Last night’s game between Arsenal and Manchester United was entertaining, even if only 3 goals were scored. The number of chances created by Arsenal and the way Manchester United held on and made their chances count certainly made for a good game, at least for the neutrals. Here are a few things we learnt from the game.
Arsenal has a mental block
In the last 15 games that Arsenal has played against Manchester United, Arsenal have lost an astounding 11 of them, and have only 1 game. That’s the form of a mid table club. And it’s not just Manchester United, the record is not exactly fantastic against other big teams either. Along with that is the fact that Arsene Wenger has never won against a Jose Mourinho team either. All of this points to a mental block, either in the players or the manager, and needs to be resolved quickly.
The entire game was about which defence wouldn’t end up making the errors that would cost their team the game. Ultimately, Manchester United prevailed, but it would be a naïve person who would claim that either of the teams doesn’t need to buy defenders in January. If either of the teams neglects to reinforce their defence in January, it will be a very painful end of season for the fans.
An incomplete Arsenal team as always
By now it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Arsenal always go into a new season with an incomplete squad. How Arsene Wenger thought he could manage with 1 Left Back and 1 young Right Back as cover for the entire back 4 will remain a mystery. As a result, the team and the fans have had to suffer the pain of losing to the most woeful Manchester United team in some time.
Van Gaal can’t figure out a team formation
For all his achievements in the past, Louis van Gaal seems to not know what formation to play his team in and what his best team is. Granted, the team is going through a lot of injuries, but for the first 30 minutes at least, it was hard to understand what formation his team was playing, and if there was even a formation. They were all over the place, and only Arsenal’s wastefulness saved them the day.
Wasteful Wilshere and Cazorla
He had a great time with England during the international break but for Arsenal, Jack Wilshere seems to have something missing. He had quite a few chances in the game, but he couldn’t convert any of them, especially the one where he chose to shoot rather than pass it to Alexis Sanchez in front of goal. Santi Cazorla also is in a formless period right now, and even he seems to be finding it increasingly hard to score a goal.
David de Gea is the most important player for United
When he first came to England, he was widely ridiculed and rightly so, for all the errors he made. But for at least the last year or so, he’s shown what a good goal keeper he is. This season, especially, he has been an important player for Manchester United, making numerous saves to help the team deal with a ridiculous defensive display. Even in yesterday’s game, he made a lot of saves, denying quite a few Arsenal players a chance to score a goal.
Robin van Persie’s time is coming to a close
His motive for moving to Manchester United may have been achieved by winning the EPL, but his time is coming to a quick end at Old Trafford. Against an Arsenal team that everyone thought he would be fired up to play against, he was listless for most of the game, and it was telling that he was replaced by a youngster, James Wilson.