|Patrick Vieira was vital in the by-gone era of our counter-attacking days...was our performance at the Etihad signaling a return to our ability to call upon something different? (image courtesy of Arsenal's official Facebook page)|
Despite the result, many of us still understand that there is a time and place for how we performed on Sunday, just as there is the right time to call upon the silk we have become so accustomed to over recent years. Yes, what I am telling you is that we now have (potentially at least) that long sought after plan B that has been missing from Le Prof's tactical cupboard for far too long. Even Pellegrini mentioned it in his post match, citing how we were different...how we knew how to defend, not just go forward. The beauty of this, is that it has the ability to throw a monkey wrench into many a plan of the likes of Mourinho, van Gaal, Rodgers and others who have no doubt bee chomping at the bit to deploy the same counter-tactics against us that have been proven time and again to bear fruit...this may no longer be the case.
|Ramsey's deeper deployment was a key tactical adjustment by Arsene Wenger (image courtesy of Arsenal's official Facebook page)|
With Ramsey sitting deeper, it afforded Coquelin the ability to hunt down City's supply lines and close them immediately - his ability to read the play and always be right where he was needed was absolutely superb. Despite Santi Cazorla's excellent showing, for me, the man of the match had to be Le Coq.
A second tactical adjustment on the day saw Nacho Monreal asked to sit back far more frequently, an acknowledgement of the potential threat posed by Jesus Navas' pace and ability on the ball that could potentially skin the Spaniard alive. But with Monreal being held back, Navas was truly held in check from start to finish and rarely threatened us. Wenger was two for two on Sunday, and the balance throughout the side was spot on...Wenger got it right, and it was a pleasure to see.
|Francis Coquelin continues to show us just what can be done with a just a little bit of elbow grease (image courtesy of Arsenal's official Facebook page)|
Common sense will tell you that, in any sport, success comes from the will to work hard enough to achieve it. When you really consider that fact, is it so surprising that we have not won the league since the Invincibles season? Surely not, but if Sunday shed light on anything at all, it's that we've always had the fight...but maybe now the players truly believe they have it in them to fight hard enough.
|Alexis Sanchez continues to be a driving force for Arsenal, not just with his performances, but his positive influence on us mentally (image courtesy of Arsenal's official Facebook page)|
Truth be told, there is no telling if we will turn in another performance like that for the rest of the season...who knows if it was just a one off, but I think it's important to take away from it the fact that we all saw what could be if faith is put into it. Football evolves constantly, and no league can stake a claim to that more than the Premier League, but such a comprehensive performance against one of the title favorites hopefully will remind Arsene Wenger that you don't always need silk.
Andrew Thompson is a contributing writer at The Modern Gooner and Outside of the Boot. Follow him on Twitter @AFCBvB1410