In less than 2 hours, I believe we will witness an epic 90+ minutes. Arsenal MUST win in order to send a message to all doubters across England and Europe. This will be a symbolic passing of the baton from one Red club to the other. This will also be the revival of true English football. The money and the glam that clubs like Man City and Chelsea have bought have dampened the real essence of English Football. Tonight, Arsenal and Man United will bring back the glory days. This match win, lose or draw will leave no doubt in anyone’s mind- Arsenal and Manchester United alongside Liverpool are the Greatest English Footballing Giants. The intensity of this game will no doubt be unmatched. Money can’t buy you spirit. This will once again be the worldwide spectacle it used to be a decade ago. We will witness a WAR!!!
Straight off the bat, both teams will press and push forward. Expect 11 v 11 battles, expect 1 v 1 battles, expect cards of the darker shade, expect Blood. The high mutual respect between the clubs is the reason why this match is so important to these two clubs. Everyone has to be on top of their game. Let us hope the officials don’t disappoint. Here is what I think should be our iron clad blueprint to a full 3 points at the Theatre of Dreams.
- Sagna and Gibbs must be cautious against the likes of Valencia and Nani. But also provide width to our central diamond.
- Koscielny can stay tucked in and be solid in clearing out. No freekicks must be given to the left foot of RvP.
- Per must act as a sweeper.
- We shouldn’t play a high line like we did against Dortmund else United will punish.
- Flamini and Arteta must cover our posts during defensive corners.
- Speed of our counter-attack is very important.
- Arteta must hold, Flamini must press.
- Cazorla and Ramsey should be willing to take shots from outside the box. De Gea needs to be tested.
- Ozil must be given a free and more central role.
- Tracking back and defending as a team is important none more so against the wingers of United.
- Solitary but solid, Giroud will have an interesting head to head with Nemanja Vidic.
- Giroud must not be wasteful. Far and few chances are given in a match of this magnitude.
- Win all headers. Don’t hold up play … There is no time.
Team Play: An imposing last line of defence, a well marshalled back line, a solid double pivot and a destructive quintet together are sufficient to Fight for Pride, Fight for Glory, Fight for the name in front of our jerseys. This is more than 3 points, this has to be more than a great win, this is for LEGACY.
Squad Prediction: Szczesny, Gibbs, Per, Koscielny, Sagna, Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil et Giroud
Score Prediction: 2-0 or 3-1 to the Arsenal. This is my gut instinct. I threw rationale and logic out the window. I expect this match to blow my mind away.
As the lyric in ‘Remember the Name’ goes … “Eight years in the making, patiently waiting”. It’s about time … We raise hell in the Devils’ own backyard tonight. OOH TO … OOH TO BE … OOH TO BE A GOONER … C’MON ARSENAL!!!