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Arsenal VS Manchester United

 

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Good day one all.

With three wins on the spin, in as many competitions, Arsenal go up against Manchester United at Old Trafford with renewed optimism and exciting young players making their return to the side following long injury spells.

Look, we can all agree that there are underlying issues with how the Gunners play but things aren’t exactly scorched earth. We are still going at top-four pace, thanks to flaws elsewhere in the Premier League. So let’s forget about the mind-numbing Vicarage Road trip and even the first hour vs Aston Villa. The last 20 or so minutes of that game our boys had a real bite in them and showed a lot of heart as they dug real for that win. A few unlikely heroes led the charge and that is the sort of character we can all get behind despite our differences in opinion of coach Unai Emery.

I’m not gonna pretend all is well because the lack of defensive organization is glaring. There’s also a fear that we may become as reliant on Bernd Leno and we are on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. I just think if the coach would focus on taking games to the opposition instead of being “scared” there’s lots to be excited about. I can admit I had doubts but after seeing those returning players… Both Rob Holding and Calum Chambers don’t seem afflicted by a susceptibility for liability. Together with Kieran Tierney, who had an encouraging first game, and flaming Hector Bellerín they could provide a secure base for our attackers to perform. This Gunners side is not short of talent and if Emery find a workable formula and just take the handbrake off already… watch this space.

These of course are grim times for Manutd. With just two wins in their last 11 league games Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is feeling the heat. His bosses have spent the most on transfers in the PL this summer so one can imagine he’s under pressure to turnaround their fortunes.

In many ways these teams are like two sides of the same coin. The Red Devils look strong defensively, before the shock defeat to West Ham last weekend they conceded just four goals in five league outings, but are underwhelming going forward, scoring four in that last five. While the Gunners got goals in them but also have an embarrassing reputation of conceding rather silly.

Manutd’s attacking woes are further compounded with both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial currently struggling with injuries and Paul Pogba a doubt. Meaning OGS could put his hopes on youngsters Daniel James and Mason Greenwood to trouble our defense.

These teams met three times last season. Our Old Trafford trip  ended in a 2-2 draw as the hosts came back twice from a goal down. They beat us 3-1 in the FA Cup during the ‘Solskjaer renaissance’. We, of course, got our revenge with a 2-0 win at the Emirates late in the season.

In recent years this old rivalry is far from the top-of-the-table encounters of yore, however, it’s never short of drama and consequence as this already got that a feel of being pivotal to both’s top-four ambitions. A win will move Arsenal within two points of free scoring Mancity (second on the table) and leave Manutd in the bottom half of the table – and Ole losing grip on the wheel.

The Gunners haven’t won a league game at Old Trafford since autumn of 2006 though and whatever Manutd’s form, or lack thereof, their players are at their best on the most intense occasions. Whilst they’re currently looking all out of sorts and not the most relentless attacking side, our organization and focus at the back still has to be on point if we want to have any joy.

This is such a difficult game to call for various reason, but if ever Arsenal want to break their Old Trafford hoodoo as well as getting a first away win against top-six opposition under Unai Emery, there’s  no better time than the present.

May we make this one count. COYG!

Labo

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51 comments on “Arsenal VS Manchester United

  1. Essentially we have a clash of two famous teams who have lost their style and philosophy after the exit of their respective legendary managers. Manchester United are further down the road than Arsenal but our new management team on and off the pitch are doing their best to destroy the 22-year legacy of that manager-who-must-not-be-named. My only prediction is it won’t be anything like the past; it will be two teams very fearful of losing and the style of football will follow. Good job Labo.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The marks of a very boring 0-0

    Like

  3. just a couple of things

    its 13 years since we won a BPL game at Old Trafford, regardless of form of either team, we have flopped there so often its unreal.

    “I just think if the coach would focus on taking games to the opposition instead of being “scared” there’s lots to be excited about”

    can anyone name me one manager/head coach who 17 months into a job changed his ways, changed his approach to the game, has any “scared” head coach every suddenly become a brave head coach. I can’t recall every seeing it, and have no reason to think Emery will be the first, I’ve seen nothing from him in his time here that would even make me dare to dream that he would change this ways.
    What we have seen so far this season is exactly the same approach we seen last season, Emery scared shitless of each and every opposing team, the “hand brake” only being taken off when games look lost, then we see the enormous attacking ability of this team, the fast flowing free football that is within these guys. As I said I can’t recall any manager/head coach in the past changing their MO 17 months into a job so I see no reason why Emery will have his Road to Damascus moment and suddenly become the sort of head coach he claimed to be when he got the job.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Valid Eddie. I just think in all this cynicism around Emery we are forgetting to support those players going out on the field.

    Vs Aston they said “fuck it” and went for it.
    Vs Watford Xhaka angrily shout at Leno to stop that short pass crap.
    This Thursday Calum ignored instructions.

    We can have whatever issues with Emery but dont let that stop us from only wanting the best for these players.

    The negativity of late is taking some of joy away for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I will add that if we get all our better players fit and playing regularly we could very well be good enough, even under a scared head coach, to make top 4, but it will not mean we are closing the gap with MC and LFC, it will not even mean we are moving in the right direction, and it certainly will not mean Emery is the right head coach for us, without the football we play being transformed then it will be getting top 4 in spite of Emery not because of him. We have a team and squad that should be a dream to watch, and that should be chasing hard after MC and LFC, not one that is relying on our better players producing enough moments to get us in top 4.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. labo I have not seen anyone on here who does not want the best, in fact the very best for each and all of our players, in fact we want Emery to set up the team so that we do get it from these guys, that is the whole problem many have with Emery, we want the very best from the team and squad, and feel Emery is not proactive enough to allow them to achieve it.

    As you state yourself, the players have on several occasions this season had to ignore Emery’s instructions to get us out of the fire, to get the result, to see us play the sort of football we all here know is within these players. So what does it say about Emery that the players are taking it upon themselves to ignore his instructions.
    One thing I will say about it is that its never a good sign for a head coach when players are ignoring his instructions, its an unsustainable situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Of course the current situation is unsustainable and after recent weeks we can just hope there has been some clear-the-air-talks. So I for one am not gonna assume it just to be more of the same. There’s strong characters in that team so I’m gonna give them the benefit of the doubt to tell Emery somethings gotta give.

    The game is only tomorrow evening and only then will it be telling. It’s almost as if the we are already reviewing a game yet to be played.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So basically our best chance of winning is for the players to ignore what Emery tells them to do?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That’s not what I said. I said I just hope that there has been clear-the-air-talks. I feel in our animus toward Emery we are forgetting to support these guys – despite claiming the contrary.

    I honestly feel writing the preview wasn’t worth my time because I wasn’t negative enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Please keep up the previews Labo!
    None of us know what is going on behind the scenes, but if someone stumbles on a winning formula, be it manager, players, coaches or the bus driver, I hope they stick to it.
    Very excited to see some excellent players coming into the fold, and hopefully, a return to form of the likes of Chambers, and it has to be said, Mustafi in his games.
    Hopefully, two lightening full backs will change things around a little.
    As for tomorrow, just cannot see beyond a ref assisted score draw.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Labo, We all support the players, to a man. But we have now got a body of evidence that shows Emery to be a negative coach, just hoping for a change seems, well, I don’t know, hopeful and nothing else.
    Tuesday was a surprise to us ado you think he will chance that again?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. who do you guys think will start for us tomorrow

    leno
    maitland-niles, sokratis, david luiz, tierney
    xhaka, guendouzi, willock
    pepe, aubameyang, ceballos,

    subs: Martinez, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Nelson, Saka, Ozil

    I would not be surprised to see Martinelli on the bench in place of Ozil

    Like

  13. just realized that I left out Torreira from that list, so him in there at the expense of one of Nelson or Saka I would say

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  14. Well played LG,
    Manure love playing us at ot and as my boy always says playing ARSENAL has a remarkable curing effect on opposition injuries, so much so doctors are thinking using playing us to cure rare illnesses.
    The upshot is I can’t see us win up there but a high scoring draw could be on the cards. Now that might be very positive but at the end of the season it could be a good result. After all we don’t want ole to get fired and a new manager coming in to fire manure up the table.
    Difficult to know the line up when all of the first eleven have been making mistakes lately and with so many of the back up squad doing well the line up could become very fluid very soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I agree Ian. Both Emery and OGS are under intense scrutiny of late, making it more likely that both will just want to avoid defeat against a top-six rival.

    Is Rojo still around. He’s always someone being rested for this “big occasion”. Will be an emotional evening for Rob returning to the scene of the crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. When you watch Leicester, West Ham, Wolves, etc set up to play Football like some kind of…

    …Football team…

    …it makes me laugh quite a lot at the Blaggers who pretended for an entire season that we were watching Football under Emery. Of course these vampires are just lining up their clicks for the next literal turkey that Daddy Raul will have prepared for their dinner – let’s just hope that for the Gunners it doesn’t prove to be a last supper (like Leeds etc.). Given the ongoing court case involving Neymar and Barca, still, who would put such an outcome beyond Daddy Raul if his own, um, “career” is unimpeded?

    Like

  17. Good preview Labo.

    Going purely on Utd performances of late, should feel confident about game, but I don’t.

    Haunted a bit by record there over years and, particularly, the dirty play and shitty refereeing of it. Plus, of course, there’s us not having struck a settled formula.

    Like

  18. Weird selection situation in that we have a defence that has been poor this year and 4 players- Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney- pushing to get in it who have done well with their chances.

    Tierney looks straightforward- spot should be his when first and ready. Holding looks in line to oust Sokratis as Luiz partner. Mustafi is presumably cups only for now. Chambers had hugely positive week.

    How many changes will we see? Is two or three too much at once?

    Quality of performance, Calum should be in there, but against a fast countering team, with a lightening fast left winger…I don’t know. The vulnerability to speed and quick feet will always be there at full back for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Cheers Labo ( and agree with Mandy)! All weighed and all paid and off we go again!

    10.14-Richie sums up my fears too with that post.

    What would you do if you were the manager with Sok and Luiz? Theyve made a few mistakes that have been pretty poor. Vermaelen basically ended up on the bench and later on his way to Barca after messing up as the Mert/Kos brotherhood took a grip. But would you drop them and make them get a bit more competitive, and put the Holding and Chambers incorporated in the middle?

    The first 11 musical chairs and 3 subs on the board poop just seems an grind, we have a great squad but it doesnt function as a squad. 13 years of anti wins at Old Toiletto and will that stat give Emery the shake and shimmys and reaching for the El Boggo paper?
    The ManUres will want to whip our Arsenals today, Ollie isnt the messiah they’d hoped for, Ians right about a new bloke and new breath being pumped into them, although it could be some halitosis character too?
    Just feel we are due a win up there, they bounced Holding out for a year and they were the ones chasing the game.
    Guen to start and Mesut resting, Auba up front as hes the only one and Leno, the rest is any ones guess.

    Thanks again.

    COYG!

    Like

  20. Mirror reporting Rashford and Pogba will be fit to play
    That would be such a suprise, key players reported injured suddenly available to play against Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We will lose tonight, of course Ozil and Chambers wont play and we will probably end up with 10 v 11. And it will no doubt be all Mustafis fault, or Xhakas. #Emeryout.

    We will win 3-0. Masterclass from Guendouzi. Toreira immense, Auba with a brace. Well played you reds. Emery’s Arsenal are on their way, Emery’s Arsenal are here to stay. #becarefulwhatyouwishfor
    Or something. Enjoy the game everyone and I’ll look forward to reading your in-match comments as I am out of circulation for the next 14 hours on my way back from work.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. seemingly Tierney is not in tonights match day squad which is understandable enough after his injury lay off, no point risking him too soon. But wait for it, no Ozil either, if reports are correct. A couple of says after being named as one of the 5 captains and Emery still can’t find it in himself to even include Mesut in the 18.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. and we have a section of the arsenal fan base blaming Ozil for Emery leaving him out of the squad, its amazing the amount of shit decisions they will accept from the club now

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Hard not to feel Emery and perhaps others above are applying the squeeze to Ozil now to try force him to move in Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Hope Emery goes before he does.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. 14 hours to get home from work shit!
    The amazing healing powers of aging us have worked again I see.
    I really want to see uptempo football from us and of course a victory COYG.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I love football. I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching this football match.

    However what can I say about a football club that goes to war with the two best footballers at the club two seasons in a row? Hands down no argument that is what we are witnessing, not the herding out of overpaid slightly aging greats who have done their time: i am talking about the player that was groomed to be the club captain (what a farce that’s been! Lol?) or the player who helped build the club back up after Austerity.

    I can say that such a Football Club will not be retaining the affections from Football fans indefinitely with such conduct. It’s a simple equation, for me love is simple. No need to act like a Arsenalhole

    COYG

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Bloody hell, Ian youre right, miracles happening to the sick in Manchester! Lazarus United!

    Saks in on for a big one tonight, good luck to the lad, go get them and get in there!
    If we play as a unit we do stand a good chance of beating them, esp if our midfield can control it…
    oh brother, feel really nervous about this one.
    COYG! COYG! COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. An early booking, nothing if not predictable

    Liked by 1 person

  30. ooh look, no card for Lingard.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Talk about calls favouring the home side. This is another level.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Mancunts playing so dirty it is embarrassing for football that they are still 11.

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  33. Not a great game, but Utd really don’t deserve that

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  34. Pepe needs to adapt quick. He’s had a disappointing half.

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  35. The kid from the AW has had a good game.

    The usual midfield tomfoolery has allowed the home team to play. Ten mins to go hopefully the Gunners can fire home a winner!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. < the kid from the AW academy!

    Coming off now for Willock.

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  37. Our overly cautious coach throws on the kids to see out a draw at OT.

    COYG

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Leno & Sven (heh) hold out for Gunners!
    That save from the free kick ensures no late glory for Utd.

    (the gunners’ awful delivery from set plays today, you can’t ignore it with Ozil not playing)

    Like

  39. BBC Radio 5 so so disappointed that Man Utd didn’t get “the big win” they needed

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Sky sounding very very very upset with VARS.

    “Got you a point”
    The interviewer said to a departing Auba in reference to the “strange” call.

    There are literally three slabs of slab heads in between Aubamayang and the last defender, how was it strange!???

    VAR at it’s best says Jamie Carragaher possibly with a huge grin.
    Who couldn’t love VARs (apart from the pgMOB & the broadcasters/betting companies)?

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Draw as I predicted although I did think there would be more defensive errors from both sides. Pepe is not ready yet to start and if he is not adding anything going forward he is a liability in front of a defender.
    Oh for Mezut in a game like that, oh for big Oli Giroud for that matter. Auba is on an absolutely amazing run of goals but although he tries he’s all round game is not great.
    I thought Callum was excellent again especially after the early booking. After the discussion we had on here about speed that was a show of how to play a player much faster than you.
    Like I said earlier this result might look better at the end of the season.
    One last word for the ref, bias, amazing how all through the game he managed to interpret the same situation differently depend on which way the ball was heading. It is amazing even after all these years refs are still favouring manure. Even our goal, the officials tried to get wrong and seeing it again and how close the lino was to the utd player it’s difficult to come to the conclusion it was only a mistake.

    Liked by 4 people

  42. Don’t think that is the worst result, many expected to win, though I for one was far from sure….we equalled Rochdale after 90mins, and did better than Chelsea and the universally admired Leicester.
    The performance wasn’t great, especially first half, but improved to a degree half, Cebaillos helped. Good to see some youngsters …Saka did well, as did Guendouzi.
    Pepe needs time to build up confidence. Need to work on set pieces, think they are scared of floating them in as we have few to meet such deliveries as OG used to, and they may see it as just an opportunity for the opposition to counter ….seems a lot of short deliveries and attempted flick ons.
    Ozil, baffling. Can only assume whatever is going on is supported right to the top, of it were just emery, he would be putting himself under a hell of a lot of pressure.
    We got away with one or two things, poss pen, but must have been hard, in bad conditions, to play against a team who just kicked when ours went past them, they were lucky to finish without a red.
    Could be better, could be worse.
    Hope for a couple wins later in the week.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Mandy you are more positive than I. Positives, Guen did well, Saka surprises me, I feared that he’d get snapped and struggle in the BPL as compared to the EL. He did really well. Chambers on an early yellow did well. Oh and we “limited” them to 16 shots!

    Heat map shows the donut in the midfield again. MU was poor and we were hardly better. I thought Ceballos was slow and to me looks like he wears cleats 4 sizes too big. Everytime I see him I think Ozil should be on instead so it surely taints my opinion. It is just unreal that with all this talent we’re about as interesting to watch as paint dry. A good leader makes a group perform at 1+1 = 3! IMO we’re at 2+2=2….maybe I’m too accustomed to seeing 1+1= 7!

    Yes Mandy it could definitely be better!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Anyone notice someone figured out during game we can use Chambers at right back same way we used to Sagna from goal kicks?

    He was able to contest for it each time and I sure didn’t miss the playing out from back afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Mandy, they were filthier than the weather I thought. Unless already booked, they made a foul almost any time one was ‘on’. Glad to get away from there injury free this time.

    Abundantly clear how we have ended up with record, last 5 years plus, of nearly all our double yellows coming early, while only one of opposition’s against us in same time was before eighty fifth minute and most are from 87 to 90. Think of Chambers at Stoke or both of Ainsley’s double yellow reds : zero tolerance , merciless stuff, like Chambers early yellow yesterday.

    Meanwhile, for opposition, a very different tale. Good chance of getting off with what should be first yellow and, if already booked, very good chance they’ll get away with another one.

    I’m sure it helped with some of the extra life and zip in Utd compared to some of the tragically insipid performances I’ve seen from them of late.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Agree, their play was dangerous, especially in the conditions. Yes the ref booked a few of them, but he should have called in the skipper and warned him before issuing reds.
    I saw at least 3-4 get away with far worse than Chambers.
    But we know what to expect up there.
    Just be thankful Fergie not still in charge, or our goal wouldn’t have stood, VAR or not

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I know how strongly many of you feel about Emery and others at present but think we can all appreciate good health of academy and exciting young players we have.

    When Bellerin’s back, that’s five or our own in mix, with Smith-rowe hopefully making it six soon if injury luck changes, plus Eddie next year.

    I like those numbers, and the players. Particularly positive for Willock and Saka so far this season. With former think I said at start of year wanted at least 20 games from him, with ten starts, and well on track for that. Latter meanwhile has shown he is real deal and should be huge player for us.

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  48. Long term imbalance still there between offensive and defensive players produced by academy. Harder to give young centre backs a chance than other positions but don’t think that’s really it with us. More a case of nearly all our best prospects being attack-minded players.

    Huge shame for me that Ballard got injured this year. A long shot but if he had smashed it this year, and I believed there was a chance, who knows.

    Believe Ogungbo at younger age is a real talent, so hopefully he develops well, but he would be at least a couple year’s off.

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  49. Speaking of youth, got a game in that leasing.com tournament against Peterborough tonight.

    Interesting to see who plays. Think could be really tough assignment. They normally seem to be in higher reaches of league 1 and we’ll have nothing like our strongest u21 contingent available. Our best are with 1st team squad, few other strong options loaned out, then a few injuries, including key player John-Jules. Big ask.

    With Europa on Thurs don’t see anyone dropping down either.

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