Arsenal v Manchester United. Saturday 22nd at 10pm. The preview part 1



Arsenal v Man U preview

By Bulldog Drummond

Manchester United have so far played two pre-season friendlies – beating Lyon 1-0 and Leeds United 2-0, having ended last season by losing in the FA Cup final.  Although prior to that they did win four fairly easy games in a row, at home to Wolverhampton, Chelsea and Fulham and away to Bournemouth.  The goal tally was nine for and two against.   Certainly someone somewhere wanted them to have an easy end-of-season ride.

So far this summer they have bought Mason Mount from Chelsea for £55m (rising to £60m with potential add ons), goalkeeper André Onana from Inter Milan for £44.1m and Jonny Evans from Leicester City, on a free.

They have released or transferred on frees, six players including goalkeeper David de Gea.

Although tipped to be signing many others, the three Arsenal transfers that have been formally completed are Rice, Havertz and Timber with Xhaka the most notable departure.  So Arsenal’s net spend is £187m thus far against Manchester United’s £99m.

Meanwhile in an interview Mikel Arteta has said that Thomas Partey is a “super important player” for Arsenal and that he will “not be sold this summer despite Declan Rice’s arrival.”

As for tonight’s match, Partey along with Emile Smith Rowe is available for this game, and although it is reported in some quarters that Trossard picked up a slight knock so could be rested.   However, Arteta refuted that saying “he’s fine” and indicating he would play. Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes are said to be available for Manchester United.   Tyrell Malacia is reported not to be playing.  

If we take a look at the last six league games played at the end of last season, we find that rather surprisingly Brentford were the most effective side and less surprisingly Chelsea the least effective, while Manchester United and Arsenal were upper mid-table.  Arsenal’s problem of course toward the end was the defence.  Here’s the table for the last six matches in the league, comparing four teams…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Brentford 6 5 0 1 10 3 7 15
Manchester United 6 4 0 2 9 4 5 12
Arsenal 6 3 0 3 11 9 2 9
Chelsea 6 1 2 3 8 12 -4 5

Manchester United are one of a small gaggle of teams that have actually beaten Arsenal in league and cup games more than the reverse: they have won 101 to Arsenal’s 87 with 50 being drawn.  Although in the last ten games in league and cup Arsenal have won five, Manchester United three and two were drawn.   In the most recent three games, Arsenal have won two, scoring seven, while Manchester United won the other scoring six across those games.  So on that basis we might see a few goals tonight.

Between 2007 and 2013 Manchester United won the league five times and came second twice, but since then things have not gone so well.  They have come second twice, third twice, fourth, fifth, sixth three times, and seventh.

During that same spell from 2014 onward, Arsenal have come second twice, third, fifth three times, sixth and eighth twice.

But there was a significant difference in playing style between the two clubs last season as can be seen from the disciplinary figures.  Arsenal got 52 yellow and no red cards, while Manchester United got 78 yellows and two reds.  Thus while Arsenal were third in the disciplinary table, Manchester United were 13th, in a huddle of high-infringement clubs, with just six fewer yellow cards than the likes of Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers – the three dirtiest teams in the league, in terms of yellows.

As for the pre-match interview, there was one rather nice moment in which Arteta was being questioned alongside Zinchenko.   The question was asked, “What do you think of Saliba?”  Arteta replied, “Let me ask my assistant. What do you think of Willy?”  To which Zinchenko dutifully replied, “Unbelievable!”

Arteta also made the point that Saliba had extended his contract and so “all seems to be OK.”

This was also the interview in which Arteta said that Partey and Rice “can play together and that was in my plans. If you want to improve the squad and have more quality, we need players that can play together, but we need players in the same position that have to fight for their places. It’s something that we haven’t had over the last few years and we wanted to improve that, and that’s why we brought Declan as well.”

More anon…

8 Replies to “Arsenal v Manchester United. Saturday 22nd at 10pm. The preview part 1”

  1. Is there anyone out there in Arsenal land can help me?

    I bought an early bird pass for the 4 available pre season friendlies including the MLS game. For some reason I couldn’t get the MLS game on my iphone and to be honest Arsenal FC were no help at all.

    General enquiries had no idea why I couldn’t watch it, and the email address she gave me only had a generic reply and FAQ’s which were also no help.

    Somebody has suggested I reload the app which I have done.

    So now my question is, is there any way I can check if I am going to get the match tonight?

    It’s not looking promising because when I go to the match it offers me the chance to buy a pass. Why would it do that when I have already paid for the early bird pass?

    Can anyone help an old codger who just cant get his little head round this technology lark? Please!!

  2. “It’s not looking promising because when I go to the match it offers me the chance to buy a pass”.

    By that I mean when I enter the Pay Per View page it offers me the chance to purchase the one off match day pass for tonight’s match rather than confirming I already have a pass.

    Is that what everyone gets whether they already have the early bird pass or not?

  3. I went on to the site late and the offer of a pass for the match itself had vanished so I bought a season ticket for the friendlies. But hvae had no indication of what I have to do to see tonight’s game. If it is a problem again I will take it up with the supporters club and also write it up on Untold so we can see if others have had the same problem.

  4. Thanks Tony

    Either way the support was terrible.

    I had an hours wait to get through to ‘General’ enquiries. She was lovely but no help.

    She said you need to speak to Pay Per View but she said they do not have a phone number. She gave me an email address ‘arsenallivesupport’ which as I said only had a generic response which had a few bog standard FAQ’s. Totally useless.

    The bottom line is paid good money, couldn’t watch the match and have no idea why. Worse I don’t know how to find out why, or indeed how to get my money back. Not good.

  5. Nitram
    I may be completely wrong but I think the four match pass covered/covers the Nuremberg, Man U, Barcelona and Monaco games but not the MLS one.
    The MLS match was only available on Apple by purchasing an MLS pass direct from Apple, it was not available through Arsenal FC. My daughter did that for me on her apple account and I watched the match via the Apple app on our smart TV. The pass cost £5.99 monthly and I can watch all the MLS now if I want. Or she can simply cancel the subscription now it has served it’s purpose.
    I payed £4.99 to watch the Nuremberg match and I have paid the same to watch this evenings game against Man U.
    I agree that it is all very confusing for us old, or in my case ancient (having just reached the ripe old age of eighty) buggers. Like me you probably need a five year old grand child on hand to sort these modern day technical problems out for you.

  6. mick shelly

    Sorry about that my mistake.

    It was the Nurmberg match I couldn’t get access too. So long ago !!!!!!

  7. Oh, and Grandchildren are always a problem when you haven’t any kids in the first place.

    Honestly though, my cat has a better chance than me of figuring out technology.

  8. Has anyone else had a problem with the 4 match early bird pass?

    I couldn’t get the Nurnberg game on my iphone and now I cant get tonight’s match.

    Despite the original money being taken from my account and being sent confirmation of my purchase, which I printed off, it’s telling me I need to buy a pass.

    I have now bought a one off match pass, and that works. So all my info must be correct.

    Look, I know these things happen. What I don’t like is having no way of speaking to someone who can help. Waiting on the line for an hour to speak to somebody who didn’t have a clue, who then told me the department I needed to speak to don’t take phone calls, and the email she gave me just offers FAQ’s.

    Pissed doesn’t even begin to describe what I think.

    It’s just not good enough

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