MU. Artisans vs Artists

The little boy inside me wants to write about one of the MU strikers but as The Godfather (Michael) said to his brother Freddie after he shafted the Family by dealing with  Hyman Roth in Cuba, “You broke my heart, You broke my heart” and now the traitor is “dead to me”.

Some folk in the media say we go into the game as favourites – are they nuts? No-one goes to the Toilet as favourites, at least not this century. Yes, we have a better chance than in recent years but we have only managed one win and a draw since that magnificent victory in 2004 and we have beaten them only once in the last 9 meetings!

022

But United have never won the league on our ground, have they?  :-D

So why the optimism? 5 points clear, top of our CL group, the away victory in Dortmund, beating the second placed team last Saturday, the developing genius of Santi and Mesut, the recently recognised (by the non-gooners)  CB partnership, the renewed form of TPIG, the work-rate and improvement of OG. Could it be for any of those reasons?

Or could it be because of the experience and solidity of Arteta , Sagna and Rosicky? If one were to believe the red-tops Aaron Ramsey could win this on his own!

Man Utd: Are they really a team in crisis? Surely not. No, what they are is a team of reprehensible, cheating mutants who if the world was a just place would be behind bars pleading with Mr Big.

Want to see a diver? Go to Old Trafford.

Want to see a bought ref and linesman? Go to Old Trafford

Want to see 60+ thousand prawn sandwich eating remedials? Go to Old Trafford

Want to see a manager completely out of his depth? Ditto

And I haven’t even started on the supreme awfulness of Rooney, Ferdinand and Evra . Have you ever seen such a triumvirate of shitehawks?

(Chary could have written this section :-D)

But seriously, it would be foolish to write off their chances of winning and not just today. They are the Champions and won the title with this very team by 11 points !  Yes, they have lost the red-conked miscreant but apart from him the personnel is the same.

They have few injuries with just Welbeck missing from their first choice 11.

Arsenal: 252 days since our last away defeat. It should mean something but at 16.10 today the test starts in earnest. We have the team, we have the tools and we have the tactics to continue the run.

It would be boring to review our form, we all know it and the reasons for the improvement.  So, I will highlight just one of the many recent positives …. Mr. Arsene Wenger.

At the end of the AV game I looked at him and thought “Arsene, I love you but this job will kill you. You are clearly not enjoying it and the stress is just too much.” How wrong could I be? The man is rejuvenated! He hasn’t looked or sounded this good for many a year.

Unknown

His pre-match interview was a return to the humourous, intelligent man we all know – a man who can play with the journalists and yet retain respect. Does he miss SAF? Highly unlikely. Will he under-estimate the task this afternoon just because they have The Ditherer at the helm? Of course not, but he is confident, you can see it in his demeanor.

My Team:

l001

I know, I know ….. hard on Rosicky who has been excellent, but he does need a rest. With the Interlull coming one could say he will get it then, but Tomas, like most of our squad, with be playing two meaningless friendlies.

The midfield battle will be interesting; MU rely upon their usual compliment of battlers and artisans; have they had anyone with flair since ….. ?? It seems to a non- MU fan that they only buy and develop flair attackers, stacking the midfield with horrible Orc types. Scholes, Keane, Butt, Robson, Ince, all grafters, and now Cleverley, Carrick and Fellaini.   Sadly, this appears to work, but which midfield would you rather watch – our artists or their artisans?

The title will not be decided by this game and we will be top at November’s end come what may, but it would be excellent to put another nail into MU’s challenge and pile more pressure upon Gollum (though as we have agreed. we give him our unconditional support ;-)  )

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy

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213 Responses to MU. Artisans vs Artists

  1. arnie says:

    Fantastic as ever, Raddy. And apologies, Rocky, for not coming in yesterday. Great post.

    Yes, a trip to Old Toilet has always delivered a good deal. Even if we have had a rough deal on some occasions. The problem this time is, it does not promise to be a good open game. ManUre will surely try to kill the game, as they did against the Chavs. Facing Pool at home was enjoyable, because, no matter what the return they tried to play a game.

    Today will be one occasion where the visitors will try to win a game, and the Toilet cleaners will try to limit damage and somehow scrape through on the sly, aided by a hostile support and dubious officials. It promises to be a scrappy game.

    Most importantly, and as both Raddy and Rocky emphasized, the comparison between the managers is illuminating. Mosist is unique, in the PL and perhaps even in Europe, for a singular lack of ambition and imagination. I expect Arsenal to win, but I do not think this will be an enjoyable game.

  2. evönne says:

    Good PM, thank you Raddy
    Agree on all counts – our team is far superior to the red Manc, we can win it and put an end to their 7 years dominance, Moyes is under pressure wheras our Boss blossoms :) He has definitaly put on weight, he smiles broadly again and if I didn’t know any different I’d say that the man is in love

    I am not a greedy person, but 2:8 would be ever so sweet

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning AAers.

    For the first time in what seems decades I’m not feeling anxiety and even dread at the prospect of facing the team from the Old Toilet.

    There is no doubt that the retirement of Old Red Nose has left a big gap that Gollum is struggling to fill. He seems unable to motivate his collection of over-paid under-performers to reproduce the kind of form that we came to expect previously.

    Arsenal’s current blend of form, togetherness and confidence is just what is needed for this the latest in a long line of, as the media see it, tests against the top teams.

    Three points this afternoon and the doomers will be silenced for quite a while.

    C’mon The Glorious Gunners!!!

  4. Shard says:

    Haha Raddy. It really did seem like chary was doing the preview today.

    I’m with arnie. This is going to be a scrappy game. ManU will revert to kicking us because they fear us. Our midfield at least. BSR will lead them in diving all over the park, and they’ll hope to get free kicks and penalties their way. The smaller, less attention grabbing decisions will go their way all throughout (kind of like vs Villa) and Moyes is going to talk about how up north that is how football is played.

    Which is exactly why we won’t see an 8-2 scoreline in our favour Evonne. It would never happen under as negative a manager as Moyes. At 3-1, we could have closed up and just carried on. But Wenger wanting to come back into the game took off our only DM, Coquelin, and went for it. Which is when the goal glut happened. Moyes would take a 3-1 defeat and sit on it rather than risk the bigger margin.

  5. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Shard,

    It will be interesting to see how the officials behave knowing they won’t have Old Red Nose intimidating them from the touchline. One thing you can bet on is that Rooney and Young will be flopping about the penalty area at every possible chance, oh! and watch out for the Dutchman’s elbow, it’s a lethal weapon.

  6. LB says:

    Absolutely the right team choice BR

    Good pre-match as ever.

  7. Morning Raddy a good pre match for what is a big game.

    Thinking on from Arnie’s point this morning about us being the team most likely to try and win the game I had a thought….what if we don’t.

    What if we go there and play for a draw, defend deep, don’t over commit and see if they can break us down, surely its more important to get a point away at OT than give them more chance of getting three by playing into their hands?

  8. Charybdis1966 says:

    Excellent PM Big Randy, no prizes for guessing which paragraph I like the best. I absolutely despise ManUre and everything they stand. There’s it one positive I can think of to say about this lot; a more wretched hive of scum and villainy you will not find this side of Hades hole. And I haven’t mentioned the cutch dunt. 👹

  9. arnie says:

    GiE: nice idea. I also thought about this. The problem is that, if we defend too deep, they are going to try and reach the edge of the box and then dive. Better maintain a slightly higher line, but try to stay there and counter in hordes just occasionally. the line has to be perfect though, so that the offside trap is effective.

  10. Räsp says:

    Great PM Raddy, although I thought the ‘what they are is a team of reprehensible, cheating mutants’ line was a bit kind to them :P

    For once we can say that bar the two players I cannot bear to name, we have better players in every outfield position – but that is irrelevant, this game transcends form and quality. Even without Fergie, the nature of the fixture outweighs everything. 2:1 to the good guys is my prediction with their goal coming from some dreadful refereeing decision.

  11. Räsp says:

    Toon 1 totts ) – come on the barcodes

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    I spoke, at length with Kelsey yesterday. He is feeling very poorly and has a bad reaction to his return to England which has exacerbated his medical condition.

    He is, however, happy at the way Arsenal are playing and is looking forward to today’s game.

    Sadly I don’t think we will have the pleasure of his company on AA for quite a while, if ever, but he wishes his friends well.

  13. GoonerB says:

    Nice one raddy. I am slightly nervous about this one but hope we can pull it off. Caught the early part of the totts game. Remy looks like the type of pacy striker that could strengthen our front line.

  14. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Top stuff Raddy

    I am reminded of the 96/97 season. Utd were the Champions and on our part Arsene had just arrived

    The score was Utd 1 Arsenal 0. I popped over to Highbury and watched it on the big screen and was absolutly thrilled with the defeat. For the first time in many a year we played and looked better than them and i witnessed what i can only describe as the “beggining of Arsenes revolution”

    What ever the score today, in the medium to longer term it will make no difference.

    We are rising again.

  15. Räsp says:

    Thanks GN5. Best wishes for an upturn in your fortunes Kelsey, I hope we have the pleasure of your company on the blog when you feel up to it.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Sorry to hear that gn5. Sending my best wishes to kelsey.

  17. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sad news about Kelsey GN5

    He is an old school gooner that i have the upmost respect for, even if his hair line is unfair and winds me up.

    Hope he feels better soon.

  18. RA says:

    Enjoyable read Randy Dandy.

    There is an inevitable certainty to the game today, namely that the Mancs will come steaming out from the start and determined to get into our faces. The ref will ignore their transgressions and book the first Arsenal player who has the temerity to retaliate.

    But here’s the thing; if we play with the same team and tactics as we did against Dortmund, which is to say absorb their aggression and pressing, eventually our technically superior midfield players will take them to the cleaners.

    I am expecting an Arsenal win but allowing for a duff referee and some diving and cheating, it may be a draw. San faire rien. :-)

  19. evönne says:

    GN5 – please send Kels best wishes and let us know is there is anything we can do

  20. RA says:

    Thanks for the update on Kelsey, GN5.

    I am really sorry to learn that Kelsey is unwell and I, like nearly everyone else on here, wish him a speedy recovery and return to AA.

    His astute comments and sense of humour have been missed.

    Hopefully the upturn in Arsenal’s fortunes will help him, and especially the news that the goats are stirring in Terry’s pants — tho I feel sorry for the poor goats. :-)

  21. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, please pass on my very best wishes to Kelsey next time you speak to him, let’s hope that the Gunners can put a smile on his face this afternoon.

  22. evönne says:

    feck, we have Newcastle away end of this year, scary

  23. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for the tip top prematch, Raddy.

    My very best wishes to Kelsey, I hope he makes a complete and rapid recovery.

    Spurs are playing like losing at home is ok. The much lauded Eriksen looks lost. Despite Spurs looking poor, they’ve done enough to work the keeper, but Krul is having the match of his life. Good to see Newcastle playing in Arsenal away kit (it’s not Brazil…. :) ).

    Re us today, I’m so excited about it but am becoming very worried about too much positive press. Just feels wrong.

    Spurs lose!

  24. evönne says:

    joking, they are rubbish, but keep doing us favours, cheers :)

  25. 26may1989 says:

    A shame that Bendtner couldn’t maintain his dignified silence. He’s his own worst enemy.

  26. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Krull just had the kind of game most ‘keepers usually had against us in previous seasons. The Tots had their chances but are also rans rather than winners, even AP McCoy couldn’t get them past the winning post. :D

  27. Norfolk Gooner says:

    26, Whats the Danish Dunce done now?

  28. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Thanks 26, Those comments are the latest of a lot of last straws for me, I can’t wait to see the back of the moron.

  29. Danny says:

    Something about todays game feels like this one:

    but I reckon it’ll end in a draw.

  30. Bayonne Jean says:

    Times have changed a bit. For this type of fixture, under the Purple Proboscis, the first name on their team sheet would be Howard Webb. Looks like Marriner is now first name on the sheet for Mourinho/Abramovich….

  31. 26may1989 says:

    Speaking as someone who’s defended Bendtner a lot down the years, it’s annoying to see him revert to selfish type. He should feel flattered that the club still sees him as good enough to be cover for Giroud when they failed to sign a striker in the summer. I hope however many more minutes he will play in an Arsenal shirt go well, but after that, with such comments as these, I couldn’t give a toss what happens to him.

  32. arnie says:

    This is f**king disgraceful.

    Comes just a day after Arsene said this: “It is important for the players to feel part of the club, part of the culture of the club and that the club means something to you. That is important to the fans as well.”

    “I really believe in some difficult periods in a season, in some difficult periods in the career of a player, [it is important that] he really feels he belongs. That can only be built with players growing up together.”

    Such a disgrace!!!!

  33. Norfolk Gooner says:

    26, I’ve never been a Bendtner fan and I’m amazed that after his failures at Arsenal and Juventus he didn’t snap up the first of the three offers he recieved in the summer. I sincerely hope that we never have to give him even a single minutes playing time between now and whenever he finally leaves the club. I just can’t see how he could possibly give of his, limited, best given his present mindset.

  34. VCC says:

    GunnerN5…..Please give my regards to Kelsey, wish him well and strength.

    He is a devoted Arsenal nut and a true Gentleman.

  35. VCC says:

    Smashing pre-match BR.

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Norfolk, I think NB’s saying he would’ve gone to one of the three but Arsenal chose not to sell him. Makes perfect sense after we didn’t sign Suarez, Higuain etc and that’s something he can’t be surprised about, the club needs to do the best it can with what it has. He’ll leave, and before now, might have left with good feeling from us. He’s pissed away some of that positivity now.

    Sunderland 1 City 0!!!!

  37. arnie says:

    Sunderland score against Shitty….

  38. arnie says:

    26: :D :D

  39. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie,

    That’ll put a dent in their goal difference :D

  40. arnie says:

    NG: let us see whether this contributes towards points dropped as well!!!!!! :D :D

  41. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks for kind comments

    NB in the press here as he has gone to court in an attempt to get more time with his son (not just UK wher Dad’s rights are negligible).

    The man is clearly “troubled” but I hope he scores our third today.

  42. 26may1989 says:

    Sunderland deserve their lead so far, they’ve been great at keeping their shape and not losing the ball. City have only had one proper chance all half. Larsson, Brown and Johnson look especially good today. City poor throughout the side, perhaps other than Nasri and Kolorov.

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    Not good news seems to be a day for the strugglers.

  44. jnyc says:

    First, i love any Godfather reference RADDY. Maybe my favorite film ever.

    second, spurs totally outplayed newcastle, but also TOTALLY deserve a heartbreaking loss at Krulls hands – because of the ridiculous amount of penalty help that has handed them undeserved points. They are still higher than they should be.

    third, i look forward to seeing Kelseys comments back here as sson as possible, so we can all enjoy this great season and our team together.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, :)

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m sure that Kelsey will be pleased to see folks caring and wishing him well. He would probably feel a lot better if those of you who also live in London would contact him personally or even see if he was up to having visitors.

    I most certainly would if the London I lived in was not 3,600 miles away.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Sounds as though there is sickness in the camp. Probably flew Ryanair!

    Or MU have learned from Lasagne- gate.

    BFG out and maybe more

  48. 26may1989 says:

    Bloody hell, where did you see that Raddy?

  49. 26may1989 says:

    Found something from Wenger on BBC:

    “We had four players that were touched by a sickness bug overnight.

    “Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky have had to miss out so Thomas Vermaelen and Mathieu Flamini come in to replace them and we must move players around. Mikel Arteta and Serge Gnabry are also sick but are fit enough to be available.

    “We are perfectly focused and ready for the fight, it is not an excuse for us and I have complete faith in the players that have come in. We are ready for the fight.”

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Said it on Danish TV. Hopefully untrue

  51. Gööner In Exile says:

    WTF happened to BFG?

  52. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ok thanks 26 bit of a blow. Would be nice for once to have a fully fit team and bench when going there.

    Been far too much sickness in the team this year, can we get then deep cleaned?

  53. Räsp says:

    No its true, I hope TV will see this as an opportunity to make up for the last time he played against manu

  54. Gööner In Exile says:

    Biggest question is will TV be captain?

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    Personally I’d keep Arteta as Captain but that could be a bit demoralising for Tommy before kick off.

  56. Räsp says:

    Sounds like Don Vito is playing a blinder in the Sunderland goal – I always liked him, he would have been my No. 2 behind Sz

  57. 26may1989 says:

    Am not sure who’s travelled up, but I guess our bench might be something like:

    Fabianski
    Monreal
    Jenkinson
    Wilshere/Hayden
    Bendtner
    Gnabry/Walcott
    Myaichi/Akpom

  58. Räsp says:

    TV shouldn’t be captain but he has to be because he is still officially club captain. Seems a strange decision to keep a player as captain when you know he is not going to be first choice for his position.

  59. 26may1989 says:

    Snap, I did always say I thought Mannone was good…. :)

  60. 26may1989 says:

    Don’t care who has the armband, but it’s a big, big day for TV. Controlling Shrek and RvP will determine the outcome of the game.

  61. Räsp says:

    Hi 26m, he was perfectly adequate in every department I thought but also dare I say it, braver than Fab2 when it came to putting his body on the line. GiE is the GK expert – what’s his opinion?

  62. 26may1989 says:

    Joleon Lescott has gone so far backwards in his development.

  63. Räsp says:

    Agreed, Merts is a natural leader whether he wears the armband or not. The extra pace of TV may be an asset when they bring on Januzaj

  64. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Flamini and Vermaelen start

    Arsène Wenger has made two changes to the side that beat Borussia Dortmund for the trip to Manchester United.

    Mathieu Flamini is fit again and starts in midfield, while Thomas Vermaelen partners Laurent Koscielny at the back.

    Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere returns to the bench, where there is also space for youngsters Isaac Hayden and Serge Gnabry.

    Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky are ruled out through illness.

    Team in full: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud.

    Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Monreal, Hayden, Gnabry, Wilshere, Bendtner
    Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    Rosicky missing is a blow too, he has been exceptional recently.

  66. evönne says:

    i was only talking about it yesterday – any injuries to our defenders or Olly could cost us the title.
    Otherwise, judging by this weekend performances we should win the league on merit alone

  67. evönne says:

    Na$ri must have lost a stone today trying to shift the bus from Sunderland

  68. 26may1989 says:

    City lose!

  69. evönne says:

    yeeeeahhhh!!! Gus Poyet looks almost handsome :)

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp I agree braver and in my opinion a better handler of the ball than Fab1, but I guess that’s why Mannone was able to get a new team.

    I know Rasp hasn’t been checking the AA inbox and my swingometer hasn’t been updated for a while and I know some dispute the premise.

    But 12/13:

    Sunderland 1 Man City 0
    Newcastle 3 Chelsea 2

    See how those two results have had no effect on either teams swing :(

    I think win today puts us up on last seasons points.

  71. Räsp says:

    Hi GiE, if you let me have an updated swingometer after today’s game I promise to update your widget …. ooo eeerrrr missus :?

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Danish TV also saying that Gazidis has stated they are in discussion for a striker in Jan.

  73. Bayonne JeanJ says:

    1-0 at Stadium of Light final! And Na$ri with a foolish cheap shot foul near the end to relieve pressure on Sunderland.

  74. Räsp says:

    I do hope the striker we’re looking at is not Benzema

  75. Big Raddy says:

    15 seconds gone and Jones kicks Arteta.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    I would take either but negotiation isn’t signing is it?

  77. Räsp says:

    We need the ref to be tough in this game, it would appear likely that Moyes will send his players out to kick us off the ball.

  78. Räsp says:

    I’d take Lewandowski :?

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Only one set of fans can be heard and it isn’t the prawn sandwich eating remedials

  80. evönne says:

    we need someone for the CL so my guess is that Gazidis is talking someone unknown. Hold on a second, Suarez is not cap tied

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Ball retention not good enough at the moment.

    Bugger……… BSR has scored.

    Come on Arsenal, get a grip of the game. We are better than this shower

  82. Big Raddy says:

    The goal would have been avoided if Merts had been ther

  83. Räsp says:

    BSR obviously does not reciprocate AW’s affection, his goal celebration was OTT – we can all officially hate the bastard now

  84. Räsp says:

    Its simples, we need to do what city and the totts couldn’t and overturn a 1 nil deficit.

  85. arnie says:

    Raddy: agreed, but it is perhaps out fault that Verms has had no game time in the past three weeks despite being fit. Well, we have to do it all now….

  86. arnie says:

    come on, giving away too many in the midfield

  87. arnie says:

    oh dear, Szcz down …. looking bad

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Poor half from our lads especially in midfield.

    Passing has been lax and too slow. We are not running into the spaces as we normally do.

    Could it be the bug or are we just knakered at the end of a busy week?

    We miss BFG

  89. arnie says:

    Poor poor half, quite a bit to do in the 2nd. Midfield very poor

  90. arnie says:

    ha ha Raddy: great men think alike, or ……. !!!! :D :D

  91. Shard says:

    Something’s wrong with us. Simple passes going astray. No visible energy, except for Giroud. And we look less assured in defense. That might be to do with their attacking quality, as well as missing MErtesacker. But like Wenger said, that is no excuse. We need to work harder, show more attacking ability, which we possess, and get back to 1-1. After that, let’s see whether to push for the win, or keep the draw. Sagna and Flamini both need to be extra careful not to get sent off.

    The refereeing’s been fine. Giroud worried me, but that was not a penalty. Despite what the commentators were trying to get at.

  92. Gööner In Exile says:

    Goal conceded is down to absence of BFG.

    Giroud normally does near post in front and BFG near post behind. With BFG out Oli did the behind role which meant Ramsey was in front.

    Should probably change back to how we normally do it, but swap Kos for BFG.

    Not sure United can keep this workrate up for the next 45 minutes so we should start seeing more ball, 1 man up front alone kills us if we can’t get up and support, like Fortmund we need to find away of leaving Özil up closer to Oli. To try and work on retaining ba and giving us time to shift up the pitch.

  93. arnie says:

    yes, referee has been fine so far…. it is a rough game, but this was expected

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Late into battle.

    Raddy, One of your very best, thank you.

    Right, Come on you Gunnnnnners

  95. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also think we look tired, just checking starting line ups in CL we changed two, Flamini and Verm in for BFG and TR7. United could bring in 4 fresh pairs of legs after their CL match on Tuesday.

    So 1 more day to recover far easier match 4 players fresh, compared to 1 less rest day, two players swapped from a hard fought match.

    Need to find a second wind grab a point and use the international break to get some players back from injury.

  96. arnie says:

    GiE: ManUre will be able to defend with gutso for 45 mins, Vidic or no Vidic. But we should be able to create chances. We have not done so in the 1st, but we should be able to

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Exile
    You and your away one points. Tut tut. All three :-)

  98. arnie says:

    OK, that freekick is in a good position. Good hold up, Giroud

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Nothing happening for Santi so far

  100. arnie says:

    I think Jack for Flamster was a good sub. Like to see Rosicky for Santi

  101. Ved says:

    Rosicky can’t play today arnie. He’s unwell.

  102. Ved says:

    Ozil and Giroud aren’t playing with too much conviction.

  103. Ved says:

    Too many miss passes from Ozil!

  104. Ved says:

    What a beautiful cross from Sagna! How could it miss all those yellow shirts!

  105. arnie says:

    stand corrected, Ved. Thank you. :D

  106. Ved says:

    You are most welcome arnie. Important phase of the game! We are creating chance after another.

  107. Ved says:

    End to end stuff. Can the 43 mil spent weave some magic! Bendtner on for Cazorla. I thought it should have been Ozil who should be off.

  108. Big Raddy says:

    AW going for it.

    We have been much better 2nd half but no question the bug has sffected the energy levels

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think I’d take that point of yours about now Exile :-)

  110. Ved says:

    Sagna’s crosses are begging for a touch. Our strikers gotta be doing better!

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Bendtner! A chance to make a name for yourself and you screw it up. Pants

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We are top of the league say…..

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Better team lost.

  114. fatgingergooner says:

    Poor performance. That was a very average United side who were there for the taking, Espescially after Vidic had left the field.
    We badly missed Rosicky today and our build up was far too slow.

    Very disappointed with that.

  115. Ved says:

    Our second half possession was 63 % and it counts to nothing in the end.

  116. arnie says:

    Yes, We are Top of the League. Could have been better, but the underdog tag suits us well. On with the show!!!!!!

  117. arnie says:

    Raddy: Tummy bug, was it? where was the chef from, not Manchester I hope?

  118. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG get off twitter it’s affected you :)

    We are top of the league say we are top of the league.

    United fans celebrated like it was their cup final. They were not the better side, they nicked one from a set piece, we had all the game second half but couldn’t connect with one of those Sagna deliveries. Shame but that is football at the top fine margins.

    Lets also be honest I would be more upset had the weekends results gone against us…they didn’t. Win our home games against top 5/6 and draw the odd away game and we will be singing come May.

    The things we should take from that performance is that we didn’t stop pushing, we didn’t give up and we were not bullied, even when young Gnabry came on he took the game to them when he could.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “On with the show”

    Spot on Arnie.

    We’ll finish them off at our place, no problem. Off day, that’s all.

  120. Shard says:

    We lost it with our poor first half display. A much better second half. Giroud worked so hard and was unlucky on a few occasions. Bendtner is useless. I’d much rather Akpom or Sanogo be given the game time than him. What was he doing hiding behind the defender instead of looking to get ahead?

    I’m disappointed with the result. Felt we deserved a draw with that performance in the second half. But we lacked another attacking option. Walcott, Podolski, Ox..All would have helped. Oh well.. Still top of the league. The result is more annoying than anything else because all the critics will be out in voice again. Hopefully the international break will allow some of the injured to come back. Some rest and some reinforcements will help keep us top.

  121. Bayonne JeanJ says:

    Just needed to put in more of a shift in most positions. And subbing in Gnabry for Santi earlier would have made a big difference.

    Ah well, not the end of the world. Grudgingly, have to say that Shreck put in big shift…..

  122. Danny says:

    Well we won’t win the league this year but Man U won’t either. They beat us by a flukey off the shoulder header and that was it. Yes Rooney dragged a shot wide but Szczesny had no saves to make. Our problem was Ozil, he decided not to turn up today. If we’d started with Jack instead of him then we would’ve played better.

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s face it lads, the chances of winning every game between now and the end of the season weren’t great.

    I would bet we’ll beat them at home, and restore the gap.

  124. Gööner In Exile says:

    Danny one game and we won’t win the league? Who will? Everyone’s dropped points at the top this year.

  125. Shard says:

    Agreed about Ozil, Danny, but not about the bit saying we’re not going to win the league. We have as much of a chance as anyone else. Just look at the results this weekend.

    The thing with Ozil is, he’s used to playing in a two team league which has a winter break. He wasn’t exactly renowned for his hard work in Madrid and that’s not what we’ve bought him for. All the injuries to our attacking players have meant that we’ve had to play him more than we might have liked. He’ll have the odd off day. But he’s a brilliant player and as he adjusts to the league, he’ll just get better. Ramsey had a fairly poor game today as well. Especially offensively. Too many passes going astray. I guess fatigue played a part. Not an excuse, but it happens.

  126. Sav from Australia says:

    Disappointed to lose to those cheaters, but oh well. I think the team grew in confidence in the second half, they showed too much respect to Man Utd in the first half. But alot of stray passes from Ozil and Ramsey and Flamini and even Cazorla. Tiredness? A bug going through the squad. Gnarbry looked good when he came on, as did Jack.

    Who’s top of the league then?

  127. JanMan says:

    Not to often that you can go to old toilet, lose and still be top of the league by two points! I wonder how many of our boys on the field were affected by the sickness bug? However, we cannot use that as an excuse. We played well in the second half and started to take more control. Unbelievable that we could not connect on some of the crosses. There is no place for doom and gloom. As much as I hate to say it there is no shame in losing 1-0 away to UTD although of course we all know that this one was most likely our best chance to turn them over. We have some players coming back after the International break. Lets’ move on from this and get our game back for Southampton. Still a long way to go in this season.

  128. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bayonne that’s why I wanted him at THOF.

    I do love how TV are focussing on zonal marking, first goal we’ve conceded from a set piece!

  129. fatgingergooner says:

    I deleted it months ago GiE, but maybe the effects have yet to wear off! :)

    I just feel that we should’ve done much better. I can deal with us conceding from a set piece, it happens, but did we even register a shot on target?

    Also, can someone please get Bendtner out of this football! He is a waste of time. I would rather a youngster come on upfront than that pile of sh*te.

  130. JanMan says:

    German sports news reporting that Özil, Flamini and Cazorla were all touch and go if they could start today?

  131. Big Raddy says:

    MU parked the bus for the entire second half because they know we are the better team.

    This was Arteta’s worst game of the season and he was clearly unfit as was Flamini.

    Utd got lucky with our sickness which IMO had a huge effect. Fully fit we would have beaten the easily especially given that BFG would have cleared the corner which led to their goal.

    I have no doubt we will be above them in May

  132. Sav from Australia says:

    That makes sense JanMan. Alot of the guys looked a bit lethargic. Not an excuse, but a contributing factor no doubt.

  133. Shard says:

    I’m feeling ok about this loss. Because despite our bad luck with the players’ fitness, and how the schedule worked out, we lost fair and square. I can take that. Especially when we play decently enough. The first half was poor, but I think we made up for it in the second. Especially if illness was affecting the players out there as well. It’s not going to be as big a gap as we might have had, but we’re still top and we are good enough to stay there.

  134. chas says:

    Thanks for the pre-match, BR.

    I’m not too disappointed after such a wonderful week.
    Pedro on twatter saying the difference between the two sides was a world class striker. It came off his shoulder, ffs. So much for not celebrating against a former club. It’s almost as if he feels hard done by being called a cnut. He must know he deserves it 100%. :)

    If we can get through yet another ridiculous interlull we might come back with a fairly full squad. Flamini not available against the Saints shouldn’t be a big miss.

  135. Oh poo, that was a bit disappointing :( would have been good to wipe that smile off the dutchmans face. Still, in the scheme of things this weekends results were only good for Liverpool so I’m not too upset.

  136. chas says:

    Thanks for the pre-match, BR.

    I’m not too disappointed after such a wonderful week.
    Pedro on twatter saying the difference between the two sides was a world class striker. It came off his shoulder, ffs. So much for not celebrating against a former club. It’s almost as if he feels hard done by being called a ‘see you next Tuesday’. He must know he deserves it 100%. :)

    If we can get through yet another ridiculous interlull we might come back with a fairly full squad. Flamini not available against the Saints shouldn’t be a big miss.

  137. JanMan says:

    I just did something very stupid and took a look at the comments on LeGrove. What a mistake that was!! I did not realize that so many knuckle dragging neanderthal idiots could all be in one place.

  138. Danny says:

    There is no doubt that after 11 league games and 4 champions league games that Wenger is building a great team, that with Theo, Ox and Podolski will be even better but and this is a big but, it takes time and therefore I believe with one or two class additions and no players leaving then next year we’ll be ready.

  139. arnie says:

    We are Top of the League, yes, we are. After how many games? And who knows what will happen by the end of the year, who can predict, but we must be favourites. Certainty, that must be the case, Danny. Let us not lose the underdog tag: it suits us perfectly

  140. chas says:

    Do stats lie? Comment

  141. chas says:

  142. chas says:

  143. neamman says:

    I missed the first half but based on the second we didn’t really deserve to score. How I would have loved a Theo or Ox to run at the defence.

  144. I watched the game
    Gray haired traitor fuck off

  145. Just to make sure there can be no misunderstanding or ill feeling, if I go off on one tomorrow you just need to have this date in mind 29 October 2013.

  146. chas says:

    C1 Cup, GIE?
    We should have played the kids?

  147. peaches says:

    GiE – what are you thinking?

  148. Thinking about voices we may have to put up with tomorrow……..and the last time they commented

  149. chas says:

    Ah, last time someone had something to celebrate. :)

  150. Exactly Chas ;) beginning to think if they can’t be here to celebrate the wins i’m wondering why we should put up with any posts after a defeat

  151. chas says:

    I’ve thought that from day one. But then I would, wouldn’t I? :)

  152. Just put together the swingometer, would you believe that City are actually three points up on their like for like points from last season!

  153. chas says:

    No wonder the bookies have them as favourites. ;)

  154. chas says:

    Ant’s comment about the swingometer was……….
    ‘Why would you expect a factor of points won or lost over corresponding fixtures to be reflected across the whole season, given that form fluctuates’.

  155. Not that i think it had any bearing on the game, but I thought the ref started to favour United a bit in the second half, maybe through their ability to go down easy under soft pressure with nowhere to go, or maybe because its hard for them to remain neutral.

    Would certainly love to know how there wasn’t more than three minutes injury time, there were five substitutions, basically 30 seconds each and a good bit of time wasting which Oliver himself was waving at United players to restart the game, but he only found an extra 30 seconds from that?

  156. Ants can fluctuate off! :D

    Tell him to stop applying logic

  157. chas says:

    Are Southampton still romping the League with maximum points from those still available?

  158. Yes they are, hence why we all predicted home draw against Southampton :D

  159. chas says:

    BSR can fluctuate off that’s for certain. :)
    I’m off to watch season 6 of Dexter and stop thinking about the footy.
    ‘Night.

  160. Villa are predicted 2nd place :D

  161. Night Chas, see you in the motning

  162. RockyLives says:

    Ah well…
    We were not at our best today.

    I doubt the goal would have been conceded if the BFG had been playing: we just looked that bit more uncertain in our defensive organization (that’s not to blame Verm – he just hasn’t had the game time that BFG has).

    That aside, our passing was well off throughout the team today. Our artists were clumsy with their paintbrushes while Utd’s artisans worked like navvies.

    Utd are not a particularly good team but they worked harder than us today and appeared to want it more, at least in the first half.

    Mind you, I can’t remember them having more than a couple of half chances apart from the goal. Likewise we had a few half chances.

    A draw would not have been too unfair but the ManUre fans would certainly have felt it to be. On balance they earned their 3 pts.

    If we were going to lose to ManU, far better to do it in a weekend when the Chavs, Spuds and blue Mancs also dropped points.

    I also thought that ManUre, completing unsurprisingly, got the benefit of the decisions all day long (perhaps that snap of Michael Oliver shoving his head up Fergie’s arse has something to do with it).

    Three minutes added time was laughably bent.

  163. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    This may sound strange, but i was absolutly delighted with that. The improvement in the last 12 months or so has been remarkable.

    We were a bit tentative in the first half and our passing game was a bit off throughout, but somehow this makes me even more confident.

    Imagine what we will be like when we mature further and play with a greater winning expetancy, we will soon be thrashing the Mancs 3-0.

    My only complaint is for 90 minutes having to stare at Utds ugly players and manager.

    Life is so strange. Sitting here watching Strictly come dancing, some of those professional female dancers are so scrumptious, i could eat them alive. Yet, whilst watching the Utd team i wished i was wearing shades.

  164. LB says:

    Peaches/Rasp

    If you need a few words, and I mean a few, for tomorrow, there is something in drafts, if someone else has written something of substance I will, of course, understand if you use that in place.

    And BTW, feel free to change the tittle.

  165. You don’t just sound strange Stretch…..you look and are !.

  166. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ok, your in some back water town and your car breaks down.

    Its dark and cold and whilst walking through the semi wooded area you observe 3 men approaching.

    Phil Jones is holding a pitch fork and looking particualy gormless. Rooney is holding a banjo, and threatening to play it, and Evra is staring you lustily and seems inapropriatly excited.

    I chalange anyone not to panic

  167. I`m so mad, I could crush a cookie !
    Someone explain to me why the fcuk do we only lose to poxy teams below us !. :evil:

  168. Did you flash your interior lights twice and indicators once ?

  169. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, how do you know the signal Cockie?

    Ummm, that Celine Dior women is looking particularly ravishing on X Factor.

    I would very much like to make love to her

  170. Usually they all scarper when I turn up Stretch !. They think it`s a blue flashing light when in fact it`s my helmet !. hahaha

  171. LB says:

    Well at least that puts an end to the nonsense that van Persie is an Arsenal man at heart.

  172. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, thats not to bad Cockie

    In my case, once I exit the car they scarper upon seeing my face

  173. arnie says:

    LB: Did Arsene Wenger really make that comment today? I just cant believe it? Losing today was a bit disappointing, but not the end of the world. But that celebration left a bad taste in the mouth. It does not cost very much to act with some dignity and self-respect. Amazing how few people manage to do that!!!!

  174. fatgingergooner says:

    For a few years now we’ve moaned that beating the lower teams and losing to the top sides has cost us. Isn’t it strange that this season consistency against the lesser teams could be the deciding factor in where the title ends up!

    Pre season I predicted a crazy year with 5 or 6 teams battling it out, and so it’s proving.

    Can I also just point out that I predicted Spurs would never be able replace Bale’s goals and assists from last season because most of them were screamers or brilliant passes….! ;)

  175. LB says:

    Arnie

    I am not sure one way or the other if Wenger said that but what is certain is that who ever said it will not say it again.

  176. fatgingergooner says:

    I absolutely love Giroud, but I do feel he can get outplayed against the top defenders in the bigger games. Vidic had him in his pocket until he went off injured, and his goal scoring record against the big teams isn’t great.

    Against 95% of teams he’s brilliant, but there’s still a bit of me that thinks we require a world class striker for the big occasion. Unfortunately I can’t see many world class strikers happy just to play a few big games each season!

  177. arnie says:

    Yes, LB, bad taste in the mouth. Rinsing off once did not work. A more vigorous rinsing will probably do the trick!!!! :D :D

  178. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think Arsene said it….but what he said was something like:

    “I still see him as an Arsenal man”

    Different to saying what he thinks the twat himself feels like an Arsenal man

  179. Shard says:

    I have no problem with RVP’s celebration. It’s more genuine than the last time he pulled the ‘look at how great I am, but I’m not celebrating’ move. He already showed he has no class and no feelings for Arsenal with that letter and forcing his move to ManU. He’s hugged Ferguson in a repeat of the hug he gave Wenger in order to prove a point. He baited Santos-a guy who thought of him as a friend, and he kicked Sagna’s ankles because he was the only one to not give him a hug in the tunnel his first match back. Why would anyone expect anything else from him except classlessness?

  180. Shard says:

    About the he’s still an Arsenal man quote..I think it was Wenger responding to a question about how it feels to see Van Persie in a ManU shirt. I think what Wenger meant was that it feels strange because he still views him as the player who grew up at Arsenal.

  181. arnie says:

    FGG: On Giroud, I have a feeling the problem is not so much with Ollie’s game, but with our midfield in how little they deliver into the box in some matches. But this is a touchy subject and I would reserve my opinion until I am convinced about it. Let Theo and Poldi return then we will know much better.

  182. Shard says:

    BY the way..Was it just me, or were ManU leaving their feet a little low whenever they jumped over a slide tackle? Both Vermalen and Koscielny got hit in the face with the boots and that isn’t the sort of thing that I see happen very often. I was almost certain that Rooney meant to connect with Vermaelen’s head. Almost.

  183. arnie says:

    Shard: you are right, I think. It was just that I was not surprised because I expect the ManUre players to do just that. Certainly Rooney. Some might say this is how the game is played in the North West …..

  184. LB says:

    Ollie fights harder than anyone for the cause but he doesn’t have the control to ever be called world class. Watch the first 20 minutes and every time the ball is played to his feet he fluffs his lines.

  185. RockyLives says:

    I can’t agree that Oliver had a good game as ref.

    Two Arsenal players booked for their first fouls…

    Lots of little tugs and trips from ManU to break up our possession – no bookings and mostly no free kicks.

    Ollie fouled pretty much every time he competed for a long ball – nothing given – but Jones bones down with on contact and Ollie is penalized (happened a couple of times).

    Basically, a ref who knows how it’s meant to go at Old Toilet (and the Mancs clearly exploit this by arranging photo opps with Fergiescum to remind the official what to do).

  186. Räsp says:

    Hi LB,

    I can’t contact peaches, I’m not aware that anyone else has volunteered so yes please, we’d love an LB match report

  187. Shard says:

    Thanks arnie. Glad to know it wasn’t just my paranoia then :)

  188. Räsp says:

    As far as the game was concerned, it’s a shame the international break didn’t come a week earlier as our boys seemed a bit jaded. Manure had a day extra to recover. It was bad timing to produce a lacklustre performance against that lot – we’ll just have to gain our revenge in the home fixture.

    As LB says, BSR AKA Cutch, was disrespectful in his celebration. I hope we give it back to him when he walks off the pitch after defeat at the Emirates.

  189. Shard says:

    Rocky

    I agree that there were numerous small(er) decisions that the referee got wrong. It wasn’t enough to class as swinging the game in their favour though. Not for me anyway. I saw all of them, and when Jones fell down just outside his own penalty box, and when he fell down with Wilshere about to win a corner, both helped relieve the pressure on ManU. They also got some corner instead of a goalkick etc. The only one where we got lucky was when RVP robbed Vermaelen on the halfway line. I didn’t think that was a foul.

    So yes. I see where you are coming from completely. I don’t think Oliver had a good game. I just think he didn’t swing it toward ManU completely. Basically, I think this fell under the category ‘bias’ and not ‘corruption’. I can live with bias against Arsenal. It’s been there ever since I started watching.

  190. peaches says:

    Thank you LB, no-one else has offered and I completely forgot to nag ;)

  191. arnie says:

    Shard and Rocky: Part of the problem is that we face such harsh treatment from everyone else in the football establishment: opposition players (read henchmen), refs, journos, etc., that we see virtues almost in the realisation that it could be worse. Most often, we would not even be thinking about it, except when a Shitecross comes along, or the ref in the Villa game. Otherwise, we just bite the bullet and move on, and do not whinge like the fans, players and management of other teams. Today we had a indifferent result, hence we are thinking about it. Otherwise, we would just move on …..

  192. fatgingergooner says:

    Maybe arnie, but you can’t blame the service today. Espescially from Sagna who put some wicked balls into the 6 yard box. I think it may have something to do with our midfielders reluctance to go past Giroud in big games. In the first half he had very little support as our passing didn’t allow us to build attacks, but also because our midfielders were too worried about their defensive jobs. The Arteta, Flamini partnership should give us more freedom but it seemed to have opposite effect.

    As for the ref, I thought he was pretty poor today and very pety. Some of the calls were pathetic.

  193. RockyLives says:

    Shard
    You’re wrong about the BSR/Verm incident. Watch it carefully – BSR does a little tap kick to the back of Verm’s heel as Verm is getting away from him. Just enough to make him trip and lose possession.

  194. Räsp says:

    OK, all widgets updated including GiE’s swingometer.

    Sorry GiE, I had to lose 2 columns to make it fit, but the important info is there …. we’re destined for 7th, 3 places behind the spuds apparently :lol:

  195. Shard says:

    Rocky

    Maybe I just want to sleep well tonight and not think about how the referee screwed us. :)

    I haven’t seen the incident closely, so you might be right about that. Maybe arnie is right too. Just because a referee calls it a foul when he could have not called it a foul, I’m being more forgiving.

    At least the big call with the penalty went in our favour (and rightly so). Once the referees in England can start getting the big calls right, maybe we can realistically talk about the smaller calls and how they affect the game. For today, I’ll take it.

  196. arnie says:

    FGG: Agreed. But it does not take away my point that in terms of quantity, not quality, our midfield is a bit short in the big games. Against strong opposition, I expect Sagna perhaps to focus more on his defensive role. Likewise Gibbs. Quality deliveries into the box should be the role of midfielders/ wingers. Personally, I feel that we have made such amazing idols of our midfielders that we sometimes forget to expect such deliveries from them. But this is perhaps a discussion for another day.

  197. Gööner In Exile says:

    I agree on the ref, it wasn’t a particularly outrageous performance it was a normal free kicks to the opposition for innocuous challenges and none for us, example Carrick going down under no challenge from Giroud, Jones going weak at the knees when Jack got close.

    From another angle Rooney could of seen red, led with one foot, it was high (half way up shin) and he was off the floor.

    But as others have said pat for the course.

    On Giroud in the first half I think as someone else said its about the support, he was being asked to pull the ball out of the Sky and hold it while the midfield got close and three/four United players surrounded him.

    Second half with (normally) Ozil and mates closer Giroud was picking them out as the ball came to him and he was finding them with a lay off and giving them something to play off. Much better. It was the same against Dortmund. He is a good target man but he can’t be left on his own against the type of defences like United and Dortmund.

    Flamini from the first minute was trying to bring the midfield forward to press higher and relieve the back four, others were reluctant to join in. In that regard at the back we missed BFG, that organisation he gives us allows the midfield to get higher up the pitch.

  198. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning Motningers

    Chas
    I am very excited by your 6:44 Arteta Pass Chart in a kind of “You what?” kind of way. I’m assuming the yellow dots represent the Lego Haired One. Some green arrows go on to touch another yellow dot, but most don’t. Then there are three Utd red arrowed lines. Eh?

    In short, I want more charts, more heatmaps and more Swingometer style visuals :-)

  199. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This is going to be a loooooong Interdull :-(

    Best do some work.

  200. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. What I think that chart shows is that I was wrong in my assessment of Arteta having a poor game!

    We looked better when Wilshire came on, he added much needed energy. We looked worse when NB arrived, we were playing with 10 men.

  201. evönne says:

    ginger – exactly my sentiments re Giroud. What a lovely player, great guy, has it almost all……How many times he sort of froze for a split second outside the goal? Split second is long enough for opposition defenders to stop his shots.

    He is young, he WILL definitely get much better, but in the meantime I would like a Rooney or a Suarez b**rd on our side

    Did I ever mention that I HATE van Per$ie more and more, and more each day

  202. Gööner In Exile says:

    I understand but then I don’t understand the point of NikB going on and going out left, surely we just go 2 up 4 across midfield and launch it.

    I know that limits our cover in midfield but with ten to go you can lose 2-0 or draw.

  203. LB says:

    I don’t quite agree that we looked worse when Bendtner came on, well not if you agree with the job he was given to do, which was in my opinion to drag one of their central defenders out of position in the hope of creating more space for either Giroud or one of the midfielders to run into and score. Playing the role of dragging a defender out of position is never glamorous but it was a card worth playing.

    I thought we looked better than we had at any time when Gnabry came on.

  204. chas says:

    Motning,
    BR,
    I wasnt suggesting you were wrong about Arteta having a poor game. I was just wondering if stats told the whole story as much as anything.
    For instance, Mikel usually completes almost double the number he did yesterday.

  205. chas says:

    Passes that is.

  206. Morning all

    There’s a New Post …………………..

  207. chas says:

    Here’s Arteta’s pass map versus the dippers.
    99 passes completed out of 105 attempted.

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