Tag Archives: Robin Van Persie

Manchester United no longer have the fear factor

On Sunday, Arsenal travel to Manchester United looking for their first victory at Old Trafford since 2006. It is the 1st time Arsenal would have played Manchester United since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. It will be the first time Arsenal would have been to Old Trafford since the fear factor of the ground was no more.

I am a cricket fan (despite this, please read on). For a long time in cricket, there was something called the ‘Shane Warne Theory’. The basics of it were that legendary Australian bowler Shane Warne could take wickets by being just Shane Warne. He did not need to bowl great, he did not need to spin it round corners, he could bowl slow and straight and take a wicket, because he was Shane Warne. A slow straight ball could get someone out, and his victim would be adamant that the ball span. Shane Warne had a physiological edge over opponent batsmen.

Batsmen would be beaten before they had faced a ball. They would be beaten before they walked to the crease. They lost their wicket in the dressing room, where they were fearful of facing Shane Warne. Fearful of how far he would spin it. Fearful that he was the greatest bowler of all time and that he would add their scalp to his collection. When they finally got to the crease, they looked forward, the fear was in their eyes. They were like a deer in headlights. And before you know it, Warne had bowled a tame, straight delivery, and the batsman was heading back to the pavilion. He had been beaten, not by the ball, but by the bowler. The fear factory of Shane Warne.

Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson also had this. Like with a cricketer playing the bowler, rather than playing the ball, teams went to Old Trafford and became scared. This was Old Trafford. This was Sir Alex’s Manchester United. Winners of 13 of the last 21 titles. They did not play the 11 players on the pitch, they played the club, the manager, they played Shane Warne.

Teams were beaten before they kicked off at Old Trafford. They were beaten before they got to the changing rooms. They were beaten before they travelled to the game. They were beaten on their own training pitch, when they accepted that Manchester United were so much better than them. Their manager would bash into them to defend, defend, defend, that a point is a good result, that Manchester United were brilliant. How can you beat a side when you know all the players facing you are superior. And superior by miles. They were beaten not by the physical aspect of playing Manchester United at Old Trafford, but the physiological aspect.

Of course Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling & Wes Brown are brilliant defenders, they play for Manchester United. Danny Welbeck, David Bellion, Bebe, top class striker, they must be, they play for Manchester United. Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, a 41 year old Ryan Giggs, these have to be top central midfielder’s, they play for Manchester United. And with that, you were physiologically beaten.

The amount of times I watched Manchester United play another Premier League side and that side throw the game away. Run scared. Change the way they play, and end up defeated. I have seen sides put in a heroic performances against Arsenal to snatch a draw, or win, to then next week, play with fear. It is as if they were a different side. And defeat followed.

In the 2010/11 season, Manchester United won the league title. The key behind their success was home form. They won 18 out of 19 games. Now this was not a vintage Manchester United team. There were no Ronaldo’s, Giggs (before he became a pensioner), Cantona’s, Keane’s or Beckham’s. No, they had this record with a very average squad. Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Park, Hernandez, Carrick, Nani, Fabio, Rafael, O’Shea, Fletcher, Valencia, Obertan, Macheda, Gibson & Bebe all played a part.

Read those names again, take out the fact they play for Manchester United, and you will realise they are all fairly average. How did they win 18 of 19 games at home? The fear factor.

With Sir Alex Ferguson leaving, the fear factor has left as well. David Moyes is an ordinary manager, and suddenly, teams are not looking at Manchester United like a world class team full of world class players, they are looking at them for what they are, a mid table side with distinctively average players.

Bar Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, they have no world beaters. An average goal keeper. A defence which will either contain aged, past it players, or young, naive players (Smalling – The English Senderos), full backs which can be got at, a slow, uncreative midfield and little width. The fact is Manchester United are not very good. Yet they are no different from last year, when they were Champions. What has changed? The fear factor have gone. Side are now playing the 11 players on the field, not Manchester United the club.

Of their 5 homes games this season, they have only won 2 of those. A 3-2 victory over Southampton and a 2-0 win over bottom placed Crystal Palace. Not exactly convincing!

The fear factor has certainly gone with Manchester United. And with Arsenal unbeaten away for over 260 days, the psychological aspect of the game could be turning. They should be fearing us now.

Manchester are there for the taking. Play without fear and we win.



Breaking News: Cesc does not love Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas left Arsenal 2 and a half years ago. The way some fans go on about him, you would still think he was at the club. The love for him amongst some Arsenal fan’s is embarrassing. Cesc Fabregas seems to of gained a fanboy following with some Arsenal fans. These fan’s need to realise Cesc Fabregas DOES NOT love Arsenal.

In the first of a two part interview with journalist Sid Lowe of The Guardian, reported in every other news outlet this morning, the line that seems to have got most fans wet is:

“Arsenal is in my heart and always will be.”

From this single line, fanboy’s and the press are getting excited that one day, their prodigal son, Cesc Fabregas, will return to Arsenal, conviently ignoring the next line of the interview where he says:

“I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to go back and play there one day.”

It is time for Arsenal fans to get over Cesc Fabregas. He was just another player for the club. One of hundreds. In an era when players only cared about themselves and not who they player. for . Cesc Fabregas is not an Arsenal legend. He would get nowhere near an Arsenal All Time XI.

What seems to have happened since Cesc Fabregas left Arsenal is his history at the club has been re-written in the way that a Hollywood screenwriter only seems to be able too. Many of his fan boys seem to forget the following 3 facts:

  1. In his last season at the club, Fabregas made it very clear that he wanted to leave and had an ego about him. This led to many fall outs with team mates whom he felt he was ‘above’. He had the go and arrogance of Henry with out the success.
  2. On the last day of the season, rather than be at the game against Fulham, Cesc Fabregas was at the Spanish Grand Prix. In contrast, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, also injured at the time, sat in the stands with the away fans for Liverpool’s visit to Aston Villa.
  3. Cesc Fabregas told the club he would not play for them again in the summer of 2011. He refused to train. He refused to go on tour. He basically went on strike.

This is a player who has said today that Arsenal will always be in his heart. So much so that he would rather watch cars go round a track then watch his beloved Arsenal. He could have watched the game and then sat on the side of the M25 for 2 hours.

Cesc Fabregas clearly does not love Arsenal. He is a professional footballer. He is the girlfriend who left her steady boyfriend for a rougher, riskier, less stable better one in the hope it works out. And like that girlfriend, she occasionally calls her old boyfriend, invites him on a night out, or pops round, just to keep him on the hook, just to keep him interested, incase it go’s wrong with the new one. The old boyfriend, like The Arsenal, are the fall back plan.

Arsenal fans, Cesc Fabregas fanboys, it is time to get over him. Move on. Cesc is not an Arsenal legend. He does not have Arsenal in his heart. Stop following him on twitter. Stop getting wet everytime he says something about Arsenal. He is not better than Robin Van Persie.

Spend your energy idolising Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey or Jack Wilshere. Leave Cesc Fabregas where he belongs, as part of Arsenal’s past. He is not part of Arsenal’s future.

Cesc Fabregas does not love Arsenal


Wilshere needs to learn from Ramsey

In today’s papers, a picture has been printed of Jack Wilshere, outside a night club, with a cigarette, ‘flirting’ with a pretty blonde. The paper claims that it was taken in the early hours of Wednesday morning, after the game against Napoli.

There are many different things going through my head. A player smoking, going on a night out and flirting with a girl a week after his childhood sweetheart has given birth. Let me quickly address these.

I do not have a problem with the smoking. Yes, it is a dirty habit. One which will kill you. It saddens me when I see a child in school uniform smoking, as they have succumbed to peer pressure and will end up dying young, having spent thousands of pounds slowly killing themselves. But that is a side point. A footballer smoking. He has got a lot of criticism for it.

However, a lot of people smoke. Zinadine Zidane smoked. Wayne Rooney has been caught with a cigarette. Reports were Robin Van Persie often liked a smoke. This has not effected any of these players. Footballers train so hard and regularly that the effects of smoking (ie blocked lungs) will have little, if any effect. Smoking might damage your health, but it will not effect Jack Wilshere’s performance.

The second point is being on a night out. There is no proof that Wilshere was drinking and usually after a game, players are given the night off. With the next day’s training often being light stretching and ice baths. The day’s are nowhere near as bad as the old Tuesday Club of Adams, Bould, Merson and Groves. There is no issue with a player going out after a game. Some go for a meal with their wives. Other’s go to a club. Jack Wilshere is 21.

The last point about him ‘flirting’ is the most ludicrous. Talking to a girl does not mean you a flirting. No one knows who this girl is, her relationship with Wilshere, or what they were talking about. In the words of Emmanuel Frimpong. Leave it, Yeah!

The press need to back off Jack Wilshere a bit. The British press are gutter scum. They have a history of building people up, then knocking them down, for the sole purpose of sales. That is what they are doing to Jack Wilshere. It is what they did to Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Gazza, George Best and more.

Rather then appreciate a talent, and let a player develop into a star who will represent his country, they knock him down. And this is all the story is. The Sun (I was not going to name the rag) have recently forced everyone to pay to access their website. This picture was no more than a way for them to force people to either pay for a paper, or log onto the website. This story is nothing but an attempt to increase sales.

Saying that, Jack Wilshere could do with looking at his midfield partner, Aaron Ramsey, and how he lives his life. A lot more private (or just less newsworthy?), his brilliant form this season is down to knuckling down and concentrating on his football. Jack Wilshere could do with spending the next few months concentrating on getting his place back in the Arsenal team. He needs to avoid putting himself in positions where the press, and fans could have a dig.

Wilshere is a talented individual, there is no doubt about that. However, he has to be a little careful that his football does not become disrupted or overshadowed by nights out. Pictures of him in clubs smoking, arrests or spitting at taxi drivers. Even having 2 children by 21 with a women who you have been in an ‘on off relationship’ with is a tad chavvy.

He needs to realise his god given gift. He needs to ensure he does not become a Frimpong, a Bentley or a Pennant. Knuckle down, concentrate on playing and he will become a superstar.

Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere could do for Arsenal what Xavi and Iniesta have done for Barcelona. We as fans just need to be patient, and they as players need to ensure they continue to put the hard work in.