Manchester United Review: The Sweet Taste of Punditry Bitterness

The accrid smell of bitterness from the pundits sofa made the win over Manchester United all the sweeter. Tottenham’s desire to implode at the earliest opportunity now makes third a realistic target given the two clubs run-in. For a first season in charge, Unai Emery could chalk it up as a positive. But there is still enough time for us to cock it up so I won’t crow about that just yet.

I will laugh at United, whose arrogance was the cornerstone of their destruction. Bernd Leno named and shamed Lingard’s celebration after the cup-tie as feeding his desire to hand them a lesson they won’t forget. There’s something of Lehmann festering in the German goalkeeper’s soul and long may it stay there.

Overall, it was an outstanding team effort. Everyone stood up to be counted and United didn’t cope with that attitude. The visitors had good chances in the first half/ Lukaku hit the ball into the ground and onto the bar; there’s only one may who scores goals that way. Fred rattled the post but Arsenal defended stoutly.

Lukaku found Leno an unbreakable barrier, to the extent that it was a toss-up between the German and Ainsley Maitland-Niles for Man of the Match. While AMN has a mistake or two in him, it’s more reassuring that Mustafi who makes bad decisions.

Unai Emery ‘went for it’ with his team selection. A back three with Xhaka and Ramsey in the middle, while Ozil wafted around the pitch creating. Lacazette didn’t score in his sixth consecutive home game but he certainly gets credited with a big assist for Aubameyang’s penalty. Not in the foul; Bunter Moss’ unimpeded view of the incident ended with the right decision being made.

Talk The Talk

However, as pep talks go, Lacazette’s to PEA is up there with the best. So too the penalty; De Gea’s anguished meant he knew Aubameyang tucked him up like a kipper. It takes some bottle not to leather a kick after missing one in as big a match the week before.

Not that the Spaniard enjoyed his afternoon. Granit Xhaka’s shot moved in the air a little but De Gea saw it all the way. But monumental misjudgement on his part saw the ball float into the net before he sat on his haunches blaming the Pope, Parliament and Brexit for his mistake.

Understandably, Unai was a bit chuffed at out-thinking Sir Alex Ferguson Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

I think we’re improving and also I think we’re being competitive in different matches, away from home and against different teams. We responded and sometimes you’ve seen different systems and different players, but above all, we can feel today very proud of every player. Above all, I want to say thank you to our supporters because they helped us a lot and we can create a big atmosphere like today for the next matches and for Thursday. I think it’s very important. The players did very well with a very big spirit and a big commitment for the work we’ve done.

Unai Emery is a tad pleased…

Only a pitch invader marred the afternoon. Fuelled, no doubt, by the bravery of the twat who lamped Jack Grealish and some fizzy pop, there is a knee-jerk reaction building to having stadia closed, fences return and cattle prods for stewards, although one of them was hooked at Birmingham so maybe that’s not a good idea. Two brave lads whose parents are looking at them this morning and thinking they knew he should have been a blow job.

’til Tomorrow.

34 thoughts on “Manchester United Review: The Sweet Taste of Punditry Bitterness

  1. Pete the Thirst says:

    A fantastic day out, even if United brought their sh!tty weather with them to North London just in time for the walk to the public house post game.

    We rode our luck at times, but we clearly needed to do something different to beat United. Full on attack – why not?

    MoTM for me was Lacazette, but Leno pushed him close and the rest of the team wasn’t far behind.

    Now…how about 4-0 on Thursday night?

  2. Stu says:

    Great result for us, especially against a much improved United. Yes, we got lucky with their poor finishing, but a result is a result. And while it would have been even better if PEA had scored the pen against the Spuds, I’m happy with the 4 points picked up over those games.

    Now all we need to do is win our remaining games, watch the Spuds drop points in their two top 6 matches and we finish third.

    Oh and that clown at Birmingham has been jailed for 14 weeks. Good. Suitable punishment and should act as a deterrent.

  3. TIKPO says:

    Pete the Thirst,

    4-0? Why not? That will prove beyond doubt that last week had circumstances which made the loss unavoidable. Up the gunners!

  4. JonJon says:

    ‘Two brave lads whose parents are looking at them this morning and thinking they knew he should have been a blow job’

    love it..

    i have a few thoughts on these cowards, but they dont deserve the attention.

    anyway, good performance yesterday and thats all the other top 6 sides out of the way.
    weve got a nice little run in to try and achieve 3rd – which, to be honest, at the start of the season everyone in the gooniverse would have taken

    keep up the good work YW – not always commenting but always lurking. bonjours to all meine amigos also.

  5. Dalm says:

    Saw the line up and expected the worst. Shows how much I know. Good to see MoTD unbiased coverage showing what a spanking we took

  6. Michael says:

    Great result, I hate those Mancs with a vengeance.
    No idea why UE gets a hard time from some, it’s like those who rubbish him never made a mistake, and if they didn’t, they never made anything.
    Good to see you in the harness again YW, a day without a post is like a day without sunshine.
    Jon Jon a pleasant surprise, it’s been a while.

  7. pete says:

    Great post YW! …more than made up for the lack of a preview!

  8. Jonnygunner says:

    Hope you’re on the mend YW ?
    Thanks for the post-we’re lost without it.

  9. Birdkamp says:

    It needs to be repeated how bad this team was last season. Plus given the injuries we’ve had, including our best CB Koscielny up to Xmas, just to be in the top four picture at this point is a serious improvement.

    I’m boring – I’m content if the team can just be consistent and brighten up a few more Monday mornings across a season. The high 70s is a good haul for a club of our relative standing in the PL. I didn’t mind it under AW in the post-move years and I’m enjoying it now.

  10. LSG says:

    Birdkamp,

    It is an even better total since the league has so much more money that lower table teams still can buy players and offer wages that are attractive and now there are 6 big teams rather than 4 or 5.

  11. Paulie Walnuts says:

    I don’t think you could have got more out of the team yesterday effort wise which is all you can ask for.

    I’m not a huge fan of AMN (at least at full / wing back) but he got stuck in & even Ozil made a couple of tackles. More please.

    On the hooligan front , they should make that Peaky Blinder who blindsided Grealish attend every Birmingham home game next season. That’d teach him.

  12. Colts says:

    If emery gets us champions league in his first season, he would have exceeded my expectations. Bang on time for the adidas deal, new team, new manager, new attitude, new look. Even Denis looked useful, few more games like that and perhaps 20m isn’t that much given his age.
    Haven’t been convinced with leno but he appears to be getting better.
    Hope we go big for a cb and Niles might just save us a few Bob @ right back.

  13. ferkov says:

    Paulie Walnuts,

    AMN at full back has lacked … Urgency and awareness of dangers, to the extent that he has been accused of lacking concentration. Maybe that too. But he was on it yesterday. Especially in the second half when we were ,dare I say it,…properly defending…. that’s been a long time coming. Learnt how to put a winger on a leash. Really assured and bossing it.
    Now there’s Coaching for you.

    I’d like to see him bossing midfield, but if he polishes his trick and go, or final ball, then he’s got Danger all over him.

  14. C says:

    Leno just continues to learn the PL and as he does, he continues to get better and better. The saves he has made as the season has gone on has been as massive as any goal we have scored. He has certainly either kept us in or saved matches for us.

    Had a laugh at Lukuka trying the ‘Ozil’ only to be reminded that he doesn’t have it in him.

    Another superb match from Sead too.

  15. C says:

    Look at that, beating Manure and being 1 point off Spuds has brought the likes of Big Al and JonJon out the woodwork.

  16. Jonnygunner says:

    C,

    Problem is-to turn around the result against Rennes,we could’ve done with Leno…not big Pete.

  17. C says:

    Jonnygunner,

    Yup but I bet that is part of the reason for both Aubameyang and Ozil being pulled early.

  18. Buckagh says:

    Hope you are feeling better YW.

    Enjoyed the result, all the rest been said,

    As for them two wankers on the pitch.

  19. LSG says:

    C,

    I had doubts about Leno and am really glad he is adapting well. He’s been an asset so far this season and his last two league matches against big teams had been superb. I think he is dominating his area a bit better than earlier this season.

  20. Jonnygunner says:

    C,

    Why-which one’s going in goal C ?

  21. Blue Yonder says:

    What a performance. I’m also pleased it was against a good United side, not Mourinho’s under-achievers. Plenty of bouquets to go around but one in particular to Kos, who seems to get clattered every game but carries on while providing solid defence. Another to Lacazette for motioning Aubameyang to take the penalty (and redeem himself) in much the same way the latter did for him last season. That shows the respect and appreciation each has for the other.
    The big question now is whether the team will maintain this level of play for the balance of the season. Only the Shadow knows (and he’s keeping mum.)

  22. Bill says:

    Great post yogi

    Awesome result. I am cautiously optimistic about finishing in the top 4.

  23. C says:

    LSG,

    Yup, he took time to adapt and now he is showing his quality. His shot stopping and distribution were never in question but coming from another league where CB’s dominate the area….he is adapting and has been superb since.

  24. victor Fenech says:

    It was really nice to feel Arsenal proud again. Hope we can finally make it to Top Four and be in Europe again. It’s time this great club wrote its name on the Champions League winners list. But that will take some time, I know. We still have too many weaknesses at the back. Hope we offload them and get an least an outstanding centre-back for the long term. Kos does miracles for us, but he’ll soon get battle weary after so many injuries. Mustafi and Lichsteiner of course MUST go. Abe and Lacazette should be played together more often to form a real goal scoring partnership. Go Gunners, go!

  25. Las says:

    Thanks for the post, missed you WY.

    And yes pundits were visibly distressed by our win. Good to see it anyway.
    But this gritty performance which really gave us a lift. I like us fighting.

    But its still a long way to get in the CL.

  26. C says:

    With the long break before we play again, against Rennes I hope we come out and do them. Start a strong squad:

    Leno(my preference but we know Cech will start)
    Sokaritis—-Kos—-Nacho
    Maitland-Niles—-Torriera—-Ramsey—-Sead
    Ozil—–Aubameyang—–Iwobi

    Or play a back 4

    Maitland-Niles—–Sokaritis—Kos—-Nacho
    Torriera—–Ramsey
    Iwobi—–Ozil—–Sead
    Aubameyang

    Then bring on Nketiah if we need a goal to come on for Sead or Nacho

  27. Noon Gunner says:

    ferkov,

    Yes, I’m afraid it’s Mustafi partnering Kos most likely.

  28. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Unai has done well this season, not every decision has worked but that’s life as a manager.

    I seriously think with the right momentum we can get 3rd or 4th. But it’s all depending on; if Chelsea decide to implode or not and if Oles Man u bounce back. They’ve a few easy ish games coming up.

    Spurs on other hand… Are playing terribly and have high flying Liverpool next. A chance for Man U and us to jump them into 3rd and 4th if they dispatch Watford and we Newcastle.

    I do wonder what Unai would be capable of has he a season or two to get the right players in. I hope our fans give him that. And that if he makes top 4, fans don’t set the bar too high. It’s one step to make it, another to stay there. And others have more financial power to get back

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