Wayne Rooney, who scored his first Premier League goal against Arsenal in 2002, ended their 49-match unbeaten run in 2004, netted his 100th Premier League goal against the Gunners in 2010, and has the equal-most goals any player has scored against them in the division, has sent out a warning to the north Londoners, who visit Old Trafford on Sunday, saying: "They must be sick of the sight of me."
Rooney has terrorised Arsene Wenger’s side throughout his career, and has scored 10 Premier League goals against the Gunners - only Robbie Fowler has as good a record against the north Londoners.
Arsenal may be five points clear at the top of the league, but Rooney has an incredible knack of taking the wind out of the Gunners’ sails.
"Arsenal do crop up quite often," the 28-year-old said. "It is a bit weird. I am sure they must be sick of the sight of me at times.
"That first goal for Everton does seem like a long time ago. It was obviously a special goal for me, plus they were 32 games unbeaten.
In 2004, the champions Arsenal nearly recorded 50 unbeaten Premier League matches, until they were defeated 2-0 at Old Trafford. Rooney won the penalty which Ruud van Nistelrooy converted and also scored the second goal of the game in the final minute.
"I will always remember the 2004 game,” the forward said. "There had been a lot of hype around it because of what happened the year before with Ruud van Nistelrooy [when he clashed with Arsenal players in the 0-0 draw].
"That was as tense as I ever remember it before a game.
"Arsenal were a fantastic team and it was a great feeling to beat them 2-0 and end that record."
While Arsenal have enjoyed a fine week, defeating both Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund – keeping two clean sheets – Manchester United themselves are coming into good form, and are now unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions following the 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad in the week.
"It is the perfect fixture for us," he said. "Arsenal are obviously doing really well but with our current form, it is a chance for us to get a bit closer in the table."
Rooney, although complimentary of the Gunners’ performances this season, had questioned the team’s title credentials earlier this week.
"I said before, it will be interesting to see whether they can maintain that because over the last six or seven years they have faded off," he said.
"Certainly they seem in a better place. They seem stronger.
"We know we will have to be at our best to beat them but we are capable of that.
"I have always enjoyed my games against them and it has always been a big game. Hopefully we can get the right result on Sunday.
"It will be interesting to see what happens."Reuse content