Arsenal - Arsenal - Man Utd Losing It's Edge?
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Arsenal - Man Utd Losing It's Edge?

Of course I'm not talking about it from a fans point of view, more of a players.

In the past the great battles came from from players such as Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane, Bobby Pires, David Beckham, Ruud Van on and so on, and now it seems all the players who added so much fire to this fixture have left in a very short space of time, and their replacements do not have the experiences of what this game has produced in the past.

Yesterday's game at Old Trafford was a technical master class from Arsene Wenger's red and white army, and from a fans perspective it felt just as good as ever to beat the old enemey, but the match lacked one thing. Controversy.

In almost every game over the past ten years there has been a major talking point, fights, hot spots in the game that has given the footballing world something to talk about for weeks and weeks after the final whistle, and yesterday we got nothing of the sort.

I feel the lack of dirtiness also reflected on Sir Alex Fergusson's post-match statement as for the first time ever, the United manager was complimentary towards his old enemey and even said the better team won.

Ferguson said: 'I think in the second half we looked tired and I can't deny Arsenal deserved to win.

'We had some good chances, particularly in the first half but not enough to win the match. I don't think we lost overall control but in the last 25 minutes I felt Arsenal were stronger.'

In time, the ferocity on the pitch will return as the new players become less new and learn about the history of this fixture and what it means to the fans. Everything.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 18 2006

Time: 11:15AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
well fergie had nothing to get irate about. you can be sure if there had been a controversial talking point he would have spouted the usual stuff. But Arsenal just showed they were better and even missed a penalty into the bargain. he was in no position to rant on TV, but maybe the united dressing room would have been a very different place?
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18/09/2006 11:39:00

There's something of an edge gone on the pitch with the departures of Vieira, Keane, Keown, v.Nistelface. But we celebrated in the away section (champions section) with more gusto than I can remember since Villarreal away, complete strangers hugging each other. And I was sat next to the Walcott family, who deserve a lot of credit for foregoing executive treatment to watch with the Arsenal section (plus Theo's missus is v.tasty). At the risk of sounding like an arrogant ****, I'd like to point you to my review article 'enter the beast' where I say there's a result in the game for us because of Adebayor, particularly his ability to get in behind Ferdinand. Hell, it wasn't an article, it was a prophesy. Oh and P.S, Hleb was by far the best player on the pitch yesterday, I hope people get off his back now.
Little Dutch
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18/09/2006 11:41:00

Beating Man Utd at Old Trafford can never be devalued. Especially as it could be the start of great things this season.
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18/09/2006 15:39:00

they just havent looked the same with roy keane. i dont no what he had that they dont have anymore.
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18/09/2006 17:35:00

i`ve always felt that a "dont ***** with me"look is as bigger part to sucess as is all the other nesscessary qualities with having a quaitiy and skillfull set up,who have manure got! o`shea,fletcher,brown,nevil,silvestre,rio,hardly set your knees trembling.who have we got now!um...the beast,gallas,lauren,diaby,toure,that maurbra looks a big boy too,senderos,....witch would you rather have giving it the "don`t ***** with me"?
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18/09/2006 20:27:00

Well done Arsenal, cheering you on all the way. Lots of love, all of Portsmouth.
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18/09/2006 21:03:00

Haha, Pompey fans are probably still lighting bonfires in celebration...good on 'em. The last three encounters have been pretty relaxed affairs. Outside of the dive Reyes did to get a card on a Man U player at Highbury early in the game (forget who it was on, might've been Neville), and Rooney talking his way into the book, nothing much happened in that game. And the return match at Old Trafford was one of the finest of the season, despite losing 2-0. No drama, just brilliant attacking football with the two finest teams in the country. On Sunday the first half was probably even more exciting, though it got a little more sloppy in the second half (particularly on Man U's end). Still I actually like seeing the two teams just going at it on footballing terms, instead of some of the dirty stuff that went on before. And let's face it...much of that intensity came from the fact that they were clearly the two best teams in England for a good decade. Chelsea's gone and messed that up, and I bet you that the hostility that was missing from Old Trafford, will show up at Stamford Bridge in a couple months (the Highbury match last year was probably the most volatile). If and when Arsenal and Man U get back to being the top two teams in the league I'm sure some of the natural hatred will build back up again, though probably not nearly to the near-ridiculous levels we saw in the Vieira/Keane era. But until that day comes, I think Arsenal/Chelsea will be the two fixtures that everyone is yapping about for weks on end.
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19/09/2006 02:02:00

I think its coz Rooney was in a bit of trouble and couldn't afford another talking point centerd aroundf him
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19/09/2006 07:14:00

That's a good point...Roon's whole game is about being aggressive, on both sides of the pitch. When he's passive, he isn't nearly as effective. After that ridiculous red card he got in August and the big target he clearly has on his back with the refs, he's probably feeling a little gun shy. It might take him a while for him to find the right balance.
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19/09/2006 12:04:00

Rooney's arrogant behaviour towards his indiscretions moves me to believe that this is not true. He has taken no responsibility for his last two red cards and has instead blamed i)Ronaldo and ii) the F.A. Unfortunately, he is yet another example of an English player believing he is untouchable. I hope he sorts this out, cos he's one hell of a player.
Little Dutch
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19/09/2006 12:35:00

LD- I have to disagree slightly, Rooney has the potential to be one hell of a player but like Roy Keane said (& everyone obviously dismissed) what has Rooney achieved so far?? Not a lot. Compare 20 year rooney to 19 year old cesc, cesc has been playing in a vital area of the pitch & performed at an incredible high standard week in week out (albeit with a slight drop in form every now & then which is to be expected). Rooney on the other hand plays in an area of the field where he has freedom & nothing like the responsibility of cesc but he still only has 2 or 3 brilliant games in every 10. The reason everyone raves about him is purely because he is english. His scoring record at the top level is rubbish, so Keane for once is right, rooney has it all to do!!
Ashburton Gooner
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19/09/2006 12:52:00

I agree with you AG, this is what I am getting it, he appears to have this nasty aura around him where he thinks he's untouchable. He is a fantasic player and he has the potential to be great, but his ascent to greatness will be altered if he does not get his head on straight. Everyone blaming Ronaldo for Rooney's thugishness in the world cup does not help him. He's joining the Gerrard, Lampard, Cole, Ferdinand school of 'I'm billy big b******s I am, which will be sad.
Little Dutch
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19/09/2006 12:59:00

Oh and yes his scoring record is rubbish. He hasn't scored a CL goal since his debut and has played in every one of England's defeats in the last 3 years, this is why he has to keep working hard, this requires Cesc's levels of dignity, but I am scared that Rooney is in danger of disappearing up his own arse.
Little Dutch
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19/09/2006 13:00:00

LD- Just checked some facts & we are indeed correct. Rooney has no goals in competitive games for england for over 2 years now & the 11 goals he has scored are broken down as Argentina (1 goal in a friendly match), Denmark (2 goals), Croatia (2 goals), Switzerland (2 goals), Iceland (2 goals), Liechtenstein (1 goal) & Macedonia (1 goal) these were scored in 33 appearances. Now compare that to crouch who has scored 11 goals in much less time but everyone says its because he hasnt played any of the big nations, but then rooney 1 goal against argentina apart (& that was a friendly where they rested players) hasnt done it in the big games either. As you said he scored a hat-trick on his champions league debut but has failed to score in the two years since then & in 14 games for man utd against arsenal, chelsea & liverpool he has scored just 3 times & 2 of them were against us (& our defence has not been great for quite a while). At this present time he is well over-rated, but of course we are talking c**p because he is english so we must be wrong.
Ashburton Gooner
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19/09/2006 13:33:00

LD- You should do an article on rooney being over-rated based on his current stats & see how many man utd & england fans invade this site telling you how much s***e you're talking without being able to back it up with any evidence!
Ashburton Gooner
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19/09/2006 13:40:00

If you look at the stats of most English players they break down that way. Lampard and Gerrard never score against quality opponents (look at CL records and records v 'big four') and they rarely perform either. This is because English players are hyped up so much by the media and in turn they end up believing their own hype. I'm gonna do an article on thursday on why I don't care about not having English players.
Little Dutch
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19/09/2006 16:02:00

whenever someone barks on to me about not having any english i quote them the ones we were intrested in and who could have been in the team but the prices asked for them shawn wright-philips=23 mill jemain jenas=20 mill scott parker=11 mill glen johnson=10 mill more recently michael carrick=20 mill curtis davies=11 mill just these would have cost us a whopping 95 million pounds,manure have three english,costing a staggering 80 million,where the whole arsenal team cost just 68 million what would you rather have?
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19/09/2006 20:07:00

don worry all u gooners ur ass s gonna get wipped by manu in de return fixture...n about de league title u guys better forget simple as that...
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20/09/2006 05:48:00

rosh16, man usa couldnt beat an e...................... sorry cannot be bothered having banter with a LOSER!!
Ashburton Gooner
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20/09/2006 09:07:00

same old united, always gobbing !!!! mug !!! arsenal not strong contenders for the title but when have we ever backed down from a challenge ????
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20/09/2006 18:37:00

Funny about the scoring records about the star English players...then people have the gall to say that Henry doesn't score against big teams, which in the first place is complete and utter bull*****, and in the second place glosses over the fact that he's the most dangerous passing forward on the planet (he was well ahead of the pack in terms of assists last season, despite getting 33 for himself). Ah well, let the haters hate.
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21/09/2006 06:37:00


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