The Premier League title is a pipe dream, The League Cup has gone on the oligarch’s mantelpiece and progress in The Champions League seems unlikely which leaves retention of The FA Cup as an opportunity for genuine glory. Let’s be clear: finishing in a league position that qualifies for Champion’s League Football is not glory, it’s commerce for a club that have no chance of winning the thing under the present manager.
So Monday night is the biggest game of the season so far for The Arsenal. Victory not only takes us one step nearer to a fitting for those Wembley suits, but eliminates the threat of a United side that, although a shadow of former versions has a habit of beating us even when being outplayed.
Of course Manchester United v Arsenal at Old Trafford once was a must see event full of drama and key to the destination of the title. That both teams have declined since those halcyon days should not distract from the meaning of this particular fixture. Van Gaal and Wenger both need a trophy to put alongside ECL qualification, more so if they finish outside the top four.
Old Trafford has been the scene of glory for Arsenal, including a decisive victory in the FA Cup in 2003, but let us not forget that it has been the scene of humiliation so it’s hard to predict what the outcome will be on Monday. Let’s hope that the referee does not play a key part in proceedings as we have been harshly treated by Refs at Old Trafford on a number of occasions. One thing that’s clear is that it is a must win for both clubs both for the immediate future and the long term.
Times change and a London Club and a Manchester Club fight it out for a title: the difference being what once was a red battle is now a blue one. In this environment winning a trophy, any trophy has greater significance and I for one want to see Van Gaal as unhappy as Ferguson was after we knocked United out in 2003. Let's hope that the boots are flying in the Home team dressing room come the final whistle.