Thierry Henry ain’t walking through that door
Sky Sports – MANCHESTER UNITED HOST ARSENAL IN FA CUP QUARTERFINAL BLOCKBUSTER
This is realistically both teams’ last chance of silverware this season, with United out of contention on all fronts and Arsenal only hanging on by a thread in the Champions League, where they find themselves 3-1 down after their first leg with Monaco.
Arsenal are through to the FA Cup last eight for the 11th time under Arsene Wenger and have progressed to the semi-final in nine of the previous 10.
The only time they were eliminated was in 2011 against United, who have won nine and lost none of the last 10 matches against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
It’s really funny that when the draw was made Arsenal fans got all excited to play another “big game” against their “rivals” Manchester United at Old Trafford. But I don’t think Arsenal fans have realized that this isn’t the mid 2000’s anymore and that’s just not going to happen.
I’ll be the first to admit that Manchester United and Arsenal were kings of the Premier League in the early 2000’s. The two teams battled it out at the top of the table every year and when they met head to head, those were some of the best games in Premier League history. I’m already on record as to saying I wish we can go back to those days and that I’ve been reliving those epic matches on YouTube this week.
But unfortunately for Arsenal, Thierry Henry isn’t walking through that door. Patrick Vierra and Dennis Bergkamp aren’t walking through that door. Manchester United vs. Arsenal just hasn’t been the same over the past few years. Well actually, more then a few years, pretty much since the Emirates opened this ‘rivalry’ has been about as one sided as the Yankees and Red Sox were before 2004.
Think about it, when was the last time Arsenal even beat United? The answer is a 1-0 win in May of 2011, where we went on to beat Chelsea and win the league the following week. I wouldn’t even have put it past us to have lost that game on purpose since at that point winning the title over Chelsea was a hell of a lot sweeter then winning it over Arsenal. Hell, Arsenal couldn’t even beat United during the David Moyes era when EVERYONE beat United. Seriously, not only did Manchester City, Liverpool, and Everton do the double over United last season, but they also lost home games at Old Trafford to Newcastle, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion, and Tottenham! Yet Arsenal still couldn’t beat us last year!
The last time United failed to beat Arsenal in the league in a season was 2008/09, when they lost at the Emirates and drew at Old Trafford but even at that season comes with a huge asterisk as the draw at Old Trafford won United the league, and United defeated Arsenal both at home and away in the UEFA Champions League semi-final. So who really wins that one?
“Yea but this is the FA Cup where you can throw all that stuff out the window!” say Arsenal fans. Except the last time these two teams met in the FA Cup United progressed with a 2-0 win in a match where their four midfielders were RAFAEL, FABIO, DARRON GIBSON, AND JOHN O’ SHEA! That’s three right backs and a central midfielder who couldn’t do anything other then shoot and was eventually sold for just £4 million.
You can’t even find highlights of that game on YouTube I assume because it was that bad, so I’ll leave you with highlights of the last time they met in the FA Cup before 2011. The 5th round of the 2008 FA Cup where Arsenal made Darren Fletcher look like Cesc Fabregas and if that wasn’t enough they made both Nani and Anderson look like they were going to become world class players.
Have a great weekend, enjoy the FA Cup action and follow the Sweatpants Report on twitter
*I’m not even getting into the Arsene Wenger vs. Sir Alex Ferguson rivalry debate here. That’s a different post for a different that I 100% plan on and look forward to writing.