The way I see it - Arsenal v Manchester United

Last updated : 29 January 2010 By Jason Hogan

In the context of our current situation I demanded a strong reaction and held the view that for their own self esteem, Arsenal needed one. Well it's safe to say that neither I nor Arsenal got what they wanted.

I was shocked to be greeted by sensationalist headlines on Thursday morning. Wenger was supposedly ruffled and in his own frustration chose to "criticise" Villa's style of play? I'm sorry but, Eh?

Wenger did nothing of the sort. In broad strokes he suggested that Villa played a typically English game closed us down, denied us space and got the ball forward quickly. What the hell is wrong with that?

His counterpart Martin O'Neill was affronted by this however. His side is heavily populated with English players yet when Wenger comments on the way his side plays, he bitterly refutes it. What is O'Neill suggesting? Given that his side are largely and English one was he by refuting this and taking some offence to it actually denouncing his side for playing in an English way? For someone who puts his store in using English players was O'Neill (in refuting and taking offence to Wenger's comments) subtly saying that his side play a cultured continental game? Do me a favour, O'Neill.

If anything, Wenger though obviously disappointed praised Villa for playing good old honest English football. Isn't that supposed to be what Villa are all about given your trust in promoting English players O'Neill? Because if it's not, then you have (by refuting this and effectively denouncing the English way of playing) certainly stirred up a xenophobic hornets nest and I will certainly not be around to save you from a fierce riposte.

Now I may be well off the mark and twisting things to suit my own ends but if it is good enough for the roadkill outside of Arsenal to do that, then why should I be any different? After all, I can be as obtuse as any non-Arsenal fan whenever I see fit.

As for the game itself, well it was a bit like listening to Villa play Liverpool the other day. It was a tight contest, almost an arm wrestle between two evenly matched opponents. Fabregas was denied by an upright, Arshavin was denied by Friedel and Rosicky was inches away from giving us the lead having hit the underside of the bar. But Stewart Downing was guilty of fluffing two golden chances for Villa.

That was pretty much it in a match that meandered to a draw. Was it a satisfactory result? Depends on what your point if view is, really. If you are talking in terms of the title then I would of course say no. But if I were to take this fixture at face value, remember that we were not supposed to finish in the top four and that Villa are not a bad side that went into this game with top four aspirations of their own, then a point against them at Villa Park isn't exactly a disaster.

What was disastrous was the injury to Vermaelen. The boy limped off with a suspected broken fibula. Mercifully, fears that his injury was serious have been allayed and he could be back within a fornight.

I really didn't know whether to emotionally stick or twist after the match (see what draws do?). I couldn't say I was delighted but at the same time I wasn't overly disappointed. We at least fought our corner and gave pretty much as good as we got.

Looking forward to Sunday, I think it's a massive game in as much as pride is concerned. Even if this was a relegation scrap I would desperately want their blood on my hands.

When I see ManUre, I visualise of a top of the range pristine Aston Martin looking at me pretentiously as I walk through leafy suburbia. That car wouldn't look so good with a few dents in it and a pile of dog crap draped over it, I would think.

Come to think of it, I do have vivid dreams of the Old Toilet being wiped out by a napalming incident with 70-odd thousand of their dragged up, obnoxious, narcissistic, bottom-feeding sitting comfortably inside.

Whilst I am aware that this may be juvenile, vulgar and altogether a sick fantasy (believe me when I say I have plenty more where that one came from about that lot from the Old Toilet) I make absolutely no apologies for it.

The Champions League semi final defeat still remains a raw subject and if it was down to me revenge will be administered in the coldest of blood.

The press may use the fact we have gone five years without a trophy. Let's hope we can take our pent up frustration out on them. In my book there is no better place to start doing just that.