Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney appreciates the incredible start Arsenal have had to the Premier League campaign… but he wonders how long it will last.
Speaking to United’s website ahead of the monster clash with Arsenal on Sunday (watch live on NBCSN, 11am ET and online via NBC Sports Live Extra) at Old Trafford, the 27-year-old striker says it’s about what you do down the stretch that counts most.
Not the start.
“We’ll wait and see where they are in March,” Rooney said. “We’ve seen before that they’ve been in the top two until February or March and then faded away, so it’s down to them to try and stay there. They’re doing brilliantly at the minute and it’s up to us to catch them.”
Is there a little bit of devilment in Rooney’s words? You bet.
Mind games galore usually encapsulate this fixture, as the two famous clubs have gone head-to-head for the title in many seasons since Arsene Wenger took charge of Arsenal 17 seasons ago and during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure in charge of the Red Devils it became a classic PL rivalry.
In recent meetings the Red Devils hold the edge over their North London rivals, with the Gunners failing to win in the league at Old Trafford since 2006.
Rooney recalls that dominance and has fired up David Moyes United troops to chase down Arsenal at the top of the table.
“We’re obviously capable of beating Arsenal, we’ve done it many times in the past,” Rooney said. “They’re on a good run of form at the moment and are top of the league, so we know it’s going to be a difficult game. But we have to go into that game confident, believing we can edge closer to them and bring us back into the mix of being at the top of the league.”
Sunday’s game was already massive.
But with these words ringing in the ears of Arsenal’s players and Rooney in fine form of late, will his boots do the talking at Old Trafford? Or are his statements predicting the Gunners downfall and United’s resurgence just hot air?