Are Arsenal so middle class? Well, I think the team is

From Brendan

Myles, at least you still make me laugh!

Cost of Manchester United’s squad – 690 million pounds.
Cost of Arsenal’s squad – 366 million pounds.
(CIES Football Observatory, September 2017)

The idea that Arsenal is a more middle class football club than Manchester United, supported so widely by the commuter belt dwellers I grew up with, located in an affluent, middle-class part of Manchester, is just about the funniest thing I’ve read this year.

If you’re trying to make a tenuous extrapolation between the brand of football Manchester United play and the fantastically nebulous notion of ‘class’, it didn’t work.

However, I broadly agree with your conclusions about the match. Rather than bellyaching about two blatant penalties Arsenal should have had, it is more to the point to focus on the casual, sloppy, unfocused way Arsenal played in important moments (in front of either goal), in stark contrast to United. No arguing with that.

Myles says:

I wasn’t referring to the British fanbase, Brendan.

And I wasn’t generalising about the global demographics of either club.

I was talking about the team, the internal culture, the style of training at Arsenal, compared to spikiness of the Class of 92 and United teams before Ryan Giggs and also since Giggs. Ander Herrera is a better passer than Remi Moses was but both worked liked terriers in the same midfield role.

Is every Arsenal fan aware that after Gael Clichy’s first day of training at Man City the left back said, “Bloody hell! They tackle in training here!”

Man for man, the United players have been pretty aggressive over the last 30 years.

Alex Ferguson required that.

And sometimes even United got roughed out of a game, as when they played Porto on the night when Mourinho sprinted down the touchline in a grey overcoat that became so famous that it had to be auctioned for charity.