With Chelsea getting a decent enough result at the Nou Camp, another RoM contributing writer looks at our chances against Arsenal tomorrow.
The only side yet to lose a game in this seasons’ Champions League take on Arsenal tomorrow. With concerns about our full backs for this game and a slightly advantageous record against Sir Alex since Wenger arrived at Arsenal, how do the enemy feel going into what some of them are claiming is ‘by far the biggest game of the season’.
The noise from the Arsenal camp seem to focus on their defence which a number of Arsenal patriots are calling ‘a shambles’ conceding 8 in their last 6 games from all competitions (albeit 4 coming in 1 game). Nevertheless its United’s defence that has been the most discussed/scrutinised and generally nitpicked in the tabloids most recently. This comes despite that in all competitions United have conceded 3 less than Arsenal over the same time frame. Most recently on The Times Podcast ‘The Game’ Nick Szczepanik claims “United’s’ defence is at the most vulnerable its ever been, I don’t know whether it’s a collective crisis of confidence since Fernando Torres decided to take them on and show that they were vulnerable.” It’s a reasonable comment to make considering we then went onto concede 10 goals in 5 home games. However as we’ve all discussed on RoM, down the pub or in the stands; as much as there has been a few bad days defensively when any team fail to defend as a unit you can only be asking for trouble.
Recently however things have been looking up, Fergie has had a word with Ronnie and we’ve all marvelled how distant memories of Ronaldo tracking back and winning/pressing balls he’d originally lost reform in our minds from last season. Maybe being United fans’ were slightly spoilt in the respect that we support a club with one of the richest squads, histories and fanbases we sometimes feel we have a divine right to win with flair by a 4-0 scoreline or maybe it’s more to do with that every team are entitled to a blip here or there. The fact of the matter is that if performances such as Rooney’s (who has in my opinion refused to join the majority of the team through our so called ‘blip’) and Ronaldo’s begins as it left off on Saturday I can safely say hand on heart (or head) that a result is surely possible over two legs.
With Wenger admitting defeat with a return to fitness for Robin Van Persie and Gael Clichy (were not the only team with full back problems) he now believes, “the only serious new problem we have is Silvestre, he has a back spasm and is 50-50 for Old Trafford.” With Gary Neville out and Wesley Brown our only doubt from our Champions League squad, how refreshing is it to play a side whose injuries within their first team are not eclipsed by our own?
Finally just a quick reminder that we’ve heard from the lads themselves that the atmosphere in Old Trafford had a major part to play at the weekend and its sure to pay dividends if that can be replicated again on Wednesday night. Anyone fancy a 4-0 scoreline to take to the Emirates’? Come on United.
Cheers to Joe Davies for this one!