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Paul Ince Exclusive: Return Of Man United v Arsenal Past Rivalry

Paul Ince Exclusive: Return Of Man United v Arsenal Past Rivalry

A return to the Manchester United vs Arsenal matches of the past would be “fantastic” – that’s according to former Red Devils’ midfielder Paul Ince. In years gone by, tonight’s game would have been one of the fixtures of the season, thanks to a series of iconic battles between the sides of former managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. However, these two giants of English football have fallen by the wayside in recent seasons – though Ince remains optimistic that the good times could yet return.



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Return To Rivalry Of Old

Speaking exclusively to Genting, the 53-cap England international said: “It would be fantastic (to have Manchester United and Arsenal back at the top)  and I’m hoping that we’re sitting here in two years saying, ‘Oh yeah, we’ve got a great United and Arsenal team, and five or six teams are challenging to win the title’.

“You’ve got to remember that Pep (Guardiola) is going to leave in another year, how long will (Jurgen) Klopp be there for? How long will (Thomas) Tuchel be there? 

“They (Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea) might not be as great as they are now with their current managers, it might be close in two or three years. 

“When you go back to the great Man United teams and the great Arsenal teams, with (Tony) Adams, (Ian) Wright, (Patrick) Vieira, (Emmanuel) Petit, (Dennis) Bergkamp all these great stars, they were great teams. 

“I’m not sure whether Arsenal will get to that, not in my time anyway.”

Rivalry Lost Its Shine

Those meetings of the late ‘90s into the ‘00s have gone down in footballing folklore, but we haven’t witnessed the same heights hit in recent years.

And Ince believes that this match has lost some of its shine, as other teams have risen to the top.

“The (Manchester United vs Arsenal) clashes were brilliant, there were battles all over the pitch whether you’re up against Vieira, or Petit, you knew you were in for a game and it was a clash that everybody looked forward to,” he explained.

“It was like a heavyweight fight and we had some great games against them – tough, tough games. 

“The game has moved on, I’m not saying that it won’t be a very good game on Thursday night, but nowadays we sit here and think ‘well you want to watch City vs Liverpool or City vs Chelsea’. 

“I always want to watch Manchester United, whoever they play, but I want the next manager to have the finances to build a team to compete with those teams.” 




Ince Backs Carrick For Win

Michael Carrick will remain in the dugout while the Red Devils wait for incoming boss Ralf Rangnick’s work permit, but Ince fancies the caretaker to get the job done – and earn his first Premier League win in charge, despite Arsenal’s recent resurgence.  

“You wouldn’t have said six weeks ago that Arsenal would be five points clear of Manchester United,” he said.

“I would never have dreamed that and I don’t care how inconsistent Manchester United were. 

“For me, it’s a massive game in many ways, and I fancy United, I honestly do – I think (Mikel) Arteta would have learned his lesson at Anfield the other week, but I think United might have enough because United need to win the game. 

“United need to get three points because a point is not enough for United, even at this early stage of the season. 

“It’s still a big game because when you mention Man United vs Arsenal, it takes you back to all the games that we’ve seen and the players.

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V: 1.14.1 All rights reserved. August 2021
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