1) That for me has to be the most painful experience of the season so far. In your opinion, where did it all go wrong?
@IronMan_AV - Where it went wrong was not taking chances in the first half! The match could and should have been out of sight before they even knew what was going on. Sadly, I also think the problem is mental. We go into games like this with too much trepidation. You get the feeling that with more confidence, those missed chances in the first half would have gone in.
@LennyPetsPuppys - It's tempting just to point to injuries (Debuchy's being the most impactful, but Giroud's, Koscielny's and Ozil's also hurting us greatly), the inexplicably poor performances of some players over many games without injuries to really explain them (Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, Mertesacker) has proven to be the biggest disappointment. As others have said, we're somehow worse than the sum of our parts, rather than the opposite which has in recent years been our hallmark.
@MananAgrawal1 - Somehow today's performance was great as well as awful. Had Wilshere scored his chance, I suspect we would have won quite easily. The lack of a clinical edge in our finishing cost us dearly today.
@SachaWild11 - Firstly I don't want to just jump on the blame the manager bandwagon especially after that performance but I'm left with no other choice. I don't think he knows how to manage a game properly for 90 minutes anymore since the team can no longer keep it's shape for at least the majority of games anymore and the fact in my opinion that a huge amount of fans have turned tells it's own story. I don't think that relationship between the manager and the fans will ever be fixed regardless of anything the club could still achieve this season which is sad.
@Tubbsy14 - It's hard to pinpoint an exact moment, but it seems to be a familiar pattern that we start big games in electric fashion, but never have much to show for it. That first 20/30 minutes we had them on the ropes and if you want to win big games then you can't pass up routine opportunities (like Wilshere's) to score goals. I also worried a bit about our reaction to going a goal down, because we seemed to immediately go into panic mode and a better team could have killed the game against us on the counter there and then.
2) With the benefit of hindsight did/do you have an issue with the team selection and how we approached the game?
@IronMan_AV - No problem with team selection. No problem with approach. The best way to beat that (poor) United side was to take the game to them. They had no answer to the pressure and were there for the taking. Most teams in the Premier League would have taken them to the cleaners. Our approach was fine but our execution let us down.
@LennyPetsPuppys - I can't fault the team selection or overall tactics. We controlled the game and created more and better chances than United did. We fell victim to a freakish own goal, which then forced us forward even more and helped United's counter-attack which hadn't done much up to that point.
@MananAgrawal1 - Not at all. Think we approached the game with the right mindset and a perfect gameplan which was undone by poor finishing and a ridiculous own goal which should've been disallowed for either an offside against Fellaini or a foul on Gibbs.
@SachaWild11 - Personally looking at the team today I was quietly optimistic and I was content with how the team was set up especially against a side that has been struggling this season and had no right to escape with the points today but at the moment it's just not meant to be. I was pleased with the pressing for the majority of the game and the determination of most players especially Arteta to win back the ball when we needed to maintain the pressure. The defending I thought from some players like Chambers who redeemed himself after what Montero did to him was good but unfortunately 1 individual error and a breakaway goal has done the team.
@Tubbsy14 - No, in general I liked the team selection, the only qualm I would have had would have been not moving Chambers to CB and giving Bellerin a start, but then I thought Chambers was brilliant today so that showed me! In terms of approach, I loved the way we started the game - incredible pressing from the front players which seemed to rub off on the rest of the team. I actually thought it was one of our best performances of the year, so I wouldn't have changed much, it was just incredibly unfortunate we couldn't make our dominance pay in the first half.
3) What could we have done differently to have won that match?
@IronMan_AV - Score goals and not concede. Sometime it really is that simple.
@LennyPetsPuppys - Today it was finishing. It seemed like our best scoring chances were all aimed at DeGea's silhouette, and you can't expect to score that way against a top Premier League keeper. Based upon everything else about those chances, Jack's shot (which should have been chipped), Alexis' header, and Santi's volley should rightfully all have been goals but weren't simply because of where they were aimed.
@MananAgrawal1 - Well for one, finishing our chances! I don't know if there was anything we could have done to win it except scoring in the first half when we were absolutely tearing them apart. Scoring then would have allowed us to control the game from there on.
@SachaWild11 - Learn to be more clinical and take your chances, it's a completely different ballgame if you do that and once again because of that we are staring the embarrassing fact that we haven't won against Man United since May 2011 in the eyes. Also bring Giroud on for Ramsey straight after we conceded the 1st goal and we could have turned it around in my opinion.
@Tubbsy14 - Taking our chances when we're on top would be the obvious one! It's difficult to say really, you obviously have to be clinical in big games - we just seem a bit naive both in front of goal which could be as a result of low confidence or just a one-man barrier at the other end. Other more-clued-up fans might say that we needed a change in formation or positioning, but I'm still at a loss as to how we weren't 2/3-0 up at half time!
4) Who was Arsenal's best player on the day and why?
@IronMan_AV - for all the stick he gets Arteta was very good at the heart of midfield. Kept things tight at our end and helped moved things forward on more than one occasion. Honourable mention for Welbeck. Extremely busy and proved a decent fulcrum in attack. Teammates let him down with both supply and feeding off his own moments of good play.
@LennyPetsPuppys - Arteta and Oxlade-Chamberlain stood out for me. Alexis was also his usual outstanding, hyperactive self outside of his finishing. I'll also add because I enjoy defending him: How was RVP's expected feast on Monreal today, hmmmm?
@MananAgrawal1 - Mikel Arteta, by a mile! He passed the ball around well, he covered for Gibbs well, he shielded the back four well. Also, he showed an intense dislike for Van Persie (who was completely invisible btw) which always helps. Showed how much we missed him and what he brings to the team. Even at 32.
@SachaWild11 - I was impressed with Mikel Arteta, he commanded the midfield well and did his job excellently. He bullied Van Persie and Rooney (despite the breakaway goal) all afternoon. Also shoutouts to Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers and the Ox who all did well I thought.
@Tubbsy14 - There were a number of good players - Sanchez was incredible again, and I thought Chambers and Wilshere (finishing aside) were good too. But my personal man of the match was someone who seems to get a lot of stick, especially in big games, and that was Mikel Arteta. I thought he recycled the ball absolutely brilliantly on the day, broke up attacks when he could, and especially when we weren't chasing the game he did brilliantly in controlling the midfield. We really miss him when he's absent.
5) Who disappointed you today and why?
@IronMan_AV - Jack. Sorry to say it but he's looking not better than a rich man's Lee Cattermole at the moment for us. His miss was almost unforgivable and getting 'stuck in' to try and 'look hard' is counterproductive. Could quite easily have seen red for his little tete a tete with Felleni. Did similar against Chelsea (missed a great chance, reacted by getting involved with John Terry) so questions have to be asked about his temperament in these games.
@LennyPetsPuppys - I'd like to know why Mertesacker was so far up the pitch on Rooney's goal, and again on DiMaria's horrible miss that should have been United's third. I don't like singling out our presumptive player of the season, but Alexis had an off-day finishing which particularly hurt us today.
@MananAgrawal1 - Ramsey and Dat Guy. Ramsey was poor all around, trying to shoot when the easier option is to pass to your teammate by your side. His best moment was a great through ball to Welbeck who was prevented from reaching it by a great interception from Smalling. Welbeck should have had two goals today but ended up with none.
@SachaWild11 - Jack Wilshere because of his lack of finishing that eventually costed the team big time what it mattered and also Szceszny who I feel is only playing right now because of the fact that Ospina is injured.
@Tubbsy14 - In a sense it's hard to say players disappointed because I don't think anyone was terrible, and the team played pretty well on the day. I thought Welbeck did well in terms of interplay and dragging the United defence around, but his finishing remains fairly poor. He squandered 2 chances in the first 20-odd minutes without really testing the keeper, and never looks confident to me when going through on goal. Ramsey also had a poor day for me, although that's been indicative of his season so far. It would have been interesting to see if he'd played better when Giroud came on, as I think he was a big part of the amount of goals Ramsey got last year, but we didn't get to see that umfortunately.
6) Give me your prediction of where you expect this team to finish this season?
@IronMan_AV - I'm worried. It's nearly December and we've only beaten teams likely to be involved in a relegation battle. Anyone with a bit of nous about them seem to have the measure of us so we need to sort that out or else.
@LennyPetsPuppys - I'll tentatively say 4th, but that's more down to the frailties of the other top teams not named "Chelsea" than because of any superlatives about us. I wouldn't be shocked to finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th in the table.
@MananAgrawal1 - I'm gonna be called crazy for this, but still think 3rd's reasonable if United aren't spurred onto a great run because of this result. Expect us to improve massively but we've got to do it soon.
@SachaWild11 - I'd like to say 3rd place if the club gets it's act together but honestly I couldn't possibly tell right now because of the fact that the players have been starved of confidence since the opening day plus the fact that the manager doesn't know how to fix the problems right now which is worrying especially as the club's place in the Top 4 is under threat big time right now.
@Tubbsy14 - At the start of the season I said 3rd, but throughout the campaign that figure seems to be dropping! With the attacking talent that United have I really do think they can beat anyone on their day, so they will get 3rd for me,but I think I still back us to grab that 4th place again. Whether that's enough for many Arsenal fans is another matter, but I believe that's going to be the focus now.
7) Any other thoughts?
@IronMan_AV - It's a weird situation now. The mood around the club is not good. Maybe a few good results will change that but as of now, the strength of feeling about the current state of the club is at its lowest ebb. Something significant needs to happen to redress the balance of misery.
@LennyPetsPuppys - Wenger has always relied upon players to be his team enforcers, to rudely hold people accountable as counterweights for his own patient, nurturing, grandfatherly managing style. I fear that our lack of personalities like Adams, Vieira, Bergkamp, etc. in the dressing room means that there isn't enough hunger and urgency about the team to push through the 4th place ceiling which seems to define us year after year.
@MananAgrawal1 - Really surprised by the WengerOut calls after the game, but it's become kind of a nailed on thing to do for most fans after a defeat. Problem is, today wasn't attributable to the manager or any single player and Wenger is to blame for a lot this season, something which is really hard to admit for me. We had done enough to win the game comfortably but somehow contrived to lose it in the most horrid, humorous (for fans of other clubs) fashion.
@SachaWild11 - It's time for Arsene Wenger to leave right now and Steve Bould should be appointed as caretaker manager till the end of the season, at least we'd have someone who in my opinion could understand the fan's pain right now and not someone who is so far out of touch with the fanbase that it is scary.
@Tubbsy14 - More just a question for your readers really. Although the defeat is incredibly difficult to take, today was one of the more fluid Arsenal performances I've seen in the past year. We looked slick, had good movement and the passing was incredibly quick. For all his qualities (and I love him to bits), I don't think Mesut Ozil plays the game at this kind of pace, so I guess what I want to know is when everyone is fully fit, who drops out of this line up to accommodate players like Ozil and Walcott, or is a change in formation needed to fit them in?
PS - Check out the new Arsenal Vision Post Match Podcast