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CITY SUFFERING

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I spent some time today watching the Pep and Arteta press conferences. My key takeaway?

How very boring.

It’s interesting that this idea now translates into pressers when we talk about the shift this season towards a less emotional setup.

Arteta doesn’t want in on any drama.

Pep is the same.

I feel like the whole Arsenal operation is more mature this season, and hopefully, that’ll benefit us on Sunday.

The big news from the day was that John S and Kyle W are both out of the game on Sunday. You can point to their monstrous squad as a salve, but I’m not sure that’ll offer much solace to City fans. Stones is an incredibly unique player that can’t be replaced and Walker is pure winnertivity.

That’s a loss.

Arsenal doesn’t have major injury concerns. The only problem is going to be Martinelli. He has a cut on his foot, and he’s had to sit on the couch since the Sheff U game on March 4th. Even if his foot was perfect, he’d be undercooked for a game like City.

My guess? Gabi Jesus will get the nod outside and we’ll get a glimpse into what he could be for us next season if he’s not sold this summer.

I’m not really sure where the surprises this Sunday are coming from. I have a feeling we’re the least likely of the two sides to spring a tactical madness and I have my doubts we’ll see a wild pick in the starting 11. The only outstanding question for me is Kiwior or Zinchenko? If City has to play 4 centre backs, maybe Arteta will be more inclined to offer minutes to Zinchenko. But who knows?

The key thought to take from Sunday is the most important thing is to not lose. A draw would be fantastic. A loss, despite some of the chatter, will not be fatal. We still have a quarter of the season to manage and all three teams in the title race have to contend with Europe.

Win and we’re 4 clear of City.

Lose and we’re 2 points behind.

Those margins don’t determine a title winner in early April.

In non-City news, Ethan Nwaneri signed his first pro contract with Arsenal. This was a huge win for Edu, Arteta, and Garlick. The best prospect in his age category is going to give it a go in a squad that really does pose a challenge to him. Arsenal have pulled out all the stops, we’ve given him a record-breaking debut, he’s seen Premier League minutes, and Martin Odegaard is his mentor.

Becoming the best club in the world for young players is something I wrote about for years… well, now we are. The question is can we maintain that rep when we’re winning titles? If we can, why wouldn’t the spectacular kids from around the world give it a go in London?

This signing is also a big win for Per Mertesacker. What a job he’s doing.

Ok, that’s me done for the day. If you like Podcasts, we have about 100 new ones on Patreon right now. Check it out RIGHT NOW. Also, Janan Ganesh dropped in to chat Arsenal for the big game preview. That lands in the UK at 6am.

Back with a final preview tomorrow. x

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