Arsenal vs Villareal Preview: Part 2

It's Tuesday and tonight sees the return of Champions League as Liverpool and Bayern try to overturn a 3-1 and 4-0 first leg deficit against Chelsea and Barcelona respectively to progress to the next round. Tomorrow, of course, will be more interesting with Porto pushing United all the way and of course, the big game, Arsenal vs Villareal at the Emirates where we're in pole position.

News surrounding Villareal is that influential midfielders Carzola and scorer in the first leg Senna are both definitely not available to play. That may see a start for Robert Pires, in what will be an emotional return to Arsenal, and I'm sure you'll see a massive ovation for the former Gunners legend.

The boss has been talking about the game and is sure of our positive intent. He's urged the team to go out and really win this game, putting to bed any chance that Villareal may have.

“We know we are in a situation where we don’t want to be tentative at all,” the manager said. “We want to be decisive but you can only do that if you decide to play in a very positive way. We have scored that away goal so it could have an importance at the end of the day. I don’t believe that we are a team who can play for 0-0, that’s not our natural way. If there are five minutes to go and it’s 0-0 even goal kicks make you nervous. I personally don’t expect any weaknesses from them, I expect some strength from us to say, ‘listen, we have the opportunity to get to the Semi Final at home, let’s take it’. I am confident we will and we have the needed quality to do that. But you know from their game that they can be dangerous as well.”

And for that reason, I’m convinced we’ll attack and try our best to score early and score a few. We’ll have to be on our best behaviour at the back and that’s why I hope we stick with the back four that ended the game on the weekend, with Silvestre and Toure in the middle and Gibbs and Sagna in the full back positions. Many are calling for Silvestre to drop to left back and Song to come into central defence, but Song being playing in central midfield all season and we have others available, it doesn’t make sense to play someone out of position.

News coming from the Arsenal camp is that Djourou will be back for the weekend trip to Wembley – so many important games coming so quickly one after each other.

Although Senna will miss the game, he’s been in the press with a little bit of fighting talk telling us that they’re on a mission and it’s a good reminder that this is the game of their season too, so we’ve got to be disciplined in defence and incisive in attack.

“We are capable of winning in London and going through. We are certainly stronger than we were three years ago. We have a far more complete group of players now than we had back then. We have real depth to our squad. It is everything or nothing. It is do or die. And we know we are good enough to win.”

It’s do or die for us too and overall, we have the better team, are in the better position and are at home.

It’s time of us to step it up.

Part 3 tomorrow…]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[I think our away goal will be crucial tomorrow and we should play a high tempo pressing game to quash any Villareal possesion. We gave them far too much space in the 1st leg.

    Our defence is certainly looking worst for wear after yet more injuries. However these injuries should hopefully open wengers eyes to the lack of decent defensive players we have in our squad.

    I am amazed how well we are progressing this season concidering we have had at least 4 1st team players injured for the entire season.

    Just imagine the start of next season with a fully fit Eduardo and Rosicky and hopefully some decent summer signings.]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Yeah, defence is the most concern for me at the moment. Its a shame because we really improved in that department in recent months. It works in our favour that VR will have a few players missing too, especially with the importance of away goals. Hopefully we'll win convincling and manage to stay fresh for Saturdays game.

    Diaby is back in the squad for tomorrow too. I know he gets injured quite frequently, but he always seems to make it back in time for important matches lol :)

    Good to hear Djourou should be back for the weekend! The return of any player at the moment is a huge encouragement, especially with the number of important games coming up. Hopefully Eduardo will be ok to play too and carry on in his role of FA Cup hero :D

    Anyone watching the Chelsea-Liverpool game this evening? I'm hoping it'll go into extra time/penalties personally lol. Should be a good game for the neutral.]]>

  • ny

    The only weak point is Gibbs as he is still in study phase.And no idea how to accomadate vanPersi.Somhow I feel he is one one among world’s best but not suited for arsenal.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Cracking game last night and interestingly Gerrard rested and Torres taken off for our game. Lets hope Barca give Chelsea a good hammering in the Semi-Final.

    I really hope that if we beat Villareal that Porto win against Man U.]]>

  • gun5

    What is with all the pessimism around here. Were in with a great chance of making the semi-finals of the champions league, and only Chelsea stand in our way of making the fa cup final, yet people are still whinging about mistakes wenger made nearly 12 months ago. Some advice, grow a pair and get over it because the rest of us have. It was far from a perfect season but a month ago the same people where whinging about the uefa cup and poor performances. The team are reinvigorated, and playing with pride and passion again. They went to Rome and had a terrible evening, but still held out in a hostile environment to win on penalties, which shows character. Theyve won every game since bar the draw with Villarreal which was as good as a victory. Their belief is back. Arshavin has proven an astute piece of business. Critics spoke on here of how he wouldn¿t adapt, that he was too small, that he was unproven…where are you all now? Granted, we need players in key positions ¿ CB, DM and GK but cant the whiners wait until the season is over and get behind the team during the most critical week of games and leave the pettiness for the boring summer months when well all need the bit of entertainment around here.

  • gun5

    < ![CDATA[Fellow gooners, what do you guys say to Wenger approaching Mathieu Coutadeur? I've seen him play once and I didn't get too much from that some ten minutes of play.

    Has anyone heard about him he's meant to be a real prospect with clubs such as hamburg and Stuttgart interested. He's a central midfielder and is "known for his passing".

    This is probably not the solution as a Defensive midfielder whom could add steel to the middle of the park SHOULD be a preferred option. Inler has also been linked although the club is ransoming over something like 22.2m...Forget that.

    Well, we'll see in good time what Wenger does. Honestly, i think he will transform a player whom plays in an other position and change him into a DM like he's transformed Henry from a winger to a striker and Flamini into a versatile player with him even playing at Left-back]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[“You don’t need a manager to pick the defence,” said Wenger at Tuesday’s press conference. "Gibbs has no experience and Alex Song has not played a lot at centre back. But at least we can have someone close to Gibbs who has experience [in Silvestre].

    “After that we will see because Robin will have to test tomorrow morning with his groin and on that decision will depend all the rest.

    “Diaby is just coming back. It was his first day in training today. He will be fit certainly for Saturday but for tomorrow he will be a bit short.”

    This doesn't look good. He's going with Silvestre at CB. I have my doubts about that. He's too error prone. We'll need a lot of good fortune at the back, to go through to the semifinals. And by the looks of things up front, VanPersie might not be available. Which means, we're probably going to see another 4 - 5 - 1.]]>