Man City full of big talk after besting Arsenal, but…


Well, it’s a sign of the times when you’re the talk of the town, and tongues have been wagging about the Arsenal since about mid-October when it started to become clear that we might just be more than a flash in a pan. Indeed, we’ve topped the table for all but three matchdays. Even though we’ve stumbled and staggered these last few weeks, we still peer down precariously if not imperiously upon those below us. However, a surer sign of our strength might come from the big talk emanating out of the Eithad. One might think a more-confident, more-secure side might bite its tongue. Not so, this City side…

One Bernardo Silva, perhaps feeling a bit brash if not too big for his breeches, had a few choice words after he wasn’t deployed at left back only to be eviscerated a second time by Saka. Speaking after Man City did, it must be admitted, manhandle us, Silva offered these bold words…after the fact:

We’re big men and we talk about whatever we want. We’re not going to be complacent about the title. We’re going to take this job very seriously and try to win every game, now focused on Fulham away, which is a tough game.

Last I checkd, “big men” don’t bother pointing out that they are, in fact, big men. They let their play do the talking for them. Yes, Man City did put us to the sword, but one has to wonder whether they’re heaving a collective sigh of relief after passing they fretted about failing. Wouldn’t it be something to see them suffer an emotional letdown after passing this test, only to falter the very next time they kicked off?

Man City are hailed for their experience, their depth, their savvy​—but Silva’s words suggest that we might owe him and others in that squad some mental rent. Who bothers to get braggadocious other than those with a few insecurities, those with a few, um, “compensatory” issues on their minds? There’s been plenty of arm-chair psychoanalysis of the Arsenal in the last month or so. It’s only fair to subject City to the same. They’ve been on an impressive undefeated run since losing to Tottenham (!) in early February​—a run of 17 matches across three competitions. Read one way, they’re an unstoppable force and an immovable object, having scored 53 goals and conceding just 10. Read another way, they might just be due a wobble of their own. What goes up must come down, after all.

Yes, we’ve put ourselves behind the eight-ball with our own results over the last few weeks. No, we longer control our destiny in the Prem. However, I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel, and I suspect that this feeling is shared among a fair few of our players. There is one Gooner yet who still draws breath. We can heap pressure on our rivals by running the table on our last six matches. Who knows? That might be enough to see us finish top of the table.

For the next few days, we’re all Fulham fans. From there, anything can happen…

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22 thoughts on “Man City full of big talk after besting Arsenal, but…

  1. Brendan

    I don’t think they’re running scared but Silva’s words do suggest they’re not confident. They have a tough clash with Real Madrid in UCL, that’s going to take full commitment across both legs. Maybe they’ll drop some points either side of those fixtures, wouldn’t that be something?

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      much as I hate to depend on the kindness of others, our recent form forces us to. I do hope that drawing Real Madrid now rather than in the final forces Pep to perform some triage. He desperately wants to in the Champions League, and maybe this will draw his eye away from the Prem. Come on, Fulham. Do it for yourselves if not for London!

      1. Jeremy Poynton

        “maybe this will draw his eye away from the Prem”

        We’ve hunted down United, and twice, Liverpool, to win the Prem. Now it’s your turn. It’s just what we do. United? 8 points behind in April and we still won the title…

        In your dreams…

        Regardless, you should be proud of what the Sorcerer’s Apprentice has bought to Arsenal. You will thrive and be a threat in coming seasons. Even if when you play us, our defenders carry Sako around in a back pocket 🙂

        1. Jon Shay Post author

          That’s fair. The reality is that we’re still a ways away from catching you as the three head-to-heads (and maybe soon the table) show.

  2. Derrick

    dream on John there’s no way we’re catching this side. Losing at the Etihad is one thing, barely salvaging a draw at home to Southampton is another. Arteta’s been riding our own good luck and the poor form of others to get us where we are. If any of Liverpool, Chelsea or even Tottenham were in form, we’d be fighting for a Europa League spot.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I feel like you’re being too negative, Derrick (and it’s Jon, btw). We’ve had a hand in the poor form of Liverpool (4 pts taken), Tottenham (6 pts taken), and Chelsea (3 pts, maybe 6?) so it’s not as if we’ve needed Lady Luck to get to where we are. We’ve gotten to where we are, by the way, despite Gabriel Jesus missing 1/3 of the season and now Saliba and Tomiyasu missing the run-in. I daresay it’s City who are the lucky ones.

      1. Leon

        He is right.
        Our good season is as much a result of the failure of Liverpool and Chelsea as it is our own good form.
        The last four games we are just coming down to earth with a bang.
        I expect next season to be much more difficult and we will be fighting for fourth.

        1. Jon Shay Post author

          I’d disagree with your first point. We’re responsible for our own good form. Next season depends on the degree to which we and others add in the summer window. Fighting for fourth seems too pessimistic, but then again there will be Newcastle, Man City, Man U, and one or both of Liverpool or Chelsea to deal with. Playing UCL means we can’t rotate to the degree we did against UEL minnows. On second thought, fighting for fourth might be about right.

      2. Clive Penson

        We do not rely on luck. Having better players, a bigger squad, the best Manager in the world currently and the experience of winning 4 of the last 5 titles is the difference.
        Thank goodness for Arsenal though. Putting the pressure on is what brings out the best.
        In reality your not having enough quality on the bench has proved crucial at the end of the season

  3. Nigel

    Three games against Arsenal. Three wins and 8-2 on aggregate. This article is clutching at straws to put it mildly. City clearly aren’t complacent which is what you’ve failed to understand in Silva’s comments. Arsenal though clearly see themselves as entitled. That’s what you get with the cartel clubs.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I’m puzzled by your last line, which implies that Arsenal are one of the “cartel clubs”. We may have the Emirates as a sponsor, but that’s quite different from being owned by Mansour or the Saudi government.

      As to the feeling of entitlement, the sense I get from any Gooner I interact with here, on Twitter, on Reddit, and in real life is quite the opposite. We’re gobsmacked to be where we’ve been so far and have felt, if anything, like it would only be a matter of time before the other shoe dropped. From August, the optimistic goal was to finish top four. To have a chance this late of winning the Prem itself goes beyond the wildests dreams of all but the most-feverish of us.

  4. Spud

    Silva was answering a question put to him by a hack. He was asked if Guardiola had banned talk of a treble. You seem to think his reply shows some sort of psychological weakness. I suggest you are clutching at straws. Leicester City were top for a long time when they won it. Turns out they were a flash in the pan too. To say City are lucky deserves contempt. City are head and shoulders above Arsenal. Arsenal were lucky it wasn’t eight on Wednesday.

  5. Brian

    Let us all be realistic. Gunners have had a lucky season. City are a freight train that no one will stop in a prem season.

  6. Brian

    I honestly believe City’s only weakness is Ederson. Unlike Ramsdale he never gets tested. Ederson is bored.

  7. Me2

    Arsenal was out fought and out thought by a vastly superior Man City side.
    We have overachieved this season and I feel with The Qatar bid for Man Utd and the huge investment that Newcastle will outlay in the summer Arsenal will be pushed further down the pecking order.
    We have great players, but I feel that the lure of huge money will slowly result in in our players leaving – especially if we fail to deliver success.
    The Premier League is a have – have not competition – those who have the money win the trophies and the rest of us just watch on.

  8. Geoff A

    I sympathize with Arsenal fans, the great football they have played this season, showing resilience with some late goals when needed has justifiably resulted in optimism about winning the league. Even more so, in a season where they were eliminated early from domestic cup competitions and only playing in the nothing better to do on Thursday cup in Europe. But reality has set in in recent weeks, every team faces challenges during a long season, City included, but when you face your primary opponent head-to-head you have to stand up and show you’re worthy of being champions. Arsenal have been humbled in both league clashes against City this year so maybe City’s players have become very confident (open to interpretation as arrogance of you’re looking for it) but that’s what comes with repeatedly proving that you’re England’s best team. Too early to call the league this year but little or no room left for error for Arsenal.

  9. consolsbob

    I am surprised at the comments today. For any football fan to belittle what Arsenal has achieved this season with their young squad shows a lack of true football brain and love for the game. City may well win the title, Arsenal can stand tall and proud at fighting as they have. The real failures are Utd, Spurs, Chelsea and the other bottlers.

    Arsenal will remain a force for a long time.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I think this post somehow popped up in a Man City forum, and that might explain some of the comments (diplomatic though they may be). We’ve exceeded expectations all season long, and it’s a shame that we may fall short of the ultimate prize. One thing’s for sure, though: we’ll come back even stronger next season as this young sqaud licks its wounds.


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