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Giving Credit When Credit is Due

I’ve given Arsenal their share of criticism all year long and been hesitant to jump on the Gunners’ bandwagon, especially because of the relatively soft away schedule they’ve played up to this point. Manchester United are still going to win the title in my opinion and I’ve said that since last summer, so don’t mistake that, but Arsenal are going to make it a fight until the very end and that’s something I didn’t think they would do back in November and December.

In one of my most recent posts, I talked about Manchester City’s dip in form recently and how it looked like they were going to contiune sliding down the table. But you know what? They entered today’s game against Arsenal with a 9-3-0 record at home. Undefeated. 30 points out of a possible 36. Arsenal came to the City of Manchester Stadium and bossed the match from beginning to end and in truth, the 3-1 scoreline was actually flattering to City, the loser.

Arsenal did this without their first-choice center back in Kolo Toure, who’s away with Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations. They did this without their starting goalkeeper in Manuel Almunia. They did this without talismanic, creative midfielder Tomas Rosicky. Manchester City had a near-capacity home crowd supporting them and no injuries limiting them, and still got waxed.

As I said, I still think Manchester United are going to win the title. I’ve been excused in the past of playing favorites and things like that, but let me assure you, that’s not the case. When I recognize a good performance from any team, I’m the first to applaud it and have no problem in doing so because I don’t support one specific Premiership team.

This was a great win for Arsenal today and it could very well spur them on down the road. In the end, I’m not sure if they have the firepower to compete with United and the defending champions have the advantage of hosting what could be the title-decider on April 12, when they’ll welcome the Gunners to Old Trafford. It won’t be as quiet as a funeral parlor then, I can guarantee you that.

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  1. dragonki2012

    February 2, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    A year from now, Bendtner will be gone. He won’t leave or be sold in the summer because he will want to fight for a first team spot.
    If there are no injuries or whatever may happen in the 1st half of the season. Bendtner won’t get his starting place and will leave next January.
    I see it pending out that way.
    I think the team will stay behind Adebayor because he’s found a good relationship with the rest of the squad.
    But every time I think of something, A. Wenger thinks of something clever and weird to do, so who knows.
    I personally don’t think either one’s good with their legs… both kinda sloppy, although Ade. passes more… and we only have 2 ball hogs on the team in Abou Diaby and Bendtner.
    Your bench may be better… but I believe in the guys on my bench as well.
    There’s my 2 cents.
    + Van Persie is guaranteed a starting place and he’s only played with Bendtner once, and that was in pre-season.

  2. Michael

    February 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Fair points, for sure.

    Since you’re an Arsenal fan, let me ask you something.

    Let’s say you had to pick either Bendtner or Adebayor; you could only keep one of those two. Who would it be?

    I would take Bendtner personally, although I’m sure you’ll go the other way. Bendtner has much more potential I think; he’s almost four years younger than Adebayor. While they’re both obviously tall guys, Bendtner seems to be a bit more powerful in the air, although Adebayor is much more skillful with his feet.

    With Adebayor’s current form, he could be sold for a huge profit and Arsenal could invest in some true attacking wing players.

    I don’t think Arsenal will be able to keep both of these guys because they genuinely don’t seem to like each other too much, and it’s bad chemistry for the team.

  3. dragonki2012

    February 2, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I think this is your biased side talking. That players that Arsenal are using, well some of them are not regular team players. You did mention the absence of Toure and Rosicky. And even though some may feel that these players aren’t good enough to win it I think when we finally do get Gilberto, Almunia, Van Persie, Eboue, Toure, Rosicky, Denilson, Djourou back, we can compete with Man Utd’s bench.
    But I am an Arsenal fan and maybe that leaves me as one sided, but I think Man. Utd might win the CL before the Prem.
    Not to mention that united wouldn’t be the same if they lost Ronaldo, cuz they did earlier this season and that was a pretty bad stretch of games.
    1. arsenal
    2. man utd
    3. chelsea

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