Opposition view: Arsenal

By Ric Turner, Thu 12 December 2013 16:51

Opposition view: ArsenalThe lowdown on the opposition from Arseblog ahead of Saturday's game

What are your expectations for this season?

Having gone through a number of seasons where the title was out of reach very early, I'd expect us to keep up the challenge right to the end of the season. We may not win it, but I don't think it's unrealistic to say we should compete to the death.

Are you happy with the manager?

Yes. There have been times when it's been hard to make sense of some of his decisions, but he seems to have turned a corner, and a big signing like Mesut Ozil is a signal of ambition from him as well as the club.

Who are your key players?

Mertesacker and Koscielny have formed a great partnership in the centre of the defence; Szczesny has improved a great deal; there's Ozil obviously and Aaron Ramsey has made himself hugely important this season.

Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?

In the end, yes. It wasn't much fun going right to the death though.

Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?

Maybe Serge Gnabry, a young German winger. He's scored in the Premier League this season but of all the young players at the club he's the only one pushing regularly to be included in the first team squad.

Your Achilles heel?

Lack of depth and options in the striking department. Giroud has been good, but with Podolski and Walcott out injured for a long time, and Nicklas Bendtner somewhat unconvincing, it wouldn't take too much to render us a bit toothless.

If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?

Sergio Aguero all day long.

What is your perception of City as a club?

Generous - I would like to thank you very much for giving us £25m for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?

Szczesny - Jenkinson (Sagna if fit) - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Gibbs - Arteta - Flamini - Ramsey - Ozil - Wilshere - Giroud