Ten Years on from Pizzagate: Man Utd and Arsenal both look toothless now
TEN years ago, Manchester United and Arsenal indulged in one of football’s daftest climaxes. The feud between the two teams culminated in someone throwing pizza. Apart from the tragic waste of pizza (in what is now officially America’s ‘National Pizza Week’), everyone laughed apart from those involved.
This week, it transpires that Cesc Fabregas could well be the main culprit for slinging pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson. Or at least, that’s the story according to Martin Keown when talking about the Battle of the Buffet.
“As I said on the radio a few years ago, from what I understand it was a Spanish fella with great technique,” says Keown. “Even when it came to the pizza he had great technique. He threw it like a Frisbee.”
Man United won the match 2-0, which put an end to Arsenal’s incredible 49-match unbeaten run.
In his autobiography, Fergie wrote: “To this day, I have no idea who the culprit is,” but then, he didn’t know he’d been hit ’til he got back to the changing room and was inevitably more concerned about Arsene Wenger apparently throwing his fists up and challenging him to a scrap in the tunnel after the match.
However, since then, things have calmed down and both teams have lost their way a little. Arsenal are the classic Football At All Costs side akin to Ajax, while Manchester United are a complete shambles both on the pitch and behind the scenes.
Since the turn of the millennium, two teams that dominated the Premier League are now looking a little lost and bloated.
Of course, Man Utd have won two of the last four championships, but since Ferguson’s departure, they’ve gone from feared to weird. Sacking managers before they’ve completed a season and conceding FIVE goals to a newly promoted side. Arsenal won the FA Cup, but haven’t won the league since the days of throwing pizzas at people.
In 2014, Manchester City and Chelsea are most likely to duke it out at the top of the table with the kind of defensive prowess that made Arsenal and Manchester United so successful in the past.
Arsenal take on Sunderland, who will be trying to correct their 8-0 drubbing while United take on Chelsea – it is possible that both these footballing titans could lose this weekend.
Since ‘pizzagate’, Arsenal and Man United have fallen a long, long way and now look to be rebuilding. Alas, without a solid base, they don’t stand a chance of topping the table.