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January 21, 2019

So how do I say this? Yes, United went one better than Arsenal

Manchester United's Robin van Persie
Manchester United's Robin van Persie

I have been staring at a blank page for several minutes now trying to conjure up the courage to write the truth this week. I’ve even sent out an appeal on twitter asking Tweeps what I should write and how I should phrase the fact that Manchester United were better than Arsenal on Sunday.

Oh! I guess I just needed to say it! A lot could be said about Sunday’s game because once again Arsenal controlled possession and created enough chances, so on paper it would look like Arsenal were the better team, but I define the better team as the one that emerges with the three points at the final whistle.

A great team doesn’t need to control possession and can be the team that just parks the bus once a goal has been scored, and United clearly did enough to take the day. I remember all the criticism Jose Mourinho got when as Inter Milan manager he defeated Barcelona to advance to the final of the Champions League in 2010.

After going ahead in the first leg, Mourinho literally parked a bus in front of goal to ensure his team qualified for the final. Many critics said he refused to play football but the bottom line was that he got the result. On Sunday Man United completely dominated the first half but were substandard in the second.

And yet the table toppers couldn’t convert Bacary Sagna’s crosses into goals and therefore my Gunners were not the better team on the day. That was so painful to admit. So well done to United for climbing to fifth in the standings. Wayne Rooney has declared that United will be top of the table by the 1st of January.

While I agree that David Moyes appears to have finally found a working combination in his players, I don’t think they’ll be top. Perhaps in the top four but not top; and I can put my money on that. Not my house as one not so clever Ugandan Gunner did. An Arsenal fan in Uganda actually lost his house after betting it on the game with a Man United fan.

The Man United fan had bet his car and his wife and was either lucky to win; or was looking for a way out of his marriage. My advice to fans is that football shouldn’t get as serious as losing your house; not to mention that you should never bet big based on emotion. All statistics ahead of that game indicated that United would; or at least could beat Arsenal, so why get stupidly emotional to bet your house.

I just mouth off but when my predictions do not come true, the only consequence is that I have to search for a reason why and a person to blame. In this case, I blamed Arsene Wenger for not buying a top striker in August when he clearly knew we needed one. That’s why he was chasing Luis Suarez with so much gusto! I just hope that the players can hold on to top spot until the new year and that Wenger will not compromise anything in January to bring in a great goal scorer.

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