Manchester Disjointed v Arsenal Rejuvinated. Maybe.

by Bulldog Drummond

It has been a tough six years for Manchester United since Sir F left the arena.  A club that seemed to think and indeed acted as if it had an absolute right to win everything has stopped winning the league and has slipped behind Arsenal in terms of the number of times it has won the FA Cup.

True in 2016/17 it did do a cup double with the Europa League and the League Cup, and they must be commended for that, but elsewhere…

Season P W D
L F A Pts Pos
2013/4 38 19 7 12 64 43 64 7th
2014/5 38 20 10 8 62 37 70 4th
2015/6 38 19 9 10 49 35 66 5th
2016/7 38 18 15 5 54 29 69 6th
2017/8 38 25 6 7 68 28 81 2nd
2018/9 38 19 9 10 65 54 66 6th

Their target must clearly be the same as ours, to get back into the top four.  But they need to do it for their sense of pride – Man Utd continues to be an incredibly profitable organisation, and any lack of money they have is because the owners continue to take it out as their perk of owning the club.

However compared with the Manchester United set of results Arsenal are not doing so badly… Here are the finish positions for each team over the past six years…

Arsenal: one 2nd, one 3rd, one 4th, two 5ths and one 6th.  Not what we are after but still not as bad as…

Man U: one 2nd, one 4th, one 5th, two 6ths and one 7th.

Safe to say both clubs would like to have been higher up the league.

Part of the problem of course is that Man U have had managers.  Lots of managers.  Lots and lots of managers.  For while Arsenal have had two during this spell Man U have had

  • David Moyes (2013/14).  Win percentage 52.94%
  • Ryan Giggs (2014).  Win percentage 50%
  • Louis van Gaal (2014/16).  Win percentage 52.43%
  • Jose Mourinho (2016/18).  Win percentage 58.33%
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (2018/19).  Win percentage 51.35%

Of course Mr Giggs had an advantage – he only managed for four games, but even so he was their worst manager.  Mr Mourinho was the best.  And they got rid of him.

Of course the longer a man manages a club the harder it is to keep the percentage of wins up, because there are always going to be hard times somewhere.  Mr Wenger’s win percentage was 57.25%.  Mr Emery is at 59.38% – so thus far our man is doing better than any of the expensively recruited and sacked Manchester United managers.

This season Manchester United seem to have taken on Arsenal’s problem of a couple of years ago – and to some extent last season – of not being able to win away.  So far they have two draws and one defeat away from home.

But of course they have the advantage of home territory for this match and here they have been doing better with two wins and one defeat putting them in eighth before the weekend’s games.   Interestingly before this weekend’s matches half of the top six of last season were outside of the current top six.

Their home games have been…

Date Match Res Score Comp
11 Aug 2019 Manchester United v Chelsea W 4-0 Premier League
24 Aug 2019 Manchester United v Crystal Palace L 1-2 Premier League
14 Sep 2019 Manchester United v Leicester City W 1-0 Premier League
19 Sep 2019 Manchester United v Astana W 1-0 Europa League
25 Sep 2019 Manchester United v Rochdale W 1-1 (5-3) League Cup

So yes, they are winning at home (mostly) but aside from that opening game against Chelsea who are even further down the table than Man U, they are generally just scoring one goal.

Our away form is what has occupied us for much of the last two years and so far this season we have…

Date Match Res Score Comp
11 Aug 2019 Newcastle United v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
24 Aug 2019 Liverpool v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
15 Sep 2019 Watford v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
19 Sep 2019 Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal W 0-3 Europa League

So for once we are not heading into a match against another of the top six clubs with a sense of away form dread.  Maybe we are shaking off that curse at last.

But on the other hand that opening match for the season against Chelsea must have made Man U supporters feel that the good times were about to come back; beating Chelsea 4-0.  And it is interesting in the extreme that since then Chelsea have won their two away games in the league.

Man U will know that a win in this game will take them above us in the League.  We have every reason to stay 100% focussed.

And afore I depart, just a little word about our deputy keeper Martinez.  He’s just been selected for the Argentina squad, after years of being omitted.  A shame for us, as he’ll be travelling thousands of miles probably to sit on the beach, but I guess its nice for him.


3 Replies to “Manchester Disjointed v Arsenal Rejuvinated. Maybe.”

  1. The key to winning is to take our chances. Against Liverpool we wasted two golden chances by not using intelligence to finish. The lob by Auba and Pepe’s low shot at Adrian.

    Taking chances & converting them into goals destroy the opponents mentality. It quietens the crowd and sets up a base from which to grow.

    We have the capability to win big if we play ruthless passing football and I look forward to a game where playing from the back is Martinez style (ie varied) rather than the short passing that puts us under immediate pressure.

  2. I don’t think MU can deal with AFC’s pace up front. They need to come out on the front foot and push the play. United’s attack is less than frightening so go for it lads! COYG!

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