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Wayne Rooney’s Talk of Arsenal Implosion Means United Admit That Gunners Are In Title Mix: Nightly Soccer Report

arsenal crest Wayne Rooneys Talk of Arsenal Implosion Means United Admit That Gunners Are In Title Mix: Nightly Soccer Report

Wayne Rooney’s hint that Arsenal could slip up between now and March is a sign that the Gunners are a serious threat and that they’re in the title mix, argues Guardian writer David Hytner, in the build-up to this weekend’s match between Manchester United and Arsenal (televised live at 11am ET Sunday on NBCSN for viewers in the United States).

When asked about Arsenal, Rooney said this within the last 24 hours:

“We’ll have to wait and see where Arsenal are in March. We’ve seen before that they’ve been in the top two until February or March and then faded away. They are doing brilliantly at the minute, so it’s down to them to try and stay there and us to catch them.

“We’re obviously capable of beating Arsenal. We’ve done it many times in the past. They’re on a good run of form at the moment and they’re top of the league, so we know it’s going to be a difficult game.

“But we have to go into it with confidence and a belief this is when we can edge closer to them and bring us back into the mix of being at the top of the league.

“There are only nine or 10 games gone so there’s no big worry at the moment. We’re starting to do well. We’re confident at the minute, we’re getting more clean sheets and playing with freedom. If we can get the victory on Sunday then we’re in a great position.”

Hytner argues that Rooney said what he said because “[he's trying to] raise the pressure on [Arsenal] before Sunday’s meeting. And when he said it, it revealed plenty about how the defending champions have come to view Arsenal. Sir Alex Ferguson, towards the end of his Old Trafford tenure, did not bother to joust with Wenger because, in essence, he no longer considered him and Arsenal to be a rival. The managers came to tolerate and, even, like each other. Rooney’s pop, as such, might have cheered the Arsenal support.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey rejected Rooney’s comment, saying “I think the boss said the other day that from January we’re the team in the league who have picked up the most points, from last season as well. I don’t think our form has been that bad after Christmas.”

Here are tonight’s world soccer news headlines:

Premier League

International soccer

US soccer

A-League

UEFA Europa League

The Nightly Soccer Report is tomorrow’s news today. It’s often tomorrow morning’s worldwide newspaper headlines that are published the night before. We do all the work for you, combing the Internet and aggregating the news for you. Read The Nightly Soccer Report on World Soccer Talk every night before bed, so you can stay on top of all the news that matters. 


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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