So far in the semi-finals the team which lost the first leg won the tie. These are not good omens nor is our away form.
No … stop this Raddy,. Get a Grip. Negativity breeds negativity. As Mr. Python says “Always look on the bright side of life.”
If we score one Valencia have to score 5 to win (4 for pens), if we score two Valencia have to score 6. So, what should Emery do? In my opinion, he should stack the midfield and attack from the first whistle.
The Mestella is a hostile stadium for the away teams. Valencia’s home record is very good particularly in defence, they have conceded just 11 goals in 18 La Liga games. Not so dusty upfront with 21 goals scored (to compare, at home we have scored 42 and conceded 16 in the same number of matches – away from home we have conceded 34 😱)
Valencia were poor at the Emirates. We conceded a stupid set piece goal which puts the tie at risk but otherwise Arsenal were comprehensively the better team The Frenchman, Gameiro, looked quality and on both wings we looked vulnerable.
This week we have seen other fine sides collapse in the second half which should be a clear lesson. The best team does not always win, sometimes it is luck and strength of character. We need both.
Do we have strength of character? Looking at the last few weeks the answer has to be No but tonight is different. We are two games away from Glory and no-one will remember the pisspoor performances if we get to Baku.
If Ramsey, Hector, Holding and Welbz were available I would be mega-confident, they aren’t. So who gets to start?
Cech in goal – I wouldn’t pick him but Unai is loyal to his players. Kos and the Greek Bloke. Does he start Monreal or Mustafi to complete the Back 3 Mustafi has been better in the last few games – always the butt of the Gooner’s ire (usually well-deserved) one must also recognise when he plays well. Monreal always giving his all, I would play Mustafi
Kola will surely start but would you pick AMN
The midfield is much harder to predict. I would not play Douzi but he is a favourite of UE and startedd in the home leg. Nor would I start either Ozil or Mhki who are not in good form, but if we don’t start one of them, who supplies the ammunition to our front two?
I don’t know and have to trust that UE does.
IMO if Xhaka and Terrier play well we will win.
And what of the bench? Do we have anyone riding the pine who gives you confidence that they can either shore up a crumbling defence or give us attacking impetus? You know the answer.
Courage, Cohesion and Confidence will get the Arsenal to Baku because we already have the skill and talent. It will be a battle and in the words of a true Englishman …
“The games afoot, Follow your spirit and upon this charge, Cry “God for Unai, England and Saint Charlie George.”