Man United vs Arsenal Preview

Manchester United v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League, Old Trafford
Saturday, May 16, 2009, 12:45

Let’s take a look, first of all, at team news… with the long term absentees (Eduardo, Rosicky, Gallas, Clichy and Almunia) all unavailable, we’ll see a strong team / strong pool of players to select from.

Personally, I’d give Wilshere a run out with the rest of the team and play the strongest in every position to see how he fairs… but the following line up will probably be more appropriate:


Sagna – Toure – Silvestre – Gibbs

Walcott – Denilson – Cesc – Nasri

Adebayor – Arshavin

With the ability to move into a 4-5-1 with Arshavin dropping back into midfield if required.

Arsene has spoken on the fact that United could do a trophy acceptance and parade tomorrow, and how it will affect the players

“Of course it can inspire the players. These players will win and want to win but you have to accept as well, as we’ve said before, Man United at the moment is the best team. In sport, you have to accept that.

“They have watched us lifting the trophy as well. It’s part of sport, and England is famous in sport for the fair play they have shown and the rugby teams have created this idea. If a team has been better than us, and Man United has been better than us without a doubt, the whole season, then [you applaud it]. They played under pressure, Liverpool won the day before, the next day they come out and they believe they will win. At the end of the day, you have to say yes, you are the best and there is no shame to say that.”

You have to say fair play to Arsene for giving United credit. A win tomorrow would be a perfect tonic for us, but somehow I don’t see it happening. You could see during the Chelsea game, that there was no urgency after a goal done – even Arshavin said it was a weird game to watch, it seemed like a training game!

I’m sure the game tomorrow is the least important thing on your mind and I’m sure that there will be much more coverage on Arsene’s shareholder’s meeting very soon… but in the meantime, come on you Gunners…

And just one final thought… I’ve been informed of a little special 7 part series that The Guardian are doing in their paper starting this weekend… It’s a take on the “7 deadly sins”, and they’re doing a peice on Ashley Cole in relation to greed and Andrei Arshavin in relation to pride… here’s the full list:

16 May - Greed featuring David Beckham and Ashley Cole
17 May - Pride featuring Andrei Arshavin and Mike Ashley
18 May - Wrath featuring Craig Bellamy and Roy Keane 
19 May - Envy featuring Bruce Grobbelaar and Danielle Lloyd
20 May - Gluttony featuring Mark Bosnich and Gazza
21 May - Sloth featuring John Terry and Ian Rush
22 May - Lust featuring David Mellor and Robinho

For those of you who want to read more, here’s the link.

And finally… here’s an interesting excerpt from a Sp*rs forum, kindly forwarded to me by a a fellow Gooner who has asked to remain anonymous:

My Nephew, (very young but bit of a saddo really) but nice lad has to have a operation on his foot so at mo is limping everywhere… see’s a footballer walk into a restaurant with his wife in Winchmore hill last night, realising who it was he decided to wait outside for him (thats what i mean by saddo) anyway after waiting around an hour and the player realizing that my nephew hadnt moved from the spot outside,  the player walks out and my nephew ask for his autograph, the wife walks to the Car whilst the player signs his autograph and stands around for about 25 mins… yea thats right 25 mins talking to my nephew about football and his recent injury and just anything in general, my nephew is a West Ham fan (again like i said Saddo)… Anyway as my nephew hobbles off the player turned round and asked him how he was getting home and so my nephew says ‘im walking’ as it had started to rain… and this player turned round and said ‘dont be silly’ and offered my nephew £5 for a taxi…. Waited for the taxi to pick him up and continued to chat til it got there and only left when my nephew was in the car.

Now this guy was Eduardo… sounds like a bloody nice fella… apart from the fact he plays for the **** down the road!

Adios for today!]]>

  • unspoken

    UP THERE DUDU!!! :) ) a true gunner and i’m proud to be one too.

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Whoa! Gotta love that Crozillian :D

    Kind of agree with you there Dev, not so confident about us winning tomorrow, but part of me thinks Arshavin might, just might be the difference for us, and I believe that we can score at Old Trafford with him in the side. United have played a heck of a lot of games recently and have defencive injuries. Couple that with a strong attacking line up, we might just be able to score a few goals here. I don't see us winning the game, but it could very well be like the 4-4 game with Liverpool. Having said that, we could get hammered and end up watching the devils spawn celebrate another League win :(

    My line up:


    Sagna Toure Djourou Gibbs

    Arshavin Cesc Song Nasri

    Ade RvP]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Gosh...Edu!!!!!!! I really love the guy...he's just a class person top man! Reasons like these u will see me being a Gunner as long as I live! We're just the best! :D

    Like most, I'm thinking the most we'll get at Old Traff is a draw...but a win would be nice! Arshavin will breathe a high level of confidence into the lads and our attacking play. Defensively, i'm worried about confidence-shot Fabianski but hey...i do think he'll b class 1 day. Hope for his sake and ours, he has a good game! But I do see us scoring a couple times for the most 2moro...we've just got to hold our nerve defensively. I reackon it'll b a decent game but my belief levels have dropped since we've been battered by Chelsea and Man U....

    Line-up i think we mite see:

    Sagna Toure Djourou Gibbs
    Nasri Cesc Denilson Arshavin


  • Berth

    Edu seem a very good guy. One thing I really like about this world, be good and blessings will follow. I learnt Henry dedicated a goal to charity in cash (£10,000); when he was with us, not sure though; will need to confirm from Dev or anyone that knows.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Portsmouth may have some players exiting due to the confusion over their management. They're looking for new owners and if they don't find any, that means no money for any big signings or no money for big players they already have.

    One player we should consider is Glen Johnson. He'd add some much needed quality back-up at RB as well as CB. By having him as our first-choice RB we could use Sagna at CB. Sagna's got the joint-best (with Bendtner and Djourou) heading ability of any player at the club and we know he can play anywhere across the back 4. Nobody would expect us to go for a RB since we're weak at CB, so that way maybe Johson wouldn't cost a fortune. Although Portsmouth do need some money and Johson's England RB so maybe they would try and get as much as they can out of whoever wants Johnson.

    But he's a player I personally like and I think it would solve more than one problem. Kind of like killing two birds with one stone. Cover at RB as well as some stability at CB, without buying two different players.

    Johnson Sagna Toure Clichy - now that looks good !

    Plus it means another English fellow with some 'brit-grit'.

    Hangeland, meanwhile, has said he is content at Fulham. Maybe he's just being polite because maybe we haven't made a formal offer for him yet. Or maybe he really doesn't want to move to a bigger club, confusing as it might sound. Maybe he's one of those players that believe Arsenal aren't on their way up.]]>

  • Fabrez

    I hear u zohaib…but if that doesn’t work, ppl will accuse AW of not buying the right players n playing players out of position… Granted I do think Sagna is good enuff to be a CB…interesting shout…

  • zohaib

    I don’t think it’d be playing Sagna out of position because he can play anywhere across the midfield as Wenger said when he bought him. Plus it doesn’t take a lot to see that Sagna can really really head a ball. Why not make him CB, when only one of our current CBs can head it any good.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I don't see how it can't work. Sagna has pretty much everything Toure has and more. A number of people have said at various times this season that Sagna has been our best defender and he hasn't even had the season he had last year, which was fantastic.

    Of course he'll need a bit of experience, and some of that can come in the summer. I'm sure they do quite a bit in training anyway.]]>

  • Berth

    Zohaib, the suggestion is lame and doesn’t make much of a sense. If you really want to buy a Player not Glen – am quite confident their a players out there better than him , than getting a disruption to our semi-balanced squad.

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[TEAMS Man Utd v Arsenal

    Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Rooney, Tevez.

    Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Anderson, Berbatov, Park, Scholes, Rafael Da Silva.

    Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Song Billong, Gibbs, Nasri, Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, van Persie.

    Subs: Mannone, Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, Silvestre, Bendtner, Eboue.]]>

  • Fabrez

    I’m not convinced Sagna has that same physical presence as Kolo has to be honest…intelligent player tho…but i’d still go for the ready made player in that CB role…granted there is that feeling that we do still need another RB…guess we got Eboue in-case we don’t get a RB tho…even tho i’d like to see Eboue improve his defensive game and get it back to the level of a couple yrs back!

  • Fabrez

    NOOOO PETE….is that official? HAS ARSENE PUT DIABY IN THERE??? Oh boy… I’m officially depressed! I’m going into a corner to cry… :(

  • Pete

    Yep, I got it from the bbc sports site mate. Sorry to disappoint you dude !!!! lol

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Also an interesting quote from Fergie about Arsene.

    Sir Alex Ferguson on criticism of Arsene Wenger:

    "It's the culture we're in I'm afraid. You lose a few games and the hounds are out. The press have to have headlines - but when the expectations as high as they are for Arsene and myself, it's hard to live up to them every year. But Arsenal have had a lot of injuries this season and people forget that."]]>

  • Fabrez

    *SIGH* Why Arsene? Why? If we started like we did at home, life mite just

  • Fabrez

    And well said Fergie!

  • Pete

    Didn’t expect a 0-0 at old Trafford. Fair play to United.

  • edison

    < ![CDATA[0-0 was unlucky for us. United were slack and we should have dominated and really relished opportunities to score. Not sure if bendtner and walcott were good substituitons at the time. Alex Song did a convincing job as CB, and pushed forward at times excellently. Hes definately got that presence and height about him. Shocking to say, but i think Diaby played brilliantly today also, actually having some pace and conviction to forward play. RVP seemed abit lost up there in attack on his own though.

    Will be interesting to see what they say about it on MoTD.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[LOL Berth why don't you first go and look up the meaning of lame in the dictionary as well as improve your grammar and spelling a bit so that I can understand what you're trying to say.

    And maybe follow Arsenal a bit more to understand what I had said about Sagna.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Let's not kid ourselves. ManUtd gave the ball away far too often. They weren't their usual selves today and that's why we looked stronger. We did play well but as usual didn't take our chances up front. VanPersie was wasteful. Arshavin looked asleep. And Diaby was useless as usual. The other guys were pretty good.

    The other problem was that the substitutions were all wrong. I'm pretty sure Wenger made the substitutions not to win the game, but to experiment with something he might imply next season. It's true, that's how hopeless his thinking can be sometimes. Thinking about the next game before you've played the present one. Very dissappointing stuff.

    I would've let Nasri and Arshavin remain, and brought off maybe one of the other two dissappointing players in Diaby and VanPersie. Maybe Bendtner for Diaby. That way VanPersie could play his usual role as support striker and Bendtner his usual as striker.

    I just can't understand why Wenger has to make himself look like a complete idiot at times. Why does he play Bendtner at RM and VanPersie up front on his own. I'll never understand. Absolutely hopeless.

    I wonder what the situation with Adebayor is. Maybe he wants to go now that he's heard Wenger say what he did, even though he said he had Ade in his future plans. I'm pretty certain that was a slight indication that he wasn't afraid to let Ade go. In fact I thought Wenger's comments might have had something to do with pumping Ade up before the ManUtd game, but it didn't go according to plan. Maybe Ade was pissed or something. Interesting to see what happens next.

    It'll probably be the same spin-doctoring nonsense as usual throughout the summer. What torture.]]>

  • Berth

    The game was not that bad as you portray, zohaib; and also the decision to take off Arshavin and Nasiri were both justified in a way considering they were both on yellow card.

  • Berth

    By lame I meant weak.

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Just saw the 1st half but i believe Diaby only gave the ball away twice! Impressive! lol I'm guessing the 1st half was pretty much like the 2nd...we looked ok but we didn't have too many ideas going forward it seems. Couple good chances both ends so i'd imagine the result wasn't bad. U know, if u take the Cahmpions League games away, we beat Man U at home and drew at Old Traff...not bad huh? We got 4 points against them and they got 1...

    And this story with Ade sounds interesting...rumours that he mite b on his way out...i hope its nothing bcuz the last thing we want is an unsetteled team...then again, that's all Ade seems to do...unsettle us!]]>

  • Fabrez

    *Champions League

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Berth - weren't Fabregas and VanPersie also on a yellow card ? That's what a weak argument is. There was nothing justified about it. It was one of the sillier things he did.

    I don't care how good or bad the game was. My purpose is to highlight the issues which caught my attention the most and comment about them. And it's not like we've won it while dominating ManUtd, at times 60 - 40 possession. It's criminal not to take your chances and I dont understand how many more times the players need to be taught that lesson.

    So, while some players had a decent game, by now we know that they're capable of producing some decent games, just not very consistently. Nothing surprising there. The whole point is that they aren't ruthless enough and don't finish teams off. The end product and finishing is very poor. And it drives me nuts for most of 90 mins. It's frustrating as hell watching the way we play, passing it about as if it's a training match. Just penetrate already and put the ball in the back of the bloody net for goodness sake ! It's becoming boring and predictable now. We need to tweak the way we play. Otherwise some of the Arsenal supporters will become very frustrated, angry people.]]>