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Arsenal Have Taught City An Important Lesson
Posted Oct 27, 2010 by Shaun Edwards
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I’ll happily admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Arsene Wenger: I’ve found him to be stubborn and pretty small minded when it comes to taking responsibility for his side having a bad day. However, there’s no denying that the Arsenal boss knows his football, and it was a pleasure to see his side give Manchester City a bit of a reality check in what it takes to be the best.
Yes, I’m sure City will point to the red card (which incidentally was completely the right decision) as the reason for their loss, but the simple fact is that the card is an excuse. It’s all very well for Mancini to say that City would have won had it been 11 v 11, but that’s hollow talk.
Fact: sides that win the title can go down to ten men and still get the job done. They overcome obstacles that get thrown in their way. Think of the United treble team that had Roy Keane and Paul Scholes: red cards were not uncommon. The Arsenal invincibles had Patrick Viera, for Christ’s sake!
City are getting more and more results that go their way, but as soon as something goes against them, they don’t seem able to deal with it. Against Arsenal, they just couldn’t seem to cope with the influx of the Gunner’s attacking football once they’d been reduced to ten men. Against Blackpool last week, they looked vulnerable again and again against the Seasider’s onslaught, despite the difference in budget between the two sides being approximately £500 million.
The trouble with City, in the end, comes down to one simple overwhelming fact: if you really attack and go after them, their defence just doesn’t seem to be able to cope. It’s odd, in a way, as it’s not like they have weak players. Wayne Bridge, Micah Richards and Kolo Toure are proven defenders. However, the men at the back seem unable to really click.
Until Manchester City are going to challenge for the game’s top honours, they’re going to need to grow a bit of a backbone when things aren’t going in their favour, and learn to deal with open, attacking football. Until then, men like Arsene Wenger are going to continue to dole out lessons in tactics and team-work.