We had a vibrant discussion recently based around Gooner In Exile’s suggestion that the CL should not be prioritized ahead of the Premiership. An interesting and unusual viewpoint but one which has occupied my mind ever since. (please correct me if I misunderstood!) The point being that we will neither win nor get near to winning the cup.
With Aston Villa away followed by Everton we have difficult games ahead, games in which we will need an injury free squad. So should Mr Wenger put out his best team tonight? In my opinion definitely, because Champions League games at home are the pinnacle of Arsenal watching. The opportunity to play the best foreign teams has always excited me and despite many, many seasons of failure to win Big Ears, it still does.
But I see GIE’s point, does anyone really believe we can win the thing?
Are we kidding ourselves?
Last season Man City went out pre-knockout and won the PL, Man Utd went out at the same time and were within 30 seconds of another championship. Could we have done better without playing those extra games? Would the team have been galvanised by the “humiliation” of not progressing further?
Ask Arsène. I believe he really enjoys these games and given the choice of Schalke or Sunderland away and I know which he will choose!
A win tonight puts us in the box seat for qualification with the tricky trip to Greece as our final game. We beat Montpelier away but quite frankly a draw would have been a fairer result with our defence standing firm against a tide of French attacks. Losing to Schalke was a shock, not so much the result but the manner of the loss – we were undone, stripped naked, spanked and left embarrassed. Pride was regained in the recent draw but anyone watching would be foolish to bet on Arsenal progressing very far in the CL.
Yet you have to be in it to win it and a win tonight is a must.
Montpelier are in average form and feeling the loss of our new Wonder-Striker. They are 14th in La Ligue and have drawn their last 3 games plus they lost away at Olimpiakos. We have seen the dangers of Belhanda and Camara is their top scorer but we really should beat them.
The return of GIbbs is timely, Tommy is not a left back – he doesn’t have the spatial awareness nor the attacking ability for the position but is Gibbs fit enough to play tonight and Saturday? I hope so. Gervinho is also fit and could well play as Theo is out. I would prefer to see Ox start – he hasn’t played enough this season and needs a run of games.
Captain James Cook brought us a handsome victory at the weekend over the subterranean ghouls. Let us see if today’s hero can do the same.Thomas Blakiston 1832- 1891. This brave fellow spent much of his life tramping over the world in search of wealth, fame, animals and plants. He was the first Eurpopean to travel the length of the Yangtse in China and then spent many years in Japan. Prior to this Blakiston explored Wetsern Canada. He died in Columbus Ohio of pneumonia.
I discovered the Blakiston Fish Owl in Japan. What have you done? (& I do NOT look like Scott Parker)
An early goal to settle the nerves and a composed defensive display will set us up for the next round.
Written by Big Raddy