Ahead of the huge match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford this Sunday we at Here Is The City have invited Lee Hurley from the excellent Arsenal blog Lady Arse to answer a few questions for the interest of Arsenal and Manchester United fans.
RedScot: Arsenal sit proudly top of the league table five points clear of the pack that are chasing the Gunners; how does that feel, suffering defeat once in the last 20 league outings? It must be a delight to write about Arsenal right now...
Lee Hurley: It certainly makes a nice change, that's for sure. In a way, it's harder to write when things are going well as everyone loves a good argument, but I'm not going to complain. I get to gush about Arsenal and that's been a long time coming.
RS: With the signing of Mesut Ozil, has the German caused a belief in the Arsenal team that the football club can compete in securing high profile international quality players, and created an impetus within the other players at the football club that Arsenal mean business this campaign?
LH: Signing Ozil was a watershed moment in the post-stadium move era. It signalled that not only were the days of financial restraint behind us but that we were no ready to push on and actually start challenging again - both on the pitch and in the transfer market. His arrival has lifted fans and players alike and has opened the door to a host of talent across Europe who will now want [hopefully] to join him at the club.
RS: Do you believe if Arsenal put United to the sword at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon that it's curtains for Manchester United in retaining our League Championship crown, 11 points behind the Gunners?
LH: It's always hard to write United off, but that was under Ferguson when he was able to get blood out of a stone. Would 11 points be too big a gap to overhaul? Probably, but it's not even Christmas yet and there are a lot of points to be won and lost.
RS: Tell us your impression of David Moyes' initial impact on Manchester United as he endeavours to adjust to the multi-faceted problems at a top club. Do you believe the United gaffer has just ventured onto the steep learning curve in M16?
LH: I expected United to struggle more than they have if I'm honest. Losing Ferguson you not only lost an amazing manager but you also lost a big part of your fear factor. Teams are not scared of United at the minute. Moyes has had to learn on his feet and learn fast and he seems to be doing that, much to the chagrin of the rest of us.
RS: Tell us United fans about your recent 2-0 win over Liverpool?
LH: It was beautiful! Beating Liverpool is always great fun, mostly because their fans are so annoying, but the way we did it - Luis Suarez didn't manage a single shot on target and their midfield could hardly get the ball. Loved every minute of it and it was a real statement from Arsenal who are starting to put together more and more of those types of displays.
RS: Was that a new mature Arsenal performance in Germany against Dortmund; cat and mouse springs to mind, as Aaron Ramsey fires Arsenal into a marvellous position to progress into the knock-out stages of the money rich Champions League tournament?
LH: Over recent seasons we've listened to Arsene Wenger talking about the team needing to learn lessons but they never seemed to bother. This time they seem to be looking at their mistakes and actively fixing them. We are able to see games out now and for a man who is derided as having no tactical ability, Arsene Wenger got it spot on in Germany.
RS: If you could select one Manchester United player (not including Robin van Persie) to transfer to the Emirates, who would you select and why?
LH: I wouldn't take van Persie back! [seriously]. I'd have to go with Hernandez as we need a goalscorer but I'll take Rafael as well if you're offering as Sagna is out of contract in the summer and doesn't seem to be signing a new one.
RS: Where do Arsenal need to strengthen in the January transfer window to capitalise on the clubs excellent start in this seasons league assault?
LH: Definitely up front. While it's not as bad as it has been reported, we do need another striker as soon as that window opens.
RS: Tell us what are your thoughts on Piers Morgan's antics on Twitter, is he a childish buffoon or are his veiled swipes merely football banter, eg Van Pursestrings etc. Is there any merit in Morgan's self-publicising anathema verging on antagonism?
LH: I'd rather not discuss Piers Morgan. He is despised by a large section of Arsenal fans for printing lies about a group of fans which resulted in them being banned from Arsenal and a number losing their jobs. I wrote a post about this and why Arsenal fans hate him, it prompted him to respond but that made no difference. You can't argue with the facts and the facts are, he's hated.
RS: Twitter is a medium used often by tools and spanners, while used sensibly by many fair minded people; discuss?
LH: Twitter is a great resource if you learn to ignore the idiots. It took me a while to learn that, always getting in to debates with them. It is a one-stop shop for breaking news, great debate and valuable opinion. You just have to make sure you know how to filter the dross out.
RS: Which is your favourite Manchester United fans-forum-blog to follow?
LH: I'm a great fan of The People's Person.
RS: Mikel Arteta was superb for Arsenal last season as was Santi Cazorla, and fellow new signings Giroud and Lukas Podolski as they sought time to settle into life at the Emirates. Who is Arsenal's most influential player this term other than Mesut Ozil?
LH: I guess the trendy answer here would be Aaron Ramsey at the minute but really for influence on the team it would have to be Per Mertesacker. He's starting to get credit outside Arsenal now after being seen as a liability by many. Arsenal fans have always rated him highly. He brings such a calming presence to the defence and is so underrated as a defender.
RS: The Arsenal player you'd happily drive to another club, as cough cough; Chamakh, Djourou, Traore, Coquelin and the much lauded Arshavin have been ditched?
LH: Nicklas Bendtner. Without thought or hesitation. Just a note, Francis Coquelin is a very good player and we would like to see him back after his loan deal so doesn't deserve to be on that list.
RS: Where do you believe Manchester United will finish in the league this season?
LH: I'd say at this point top four would be a good result for United this season but I'm not sure if you will make it. That could just be my heart talking though and not my head.
RS: Crystal ball time, predict in order the top-four teams in the league at the end of the season?
LH: 1. Arsenal 2. City. 3. Chelsea. 4.Tottenham.
RS: Can you provide an update on the Arsenal team news for the match on Sunday, will Theo Walcott and Mathieu Flamini be available for selection, although it is understood that Jack Wilshere will be absent.
LH: Flamini should be back and Podolski might be included in the squad, Wilshere is still a doubt and faces fitness tests. Walcott is out until after the international break. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo, and Diaby are all longer term injuries.
RS: Finally Lee your score prediction for the match?
LH: 1-3. I can't really see anything other than an Arsenal win, maybe a draw if we struggle to get over the exertions of Dortmund. Ha, United's bounce-back ability has not left the football club.
RS: Thanks Lee for taking the time to answer the questions, and share ' your' thoughts.
image: © crystiancruz