AC Milan vs Arsenal: 2nd Leg, Team News & Monday Round-Up

Well, it’s Monday and most probably the start of another busy week. I say probably as it really depends on what you do. If it’s a week off work or you’re holiday then it probably won’t be that busy. Or if you work a 2 hour day and then sleep the rest of the day, again maybe not. If you work in the city and commute for 4 hours a day then you’re probably busier than I mean too. But on the whole, were all busy… let’s start again.

It’s Monday and the start of another action packed week in the lives of all Arsenal fans. This weekend saw us gain a vital point in the championship race with a last minute goal from Niklas Bendtner. As A Cultured Left Foot highlights, we are top of the league, I said we are top of the league. Although our lead has been cut, the league is still in our hands, with tough games with Chelsea and Man U, it will be a tough run in, but we’ve shown this and last season that we can produce in the big games.

Cescy talks about our resilience and strong mentality and it’s good to hear from him

“When you are so young and if you do not have this spirit, it is very difficult to do something. If a team is weak mentally, you do not come back from these games – because these are matches when everything is against you, maybe it is not the best game of your life, but still you come back and get the points. That means something. We have to be strong and at least we have come back fighting until the end. “

Milan vs Arsenal

Tuesday brings us a tantalising clash in the San Siro against Milan. We’ve had tough two games, but this game is the climax of our last two weeks. A good performance against Milan could kick start our season and we have the ability. We’ve beaten Inter Milan in the San Siro convincingly and let’s raise our game this time round and show the aged team of Milan what we’re all made out of.

We played a 4-4-2 formation against Birmingham and Aston Villa, but I fully expect us to play our European away formation, of 4-5-1 with Adebayor the lone striker. 

 Our back five will be the same as against Villa, as Toure has yet to recover. He may feature on the bench, but it’s touch and go. Almunia will be important and he pulled out some good saves on the weekend. Senderos plays better in European games as the pace is somewhat different. He had a good game in the first leg and we will be looking for another performance in the absence of Toure. Our midfield will comprise of Flamini and Fabregas with Hleb in front and Diaby and Walcott on either wing. With this formation, we can allow more freedom for Walcott and Hleb. Diaby can come in central and Hleb wide left if we need more steel in the central areas. Ade will act as the lone stiker and will hold up the ball and bring in the rest of the midfield. He will be dangerous at set peices and on the counter attack.

The line up / formation should look like this:

Almunia
Goalkeeper
Sagna
Right Back
Gallas
Centre Back
Senderos
Centre Back
Clichy
Left Back
Flamini
Defensive Midfielder
Fabregas
Attacking Midfielder
Walcott
Right Wing
Hleb
Attacking Midfielder
Diaby
Left Wing
Adebayor
Stiker

On the bench, we’ll see Lehmann, Hoyte, Gilberto, Denilson, Bendtner and the return of Van Persie and Toure to the squad. If Toure doesn’t make it, then we’ll have a fit again Djourou in the 16.

Arsene has been talking to the press about the game and spoke about the pace of our team and the pace that Milan to play at.

“Milan have shown in Europe that they can deal with all sorts of opposition, they can slow the game down. What Milan do well is put you to their pace, and when Kaka gets the ball they can have sudden acceleration which can kill you. We will have to adapt to that because we like to play always at a high pace.”

It’s true, players like Kaka, Pato, Gilardino and even Seedorf aren’t slow and can sudden change the pace of a game. We’ll have to be on our top form to keep Kaka in check, and Arsene also speaks about how to control his talents

“In Italy, what do the teams do who play against Milan? They take Kaka, get him out of the game. We will play zonal and will not mark him man to man. We will be faithful to what we do usually. We will try to get him out of the game by cutting the connections with him. If you kick the great players out of the game, why should people go to watch football? Great players make football a bit special, they make it art. If you are there to kill them, it is not acceptable.”

Carlo Ancellotti has been talking about how the Milan players are tired and he has many injuries, with Kaka, Pirlo, Nesta and Seedorf supposedly doubts for the game. I wouldn’t believe it if I were you, I fully expect all four to be available for the game.

Eduardo Catch Up

On Saturday, the Villa chants added a sour note to the game, and Arsene spoke after the game.

“You expect better from people who come to football stadiums. It looks that intelligence and stupidity can have no limits. Unfortunately stupidity has won.”

Sometimes fan go over the line and we’ve all seen it happen, whether it’s against us or us doing it. Eduardo spoke to the News of the World on Sunday and moved to praise Gary Lewin for the important part he had to play.

The injury was so grave I could have lost my foot. So I will always be grateful to Gary for what he did in lowering the risk to my leg. That was decisive. I do not remember too much about the blow. I remember the pain, seeing that my foot had rotated, but I only recaptured my senses in hospital.”

Monday Round Up

Elsewhere, Gunners Live looks at the 5 worst performances of the season.
The top five were:
5. Portsmouth 0-0 Arsenal – Away – Premier League
4. Sevilla 3-1 Arsenal – Away – Champions League
3. Middlesbrough 2-1 Arsenal – Away – Premier League
2. Manchester United 4-0 Arsenal – Away – FA Cup
1. Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Arsenal – Away – Carling Cup
Click the link above to read the full blog, very interesting…

I agree with him on the top five, but I think the score line for the Sp*rs game outweighed the actual performace, a game we dominated, whereas, we just didn’t turn up for the Man U game away at Old Trafford.

The Online Gooner highlights the annoying Sp*rs resergence under Juande Ramos and how they have become a better team and with the money behind them and finally have a decent manager, they will start to become a team capable of acheiving more than mid-table mediocrity.

Meanwhile, young Carlos Vela got another 73 minutes under his belt and showed some great touches and good overall play. You can check out the full match report on Young Guns.

Jeorge Bird continues his examination of left winger to be Pedro Botelho and is really making me quite excited at his arrival. Check out this link for a match report from his latest game and a round up of youth and reserves.

In other news, Southampton are stuggling financially and it was reported today that they may went to settle early in the Walcott deal. With sales of their star players such as Walcott and Bale amongst others, high crowds, how on earth can they be close to administration? They have moved to dismiss this story on their official website.

Okay, that’s it for today… it’s seems like there is a lot going on in the world of Arsenal at the moment. Let’s hope we can refocus on a very important game and get the win or score draw we need in Milan. More team news tomorrow.]]>

  • reevey

    < ![CDATA[I'm not sure Walcott is the best bet for Milan on the right, as Eboue has more power and is a better crosser, and with a lone striker I imagine crosses will be very important this week. As for Diaby I remain unconvinced about him as an out-and-out winger but he is full of potential and if it weren't for Flamini I imagine he'd be Cesc's midfield partner.
    C'mon the Gooners!]]>

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