While Arsenal’s game against Sheffield United may be the most important thing for the club today, it’s also important to take a look around and see how their rivals fared during their own games. It’s never too early to consider the battle for the top four to be just that: a battle. Nobody really knows who is going to be seriously involved in the race for quite some time, but it’s obvious to see who is going to be mixing it up at the top, so we may as well not try and get around that fact.
Ten years ago today, Emmanuel Adebayor scored for Manchester City against his former club Arsenal, and then ran the length of the pitch in order to celebrate in front of the travelling Gunners fans. At the time, it was incredibly controversial, and even to this day it divides opinions amongst supporters.
Adebayor himself has had his say on the matter in the last few months, and it’s a pretty clear message that he’s trying to send.
“This is the thing and it’s why I haven’t said anything about racism the past few weeks. When I celebrated, the FA fined me, they punished me. Nothing happened to the Arsenal fans. So it [racism] started with me and long before me”.
City of Manchester Stadium – 55,017
They call it a tinpot ground and while we’d like to give City fans the benefit of the doubt, we just can’t. It feels a little bit soulless there and bizarrely enough, that was also the case before they were even taken over. Perhaps it was a foreshadowing of some sort.
Anfield – 54,074
It’s not in a great area and the stadium itself isn’t all that impressive, but the atmosphere, especially on European nights, makes you forget about all of that. It’s just a really special place to watch a game of football and the only people you’ll find to disagree with that probably spend their days at Old Trafford or Goodison.
On Saturday afternoon, Manchester City mauled Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup at Wembley, to claim an unprecedented domestic treble in English football.
The game proved significant for more than just the Citizens achievement, though, as it also saw the final appearance in a City shirt captain Vincent Kompany. The 33-year-old is out of contract this summer with the Citizens.
Kompany would provide excellent leadership skills
Vincent Kompany is no doubt a player in the twilight of his playing career. However, towards the end of the season, he had a massive influence on his team’s displays, as the Citizens won their last 14 league matches to claim the Premier League title.
According to the Express, Arsenal are the latest Premier League club to show an interest in Crystal Palace’s highly-rated young right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The 21-year-old has been one of the Eagles most consistent players this season, nailing down a starring role and producing a number of impressive displays for Roy Hodgson’s team. His performances have led to reported interest from the biggest clubs in England.
Youngster in-demand this summer
The reality is that Wan-Bissaka is now one of the most highly-rated young defenders in the Premier League. His performances have led to inevitable interest from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and now reportedly Arsenal.
According to Spanish Publication Sport, Arsenal are competing with Manchester City to sign Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo this summer. The 23-year-old has been in great form this season, scoring three times and producing seven assists in his 42 appearances for the Eagles this season. His form over the last few seasons has attracted interest from a number of Europe’s top clubs.
Grimaldo has a good pedigree
Grimaldo is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and was just 15 when he made his debut for the Catalan giants B team back in 2011. Despite being highly-rated, Grimaldo struggled to get into Barcelona’s first team. In fact, he never made a senior La Liga appearance for Barcelona, as he was competing with Spanish full-back mainstay Jordi Alba for a starting spot at the Catalan club.
When it comes to technical ability German playmaker Mesut Ozil is probably Arsenal’s best player. However, technical ability is not always enough for a player to contribute successfully to a team.
A player also has to have the right mental attributes to become a top player or a successful team player. Mesut Ozil has never developed beyond into a truly world-class player and his lack of mental strength is arguably the reason for his lack of development improvement.
Arsenal have a great opportunity this evening to consolidate their position in the top-four of the Premier League table, as the Gunners host travel sick Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.
The Cherries are awful on their travels
Cherries boss Eddie Howe is a guy that talks sense when it comes to football. He is very honest and open about the game. These character traits are probably why he is such a well-liked boss. Some have even mentioned the promising head coach as a future Gunners boss.
Arsenal suffered a 3-1 defeat at Premier League champions 3-1 at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. The result was not a shocking one considering the Citizens are formidable at home and Arsenal are poor travels. The defeat at City is understandable, but the fact that the Gunners have now lost four of their last five away matches in the top-flight is concerning.
Away form was a concern prior to Unai Emery’s appointment
To be fair to Gunners boss Unai Emery, the team’s away form has been a concern for a good while now. In fact, the team from north London have won just five times in 21 games on their travels in the top-flight.
Arsenal face a major challenge later today, as the Gunners visit reigning champions Manchester City. The Citizens have slipped up in a number of games in recent months which has saw them fall five points behind league leaders Liverpool.
City may have slipped up on the odd occasion this season, but they are still formidable opponents. The fact that the Citizens cannot afford to take their foot of the gas makes the task even harder for Arsenal.
The Etihad is a fortress
Manchester City have turned the Etihad Stadium into a fortress in recent season. The Citizens are currently on a run of 12 wins from their last 13 home games in the Premier League.