Behind Enemy Lines: Arsenal

Behind Enemy Lines: Arsenal

What a day Sunday was. Going ahead, somehow finding ourselves pegged back to 2-2 before Hernandez scored what I think anybody will admit was a perfectly legitimate goal that wasn’t even close to being offside … sort of. After that we travelled back to Stamford Bridge for a nine goal thriller where we managed to give a lot of our squad/young players some valuable game time whilst Chelsea threw on as many multi million pound signings as they could as they desperately tried to avoid losing to us twice in 4 days. Mission accomplished or the Londoners (can you really call that Chelsea team Londoners anymore?) but the game will be invaluable for us in terms of blooding in players we hope will be our future first team. Onwards and upwards, as they say.

This weekend we welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford where, we hope, to win another 3 points to ensure we are top of the table come 3 o’clock. Ahead of the game I spoke to my favourite ever Arsenal fan, Melicia George. We bonded over the hilarity of Wojciech Szczesny sending his number to a girl on Twitter who promptly tweeted it to everyone she could and exposed his lothario ways. Since then she has kept me laughing and enthralled with her endless football knowledge. I strongly suggest you all follow her on Twitter @abitmel, you won’t be disappointed.

What are your thoughts on your start to the season? Were you at all worried about how you would start the season after losing 2 important players?

Yes, I was worried about the start of the season losing 2 important players and a captain who did a lot for us during the last season.

Let’s get straight to it – Robin Van Persie. Did the fact he joined United make it worse or was it always going to be a bitter pill to swallow after that statement he released?

After his statement I wanted him to leave because it was disrespectful to our club, and I didn’t think it could get any worse but him joining United was a bitter pill to swallow

What will you do if he scores the winner?

I haven’t thought about it because I’m trying to be positive about the weekend, but if he does I hope he doesn’t celebrate.

Let’s move away from your ex-players and talk about your current ones. What are your thoughts on your new signings? Cazorla, in particular, has been in brilliant form.

I didn’t think I’d find myself attached to our new players so soon, but I’m completely in love with our new three. Firstly, Cazorla has been the glue that has held us together and he has filled the gap that Cesc left, Podolski plays his part as the hard working, intelligent player who rarely wastes an opportunity, it’s nice to see a player who gives 100% every match. Finally, Giroud is getting a lot of unfair criticism, but I think he’ll prove a lot of his critics wrong.

Carl Jenkinson is another player who has really developed since signing for you. Do you think he has what it takes to play week in, week out for you?

Yes, he does, another player who might not be as skilled as others but who gives 100% and is proving a lot of people wrong.

Both Sagna and Wilshere have both recently made their comebacks for you after lengthy injury layoffs. How important will they be to your season?

I don’t expect much from Wilshere as he has been out for over a year, however I think Sagna staying fit will help the back four greatly as he protects our wingers a lot of the times and has the experience to be able to change a game, see Arsenal 5 – 2 Spurs.

What are your thoughts on the price of your season tickets? A lot of Arsenal fans I know aren’t happy as they feel that the fans are paying extra due to the club needing to make up for the lack of prize money.

I am not a season ticket holder, so I can’t really comment on that, however match day tickets can be quite expensive and I do think prices should be revised.

Onto the game itself, who do you think will win and what will the score be?

Arsenal, obviously. 3-1. Fingers crossed.

What is your favourite memory of past games between Arsenal and United?

I have two. Both at Old Trafford, when Wiltooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooord scored the winner and we won the league there and when Keown, Lauren and Vieira bullied Van Nistlerooy for diving against us.

Where will you finish this season?

Honestly, I don’t know, but would love to be in first place.

Where will United finish this season?

In relegation. Kidding, I think they’ll finished second.

Finally, do you see Wenger calling time on his career soon and, as silly as this may sound considering everything he has done for the club, has he taken the team as far as he can?

I don’t see him renewing his contract after this one is over, but I would love it if he does. I don’t think he has and I think he has a lot more to give.

Also, in one of the strangest occurrences of my adult life, I had the pleasure of speaking to passionate Arsenal fan and he ex Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey who very kindly offered his thoughts on the game.

“I think we are now looking at a transformed Arsenal side which is no longer dependent on one or two players – Van Persie for example – but definitely more balanced with some very good new players. They’ve played very well so far this season. They are now a tougher proposition than the Arsenal who have lost so emphatically against Manchester United last season. So I believe this season is a great opportunity to build on the good start. They have every chance of beating Manchester United who have been slightly unconvincing so far this season.”

I would just like to say thank you to both Melicia and Lord Carey for their time.

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