Wenger: How you play, not where, is important

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Arsenal’s record at Old Trafford in recent times is bad. No question about it. Since an Emmanuel Adebayor goal secured a 1-0 win back in 2006, the teams have met 10 times in Manchester: the record from an Arsenal point of view is P10, D1, L9, W0.

It’s not good. It’s not good like you’re hanging off a thing above a massive air vent and Phil Collins tells you that he’s your real father.

But Arsene Wenger believes the location has little to do with how things will play out, and says it’s down to how the Gunners play tomorrow night.

Of course that’s been true of those last 10 games when we haven’t managed a single win, but hey, we get that he’s trying to take the pressure of such a bad record off his players.

“If I have learnt something in my life it is that the performance on the day decides the outcome of the day, not where you play,” he said.

“When the team is not as good, they lose, it doesn’t matter what shirt they wear, or what stadium they play in – it is down to quality.”

A win would put Arsenal into the semi-finals of the cup they won last season, and the Arsenal manager is hoping his team can repeat the success of last season.

Speaking about the win over Hull he said, “It gave us energy because we had a few years without winning a trophy and on that front it was vital.

“Monday night is a big game, and every big win in a big game has an impact subconsciously in the belief of the team.

“This team has a good mentality because we had a slow start this season and every time when we lose a big game, you see how much the players are touched.

“I think the mentality is very healthy, they want to do well and we will be focused on Monday night.”

Having bounced back from the Monaco defeat with two Premier League wins, some of the intense pressure will have been lifted, but this game feels like a defining moment in our season.

Let’s hope we can produce because a result there is long overdue.

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Ultimate Gooner

I dread 2 possible things tomorrow:

1) A feeble effort, where players seemed intimidated by the occasion and get physically done.

2) Brainless game management: players panic upon conceding and leaving spaces at the back.

Hopefully none of these happen.

Dick Swiveller

Aren’t they essentially the same thing though? I always put them down as the same thing even if they’re not, if we turn up mentally then we do neither of those things, if we don’t then we do both.

Bould's Eyeliner

I honestly think Wenger will put on Welbeck to combat that ‘mentality.’ He’s the Man U Jenkinson, their corporal, etc., and he was just thrown aside for 16 mil – he’s got everything to prove, and given the way he’s been playing this season, it really feels like that’s the bill he fits.

I can hardly see someone growing up at Old Trafford feeling ‘intimidate,’ and I think it will have a positive effect on the team.

COYG

Bould's Eyeliner

intimidated* sigh… Mondays.

Romford Pele

Might sound daft but I think as long as we don’t play shit we’ll win
COYG

Man Manny

I don’t think we played badly in the league even though we lost.
All we need is to do differently this time around is to take our chances when they come and we will be fine.
We have the better team – at least on paper.

Fireman Sam

When Man U came to our place, we were much the better team. Let’s hope we can do that again, but this time get the result we deserve.

Highberry

Sounds like a plan to me COYG

Gooner572

It’s nice to see a bit of optimism amongst Arsenal fans again, but face it, we are fucked and probably going to lose in BS circumstances again sadly. Just can’t get over the Man United hoodoo. Probably dominate the game and end up losing 2-0, we’ll start by playing magnificently but Rooney will score a ridiculously offside goal, then Di Maria will dive to win a penalty which Rooney will score, at FT Welbeck will throw a pizza at Van Gaal’s face for selling him in the highpoint of the match

Goonstein

Please destroy that fithy lot up there. That would definetely make up for the Monaco result. At least it would ease the pain.

David C

I’d like to see Welbeck flick one over the head of De Gea in the opening minutes then buck the recent silly trend and celebrate like he’s never scored before!!!

JustBrowsing

Slowly the monkeys are being coaxed of our backs!

Win a trophy..check
Compete in transfer market..check
Beat a big team away from home..check
Defensive midfielder..check
Beat Man Utd at old Trafford..check..back Monday night.

Nervous/excited. COYG

Juxta Position

Progress past the round of 16: oops we got turned over by MONACO

Rohith J

Waiting for the Giroud hatrick that will get us through to the next round.

Deano

Time to put them to the sword!! COYG!!!!

DFS

Having lived with a specific Old Trafford mental fragility for years, this game (and the ensuing ones) has huge significance. If as a squad Arsenal are going to address the confidence issues, the players need to revert back to the Man City game in terms of mental strength and inspiration from within. The fact the squad played a role in setting up against City was acknowledged, however, it was also inevitable that Wenger was not going cede managerial control on a regular basis. Since that game reversion to frailty has been self-evident too often. Though I got infuriated at the… Read more »

MegaJulz

Sometimes I feel like we dont have that championship gear, the gear we somehow got into against City. Man United always manage to find it, especially against us, no matter how crap their players are. I just wish that we could find ours on a much regular basis.

I can take defeat, nothing wrong with putting everything out there and the other team deserving the win but lets not see another display like the Monaco game.

Dick Swiveller

It isn’t as simple as simply reverting to a previous mental state, wish it was though.

DFS

Well, the Man City game at least provided a high point for the season did it not? I thought the concensus was this might have been the best we played against significant opposition in years.

Dick Swiveller

Oh, I want us to always be in that stae of mind, I’m in complete agreement about that, but I don’t think it’s too easy to gain it given how often we seem to slip out of it.

The implication seeemd to be that it was simply about telling the players to think the same way and they’d do it again, I think it’s a lot more complex, or maybe not, but it certainly seems to elude men far more knowledgeable about football than I.

MegaJulz

but best we played to what end , no point having a fantastic game every once in a while if it doesnt result in real change, that should have been a light switch going off in their head, this is the standard we need to bring each week and then you take that mentality out on to the training ground and then back on to the pitch the following week. im not saying its easy to do or that it can be done over night but if i was a coach/player that is what i’d be striving for. P.S we… Read more »

Omer

I feel that the pressure is on utd. They’re playing at home against a team they *used* to beat. Arsenal, on other hand, are defending champions and expectations are low (juding by how many of our own fans seem pessimistic)…

I think if we play a bit conservative and not shoot our own foot, we’d be okay….mainly because Utd are shit!

Up the Arsenal!!!

nicolae

*used to*? Last time I check we’ve played the football of our life and still not manage to beat them at home or away

MegaJulz

Less pessimistic more realistic.

inside tip

Pessimism is often mistaken for realism… In this case, the reality is that we’re gonna flop as always. The optimism would be that we could destroy them big time if only the heads of our player were in the right mindset! Draw would be favorable, bring them to Emirates and crush them there!

Paul

The reality is, that we are better than we have been for ages and they are shitter than they have been for ages!
It’s in the bag! COYG!

Mohd

He is right about how you play. That’s why he was regularly beaten when Ronaldo/Drogba and Rooney in the 2007 to 2014 seasons. Just imagine. Endless passing. The ball is mis passed/intercepted and a high /through ball and acres of space and how can those 3 players not score. If he doesn’t have a balance between attack and defence there is only one result: Arsenal will lose. I hope the gunners play like in the MC game. Of course every game is different.Blackburn stifled Pool. Why can’t the fm have a defence plan to stop Rooney/Falcao.If not the ugly Brit… Read more »

Dick Swiveller

We also regularly beat those teams up until 3/4 years ago, so only really half the time you cited.

Mohd

In any game the mo play a crucial role.Penalties have been awarded when it shd not have
been the case and vice versa.There have been many games where these guys in black
decide the resul and not the players.
The FA is dragging its feet when dealing with errant mo. These guys shd be disciplined with
immediate effect after a highly controversial game.
Btw,i don’t know who the mo will be. Mark my words.Based on previous encounters.you never know . These guys could be out to favour the rd.

Mark Hughes

What or who is a mo?

greg

Match official

TheRealJenkooooooo

Arguably the biggest game of ours and their season so far…

DFS

It really is…

wellarsed

Looking forward to this one! A decisive victory at their shop would really build some momentum for the run in & get that OT monkey off our back. If we have a strategically smart start – perhaps an early goal – and the confidence grows we could really stuff them. We certainly have the quality in the squad now. COYG!!

Mohd

Just read about how Reyes career was wrecked at OT.If you would recalll,the Spaniard was hacked all over and the bald eagel did not dish out a yc. The Neville bros got away with murder. That’s why expect another hacking session and if the ref aint strong enough or fails to dish out a y/r card,the gunners will be intimidated . Especially the likes of Cazorla and Sanchex our 2 smallest guys in the team. However I believe the latter is made of sterner stuff but as I have said ,you never know. The rd game plan will be to… Read more »

wellarsed

An early goal could change everything. If they get frustrated and their confidence slumps, hacking will likely do them no good – it certainly becomes more obvious (even to a bad ref) and looks desperate. Just have to make sure we stay away from Felaini’s elbows!

Witoldo

If you think Alexis will be physically intimidated, you haven’t seen him with his shirt off.

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

Solution: Hack them back!

Read: Coquelin to discombobulate United’s entire starting 11, with Flamini coming on too after Coq’s sending off for second yellow (doesn’t matter, we’ll by up 4-0 by that time)

Bumpy Bear

This season Giroud has played approximately Half as many minutes of football as Van Persie, but scored the same number of goals.

Just thought I would put that out there 🙂

Hope we smash the Mancs 8-0. But realistically I think we will hold them to a draw before beating them 2-0 in tye rematch at the Emirates.

karim

i dont think so …hope it will be a big game

DialSquareGoon

My two cents: hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I want us to win desperately, I want to believe it, but then I remember the Monaco game…

henry

What the hell has this writer got against phil Collins?

Devlin

Whats with this myth that arsenal can not beat big teams away from home????? I call bullshit on that. I will never let the media who only pay attention to arsenal when we lose lie to me. I have watched every game by arsenal since missing one in 2008. We have won everywhere against everyone except Man Utd and Stoke. A new cliche always pops up after arsenal breaks one. It used to be that we start the season well and end badly, then its that we start badly and end badly. It is dat we struggle against the small… Read more »

Rectum Spectrum

United are shit with the ball so keep giving it to them. Defend with focus and counter with pace.

Saud

So many mental scars at OT in recent times. I believe in this team and they can surely get a result there. Hoping one of Riley’s goons don’t fuck this one up.

Skinny Arse

Manure will play a physical game, perhaps a few injuries, a sending off? but I hope none of those things will happen and we thrash the shit out of them cunts!

Ancient Gooner

Luckily it’s at OT. We will have thousands of supporters singing their hearts out. At the Emirates the support is nonexistant.

Ciderman

Blogs: “this game feels like a defining moment in our season” – how many times have we been at this juncture and choked? The amount of times it has been against manure too!! Really hope the boys put in a performance that ends this awful run of results and helps us to seriously kick on – just for a change!!!

Henrypiresberg

Plain and simple..We gonna beat the cunt utd playing the Arsenal Way. They merely escaped last time.

Cliff Bastin

But if Phil Collins were my father than Lily Collins would be my sister. Hmmmmmmmm…

Bumpy Bear

I dont think United is to bothered if they lose this game. It is more important for them to finish top 4, and staying in this cup may hurt them in the league. United got the toughest league fixture list of all the top 4 competitors, so being able to focus 100% on the league while Liverpool is off to a rematch against Blackburn which they are likely to Win could perhaps work to United’s advantage.

Boblex

Hopefully we will be talking tomorrow about our performance, rather than the shite refereeing !

Bellerin-a

If you think Man Utd will fuck with us tonight and get away with it, I have two words for you.

Francis Coquelin.

Paul

I think we can beat them tonight, but I am officially shitting my pants!
COYG!