Manchester United dropped points again in another must-win game against Watford. The match ended in a goalless draw to Arsenal and Tottenham’s delight. However, what has made the draw worse is revealed simply by looking at United’s upcoming fixtures.
Arsenal will revel in knowing that United face Manchester City, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Spurs in the next few weeks as well as Leicester City and Everton. The Gunners face United at the Emirates on the 23rd of April, barring any late rescheduling, and hopefully will have pulled away from Ralf Rangnick’s side by then.
Many believed Man Utd to be title contenders at the start of the season after securing the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. However, after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it became clear the season would be a rescue job to secure Champions League football for next season.
Yet, the season so far has been thwarted with controversy, questions and off-field matters. Ronaldo, in particular, has struck a dejected figure and as the clock ticked towards full-time, the Portuguese icon was again left frustrated.
Perhaps United and Ronaldo need to look towards Arsenal and see why a club with such a young squad, and who are comparatively weaker regarding raw quality, is having so much more success.
Evidence of this was shown in a moment from Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Wolves that has gone viral. The clip shows Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel Magalhaes react after Hee-chan Hwang puts the visitors 1-0 up after a mistake from the Brazilian.
Ramsdale immediately goes to his teammate to reassure him and follows him back out of his box continually giving him support and encouragement.
The togetherness of the Arsenal side has been evident throughout the campaign and they are all the better for it. The celebrations of the team have annoyed opposition sides but have motivated the club even more to succeed.
Speaking afterwards, Mikel Arteta explained how he actively encouraged his players to celebrate freely.
“And I encouraged them to celebrate every victory. Because you can tell how difficult it is in this game to win football matches,” explained Arteta.
“Our supporters are the same, every time we win we should celebrate because when you lose or draw you know the faces are always [sad].”
Ronaldo and Manchester United perhaps need to be a more unified group if they want to achieve their own ambitions and compete with Arsenal for the top four.
At full-time, Ronaldo stood with his hands on his hips shaking his head. When Arsenal lost 5-0 at Manchester City, the players went to the supporters with a sense of ownership. The fans backed them and have been rewarded since.
There is a different attitude about this group that Arteta has cultivated, and Aaron Ramsdale has been at the heart of the never-say-die rhetoric that continues to grow.