Ferguson fears Arsenal as they prepare for Prague

Ferguson fears Arsenal as they prepare for Prague

After a few years of relative sensibility, Sir Alex Ferguson’s recent remarks aimed at Arsenal have shown that the Manchester United manager is back to his ridiculous best.

Ferguson has been back to his old self this weekIn the past two or three seasons while United’s major rivals for the title were Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, Ferguson toned down his antics as he came to the realisation that they rarely made an impact on his Portugese opposite. But with Mourinho now gone and Arsenal again the biggest title threat to Ferguson’s side, the Scottish manager has well and truly come back out of his shell. After his side drew 2-2 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday Ferguson was – absolutely incorrectly, I might add – critical of the referees for favouring the home side. He carried on with his anti-Arsenal antics this week by also criticising Wenger’s side’s response to the result.

“At the end of the Arsenal game, our players were in the dressing room feeling absolutely sick. That’s twice in two years they’ve turned the game around and got something in the last minute, so we were definitely disappointed to come away with a draw. Meanwhile, their dressing room was elated. They were celebrating as if they’d won the World Cup, which I found very interesting. Our players took something out of that, psychologically.”

I mentioned in the match report from the Arsenal-United game that I thought Ferguson’s criticism of the referees was a direct result of his frustrations with his side’s inability to hold on to the 2-1 advantage they had attained and come away from the Emirates with a win. But these latest comments have taken those frustrations to a whole new level. He talks about how devastated and disappointed his players were coming into the dressing room after the match, but then criticises the Arsenal players for their proportionately opposite reaction to the same result.

Am I missing something? Can someone tell me why, if the United players were so disappointed, the Arsenal players couldn’t be equally and oppositely joyous? After scoring a last minute equaliser against one of their most hated rivals how else were they supposed to react? Moderately happy? Not likely.

Taking a completely logical look at how two sides should react after a draw, I think most people would agree that generally, it should equal zero. In other words, if a side is moderately disappointed with the result of a draw then I think it’s perfectly feasible to assume that their opponents would walk away reasonably satisfied. For example, the typical response from two side’s when a smaller club snatches a result against a bigger club. 

Comparing the weekend’s game with the previous example, it makes sense that Arsenal would feel like “they’d won the World Cup” and Manchester United would’ve gone into the dressing rooms “feeling absolutely sick”. The difference was that the feelings the players left the game with was related more to the manner of the result and the tension between the two sides going into the contest, surely what Ferguson’s frustration reflects.

Eduardo should get a start against Slavia PragueFerguson scared? Eduardo to start?

I can understand how Ferguson is feeling but the manner of his statements has revealed that, for the first time in three seasons, he feels threatened by Wenger’s side. And while his French counterpart has been far from appropriate and accurate at times when talking about his major rivals, Ferguson has more often not been the aggressor in the pair’s word of words in the past. It is clear that he is attempting the same again in attempt to distract the Arsenal manager in a bid to intimidate his rivals. To add further evidence to that claim that Ferguson is threatened, as well as the complaints about the referee and Arsenal’s players reaction to the game, the United manager also fired a shot at the Arsenal Football Club for their over-reliance on young foreigners.

“It’s certainly not wrong that you should be seen to have a proportion of home-based players. But it would be a problem for a club like Arsenal. That’s why they’ll protest the loudest.”

Apart from again being completely incorrect (Ronaldo, Tevez, Anderson, Nani, Vidic etc., anyone?), the United manager’s latest comments are just another indication that he is again intimidated by Arsenal’s presence around the top of the Premiership. And as long as Wenger and his players can realise what Ferguson is trying to do and remain unaffected, supporters of Arsenal should be delighted with Ferguson’s timely change in personality.

OK, so now that’s off the mind, there’s another game coming up for Arsenal tonight away to Slavia Prague. It was only two weeks ago that Theo Walcott blew us all away with two goals in a 7-0 win against the Czech side, but I wouldn’t count on quite the same result. For one, two of Slavia’s destroyers on the night, the imperious pairing of Cesc Fabregas and Alexander Hleb, have been left back in England, as well as Tomas Rosicky and Kolo Toure.

It will mean there have to be changes to the side that drew with United and I’m predicting Lassana Diarra, Theo Walcott, Eduardo da Silva and Gilberto Silva to return to the side in the places of those four players. Some have predicted that Emmanuel Adebayor may be rested but I can see Wenger starting him for one more game and resting him against Steaua Bucharest and Sevilla if Arsenal qualify tonight, as I think they will.

It won’t be 7-0 but the side that Wenger will put out against the Czech champions will be more than good enough to get the result away from home. It would be nice to see Eduardo and Diarra continue the good form they have shown when selected of late and put pressure on some of the first XI for a starting spot. I think it will be 2-0 or 2-1 and while a lot of supporters will be unhappy with anything less than another thrashing, as long as Arsenal come back with three points I won’t be too bothered.

What do you think?

Have your say on Ferguson’s rant or Slavia Prague by leaving a comment.

45 Responses to “Ferguson fears Arsenal as they prepare for Prague”

  1. Ole Gunner
    November 7, 2007 at 10:52 pm #

    He has reason to be afraid. Arsenal has arrived at the top and we now have the money to match United. With the knowledge that he just has not been as good at Wenger at getting bang for buck, he should feel threatened.

    But I also sense jealousy. It was clearest in his statement saying that Wenger should only be judged by trophies. Meaning that he wants to minimise Wenger’s achievements compared to his own strengths.

  2. linda
    November 7, 2007 at 11:13 pm #

    How can Ferguson rant and rave about abusive from the Arsenal fans. Does he not hear the Man United fans call Wenger a Paedophile at Old Trafford. Grow up.

  3. Leroux
    November 7, 2007 at 11:13 pm #

    DEAD ON!!!
    fergie is soooo scared right now!!!
    I hope dynamo kiev get a point off them tonight>

    i think diarra deserves a start, and so does walcott!!

    I hpoe and think this is gonna be the team:
    ——-
    Almunia
    Sagna-Gallas-Toure-Clichy
    Eboue-Diarra-Denilson-Diaby
    Walcott-Eduardo
    ——-
    I would realy like to see two fast,lively and aggresive strikers…..instead of the adebayor targetman thing!!!!
    (its time to try something new!!!!)

  4. Leroux
    November 7, 2007 at 11:15 pm #

    i see toure isnt there, so i think Song will play alongside gallas!

  5. arsenalforever
    November 7, 2007 at 11:17 pm #

    That he is afraid there is no doubt. Had AW an eqivalent amount of money he could have won three doublea and the cl .The fact is he has been performing beyond expectation on his low budget.
    Imagine AW with the millions?He could fight with the otm on level ground and I don’t have to say who is going to be the winner.
    Enuf said.If the otm doesn ‘t deliver after such a massive amount I am willing to bet my lat dollar he would be kicked out of his empire and good riddance to someone who has generated so much dislike for him and the rd.

  6. huhu
    November 7, 2007 at 11:23 pm #

    i hate ManU moderately…. lol

  7. chidi
    November 8, 2007 at 12:02 am #

    all my family gunners 4 life,i think ferguson can go to hell and die and so go to hell and see his grat father,because of arsenal.

  8. RvP
    November 8, 2007 at 12:21 am #

    And you forgot van der Saar, Evra, Pique, Sivestre, Saha and Ji-Sung Park…

  9. Leroy
    November 8, 2007 at 12:23 am #

    hope to see the following lineup:
    ———–Almunia————-
    sagna — song – gallas — traore
    eboue – denilson – flamini – diaby
    ———dudu – adebayor———–

    clichy should be rested as hes played really alot..
    and subs to come on should be walcott for adebayor, diarra for flamini or sagna and gilberto for eboue..
    the squad shouldnt be changed to much around so this is pretty safe..
    altough knowing wenger u can never be to sure what the lineup will be :p

  10. Lulit
    November 8, 2007 at 12:24 am #

    This man has no dignity at all. He is just plain jealous of Arsene Wenger.

  11. Jonathon
    November 8, 2007 at 12:39 am #

    You know, you’d think he wants to manage the club with the way he’s ALWAYS talking about us… Sorry, Jack. You’re not welcome here.

  12. Anonymous
    November 8, 2007 at 12:51 am #

    Fabianski
    Sagna – Song – gallas – Clcihy
    Eboue – Diarra – Flamini – Walcott
    Dudu – Bendtner

  13. Ronaldo7
    November 8, 2007 at 8:33 am #

    Fergie is a hero…..4-0 to united ….. best team in the world!!!

  14. Le Gunner
    November 8, 2007 at 9:58 am #

    SF-That’s Fergie for you. All he does is moan, moan and moan. Its a tactic that he used for years referees feel intimidated by him when they go to Old Trafford and he get all the decisions in his favour. Regarding the foreign players comments he needs to practice what he’s preaching in his current side he has 10 foreign players and you can count Giggs and O’shea as well they are not English. and they must be disappointed hearing him making those comments but I believe the real intention of those comments is really to have a pop at Arsenal and Liverpool the teams he dislikes. It is true he does fear Arsenal as I mentioned previously Gallas was right for saying teams fear Arsenal and M.utd no exception the evidence was clear in the way they played against Arsenal they sat back relying on quick counter attacks would they do that against Derby? Of course not.
    I Saw the Slavia game. I don’t know what to make of it. It was a day off for everybody.Job done.

  15. Spanish Fry
    November 8, 2007 at 9:59 am #

    I didn’t get to see it. The midfield looked completely different – a real Carling Cup lineup. Any standout performers or did the rain ruin the football too much?

  16. arsenalforever
    November 8, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    So Wr accused DK of negativity and trying to flood the midfield.He shd know by now tactics are determined by the coach according to opponents.
    Yes this is the 49 sorry 50 anniversary of the air crash.I am sorry to add taht the old scott aint going to have a happy celebration. Instead I can predict defeats for them whoever they meet in the qf and sf. Worse they would lose in the final which would bea daerly sent off present. There would two goals in the time added to kill them off to bring revenge to BM.

  17. finley
    November 8, 2007 at 3:15 pm #

    Are we 100% sure that our Finger Lady has not met Ferguson? Arsenal will protest the loudest Sweet Jumping Jesus!!! There is only one twat doing all the talking and everything that comes out his mouth is utter crap

  18. Spanish Fry
    November 8, 2007 at 3:38 pm #

    Hahah, The Finger Lady. For everyone who hasn’t seen her yet, check this out.

  19. knightman
    November 8, 2007 at 3:56 pm #

    Fergy is just being arrongant but am sure Wenger will be the bigger man here and keep his cool. I watched our boys play the Czech dudes and it was nothing close to the gunners fluent soccer. the ball wasn’t flowing and though we had a good chunk of the possesion we never really threatened the opponents. Wallcot made a run or two and couldn’t finish them off to create a chance. Eduardo could notbe seen but i think it’s coz he played the wide left most of the times. Diaby couldn’t make it to take a shot on goal though he displayed some dribbling skills a couple of times. Gilberto held the mid well with Song Billong showing a great deal of maturity in the central defence. Bentdner wasn’t threatening at all but he tried.

    it generally was a boring game untill the duo of Adebayor and Ebuoe came on with around 10 mins to the end of the game. Ade almost grabbed a goal from a header but he should have hidden it at the far corners. At least there was a bit of activity towards the end and the result was a satisfying draw.
    26 unbeaten isn’t bad eh?
    what’s new SF? 😉

  20. Spanish Fry
    November 8, 2007 at 4:00 pm #

    It’s not bad at all. Thanks for the little report there knightman. How was Kenya during the Arsenal-Manchester United game? Any troubles to speak of?

  21. Jonah
    November 8, 2007 at 5:43 pm #

    I’m not entirely sure Ferguson is jealous of Wenger. I think it’s just his typical chat that he throws out to get a reaction from the opposite managers… a lot like what Mourinho did. Also, it’s easy to say things like -If Arsenal has so and so amounts of money we would have won this and that – but the bottom line is, you can’t predict that. It didn’t quite help Real Madrid when they bought ppl for a lot of money, it gave Chelsea temporary success, it gave Barcelona temporary success (they’re still very good, but they didn’t win the premiership or CL last season), and I only think it would help Arsenal very temporarily. Basically by claiming if you had heaps more money that you would be a lot more successful also means that you probably wouldn’t have the team you have now… so who would you get rid of then?

  22. ArsenalKenya
    November 8, 2007 at 6:18 pm #

    No troubles here in Kenya SF.

    Man U finally accepted that we outplayed them but they were waiting to counter attack us in the dying minutes and walk away with a win as per their game plan.

    Just relaxing with my wine.

    Still unbeaten.

    On top of the E.P.League and Champions League

    Go Go Arsenal……………….

  23. Wang Sheng Foong
    November 8, 2007 at 6:57 pm #

    So Arsenal are thru and make sure we finish top of the group.The newspapers have been higlighting how the rd dispose off DM who are a poor side by CL std.
    My wish is for the rd to meet a quality team in the cl be it Chelsea,Arsenal or any Italian team and see what the bulldog can do.As everybody knows he and the poster boy were nowhere to be seen.Why?
    The coaches have done their homework and detail defenders to breathe down their necks.
    Against Arsenal bulldog had only a couple of chances and pretty boy was largely ineffective.
    This shows even against moderate opposition these two over rated players can be nullified.
    My birthday wish is for them to be knocked out in the qf so their boss would be left fuming.

  24. Le Gunner
    November 8, 2007 at 7:25 pm #

    In the slavia game it’s took me a while to realise that Edurdo was playing. Song didn’t convince me. Lost players he was marking a number of times you can’t do that against top players.There is not much to say about the game. Arsene didn’t bother with this game and it was reflected on the players attitude. They just didn’t fancy it.

  25. Keysy
    November 8, 2007 at 7:30 pm #

    Just get fabregas to put him in his place with some pizza again.

  26. Oneman
    November 8, 2007 at 11:51 pm #

    Its just ferguson’s usual banter. He will use ANYTHING at his disposal to cause ANY form of upset.After all these years, we really should just ignore him, it would really rile him.
    To be honest,I admire Ferguson, if he hadn’t set the standard in the nineties, we simply would not be playing the football in the premiership, at anything like its current sparkling level.
    United were great on the counter in last Saturday’s game, great pace, composure and finishing. But just about every spectator whose opinion is of any worth, seems to say that Arsenal’s play just gave them the edge.
    United defended very solidly, but they WERE on a backfoot. The meaningless flacid gibes coming from the direction of Ferguson and Hargreaves, confirm their discomfort.

  27. Trojan
    November 9, 2007 at 1:44 am #

    we draw

    🙁

    nevermind we qualified

    🙂

  28. Jay
    November 9, 2007 at 2:29 am #

    Arsenal thru in the CL but im quite disappointed we never won. I wouldnt of rested Hleb or Cesc until the Seville game even though we are thru thanks to a draw, i feel they could’ve help win the game! We lacked enthusiasm and it is not the Arsenal i want to see again this season.

  29. Spanish Fry
    November 9, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    Jonah – I totally agree with your statement that more money wouldn’t guarantee more success for Arsenal. The key to Wenger’s success is that he has built up a culture, a playing style, that means he can bring young talented players into the club and build them up in a particular way. The fact is that Arsenal does have the money to buy superstar players but the fact is that superstars are not usually so until the mid-twenties, and by that time the opportunity for them to grow and be part of a particular system is gone. I’m happy with the way that Wenger operates and I think more managers should learn from it.

    ArsenalKenya – Good to hear that there was no troubles. Enjoy the wine 😉

    Wang Sheng Foong – I gather that “Pretty Boy” is Ronaldo and “Bulldog” is Rooney?! That is one of the most abstract comments I’ve read on the blog, but I think I agree with you.

    Le Gunner – Nice opinions from the match. Much appreciated. Anyone else have thoughts they want to share?

    Oneman – Totally agree. It will be interesting to see whether or not Avram Grant gets a voice as the season wears on. Chelsea are a threat and if Ferguson keeps up with his stirring mentality then it may backfire with Grant like it did with Mourinho. Either way, as long as Wenger and Arsenal don’t take the bait it should be seen as a sign of the respect Ferguson has for our side again.

    Jay – I think Hleb and Fabregas needed a rest. Not to mention Flamini. We need them fresh and I think had it not rained in Prague then the second-string side probably would’ve returned with three points. I’m sure that Sevilla will begin to rest players as well as they are struggling at the moment in La Liga and need to get some results, so I still think we will finish top of the group.

  30. Le Gunner
    November 9, 2007 at 9:33 pm #

    I’m well Pleased to know that Robin Van Persie is back in Training and he should start after the Reading game.The question still remain. Did we know who is the real deal to replace RVP in case he gets injured again (Hopefully he doesn’t).

  31. Le Gunner
    November 10, 2007 at 3:08 am #

    Since we get quite a lot M.utd fans on this Blog I just want to let them know Rooney is out for a mounth.

  32. John
    November 11, 2007 at 1:18 pm #

    Ferguson is going all out to wind up Wenger, the draw has affected him badly. It is obvious that he badly wanted to win the match.

    He mentioned also the foreign revolution as a swipe at Wenger. It is certain that there will be more to come from the two rivals.

  33. knightman
    November 11, 2007 at 7:05 pm #

    SF anything on Reading? I see a 3- 0 win or something close to that. I really want Wallcot to start alongside Adebayor with Ebuoe to the right and Hleb in the left (let rosicky rest that injury). Defence should remain as solid as ever with Clichy, Gallas, Toure and Sagna shielding Almunia. Fabregas and flaming Flamini should rock the mid as usual…

    Am still wondering why on earth Wenger didn’t play Traore in the Prague game.. this boy got talent but when are we gonna see him play? Wenger, give him a chance. CHEERS!

    NB: i really hope Man U looses to Reading today 😉

  34. tom
    November 11, 2007 at 9:22 pm #

    SF – give us a post!

  35. Jay
    November 12, 2007 at 6:26 am #

    C’mon another post!!

  36. Ronaldo7
    November 12, 2007 at 10:57 am #

    Another 2 goals by the brilliant Ronaldo

    How good is he?

    Comeon arsenal supporters u know his all class1
    ill admit rvp is class

  37. darragh
    November 12, 2007 at 12:48 pm #

    I’ve heard SF ‘sinternet is being a bit dodgy, which might explain the delay in posts.

  38. sam nix
    November 12, 2007 at 10:21 pm #

    Fergie is afraid. His commenst are so far out its simply amusing. Our “scrappy” goals are Utds beautiful goals. He moans about a foul 1m30s before our goal.. He then has the balls to talk about lack on English players in our side.. Rio, Hargreaves, Carrick, Rooney.. thats £100m worth of players!! How many other clubs can pay that much!?!!? Chelsea and thats it. In my opinion, this is more detrimental to the game than a lack of English players at our club. Fact is, there are probably 3-4 english players that could improive our side. Shame, but true. Fact is, we have supplied the majority of the mid and lower tiered clubs with some of their best players..

  39. Le Gunner
    November 12, 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    SF is no longer an Arsenal fan. He abandoned us he is probably busy running a Spurs Blog.No worries he’ll turn up after the Reading game.I’m expecting a straightforward win with 2 clear goals to go top again. We can’t slip at this stage M.utd have some very easy fixtures coming up and we have 4 away tricky fixtures followed up by the chelsea and Spurs games. We cannot afford to fall behind.In my opinion this period is make or break for us.

  40. ArsenalKenya
    November 12, 2007 at 11:16 pm #

    Is it true that SF is running a Spurs blogg?

    SF – Please wake up and proove them wrong?

    However i see Arsenal demolishing Reading with at least 3 goals although Reading will be very physical.

  41. Le Gunner
    November 13, 2007 at 12:51 am #

    A.Kenya- I think SF is blogging away at his computer wearing an old spurs shirt with sol Cambell’s name on it Ha Ha.We should take over for now and ignore him for starving us on this blog. I agree it should be an easy win.They don’t come more physical than liverpool and M.utd and we dealt with them. So it should be business as usual unlike SF.

  42. Jay
    November 13, 2007 at 2:23 am #

    We should take over now lol well said Le Gunner, i don’t expect anything but a straightforward win. We have the talent to beat them with at least 3 goals to show Man Utd where the real champions belong.

  43. Spanish Fry
    November 13, 2007 at 8:02 am #

    Hi guys, I’m really, really sorry about the delay – as Darragh said I’m having some internet problems. Also some other things I’m trying to sort out. New internet stuff should be coming in around three days and once I have it things will be back to normal. In the meantime I’ll try and keep you updated with some shorter posts. Thanks for your patience.

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