Forget low gears, United didn’t even need to start the car against Arsenal.
YESTERDAY was Manchester United versus Arsenal. In times gone by that fixture would have been the centre piece of television coverage but yesterday confirmed if confirmation were needed that Arsenal are a poor team and the days of this being the hot rivalry, are gone. It was emphatically stated last year when Arsenal died of embarrassment in this same fixture, this year they offered even less and should have been punished more. The visiting fans offered more imagination than their team, but even then some people missed the subtle nuances of their verbal jousting with us; as I sat underneath the Munich clock waiting for the rest of our party at the end of the game, I heard a woman ask What’s a facking cant?
Robin Van Persie was one apparently, for leaving Arsenal and joining Manchester United. You can’t blame RVP though, on yesterday’s evidence I’d say John F Kennedy had a brighter future when he got in that open top vehicle in Dallas than Arsenal do. They offered nothing. Arsene didn’t even have enough about him to take Jack Wilshere off; the ref gave him a second chance when he’d already gone into the book for going into Tom Cleverley, the third would spell a walk for ‘Super Jacky and that’s exactly what happened when Pat Evra felt his presence. In contrast, Sir Alex, seeing the signs and knowing that an early bath loomed for Tom following a yellow and a let off, duly substituted him. At least Jack Wilshere, if a little hyper in the tackling, gave a shit in the Arsenal shirt though, Arsene was probably reluctant to remove the fighting spirit, such as it was.
Arsenal were so poor it looked like a training match against our own team, all the more believable when you realise Nike had basically sold both teams the same away shirt. One wonders if David Gill got discount.
The opening goal was simplicity, and the celebration was good form from man who clearly has a lot of time for his previous club. We knew if he got a chance he’d score and we knew that he would get a chance, so the toothless celebration could be forgiven, that the rest of the performance lacked real bite was a surprise. I thought Arsenal would create chances, maybe take the lead and make us work for in, in reality none of this happened. Rafael and Tony Valencia could do what they wanted; our number seven had Andre Santos on toast. Valencia’s flick in the lead up to the first goal was good, his miss from Van Persie’s assist was not so, Rio Ferdinand is on some kind of streak at the moment, his pass started the move for the Chelsea goal last week and his pass lead to the opener yesterday.
Wayne Rooney spoke earlier this season of his desire to be the ‘Cantona-esque’ influence for the modern day team. This is wrong on so many levels, Eric oozed more class on his way out of the tunnel than Wayne has done in an entire month of United appearances before now. Yes they both had their ‘enfant terrible’ moments but there was never ever any real doubt that Eric had found the club he wanted to stay at and above all that….above ALL that…. Eric could take a fucking penalty. Sort it out Sir Alex!We can only play and beat the team we are presented with and we did that, it’s a crying shame Mikel Arteta ever left Everton. He’s half the player he was at Goodison. Manchester United can be angry at themselves for not putting a poor side to the sword and it was nice to see David de Gea so angry at the dirtying of his clean sheet but it was a good finish from the Arsenal lad, and you can see me on the replay so it’s not all that bad.
Top of the league, having phoned it in… It’ll do for now.