Man United don’t scare opponents any more

As Arsenal prepare to take on Man United tomorrow night, there have been many many pundits making it clear that this could be the time that the Gunners finally get a win at Old Trafford, something we haven’t done in the League for 13 years (unlucky for Man United?).

Some so-called experts have been predicting draws, but a large percentage believe that the time is ripe for Emery’s men to pile more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after his team have only won two of their first six games of the season. One man that remembers clearly the epic battles to be seen when Fergie and Wenger went head-to-head is Emmanuel Petit, and he believes that United have never recovered from the retirement of Sir Alex. Petit said in Paddy Power’s news section: “Since Alex Ferguson left I don’t recognise Manchester United any more. They should scare their opponents – they haven’t done that for a long time.

“I’m very surprised about this, because they’ve been spending so much money. Yet the profile of the players is not what United expect – especially when it comes to the fans and former players.

“I remember back in the day when you had to play against United, you always knew you were going out to face the best footballers in the Premier League – and probably in Europe.

“Some of the players at the time were among the best in the world in their position – now I’m wondering: where are those United players with character, who enjoy responsibility? Who play with imagination, creativity, and who have a great mentality on top of that. I used to see that all the time at United.

“Now, you only ever briefly see the light of the team before it disappears straight away.

“The biggest problem at United is the players they have, but the stability of the manager is an issue for them as well.

“Football has changed so much and the power is in the players’ hands now. Managers are under so much scrutiny that they don’t get as much opportunity to be themselves – they always have to follow what others think: the media, the players, the fans.

“We all believed things would be difficult after Alex Ferguson departed. He was such a huge figure at the club – but we’re talking about Manchester United.

“Of course teams can sometimes have difficult two or three-year periods, which has affected even some great managers, but they just don’t have the right players any more.

“They’ve put a lot of money on the table. But how many of the current squad are among the world’s best? They’ve spent so much money on average players, which has been the case for ages. It’s not a question of money – it’s a question of profile.

“You just don’t know what to expect from this fixture. Arsenal have been thrashed by Liverpool, though United aren’t on that level. That said, you’d think Arsenal have a very good opportunity to win at Old Trafford.

“They need a win away from home, as they’ve been dropping points so easily on the road. This match is very important for them, and it’s a good time to be playing Manchester United.”

It is definitely a fact that they have never reached the heights of Fergie’s reign no matter who has been in charge, but you can never write them off even when their backs are against the wall. But Petit is absolutely right; It is a very good time to play them, but it remains to be seen if we can take advantage of it. The Gunners have also lost the fear factor since the days when Petit played for us….

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40 Comments

  1. ThirdManJW says:

    Well if we listen to our newly appointed captain, we were scared of little old Watford! So glad we have Xhaka leading our group at Old Traffold…he’ll inspire us!

    1. lol says:

      It’s harsh, it hurts, but it’s true. All of them played like frightened pussies.

      At least one player has the balls to own up to it and face the music.

      I’m glad he didn’t mince his words and tried to paper over the cracks like a PR specialist

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        I agree that it’s good for him to call out the group, but it was not on when he didn’t take ownership for his mistakes, and had a dig at the forwards in the Spurs game.

        1. Declan says:

          And he reckons it will be four years before we challenge for the title.

          1. lol says:

            So your preferred answer is for him to claim that we will challenge for the title this season?

        2. lol says:

          Did he not take ownership for giving away that silly penalty?

          His first comments after the game was a post on Instagram: “Thanks for the amazing support inside the Emirates 👏 We showed a lot of character and you helped us to come back into the game. For the penalty I made a mistake – I’m of course angry about it but I will never give up! @arsenal #GX34”

          Days later while on international duty when asked about the barrage of criticism he received, he said: “Of course, critics are always there. In the London derby, I think we had a good game, I made a mistake with the penalty, yeah, but if you see the game we could have won. We had a lot of chances, but this is football, nobody speaks about the chances, how many we missed, always they speak about mistakes. That’s a part of football.”

          In the second instance, after being ridiculed for days, he did mention the chances missed, but he didn’t hide with the admission that the penalty was his mistake.

          If admitting first in writing then in speech that the penalty was his mistake constitutes to not taking ownership, then what is? Compare that to what Luiz said after the Pool game about the penalty he gave away. Won’t you say that Xhaka took more ownership for his mistake than Luiz?

          1. Declan says:

            No, my preference as captain would be for him to say something a little more positive or keep his gob firmly shut. Similar when he said we were scared of Watford. SMH.

          2. lol says:

            Declan

            Why should a captain be restricted to saying something positive instead of the truth?

            Perhaps I got tired of our previous management constantly playing down our problems and putting our issues in a good light, as things got worse. I actually find it refreshing and appreciate it when someone stops managing our expectations and calls a spade a spade.

            I think he was absolutely right to say that we were scared of Watford. It was evident in the way we played. Not one player taking responsibility and wanting the ball. All I saw was a bunch of pussies rooted to the ground that second half, but of course we can give it a positive spin and call it tired legs or just one of those days. I suppose if we keep sweeping things under the carpet, like we used to, they may eventually go away, but I’m just sick of that

  2. Sue says:

    What a picture! What a ponytail! 😍😍

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      @Sue
      Breathe Sue… 😂
      On second thought, enjoy Sista Gooner… 👍🏿

      1. Sue says:

        😄 I’m calm (finally!) Haha!

        1. 350oz says:

          No, it’s never a good idea for a captain to issue a statement like that in public. Remember when Rooney questioned the ambition of his old club and got backlash. In the end he apologized.
          Agree with your second statement, he should improve himself first, do his talking on and off the pitch. To me he seems like a wishy washy captain, only yapping all the time. The coach might like a person like that but for the rest of the squad, to put up with him would be annoying.

          1. 350oz says:

            This should be a reply to ThirdManJW. No idea it appears here.

          2. lol says:

            Yet the squad still voted for his Captaincy. They must really be suckers for annoyance

          3. 350oz says:

            Ok annoying is not the right word. But I saw he told Kolasinac something in the match and Kolasinac just talked back and shrugged him off. Same with Luiz. In short, I get a feeling he is not well respected by his team mates.

          4. lol says:

            I saw that too. Let’s hope he either bucks up this season or goes off to greener pastures at the end of it

    2. Viju Jacob says:

      Ahem Sue, I wear one for many years now😁

      1. Sue says:

        😁 nice one, Viju! Although there’s only one Petit 😄👍

        1. Viju Jacob says:

          Emmanuel isn’t petite, neither am I. He was a terrific footballer and I was his fan!!

  3. GunnerJack says:

    OGS is no fool and even though Utd are not in the best place at the moment he will make good use of what he has.
    As RB is our weakest defensive position, even when/if Bellerin plays, I expect OGS to deploy the speed merchant Dan James down their left wing to take full advantage.
    If Sokratis is chosen (please NO!) then James will be instructed to give the ball to the young lad Greenwood at every opportunity.
    In turn, Greenwood will be instructed to move to within grabbing distance of Sokratis. Having a young kid trying to go past him will be just too much for Sokratis to bear so he’ll be going for his usual 2 falls, 2 submissions or a knockout . . . probably in the penalty area.
    Can’t blame Solskjaer as that’s exactly what I’d do if I saw the Greek lunatic in the centre of an Arsenal defence.
    Hopefully our attack will be similarly primed to batter the Utd defence.

    1. 350oz says:

      Lol that’s the plan! I have a hunch Daniel James will play a pivotal role tomorrow. It’s hard for defenders to keep up with a speedster like that. Sokratis may give away a penalty if he’s not careful (like spreading his leg 2 seconds after the ball went past him, carelessly hugging his opponent, etc).

    2. Loose Cannon says:

      Greek Lunatic? That made me laugh! We do have half a squad of them waiting to shoved off the door and a head coach at the helm waiting for the push.

  4. Break-on-through says:

    I reckon utd are just waiting on a manager they believe could rival the top two in England right now. Zidane and Simeone will be at the top of their list come end of season, Allegri will be on shortlist too. Unless some young manager makes waves and has a pressing game and attacking game which fans admire I think utd will end up with one of those on the shortlist. Poch might be the one from England, even if he is going stale and has not won anything ever except a top four spot, with the right men around him and the deepest pockets in PL you would have to believe that he could rival Klopp seeing as he did already with Tott in CL and he finished close enough in league up until last season. A few players will likely follow him over. I found Arsene’s comments interesting and I believe Arsene would have them playing terrific stuff and they won’t allow him to bank on players just for sheer faith, they’ll add competition whether AW likes it or not. Part of me would like to see how he goes with them, but it’s utd and it would sully his Arsenal status after all those years being a loving Gunner.

    1. Viju Jacob says:

      That was denied as false by BEIN Sports…Wenger didn’t say anything about ManU coaching dream.

  5. RSH says:

    Two teams that used to be the best in England, now shells of their former selves. And Unai Emery is not the man to take us back to the better days. Cannot be trusted to make the right decisions,and has no identity for this Arsenal squad despite having talented attackers and midfielders. I really dont know what to expect tomorrow. Even this terrible United team can do damage to us and that really says it all.

    1. lol says:

      Yeah it would be naive to think that this weakened Utd team is beneath the likes of Villa and the other weaker teams that we have barely beaten this season.

      Let’s hope we bring our A game at Old Trafford

  6. Innit says:

    They still beat Chelsea 4-0 at home.
    They are tough at old Trafford

    We will do good if we get points tomorrow

    Liverpool won by only 0-1 away to Sheffield so Away matches are tough even to the best teams

    Any win would be wonderful
    A draw would be acceptable

  7. S.J says:

    Crystal Palace beat them at Old Trafford so won’t be surprised if we do that also.

    As always Emery’s selection has to be on point.
    Xhaka is a mainstay so should be partnered with Guendouzi and Torriera. Willock, Ceballos and Martinelli should come in at 65 minutes 2nd half.

  8. ken1945 says:

    Another true headline would be “The Arsenal don’t scare anyone anymore”, sad but true.

    Those wonderful Wenger vs. Ferguson days are long gone for both clubs, but I believe we have a really good squad of players, who just need the right coach/manager to lead them forward.

    I just don’t think it’s UE, but he will have my support, along with whatever team he puts out on Monday evening.

    Amazing the talent that our youth policy and clever buying of younger players has produced and that’s what makes me more confident about our club than manure for the future.

    As for the result, it really does depend on what team UE puts out, because we do have the players to beat them, if he selects the right team.

    1. Sue says:

      👍 nice one, Ken

    2. lol says:

      Well said.

      As unpopular as our manager and captain have become, they will have my support nonetheless. COYG!

  9. Sue says:

    Congrats to our women on winning 4-0 earlier 👏

    Happy Birthday to the one & only BFG

    1. ken1945 says:

      Sue, those girls are a talented bunch of players aren’t they.

      Would love to see them play at the Emirates and have their games included in the price of season tickets – they wear the shirt with such obvious pride.

      Will always remember the parade round Islington, when the ladies bus followed the men’s, with trophies galore…goose pimple time…David Dein and Dennis Bergkamp at the front, holding the title aloft…such wonderful memories and thanks for your comment.

      Have you read the BFG’s biography yet?

      1. Sue says:

        Very talented, Ken. If they’re not banging in 4 goals, they’re grinding out 1-0 results! Yes, that would be good!
        Oh how lush that must have been to have witnessed that, Ken 😊

        No, I’ve not read it yet.. have 3 books ready & waiting, just don’t seem to find the time to read them at the moment! I bet it’s a great read?

  10. 350oz says:

    I think after Fergie all the bollockings and hairdryer treatments are gone, along with players with strong characters. LVG and Jose attempted to emulate Fergie but ousted because players these days cant stand them. They are better technically, but worse mentally.
    We are similar in that regard, but at least our ship is a bit more steady. Their ship is half underwater 😂

  11. Sue says:

    Before Leicester & Newcastle.. i watched the Martin Tyler archives Arsenal v United… has me pumped for tomorrow night COYG 👊

  12. Mogunna says:

    Does Arsenal scare anyone? Beside us fans when we look at this club, the last team in the League believe they can beat us, we got lucky with a draw!

    It is a very sad reality, 3 to 5 games had us out of title race for good. At this day we are AT 8th place. We lose, can drop at 10th place. Spurs and Villa could have beaten us, 4 points less put us at 7 points today; 15 th place. A draw against Villa would have us 10th today where we could be, got lucky…

    Not being negative but we should look at us realisticly instead to troll MU… There is no way we finish in top 4, top 6 even be a miracle. Unless this coach is properly quickly replaced; season is done.

    Arsenal used to start Season to fight for title, now we Hope finish 4th but behind many teams who have coaches with some sense!

    1. Mogunna says:

      Chelki should have one by many goals, unlucky while we could have lost past 2 games. They could be 4th today. If we lose or draw tomorow we will seat at current 8th spot or drop to 10th! We could be 15th today without that Luck twice…

      Difficult to wish we didn’t get lucky and be 15th but faster would have been Emery exit. Current pace would have us finish 7th to 12th…

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