Beating Man United made me proud to be a Gooner again

Two more wins and Top Four is ours by Dan Smith

As many of you know I haven’t enjoyed watching Arsenal this season even in games we have won.

All I have ever wanted is to watch enjoyable football with players proud to represent the badge, those honoured to pull on the red and white shirt.

Any Gooner will be delighted when they see 7 goals in two matches, 4 at the Bridge and 3 against Man United.

You can’t help but think how can the team not show up at Palace, Southampton and at home to Brighton yet suddenly find motivation vs Chelsea and United?

Even 3 points in one of those occasions would have given us a firm grip on the top 4.

Yet I can settle for my team losing fixtures, not being in the Champions League, I have long accepted we won’t be title contenders under the current ownership.

All I ever want is Arsenal on and off the pitch to try and be the best version of themselves.

This week I have been proud to be a gooner with the team leaving blood, sweat and tears on the pitch and playing with heart.

Arsenal’s Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares (C) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

Saturday might be my favourite day of the season.

Whatever I think of decisions Arteta has made, there is zero doubt that a young squad believe in their manager’s ethos and follow his instructions.

The Spaniard seems more comfortable coaching one whole unit instead of superstars. While I would like his to trust his talent more to express themselves, his micromanagement this weekend encouraged the crowd to help get the players over the line. Wherever we finish in the table the biggest improvement this campaign has been the relationship between the players and the Emirates faitful.

Spectators stick with these players more than they used to because they accept their limitations, realising they are giving 100 percent.

That’s why our form going into midweek was so disheartening. This version of Arsenal not showing up was so uncharacteristic of what we seen this season.

That pride was back on Saturday, filled with feel good moments.

A fanbase who at times have embarrassed the club in recent years acting with class in the 7th minute by applauding Ronaldo who showed true character playing when you couldn’t have judged him if not.

Tavares had lost his confidence a few games ago, so it was nice to see him take centre stage with a goal.

Xhaka, who went into detail a week ago about how abuse has impacted him, got his once-a-year wonder strike.

Elneny, often on the fringes, had his best display for us.

Every goal was celebrated as a team with each player happy for their peer.

The entire reaction to Fernandes’ failed penalty was greeted like a goal.

How refreshing to see a manager and players truly care.

Hopefully we have learnt our lessons and won’t take anything for granted in our final five fixtures.

My prediction is this, if we win our next two games, we will finish top 4.

After Leicester, Spurs have to go to Liverpool.

If in that time we get max points from West Ham and Leeds, we go the NLD with a gap.

Be kind in the comments

Dan Smith

WATCH Mikel Arteta on Granit Xhaka, a phenomenal game, and Tottenham…

Tags Man United


  1. Feels weird reading a whole Dan’s article with him having zero go at the manager or the team.
    Long may it continue, it’s required of everyone.
    These last few games will determine our date, and yes I think our next 2 games will say where we’ll be, but I wouldn’t write off the last two games against Newcastle and Everton.
    I reckon our spot will be secured before then, only if, only if we win our next 2 games and the NLD.
    With Spurs definitely losing at Pool, we’ll be dealing the final nail in their coffin if we win the NLD and both games before it.
    Aside the whole hype of the UCL, I want us to qualify badly because it’ll make securing a top striker easier.

  2. At the beginning of the season, I think the players were still in holiday mood and we lost three games on the trot. Then after having a long international break in 2022, we lost another three games in a row

    I assume the coaches and the players aren’t ready for a long break, so this problem should be fixed in the next pre-season

    Nketiah also did the high press much faster and more intense than Lacazette, which made Chelsea’s/ Man United’s defenses panic and forced to make long passes quickly. As the result, our defenders could intercept the oppositions’ long distributions more effectively


      NO ANYTHING OF ANY VALUE AND CERTAINLY NO GOALS. He must leave this summer and will, thank God.

      1. His hold-up play is still the best at Arsenal, but he’s too slow and too old to execute the high press frequently

  3. I’m wondering why it took the manager 3 defeats for him to realize that Elnaney was better and more experienced than Lokango. When Partey was missing on the team sheet, my instant to me that Elnaney was the obvious deputy. Anyway, no worries. Hope can salvage the remaining 5 games by doing the right thing and not overthinking like Pepe at Man city in finals.

    1. What is think is Like He Doesn’t like Elneny before but has no option than to use him
      Can you imagine Someone play well with parthey In Midfield Against United Last Season But Later he’s been dropped for no reason
      Lokonga Is not ready yet we just missed Guendouzy for nothing because 9mil for a player Like Guendouzy is nothing

  4. Well am waiting for the #mikelout committee, fans who claim to love the club more than anyone and knows the game much more than our “rookie coach”.

    I guess they won’t be here this weekend … they await a loss and flood this page with their toxic comments!

    1. No true fan would want their team to lose just to spite the manager. That is utter stupidity. It’s natural for fans to be angry when team loses a game, thus subsequently making some negative remarks. But the next victory always erases previous pain. That’s the life of fans, especially the most enthusiastic ones like myself.

    2. Well said Mishael. Those people call themselves supporters when in fact they’re are just fans. Back in Wengers early days at Highbury, we had a chant for the Man Utd supporters, 🎼All you do is f..king moan🎼. That chant is very apt for many on here.

    3. I think is was more of a case of having major players out due to various reasons at the beginning of the season that being in holiday mood. There was a repeat of that at the turn of the year.partey who missed the earlier games of the season was out injured and we suffered badly until the manager figured out how to make the midfield work without him.There was a repeat at the turn of the year when partey wasn’t available due to his participation at the afcon.We lost those recent three games due to partey’s absence.Arsenal got 46 point from the 21 games partey has been involved this season with only three losses in those games, while on the other hand we only managed 9 points from the eleven games he has missed this season.Going forwards arsenal needs another top quality midfield enforcer who is press resistant like partey to be his midfield partner or replacement while injured to avoid these occasional dive in form.

  5. My biggest regret is losing 9 points before beating Chelsea and Man U.

    I still believe we can make it to the CL, and I hope MA realizes that it’s in his hands again; no more mistakes if he wants to stay!

    1. Yeh agree that could come back to haunt us come end of season after palace defeat had we beaten Brighton and Southampton would be 8 points clear of spuds and 4th place would have been ours for sure if we fail although not the only reason those 2 defeats cost us dearly!

  6. Spur play Leicester next while we play westharm, on form, westharm should be hard to beat but their European commitment may just swing the game in our favour, so I agree winning the next 2games would be a massive advantage.
    Am yet to forgive the team for the 3 losses, though the performance were not bad but results were, however beating Chelsea and Utd is a good chip for negotiation. I’ll take it any day

    1. Big teams are playing their own games against us, which opens spaces and corridors we have been taken advantage of. We have a young squad tend to be inconsistent, but we are not dwelling upon our mistakes. We are trying again and again, and it’s definitely a quality we have, which tells me that our players are 💯 behind Arteta 🫶

  7. In MA I trust.
    The bond between the players is fantastic. The fans are behind the team which is also fantastic. We need maximum concentration from MA to finish strongly.
    Gunners for life…

  8. It’s been an amazing turnaround – we lost three games we probably expected to win, certainly didn’t expect to lose all three, but then won two on the bounce against much tougher teams (although utd right now…). I’d thought we’d thrown top 4 away, but we’re right back in there now.

    Have to say, we’ve done this a few times under arteta – when it looked like we were down and out, he has managed to get the players to regroup and it’s testament to the spirit he’s brought to the squad – even when players lose their place in the team, they still get involved in the celebrating; that says we have players who are committed to the team and not just themselves.

    It also shows the mental strength of arteta himself, he doesn’t panic, or at least is able to take failures in the chin, keep the belief and come again; a sign of someone driven to success imo.

    Without wanting to sound too negative, we should acknowledge that we haven’t been as sound defensively in the last few games as we were earlier in the season; partey being out is a big reason for that, but i think it really needs to be remembered because we’ve needed a bit of good fortune in these matches, where I think earlier in the season we would have been more convincing. Just hope that this will bring confidence going into the final run of games. Tomiyasu returning to fitness might be just what we need

  9. Although we lost three games on the spin the performance actually started from the Southampton match.

    As a gooner yesterday win meant more to me than the Chelsea, as I still remember the 8 – 2 drubbing we got at old Trafford on Francis Coquelin debut, the selling of Van Persie after having the best season with us, thus handing them the title on a platter

    The gaffer cannot correct the pass but atleast restores some lost pride

  10. For this season, we have no European Competition and are out of FA Cup & Carabao Cup very early.

    We must be in top 4 this season. It is Now or A Few Years Later!

  11. @ mishael leashim
    As I’ve said before I didn’t want Arteta as manager and I still don’t think he’s the man to get us back to be a consistent top four team, but he’s here and so I’ll live with that until I see enough to change my mind or he leaves. Can anyone actually say we were that good yesterday, in my opinion we were lucky and got away with it. We got a penalty which was correct, Xhaka’s goal could have been ruled out with Eddie being in an offside position, Utd missed a penalty and could have been given two more, our playing out from the back was terrible, and Ramsdale’s distribution was awful. There were individual players that I thought were very poor. Reportedly Arteta said Elneny was phenomenal, but where’s he been all season, mostly on the bench. Personally I think Artetas ego is working against him and I don’t think he’s got the man management skills. I want as much as anyone for us to be in the UCL and at least get into the Knockout stages. Winning the league is going to be a lot harder but I can’t see it happening in the near future under Arteta.

    Talk about hypocrisy!

    1. Oh the irony – from someone who said Elneny should never wear the shirt again and part of the fanbase who embarrassed the club by wanting the ex manager to become ill.
      Irony doesn’t come into it.. two faced hypocrisy does though.

      As for the United game, it still doesn’t top the wonderful performances against spuds and City…. in my opinion.

      So come on Mikel, give us five more consistent games and the future is CL!!!!!!

  13. I’m just happy that the winning mentality has returned.
    There were dodgy moments yesterday but there was that ‘all for one’ feeling around the players and it filtered out on to the terraces with support

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