Rob Smyth - When Arsène Wenger and Alex Ferguson fought bitterly to be top dog - The Guardian

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Xaviesta, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Apr 19, 2018
    #1

    Xaviesta Full Member

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  2. Apr 19, 2018
    #2

    FlawlessThaw most 'know it all' poster

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    Ah the good old days when we were really good and great to watch and Arsenal were relevant.
  3. Apr 19, 2018
    #3

    Wedge Full Member

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    I loved those clashes with arsenal back then, was a really good rivalry.
  4. Apr 19, 2018
    #4

    InfiniteBoredom Full Member

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    They went toe to toe with each other for about 6 years (98-04), before Mourinho arrived. After that, both nurtured a new team and there was only one clear winner.

    Our domination against them in our matches started from that Highbury 4-2 game, but the latter half of the decade and up to Fergie's retirement was simply embarrassing for Wenger. The CL semis 09, the 8-2, the 7 defenders FA Cup match, and of course, Robin van Persie walking out to a guard of honour at the Emirates.

    Those were the days though. I hated Arsenal with a passion during that early 2000s period, but they were beautiful to watch no doubt. Ljungberg, Berkamp, Pires, Henry, Gilberto Silva, Vieira, Adams. That was a fearsome team.
  5. Apr 19, 2018
    #5

    RedSky likes to kick 10-year-olds Scout

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    Battle of the Buffet was one of the best games to watch. I should try and find it online.
  6. Apr 19, 2018
    #6

    KM I’m afraid I just blue myself Staff

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    The FA Cup semifinal is one of those matches where if the same events happened in a movie, you'd dismiss it as over exaggerated and too fanciful. Such was the ridiculousness of the match.
  7. Apr 19, 2018
    #7

    SteveJ all-round nice guy, aka Uncle Joe Kardashian Scout

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    In this new world where City are, apparently, the greatest team in history, it's no surprise that the feature's tone is 'When dinosaurs ruled the Earth'.
  8. Apr 19, 2018
    #8

    Tommy bigot with fetish for footballers getting fingered

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    As good a place as any to post this :drool: Probably my favourite PL goal of all time.



    Man, I miss that Arsenal.
  9. Apr 19, 2018
    #9

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots Scout

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    When football was real. Footballers weren't so mard but there was plenty of flair around too. The fans would bring clackers and the subs would tend to crops on the touchline.
  10. Apr 19, 2018
    #10

    Bastian Full Member

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    Just had to watch the highlights again.



    Giggs' goal is the best United goal I can remember.
  11. Apr 19, 2018
    #11

    SirAF Ageist

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    Still do! :devil:

    The 2-0 and 4-2 matches during the 04/05 season are among my all time favorite matches. United’s aggression (tactical fouls @matherto!) and doggedness at Old Trafford, especially, was amazing to behold :drool:
  12. Apr 19, 2018
    #12

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt

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    I will never forget the away game in the 04/05 season.
    Fights between Arsenal and United fans broke out in the bar where my friends and I were.
    Madness as we were still kids. The United fans pummeled them and I got in a few kicks. :D
  13. Apr 19, 2018
    #13

    Ish Lights on for Luke

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    Aye, that match literally had it all: drama, action, breathtaking football, end to end stuff, moments of pure inspiration (Beckham, Schmeichel, Giggs etc.), anguish, the red card, penalty....joy!

    As you mentioned, Hollywood wouldn't be able to script it any better.
  14. Apr 19, 2018
    #14

    Siorac Full Member

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    Indeed. Sums it up really well. It is my favourite rivalry, too; these games were almost always entertaining and of a high quality. The rivalry with Liverpool with intense and I dread those games - but not only because losing feels terrible, also because the games themselves are generally dire.
  15. Apr 19, 2018
    #15

    Yagami Full Member

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    The comments from the Arsenal fans :lol:
  16. Apr 19, 2018
    #16

    Yagami Full Member

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    The 4-2 against Arsenal is probably my favourite game ever. Scholes and Keane bossing the midfield, Rooney and Ronaldo showing their potential, Giggs putting on a classic, an Arsenal team full of legends to boot.
  17. Apr 19, 2018
    #17

    horsechoker Sailor vee, this is a right off.

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    People think they miss Arsenal being a force but what they actually miss is Arsenal being a rival that would only win a title every few years and only somewhat threatened the dominance of United. Nobody will look back in fondness of the great City and Chelsea teams because they were far more competitive even if they have done so artificially.
  18. Apr 19, 2018
    #18

    RedSky likes to kick 10-year-olds Scout

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    Legend! Thanks, I will enjoy watching that again! :lol:
  19. Apr 19, 2018
    #19

    SambaBoy Full Member

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    Great rivalry. Had everything really, two top teams competing for the league, two of the best managers at the time. Two hard case midfielders going at it in Vieria and Keane backed up by Scholes & Petit, great attacking football with the wingers and strikers (Cole, Yorke, RvN, Henry, Bergkamp, Giggs, Beckham, Ronaldo, Ljungberg, Pires), and a lot of English players who probably hated each other (Cole, Parlour, Keown vs Neville's, Scholes, Butt, Brown etc) and a few hard nut foreigners or players who didn't mind dishing it out.

    You don't get rivalries like that anymore, players are too friendly to one another and any of the top tackles is an automatic red. You used to be able to smash each other in the first 15-20 minutes without picking up a booking. Perfect mix of aggression and quality in them games, usually season defining as well.
  20. Apr 19, 2018
    #20

    InfiniteBoredom Full Member

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    That's a weird thing to say given that City have won 3 titles in the last 7 years, the same as...shock horror, 96-03 Arsenal, or 04-10 Chelsea.

    There were only a football rivalry with that Chelsea of the 2000s, given that they were a bogey team to us even before the takeover and the Bridge was a tough ground for us to go to, but there were little if any animosity between the coaches and players, same with City. We as fans may dislike or deride them but the truth is it is nowhere near the pure visceral hatred that permeated both clubs during that time whenever the other was brought up.
  21. Apr 19, 2018
    #21

    Guy Incognito Full Member

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    Don't think anything will better the 1999 semi-final replay. That had it all.
  22. Apr 19, 2018
    #22

    youngrell Full Member

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    I'll look forward to watching this, thanks for the heads up.

    Absolutely great time for football and United.
  23. Apr 19, 2018
    #23

    Dundrummer Guest

    Nah, Chelsea were out best ever rivals because their obscene spending completely legitimised our success, and we mostly bossed the rivalry. Abramovich was a disaster for English football in a lot of ways, but if he hadn't come along we'd have most likely ended up like Bayern or Juventus are now, and people would have taken our success a lot less seriously. Instead Chelsea massively outspent us and yet between the takeover and SAF retiring we had six title races against them in six seasons of which we won four. We also beat them in a European Cup final and a quarter final, though they beat us in that awful FA cup final.

    Honestly, the rivalry with Chelsea between 05 and 11 was probably our most enjoyable ever for me, because they were so great (and so rich), but we were usually better. It had a great finale too.
  24. Apr 19, 2018
    #24

    Zoo Full Member

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    This was the PL at its highest point. Then Benitez and Mourinho arrived to turn it into a bit of a shit show.
  25. Apr 19, 2018
    #25

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    I wonder how long it will be before we humiliate a genuine title contender the way we did in those games?
  26. Apr 19, 2018
    #26

    JohnnyKills Full Member

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    Good read
  27. Apr 19, 2018
    #27

    beedoubleyou Full Member

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    My favourite years as a United fan. I can't get as offended by City, though to be fair, we're not even on their radar right now (bitter, blubbery fans aside).
  28. Apr 19, 2018
    #28

    GBBQ Full Member

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    That was the best time to be a United supporter for me, coincided with hitting the legal drinking age (the pubs were even packed mid week for a CL match) and making my first trips to Old Trafford. The seasons were always well fought and Arsenal were just pricks.
  29. Apr 19, 2018
    #29

    Djemba-Djemba Full Member

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    Mourinho has managed it before in his career so it is possible it'll happen under him I suppose.

    I wouldn't be betting any money on it though.
  30. Apr 19, 2018
    #30

    Frank Grimes Full Member

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    Every Liverpool fan was an Arsenal fan then.
  31. Apr 19, 2018
    #31

    Frank Grimes Full Member

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    Never thought it was a classic, much better games than that from memory. Highbury 1999 when Keane scored 2 goals, 2-2 in Highbury in 2003 were much better games and the FA Cup semi final in 99 were my favourite games.
  32. Apr 19, 2018
    #32

    Djemba-Djemba Full Member

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    Remember when a lot of people used to think Wenger was a better manager than Fergie?

    And it was probably a fair argument at least. I maintained Fergie was better even then but it wasn't a ridiculous argument to make.

    Imagine trying to argue Wenger was a better manager now? Fergie has been retired for 5 years and I bet he'd still be a better manager.
  33. Apr 19, 2018
    #33

    InfiniteBoredom Full Member

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    TBF it was a pretty tough ask since we were just kryptonite to that Arsenal team (they got some embarrassing losses to other top teams as well, but nowhere near as often as vs. us). As Evra once said, it was men vs boys and we would just simply bully them off the pitch. I don't think we would ever have the same characters in the team to do that to anyone ever again, and the same applied to all other in the league.
  34. Apr 19, 2018
    #34

    Sassy Colin Death or the gladioli!

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    There is a program on Monday on this, isn't there?
  35. Apr 19, 2018
    #35

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    I dunno. Most of the big teams around us (apart from, I think, Spurs?) Have copped an ass-whupping in recent years. Liverpool got beat 5 nil by City, who got smashed by Leicester and Everton the previous year. Chelsea got beaten 3 nil by Arsenal(!) last season. I guess the closest we would have to the 8-2 glory days would be wins over Liverpool and Spurs under Van Gaal.
  36. Apr 19, 2018
    #36

    InfiniteBoredom Full Member

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    The 8-2 itself was against a depleted Arsenal team that got a 19 year old as fullback (can't even remember his name now).

    Not just the scoreline, but the consistent manner of the performance was the key point during this period. We absolutely destroyed them both home and away in the CL semi in 09, then the next year won 2-1 at home and 3-1 away, then followed by a 1-0 at home with Park scoring the winning goal, then the infamous FA Cup game before the streak got broken when they won 1-0 in the Emirates with a Ramsey goal. Next season was the 8-2 and the 2-1 at Emirates. Despite the scorelines, we would invariably be the better team.

    Ass whupping happened regularly. Even the great Arsenal side copped that 6-1 at OT in 2001. We lost 0-4 to Chelsea and got them back at OT, Liverpool got 0-5 at Etihad then went 3 up in the return leg. Even our 08-11 team lost 0-4 at home to Liverpool. However, I can't think of a single match up in recent memories that was so singularly one sided as it was of us vs Arsenal during those years.
  37. Apr 19, 2018
    #37

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Carl Jenkinson. Funnily enough, we also had a 19 year old fullback in that game. His name was Phil Jones!

    We actually fielded a weakened team in that game too. Which made it all the more satisfying. Smalling and Evans in central defence, Cleverley and Anderson in midfield.

    No room for Rio, Vidic, Carrick, Berbatov, Giggs or Scholes in the starting XI.
  38. Apr 19, 2018
    #38

    Thisistheone Full Member

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    My favourite era by a mile. It was epic and sadly as Smyth says, we'll never see anything quite like it again.

    Looking forward to the program on Monday. So many classic matches, with the '99 semi being the obvious stand-out but the Keane Vieira tunnel spat is right up there, putting 4 past them at Highbury with Giggs being unplayable that night.
  39. Apr 19, 2018
    #39

    InfiniteBoredom Full Member

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    Wouldn't agree with that. Rio and Vida started that season very slowly, and Vida would end up eventually with an injury against Basel that ruled him out for basically the rest of the season. In the Community Shield we started with both of them in defence and went 0-2 down, changed both with Smalling and Evans and came back 3-2 with that Nani goal. The midfield pairing of Cleverley-Ando was also in great form, blitzing every team 5 or 6 nil during the summer tour, won 3-0 again Spurs the week prior (or was that the week after?).

    We played our best XI at the time on form, while Arsenal went through a tumultuous summer with the loss of Clichy and Nasri to City. After the match Arsene would go on a panic buy spree and got Mertersacker, Carzola, Arteta etc...

    A fit, in form and winning Utd destroyed a demoralised Arsenal that day. In the list of our domination that wouldn't rank quite high compared to other games on the 'weakened team' criteria.
  40. Apr 19, 2018
    #40

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Nah, I disagree. As we quickly found out, the Anderson-Cleverley midfield axis were flattering to deceive. The XI who started against Arsenal sure as shit didn't turn out to be the best XI over the course of that season. But whatever, not arsed about carrying this tangent on.