Well what do you know? It’s us against that other lot.

By Phil Gregory

A crunch tie for Arsenal’s title hopes looms in the form of Manchester United’s visit to the Emirates.

The Mancunians (not to mention the hordes from Cornwall – ed) will be no doubt buoyed from Wayne Rooney’s late winner in a heated Manchester derby, sending thgem into the final. Alex Ferguson’s side feign not to be too interested in the Carling Cup, but routinely play sides containing expensive players, in contrast to our typically youthful sides.

With the news that Thomas Vermaelen’s injury isn’t too serious we’ve avoided a serious blow to our ambitions this season. The Belgian defender is “unlikely” to play in the tie against the champions so expect Sol Campbell to fill the void. The veteran centreback put in an excellent display against a speedy Villa attack that I confess to being concerned that they would show up his lack of pace. After playing in the FA Cup tie against Stoke, the games are coming thick and fast for a player who hasn’t had much match practice since May, so lets wish him well.

Positives on the injury front are, of course the presence of Aaron Ramsey and Samir Nasri, both back earlier than the predicted three weeks. Niklas Bendtner made an eagerly awaited return from injury in the game at Villa Park, replacing Croatian Eduardo, who is for the United game with a “short-term” harmstring injury.

Manchester are expected to welcome back Vidic which offsets the blow of Rio Ferdinand’s deserved four-match ban for violent conduct. John O’Shea may or may not included in the match day squad, I’m not going to speculate as there has been plenty of contradictory news stories about the length of his absence.

The main danger man to watch is undoubtedly Wayne Rooney. The England international has been in sensational form this season and has taken it upon himself to fill the void left by Ronaldo’s departure. I myself doubted his ability to achieve this, citing his tendency to score in bursts and expecting him to be marked more heavily than previous campaigns due to Ronaldo’s absence. He has, however proved me wrong, and been a decisive factor in United’s title push.

For us,  we need a big performance from Cesc Fabregas. The Catalan has added an eye for goal to his arsenal this season and is a player who seems to just get better and better. No doubt the irritating Darren Fletcher will do his best to foul and cheat to nullify Fabregas, but I fully expect the Spaniard to dominate a fairly average United midfield, especially with Alex Song hopefully reinstated to the starting line-up.

I’m going for:


Sagna Gallas Campbell Clichy


Ramsey Fabregas

Nasri Arshavin Rosicky

The defence is fairly self-explanatory, though given Campbell’s recent workload Silvestre may well get the chance to face his former club. The forward line is very creative, but I have concerns that we lack a focal point to the attack. I’m expecting plenty of possession and chances to be created, but it may not be until later on that Arshavin or Bendtner (a likely substitute) gets on the end of one of them.

I’m feeling apprehensive in regards to this match. We rarely seem to get or just desserts from these sort of games, but I hope that will change. Expect goals at both ends, given our loss of Vermaelen and Rooney’s form, as well as United’s lack of consistency at the back.

On paper, this is a very average United team. The midfield has no stand-out star, the frontline is reliant on Rooney for inspiration and the defence and goalkeeper have been consistently shook by injuries and suspension. And yet they are still in the mixer, so we can’t underestimate them. This match is winnable: 2-1 to the Arsenal.


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21 Replies to “Well what do you know? It’s us against that other lot.”

  1. MON is an appalling insult to football in general. he probably got about 40 inches vert leap so he should go try dunking not coaching

  2. Thanks for sparing us the adv for the ‘Making the Arsenal’. I had started to become nauseaus.

    Good post btw

  3. Time to beat the Mancs I think.

    In the last two games at Old Trafford we were clearly the better team without a win to show for it.
    One good thing is no Mike Dean who gave us 11 yellow cards in the two games and ignored thugs like Fletcher. Will Foy be any better? With ManU you can never be optimistic of getting a fair ref.

    Oh and that John Terry seems like a nice guy

  4. Id go with traore instead of clichy, valencia might be A. young part2. mentally he doesnt seem match ready to me. the aston game i thought he was very indicisive.i jus hope im wrong. id also play nasri instead of ramsey and go with bendtner up front. i know i aint wenger…chill

  5. It is okay to feel apprehensive. And yes, the match is winnable. If our defence can successfully neutralise Rooney, we can be on our way to a good win.

  6. we can do it people, come on you gooners!!!!!
    had to get that out of my system. i think if we play our natural game we will beat debt united (and if the ref is upto the game)

    just want to say about the john terry thing i am surprised that people seem to be surprised about his actions, but of course we will see how this story develops.

  7. sam, ads are an integral part of any entertainment outlet. at least his book hasnt got wings.

  8. Sorry about the disappearance of avatar pics everyone. I had to do some work on the site to sort out a technical problem, and in doing so turned them off, and now having reactivated them, they won’t come back. Just spent several hours trying to sort the odds and ends. If I can work it out I will get them back on.

  9. Hey Sam,

    This is the most disgusting post that I have seen on Untold. Here is a person who has created such a beautiful forum where many intelligent and sensible people come and discuss intelligently. Trust me I even love the comments with equal eagerness. Now how does it hurt you to not to read it in the end.

    He does not put it in the middle of blog where you are forced to read. Its like someone has allowed you to stay at his home for free and you complain about his crying child in the morning. This is this guy’s forum and he has no air about it.

    Please allow him some freedom.

  10. I only would say : read Making the Arsenal. 😉

    Great post Phil as always. But I think he will go for Song, Denilson and Cesc in midfield. And I think he wil leave Bendtner on the bench and bring him only if needed.

    But who am I ….

  11. You could well be right Walter. Denilson’s tidiness on the ball would be invaluable in what will be a tight midfield battle

  12. And we love you Tony.

    This is the first of 3 very very important games for the Gunners. 3 battles might decide the outcome of this one.

    1. Campbell vs Rooney
    2. Cesc vs Fletcher
    3. Arshavin vs Vidic

    If Arsenal win 2 of the 3, they shall knick the game 2-1. Infact each battle has a goal in it for me. Win one, Score one! As simple as that.

    It’s ABOUT time Wenger’s Boys became Men. C’mon You Arsenal..


  13. I thought this post was about Arsenal v Manchester United, what`s John Terry`s private life got to do with it? I`m quite sure the media, being the `scum bags` they are ,can`t wait to expose all the gory details. Let`s stick with football and leave the man to sort out his own affairs.

  14. @ Walter : Man, I know its your opinion of who Arsene might go for tomorrow but I hope you are wrong.. If we are to have some kind of Dominance and possession in the midfield then Nasri will have to play instead of Denilson as a CMF.. Nothing against the lad but with filthy fletcher I feel the game could get a tad too physical for our denilson to handle.. So if Nasri comes to the midfield I guess bendtner goes upfront.. I hope thats the way it is but again… Who am i? 🙂

  15. Tony,
    I can’t believe John Terry it sickens me! What a tradgedy! Not only for Wayne Bridge and Toni(Wife) but the life he had aborted, England as a nation in South Africa, and Chelsea.

  16. The captain of a football club symbolizes its values.

    John Terry is the perfect captain for Chelsea. Just as Cesc is the perfect captain for ours.

  17. Sorry for being off topic….I just couldn.t sleep and was reading about all of this Its shocking to me! And recollected someone lecturing someone on this very site to not go after Terry, Cole, Terry’s parents because it was off limits! Well what do you say now? Terry is pure evil! Abou Diaby how about putting another boot in!

  18. Re the meandering onto other subjects, I do think we should try and stick with the topic in hand, but at the moment new football related stories seem to burst in all the time so it would be curious not to incorporate debate on them.

    Tell you what though, back to the main line of thought in the article, isn’t it rather nice to be able to argue about who we should play and who we should give a rest to, rather than thinking, “Who the hell have we got left in the squad?”

    There is a rumour, undoubtedly untrue, that Robin VP will be back in March. It’s in a newspaper, so you know what to make of that.

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