Arsenal will be gunning for revenge at the Emirates tomorrow afternoon as the Champions arrive in North London. Arsene Wenger was particularly disappointed at the manner of their 3-2 defeat at the Liberty Stadium and suggested, at his Friday Press Conference, that referees have it in for the Gunners more than any other team in the country. Whether that is true remains to be seen but you can’t help feel that they Wenger’s men do get the thin end of the wedge at times.
Arsene Wenger also suggested that the failure to land a Champions League spot at the end of the season would be a devastating blow to the football club because anything other than rubbing shoulders with Europe’s elite year on year would be a letdown.
This week at FFC we have seen a mixed bag of blogs that include, time to stop this crisis talk; the ideal signing for Arsene Wenger, while it may be time for Arsene to change his ways. We have also added new features to our summary article that includes Arsenal’s quote of the week and a full match preview ahead of the United game.
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A year is a short time in football – Online Gooner
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So the fans’ feelings count for nothing then Hill-Wood? – Gunnersphere
“I feel that the players technically are very good, but sometimes they don’t sense danger or show a ruthlessness in certain situations to win games,’
“When Arsenal lose control of the game, it just goes disastrously wrong for them.” Nigel Winterburn told talkSPORT.
Arsenal will be gunning for revenge when they meet Manchester United on Sunday as they aim to get even with champions following the humiliating 8-2 thrashing in August.
Arsene Wenger’s side were humbled at Old Trafford in the opening weeks of the season as crisis gripped the Gunners following the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Since then the Frenchman has steered the club into calmer waters and to within four points of the top four despite suffering losing two of his key players and having to deal with a never-ending succession of injuries. One defeat in 12 since mid-October had put Arsenal in with a great chance of achieving Champions League football next year but two defeats on the trot has seen them drop further behind Chelsea in the New Year. Wenger will have been unhappy with his side after they were blown away by Swansea at the Liberty Stadium last week and they’ll need to cut out the reckless mistakes that cost them in South Wales. With Johan Djourou and Ignasi Miquel continuing to fill in at full back they’ll need Andriy Arshavin and Theo Walcott to double up and minimize the threat of United’s wide players if they are to exact retribution for the embarrassing defeat suffered six months ago.
The Red Devils will be well aware that Arsenal will be vengeful going into the game but need to approach their trip to North London with a sense of trepidation. A 3-0 win at home to Bolton came after two consecutive defeats with Paul Scholes scoring on his return to Old Trafford. Whilst the veteran midfielder will probably be relegated to the bench at the Emirates his return to the club has provided a visible lift. Michael Carrick’s improved performances in central midfield will have delighted Sir Alex Ferguson who will more than likely recall Ryan Giggs to the starting line-up. The 38-year-old continues to defy the ageing process and his experience will be key to beating the Gunners who have been forced into fielding a number of teenagers and young players this season. Getting Wayne Rooney into the game will be key for United along with Antonio Valencia and Nani on the wings. The duo will come up against two inexperienced full backs on Sunday and Ferguson will make it clear to Valencia and Nani that they could be the difference in the game. Keeping Van Persie quiet will also be a high priority fo the Scot and it’s anticipated that he’ll charge Phil Jones with marking the prolific Dutchman.
Arsenal 5th : 36 points
Last six: L L W D W L
Team news: Thierry Henry and Thomas Vermaelen are both doubts for Arsenal who have 11 players out injured.
Key Player: Robin Van Persie
His first goal of 2012 wasn’t enough for Arsenal to see off Swansea last week but there is no downplaying Van Persie’s importance to Arsenal. The Dutchman will be going all out to gain revenge after playing and scoring in the 8-2 thrashing back in August.
Manchester United 2nd : 48 points
Last six: W L L W W W
Team news: Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Danny Welbeck are all doubts for Manchester United who have 10 players on the sidelines.
Key Player: Wayne Rooney
Despite having failed to score in the league since before Christmas the Red Devils forward still poses a major threat up front. Rooney’s playmaking ability, energy and determination to win will be key to United’s chances at the Emirates Stadium.
Click on Roger Johnson’s misses below to unveil our current Premier League Wag XI
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