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June 2021

Arsenal v Man U: the teams, the runs, the bias, and the player records thus far this season

By Bulldog Drummond

Arsenal, as we know, have not done well against Manchester United of late, and no result (not even a gigantic win) is going to gain positives in the media at the moment.  The rule is “knock Wenger knock Wenger knock Wenger” just as in almost every newspaper in England the standard approach is “Vote Conservative Vote Conservative Vote Conservative”.

And of course if that is what you believe that seems right; the media is telling it like it is.  The notion that the answer might be too simplistic, or maybe even just not right, is not open to debate – at least not in the media.

Thus we have “Arsène Wenger’s decline drains rivalry with José Mourinho of poison” and “Arsène Wenger squeezes sadly into last season’s tactical skinny jeans” and on and on and on.  A Mourinho decline in terms of Chelsea?  Best not think of that.  There is even an article in the Guardian about injuries to the New York Mets which has a link to an article proclaiming that Arsenal have had the most injuries in the past ten years – a statement which is utterly unproven, and not backed up by any stats that I have ever found, although it is regularly quoted.

But let’s turn away from the ceaseless negativity just for a moment and think instead that Alexis Sanchez needs just one goal to register his best-ever return from a single campaign in Europe’s big time leagues.  He scored 19 for Barcelona in 2013/14, the  same as this season.  He is just two goals away from 50 for Arsenal.

Curiously for Manchester United they are now unbeaten in 25, which is their highest ever number in a single season – something Sir F never did.   Arsenal of course has gone better, and we call that the “Unbeaten Season”, but that fact is another generally not mentioned.

Indeed there is not much mention anywhere of our beating Man U 3-0 last season – the records as always are picked out to suit the agenda and the current agenda in football, as in politics, is written very clearly for all to see.  That result doesn’t fit the agenda, so let’s change the agenda and talk about Wenger v Mourinho instead.  When that doesn’t fit any more let’s talk about something else.   But never ever analyse why we have a completely different refereeing system from the rest of Europe – one that clearly lays the refereeing system in England open to corruption.  That doesn’t mean it is corrupt, but it remains an interesting point, and one that the media completely refuses to examine.

However I digress.    We have lost one of the last 15 Premier League home games (W11, D3), that seems to me a fairly decent statistic.   And here is an oddball one: the last season in which both Arsenal and Manchester United finished outside the top four was in 1978-79, when they ended seventh and ninth.  Rather a long time ago.

There is one other thing to note in the current league table: the teams that have done better away from home, than in their own back yard.  These are Manchester City, Manchester United and Crystal Palace.  (It is also incidentally why some of us wonder a little about Tottenham’s ability to do their stuff at Wembley.  Their record is only six away wins this season – but that is best left for another occasion).

And one more point about our team: Giroud needs just one more goal this season for Arsenal to have three players in double figures for goal scoring this year.  I wonder, if that happens, if the Guardian will note that fact, and then compare it with how many other teams have that.   Given that the figures for Man U are Ibrahimovic 17, Mata 6, Rashford 5, probably not.

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Before the teams, here’s the list of appearances in the league this season before today (numbers after names show the player’s age).  The first column gives the position of each player if we just measure the games played, and the second column if we were to put the players in minutes order.

Game pos Min Pos Player Apps Mins
1  1 Alexis Sánchez  33 2809
2 2 Nacho Monreal  31 2703
3 4 Laurent Koscielny  30 2630
4 3 Petr Cech  30 2648
5 6 Héctor Bellerín  28 2170
6 5 Mesut Özil  28 2406
7 12 Alex Oxlade Chamberlain  27 1443
8  7 Granit Xhaka 2 27 2078
9  9 Theo Walcott  26 1914
10  10 Francis Coquelin  25 1653
11 14 Olivier Giroud  25 1013
12  13 Alex Iwobi  24 1420
13  8 Shkodran Mustafi  23 2005
14 15 Aaron Ramsey  18 879
15  11 Gabriel Paulista  18 1463
16  16 Mohamed Elneny  14 694
17 18 Danny Welbeck  11 464
18 Lucas Pérez  11 265
19  19 Kieran Gibbs  8 453
20 17 Santi Cazorla  8 619

If we just do it by minutes played rather than games Lucas drops out of the 20 and Holding comes in at 20.

Let’s try and guess a team


Gabriel   Koscielny  Mustafi

The Ox   Ramsey   Coquelin   Monreal

Alexis   Ozil


Now that line up leaves these players of note out, excluding those who are not considered, or are injured or recovering.

Ospina, Bellerín, Holding, Gibbs, Elneny, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck.  I suspect Gibbs will drop out of that list but it could be Walcott.

As for Untold for the rest of the day, I am sorry to say it may be a little while before you hear from us again.   Most of us are off to the match (some with a fair distance to travel) and Walter has a family event which means he won’t be able to do the post match review – at least not until quite a while latter.

Sorry about that, but hopefully we’ll be back tomorrow.

Arsenal v Manchester United

Arsenal v Man U. Arsenal injury news cannot possibly be true, Man U player shortage, Merson speaks!

Arsenal v Manchester Utd. Man U’s fine run of away form, and Totts lose on a big pitch.

Arsenal v Manchester United Sun 7 May – The Match Officials. A certain bias is detected.


65 comments to Arsenal v Man U: the teams, the runs, the bias, and the player records thus far this season

  • jjgsol


    I enjoy and appreciate the positivity.

    Why the media have decided to weigh into AW as they have done is a mystery to me.

    Whatever they might think, I have not doubt that he knows more about the players, their moods, their mental health and every aspect about them than all the scribblers put together and yet they condemn him and his coaching staff, to a man, relentlessly.

    Good luck to all gooners and the team today.

  • gouresh

    This is a good chance to get the revenge for the 8-2 defeat. If Mr moaning plays a weakened side. We should be ruthless. But given the history and result even after insults from manure we have just thrown in the towel.

  • para

    An insecure person can appear arrogant in some cases.
    I wonder if the “games” of Moan(Mou) are from his arrogance or from his insecurities.
    Proclaiming for all to hear that if Manu lose 5-0 he cant only blame EUFA cup bla bla bla…

    Anyway, AW is not to be distracted by those games, at least not openly.

    I am a little of a revenge freak and would like to be a first 10-0 (or was their one before?) 🙂

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I’m with you but we should score 11just to be on the safe side!

  • para

    Andrew Crawshaw
    The more the merrier, even Cech could get in on the act. 🙂

  • gouresh

    Guys guys, lets not get ahead of ourselves.,I would,love it to be a high score for us, but looking at history against manure, don’t be,surprised is if we get a,labouring 1 nil. Pride…it seems has got lost somewhere.

  • Nitram


    In the Liverpool Southampton game.

    I’m sure I just saw Clopp throw a water bottle in dissent.

    I’m sure I didn’t hear a single wordabout it from the commentators.

    I’m sure I didn’t see a thing done about it by either the ref or the 4th official who was right next to him.

    Hmmm. Funny that.

  • Josif

    I don’t know who on Earth expects Arsenal to gazump Manchester United regardless of the team.

    In case you have forgotten, we lost to their weakened team last season (with Pawson’s help for them though but our game was nowhere near the required level) at Old Trafford and snatched a draw in the last game played between the sides thanks to Chamberlain’s perfect cross and Giroud’s majestic header. In both games Michael Carrick played as a central defender.

    Back in 2011, Ferguson made number of changes playing with Fabio in the middle of the pitch for our FA Cup tie with them. I had been positive about us winning that game but instead we lost 2:0.

    Prior to spectacular 3:0 drubbing last season we hadn’t beaten United for four years at the Emirates.

    We are yet to beat Maureen in the league and we faced The Annoying One twelve times in the league. The closest chance was in 2006-07 when we had a 1:0 lead at the break and played against 10 men after Terry’s red card but Chelsea got the equalizer. That draw was like a defeat for Mourinho though as Man United secured the title thanks to that result.

  • Gord

    Let me guess, the 2 Southampton cards at 65 minutes were for protesting the award of the penalty kick (duly missed)?

  • Gord

    Livescore has lineups

    XI: Cech, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Ox, Xhaka, Ramsey, Gibbs, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck

    Beach: Gabriel, Giroud, Ospina, Walcott, Iwobi, Bellerin, Coquelin

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ccooommmee ooooooonnnnn uuuuuuuuuu ggggguuuunnnnneeeeerrrrrrssss

  • Gord

    Well, The Guardian has decided it cannot present fair reporting on the upcoming game. Not surprising, they are presenting to a Manchester audience.

    Independent feels like ragging on Arsenal.

    BBC feels glee in pointing out how poor Arsenal are.


  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    If Man U win the Europa League, what will be the status of Arsenal as to qualify for the Ucl next season if they finish 5th in the table? Will Arsenal pick the 5th place slot in the Ucl if Man U won the EL title as the PL 5 top finish clubs will qualify for 5 Ucl places instead of the 4 they’ve been getting?

  • para

    Its all in jest, being “positive”, its worth a try i’m told. 🙂

  • Leon

    The ground’s nice & full despite the efforts of LG

  • ARSENAL 13


  • Leon

    No bus parking here. Both sides all out attack

  • para

    Thats it worry them dont tackle, force them back

  • para

    We look a little clueless as to what to do sometimes

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    There are 2 kinds of freedom that the footballers in a team can play with in a game. One is the freedom to move to any position on the field of play and play from there, it could be temporarily to later switched back to his preferred or assigned position. And two, the freedom resulting from relieved tension in his mind. We saw the relegated Sunderland played with this kind of freedom and won their PL game at away yesterday. But honestly, I don’t know which of the 2 kinds of freedom Le Prof often makes references to. It’s could be both. In our today’s match at the Ems against Man U, I think the Gunners will still play the match under tension in their minds as they’ll want to beat a Jose Mourinho’s team in a PL game for the first time and achieving that feast to enhance their chances to qualify for Ucl next season.

  • para

    Come on lads, wake up.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ccooommmee ooooooonnnnn

  • ARSENAL 13


    Ccooommmee ooooooonnnnn

  • para

    Come on!

  • para

    Asleep again

  • Leon

    Whoa Kos!

  • para

    Come on lads, keep it firm at back

  • Leon

    Game slowed a lot now

  • para

    They’ll not come out, so be a little more direct

  • para

    Well, a pleasant-ish half.

  • para

    he goal you want is at the other end.

  • para

    Thats it keep them at bay

  • Gord

    How to go Xhaka! Nice assist Ox!


  • Leon

    Was that an OG?Not that it matters

  • Leon

    It’s going to be a rout

  • Gord

    Ox does it again! Nice finish Danny!


  • Gord

    Rout 66?


  • Leon

    Rout 2017

  • para

    Good defending lads

  • para

    What a cheat

  • GoingGoingGooner

    stupid commentators…all they are talking about is Wenger leaving

  • para

    You cant even breathe on a utd player

  • para

    Good win lads

  • Jammy J

    YES! Brilliant result and some great play! United looked pretty tired, so lets just hope we can crack on to 4th place and try to avoid that for next season.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    It’s good, It’s good to be, It’s good to be a Gooner!

  • bjtgooner

    Excellent result, always nice to put the Odious One in his place!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Rambo is back… woohoo.


    Cooooommmmeeeee ooooooonnnnn uuuuuuuuuu ggggguuuunnnnneeeeerrrrrrssss

  • Bobome

    Hello Benjamin!!!!
    AW has truly ‘lost it’ eh? By beating the moaning one he should just go away? You hardly gave AW any chance against any team again and from the tone of your earlier posts you’d rather he leaves because of a perceived ‘decline’ in his coaching abilities. Now who is in decline?

    In spite of the tonnes of ink used in highlighting refereeing shenanigans against AFC in particular you still are of the view that it is a far-fetched notion this blog was pursuing. I still don’t agree with you. So there!

  • Leon

    ‘Hello Benjamin!!!!’


  • Norman14

    They tell me that this Marriner chap, is a professional match referee. They also tell me that his two Assistants are professionals too.

    What a good job PGMOL don’t employ amateurs!

  • Max

    Good win albeit fortuitous but we’ll take the win. If you can’t be happy when we beat that lot then there really is no hope for you as a supporter; and believe me I am a critical person of AW.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    That was much better from Arsenal, even got the crowd onside. Two wins over United this week now, U18s won 3-0 on Wednesday. Let’s hope that the U23s win tomorrow night and make it a hat-trick. Well done to the Ladies today as well with a 5-1 win over Yeovil to go with their 4-4 draw against Liverpool on Thursday.


  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO , HOO ! Great result , and well played guys !Rather quiet on here , just as I like it ! de moaner was smirking just before the end , probably had ideas on how to denigrate the Arsenal with his post match comments . Didn’t work though – sounded like a right old prick.
    As for AW hope that this is the first of at least a dozen more victories over that moron!
    Up the Gunners !

  • Leon

    So our Ladies played today also. And there I was thinking that I spotted Alex Scott in the Emirates crowd today.

  • gouresh

    We played well, as a unit. This is what we have been asking for all along. Great end to the week.

  • Nitram

    Great result.

    Decent performance.

    Fantastic feeling.

    Personally, I thought the ref did ok.

    Again, not perfect, but by and large I’m pretty happy if I don’t think we’re being cheated, and I didn’t feel that today.

    I hope the review backs that feeling up.

    But, alas a top 4 finish still looks a tough ask.

  • gouresh

    We played as a unit. That’s what we have been asking for all along. Great end to the week.

  • Damilare

    Now that the Moaning one’s monkey is off our back, lets go on to finish the season on the high. Record FA Cup win and CL football!


  • Scuba

    The Ox has been incredible as a wing back, another great performance today. I’m a bit more worried about losing him now that he’s shown us a position in which he really excels, so hopefully we can get an extension done asap.

  • Gunz

    “We played as a unit. That’s what we have been asking for all along.”
    That might be the result of the Ref doing his job better and letting the team play, as a unit.

  • Oldham Gooner

    Living in Oldham has bred a venomous hatred in me for that team and all its scummy fans! Thankfully I will now hurl well humoured abuse at friends, family and colleagues alike 🙂

    Come on you Gunners, nick that 4th spot from the Scousers!!!

  • Menace

    Posted on the way back from the match, but mobile post disappeared into the ether….

    The bus was parked most of the game & the driver was trying to hold on to the point. However, despite Rooney reffing the match & highlighting the Law that reffs cannot be booked, the Arsenal boys let fly with a shot that got our first. The second was pure theater as we kept pressure to hold on to the ball on their left & eventually a cross that was met perfectly by Danny.

    The number of fouls that Marriner ignored on Alexis while giving free kicks for dives & even pseudo fouls that didn’t even happen to Man U was typical PGMOL corruption. The fans sang ‘you’re not special anymore’ & ‘fuck off Mourinho’ to add spice to the fact that we are on our way to Wembley.

  • WalterBroeckx

    sorry but the late match report is on line