Search

All Guns Blazing: Will FA Cup result be a crossroads for Arsenal and Manchester United?

11:35 11 March 2015

Arsenal's Nacho Monreal celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game against Manchester United. Picture: Nigel French/PA

Arsenal's Nacho Monreal celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game against Manchester United. Picture: Nigel French/PA

EMPICS Sport

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti enjoys Manchester United’s loss as well as Arsenal’s win.

More than any other sport, one of the most pronounced quirks of being a football fan is that you can enjoy watching your opponents lose as well as enjoy watching your team win.

On Monday night, this was certainly the case, but on a karmic level it also felt good for the sport. For years Manchester United have built up a culture of cheating and bullied officials, so to see Michael Oliver bravely stand up to the pathetic dives of Angel di Maria and Adnan Januzaj was both hilarious and a vital step towards confronting a modern scourge on the game.

While supporters across the globe will surely have revelled in the latest chapter of United’s fall (or perhaps dive) from grace, there’s a more personal resonance for Gooners. Wayne Rooney’s rotten antics that ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run still linger fresh in the memory, but since our FA Cup triumph against them in 2005, a chasm unquestionably opened up in the fortunes of the two old rivals.

Considering Arsenal’s recent Monaco debacle, it would be premature to suggest Monday marked any major turning point for either club. Nonetheless, you would hope in terms of this season alone it signals the meeting point between a team capable of finishing strongly and another limply lumping long balls towards mediocrity.

Barring a Champions League miracle, our hopes for this season now lie in the FA Cup. It’s an almost mirror image of last year, though if there’s one big difference now, it’s that we’ve begun to beat the big teams.

The work-rate against United was superb – not just from obvious new recruits Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck, but also from players who seemed to have been inspired by them this season, such as Santi Cazorla and the freshly crocked Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Because of this, a new ethos seems to be evolving. Gone is the Barcelona-lite era of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, this is now Arsene Wenger’s Deutsche model of technique and industry.

With what will still undoubtedly be a tricky cup tie against Reading or Bradford on the horizon – not to mention the top four battle and a slim chance of Champions League redemption – this approach has a long way to go to truly bear fruit. At the very least, it’s nice to see Arsenal finding an identity again – even more so when certain rivals seem be quickly losing theirs.

Follow me @alexbellotti

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

07:20

Athletes frequently relate how finding a different perspective can raise their performance – and Islington BC’s Amy Pu is certainly hoping to be among them.

07:03

Ever since actor Ray Winstone began imploring viewers to “get yer mobiles out” in bet365’s TV commercial, which was regularly screened at half-time during live match broadcasts a few years ago, all bookmakers have witnessed an increase in three particular forms of betting.

Yesterday, 17:00

Former St Pancras ABC star Alan ‘Avalanche’ Higgins wants to become a British champion in 2017 following his Southern Area title success at the weekend.

Yesterday, 16:00

Waj Abdul Malik grabbed a hat-trick as Eastside Allstars thrashed Alchemists 6-0 to advance to the next round of the Jack Morgan Cup.

Yesterday, 14:01

Access2Sports star Manie Joses made a blistering start to the new Community Basketball League season, racking up half of his team’s points in their 24-6 victory over Kensington & Chelsea Knights.

Yesterday, 12:14

Mark Stephenson’s hat-trick took his tally to five goals in three games as Islington & Camden Under-14s overcame Tower Hamlets 4-2 to end the year on a high.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A visibly delighted Arsene Wenger praised hattrick hero Alexis Sanchez or his ‘killer instinct’ after his treble routed West Ham United 5-1 at their new home the London Stadium.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Arsenal sent a message to the rest of the Premier League after an impressive display of power and glory at the West Ham United’s London Stadium this evening by winning 5-1.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If your favourite pair of shoes are on their way out, you might be thinking of throwing them away.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

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