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Team News: Arsenal vs Man Utd

I think it`s fair to say that for most Gooners of this generation the 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford earlier this season was amongst the top ten low points of the last 25 years.

Despite a number of key injuries the sheer size of the loss was enough to sink lots of fans into a deep footballing depression. However following the loss we picked ourselves up and dusted messy crap away from our red and white clothing to drag the team up to a more respectable postion.

There are three certainties in life, death, taxes and home and away games in the Premier League, and today is the day we get to attempt to rectify that result.

Of course we don`t need to embarss United the way they embarrassed us, a simple 3 points would suffice.

So with only minutes till kick off let`s look how the teams line up.

13 Szczesny
04 Mertesacker
05 Vermaelen
06 Koscielny
20 Djourou
07 Rosicky
14 Walcott
15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
16 Ramsey
17 Song
10 Van Persie

01 Almunia
18 Squillaci
49 Miquel
23 Arshavin
30 Benayoun
56 Yennaris
09 Park Chu-Young

Man Utd
34 Lindegaard
03 Evra
04 Jones
06 Evans
12 Smalling
11 Giggs
16 Carrick
17 Nani
25 Valencia
10 Rooney
19 Welbeck

01 De Gea
20 Fabio Da Silva
21 Rafael
13 Park Ji-sung
22 Scholes
09 Berbatov
14 Hernandez

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 22 2012

Time: 4:02PM

Your Comments

Song, Djourou, Walcott need to step up their level of performance FFS.
Wilshere can't come back soon enough.
There you go, 1-0. Men against boys. This isn't even a great Man Utd side.
north london solidarity.. what has happened to you it looks like wenger has lost the plot and just does not know what to do. the massive plus for you is i think the young lad chambelain looks fantastic with the ball a real star there and everything walcott and lennon should of been. a bit neive but that can be coached out of him
You look at Man City and Spurs earlier and their quality of players and then you look at ours. Too much creative responsibility is being placed on Ramsey and he's too young and good, but not quite top class. This Arsenal team is crying out for a Mata/Silva type player to control possession in the opposition's half particularly around the opposition penalty area. Walcott it frankly a waste of place and offers a poor return, perhaps a good performance every 5-6 games. At least The Ox looks as though he can deliver. Look at the threat that United give: you've got Nani, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck and even Giggs that can hurt you. Us? We have RvP and maybe The Ox. That's it!
Who's this number 56 Yennaris kid? Happy Year of the Dragon people! Go Ox go!
Our RB side is the problem Djourou doesnt quite have the positioning vs Nani and Evra
Oh nevermind,good luck Nico.
gooner vin i disagree ramsey is capable of being at that level but i think hes putting too much pressure on himself and hes trying too hard... now thats a spurs fan telling you that an arsenal player could be top quality crazy isnt it :) i think if you put a modders, silva or mata in that midfield in his place they would not perform much better as the rest of the midfield is quite frankly useless in relation to the standard you have had in the last 10-20 years
What a miss from RvP...
Looking better, will get better!
Yayyyy!!! What a team effort!!! :D
75 mins is fair for Ox,had a good match.
We've equalised. The Ox is playing brilliantly. The momentum is with us. Why change things? Why oh why.
You simply cannot be successful if you continue to concede goals and by being too easy to score against. How many seasons is it going to take for Wenger to learn.
I fail to understand.... Why oh why....
Hey ho, at least we kept it to a 1 goal deficit and took every opportunity to nobble shrek. So we've waited all season to see Ox replace Arshavin and to give Park a chance and both happen against utd? Then Ox gets bizarrely replaced by Arshavin after looking the only one likely to take the fight and having only just set up the equalizer?? You are a mentalist Wenger.
wenger is a **** up! big time!
e dubbz
Not to worry. Wilshere, Ox, Ryo, Ramsey will peak in around 5-10 years, so not long to wait for a bit of success.
saf: in wenger we trust!
djourou was slayed in 8-2 & saf certainly had a plan. for the first 45 mins, our right side was targeted as the weakest link was being attacked relentless which resulted the 1st conceded goal. nani combining with evra & giggs vs djourou & mertesacker. walcott was no where to be seen. i am not a f****** football manager & the deficiency was so evident to be seen. off course wenger as usual would reason philosophically "i do not look at how other team play. we just play our game"
If one good thing will come from RvP's end of contract, it's that he will surely insist there are quality additions and AFC have real ambition. If there aren't, then he has every justification to go somewhere where he has a genuine chance to win things in the next 2-3 years of his career.
ox was substituted out immediately after he created a goal & arshavin immediately created a goal againts us after he came in. the whole mu forwards was behind him. why could he just send the ball to the z roll? i am sure wenger will give is reason along this line "i have decided before the game that ox should only play for 70 mins. we need to protect the boy"
why make the most fundamental of mistakes, taking someone off when u have just got the equaliser? In this case, the creator of the equaliser! And his replacement ladies and gents, a lazy Russian midget who can't defend all of a sudden! In AW I don't trust anymore! If we make top four I will kiss each and every one of your asses..
e dubbz
Worst substitution ever. Arsenal in the ascendancy, O-C on fire and the catalyst of everything good. But Wenger doesn't like to play young players beyond 75 minutes, so taking him off for Arshavin KILLED the momentum and cost us either 1 or 3 points. Pure insanity. RvP looked a combination incredulous and angry at the switch. Good effort at the end by the team though- too bad they had it taken out of their hands by a monumentally stupid decision by the manager. Leave O-C on the pitch, we win or draw.
gv, rvp will leave. that's for certain. sorry to say, he deserves to win something for the talent he has. he deserves better players playing around him & he deserves a better manager
SSN reporting Wenger whisked off to hospital after shooting himself in the foot.
. . . unfortunately Niko millions more felt the pain.
Unbelievable substitution. Truly unfathomable. Even Van Persie could scarely believe it.
Wyn Mills
On the bright side surely Arshavin will never start ahead of Alex again and likewise Djourou although I was expecting worse as he was always going to be targeted should never start of Yennaris. More bright sides for me were Nini running off one one peg, shrek getting it from all sides and Evra getting a wallop, also RVPs 91 year old gramps getting a namecheck. Sad really when that lot are your sole highlights from a game and serves as a further reminder like we need it just how far we have been allowed to plummet. 54 million from the sales of Cesc and Na$ri and Diaby still not delisted from the squad, just saying y'know, 9 days to strengthen a desperately substandard squad, tickety feckin tock.
why can't he see we need a decent lb and rb? He is quoted as saying he wouldn't want to throw the season away because of that position and yet he does thid? Utd played their whole nmatch on that side. I am seriously p*ssed off with le manager!
e dubbz
on the way home to cornwall, thats the last time i fork out 110 petrol money to watch what should have been 1 point, and possibly could have been 3 points,completely messed up by what must rank as the most stupid naive substitution this season. i bet fergurson had an orgasm when he saw the ox being severely shafted by wenger
cornish gooner
Wenger is a man in complete denial. His interview was surreal. If you hadn't seen the match you would have got the impression it was very close and one tactical mistake decided it. Let's be honest. Our defence is cobbled together, our midfield lacks combativeness and creativity, and our is attack over-reliant on Robin. Its a shambles.
Wyn Mills
can we clear the deadwoods?: arshavin. djourou, diaby (also bendtner & denilson). i dont think walcott should start ahead of gervinho & ox ever. rosicky is a good squad player. at least he never hides. maybe a better solution: get guardiola or mourinho
The game showed the following: 1. RvP won't be signing a new contract. 2. Arshavin must surely, now know he has to leave this club. Too bad; such a painful way to end it.
...Oh, and we don't look like we will get into top 4, on this form. It must be embarrassing coming on to such disapproving noise from your own fans and RvP's show of 'dissent' will certainly be discussed; who knows where that will lead?

Wenger may have made up his mind to play the Ox for 70mins and didn't know to vary his plans seeing we had the momentum with the lad on. Arshavin was simply made to look ridiculous, which affected his play, as it should. He didn't have the nerve to take risks and ended up being in the mix for Wellbeck's goal. Poor guy. We need our injured players back and fast! Walcott should start to consider time coming on from the bench, in my opinion, as there will only be room for the Ox and Gervinho sooner than later unless he plans on quick improvements to his game and goal scoring.
Who is the nut case clicking Arshavin as MoTM? A spud, I guess. Lol!
''You have an 18-year-old kid making his first Premier League start and a player who's captain of his country and they are querying the substitution? Let's be serious." From what I could see the kid embarassed the international captain in every department, including attitude. That's Wenger's problem. He never acknowledges his errors. His 'handshake' with Ferguson was also particularly ungracious.
Wyn Mills
Quiick question" : Can we or more importantly will we survive a outside top 4 finish..?
Only one bright spot - Our goal...!! Don't you think that was reminiscent of another era ? Box to box in about 4 passes then in the net ! Usually we can't get out our own box in four passes !!
yeah, that's because a great pass by Koscielny cut out our typically brain-dead midfield pairing of Ramsey and Song who spent most of the game passing sideways and backwards. Rosicky for once stopped running around in circles and found the Ox with a decent first time ball. Both Oxade-Chamberlain and RVP then made intelligent diagonal cross runs which opened Utd up. But it was all too much excitement for Wenger obviously.
Wyn Mills
"can we clear the deadwoods?: arshavin. djourou, diaby (also bendtner & denilson)." - I have to agree, and i'm sick of other Arsenal fans defending them. Arshavin is a great shame because of how brightly he started off, but it's just going on too long now. It would be better for us AND him if he went to another club, he needs to find his confidence and it's not gonna happen with us. As far as the substitution goes, i think it was a mistake, but Arsenal is human and is allowed to make them. He obviously had a reason behind it (right or wrong). We lost to Man Utd ...2-1's not the end of the world as some of you are making it out to be, the losses to Swansea and Fulham were worse. It's what we do from now that will make the difference. We need our fullbacks fit again for a start, and to start winning against some of the "lesser" teams. A top 4 finish is still very doable.
just read wenger's comment. he doesn't have to explain what he does. never seen a manager with such extent of impunity. the fans are very fair. we compliment when the the team are doing well. we even sang praises in games like the 1-0 lost to man city when the team gave their all, but we also know when something is not right. well, of course he is untouchable
we recognised that wenger has revolutionised the game with his extensive scouting network which brought us so many great players at a friction of the market price. at the same time, we are not blind and we'll call a spade a spade. tactically, he is way behind many top managers. that's the reason why we didnt win any cl even when we had arguable the best players in the world in their respective position in the 2001-2004 era, henry (best striker), bergkamp (best 'in the hole' striker), vieira (best dm), cole (best lb) and all other great players such as pires, ljungberg, parlour, lauren, toure, campbell & lehmann. if he was a football director responsible for scouting & signing of players, he would be the best. if he was an academy development director responsible for bringing up talented potentials, he would be the best. his achievement all these years was very dependent on his unusual ability to scout for good players, not his tactical acumen. unfortunately like graham said, other teams have caught up in their scouting. we are now scrapping at the bottom of the barrel even for young talents. when wenger loses this advantage, he loses all
fuikaka, arshavin made his name as a 2nd striker like bergkamp and played brilliantly in that position until 28 when he joined us. imagine asking bergkamp to do his job, running the flank & covering the left back. i am sure bergkamp would have struggled too. i reckon we have ruined his career
hey gooners, look on the bright side - at least City took the cretinous trolls of Vital Spurs away from gloating on Vital Arsenal. Went from the Etihad to a friend's house to watch the game with 3 rabid gooners - and they were unanimous in their conclusion that Wenger dropped a balloon.
Please read FuiKaka's comments, and try not to slit your wrists.

Plus Wenger's comments stand absolutely - "'You have an 18-year-old kid making his first Premier League start and a player who's captain of his country and they are querying the substitution? Let's be serious.". We all love watching AOC play, but it's up to the manager to manage his career as best he can. Just as he has done so well with so many players in the past.

lastly, is it fair to have a pop at Arch over the goal? He chased back all the way into the box trying to win the ball back and showed a really good effort. I dont' know what more you could want him to do in that situation... how much more would Pires have done in his day?
dt, no one fault arshavin's effort. it was his misjudgment that caused the goal. he was holding the ball as the last man, just a few yards away from the goal with his back facing a crowd of players. he should have just concede a corner instead of making a weak reverse clearance. of course he is not a defender & he was not trained day in day out to face with such situation. this is not the highlight. the central of the argument is, we were in a rare period of the game where we could have snatched it with ox-rvp combination. why disrupt the momentum? to save the 20 mins from ox so that he can have a 20 year career?
Wengers comments don't stand up at all. What the hell does captaining his country have to do with anything? If that's so important why didn't Benayoun start or come on? Ramsey is captain of Wales but that doesn't stop him looking horribly out of sorts this year due to unrealistic constraints and expectations being placed upon him this season. Wengers' comment is a horrible joke and further proof to me that his arrogant stubborness is now far more of a hindrance to Arsenal than a boon. Yes he's 18 yes it was his first start. Yes the entire world can see our entire chance of getting anything from that game disappeared with his appallingly misjudged substitution. Ox was making the difference and utd were wobbling but I suppose Van Persies reaction was irrelevant as well was it?
Yeah look at the last player Wenger withdrew saying he was tired, Chamakh wasn't it? worked out blindingly well that one didn't it. Joe_@** is spot on when he states how we have ruined Arshavin too, played him to death out of position with only minimal grumblings from him til his confidence has evaporated, now he is a sacrificial lamb whos career here is utterly washed up and it's all down to this barmy stubborness from a manager who has been allowed to isolate himself to such an extent after believing his own press with noone to rein him in. In recent years due to this insistence at square pegging players in round holes I'd argue just as many players have been mismanaged as managed well.
Niko, you've gone wrong! Calm down! You're making a lot of angry accusations at our manager; venomous and unnecessary. Horrible, joke, arrogant stubbornness... blimey. I would take the time to de-construct some of your points in an attempt to have a reasoned conversation, but there's so much anger in your words that I don't think you're in any mind to have a decent conversation with.
I think Gary Neville summed it up quite well when he said something along the lines of a big CL club should not be so vulnerable when even 4-5 of its players are out through injury. United had their first choice defensive pair out yesterday, lost Phil Jones in the first 20 mins, had a 38 year old bossing things in midfield, and brought on a 37 year old in the second half. Difference is they seem to be trained and organised and are a club that does not take finishing 4th as success.
I'm sorry what? Bit scared of people showing any emotion aren't you? Afraid of all those nasty men shouting swears in the stadium, scared stiff of anyone typing anything which deviates from You are the one that is in no mind to have a rational converstion, jesus you're so repressed you're probably afraid of letting looses a few insults again, take that pole out your arse, loosen the club tie and let's talk.
A comment from the SkySports website:
"As a Manchester United supporter I would like to thank the Arsenal fans for destroying Arshavin's confidence by booing before he had even kicked a ball. As a football supporter I suggest that you support your players, all of them, and your manager if you want them to achieve. Arsene Wenger has done wonders for Arsenal and considering the injury list is continuing to do so. He has seen potential and bought incredibly well, Henry, Fabregas, van Persie, Walcott, to name but a few. Give him and the team your support and they will get back to the top. Continue to boo your own players and we won't need to worry about Arsenal again.."

Still, it's not like the Arsenal fans have previous. With Bendnter, Eboue and Song, for example.
Niko, I'm not scared of a football message board, no; just saying it's a waste of time trying to have a sensible conversation with someone who is being led purely by their emotions and no logic. no need for the aggression fella - we lost a game (2-1 to one of the biggest clubs in the history of football), get over it.
Saying Wengers' comment re Ox and Arshavin is a horrible joke is not venomous or unnecessary, given it cost us points in our situation I feel it's an entirely reasonable point and from looking around 99% of online goonerdom are equally as perplexed and just fed up. He is renowned as arrogant and stubborn Damian, it's not a personal attack it's just the truth, sometimes it has served us well, in recent years..not so much. Describing someone's personality traits is not an attack, it's not my problem if some people like your self are utterly incapable of honest conjecture and unable to view Arsenal and it's manager with anything other than the rose tinteds.
You don't know the 1st thing about me so please don't presume what mood I am in. I fully expected us to lose and have never gone into a game against a previous rival with as little feeling of anything, no need for the aggression? says the man who calls other posters spurs fans when his argument falls flat, don't get that from me, I respect most opinions here, and won't try to belittle rational cogent argument by trying to stereotype people as frothing maniacs because they choose to critisize an increasingly bizarre managers' behaviour and comments.
I understand a lot of people are fed-up and unhappy after the result yesterday, God knows I'd like us to have won the game too, but it seems that most people are happy to jump on bandwagons. How about booing RvP for missing a sitter instead? No? Easier to have a go at Arshavin. At the start of the season, common thinking was 'we need more experience, why are we buying this Chamberlain kid, we don't need another young kid' - but yesterday the captain of Russia comes on for that kid and Wenger is criticised.
Niko, you're presuming plenty about me, so it's a little bit off to criticise me for the same! "utterly incapable of honest conjecture and unable to view Arsenal and it's manager with anything other than the rose tinteds."

Anyway, we're getting nowhere here. Enjoy your misery! I'll continue to look forward to the rest of the seasons, and following seasons, and hope that we can hold on to the best manager in our history and the vast majority of our playing staff. Up the Arsenal.
Damian come on, please. You talk of logic but we had utd rocking yesterday, we had an immensely talented young lad having just assisted in bringing us to parity with the champions the whole stadium could feel the swing, we were on top and Ox was a shining light. The sub was just a mind bogglingly poor decision, and the crowd reacted accordingly, the captain of Russia he may be but so what? substitute him for Walcott who was stinking the joint out again. Sometimes what you see with your own eyes and all other senses tells you that the only logical thing to do is to let that kid stay on the pitch and do what he was born to do. To hear Arsene use an excuse of potential injury and fatigue for someone who has played as little as he has is also insulting, esp when Ox can unwittingly trounce that to a MOTD2 interviewer in a matter of minutes by saying he feels great. Just admit it was a poor poor decision -you'll feel better for it and feel all that pent up denial wash away.
Conversely I'll say that the decision to replace Djourou with Yennaris was a great one and despite being more of a MF by trade I hope we always see Yennaris start ahead of Djourou until Sagna returns. See credit where I feel it is due and criticism likewise, crazy concept I know ;)
Nope? Gone again has he? Line manager has obviously whisked him off to another site where the natives need quelling and Wengers' post match presser needs repeating verbatim. Fly footballing riot womble fly!
Well, it was a poor decision, but I will give Wenger the benefit of doubt. The focus really should not be on that substitution, but rather, our defence. After a period where stability was looking like it was coming back, it has all gone to pieces again. The absence of Arteta hurt, and Song had a really poor game, by his standards. That's what let the team down, along with some ordinary defending at full back. Our CBs both had a great game, and it's a shame not to see that rewarded. I thought we produced many chances and could have gone on to win that game. Contrary to what's being said, United did not control the entire 1st half - the 1st 15 minutes or so saw Lindegaard being tested a couple of times, so we did start well. The 2nd half was superb, and I had the belief that we could go onto get a point, or even 3.
Prits, you make a good point there about how the commentaries gave the impression the 1st half was all Utd, whereas, it was just us choosing to revise our usual game plan to hold possession, mesmerize, then get caught at the back, on the break. This time, our defense held their ground well and only started bombing forward when we needed to score. We had a good start then a shaky period in the first half while the rest of the half was even. We then pretty much pinned them in the 2nd half though losing possession at crucial moments.
While the point is irrelevant, I am willing to bet we could have gone on to win with that kid on. Well, that's in the past now; got to look forward to the next game now. As it is, it was a January from hell for us, in the PL as we lost all the games this month, so far. We need to go on a very strong run to make a fight of whatever we intend to achieve in the league this season.
Joe_@**, you made the same error I made, believing it was Arshavin who teed that ball up for Wellbeck. It was actually, a clever pass by Valencia when Arshavin had stuck out a foot to prevent the (expected) shot at goal. Take another look at the replay (painful, eh? I know) from the camera angle at the back of the post. It would have been a good block by the Russian but for the flick by Valencia.
naijagunner, i'd seen the replay once, have to see again. thanks for noting. it's all about getting to the truth. i put my hand up if i'm wrong on the goal. again, i repeat arshavin's effort could not be faulted. nonetheless, niko made a good point. walcott should have got off instead of ox. the substitution was a disastrous turning point. arshavin did not contribute much offensively, and that is his main job. i do not mean to judge the integrity of others but i really doubt ox had a calf strain.
Surely, if Wenger felt that Alex was at risk of cramp, we should respect that judgment. Anyone could see that he was better than Theo, so could Wenger. Perhaps, it was the wrong decision, but was it such a bad decision for that outpouring of dissent from the crowd? I don't think so.
Don't think so, either. The fans are entitled to venting their disapproval but on this occasion, the manner of dissension only served the opposition and affected Arshavin's output. The support needs to be more partisan, irrespective. We can work out our differences afterwards.
Apologies for lack of match report. These Sunday games are a bit of a *****er at the moment because Monday's are harsh at work. Hopefully should be able to resume normal service for Villa.
Little Dutch
Van Persie was seen to question the decision but denied any falling-out.

"There is no problem, there is no conflict and there is no controversy," the Dutchman said.

"I was not questioning his judgement. I know it's not my place to challenge what Arsene Wenger does.

"I was not having a go at the boss on Sunday - I was just sad to see Alex leave the pitch as he just gave the assist for our only goal."

The manager and I are fine and my relationship with the club is good.Robin van Persie Speaking to the Sun added:

"Alex had a calf injury. We did not know that but the boss did and brought Andrey Arshavin on."
So it must've been another AOC on MOTD2 that claimed he was feeling fine then? RVP is toeing the party line and fair play to him for his loyalty but please don't try to convince anyone it has anything to do with the truth. Unless you want to call former Southampton captain Lundekvam a liar? He was asked by his Norwegian television employers to call Alex to find out what was wrong to find out the lad was neither tired nor injured, at no point did alex signal the bench or even touch either leg. It's a complete whitewash, Wenger was going to replace him on 75 mins whatever.
Niko, you are calling RvP a liar, are you? Just for clarity, is that what you're saying?
Doubt he even said it, probably one of the girls at the press office where you work.
I mean place both feet firmly and listen to yourself, why the hell would one of oxs mates and former team mates have any reason to make that up? why would the lad himself say he feels fine before he's had a chance to be told he's not. I mean jesus is media spin that alien a concept for you. It's obvious that RVP will protect his manager and repeat what he's been told to say. If lying was such a big deal to you why haven't you taken Wenger to task when he told you this was the best squad he's ever had?
You strike me as very young and naive to the point of absurdity Damian, you have a lot to learn about this world if you take everything unquestioningly at face value, footballers are given stuff to read out and say all the time it's part of the modern game, every slip or faux pas is immediately smoothed over with press releases stating to the contrary or pre scripted club enforced apologies.
Have to agree with Niko here, clearly a PR line trotted out by the manager. van Persie's reaction at the time told us what we needed to know. I sit in a pretty good position in the stadium, I saw no evidence (though I accept that doesn't mean there can't possibly be any) of Chamberlain cramping up. Nor did I see him signal to the bench. He doesn't seem to think he did either. There's been no supporting footage come to light to support the supposition either. And if you'll indlge a little amateur cod psychology, Wenger seems pretty tetchy and defensive about it.
Little Dutch

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