If the Kids are United

April 29, 2018

This is usually one of the highlights of the season but today is before the Lord Mayor’s show. Win, lose, draw – doesn’t matter, what matters is that we go to Madrid with a fit and as full as possible squad.

Thinking of which, the AM game last week was made for Santi ūüė¶

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With this in mind I would send out the Ladies team to play and beat Merino’s oh-so-dull Utd side.The Arsenal WFC have won the PL 12 times, the FA Cup 14 times, the League cup 11 times and 58 trophies since their inauguration in 1993. Makes perfect sense to me.

Alternatively, we could see many of the youth and U-23 team. Would be brilliant to see some of the kids weaving their way past a static MU defence but I fear AW will not agree.

As this is Arsene’s last game at OT, he is likely to play many of our stars, however meaningless the game is. Does he dare play Ramsey and Ozil? Or even Lacazette? My guess is that very, very few Gooners would take that risk.

And what of MU? If they win the FAC will the MU BoD consider it a major achievement after Merino belittled AW’s 3 times in 4 years? 16 points behind MC?

They have spent a fortune on this team with a ‚ā¨75m striker and a ‚ā¨100m MF, but are the faithful United fans satisfied? We know the answer as we had the same with George Graham – the football can be poor as long as there is silverware. This is why Merino always gets sacked because if his teams do not win trophies there is nothing for the fans.

Don’t want to write about Sanchez – the man is dead to me.

My Team

Cech

Chambers  Mustafi   Holding

Wilshere    Xhaka    Willock   Kolasinac

Nelson    Iwobi

PEA

In his press conference AW said Miki is almost fit and could play today. I would rest him ahead of AM because IMO he will give us more than Wilshere and Arsenal cannot take a risk with Miki’s fragile fitness in a meaningless fixture. Maybe 30 minutes as sub.

What I don’t want is a hammering, the thought of that slimeball’s face should they thrash a weakened AFC team is too much to bear.

On reflection, I think we go up there, play 10 defenders plus PEA and park the bus. AM did it to good effect midweek, why can’t we?

Either that or get the Women’s team kitted up

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Come on girls – make us proud.

COYRRG


Man Utd Preview.Where is the Glamour?

November 19, 2016

When the deeply unpleasant Me-rinho announced that he would be talking over from flaky LVG I was concerned; this was a chance for him to resurrect his career. Hopefully, he will continue the fine work done by his two predecessors.

Jose’s press conference yesterday told all we need to know about him; just watch his facial expressions, listen to his envy. If I were one of MU’s phalanx of spin doctors, I would be worried. The man is unspooling.

Long may it continue

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Onto the game.  As always there is the truism Рpoints lost at OT are no more valuable than those lost at say, Vicarage Road. Nonetheless this is an important game, we need the points to stay with the front-runners and doing damage to MU is always good.

November. Bellerin. Santi. Sanchez. We know the problems.

Team selection will be very interesting. Will AW go with a defensive midfield pivot of Xhaka & Coquelin alongside Elneny? Will Ramsey start? Or Sanchez?

And what of right back? Peaches put out the rumour that Coquelin could start rather than Jenks, I can’t see it. Jenkinson has experience and is likely to start. Or could AW play Gabriel at RB and allow us to play with 3 at the back, pushing Monreal into midfield and thus giving space for an ¬†attacking MF (Ramsey?).

A little about MU. They seem a club without an identity. In times of yore there was always a glimmer about them, some glamour. This is why Pogba and Ibra are so important to United, Pogba in particular, will be the man to base the team around. They have young talent in Rashford, Martial (I would love him to work with AW at AFC), Shaw and Bailly. Keeping De Gea was huge – he earns them at least 6 points a season. Someone will make them into a Top 4 side – I pray it is not the obnoxious Jose¬ī.

My Team:

Ospina

Jenkinson    Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka     Coquelin     Iwobi

Walcott   Sanchez   Ozil

Given Iwobi’s midweek travelling from Nigeria it may be that Ramsey will take his place, but let us not forget The Ox whose energy would do well in a more defensive performance.

The pundits are predicting Me-rinho will PTB, it is his way when facing attacking quality. Without Ibrahimovic I expect him to play on the counter and defend deep. Mata always plays well against us so I would not be surprised to him man marked.

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This will be a test for us, the portents are not good – the Mourinho jinx, November, our recent record at OT, injuries but this is the time when all good men come to the aid of the party.

COYRRG

 


Welbeck to Start.

February 28, 2016

Any trip to Old Trafford is cause for trepidation and despite MU’s poor recent form, this afternoon is no exception. It is 10 years since we won at their miserable, ugly, prawn-ridden stadium.

True, United no longer get sent out to kick two-colours out of our lads by the inspirational red-nosed alkie – instead they are inspired by Oliver & Hardy (LVG & Giggsy).

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LVG asking Giggs if he should sub Carrick

It has been an underwhelming season so far for MU, especially given their huge financial investment into the squad. 10 points behind us and 15 off the top is not what MU’s board would have hoped for.

BUT, the Mancs always raise their game against us. Just think back to the stand-out moments of recent seasons; the PV4/Keane battle, AW sent to the stands surrounded by bile-spewing muppets, Rooney’s dives, RvP’s goal off his shoulder (for MU), Fellaini. There always seems to be some misfortune which follows Arsenal at OT.

For example, De Gea returns from injury as does Smalling (wish AW had signed him), Martial and Rojo. This will not be the massively weakened MU we have seen over recent weeks.

There are concerns about our goal-scoring; almost 6 weeks since OG’s last goal, Sanchez playing way-below form, Theo ineffective, Ramsey not being able to hit a cow’s arse etc etc. However, in Ozil/Welbeck we have the keys to drive us to victory, not just today but in the title run-in.

I fervently wish for Welbeck to start today. Quite where he fits in I cannot fathom but we need his pace and strength. Where do you think he should play? He is naturally a left-sided attacker but that is where Sanchez plays and Alexis is undroppable.

We have succeeded in Manchester by parking the bus, playing a pressing game and attacking on the break. I think a similar plan would be effective this afternoon – it almost worked on Tuesday.

In an attempt not to repeat myself ūüôā I will not write of my admiration for Aaron Ramsey nor the need to remain vigilant for the excellent United wing play – Depay is starting to look like the world’s most expensive teenager again.

Nor will I mention Leicester or the need to keep pace with the excrement from N15. If we are to win the title a point today is the least we should hope for.

At this time in a post I often reflect upon my feelings about our opposition. For some reason I do not hate MU this season! Is it because of the humour and humanity of LVG, the awful run of injuries, the difficulty of changing from the SAF old guard to a new MU filled with exciting attacking intent (that is a joke) or just that it is an unpleasant trait to laugh at those who are going through tough times? Whatever the reason, I find I have some sympathy for our old rivals plight.

I still want to beat them though.

A repeat of the thrashing we gave United at the Emirates would be lovely

COYRRG

 

 

 


Overconfident Mancs? MU preview

August 28, 2011

“We won the League ….. In Manchester”

We won the League¬†at Old Trafford etc……. “

Seems like a long time ago since Mr Wiltord ensured another title for the men in the white hats. It would be reasonable to say that whilst United have consolidated and strengthened, we have taken a step back. The reasons have been discussed ad nauseum across the AFC blogworld, we all have our theories and pre-match is not the time to further the discussion.

Rarely have I known Gooners go into a PL game with so little expectation, actually that’s not true – there is an expectation – we are goimg to get hammered. Why? …. oh, there are so many reasons for the lack of optimism:¬† Recent history at OT, injuries, suspensions, exhaustion, ¬†inexperience, players out of their natural positions etc etc etc. BUT …..

It is still a game of 11 versus 11, and whilst we may not have our first choice team available we still have a very good side. MU may be Champions (and deservedly so) but they have their own difficulties: An very youthful and untested CB pairing, a lack of a creative midfielder, a dependence upon the talents of Rooney, a dodgy keeper. etc etc

Where MU undoubtedly have an advantage is with the officials. However MU fans may¬†like to suggest otherwise the facts point to an undoubted bias towards¬†MU at OT. Since the beginning of 2009 – over 2 seasons, only one penalty has been awarded to the opposition at OT, whereas 8 were awarded to MU¬†( Arsenal stats for Emirates AFC . For 9, against 8). This is before dodgy offsides, non-goals, cards given for an MU dive, 110 minute games¬†etc. This bias is so prevalent that it has become accepted by everyone outside of OT. Harold Webbis today’s victim, let us hope he has a good game.

This is a huge game in our calendar, one of the highlights of the season and whomever AW decides to play, they will give their all. We have match winners despite our problems and¬†despite the shuffles , the defence looks sound.¬†Suggestions have been made that Djourou could play in midfield …. seems a reasonable shout, better than throwing Lansbury into a massive game.

Our record at Old Trafford has been poor in recent years, no win since 2006, Furthermore, United have not lost a home PL game for 17 months! The Manc blogs are united in their optimism Рmost predict a home win by a least 2-0 and a comfortable victory. It is true that MU have started the season very well, the seond half against a sub-standard Spurs was an exhibition of superb attacking football to which the cave dwellers had no answer (and still have no points).

But …… our win in Italy was founded upon a¬†determination¬†which has rarely been seen in the squad since Sol and PV left. We are expected to lose yet we have real firepower in our front line, hard workers in our midfield and a beginning of a solid defence based around a superb goalkeeper. Should we score first, I rate our chances highly.

My team:

Either JD or Kos could play as DM. They both have shown an eye for a pass and the ability to get forward. Just read there could be a problem with Sagna, in which case, Lansbury has to play MF and Koscielny can go left …. tough times!

There have been many inventors from Manchester, my favourite being Roy Chadwick who designed the Lancaster bomber as well as the Vulcan bomber upon which Concorde was based.  Chadwick died in 1947 testing one of his own designs.

A question was posed midweek …. which game¬†would we rather win, Udinese or MU. Almost everyone said the CL match. I disagree, I want to win both.

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy


The Big Game

December 13, 2010

Written by BigRaddy

The words Old Trafford always brings a shiver down the spine because Man Utd are  the biggest club in football. Perhaps Barca and Real could dispute their crown but MU play in a competitive league which they have dominated for quarter of a century. I always get excited by this fixture, it is one of the glamour games of the year and when both teams are on form almost guarantees an enthralling spectacle Рhowever neither side is on form at present and I fear the worldwide audience will be disappointed if they expect a feast of football akin to the recent Barca v Real game.

Speaking to Arsenal fans at the Emirates and my Goonermates worldwide, there is a strong sense of foreboding – they expect us to lose tonight, which I find perplexing. I know United have only lost 2 points at home this season but we have very good away form. We are scoring freely on the road and MU are trying to incorporate a damaged goods Rooney. We are top of the League and United are not.

The positives for us are the wonderful form of Nasri and the mercurial Arshavin. Should they both play well we can and will win. We need to adopt an aggressive policy from the start and retain ball possession. The defence has to stay solid and be aware thet United do not play route one but attack at speed down the flanks – Clichy will need to be fully concentrated.

There is rumour that Fabianski is injured and that Chesney may start? If true then what better way to start your PL career with a clean sheet at OT?

Then there is the question of Cesc . Should we play him if he is back to fitness? In my opinion he has to start if fully fit, this is not a player who needs to be nursed through with warm up games, he is too important and too good. That said, this is just 3 points in a long season and should he be anything less than 100%  he must be rested, playing a 20 minute cameo should we be losing by a single goal at 70 mins.

The team almost picks itself:

We all know about United, their  problems and strengths are highlighted all over the media.

Tonight’s game is being watched by football fans all over the world, there will be hundreds of millions of viewers and the match will require a strong referee who will neither be influenced by the spite of Sir Alex nor attempt to be the centre of attraction. Tonight’s referee is Howard Webb, who by any standards has had a fantastic year; to ref the 2 biggest games in World football and then be handed the honour of tonight’s game is a huge accolade. He is not a favourite at Old Trafford because (so far) he hasn’t given the expected home decisions. Should he stamp down on Nani and Rooney’s diving plus Fletcher and Scholes savagery, we will have a chance. If not, it could be a long night.

At some point our team has to gel again. We have played wonderful football at times this season and the dreaded November has passed – we can and will win this game unless Lady Luck fortunes Man Utd (as usual!).

COYRRG