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All Things Footie | Friday, April 18 | Jordan

To The Wire

Well. The meeting of Arsenal and Manchester United on Wednesday night has left us no wiser as to the destination of the title. It did show us that Arsenal’s luck is not all bad — for the forty or so times Thierry Henry has been flagged offside whilst being two or three yards on this season, it would be unfair to say he didn’t deserve a poor decision in the other direction. Once again though, Arsenal’s sloppy defending let them down, conceding two goals from poor errors by Sol Campbell and whoever it was that should have been marking Giggs for the second (probably Lauren).

Any luck the Gunners had didn’t last. An investigation into finding the sniper that shot that repugnant little snotball Ole Gunnar Sølskjær is underway as we speak; whilst Sol Campbell gets the blame in the meantime. I’d just like to add here that my dislike of the Norwegian paper boy is not a new thing; I have nothing but contempt for someone who plays football for the love of the money. Someone who for his entire career (did you realise he is 30 now?) has been happy to be ‘super sub’ without any ambition to play every week — something he has not and will never get at United. Ferguson has shown on numerous occasions that he would rather start Giggs or Scholes up front than Sølskjær.

Nice to see Sir Alex Ferguson congratulating referee Mark Halsey after the game with a bottle of vintage whiskey and a ‘cheque’s in the post’ wink. To say in an interview following the match that ‘elbowing needs to be stamped out’ because it’s ‘ruining the game’ deserved only to have been met with laughter, and it would have done had it been said by someone capable of spotting their own inconceivably tunnel visioned view of the World. Ruud Van Nistelrooy and David Beckham have been responsible for the two most blatant and advantage gaining elbows this season (Sylvain Legwinski and Lee Bowyer in case you have the memory of a United fan), both of whom escaped any form of punishment.

I have to say that the over eager pitch invasion and adrenaline fuelled shakey handed clapping by the red faced Glaswegian whinger reminded me of a similar moment several years ago involving a curly perm and a sweaty interview on Sky Sports. Ferguson is now the antagonised rather than the antagoniser, interesting situation.

I feel quite honestly that Arsenal, rather than Manchester United, now have the upper hand. Last season, they didn’t really become unbeatable until player of the year Robert Pires was injured; it may just be that Sol Campbell’s suspension, Patrick Vieira’s injury and United’s perceived superiority (despite being played off the park for the full 92 minutes and merely scoring two goals on the break on Wednesday) may just galvanise the spirit of Arsenal players who’ve so far failed to deliver this season. It may well be the time for Ljungberg, Pires and Gilberto to shine.

It’s certainly going to be an interesting few weeks anyway, and I'm certain that either or both Man U and Arsenal will drop points before the end of the season, you mark my words.

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