Asuh dudes! It is with great pride and honor that I can announce THE first ever Can I Kick It Cup! This idea really came about simply because Nico is obviously a huge Manchester City fan, and your boy is obviously a huge Gooner, and these two teams will be battling it out come this Sunday. So we figured why not just start a Cup every time these two play each other, and behold, here we are.
So in this blog I’ll very briefly review Arsenal’s season thus far, followed by some keys to winning the game this weekend, important players to watch for both squads, and lastly my brutally honest prediction.
Recap of Arsenal’s Season thus far:
So, Arsenal’s season started off horribly. I don’t need to remind you of the Liverpool blowout and the loss at Stoke. However, the numbers may deceive you. Arsenal have 19 points through 10 matches, a number that in the past has usually been lower, so I guess there’s one positive, but this isn’t good enough. The exciting and entertaining idea of a front three of Ozil-Alexis-Lacazette only came to fruition a few weeks ago, and the results have been favorable when this trio plays, as you could suspect. Looking at our team as a whole, we certainly have areas of improvement, such as the defense, and don’t want to call anyone out here but…. something has happened to my mans Bellerin, probably has something to do with the fact that I saw him out this Summer at a clurb in Miami and told him he’s my favorite player, oh well. Here’s proof that Bellerin was actually in Miami and that I’m not making this shit up.
Overall, this season has definitely not lived up to Arsenal fan’s expectations, but again, every season I have a positive outlook for us so I honestly don’t know. I would like to believe that City will falter or maybe slow down at one point or another this season, but they really do look like the strongest side the Premier League has seen in the last few years, and Arsenal, or for that matter any team, will have an extremely difficult time catching up to them (*sigh*).
Keys to Winning the Match:
So I’ve just told you City are basically winning the league, so how in the world are we going to stop them this weekend? There are really three ways we can do so, but in reality only two considering Wenger would never park the bus which was idea #3.
The first way is by going back to our typical 4-2-3-1 formation. I say this for a few reasons. When we deploy the newer 3-back system with the 2 wingbacks, it leads to Kolasinac and Bellerin naturally attacking the flanks, which is great most of the time, but not this time around. City are faster than us in these positions and will look to take advantage of our wingbacks if they are out of position, which will lead to furious and possibly to goal-scoring counter-attacks. With our traditional formation, Bellerin and Kolasinac can forget so much about attacking and just simply do their job as defenders, but simple and defending never go together for Arsenal of course. This formation would really be the conservative way out and would hopefully lead us to getting the draw.
The other idea would be to just go all-out for the win. In the past Arsenal have fended well for themselves when playing City, having won that thriller in the FA Cup semis last year. I feel like if we can just play our game, regardless of what happens with the defense, that we can stand a chance in this one.
Important Players to Watch:
Alexandre Lacazette: The French forward has already registered 5 goals through 9 starts this season. You know Alexis and Ozil will provide several scoring chances for the attacker, so the key will be to see if he can convert on them, but I expect to see a goal or two from this man.
Laurent Koscielny: I can tell you this with 100% assurance right now, Arsenal have NOT seen anyone even close to the caliber of Manchester City. If we are going to attempt to win this match, our defense is going to need to be spot-on, and that all stems from Koscielny. I want to see the aggressive, screaming, slide-tackling Koscielny I saw two seasons ago.
Sead Kolasinac: The Bosnian Tank will have a very difficult matchup against Raheem Sterling, who has been absolutely superb this season with already 10 goals to his name?! Kolasinac has arguably been our player of the season thus far with a few goals and assists to his name as well, but if we want a favorable result, Sead may have to bare a lot of the team’s weight on his shoulders.
Again, I’m writing to you all with a complete absence of bias. I think this match has the potential to get really ugly for us. This could be one of those matches that starts the #WengerOut trend, a trend that really has not been frequently talked about much this season. I think Arsenal will buckle down, come to their senses and will somehow squeeze out a draw in this match, but it’s going to be really hard for us to do that and will require 110% effort from everyone.
Final Score: City 2 – 2 Arsenal
Who’s gonna take home the first Can I Kick It Cup?! Tune in Sunday morning at 9:15 AM to find out!
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