Search

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

14:18 19 November 2014

Manchester United

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, 18:56
Sandun Dias hit 85 for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate hauled themselves out of the drop zone again as the weather helped them to secure a narrow victory at Enfield in Division Two of the Middlesex County League.

Yesterday, 13:54
Jordan Gregory bowls for North London. Pic: Max Flego

North London skipper Sam Bardon is optimistic that victories in the two remaining games will give his side a good chance of promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three.

Yesterday, 12:44
Liam O'Driscoll was the pick of North Middlesex's bowlers with three wickets, and he then hit 53 off 58 balls with the bat. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex extended their remarkable winning run to eight matches but remain second with just two games left in the title race after leaders Teddington also came out on top.

Mon, 17:47
North London CC's Bob Pedersen (right) with Middlesex's Sam Robson at Lord's

North London CC’s Bob Pedersen received the Heartbeat of the Club prize as the annual Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards were held at Lord’s.

Mon, 16:55
Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (right) beats Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez to the ball during the sides' 0-0 draw

Deep along the corridors of the welcoming King Power Stadium is a room manager Claudio Ranieri uses to welcome friends, dignitaries and journalists. On the walls are 20 tasteful black and white photographs of all the bosses in the Premier League.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he would spend £300m

Arsenal Wenger told frustrated Arsenal fans after the Gunners’ frustrating 0-0 draw with reigning Premier League champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium he would ‘spend £300 million’ on the right player.

Leicester City v Arsenal

Arsenal’s stuttering start to the season continued at the home of the reigning champions Leicester City this evening with a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium.

Friday, August 19, 2016
Harry Podmore in T20 action for Middlesex

Harry Podmore says the success of his contemporaries at Middlesex this season has helped motivate him to make his mark in four-day cricket.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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