Tag Archives: UEFA Champions League

10 Reasons why we will beat Napoli to top the group + starting XI

1.. Everton was a tough game, we wont have many like that this season, Napoli have to come out for a big win, counter attacking will suit us.

2.. No fresh injuries since our last game, the bench will also look pretty strong.

3.. The home crowd will try to unease our players but we are made of harder stuff these days.

4.. We always make the last 16, this year will be no different. Dortmund need to win and we need to lose 0-3 for us to go out.

5.. Napoli got stuffed at home to Udinese at the weekend and are sitting 3rd in there league, played 15, won 10, drawn 2 lost 3 and are 8 points off leaders Juve

6.. Napoli have shipped in 9 goals in the 5 games so far in the Champions League, we have let in just 3.

7.. Wenger (yes I am giving him some credit) has done well recently in rotating the squad. This game is perfect for Flamini with his experience in Italy, I hope he starts him.

8.. Theo his pace will scare the hell out of them, he should be a must starter.

9.. Let’s hope Wenger and the team have learnt from past experiences, we must finish top of the group to avoid a tricky game next round.

10… Wenger knows. Get this game out the way and his great run of getting out of the group stages continues, 90mins of hard work and a team up for it is all that’s needed.

Likely starting XI – Chesney, Jenks, Per, Kos, Gibbs, flamini, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ozil, Theo, Giroud.

GC
CL

Arsenal: 10 Games In, 5 Points Clear

So we are 10 games in and top, clear by 5 points, who would have thought that!

I wanted to do a write up after the 10th game as I have continually said judge us after 10 games. Well those 10 games are now done but can you judge us on those games? Can you honestly say we can mount a challenge for the league title after being top and 5 points clear after 10 games? I’m not asking you to say we will win it, but can you predict us having at least a challenge this season?

Well lets look at who we have played, as the first thing people say in response to us tablewinning the championship is look at who they have played. We have played and beaten Spurs and Liverpool at home who so far, have probably been our toughest opponents. We beat Sunderland, Fulham and Swansea and Palace all away from home and got a good draw up at West Brom. Our other games were Stoke and Norwich at home which we won and the infamous Villa game.

All in all we havent had that much of a tough start but how often do people say that to win the league you need to be beating the so called smaller teams, and that is what we have done so far.

In terms of tests we are in for a big one in the next 2 months, we have United this Sunday and will also play Chelsea and Man City along with Champions League games whilst also contending with the busy Xmas period.

I say we have put ourselves in with a great chance of being up at the top come Xmas even though the teams we have played and beaten might not convince the pundits that we can win this. Being at the top, leading the way brings confidence and a good momentum to continue playing and scoring like we are. The next 2 months will tell us a lot more about our team and squad, I know a lot of our own fans still need to be convinced and I hope we are still there or thereabouts come January 1st.

In terms of whats different around the club and around the players its hard to put your finger on the dramatic improvement we have seen. We had a good finish to last season, particularly after the game in Munich. We seemed to kick on from that and that’s where our improvement started I think. We have players who are playing much better than they were before, Ramsey, Szczesny, Giroud, Gibbs, we have made 2 important signings in Flamini and Ozil and put all that together with the fact that we didn’t lose anybody in the summer and you can start to see why we are now playing better. Our defence is settled, Gibbs and Sagna in particular are impressing me, Per and Koscielny are becoming a great partnership in the middle of the defence and Szczesny seems to have kicked on a gear. Giroud has his first year under his belt and is leading the line well. The team is confident, you get that feeling that they think they can do something with this group of players and with the style of football they are playing.

The losses against Chelsea in the COC and against Dortmund in the Champions League we disappointing. I felt we matched Chelsea and the game was even until they scored the second goal. A bad mistake by Jenkinson let them get in front and we were fighting from then on. We had good players on the pitch and were pushing forward trying to get a goal back, Chelsea are a team that can hit you on the break which is what they did. I think the Dortmund game was similar, after going a goal down we got back on level terms and had chances to go in front. We were pushing forward and left ourselves open, they broke well and punished us. Both of those games were not to far out of our reach so when pundits say about those 2 games being out first true tests and we failed both of them, I don’t agree with that view. The results could have easily been very different, hopefully we will learn from these games and not make the same mistakes again through the season.

Sunday is massive for us, for the first time in ages we are going to Old Trafford with the possibility of being able to upset them and get something from the game. I don’t think a draw is the worst result in the world, just cannot lose.

When it comes to the games against the big teams, the top 4 or 5, we need to be winning our games at home and not losing away. It starts Sunday.

I’ll be there and cannot wait for it!

Up The Arsenal!

Matt

Defeat and Rain Fail to Dampen Arsenal Spirits

Despite a home defeat and torrential rain to great the homeward bound fans, the spirit of The Arsenal was certainly not dampened last night, with fans walking under Highbury House in high spirits.

Borussia Dortmund were last years Champions League runners-up and one of the best rated teams were always going to be a tough draw. However Arsenal performed admirably on the night and only lost due to going for the win, conceding on the break to Dortmund’s only shot of the 2nd half.

Whilst it was a negative result, it was a fairly positive performance as Arsenal proved they could compete with one of the best attacking sides in Europe, restricting a side who had scored 22 league goals this season to hardly any shots, and 2 goals, one of which was a poor error by Ramsey, the second on the break.

Arsenal played some brilliant football at times, with Rosicky, Cazorla and Ozil brightening the second half. We once again lacked a bit of pace going forward, and you have to think had either Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Podolski been playing, we would have got that second goal.

The group is now extremely tight and you have to think it is most likely that we go to Napoli in the last game level on points with the Italian side, meaning they need to beat us to progress ahead.

On a side night, the German side’s fans certainly won the battle of the fans, however, I did wonder a few times about how manufactured and choreographed they were. With a drummer and 3 orchestral conductors, they lack the spontaneity of a proper away end. The conductors seem to be the norm in Europe, I have never been a fan of them and wonder whether being told when to sign and clap is really that good?

Moving forward to Saturday, we face Crystal Palace. We need to ensure that we get back on the horse and win again. The last time we lost to a German side at home, we entered a negative spiral, according to Andre Villas-Boas. If we enter the same negative spiral now, things will continue looking good for The Arsenal.

On a final thought, if you were one of the fans who got on the back of the side at the final whistle, shame on you. You do not deserve any of the future success we will have.

Keenos