Manchester United 1 – 0 Arsenal, it would have been nice if we turned up…

Morning All…

For the last couple of days, we’ve all been speculated who would start, who would be on the bench, who would play where, how we would line up… well, it didn’t matter in the end as none of us turned up… collectively as a team we lost this game before it started. Credit to the defence, as they weren’t given much protection and had to deal with a lot.

For reference purposes, the line up was:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Clichy

Wilshere – Song

Nasri – Rosicky – Arshavin

Chamakh

With a bench of Fabianski, Eboue, Denilson, Cesc, Walcott, Van Persie, Bendtner

The team was quite inbalanced for me – the youth of Szcznesy and Wilshere evident and the inexperience of Chamakh and Koscielny also told. But collectively everyone was poor, we didn’t close down from the off, we didn’t act calmly when in possession and became too compact – basically playing into United’s hands.

Simply, on the day, United were the better team – they weren’t great but they were still better than us. It was pretty much all United in the first half – it seemed like we were scared of them, and it was no surprise that they went 1-0 up – the goal coming through a collective set of errors from he front to the back resulting in Nani crossing in the ball for Park to somehow head so it looped over Szcznesy. Apart from the goal, I think Szcznesy did quite well throughout the game, including a great save from a Rooney lob.

The second was better but we still lacked composure and fluidity – Van Persie, Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas entered the fray in replacement of Rosicky, Arshavin and Wilshere respectively, but it didn’t change the outcome.

Arsene Wenger took time out to talk about the quality of the pitch:

What I feel doesn’t matter. We lost the game and I think to be as objective as I can. We were up on the intensity level and we were up on the organisational level. Overall, I think that Manchester United defended very well. The technical quality of the game was average on both sides because the pitch was very poor in my opinion and the game suffered a lot from it. Manchester United played a very simple game but they were efficient at it because they scored a goal and we didn’t create enough chances. You have to give them credit because they defended very well and their defence didn’t make any mistakes. Our passing was not quick or sharp enough to get them out of position.

For me, the lethargy in the side was clear – in maintaining possession, passing, closing down and attacking. Arsene was frustrated and I think we all know we can play better.

It is a big frustration and a big disappointment but what is important is that we bounce back in our next game. Overall on what I have seen tonight there is no reason not to believe and we know we can play better offensively.

We’re no longer top of the table, and we’re second – 2 points behind them – and they have a game in hand – it’s gone from very promising to not so much… We’ve got to pick ourselves up and understand why we didn’t turn up and why we couldn’t get on top at all.

It’s all quite frustrating, isn’t it?

Til tomorrow…

  • bayo

    Just because we conceded a goal today does not mean we are bad.
    The goal was more of luck as the ball could have bounced anywhere.

    Today Manchester united used 3 defensive midfielders, Manchester United basically played 6 or 7 players at the back.

    Am not disappointed by our defense but where was arshavin,he was up against a young Raphael yet he could not beat him once or make one incisive pass.

    The goal came from the left side of defence, for me i belief CLICHY tried but where was arshavin to help him against NANI cause every time our winger was double marked by 2 or 3 man U players but u can expect CLICHY to do the JOB alone.

    May be ARSHAVIN should just sit down on the bench when we need to play vey tactical matches as he cant help the defence.

    IF CESC,VAN P, VERMALINATOR, DIABY WAS FIT WE COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE AS DIABY COULD HAVE HELPED SONG AND HE HAS FANTASTIC TOUCHES TO PULL OUT THE OPPONENTS.

    IT IS GONE ARSENAL WAS NOT FANTASTIC BUT WE HAVE IMPROVED CAUSE LAST SEASON WE COULD HAVE LOST BY 3 GOALS IN THE FIRST HALF.

    THE KEY TO THIS SEASON ARSENAL MUST BEAT MAN U AND CHELSEA AT THE EMIRATES.

  • Kodjo

    The blue print to play arsenal has been laid down…man utd and chelsea employ it…the only exception is barca and to some extent everton last season who were brave enough to press us high up the pitch…

    Ques is what has arsene done to change tactics when needed?

    None for me, except when he played Diaby upfront against chelsea. It is clear that man utd were going to employ the time proven tactics of sitting back and attacking Clichy any time he was isolated…simples!!!

    It’s not the end of the world but it worries me that wenger is outsmarted season in season out…maybe its down to the personnel but then he chose the players and groomed them to play the way they do.

    It’s not all lost but i believe we’ve lost out again psychologically…which is not good. Make no mistake we will be there or there abouts but for the confidence of the team we needed to avoid a loss and to build on it.

    Clearly Clichy just has to improve…his work rate is commendable but seems to undo all the hard work with 1 or 2 errors and unfortunately..its disastrous all the time.

    Arsene how about playing a defensive mid or not soo offensive midfielder infront of Clichy knowing that Nani is bound to attack all the time…Mourinho does it to the point that against barca his team only attacked the area opposite where Messi is stationed. Reason being Mourinho did not want to leave spaces behind for barca to attack.

    Did Wenger notice the doubling up on Nasri???

    Pls Wenger alter you team shape sometimes. I wd have played Eboue in front of Clichy and developed all the attacks through the middle. Since man utd had blocked off our right side of the mid we shd have also blocked the right side of their mid leaving the middle free for all…

  • tyoung

    Should have played Nasri in the middle and rosiky on the wing. Nasri in very effective on the wing but we normally control the centre. Againt Utd rosiky wasn’t up to leading the middle aND I THINK NASRI would have coaxed better performances out of Song and Wiltshireif he as in the middle.
    archavin was woeful. Walcott surely deserves a regular start ahead of him

  • pierre

    well chaps it looks like Evra was on the money about what he said about the Woolwich Arsenal…..Bottlers big time, Nasri looked like a scared little boy, the Barcelona kid moaned and groaned and wished he was in sunny Spain..and then the nomads send in their super destroyer Wally I will come good Walcott, nearly split my sides laughing

  • pierre

    Those on here that think we were ‘unlucky’ – and I include Wenger in that – really need to learn the game they love and follow. Although they were nowhere near their best, United could and would have won by 3 or 4 were it not for Rooney’s missed penalty and a couple of great saves from our goalkeeper.

    Indeed, I actually thought that it might prove to be our night, once United couldn’t get the second, if only we could wake ourselves up from the slumber. Alas and predictably though, we created the square root of fuck all yet again and Van Dar Saar might as well have been on his Christmas holidays, so little was he called upon.

    Whereas normally I’m shitting myself weeks before we play the likes of Man Utd and Chelsea, nowadays I don’t even get anxious as I know we are unlikely to get the result. Tonight was exactly the same and as soon as the first goal went in, any nerves I may have had building up quickly disappeared because it is clear that this Arsenal team don’t have the character to overcome adversity.

  • manthan

    Positives from the manure game, is szezsny he is better than batty Al and Flappy. Guts full and fearless he is. Clichy was not bad but Arshvin was bad. Manure did not play well but they were disciplined, tight and compact. Arsenal did not turn up and did not crank up the pressure. Arsenal lacked structure, discipline and offense. Again we witnessed how weak, disorientated, luckless and jinxed this team is. Nasri on the wings where is the sanity? Arsenal is defeated by its own downfall not the opponents. A big game, a lot at stake but in response there was not any passion, drive or urgency on display. 451 or 4321 did not work. This shows this collection of individuals are not suited to work as a unit let alone as a team. Recap lost to westbrom, spuds, chelski now manure stoke follows then chelski. These 3 games will definitely end any hope of salvaging anything from this season. These 3 games will compel to go for the CC to redeem himself. Pity he did not get the same thank you as Big Sam received from the chairman. If we had Dein this mess would not have existed. Worriedly this pain does not stop here we have to wait until Saturday and next week for it to finish. The flair, creativity, ingenuity and entertainment aspect of the team is now obvious, boring, repetitive, tedious and an affront. Wenger is using the pitch as a cover-up how desperate is the man to blame the grass. You are right arsenal lost due to the grass! Cheers Now its the grass Saturday who will be blamed? Tune in for another exciting episode of wenger ooppppsssss!!!!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I don’t know what game you were all watching but the game I saw had an awful defence who either panicked and fucked up most clearances even our young GK struggled to kick the ball passed the half way line. Our midfield were nowhere near the second ball and lost every header and our attack was non-existent. It was the worse performance I have seen for a long time.

  • goonerman

    LOOK AT THE TABLE PEOPLE!!! by no means am i saying we deserved much from the game last night but we are hardly in a terrible position are we?? im not assuming we are going to beat stoke on saturday but if we do and united and chelsea draw or chelsea even win then things dont look all that bad again! this season is so weird that losing to united doesnt really effect much! One thing i would say is enough of having the stars on the bench cesc fabregas and van persie both need to be starting games from now on!

  • Fo

    @ bayo:
    Hear, hear Bayo – love the positivity – would have to agree with you! Clichy was isolated, and he always is.

  • Fo

    @ goonerman:
    Yes, Van Persie and Cesc will be back in the starting line-up for Stoke at the Emirates and these two players will make a HUGE difference as they are two leaders that we have been missing for some time.

  • edison

    @Goonerman – spot on mate, we can definitely afford to lose that game against United. the table is so open its rediculous, even man city are in a position to easily overtake any of the top 3.

    About last night and the champions league game:

    Im not too keen on this business of playing Van Persie and Chamakh together, its happened twice now and it seems to disrupt the direction and flow of arsenals game.

    Hasnt clicked so far.

    its fine while Van Persie is still gaining fitness, but i dont think it should have happened in a game against united.

  • manthan

    Yesterday was a bad day in the office. But what a keeper we have. I dont see much wrong with us apart from song who is not the right player for DM. I believe kosh won everything in the air, and am looking forward to a match fit ramsey returning to replace song in January. A win on Saturday puts us back on top, with man u travelling to chelsea we could still be top at the close of play on sunday. Then bring on chelsea and wigan to finish of the year on top. It does not matter if we have not beaten chelsea or man u in ages, what matters is losing three games at home to silly teams…. which would have put us well clear. Faith is hard the day after but i believe in this team and know that 2011 will be very interesting.

  • manthan

    Can you believe it if we win on Saturday against Stoke and a Chelsea win on Sunday will see us top at Xmas, continuing the illusion that we are a top side. Several people had texted me to say how confident they were before the game. Quite what made them confident or optimistic that Wenger would be able to get this team organised to fight for a win at Old Trafford I don’t know. It hasn’t happened for so long now that none of this team really knows what it takes to win away at a big team, or even get a draw. And that is why, I fear, winning the Premier League or the Champions League is an illusion. When the big games come, our big players don’t live up to billing the manager gives them. Until they do, we won’t win a trophy.

  • patrick

    Ok STOP this Nonsense bolloks please. People have their opinions but I must say most are absolute idiotic and going on the media bandwagon.

    The same phrases thrown around with reckless abandon, ‘disgrace’, ‘flat trackers’, ‘no hopers’, ‘false dawn’ blah blah blah…

    Firstly, Arsenal may not have put in the shift required to do any damage to United but at a ground they historically have very little luck at, to lose by a goal which did have a touch of luck about it can hardly be labelled a disgrace. Personally although going forwards we were surprisingly lacklustre, I thought we looked reasonably solid in defence. Clichy may not be the left back he was a couple seasons back, but how many times did he nick the ball off Nani?

    To call them losers, or players without balls is not right. Having lost several times to teams who with the greatest respect would be considered quite a way down from them in terms of quality is also a little wide of the mark. It’s almost as if it is expected of Arsenal to go into every game and win, despite this season being one of the closest and most unpredictable in recent memory. And that isn’t even taking into account Arsenal’s poor record against the ‘bigger teams’. When we people realise that we are just a fraction below the mark set by Chelsea and United, but have enough quality to challenge anyone on our day? Our squad is also a fraction of the cost of those previous two, as well as several others in the league.

    A fairly shoddy performance by both teams, no real ebb and flow to either sides play, the game settled by a goal created from a deflected cross. That ball could have gone anywhere, though kudos to Park for getting a decent connection on it. It wasn’t a mauling, it wasn’t a thrashing exposing the weaknesses of Arsenal. It was just a fairly dull, uninspired performance from both sides.

    The sooner people realise that whilst it is conceivable we could win titles with the way we play, there are always going to be better equipped sides in the league, the better. We play good football, have some great players, but if we want to challenge for honours, we need to spend the cash to do so, especially in the defensive third (a special mention for Scezney who couldn’t do anything about the goal but looked calm and in control the whole game… please give this guy a chance Wenger).

    The thing is every side has weaknesses this season. No one is infallible (though United are still unbeaten). Come May, we will know whose weaknesses were the most glaring and who’s problems hampered them the most. With the most wide open race for the title in years, it is bound to be captivating and infuriating in equal measure, which pretty much sums up monday night in a nutshell.

    Until then, I think a few people need to stop getting their panties in such a bunch.