The press are having a field day. Arsene Wenger 'has' labelled Manchester United anti-football. Now I don't for a second agree with that and I certainly do not believe that Wenger is having a direct pop at United. His frustration is more than likely being aimed at the referee and I make him right.
United fouled Arsenal plenty of times in the match and that is something I expected to happen anyway. It is a fierce match. But to be honest I reckon Arsenal gave United as good as they got. We wasn't bullied off the park, in fact we more than held our own. I think the main problem was the inconsistency of the ref, Mike Dean.
That game on Saturday needed a strong ref and lets be honest here, Mike Dean isn't a strong ref. In fact he is a pretty shit ref. More shit than shite itself. And I'm surprised to be honest that he didn't lean towards Arsenal. He is from Wirral and apparently is a Liverpool fan!
Perhaps all the shenanigans of the press calling Arsenal cheats was playing on his mind and subconsciously he felt that he needed to back that up by booking more Arsenal players than necessary. I'm not being biased here but if Arsenal deserved having six players booked then so did United. In fact, Darren Fletcher could have been booked more than those six players all together!
Football is a physical game but ref's need to be consistent with their whistle blowing antics. They can't book one player for something and then not book another for the same thing. I saw plenty of incidents on Saturday where United were given the decision and Arsenal wasn't. It's hard to stomach but ref's always lean towards the home side. Especially if its United.
Despite the defeat I was impressed by Arsenal. We dominated for large periods of the game at the champions home and that is no mean feat. I always felt that to beat United you have to go at them. We did that and were unlucky not to win.
I don't want to put the entire blame of the defeat of the ref's shoulders but he did contribute to it. I'd still argue now that Rooney dived for that penalty but if it happened at the other end would the ref have been strong enough to give it? The answer is obviously no because Arshavin was a denied a clear cut penalty and he didn't certainly didn't dive.
There is no doubt about it that this campaign is going to be be exciting one. It's shaping up to be a difficult season and I honestly believe, from what I've seen so far, that Arsenal can mix it up and challenge for the title this season. Some believe that we need to sign a couple more players and I would like that to happen. It adds more depth.
It's a shame we wasn't playing Manchester City this week. I really feel that we would batter them despite their good form. The players would be eager to shake this defeat out of their systems and what better way is there than to get back on the pitch together and do that? Instead we have internationals and to be honest I probably won't even watch. Fingers crossed we don't get any injuries!
Keep it Goonerish.............