Does the Man United defeat show that Arsenal will not have it easy next season?

Man Utd game a trailer of what lies ahead for Arsenal

In Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of fellow Premier League side Manchester United, they learned something which will help them in the league campaign next season: ‘The treatment of the favourites.’

Last season, the Gunners mounted an unexpected title challenge, finishing as runner-up to Pep Guardiola’s Man City.

This season they have become a team to hunt. A team that everyone will enjoy beating, especially because of their success last season.

Man Utd committed an astonishing 37 fouls against their rivals, which is a very high number for a pre-season game.

After scoring two quick-fire goals, the London side failed to make a comeback as the Red Devils stood strong in front of them.

By being physical, Erik ten Hag’s men were able to assuage any dangers of Arsenal’s build-up play, which destroyed so many teams last season.

The challenges went from niggles to Lisandro Martinez’s scything tackle on Bukayo Saka, which was not welcomed by the teammates of the Englishman.

Arteta and his staff became more animated on the bench, as the game wore on. Speaking after the match about United’s reckless challenges the Spaniard said, “They are here to compete and to win, as we are, and that’s the job of the referee to stop it.”

Arteta also admitted that any title challenge would be more difficult this campaign, as they are one of the favourites to lift the Premier League trophy.

“You asked me yesterday about how difficult or easy this season will be. It’s going to be more difficult, more challenging. The level and the preparation of every team is excellent. We knew today.”

Even though it was a tough evening for the Arsenal players, these games are scheduled to make the new players adjust and to try out new tactical philosophies.

The game against the Carabao Cup winners was a learning curve. Arteta and co must take notes so that they have more solutions and not questions, before heading to the 2023/24 season.

Writer – Yash Bisht

Tags Man United title race


  1. The pitch was a non issue; Utd passed and moved the ball without issues. Ramsdale and Gabriel brain farted, the errors were not pitch related.

    We still have no response or tactical change to counter physical tactics. Nketiah and Jesus were non factors, Odegaard disappeared again, Saka kicked all to hell, and Martinelli doubled teamed.

    Until we counter those tactics, the same struggles will continue. All that changed were personnel, different players with same tactic yielded the same result.

      1. Of course not don’t be so histrionic. Merely saying still work to do, and there are reservations about improving on last seasons results.

        Just as we hope players improve, we hope Arteta and tactics improve as well.

    1. Durand, unfortunately persistent fouling of players like Saka, is allowed by officials without intervention. 37 fouls and how many yellow cards, let alone a red, were handed out? Arsenal was lucky to survive without losing players to injury. There is a difference between a “contact sport” and cynic fouling.

  2. One game should not be the basis for anything more than a gauge. That said, my main concern from this game is how easily we can be roughed up. I am not going to lay it all on Havartz, but had Xhaka being playing that position we would not have been bossed as we clearly were. I am not saying now that we shouldn’t have sold Xhaka etc. because we needed to upgrade. However, I don’t think we can have two relatively soft players at the same time in midfield. Odegaard is also lightweight in such games. For that reason I would prefer to see Rice with either Partey or Jorghino. We should have enough forward power with Odegaard, Trossard, Saka and Martinelli to call upon. Against less combative teams and in games were we dominate maybe creative players like Havartz can be effective and we would only need one hard tackling holding player. But even so, we have to toughen up as a team.

  3. Now their ego been bloated and a certain mainoo marshalled the middle of the park in an aim to get them beleive he is a midfield genius,lol now let’s meet in the other side.

    1. Tell me about it. Reminds me of last summer when they beat Liverpool in pre season and they were hyped up to believe that they were title contenders. Man United are the pre season champions . If ever there was a trophy for that, there cabinet would be full.
      Like one commentator stated, during pre season games every team looks very good.
      I will wait to judge the team once the season gets underway.

  4. There’s every evidence that the players were instructed by their manager to be nasty and even get out top players to the surgery room before the campaign begins. 35 fouls committed and they went away with only 22 sanction and only 2 yellow cards. They know their advantage with referees also.

    All teams will try to prevent Arsenal from developing their game and we must prepare for this eventuality.
    This is why we need players like Caicedo. We should address the midfield issues and forget about other sectors.
    Havertz was an unnecessary buy. In trying to prove himeself correct by forcefully playing Harvertz and Vieira, he will lose his job.

  5. Somehow, I’m happy with the loss to United. It should be a warning to Arteta and his team on what to expect this coming season. Teams will be overly physical against us.
    That’s why I agree with JBG5. Our first-choice pairing should be Partey/Rice and not Rice/Havertz

      1. Until players like Saka learn to ride the tackle and go down to take the foul and get oppo a yellow card then they will continue to be fouled.

        It’s not how sport should be played but let’s not be the goodie two shoes and end up with players getting kicked to pieces…

        All part of steep learning curve for our boys!

  6. A tough year ahead for the gaffer. After over 4 years in charge, close to a billion spent, he needs to deliver. Talk about pressure. What pressure?

    And then of course he needs to worry about rotating the full squad (not his strong point), fielding the right players for each game….and clearly show that it was worth breaking the bank for plain Rice and overpriced Havertz.

    A very tall order but I wish him well.

  7. Calm down guys. Man Utd players probably ran the most in 3 years. Let’s see if they able to keep this level of physicality for the whole season. Worse to worst for Arsenal, the players just got a wake up call. We are capable in matching any team’s intensity and we are definitely way better technically than anyone else.

  8. Arteta had to change the formation of the team that’s my main point. The lose against unite didn’t matter that is just a lesson for us.

  9. Been saying this since Jan/Feb this year when you could see our 2nd half of the season wasn’t going as well. ManU and Newcastle are on very strong trajectories and Liverpool have also looked improved after their bad slump. Chelsea have done a lot of work on getting rid of their deadwood so who knows how they will be next season. It’s going to be very tough, despite some fans we are definitely going to win the EPL this year which is just arrogant.

    We can do well this season no doubt but we can’t forget that many of our rivals had underwhelming seasons last season. The manager has had full support and massive financial backing, it’s time for him to repay the fans who are the backbone of the club.

  10. I think we would do well to finish in the top 4 again. We need the CL revenue badly after this investment. But our main rivals struggled last season, Liverpool and Chelsea particularly, and Ten Hag was and is rebuilding. So I expect us to drop more points to the top 6 or 7 teams than last season, when we were quite strong against them. Where are we going to gain back these dropped points? It would have to be against the teams below the top 7 who will all try to play us like Man U did and without a Xhaka or other strong character in the middle of the park that won’t be easy to handle.

    In addition, we have the extra drain of playing CL football, which I am not sure Arteta can manage. He has to rotate his squad, but in the past the was not his strong suit. Last season, his rotation policy cost us. He made strange choices when Partey got injured, there was one game he played Vieira instead of Gorginho and we promptly dropped points. Saka was screaming for a rest, but he would never get it. etc.

    We don’t have top striker and IMO Heaverts is going to weaken us massively in big games if he is meant to replace Xhaka.

    Add all of this together and next year will be a learning year for Arteta in which top 4 would be an excellent result IMO.

    1. I’m hoping that Arteta learning curve era is coming to a close. Whilst learning and improving should constantly be evolving I’d be seriously disappointed if we didn’t finish in the top4

      1. I would be devastated if we don’t finish in the top 4. But I expect Man U to make another step, Newcastle to remain a threat, Chelsea to be better than last season and Liverpool an unknown but possible improved as well. So, to me, it will be harder than last season. We should do it, and it should be our minimum target, but if we actually manage it, I will consider it a decent season. It would hopefully allow us to go out in the marker next summer and try to sign a world-class striker.

        However, with respect to Arteta’s learning curve, he has never had to manage competing in the CL and PL at the same time, and because he seems adverse to rotation and might be prone (IMO) to strange experiments with respect to rotation or might still over load players, he has a new challenge.

  11. I didn’t watch the game so can’t comment on that but it is still pre season and there are 3 important new players to assimilate. I’d rather be winning as winning sets the tone but it really is early days.

  12. There is one lesson to be learned from this game and that is when the tough get going, Declan Rice is the first to disappear

  13. The match was I’m afraid another example of individual errors proving costly.As was the case last season, Ramsdale and Gabriel are the guilty parties yet they remain first choices?

    1. I do think Ramsdales’ performances have dipped since his initial great start at the club. He doesnt install confidence in our defense. Also, Gabriel is not as good most believe he is iether. He’s way too error prone when he’s in a one on one situation. These factors will carry forward this season unless Ramsdale and Gabriel are challenged for thier position. I’m hoping the additions to squad depth will help increase the squad competition and hunger to improve.

      1. You have said it all. With the combo of Gabriel and Ramsdale, We May never achieve anything. They have that error that stumps up when it matters

  14. Well, we have Manu’s blueprint those will be their tactics when we face them. We sort of already knew they would counterattack and get physical but we can look at it with more certainty and plan for it and tell our boys to be good in the duels and get physical. The players will know what to expect. What I take from this game is that UTD took it more seriously than we did we looked at it like an exercise they looked at it like a chance to take an early scalp

  15. What sort of stupid headline for this article is that, did anybody really think we would have it easy next season, if you did you must be deluded.

  16. I am not particularly worried about Rice and Timber, as I believe they will be good signings. On the other hand, can we return the receipt for Havertz to Chelsea and get back our money? I know we have to give new signings time to adjust, but I just have this feeling that he will not work out. We’ve seen it at Chelsea and in the few games he has played for us he neither defends nor offers much in attack.

  17. Not content with kicking the shite out of us, A United second eleven have continued their assaults but on Wrexham this time, with goalkeeper Nathan Bishop clattering Paul Mullins so viciously that he has a punctured lung as a result, & Bishop only got a yellow card, although one deserved red went to captain Dan Gore for a later challenge.

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