Arsenal can’t be considered title contenders until they play real times. Forget the likes of Napoli, Dortmund, Tottenham, and Liverpool, we need to prove to the rest of the country that we are able to beat the 8th best team in England in order to be considered serious title contenders. This game is getting a lot of hype and the boys will certainly be up to it.
The last time Arsenal beat Utd at Old Trafford was in September of 2006. I remember that game very well, almost too well. There were many chances for Arsenal to win it including a missed penalty and a goal line clearance following the resulting corner, but we had to wait until the 86th minute for Adebayor to slot home the winner. What a match that was. Hopefully, there will be a similar result. Anyways, here are some pre-match thoughts:
Arsenal need to play the same way they played in Germany- Arsenal have been able to win in two different styles this calender year; play near dominance passing football or defend first-attack second. Arsenal did the latter against Bayern and Dortmund in Germany and look at the results we achieved. If we can keep Utd at bay for the majority of the game and break well, then we would have a good chance at winning. When Arsenal tries to play possession football against more physical teams, we usually get punished. Wenger has to get his tactics right for this one.
Aaron Ramsey needs to be our Zidane- Amazing how we signed a player that is relatively close to Zidane’s caliber, yet he isn’t getting all the plaudits. They are rightfully going towards the best Welshman in the world, Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey has been played in a plethora of positions in his Arsenal career, but I believe it is time that he is placed into one firmly, and that is the number ten position. He has showed quality going forward on many occasions this season, including quite a few good runs midweek against Dortmund. While Ozil is supposedly our number ten, he is more of a creator than a scorer. Ramsey is the one who has shown more drive coming forward, and that is why we need him to play higher up the pitch, right behind Giroud.
Consistency and determination is key- Arsenal are going to win the league this season if they maintain those two things. The reason we are first come down to those two things specifically. When you look at why we have fallen short in previous years, it is because we have shown fear and vulnerability, attributes of losers. Utd have come up on top in previous seasons due to having the fear factor and being so consistent with their results (even though some referees had a big part to play in their league position). This season, they have lost both things and are looking as vulnerable as ever. The reason why they can’t be taken advantage of yet is because of their resiliency, another thing that Arsenal have been lacking in previous seasons. How many times have you seen Arsenal lose a game and then sort of collapse in recent seasons? It has happened far too many, unlike United who have had the ability to keep going, even when the tough get tougher. Winning the league doesn’t come by luck, it comes by getting into the best possible position, not by waiting for it too happen, but by creating the opportunity for it too happen.
Rooney is delusional- It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Rooney scored a hat trick against us, as he scores against us just about every season. What does surprise me is how he was talking bad about Arsenal earlier, saying that we are not real contenders. Well I think that’s what the translators were able to decipher from the mumbles that came out of his mouth. Anyways, if Rooney is saying that we can’t be considered real contenders, then what does that make United? Rooney is going to have to be up for the relegation battle considering his logic.