Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wenger will come back at Old Trafford and win the league. Four reasons why

By 1970’s Gooner

Many have jumped on the band wagon predicting that the defeat inflicted on Arsenal by Manchester United in the FA Cup will have further ramifications for the rest of the campaign.

I consider however that this has no significant logical basis and that the four factors that are analysed below will play a significant role on the run in for the title.

1. The so called inadequacy of Arsenal’s squad

Certainly the choice of playing two young full backs and a midfield anchor man who is on his last legs did prove in the end too much against a rampant United side.

Hoyte and Traore looked out of sorts, not able to thwart the various opponents that chose to take them on.

Hoyte was culpable for United’s first, second and fourth goal and Traore played Nani on for the third goal while Lehmann would have saved Nani’s shot in better times.

The young full backs were so much out of it that even their own players would not pass the ball to them. And they themselves would often not make themselves available to accept the ball from Lehmann when he was looking for an outlet. He more often than not had to choose to kick the ball upfield.

Gilberto was nowhere, unable to mark opponents with any degree of efficiency. He no longer can hold that anchor role in midfield and he should be allowed to go in the summer.

But this performance does not really mean, as many analysts have been pointing out in the press, that Manchester United’s squad is deeper and better than Arsenal’s.

Arsene Wenger had to choose from the remaining players available to him, either through injury or otherwise. And his pool of available players on the day was much smaller than Ferguson’s.

Consider what Arsenal’s performance would have been had Diaby or Song been available instead of Gilberto. Or if Sagna could have played instead of Hoyte or Traore. Ferguson played his first choice in defense remember which is always a good place to start in games like this.

When Arsenal’s full compliment of players return to fitness or availability, which ever way you look at it, then Arsenal's squad will prove to be as strong and as capable of lasting the course.

2. Manchester United wanted this victory much more than Arsenal

This was blatantly evident during the game where Manchester United’s players were playing as though it was the FA Cup final.

The reason of course is that lying second with five points behind Arsenal may have alerted Ferguson to the need to keep their chances of winning something of note this year alive. Like Arsene Wenger did in 2005 by concentrating on and finally winning the FA Cup.

There was also another reason why Manchester United wanted this victory more. They had to bounce back from the woeful performances in the League where in the most crucial period of the unfolding marathon race for the title they surrendered five points to their bitter rivals.

Their last minute equaliser at White Hart Lane and that defeat at the hands of their local city rivals at Old Trafford has sent shivers down the spines of the supporters that it is their players and not the youngsters of Arsenal that might crumble under the pressure of a run in!

So win they had to do. But when the two sides meet again at the same venue in the League it will be a different Arsenal side that will line up and at the end it is Manchester United that will know that they have been in a game.

3. The possible psychological impact this defeat might have on Arsenal

This is cots wallop invented by those that are clinging onto anything that might shatter the self belief and confidence of this Arsenal team.

They are hoping for a repeat of the collapse of the “Invincibles” when their run was abruptly ended by Manchester United’s rough tactics and a weak referee who gave a soft penalty.

The chances of something similar happening are very remote.

For a start the team that lost to United last Saturday is nowhere remotely near the one that will line up is the next more important games coming up.

But there are more recent similar events with which to gauge the Arsenal players response.

Like the more humiliating 5-1 defeat at Tottenham for example. But did it result in the young guns spiraling out of control?

No, it was followed by two fantastic 3-0 wins against Newcastle and a commanding performance away at Manchester City inflicting on them their first home league defeat of the season. The same team that defeated Manchester United at Old Traford! Arsenal then followed that up with a hard-fought 2-0 win at home to Blackburn.

And to turn the same argument round, Arsenal won both encounters with Manchester United last year but it didn’t have much of an effect on United’s chances of winning the League did it?

4. Fixture congestion and fatigue

Arsene Wenger said last year that the one mistake he will not repeat will be to tire and subject his players to the possibility of injuries in the lesser competitions like the Carling Cup and the FA Cup. He has kept his promise (to himself).

This means that Arsenal can now concentrate on more important matters like the run in to the title (which I think if achieved will be his greatest triumph) and the Champions League.

Fixture congestion and tired players especially now that things are getting serious are the last thing any manager will want. But that is what Ferguson will have and I am sure it’s not something he would have chosen to do.

His hand was forced however by the fantastic quality and beautiful football the young guns have been producing and his own team’s faltering performances.

Would this rout make a difference? ''I hope so,'' said United's manager.

Keep on dreaming I say….

Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea: Six factors that will affect the outcome of the title


Anonymous said...

no, you are dreaming boy. united are in a different class. neville, giggs, hargreaves, tevez, ronaldo (who is this fellow?) not playing and you still get beaten 4-0. it is a shame. try to beat united 4-0. you will never be able to do it even if united reserves play against you.

Anonymous said...

You call this analysis ... Haha ... Dream on I say

Anonymous said...

Say anything to build your confidence. United are still a better team and are still gonna beat the gooners again and again. United's second squad in midfield and attack yesterday would still have beaten Wenger's first team. United's players know the joy it is to win trophies and are addicted. The young guns dont have that drive cuz they havent won anything. Whatever man... another trophy-less year for arsenal... analyze that.

Unknown said...

Firstly, we had no area of the pitch free of reserves, whereas you had a first choice back 5. We beat you home and away last year, so you can't say that you'll beat us again ang again. Fair play this time around, but I doubt Fergie is so excited.

Anonymous said...

I will give you one reason why you wont win the league. Ronaldo,there you go in a nut shell for you. With a packet of sweets and a cheeky smile.....................................

Anonymous said...

The below comments are obviously from supporters who wouldnt know football if one hit them in the face. As much as Man Utd were the superior team, your ignorance to what the article has to say is beyond amusing.

Anonymous said...

I always find it funny at how irony always bites back at Man Utd fans. They were calling Wenger a "paedo" when we played at OT last season and the next thing we know SAF signs a 15 year old called Coffee or whatever rubbish his name is. Then recently at the Emirates pouring scorn over our last gasp equalizing goal celebrations but please look at your own team's celebration when Tevez scored against Spurs. You just gotta love the irony eh ? When Arsenal beat them twice last season they were saying "Who cares we won the league". Don't worry Gunners. We will be saying the same come May.

Anonymous said...

"They are hoping for a repeat of the collapse of the “Invincibles” when their run was abruptly ended by Manchester United’s rough tactics and a weak referee who gave a soft penalty."

It still hurts doesn't it :)

Anonymous said...

Yo you forgot the time when Wenger mentioned we could go the season unbeaten. They were all laughing their asses off and even calling Wenger insane. No prizes for guessing what happens next. =)

Anonymous said...

is that the same united reserves thumped by coventry

Anonymous said...

Am I right in thinking Manchester United beat the "World's best team ever" 4 nill? Did the world's best team ever only have ONE (1) shot on goal? Sorry to brake it to all you Tristrum's and Tarquin's you are not as good as you and your media think you are. No prizes for being top of the league in Febuary, so your embarassing chant may end up sounding a bit hollow in May. Happy Days

Anonymous said...

5 points clear in the competition that realy matters ha ha

Anonymous said...

The red nosed one is the one dreaming of the treble. To win the treble you must have luck and weak opposition which was the case in 1999. Consider the FA cup opponents then Newcastle.Now
it's Chelsea. In the cl we have quality teams like barcelona,R Madrid Arsenal Chelsea etc,Last but not least refs who favour the manure in the epl.
In the 1999 cl final they were murdered had it not been for the goalposts and their goalie who saved certain goals on four occsions.
i expect Arsenal to win the title at ot with the first team not last night's team which my local pub team can score ten goals.
So we have the picture. Remember you don't become world beaters after one game.
one swallow does not a winter sorry summer make.

Anonymous said...

You want irony, how about slagging Nani off for doing kick-ups, when Henry used to do it all the time, but when he did it it was 'world class skill', or Wenger saying it's not classy, from a manager who's team surrounded, pushed and abused some-one for missing a penalty, or some odious little shit throwing food at a knight of the realm just cos his team has lost. Yeah, you gooners know all about irony. United to win the league now, we all know Arsenal fall apart under pressure, that's why they've never defended their titles, too much pressure you see.

Unknown said...

Man-Ure fans must be disillusioned.
they know they've already lost the title.
when you see them raising hell about things arsenal,they are the last kicks of a dying dog,and a dog they are.
we lost,it doesn't please us but something here goes unnoticed.
this fa is their only hope for silverware after their spending spree in the summer for kids way overrated.hahaha
think this...nani $24m,anderson $34 and hargreaves $40m and carrick cost them $40m a season b4.
and all these boys don't win the trophy this season,that's the prospect that stares them in the face?hahahahhaha
am sure arsenal will win the league.
call it fantasy if you will but thats the truth,arsenal will come and win it at jaded trafford.
and by the way,the chelski are still there 2 tear the red necks becoz the commie army ain't got nothing else to play for

Anonymous said...

Amazing, absolutely amazing how United "supporters" come out of the woodwork like cockroaches when something good happens.

Where were all these posts and imperious declarations of United's world supremacy the past two weeks when this "knight of the realm" and his team looked positively dire?

Where do they all hide?

Nobody knows what will happen during the run-in -- that's why they play the games.

But two things are certain, Mancs:

1. Arsenal have a 5-point lead.

2. The Gunners had no interest whatsoever in exerting themselves in the FA Cup. Let the pundits debate this wisdom of that until they go hoarse, but it doesn't matter. Wenger said a YEAR ago that he wouldn't try to stretch the side so far they got exhausted, and he didn't. So United got a free pass to the next round, which will have zero impact on the league.

Saturday was about Arsenal's conscious decision to play the game like a friendly and go home.

It said nothing about United.

I don't know, and neither does anyone else, if Arsenal will win or draw on the next trip to OT. But anyone who thinks it will look anything like this Cup yawner is living in another universe.

Anonymous said...

wenger has actually won one more than fergie in the head to heads since wenger took over so as for beating us again and again maybe you'd like to check the facts first.

it'll be great when manure are being bogged down playing in the shite cup while Arsenal remain fresh for the big one. manure are busy bigging themselves up after beating a reserve team who did not even care about the game. as long as they keep beleiving their own hype Arsenal will be gaining the benefit.

also what does fergie do now - he has some players that played a blinder yesterday, does he drop them to bring back Ronaldo, Scholes and Tevez? to me Ron played shite against city and could be about to hit some bad form. as for Rooney, he only plays like that against Arsenal. he cant keep it going every game - very rarely scores goals these days. in short, united have shot their bolt.

wenger has made a profit for several seasons whereas the red nosed c*nt has spent untold millions. he is incapable of developing players - wenger developed flamini, c*nt bought Hargreaves, wenger developed cesc, c*nt bought anderson, wenger developed Toure, c*nt bought Ferdinand, Wenger developed Clichy, C*nt bought Evra, Wenger developed van persie, C*nt bought Rooney etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Ok lets look at this season with Clichy and Sagna playing in the team. We have lost just one game and that was 2-1 against Middlesbrough.

Now lets look at Traore and Hoyte, whenever they have been in the team we have lost:

3-1 Sevilla
5-1 Tottenham
4-0 MANUre

is this just a coincidence? I think not. We are a much better side with Clichy and Sagna and this is evident by our league position!

Anonymous said...

Jesus you Gooners are laughable, juslt like when you got knocked out the Carling cup by Spurs, you've decided that 'you didn't really want to win it anyway', despite all your players mouthing off and bigging it up all week about how important the game was and how you were gona win it. And when you get knocked out of the Champs league by Milan you won't have wanted to win that either, so you can concentrate on the league, then you won't win that and we'll start the same old sorry saga next season. This season will be like last, with United champions and the Gonners winning nothing, but I guess you won't want to win the league at that point as you'll be prepared to sacrifice it for glory in The Amsterdam cup in summer, or some other such. Laughable.

Anonymous said...

Arguing on the internet is like competing in the special olympics.... even if you win, you're still retarded.

Anonymous said...

We are winning the Premiership title race but we also won a very important race on Saturday. We got back to London and thus home quicker than the United fans.

Anonymous said...

let's face the truth that our squad is not deeper than ManU, IT'S JUST THAT SIMPLE. Of course if we are in full strength, then we are capable of beating them anytime, if not definitely. but the thing is we got injuries too many too often, and some of our second string players just can't fill in the vacancies. what i mean is if the opponent is mediocre, it's ok for them. otherwise, we would be outplayed easily. we got Sevilla game, Spurs game, and now is ManU in FA Cup. if you think Spurs is not a high class opponent, but we still be thumped, then what do you say? and you say we were not that up to the game than ManU was. if Wenger really thought that, and took our long injuries list and Milan game into account,then he shouldn't have fielded that many first team players. he even substitited the other three first team players after we downed to ten man. what if they got injured during the game? did that mean he was desperate? actually long injuries list can't be our excuse because it happens all the time within our team. my opinion is, as a good manager, Wenger should foresee some "what if" situations if he was really that good. if we really wanted to be a serious contender in major trophy, we should have bolstered our squad. it's all Mr. Wenger to blame.

Anonymous said...

Please... when Arsenal win, you guys complain about this, complain about that... Now you won us, you celebrate as if you're Spurs winning us 5-1 back in the Carlin- Oh, i mean Mickey Mouse Cup. The only reason why you Man U fans are here for is to brag. Well then, come back here in May and do it again. I'd want to see what excuses you guys are going to cook up by then.

Back to the game. Firstly, i would say that We were already half-beaten when the team list is announced. It's a high tendency this will be on your mind when you dont see Adebayor on the list. But really, I would say that we need to think in the perspective of Arsene Wenger here:

We are a young team, and many people expected us to fail. But we shot them back well by still competing on 3 fronts now, or at least as of 16/2/08. 1st place in the BPL, 5 point gap, a last 16 place in the Champions League. And now, some people began to take a look at us as potential champions. This blind spot makes them forget that we are the team that everybody gave a shot at about us sinking into the twilight zone of the premiership.

And with this result, those stupid journalist will go, "ZOMG! 4-0 loss to Man U! They are going off the track for shure!" -types in stupid stuff for their columns-

Or so they think they are the "Experts" of football, making them look like the sport's god or something. Haven't they realised that we have thrown egg on their face every single time they bring us down like that? From pre-season where they think they are some formidable fortune teller and predicted us to drop like you just fell off a plane, the loss against Boro and lastly the loss to Spurs during our fight to claim the "Mickey Mouse Cup". Haven't they realise their lesson yet? I'll bet they will be armed today, with all guns blazing, bombing about how our season will drop like swatted flies, and then jump onto the bandwagon of people who refuses to pull Arsenal out of the season's equation and start sucking us up and eating our crap when we get back on track.

If you think that this 4-0 drubbing to probably our meanest rivals is a cause for concern, well, i think you have every right to be. But Dont let this become a liability though. We are still in the race for the premier league and CL when nobody expected us to do so, so basically we have already accomplished our season objective of making people stuff their words back down their throats.

Our 2nd objective now is simple: get the premier league title and show our arse to those lame critters, and not thinking about doing a treble. Even SAF says that you need the right luck at the right time to accomplish this amazing feat. But when you look at it in Arsenal's perspective, where we have almost half the team down with injuries at this crucial stage of the season, you can literally forget about the idea. Which is why i think Wenger made a good but risky choice in resting key players for our CL match coming up.

However, take nothing away from today's performance. Our Defense were absolute crap and Gallas, in the centre of ALL the goals. His rating's so low that you would see a 2 or 3 if you're playing a match in FM. Comical Jen's should precede David James to become the next Goalkeeping Clown.

Despite all that, i believe we are still capable of winning the title. Why? Because we now have another cup competition out of our way. That means we only need to concentrate on 2, and not 3/4 competitions like Man U or Chelsea. This reason alone is a huge plus for us compared to both teams.


This match is an utter disgrace to Arsenal Football, but if we are capable of making this match 1 of the catalyst that make us achieve our main target of winning the Premiership, then why not? Though resting Adebayor was one of the decisions that made us falter during this match, if he can continue to bang in goals during the CL and PL like mum would go to the market place everyday, then the major trophies will surely be ours. This comes as a double-edge sword though, because if he fails to do that, then the rest Adebayor decision would backfire and our season will then be really called utter failure.

So i'd say, Why not judge this match only after the midweek game against Milan?

Unknown said...

No need to judge this lose to United. If Arsenal would have won this game the players would have had a big head their next time back at Old Trafford. With this lost, Arsenal will now take every game serious until the end. Arsene knows what he is doing.

Unknown said...

lose should be lost

Anonymous said...

No it shouldn't Omar, it should be LOSS.

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to take, losing 4 - 0 to anyone.

I believe we have the players. I can see the point about the injuries we have, I dont think Wenger played the right team.

We have 6 plus players on loan, and a reserve team, who are all 17 or 18 years old.

Where are the players who can play in the first team that are fringe players?

Why not have a bigger squad, and win every reserve game. If we had three of four more experienced players who played in the reserves, they would help the other 7 in the team.

We need a big result on Wednesday, starting with a clean sheet.

Anonymous said...

"Arguing on the internet is like competing in the special olympics.... even if you win, you're still retarded."

Ha ha! Classic stuff!

Anonymous said...

WTF is "cots wallop"?

geery Brown said...

I think with a fit fresh team we could hold united at OT if we went about it in the right way- They will be physical and have the support of the ref to hold and push in every challlenge and we will be penalised if we try to do the same- this has been true for 10 years throughout this time English refs have been terrified of the bully Fergie. This game is not a level playing field - we have to be 50% better than them to win.-It is i not going to happen so play dour defensive football and try to win on a breakaway- recognise we are not AC Milan or Brazil and show some tacticql nous for a change.