OK, so our manager’s goodly friend is vising us this weekend.
Wenger got his first ever league win against him in this fixture last season. And overall, there is no love lost between ourselves and United, going back to the Fergie days of course.
But can we get another win here? I don’t see why not.
Our form of late has been good, though United have been good also in parts.
However, these for me are the key facets here:
Danny or Giroud?
Will Welbz start against his old and home tome club? Or will we see Giroud back? Lacazette is an evident non-starter due to an injury in the Huddersfield game, so Wenger has to choose between them or will he play Alexis there? Alexis was poor for most of that game, but then did get a goal, so he may revert to a more fixed striker role.
Will Per return, considering Jose may play Ibra? Ibra isn’t the quickest, but then he is a natural aerial threat, though Kos and Mustafi should be able to handle that. Lukaku won’t be banned after all, and is looking to restart his scoring form (he scored for Everton here last season). So it’s essential for Kos to start, to counter his pace.
Our manager’s good friend has not said much foulness towards Wenger this season. Maybe he actually feels sorry for his enemy, and doesn’t wish to rub it in. Or that he doesn’t see Arsenal as a threat, though we both are possibly only top four contenders.
What’s important here, bar the apparent enmity between the two, is that Jose will park the bus. He probably has got Mercedes Benz to outfit a model specifically for this game. Wenger has traditionally struggled against teams that park the bus, and Jose did that well with Chelsea in two games here towards the end of his tenure at Chelsea.
If Wenger is an aspiring tactician, then he needs to out-wit his “old friend” and produce a team and display that can stall Jose’s bus.
Top four is on?
Jose though knows that Wenger is looking for top four again, and he needs to keep apace with Pep at the top. So will he park the bus after all? It may contradict my prior point, but then he needs the win. We need the win. He may be a bit more forward, considering this. It’s essential that we don’t make any mistakes at the back, as he will get his team to capitalise on them.
Moreover, Lingard of all players scored a wonder goal at Watford the other day. Jose is a master at getting some average talent to be well-drilled, so we have to be on our guard.
Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United
I’m not old in the grand scheme, but I remember the great tussles between us over the years, especially the Wenger/Fergie games. The media will naturally play this up (they always do), and of course the friction between Wenger/Mourinho will be a factor. Nonetheless, I doubt the mental block of Jose is still there, considering we’ve beaten him in the league now, and Wenger is developing a new tactical awareness. I think if we’re on it, we can get a good result, and hopefully do well in December overall.
We for once did NOT have a bad November, since losing to City away is no shame. Let’s start December on a similar footing.