Well this has turned into a real must win game.
Here are the odds from five betting sites and only one predicts an Arsenal loss.
We are leading 3-1 going into the second leg at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium and must avoid losing by two clear goals in order to progress to the final; on the other hand Valencia’s task will become increasingly more difficult if they allow Arsenal to score.
Valencia have lost just one of their last 21 games at home in all competitions and have lost just three times in total, twice in La Liga and once in Europe, which was a 2-0 loss to Juventus in the Champions League.
Arsenal have won just two of their last eight games on their travels between cup and league competition and have won just four out of 16 road matches since the start of December.
Valencia will be hoping to win a European trophy for the fist time since they beat Marseille 2-0 in the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.
Arsenal is looking to reach their first European final since they lost to Barcelona 2-1 in the 2006 Champions League final.
Here is a look at Valencia’s entire Europa League record, their home form is quite formidable W45, D12, L6, GF145, GA57 – on average they score 2.3 goals and concede .9 goals per game.
Will we march on to the Europa League Final on May 29th at the Olympic Stadium in Baku or will our poor away form be our Achilles heel?
My belief is in Unai Emery pushing our squad beyond its natural limits and on to Baku.
Valencia’s European home record is mightily impressive.
Our progression seems to rest on how the team pick themselves up from the depths of Sunday’s despondency and build upon that fine first leg.
Arsenal v Brighton match report in a photo
Arsenal has been pretty decent in Europa league this season. Lacazette is in phenomenal form. There is no way to under estimate Valencia. By looking at previous records n forms … I can say advantage Arsenal.
Here’s my new blog about football. Please do follow and all the suggestions are welcomed 🙏
Here’s my new blog about football. Please do follow and all the suggestions are welcomed 🙏
Kompany’s first strike on target from outside the area since December 2013.
The way things have gone recently, it wouldn’t surprise me if we did bow out! But then, on the other hand, we could put in an excellent performance, with everyone putting a shift in (no donkeys) and we cruise through… who knows which Arsenal will turn up 🙄
We need this win though, big time!
Was so glad City won, I was worried.. especially when I saw Mike Dean (strutting his stuff 😬) what a goal! Well done, Vincent 😁
Love that picture, chas (aww I have a black staffie 😍)
Nice article GN5, yet again 👍
Nice photo of the Arsenal – for a minute, I thought Charlie Dimmock had photobombed, but no, it’s Ray Parlour 😂😂
Morning People, 😁
Luckily history has a habit of growing, GN5 so there is little chance of you running out of fascinating material, as I have become addicted to your Posts! 🤪 Thank you.
You have become adept at covering all possibilities regarding Arsenal games — ‘we might get beaten, or we might sail through’ — but you missed one — ‘or, the match may be cancelled’.
As a professor of wriggle-out -of-it, I have to say you are good, but you have a way to go to catch me. 😜
I have to confess that I enjoyed the game last night with all the tension and anxiety demonstrated by the Man fans as a good Leicester defied them.
Truth to tell, I got more from that game than I have had from most Arsenal games this season — worryingly I might be developing a symbiotic relationship with oil-fired Citeh. Yee Gods!
Well done GN5 my biggest concern is goals against, can easily see us shipping 2 and have no faith in our ability to produce a rearguard performance in the intensity of Valencia with a vociferous support.
They get 1 and it will be a bloody long night.
That said I don’t have much faith in our forward play either at the moment.
Following on from yesterday’s discussions I do have some questions about the quality of the team.
We operate up front 2 top level strikers in Aubameyang and Lacazette, they are supported by players who have won titles. For me we are not getting the most out of the players. Spuds and Chavs operate with a smaller squad than us (they probably have 16 players before into the youth). We have a bigger squad and whilst some are injured we do have ample reserves.
On paper you would put most of our players ahead of Brighton, Leicester and Palace. Wolves may be slightly different as they have some fine players.
I would say there are a couple of differences between Klopp and Emery, Klopp whilst having an up and down first season changed the mentality of the supporters. He asked them where they were st the final whistle, why they had all gone home at 1-0 down with ten minutes to play. The following week they stayed and got a result. Emery had the opportunity to do the same when he arrived, but chose not to.
One of the main reasons given for appointing Emery was his dossier/presentation given to the board showing how he would improve the current players, had a plan for them all which would bring renewed success without mega investment, so I’ll ask a simple question who in the squad has improved?
Kolasinac has probably lost a few pounds, and is more like the player we signed, Iwobi has been more dynamic. And that’s where I stop, but I can’t say I’ve watched every game intently so I would be interested to know if others have seen different.
I would also say that Klopp in his first season identified players that he needed to play his game his way, and many came in with small amounts of outlay or promotions from within.
I have always said I will accept backwards steps to move forward, if that means promoting from within and not buying good to top end players I’m all for it. The club in my view over the last few years of AW tenure appeased fans by big money signings, but they were not always necessary, for example I never understood the signing of PEA. It paved way for Giroud to leave, who could have worked amazingly well with Laca in a big man small man pairing that would have worked in the modern game. Yes PEA has scored goals, but there is something about his game that for me is one dimensional, yes it’s unfair to compare to TH, but TH used to give us something above goals, ability to pick a pass, stretch opponents for others, RVP did similar it wasn’t all about goals. Laca for me fits more into their mould, and I think we are carrying PEA in 90 minutes and why sometimes he works better coming off the bench.
And as for mistaking Ray ‘Romford Pele’ Parlour for Charlie Dimmock —- well —– some might say he is prettier, but she can play ‘keepie upee’ with carrots much better than he can. 😜
Good stuff GIE — my thoughts too! 😃
Morning RA… damn how could I forget that?! 😝 or abandoned (for streakers all over the pitch 😂😂)
I’ll catch you at some point 😉
I agree with you about City… obviously I want us to win everything, but if we don’t (which is usually the case) then it’s City all the way for me, baby!! 😎
Our poor away form I can only put down to having a different (and therefore wrong) mentality in those games. That has to start with the manager in how he portrays the way he wants the team to play. This would suggest that Emery takes the incorrect approach away from home, and he needs to self reflect on this if it is not to become his Achilles heel and likely eventual downfall at THOF.
In the EL I am consoling myself that our dreadful away record is less of a factor in a 2 legged cup tie where away goals often rule. I think (hope) this will see us approach it with a different mind set to an away league fixture.
Napoli had a great home record and we did a job there having put ourselves in the driving seat after the home leg. We are capable of scoring a couple of goals there to make their task extremely difficult, and I hope that thought is on everyone’s mind when we go there.
This should hopefully see us get on the front foot in the game which is the only way we seem to play well at the moment
GiE, feel very similarly!
I’m not sure Wobbly or Kola have improved much in my eyes. Kola is not able to defend effectively and despite his “assists” stats, does not take initiative in attack and is consequently ‘there’ in a forward position but not posing a threat. Wobbly, I believe, is capable of being a threat, but rarely a byline threat which is what we have been crying out for for an age.
Before his injury Holding seemed to be going forward. Likewise Mav, (so why has he not been played?). Ouzi, as well as being the second highest valued U20 in the Premier League, is burnt out this season through no partner alongside to correct his wanderlust. Likewise Terrier who is a rare 100% efforter in this squad for me. I still believe in AM-N despite the mental blackness evident when playing out of position.
And so to our goalscorers- Laca is my kind of forward, as much for his heart and intelligence as his goals. I agree Aubang is one dimensional. He scores, and thank God this season, but if we had to lose one, I’d let him go.
The future should be youth….plus….two Patrick Vieira/Adams/McLintock type powerful leaders. Not much to ask!
For blackness read slackness. I is not prejudiced.
There is a commonality between our current coach and AW.
Both of them are ‘attack-and-to-hell-with-the-consequences’ type of managers, which if the missing Micky were here would sound like manna from heaven – if manna made a sound.
Several ex-players said that Wenger never discussed opponents strengths and weaknesses but let them worry about our strength in attack.
Embers seems to travel the same route.
All well and good when you have Thierry Henry, Perez etc during the Invincibles era (though the rest of the team were sh*t hot too).
But to attack regardless of fast paced opposing wingers and midfielders who counter-attack with evident glee when we lose the ball (too often) is the height of folly.
The adage ‘that attack is the best form of defence’ is fine – but not with the leaky defence and average midfield we have.
Unaiwagner it is easy to resolve some of our malaise – tell the defence and the midfield to never cross the halfway line, under any circumstances – and if you bleat we need speedy fullbacks (wingbacks) then go get some tricky, gutsy proper wingers.
Embers, that advice will cost you 10% of your wages (£1m) — and you will be only to pleased to pay me when we start winning again, next season.
It’s really difficult to predict the outcome of Thursday’s match up , my heart is with the gunners but my logic gets in the way and I have deep rooted doubts that our team will shoe the mettle needed in Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium.
But on the credit side they beat Napoli in the Stadio San Paolo, thanks to a marvelous free kick by Lacazette – so the jury is out and we await a verdict.
we will win Friday morning.
but with a 5am start, some of the lads might still be sleepy so they will need a double shot of coffee just before kick-off
RA, I actually haven’t watched as many Arsenal games this year (as in 90 minutes) as I normally would and have often just seen highlights, so I have to admit that my judgement of us under UE this season may be slightly off.
You may be right about similarities between AW and UE and that we expose ourselves when we attack at will but I have felt, from what I have seen, that the games we have played better in (often against the better opposition) are when we have been more attacking and that whenever we try and slow a game down we don’t seem to have the current capability to do it well and get pushed back and then pinned back and surrender dominance in the game.
I still feel we should take the attitude that we are going there to score a couple on Thursday and hopefully that will keep our game more fluid and high tempo.
We have already seen what Arsenal can do in the EL!!
We where good at home against Napoli and everyone didn’t leave Arsenal much of a chance to win the second leg away against Napoli!
And what did the players do? Oh yhea they where so good i that away match!
So derfor I think the players will show up at Mesteia and do and give Valencia a very good fight and go to the FINALE 😁‼️
THANK YOU ALL 😃🇳🇴
Hi Arne ( from Norway, I presume). Welcome to arsenalarsenal. Hope you are right.
Nice to see you on AA, I share your viewpoint and want the Gunners to win however recent Premier League away results make me have doubts. I’m very nervous.
You have a point, GB, but I was not saying we should not attack.
There have been passages of play this season when we have managed some exhilarating attacking moves, and I still love `arsenal playing that way.
What I was trying to say is that it is possible to play attacking football, but also to realise there is another dimension to wining, and that is not to let the opposition have a speed contest in our half of the pitch because there is no one at home, and we are too slow to catch them.
It is like playing the piano — the left hand plays the a melody, but the right hand is busy playing supporting descant (say) — they work together — each has a role to play. It would be ridiculous for both hands to try and occupy the same notes on the keyboard.
Likewise, we cannot have players all trying to be Messi and attacking. Even Barca get carried away and leave their defence hanging like low lying grapes in the breeze waiting to be be picked off, sometimes.
When you get home from work, and if you have a Sky channel called TCM, channel 315, there is an old film called “Wichita” which s a cowboy film showing @ 6:45, or 8:15 on channel 315, how Wyatt Earp sorts out the baddies. 😜
Charlie Watts announcing arrival of Edu as new Technical Director….whatever that means!
Thanks LBG for a nice welcome!
I’m new on this site and when i saw your replay i don’t know how to give you a thank you?
So i just try to do the same and i wrote in the comment section and hope you will see my thanks?!
The definition of Tech Director and compared to the Director of Football;
The technical director role is generally different to that of a director of football, a position which usually involves overseeing the signing of players.
The Tech Director tends to be a role designed to facilitate long-term strategy and continuity, independent of the manager/coaches remit with the team.
Jobs for the boys? 🤪
RA.. you know for a split second, I thought you were going to say you were an extra in it 😂
I have seen some of it before (thanks to my Mum!) Good old Wichita 😉😁
With Edu coming… does that mean we’ll sign lots of South American’s with lots of fight in them?! I’m up for that!!
I was hoping for a dominant display from Barca – not seen it as yet!
Suarez makes me laugh! Rolling round like he’s been shot, the crowd turning on him, there’s only one way to shut them up!
If Liverpool score again, I’m turning over to Wichita 😂😂
Thanks RA, however Arsenal seem to have indicated that Edu is expected to play large part in recruitment, although actually signing still with current man at joint top. ( will check spelling of his name and get back).
Raul Sanllehi ..or similar
What a terrific game at Anfield
The Razor Ruddock Final is still on!
Well what a horrible result. Barcelona hang your heads in shame because you were terrible. No doubt Spurs will scrape through tomorrow thanks to Son and we’ll bugger up in Spain to round off a perfect week!
That all-English finals bet that I never put on is back on!
Wow. Well done to Liverpool. Still happy to buck the trend and support them (sorry Sue). As I said before, they are a club of similar statue and finances to us so we should look at what they are doing with some optimism for what we could do.
I am absolutely devastated! I’m just imagining what my life will be like for the next 50 years (at least) and it ain’t pretty 😩
Barca you bunch of muppets 😡 now for the spuds to go through tomorrow & that’ll be me done.. I will buy a one way ticket to a desert island somewhere…..
At least one of us is happy, GB 👍
Watching that amazing Liverpool performance (with team and crowd almost working as one to pull off something remarkable) all I could think was: “I remember when it used to be like that at Arsenal.”
We need to get the magic back, somehow, some way…
Rocky interesting point and goes back to what I said earlier about how Klopp changed the fans mindset.
Then I look at their teamsheet, and wonder how the hell they did it.
And then I watch the final goal, a young player taking a gamble unscripted not a pre worked free kick, saw his moment and had the courage to try it. Bravery in football gets rewarded, but it’s much easier to be brave when the fans are more likely to applaud the attempt than groan when it goes wrong.
Funnily enough Exile, that brilliant piece of initiative by the young lad was one of the things that cast my mind back to the good old days at Arsenal, when Thierry and Bobby would do outrageously cheeky and clever little stunts that sometimes paid off and sometimes didn’t, but always caused excitement. When football seemed fun for both the players and the fans.
As you say, the players now play with fear and the fans respond with groans.
The only thing positive to come out of this is if Ajax can down the spuds and pool- that would make me immensely satisfied.