Five things we learned about Arsenal against Man Utd

Arsenal finally earned a win after a long time of asking and it was against a very good Manchester United side.

The Gunners stifled their opponents and deservedly took the points, if you didn’t pay much attention, here are five things we learnt.

Mikel Arteta is a “Genius”

Mikel Arteta masterminded Arsenal’s first win last night. I believe it took some stroke of genius to do that.

Manchester United had beaten Manchester City, Chelsea (twice), and Tottenham. Arteta found a way to stop them from creating anything for their attackers. Arteta did what Mourinho, Guardiola and Klopp could not do.

Mesut Ozil can run a marathon

Mesut Ozil is reputed to be one of the laziest players in the world. No one doubts his abilities on the ball, but he has never been a willing runner.

However, against Manchester United he covered 11.53 km, that was the highest he has covered for a long time.

Defending is not as hard as we thought

Arsenal has made defending such a tough job since the start of this season. Against Chelsea, they did a good job but poor defending cost them the points yet again.

However, against Manchester United, they defended better than they have done in the last 18 months and showed us that with the right manager and tactics, defending isn’t that tough.

Arsenal can become “mentality monsters” too

Liverpool manager famously called his players “mentality monsters”. After watching Arsenal’s last three games, I believe that under Arteta Arsenal can also become mentality monsters.

The mentality of the Gunners has improved gradually under Mikel Arteta and the more that continues the better Arsenal will get.

Nicolas Pepe can thrive under Mikel Arteta

Nicolas Pepe has been mostly underwhelming this season. He has shown some flashes of brilliance but most of the time he has been poor.

Against Manchester United, he showed what he can do and I believe that Arteta has the man-management skills to get the best out of him.


  1. Haven’t felt this excited about Arsenal in years! I wanted Arteta when we originally hired Unai. New age, progressive tactics have been needed for years and Arteta is the man to do that.

    I would say one of the top 5 things we learned is how unfit the players are at the moment. Sure, the hectic festive schedule coupled with a new style magnified that; however, our players are pretty open about their current fitness level.

    Can’t wait to see what this team can do with 1-2 signings, some key returns from injury and some time to get fully fit! COYG!!!!

  2. Ozil regained possession 10 times – more than any other Arsenal player.. and that distance he covered (11.53km) was more than any other Arsenal player too! And wasn’t it beautiful to watch?!!
    I’m still on such a high over last night! So much so, I’m going to watch it again now 🙂
    I love how they all huddle together in a circle, just before kick off, with Luiz doing the talking – that’s great to see. They’re all playing as a team now, communicating and working so hard for each other.
    For a while, I was so unhappy with football full stop…but things are on the up!! All thanks to Mikel 👏
    To send the Mancs back to Manchester with nowt – what a feeling!! COYG

  3. Mikel Arteta is a “Genius” – I have been massively impressed with our performances so far, but it’s only 3 games. Despite some great results in big games by them, we were at home against a very poor United team. I am very intrigued to see how we perform against Palace away in our next league game, because that will be very tough.

    Mesut Ozil can run a marathon – Even he has surprised me, but then it does confirm he actually can work hard for the team. So why hasn’t he been doing that for years then? His critics have been vindicated.

    Defending is not as hard as we thought – I agree on that. It’s easier to pull off than tiki-taka. Very unfair though to only mention our poor defending under Emery’s reign, as it hasn’t been an issue for “18 months”. Well over a decade more like.

    Arsenal can become “mentality monsters” too – I really hope we can, because poor mentality has dogged us for years.

    Nicolas Pepe can thrive under Mikel Arteta – I think he can as well. He worked hard off the ball, and delivered in the final third. Exactly what we want to see.

    Overall I have almost been stunned at how much better Arteta has us looking in such a short space of time. Lots of reasons to be optimistic, but lets try and keep our feet on the ground as it’s only a few games so far. I’m trying to not get carried away, but I cannot wait to see the levels Arteta can reach once he starts getting in his own players in. I remember early in Klopp’s tenure, their fans had very mixed feelings about him, some wanting him out. But look at them now! Like Klopp, Arteta will need at least 4/5 transfer windows to make a real impact on the team. As long as we’re performing as well as we have been, and working hard, it should be easy to be patient.

    1. 👍 A sound analysis, TMJW. The players now know they have to earn their money under Arteta, because PROVIDED Arteta is supported in the transfer market by the owner and Board, underperforming players will be gone.

  4. Only comment on the article was that this was not a great game by MU – partially because of our effort to be sure. Still, really nice to see the effort and the performance – played like a team, chemistry was there, body language was good, they were talking!

    Certainly a nice way to start 2020 and it is the first time I can see a scenario where we can actually climb up the table!!

  5. The most surprising thing about Arsenal’s rejuvenation is the quality of the defence.
    I never had any confidence with our defence but it’s obvious they were just without confidence and under coached.

    A special mention also goes out to Xhaka and Ozil. They have been one of the most criticised players in our club, deservedly so, but their impact and effort has greatly improved.
    These are good days, long may it last!!

  6. Another thing we learnt was that Emery had lost the dressing room well before he was sacked. To a man, the players have responded to Arteta whereas the opposite was the case with UE. Apart from one UE supporter on here the rest wanted him out and with good reason. Just imagine if Mikel had been appointed before the international break

    1. maybe it needed to hit rock bottom first…I just hope that this one performance doesn’t make the Kronkes think that no work is needed in transfer windows…

  7. OT
    You can buy a Mikel Arteta Subbuteo player online………..same f##king hair!

    I may buy one and keep it in my trousers pocket, it will bring a new meaning to the old football cliche of……”had him in his pocket!”………I get a warm glow just thinking about it! hahaha

    The Wife: ” Are you glad to see me or do you have Mikel Arteta in your pocket?”

      1. No great expectations from my Wife! 😆

        Although for you Sue I was thinking of putting a Subbuteo Kolasinac in my pocket!

  8. That was not a poor man utd side.They have not lost to a top six side this season until last night.They beated “pep’s”(the teacher) man city at the etihad.They gave liverpool a hard time.beated chelsea “4-0” and tottenham as well.So that was not an easy result.

    1. They haven’t been great against the ‘lower’ teams. But beating City, Chelsea, Leicester, Spuds.. only team to take points off Liverpool.. well that isn’t too shabby is it?! 👍
      They must dread coming to the Emirates as much as we do going to Old Trafford 😂

      1. Im sorry, number 4 is a ludicrous statement for this bunch, or at least 50% of them. The other 4 statements are just a little early to stand up in context. Still beating utd means we are unbeaten in 2020.

  9. Let’s not get over our heads here, a genius is bit early to say with a win draw and lost in 3 games but beyond that, it takes time and major titles to rate a coach a genius!

    We can speak that about Klopp for a year and really say it today and more so at end f season!

    Klopp built a team and their hard work game after games made him qualify them as warriors when they took in hand their destiny in semi and in final of CL! He couldn’t believe it, nor I, he programmed them to win, they did, that is genius but not in 3 games, more after 50 games.

    Beside Europa league, it is not realistic to expect top4 position with such a poor half of a season… Top3 are already decided, Foxes showed they can go all the way, it is j guessing but reality now.

    We 9 points behind Chelsea, unless, they, Man U and Spurs all slip, we can’t make it to top4 anymore.

    Therefore it I greater chance for us to not make it with these 3 teams fighting same spot, but it can all turn around with us winning games and few mistake from them.

    Clearly, we will need to buy players, they all will. A R&L backs, a top CB.

    Kurzawa, Cancelo are available on loan. Koulibaly is for sale, Napoli wants Torreira badly. Add 50M and make the move of the year by getting that monster CB as Reds did!
    Or just buy him, if not Spurs, Man U , Everton or City will…

    1. ‘major titles to rate a coach a genius!’

      Well, not exactly. It takes a team performing much better than its parts individually.
      Meaning – Klopp was already a genius when at Mainz, but had a tiny budget and a shit squad so didn’t win any titles with them.
      Even with Dortmund he won ‘only’ 2 league titles and 1 German cup in 7 years, which doesn’t sound that good for the 2nd best team in Germany. But if you look at Bayern’s squads during that time and also their opponents in the CL, those were still excellent achievements.

    1. Those 3 players can not guarantee the Europa but a compact ,disciplined team. If these same boys will continue to be consistent,which I can see them willing and wanting to do going forward, Europa league will be very easily achieved.The next 7 games will prove that 95% of those players are far more talented and better than what previous managements had made them look.

  10. I’m trying not to get carried away but can’t help myself. If the 3 games so far is anything to go by we will be having a very strong second half of the season. It’s now easy to see the players just wasn’t playing for Unai, I be interested to know why, but Arteta has a clear vision of how the team plays. I hope he is ruthless with any player who doesn’t meet the standard. He loves xhaka so I think most of us fans are missing something about him and he has played well yesterday. Oh I can’t wait for the next game I’m not even bothered if we bring any players in now I’m more interested to see how good Arteta really is at getting the most from what we have. The players will get fitter and the performance should be peaking in about 4-6 weeks time for a full 90 minutes with a stronger bench with injuries back. I’m gonna say it, could top four still happen?

    1. guess I replied ur last Q… I agree with all of it but at this pace 1d,1w,1L, we on same Emery base and beyond insufficient to make it top 4. Just Maths…Same as winning next 5 will put us in 4th looking at fixtures. We must win at Chelsea, Palace and home against wack teams!look how Reds give whippings; Foxes running out that outa stadium with no power! Beat da crap of all these team, blow them away Gunner style! End of conversation!
      Of course team spirit and clear plan are key for win. I remember Emery not losing a lot of games, then we couldn’t keep up pace.

      You need a strong squad with a top first team we do not have. We are armed in middle & upfront but not in back 4 which is key to football.

      We sign a real talent we saw in Tierny but injury prone from a lower league with half of EPl’s intensity. Kolas is only option since we sold our only WB! We didn’t better on onther other flank, Jerkinson out! Bellerin only option, out as Kolas!

      Everyone will agree with this! Stop using these great young talent outa postion, then bench them. Fact, some should be on loan indeed; no lose them and see them blow outside to then go after them. adeleide , Benacer & that other kid we after are just 3 examples, more will blow in our face soon.

      Do not sell Nkethia, just as Real does so well with Odengaard and other players out there.

      We need those 2 players both defense’s flanks and it should be our first concern as a top CB in Koulibaly, pay the money and call it a damn bloody day, just as Reds did!

      Then we can play any other CB we have with him, young ones to learn more and get better!

      Football is just laughing as the all world; we got stronger upfront but no Top class CB?

      Umfmecano is wrong casting, Koulibaly and Italian defense or what we need to have a team!

      Tac tics and discipline means nothing when you have no top defenders, that monster CB as Reds done! End of it!

      1. The difference is that with Arteta’s approach we will win more games against mediocre opposition than we did under Emery. I guarantee you that.

  11. Winning 4 next game, 2 home and away at Palace and Chelsea, looking at everyone fixtures, we can actually be 4th and never look back then…

  12. The five things I learnt from the game against United:

    1. The library” is open for business once more – the supporters were magnificient throughout the game, became the twelfth man again and sung their hearts out…to be rewarded in kind by the players at the end of the game…be assured, this was just not a great win, it was a statement from, both the fans and the players and both groups set the standard that means we have, finally after three and a half years, got “Our Arsenal back” 10/10.

    2. We, the fans, showed what “doing it the Arsenal way” really means, when Xhaka was received with such a show of support, he must have wondered what parallel universe he was in. I don’t want to get in to the rights and wrongs of the walking off scenario, but the class shown by both sides, was absolutely spot on. 10/10

    3. Having a coach/manager with a set of rules, plans and tactics can change the mindset, commitment and performance of any player, young, old or new. There were performances out there today, that I believe, not one of us on this site thought possible – Luiz, Soks, AMN, Kols and Pepe at last showed why they were given the shirt. 10/10

    4. The way we describe our players needs to be re-visited and thought about if we really are supporters of The Arsenal. Descriptions such as mentally frail, dross, bleeding the club dry and all the other negative words should be consigned to the bin!!
    Surely we can show our thoughts and feelings without such crass remarks?
    There was not one dross player out there and it just goes to show that professionals within the game are much more able to evaluate players than we, the fans, are. Brilliant work MA, from dross to dynamic in three “easy” lessons. 10/10

    5. Fans do understand players skill set and what is needed to bring that out. The performance of Mesut Ozil since MA has arrived, was just waiting to be unlocked, encouraged and brought to the forefront. This is not a a “told you so” post, more of a “let’s be happy” that the genie in the bottle has been opened again!!! Mikel Arteta’s statement that every player had a blank page start and showed every player has grasped the oppoertunity, none more so than Ozil. His fan base was so evident at the game and the chants and singing of his name puts an end to the “dwindling fanboys” remarks…far from being “humiliated” by supporting him, those of us who did, owe Mikel Arteta a great big thank you for opening the door again…if Ozil does let it shut again, he will have no one to blame but himself this time. 10/10

    As a final observation, we should also remember the injury list we have and what further strides MA will make once he has a full squad at his disposal – will he become the most succesful manager ever at The Arsenal? Early days, but the excitement at both the chelsea and manure games brought back memories of the AW years, that’s for sure.

      1. Sue, I only wish true supporters like you could have been there and witnessed it.

        I know some might say I’m going over the top, but it was a magical evening in every aspect.

        I got home about 9.00 this morning, still buzzing and with a sore throat, but my oh my, was it worth it!?!?

        Happy New Year to you and yours also,and enjoy the Leeds game – that could be a toughie.

        1. I wish I had been there, Ken! It sounded fantastic on the tv.. everyone was loud and proud! I must admit, I was singing away in my living room 😂
          Not ott at all, Ken. I’m really glad you had a great evening.. you now need to rest!! 😀
          More of the same please! Thanks, Ken.. I can’t wait!!

    1. The one thing I’ve learned about your post Ken 1945 is that it’s best one so far this year
      10/10 and a few ***

      1. Sue/Sue/SueP/Sue oh to be a SueP/Sue – I think MA has finally sent me over the edge!!!!

        Happy New Year to you both and I met some of The Arsenal ladies in the Armoury before the United game…they were perfect gentlemen!!! SEE, over the edge again!!


        1. Same to you
          And no wonder you’re hoarse- what a time to be at the Emirates
          Onwards and upwards COYG

  13. While the use of the word”genius” is taking things too far the display against Man Utd was evidence of the talent of a team and Manager working in unison .We attacked and more importantly, defended as a unit with the likes of Auba and Pepe putting in hard graft to snuff out potential problems from the opposition full backs.Torreria had his best game of the season and although it’s too early to suggest that the renaissance of Ozil has been achieved,I was delighted to see the efforts he was making to contribute to the defensive cause.Like some other “oldies” I have been critical of his workrate for the past2/3 seasons, but if he continues to buy into the new energy driven demands made by MA he will have my full support.I do not expect any player to be brilliant every game, but like most fans I do expect to see 100% effort from those who pull on the red shirt.Let’s not get carried away,one swallow does not make a summer, but my initial impressions of Arteta, who I hoped would succeed Wenger,are favourable.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors