By Avenell Dave
I remember when we had the Battle of Old Trafford a few years ago talking with a Manchester United friend of mine.
Always prone to melodrama, he suggested that there would be a permanent changing of the guard if we won and made it 50 games unbeaten.
I didn’t agree but it would have put a marker in the sand if we could have come away unbeaten.
Likewise ton Sunday, nothing will be decided in terms of the title or the status quo, but we need to get some sort of a result for any number of reasons.
If all the hard work, the sacrifices, the upheaval of the last few years is to be consigned to the history books, if this is to be a new era for The Arsenal, we need to show we can compete with historically the strongest club in England over the past 20 years.
We have had wins there of course, and this is the weakest United squad for a long time, but there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal, particularly one who is starting to find its feet again after early struggles.
United won’t win the title this season. I would put money on that and I’m not a betting man.
If we beat them, it won’t rule them out of the title race or even a place in the top four but it will certainly be a massive setback for them and continue the great form we have shown in recent months.
And I’d love nothing more than to wipe that smile off RvP’s face. Seeing him score so often last season, including against us, was horrible.
Football fans can be a vindictive bunch and while there are players who leave us who I have no ill-feeling towards, the fact that he orchestrated his departure in the way he did was highly disrespectful in my opinion.
Based on what the likes of Gary Neville have said in the last couple of days, I suspect we will see a battling, stifling United trying to hold us at bay in the physical way they have done in the past.
We could really do with Flamini back to give us some added teeth in midfield but I would also rather not risk him if it is to set him back months for the sake of one game. This is only three points after all, whatever Sky tries to say.
So I can’t see Wenger making any changes to the team that has done so well in the last couple of games. Hopefully, Rosicky’s legs will be able to cope for one more game before the international break and I’m really looking for Ozil to have a big game.
He created our goal on Wednesday, don’t forget, but still seems to flit in and out of games rather than dominate them in the way I would love to see.
Especially against a United side there for the taking.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
Rosicky Arteta Ramsey