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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Who Would Wenger Take From Manchester United’s Team?

By Eros, Arsenal Analysis resident season ticket holder at the Emirates (North Upper Stand Row Q)

Some friends forwarded me a link to a Man United website that had a post comparing the two teams. After reading it I am convinced that all football fans are mentally unstable…. myself included!

Anyway here is my assessment of a player by player comparison of the two sides and my starting eleven of a combined Arsenal / Man Utd team.

Goalkeeper

Surprisingly both teams have goalkeeping problems. Jens is prone to moments of madness and after the start of the season he had I simply cannot make a case for him to be included in this team.

Almunia has been in good form but his errors during the Spurs game have made me lose some faith. I expect him to show more consistency with more games.

Van De Sar was beginning to show his age last season but so far has been consistent.

Selection : Has to be Van Der Sar

Right Back

Eboue is not our starting right back any more and Sagna has only a few League games under his belt so he is relatively untested yet. He has however shown that he is a natural and tenacious defender and also technically gifted like all Wenger’s players.

Justin Hoyte is good but not that good. The Neviller would have won this one by default but since he is not playing due to a long term injury with uncertainties about maintaining his standards when he returns Sagna gets the nod.

Selection: Bakary Sagna, I love lasagne!

Centre Back

Ask any Arsenal fan if they would change Kolo for any centre back in the world and I guarantee that very few would.

He is comfortable on the ball, links the defence with the midfield effortlessly and has pace to burn. I don’t care if Rio cost £30m he doesn’t get a look in, in this team.

Selection: Kolo Toure; the African Emperor

Centre Back

Gallas has not yet worked out how to make his partnership with Toure work, as they are both very similar players. Vidic is one of only a few United players that I would have no real problem in picking for my team.

He is an old school no nonsense defender and great in the air at both ends of the pitch. He is the type of player that could propel Arsenal to the title.

Selection: Nemanja Vidić

Left Back

The French national coach does not agree with me as Evra is in the French national squad and Clichy has not yet been called up. My feelings for Domenech can be summarised in two words; but 1970’s Gooner is too old to contemplate printing any swearing on this blog!

Anyway Clichy is fantastic going forward, has tremendous fitness levels and improving with every game on his defensive positioning. In my book he is the best in the league.

Selection: Gael Clichy; better than Ashley Cole

Left Midfield

Giggs and Nani are too old and young respectively; Rosicky started the season very well and scored some important goals for us.

His all round play especially his tracking back has vastly improved. He has finally settled well in his position on the left and if he manages to stay fit then he is in for a very exciting season.

Hleb is a "new" player this season with his ball skills and play making unmatched by the other players mentioned here for this position. But he is really more of a playmaker than a winger and his goal scoring ability is lacking.

Selection: Czechmate. Rosicky gets this hands down

Central Midfield:

I think central midfield are the two positions that will be most furiously debated especially since United have spent obscene amounts of money while Arsene spent the huge, for his standards, amount of £2m on Diarra!

No contest between Gilberto and Carrick as the Brazilian is in a whole different league in my humble opinion. Hargreaves is a good player, it’s a shame he’s gone to United but is he as good as Gilberto? I think not.

Gilberto has a tremendous sense of positioning, the ability to read the game exceptionally well and anticipates dangerous situations well before the begin to develop.

This is particularly useful when trying to prevent the opposition teams from counter attacking effectively.

He is the corner stone of the Arsenal way of playing as he frees everybody around him to go forward, especially the full backs.

This is essential for Arsenal as the wide midfield players tend to come in rather than hag the wings and it is the full backs that provide a lot of the width in this team.

Flamini has put in some fantastic performances for Arsenal culminating in his best so far in the demolition of Sevilla; but I would still put him behind Gilberto.

Selection: Gilberto Silva; the Brazilian samba king

Central Midfield

I have the utmost respect for Scholes but at 32 he is not exactly in his prime. He had a fantastic season last year but even so the young Spaniard maestro just had to be in the team.

There is very little difference between the two players, Scholes used to get more goals than Cesc but not any more and the Spaniard has the edge in spotting and making a killer pass. He is also the better tackler of the two.

For a comprehensive qualitative and statistical analysis of the two players check out the excellent post: “Fabregas is a more effective player than Scholes” by 1970’s Gooner.

There are signs this year that finally Cesc has found his scoring boots.

If he manages to get around 15 league goals that will go along way in relieving the pressure from the strikers and also keeping Arsenal in the title frame.

Selection: Cesc Fabregas. The best midfielder in the world. Did you really expect me to go with anyone else?

Right Midfield

I have been trying to find an angle not to include Ronaldo in the team however it’s impossible. Hleb would run him close but he has the strengths and weaknesses mentioned above.

Eboue on the other hand has not played in this position for long and he has not shown yet that he can put in consistent performances of high quality.

I hate to say it but I would pay good money to go and watch Ronaldo play, the best right midfielder in the world.

Selection: Christiano Ronaldo

Front Striker

Adebayor is largely unchallenged as one of the two forwards as Saha is always injured and Rooney and Tevez are similar players who are essentially fighting for the same position, that of a support striker not as front strikers.

So Adebayor’s only real competition is em …. Bendtner? Adebayor is a transformed player this season with improved ball control, distribution and especially finishing.

Saha is just as good but considering he is unreliable due to being injury prone I would choose Adebayor in my team.

Selection: Emmanuel Adebayor; the African lion

Front (Support) Striker

This is a race between Van Persie, Tevez and Rooney. How do you work this one out?

Let’s just start by saying that Rooney is a very good player. But – and this should not be a surprise to United fans – he is not as good as the media make out he is. He is still a great talent but he has not developed as we all thought he would.

That might be because of frequent injuries or simply because he lost his focus and needs to find his way again. It might be however that this is as good as he is ever going to get, which is still very good.

He nevertheless has tremendous pace and extreme power, is technically very good and that’s why I am baffled sometimes by the long spells he goes with out scoring.

Tevez has had a slow start to his United career but that is mainly the midfield’s fault as in the games I have watched the distribution going forward was abysmal.

He has the potential to be a great player; however I’m not sure how he and Rooney will get on as a pairing.

Finally, Robin Van Persie.

I was at Highbury when he got himself sent off against Southampton, with that silly challenge, I was sitting on the North Bank and for the first time I saw Wenger turn on one of his players in public.

I thought then he was gone. He got his head down however and improved his discipline and temperament on the pitch.

He scores memorable goals like the one against Southampton at Highbury, the volley against Charlton at the Valley last year and the goal against Inter in the Emirates Cup.

He also scores important goals like the one he got at the Emirates against United.

He has a hammer of left foot shot, which if it connects clean is very difficult to stop. Out of the three he is probably the most natural finisher.

Selection: I will go for Robin Van Persie; the new Bergkamp. But Tevez runs him close.

Bench

On the Arsenal bench you can usually find, Diaby, Denilson, Eduardo, Bendtner, Walcott, Eboue, Hoyte, Diarra, Gilberto/Flamini and Senderos.

These go up against Eagles, Fletcher, O’shea, Brown Sylvester, Park, Carrick, Nani and Anderson.

If it wasn’t for the last three then I’d say that Arsenal have the much better bench, hands down no argument. They did after all cost £60m!

But even so we still have the better bench! Eagles, Fletcher, O’shea, Sylvester, Park and Brown would not get anywhere near our squad.


Arsenal/Man Utd combined eleven

Van De Sar

Sagna Toure Vidic Clichy

Ronaldo Fabregas Gilberto Rosicky

Adebayor Van Persie


Substitutes: Lehmann, Gallas, Carrick, Roonie, Tevez,

Going through the two squads it is frightening to see that both teams have the same glaring strengths and weaknesses.

They both need to find goalkeepers they can rely upon and also strikers to compliment their main goal scoring threats.

Wenger’s way is to place his trust in youth, what’s Sir Alex’s excuse?


This is a personal view. What is your opinion? Who would you pick from Man Utd to play for Arsenal?


“Fabregas is a more effective player than Scholes”

Last night’s performance means that Arsenal will win trophies this year

Arsenal battling with Manchester United to become the richest club

Who Would Fergie Take From Arsenal’s First Team?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very interesting post indeed. I have a few opinions who are different like the Gallas Vs Vidic dilemma but overall a sound analysis of the two team's players

Anonymous said...

Agree with most selections. The point also is that we have a much stronger bench which may be decisive come the end of the season.

Anonymous said...

The Mancs needed a reply to that absurd article which was totally biased.

Anonymous said...

I am a Manchester United supporter and it mystifies me how you can exclude from this list Ferdinand, Roonie, Tevez, Saha Scholes and Hargreaves at least!

DonCorleone said...

"Anonymous said...
I am a Manchester United supporter and it mystifies me how you can exclude from this list Ferdinand, Roonie, Tevez, Saha Scholes and Hargreaves at least!"

October 4, 2007 11:22 AM

That's because they are all overated and shit, especially Rio!!!

Anonymous said...

To Don Corleone

How can you say that players like Tevez and Roonie are overrated. You simply do not understand football.
I think what is overrated is the bunch of pampered kids that make up the Arsenal team at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I am a Manchester united supporter and the only Arsenal player to get in my combined 11 would be Fabregas

Adam said...

I'd say this list is reasonable. I do think, however, that van der Sar has looked incredibly strong this season, so it's not even a close decision between him and Lehmann, van der Sar by a mile.

Anonymous @ 11:22 -
Ferdinand, Rooney and Hargreaves all suffer from the curse of being English. They are quality players, but since they're English, they are hyped up as if they were Gods amongst men, walking the Earth sundering all in their path.

Vidic is far better than Rio, and Toure runs Vidic pretty close.

It's no surprise to me that England started winning international matches by large margins when Wayne Rooney was out injured; he's still got alot of development to undergo.

And as for Hargreaves, I'd rather have the captain of the Brazilian squad over him any day of the week.

Tevez and Scholes are really the only two players that could be considered strong possibilities. Scholes loses out to Fabregas simply because of age in this case (for me at least) and Tevez loses out because Robin van Persie and Adebayor on on fire right now. So, by the end of the season, Tevez might replace either of them, depending on if he, you know, actually starts scoring or not.

J said...

read the man utd fan's article... wiff of bias about it, though your list is reasonable, i would still pick evra and rooney, and in respond to the guy who said
Arsenal are a bunch off overrated and pampered kids, i say:
how do you define pampered?
being small and unable to take hard tackles?
with the referees so lenient these days, someone has to break something big to get attention......

Anonymous said...

Pampered means they have won nothing yet but they are still talked up as though they have.
It also means they shouldn't moan so much when the going gets tough. You dont see the Manchester United players moaning that much about it.

All Arsenal have achieved so far is to beat teams that are not that good; derby,portsmouth, fulham etc. wait till you get the big ones then we'll see how you do. Probably crumple to bits.

Adam said...

Anonymous @ 3:05

Interesting how you define Pompey as a "no-good" team, considering they managed to hold United to a draw.

Man City is a tough game this season, and we managed to beat them. Can't say the same for your lot, though.

And you certainly can't discount a victory over West Ham at Upton Park, considering they did the double over BOTH Arsenal and United last season.

So stop being a muppet with your nonsensical, trolling statements (to which I am guilty of being baited).

Anonymous said...

You havn't played Chelsea yet. We beat them and we beat them well. I doubt you will do the same.
And beating West Ham hardly counts as beating a "good" team!
You will know when you meet a good team when you've played Manchester United.

Boris Godunov said...

I'm loving this season so far. It would be interesting if 1970's Gooner could draw the same comparison to Chelsea. Anyway, it'd be great if we were back to the good old days when Arsenal and Manure were the main title challengers.

Anonymous said...

I think Liverpool are shooting themselves in the foot due to Rafa's stupid rotation policy and Chelsea doing the same (shooting themselves in the foot) due to Abramovic's interventions. So it could indeed be us and Manure slugging it out.

Adam said...

"You havn't played Chelsea yet. We beat them and we beat them well. I doubt you will do the same."

Based on what information? I can make wild-ass predictions about the future as well. I don't think you will get a result at Ewood Park.

Point is, Arsenal is getting the results against the lower table teams, which is where we struggled last season. We had no problem beating the "good" teams like Man Utd and Liverpool, and I doubt we will this season as well (considering form, and the improvement we've made in converting opportunities into goals). However, we dropped points against the likes of Sheffield United, West Ham and Boro, whereas we seem to be avoiding that particular problem this time around.

Anonymous said...

Hello

I wrote the original AbsolutelyUNITED article that inspired your piece. What do they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so cheers.

I think you have tried to be fair but there are so many holes in your logic, so many glaring refusals to acknowledge the obvious that I feel forced to revisit this theme. paste the link below in your browser to read AbsolutelyUNITED'S reply to the ArsenalAnalysis.

Cheers

ISpy

http://absolutelyunited.com/redcan/896/2007/10/04/open-letter-to-arsenal-fans/">

Anonymous said...

Alot of Man U supporters! Didnt we do the double over them last season? I would take only Ronaldo from the United team only because he can play on either wing. Im more than happy with our squad and would take it over United's any day. If we can keep this squad 2getha we can dominate European and domestic football for years. Exciting times to be a Gooner, Wrighty7.

Anonymous said...

The poster is talking bollox. RVP was never sent off at highbury...it was at Saint Marys and we drew 1-1

Torgeir said...

The article is stupid and why argue about this.

XI:
van der sar
brown, vidic, rio, evra
nani, scholes, fabregas, ronaldo
tevez, rooney

Ditching Rooney sounds like a good plan on how to lose, which Gunners will experience a lot this season:)

Anonymous said...

The article is stupid and why argue about this.

XI:
van der sar
brown, vidic, rio, evra
nani, scholes, fabregas, ronaldo
tevez, rooney

Ditching Rooney sounds like a good plan on how to lose, which Gunners will experience a lot this season:)

You must be slightly intoxicated Torgeir. What the hell have Nani or Tevez done this season, F*** all! Brown is a joke compared to Sangna who everone has been raving about! Evra v Clichy is close but ill go with Clichy for his superior pace. Only Vidic, Ron, VDS & Roo would get in my combo X1!

Joel said...

Man United fans are having a hard time dealing with this because Arsenal is showing so much class while United gets outplayed week in and week out by shitty sides like Birmingham and Tottenham only to capitalize on another team's fuck-up and win 1-nil. All they have is a pairing of center-halves and a keeper right now, and thats keeping them in it by a thread.

If Wenger could have his pick, this is what it would be.

XI
van der sar
Sagna Rio Vidic Clichy
Hleb Cesc Flamini Rosicky
Rooney v.Persie

Ronaldo wouldn't make it at Arsenal because he refuses to pass until he gets four or five touches on the ball. Hleb plays a major part in the Arsenal side and would not be benched for the selfish arrogrant prick Ronaldo.

Anonymous said...

What a load of rubbish!

This is the most biased article I've ever read.

If you put this arguement to the neutral supporter I think they will probably pick more players from a team that has actually achieved something. Premier League Champions, FA Cup finalists and Champions League semi-finalists versus Carling Cup runners-up. Think about it - Seriously!

The fact that you think Hleb pushes Ronaldo close suggests you need serious HELP!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but though you have tried to stay neutral it is frankly impossible for a Man Utd or Arsenal supporter to objectively compare both teams. I am a Man Utd supporter so will not speak too ill of your judgment-though I may rant from time to time, it's unavoidable-but seriously...Clichy above Evra.

The left back who was voted in last year's PFA team of the year and an integral part of a Premiership winning team. Clichy better? Don't be so biased. He is clearly not the best in the Premiership. That accolade must go to Cashley Cole.

Then you have the gall to think Sagna is better than a player who has been a fixture in the greatest Premiership club ever. Injured? Who cares??

Toure and Gallas above Ferdinand and Vidic? The pure class of Ferdinand together with a bullish Serbian not better than an injury prone Gallas past his best and an admittedly great defender in Toure who still suffers from lack of concentration and composure? I think not. We haven't conceded a goal in donkey's year due to them and you have the audacity to claim that they're better?

But what really gets me is that you think that you seem to think a poor and lacklustre Rosicky is better than Giggs-remember that goal against you in the FA Cup Semi Final? 'Nuff said-, that spider legs Adebayor who flinches at the thought of being in a one on one with a keeper is better than Saha? He may be injury prone but at least he doesn't scream in horror when faced with an open goal and hit the ball past the post.

RVP I would rate as just below Rooney but an objective neutral would probably rate them as equal. What is this utter shit about him not developing as we would have liked? He scored 23 goals. More than any of your players. We wanted him to improve his consistency and goalscoring. He has.

On the central midfielders I agree. But only your sub strikers are better than our subs tbh apart from a select few. That's my view. [/rant over]

Anonymous said...

You said yourself Tevez and Rooney are way too similar to play together, so why on earth would you have both of themon the bench when you could offer Tevez's spot to someone usefuly different? Nani and Anderson have been highly unimpressive this year so far as well as Tevez so I wouldn't have any of them near my team. I know Tevez runs all day, but he's so far from being the finished article it's unreal, his great reputation at West Ham was built on only scoring something like 7 or so goals ALL season. Ridiculously over-rated and unproven so far. I really wish people would stop pretending that Ronaldo is better than he is. He scores a bucket load and deserves credit for that, but why you say you would pay good money to watch him do what he does best- waste his time trying to do pointlessly ellaborate and unhelpful tricks- a very high % of which mess up horribly- when we have Hleb who knows how to bamboozle defenses without insisting on tripping over his own feet trying to look clever is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Your post is by far the most pathetic yet! I have never heard the likes of this. Hleb better than Ronaldo??????? Bamboozle defences? He's utter shit. He lacks any form of composure, can't cross and he trips over his feet. Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and you have the cheek to say Hleb is better?

And did you see all that happened at West Ham last season? Do you think players can just perform brilliantly straight away? He SAVED them from certain relegation you fool! And did you see how brilliantly Anderson played against Wigan and did you see Nani's performance against Roma? I rest my case. Crawl back into your hole.

Anonymous said...

"Your post is by far the most pathetic yet! I have never heard the likes of this. Hleb better than Ronaldo??????? Bamboozle defences? He's utter shit. He lacks any form of composure, can't cross and he trips over his feet. Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and you have the cheek to say Hleb is better?

And did you see all that happened at West Ham last season? Do you think players can just perform brilliantly straight away? He SAVED them from certain relegation you fool! And did you see how brilliantly Anderson played against Wigan and did you see Nani's performance against Roma? I rest my case. Crawl back into your hole."

LOL. Regardless of if Tevez scored some very important goals last season, his scoring record was not in the slightest impressive, REGARDLESS of if he was playing for West Ham.

I watched the wigan game and for 2/3 of the game Anderson was anonymous. He did a few great balls, particularly in the second half, but I'd expect that from a £3 million player. If you need to specify individual performances as great to justify how good a player is you're clewarly covering for their lack of quality in the majority of games. Take Sagna for example who has had only one performance all season so far (vs Sunderland) where he's been anything below excellent- and he's had less time to settle than your beloved Nani, not to mention if you make a mistake in midfield it's usually less costly than one at the back, so Sagna's performances have been especially impressive and he's come at half the price.

If you ever bother to watch Arsenal you'll notice that Hleb has unbelievable close control and he rarely ever gets tackled. He doesn't need to try and look skillful doing 5 step overs, or doing pointlessly ellaborate stuff every 5 minutes, since he tries to make clever decisions rather than just look good. Ronaldo has a far better scoring record and he deserves credit for that, but Hleb is a player who you can rely on to not fuck around and trip over his own feet with tricks when he could be doing something productive like passing the fucking ball or making space for someone else.

I'm looking forward to the game vs Utd because I have a nice feeling that you'll not only lose both games (again), but considering your form overall this season and ours, unless there are some drastic improvements from Utd it could get embarrassing for you. Your strikers are barely scoring, you've spent a fortune on underwhleming players just because they have big reputations, and you're scraping most results by te skin of your teeth (usually getting out played for 80 or more minutes by shit teams like Birmingham).

Have a nice day :)

Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting subject to discuss and as we all can rightly see fro the replies so far, it's also a very sensitive one. I'm Arsenal through and through and I want to say I'll never change my team for Manure's team right now. Vidic and Van der sar are the only two players who can get into my selection and I'll also have Giggs on the bench for his experience. But Ronaldo can't make my team. I have never been impressed with his "so called" skills. I love a player who will dribble and move forward at the same time work for the whole team not do uneccesary leg overs and finally take aimless shots. How many times do u see Ronaldo fall back to help his wing backs, that's the extra you get from a player like Rosicky, or Eboue. Manre fans should remember this team they are calling "overpamperred" beat them home and away last season when they were supposedly playing better thatn they are doing right now. This arsenal team is a lot more consistent and a lot stronger than the one that beat a much stronger Manure team last season.

Anonymous said...

I am a Southend United supporter and was shown this article by my gooner cousin.

I personally would have Van Der Sar in goal as he is the best goal keeper although I think Ben Foster will be there soon.

Gary Neville right back, even if injured he's better than the others with one leg!

Evra left back. I understand the Arsenal arguement for Clichy, he's a good player but not as good as Evra and will never replace Ashley Cole.

Center backs have to be Rio and Vidic simply for the partnership they are. They complement each other so well and even though Toure and Gallas are great defenders this is by far the most effective partnership out of the four.

Right midfield, Ronaldo. There are no better right midfielders in the world let alone at Arsenal. You ask every football manager who they would prefer, Ronaldo? or Hleb? I think I no the answer. I do hate Ronaldo but he is the bollox.

Center midfield why not Fabregas and Scholes. They are both such brilliant players so why not play them together? I think they would be amazing.

Left midfield is close but if I was picking a team for a one off game it would have to be Giggs. He's been the best left sided player throughout the premierships history and the experience he brings is emmense.

Up front is probably the most difficult area. The only certainty is that Rooney has to play. I know he's hyped up a lot but he's still class and first on the team sheet. To partner Rooney is tricky. I think Van Persie is a great player but I doubt he would be as good a partner to Rooney as Adebayor or Saha and he has yet to really prove himself on the big stage. On current performances Adebayor hs impressed me most and would be brilliant next to Rooney.

Anonymous said...

I am a Southend United supporter and was shown this article by my gooner cousin.

I personally would have Van Der Sar in goal as he is the best goal keeper although I think Ben Foster will be there soon.

Gary Neville right back, even if injured he's better than the others with one leg!

Evra left back. I understand the Arsenal arguement for Clichy, he's a good player but not as good as Evra and will never replace Ashley Cole.

Center backs have to be Rio and Vidic simply for the partnership they are. They complement each other so well and even though Toure and Gallas are great defenders this is by far the most effective partnership out of the four.

Right midfield, Ronaldo. There are no better right midfielders in the world let alone at Arsenal. You ask every football manager who they would prefer, Ronaldo? or Hleb? I think I no the answer. I do hate Ronaldo but he is the bollox.

Center midfield why not Fabregas and Scholes. They are both such brilliant players so why not play them together? I think they would be amazing.

Left midfield is close but if I was picking a team for a one off game it would have to be Giggs. He's been the best left sided player throughout the premierships history and the experience he brings is emmense.

Up front is probably the most difficult area. The only certainty is that Rooney has to play. I know he's hyped up a lot but he's still class and first on the team sheet. To partner Rooney is tricky. I think Van Persie is a great player but I doubt he would be as good a partner to Rooney as Adebayor or Saha and he has yet to really prove himself on the big stage. On current performances Adebayor hs impressed me most and would be brilliant next to Rooney.

Anonymous said...

I give up. You're obviously a biased twat. The most biased person ever. Any sane person would use theiur brain and know that Ronaldo is 10 times the player Hleb will ever be. How many Arsenal players are on the shortlist for World Player of the Year again? That's what I thought, you idiot. Look at the neutral points of view. You would do well to learn from them.

bengal gooner said...

gilberto in the squad? he has had a horrible season so far. his passes are not accurate and he loses possession a lot. i would go for flamini instead. adebayor is a good player, especially with headers, but he does not have the same touch as tevez. although he can score, he misses numerous chances with his poor touch. the main advantage is his height and heading ability, nothing else. the rest of the squad is good, but i thought hleb would be there

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