Arsenal’s season in ruins. The headline of 2004 is ready to be re-used. The Match Preview

By Bulldog Drummond.

Newspapers tell you what to think now and what you will think in the future.  And if they can, they do it by re-using headlines that they have previously used, because.. well that makes it so much  so easier.

On 7 April 2004 the headline in the Daily Mirror was “Arsenal’s season in ruins”.  The reason was that the previous night Arsenal had lost to Chelsea in the Champions League with this following on from a 1-0 defeat to Man U in the FA Cup on 3 April.

The papers expressed the view that a club side could only be called great if they won the Champs League.  Arsenal were out of it, so that was they said.  Over and over again.  And snigger snigger, we couldn’t even win the Double again now we were out of the cup.  Besides all this rubbish the manager was spouting about going unbeaten through the season.  Well, you saw those Comical Wenger t-shirts didn’t you…

Of course no one told Arsenal or the true fans who support no matter what.  Nor did they tell those of us able to get to Highbury.  We carried on believing – even when 1-0 down at half time to Leicester on the last game of the season we believed.  And the Invincibles were born.

The childish half-baked media are doing it again now, telling us what to think.  Arsenal lost to Monaco, it is all over.  Arsenal’s season in ruins.

So time to repeat the old stats about our run of nine defeats in ten games at Very Old Trafford   And now there are those funny stories from the Ferguson about never having to tackle Arsenal – you just intercepted the passes.

Ha, and if I might be permitted, I will repeat this.  Ha.

You only have to look at two minutes of any match to see that yes it is true Man U didn’t tackle Arsenal – they kicked us to bits.  Watch the DVD of the opening of the game at Very OT on 8 May 2002.   Kick foul kick foul kick foul kick foul.  It went on and on.

But no it is the stat about losing at OT rather than our current record in domestic matches that must define reality.  We’re doomed.

But the nice thing is that some of journalists do actually call up Untold when in the pub (usually I have noticed to distract from the fact it is their round) and have started quoting a win rate of 14 out of 18 games in all competitions.  Where on earth did they get that from?

As Mr Wenger, following  his non-Marxist philosophy, said recently “I don’t believe too much in history. I just believe in the performance on the day. At the moment, we are doing very well away from home. The size of the pitch is exactly the same everywhere, it’s just down to how much we turn up and how much effort we put in to win the game.

“We are confident from our Premier League run [seven wins in eight as Untold might have mentioned]. We feel we have the needed confidence. We go there to qualify and to give absolutely everything. That’s the target of the day – hard work, team effort and to give absolutely everything. We will go there to try to qualify, no matter how.”

Anyway, the press as always have a back up plan.  If we do win, then they will once more turn on Mesut Özil telling us that he failed to “stamp his authority on a big game and answer the critics” [the children of the press] “who believe that he decorates rather than designs games.”

Mr Wenger of course would have none of it.   “A player like Paul Scholes would have loved to play with Mesut Özil,” he  said. “Özil has a point to prove and he knows that. We are all in a job where, in every single game, we have to prove a point. I believe he has the quality, he puts a lot of effort in to help the team and he works much harder than his style shows.

“Özil works very hard. Because he is fluent, easy and supple he does not look like he puts the effort in – but he does. I knew he had a good physical potential, but did not know how good he was physically. He has a huge physical potential.”

So the Man U injury list – fairly small because by and large they don’t play Man U and so don’t get kicked to death…

  • Doubtful: Shaw (hamstring)
  • Injured: Van Persie
  • Banned: Evans the Spit

Mr Wenger said Wojciech Szczesny would start in goal if he recovers from a virus

Wojciech Szczesny

Bellerin    Mert    Kos    Gibbs

Ramsey    Coquelin    Santi Coz

Sanchez    Giroud    Ozil

And on the beach in the old Mancunian sunshine several of these…

Ooooooooooooospina, Chambers, Monreal, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry, Welbeck, Walcott, Akpom

Our kicked and pushed without punishment list:

  • Monreal (back),
  • Szczesny? (virus – not a kick but I bet it is a red and white one)
  • Wilshere (ankle, 14 Mar),
  • Flamini (hamstring, 14 Mar),
  • Gabriel (hamstring, 21 Mar),
  • Arteta (calf/ankle, 18 Apr),
  • Debuchy (shoulder following an unpunished push into the edge of the pitch , 18 Apr),
  • Diaby (muscular, unknown)

So the odds and ends from the statistics department lead off with the fact that the last two times Arsenal have defeated Untidy in the FA Cup we won the Cup.  2003 and 2005.   And after this game The Untidy have games against the Tiny Totts, the Liver poodles, the Aston Villa mob and the International Petroleum Investment Corporation so they might have a light degree of apprehension.

And as we approach the end,  a few more stats…

  • Arsenal and Manchester U have each played in 18 and each won 11 FA Cups.
  • Arsenal have played Les Diables Presque Rouge 13 times in the Cup.  They’ve won seven so it is our turn.
  • Olivier Giroud has scored seven and assisted four goals in his 11 FA Cup appearances.
  • This season Sanchez has 19 goals and Giroud 13.  For Man U Rooney has 11 and RVP 10.  And RVP is injured on £200k a week.

So to summarise the press’ view we are useless because of Monaco, but on a bit of a run, and defeat here will mean our season will be in ruins.  And in saying that they won’t even get the irony.

If we win, as I hope and expect, then the FA Cup will be of no significance because the big stuff is being played out in the Premier League where our third place at present shows just how low we have dropped.

I know it makes no sense but that’s the media for you.

 

 

206 Replies to “Arsenal’s season in ruins. The headline of 2004 is ready to be re-used. The Match Preview”

  1. If this time we finish the chances we get we should win this match. Our home defeat was amazing to see how in the first half we missed the easiest of chances and that cost us (and some Dean trickery)

  2. Shall I do this now and save myself the bother later on …

    1. It was never a penalty, Rooney dived again …
    2. That was never a sending off, two soft yellows, when the United players were kicking lumps out of Alexis …
    3. How could he disallow our “goal” there was no hint of offside or a foul in the build up ….

    There … not to our Liverpool and Spurs colleagues … feel free to copy and paste this in time for your next visit to Old Trafford …

    😉

  3. According to scholes, he still hasn’t got over losing the FA Cup Final to Arsenal on Penalties in 2005. It was so unfair. They where robed apparently. It still irks him to this day apparently.

    Much the way a few Bayern Munich players might feel about a certain CL final I would guess.

    But it seems when united ‘fluke it’ it’s all about the ‘spirit’, ‘never say die’, don’t know when you’re beaten’ attitude.

    But when it happens to them, 10 years later poor little Pauly still cant get over it.

    What an absolute p***k that man is.

  4. If fit, I think Monreal will start.

    I also think it is more likely that Welbeck or the Ox – conceivably Rosicky – starts wide right with Ramsey remaining on the bench. I doubt Wenger will want to disrupt the Cazorla – Ozil central partnership. I think we can be confident that Alexis and one of the three above will provide good cover on the flanks.

    Given that MU will probably start Fellaini then having Welbeck’s height will make us more resilient when defending set pieces.

  5. The time for rotation will be against West Ham with the Monaco game just 3 days after. Can see several of the bench denizens starting that.

  6. The last four matches we have played against this dirty team we outplayed them home or away, but couldn’t not get the desired result largely in part to the openly biased refs. To preserve my sanity, and not run the risk of damaging my health, I’ll not watch tonight. But I hope the team does well to beat 12 men. COYG!!

  7. I hope the law of averages kicks in tonight. I would settle for 37% posession but 1-0 score line to the Arsenal.

  8. We should have won our home game this season ,as we did play well and more than had the measure of them .I do expect us to start the game like we did the last two.
    Wait patiently for the breaks while keeping them out of our box ,while avoiding giving them any freekicks just outside ( or god forbid – inside !) the box.
    Alexis and Danny boy to start for me with the prospect of Walcott coming late on .
    A 0-2 win for the Arsenal ,for me. Come on guys , you know we all want this !
    Up the Gunners !

  9. “Much the way a few Bayern Munich players might feel about a certain CL final I would guess.”

    @jambug – I think there were TWO CL finals that Bayern München players’ might feel robbed about.

    Giroud to open the score-line after a low cross from Alexis and Ramsey to put the game in bed after a lovely lay-off from Giroud.

  10. Gord – notice the old Express logic – the utter absence of the question why?

    Thus the fine is trivial, and the restriction on players only relates to the Champions league. But

    “it could trigger an exodus of players come July.”

    I ask again, “why?” and answer find I none.

  11. Will United have been more desperate for a win against us at any time since game 50? And will the referee be much, much better than on that day?

    with a good standard of officiating, I’d have it down as a close game, with us having a distinct edge. I’d even have confidence in us managing to turn it around if we went behind.

    But I really think the best we can expect from the officials there is ‘not completely atrocious’, and with that it becomes so much harder, especially in the event of conceding first.

    We have to expect things to go un- or under- punished for them, early bookings for us, especially Kos and Coquelin if the ref gets any opportunity whatsoever; very strong fouls, particularly on Alexis *; lots of clouts around Giroud’s head; strange discrepancies in the application of the advantage rules; diving, especially from Rooney, though he should be ably supported by Young and Di Maria (he’s been on good behaviour, play-acting wise, in comparison to Madrid days); there’ll be the normal, infuriating momentum-stopping whistles; and of course a lot of tactical fouling.

    We do ,however, have the ability to do it this time, even in spite of all that nonsense.

    No doubt the law of averages doesn’t work this way, but still, you have to think if we can create as we did against them first time, and get the same sort of chances as against Monaco, it would be pretty extraordinary to suffer the same fate again.

    It sure is going to be tense and intense.

    *tempted me to think getting Ox and Wellbeck into lineup might be astute- don’t think they’d be half as likely to launch Cahillesque stuff on them- but, nope, you can’t live like that and Sanchez and ozil have to play.

  12. The 2004 newspapers headlines will certainly not be reused for the Gunners, but disuse for them as the Gunners will authoritatively binds the Red Devils tonight, right there in their dungeon at Old Trafford playing turf and cast them convincingly away and return back victorious to Emirates Stadium to a rousing jubilating welcome back home ceremony. Taking into account of virus attack and lack of top game fitness, my undisputable RUTHLESS GUNNERS STARTS: Ospina. BellerinRhino’KoscielnyGibbs. OxladeCoquelinCazorla. WalcottOzilSanchez. I am having a selection problem because I didn’t start Giroud who I am sure the boss will start. And Ozil, prolific Walcott and power house Oxlade must all start this battle for supremacy. So this is how it will be when nearly every top Gunner is available to give the boss selection headache. I leave it to the boss to sort it out finally. My starts favour the 4-3-2-1 playing formation. Less I forget, Let the boss not start Coquelin alone without starting Oxlade as the 2nd CDM.

  13. Although we have a sick list of 5 players who would be in contention to play in tonight’s game, it’s pleasant to see so many alternative line-ups we have available.
    United are going to face a different Arsenal.
    One that is grinding out results, full of confidence and with a defence and midfield that won’t be panicked.
    If we get a fair deal from the referee, I somehow feel, as I did before the Citeh game, that we will emerge victorious tonight.

  14. I just love the way no one flinches if Bellerin is put in the team. It was only a few months ago there were cries of Wenger throwing the kids in because we had no team.

  15. Tony: I just love the way no one flinches if Bellerin is put in the team. It was only a few months ago there were cries of Wenger throwing the kids in because we had no team.

    So very true.

    I hope the boys put on a great performance and do us proud. I am not sure I could live through the next few weeks with the journalists and pundits ridiculing the club again.I want to see them suffer.

  16. “So time to repeat the old stats about our run of nine defeats in ten games at Very Old Trafford And now there are those funny stories from the Ferguson about never having to tackle Arsenal – you just intercepted the passes.”

    Isnt that to do with Giggs intercepting the ball form Vieras poor pass? If only Den had scored that penalty…

    Sadly I expect us to get kicked off the park tonight, but I reckon we’ll beat them, the time is right.
    COYG! FOMU!

  17. My only fear for tonight is Coquelin or, more precisely, for Coquelin. He has been extremely important for us this season and the refs might do their part to make him unavailable for our next matches. They can do it either by allowing Fellaini, for example, to injure him or by issuing a red card to Le Coq in the same fashion Mike Dean did to Wilshere in 2012-13 (remember, Cleverley got away for two bookable offences but Jack didn’t).

  18. From the Telegraph

    Arsenal: Szczesny; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Alexis; Welbeck.
    Subs: Martinez, Gibbs, Chambers, Ramsey, Giroud, Walcott, Akpom.

  19. From the Telegraph.

    Their question of the evening, is what famous person’s “support” do you find the most irritating. Only one answer up at the moment (PM).

    I will guess he gets 400 million votes

  20. If Arsenal play to their full potential no referee or opposition can stop them. But I still fear the referee will try valiantly to tip the scales against our lads.

  21. I am even going to listen to them commentharrys tonight, so sure i am that we will win.

  22. Hey in yellow we’d have a twelth man on the pitch for the first time in forever!!!

  23. I am at my sons teachers meeting and as i am sitting outside contemplating what his teacher will say, I have a big lump in my stomach about the game. My brain tells me worry about what the teacher might say but my heart says, fuck that, the match is important. Lets get this win

  24. I think that there is an obvious gulf in quality in our favour. If we score first goal of the game, United fans are going to recall that match against City from October 2011 with a pleasure.

  25. get facking in thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

    Now, unleash hell on these ugly Manscums!

  27. Well Josif, reading Telegraph, Sky and BBC commentary, they have said nothing that remotely resembles that. And the BBC has found a few AAAs to chirp in. I think all the medja has the same agenda tonight.

    COYG!

  28. Wily old game the ref is playing with that yellow card to a man utd player

  29. at least now the pundits have swallowed their puke but in the first 30 mins i could not stand it i had to switch off the volume.

  30. Most of the commentary is tending to rag on Arsenal. But the BBC surprises in that they have 2 positive statements about Ozil.

    COYG!

  31. Fellini has 7 fouls in first half… One elbow to coquelin. And one bodycheck on Ozil…no yellow yet.

  32. The BBC are boring us with Alan ‘Elbow’ Shearer… really wasn’t worth raising the volume for.

  33. @going going gunner what about rojo? the ref blows the whistle but the guy has the spirit to kick it away and nothing happens.

  34. Why the stupid goal why?

    Please someone send Arsenal players an email describing that we human have hearts, and its tiring to stay on our nerves every game.

    COYG, WE NEED TO BEAT THEM AT THERE OLD TOILET!

  35. Too bad we cocked up that counter-attack when Alexis and Welbeck could have restored the lead.

    Aside from Rooney’s goal, it was a natural order on the pitch: we control the game and show the talent.

    Sooner our attacking line realizes United are just shirts and bunch of overpaid big names, we will get our second goal of the game.

    The ref is, as expected, playing for the hosts.

  36. Not every goal off of a cross is a bad goal. A hard cross that comes in relatively is hard to judge and defend against. Sometimes (gulp) you have to give the other team some credit.

  37. @Kampala Gun…yeah kicking the ball away…we’ll never get that call at Old Trafford.

  38. Monreal could’ve done a bit better. By closing down DaMaria.

    But after that……have to agree with goinggoinggooner.

  39. Hez going back 3…

    Yeah..hez going back 3. Could play into our hands this….

  40. So the 99% has already sloped the pitch with selective vision.

    Arsenal are playing well but Chez is not in top form. Giroud is really the finisher we need.

  41. Shame the Ox pulled a hamstring, I hope it isn’t bad. Come on Aaron, maybe you can work some magic with Alexis or Wellbeck.

    COYG!

  42. Fellaini getting away from all fouls. Whats with the tackles from behind being ignored. Too many 99% blindness. Cheating bar stewards PGMOL.

  43. get in theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. I’m having my car is service now, but not a worry, the match is being recorded;)

  45. Come on Chambers, be good at the back there. Ozil, we need you to craft another goal please.

    COYG!

  46. Wheres the red for Fellaini & the cards for Rooney & Young asking for a fellow professional to be sent off. Cheating PGMOL cnut.

  47. For me not to get excited about an arsenal player on the pitch, they have to be at an andre santos kind of bad.

    Saying this because the BBC commentator(don’t care bout his name) just said no arsenal fan would be excited to see Nacho on the pitch.

  48. Menace I think the ref assured Rooney that he doesn’t plan to send Fellaini off.

  49. Well, Santos had his moments. Remember those goals against Cheatski, and West Bram in the final day of the season. Too bad he didn’t last long.

    COYG, see off this match

  50. Yeah he did. but what made me really dislike him was the van persie shirt swap at half time while we were losing(if i’m remembering that correctly)

  51. Tjay, Santos really didn’t know what he was doing. To me that’s one more reason to hate the Skunk for a provocative gesture. And btw, where is he now, on the doctor’s beach? Haha.

  52. The BBC found a ManU fan who thinks the ref has been just fantastic today.

    COYG!

  53. Eurosport stopped commenting after Danny’s goal. That’s how far the disease has gone.

  54. > 87 min Januzaj, past his man on the right, into the box, defender’s got a big of a hand on him, in front of the Stretford End, Januzaj goes down. I believe I have seen this film before… Michael Oliver blows and awards… An Arsenal free kick! Replays demonstrate a horrible dive. Correct decision on a night of them from the referee, in an increasingly tricky game.

    Wrong! It is not the correct decision. The correct decision is a yellow card for diving.

    COYG!

  55. Sorry, commentary is slow. I guess he did get yellow for it.

    >> 87 min Januzaj,

    > Wrong! It is not the correct decision. The correct decision is a yellow card for diving.

    COYG!

  56. Aleluia,can somebody say Amen the devil shall be cast into the rivers of fire and only kenneth widmerpool only kenneth had the belief can you believe it

  57. From the BBC:

    > John Murray BBC Radio 5 live commentator

    > “Arsene Wenger turns away in disgust after seeing that five on the board and then shakes his head.”

    COYG!

  58. FOYMU!!!!! Alleluia and Amen! Arse before shite!!! Brilliant, well done the Arsenal! COYG!!!

  59. We won going up a ski slope. What a cheat but he did what he had to do apart from the nailed on sending off of Fellaini & Rooney for continuous barracking.

    WE WONT GIVE IT BACK!!!!

  60. We so earned that. Well done Danny, you’re now a true Gunner! 🙂

  61. Well done lads.
    Even with 10 men i’ll take that.
    We’ll be seeing you manu.

  62. Imagine if AW had sold one of our players because “he did not score enough” then scored against us to win us a cup tie…what would our ‘friendly’ media SAY?? hahahahahahaha

  63. Fuck you shoot. The referee was a cunt of the first order. He tried to cheat his way but was given no choice.

    Which part of his officiating was good?

  64. he that believeth shall cast the devils out, and shove the devil dahn the old toilet, and flusheth the chain for evermore…
    Alleluia and Amen! (cheers Kampala!)

  65. Danyyyyyyyy yeaaaaaaah

    Show them that United shirt is not worth being on your body!!!

  66. The ref made some big decisions tonight so yes he did a fairly good job!

  67. 5th Gen

    The only good thing about that draw, is that Bradford/Reading won’t be playing at home.

    I wonder if Walter has a summary up yet?

  68. Boooooing Daannnnny???

    I think we should make him a fuckin awwsome song. Next thing in the Emirates.

    Come oN Gooners do him a song please ……yeah

  69. 2 yellows for dive and one red for pushing the referee….who had balls to call it a dive!!!..

    Effing disgrace…
    So much for being the flagship of the EPL.

  70. Get in there.

    They left everything out there.

    We weren’t fantastic but I think edged it.

    And I never thought I’d say this, but apart from the missed penalty the ref was brilliant.

    My Liverpool supporting mate just texted me:

    “About time a Referee stood up to those cheating Mancs”

    Here here to that.

  71. ManU have been playing tilted games for so long, they no longer recognize good refereeing. From the beeb beeb beeb beeb beeb

    > Mic Medeska: United supporter here. Michael Oliver was spot on perfect today. No complaints there.

    > Victor Chatfield: Lots of decisions went Arsenal’s way. Adnan Januzaj lost his balance and didn’t seem to appeal. No foul, but no dive either. Lucky Arsenal.

  72. I haven’t been reading tonight and just posted my thoughts.

    Since been back to read, and I distrust the Referees as much as anyone but I honestly fail to see how he can be criticised tonight.

    Personally I think going over the top about a performance like that undermines our real grips when we do get stitched up, which is often, but not I felt tonight.

    Oh well, as they say it is a game of opinions.

    Tonight, who cares !!!!!!!

    COYGs

  73. Of course Gord, my report was up before the players were off the pitch 🙂

  74. His was a fault for not sending Bellerin of but I forgive him for that . But apart from that he had a very good game

  75. @Menace, are you serious? The ref had a decent game. If he was so anti Arsenal he could have given Bellerin a second yellow. Just as well Wenger sensibly substituted him.

  76. Oh Danny Boy
    Hes scoring goals for Arsenal
    In Manchester
    Against his childhood team.
    The FA cup
    Is staying at the Arsenal
    Oh Danny Boy. Oh Danny Boy,
    We love you so.

  77. Referee had the balls to call simulations….let’s be honest here he did a great job.

    But what about Fellini and Valencia. Should he wait 10 times to book Fellini!!!!….obvious fouls that too.

    A better day for us officiating wise….but not the perfect unbiased refereeing that we call for.

  78. Apart from his leniency with Fellaini, I think the ref had a very good game.

    Those aren’t happy with this performance must have forgotten that the divings that he gave yellow cards for are the sort usually employed to beat us at Old Trafford.

    There will be other times (although I wish there wouldn’t) when criticising the ref will be justified but definitely not tonight.

    The ref had a very good game.

  79. Shoot – Two dives by Young trying to get a fellow professional booked. Bellerin was an angel compared to Fellaini. If you think PGMO 99% did well you must be dim.

  80. Arsenal 13

    No, he wasn’t perfect. Fellini certainly seemed to get what seems to be his usual leniency.

    But Coquelin wasn’t perfect either, but he too was brilliant.

    Asking for, or expecting perfection (I’m not saying you are, I’m just making a point) is a bit much.

  81. Its fun how everyone points at the Bellerin 2nd yellow (which was a dive) and forget the hundred fouls by Fellaini?

    Oliver did a good game, after missing the first half. But please point to the facts, all the facts.

    @Menace,

    Man the song should rhyme? 🙂 still nice try.

  82. The ref had good and bad moments. But when it mattered he got the most important decisions correct: the dive from Januzaj. If SAF was still around we know it would have been given

  83. Agree with the guys saying the ref had a decent game.

    I have nothing to complain about.

    And to be fair to the United players, they did not seem as aggressive as in the past. Is it that Mr Van Gaal likes football and teaches his players a bit differently from their prevous coaches?

  84. Sav

    Agree with that, certainly not in the mould of those cheating b*****d Nevilles.

    Alas going down at the drop of a hat still seems to be a part of there ‘Modus operandi’

    Luckily the referee was having none of it.

  85. Exactly Walter and Sav from Australia,

    Mistakes I can accept, bias and cheating no, today I can say the ref was fair…

    Now it seems that Riley really has no power in the FA.

  86. Yes agree, they were playing football. But diving was out of this world. Well done Oliver, keep that up.

  87. Great night! The boys played a great match and never gave up.
    A red given to an opponent for a dive… Yellows given to MU… And I actually heard the BBC pundit watching the replay of Di Maria diving : “It’s a dive. No doubt it’s a dive!”… and later : “Arsenal deserved the win, well done”. Flying pigs must be over the Emirates, and snow all over the Sahara ! 🙂

  88. The point is, if Fergie was still in charge, and the match was Refereed as was the norm in his day, we would of lost tonight.

    And that’s the point I, and many others on UA have always made, that given a fair Referee, Refereeing the game, maybe not perfectly, but by and large as he sees it and with impartiality, we would of won far more of these big games.

    A Referee with just a hint of that old Man utd bias tonight would of swung a close match Utds way, I have no doubt about that.

    Again I can only re iterate, well done Mariner.

  89. Exactly Jambug,

    When in tight game, the ref really can be what decides the outcome. again I can accept mistakes, but not cheating.

    And its ” well done Oliver”.

  90. Oooops, sorry about the name. It was late and I was a little over excited.

    My apologies to all, especially the excellent Mr OLIVER

  91. Certainly Michael Oliver could have booked more Man U players…..probably all of them and several twice. Young diving; Rooney arguing; Fellani….for virtually anything and everything. However, as someone who personally rates Mr Oliver as below average but better than some, I have to say well done. It took a lot of bottle to book two players for diving in front of the Stretford end and he could have got away with not sending Di Maria off without any fuss at all from the media.

    One things for sure if referees had shown this level of honesty in the past, Man U would have won considerably fewer trophies and we’d have gone 50+ games unbeaten. Sadly, I suspect Mr Ooliver will never see the inside of OT again.

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