I was ready for the defeat of Arsenal, but to lose to City like this is terrible


Column by Vadim Lukomsky.

Already used to the fact that after Arsenal matches we gather to listen to the stream of fan pain with notes of whining? “City” smashed “Arsenal” (4:1) – this means we have a new series. 

So far, everything is going according to the schedule that I described after Southampton:

•  Leeds  (here’s the class – I’ll sort out the details of dominance at the finish line of the championship season);

•  Liverpool  (denial is just one match against a revived top rival at Anfield); 

•  “West Ham”  (anger – well, you can’t lose control like that, but we are still the first in terms of losses);

Southampton (bargaining – we must believe until the end, if we win at the “Etihad”, everything is possible);

• Manchester City (depression – at this point you stop looking at the calendar, mentally crediting your team with all the victories, and the competitor – misfires in matches where the opponent is able to give at least some fight; you just understand that it’s all over)

• remaining rounds (acceptance).

Yes, everything is on schedule, butArsenal, damn it, manages to make even planned disappointments painful. A trip to City is the football equivalent of a visit to the dentist. You know in advance that it will not be pleasant, but it is not necessary to sit in a chair without anesthesia, after hitting your face on the office door. Or definitely if you are Arsenal.

The usual loss to City was readable and plausible. The problem is that Arsenal’s loss to City was not an ordinary one – the team was shipped four (and there is a suspicion that this is still not enough, given the real gap between the teams).

For me, the worthlessness of Mikel Arteta’s team was epitomized by the decision to release Jorginho while keeping Thomas Partey at 0-3. The decision did not end in some particular failure, and Jorginho did not screw up more than the rest. It simply brilliantly emphasized the scale of the problems – the crisis point in which Arsenal found themselves. I’ll try to find words to describe this horror.

The team offered absolutely nothing in attack. You can clearly see from this passing map : there was only one direction of play – through Bukayo Saka, which City were ready for (Pep Guardiola released Manuel Akanji from the left and gave an additional defensive task to Jack Grealish). Arsenal were terribly predictable ahead, while launching killer counterattacks every 5 minutes.