Preview: Manchester City vs Arsenal
By Randy Osae
It’s more fiery than a desert’s volcano. That is the current state of Arsenal’s ambiance – if that’s not an exaggeration.
But it’s very much a factor that since Aston Villa’s dumping, Arsenal have been home to theatrical chaos – all off the pitch. The trauma of a quenching season, Waloctt’s inclusion among the always forgeable long-term injury woes, further withdrawals from the traveling squad and of course, William Gallas.
So assuming the pinnacle of Arsenal’s season lies at the City of Manchester Stadium is an understatement. That’s as though success in this trip will drastically lift the Gunners, but the evidence of just two weeks ago (against Manchester United), shows that even the most emphatic of victories really do little to affect where Arsenal stand – because they have been very bumpy this campaign.
Then on, Arsenal have absolutely nothing to prove. On their lofty days, the Gunners make winning a joy to watch. And when they are off, it’s as if Wenger’s men pay no regard to facing embarrassment. The most triumphant of victories and sickening of defeats or stalemates.
The shores of Arsenal’s tide indicate they have to pick up the pieces. Simultaneously, the Gunners are hanging on a thin thread to keep sight of their season’s priorities. Giving up the Premier League inflicts the momentum of chasing other targets. So it’s either you perceive Wenger’s men are out of the title race or very much in with a fight – at least a lengthy time is on their side.
But any sort of triumph over Mark Hughes’ side will have to be unrelenting and very clinical, because Arsene Wenger’s selection is poised to be quite far from potency. William Gallas’ absurd outbursts have seen him demoted from captaincy and left behind for the trip to Manchester. The French defender is now likely to see the worse of Wenger’s sanctions – possibly a sale in January.
Toure, Sagna and Walcott have also joined the absentees’ list, Carlos Vela and Emmanuel Adebayor’s country duties have deprived them enough energy for tomorrow, Fabregas is suspended while the only man returning is Robin van Persie.
He could be Arsenal’s Dutch inspirer.