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….