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Welbeck celebrates his goal against Tottenham

Disclaimer: A biased fan’s views. No brownie points for discovering where the biasness lies. Also, no apologies for stepping on the nerves of Arsenal fans.

On the back of two wins for Manchester United and a draw and loss for Arsenal in their first two league games of the season, the buildup to the match between the two teams (scheduled for Sunday, the 28th of August) appears to be quite one-sided. Arsenal has yet to register a win in the Barclay’s Premier League, whereas Manchester United will be going into the game having scored 5 goals in their previous two games.

The reigning champions have started the season without some of their veteran players; Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Edwin Van Der Sar have all hung up their boots after last season. With some big names no longer at his disposal, Sir Alex Ferguson has deployed the likes Phil Jones, David De Gea and Tom Cleverley to fill up this chasm. The new Manchester United crop coming up this season is a young side; in fact, the team that Sir Alex put out against Tottenham was the second youngest side he has ever fielded in the Premier League.

Ah, ‘young’ seems to be the running joke of the Premier League.

This does not point towards Ashley Young.

“We are a young team, still in transition”. We may not be fortune tellers, but most football fans can predict this to be one of the first few sentences that Arsene Wenger will say if his team loses (as expected?). What Arsenal could learn from Manchester United, perhaps, is how a young team plays.

What we saw by United against Tottenham was nothing short of brilliant; alacrity, pace and beauty were all present, as well as brilliant passing and defending. It was a young united side, inspired by the likes of Cleverley, Anderson and of course, Young himself. With Welbeck, Anderson and Rooney getting the goals, the talk would still be about how well the young players gelled together.

So either Sir Alex Ferguson possesses some superhuman powers to skip the transition phase for his young team and make them brilliant in a single go, or – and more realistic – is the fact that Arsene Wenger perhaps has only one excuse for his team’s performance, or lack thereof.

If the excuse about the young team gets redundant in any way (which it has, but Mr. Wenger has to reiterate the fact that his team is still young), we can always expect a couple of other remarks. Referees will always be blamed for poor decisions, and the fans will be criticized for turning against their team (good choice, by the way). When that, too, gets boring, perhaps Arsene Wenger will then blame the sale of Fabregas and Nasri.

Perhaps Arsene Wenger needs to spend less time thinking up excuses and more time thinking up tactics. Let us, for a change, believe that Arsenal does have a young team in transition. Youngsters possess the pace and energy much needed for a football game; but then, Arsenal’s youngsters are still in the tedious process of getting acquainted with each other, the key to a happy Arsenal family.

It usually takes teams around four to five games to master the kind of coordination that United’s kids displayed in a single match. It usually takes Arsenal countless years to prepare its kids for a winning match.

This weekend, United fans will be rooting for a Red Devils victory. If, somehow, Arsenal does come out the winner in the weekend clash, we will never hear the end of it. Then again, Arsenal’s ‘young team’ may be intimidated in the remaining league fixtures by the sheer age of their opponents’ playing 11, and hence the ball will be in United’s court again (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Fans will look forward to a CLEVERLEY played game by United once again, whereas Mr. Wenger will probably be finding new excuses for the conspiracy against his Arsenal side that keeps them trophy-less, making them age backwards and more inexperienced. Perhaps that is why Arsene Wenger always claims to have a lack of age in his ARSENAL.

It is too early to predict how the season goes. But, at the end of the season, here is a ‘spot the difference’ puzzle for the fans.

“We have a young side, but full of energy and enthusiasm”.

“We are a young team, still in transition”.

See, it has gotten redundant already. But when will Arsenal learn?