Date:Sunday December 9 2007
Now I won't say that our Scot has strange psychic powers. Arsenal were facing two difficult away games and a very tough December with several key players injured - wasn't exactly rocket science to say they are bound to drop points.
Yet the great calmness with which he responded to questions about Arsenal's form and our title prospects was telling: this was a man who was confident about his own team, possibly more than even some of the fans. Arsenal started in blistering fashion but that could not rattle Fergie, the only thing that really got him out of his stride was that Gallas equaliser.
I won't say we're gonna win the league, especially that Arsenal are still top of the table. However, some pundits already suggested they are unbeatable, comparisons with their 2004 team were up and running... surely someone should have realised that they just can't sustain the form of the first three months of the season?
Journalists were impressed with Arsenal's first-half performance at Villa Park yet, their vision clouded by their love towards Arsenal, failed to see that they were run ragged in the second half which did not bode well for them.
Judging by their performances in Newcastle and Middlesbrough, Arsenal clearly find it more difficult to deal with injuries than any of their rivals. United, with absolutely staggering number of injuries, and with key players not in particularly blistering form, still managed to keep the pace with an Arsenal side firing on all cylinders. It is a bit like the autumn of 2002 - the pundits had as good as crowned Arsenal that autumn, only for the Gunners to collapse spectacularly in the latter stages of the season.
I'm not trying to suggest that something like that will happen. Arsenal have the ability and the nerve to bounce back - but the real test is here and now, staring at them. And it's amazing how short-sighted journalists can be: they proved that yet again with the shameless hyping of Arsenal during all the autumn, claiming they will walk away with the league with their wonderful players... But unlike Richard Williams of Guardian, I did not think and still don't think that Emmanuel Adebayor is better than Wayne Rooney. You know what I mean?
Date:Sunday December 9 2007
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Stats: Aston Villa v United (Saturday December 20 2014)
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Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 1 (Saturday December 20 2014)
|Aston Villa||1||-||1||Man Utd|
|Man Utd||3||-||0||Hull City|
|2. Man City||17||12||3||2||+22||39|
|3. Man Utd||17||9||5||3||+12||32|
|4. West Ham||17||9||4||4||+10||31|
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