Man U v Arsenal: the team, and the last time we won the first six league games




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By Sir Hardly Anyone

With the Daily Mirror, all one can do is laugh at their crass idiocy and then refuse to accept your fish and chips if they are wrapped up in it.

Just consider the idiotic headline, “Don’t be fooled by Arsenal – they’ve done nothing to suggest they’re title contenders”   Worse, it is not something they invented, but rather a report of what Stan Collymore has apparently said.  And what makes that worth reporting?  Your guess is as good as mine.

This is not to say that I think Arsenal will win the league, but I think that they will be contenders – at least for a while. But not a single pundit or newspaper that I could find prior to the season starting put Arsenal even in the top four.  That really is the story.

Anyway, if the series of injuries that we have had of late continues, that could scupper any contention, but then so could the way referees are picked.  As we have shown, some referees strongly favour home teams, some strongly favour away teams. If we regularly get home refs for away games and vice versa, we are done for.  On the other hand if Manchester City started to get the wrong refs, well that could change everything.   Although the explosion from the City benches would undoubtedly force a PGMO rethink, it would be wonderful to watch.

Of course injuries are the thing that can also affect all teams, and speaking of that HITC have the headline that Martin Odegaard trained yesterday, and so could play today.  That would be a boost.

Goonertalk in fact go further than that telling us of a triple injury boost  “with Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko all part of the travelling squad to face Manchester United.”

Football.London seem to have taken a leaf out of our book by quoting other people’s predictions rather than making their own.   (We stopped doing it ourselves largely because we so often got it wrong, and so wanted to see how accurate everyone else was but it turned out they were as bad as us.)

Anyway, FoLo quote Paul Merson on Sportskeeda as saying “I’d be quite shocked if Arsenal won this game. They might have to play without their two best footballers – Odegaard and Zinchenko. If Odegaard is injured, I’d go with Emile Smith Rowe – for Fabio Vieira to start this Premier League game is a big ask. Arsenal can’t afford to lose, and they don’t need to win this game right now – a draw should suffice.”

(“Arsenal can’t afford to lose” is amusing.  If Arsenal lose they will be… oh, hang on, let’s calculate it, wait a minute, ah, got it, they’ll be top of the league.)

Chris Sutton at the  BBC is quoted as proclaiming that, “It will be close. I like what Erik ten Hag has done in such a short space of time at Manchester United but I am going to jump on the Arsenal bandwagon.”   The prediction is Man U 2 Arsenal  3.

Certainly, one thing that is certain is that whatever happens, Arsenal will still be top of the league. A defeat takes Man U to fourth.  Brighton are at home to Leicester just before Arsenal play, and as you may have noticed Leicester seem now to have run out of the tricks that in the past have gained them ceaseless free kicks and penalties.  Which is why they have slid down the league.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 5 5 0 0 13 4 9 15
2 Manchester City 6 4 2 0 20 6 14 14
3 Tottenham Hotspur 6 4 2 0 12 5 7 14
4 Brighton and Hove Albion 5 3 1 1 6 3 3 10
5 Chelsea 6 3 1 2 8 9 -1 10
6 Liverpool 6 2 3 1 15 6 9 9
7 Brentford 6 2 3 1 15 9 6 9
8 Manchester United 5 3 0 2 5 7 -2 9


The Manchester Evening News give us an Arsenal lineup of


Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Saliba, Tierney;

Sambi Lakonga, Xhaka, Odegaard;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

But Sports Mole go a different way…


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;

Xhaka, Lokonga;

Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli;


Football.London offer the same as the Manchester Evening News, but then since both firms are owned by Reach plc, that presumably isn’t too much of a surprise.

Chis Sutton on the BBC website at least is amusing, saying, “I’ve said 2-1 to the Gunners but my daughter said 3-2 and she wears the trousers, so 3-2 it is.”   But the Corporation do remind us that “Arsenal’s only win in their last 15 Premier League games at Old Trafford was a 1-0 victory in November 2020.”  On the other hand “They have lost their last three Premier League fixtures on a Sunday.”

And here is something that really grabbed the attention of everyone at Untold.

“The Red Devils have received 17 yellow cards in the Premier League this season, more than any other side. Their average of 3.4 bookings per game is the highest in a single campaign in the competition’s history.”

Now data like that was never reported until we started doing our tackles, fouls and yellow cards analyses.  (Although our previous supplier of the invaluable “fouls against” data is still not offering anything that data this season.  Why is that?)

Anyway, we are ending our series of previews today with the last time we won the opening six games of the season.

Date Match ReS Score Competition
23 Aug 1947 Arsenal v Sunderland W 3-1 League Division One
27 Aug 1947 Charlton Athletic v Arsenal W 2-4 League Division One
30 Aug 1947 Sheffield United v Arsenal W 1-2 League Division One
03 Sep 1947 Arsenal v Charlton Athletic W 6-0 League Division One
06 Sep 1947 Arsenal v Manchester United W 2-1 League Division One
10 Sep 1947 Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers W 2-0 League Division One


After that game the table read


Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Arsenal 6 6 0 0 19 5 12
2 Preston North End 6 5 0 1 9 6 10
3 Blackpool 6 4 1 1 12 5 9
4 Middlesbrough 6 3 2 1 12 7 8
5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 3 1 2 23 11 7
6 Derby County 6 2 3 1 4 2 7
7 Manchester United 6 2 3 1 13 8 7


Only three of those top seven clubs are now in the Premier League.

8 Replies to “Man U v Arsenal: the team, and the last time we won the first six league games”

  1. No surprise…VAR rules against us. That was no foul…Its going to be a long day if our boys let this get in our heads.

  2. Bloody hell! Roman Greco wrestling is the only way to describe Varane’s defending on Jesus!

  3. The VARchester referee combination did their job perfectly for Manchester. Greater Manchester will be proud of their sons. Apart from that we dominated much of the match and should and could have gotten at least a point from this match. But when we knew who the ref and the VAR ref would be I expected some ‘magic’ when needed. They didn’t disspapoint. Only clear errors are corrected…. well not if Arsenal is playing. The foul on Eriksen wasn’t a clear error. The foul on Saka in the Villa game, now that was a clear error… but well… we know…

  4. The referee and VAR aside, so-called “sucker punches” have downed the team today I feel. I enjoyed watching the game and thought the team played some beautiful passing movements but had little to offer around the United box. One could argue that two very good scoring opportunities were missed which should have been converted. De Gea had little to do in having to make many saves but then neither did Ramsdale have to make many. The United goals leave much to be desired in the way that the Arsenal defensive unit, including the midfield, allowed so much space for such United players to break away in the way that they did.

    So, on to the next game knowing that this is becoming a very good Arsenal team despite this setback.

    As to the referee and VAR! Walter has outlined all that needs to be said further on this performance. There is somethings terribly wrong with the performance of the officials from the PGMOL this season, which should not surprise anybody. The PGMOL has reportedly stated that referees should now allow more flow in the game by allowing more types of tackles to take place than those types that were penalised in the past! Now we see that VAR is now refereeing the game. The decision was the referee’s, VAR should NOT have intervened, even after this particular goal was allowed. If it is now argued that VAR had a right to suggest to the actual referee when a foul should or should not be given, why not go the full hog and get rid of the referee onfield decisions completely, and simply allow a set of computer algorithms to dictate what is and is not allowed.

    The people currently operating the VAR system are themselves subject to instances of subjectivity in deciding what constitutes fouls using the VAR technology. Clearly there is something amiss in the training of referees and the monitoring of the referee training and use of VAR. However, I say this having no other evidence concerning the use of VAR since the PGMOL is as secretive as …………and many people within the football fraternity seem happy for this to continue.

    Hence, onto the next match.COYG!

  5. Not sure how McTominay was still on the pitch. Breathe and the united players fell over. Jesus saka odegard were all wrestled to the ground and it’s play on. Var piss take refs we will get top 4 but league will be impossible when ref inhibit 16 points from us at least each season it’s getting boring and predictable. My united ftirnd predicted 3 -1 I said yeah 3 assists by ref.

  6. The Manchester officials certainly did their job and lived down to our expectations. By the standard of the Odegaard “foul” we should have had at least 2 penalties. No VAT reviews of anything which might be changed in favour of Arsenal – so no surprise there.

    If the Arsenal players had harassed the referee like Fernandes and Co. there would have been several yellow cards issued.

    Why only 4 mins added time and why De Gea allowed to waste time? Silly question, the answer is obvious.

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