The end of an era tonight for Arsenal

I expected more from Arsenal last week.

It was like going on a date with a girl you've fancied for years only to find out when you meet her that she has bad breath, chewed nails and a nervous tick that makes her spit.

I felt like spitting after the OT debacle. We all expected a seige from M*nure and have Manuel Alnunia to thank for the performance of his life.

But the way we continued to be pegged back, failed to muster a single effort on target or cause Utd any tangible problems has to be of some concern.

Arsene Wenger seems convinced that Manu Adebayor was a victim of formation rather than effort or application. That maybe so.

But in that case, who not change things earlier and bring on another forward to give us a chance of getting that vital away goal?

He might argue that we had to protect the defence but there surely has to be balance. Abou Diaby was abject and replacing him could only have brought us benefit.

Wenger has hinted that he will revert to 4-4-2 tonight and if so, the side will be predictable.

M*nure are the dominant side in Europe at present and nothing less than a clean sheet will do.

The visitors have shown against Fulham and Scouserpool that their defence can be breached - and with Rio Ferdinand perhaps struggling with rib troubles and Patrice Evra injured, new faces may not be quite as well drilled.

I expect United to score tonight. This means as much to them as it does to us, even though our need, our hunger, may be greater.

Wenger has been categorical in his confidence that we will go through. Gooners are not so sure.

This is one of the biggest games in Arsenal's history and we need to get amongst our foe and stop them from settling at any stage.

Many have mentioned parallels with 89 and I'd concur.

Perhaps Wenger should show the team that Anfield 89 game, see how disciplined they were, how calm and yet how few chances they allowed Scouserpool to have – and then show them what happened last Wednesday and remind them of what they have to live up to.

United have beaten us a fair few times in big matches – and we need one hell of a performance from everyone to give us a chance.

Win, and the beginnings of a new dynasty really start to take shape. Lose, and we'll see more departures in the summer. This game is THAT important to the history of Arsenal.

We have always had something of an inferiority complex with our northern rivals - and beating M*nure tonight would go some way to redressing the balance.

Ashburton Grove has never seen such an occasion and we need to scare the hell out of M*nure tonight and do our bit. We can beat them, of that I am sure.

The question is, will that be enough?