Why Arsenal have no chance against Man United on Sunday

by Michael Somerville

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Sol Campbell vs Wayne Rooney will be the definitive battle of the biggest game of the season so far, and Rooney will be irresistible. The leg injury suffered by Thomas Vermalaen on Wednesday night at Villa Park will rule him out against the Premier League champions and Campbell will almost certainly have to start the game and play the full 90 minutes.

Arsene Wenger doesn’t have many options when it comes to defensive cover these days. Philippe Senderos has been sent out on loan to Everton until the summer and Johan Djourou has been in and out of the team and is still recovering from a knee operation. Mikael Silvestre? All I can say is United would love to play against him come the weekend.

The only other option is 18-year-old Kyle Bartley, an English centre back who played against Olympiakos last month but is very unlikely to start in such a vital league game.

Campbell has already got 145 minutes of first team football under his belt for Arsenal, including the full 90 minutes against Stoke in which Arsenal were outplayed and out muscled by another strong centre forward, Ricardo Fuller. Campbell has received criticism since his move from MOTD pundit Alan Hansen who stated that he is past it. It’s fair to say Campbell has looked slow and heavy.

Rooney is most definitely not past it. His fitness and mobility remain as sharp as ever and his 21 goals in all competitions this season suggest he will score a couple on Sunday. His vociferous appetite for keeping defenders fully occupied could well be the difference between a win and a thrashing.

Ferguson will most likely leave out the dallying Berbatov and Owen and leave the no-hold barred duelling to Rooney, who is enjoying his best ever season in the Premier League.

Can Wenger afford to risk such an old timer against a predator such as Rooney?

He cannot, but the Arsenal manager has no choice.

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  • http://Goal.com Hey mister editor keep writting and keep putin d load on rooney.I wont flog u cos u dont no wat u are doing.Imagine u saying cambell was out played by fuller u are very bias.

    Hey mister editor,u dont no wat u are sayin imagine u sayin fuller outplayed sol.

  • addis ababa gooner

    what a wasteful analysis have i ever read !!!!! looking at the teams forms now one can simply judge MU excel ASNL only by Rooney and Vandersar, though ASNL is magnificent by the rest comparison. every one can remember that the first game at oldtraford was mismanaged by MIKE DEAN.

  • sze

    the score is going to be 3-1 arsenal win.

  • eric

    Talking nonsense, ball is round.
    Arsenal hardly being beaten at home. ManU can walk away with a draw should call themselves “LUCKY”

  • The White Pele

    All this talk about United being rubbish and yet we’re still a point clear of Arsenal.

    @Ad yes Rooney and Gerrard both were caught diving this season but for an Arsenal fan criticise players for diving after Eduardo’s shocking dive vs Celtic is beyond me.

    Arsenal fans should remember what Chelsea did to them in the League this season, and we’ll do exactly the same, ROOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

  • Alex

    Unfortunately the article is right. With the belgian Vermaelen out Campbell and tired and slightly injured Gallas is all the is left. Gallas was outstanding against Villa, but is he consistent? Campbell is a lost caause. He might still have the strenght in the ari and the sharpness of positioning, but pace and fitness is vital agains rooney and co, and that he doesn’t have. On top of all, we have Song who is tired and might not play at all, which means Denilson gets to falp out there as a fish on land. No offence against Denilson as a football player, but as a holding midfielder he’s not up to the task. He is a godd central midfielder, neat passing, tracks back, scores goals and is a general attacking threat. But he lacks the strenght, the will to battle and that general sence of danger. In addition Fabregas has lredy played 2 games in 5 days, he was tired against Villa and didn’t make as many of his brilliant runs as he usually does. agains united he will be exhausted within the firs 15 minutes. Clichy has also been absolutely terrible. He was totally owned by Ashley Young, and Valencia is no weaker opponent. This means a ton of crosses from gunners’ left side. Ramsey is also inefficual, Rosicky is invisible for most of the game, Eaduardo is like a flag pole on the field, no use at all, and Bendtner is fresh out of sick bay. All this just screams “DISASTER” and United are going to walk off comfortable winners if not dancing happy after putting 7-8 balls behind the helpless spaniard in gunners’ goal….. The mystery is how will Wenger explain this biggest loss in his career?

  • http://yahoo roy

    Hei Alex! Are you dreaming? Maybe you play too much fantasy football on Fifa 10. against fulham, man utd were thrashed like a prawn sandwich, and still this idiot or shall i say sickening prick that red noses team will put 7-8 goals against le prof team. let just see how it goes tomorrow, n maybe the best team win

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Alex is probably a Spud.

    Gallas has been superb all season. Clichy hasn’t been for 2 months, unless of course he’s been playing in his FIFA 010 side!

  • dtm

    You seem to to be slightly fucking wrong….your talking about us possibly having to use cover such as Kyle Bartley, ummm Alex Song at center back anyone? the guy is a fantastic player and can play anywhere. ‘The only other option’ is your a fucking idiot!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Alex Song is without doubt the most improved player of the season. You can forget out Flammini coming back, we don’t need him.

    I’ll be the first to person to hold my hand up before the start of this campaign, he was on my list of players that Wenger should of sold or even given away.

    I’ll also admit that Diarby has won me over big time too, before this latest setback he was superb and was finally playing to his potential.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    sometimes you have to put your hands up and say the best team won. We were outplayed in every position.

    Well done to United.

    Now Wenger, go and bid for David Villa!

  • Mike


    I don’t think it’s “fucking wrong” to include a player that has played in the Champions League at centre back against very decent opposition. Alex Song at centre-back? He plays centre back for his country but have never seen him play there for Arsenal.

    His challenge on Nani today was an absolute disgrace and should have been given a straight red.

    Then you would have lost by even more

  • United man

    weres that arsenal supporter darren? what hapened mate? what team won, before they say ronaldo made us win 3-0 in the champions league semi now what hapend? was ronaldo playing???….no we dealt with your after school football club boys,

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