Arsenal – Man United. The Untold Preview

D.S. Cabello

The only positive I can take from Saturday’s game is that we’ve now played each other twice. City and Chelsea still have to visit Anfield. So, fingers crossed.

Football is hugely psychological and no defender is nervous when they are two ahead inside 8 minutes. Even Senderos would feel like Maldini with a 2-goal cushion. Kolo could be as impetuous as he liked and Skrtel had the serenity of a man with with 72 minutes to finish his hat trick. All of a sudden, the erraticism we were most likely to exploit, dissipated. Meanwhile Liverpool’s front five did as they pleased…

The energy of Liverpool’s front 5 destroyed us. With Gerrard anchoring, Coutinho and Henderson were free to harass. Coutinho floated around Arteta and Henderson gravitated towards Sagna/Monreal. There was space in behind this madness, but we didn’t use it…

It’s games like this where we really suffer from Walcott’s absence. His speed would have dissuaded such an aggressive pressing game. It would have also caused their back four to play deeper, freeing up some space in midfield.

Coutinho had his best game so far: technically excellent, as creative a performance as I’ve seen, but with that Brazilian engine. Brazilian footballers tend to be physically gifted. Some develop a fondness for food around thirty, but in the main they have an athleticism that playmakers from other Latin countries lack. (Something to do with Brazil’s genetic diversity?)

So now onto Man United

The team?


           Sagna                 Mert                  Koz             Gibbs

                                  Arteta               Wilshere

                   Rosicky                      Ozil                   Podolski


It seems that Moyes is intent on playing the primitive game. RVP and Rooney are two of the most innovative forwards around and they’re playing like a pair of Darren Bent impersonators.

Against Fulham United had 81 crosses and converted none of them. They scored twice around 80 minutes, before succumbing to Darren Bent (the real one) in the 94th. This apparently took Moyes to ‘a new low’ – which struck me as impressive: the man has had many lows, but retains the presence of mind to quantify them all.

I have no idea how this game will go, a lot hinges on how we’ve recovered mentally. If we play anywhere near our top level then we should win, but how easy is it to reach one’s top level when a thrashing is fresh in the mind? My worry is that Rooney will do his usual thing; playing like a relic from the time these games were more heated. RVP will have the motivation that he has lacked of late. And to top it all off, they might reanimate Fellaini!

On a lighter note: a lighter was thrown at C.Ronaldo in the Madrid derby yesterday evening. Not particularly relevant, just assumed you’d like to know. The commentators called it a ‘missile’, but It looked like a lighter.

Not a fan of rhetoric, but it is vital that we maintain a measure of perspective. The transfer window was underwhelming and the results have dipped. We played like shit against Liverpool, but are somehow still in a position to return to the top of the table. It’s madness and though it doesn’t make up for recent failings, it certainly makes them easier to take.

Cheers and don’t lose the faith just yet,


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64 Replies to “Arsenal – Man United. The Untold Preview”

  1. Eurosport lists Fellaini and Phil Jones as injured. Other than that, no surprise. If anything, Cheatski’s faux-pas yesterday should be comforting for us. For me, victory at any score will do, and keeping the little child and the spoiled child off the scoresheet will be a bonus.

  2. I’m in agreement with you Florian victory at any score will most certainly do.

  3. I seen 1 newspaper article (out of Manchester) suggesting ManU play with 5 in the midfield.


    The BBC is reporting that ManCity has been postponed due to crowd security considerations.


    The lineup from the BBC

    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Rosicky, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud. Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Sanogo, Bendtner.

    You came pretty close their Dom. Quite the attacking bench.

  4. Clattenberg, failing to give Rooney a yellow for kicking the ball away around 21 minutes after being called offside. When will the refs learn to actually set the tone early when the offending teams are not Arsenal! (sorry still thinking of the RVP barcelona yellow in CL a few years ago

  5. @Jerry
    I think they must have done away with that rule, Liverpool did it twice on Saturday without punishment.

  6. @Mandy – yes, have to agree

    Mata – yellow deliberate handball
    Wilshere fouled all over the pitch
    Vidic penalty shove on Giroud
    Vidic red for elbow in Giroud’s head

  7. No complaints on the way we played, except for the few mistakes(which always happen anyway), this is what i mean, team effort is all i/we ask for.
    Nothing else to say, i’m outa here.
    Come on Arsenal, Pool next.

  8. @Dan,
    Wilshere was the best player in the first half, but if u notice after that horrible tackle, his run were as bad as u could see, his turning, and everything. Still not as bad as u said. We lacked a subistitute for him….

  9. Wiltshire very slow to release the ball, caught out a few times. Could of cost us at the end, even the RvP effort was a error from him.

  10. Overall good team game, no protection from the ref as United players hit the ground like they got shot every time they got touched. Sagna was the player of the game for me today.

  11. I’m sad really sad
    We played perfect!
    I can’t blame any of players even Giroud
    Everybody worked so hard and fought very brave until the last minute of the game, I can’t even question Arsene for bringing Ox just a little late
    We just we’re not lucky enough to win it

  12. Am gonna say this, and am gonna say it everytime, the teams can go mental when they attack/counter attack us, cause they know they can have a foul if we get the ball back, al they need ia to foul us, no yellow cards. Ok great let us do it, sagna got a yellow. Other than that i think clattenberg was fair enough.
    As for the penalty, dont know if he got a good vision, but the lino is an a*******, he was there to screw us. Most of the wrong fouls were from him.
    Anyway, lady luck always hates us, dont know why, just cant u stupid goal get in the damn net when we shoot?
    We played good, specially if considering the last game against Liverpool, mental wise.

  13. Where is Podolski?

    We just didn’t show any desire, the cheeters were for the taking. We defo taken our foot off the gas.

  14. Ozil was fantastic!
    I really want to see if any one will compare his performance and attitude with Mata!? Or it’s just for Arsenal players!

  15. @Dan, it was Arteta not clearing that gave RVP the effort. Wilshere played fine and was making some good runs until he got his legs taken out (multiple times throughout the game). Just no replacements available really, possibly could have subbed Podolski in for him late, and slide the Ox back to Jack’s role, but Wilshere’s will and runs throughout the game are what put more pressure on united

  16. Ozil is MOTM for me, he responded for the critics well, hope he plays like that everytime. Or should we be fair and say our GK is the MOTM and is the best now in the EPL, and I would claim, in thr world.

  17. Okay, so we are 1 point behind the leaders after 26 games. Not a problem. We march forward.

    No finger pointing please. The team wins, draws and loses together.

  18. Agreed, Ozil was all over the pitch. Great match for the German. There were some pretty obvious fouls ignored by the ref, but one point behind the leaders. Still in it!

  19. Dan
    I agree with you about Jacks mistakes, but I give him lots of credit for being deciplined and never abandon his post for irrational marching forward, he was way to much better in attending the midfield battles

  20. FFS, Liverpool just scored what looks like a late winner….a penalty, we are going to have to start looking over shoulders if we are not careful.
    Wilshere looked to be injured in the second half to me, surprised he was not taken off for that reason. Maybe this is wenger saying to the FA….if you will not protect him, I will make damn sure you will not be getting him this summer!

  21. I cant believe Poldi wasnt brought on(!!!!), this was the ideal game for him-bad mistake not to bring him on imo. What a frustrating game, I cant also remember the last time Manure were so manure.
    oh well, COYG…aha(sadly missed) and Amen

  22. Yassin,

    True, Ozil fought really hard today. Kudos to him. Wilshere and the rest of the team played well in my opinion, Man U just parked the bus.

  23. As for the RVP post hit,lets put it on the other way round, imagine we were attacking, all they need is a foul on the ball carrier, no cards for sure. Now if wilshere does make a foul, or arteta, boom u say yellow as fast as hell.
    That is why we are scared to go all attacking. Its they can go like hell on the counter, with all their players, and if they lose the ball, all they need is a foul. And no cards. Its all the time, with all the refs, dont know why?

  24. Finally Moyes realised that his team has nothing to offer and he came up with disrupting and defend deep.Is not an easy to score.

    Giroud missed a couple of headers wich another day would score.Two point dropped and I don’t see it as a point gained.

  25. The BT experts are (Hargreaves and O’Leary) saying that Ozil was anonymous for the whole game.

  26. Havent yet watched the game but that for me is an excellent point and could make a difference in the end. No it’s not 2 points dropped if you consider our history against them and the fact that we’re bang in the middle of a super tough run. Keep going guys.

  27. Well played by the team, unlucky not to score, their keeper made some very good saves from Santi and also that goalline clearance by valencia. Happy with the team’s performance. And yes, think Ozil was immense today Yassin.

  28. The team played well tonight and should have won the match. Overall we were the better team and unfortunately our chances did not go in.

    The manures came to park the bus and catch us on the break – that plan could have succeeded but for two good saves from Szczesny.

    But well done the team for the effort they put in.

  29. The story from the commentators – one team on the pitch, Manchester United.

    The story from the pundits – a boring, boring match.

    The real story – after a cagey first half, the second half was all Arsenal and we deserved to have won. A battling performance from everyone, and a good answer to the critics.

  30. @Mandy

    Giroud took an awful lot of fouls from Vidic – mostly unpunished, and as for the push in the back by Vidic in the box – had we committed that foul against anyone it would have given.

  31. @Pat

    All I have, is the BBC text commentary. To them, there were no controversial decisions and the officiating was perfect. And yes, they thought it was boring. I see 17 attempts at shots, which is okay, not many looked to be getting through.

    I would say the only good thing out of the rest of the day, was ManC getting postponed. Can you say fixture congestion?

  32. Clattenburg could easily have sent vidic off twice, and to think he finished the game with no card… Moyes is never really going to do well if he keeps setting his teams up to disrupt other sides. This utd looked so the last Everton side Moyes brought to the ems. Contrast that Everton with the one Martinez brought, and you can see what an average manager Moyes is.

  33. Pat, where were u watching the game? I was watching on the BeIn arabia (old aljazeer), and yes the commentator (arabic) said the same as u heard, then when he saw the stats, he started claiming it was wrong. Fair to the pundits there,they said the penalty was definite and should have been given, and based on the view of the ref, he should have. Except for that d*** shearer who said he shouldnt have cause it was a boring match.

    By the way, from a tactical point of view, it wasnt a booring game, it was a battle between a park the bus team, and a team trying to score a goal without conceeding.

  34. @bjtgooner
    Don’t be ridiculous, Michael Owen said there was not enough in it and he knows best you know!! Did anyone notice Rooney’s ‘fuck off’ to Clattenburg when a decision went Arsenal’s way in the first half. How does he get away with it all the time, maybe Clattenburg didn’t hear it or maybe he just turned a blind eye to it because it was Rooney.

  35. I wonder how we make untd soooooo serious about the game!
    I mean I watched some untd games such as ones against Cardiff Man city, Norwich or Chel$i and they were jokes!
    Real jokes, whenever they play Arsenal, they are this focused with no defence mistakes and even clear the ball from the goal line!

  36. Problem ( if u want to call it a problem) is that Ozil still didnt gel well with cazorla and wilshere, Rosicky today made that connection, and then ot worked on. We deservred a win for sure, is it two pts dropped? Yes based on how we played, but cant blame anything other than luck. Podolski in attacking wise? Sure, defending wise, no, not with their speedy counters, if we were lucky, we could have scored one of the shots and nobody could say we needed podolski, it just didnt want to get in, plus United are weak, yes, but they are not west ham. And we are still stunned by the Liverpool game, hope we go mental on them in the FA, as no much pressure would be on.

  37. I thought Clattenberg was poor today, gave us nothing and also the linesmen missed a few offsides, no replays in the stadium so I assume they were wrong. One team wanted to win – Arsenal, unlucky not to as well.

  38. Persian Gunner,
    All the teams play that way against Arsenal, cause u know they dont have a shot against Chelsea, City, or Liverpool. But this Arsenal devilesh team shall be destroyed and they are weak and will fall down anytime soon….. U know this is what the media puts in people/players head all the time.

  39. Just want to say again: Ozil was amazing and our GK is the best in the world..
    (Just like the media kept all day saying he is a flop)

  40. Özil tried very hard but the poor guy had no walcott or other striker mr wenger should have bought in january to pass the ball to. not to beat crap united is so painfull.

  41. Was V.Persie on the pitch ???

    I saw when he dispossessed Arteta at the opening of the game and at the dying hour a header. I have to give the crowd a credit and our magnificent defenders.

    Poldy I am sorry to say this but I don’t think has a full trust of Wenger.Righly so as he doesn’t retract to help the team and giving our injury situation is not helpful.
    I can’t wait to see Sanogo to help Giroud.
    Can they play together with Giroud ?

    Is he a lone striker ?

  42. Marchand
    The best part of the game for was the last 15 mins,nwhen Özil solve this problem himself!
    In the first half, Mesut always kept the ball and aired for some one to run into spaces, and nobody did, as it was predictable that Rosicky can’t do this
    BUT in the last few mins of the game Ozil understood that in Arsenal way of passing, you can’t just send a killer pass and watch the game, you have to run after your pass, cause there could be another one for you again
    And it felt really good when you see how fast he thrive in this theory
    And that brilliant pass to Santi happened
    I’m really sad we didn’t win this, it is not fair at all

  43. @Yassin

    I was watching it on BT. The commentary was terrible, especially Michael Owen. The only person who thought we should have had a penalty was pundit David O’Leary – fair play to him.

    I didn’t think it was a boring match either. I wonder sometimes whether some of these TV people actually watch the game.

  44. Didn’t see the match though. I learnt both keepers made great saves.

    Podolski was an unsed sub tonight again. I suspect he has fitness issue or what. If there is any game changer in our team as of now, its him. But what do I know?

    I wanted 3 points, we got 1. Its not the end of the world. We won’t know the winner of the league until May.

    Bring on liverpool.


  45. Pete,
    I watch Arabic pundits, who are not as biased as what I hear on your medias. but today they had Shearer, and what an as***** he is. Really now can get why on here always complain about the media. Its too much, how can they not like this pure tactical game from both sides, and come and teach us technicality.

    I share your feelings man, see we used to play the most beautiful football, and couldnt win all games, so some genius fans wanted to win and get points, not to just pass and attack and get 25 attempts on target. So when Wenger got the stability, now thosw genius people doesnt like it.

    Man stop damn moaning, what are u? And where u wathcing something else? Cause I could see we were the team which deserved 3pts.

    I will explain why, they dont want us to win this EPL. Cant find another reason.

  46. I think Arsenal played it safe not to lose. A reasonable tactical move by Wenger given it is still psychologically difficult for Arsenal to play United. A point keeps Arsenal in the title race and in control imo. Chelsea will continue dropping points – they are tough to beat now but don’t have the team to produce away wins consistently. Arsenal will need to get result against City something this team should be able to accomplish.

    @Yassin Yes this game as well as two previous United games demonstrated amply why Chelsea sold Mata. Mourihno may be annoying at times but most of what he does as a manager makes sense. In Mata they had a small passer who is slow with poor work rate. No tracking, ball watching, phasing in and out of games. Reminds me of Arshavin a lot. Interesting stats – this season Chelsea lost all 3 games with Mata starting. At United his deficiencies are exposed as he doesn’t have Ramires or Mikel cover for getting. Getting 37M for Mata is an excellent business for Chelsea.

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