Man Utd visit the Emirates: Play for pride, kill their joy
When the members of the FA showed the World the fixture list for the 2010/11 campaign, it was scheduled that Arsenal and Man Utd would lock horns with 4 games left to play. The strategic positioning of such a game meant that the fate of the Premier League could be decided with such a tie.
If Arsenal won Bolton last week, a win this afternoon would have brought them level with Chelshit and 3 points behind league leaders Man Utd. This meant that if Man Utd lost at home to Chelshit in the upper week and Arsenal defeated maiden FA Cup finalists Stoke City, all top three sides would have been level on points at 73 each with goal difference being the determining factor with just 2 games left to play. That would have been an amazing climax to such a topsy turvy Premier League season.
Back to reality and Arsenal is presently 9 good points behind Man Utd with 4 games left to play. In my own words, too much ground has been lost and it’s evident that it cannot be covered. In the personal duel between Sir Alex Chewie and AW the Alchemist, the elder Scot has won 19 times while Arsenal’s boss has won 14 times. Both footballing generals have shared the spoils of their battles 11 times but in recent times, Man Utd has the upper hand because they are unbeaten in their last 7 meetings against Arsenal with their last defeat being that 2-1 loss at the Emirates in the 2006/07 campaign. RooThug put them up in the 54th minute before rVp equalized late on and broke his metatarsal in the follow-up tackle by Gary Devil. The match winner came from Thierry Henry in the dying moments after that famous one-two by Farmer Eboue and TR7 on the right flank.
Man Utd are closing in on that record-breaking 19th Premier League title and no one deserves it better than them but I don’t expect us to roll over and play dead for them. If they want to secure the title, they can call their summer signing Howard Webb to officiate their match next week against Chelshit. He’s more than capable of giving them the kind of penalty Martin Atkinson gave Chelshit when Zhirkov decided to become a Hollywood star in Man Utd’s box.
AW the Alchemist has sweated blood for his team and has done everything right for the present crop of individuals he calls his players. He awards them with fat long-term contracts, keeps them happy, defends them when they do wrong and hardly ever points his 61-year old fingers at them. He’s more or less a father to them but what has he gotten in return this season when it really mattered? Constant nail-biting moments, heartbreak and utter frustration. The media Vultures taunted him for using the Carling Spoon as a breeding ground for his younglings but what did he do this season? He blended the younglings with more experienced chums thereby earning a place in the Carling Spoon final only to be undone by a childish communication error between Koscielny and Szczesny in the 89th minute.
Bacary Sagna has admitted that the players have been a embarrassment this season but when the city of Camelot gets invaded by the enemies, King Arthur takes the blame not the Knights of the Round Table or the peasants outside the castle. There’ve been so many games this season where an Arsenal player destroyed all the hard work his other 10 teammates slaved for. Diaby (Newcastle), Farmer Eboue (Liverpool), Fabregas (Barca), Clichy (Shakhtar),….the list is endless but AW the Alchemist faces the media and keeps his calm. A manager that sits on his leather seat or wanders about in his technical area was literally on his knees when Farmer Eboue’s tomfoolery made Kuyt have a chance to smash Szczesny’s net from 12 yards with basically the last kick of the game which he duly delivered. Eboue stayed on the pitch after the whistle had been blown to talk to the ref but his manager tapped him and told him to go and join his teammates in the dressing room because the damage had already been done.
When I watched CNN’s World Sport yesterday night, a section of the show came up when Arsenal’s stalwart midfielder Ray Parlour and Man Utd’s loyalist Gary Devil were interviewed about today’s game. Both old hags said a lot with Parlour’s main focus on spending this summer but Gary Devil made a comment that Arsenal fans that want AW the Alchemist’s head are terribly wrong because he’s the best man for the job.
Walcott has also said that it’s high time they win something for their boss because of his devotion to the cause. He says,
“Maybe instead of waiting for things to happen, we are going to make things happen. We need to do it for him. He has shown so much belief and support in us – and the fans have done the same thing”
I hope that he’s not talking about winning the Emirates Cup. The man who labeled as a “training center” in December is now scared of the threat we pose in today’s game. He says,
“You have to fear the wounded animal. It’s all or nothing for Arsenal so that is the danger. They’ll want to show that they can still win the title”
It’s funny how people can swallow their words in the space of 4 or 5 months but I don’t think that he’s comments will change the fact that Arsenal cannot challenge for the title this season at least.
For team news, I expect the regular back 5 to continue in the starting lineup with Szczesny in goal, Clichy and Sagna as the full backs and Djourou and Koscielny as the center backs. This game comes too soon for Vermaelen. The midfield triumvirate would be our regular trio of Fabregas, Song and Wilshere.
I would prefer to see AA23 start again because his cameo appearances from the bench have been encouraging to say the least. Nasri and rVp complete the front three.
The tweet of the day goes to @Orbinho
“@Orbinho: The last time Arsenal went 3 home league games without a win under Arsene Wenger was in November 2001. The run ended with a 3-1 win over Man Utd”
Good omen…. I guess
They want to win the league
Let’s play for pride and kill their joy.