Tough test awaits, Udinese no walk in the park

August 24, 2011 by   Filed under: Arsenal FC, Champions League, Transfers

Just few hours from now could really define our season in a nutshell. It hasn’t been a great week for us has it now? It hasn’t been a great summer full stop. Loosing at the weekend has not helped one bit to be honest with you. We saw the last of Nasri then, today he is checking house prices somewhere up north but more on that later.

Tonight we take on Udinese in MASSIVE second leg of our Champions League qualifier to the group stages. We hold a lead which is a slender lead but still gives us that little bit of advantage. In ideal world I would like to go there with a three goal lead and a squad full of world class players, however we all know  that both of these options are somewhat a bit of a fairy tale. In fact our team sheet just got weaker, we finally got rid of Nasri who for me was the only player who could do anything against Liverpool on Saturday and young Jack is now facing a setback on his ankle problem. The only good news for tonight is that Djourou, Traore, Gervinho, Rosicky, Song and Frimpong are back in the squad following injuries and suspensions. Despite our team being paper thin both on paper and on the pitch to me that’s a great boost from Saturday. Frimpong gave us a glance of what a player he could be for us and as much as his inexperience let him down, we definitely have a player with Arsenal DNA in him.

We will need to keep it really tight especially in the middle as this area is mostly weakened we all know what Udinese are capable of, we all saw what they can do at The Grove a week ago. There were moments of scare in the first leg and I’m convinced they will give us even a sterner test at their home turf. They are a decent side who can break on the counter attack in an instant so positioning discipline is a must, Song  please don’t go charging forward like a headless chicken and expose rather inexperienced Frimpong.

We need to be on top of our game in all areas in order for us to progress to the group stages, best way is to score an away goal and I really trust us to do just that. The away goal will mean a great deal to us and hopefully will be enough to see us through this tough fixture. Not sure who Arsene will send out tonight but I would go with this selection to start with:

You could possibly argue this line up because it would also be interesting to play Arshavin instead of Walcott and let’s be honest he has tons more experience in European Cup games, on top of that Arshavin will never last 90 minutes so Theo could be used here as a super substitute. Theo comes on quick counter attack, scores a second goal and we are through. Sounds so simple and I know for a fact it won’t be that easy, either way let’s get behind the lads wherever you are.

So Nasri is officially gone, it’s a real shame I liked him as player and I thought he had loads of talent that would blossom under Wenger, however yet again the modern footballer goes for money rather than pride and history, there isn’t a great deal to add what Arsene said:

“We did not want to lose Fabregas, but we were forced into a situation we didn’t want. Nasri is a situation where the player didn’t want to extend his contract with the proposals he had somewhere else. What kind of commitment can you have when the player is not there long-term? That is the question you have to answer.”

Fair play I haven’t got any complaints about him leaving he was after more money after all, neither do I have complaints about Cesc leaving too (being homesick and all that). I do however question how the club has approached this summer transfer window knowing that we will require high quality replacements for the players we have sold. We are a week away before transfer window will shut firmly in our faces and at this very moment it doesn’t look like there is going to be enough time to sign anyone decent. I believe a great deal will depend on the result tonight, we all know quality players want to play in Champions League, so this game could certainly define our season.

I don’t even want to think what will happen if we fail to qualify (rather scary thought), not only we will loose on £25 million from the competition, we may also miss out on any potential new signings. I sincerely hope that once we get through to group stages Arsene and The Board will work overtime to sign suitable players to strengthen areas in our squad that have been depleted by those players who have now left the club. The only way to strengthen, is to buy top quality players and I’m hoping we will not be let down by the club with so little time left on the clock.

I will leave it on that note, I have been very annoyed with the way the transfer window has been dealt with, it has been simply unacceptable for a club like Arsenal. On the positive side let’s look forward to the game tonight and get behind what we have for now.

Come on ARSENAL!


3 Comments on "Tough test awaits, Udinese no walk in the park"

  1. henry on Wed, 24th Aug 2011 6:04 pm 

    Our Wenger, who art in Emirates, qualification be thy name,

    Transfers be done,

    By August 31, in time,

    To save our season,

    Give us this day a good result,

    And forgive us our poor discipline,

    As we forgive those who commit fouls against us,

    And lead us not into the Europa League,

    But deliver us from mid-table,

    For we are The Gooners,

    The class and the history,

    Together forever,


  2. Alexandra on Fri, 25th Sep 2015 9:28 am 

    Aug24tenzin Arsene wenger has done a good job by ltniteg him to join a team where he will not find place easily he needs to perform constantly well which he usually does not do on the pitch. Man city might have some of the established players but they still have long way to go to come up to the level of man utd , arsenal n liverpool nevertheless tevez and robhino would have never choosed to leave the so call cash rich club

  3. Maria on Sat, 19th Dec 2015 11:37 pm 

    unlucky mate. but you have done way better than me, my crnreut longest was 25 with my crnreut team, Joher but the longest ever unbeaten was with Man Utd in FM2010, 48 matches.

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