Arsenal stands in way of Pep's first Man City silverware

Wenger earns unfortunate comparison to 'fat' Ronaldo from Arsenal icon Wright

Wenger earns unfortunate comparison to 'fat' Ronaldo from Arsenal icon Wright

The factors that have led to Arsenal's decline are well known, from their relocation to the Emirates just as Roman Abramovich arrived at Chelsea to Wenger's nigh-on refusal to match his rivals' spending in the transfer market. Arsenal had already finished outside the top four (and behind Tottenham) for the first time in Wenger's tenure, fan protests were more embittered than ever and there was a genuine feeling, after a litany of lows, that this could be the end of the Wenger era. This augurs well for an open, attacking final with plenty of scope for City to display the skillful possession football that has not only marked them out as one of the Premier league's most stylish operators, but also as worthy inheritors of Arsenal's mantle as the English league's pass masters.

While he was given three years between those climatic matches, Wenger's latest crisis final has come around only nine months after his last. Craig Bellamy, the club's former striker and a close friend of captain Vincent Kompany, shed light on the Catalan's approach recently.

Winterburn, who played in Arsenal's 1993 win against Sheffield Wednesday, told Sky Sports. "I don't know if he will be ready for Sunday", said Guardiola when asked about Sterling's fitness for the final. "It's been programmed into us, he's got us into his way, and now training is just recovery and that kind of stuff because we're programmed into what he wants".

In January, the Catalan sent out his players to face Watford with no extra instructions.

"No, because you look at Barcelona, they are still the best team in Europe". Because when you play in England, you need English players. Inside 11 minutes Arjen Robben cut inside onto his left foot and crashed the opening goal into the far corner.

Arsenal have now lost five of their last ten games.

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Yes, they are going to win the league and it's going to be a fantastic season for them whatever happens beyond that.

The good news is that Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are very likely to be fully recovered for the big game, and as Ramsey has such a great scoring record in Cup finals his return will be a massive boost. With chants of "Wenger Out" becoming a common sight in and around London, the team under the Frenchman has lacked consistency and has fallen to prove its mettle in recent times.

That will be the fear as they prepare to take on City at Wembley on Sunday.

Unless Arsenal's evolution into a Cup team continues. However, the last time the two sides met at Wembley was in the semi-final of the 2017 FA Cup, which Arsenal won 2-1 on their way to lifting the trophy.

You never quite know what you're going to get from Arsenal, and on Sunday we'll see if another one-off Wembley rally can get the better of Guardiola's best-laid plans.

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