“Everyone knows that Manchester United are a worldclass team – and we need to make teams come to the Emirates and be scared of us,” said Walcott. “That performance will put fear in people’s minds. The players tried to ignore the criticism and we showed against Man United that if we just play like that we will be fine. United are just behind us in the Premier League table now, so that win has definitely boosted our confidence and morale in the dressing-room. We’re third now, so, hopefully, results will go our way.”
1. United had more shots on target, more shots off target, more blocked shots, greater possession, better passing completion rate, better tackling completion rate, and superior territorial advantage. Whilst it was certainly a brilliant game of football, for you to play at home and have the result decided by a deflected goal, after the away side dominated you where possession and chances are concerned, will most certainly not put fear in to the opposition.
2. Arsenal are ahead because they have played a game more than United. If we beat Stoke at home on Saturday, we will move up to third, on equal games with Arsenal.
Let’s be honest here for a minute. Arsenal weren’t good enough for the title last season because their squad was too shallow. This year, Wenger, in all his wisdom, sold on Gilberto, Hleb and Flamini. How can they possibly be expected to seriously compete for the title this season? Whilst Essien claims their pretty football won’t get them anywhere, I’d say their shallow squad is a much bigger factor, unless the manager chooses to gracefully bow out of the Champions League, which he wouldn’t do.
I’m sure all the Gooners are made up this week after beating us and there’s no denying that we’d be pretty chuffed if we’d got the win. But United’s aspirations have to be much higher than just one game for bragging rights. We get our bragging rights from tophies, afterall, we won the league in 2007 after losing home and away to this side. This season is looking like it might be harder than ever to win those trophies, but it is not the result against Arsenal that will determine our success!