A piece by Michael Owen in yesterday’s Telegraph caused quite a social media furore; not least because his criticism was for a side that currently sits at the top of the Premier League having not dropped a point since the opening day.
Writing about Arsenal, Owen said they did not strike him as a top-four side, that none of their defenders would get into an all-star XI, and that if Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud reverted to the players they were last season, the Gunners would be in trouble.
But in light of another weekend of highs for Arsenal and lows for Owen’s former club Manchester United, should it not be David Moyes’ side that the former striker focuses on?
After all, it is the champions who currently look anything but a top-four side, residing in 12th place after a third defeat in their opening six league games.
After United’s worst league start in 24 years, Moyes will wonder if the impossible job is somehow even more difficult than that.
There is no question they had a tough start, facing Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in their opening five matches, but the opponent is beginning to not matter. United are faltering regardless of who they face; and Owen’s comments about Arsenal seem comedic in the extreme when you compare Arsene Wenger’s side with Moyes’s.
Owen seemed to miss an integral element of football when he tore into the Arsenal players yesterday, as he either forgot or chose to ignore the concept of a team.
That Arsenal’s defenders are not among the best four in the country is irrelevant if they work well together; similarly, using the fact that Ramsey is playing better than before as a negative makes absolutely no sense.
Perhaps next week Owen will write about what is happening at Old Trafford; how Moyes is yet to know his best team – or even acknowledge that they are his team. How he took off one of their few bright sparks in a first half where only Shinji Kagawa and Nani looked like creating anything. And how Arsenal are building while United – at least for now – appear to be falling apart.
United fans may say I am overreacting, talking rubbish even; but Gunners fans said the same of Owen yesterday, only they said it from a far loftier position.
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