By Chris Harris

It's been hyped up, chewed over, digested, assessed and analysed to within an inch of its life. But at 8pm the talking will stop, the whistle will blow and Manchester United v Arsenal will come down to 22 players, some subs and 90 minutes of action.

And that's the only thing that matters to Arsène Wenger.

The Frenchman has contributed more than his fair share of column inches in the build-up to tonight's heavyweight clash but he knows that, ultimately, the game itself is all that matters.

"It is normal because you can only say so much and at the end of the day what is most interesting is not what is said before the game, it is what happens during the game," said Wenger.

"It was the same before Barcelona v Real Madrid the other day - everybody spoke, spoke, spoke and then when the game happened it was one-way traffic [Barcelona won 5-0]."

Wenger knows that big games and hype go hand-in-hand, especially in the Premier League. His job is to counter-balance the feverish build-up by providing a calming influence in the dressing room.

"They [managers] try to play the pressure down to get their team into a good mental condition and what do others do? They try to create as much [chaos] as they can so it is a little bit of a game before the game.

"But the interesting thing is what happens during the game."

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13 Dec 2010