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“Arsenal Better Than United and Chelsea”

Yesterday, I reported back on Avram Grant’s pearls of wisdom regarding which team from the top, claiming Chelsea were better than United and Arsenal. The logic behind this was a little cloudy though, surprisingly. He seemed to think that despite losing out to United in the league and European Cup, two months later, Chelsea are a better team. Are Deco and Scolari really that good, Avram? The mind boggles.

Grant saved his high praise until after he left the club and maybe that crazy German, Jens Lehmann, got wind of this. So, not wanting to be outdone, he’s championed his former team, claiming that Arsenal are “far ahead” of United and Chelsea.

“It was good to play for Arsenal,” Lehmann said. “Technically and football-wise, they are far ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea. Every player who leaves the club seems to do less well but I hope to be different in my final season. Arsenal’s young players have grown in maturity from last season. But it is difficult to say about their title chances as the competition is tight.”

Let’s all have a wank over Arsenal’s beautiful football, shall we? There is no denying that on their day, Arsenal are capable of playing a game which is very kind on the eye, however, over the past 4 years, these days have become too few and far between.

“Arsenal kept the ball and had a lot of possession, but they were never really threatening. Football is about scoring goals and winning games,” said Owen Hargreaves after United’s 2-2 at the Emirates. “I do not think they had a clear-cut chance created in the first half, apart from the header by Gallas, and that was a set piece. Defensively, we did a good job and tried to control their so-called beautiful football. Both of our goals were from really beautiful pieces of play and theirs were a bit more scrappy.”

If Arsenal were far ahead of United and Chelsea ‘football-wise’, then they wouldn’t have won just one trophy (on penalties, after being played off the park) in four years, compared to the combined total of nine that Chelsea and United have won in that time.

There can be no denying that United play devastating attacking football, which can be seen by the fact we’ve scored the highest amount of goals in the Premiership over the past 3 seasons. Importantly though, United play this attacking, enjoyable football frequently enough to make a success out of it. What use is playing brilliantly if you can’t maintain it over the course of a season and then actually win something because of it?

I anticipate Chris Eagles to come out claiming we are the best any day now…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Dave Winchester says:

    This stuff almost makes me lose my faith in humanity. United fans think United are better. Arsenal fans think Arsenal are better. Chelsea fans think Chelsea are better. There’s probably some merit to all these positions. And you’re never going to persuade opposing fans that they are wrong. I could tell you that I think Arsene seems like an intelligent, urbane guy with a vision of how football should be played and a desire to develop young players rather than mortgage the future on absurd wages and transfer fees. I think that is a principled position and one that every football fan should respect. You would tell me that you think Arsene is a paedophile. You would tell me that Ferguson is a driven, astute, passionate man, one of the most successful managers ever. I would tell you that I think he is an arrogant, charmless man who has sold out the club to protect his legacy by spending vast amounts of money he doesn’t have. We will never agree. So what, really, is the point of all this? Why not just enjoy the football?

  2. Gabriel says:

    dreamweaver said, Gabe you spent 70m more than Arsenal plus whatever Tevez really cost. That’s probably enough to buy 4 pretty good players. Arsenal’s problem clearly appeared to be strength in depth when they lost a few big names injured – 4 extra players might have made a difference. If thats satisfactory in your book then ok – but its hardly a shock.

    That’s why we spent 70m extra to get those extra players so we wouldn’t be in their situation. Like i said, luck is preparation meets opportunity, and every team has the same opportunities at the start of the season, but only the best prepared prevail at the end.

    Btw, in these day and age, winning the kind of double we did is not easy, no matter how much you spend, and I’m sure u can accept that. That’s why I said it is pretty satisfactory!!!

    As for arsenal, i’m not writing them off, it’s just that Arsene has been on his youngsters project for yrs now, and it seems to be goin nowhere. The ones that are gud enuff to elevate the team seem to want to leave and he’s afraid of buying established players for some reason. I think he’s afraid of those established players failing to impress and he relies on youngsters so when they fail, he can blame it on their lack of experience and immaturity (like he did last season)

  3. yank says:

    United are great who can deny that. Great players, great manager, great stadium. Arsenal are great too. Great players, great manager, and now a great stadium. 600 million pounds of debt later, raped by their american owners. You tell me who is on top. Its a big fat american named Glazer, and maybe some drunken englishmen in a pub somewhere in Manchester. Both appear to be in pretty good situations, but only one will likely maintain his happiness.

  4. Craig Mc says:

    Hahahahaha – these Gunners are amusing. All I have to say, is wait until the end of next season, and we will see how things pan out. Every club will ALWAYS say that the ref’s helped winning clubs, and lady luck played a part. As Fergie says, “Football – bloody hell eh?.” If Ronaldo does go, then we will have to wait and see what does happen without him. Fergie was three season re-building his team and we now have the very good framework in place. Tweak here and there, fine tuning, if Ron goes, and lets see. Ronaldo wasn’t so exciting was he for Portugal, because he didn’t have the very good players feeding him like he does at United.

    I must admit though, I saw the highlights of the Arsenal match last night, and though the opposition was inept, I though Vela and Bendtner looked very good for Arsenal. With Eduardo to come back in, I think it is a very good looking strike force. So it will be good to see how they fare against the top teams, plus or minus Ronaldo. We could argue til the cows come home, but its end of season outcome that counts.

  5. dreamweaver says:

    Dave – come down the New Den mate, and enjoy the football, we promise to be gentle!

    Gabe – youre right – if you have the extra 70m then i guess its fair enough to spend it, it just doesnt make it a level playing field any more so you cant really say x is better than y is better than z. Just x has more money than y or has spent it better.

    I’ve got a lot of mates who are Arsenal and they say pretty much the same as you in your last para. At the moment they are proud to be ‘independent’, but I dont know how long that will last – especially with more russian and american tanks parked on their lawn. Wenger’s proved a pretty astute buyer over the years – it’ll be interesting if he’s equally astute when he has some money. There’s no guarantee he will be – just look at curbishley.

    I was only staying for a minute – but i’ve quite enjoyed the banter. Oh and I do take your point Dave about the taunting of Wenger at Old T – I think its pretty disgusting and I wish someone at the club had the guts to stand up and say something. By all accounts the hassle that fergie got last year that he got in such a paddy about was pretty weak in comparison (what would you prefer 30 fans calling you a red faced alchy or 50,000 calling you a paedo?) – anyway Arsenal fans are hardly noted for making their stadium a fearsome place are they?

  6. Gunner77 says:

    Dave from Winchester – at last a man who talking some sense!!! As for Gabriel and all the other throwing petty insults. It’s easy over the internet isn’t it? No chance of any retribution. Like Dave said, it makes me lose faith in humanity. You lot take things back to playground level and like I said before are arguing over things you have no chance of controlling the outcome of i.e how well your team does. I’m not being self righteous Gabriel, just pointing out a few facts that you may find hard to take. I love my team and love it when we win but really love the sport and have no problem admitting that watching a side like United is enjoyable even though I don’t support them. Does that make me a bad fan? Do you have to really hate everyone else to be a true fan?

  7. Gabriel says:

    Gunner77, wer’e having a discussion? since when is it wrong to argue/debate over something you cannot control? As per the petty insults, that can be attributed to me defending my club when opposing fans come on ‘OUR’ forum and start slating my club or it’s fans like you did.

    Besides, where do you get off saying, All of you lot posting on here – Utd and Arsenal fans – should really look into ‘getting a life’ at some point!!!

    If that’s not a petty insult aimed at me or any other posters here, I don’t know what is. That’s why I called you self-righteous, cuz you feel it appropriate to make comments like that when it suits you, but it’s a taboo when others do it.

    I’m not usually one for harsh comments, but when provoked, what do you expect?

  8. steve says:

    isn’t this ironic where would arsenal have been in the 03/04 season if henry did not play or viera answer that question, another thing that is interesting if ronaldo is that good how come Portugal still have not won a trophy, he is the best player in the world shouldn’t Portugal be world champions and European champions. and another question henry was considered the best in the world 4 or 5 years ago how come they failed to do three thing the current united side have done, win the European cup win back to back titles and win a double of European and league title triumphs, there must have been something very special that won united these trophies.

  9. OTRed says:

    Thats a huge laugh :”football wise, Arsenal are FAR ahead of United and Chelsea”, they maybe far ahead of Chelsea whose main aim is to defend with 9men and have 2 strikers, but no way FAR ahead of United. Arsenal play beautiful football, but United play effective football; beautiful when it needs to be and ugly when the situation calls for it(e.g.vs. Barca), and it has worked for us, thats why we have waayy more trophies than Arsenal. Its really stupid, that the quotes were talking about football and technicality, but sadly the armchair muppet accountants, managed to turn it into a thread about debts and other rubbish. Anyway, its Lehman talking, he talks right out of his arse like some of the fans of his ex- team, not surprised he’ll say rubbish like this, even Anelka’s words about United made a little more sense.

  10. Anant says:

    scott , could you please post an article on our current debt situation . i believe we’re pretty safe and dont have much to worry about , the glazers have been good owners so far , but i dont have facts to back it up . when rival fans taunt us about our debt it really gets my blood boiling (coz thats just about the only reason they can) . surely we will be better off than leedscum in a worst case scenario .

  11. Matthew Wade says:

    Arsenal Fan not on a wind up….Obviously Jens is a wind up merchant, even to his own team-mates, but there is SOME truth in what he says.

    In terms of technique Arsenal’s players are probably the best overall in the beg 3, particularly when compared to Chelsea’s grinding football…However I doubt anyone would despite Utd come very close in that respect (and have become increasingly so), and have other qualities such as experience, physical strength and bloody minded determination. Obviously I hope the Arse win the league, but I’d rather utd than chelsea or pool as you guys play really exciting football at your best, and are the only team good enough to trade attacking football with us. Apart from the odd white-wash of our semi-reserves at OT, the games between us are always fantastic to watch…it will be interesting to see how you guys do this year with Ronaldo acting like a twat, as I think Rooney already has a little too much pressure on him….I think it depends on whether Nani steps up, and whether Fergie wakes up to the fact that Anderson is now a better bet than Scholes, who’s legs have started going.

    As for longer term, I’d say our future down south is more secure, simply because fergie can’t go on forever and the amount of debt the glazers have you in puts a lot of pressure to keep succeeding.

  12. Kings says:

    Stupid deluded Arsenal fans talking shit as usual. You have a sex wee when you mention about what an attractive team you are, but that counts for nothing when you win fuck all. You can dress it up as much as you like about how great your future is, but those players with potential will jump ship when you continue to win nothing, especially Fabregas (an established star I know) who has tasted success on the big stage – he’ll want plenty more of that, and if Arsenal don’t give him that, he will be off, contrary to his public committments to the club – you only have to look at Henry to know that words mean fuck all when the opportunity of better things are handed to you on a plate. We know how to marry the two entities, as our double success from last season shows.

  13. jimmy Bob says:

    Arsenal fans need to realise 1 thing there is no such competition as “the we spent the least cup” now stop banging on about it.
    And exactlty when are arsenal going to stop becoming a club in transition?

    3 years and no trophies fergie rijkard jose grant etc would all have had the sack by now thats the pressure of managing a big club when you have to win something not a side who seem happt to finish 3rd or 4th with the odd cup run

    the liverpool of the south

  14. jimmy Bob says:

    I love this “our future is more secure” tripe as well
    Man Untd unlike arsenal are one of the biggest 2 football terams in the world with a huge fan base and the ability to generate huge income streams

    Arsenal are one of the biggest 2 football clubs in london , hardly the same is it?

    plus what happens when wenger decides to say goodbye and your stuck with a team full of foreigners who wiill all want to leave with him, not even old pat rice is there to guide the team , maybe you can bring back bruce rioch or george “the bung ” graham.

  15. anakin says:

    Wow …somebody rattled their cage. Good for the blog. They are flooding it.

  16. Ishaq(South Africa) says:

    dont you just love how arsene replaces all his stars with young players every season and then when he has no trophies to show they blame it on having a young team, on being in a transition stage…hahaha…classic…


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