THEY'VE SORTED out Spurs - now they are Gunning for United.
Unai Emery’s new and improved Arsenal mean business. Sunday was their statement win. The north London derby demolition of their fierce rivals to extend their winning run to 19 matches and prove that they really are the real deal.
Now Arsenal head to Old Trafford, where Jose Mourinho has no Arsene Wenger to wind up in a bid to deflect from his own deepening crisis.
Common sense finally prevailed at the Emirates last season. Wenger accepted the inevitable and fell on his sword.
Emery has since re-energised his under-achievers to vindicate the Wenger Out Brigade. The Arsenal board must now be wondering why they hadn’t grown a pair sooner.
Could United take their lead from their erstwhile title rivals?
They may be left with some thinking to do on Wednesday night if Emery replicates the manner of Sunday’s spectacular win over Tottenham.
After Mauricio Pochettino’s men had fought back from a goal down to lead at half time, the Arsenal boss sent out his second striker, Alexandre Lacazette, along with Aaron Ramsey. Both would go on to help leave the Gunners’ fierce rivals in pieces.
Emery changed his system three times during the game, all the while making the most of his attacking options. All the time motivating his side and the club’s fans to fight Tottenham as one.
They’ll take that fight to Old Trafford and it will be fascinating to see just how Jose Mourinho responds. Surely after spending so much cash, with so many outstanding options in his final third, surely he won’t park the bus (again), will he?
Alexis Sanchez may be “injured” but in Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial United have the players to fight fire with fire.
Should they lose then it is hard to know where Mourinho goes from here. It’s early December and United are a staggering 16 points behind leaders Manchester City.
They are eight points off fourth-placed Arsenal and only the bottom five clubs have conceded more goals.
In United’s last four games they’ve been outclassed by City, outfought and largely outplayed by Crystal Palace, scraped an injury-time winner against Young Boys and stared down the barrel before escaping with a point from Southampton.
The football is poor while morale at the club and among fans is at rock-bottom.
Arsenal have responded favourably to a new broom and the balance between a lack of sentiment and sensible man-management.
The longer United’s poor run continues, the more pressure will be on the likes of Ed Woodward to either follow the Arsenal lead or risk seeing the club slip further into oblivion.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*