Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers from the Emirates Stadium.
Psychological fortitude! The will to win against all odds…… it’s all mental, it’s all in the head. Think just one tiny moment that you may lose… and that’s what will happen. Manchester United and Arsenal, a long history of rivalry and bitter battles. Viera and Keane, Keown and Van Nistleroy… Pizzagate. It’s all been there in our games against United, but we don’t win very often against them.
I have a good example on how psychology can affect the outcome of a contest. When I was 12 years old and at Barnsbury School for Boys in Eden Grove, there was another kid, William Cruikshank was his name. Short and fat he was and on the running track I’d beat him easily. On the football pitch I’d run past him with the ball as if he was standing still. He and I however, had a bitter dislike of each other and often had fights behind the metalwork shed. This is where the mental thing came into play. Despite several fights, I’d never beaten him. He was short, fat and slow. I was no Mike Tyson but my Dad had taught me how to win a fight.
But we’d get behind the metalwork shed and square up with a crowd of other boys in a circle around us and it started with me knowing that I was going to lose. He’d put his head down and come storming towards me with arms flailing, real haymakers swinging towards my head, and I had no defence against it. Psychologically I was beaten before the first punch was thrown. Despite being the better fighter, he always beat me because mentally I’d lost already.
It feels a bit like that when the Arsenal play United. We haven’t won a game at Old Trafford since a 1 – 0 win in 2006/07. Eight years without a win there. Has it become mental for us? Are the boys now getting it into their heads that they will not win tomorrow no matter how well they play? The game at the Emirates this season we were clearly the superior side but United came away with the three points… it can only be something psychological.
Our stats against them since then are not good. We beat them 1 – 0 at the Emirates in the 2010/11 season but that has been a rare occurance. So my observations are that it’s a mental thing. We’ve had better teams than them over the last ten or so years but have rarely beaten them. This season they probably have the worst team for many years, despite having the Dutchman, Rooney and Falcao in their forward line. Is this the time to put the mental block against them to bed and get a win at Old Trafford? On paper we are a better team this season, but it needs to be proved on the pitch……….. can we do that? I’m not too optimistic but if the team that beat City turn up tomorrow then it can be done. I just hope they are preparing mentally and not just physically.
William Cruikshank you short arsed fat fucker… I hope you got beaten up a few times later in life.
Right, time for a glass of wine and some spicy chorizo. Hope you enjoyed your visit… until the next time.