The Black Cats nearly secured a goalless draw at Old Trafford last December, conceding in the last minute against the champions, although they were able to keep Arsenal at bay on Saturday. The result leaves the Gunners with much work to do if they are to land a top four spot, and Arsene Wenger is not a happy bunny.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Frenchman has criticised Sunderland for pitching up at the Emirates with a (shock horror) defensive gameplan which successfully nullified the home team. Wenger clearly couldn’t contain his frustration at the final whistle, complaining to his opposite number that the visitors should have tried to play football.
It was a well-worn theory of the Frenchman’s and not for the first time it was utter nonsense. Sbragia disclosed that a heated Wenger had approached him at the final whistle to say: “You should come here and play football.” The Sunderland manager added: “That’s difficult to take from our point of view, and it’s unnecesary.” His indignation was justified for his team, from Anton Ferdinand at centre-half to Kenwyne Jones up front, had neutered an Arsenal side bolstered by the debut of Andrei Arshavin with admirable efficiency.
We’ve heard criticism like this before, with Jose Mourinho once accusing the Spurs team of ‘parking the bus’ in front of their goal. However, Arsenal simply don’t have the skill nor the creative players to unlock a defence like Sunderland’s at the moment. It was the same story against West Ham in their last home match, where they clearly missed the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott. Are Gunners fans still confident that they can land a place in the Champions League next season?