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Arsenal vs. Manchester United

Emirates Stadium

8/11/08

12:45

On Sky

Arsenal v. United

Arsenal play their first big four derby match of this young season mid-day Saturday. Confidence couldn't be any more polar between the respective camps, and hopefully the effect of the derby will help balance out the morale. Pundits all around the country are writing off Arsenal and predicting a humiliating loss come Saturday, and for once it's hard not to buy into the doom and gloom being written by the Journos. There is no doubt that there is still immense quality in the Arsenal camp, but if they don't believe in themselves then it could get ugly.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene blamed fatigue and lack of concentration for the bore of a game midweek. "You can see from all of the results of the English teams that none of them had lost before tonight in the Champions League, and this week none of them have won," he said.

"That is maybe explainable because last week everybody gave so much in the Premier League and had a little bit less resources to play in the Champions League this week."

"I feel we have played three different games," continued Wenger.

"We had a big disappointment last week. We played an outstanding game last Wednesday but we still dropped points and then we had a little hangover against Stoke when we lost the game.

"It looks as though, because the Premier League is very demanding, if you have a Champions League week afterwards it is difficult physically.'

Arsenal's longest serving first team member, Kolo Toure, spoke about the importance of a win. "A win would be really fantastic for us to show that we are there for the title," said the Ivorian after Wednesdays draw with Fenerbahce. "We know that the Premier League is really long - we are not in the second half yet. We just need to take it as a really important game and to show Manchester United and those big clubs that we are there to fight for the title.

I have played against them already and I know what I have to expect [from Man United]. I think it`s going to be a good game and we will show them we are still in the race for the title. We are still in there. We are fourth at the moment. We are six points behind but the season is really long. We just need to play game by game.

We concentrate on each game and as a team we just rely on our solidarity. There are some games we are going to lose and there are some games we have to win."

I couldn't find any quotes from the FA bad boy, Sir Alex, so pre-match comments from Ronaldo will have to do. 'We want to win the title so we have to get three points there,' said Ronaldo.

'I don't know if it is tough for them at the moment but they will still have 11 players, the same as us, and I know it will be difficult because it always is.

'But we have a great spirit and we are a great team, so our aim is to pick up three points.'

Arsenal Team News:

Oh lord, where to start? If one of the groundskeepers found Silvestre's nose on the Emirates pitch after the game, will you return it to him so he has a chance to play against his former team, please? Actually on second thought hold onto it for the weekend because I would like to see Djourou partner Alex Song in the centre of the defense. There's not any experience in that pairing but I feel the youthful exuberance they would exhibit might be exactly what we need.

After a recurrence of Robin van Persie's infamous anger issues last weekend, he is suspended for this game as well as the Wigan and Villa matches later in the month. Robin's strike partner Emmanuel Adebayor has also been ruled out and will be missing from action for the next three weeks thanks to an unnecessary challenge off the pitch at the Britannia.

Gallas and Theo have a '50:50' shot to be fit, while Sagna 'should be OK'. Captain Eboue is definitely out.

Player to watch: Cesc Fabregas

As Cesc Fabregas goes, Arsenal go too. Unfortunately Arsenal's piss poor form of late can be directly related to the young Spaniards form. Now understand this, in no way, shape, or form am I blaming all of this on Cesc, but in my opinion if his game is sputtering then Arsenal fail to impress. Plus the only other impact player for Arsenal that can create chances for himself, van Persie, voluntary ruled himself out of this match.

The departure of his best mates, Hleb and Flamini, has had an obvious effect on him. If he can't step up to the pressure on Saturday then I forecast a dark afternoon for all Gunners.

Manchester United Team News:

Manchester started off the season again in a slow pattern and now they are getting close to their best. A draw was always going to be the result in Glasgow midweek when Fergie rested all of his main weapons. Too much quality in the United bench to get beat by the Scots. That means that Berbatov and Rooney will be ready and raring to go. Arsenal's shaky defense will have to produce the best preformance of the season to bring the United attack to a standstill.

Player to watch: Dimitar Berbatov

The former Tottenham man will have most certainly have a point to prove against Arsenal. Berba was a class above Spurs and was always going to make a big money move elsewhere, and unfortunately it was also always going to be to Man U. The Bulgarian scored last year at the Emirates and his silky moves will pose a problem.

Match Facts & Stats

Last season's fixture: Arsenal 2-2 United: Gallas(og45), Fabregas(48), Ronaldo(82), Gallas(90)

Home and away

League (inc PL): Arsenal 65 wins, Man United 72, Draws 41

Prem: Arsenal 9 wins, Man United 13, Draws 10

at Arsenal only

League (inc PL): Arsenal 50 wins, Man United 22, Draws 17

Prem: Arsenal 6 wins, Man United 4, Draws 6

Ref Watch:

Howard Webb will be the match official for this gigantic clash. Lets just say he is not a fan favourite in Gooner hearts. Apparently he isn't intelligent enough to see the difference between a massive 6'4 African in Adebayor versus a miniature 5'10 African in Eboue. He's made a mess in every international tournament he has ever been involved in and this summer's Euros were no exception. He has officiated 9 Premier League matches this season, while handing out 2 reds and 29 yellows, a 3.44 card per game average.

Match Prediction:

In my eyes this game can only go two possible directions. Arsenal have the ability to stay in the game and fight till the end to produce a unlikely three points, but I could also see us getting blown right out of the Grove. The latter is probably the most likely result. I've been predicting a drubbing all week now, but I will stay positive for some unknown reason and predict a 2-1 win for Arsenal!

Next Fixtures:

1/11 (Tue)- Wigan (H)- Carling Cup

5/11 (Sat)- Aston Villa (H)- Premier League

10/11 (Wed)- FC Porto (A)- Champions League




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 7 2008

Time: 4:40AM

Your Comments

This game could produce any kind of result at all so I can't bet on anything. But our current form AND Howard Webb... I can see the reverse result 2-1 to ManU unfortunately..
GoonerLou
WEBB!! Isnt there a better referee in the PL for such big match?
lhchye
Theo could play a part it seems - as a sub I hope: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1083718/EXCLUSIVE-Walcott-set-fit-Arsenal-face-United.html
GoonerLou
I think we need Gallas back for this one, we need some experience. Gallas alongside Djourou would be great. They are a very strong side but I always believe that every side has at least one weakness. Personally, I think Van der Saar can be vulnerable. We need to be at our fluid, attacking best because we're not really set up to defend. We need outstanding games from whoever plays in the midfield positions. And we really need to be the first to score. 2-0 with a clean sheet would do absolute wonders for our confidence. It's kinda make or break time you feel.
Gooner_Vin
arsenal been too inconsistant this season...hoping they lift themselves against the champions.... but this should be a cracking game.
ArabianKnight
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_4465966,00.html It seems poor old Fergie doesn't like it up him from the Arsenal lot. The delicate little flower. Nice line from the Telegraph in this piece too.
Little Dutch
Lil dutch, i need to ask you a question which is not allowed on the board about tickets. Is there a way to send you a private message or email. I promise i am not a stalker or looking for a date
paul_ownz
That's a shame, I've had my fair share of stalkers here! (Well, one ubiquitous stalker anyway). Click on the green panel at the side of the page entitled Club Forum. Once you're in you'll see an inbox at the top of the page, click on it and you can send me a message from there. I can't get on the forum in work hours so I probably won't see the message until late tonight.
Little Dutch
This could be one of those Classic games that goes down in History, or it could just be two teams who cancel each other out. What ever happens I hope things don't end in chaos and 3 match bans for any Arsenal players.
hackneyval
We all know if Utd click into that smooth rythum they can produce we are going to be in the brown stuff ina big way, but if we can get the ball down early on and stroke it around creating a coupole of chances that confidence will flood back and when we are confident, we are the best team in the country on our day. Lets hope it is our day!
LondonGooner
this game could possibley kick start yer season or end it
123spurs
Why oh why do we always have Coward Webb or Riley in the big matches when everything goes against us!?
stukazufuss
Not looking forward to this at all. I usually have a mixture of excitment and trepidation before a Man Utd game .... but for this one I'm just scared :(
Rocky7
riley always seems to get man u games, hes def has a soft spot for them
123spurs
123spurs - You think? What gave it away? The countless penalties he awards them and dnies every opponent or the myriad of challenges he allows them to get away with? lol
LondonGooner
Fear not too much fellow Gooners. we're just as tricky opponents for United as they are for us. The only thing I think is imperative is that we don't concede first because I wonder what spirit and belief is left in the side. It's not like last year. We definitely need our midfielders fighting for the right to play our football. No use crying but feel we are really gonna miss Ade's presence for this one.
Gooner_Vin
By the way, I wish our players would stop continually announcing that we can still win this and we're going to do that. It's time to shut up and let the football do the talking.
Gooner_Vin
Gooner_Vin - COuldn't agree more. In fact I'd like a blanket ban on our players constantly talking to the press, especially Adepaymemore, does he ever shut his mouth?
LondonGooner
Actually, the player I've come to like listening to is Bendtner, always positive, always calm, always firm in his belief the way he talks to the press. Keeps it simple and positive, always. I'm trying not to think about tomorrow's game too much because when I do I can't concentrate. I don't think I can handle another humiliation. Let's just give a good account of ourselves, that's all I ask.
jaelle
Should be a difficult game but I'm quietly confident of a win IF we are able to put in two good halves.
ForeverUnited
we got nothing to lose. the pressure is all on United. would be an excellent game to watch, and from the neutral point of view, it would be very open if we score first..
luckys_10
noting to losse eh 3 points, why u talking like wenger...lol......i suppose ur quite happy to fin 4th
123spurs
Jaelle, I agree. I've also been impressed with Bendtner, on camera he seems mature and intelligent. I still can't believe he only started learning English when he joined us like 4 years ago too. He's also smart enough to skirt around tricky questions - see the latest one pre-ManU. And 123, sometimes I wonder if you're just too fast to think before you respond, or if you're just on here 24/7 so you feel like responding to every single thing. I can't speak for Luckys, but with 10 players not available or half-fit and "gambled" to play, the whole situation is backs to wall really. As Jaelle said, we'll just have to work hard and show what we're made of. If we put in a good performance if not a good result straight after the recent setbacks, that'd be good given the amount of injuries.
GoonerLou
I'm scared too, Rocky, fear a hammering tomorrow. Normally, I'm relaxed even before big games coz I had a lot of trust in the players. Not this time.
prits
NOTHING TO LOSE BESIDES THE TITLE! YOU HAVE MORE TO PROVE THAN US!
ForeverUnited
What do you all think about a Djourou and Song centre defense partnership that I proposed?
gunnerkid107
0-0 after 25 mins, Fabregas puts Nasri through on goal, Ferdinand brings him down in the area, Red card for Rio and a penalty to Arsenal. Bendtner grabs the spot kick and scored. The whole complexion of the game changes....Anything can happen from then, and I think Arsenal would be favorites to win from this scenario.
49ers
with the team that we will put out tomm, it's only a win win situation for us. it's only 3 more points, 6 points behind or 9 points behind, we're gonna win the title anyway hehe..
luckys_10
like the boss said, whatever we have to prove, we will prove it all come may. tomm is all about going out and enjoying it. and lads just relax now, what hiding will they give us? what hammering are we going to get? with all those injuries, the young kids that we are gonna put out tomm won't care a damn about the reputation of the champions. this is their chance, and i'm sure they will all be up for it to show that this is where they belong. unlike the big guns, the only pressure that they will have will come from withint to play well. i know Bendtner doesent fear anyone. the lad may not be as talented as the others yet, but the self belief he's got is second to none in the squad. Vela if given the chance will try & do the same. Cesc is always up for it whenever United come to town, and it's games like these that Nasri joined Arsenal for. the mancs know all about Theo & just his presence on the pitch is enough to give the United fullbacks a lot to think about, if he plays, Evra is really going to have a tough time. Clichy, Gallas, Toure, Sagna all know the importance of this game, they will be up for it. & if even one of those guys dun make it, Djourou will be there and the lad just like Bendtner is full of confidence and has the talent to back it up. i just pray that the Boss doesent play Silves, cuz then United will tear us apart with a 4-4-3 formation hehe..
luckys_10
come on guys, we've seen tougher times than these. we've been more nervous, anxious, scared than what we all are right now & the lads have delivered with their backs to the wall. this tension is nothing compared to what we all felt when we took on Real Madrid and so many other such games. We are the Arsenal boys, & lets just be there for the team tomm & give them all the support that they need & deserve..
luckys_10
then 49ers u wake up fro ur amazing dream
123spurs
whoever scores first will win this game.......
lincolnblue
Arsenal going into a home game as underdogs will probably help them in a funny sort of way. Key players missing, a run of bad results etc,etc. No better team at winning than when they are expected to lose... Every time Wenger is on the ropes he finds some sort of managerial miracle that only he can conjure... 1-0 home win I am thinking...
woddywoo
i on the other hand, predict a 2-1 loss to arsenal
gooner_till_i_die
im hoping for an Arsenal win
Osgood_Spirit
I bet a tenner on 1-0 arsenal Nasri 1st goal...Half time and alls well..
woddywoo
exciting first half .. nasri and Clichy do link very well together... perfect understanding .. nice to see nasri on the score card... the second half should be a cracker... i suspect more goals in this game...good luck
ArabianKnight
HAVE IT! Get in son. Nasri = awesome.
Gunnerman
2nil where's evry 1
gunnerchi
60-1 as well...Like puff the magic dragon my bet goes up in smoke;-(
woddywoo
well ill be damned...so exuberant going forward, bendtner so much desire, im off to eat my hair..GET IN ARSENAL
gooner_till_i_die
HAHA I got my score prediction right!! I'm damn good. What a brilliant game. Wonderful preformance by everyone.
gunnerkid107
You bloody beauty well done, how do does 123 like those apples. What a game what a team and with so many missing well done boss.
alwaysgunner
The tv went off at 6 minutes injurytime. I couldn't bear to be heartbroken again! But fair play to the boys, a sterling performance despite a few hicups! I'm so happy!!!!
Rocky7
thanks heaps Arsenal for pushing the Mancs back down the table!
Osgood_Spirit
Oh man, our first good (scratch that more like marvelous) result in what seems like an ages and i was asleep. From the sounds of it we played pretty well too. ******** sky i thought they'd put it on a sunday evening like they always do.
Kutch
Thanks lads for a great result for the rest of us top four (Liverpool here). Hopefully from your point of view this should shut up the idiots who are doubting Wenger for a little bit - at least until December 21st when we'll be looking for a favour ;p
Naoise
Always love it when everyone gives us no chance, what a win.
alwaysgunner
I called the win, good call. We don't beat manutd when we are on form,
49ers
Great result from a very depleted Arsenal side. Mu's on form with the deadly trio attack group have no answer. The real score should have been 3-1 to Arsenal. I have no idea why Webb had no balls to call that penalty on Nasri. It was a clear cut penalty. this shows Mu always gets off easy in our games, and it continues till today. Another Mu game swatted down at Emirates. Now i'm waiting for the whining fergie's press conference. Wwohohohoh.. lets see who is the whining ******** now!!
nevidimka
I think that may have just been Clichy's best performance in an Arsenal shirt, and that's saying something. He was superb today.
ArsenalRob
We must finally start playing this team when everyone (except Eduardo) is fit: Fabianski; Sagna - Gallas - Silvestre - Clichy; Walcott - Denilson - Fabregas - Nasri; Diaby; Adebayor. Playing Diaby compensates for Denilson's lack of strength and also allows us to play Walcott without as much defensive frailty. NASRI WAS LEGENDARY!
Tom14
And nobody can question the center backs today. Brilliant. Silvestre? Masterstroke. Played brilliantly alongside each other this season. Feel sorry for Johan but the 31 year old Frenchies have been class.
Tom14
Both Arsenal and Tony Adams get a win, what a day
TPowell
get in there!who said we cant win games without rvp and ade?we got a good team they just need to be confident,thats all that counts we can beat any team regardless of who plays!!
the arsenal
tom14 what about rvp?you dont rate him?
the arsenal
Just got back home from the game. The atmosphere today was absolutely unbelievable, the best I have experienced at our stadium (I didn't go to the game against Spuds last week). I am absolutely drained after that game, the second half after we scored was unbearable at times because you just knew United were going to come back. They are a great side, really well-balanced in all departments. They'd be a great side even without Ronaldo but he makes a big difference. We were crying out for Ade today as an outlet because I thought Bendtner again didn't really offer enough. Man of the match is hard but I thought Denilson was brilliant today.
Gooner_Vin
vooooooohooooooo guys i told yu it's gonna be a great game & the team played like there is no tomm. thank yu Arsene & thank yu Arsenal. life would be so empty without yu..
luckys_10
It was a great effort from the team, everyone worked their socks off, they can now have a little rest as the reserves take on Wigan on tuesday. We did ride our luck at times and I felt Man U played well but didn't take their chances. I have to say Fergie was quite gracious in the post match interview, he seems to have mellowed a bit in his old age and I've got a bit more respect for him now.
jubair
What a game, what a performance, what a result! I was secretly optimistic but bracing myself for a defeat. But the boys really did us proud today!! We dealt with their forwards well, we even improved with set-pieces!! Ooh all goals were fantastic. Credit to Almunia for not dropping his head after the weird mistake (was it a confidence thing?) in the first minute. Yes Clichy had a great game. Den and Cesc controlled things well in the middle. Samir = MotM no doubt!!
GoonerLou
the arsenal, we don't have to play van Persie you know. He may have technical abilities but he does not offer what Diaby does in terms of balance in the team. A physical prescence in midfield and a genuine dribbler in the middle.
Tom14
Was I the only one that noticed Cesc's poor passing? He was great in the defense today, but what the heck was up with some of those balls?
gunnerkid107
Gunnerkid, Cesc can't be at his best every game, there were a few poor passes today, but he was still at the centre of both our goals, & Tom dun base ur opinions on just one game, RVP gives us a lot, and has become a complete team player this season. of course he needs to sort out his temper at times..
luckys_10
Brilliant, just Brilliant!!! WELL DONE The ARSENAL!!! What a differents a win will do to ones out look on Life!!!
hackneyval
For the first time, I miss MotD in England! Would be really nice to see what Lawro, Shearer and Hansen have to say! :D
GoonerLou
I'd also like to add that the entire defence did well today. Gallas and Silvestre were immense!
GoonerLou
Denilson was impressive today... tidy performance.. still not sure he can be a dmf tho
Gael-Force
Great result for Arsenal today, however, I was surprised that your players didn't attempt to waste time in the closing stages and instead went looking for the third goal. You gave Manu a chance by doing so, as you lost the ball on several occasions and gave them an opportunity to tie the game. Reminds me of Brazil in the 1982 world cup, they were by far the best team in that world cup but they lost to Italy because they kept on trying to score more goals, after being 2-1 up and needing a draw to qualify, and eventually lost 3-2.
JohnDoe
Yeah JohnDoe it indeed might seem that way to some. But after watching us play around and then concede 2 goals to Spurs late on, I wasn't so sure about keepnig the ball even though we're good at passing it around. In the post-match interview Wenger revealed that he had told the team to keep attacking till the end in order not to be defensive and "put ourselves under pressure". A classic case of attack as the best form of defence in his opinion I suppose.
GoonerLou
e.g. The way Nasri and Theo kept the midfielder and full-back busy on both flanks, I can't say the boss didn't take the right risks by telling the team to keep attacking and pinning the ManU guys back.
GoonerLou
ermmmm I don't think I am basing my opinions on RvP on one match. If anything, he has been our best player for the last two matches (before man Utd) but he has NEVER formed a partnership with any striker at the club, he has a terrible attitude in some games, his finishing has been shocking for some time now and he does not offer as much as Adebayor and he does not protect the midfield as much as Diaby would.
Tom14
THERE IS NO COINCIDENCE HERE......NO TOURE, NO ADEBAYOR - AND WE WIN AND WIN WELL. THEY MUST REMAIN ON THE SIDELINES. I MUST PUT MY HAND UP AND SAY DENILSON HAD A MIGHTY GAME - I NEVER KNEW HE HAD IT IN HIM.
Will-i-am10
Bendtner played poor. Do you not think that if Ade had played we would have won by a bigger margin? I do. I mean, Nikky did not even track back.
Tom14
luckys_10, Cesc hasn't been on his best form the ENTIRE season. I am starting to get worried.
gunnerkid107
I had a agging headache all week that I couldn't shift and then suddenly at 2:45 on Saturday afternoon it just evaporated. It' amazing what a couple of pills of ARSENAL-BEAT-MU-AND-PRESS-CHOKE-ON-THEIR-WORDS can do. Thanks Doctor Wenger, I really needed that!!
julieloveshenry4ever
Tom14, Brendtner spent most of the game chasing the Man Utd defence and pressuring them, i know I was there. So how is he supposed to track back when he has run his butt off at the other end of the pitch? His tracking back is done in the Man Utd half and on the half way line, which he did with aplomb and high energy. Explain please?
LondonGooner
 

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