Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester United: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

At least one monkey off the back then. And deservedly so.

I had not seen the starting line-ups so was a bit surprised in the early moments when it appeared that Cesc was missing and two Wilsheres were playing in the middle for Arsenal. It took me a moment to realize that Ramsey got a start. But there wasn’t much time to dwell on that as the Gunners had started brightly.

Wilshere had an excellent chance in the opening few minutes after some good work by Walcott down the right. His cross caused panic in the United box and Vidic could only produce a lame clearance that fell to Wilshere on the edge of the box. The youngster showed his inexperience as he lacked a bit of composure while dragging the shot wide. The key point to note here was the shocking clearance by Vidic, the kind of detail some fans miss.

In the opening ten minutes United barely touched the ball but their parked bus was doing its job. It was turning into a pitiful but effective display by Fergie’s boys.

As the game went on Arsenal created a number of half-chances without really testing Van der Saar. Some dangerous moments led to corners but those were predictably fruitless.

At the other end Hernandez was exposed as a woefully limited player who offered nothing outside the box. Rooney was having to play like a defensive midfielder so his attacking impact was quite limited. On few occasions when United did get the ball, Arsenal had enough players to win it back. Szczesny too was having a fairly comfortable night.

United’s only real dangerous moment of the first half came in the 20th minute when Nasri stopped tracking Fabio and the Brazilian was able to get into the box with ease. Only an intelligent interception/clearance by the particularly alert Sagna saved the day for the Gunners as Chicarito was poised to tap home.

The big moment of the first half came just after the half-hour. Walcott once again created some room down the right and whipped in a delicious cross. Vidic got it away from the head of RvP using his hand. It should have been a clear penalty and a straight red. The assistant had a clear view of the incident but kept his flag down. Van Persie clearly saw it but his plea fell on deaf ears. Incompetence or bias? Take your pick.

In my opinion, Vidic gets away with at least 4-5 penalties and a couple of red cards each season. Unfortunately, not enough people focus on the relevant details.

The first half ended goalless. I thought it was a valiant and impressive display by the gunners and a rather sorry one by the visitors. Wilshere and Ramsey lacked a little bit of experience and it showed in their decision making and final ball in the attacking third. Can’t really blame the youngsters but it was one of the main reasons Arsenal didn’t create more chances despite dominating possession and territory. The second reason was the slow-ish tempo which was again down to the midfielders taking too long on the ball.

Arshavin came out after half time for Nasri who had picked up a hamstring injury.

United showed a little more ambition at the start of the second half. Rooney forced a save from a free-kick. Szczesny was rooted to his spot initially and had to parry a ball he should easily have caught. The youngster did learn fast and caught one later in the game.

On the other end Sagna cut in from the right and struck one that flew just wide.

Ten minutes into the second half Arsenal got the winner. Song intercepted a ball in the air and played it to Ramsey. The Welshman found Van Persie who had drifted into the inside right channel. Arsenal had moved the ball quickly on this occasion and that forced the United players to rush back. It also caught them out of shape. Van Persie did well to attract two defenders and cut it back perfectly for Ramsey to side-foot it into the far corner. The fact that Arsenal had three other players in the box made a big difference.

The rest of the period was a real test for Arsenal. Just before the goal Fergie had introduced Valencia to try and exploit the right wing and Arshavin’s well documented slackness in consistently tracking back. In this game though, the Russian showed he can chase the ball and put some sliding tackles in.

The gunners did have a problem of lacking clarity after taking the lead. The team didn’t settle back into a defensive shape and didn’t press higher up the pitch either. United were able to dominate the ball from this point onwards but Arsenal worked hard in defence even if it wasn’t as well organized and comfortable as one would have liked.

There were a few counter-attacking opportunities for Arsenal but the players lacked composure in the final third. It was another sign that hardly any Gunner knew how to handle this situation. It’s an area where Wenger needs help and must seek it during the summer.

United’s only meaningful moment came when Owen went down on the edge of the box. It was far tighter than the first half howler and I’d have been surprised if the ref actually gave it.

On the whole it was a thoroughly deserved and a fairly convincing win for Arsenal. We could have been better after the goal was scored but in the circumstances I’m happy with the spirit and the effort.

Individual Performances:

Szczesny: Had one or two shaky moments but nothing serious. Did his job well. Good to see he has worked on his kicking technique and is now getting good distance.

Sagna: Excellent game down the right. Made a massive interception in the first half. Provided some testing crosses.

Djourou: Didn’t have much to do but looked competent in the air. Not sure how serious his injury is.

Koscielny: Another top class performance from the defender. Was in the right place all the time. Won the headers he had to, made some vital tackles/interceptions.

Clichy: Mirrored Sagna on the left. Put in some good crosses, one was exceptional that Theo was not able to direct on target.

I thought the back five played really well. They had to deal with a lot of pressure in the final half-hour and did well to see it out.

Song: Played a bit within himself and offered good protection to the defenders. Conceded a few fouls that he could have avoided.

Wilshere: Was excellent in the middle third but could have offered more in the attacking areas. Needs more experience to do that.

Ramsey: Great to see him coming back to his best and get a well-deserved goal. Offered a lot in the middle but just like Wilshere he can and must do better in and around the box. Another one who will only improve with experience.

I thought the midfield was really dominant in the first hour of play. They got caught in the no man’s land later in the game as the ball was being kicked long. Deserve credit for the effort and concentration.

Walcott: As expected, Park was playing as an ancillary left-back to negate the threat of Theo. Still managed to put a few teasing crosses. Better ball movement would have seen him rip Evra to shreds. Should have been used better after Arsenal took the lead.

RvP: Amazing movement, great composure in the attacking areas – something the younger midfielders should learn from, easily the most valuable striker in the League this season.

Nasri: Was making an impact every time he got on the ball. Didn’t get into enough shooting positions as United always got a midfielder to block him when he drifted in.

I thought the front three did well against the parked bus. They will be even more effective after they develop a better understanding with the young stars in midfield.

Subs: Loved Arshavin’s work-rate and tackling. Eboue did a job on the right. Squillaci was steady.

Wenger: Team selection was pretty straightforward. Substitutions were good. Has to find a way to organize the team after taking a lead. Needs to get the most out of guys like Walcott once the opposition is chasing the game.

The results of the weekend have been such that next week we will most likely be celebrating St. Totteringham’s day irrespective of the result against the thugs.

67 Responses to Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester United: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. Eyasu says:

    Rambo is back! good to see that we have someone that can play the cesc role, if he is to leave this summer. As always great analysis desi.

  2. santori says:

    Great result. Perfect to instil some sense of self belief in us.

    Worth bearing in mind that we did it without Fabregas and with the youngest team in the PL.

    Good to see Ramsey coming back to his best.I do think though that if Fabregas leaves, that the logical choice to take over the reigns would be Andrei.

    Arsharvin seems to have lost his pace slightly which has left him struggling a little out wide but on evidence of his assists this season and the hunger he showed in this game, I think a move infield for him will help exploit his best.

    RVP is an amazing player with a great strike rate. BUT I do feel because he tends to move out of position considerably (why does he take corners?), that we are constantly devoid of a presence in the box to finish things off. I think we need to experiement better with RVP playing off say Chamakh this summer. Even getting a new striker (if Bendtner leaves) toadd pace and directness up front might help.

    And that directness is what we sometimes lack as we elect to intricately thread the ball through. I feel we need to learn to vary our game and transition our counters quicker. A pacy direct outlet up top will help. Also agree that Walcott needs to learn how to be a better outlet when we do take a crucial lead. With Andrei moved infield, we will need a new Lwinger like Hazard who can play both sides and act as an alternate speed merchant to Walcott.

    Defensively, I thought we rose to our potential and kept United at bay reasonably well (altough it has to be remembered that they had the strains of the CL game midweek). Even more, whilst pleasing, this is a doubly frustrating win in some ways because of the way we tossed away Liverpool and Bolton.

    Wenger seems to have (FINALLY) learnt from the previous engagements with United and set up the team correctly for once. We were less adventurous going forward whilst still prsenting a useful threat in the first half.

    What was great was our pressing in midfield and high up the pitch. The wingbacks were also better cognisant of the threat posed by United’s quick release to wide ares. Overall, spacing between mmidfield and defense was correct and we stayed compact.

    if there was one criticism at the back was that yet again, we could have closed the game off more comfortably instead of living dangerously.

    Szcezny must have punted at least 3 balls straight back to VDS when he could have distributed it out from the back and have us play a bit of passing. This again points to a bit of nerves and lack of composure but I suppose somewhat justifiable given recent results.

    make no mistake, this is a young team and the experience from this season will serve them well. They will only get better and gain mmore experience.

    Also great to see RVP standing up to the role as leader on the pitch and gravbbing Song (this time) by the scruff of the neck and imbuing some focus into the young player.

    Well done Arsenal.

    • desigunner says:

      I think flexibility in the system is extremely critical. Arshavin can be very effective down the middle against some teams. But in other cases, where extra work-rate will be required, he might be a liability. I thought Rooney struggled to offer that extra protection United usually have against Arsenal when they play three midfielders. But the England striker is doing an impressive job in that role and Arshavin could be effective in that. But then Wenger will have to pick two out of Song, Wilshere, Rambo, and Diaby plus any new midfielder if one is bought. Of course, the inherent assumption in this is that Cesc might leave which is just speculation at the moment.

      All in all a lot of complexities.

  3. santori says:

    First post again!?

    Special shout to the Ref, easily the best manc on the pitch, he pitched in with a couple of sublime touches for United albeit to no avail.

    Glad to see poor eyesight clearly works both ways. I didn’t see Clichy anywhere near Owen I swear.:D

  4. santori says:

    Just on the note of Fabregas (or lack thereof)

    Whilst he is a sublime player, he can go missing at times and in recent games, he has been guilty of giving the ball away with more frequency than the much improved (albeit perrenially injured) Diaby.

    Whilst I prefer for obvious reasons to see him stay, I think this game will prove to the squad that we can manage without him (as we did in the first half of the season)

    Fabregas has been making some noises about our lack of maturity etc but (and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that it was a knock) he doesn’t seem to deliver this season particularly when he is most needed.

    I hope we develop a couple of alternative variations to play next season.

    • Mik says:

      I totally agree with you. Fabregas is criticizing his team mates but he himself failed to deliver this season. When he is out of form he drags the whole team down with his constant blind/misplaced passes.

      Last season he scored goals out of nowhere just like Nasri did earlier this season. I am certain that he will find his form again next season, but his interviews are very annoying.

  5. max says:

    after the performance today i’m less worried about cesc leaving. although i think that wilshere and ramsey would benefit playing another season with him.

  6. WOLF says:

    Unless cesc was hurt, barca probably asked that he play very little in whats left in the season. At the end of the day, I think us selling Fabregas will benefit us like how when Liverpool sold Torres. Overall, the midfield was a lot quicker in movements but not passing. And with RVP as captain this team was a lot tougher and more vocal. My heart dropped when I heard Szczensy yelling at the defenders to organize, we havent heard a goalie do that in years.

  7. Sudarsan says:

    Cesc is very vital to the way arsenal plays….Wenger has built the whole club around Cesc Fabregas and it would be a big mistake to let him go now….Even though we won the match today,still it was a totally different Arsenal game without their normal fluency…It will atleast take one season for us to build our team without Cesc and that is not acceptable in the current circumstances…

    • santori says:

      “whole club around cesc…” I very much doubt it. OTOH if that is the case (and there is some reason we over rely on him when he is on) than that is a problem.

      Good to see we can play without Cesc (as we did start of the season)

    • desigunner says:

      I think both sides of the argument have merit. That is what makes Wenger’s job that much more difficult 🙂

      If Cesc stays and doesn’t perform people will criticize the manager and the player. If he sells Fabregas and the team takes time to gel together, other fans will bay for his blood.

      I guess the key is for Wenger to have another heart-to-heart with Cesc and gauge his mental state. I thought Fabregas had a tough start but was doing really well in the middle before injuries stuck and then that Barca game obviously had an effect on him.

  8. JP says:

    A job well done Arsenal! My first thought when I didn’t see Cesc was that he is definitely off, it was nice to see the boys win without him. Kind of makes you even more angry that we are winning when the pressure is off. Stick to getting some more quality in the summer, move dead weight and come back strong again!

  9. K-TR7 says:

    Good like to add on a big fan of his off the ball in ramsey’s goal it has barely been mentioned how he made a run taking defenders with him creating space for ramsey to run was almost similar to his run in 08/09 against the mancs at home that dragged away vidic giving nasri space to score.with his ever improving first touch,dribbling,closd control,finishing and crossing he may end up an Arsenal great.he just needs to continue improving on the aforementioned aspects along with his stamina.

  10. ibrahim gassama says:

    great game 4 great team keep it up

  11. pH says:

    Good review as usual Desi.

    One thing about the Vidic incident though.
    The cross from Walcott touched Vidic – no doubt.
    Thus they awarded Arsenal a corner from it .
    The ref or lino could see it was above his head.
    Where did the ball touch then?
    On what basis do they award Arsenal a corner, but not a penalty?! (and sending off Vidic)

    • arvind says:

      great point come to think of it

    • cupsui says:

      exactly i was thinking th same at the time. so bias or incompetence becomes even more relevant. I really thought song and koscienly were brilliant and unsung…hahaha…heros today brilliant games from them aswell as the two youngsters in the middle! well done gooners and desi gooner best blog in the arsenal world

    • pH says:

      if it happened as we saw it
      then that is neither bias nor incompetence.

    • desigunner says:

      Excellent point.

      I’m not sure who awarded the corner. Whether it was the ref or the linesman? My guess is that the linesman saw it but kept his flag down while the ref just saw a deflection and gave a corner.

  12. santori says:

    Hope this puts to rest some of the criticism on our defense of late. I think there is bags of talent back there but they need a bit of work.

    The defense punched their weight and played to potential. AND I think our midfield supported them well with the right work rate and by remaining compact.

    BTW, I don’t see us moving for a Cback unless Squillacci is moved on but what about Upson? he’s an old boy, comes with experience and I believe his club is on the way down. Should be a cheap acquisition to play a role much like Lehman (I think he’s a keeper on a rolling contracta s Almunia will leave)

  13. Kushagra India says:

    Daniel Martineau
    It would appear that the only way Vidic is ever going to get sent off is if he runs over to the referee, pulls the red card out of his pocket and shows it to himself.

  14. Kushagra India says:

    Devil is in details 😉

  15. bob says:

    I think your perception begs a call for action. You rightly ask: “Incompetence or bias? Take your pick.” You rightly say: “In my opinion, Vidic gets away with at least 4-5 penalties and a couple of red cards each season. Unfortunately, not enough people focus on the relevant details.” Alright, then, ALL of this makes plain the need for VIDEO REPLAY. Arry complained he was rightly done in by bad (or otherwise) refereeing; and he called for VIDEO REPLAY. Morono complained he was done in by BENT refereeing and NAMED 4 referees in the CL as being out of order. I submit, as per your observations above, that – whether it’s corruption or perception — all fans must unite on a pressured demand for VIDEO REPLAY, or face the real disintegration of Arsenal’s future prospects and those of anything resembling actual football (rather than the current Bent-Casino-on-the-Pitch).

    • desigunner says:

      I have been in favour of video technology and have covered it in a few articles. But I’m not sure the fans have much of a say on this topic. Football authorities know we are addicted to the game and need our fix. They don’t see fans as a threat in any way and thus don’t take the fans’ opinion that seriously.

  16. alphie says:

    great article desi.

    a couple of observations.

    1. kos had a super game. its my observation that in all matches he revels against intelligent players/skillful players. apart from one missed chance look how ordinary he made hernandez look. his man-marking is really good.tight man style like TV5.

    2. arshavin put in more tackles than he has as compared to the rest of the season and even maybe his arsenal career:-)….it even caught the players on that flank by surprise

    3. walcot and sagna have gelled together.the run walcot tracked evra in the second half,if for any other attacker it would have been a simple cross and tap in.

    4. the team had a prescence to it. it could be RVP being captain? ramsey in midfield with more bite? or song in his role.

    5. as much as we credit fab for how the team plays which is true also song’s free role highly contributes to that. he’s restricted role today meant less fluidity too.

    6. RVP’s movement is second to he constantly drags defenders out of position is beyond me.he is constant in this aspect. he is world class

    7. i disagree we need a new striker uptop.the forward three need to be more telepathic like if rvp is draging out defenders then what are the other two attackers doing or approaching midfielders doing?

    8. there is a huge difference between bendtner and chamakh. bendtner is an entertainer if u like? can dribble? has amazing individual a typical poacher.chamakh has is elements that we know and others that we dont….he’s yet to come out of the closet? a few youtube videos show he has potential but his first season was about doing the simple things right.

    9. whilst fabregas is a specialist and i am sure he loves arsenal and maybe trophies may persuade him to stay a bit longer its inevitable he wants to play for spain’s olympic diving team….oops i meant barcelona.
    he’s departure will cause a struggle in the team but the question is will it liberate players or inhibit them….i’d love for him to stay but if his heart isnt in it then he should go.

    10. where will experience be bought…my only guess is one midfielder is coming in. a midfielder with diaby’s guile with experience who can do a little bit of both.
    will arsene buy a SUPERSTAR like kaka?could he? only he knows….

    other buys will be dependent on outgoing players? i feel denilson will flourish but not in arsenal.he’s not a defensive midfielder.arsene tried to make him a utility player like the way he’s turned eboue into one but with denilson it hasnt worked. and for the record denilson plays incisive passes while playin in advanced roles….u just have to be really aware. a good youtube video is midfield men part 1 and displays this perfectly.

    11. incoming loan players? who will get first team chances? vela? kyle? lansbury? laurent? this are the players that i believe are in a “give me an opportunity to fight for first team slots or they’ll be gone next summer for sure”

    12. ALL THE ABOVE IS JUST MY OPINION….you are free to kindly and intelligently express yours too

    • santori says:

      Strikers. Bendtner may leave. As good as RVP is pulling players out of position, he also pulls himself out of the box in doing so. The corresponding players that can fill in lack height or presence. We are effectively then blunt and forced to thread the ball through traffic. Chamakh can help with a more physical presence but I also think there is definately room for a quick and direct player. Someone like Benzema has muscle and pace to open space for RVP playing off him.

      In that sense if Fab wasn’t playing and we didn’t have to design ourselves around him, then there may be reason to experiment in a 4-4-1-1 with new striker up top and RVP given license to roam playing off him and in a playmaker/striker role ala Bergkamp.

      Of course we will also have the balance to switch back to our 4-3-3 with Arsharvin tucking back in and RVP back up top when situation dictates or vice versa.

      We played intelligently today and ground out our result but we could be much sharper yet up front.

      • alphie says:

        good observations…i know chances of him buying “kaka” are close to none but u never know? football is unknown due to opinions based on IF….

        Sometimes we miss diaby and people dont notice,like wishire he has marauding runs but his are powerful runs …unstoppable…injury only deprives us of seeing what he can truly be because he ticks all the boxes of a great midfielder in my book when his in his core element.

        i also forgot to mention.certain players like rosicky,diaby who flirt with the first XI are key although wenger rarely leaves diaby on the bench when fully fit.

        personally, this might be the most interesting transfer season.the team has been in and out of their peak so wenger will want to cement that peak….call it experience/mentality/quality/speed/power/height or whatever it is but thats the next step….

    • santori says:

      We won’t be buying a superstar. Sorry our budget won’t stretch in today’s market with the likes of Chelsea and City’s deep pockets and us having to reinforce 2-3 positions.In essence if we splurge on our big name, the rest of the quality coming in will be diluted.

      With regards players coming through, I don’t think Vela is competitive enough for the PL (could be wrong) and Lansbury is a little blunt on the edges.

      My pick would have to be Frimpong (He’s now bulked up and a six footer) and Ignasi Miguel should have a gradual introduction to eventually seal the 4th Cback spot in a couple of years.

      The rest may be some ways off.

      2-3 additions IMO pending Fabregas decision.

      LWinger and striker (If Bedntner leaves. Maybe someone like Lucio (If AC deems him old…doubtful) or Upson but only with Wenger willing to strike off Squillaci. NO keeper. Lehman should continue to act as safeguard and mentor to the two POles on a rolling contract.

      • Phil23 says:

        In regards to selling Cesc and buying players I think people will be surprised by just how much funds we could have this window. Last transfer window Arsene had 40m. Imo he will receive another 10m from the board/Kroenke for transfers. If Cesc goes he will fetch nothing less than 40m which is day light robbery when you compare him to Torres who’s 27 or Ibrahimovic at 29. Anyway that would be 90m in the kitty before the clear out we are all hoping for. Imo Arsene should ask for offers for all of Almunia, Squillaci, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Rosicky, Vela and I expect Bendtner to go. He doesn’t have to accept all of these bids but this way he can pick and choose who should go. Although I don’t expect Arsene to make such mass changes as this, he is every bit capable of coming up with a squad like this: Van Persie Hazard Nasri Walcott Song Parker Clichy Vermaelen Djourou Sagna Szczesny, Chamakh Miyaichi Ramsey Chamberlain Wilshere Rodwell Gibbs Vertonghen Koscielny der Wiel Fabianski.
        This is an ultra competitive squad and would leave Frimpong with little game time this year, although Parker would probably get less and less playing time over the next few years with Frimpong coming in as his replacement. No matter who is injured there is somebody else who is almost as good to step into their place.

      • santori says:

        Not practical. We cannot afford so much changes without risking ane effect on team dynamics.

        5-6 departures and 3 additions.

        With regards Diaby, I would keep him another season as he has shown signs in recent games of maturing his game. He offers us a different dimension going forward whilst also adds some physicality defending (if he keeps his head, but we saw Songa lmost lose his cool to day too)

        The other younger players you mention are not ready (Carling Cup excepted. Miyaichi is a talent but he has a bit more to go (particularly his crossing which is atrocious). Chamberlain is even farther behind.

        With regards some of the additions you mention, we have better players than Scott Parker IMO and Rodwell is not technical enough.

        I think in urgency, we need a LWinger, a striker, maybe a CBack (if Wenger can let Squillaci leave) and another mid (If Fabregas leaves, which is still an if)

      • Phil23 says:

        “He doesn’t have to accept all of these bids but this way he can pick and choose who should go. Although I don’t expect Arsene to make such mass changes as this,”

        Maybe that wasn’t clear enough, what I am more expecting is that 3 or 4 if Cesc goes of those players could come in. For instance he may decide to keep Asharvin, Diaby and Cesc, therefore there would be no need for Chamberlain, Parker or Hazard. The point is that these are the players who he will look to trade out and players of the ilk I have mentioned will come in.
        In regards to the youth I am sure you will find Arsene and Arsenals entire philosophy completely disagree with your point of view. Do you think Arsene has offered 10m for Chamberlain so he can go into the youth team? Miyaichi will be in the first team squad next year if Japan play in the Copa America(where he will be captain). Its not like these players would play every game but they are young, extremely talented and itching for game time. If there is no old experienced head to teach you the only other way is to have a younger more talented player knocking on your door for a spot. Finally, Jack Rodwell has been played in an attacking midfield role lately for Everton, part of the reason he is so recognised is that he has particularly good technique for a young, English and defensive player. In fact, if you add his height to that list you start to see why this player is wanted by United and us. Parker is the captain of West Ham known for his inspirational speachs. His current team are youthful players without the same ability as ours. He was just voted Football writer’s player of the year and he is a player I would like to see come in if Cesc were to leave. Maybe before commenting on every single persons comments you should listen to what they are saying rather than just dictate your view on what they write. P.s, moving Arshavin to the middle isn’t that good of an idea. Russia play him there and have been complaining about his “terrible” performances and “loss of magic”. If Ramsey isn’t going to take over Cescs role it will be Nasri no doubt. To say the Arshavin substitution was not good is a bit bewildering soon as he has been one of the players to consistently score against top opposition, he provides experience when we are missing our captain and is fresh from not starting recently. Lastly, Nasri has shown signs of fatigue recently whilst Ramsey is in need of games and was linking extremely well with Wilshere, knowing when to drop deep to cover for him just as Cesc does. Can you imagine Arshavin sitting deep behind Song when they have gone on the attack? Of course not and this would effect the fluidity of the midfield hugely. As it turned out Ramsey scored the goal. He has proven he is a natural goal scorer last year and so his goal wasn’t all that surprising in the end.

    • desigunner says:

      Interesting point about buying a superstar.

      I’d love to have Kaka but only if he can rediscover his superstar form. We have seen plenty of players who haven’t been able to perform at their peak due to injuries. Can’t have another one.

      Another important point worth considering is that the players must be able to look up to the supposed ‘superstar’. That means the guy must bring more to the table than the likes of Nasri and RvP if he is an attacking player, or must have some serious medals in his cabinet if he is a defensive player. Not easy to find such a guy.

      • alphie says:

        i’ve been watching kaka and he’s slowly peaking with more minutes plus his attitude/mentality is good.he has a good personality.not so outgoing which appeals to wenger and arsenal’s philsophy.unlike other big clubs arsenal dont have and have SLIGHTLY never hard party rockstars….

        basic line…if he were to buy a player like kaka i’d be delighted,the quality is there and he’s now over the knee injury and you can see he’s coming back to his best although his playing style is similar to diaby but he’s more versatile in the attacking sense but thats the kind diaby when consistent will become.

        if fabregas leaves and wenger chooses not to promote from within or just had a new quality midfielder who would be the likely candidates….is pastore ready for a step up? would he go for kaka/ OR WILL HE CHANGE THE SYSTEM TO ACCOMODATE THE STRENGTH OF PLAYERS WITHIN THE SQUAD like dropping van persie into the hole then playin 3 attackers ahead of him with varying styles like uptop bendtner or chamakh or uptop vela or arsharvin or walcott. but nasri should be drifting from wing to wing….complete free role but ensuring defensive duties……………..this is the kind of stuff i’m itching to know…

  17. arsene-al says:

    i think we won today because first of all we are better than united and iv known this for a while, and also it was so blatantly obvious the ref was giving them a helping hand in the first half that he had to tone it down second half giving us a fair game against them. bottom line, when its a fair game we will come out on top against those c**ts

  18. james says:

    “At the other end Hernandez was exposed as a woefully limited player who offered nothing outside the box”
    Are you seriously serious- this from a 22 or so yr old player who’s probably helped this ridiculously average team to the title and the Champions League final in his first year, you’re actually calling someone who’s a clinical fox in the box, someone who works for his team and plays like a 10yr veteran a ‘woefully limited player’ woah…
    Good analysis, I’m as much of a Man U hater as you but right now, I’m done sticking my head in the sand- if we had a player as ruthless as Hernandez and a couple more useful mercenary-like players like Park, we’d be in the same position Man Utd is (having to win the league with a result at home). I’ll probably swap that with what we have now

    • desigunner says:

      I think we have plenty of players who can do what Hernandez does. But because of Hernandez United are having to sacrifice Rooney. Arsenal don’t play that way. The guy is a fox in the box and very effective but he is also woefully limited. Those two are not mutually exclusive descriptions of a player.

      If United had an extra midfielder in Sunday’s game and had Rooney up top, this game would have been very different. Hernandez was a weakness for United in that game.

      Of course he is young and will improve. I’m not denying that possibility. This is just an opinion on his current contribution.

  19. […] Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester United: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis At least one monkey off the back then. And deservedly so. […]

  20. Phil23 says:

    As soon as I saw Cesc was injured I had a good feeling for the game. Theres been a lot of negative talk surrounding him and imo he is out of form at the moment. This gave the players an excuse to forget about such problems and go all out for the win. I just have a feeling that at the moment Cesc is like Henry was before he left, a legend who the players respect so much that they are overshadowed by him and feel the pressure big time when he makes statements referring to the inexperience of the squad or talking fondly of Barca. Ramsey had a good game and you can’t help but be proud of the combination play he and Wilshere come up with when they play together. Even the Nasri injury (which I though was a tactical sub at the time) was a great move as Arshavin often gives us something new in attack. Of course there is a tinge of regret as had we beaten Bolton we would be on the same points as Chelsea right now and still in with a shot. Uniteds tactics were a joke and I was embarrassed that this was the competition leaders who had come with only one intention of parking the bus. How they get away with it without being ridiculed is a joke! Anyway big ups to Walcott in this game as he largely negated Uniteds counter attacking threat by being so dangerous he needed two defenders on him at all times. When we play with a full team we are one of the best, as simple as that. Next year we will be much stronger too so watch out the rest of the world!

    • santori says:

      I don’t know about the Arsharvin substitue being a great move unless Nasri was injured (as he was).

      Nasri was very good in the first half.

      I would think Arsharvin would be better employed in place of Ramsey instead. Centrally, he will be able to dictate passing and his lack of speed will be less of a hindrance.

      However as is, Ramsey did very well and got us a goal.

      The other thing with Ramsey 9as oppose to Arsharvin or indeed fabregas) is his work rate which I suspect was a key reason why Wenger opted to have him start centrally i n the first place.

      We were excellent winning the ball back at least until just after the goal. Even so, I thought we were still competitive today which was the diff between our success today and our previous sloppy play.

  21. amband says:

    e still need a couple of top notch English defenders and a striker to help out RVP when he is injured

    • santori says:

      I don’t know about top notch but upson anyone? West ham look certain to go down and he is an old boy with bags of experience.

      Assuming TV/Djourou will be first choice (and I see no reason why not)witth Kos deputising, UPson makes a useful back up 9with a bit of that English grit people keep clamouring for)

      He’ll also be old enough to be content sitting out for periods if need be.

    • alphie says:

      we arent going to buy a new central defender guys.

      first choice is TV5 either with kos or djourou…i’d personally pick kos…so we’ll have one top defender on the bench plus squllaci.

      kos and squillaci have done great considering this is their first season.especially kos is a super defender and if you guys cant notice that….he’ll maybe add a bit more power to his game but his passes uptop are like TV5. for me he’ll be an arsenal great.he has ferdinads reading of the game and vidic’s tenacity. kos is just super!!!!

      chamakh or bendtner or vela ….will be competing either as partners to rvp or as super sub replacement.

      what i agree with is i feel we need a winger with burning speed plus can head the ball,trickery and crossing should automatically come with the package. we depend too much on our CF for headers. walcott could borrow a few leafs from hernandez and score headers…it would be great to see walcott score some headers

    • desigunner says:

      Bartley might take another year to develop but I think that guy can be a very good defender. Next season might be a good one to give him some games and keep him and Squillaci in reserve behind the main three.

      • alphie says:

        havent watched any of his game but his getting quality reviews everywhere from players and managers alike so we know there is something but how wenger deals with him will tell. if he’s as good as they say then it might be the end of squillaci either this coming season or the next but either way we know squllaci will be the loss for whichever defender is promoted but i guess he already knew that….

  22. Arsenalzinmyheart says:

    Next season wid d players 1 more year experienced, we’ll atleast conquer england. Up arsenal.

  23. munawwar says:

    vidic gets away with those 4-5 red cards and people don’t realize that that 1st read impacts that game and the following game also. if they win the 1st game it gives them momentum instead of stopping the momentum. this whole season united are top because of bias calls all the fucking time. if there was tv replays we would be winning the title.

  24. amband says:

    people often talk about a pro Man U bias by refs. However, is there evidence of this?

  25. Phil23 says:

    Oh and Desi, this is why it was good to give Ramsey a few games earlier when he wasn’t quite fit/match sharp. Had he not had those games I would severely doubt he would have played a part in this game. Good to see Arsene trust in his younger more talented players over the older less talented such as Denilson or Rosicky, even in such a big match!

  26. alphie says:

    plus anyone notice that the arsharvin is coming back slowly…i cant wait for him to start forcing himself through cutting in and shooting or passing…

    part of the reason i love van persie is he has fun while playing and is committed

    • desigunner says:

      He certainly looks a bit more committed and focused.

      • alphie says:

        nasri’s injury might give him the opportunity to show more of that plus i’m hoping that nasri wenger starts him as its clear nasri has run out of gas.

        but in my opion arshavin’s intelligence is key to helping players like walcott and vela and nasri… plus i dont think we’ve ever seen the best of arshavin since he signed for arsenal but perhaps if he stays next season might be the year of reckonin…competition uptop seems to be bringing the best out of the attackers. its only van persie that seems irreplacable and thats coz his attitude and quality are first class plus a personal bonus for me is he is now scoring headers. since i’m entitled to always demand more from van persie:-) 🙂 i’d ask for more flair …he’s just a class act.

        plus an extra quality van persie brings is that he makes all players around him dangerous either using them as dummies to open space to shot or pass to another player or his vision /technique/passing range and movement and not to mention again but attitude and that mentality people keep yelling about.

        mentaly strong players i.e players who dont sulk when the going gets tough….simple as that

  27. Mik says:

    maybe I saw it wrongly but didn’t Rooney kick the ball on Wilshere’s face after he received a yellow card for his foul?

    • alphie says:

      yes he did but we arent the spanish olympic diving team aka barca….and the ref wouldnt have given the card anyway

      • Mik says:

        yes. that’s true. it’s only Arsenal players who get sent off for reacting to such behavior.

    • desigunner says:

      Under the special FA Rules created for Rooney we are lucky Wilshere wasn’t booked for that!

    • Jonathan says:

      I think he recieved the yellow for kicking the ball at him, not the foul…

      • alphie says:

        no it was for obstructing the counter attack. assuming the ref had seen that he’d have been given a straight red for lack of sportsmanship or atleast thats how i know the law of football?

  28. SoCal_Gun says:

    Sooooo funny that Sir Alex is saying how United neverrr get decisions that go their way late in games

    Great win. It proves what people know, but sometimes forget……on their day, this Arsenal team can beat anybody. They beat United, Chelsea, and Barca this year

    Certainly does bring up the question if they can do without Cesc though…..

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