By Bulldog Drummond
I think the aposite phrase has something to do with knickers and twisting judging by the headlines. “What we need,” screams the sports editor, “are articles that explain Arsenal being on a 19 match unbeaten run, which doesn’t remind readers that we predicted that without a complete transformation of the entire side they were mid-table dross at best.
“How about, “Arsenal’s snarling dog midfield gives them edge over Manchester United’s poorly-positioned poodles,” says on in reply. The editor nods.
“How Arsenal drew lessons from Manchester United’s post-Sir Alex Ferguson mistakes,” shouts another.
“OK OK says the ed – but I also need something that doesn’t have Man U in the title.
“Lucas Torreira explains how he brought ‘garra charrua’ fighting mentality to Arsenal” shouts another and to their amazement the editor says “run all three – they’ll confuse the readership and cover up our previous coverage,” and so they do. You’ll find them in the Telegraph.
Just as bonkers is Transfer Tavern who want a swap deal with Ramsey going out and MBappe coming in. Just one problem – Mbappe is foreign so we’ll also have to ditch a foreigner, no matter what happens to Ramsey.
But there is always great advice to be had from the Express. “Paul Merson gives bold Man Utd prediction, tells Unai Emery to make decision.” Can you imagine our manager listening?
But how are Manchester United actually doing while we have gone 19 unbeaten? Here are their last 13 games.
|22 Sep 2018||Manchester Utd v Wolverhampton||D||1-1||Premier League|
|25 Sep 2018||Manchester Utd v Derby County||L||2-2||League Cup (7-8)|
|29 Sep 2018||West Ham v Manchester United||L||3-1||Premier League|
|02 Oct 2018||Manchester United v Valencia||D||0-0||Champions League|
|06 Oct 2018||Manchester Utd v Newcastle Utd||W||3-2||Premier League|
|20 Oct 2018||Chelsea v Manchester United||D||2-2||Premier League|
|23 Oct 2018||Manchester United v Juventus||L||0-1||Champions League|
|28 Oct 2018||Manchester United v Everton||W||2-1||Premier League|
|03 Nov 2018||Bournemouth v Manchester U||W||1-2||Premier League|
|07 Nov 2018||Juventus v Manchester Utd||W||1-2||Champions League|
|11 Nov 2018||Manchester C v Manchester Utd||L||3-1||Premier League|
|24 Nov 2018||Manchester Utd v Crystal Palace||D||0-0||Premier League|
|27 Nov 2018||Manchester Utd v Young Boys||W||1-0||Champions League|
|01 Dec 2018||Southampton v Manchester Utd||D||2-2||Premier League|
5 wins, 5 draws, 4 draws. A fairly balanced approach to football.
Granit Xhaka is suspended for having five yellows. Monreal, Mavropanos, Welbeck and Koscielny remain unavailalable, although the captain is close to a return.
Which then by and large gives us a squad of Leno, Cech, Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Aubameyang, Nketiah.
From this group Football London gives us
Holding, Sokratis, Mustafi, Bellerin, Kolasinac,
which looks quite reasonable.
Manchester United have scored eight and conceded eight in six games at Very Old Trafford (built 1910). Arsenal have scored 16 and conceded 10 away from home, again in six. So extrapolating from a 1-1 score which is what Man U would give us from their results, and 2-2 which Arsenal would give us (although in reality 2-1.5 is closer, although somewhat impossible), I am going for 1-1 or 1-2 to Arsenal.
It is worth reminding ourselves that Arsenal have won four in six whereas last season they won four in 19 away from home. So our expectation that Arsenal could return to the “not a trophy” positions would be fulfilled with this level of progress with us having 12 away wins.
Manchester United have won just one game in the last four which was a Champions League game against Young Boys, so they are not exactly flying.
There is more of this type of speculation on the Predictions website.
- Everton v Arsenal: Injuries, points needed for 4th, and Arsenal the first to 100?
- Everton v Arsenal: extraordinary figures seen in the last 6 games table
- Everton v Arsenal: how this referee treats the home and away team
- Everton v Arsenal and the oddity of referee behaviour
- With Balogun will Arsenal be heading toward goalscoring records