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HomeSportsArsenal ready to topple Man City – A Community Shield Preview

Arsenal ready to topple Man City – A Community Shield Preview

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Arsenal almost won the Premier League title last season. They stayed top of the table for at least 240 days. It is the most time a team has spent at the summit and didn’t finish with the trophy.

Why? Manchester City.

Pundits’ favourite word to describe Pep Guardiola’s men is ‘juggernaut’.

The Cityzens steamrolled the Gunners in the final weeks to retain the title for a third consecutive season.

This means they are aiming to do what nobody has achieved in Premier League history – win it for four years in a row.

A lot has been said about Arsenal’s collapse when the campaign entered the business end last term. One standout reason was a lack of depth to compete with City.

“At the business end of the season, you need- your best players fresh; your substitutes in good flow and ready to step up in case of injuries or poor form to key players.

“If your subs have been playing enough minutes, enough to find their own form, they will slot in easier when there’s a need for them in the run-in — rather than them being thrown in all of a sudden when the pressure is highest.

“Also, your key players will be better rested and more impactful. Fatigue affects composure and execution and can be a huge psychological block too. Arsenal experienced all three issues,” Clinton McDubus, a top football analyst and podcaster, tells GISTS VILLA.

Mikel Arteta has gone about his transfer business with vim, spending over £200m to sign Jurrien Timber (£40m), forward Kai Havertz (£67.5m) and midfielder Declan Rice (£100m), before his squad flew out for the preseason tour of America.

Arteta was very eager to get in reinforcements early and bed them into his style of play and tactics.

“I think it’s more about trust in the back-ups than anything.

“Does he trust them enough to give them starts and rotate a lot more, without fearing a drop in quality?

“That drop in quality will happen no matter how good the bench is if they’re not getting sufficient minutes and enough starts every few games.

“Perhaps his signings will give him more confidence in the reserves because some of them would be players he trusted last season,” McDubus explains.

But the first test of how ready Arsenal are to topple City will come against the champions themselves, when the two teams play each other in the Community Shield this Sunday.

The game heralds the new Premier League season. And a chance for an early tug of war.

It does appear that Guardiola’s men are weaker than they were three months ago. Ilkay Gundogan has departed the Etihad as a free agent to Barcelona, while Riyad Mahrez has been lured by the money in Saudi Arabia. Only Mateo Kovacic has joined from Chelsea, with RB Leipzig defender, Josko Gvardiol, set to finalize a move.

Are the Treble winners prepared to go again?

“Man City are always there for the taking when it’s the Community Shield. They never really care for it, at least not as much as others.

“I think Arsenal will come in more prepared and probably win, perhaps on penalties. That’s if Haaland doesn’t run riot,” McDubus adds.

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