By Bulldog Drummond
There’s nothing unexpected on the injury front. Elneny is out for the rest of the season, Santi Cazorla is back running around the pitch at the Emirates, but what his future will be under the new management we don’t know, and it is suggested Mkhitaryan is reported as fit and ready to play.
For Man U Romero is out and Velencia is due back today. Arsenal, according to all the pundits are going to shuffle the team around, hopefully in a way that will be a surprise to Man U rather than an opportunity for a third version of the catastrophic defeats.
If Man U were to lose at home it would be the first time they have lost two Premier League home matches on the bounce in four years – the last time they were under David Moyes. But as the BBC helpfully point out Man U have lost six times in the league this season and four of these have come on a Sunday. Indeed both of their home defeats this season have come on the Sabbath, one against the top club and one against the bottom. Maybe they just don’t like Sundays.
If Man U were to lose at home it would also be the first time Mourinho has lost at home to Wenger.
However our record against Man U hasn’t been as bad of late as many of the pundits paint… three victories two draws and two defeats in the latest run – although before that it certainly wasn’t so good.
|09 Mar 2015||Manchester United v Arsenal||W||1-2||FA Cup|
|17 May 2015||Manchester United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|04 Oct 2015||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|28 Feb 2016||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||3-2||Premier League|
|19 Nov 2016||Manchester United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|07 May 2017||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|02 Dec 2017||Arsenal v Manchester United||L||1-3||Premier League|
Both teams are a trifle distracted about what is to come, but for us the distraction is greater since the next match of consequence is the one on Thursday. Their remaining big game is on 19 May.
But historically the big problem is that although we have one away win against them noted above, the last victory before that at OT was way back in 2006.
So what about a secret weapon for Arsenal? Well, it could be Alexis, who seems to have been rather up and down with Man U since moving there. He has played nine times for them and scored two goals, and there have been the stories about him being difficult behind the scenes – although whether he is or not is hard to say of course. But if he is selected and does everything he can to try and show us how good he is, he might just overdo it, get agitated and start complaining that the ball delivered to him was just that bit too slow, that bit too much to the left, with not quite enough spin on it… Clutching at straws I know but if we are going to put out a weakened team because of thursday, straws might be what we have.
Of course this is not the last away fixture of the season but we are getting terribly close to being the only club in the Premier League and Football League to have lost all of their away league fixtures in 2018. I can only conclude it is psychological, since our home form is the second best in the entire Premier League at the moment.
The last time we lost six away games in a row was in 1965/6. That was quite a catastrophic run…
|6 Oct 1965||Blackpool v Arsenal||L||5-3||League Division One|
|30 Oct 1965||Leicester City v Arsenal||L||3-1||League Division One|
|13 Nov 1965||Leeds United v Arsenal||L||2-0||League Division One|
|11 Dec 1965||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-2||League Division One|
|27 Dec 1965||Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal||L||4-0||League Division One|
|01 Jan 1966||Fulham v Arsenal||L||1-0||League Division One|
|15 Jan 1966||Blackburn Rovers v Arsenal||L||2-1||League Division One|
|22 Jan 1966||Blackburn Rovers v Arsenal||L||3-0||FA Cup|
Our manager – a Mr W Wright – left at the end of that season. Mind you we did come 14th in the league. He was replaced by a Mr B Mee who immediately restored the club’s fortunes by taking us up to 7th.
There’s a very dodgy internet connection here today for some reason – hopefully there will be one more set of ramblings before the match starts.
- Man U v Arsenal. The home and away records and the need for a spot of luck perhaps
- Manchester United v Arsenal Sunday 29 April – The Match Officials
- Fifa crisis, Trump gets involved and making up stories to try and keep the interest. The PL from here on.
From the Arsenal History Society
- How the media always knocks Arsenal, but ignores England’s failures.
- Left has never been stronger at Arsenal FC!
- The seven main things that are wrong with football in England
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 2 comments from the manager and team news
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 1 the head to head record and comments on Spurs summer signings