Wed. Feb 24th, 2021

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MARTIN KEOWN: Yes, Mikel is right… but you can still put a tackle in!

2 min read

Arsenal host Manchester United on Saturday afternoon as Mikel Arteta’s side look to continue their climb up the Premier League against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

The Gunners are unbeaten in their last six top flight games with the emergence of young talents help put Arteta’s side back on track but they face a tough test in United, who are bidding to bounce back from their shock midweek defeat to Sheffield United.

Here, Sportsmail’s Martin Keown looks ahead to this weekend’s clash at the Emirates Stadium. 

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal's rivalry with Manchester United is not the same as years gone by

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s rivalry with Manchester United is not the same as years gone by

Between 1996 and 2004, only Arsenal and Manchester United won the Premier League title. 

Arsene Wenger arrived and Sir Alex Ferguson thought: ‘Who’s this arrogant Frenchman trying to take over my patch?’ There was respect eventually but at the time it was a fierce rivalry that was reflected on the pitch.

We did the Double in ’98, they won the Treble the following year.

The Gunners and Red Devils endured a bitter rivalry as they competed for top honours

The Gunners and Red Devils endured a bitter rivalry as they competed for top honours

Mikel Arteta has spoken about how this isn’t the fixture it once was — hinting that the days of the Battle of Old Trafford are long gone. But we have to hope this rivalry can return to its former glory.

Players can adapt and still show their passion on the pitch. Before Arsenal won 3-1 at Southampton this week, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side ranked first for tackles while Arteta’s ranked towards the bottom.

Arsenal need to face United today aiming to rise up that table. Win those tackles and win one of English football’s most famous clashes.

Arteta is right, but Arsenal can still show fight and passion if they put their tackles in

Arteta is right, but Arsenal can still show fight and passion if they put their tackles in

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