnaturally lenient in this game and he’d probably have made the same decision if the event happened in the other box.

Individual Performances:

Mannone: Made some important saves but the kind you expect a Keeper to make. The goal wasn’t really his fault but his weakness against balls in the air, especially poor judgment of flight, has been visible in previous games as well.

Jenkinson: Had a steady game on the right with a couple of useful attacking runs. Benefitted from the fact that Sinclair offered very little threat and City were more conservative in the second half. Saw a lot of the ball again and his passing was more composed and reliable in this game.

Mertesacker: Close shout for MotM in my book. Broke City’s counter-attacking opportunities with intelligent positioning and interceptions on a number of occasions. His tactical intelligence and reading of the game was top class. Passing was composed but not at his typically high level.

Koscielny: Mixed bag for the Frenchman. Scored the vital goal, made a number of timely clearances, was active and effective in defence (5/6 tackles, 6/6 ground duels, 4/6 aerial duels). But he wasn’t able to challenge Lescott for the goal, could have conceded a penalty, and almost gifted a goal to Aguero late in the game. The errors, while few, could have been devastating.

Gibbs: Another impressive game from the youngster but he continues to struggle in the final third. Passing was good for the most part but just didn’t find his teammates when well placed in or around the City box. Wasn’t as effective in tackles or duels but did make some useful interceptions. Most importantly, found a good balance between attacking runs and defensive duties.

The defenders did a commendable job at a difficult ground against top quality opponents. They benefitted from the control that the midfield exerted and the shape of the side as a whole.

Arteta: MotM IMO. ‘Mr Dependable’ completed 100 passes out of his 106 attempts. Got into positions his teammates could find and kept the ball moving, often playing a useful early part in the build-up of attacks. Remains ‘The Wall’ in front of the defence. Recovered possession more than any other player on the pitch and made some timely interceptions. A classic selfless display that made others looks better.

Cazorla: Saw a lot of the ball and was busy in the attacking areas. Created most of the potential opportunities that the Gunners managed to squander. Took the most shots and won the corner that led to the goal.

Diaby: Another one who had a mixed bag. Had a few moments when his presence and power on the pitch was helpful to the team but he was also dispossessed 6 times. Began to tire in the second half and had to come off.

The midfield was conservative in the first half, showed respect to the opponents but kept them in check. They were able to push forward in the second half but couldn’t do enough to break City down from open play.

Ramsey: Another player who came close to the MotM. Attempted and completed the most passes in the final third, and was second highest on those stats in general. Created a fantastic chance for Gervinho. Ramsey was all over the pitch and carried the form from his impressive cameos into this game. Looked stronger on the ball and fractionally sharper when running.

Gervinho: For much of last season I wrote match reports that described him as “exciting and frustrating at the same time”. The same continues although in this game the frustration element must have set a new record. Wasted a number of good chances through poor technique as his touch or shot let him down. Lost possession a total of 19 times including 4 unsuccessful touches and 4 dispossessed while making a total of 56 touches. When moved wide he reverted to the tendency to run into crowds that he showed against Sunderland in the first game. Attempted 12 dribbles with only 4 successful. Easily the most disappointing player on the pitch.

Podolski: Did a decent defensive job on the left and drifted in to help the possession game. City’s organization and defensive qualities meant he didn’t find any space to run into in central areas. Didn’t offer much in the form of width. We can only wish one of the chances that fell to Gervinho had fallen to Poldi but that’s the price to pay for the balance he brings to the left flank.

The front three, it’s difficult to call them attackers or strikers in this game, added to Arsenal’s quality in the middle and supported the defence but they could not make the difference in the decisive areas up front.

Subs: None of the substitutes had a substantial impact on the game.

Wenger: Brave and commendable choice to pick Ramsey for such a big game. His team showed fight after going down and largely retained their defensive shape. Still has to find the solution to the centre-forward conundrum and needs to find a way to break down strong, well-organized, and often deep-lying defences from open play.


44 Responses to Manchester City 1 – 1 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. Aussie Jack says:

    For once I picked the line-up and the result…aren`t I a clever boy?

  2. a99 says:

    There was an interesting still showing the corner before their goal is scored. Mannone appears to be in the middle of a square with 4 defenders at each corner of the square and then a further 4 defenders in a line in front of the square (I’m probably not describing it well).

    Because corner is on the left Gibbs is on his post but Arteta who should have been on the other post (where he would have been in a perfect position to head the ball away) is in fact on the goal line but a yard away from the post in order the create the square.

    This happened each time there was a corner from the left so it is clearly part of the new defensive set up for corners but seems to mark a departure from the usual ‘man on the post’ set-up the club has employed for as long as I can remember. So my question is: what is the point of having a man on the line but not on the post – or was Arteta in the wrong place?

    • gunner_expat says:

      what you point out might be a genuine issue or tactic, but i think in this particular place, no matter where Arteta was, the header was unstoppable. In the replay you can clearly see Arteta with his arms in the air semi-attempting a Suarez, and he still didnt reach the ball.

      maybe only murder-sacker could head that kind of ball away..

  3. AussieGooner says:

    Fantastic analysis. You continue to impress me with your opinions, and are one of the only bloggers that doesn’t generate those opinions on what the pundits and/or commentators say. Keep up the good work mate. I agree with every point you have made here, particularly on the much maligned Ramsey. I have to say, many people, including myself sighed when they saw his name on the team sheet. But his industry and energy levels were amazing, and its great to see that he is close to his best. Diaby looked absolutely knackered towards the end of the match, I think he is 90 minutes away from an injury. Needs a rest.

  4. Bilyaminu Tambuwal says:

    Ohhhh! What an amazing game? Yes, we can now describe arsenal as “tittle contenders”, I really got impressed with the players perfomance against City,, but still there are areas that need improvement, especially the attacking line, Up Gunners!

  5. saminator says:

    pleeeeeeeeeeeease, you people who could be close to the club, ask the manager, wenger to go into the market for a certain fernando llorente..then your attacking issue will be resolved.
    saminator

  6. adewunmi says:

    I am convinced more than ever before that sooner than later Arsenal would win trophies with this kind of elated performances. Diabi should watch & control his excessive dribling &holding on to the ball. I think he is going to play a major role in Arsenal campaign this season. Thumbs up to Arsenal players & fans .Gunners 4 life.

  7. Dahdah says:

    Had it bin m opportune to meet gervinho,one ov us wuld v left d stadium on a strecher n m sure dat wnt be me….Gerv is clearly a fat head wit nothn in it

  8. Dianjuh says:

    It was a test…and it was passed. Maybe not with flying colors, but passed nonetheless. You do not go to the Etihad and outplay the hosts like we did and not giv ethe boys a tap on the back “good job boys”. Even Wenger agrees that the way we played should give us more belief for the games ahead. Now sit back and see what happens to Chelsea this weekend. Am actually thinking one (or two) goals from Giroud to settle the centre forward issues and we are brute force!!

  9. amahgfur says:

    Ramsey in this match was the same Ramsey in the first half of last season. He wasn’t shy of making through passes to release the attackers, most notably two passes that Gervinho wasted. And you’re right, he was all over the pitch today. Hope he can carry this form to the second half of the season.

    Another interesting point is that we, at least to me, seemed to be able to ‘tame’ Yaya Toure. He wasn’t as influential to City as usual.

  10. Nizam says:

    Both Gervino and Diaby have a tendency to hang on to the ball and run into a cul de sac. Asa result the attacking fizzled out. Not only that the gunners are trying to thread a way through a packed defence. Needless to say when ball is lost,it could have been fatal.
    Arsenal were let down by the goalie. If he had not made the error,the gunners could have won.

  11. leirbag says:

    Wonderful observation… Especially on Gervinho. He kept running into crowds and lost the ball a lot… I think he shouldn’t get over confident and should realize he has team-mates… Mannone was good (can’t blame him for the goal). In as much as Giroud hasn’t scored, I believe his presence upfront is important coz of his height. i was happy with Ramsey today. As for Jenkinson, Am really surprised how much headache he gives opponents yet is a right back. Our wingers should learn from the left and right backs coz they are one reason for arsenals improved performances this season.

  12. Foolishgooner says:

    Amen! Gervinho could have won and carried the day. Nonetheless, I like his industry and never give up attitude. Ramsey selection was justified because we dominated possession. LK was as you described he got us the point we deserved. He needs more games, he should play mid week with Johan and rest Per.

  13. Lawson of Lagos state university says:

    Good analysis of the game we play well overall only for our missed chances we should scored two goals in first half and wrap the game up in second half.

  14. pizzy says:

    perfect analysis. Desi should be a major tabloid reporter.

    the performance shows the limitation of the gunners on tough away trips that we will see more of this season: retaining shape and discipline by jettitioning a target man for a midfielder from wide. It means we may never see Giroud and Gervinho together from the start, sacrificing one of them for a midfielder on the flanks. I just wish that for the next time we use this tactic, we get to use someone more dynamic than Ramsey (not Faulting his effort here, though, he was immense today)

    what this tactic gives us is a little more fluidity in attack and better defensive cover. I think we should consider Santi (or TR7) for that role subsequently, especially if Jack is fit and on form.

    Finally to those who think the city match can prove anything about our title potential, I hope that have their answers…

  15. tspsells.com says:

    Gervinho is a very basic player, he didi the best he can do. he is not a rvp or a henry. This is our problem .if he was we would have got 3 points and challange for league. but this will not be

    • Charlie. says:

      Gervinho seems to lack confidence to me, he seems to be a quiet character who isn’t convinced of his own ability, particularly as a striker but many players have shown similar traits. Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie didn’t take to playing as a striker immediately, they took time to realise that they were up to the job of being the main goalscorer rather than a provider.

  16. Jesse says:

    Wow!!! Talk about somtin special… This Arsenal Team is mor balance & mature. N we showd dat on d pitch 2day… Wen didn’t jst play our game, bt, even wen d goin got tough, d team were level headed 2 deal wit onslaughts’ of preassure dat were thrown @ us… D team did grately n all departments, but, my standout player was Per… His understandin n interception of d ball, durin crucial momentz of d game, reali came n handy… Grate job guyz, made us prode…Cheers(Arsenal 4…)

  17. Insyder says:

    Poor analysis especially on Ramsey had one good pass.He never played his role, he kept going to position that he was not supposed to be. Never gave Jenkison any defensive & attacking support. He was playing Santi role popping everywhere & nowhere.Diaby was another of the players who disappointed me.I think Le Prof. should stop this habit of giving players game in terms of experience but in terms of form. I would have loved to have seen AOC & Coquelin on the middle.During the SAints game they were great & the pace of the counter was great. I dont why people are saying Rambo had a great was in the stadia plus have watched the game again on Supersport. he was poor.3/10 if i was an analysis 1 for being on the line up, 1 for the great pass he gave gervinho & 1 coz he is an Gunners player.

    • Foolishgooner says:

      We were playing the champions who were undefeated 30plus matches at home! We didn’t take some good chances (Gervinho) and get down a goal before the half. We created chances against a talented and most expensive team in the world. We dominated possession, didnt panic, kept our shape against a defensive Manager (R. Mancini) who is not ashamed to play for the counter even at home! And you blame Ramsey (Engine of the midfield today)….. You want perfection? Football is’nt that easy mate.. Rambo worked his sox off, same as Diaby and entire team. Mistakes happen but I can definitely be proud of the point and performance! Cheers Gooners..

    • Chowdhury says:

      Rambo was the best player on the pitch after Diaby left. That spell alone is enough to consider him for the MoTM. He was the one who kept us going.
      Rambo was immense last night. And so was Arteta.
      It was a brilliant show overall. I can’t find a single reason to be not happy with the performance. Unless ofcourse I expect Arsenal to play a perfect game like on my XBox.

      Good Post Desi.

      • santori says:

        I’m not sure I’d agree that hew as the best player but he certainly has seemed to waken up to the fact that his psoition isn’t quite assured with Eisfeld coming in.

        And he seems to have taken a page from Rosicky, got the ball moving quicker. HIs distribution/vision is an asset.

        OTOH, he could well do with some aggression/strength in winning the ball back. Some MMA training will do him good IMO.:D

  18. amahgfur says:

    Insyder
    Come on, mate. It’s the defending champions we’re up against, not some newly-promoted team. Regarding Ramsey, you might want to watch the match again to see all his energy in covering almost the whole pitch, especially after he moved to CM position.

  19. Kayciey says:

    Arteta was at his worst yesterday…………Per was the MotM by a big shot. I lost count of how many times the commentator said …blocked by Mertesacker…..intercepted by Mertesacker….we give credit to where its due. When Diaby came off……Yaya dominated Arteta like white on rice.

    • amahgfur says:

      “Yaya dominated Arteta like white on rice.”

      dominated? in what way? Physically speaking, Arteta will always be dominated by Yaya, just like any other midfielders in this league. Tactically speaking, Arteta protects our defense and keeps our move ticking. What else do you expect from a midfielder?

    • ck says:

      what game were you watching mate? did you see yaya huffing and puffing? please open ur eyes!

  20. Charlie. says:

    I have to agree with Kayciey. It was an excellent performance, nobody deserves criticism but I thought Arteta was performing no better than normal. I remember him making a couple of mistakes. Ramsey should be given credit because he was excellent and after all the criticism that he has received he deserves our support. Per was definitely MOTM, he was reminded me of a certain Tony Adams or Stevie Bould with the way he was always in the right position to intercept the ball. For those who remember Steve Boulds’ playing days he never attracted attention because he made defending look so easy. Per is a similar type of defender in my opinion. You had the most creative player of last season, David Silva, who kept failing to find his man thanks to Per knowing exactly what he was going to do.

    • santori says:

      Disagree.

      Areta does a lot of the work tidying up and keeping us ticking in midfield. His exchanges between Diaby and more importantly Santi, Pdolski ahead of him were more reason why we had such a bigger slice of possession than Ramsey.

      Ramsey played better than usual and was positive going forward but he cut in too frequently and compressed our shape to City’s advanage (not to mention he got in the way of other players on a number of occasions).

      Arteta is key to our play this season the way Song was last season. We will be for the worst without him. I hope Coquelin is taking note because he will have to likely step up if the well coiffered one gets a knock (touch wood)

  21. GoonGoon says:

    I have to say that I agree with most of the analysis, but Per is MoTM in my book. His reading of the game and positioning yesterday was spectacular. Desi has on numerous occasions mentioned how well he reads the game, and only yesterday I fully understood what he meant by that!

    Arteta was as efficient as always, but there were a few occasions where he was jogging back when city were on the counter. This however may be due to the fact that we already had someone else who was covering his position during the run of play. Not in any way undermining his contribution though, kept us ticking.

    Ramsey was EVERYWHERE. Like someone mentioned previously, I too sighed when I saw his name in the team sheet (not because he was playing, but his position). Goes to show that fans can easily say this and that (I especially hate idiots who come out with moronic comments like “we should buy messi” crap). He provided good balance to the team and the fact that he’s more accustomed to the CM position is why I think we dominated the ball in midfield with him drifting in and out of this area.

    Gervinho just needs confidence. He does everything right, up to pulling the trigger. Credit to him for getting into those positions in the first place, which most people fail to recognise. He just needs time and needs to work on composing himself in the box. When he does, he’ll provide us with more goals. Probably very reassuring that Le Boss seems to be a specialist in getting players to maintain composure in the box.

    I’m starting to worry about Giroud. Not doubting his abilities, but the longer he goes without a goal, the worse his confidence is going to get. Torres, anyone? Hope he doesn’t go through the same spell.

    • santori says:

      Ramsey was everywhere but it also became a bit messy as he was getting into the way of others.

      I am not convinced with him out at RW. He has a tendency to start drifting in and congesting our play.

      We need proper width out RW. Walcott was guilty of much the same preferring to cut in rather than drag the City defense wide to open space for Giroud/Santi in the middle.

      If Walcott leaves in January, would not mind seeing someone of the quality of Affelay or Konoplyanka come in even if cup tied for CL. It will give us more nuance and technicality out RW. Jenkinson’s power going forward and better composure on the ball is very encouraging indeed.

      RW needs to balance better with our LW.

  22. Not even Real Madrid or Mourinho will play man city at Etihad the way Arsenal and Arsene played them. Had that stupid referee not rubbed liverpool match for the devils, we would be ahead of RVP on the table right now with goal difference b’cos, i knew liverpool would have won that game. Rest Jenkinson, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla, Podolski for capital one cup and they will be fresh to trash Chelshit at the emirates. That is not to say Coventry should be taken for granted as they get passed our nightmare Birmingham city to play us in the third round. Strong team against them as well: Mannone, Yenaris, Djourou, Koscielny, Santos, Coquelin, Ramsey, Arshavin, Walcott, Giroud and Gervinho. Sub: Serge Gnabry, Chamakh and Eisfeld should be a handful for the conventry side especially @emirates. Chelshit will be playing wolves they might not be able to reshuffle the team as we would, least, they will risk going out of the capital one cup. Then and then, we will have an edge over then in our own background. COYG!

  23. Terry says:

    what i am dissapointed is we are all satisfied with 1 point, we performed well and yes we created a lot… but if we want to be champions we need to win these games..Gerviniho need to score those… a similar oppourtunity had it fallen to Aguero or Tevez.. they would have finished it….
    dont get me worng i am very proud of the way we played… but this was our game for the taking… results in gmaes like these make you champions..

    • santori says:

      I don’ t think anyone is satisfied with the point. But it was an extremely encouraging performance because for the ost part, away against City, we bossed it.

      Agreed we need to be more unforgiving but early days yet. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Another 5 games and if we continue to play the way we’re doing (plus some more composure in front of goal) we have a good chance at the title.

  24. Shiv says:

    Well one point at etihad is a result. Looks like for all his early season promise, the Gurve is not our answer to the striker issue. 3-4 games on the trot for OG should settle that. The team has for a change looks combative and ready to take on all comers and all styles of play. The great defensive work on display in fact starts with the forward line led by Podski’s work ethic. I was disappointed at the end when we got a free kick near the city box but commited just two players up front. Manure would’ve swamped the opposition box in the same situation. Conversely gibbs also was guilty of not crossing when we had bodies in there, right at the end. This squad sure looks like the real deal. Devoid of prima donnas. Very hungry and working for each other. Almost all the guys who couldn’t win up anything have gone. Time for a new beginning. Bring it ON.

    • santori says:

      I noticed that. We look mean and hungry where as City look overweight, ponderous and slightly content at a draw at home.

      Gibbs was good yesterday and put in a shift. The way we play, he seems to have the most ground to cover.

      Should have taken a shot when put through by Arteta….could have gotten that 3rd assist.;)

  25. Scott (USA) says:

    Merts would be my MOTM. He was outstanding the entire game. Besides that really agree with all the ratings. Really enjoying this blog.

  26. santori says:

    Some of our passing first half was close to approaching what we use to do with the invincibles.

    But our finishing was woeful, both Podolski and (expecetedly) Gervinho forgot their shooting cleats.

    Personally thought Giroud should have come on maybe 10 minutes into the second half when City had tightened up and Gerivinho?Podolski were not getting quite as much joy running at them.

    Also thought Diaby was showing wear from recent game and should have been taken off ealier. Made some very slack errors. Coquelin should have come in maybe on the hour mark.

    Ramsey played well yesterday but I think it’s a bit rich to say he is a candidate for MOTM. He was good for most parts going forward but still not quite tenacious enough for me defending, partiocularly when he loses the ball. Also out RW, he had a tendency to cut in and get in the way of other players.

    Jenkinson was a bit more of a revelation to me. I haven’t been convinced that he would make the step up but he played with a lot of power yesterday and his distribution was better not to mention he had more confidence on the ball. Agreed he won’t be challenging Sagna as yet but this bodes well particularly when you consider he had the better measure of Clichy.

    Mertesecker was excellent. Did not put too much of a foot wrong and composed with his decision making for most parts. I think he’s a joint MOTM with Arteta whom I have to agree does do the no nonsense work well and yes, he does make others look good (despite the lego hair)

    Mix bag for Mannone. I think Szsc is still preferable as he is more comfortable with high crosses (a product of confidence), which helps with our zonal marking system. But Vito acquited himself somewhat with some decent saves.

    Just me or does City look a touch heavy this season. Seems like they are fat and content and we are lean and hungry. They were ponderous at times and for the taking.

    Hope this game instills a bit more belief in us. I think we can get something out of the Chelsea game coming up if we continue to play the way we have..

    Absolutely crucial to get Giroud off the mark soon IMO. He has shown good movement and awareness but he could really do with the ball in the net soon. Still think we are one light up top but I suppose the gaffer is somewhat hamstrung by the presence of Chamakh (and Bendtner, Park, Arsharvin) on the books.

    If Walcott (likely) leaves in January, we should also bring someone of the quality of Affelay or Konoplyanka in at RW. Ramsey out wide (as improved as he’s been) just doesn’t do it for me.

  27. Scott (USA) says:

    Agree on Man City looking lathargic. Maybe tired from Champions league. Excuse? Possibly. They looked ripe for the picking but I am happy with a draw.

  28. Nick from Portugal says:

    Great display, MOTM Mert or Arteta, Jenkinson bloody good too for someone who only has one leg, we should have won it. Gervinho very confident after mid week display but snatching at chances, needs to get his head up when he receives the ball. Chelsea, you must be very concerned………..

  29. Spec says:

    If Gervinho is to be played through the middle then his shooting has to improve. We cant afford squandering chances especially against teams we wont create much.

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