Arsenal get set to host Manchester City this weekend in a match that could hold massive title implications for both clubs. Arsenal will look to win to retain their faint chances of winning the title, while City will look for three points to keep themselves in prime position at the top; high stakes indeed. Also significant to the game, the Emirates Stadium will see some familiar faces when former Gunners Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy return to town. Both players left the club for City in 2011 to much disdain from the Arsenal supporters. After 3 seasons, have they made the right choice? Is the grass greener at the Etihad?
Many would suggest that the two made the correct decision in regards to silverware. City have won the Premier League title, the Capital One Cup and the Community Shield since the two joined the club, and sit as firm favourites to win another league title this season. Arsenal on the other hand have struggled in recent years, without a trophy for 8 seasons now. From the outside looking in, it seems the two chose the right time to jump ship. Though Clichy also won the league title, FA Cup, and Community Shield during his time with Arsenal, he was a younger squad rotation player and didn’t play much of a role.
While the move to City has brought more trophies, Clichy in particular will be ruing his lack of time on the pitch. Clichy was Arsenal’s first choice left back for the better part of his stint at the club, however times are harder at City. Despite breaking into the team initially upon moving, the arrivals of Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov saw his time diminish dramatically. He has managed just 16 appearances this season and fallen significantly down the City pecking order. As a result, Clichy has also seen his chances for France become limited, with the player missing for the last few call ups.
Nasri has fared slightly better at his new club. Despite initial clashes with former manager Roberto Mancini, Nasri has found himself in amongst the team more so than Clichy. While he faces stiff competition from the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva, Nasri has managed 25 appearances, scoring 4 goals, one of which came in the Capital One Cup final. Nasri remains a part of the France line up as well, and is almost certain to be amongst the players in Brazil.
Arsenal supporters will be hoping their team can keep the former players quite when tomorrow’s match rolls around.