And yet, I'm not sure I've ever been more up for a game - or a two-legged tie at any rate. Both Barcelona and Galatasary were huge games, but there was no antipathy for the opposition: there was only the possibility of a glorious Arsenal victory. But United add something else to the mix.
Sp*rs: Purportedly our biggest rivals but they've never actually competed for trophies. It's the scum from up north who get my goat. And whilst it might sound odd considering his consistent moaning, it is their treatment of Jose Reyes which still hurts me.
Reyes is often portrayed as a bad footballer who couldn't hack it in the English rain as he didn't have the required physical bulk. This is just wrong: anyone who was at Highbury to see him flip an FA cup tie against Chelsea in our favour will understand that before he got frustrated with the nuances of the Premiership he was a top player: not a waste of money, a world-class youngster.
And yet, he disappeared from Arsenal with very little acknowledgement: shipped off to Spain on loan and then quietly sold.
Why? Because the fucking Man United mercenaries used to target him whenever we played them: it was cheating of the first degree.
Wenger complains that he was only awarded the French titles he should have won but for Marseilles match-fixing, in a quiet ceremony. This, was far worse: at Marseilles, the players didn't know they cheated; at Man United it was part of an initiation ceremony for new players.
As the Guardian match report said after the 2004 FA Cup semi-final when Reyes was only a substitute:
But the dangerous violence was United's:
Roy Keane went unpunished for a hack at Robert Pires and Wenger was rightly appalled by Paul Scholes's dreadful challenge on the substitute José Antonio Reyes.
It will sideline the Spaniard for three weeks with medial ligament damage.
And the previous day's Observer was even more damning of United:
Reyes, on the other hand, was dynamic and looked the one player capable of rescuing the game for Arsenal, until Scholes's malevolent tackle from behind ended his efficacy for three weeks. The Spaniard suffered medial knee ligament damage.
This, in just one game: United time and again targeted Reyes until he had too much. Indeed, United fans were proud of how the Neville brothers "nullified" the Spaniard. Substitute 'nullified' for 'maimed' and you get closer to the truth.
And that truth, is that United were always a dirty team against us for years on end. Ruud van Nistlerooy is a cowardly disgrace and PV4's description of him as "a son of a bitch" can only be questioned in that Ruud looks like more of a horse.
That hatred has stuck with me. You can change your exterior but the interior remains the same. And so, I look forward to this match, to prove to Fergie that despite his millions he cannot have it his own way. His team of mercenaries will kick us. But the little men will be the big men: Dennis Nielson will do Carrick; Fabregas will boss the game.
And Arsenal will win. Or at least that's the theory. With our leaky defence it will be a rollercoaster ride, but the dream of Rome '09, my MSN messenger status for over a year, could fast become a reality.
Happy Tuesday and keep the faith - tomorrow is the big day..