Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United: Superior performance should outweigh bizarre result

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United: Superior performance should outweigh bizarre result

Manchester United 2 (Rooney 59 pen, Diaby 64 og)
Arsenal 1 (Arshavin 40)

Minute-by-MinuteVideo Highlights | Wenger Interview

Robin van Persie cannot believe Abou Diaby has put through his own net

Match Review

Arsenal had two defensive errors to blame for an unfortunate 2-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford. With our boys in control and in the lead after Andrey Arshavin’s first-half cannonball, we self-destructed in spectacular style as first Manuel Almunia needlessly conceded a spot-kick and the Abou Diaby scored an own-goal under no pressure. It was enough to see us suffer defeat for the first time this season and the misery was compounded when Robin van Persie’s late equaliser was chalked off for offside and Arsene Wenger was comically and incorrectly sent to the stands by referee Mike Riley Dean.

Arsenal played an almost full-strength side at Old Trafford with Cesc Fabregas the notable exception, out with a hamstring strain. Alex Song returned to the starting team to form a midfield triangle along with Denilson and Abou Diaby while Emmanuel Eboue surprisingly got the nod ahead of Nicklas Bendtner on the right side of the attack. Otherwise it was the usual suspects with our first-choice defensive five and the classy attacking pair of Arshavin and van Persie completing the team.

As is the norm for games against Manchester United there was action a-plenty from the first whistle as Darren Fletcher fired an early shot over and van Persie had a very decent effort blocked by Patrice Evra. Our team settled better than United from then on as the midfield trio got control of the game, keeping the ball well and allowing Arshavin in particular to stamp his influence on the game.

The little Russian shot narrowly wide after a flap from United goalkeeper Ben Foster before he again took centre stage with two of the games biggest moments. First the Russian was clearly fouled in the box by Fletcher (who also handled the ball for good measure) but for whatever reason the referee waved play on. Admirably Arshavin popped straight back up after the appeal to collect the ball just seconds later and smash a superb shot from outside the area to give us the lead just before half-time.

It was so nearly 2-0 shortly after the break as Arshavin weaved some more magic down the left and van Persie somehow had his shot saved by the outstretched leg of Foster. It was a really brilliant save, possibly the best I’ve seen so far this season and it more than made up for whatever blame the United fans may have attached to the goalkeeper for his involvement in the first goal.

We had another very decent chance to score when Eboue miscontrolled Gael Clichy’s cross before United, from absolutely nowhere, got themselves back in the game when Almunia brought down Wayne Rooney for a penalty. Although there were similarities with Eduardo’s dive against Celtic with Rooney clearly going down before Almunia made contact, the unfortunate point is that there WAS contact and the referee had no choice but to award the kick that Rooney easily converted.

Whereas Artur Boruc managed to pull out of the challenge Almunia followed through and although he made an effort to put both of his hands onto the deck to minimise the chance of a foul, the momentum of his body meant contact was unavoidable. It was poor goalkeeping in my opinion and although I remain a big fan of the Spaniard he has certainly been below his best in the opening few weeks of the season.

Soon after conceding we almost retook the lead when van Persie’s fierce free-kick was touched onto the bar by Foster before United scored again. A seemingly harmless free-kick from Giggs was floated into the area and Abou Diaby bizarrely headed into his own net. I’ve not yet met a supporter who can explain what Diaby was doing but from the replays I’ve seen I’ve come to one of two conclusions; (1) he was caught in two minds about whether to leave it for Almunia or (2) he was trying to head it back to Almunia. Either way it ended up badly for us and Diaby will be having nightmares for a little while to come yet.

Astonishingly he almost made amends for the own goal by scoring just seconds later, but despite a quite brilliant mazy run he could only hook his shot wide. Eboue then provided the sort of gamesmanship that we as a club just did not need at the moment, completing a horrible dive that saw him booked by the referee.

With the boos ringing around the stadium Eboue was substituted for Bendtner while they returned again two minutes later when Eduardo was brought on in place of the excellent but buggered Arshavin. With the game opening up it was Manchester United who went closest to a goal with substitute Dimitar Berbatov slicing wide and the Nani having a shot excellently saved by Almunia before blazing over the rebound.

Then came the moment that hurt the most; with the game deep into stoppage time van Persie had the ball in the net only for William Gallas, who worked hard to win the ball down for the Dutchman, to be flagged for offside. It was pandemonium to disgust in a matter of seconds although the replays showed the linesman clearly got it right.

The game then ended in a farce as Wenger was ridiculously and unfairly sent to the stands for kicking a water bottle out of frustration and could not find anywhere to sit down. It was a real comedy moment and this image will burn large in the memory for some time yet.

Talking Points

The first thing I want to say about Saturday’s game is that on the whole, I thought we played particularly well. Cristiano Ronaldo or no Cristiano Ronaldo, this was Manchester United at Old Trafford and for long stretches of the game we made them look distinctly ordinary. In open play our defensive performance was superb – Thomas Vermaelen, Gallas and Song again working terrifically well – while our midfield maintained possession confidently and worked extremely hard without the ball.

The general effort from the team was to be admired and had Foster been unable to foil van Persie with his foot then I have no doubt that we would have gone on to win the match. As it was, we had two defensive errors to blame (can Diaby’s even be considered an error, it still just seems so bizarre..?) for the surrendering of the points and sometimes that just happens in football. There’s no point dwelling on it because we know how well we played on Saturday and on another day we would have come away from Old Trafford with a sensational win.

I’m sure there will be a lot of you out there expecting me talk about the performance of the referee but in truth I don’t think there’s much point. He certainly got things wrong – Arshavin’s penalty appeal, for one – but at the end of the day I really don’t think his performance influenced the result of the game. Almunia gave him no choice but to blow for the penalty while the own goal had absolutely nothing to do with him. I feel we lost this game before of these two moments and to blame the referee or call bias would just take the focus off the mistakes made by our own players.

In terms of performances I thought there were three that particularly stood out to me today – Arshavin, van Persie and (don’t adjust your screen) Diaby. Arshavin showed once again showed his great character and a knack of performing on the big stages with a great goal just moments after clearly being brought down in the box. He was also the chief creator of our best other opportunity when he jinked down the touchline to set up van Persie.

Likewise I thought the Dutchman, who stepped in as captain in Fabregas’ absence, was inspiring despite getting no luck whatsoever. On another day he might have scored two but Evra’s knee, Foster’s foot, the crossbar and the offside flag meant he somehow ended the game as he started it, without a goal to his name this season.

And then there was Diaby. I am going to make a bold statement and say that despite the own goal I actually thought the Frenchman was our best player against United. Filling in for Fabregas was never going to be an easy tasked but he worked his socks off and used his unorthodox dribbling skills to great effect. Diaby is always going to go down as the villain of this game after his moment of madness but I felt it was an otherwise great performance by a player who looks set to make an impact this season.

Final Thoughts

To be honest the feeling I have coming away from this game is not one of anger or frustration about the result, but one of positivity regarding the quality of our performance. To lose at Old Trafford is never a disgrace and even the most hard-nosed United fan (read here for evidence) will know that Arsenal were the superior team in most departments of the game. Our boys worked harder, passed better, and were defensively more secure from open play than United’s and if we can put that sort of effort into every game this season than I think it bodes very well for the future. 

As a final thought I say well done to the team on a fine effort, chin up to Diaby and let’s hope we can put things right against Emmanuel Adebayor and his City teammates in a fortnight’s time.

Have your say on Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United by leaving a comment.

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59 Responses to “Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United: Superior performance should outweigh bizarre result”

  1. jamie blacksmith
    August 31, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    I still think Arsenal could have won if not for the referee.It’s obvious he’s biased towards the red faced cunt. Ashvin was stonewall penalty.
    I’m afraid this harks back to the 1998-99 season when a series of biased refereeing decsions cost Arsenal dearly.
    If you are in doubt check the videos of that season.

  2. toaster
    August 31, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    “Arsene Wenger was comically and incorrectly sent to the stands by referee Mike Riley”

    It was actually Mike Dean.

  3. Musa Odhis
    August 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    I do agree with ur opinions all the way.I hasten to add that Shrek’s dive was as clear a dive like any other[but that only makes him a hero in some quarters].Diaby would have been my man of the match but for the own goal.Always been skeptical about him,but now tis all admiration.

  4. peter
    August 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    but you lost he he no matter how good you think you are

  5. clichy_double_deuce
    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    denilson continues to impress. the new invisible wall.

  6. TheSKAGooner
    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    I’ll stand next to you on this assessment, Andy. Of course I would prefer to have won the match, but I think there’s A LOT positive to take from the match and reasons to be encouraged.

    We are a better team than last year. It’s quite evident even without Cesc, Theo and Nasri on the pitch. This years’ squad is better.

    RVP did a good job filling in as Captain. I thought it really great that he was the first one to Diaby after the OG, speaking words of encouragement and counsel. That’s leadership and that’s what helps bring the squad together. And you’re right – Diaby DID have a good match (OG aside). He needs to move past the ManU match now and put all his efforts into stringing together a series of top class outings so that there aren’t any lingering effects from Saturdays match.

    On a side note, it appears that Shava was injured even before the match. So he again stepped on the pitch for Arsenal without any of the fans knowing he was having a knock, and again put home a brilliant goal. The same thing he did last year when get got his first goal as an Arsenal player. No one outside the squad knew at that time of the 8 stitches he took at halftime, but he came back anyway and put his marker on probably one of the goals of the season. This, again, is leadership and commitment that all on the squad can take away as wanting to match and be part of.

    Despite the score and all the crazy controversies surrounding this match, I truly believe this is a match we can build on going forward.

  7. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    August 31, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    @ toaster – Cheers, edit made.

  8. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    August 31, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    @ jamie blacksmith – I just don’t think it’s necessary to look at the referee’s “costing” us games. It’s a soft option, we need to look more at what we can do not the stuff we can’t control.

  9. shambogunner
    August 31, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    agree with alot of wot you say andy but feel compelled to once again hav a go at mike dean.AW has today come out and had a go a the negative approach of some utd players and havin watched the game again since its actually quite a disgrace dat we will be fined for 6 bookings when fletcher and valencia escaped any caution for persistant fouls and challenges that served no purpose other than to break up our attacks and basically just hav a kick at an arsenal player…also the attempted challenge by rooney soon after the pen as he chased diaby in vain up the pitch is indicative of wot these guys feel they can get away with,it was a wreckless kick/swipe aimed at stoppin diaby in his tracks and in my opinion dats a professional foul, anyway wot rooney failed to do brown managed in hacking down diaby as the ball was eased passed him…i honestly cannot remember us winning games in this fashion but i can recall us losin many like this through bad luck,poor judgement and especially poor concentration- of which manuel almunia has always been the main culprit as he always looks like hes somewhere else and he commands no confidence…he has shown on more than one occasion that he leaves his line at the wrong times and stays rooted when he should come to claim and dis is why diaby should not take full responsibility as he and the ball shudav been dispatched by the hapless spaniard….personally i hav had my fill of him and wud take a 3m david james in a heartbeat…if we are left with almunia for the season im afraid we will be concedin more goals like sat and the ports goal as the season goes on and we just cant afford to ship soft goals in this fashion.its time to be honest and ruthless and almunia just isnt good enough im afraid…a top keeper has to be able to make match-winning saves aswel as the routine ones and in all his time i can only say he did this once at old trafford last year whereas given,VdSAR,reina and even james hav been puttin in performances better than him on a weekly basis and dats why they are hard to beat

  10. jonjo
    August 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    I agree with it all except the asessment of RVP, who to me does not have the clinical edge that we need in our main striker. We were better in all departments except for our striker. He missed two easy chances and has not scored a direct freekick for nearly 2 years. he also does not hold the ball up well enough

  11. Anonymous
    August 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    of course the referee affected the game, for ex. punishing every ‘foul’ by Arsenal players while totally ignoring blatant fouls by mutd players, don’t you think that would affect how the arsenal play?

  12. Shane
    August 31, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    THis week has been a particularly trying week for my love of football. THe UEFA ban for Dudu and the treatment he recieved is far too much for me to go out and attempt to make friends with other supporters of the Big 4.

    I have to take my hat off to DIaby who did play a solid game. And who did play as a really strong player muscling up to Evra and the likes of Vidic. And what surprised me to was the way he really tussled with Vidic. But to me, the man of the match went to Arsene Wenger for his protest to the referee. Standing in front of the screaming animals that were the United Fans with his hands in his pocket is the picture of the week. Hats off to him.

    As for the performance, we attacked and threatened time and time again. It was a good game to watch. If i were a Utd fan i would not be happy with my team in the slightest bit for a lucky display. Fletcher in that game really sickened me as a player who went on to knock the team about.

    I hope this performance makes almunia pull his socks up.

  13. Nick
    August 31, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    Was a very disappointing we couldnt come away with the points or at worst a draw but i thought we were definitely the better team on the day. Can’t wait for man city, with cesc hopefully back for then i think we could get a good result 😀

  14. anicoll5
    August 31, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    Perfectly decent display and just that lack of a little composure when we took the lead and could/should have put the game beyond them

    Looking at it another way if we had gone to Trafford Park, been constantly forced onto the back foot as ManYoo were, and sneaked away with a lucky 2-1 win I would be a damned sight less confident about our season than I am now.

    Forza Abou !

  15. Michael
    August 31, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    I’m still cooling down, but the overriding impression is that we have improved and the other lot has got a lot worse. Despite the result our prospects remain very positive.

    However, we absolutely need to turn good performances into befitting results.

  16. Gibbs
    August 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    That AW pic angers me. How dare those twits treat our manager like that.

    Anyway, great post. I agree that the performance was good but im not happy with the result, we shouldve won that game.

  17. billi the kid
    August 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    It still hurts to reflect about this game. But in the end of the day it had everything a match can offer, unfortunately without that feeling of triumph at the last whistle, and despite of this feeling of injustice inside you feel you were actually the better team, and you know you have done well, without gratification, you have to live with the fact that sometimes every single error is punished and that’s life, I think in the end it’s a better feeling than the one of loosing against a better side

  18. Anyang Abraham
    September 1, 2009 at 12:06 am #

    I would like the world of football to give good guidelines to the referees and the linesmen so that should observe the mistakes being made by some players and the ref who favours some clubs like Manchester united which was favoured last saturday by linesmen and referee where they ruled out the goal of Van Persie to be offside.

  19. midou
    September 1, 2009 at 12:18 am #

    there is a game from last year, it was against villa in villa park. that day even with a draw was the first time in a while that AFC looked an average team witch hurts at a time. but after man u game i think that the team witch by the way is almost the same one at villa made a massive progress and i can assure u that we`ll challenge the title. with an average of 24 hat of to the professor once again

  20. midou
    September 1, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    i meant age average

  21. White Ox
    September 1, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    Great analysis. If we get to blaming the referee for this we’ve totaly missed the point, our errors were the story of this match and I’m still absolutely gutted about them. Perhaps the only real howler the referee made (shocking non-call for the foul on Shava) influenced the game not because of the goal we’d likely have scored but rather the booking Fletcher would have received (if not worse). Think on it, if Fletcher had a yellow card to his name we likely would have seen an end to his cynical fouling which hurt our flow and posession all match long.

    But that’s all woulda coulda shoulda stuff. What stands are the mistakes that turned a performance worthy of a win into a ridiculous loss. For me it hurt worse than the 6-1 those years back because at least United were superior that day. The saving grace is unlike that match this result is not terminal and if the performance level remains we will be in this title race deep into the season. Let’s hope our young side does not crumble as we may have done in the past. We’ll learn soon enough, in Manchester again in a fortnight’s time. What a cracker that will be!

  22. Paul Orem
    September 1, 2009 at 12:46 am #

    Arsenal played very well. However our midfielders were abit nervous in the last 20 minutes with most of the times balls were passed to the opponents. This is a great team and require support from all fans. Referees spoilt the game for Arsenal and I suggest FA should investigate such poor officiating from the men at the centre. Gunners 4life

  23. Johno
    September 1, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    Shambogunner,

    Rooney was yellow carded for the attempted foul on Diaby.

  24. wreckedsoul
    September 1, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    well said everyone. i just want to add a little bit. by having so many people go against us, it is in fact, an advantage to us. what do you all think about last Saturday’s match? most will say, “good one, we’ve improved a lot”. it’s true, we have. i guess the main reason for the Gunners to have fought their way up in ManU territory the whole 90mins is because those haters. AW boys are starting to shape up and will not back away easily. they’re currently making a loud statement to everyone that the ‘young’ squad is ready to challenge. and i’m happy by the fact, Diaby is becoming more mobile than he used to. AW needs to make sure, the boys won’t give up their fight just because of those nasty treatment by the media and ManU fans. we have to move on and surely have our revenge by beating their city rivals,ManC. go Gunners

  25. theicehammer
    September 1, 2009 at 12:54 am #

    How did Man u come away with 3 points, Rooney voted as man of the match by the news papers and pundits. Why is it that media and TV are so biased towards biggest teams and players with big names. Im getting so tired of biased commentary on TV where if a so called average player does something wrong its talk and talk about but when Rooney goes round kicking players its not noticed or discribed as passion. I couldn’t understand it when my man Diaby went on a run down the right and Rooney took a swipe at him then Brown mowed him down that not enough was said about it. Im sick of it. How did the Arsenal loose that game, how long before real football wins the day. Sick of it all.

  26. theicehammer
    September 1, 2009 at 12:58 am #

    Boys what about the injuries that are mounting up. IT SEEMS TO BE all the top players. Excluding Theo that is.
    At least the hammers got a point and things looking ok at Upton Park at the moment.

  27. Ingerlund
    September 1, 2009 at 1:07 am #

    Guys, you’re missing the point … we always seem trapped ‘in transition’ and yet everyone recognises the team is playing the beautiful game. Footy’s more about the mental strength and psyche … afterall, anyone playing in the BPL shd have skills aplenty but its how each player copes with the pressures that sets them apart. Lets not look for blame everywhere else but here … we gotta tuff up

  28. Censored
    September 1, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Im proud of the team they put in a spectucular team performance. However our inexperience cost us dearly, we simply crumbled under pressure. However, i rather we lose now and learn than in end-season. Arsenal to win title!

  29. GetGunMN
    September 1, 2009 at 1:58 am #

    @Andy, it is exactly what I thought about Diaby’s OG. I believe he was cought in two minds there. Poor guy, he had such a great game. We certainly did enough to beat them, but this things happen in sport. You can’t explain them sometimes.

    But as to the ref, I think we focused only on the missed(denied)penalty from Mike Dean. My problem the whole game was the yellow cards flying. He kept talking to the ManU players when they foul, and kept dealing cards to Arsenal players. I only have a silly explanation to this. Arsenal has too many foriegners who don’t understand english so he gave them cards while he is explaining to the english speakers in ManU how bad their foul looked on TV. Sending Wenger was the final straw. Remember this is my silly explanation, admittedly, for luck of reasonable one!

  30. the goon
    September 1, 2009 at 2:24 am #

    funny thing is you pulled the words out of my mouth.There was more positives to take than negatives, only thing is the result doesnt reflect our peformnace. I wish gunner fans would see the leap of development in the squad. No Fabregas but we still gave Man U a run, they were panting like hell. Rooney’s dive goes to show how desperate they were.Ive always been a fan of how the guys stays on his feet but His blatant dive shows you just how challenging the game was for them. Worse when he celebrated Diaby’s own goal by jumpin on someone. Truth is Man U was outclassed that day. Our Defence was solid so am not concerned there. The keeper yes need to work on things, even balls coming off our own. Thats called experience. I honestly dont see us straining to recover from that mentally. We’ve spent the whole of last season trying to mentally cope with losses and draws and if you pay attention, the boys have matured, they have no time to experiment but to reiview their work and carry on. Thats what has impressed about them this season. They are so hungry for success they seem to take , like arshavin says, one game at a time. I actually feel sorry for Man City and Man U on the return becuase they will definitly face the backlash, including Liverpool and chelsea. These little costly mistakes maybe just the missing ingredient we needed to prepare for the next Big games and to iron out our flaws

  31. shambogunner
    September 1, 2009 at 3:30 am #

    @johnno i knew rooney was booked and dats wot makes the foul worse is that hes a contemptous little hypocrite…goes down like a fairy and then aims wild kicks at a player simply because he cant catch him ligitimatly..it was like yeah mr. dean il take dat yellow cos u wont hav the balls to gimme another even if i do take the piss again in 5mins..
    @gibbs- too right mate terrible to see wenger been ridiculed by those ignorant smalll minded idiots..he builds teams from scratch on a tight budget with a rigid policy to how the game should be played and sees his team outclass and outplay the ‘golden child’ of english football only to hav to suffer that indignity..the defeat was hard enough to take but that just got my blood boilin
    actually hate those utd idiots now more than ever

  32. GetGunMN
    September 1, 2009 at 3:46 am #

    One more point: we really played well. The stat on possession did not do any justice to the dominant performance from our team. As disappointing as it is to lose specially to ManU, I can’t complain about the effort and commitment the boys showed. I can’t even pick a single player that did not contribute to the cause. What’s done is done, dust yourselves up, and focus on the next game.

  33. Cleture
    September 1, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    Spots on your final thoughts. I exactly felt the way because we lost not without a fight. Let the boys work harder for the next game.

  34. billi the kid
    September 1, 2009 at 6:41 am #

    @Andy, sorry, if this is too large or doesn’t work, it’s the picture of the match and I just wanted to try, if the pic is shown, I thought I had read something, that you can use html here, please delete it if you don’t want shown pics in the comments or use the pic elsewhere, I think it’s really rare that Wenger shows his feelings, isn’t it?

  35. billi the kid
    September 1, 2009 at 6:46 am #

    doesn’t work, so here’s a link with a pic of A.W.’s bottle kick:

    http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/9707/wengerlahev4a9aa7ac9234.jpg

  36. Andrus
    September 1, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    I’m very pleased to see so many excited fans at this point. I was just as pissed as the next Gooner about the loss. We looked brilliant at moments and though we did not deserve to win, Man U did not deserve to win either. We gifted them that game and they know it. I watched it on TV with one of my buddies who supports United and after the match he said he was worried. How’s that? You win against a competitor and you feel like, “oh no, I don’t know if we can hack it.”

    For any of you still lacking in confidence and talking about how we just don’t have it yet because of our loss, think about this: last year, when United won the title, they gave up a point to the Rent Boyz of Chelsea, 4 points to us and 6 to Liverpool. That’s five points in six games. Compare that to the 06/07 campaign where Man U wins the league by 20 points over us. They had 8 points in 6 games, we had 10, including two wins over them. The difference, they beat the bad teams.

    My point is this: I am more than happy with a loss that sends fear into the enemy if we continue to beat the teams that have no business playing with us. If there is anything that has frustrated me more about our lack of silverware it is losing to inferior opponents.

  37. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blow
    September 1, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    @ billi – That is such a great photo. Nice one.

  38. C-Bass
    September 1, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Arsenal vs THE WORLD. No compromises. This is the attitude I’d take if I was one of the lads. I’d be out to thrash everyone we play for the rest of the year. Take the refs, luck and everything else out of it. Just win baby.

  39. butterfingers
    September 1, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    Did wenger play rugby when he was a kid that kick is better than jonney wilkinsons.

  40. Ianinja
    September 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Spanish is not Andy?

  41. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    September 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    @ laninja – It’s me, just made an error.

  42. mukhe
    September 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Eboue had absolutely no idea what he was doing on the field.

  43. MoMONEY
    September 1, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Eboue has been decent IMO. Sure the dive wasn’t needed and against tough teams he probably doesnt have the mentality to succeed- but I feel like with his confidence he will be an asset throughout the campaign…

    ALSO- I really hope Vieira or someone similar is brought in. Ian Wright wrote an article saying we need Gattuso. IMO he has the concept right- we need a bully in the midfield- someone who would have shut Darren Fletcher and the Mancs up while we went about our business of dominating them. This is what is missing in the squad IMO. Hope we are surprised before the deadline

  44. billi the kid
    September 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    @MoMONEY although it’s the Sun I like this article, I don’t take it too literally but of course there is a special truth within, on the other side, if you loose you have always to listen to criticism and clever saying, I would opposite that Barcelona had succeeded last year, it was very tight against Chelsea, but they had the ‘luck’ and I think you can compare Barca with Arsenal, and in the cl-final, they showed it’s possible to take ManU to pieces, just more confidence and resolution, they could really make it this season

  45. billi the kid
    September 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    I meant I would ‘object’ with ‘opposite’

  46. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    September 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    @ MoMONEY – I have to laugh a bit at Wright’s comments, they’re a bit wide of the mark.

    “SO a few weeks into the new season and the secret to beating Arsenal is out.
    Not that it is that much of a secret.

    It is exactly the same way teams beat them last season, the season before and the one before that. By bullying them.”

    If someone could show how Arsenal were bullied off the park against United on Saturday I’d love to see it. Wenger might be complaining that there were lots of fouls but I don’t think it influenced our performance one bit and we look very strong physically at the moment with Vermaelen, Song, Diaby and Co making up the spine.

  47. Sean Boy Lockwood
    September 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    Wow – billions of comments today.

    We lost, dont matter how, dont matter why, we lost. We’ll amend this back at the grove in the new year, thats for sure.

    We all know they only turend up to see Eboue anyway

  48. carole osako
    September 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    let me disagree with you on this one. we were’nt self-destructive, the entire blame should be heaped on the referee. i mean why did he award the rooney penalty? or was Arsenal paying for the Eduardo dive mid-week? It was an unfair loss for us. that’s it.

  49. Frank
    September 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    I think that referee is discriminative, just because arsenal squad has many black players they didn’t deserve deserve a win. Look how he awarded many yellow cards to arsenal players and few to man u players.It is a fact that Man U are always favoured by England’s referees than any team. And that Arsenal had a penalty kick which he didn’t care. Well I think there is no justice in football because the referee has too much discretion and decides who wins, but surely the gunners are the best

  50. SOBIN THE GUNNER
    September 1, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    I think we played fantastic football.We Deserve more .ARSHAVIN’S GOAL was fabulous.But iam sad about the incident before the end of the match ,ARSENE was really humiliated in front of manchester fu..ing fans .Despite loss there is so many positives.COME ON GUNNERS
    “IN ARSENE WE TRUST”

  51. Adeyemi Omisakin
    September 1, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    I agree with you on all other issues, except for the first goal, I think rooney was already on the ground before Almunia touched him and to me, that is a dive.

  52. spurs
    September 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    arsenal sucks. guys i am just waiting when shall we kick ur asses.

  53. Kersley
    September 2, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    Endless drivel about diving and penalties in the papers getting you down? At Why Was That Goal Scored?, we are committed to telling you why goals were scored. You know, analysis, the thing what Jamie Redknapp’s supposed to do when he’s not got his head shoved firmly up his arse.

    New today: how Andrei Arshavin ended up in enough space to put Arsenal in the lead, and why it exposes a critical early-season weakness in Man U’s defending that could well see them trophyless in May.

    http://tinyurl.com/n3u5l9

  54. barry the gooner
    September 2, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    playing eboue was a resounding i don’t think wish yhe ANC was next week and went on for the season and then we wouldn’t have to put up with that useless waste of space.Nonsense i hear some of you say he’s very funny in the dressing room, well let him stay there hopefully with arope round his neck and a mattress nearby so he can “dive” to his hearts content TOSSER

  55. barry the gooner
    September 2, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    playing eboue was a resounding success i don’t think wish the ANC was next week and went on for the season and then we wouldn’t have to put up with that useless waste of space.Nonsense i hear some of you say he’s very funny in the dressing room, well let him stay there hopefully with arope round his neck and a mattress nearby so he can “dive” to his hearts content TOSSER

  56. Cantona
    September 7, 2009 at 5:48 am #

    Excuse an United fan for posting on this website but felt I had to respond to the chants aimed at Wenger at Old Trafford. I have beenan United fan since the 70’s and feel that the paedophile chants were totally out of order. Wenger is a top class coach and I would love to see him succeed Fergie at Old Trafford. Baiting is part and parcel of fans chants but this was NOT acceptable – too personal and too sickening. Whatever one thinks of Arsenal, Wenger deserves respect for the way he has built the club around youth [albeit foreign youth]. Busby and Fergie adhere to the same principles. Football taunts are acceptable – personal ones aren’t. just wish the morons and the louts would pack it in ! That’s all.

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