View From The Opposition: Former Arsenal player & bloggers ahead of United clash

So, here we are. The Premier League returns after the end of another international break. Yippee.

While they are a club a lot of you detest, Arsenal have a number of renowned blogs. They provide respected online communities and some are prominent published authors. The founders of Arseblog, GoonerTalk, Arsenal Fan TV, Le Grove and others have kindly agreed to answer questions regarding their club and, of course, not letting them away with it, the mighty Manchester United.

Even former Arsenal player Danny Karbassiyoon has answered some of the questions. You all should remember his goal against City selfishly refusing to square the ball to Robin van Persie, but we’ll get into that another time…

“By FAR The Greatest Team…” Arsenal fans like to sing on the terraces. Agree or not with what the lads below say about different matters, feedback never goes unrecognised. Let us know what you think in the comment section, email or via social media (Twitter or Facebook).


  1. Thoughts on Arsenal this season?
  2. Gutted about allowing Fabregas join Chelsea?
  3. #WengerIn or #WengerOut?
  4. Tell us about Welbeck’s life at Arsenal thus far?
  5. Feelings on van Gaal?
  6. Top 4 come May?
  7. If you had the option to take one player currently in the Premier League to Arsenal, who would it be?
  8. United are yet to win away from home this season. Are you confident?

Andrew Mangan, Arseblog

1. Defensively we’re a bit of a shambles, but then when you go into a season with just 6 defenders you run the risk of that happening. The injuries to Debuchy and Koscielny have been hugely destabilising, as have the attempts to cope by throwing as many men forward as possible at all times. We haven’t really performed well with any consistency and annoying injuries to plays like Arteta, Wilshere and Ramsey, as well as serious ones for Giroud and Ozil, have hampered things too.

So far a very underwhelming season.

2. Yes, not simply because he didn’t re-join Arsenal but because Chelsea are such horrible cunts.

3. #wengershakeitallabout – it’s almost a redundant question because the board have desire or compunction to make any change in that regard and he’s just signed a three year deal.

4. I think most of us have been impressed. He probably should have more goals at this point but he works hard, does an incredible amount of selfless running and has been a real asset for us.

5. None really but I’m sure that will change as the season goes on. Despite your poor start, he looks better suited to United than Moyes ever did.

6. Not impossible but it might be as much because those around us haven’t been much good.

7. I’d take a good centre-half from anywhere at this point. Maybe Vincent Kompany, even if his niceness tends to make people think he’s better than he actually is.

8. Not really. You have excellent attacking options and our defence is dodgy as anything right now. I suppose it works both ways that one, so I suspect we might get a draw.

Oliver Shorts, ClockEnders & Arsenal Podcast

1. Terrible. We’ve dropped too many points against weak opposition. Two draws at home to Spurs and Hull stand out plus the away loss at Swansea and draw vs Leicester. Saying this we’re still within touching distance of City and Southampton won’t keep it going. There aren’t many teams who will be content with their starts.

2. Gutted that he joined a rival club. I understood it at the time as Ozil was our man in the middle but Arsene continued to to play him on the left. We let RVP join you and he won you the league and we’ve let Cesc join Chelsea and again he’ll be integral to them winning the league.

3. Out! Only recently though. 10 years and one FA Cup isn’t a good enough return. How can any manager believe that one of Arteta or Flamini can win you a league is beyond me. There is a reason we struggle against the top teams and that’s down to the manager. Last season we had a stunning start yet as supporters we were still convinced that we wouldn’t win the league despite being top in Jan and this season despite a poor start we still know we’ll finish in the ‘Top 4’. The fact we can’t move from this position for me is down to Arsene. As supporters we can be happy with 3rd or 4th every year or do we have the ambitions to challenge for the title? For me it’s the latter and the only thing that seems to stop us is the reluctance of our manager and board.

4. It’s been OK but not spectacular. We do like him as he gives his all and he’s very young. He’ll improve at us and he’ll get the time to do so. His link up play is very good and helps the team, however he needs to be more clinical in front of goal. It’s a 6/10 for me so far.

5. I’m not really sure what I think about him. He had a brilliant World Cup and your pre season was exciting but since that opening day defeat to Swansea he’s flattered to deceive. Was Moyes just unlucky that last season Arsenal, City, Chelsea and Liverpool all started well? Saying that I went to see SAF live last month and he’s convinced that LVG will bring success to the club.

6. Obviously!

7. Matic. Our defence when fit is very good. We need depth in this department. However our defensive midfield options are two thirty somethings who aren’t good enough. This is our major wink link in our team and needs addressing. He reminds me of Gilberto and he’s one of those players that when playing you don’t really see but the minute they come out of the side you realise how valuable they really are. We called Gilberto the invisible wall and Matic is this player. Big, strong and reliable.

8. I’m always confident at home. However our defence is very fragile and our confidence has been shot over the last two games. It’s about time we beat you lot and I think we’ll pull through. However bad our defence is, I think yours is worse and with Sanchez in the form he’s in I’m confident we’ll get the result.

Nat Shaughnessy, Back Page Football

1. We’ve been bad. Really, really bad. We are yet to win anything resembling a challenging game (even at Villa Park, they had players throwing up in the tunnel at half time) and have had far too many draws against average opposition. Players like Ramsey, Mertesacker and Szczesny who were fantastic last season have all seemingly lost the will to play. Only God knows where we’d be without Sanchez.

2. I don’t buy into this whole Arsenal fans’ hate towards Cesc. Whilst he didn’t go about his move to Barcelona in the right way, he never lied (unlike some former players) about his intentions and was a phenomenal player for us to the end. I would’ve definitely taken him back. Am I gutted we didn’t? At the moment, yes. If Özil is able to become the player for us that we all know he is capable of, perhaps I won’t be so gutted in a season or two’s time.

3. #WengerOut. Wenger has been our greatest manager ever, and has steered us towards a new era where we are as well poised as any to challenge for top honours at home and in Europe. However, it’s become more and more apparent that the tactical side of the game has left him behind. He might be a wonderful negotiator, ambassador for the club, finance manager etc… but he hasn’t beaten a ‘big club’ in a Premier League game for probably over two years now – Arsenal 1-0 City in April 2012 is the last one that springs to mind. It is really difficult to see that changing now, especially given his age and stubbornness. We need a fresh approach. How can we expect to push on and win the Premier League if we can’t beat the other challengers more often than once every three years?

4. I almost felt sorry for Danny Welbeck after he scored a hat trick against Galatasaray. The poor guy was getting compared to Henry and flattering though it must be, it also creates a hugely unfair and unsustainable level of expectation. That aside, the early signs from Welbeck have been encouraging indeed and whilst the goals might have not flowed in recent weeks – his link up play and threat on the counter attack make him a large improvement on Giroud. I expect he’ll only get better as his understanding with team mates and maturity as a striker develops.

5/6. I vehemently dislike Louis Van Gaal. His arrogance despite chronic underachievement not just at United but at several teams he’s managed astounds me. I also think his ego got in the way of making effective transfers this summer: who did United need more – Radamel Falcao or a solid but unglamorous centre back? The centre back. Who makes Louis Van Gaal look better? Falcao.

That said, I think United probably will make it into the top four. When that attack clicks it will be quite breathtaking and as many an Arsenal fan can testament to, you don’t need to beat the big teams to finish fourth, you just need to win a whole lot of your other games. That’s something the attack alone should be able to do, even if the defence is unable to cope with a higher quality of opponent.

7. Probably Nemanja Matic. I feel like he would fit perfectly into our system whilst being exactly the type of midfield enforcer that the team is crying out for. Sure, he’s not necessarily going to send as many hearts fluttering as Di Maria, Hazard and Aguero would… but we have players who are capable (and some very good) in those positions now. We have no one in the defensive midfield position who would even have their place guaranteed at a mid table side. That’s what we need to push on, not another lavish attacker.

8. I probably should be, but no. I just need to look at last season and the failure to beat even the most average of United sides to question whether the mentality is right amongst both the players and the manager to get a result. In fact, it was only a late, match winning save from Szczesny to deny Robin Van Persie at the Emirates that prevented David Moyes doing the double over us! Anyway, United may be yet to win away from home, but Arsenal’s 3 wins, 4 draws and one loss (all competitions) is hardly a formidable home record.

Danny Karbassiyoon, SWOL & Arsenal 2003-2005

1. It’s been a frustrating season thus far because of the draws, but I think there have been some positives as well. The summer signing of Alexis Sanchez has been excellent for the team and the club in general. His energy and ability on the pitch raise the standard of everyone around him and I think he’ll be a joy to watch for years to come. The return of Theo has also raised excitement levels around the training ground and in the stands. Whenever you get a player back from a long term injury, it really is like a new signing, and his return will make competition for places that much better.

There was a lot said about Arsenal finally getting over the hump and winning a trophy and we’ve done that at the end of last season with the FA Cup – now it’s a matter of getting back into our rhythm and putting a string of wins together to get everyone going again.

4. I assume it is similar to us having to see van Persie in a United kit?! Welbeck has already proven to be a valuable signing and because of the fact that he’s familiar with the league and even many of his teammates because of the England setup, he’s come into our team and contributed straight away. Giroud’s injury at the start of the season gave us a bit of an issue up front but Danny has come in and lead the line brilliantly. He’s scoring for both club and country currently which will do wonders for his confidence and with Giroud returning, it’ll only make our attacking options that much better. Welbeck and Giroud have different styles and I think it’ll benefit us greatly down the stretch.

5. I think any time top managers come to the Premier League it only helps the standard and raises the level of the league. Though he isn’t enjoying the best of starts, he’s shown in the past that he’s more than capable of achieving success and I’m sure he’ll get his team firing soon. It was always going to be an interesting time once Sir Alex Ferguson left United, and I think the club are really doing their best to figure things out without him involved on a daily basis. Brining in a manager that has had success in Spain, Holland, Germany and at the international level isn’t a bad way to go about doing it.

6. Though we’ve had an up and down start, the Premier League is a long and grueling beast and I think, as always, we have what it takes to be near the top come May. There have been a couple of new, early contenders in the mix with West Ham and Southampton shooting to the top, which has certainly made things interesting. While it is always nice to have things mixed up in the top four, I do hope its at the expense of another team come the end of the season!

8. I am confident but it isn’t because of records or anything from the past. United are United and they could be on a five game losing streak and still come to Arsenal and give us the game of the season. There’s an exciting history between the two sides that always makes for some sort of drama when they both meet.

I think both managers will admit they haven’t had the starts they want, but come the weekend, they’ll both be solely focused on what’s ahead of them instead of what’s behind them. It seems as if the large number of injuries sustained during the international break will play some sort of role in the match, but both sides will put out good teams and it should be a cracking match. Needless to say, I’ve got us coming out on top.


1. Its been a strange old start for a few clubs including The Arsenal, again we have suffered some injuries to key players, coupled with the new players having to go straight in at the deep end it has been quite a
difficult start. Alexis has been a revelation and could well prove to be cheap at £31m but defensively we have been naive when defending a lead. Its about time the experienced players take responsibility on the pitch and manage the game better.

2. Haha, Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I always wanted Cesc to come back to Arsenal, he is a true world class player and I think it was a mistake to let him go to Chelsea. Having said that we have to accept the manager’s reasons, we have a lot of players in the same position and although we are a bit more competitive in the transfer market we are not in a position to just “stock” players without playing them like City & Chelsea can afford to do. We need the money to improve other areas.

3. No brainer, WengerIn. he’s divided the fan base sadly but I believe his work in the last 8 years will go down as his best years at the club. I think the Arsenal fans that want him gone are just bored of waiting, they think we have underachieved and have a right to win the PL. They refuse to accept the money Chelsea, City and Man Utd have got has had an influence on the situation which is frankly “potty”. I believe he will prove them wrong again but if he is hounded out I would always support the new man as any Arsenal fan should do. It will always be the Arsenal FC not Arsene FC.

4. I was surprised you let him go, and for 16m it is incredible. Danny had better offers i am told and he held out for the Arsenal deal and had to work hard to push it through. Since he arrived he has endeared himself to the fans with his tireless work rate. People may laugh but I do see some similararities between him and the world legend Thierry Henry, he has great pace, runs in behind defenders which we haven’t had for a few years, has good touch and i think he’ll get plenty of goals for Arsenal with the creative players we have. He has got a lot to do to get to Tito’s level but a great signing so far.

5. Its a massive job following Sir Alex’s incredible work at Utd, work that we are never likely to see happen again in world football. Its been a difficult start, The PL is so competitive, any club can beat you no matter what position they are in and he has changed the set up and style of play a couple of times but if he is given time i do believe that he will get Utd back to competing for the PL title again, might take 2 or 3 years though.

6. Yes I believe we will finish 3rd behind the financially doped Chelsea and City. Utd should squeeze into receive the 4th place trophy that we have held for a few years.

7. Sergio Kun Aguero, when you have him in your team even with our defence we would win the lot.

8. You have a great record at ours since we moved home. We both have injuries and both need the win. I think we are a bit more settled that Utd at the moment and although it will be tight I think we’ll nick it 1-0. Scorer? You guessed it, Danny Welbeck!

More Stories Arsenal Arsene Wenger Cesc Fabregas Chelsea Danny Karbassiyoon Danny Welbeck Louis van Gaal Manchester United Mezut Ozil Mikel Arteta Nemanja Matic Robin van Persie