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Away to United | ‘Old Wayne’, RVP and the Extras…

Dominic Sanchez-Cabello

My intentions were to watch the Man United game midweek. You know, get a feel for their team, gauge their strengths and weaknesses…  I watched for 20 minutes, realising they had many weaknesses, Madrid were playing Juve and these minutes watching Fellaini recall how to play football, I’d never get back.

You could see how little they cared for this game, as they were playing Hernandez and Kagawa – the latter it seems, Moyes has taken an instant disliking to.

Robin, one of the few reasons to watch United, wasn’t playing. Like many of you, I suffer a stab of sorrow when I see him in that wrong shade of red. A sorrow that shifts to sickness as he dazzles a bunch of heathens with a skill they don’t deserve. Rooney is the their type of player: extremely effective, but in the way a pneumatic drill is effective. RVP is pure finesse – nothing he does is superfluous. His movement is languid, where Rooney’s is brisk. He embodies the flare/fragility of the trophy-less years…  and if he just waited!

In short: I’d probably throw a pig’s head at him given the chance. Dehydrated of course. I’m no monster…

Anyway, if he waited a few years, I wouldn’t have to do that and he wouldn’t have to listen to ‘Old Wayne’ opine on aged prostitutes. Nor would he have to ponder life’s ironies this Sunday, when it dawns on him he’s being coached by Moyes and supported by Cleverly, Fellaini and Carrick!

Let’s take a moment there. …

 *      *      *

I can’t remember the last time we travelled to Old Trafford, with the pressure being entirely on them. Indeed for the last few seasons, it has been a case of us needing 3 points to merely keep in touch. The roles are reversed and everything suggests that we should do well today. To quote Cesc though: “you can never trust them.”

In our last 15 away matches, we’ve won 14 and drawn 1.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

Our team – brought to you by Chris Waddle: (when reading, give it the Geordie accent it deserves)




      Sagna                  Mertysacka                 Kozienly       Gibbz

     (Hard ‘g’)             

                                Arteter                Ramsee.


           Rosicky                        Ozzil                     Carzola

(Pronounced how spelt)



The injury news is positive, with Arsene confident that Flamini will be available. The news on Wilshere is less definitive and hinges “on how he responds to his inflammation of the ankle.”

As nice as it would be to have these players back, with the form of Arteta and Rosicky, they would be little more than a luxury. I love Flamini as much as the next man, but won’t accept this: “without him, Arsenal lack physical presence”; ‘gives the Arsenal midfield some needed bite’… etc. It’s lazy and conforms to too handy a narrative. Our resilience predates Flamini.

Man United will present a similar challenge to Liverpool.  Both teams are top heavy, with problems arising in how they supply their strikers.

Feeling confident about today, our midfield should control the game and our defence is looking in its best shape for years.


66 comments to Away to United | ‘Old Wayne’, RVP and the Extras…

  • Dominic,

    I am giving you mental hugs here for writing this:

    “I love Flamini as much as the next man, but won’t accept this: “without him, Arsenal lack physical presence”; ‘gives the Arsenal midfield some needed bite’… etc. It’s lazy and conforms to too handy a narrative. Our resilience predates Flamini.”

    Everything we are currently doing, we’ve done before the arrival of Flamini and Ozil. We did not have either when we beat Bayern Munich on their ground. We had neither of them when we beat Man City 3-1 pre-season.

    It’s silly narrative being perpetuated by the media and our own “spend-spend-spend” brigade to make themselves feel vindicated. It’s utter bullshit and thanks for pointing it out here.

    If anything is to be credited with our defensive resilience, it is the gelling of Kos-Per and the strong (but widely underrated) contribution of Giroud to our set-pieces defending. Can anyone recall the last time we conceded a goal from a corner kick or an indirect free kick?

    It’s annoying to see the credit given to those who are actually benefitting from being part of a beautifully gelled team.

  • para

    Although we do do well without Flamini, i realise that Arteta needs a rest sometimes, and especially today, where the ref may well book him twice in quick succession due to the role he does play, although Flamini also plays almost the same role, but i fear our players may start to feel the tiredness after the midweek match, (Dortmund lost yesterday), even though we had one day more to recover.
    All in all, i trust AW to have prepared them to win whoever he plays and who gets substituted.
    About 3 hours to go, and a comfortable win i wish us all.
    Come on Gunners, forward ever.

  • Gord

    With respect to throwing a pigs head at Rooney, I don’t suppose you knew that the BBC currently has a story about wild boards tearing up the pitch at Soudley AFC?

    Nice line up, I’m afraid I can’t do the accent.


  • colario

    It seems even Mark Lawrenson is at last getting the message: ‘Arsenal knows best’

    ‘Credit has to go to Arsene Wenger too. He looks after his players and he is not just a manager, he is a mentor as well. He knew Ramsey would come good.’
    From this BBC link:

  • Jerry

    Bad news – apparently Mertesacker out, Verminator in, Flamini is back in as well

  • Gord

    Two good results for us today, Tottenham and ManCity both lose 1-0.


  • Andrew Crawshaw

    So far both the Totts and City have lost 1-0 lets hope our Sunday gets even better


  • Gord,

    Just checked and the good news is that they are only out due to illness and not injury.

  • AL

    Per & Rosicky caught a bug. 3 minutes in and i have seen 3 wrong calls already; corner and throw in to utd when it should have been Arsenal’s ball. I will have to see Giroud’s yellow again….

  • AL

    We’re getting screwed.

  • Yassin

    Ozil should wake up
    One shot one goal, they didnt deserve the lead, neither do we.
    This goal gave thim the advantage, or they wouldnt be looking as good.

  • Jerry

    It’s expected at OT. They just got to continue to fight in the 2nd half

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The ref could be worse. We might have had a penalty against us. Our two bookings looked justified. We are getting hustled out of it so far, and missing someone with pace up front to get behind the Manure back four. I do hope Szczesney is OK though. Looked an awful clash of heads and I think the ref was probably right to issue a yellow card for a reckless attempt to get the ball which was always the keepers.

    Still only one down which we should be able to get back

  • Yassin

    There is a missing link up which wilshere left, this should be re-established, and since we have flamini at the back to, the mids should move more freely, but they are not. Now all that way of playing was good unless they scored, and they did, from no where. F*** u Robin…. I hate this skunk

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I really don’t want to lose this game. COYG

  • AL

    I think it’s too early to start singling anyone for blame, they hardly deserved that goal, as you said. I know you’re never the type to lay into any player, but sometimes we can get a little frustrated if the team is seemingly taking too long to get into gear. No side has had any clear cut chances yet, and it’s to be expected in a game of this magnitude.

    I think the ref hasn’t made any big game changing calls yet, but feel a little aggrieved we have 3 players on yellows already. Think they’ve also got a couple of corners wrong.

  • Persian gunner

    We lack the speedy player like Theo
    But it is possible to beat them by hard pressing and formula 1 speed Wenger ball 🙂

  • AL

    We’re doing alright here, no space though as united are having 10 men behind the ball all the time.

  • Persian gunner

    Bendtner was the wrong man to come inside!
    I would bring in Gnabry much sooner
    We played very well, the result is unfair

  • colario

    It hurts.

  • Persian gunner

    Per was really missed
    He would never let that goal happen

  • AL

    Ok, no need for any negativity here, the guys played very well, especially the second half. Unlucky to lose this one. Bring on Southampton!

  • Va Cong

    I’m annoyed we lost especially from that shithead

  • Persian gunner

    It was a real battle, and Untds defended very hard
    I just feel sad for those 2 opportunities in front of the goal, we should have scored at least one of them
    We lack a player who can run the ball in crowded areas and shoot for this game
    But we played very well according to our current players

  • bjtgooner

    I am also annoyed we lost, but I half expected something to go wrong when playing at that den of iniquity. In the first half esp every time Giroud received the ball he was fouled & the free kick given wrongly to the manures – disrupting our link up play. This looked like a per-meditated manure/Riley plan.

    Oliver was poor throughout the game.

    However, before the doom & gloom brigade and esp the whingers come on to gloat, lets give credit to the team for trying right to the end, we were close to an equalizer and certainly deserved one.

  • Yassin

    We deserved a draw at least back there.

    @ Al, you are right am not that kind of man who single out, i was just giving a thought and not blaming him, and in second half u could see when he started getting into the game, everthing reversed. He was the missing link last season, and when he is out of form, we struggle, i blame the injuries which put him evety game and thus making him more tired. Again i wasnt blaming there, i was pointing at the idea. But maybe at the moment i didnt write it up well.

    As for the game, yes they defended well, but there is something i hate about united players, and that is cheating, it took them half a minute to replay each ball back from a throw, half a minute to play a free kick. Am not saying that is what made us lose, but its annoying how they cant man up, and always play with cheating.

  • Sav from Australia

    We lost but are still top of the league. Chelsea, City, Spurs all dropped points. Not the perfect result, but we cannot expect to have perfect results all the time. I think alot of the team looked lethargic, if it was a bug that took at Per and Tomas, perhaps others will ill but played nonetheless.

  • soglorious

    So sad about the loss. Credit to the guys for standing up to be counted in the second half. We lost, simple, end of discussion. This is just a blip. We will rise again.

  • Yassin

    All they wanted was an early goal, and they got it. As long as our players give their best and all, and the ref dont tilt the field, i accept any fair result. We deserved more than a loss today, but we will bounce back.
    On another note, Brossia dormund, united, and bayern have one of the best home fans in the world, and our awat fans outsang thrm in the thre matches. I dont knoe what our fans are made off, but hat off, they are the best of the best. How proud i become to recognize our chants through the TV, in oldtrafford, and even we are losing. If that is not support, i dont know what is.

    Fair play to the ref for not being biased, although he made mistakes.

    Giroud is the man of the match for me just for his fight.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    The stats showed that we were the better team, even if the scoreline and the old blood pressure didnt.
    I thought Manure closed us down really well in the first half, but by the second I thought we would at least draw–at times the Gunners were all over them.
    We seem too often these days to be intimidated at Old Toilet.
    I wish Wenger hadnt have made the “VP is an Arsenal man to me” comment at the press conference…too inspiring for VP to show his allegiance to the cash cow (flap).
    I thought Jack really ran and ran surging forward and looked like he wanted to win, the Ozzler looked lost as a little lad, but still with some deft moments.
    Get well Per and Rosicky soon! Hurry up Poldi and Theo, we need you!
    Sagna played really well- some great crosses. I think though that Mr.Tyler and Mr.Neville should try to be a bit less salivating over their team, and try some impartiality…I realise that the media cant cope without Manure being in the top three before they start crying.
    COYG!!COYUers… We’ll beat them at the Emeroids…

  • Yassin

    Walcot, chamberlain, be careful, Gnabry is just behind you, for little time he played, it was so obvius how good he is. And deserve his place in the starting eleven.

  • Va Cong

    They looked a bit jaded but well come back stronger!! Just annoyed we lost unbeaten run again manure again…

  • Yassin

    Sorry i meant first team, not first eleven. 🙂

  • Rupert Cook,14427385

    A better perspective of the game in that thread on AT.

    We’re not going to win every game and we never win at OT any more so best forget it. Have to win our next game and hope this result doesn’t affect the team too much.

    Bar Pool and Utd. of course none of our rivals have made up ground on us and Chelsea should have lost to WBA who were once again denied a decision going their way. If one club deserves to feel the refs have got it in for them it has to be WBA.

  • Yassin

    Va Cong,

    I dont think we were jaded, they just scored the first goal in a closed game, and that helped them a lot, if it wasnt for that goal, they would have to open up.

  • Rupert Cook

    Though I don’t agree with the cowardly headline on that link I think it’s fair to say that Utd. know how to play us and having a player like Rooney makes a huge difference. I’d have loved it if we’d have got him, he’s the kind of player that can win you games out of nothing. Ramsey has that ability but he can’t do it every week.

  • TommieGun

    @ Rupert – exactly. There is no need to jump into conclusions. Our guys worked 10 times harder than theirs in midweek, on Wednesday, not Tuesday, and it showed. It wasn’t a great game by any standards and grit and lungs mattered and they were a bit better, I don’t think it was a pretty even to watch, both teams did not have good pass percentage and did not create a lot. Sometimes games turn out like that, and we all know it. OT is a hard place to collect points and to be honest it seemed like the red whores had a point to prove.

    And risking some vitriol, anyone, really anyone, who thinks we were hard done by Oliver is – in my humble opinion – not honest with themselves. He had an ok game overall, and we benefited greatly from his awful mistake. And I find some solace in that as well, maybe it is a sign that the reign of evil has ended.

  • AL

    I knew you didn’t mean to slight Ozil in any way, understood where you were coming from and just didn’t want certain sections of fans latching onto that. And I agree that utd were delaying everything trying to disrupt our rhythm, well it helped them but I don’t think this result will do their confidence a world of good given how we bossed them and the tactics they’d to resort to.

    I think reading the comments on here noone is disappointed by the team’s performance, which was a very good one at that. We were unlucky to go behind to a team that was always going to try and catch us on the break. We outplayed them on their own patch and yet they had any extra day to rest and weren’t forced into a last minute change of personnel. The ref didn’t decide the game single handedly but he made lots of errors. Apart from the little matter of who we lost to, I’m quite positive in defeat.

  • leany

    With that possession and those chances especially in the last minutes, we should have one goal. Just because it was a defeat at OT that makes me sad (plus the fact we will miss our Arsenal so much in the NEXT TWO WEEKS), otherwise still good: top of the league, Tott and City lost. Honestly, we did win two important games this week, so everything should be alright.

  • dan

    Both teams were lackluster, other than the corner I can’t recall the cheaters creating much.

    Only if we had our speedy players, we would of murdered them!!!

  • Shard

    I’m like Yassin. I can accept losing a game fair and square. And our second half performance showed enough for me to not feel upset with the team either. The first half was poor with passes going astray and no real energy, apart from Giroud. But we grew into the second half, and with any luck, could have scored. I will say Bendtner shouldn’t get any more chances. Throw in Gnabry, Akpom or Sanogo ahead of him, He’s had his chances and failed to take them again.

    Nothing to be ashamed about today. A loss to a slightly lucky set piece goal, with key players out through illness and reportedly the ones playing suffering too, at the end of a tough week of games with more travel involved and a day less for rest. None of them are excuses. Just context. But even discounting that, it’s a result that is acceptable. We lost, which is disappointing, but not so discouraging.

  • AL

    Yassin 7:45pm
    Spot on. We tend to look at the overall result ignoring the circumstances, utd were playing like they were away from home, and it’s always difficult to find space against a team that has everyone behind the ball. Had we got to halftime nil all we would’ve opened them up for sure. Their goal came, for us, at the worst possible time.

  • Shard

    Tommie Gun

    What horrible mistake from the ref are you talking about?

  • sperez

    Arsenal made an average defense looked good. Too slow, predictable and toothless to cause trouble to ManU. No one shoots, just pass ad nauseam to bore everyone.
    Never liked these games at OT. For many years, Wenger had never been able to create a winning mentality on his teams when they need to play in tough places. Too much complacency. The embarrassing 8-2 drubbing was the icing on the cake. But many fans were saying today would be different because Fergie was not managing them anymore.
    And this is what makes things worse. ManU was sitting 8th on the league before this game for one reason. But even a mid-table team can be confident enough to beat Arsenal because they know ‘this is Arsene Wenger’s team’.
    It’s the same thing with the likes of Mourinho. Wenger was Fergie and Mourinho’s b!tch for so long that this affected the team’s confidence.
    Then, against an average ManUre side, complacency settled in again. Instead of smelling the vulnerability of ManU, Arsenal just said ‘Oh, it’s ManUre, a very good team,the last season winners. If we can sneak a goal in the end, it’ll be good.’
    Had Arsenal played with another mentality, I’m sure the result would be different. But Wenger cannot motivate his own team, giving them confidence.
    Arsenal needs another striker desperately. As I said before, Giroud would be good against certain teams but he cannot offer pace and skill to beat defenders or create something out of nothing. And You can rate him for other qualities but he is not a natural finisher. Other alternative is necessary. When the midfield is not performing, Giroud has no service and he’s exposed. This makes the work of defenders easier.
    You lot will say ‘WE ARE FIVE POINTS ABOVE THEM’. Can you imagine if this win give Moyes and ManUre the confidence boost they needed to be title contenders?
    Yesterday, they were shite. Today, contenders. Tomorrow, winners. And Wenger did have a hand in all this (especially by selling his top player to rivals).

  • TommieGun

    @ Shard first I want to say I agree with both your anaylsis and conclusion.

    Regarding the mistake – Giroud taking out Rooney in the first half. I think everybody expected a call…

    What I’m not saying that it was the most solid penalty – there could be clearer cases, but I would cry bloody murder if it was the opposite and we weren’t awarded with a penalty. And I would presume that normally 7.5/10 refs would have called it, and for sure the expected number would be 10/10 if its Arsenal playing Old Trafford…

  • Va Cong

    You right yassin I meant we didn’t get into gear and shape was lost without mertersacker was a big miss. Needed him and Rosicky… Oh well still on top just keep it consistent and over the line!

  • Va Cong

    Sperez happy days for you. Congratulations hug?

  • sperez

    No, you should congratulating Wenger and give him a big hug for his lack of winning mentality and for playing Arteta and Flamini together making the team slow and predictable…oh yeah, and Ramsey playing out wide. It worked, didn’t it? Ramsey said that he had raised his game because he was playing centrally, his natural position. But Wenger just love to shove him out wide.
    And having to see the likes of Bendtner coming to play is really a joke. Wenger clearly has some sense of humour, afterall. Shame that only the ManUre fans laughed.

  • Tasos

    Not too disappointed.

    Both teams looked bit below par. Arsenal have finished a busy period in a good position. Hopefully get one or two players back after international break and then go again.

    Always felt the Dortmund match during the week would leave its mark and in truth we struggled to create much of note. That can happen.

  • sperez

    I mean ‘you should congratulate Wenger…’

  • AL

    Va Cong,
    Think its best to refuse to bite, trolls were inevitably going to come out of the woodwork regardless.

    Meanwhile, some nice & encouraging stats from the BBC website;
    Utd Arsenal
    Possesion 40% 60%
    Shots 5 10
    On target 2 2

    Not bad from a squad that was forced into two last minute changes to key players, with some taking to the field while feeling unwell from the same bug(Arteta & Gnabry), and after a hard-fought game away at one of the best teams in the world.

    Right, I’m off to read a book before going to bed. Will not let anyone with some serious personal issues affect my mood going into a fresh week, after a week that should be viewed as quite good from an Arsenal point of view. Goodnight my fellow gooners:)

  • Shard


    I didn’t think that was a penalty. Just because most referees would call it, especially against us and at Old Trafford, doesn’t mean it was. Correct decision. Shoulder to shoulder, and Giroud got in ahead of Rooney to the ball. If anything, Rooney fouled him.

    Oliver was generally fair, although I think more of the smaller decisions went against us than them. But that can happen. No complaints about the referee influencing the result. Not even in Arsenal’s favour.

  • Mick

    Just because your team lost to Newcastle today is no reason to come on here and annoy us with your crap.

  • Strus

    Football is not fair
    Dortmund match should end by a draw. This match should end by a draw too.
    But it is better to get 3 points in CL and get 0 today than get 1 point 2 times.
    We still have a cushion in EPL, and now we have advantage in CL group.
    It was not coincidence, that till today Arsenal scored in every EPL match. They can create chances even when not fully fit.
    The play was very slow when comparing to the Liverpool match, but Arsenal still outshot Mu at their home! This is very encouraging sign for the future.
    This fixture list after CL and EL matches in midweek got bookmakers a lot of money:
    Chelsea drew at home to WBA only by dive at the death
    MC lost at Sunderland( where AFC,LFC and MU won)
    Spurs lost at home to Newcastle
    Swansea only drew at home with Stoke
    All sbigger teams are now jaded by some degree.

  • Pat


    Thanks for the stats. Shows, as Arsene Wenger said after the match, that a draw would have been a fair result. Or even a win to us, I would say. We fought and fought in the second half. It’s annoying, but given our away record and position in the league, nothing to worry about. We got two out of three of the big results this week.

  • Va Cong

    I want to hug you sperez you need it with all the negativity in your life x

  • Va Cong

    Al is comes from negativity in his life all I can do is hug and say it’s going to be ok x x x

  • Va Cong

    Arteta Rosicky gnarby and mertasaceker all hit with a bug

  • Shard

    Va Cong

    Apparently German media reported that Ozil, Flamini and Cazorla were also touch and go to play. I say apparently because I haven’t seen the reports myself. Also, who knows how true that is.

    All I can say is that hopefully our players recover during the international break, and we can get some of the injured players back too. Southampton won’t be easy either. And we need the injured players back and to get some match practice ahead of the glut of fixtures during the festive period.

  • Jerry

    Nothing for us to hang our heads on. It’s 1 loss after a grueling week. We had 1 less day of rest while playing a more difficult opponent with multiple players catching a bug on top of our already large injury list.

    It sucks to not extend the lead with the other top teams struggling, but that’s life. As long, we’re at the top or near about come the new year, I’m confident this team can finish the job.

    Looking at the fixture list again, funny how United get to play Fulham at home 3 days before our home match against them, where as we play Liverpool 3 days before away. Coincidence, probably not?

  • bob

    I all a-wonder over who will be VanPursestrings and the Divemaster’s love child? (copulatin’ like shameless bunnies in full sight, hide the children!). I’m just trying to decide who to give fewest style points: them two fornicators or the two presenters we had to endure on the NBC Sports Channel (newest cable sports giant backing EPL soccer on US airwaves) stateside whose non-stop drip drip drip of anti-Arsenal snide commentary and equally non-stop wank wank wank of pro-Manurial slobber made for such painful viewing. Never a single mention of our victory on Wednesday over Dortmund, nor that Manure had an extra day’s rest over us; but plenty of reminders on last season’s 8-2 loss and our having 4 wins in 20-something tries at OT.

    On the game, dunno but yes, maybe it’s Per out sick and our missing his height and nous at the set piece; or something about the zonal marking that opened clear channels to the Dutch miscreant, and someone who didn’t do his bit there?; or, ok, VanPursestrings did muster a great angle off his header, so credit where it’s not due. Still it’s one goal to that world-class prick.

    Thought, however, Bac put in some brilliantly vicious crosses which were this-close from an equalizer. I don’t know how to spot the why and wherefore of those near-misses; but someone hereabouts might be able to offer a micro-analysis of them. (Did Nicky B and Giroud both nearly connect with it, one after the other?) That was sheer agony.

    That said, I thought Bac was our most dangerous weapon as service-provider; and yet another reason, game after game, to give him the contract he deserves, as his game shows little sign of deterioration relative to the gap that his departure will pose. (And the promising Jenkinson is not close to proven and any assumption he will be ready to step in next season and do the business is, right now, wishful thinking at best.)

  • bob

    Someone is spamming our inputs with hyperlinks to their ads. None of mine (and I doubt any others above) inserted any such links. Maybe you could disable that program somehow? or tell us how to do so on our side. Cheers 🙂

  • vacong

    Shard thats good new none of our players need to go international duty and someone breaks van peries legs and deemed not that type of player and Rooney gets kicked in the head by an annoyed ref who gets abused, what do you think?

    Oh I think Asslick funguson gave a bug to the team by offering pizza. tru story! :O

  • double canister

    3 minutes for 6 substitutions in the second half is normal.
    no time added for two serious injuries is weird.
    Can any ref posting here tell us if was not breaking the rules?

    no 1st yellow to potato face for abusing the linesman is also weird (and charging through Gibbs from behind), so too is only 1 yellow for jones behaviour throughout the game.

    Typical Old trafford, Typical moyes. he just loves a bit of thuggery so he does.
    I’d rather have the dortmund win, given the choice.

  • vacong

    Thats funny double canister I was saying that to a man u supporter how rooney gets away with questioning the ref especially after an almost 2 footed tackle. They defended at home for their lives and now they sink arsenal apparently, With Vidic out they are going down. Persie feigned international injury oh no he did a giggs