Arsenal boys must give it absolutely everything on Tuesday night

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After the weekend just gone it feels a bit funny to be blogging today. As I said yesterday after the draw with Liverpool, the Premiership is now gone for Arsenal – a reality made worse by the fact that Manchester United dropped points for the first time in a number of games last night against Middlesbrough. Had Arsenal found a winning goal on Saturday then Arsene Wenger’s side would be just four points off the top and right back in it, so it’s all a little frustrating at the moment.

But while I have 99.99% given up on Arsenal chances of winning the league it’s fairly unsurprising to hear that the manager has not. Speaking in the post-match interview after the Liverpool game, Wenger was clearly frustrated by his side’s inability to get the three points but also stressed that he will not be giving up until winning becomes a mathematical impossibility.

“It depends on the results of the other teams. In my brain it’s not over because mathematically it’s not over.”

It’s a fair point, but at the same time I think the Champions League now has to be the main focus. Of course, that could be all over as well if Arsenal can’t get past Liverpool on Tuesday night, but should they do just that then I think the manager will have to rethink his approach to the rest of the season. Certain players will need to be at 100% physically and mentally for the semi-finals should the club make it that far, and that will mean rotating the squad from game to game a little bit more than the manager has done previously.

Rotations should see guys like Walcott getting more time on the pitch

As I said though, a lot depends on whether Arsenal can get the result they require to knock out Liverpool and it’s far from certain that they will. The Merseyside club will start as favourites after grabbing a 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium and resting key players like Fernando Torres from the weekend Premiership clash.

Two players who will be key figures for Arsenal – Cesc Fabregas and Manuel Almunia – have been talking about this week’s Champions League clash, with the latter hoping that Liverpool show a little less Jekyll and a lot more Hyde and the former expecting Rafa Benitez’s side to defend strongly and hit on the break.

“I think it is going to be very difficult because they defend very well. All they’ll want to do is defend and catch us on the break. We have to stick to our policy of playing good football, attacking and trying to create chances.”

I think the little Spaniard is pretty much spot on; I can’t see Liverpool playing any other way then by defending and counter-attacking and the Arsenal boys are going to have to put in an AC Milan-in-the-San-Siro-esque performance to progress to the semi-finals. With the league virtually gone and a decent rest for some of the tireder players surely on the horizon, Wenger will be wanting his team to give absolutely everything they’ve got to get past Liverpool. Let’s hope they can do it.

That’s about it for today so take it easy and try and keep a smile on your face. After all, there’s still a Champions League to be won.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s difficult weekend by leaving a comment.


34 thoughts on “Arsenal boys must give it absolutely everything on Tuesday night

  1. Looking forward to it. Although I must say I hope Wenger plays his best team at Old Trafford the following Sunday as well. Just because were out of the race doesn’t mean we should bring our best for ManU.

  2. Would much prefer they if they played their skins off on Tuesday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I think aw is being over bullish regarding the title chance. I look at the squad and am sorry I disagree with him.To win the title you have to win all the remaining league games which is not easy.We have only Ade, Brendtner and Walcott as recognised strikers. We can forget abt RVP and in an emergency I think Lehman will come on a striker.
    The defence has been conceding easy goals which I believe will undermine Arsenal’s season if there is no significant improvement ,repeat significant improvement in performance.
    Aw has seen there is no need to improve the squad and therein is the reason for the disappointing results.

  4. If we play with Bendtner and ADe upfront with Walcott on the right we in for a shout…If its that god awful Eboue again we can expect pretty much the same.

    It really pissed me off to see Liverpool score and then have 11 men behind the ball for the rest of the match. How can liverpool fans accept that from their team…all in the name of glory. Lets give them a spanking so that even if they keep 11 players in the 18yard box they get knocked out!!

    I was playing PES 2008 on the weekend, and by mistake brough Lehmann into Midfield, his first tackle was a card, and when i realised my mistake i subbed him, but then forgot to change the line up and in the second game, same thing his first tackle was a sending off! LOL




  6. Hi guys,

    Man Utd Dropping points at Boro gives u guys a decent chance in the EPL.U guys are 6 behind now..If u beat United, u go just 3 behind..Then united has to travel to blackburn and anything is possible, provided u guys can beat United and keep winning after that.

    As for the UCL, liverpool at anfield will b a tough proposition..Moreover they have so much luck in the UCL..but they can be defeated..Arsenal has to play a fast game and be wary of the counter

    I hope to see a Chelsea vs Arsenal SemiFinal in the UCL


  7. I have been a staunch supporter of Wenger but he MUST take responsibility for not strenghthening the squad and even more so for his obsessions with Eboue and Diaby. If Walcott had all those starts wasted on those two he would have been much nearer the finished product.

  8. @ Scope Knight motherf0cker – yea thats right. sack wenger. bring back jose. let him spend GBP200 mil and leave the club in 2 years !!

    what are you talkuing about? bet your moms di0ck on paddy power haaaaaaaaaaaa

  9. I hate to say I told you so, but I was getting stick in the early part of the season when I criticised AW for not strengthening the squad.I could see the cracks even then when we were doing well.

    Lets hope he realises his mistakes and sorts this squad out in the summer.

    He seems determined to continue with players that I don’t believe are of the standard required to play for Arsenal, so lets hope he addresses these issues and buys some real quality.

  10. We’ve blown it – big time. The starting 11 against Liverpool on Saturday was a joke and yet another awful decision by Wenger. If he truly believed that we were still in the title race why play that lineup? Wenger’s words are ringing very hollow right now – he keeps talking about our spirit, belief, strength and so on – wishful thinking Mr Wenger! The only way to make sense of it is if Wenger had already given up hope of the PL title and decided to risk everything on winning away at Anfield on Tuesday which is at best a long shot – sure it’s *possible* but the side looks thin on the ground and very very tired which is compounded by below standard form from key players. We’re heading for another season with nothing to show except ‘progress’ … ah yes after three seasons developing a new team/squad we’re still not good enough to win the league … progress indeed!

    There are numerous areas where we fall short of the standard now required to be at the top of the English game but most notably the team lacks goal-scorers. Our midfield is just not good enough – Eboue and Hleb do not score enough or *at all* really. While Hleb is an amazing player his fear of shooting is beginning to look like a psychological flaw that can no longer be tolerated. Eboue is, of course, a huge waste of space and a disgrace to the shirt. Why does Wenger persist with him? It is truly baffling! In the absence of Sagna Eboue’s place is at right back where his pace and forward running can help Theo devastate opposition sides – his inability to either cross or shoot accurately render him impotent as an attacking force. Right back or nothing.

    Wenger has invested too much trust and belief in this ragged bunch of almost good enough players – everyone can see what’s wrong with the side except, it would seem … Wenger.

    This is our worst season under Wenger, our worst run of results in 10 years and yet it didn’t need to be that way if only we had strengthened the side when we had the chance. Admittedly in January things looked quite good but with rosicky and RVP constantly injured it seemed obvious that we could struggle. There’s no excuse and Wenger saying he didn’t expect to lose them both is hot air – FFS RVP hasn’t been fit for two seasons now!

    Wenger needs to re-think his estimation of the quality of players we have – our first 11 is ok but the bench looks like a list of ‘might be good players one day’ – an awful situation to be in when we’re competing with ManU and Chelsea.

    We might beat Liverpool but here’s my prediction – they will allow us all the time in the world on the ball and defend very effectively then catch us on the break, we’ll huff and puff then to get back into it but no width and no goalscoring midfielders will ensure that it’s all too little too late and the Wenger experiment will be exposed as the self-deluding myth it really is.

  11. it’s nothing to do with if Liverpool will sat back behind the ball or not but we do have the attacking power house? i really doubt Ade can be count on. sigh~

  12. I tell you what about the second leg. Pool would invite the gunners to attack . The gunners defence as usual likes to play high up.It in this context that the defenders including Kolo could be caught.
    It has happened many times bf and believe me it would happen again.The gunners would attack in a frenzy and suddenly the ball is lost and Pool in a swift counter attack have scored a goal.Arsenal in desperation throw more men forward are again caught and concede a second goal.
    The thing is the gunners must be ruth less in attack and you may have 99 ninety nine shots at goal and score only one goal. Liverpool have two chances and score both..
    What is there to say?The defenders must be fleet footed and not concede easily.Then Arsenal will have a chance.

  13. I disagree – if we were playing a side that would engage in an open game of football we have a chance but our way of playing can easily be stifled by defensive teams – we’ve seen it all this season, and last season as well. Our over-elaborate approach play is too slow which allows defensively minded sides to regroup in depth before we take a shot on goal, we’re no longer the super-fast attacking machine we used to be. In the golden years of henry, Bergy, Pires, Freddy we would take one or two passes to split a defense and wham! we’ve scored but the current squad suanters around the pitch indulgently – passing backwards far too often and inviting defenses to organise as best they can – and Liverpool certainly know how to do that! Even with the slow and error prone Carragher playing out of position at right back in the CL first leg we failed to expose him. Henry would have put him on his arse!

    So it absolutely matters what Liverpool do – we would have a much better chance against Barcelona or AC Milan for example. We have only one style and it’s too slow.

  14. Almunia
    Eboue Toure Gallas Clichy
    Walcott Fabregas Flamini Hleb
    Adebayor Bendtner

    That has to be the side …

  15. @ ElTommmo, lets hope thats what AW brings out 2mrw but I’m not so keen on Bendtner, He is obviously not at “this level”, I’ll prefer Ade and Theo upfront. Its just that we have to choose between watching Eboue and Bendtner, @the moment,none excites me. I think at a point in the game if its necessary, folks like song,diaby, denilson and co need to stand up form the bench and be counted.
    I think this game is more of a mental battle than anything else and its a [/B]big test[/B] for the lads.

  16. Walcott up front with Adebayor? Then who plays wide right midfield? Eboue? I don’t think I can bear to watch his theatrics any more, plus he’s an outright liability. Diaby … Denilson … Song? Nope – they are the amongst the players that Wenger thought would be good enough for our first team this season and none of them are – nowhere near it. All of them are central midfielders with a defensive attitude and only Diaby has any shooting accuracy, but he’s looked fairly useless in front of goal. Maybe a sub role for him.

    I just think we need attacking pace in the wide positions and there’s only one boy that can do it – Theo.

  17. It is a big test – a huge test in fact. I believe the team has it in them to go and win there but looking at the big picture, we then will probably have to do it all again in the next round against the Chavs, and the final will be ManU … on top of that we have to go to Old Trafford at the w/e, which at this moment in time feels like an even bigger task. The wheels have been wobbling since way back to the game against Boro away – had we won that we’d have been flying … after that came the appalling performance against ManU in the FA Cup where yet again another derisory performance saw us surrender the game before it even started, and that was down to Wenger as well given his weak pre-match comments and the arrogance to think an under-strength side would achieve anything but a morale sapping humiliation.

    It’s been good to watch them play with style and flair but isn’t it about time either they deliver on all the hyperbole or Wenger swallows a large dose of reality, along with his stubborn and now misplaced pride, and brings in the two or three new players we need to move to the next level.

    Want to become a force in European football? Take a long hard look at our resources and they are not good enough.

  18. We will beat liverpool tommorrow. Hopefully Man U defensive injuries will continue for long after this weekend. I don’t bank on Man U going to Moscow, and I am convinced we will go past Chelsea without a problem.

    El Tommo/Nick: What are your suggestions (players/areas) for new additions?

  19. I was on youtube last night searching for Arsenal footage when I came across a 07-08 Arsenal goals highlights. First of all, all the talk of “flow and passing with “no end product” is non-sense. Our Gunners are the second leading scorers in the Premiership. The other thing that really struck me was the speed, vigour and tenacity the boys played with at the start of the season. Not that San Siro was lacking in committment and effort. The 2nd half effort away at Bolton was quite remarkable for the fortitude it displayed. What was more telling in the compilation of early to mid-season success was how fresh and energetic the squad looked. The lads are battling not just the opponents on match day but also fatigue. Physical and mental fatigue. Injuries are part of the story obviously but we we are sorely lack depth. The reason why I bring this nearly belaboured point is that I found video evidence to support that AW needs to open the vault.
    There’s a reason why Mancs & Chelski are coming on strong at the end of the campaign. Those “big clubs” have spent like big clubs and have provided support in the form of a quality bench squad. We don’t need to see any silly Abramovitch style spending sprees but we need something. Not just for frustrated gooners but for the players. Their brilliant early form is being pissed away because the Boss couldn’t foresee that Ebuseless would be… useless and that RVP and Rosick-note are in the trainers room? The Eduardo incident aside (get well soon!!!) we NEED reinforcements. That said I am expecting The Arsenal to take the fight to the negative, cloggy shite Reds at Anfield and score twice. Come on you Gunners!!

  20. PL hopes are over now..lets not say we will beat Manure at OT and they will lose to Chlshi* and Blackburners…It would be glorious if we win at Anfield..I feel it would be a 2-2 draw…keeping the fingers crossed!!!

  21. What I said after the scoreless draw with AC MILAN at Emirates was that if we finish trophyless this season then it will all be down to almost what everyone has been saying: lack of depth.I am Arsenal and have been Arsenal since the 1990s.But one thing I never fail to do is to give credit where it is due: ManU deserve the title this season.They just seem to convert more chances and defend better than we do.They open up teams with so much ease.why??
    AstonVilla almost beat us at home and they tested our back four to the limit.Compare that with the 4-0 drabbing by Old Trafford.Same to Liverpool and a host of other teams.
    In my considered opinion,ManU is Arsenal’s greatest obstacle to glory this season both in the EPL and CL.We will most likely go past Liverpool tonight and even beat Chelsea in the semis but if ManU make it to the finals also then we will have a big problem.Going by the way we are playing at the moment (not creating many chances, lack of creativity and sharpness),getting a point at Old Trafford this Sunday will be a very good result.
    My point: unless this squad is strengthened in the summer, then we expect another trophyless season and increased pressure from Liverpool and SPUDS for the 3rd and 4th place in 2008/9.Which season was it that we threw away a 5 point-lead in the EPL to ManU?2001/2/3?It has happened again this season.This fading away in Feb/March will only stop when this “depth” issue is addressed.It is not fair on the players and fans.

  22. I have no doubt in my mind and know that we will go through tonight but it will not be easy as Liverpool will fight tooth and nail.Our concentration must be 100% in addition to Gallas and Toure/Senderos being less adventurous going forward to mitigate the “being caught-on-the-break” risk.

    I think my most disappointing match of the season so far is the 2-2 draw against Birmingham on 23rd Feb.08.It is a match i felt then and even now that we cheaply threw away and I just got this feeling then that our chances to win the EPL had just evaporated.And sure enough almost slightly a month after that match we’ve lost 14 league points and are looking a pale shadow of the team that played with so much gusto in the first half of the season.What has come of us? Lack of depth.

  23. Mimi, in answer to your question about manu opening up teams easier than we do, I think they have more players who are prepared to attack at pace and beat players, this creates more space and they also attack the flanks more than we do, and more importantly they’ve probably got the best player in the world in Ronaldo the guy just makes things happen.
    Even when we do run at players there is a tendency to check back and come inside and play through the middle, we over play sometimes.

  24. Not very confident having seen the likely line up.Eboue and Diaby as widemen in the biggest game of the season.You couldn”t make it up. Player Ade upfront on his own is a gamble.When is Wenger going to realise he has got to start playing Theo.I just hope Liverpool dont play Crouch. Sadly i predict a 0-0 draw

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