The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Poor Arsène

It was nice to see how effectively Alex Ferguson organized and inspired his troops to stifle Arsenal in their 1 – 0 victory at home. It was pleasurable because Arsène Wenger makes such a lovely figure when frustrated. Something about being French, I guess. Such faces of anguished disgust. It has been said that when managing in France he once stopped the bus after a loss so that he could get out and throw up.

It was remarkably easy for United. Put Park on Nasri, let Ferdinand and Vidic out jump and outfox Chamakh, clog the passing lanes in the box, and counterattack with Rooney as point man, exploiting the gaps and holes in the Arsenal defense. It was United’s best performance of the year. Odd that few pundits enjoyed it. I found it enthralling—a boxing contest between two evenly matched opponents where one is wilier than the other and prevails through skill and intelligence. But then I’m a fan.