I have read some newspaper reports yesterday and today and it is a gloomy occupation this morning to be reading the comments by fans. The Arsene Out Brigade (of which I am a member), are venting their spleens this morning on Twitter, and looking for blood. They are seeking Wenger`s head and laying the blame of our defeat at his feet.Much as I want him to leave at the end of the season, I have been very much encouraged by the last three games against Spurs, Huddersfield and Utd. On the other hand I have read Alex Baguzin`s blog and I am comforted seeing that he shares my interpretation of the game.
We were set up for the match. Our recent performances were of a much higher level than Utd.`s and man-for-man, we had a better line-up than they had. In particular, we had Mezut Ozil, who has been playing the football of his life. The game started to the roars and songs of our fans who were all in the mood for Man U blood. Before we could get into our stride, Koscielny, the rock of our defence for most of the season, made a schoolboy error and tried to hit a 30 yd pass across his own goalmouth. Valencia pounced on it and scored a goal which Cech was slow to react for.Nevertheless, we lifted our heads and began passing the ball slickly and at speed and we were still confident, when out of the blue, Mustafa – who has been the main reason for the new found security at the heart of our defense – dallied with the ball at his feet and allowed Lindgard to catch him off guard. Instead of hoofing the ball away, he tried to dribble it around Lindgard, who instead found Pogba, who then found Lindgard again completely unmarked because Xhaka left him on his own. Cech should have reached the ball before it got to Lingard and in just 12 minutes we were 2 down.Amazingly, our defence last season had become used to having disastrous starts such as that and for conceding equally stupid goals. We invariably collapsed and invited even more blows without any resistance. On this occasion, we did not. Instead we renewed our attacks and from then on the game was virtually being played in their half. The emphasis on recovery was shown when Mustafi was replaced not by Coquelin but by Iwobi and the United goalkeeper was peppered with shots and headers from all directions. The ball was being hoofed away in desperation by their defenders, only to come straight back. In the midst of all the chaos, Welbeck was battered to the ground in the penalty box by a malicious tackle. A stone wall penalty completely ignored by the Referee. Inevitably, they buckled when Sanchez lofted a delicious pass to Ramsey who made a brilliantly timed run behind their defenders and set up a cannonball of a shot from Lacazette.2-1 and all to play for. The siege on their goalmouth continued when disastrously from being denied by another miracle save from De Gea. Utd. broke forward 2 on 2 with our guys scampering after them. Once more Lindgard was left with an even easier goal and that was the end of the match for us. We should have had another penalty when Matic took the legs from Iwobi and got away with it. The worst tackle in the game came from Pogba. Slow motion showed that he deliberately went in with his foot at knee height. He caught Bellerin with a tackle right at the back of his knee when he was nowhere near the ball. If Bellerin`s leg had been a fraction turned away, the blow would have caught him on the side of the joint and he would have suffered a similar injury as Ramsey`s against Stoke.I have read the disgraceful article by Mark Irwin of the Sun today in which he says that Mourinho, once again out – manoeuvered Wenger whose team fell into his well planned trap. Complete and utter trash! No person who professes to be a reporter could have written an article like that, if he had been at the match. If we had not made those initial 2 mistakes and had received the penalties we should have had , this would have been the most one sided match we have played against Man Utd. for years. It was just unbelievable bad luck that we are not sitting in third place today, but with the current frame of mind of this team, I am very optimistic now that we will be 3rd or 4th instead of 5th or 6th as I feared at the start of the season.Come on Gooners keep the support going until the end of this season and then let`s see where we go from there. I expect Ozil to go and I pray it is not to Man Utd. On present form he is a joy to watch and probably the best playmaker we have had since Bergkamp.
A sophisticated, articulate Arsenal Man of Mystery. Aged 70 and a bit.