I received an email from JAT today... one describing what we have to do as fans tonight. Some words aren't desirable on the blog today, but the sentiment is the same. We're the 12th man, we're the noise that backs our team. JAT feel free to post the email as a comment. Arsenal have put red flags onto the home team seats, pick your flag up and wave it madly. Sing and shout, we need you.
Nasri says we have to make the stadium like the Velodrome:
“We need the 12th man,” he explained to French sports daily L’Equipe. “If I can ask one thing, it is that the Emirates is transformed into the Velodrome this evening.
“I still remember the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup against Newcastle United [a match OM won 2-0 in 2004 with Didier Drogba scoring twice] – I have chills running down my spine just talking about that – it was volcanic. Against Manchester United, the crowd much be like that.”
Looking at the comments yesterday, there is a general belief that Song will start instead of Denilson tonight and even though Diaby was rested on the weekend, will not start (thank God), and therefore the revised line up should be:
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Gibbs
Walcott – Cesc – Song – Nasri
Adebayor – Van Persie
With a bench of: Fabianski, Silvestre, Eboue, Denilson, Diaby, Vela and Bendtner.
Adebayor will start today, and the Togan International has come under a lot of criticism after the first leg display. But being a lone striker against Vidic and Ferdinand is no easy task. Arsene has backed the striker to come good:
“Emmanuel Adebayor is like everyone else. When the team dominates he will have chances. You would not want to put more responsibility on his shoulders than anyone else. We are more than a selection of individuals. We are first a team. We have developed like that and our game is based on the collective play. I want them to focus on that. How well we play collectively will make the difference.”
I’ve not got too much analysis of my own to give today. This game is so big, we know the opponents more than we know most. We know what Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez will bring to United’s team. Walcott needs to attack Evra, who has just about passed a fitness test. Sagna needs to keep Rooney occupied, make him defend rather than attack. Song needs to sit just in front of the back four and shield them. Djourou and Toure need to use their pace and intelligence to stop Ronaldo, Tevez and / or Berbatov.
It’s going to be a awesome night tonight.
I’ll leave you with a few words from the captain:
“I never believed we could not do well this season, that was more down to the press than ourselves. It is true that we have been linked with a lot of disappointments and things which we could have done better. The start of the season was difficult. We lost players we never expected to leave, but the team kept going. That shows the mental strength and character of the team because we are now playing in the Semi-Finals of the Champions League. I didn’t think we were struggling at all [when I was injured]. I watched all the games and I think when I was injured they won all the games, so I didn’t think that. My target, and everyone’s target was to be in the Champions League Final and I still think we can do that. We will give everything to make sure that happens. Everyone worked really hard this season to be where we are now and we want to achieve it. We feel that if we play well, we will deserve to be in that Final.”
Come on you Gooners, let’s make it a night to remember!]]>