Sometimes the old beatnik is obliged to state the obvious.
If Arsenal are good enough to beat Man United tonight, they’re good enough to win the FA Cup.
But United are fiery, fast and dynamic these days.
They’ve stopped playing with fear, stopped passing the ball sideways, started playing it forward early.
How will Arsenal stop Pogba? How will they contain Rashford?
Unai Emery often has the answers to questions like this.
He is a good tactical manager who can nullify opponents, like George Graham. And he has far more experience of navigating tight games than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does.
In the last six months, Emery has made Arsenal much harder to beat, so I’m up for this game on BBC1 tonight but aware that it could go either way.
Bottom line? I’m mainly worried that Arsenal won’t get the ball to Lacazette often enough around the box.
While United’s main men will be Pogba and Rashford and keeper David De Gea, Arsenal’s main threats are likely to be Lacazette, Iwobi and Kolasinac.
Maybe Aubameyang will be lethal tonight, maybe not.
In the Premier League both teams have 44 points from 23 games. To me that suggests that Arsenal can win it 2-1 – or lose by the same score.
Years ago Amy Lawrence asked if I would preview a match against Manchester United from an Arsenal point of view for The Observer, so I wrote about Alex Ferguson and how much he owed to George’s powerful midfielders.
I’ve been reading a football book and think you’ll love it. But so far I can’t figure out how to review it.
That’s because I started reading it in the middle. With a non-fiction book, I often do that. By the time I’ve digested first third, I should know why it’s so valuable and be able to publish a review right here on ANR.