GUN POWDER PREVIEW: NO EXCUSES THIS TIME ARSENAL MUST STAMP TITLE CREDENTIALS WITH 3POINTS TODAY
There comes a game Every season where you just know without a shred of doubt that a win will be a massive boost or a demoralizing blow, if on the flip side things don’t go your way. One of such games is today. Manchester United vs Arsenal. Nov 19th 2016.
This fixture still sets the blood of football followers boiling. Age long rivals dating as far back as the inception of the PREMIER LEAGUE. For many years this tie was synonymous with the boxing battles of ALi and Frazier. You just know you were in for a treat. Who can forget the good old days when the wily old Legendary Sir Alex Ferguson pitched his wits against the slightly younger but no less Clever aristocratic ways of French man Arsene Wenger.
However, in recent times the character of fierceness that identified this fixture has reduced somewhat, no thanks to modern day footballers’ Diva-like tendencies and the overall change in fortunes of both Giants in the English game.
Both are not the dominating titans they were some 15-20 years ago, Other teams like Mancity and Chelsea have emerged and demanded the share of Power as it seems. But the fans of both Arsenal and Manchester United will tell you the rivalry has not ebbed one bit. They still want to win every time they meet even if its an early season game like today.
Jose Mourinho is the manager of Manchester United these days, a team that has suffered tremendously in the wake of the departure of the Legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. United have not looked any where like their old selves sine that 2013 departure. Moyes, Gaal have both been hired to step in to the shoes of Fergie but have failed spectacularly (Though it must be said Van gaal delivered the FA cup last season).
On the pitch United have struggled. A combination of a lack of a defined pattern of play and seeming mis-trust by the players of each others abilities is apparent. United are erratic collectively but individually they still have truly world class talents that you wont say No to if they were available to join your club. From the excellent Degea down to Marcus Rashford they Red devils cant point to a lack of talent as the reason for their struggles. Yes, you may say they need time to jel as a team but unfortunately the points have started counting since August and with every draw, loss or poor result recorded the fragile confidence of the squad is further eroded. They need a Big result to get their season going, will it be Arsenal?
Arsenal on the other hand have enjoyed better fortunes on the pitch. They began the season in shaky fashion no thanks to poor preparation and the unavailability of key players and have paid for it by dropping 5 points in 2games. Losing to Liverpool and Drawing with Champions Leicester early in the campaign. Arsenal need this season to end with Glory for them. Last season ended disappointingly, they were tipped as sure winners of the title on the evidence of the wretched season its traditional rivals Mancity, Man Utd, and Chelsea were having. Arsenal could not however take advantage and blew their title chances away with back to back spineless displays to Swansea (h) and Man U(a). Gunners fans will hope the lessons have been learnt otherwise they know it will be ground hog day again.
Both teams will have notable absentees: Bailly is unavailable, Rooney is a doubt, Zlatan is suspended and Valencia is out.
Arsenal will be without: Bellerin, Sanchez is a doubt, Carzola is out as well as Welbeck who is along term absentee.
Tactics are Mourinho’s specialty and Frustrating Arsenal is something he has managed to do well. In 11 games played against Arsene Wenger Jose has won 6 drawing 5. Today he will try to negate Arsenal’s passing game and prevent them form attaining the rhythm they love to be allowed to eventuallly destroy teams. Away from home Arsenal are the best in the division with an 85% win rate in 2016.
its delicately poised but u can expect fireworks in this one. Arsenal know they need to break this OldTrafford bogey of no wins sine 2006 (Ten years ago!) And also stamp their Title winning intentions on the premiership. Can they do it. Time will tell.