Gunner’s Game on Sunday creates new Football cliché.


So far this season Arsenal have made a start to the season that has won them many admirers and given fans a newfound belief that their team can challenge for silverware.  Despite this impressive start, pundits are warning that we should not be so quick to compliment Mr Wenger’s new look side, and perhaps they’re right. 

After all, so far this season the Gunner’s haven’t really played a game that anyone thought they might lose (it’s a worrying day for Liverpool Football Club when anyone considers playing at Anfield an easy game).  Nevertheless it is true that Liverpool are no longer the team they were and a Europa League spot is the most they can realistically hope for the season, no longer the lofty heights of the Champions League, which Arsenal consider the minimum.

So this Sunday, at the Etihad, will be the Acid Test to see whether Arsenal are for real.  Acid Test? Before I address the issue of whether or not Sunday is an Acid Test, I will try to comprehend why pundits can’t mix it up a bit?  A watershed moment perhaps? Or simply a turning point?

I first heard the phrase on the Sunday Supplement then twice on TalkSport.  It’s as if the whole football community heard the phrase and decided it was the only phrase that could possibly describe the match.

So as everyone else appears to have made up their minds, Sunday’s game must be an Acid Test.  In all honesty I’m not sure.  If Arsenal do beat Manchester City, I wouldn’t say that it meant very much at all.  We all know that Arsenal can beat the best clubs in the world, including Manchester City.  Last season Arsenal were one of only five teams to beat the eventual champions, and there away leg earlier in the season only provided a narrow victory for the blues.

The real Acid test for Arsenal is not whether or not they can beat the best, we know they can.  For the Gunners the Acid Test is whether they can go a whole season without a meltdown.  Arsenal fans will look to the 07/08 season when Eduardo broke his leg in the draw against Birmingham.  Five points clear with 12 matches to go; this result was the first in a run of five games without a win in the league.  It might not have been a glamour game but it was the first nail in Arsenal’s championship coffin.

So I argue this, Sundays game is not an Acid Test, Arsenal’s ability to beat the best has never been an issue.  Arsenal’s ability to beat the best or worst when they simply must do so and the pressure’s on.  That will be Arsenal’s big moment.

 Tom DiMaio

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