An Arsenal perspective on Chelsea’s win over Man Utd

Terry heads home Chelsea's winner

The Result

Chelsea’s win over Manchester United last night was, from a points perspective, the worst possible result for Arsenal fans. It means Chelsea are 5 points clear at the top with Arsenal tied on points with United in second although we of course have a game in hand. Assuming we win that we will be just two points from top with United a further three behind.

Although I was initially quite frustrated with the result (and unashamedly cheering for a United equaliser towards the end!) I have to say I’m not too concerned. Assuming we beat Sunderland in a fortnight’s time the match-up with Chelsea at The Emirates at the end of November is looming as a pivotal clash. Win that and we’ll essentially go top, lose it and there will be much work to do.

Chelsea & United Performances

Chelsea may have won the match through a John Terry header fairly late on but in truth I think they were a little fortunate to take all three points. Nicolas Anelka had a brilliant game and their defence was solid throughout but aside from the goal United made most of the best chances and played the better football.

As much as I hate to admit it I was particularly impressed with Wayne Rooney’s peformance, he has an uncanny ability to fine space for a shot and worked his socks off for the entire game. Antonio Valencia looked decent without ever really having a big impact on the game while for Chelsea the aforementioned Anelka and Michael Essien were the standouts.

The Referee

Unsurprisingly for a game of this magnitude the referee played a huge part in the result.

While I don’t agree with Sir Alex Ferguson that the free-kick for Chelsea’s goal shouldn’t have been given the offside given against Rooney early on denied him a clear 1-on-1 and a huge opportunity to influence the outcome of the game. I also thought Valencia was pulled down unfairly by Terry later on the half although I think it would have been a very harsh penalty to award.

I thought the referee’s performance in the second half was a lot better and I have to say I’m a little bemused with Ferguson’s post-game rants. Didier Drogba rightly deserved a yellow card for charging into Jonny Evans even though the United man also should have been cautioned for sticking his boot into the Chelsea striker’s ribs.

Ferguson was furious with the awarding of the goal – claiming that Wes Brown was pulled down by Drogba – but for me that sort of thing happens all the time in the box and there wasn’t too much in it.

Final Thoughts

Despite United being the better side the toothless nature of their attack should encourage Arsenal fans. United seem to be relying too much on Rooney and although the midfield is full of hard workers the likes of Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Anderson lack the creativity of Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Abou Diaby for example. They are still undoubtedly a good football team but a failure to score against both Liverpool and Chelsea will be worrying and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them finish out of the top two the season.

Meanwhile Chelsea look like the real deal. They may not have been as strong as United over the 90 minutes but in Anelka and Drogba they have two superb strikers and defensively the team is stacked with experience and quality. Personally I see them as Arsenal’s biggest threat to the title, although there is still certainly a long, long way to go.


Have your say on Chelsea v United by leaving a comment.



  1. Yeah bad result for us but again we were unlucky against manure away from home and did look the better side so chelscum we be the toughest test of bottle. Drogba always scores against us and I hope vermhalen will shut them out along with gallas in his best form for a few years now and our attacking options we should beat them. Also chelscum will be hardest hit out of the big clubs when the acn rolls around and if it wasn’t for the ban being overturned they would be well up $h1t creek but now they will buy anybody they can for the next 3 years so a ban won’t really matter if it comes around.

  2. The ban has not been overturned.
    It has just been delayed just like the Roma one was a few years ago.
    As a fan of Chelsea’s I find you calling them Chelscum very childish.
    Also do you blame them covering themselves when so many of their best players are playing in the ANC
    in Jan and Feb. Any club would try to boost the ranks at this time. Oh and by the way I wish Arsenal all the best for this season they are playing great football.

  3. “Worst possible result” don’t be so fucking retarded.

    The title is in OUR hands. All we have to do now is win 27 games.

  4. @ Harry – I think that comment is uncalled for. It was the worst possible result considering that the three results were Chelsea win, Utd win or draw.

    I can’t see how that is being “retarded”. Take your slanders elsewhere if you’re going to keep up that rubbish.

  5. Appreciate the compliment from Chelscummer JMSmith.Don’t take the name calling too seriously mate!!
    Must admit that you guys are looking strong at this time.Anticipate Arsene’s Arsenal to knock you bluebirds off your perch!Expect a very warm welcome for Cashley at the Grove this year.

  6. The result just whets our appetite that much more and it’s good to see United at our tail end again.

  7. Truth is that we benefitted whatever the result of mercenaries v mancs. As it is the result puts us ahead of the mancs (assuming we win the game in hand). A scoreless draw would have been better, but I like being 2 points off the leaders at this stage of the campaign. The mercenaries are everyone’s target and we can cruise in their slipstream and overtake them when the moment is right. At our best we are better than them, although I have great respect for a team that grinds out results eve when it is playing badly. The Emirates match could be our greatest test yet, and our greatest opportunity too.

    The spuds must wish they were one percent of what Arsenal are. Especially after we handed them a lesson they can’t forget.

  8. wel i’m not sure if that was a really bad result for us a draw would hav been better yeah.always thought man u would get found out this year,so it is good they r dropping points just now, but be prepared for them 2 make a couple of big signings in jan!so they wil be stronger in the new year.chelsea wont be able to make any signings with the ban? plus they wil loss a good few of there main men to africa so i think they wil drop points.but a must win for the gunners against them at home.bring it on!!

  9. Hey, are there any Gooners in the US? I’m going over there in 3 weeks and would like a few places to check out the games as well as maybe run into some international Gooners.

    As far as the game goes, it was a lucky result for Chelsea. Rooney is carrying the team at the moment. With a faltering defence, its likely that they could slip to smaller teams. I hope that Man City continue losing/drawing.

  10. I don’t understand this piece at all. Terry pulled Valencia’s shirt hard, thereby dragging him to the ground in the penalty area yet you say it would have been a harsh penalty. How? It was a clear foul and a clear penalty. Much as though I dislike Fletcher after his antics against us I have seen the incident many times and he did get the ball and none of Cole who leapt up and over in a theatrical display. No foul for me. Drogba dragged Brown to the ground at the following free kick, which I know happens during every game, but then he stabbed his foot at the ball while 2 yards from the goal-line in an offside position. Interfering with play? Absolutely. No goal for me. I detest both of these teams and I didn’t hear much sympathy from United after we outplayed them at OT earlier in the year and were fitted up by the ref but these incidents lead me to believe that it will be the referees who decide where the title ends up this year and not good football.

  11. Yes I was hoping for a 0-0 or win for Utd. We probably are not the ideal team to beat them – a tough tackling physical compact team that protects the defence we are not. Villa know how to beat them and you don’t have to be as good to win. They will play to beat us on the counter and that will only work if we don’t work hard enough or take our chances. We are going into new territory- a place we must go if we are to improve.

  12. let Man-U supporters know that a win is a many times has Arsenal out-played teams and gets no points from them. on several ocasions, Arsenal out-plays Man-U often but… so let them enjoy the pain.

  13. our game against chelsea will be youth V cunning ,chelsea engineer free kicks as part of shots on goal,our game is control of the tempo of the game is so important but its hard to play our game if your opponent is playing for free kicks . lets hope the ref is on the job and see,s whats going on

  14. @ Paul – I have to say on viewing a few replays (I hadn’t had the chance before now) I stand corrected on a couple of the key issues. You’re right in saying that it was NOT a free-kick against Cole and that it should have been a penalty against Terry. Apologies for the errors.

    I think we can both agree though that if these two continue to play they are, it will make victory for Arsenal all the sweeter at the end of the season.

  15. Personally I think we are still much stronger than both chelsea and man utd.

    Chelsea likes to play the ball on the ground as well, with the likes of deco, ballack and lampard passing the ball. However they can ocassionally pump the odds balls to drogba. Anelka is more of a striker that likes the ball on the ground.

    Therefore, my question is, can gallas and vermaelen keep out the aerial threat of drogba. I believe they can do it, because drogba aint exactly a very tall player.

    I believe in the game against them, we should play with 2 defensive midfielders in Denilson and Song. With the 2 of them, we would protect the back 4. Even if gibbs and sagna were to attack, there would at least be one of song of denilson to cover.

    Also with both song and denilson, we would be able to snuff out the passing threats of chelsea, and almost probably mark lampard tightly.

    I do not believe in playing abou diaby in this match, because he has a tendency to attack. And by attacking, we would lose on man to defend and that would be bad, if chelsea were to counterattack us.

    Seriously, I believe we have a good chance to win the game. its been a long time since we last won chelsea and this is a good time to win.

    Hopefully song does not get yellow carded against sunderland and misses the chelsea game (he is on 4 yellows now). If he gets suspended, that would be disasterous. Hopefully, denilson would be match fit by then and take his place alongside song (since diaby would be out 3 weeks and probably misses that match as well).

    We would win if we play:
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Gibbs
    Denilson Song
    Rosicky RvP Arshavin

    We must win that match cause its at emirates as well and by winning we would probably take over chelsea at the leader.

  16. @ Paul I agree the title race can be determent by the way all the ref,s see as fair play because booking for simulation is mainly in the box, team that engineer free kicks out side the area have an advantage with no bookings lets hope the ref,s wise up.

  17. @ Shane – checkout out “Arsenal Station Blog” and “7am Kickoff” both US based Arsenal supporter blogs

  18. Man. U. showed us how to play Chelsea, a high tempo and chase and harry the ball carriers. Terry, Ballack, Deco Drogba and Lampard cannot live with pace and intensity of game that we can play.

    Terry in particular is panicked by runs into the box, as we saw yesterday when he should have been penalised for a blatant foul on Valencia.

    I think we just need to play our own game and ignore the histrionics from Drogba.

  19. I think it was a great result, Chelsea are more likely to drop points in the new year, sure they might go out an buy new players, but who they gonna get that can step in a do the drogba, essien role from the off!!! those are two of chelseas best players.Even if ‘god forbid’ Vieira goes to them in Jan, he’s not going to make them that much stronger. United always kick on in the new year so to be above them now is good news!!

    Check out womans ‘soccer’ in the states…LOL

  20. What is the difference between The Arsenal this season and Arsenal last season?

    For this and last season Arsenal were written off by almost all the pundits and it was sure we were the one who would fall from the top 4. It is not happening. Why not?

    Last year around this time, the championship for us was over. And now we are only 5 points behind first place and played a game less and we have had some tough trips away from home, where other may lose points as well. We always played good football and with some luck we could have won all our games.

    There is not much difference at first sight between the team last year and this year. We sold two players, Adebayor and Toure, and there was only 1 new player brought in Vermaelen.

    One can say that we have just one central defender replaced by another. Toure was a good player but the partnership with Gallas did not work and now it seems to be working with Vermaelen and so the team is certainly stronger in defence.

    Adebayor was sold and was not replaced. On paper because after a few weeks to fully adjust, Van Persie has come good on that new place for him. Assists, goals, … you name it, he delivers the goods.

    So where is the difference? For the real difference we have to go back 1 year earlier. We all know how great we played with a midfield consisting of Flamini, Hleb, Cesc and Rosicky and Adebayor and Van Persie / Eduardo front. A midfield with youth, energy and experience.

    It eventually went wrong by heavy and prolonged injuries. But it was in the summer when disaster struck. Wenger, who knew that he could put up a brilliant midfield, suddenly lost 3 of his four midfielders. Rosicky was hurt much worse than first thought and to make matters worse Hleb and Flamini were off to go and sit on the rather comfortable bench in Milan and Barcelona.

    The result was that Arsenal suddenly had a huge hole in the heart of the team. The core of the team was gone. 75 percent of the midfield had to be replaced. Wenger had to rebuild and fast.

    Denilson was put in the team and some fans and most journalists laughed him away and called him lightweight and not good enough. Song was put in the team and some told he will never be good enough. Diaby came, as he occasionally was fit in the team but fell away again and again by new injuries.

    Otherwise Wenger excelled in putting players outside their normal position and caused some more surprise and displeasure with some fans.

    Up front there was still a player running around, sorry I correct myself and call it walking. After his stunning season before he thought it unnecessary for him to work hard. Just hanging around on the field and wait until the ball fell at his feet was enough for him. Also frequent and gratuitous running offside. Actually one could say that Arsenal last year, almost always played with 10 players on the field instead of 11.

    And yes maybe the moaners had last season are partly right. It was not good enough, especially in the beginning.

    But we had to fit in 3 midfielders, Cesc was the only regular starter of the season before and he was also out for a long spell. And anyone who knows a bit of football knows how difficult that is. Especially when the replacements were still very young players with limited experience. But Wenger stuck to his team and gave the confidence and let the players know he believed in them. And at the end of January, after the arrival of Arshavin, it slowly began to click and there was a, sometimes underestimated, series of 21 matches without defeat. For many, including myself, it was clear: this group had future.

    As said this summer the squad remained almost unchanged and back came Rosicky and Eduardo from career threatening injuries and suddenly it worked.

    Song, last years “zero”, is suddenly one of the best defensive midfielders in the PL, Denilson played great until he went out with his back injury. The entire team fit into each other. Not surprisingly, there were almost no changes and the core of the team was a year older and became more experienced. They had learned a lot from the sometimes painful mistakes they had made.

    The difference is that there actually is no difference to last year but there is enormous difference between the older team in midfield and the young midfield we have now. The normal growing pains that you know will happen if you are turning a young team into an adult squad came along the road.

    Many supporters knew this and could live with a temporary step back to then move forward, certainly seen in the light of the cost that building a new stadium brought to the club.

    This year it really seems we have put a giant step forward. Despite once again the vast amount of injuries it seems that we have players at every position in the team who just come in and are ready for whatever is asked.

    Wenger has a team, a young team, brought together with many players from our own ranks and with a bright future ahead of us. A team of players currently only known by a few but who in some 10 years time will be remembered as a team of stars.

    It up to us support them and to make sure that we succeed together.

    Walter Broeckx

  21. no matter the results from that game[man united and chelsea] arsenal had won its game,now 5 points behind table leaders but with agame in hand,
    united should now be able to pay back what i called avery un satsifactory win against arsenal-they deserve the loss.they snatched free points from arsenal and they celebrated all week out-can they still celebrate the loss agaisnst chelsea?

  22. I hope that Arsenal can win when not playing well. Chelsea did that. No wonder the red faced one is raving mad. He ought to know the epl 2009 is no more the epl of the 90s when he had the money to buy all the best players. It’s getting more competitive.
    A time will come when Arsenal can’t even score one let alone two goals.The reason is obvious. Players get tired and teams are able to plan a strategy to neutralize the goal scoring threat of the gunners.
    Fortunately the goal scoring is spread out.During Wright’s time and as recently as Henry’s ,if you stipped either of them Arsenal become goal impotent.
    Only a third of the season is gone and there could be more surprises.
    If the gunners carry on at this rate there is no reason why we can’t challenge for the title.
    The Chelsea game takes on massive importance.Win it and we are two points behind with a game in hand. Lose and it will be a massive eight points.If AW goes on all out attack,Chelsea could well give the gunners the sucker punch as they have a very good defence and goalie.
    Over to you,AW.

  23. Good one Walter…..

    One thing that is very different though is the formation!

    It’s THE formation that will give these players their best chances in bringing tangible success to us.

    And the other difference is that we are rid of c****s, zero! Wenger has done us a favor by selling them for a fortune.

    If only Wenger could sell his ungrateful and demoralizing supporters

  24. Nobody believes arsenal will win the league this year, that just makes it all the more sweeter when we prove them wrong! How can people honestly watch arsenal play and not be in awe of the football we place? Are people really that blind? No, i doubt it. They’re just jealous i reckon. Either that or they know nothing of football and just go with the popular opinion. I cant wait for the arsenal v chelsea game.. If we win, then nobody can call us ‘boys’ any longer. It would be a proud day indeed.Go Go Gunners!

  25. after what i saw last night, i am not saying this because a gunner, all the my manu and red friends accept this, arsenal look to be the best team right now and we should be winning the league now, because chelsea looked very vulnerable against manu. i think our play-makers, the likes of arshavin, fabregas, nasri, rosicky, eduardo will manage to find space between the legs of john terry, ivanovic, cashley cole and people. the only problem is going to get a hold of essien in the midfield,
    the league is now ours to loose in my opinion, if rvp, arsha and fabregas stay fit, i think we can finally be celebrating at the emirates cum may!

    Arsenal all the way..
    any gunners from pakistan, karachi to be precised ?

  26. Surely it’s way too early to be talking about winning the league and even who’s going to be battling it out at the end? Anything can happen yet. There will be slip-ups for Arsenal along the way. Games we ‘should have won’ but didn’t. Games we dominate but just can’t score. Hopefully the others will have similar experiences. Let’s not start getting ahead of ourselves here or we’ll sound like those twats from Villa, spurs and man city – talking about knocking us out of the top 4 because they were ahead of us after a handful of games.
    Like the team – we’ve got to take each game one at a time – support the boys thru thick and thin. Take the ugly wins along with the beautiful. Then let’s see where we are come the Spring.

    As for Chelsea v manure. Chelsea are a dreadful bag of sh*te. I’d rather be tortured than watch them. But I have no sympathy for manure at all. They deserve every bad refereeing decision they get for the countless cheats and outrageous decisions they’ve benefitted from over the years. I’m happy they got beat.

  27. Wer only gonna make it if our defence improves. While vermealen and gallas r individually very capable defenders, wer conceding far too many goals. New goalkeeper anyone

  28. This article is amazing guys. good work. i have a few comments as well.
    first arsenal is looking good right now. i agree. i am a arsenal fan and would love to see them win. but the chelsea win yesterday has been a advantage for us. when (as pointed out) in jan chealsea will be a few players short our team will have a chance to clean out the table. its better to have one team to compete against for the title than two.
    if man u chealsea were to be a draw we would be at a disadvantage. although a game in hand man u would have the psycological advantage of being ahead of us and our next game victory would still make us 2 points ahead of them. which means our players would be under pressure at every fixture to make the right moves and to hope that man u losses. i recon the earlier the better in this case. and considering the face that 80 mill from ronaldo transfer is going to make a coulple of new addition to man u side i think catching a early break is a good idea.!

  29. @walter
    nice perspective…but hindsights great isnt it?i mean the reason fellow gooners moaned was because we all loved toure,i still hav immense respect for him to the extent that i now sympathise with how wrong he got it in opting to leave us for an inferior outfit..hes gonna miss out on big things…we lost him and,as excited as we all get when we make a signing,no1 could hav anticipated how good a player the verminater woiuld be for us…wot a leader and in this respect we wer fortunate,not least because of how quickly he adapted
    also im not sure mate the loss of hleb and flamini was as destructive as you say…they wer losses but all big teams let guys go and still maintain thier philosophy,we wer too easy defeated especially at home and lacked leadership..also you forget nasri,walcott,bendtner,eboue and diaby wer all in the frame still aswel as song and deni,we wernt threadbare across the middle
    you are quite right now we really hav matured and hav REAL leaders in cesc,verm,gallas and especially RvP,he and gallas are such a great example and are leading both ends of our team by example,which makes it easier for song,deni,nic,eboue and occasionally diaby to keep their concentration and performance levels high at all times,these 2 are demanding a level of excellence on the atrackin and defendin fronts and imo this is has played a huge part in our form this season
    theo other huge factor is the manager…before we sold toure and plonker we wer being written off so after their departure and lack of new arrivals the pundits wer basically laughin at us,these guys are still prayin for failure in our camp so they dont hav to wipe the egg off their faces come may….but do we care what they think???as long as wer winning im happy and this is where i come to hear sense and honest insight spoken of our team…we dont need outside approval or praise to know our club is going the right way

  30. i completely agree.. i must then admit too that i unashamedly cheered for a united equalizer. that really would have been the perfect result.
    the chelski game now becomes a quite more significant. we really need a positive result from that one. definitely can’t lose it i think.

  31. a nice little para from the guardian somes it up below:

    “Thomas Vermaelen has been hailed for his attacking contribution since joining Arsenal. However, this comparison of his performance against Wolves with that of Kolo Toure against Stoke this time last year shows he is far more willing to sit in defence in a tough game away from home. Toure’s performance away at Stoke may have been more dynamic but Arsenal conceded two goals in defeat. “

  32. 2 dreary teams wackin away at each other. i feel previlaged to support such a vibrant and entertaining team as arsenal.

    5 points with a game in hand is nothin so long as we keep up the momentum after the break.

    fuck match of the day fuck cascorino fuck the sun fuck harry redknapp fuck all the critics. up the arsenal!

  33. Dont worry what what anybody else does it what we do that counts beat Chelsea in two weeks then Bolton as our game in hand and we are looking good and if we play like we can do, we can beat any fucker in the world, think we will will the leaque and champs Cup Double. SO THERE YOU GO.

  34. Good good comments everywhere esp WALTERs documentary.
    Now, the fans have confidence.
    I think the experimental 4-3-3 formation towards the end of last season has been perfected and these boys will surprise the world come May 2010.
    Now, WENGERS “kids” can boast atleast 4 world class players in their ranks.
    The goalkeeping area is our weakest link, eventhough proper shielding can help pump the ego and confidence of any goalkeeper.
    I guess it can be said that the defensive pairing of VERMAELEN and GALLAS has put us on par with that of the best teams in the world. The maturity of SONG, who can also be a centre-back, FABs, NASRI and RAMSEY has added a lot of grit, skill, stability and confidence in the midfield.
    Our Captain is now made up of the stuff of Legends. His value could now be about 80million pounds or more. Is he not the best midfielder in the EPL?
    In an attacking sense, RVP is really doing a great job and we are really missing WALCOTTs pace( I hope we have him back for the Chelski game atleast).
    SHEVAs a real gem…He is probably the best thing we have going for us now as he can only improve. If we can get those three fit throughout next year, I guess there will be a lot of fear in the opposing teams when the name ARSENAL FC is mentioned.
    This is just the beginning of our rewards for years of enduring with the team. The time to reap those rewards is now. We need atleast 2 championships, i personally would love if we could take em all.

  35. what a fantastic weekend,fisrt of all seeing the swans beat local rivals cardiff,what a great game that was.then getting home to watch the arsenal beat wolves 4-1.the good thing was,we did’nt need to get out of 2nd gear to win.i agree with brownsville posted 12.30 a few minor adjustments are all we need.i think we are all concerned if gallas or vermalen gets injured and i’m not sure if we have anyone who is good enough to replace them.i am not too worried about the strikers and feel we are ok in this department.i an concerned about the central midfield especially when song goes to the african nations cup.we have man utd home in jan,and with our only natural defensive midfield song away,who is going to replace him?i would bring vieira back,the confidence,belief and experience he would bring to the side would be huge.our biggest test of the season is a few weeks away,chelsea home,and i dont fear them at all.yes they are a strong efficient side,but i believe we will beat them.i said before the season started that we had the best attack in prem lge and that we would be top scorers in the lge.i think we can rotate our forward players,but we cant afford to rotate our defence,especially gallas and vermalen who have been fantastic.i still think eduardo,arsharvin,have yet to produce their best form,and dont forget vela who i think can have a big say in our season,but so far so good.

  36. Fletcher is one dirty bastard. The amount of things he gets away with astounds me. The way he screams abuse at referees and linesmen when he is blown up for his numerous fouls is scandalous. I have played rugby all my life and if I were to talk to a ref at all during the game, not being the team captain, I would be assessed a penalty which means the opposition gets the ball and ten yards closer to our try line to boot.
    Maybe this should be happening in footie. The antics of the players ruins the game for me, and it inflames the crowd encouraging violence.

  37. @ Vancouver. They tries doing that moving the ball closer 5 yards for fouls but teams would abuse it. If a beckham free kick came about players would deliberately foul a player to restrict the angle of the shot. A novel idea though. Fletcher us worse than most though. I won’t be surprised if fergie comes down hard on him.

  38. Another high quality post, Walter. A further crucial factor in my opinion has been the blessed Wenger’s determination to take a supportive rather than a punitive approach to team management, a key source of conflict in the debate bettween supporters.

    Our players know that when they sustain injuries, or go through a temporary loss of form, they will be given every chance to recover and regain their place in the starting lineup. This is so important in creating a sense of optimism and of loyalty to the team and the manager.

    Of course, he has also made it clear that there is an expectation that every player will put maximum effort into their preparation and their game, and where this hasn’t happened individuals eventually lose their place and go elsewhere.

    Contrast this with the sudden death approach to management advocated by many of the moaning minority. If a player is underperforming, they assume it is due to lack of effort and motivation to win, and say simply, drop him. Following this advice could well have seen the loss of many of our best players and the rapid disintegration of our team. If you want an example of how unsuccessful this method can be, look no further than Roy Keane’s managerial record. Scary, yes, effective no.

  39. As a manager, you MUST take a supportive approach when dealing with young players. They cannot feel as if they will be replaced by a “high-priced replacement” the moment they make a few mistakes that are due mainly to inexperience in the first place. Young players MUST be allowed to learn from their mistakes. I can remember the likes of Tony Adams as a teenager and yes, he was indeed every bit the “Donkey” that opposing fans said he was. Man, he made some blunders. Given the way some modern fans are impatient with certain players you would have to think that Tony Adams would NEVER have been allowed to learn and progress as a player nowadays. The fans would have crucified him. I think a lot of modern managers that have gotten used to “chequebook managing” have forgotten the art of developing young players, something Fergie and AW have never forgotten. You have to be patient and you have to allow them to screw up. Luckily for Fergie, he has always had the biggest chequebook as well (except for Roman) so he could cover up mistakes with the most expensive talent as well.

    And “Dont believe the Hype”’s point about supporters needing to give as well as take is a hugely important point as well. When that young Arsenal team of the mid-80’s was developing there was very much an attitude around Highbury of “the fans have to help these kids learn by encouraging them at all times” that is nowehere near as prominent nowadays. The need for instant success seems to overwhelm many fans, and that is a great pity since watching a TEAM grow and build and mature is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest joys that a supporter can have.

    I think watching young players develop is insanely exciting, and so much more rewarding for supporters than “chequebook” success.

  40. Good comments.

    But let’s not get carried away, we haven’t won anything yet.

    We imploded at Old Trafford and at Citeh, and even though we haven’t really been tested since, West Ham clawed themselves back and we’ve been dropping unnecessary goals.

    In 19 days when we face Chelsea we will have a much better idea of how good this team really is. We’ll be minus Bendtner and Diaby who both add muscle and size. We could be without Song if he picks up a yellow beforehand, which could be fatal. If we can beat them, we can push on and win the league. If we don’t, we’ll have to see how resilient we are.

    It’s going to be a beast of a game.

  41. @shambogunner – thanks – and I return the compliment. I always enjoy your posts and I totally agree when you say a ‘huge factor’ of our current success is the manager. If ever a team was the creation of the manager it is this current Arsenal team and if – if, I say – they were to win the Premier League this season it will be an absolutely astounding victory – and an amazing endorsement of The Great Man, who has bucked the trend and gone up against the huge financial outlays of manure, man shitty, chelsea, Liverpool etc. with a team created his own way and dedicated to football excellence.

  42. There’s no way I could cheer on Manure, no matter what the circumstances. The best team won on the night and of course United got filthy and started initiating their Plan B which is elbow, push, trip, injure, niggle, whinge (in fact they whinge all the time come to think of it eh Rooney?) Good on Chelsea for sticking it to them.
    As I’ve said before, I reckon it will be a dogfight between Arsenal and Chelsea at the end of the season and hopefully youth wins out. Wouldn’t it be great if we could trade Essien for Diaby though!

  43. I started off bothered about this game but after the first 20 mins or so the only thing holding my attention was the fact I had money riding on it: however then I see this website and find out I’m being ripped off on my punts anyway! – EU law stopping people getting the best odds on sports betting…

    The Right2Bet website are doing analyses of how much money we’re losing, and have a petition you can sign if you’ve been burnt too!

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