10/12/2010 23:00, Report by Daniel Etchells
1 of 2 Next 

Boss expects a classic

Sir Alex Ferguson is expecting United’s clash against Arsenal to be befitting of the "pride and history" of both clubs.

The Reds go into Monday night’s game just a point behind the Gunners knowing a win will put United back at the Premier League's summit.

And although Sir Alex concedes that the rivalry between the two sides hasn’t been quite as intense since the emergence of Chelsea as a major force back in the 2004/05 campaign, he still always anticipates a match full of drama whenever the pair go up against each other.

“The games, particularly four or five years ago, were so important because both of us were challenging for league titles,” said the boss. “Chelsea have now come in and it’s been ourselves and Chelsea over the last five years.

“Nonetheless, it’s Manchester United against Arsenal and the history of both teams always guarantees a match of intensity and, a lot of the time, controversy.

“I think Monday's game will be more or less the same because the pride and history of both clubs determines that.”

Arsene Wenger’s side have failed to secure any silverware since - many would say, in contrast to United's dominance in the match - triumphing over the Reds in the 2005 FA Cup final, and in recent years the Gunners have received much criticism for showing a lack of battling qualities needed to grind out results.

However, Sir Alex believes that’s no longer the case. He considers Arsenal to be a much more mature outfit, gritty as well as pretty - and capable of ending their trophy drought this season.

"I think the general shape of the team has been far more mature and aggressive this year," he added. "They were very difficult to beat in the days of Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira and the three at the back - Keown, Adams and Bould. That brought them great success and I think that this team is showing that kind of maturity now.

"They will still try to play the attractive football Arsene believes in, but there's definitely been a slight change.

1 of 2 Next 


Premier League