Manchester United v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League, Old Trafford
Saturday, August 29, 2009, 17:15
Afternoon all – it’s match day and match day live, which means we’re online and ready to attempt to give an online update of what’s going on at Old Trafford. It’s been a little bit of a difficult week with the Eduardo stuff going on, but I hope it’s all forgotten for the moment.
Arsene feels this will be the biggest test so far for us and I’d have to agree. It’s going to a very tough game today, but I am really really looking forward to it… I won’t spend too much time building it up – I’ll leave that to Sky Sports and the comments… but it will be a better contest this year with us flying and United without Ronaldo and Tevez…
“I believe that nobody, not even the specialists, know what kind of effect [the loss of] Ronaldo can have on Manchester United’s result. It takes time to adapt but in our case [when we lost Henry] we had someone, Adebayor, who scored 24 goals in the season that followed. Also we had players who gained a little bit of charisma, like Hleb. Personally I believe even though he was good last year he was not the Ronaldo of the year before. It was for two reasons. Firstly, he was injured at the start and had a little surgery on his ankle and secondly he was certainly already thinking to move. Then again when you look at his numbers you’d think I have the wrong opinion. He didn’t look as convincing as the year before but when you look at the number of games he played and the number of goals he scored, he was still as efficient as before. So we’ll see what happens. But I still believe Man United will miss Ronaldo. Will they find a new balance in the team and will Rooney pop up with 20 goals or Berbatov with 20 goals? That can happen. When a player becomes too strong in a team, sometimes the way of a game goes too much through him and others are a little bit isolated or forgotten. When he disappears suddenly other players turn up because the way of the game goes through different players and they maybe are capable to do that. Nobody knows really. In the end, Henry had a big weight in the team. No-one could refuse to give Thierry Henry the ball so sometimes the play becomes a bit more diversified when these players go.”
Not to forget that United have the likes of Nani and Valencia, but all in all, Arsene’s sentiments are very true.
My predicted line up today is:
Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy
Song – Denilson
Bendtner – Diaby – Arshavin
With Mannone, Traore, Eboue, Silvestre, Wilshere, Rosicky and Eduardo on the bench.
United are most likely to field a 4-4-2 with the following XI:
O’Shea – Vidic – Brown – Evra
Flecter – Scholes – Carrick – Valencia
Rooney – Berbatov
If you’ve picked up a paper today, you’ll a lot of articles about Arsene and Fergie being friends… they may be better acquanted, but they will certainly not be friends today…
News, official line ups and comments will follow shortly…
Come on you Gooners…