The Oddfather Arsenal Ramblings

Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United: 5 Thoughts 

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Rice Rice Baby 

Wow. What a topsy turvy game that was. Fine margins though, there was a chance I’d have to write this after a 2-1 defeat. 

1. Not-so-good performances 

I was going to name the first point “Havertz’s performance”, however, I just can’t bring myself to do that. Yes, he missed a sitter. He gave the ball away for the Utd goal. He didn’t get awarded the penalty. But I’m still going to have faith that this will come good. It seems like his connection with the players around him needs to develop – specifically Martinelli.  

I admit it’s not looking great right now. Had we lost today maybe I wouldn’t be as forgiving. Yet, it could be a confidence thing and I still believe we as fans should get behind him rather than turning against him. Granted, I wasn’t saying that during the game! Saka didn’t have a great game either, yet we wouldn’t turn on our Starboy. So, let’s keep a bit of patience. For now. 

2. Great performances 

Vieira took advantage when he came on as a sub again, I get the call to start him ahead of Havertz in the next game, but remember it wasn’t all that long ago we were labelling him a failure as a signing. Patience once more. I do feel bad for Smith Rowe, I’m a fan of his, but can’t see a way for him to get into the team at the moment. The season is long though so let’s just wait and see. 

Then there’s the player of the match: Declan Rice. Absolutely bossing it in midfield and fully deserving his first goal in the red and white shirt. There’s so much more to say about him, but I’m sure MOTD etc will cover it. 

Other positives – I’m glad we started Gabriel again. This looked a more solid defence with him back in the starting 11. And what a great goal for Jesus to score against Utd for the first time. 

3. Referee and VAR decisions 

Let’s start with the offside decision for Utd’s disallowed goal. It was tight. I was convinced it would stand. And that would have been that for the game. Had it been an Arsenal goal ruled out I think I’d have been livid. But that’s football.  

I also believe the penalty for Arsenal should have stood too. Maybe it would have been harsh against Utd, but there was contact, even if minimal. 

4. Last minute winners 

We do enjoy our last-minute winners against Utd. I was at the Emirates when Henry scored the last-minute winner in 2007. That’s one of the reasons I can’t see Arsenal vs Utd at the Emirates now – I don’t want to tarnish the amazing memory I have. Yet, the last two home games against Utd have resulted in last-minute winners too, so maybe I’m staying away for no reason. 

It’s even sweeter against Utd. Say what you will about City, Liverpool, Chelski etc. For me, our biggest rival (outside of North London) is Utd. I had to spend my school years listening to their fans go on about how great Utd were, I was more than happy to beat those bastards when we did.  

5. Manager interviews 

At the final whistle I admitted the game very easily could have gone the other way and instead everyone would be talking about a perfect away performance by Utd. Then I heard Ten Hag’s comments in his post-match interview: 

“It was not offside. It was the wrong angle. It was then a penalty on Hojlund and then we concede a goal that’s a foul on Jonny Evans. It’s so clear and obvious.” 

Erik Ten Hag

And you know what? F*ck you, you bald prick. Yes, this is a sweary blog now (sorry kids). 

On the other side, we have Arteta following up on his pre-match interview where he talked about the M25, with a post-match interview talking about how he won over his wife. I love the guy, I really do. How do I invite him over for dinner? 

Song at the whistle  

Yeah, it can only be Rice Rice Baby! 


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