Last updated : 24 September 2004 By editor

Noureddine Naybet declared: "I’ve played United in Europe very often and this is not the same team I used to know. The fact is Manchester United’s cycle of glory is over and Arsenal’s has begun. I think they are at a low point and they have lost a lot of the qualities which made them so great. Roy Keane is their leader on and off the pitch and I’ve been following all that he’s had to say about his team-mates and it’s impossible not to agree with what he says."

"When we play them we can’t afford to allow the type of comeback they managed against Spurs in that 5-3 game, or the one which we saw against Manchester City last season. This is a tougher, tighter Spurs side already — if we are 3-0 up this time there will be no coming back. Some United players have moved on, they have signed a lot of youth and they will need three or four years to build a great team again. In order to build such a side they need to go through the process of renovation."

"The big test for United is that they need to avoid changing ideas or changing wholesale the players they have, because any further change could slow down the process of building back up to the top that Sir Alex Ferguson is engaged in."

Robbie Keane believes the critics such as Naybet are wrong to write off United.

Robbie Keane said: "You can see they are a stronger team now than they were at the start of the season. They were awesome against Liverpool. They were absolutely brilliant, back to their best and they will always be up there with the players they have. We've played some tough games already this season, but United are always difficult to play against, although with the way both teams are playing right now it's a game to look forward to."

Though Keane's strike partner, Freddie Kanoute, agrees with Naybet:

Kanoute scored his first Spurs goal since January in the 6-0 Carling Cup win at Oldham, and immediately turned his attention to United:

"The best thing is that scoring goals gives the team confidence. We feel we can give United problems."