Reactions to Old Trafford report

By Ian Grant

ANR received some responses yesterday:

Khurram Awan

At last, someone is telling the truth about the problems Arsenal is facing right now. I have been following all you write at this web site and I was wondering what your reaction to the 6-1 scoreline would be.

Alex Ferguson recently said that continuity

is the key to his team’s success. That would be true for Real, Valencia, and to an extent, Juventus.

But look at what happened to Arsenal, Lazio, Milan, Inter, Barcelona, Chelsea, etc. At least more than half the team members at Real and Valencia have played together for five years or more. Same goes for Juventus. Although

Juventus doesn’t always win the Seria A, but they always finish in top three, despite having out-of-form players.

Arsenal changes too much in too little time. The continous

adjustment to the style of new players is not easily affordable nowadays. That can only lead to flashes of brilliance followed by periods of confusion.

Mr. Wenger can’t afford to do that. What about the back four? They will have to be replaced pretty soon and thus another era of confusion will follow at the expence of about first ten matches of the new season in August. That means no title challenge next year as well. That is, if Mr. Wenger stays for that long. I seriously believe he is going to take charge at Bercelona next season.

Sadly, I think Arsenal’s era of being the 2nd-best is over. Leeds and Liverpool are ready for their turn.

I think Arsenal will make it to the CL quater-finals, but that will be the end of it. And I think Mr. Wenger will unfortunately leave. And I think if he does, so will Viera. And I think the club hasn’t planned for the future at all.



Stewart Joseph

Ian:   Sorry, but I can’t agree it’s about money only.  

Arsene has made some strange team selections, formations and substitutions the last couple of games. Maybe he needs a short break.  

At Moan U, they’ve been playing the squad rotation game for a few years now, and the squad itself is settled with little change each year. We’ve brought in a lot of new players in the last 12 months, and although the squad is stronger the rotation is not working well.

There was no recognisable shape on Sunday.   It’ll take time. Maybe a year or two. By then, Alex F will be in the backroom, but we’ll need to have replaced Lee Dixon and Tony. The future could be rosy in N5.  

Cardiff here we come, and Milan too maybe.   I’m hanging on to my dreams.  



carlo sartori

6-1 drubbing

Ian Grant……. grow up mate. What’s money got to do with it? United have spent a fraction of the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle in recent years.

Last season it was United’s “holiday” in Rio. Despite the long journey and games played. This season, apparently, teams are lying down for United.

Actually, Arsenal are about the only one I can remember lying down. Most teams practically burst a vessel in raising their game to hysteria pitch when confronted with the champs.

Face facts, United are just streets ahead, and the nucleus of the side are home-grown or small fees. Solksjaer, Sheringham, Irwin, Sylvestre, as well as all the home-grown lads. Only Stam, Yorke, Barthez have involved sizeable fees that pale compared to some of our rivals.

Just be thankful you didn’t have Giggs, Cole and Sherri to deal with.

Ed: Money has a lot to do with it – in the future. Manchester United have enough monetary reserves to go out and buy the best, keep the best and give the most lucrative contracts; and keep their hegemony/dominance of the Premiership.

The point is they can only get better and stronger, given they far have more money than anyone else.

On gate receipts alone United currently have 30,000 more people paying to see home games than Arsenal. And the difference in the club’s capitalisations is huge.

I respect that the nucleus of the side is home grown, and have got to where they have without spending huge sums in the transfer market.

But the dominance of Rangers in Scotland, killed interest in that league, and the administrators looked to a bigger Atlantic League.

So maybe it is looking like the European Super League is inevitable.


Adam Levine


As Arsenal lined up for the Manu game, I couldn’t help think about your comments regarding Ljungberg and his total inability to play on the right flank. Where did Wenger place him? Right flank.

And you’re right! He can’t play there. When he moves to the left he becomes something special, otherwize he’s lost.

Arsenal right now have too many players unsure of their positions; or simply not in their positions!

1. Ljungberg’s placed on the right or the left; can only play the left; but has his heart in the centre next to Vieira. (which he doesn’t get and won’t get)

2. Luzhny wants the right back but can’t displace Dixon, so sits as a sub unless he’s put in playing centre back.

3. Grimandi is a fantastic utility player that can fill well in any defensive minded position – but he cannot hold any position on a permanent basis. Yet he plays most of the games!

4. Henry is being redefined as a striker, which he welcomes greatly; but his instincts are not quite suited to the roll.

5. Vieira is in a hesitant period where he is wanting to go forward; but without any stability to his left he’ll have no chance of doing so.

6. Bergkamp has an ego suited to his game; an ego that should not be dismissed in the same way as others. For Bergkamp to be effective, he needs to orchestrate games; but in order to orchestrate games he needs to be known as the maestro; to be known as the maestro he needs a permanent position in the squad. To be used sparingly or in rotation hazards his game. Sign Bergkamp for 2 more years and you better play him; otherwize he’s wasted and unnecessarily taking up one of the 4 slots. It’d be better to have Barett as a sub on the bench (or Tomas)!

7. Pires is talent. Pires is intelligence. But how did he end up on the left?! You can only blame him; and Wenger – for buying him. Lord knows why Wenger passed up Gronkjaer this summer! He was incredible in Euro, he was incredible in the Ajax tournament, and his spirit is wonderful. But what’s done is done. Pires has no left foot and should be competing with Lauren for a position on the right.

8. Parlour also should be on the right, as long as you have some supply coming in from the wide left. Playing him in midfield isn’t so bad an idea – but right midfield and NOT left! And whatever you do DON’T move Vieira!

That’s alot of misdirected talent, you know. If Edu was in the team by now, perhaps players wouldn’t be juggled around so much. Perhaps that’s what’s going to the ground the team. It’s certainly needed.

Bring on Edu. Move Ljungberg to the left. Keep Silvinho competing with Cole. Let Parlour, Pirez, and Lauren compete for the right – with 2 on the bench; and either play Bergkamp or let him leave. Grimandi, bench. Luzhny, bench.