Daily Archives: November 3, 2007

Man Utd Preview – I’m out of Pictures!

Good morning, all. I’m sure you’re all wondering what the hell all these clouds and angels and harps and pearly gates are doing everywhere where your coffee mug once stood. Well, I’m very glad to inform you that you are, in fact, in heaven – shed of your mortal Liverpool-coil, you now can feast on the succulent calf of Beautiful Football, the intergalactic battle of the spheres between the (Red) Devils and All-Holy Gunners. Peace, light and purity sprinkles down upon thee as pass after pass are completed in a sanctimonious 5-0 humbling of the Red-Nose.

Of course, most of us know of the fallacy that is religion – There are three scenarios that could happen today, and it’s not looking good for the anti-Nietzsche brigade:

  • One: Man U will rock up tonight and play a sly, arrogant kicking game, and try to shove Fabregas and Hleb off the ball to assume control. The media-hyped evangelism of ‘no longer the beauty and the beast’ is hence forth nullified, and we go back to becoming playful frogs in a Darwinist pond.
  • Two: The game gets caught up in midfield, both teams overly cautious in an attempt to outwit the other – American viewers, having sniffed a hint of religious fervour ebbing from cynical Europe, turn the tellies off and switch back to the NRL. World religion takes a plummit.
  • Three: Arsenal do in fact win 5-0, and all is well with the world.

Some would say an overly simplistic take on things. Well dont you go asking too many questions now, sonny. So much for chip off the shoulder.

Wayne Rooney has a much more in depth take on things, in short: We’re better, therefore we’ll win. Bravo, madame. Bravo. Shrek-a-lek says:

Arsenal are playing some really good football right now. I think it’s good Arsene Wenger has put faith in his younger players. That’s what you need, a manager who trusts his players. You’re seeing that all around Europe, young players are making an impact at a lot of the top sides. “As a young player, that’s what gives you confidence and makes you want to play well. Our manager is playing a lot of younger players as well.

It was all going so well for Rooney, too, until he compared Alex Ferguson’s ‘gamble on youth’ (how admirable). Mr Rooney, if you please – a gamble is paying half a million pounds for a boy no one has ever heard about against a team filled with multi-million pound signings, where the boy then goes on to upstage one of the most recognized (and fearsome) midfielders of the Premier League’s era – I speak, of course, of a young Spaniard upstaging a certain Roy Keane. Not throwing £20million of green at a Brazillian kid with terrible dreadlocks and telling him to do a few stepovers – for that price, he better be Ronaldinho or you’re an idiot. When it comes to both youth and gambles, I’ll take Wenger every time.

This ‘young Spaniard’, of course, has a few things to say himself. Cesc Fabregas has said that Man Utd are the only club outside of Arsenal in England that he admires, and rightly so, I’ll say first up. Cesc says they are the only other team in England he’ll bother watching. Cesc and co know of the threat that Man Utd can employ – with Cesc’s bottle and spiteful winner’s mentality, you would think they have some idea of how to play against their foreboding opponents.

These well known stars of Man Utd, as well as our own, are a rallying point for Robin van Persie, who believes that the FA (‘feck all…’) should do more to protect the Premier League’s front running stars – Christiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas. A very avid point of his is pointing the finger at teams like Blackburn, saying:

Yes, that was nice, really English. You prepare yourself for a battle, especially when you north. That’s not a problem. However, I do have a problem when Fabregas is brought down and someone ‘purely by accident’ plants his studs on his neck.”

Heh. Quite a poignant fellow, our Robin van. In a smaller chunk of news, Arsene Wenger confirms that he was interested in Tevez before United stepped in to grab him. He is, however, more concerned with notions that Man Utd tried to tap up Emmanuel Adebayor over the summer. For those not in the no, here’s a bit of a blunt quote from Emmanuel:

When I got that approach from United, I was like ‘OK, it’s a good team, one of the biggest teams in the world – why not? It was very flattering for me and gave me confidence that I am a good footballer because, if a team like Manchester want to get me, it proves I’m doing things right.

Naturally, this is concerning to the manager, who may want to take up the claims further. Wenger reportedly will ask Adebayor to clarify these statements, but hasn’t made an enquiry just yet.

Onto site news, as you may have noticed, I’ve canned the pictures I usually sourced from around the web – they weren’t serving any more purpose than ‘putting a face to a name’, and in that regard, did not work in a news-telling capacity (which you can get in a little bit of trouble for, you know…). I’m sure my sterling wit will make up for it otherwise.

031107manutdOnto the match tonight, and despite being at home, it’s hard to see Wenger not playing a 4-5-1 in this match. As a result, the team picks itself – the goalie, backline and Flamini pick themselves on form. Fabregas, Rosicky and Hleb get in because they’re Fabregas, Rosicky and Hleb (how Clichy of me). Eboue is favoured over Walcott for experience and crossing – I’m also of the opinion that he had a relatively decent 60 minutes against Liverpool, and should be continued for this sake. And of course, what’s a 4-5-1 without Adebayor?

The beginnings will be tense, but if it’s scoreless going into the 70th minute, we suddenly become favourites. I’m convinced that this is the fittest team in the premiership, coupled with the quickest (though the latter is merely marginal over Man Utd), and our propensity for late goals should put us in good stead for this match.

As always, this fixture is too close to call, ultimately. I’ve been very vehement about an Arsenal victory, and as such, leave the possibility of getting egg on the face. All that can be said is that Wenger’s confidence in this team has become extremely infectious, and if anyone is going to beat the trailblazing Manchester juggernaut, it is Arsenal.

The subs bench is interesting, with any number of players planning to take part: We can probably only say that surely Gilberto will feature with about half an hour to go, but the rest will change as the game changes. Will Walcott be used as an impact substitution? Will Diarra get a chance along the right after his excellent showing against Sheffield Utd? Will Bendtner be thrown on as a gamble? (If we’re trailing, this is likely)…those are the most likely to come on – of course, I cannot say who will be the one to miss out.

Hopefully, in the end, it is not the club that misses out here. There’re several things against our favour, but several things very much in our favour.

Should be a cracker. Enjoy the game, scream and shout, swear a lot, and bellow. For we are the Arsenal…*end of hyperbole, dons cap and rose-tinted sunglasses, heads for the telly!*

Come on, one-nil!



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