Arsenal Supporters Prepare For A Winter Of Discontent

It wasn’t so much the fact of the defeat itself, of course. There are few clubs on the planet that would expect to come away from Old Trafford with a win but this was not really the matter at hand. What will have been vexing Arsenal supporters this afternoon will have been the manner of their defeat. This match was emphatically not the sort of titantic battle of wills and egos that we have come to expect from such fixtures in recent years. This was a match between championship contenders and a mid-table side, a welcome perfunctory Saturday afternoon stroll for a Manchester United squad that has been exerted by two consecutive matches against Chelsea in the last six days, and the final result was one which, if anything, flattered the losers even more than it flattered the winners. The paucity of Arsenals performance this afternoon may even have been sufficient to cast a shadow over what should have been the over-arching story of this match – Robin Van Persies first match against the club that he called home for eight years. Van Persie had his moment, of course, scoring inside three minutes after an increasingly customary mistake by Thomas Vermaelen, and in some respects it almost felt like a relief to have this sub-plot defined so early in the game. From here on, the match fell into what...

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