Search

All Guns Blazing: Arsenal must triumph with United back to shaky 70s form

PUBLISHED: 14:18 19 November 2014 | UPDATED: 13:03 20 November 2014

Manchester United's Robin van Persie. Picture: Nick Potts

Manchester United's Robin van Persie. Picture: Nick Potts

PA Archive/Press Association Images

In our weekly Arsenal fans column, Layth Yousif says the Gunners must capitalise while history is repeating itself for Manchester United.

My first Arsenal vs Manchester United match was May 2, 1983. The Gunners won 3-0 in front of a Highbury crowd of 23,602, with a rare goal from David O’Leary and two from Brian Talbot.

Led by the now-disgraced Ron Atkinson, the Red Devils also had Remi Moses sent off late on to complete a miserable day for the Mancunians.

How times change. Or do they?

This Saturday we face a Manchester United side still reeling from the ‘aftershock’ – as Ryan Giggs put it – of a legendary manager departing Old Trafford.

For all their success of the last three decades, make no mistake: this United side is a team in transition. Parallels are being drawn with the early 70s.

David Moyes was the equivalent of Wilf McGuinness, who stepped in after Busby retired in ‘69. He didn’t last long as United quickly lost the heroes of their European Cup-winning side. Frank O’Farrell fared no better as United slipped inexorably towards relegation under Tommy Docherty.

Disciplinarian Louis van Gaal admitted himself it may take three years for him to turn the situation around. If United fail to attain a top four place, having spent £150 million on a lopsided team, just how much leeway will the abrasive Dutchman have?

Which brings me to an Arsenal forward who was a hero – only to leave for United and become vilified for moving. But enough about Frank Stapleton – I wonder how Robin van Persie feels? Was it really worth betraying Gooners worldwide for one single Premier League medal?

Arsenal can add to these questions by winning on Saturday. Yet, from beating United regularly during the first ‘Wenger era’, we struggle to do so at all these days. Ironically, if we don’t pick up three points on Saturday, voices will again be raised querying our own manager.

How times change.

I’ll be doing a book signing of Arsene Wenger’s 50 Defining Fixtures at the ever-excellent Gunners Pub, 204 Blackstock Road on Saturday from 2pm to 4pm. Hope to see you there and we can talk men like David O’Leary and Brian Talbot.

Will we have new heroes from this Saturday to talk about 30 years from now? It’s certainly a thought to get us excited – ‘What d’you say?’

Follow me @laythy29

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 12:36

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is set to sign for Everton in a deal understood to be worth around £20 million.

Arsenal’s U23s produced an electric display to thrash Manchester United’s U23 side on Monday night, with Konstantinos Mavropanos making a solid first appearance in red and white amongst a strong Gunners team.

A strong Arsenal U23 side eased past a young Manchester United U23 side at Meadow Park on Monday evening. Read Layth Yousif’s player ratings as new first team signing Konstantinos Mavropanos made his first start for the club with hot-shot starlet Eddie Nketiah grabbing a brace as they joined a number of players who impressed.

Mon, 17:25

If you supported Arsenal or had an N5 postcode in 1988, it’s almost certain you’ll remember the “Battle of Highbury”.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Arsenal scored two late goals to overcome a tough Reading side and reach the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup final.

Read Arsene Wenger’s reaction to the defeat at Bournemouth including his take on Alexis Sanchez leaving the club.

Read our Arsenal player ratings from the Premier League match at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Bournemouth came from a goal down to beat an Arsenal side which were poor defensively.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now