Posted on February 24, 2015 by ADMIN

Clean sheet BIGGER than goals for Arsenal v Monaco?

When you listen to what Arsene Wenger said in his Arsenal press conference ahead of the visit of the first club he managed tomorrow, there is the distinct impression that the Frenchman is expecting a close run tie. He made the point about how close all these double headed knockout phases have been for the Gunners in recent years, with a single goal or just away goals making the difference.

And the fact that it has always gone against the Gunners in the previous four attempts has clearly got Wenger worried. Arsenal are favourites in the football betting to go through, but as an Arsenal.com report reveals, the boss has emphasised the need for his players to focus for every single minute of the game at the Emirates.

He said, “I don’t know if we are favourites or not, for me it is a 50:50 game. Every time we have been in there it was hard-earned wins. It is always a one-goal difference – you go out for one goal, you stay in for one goal and that means you have to work very hard.

“What has happened in the last four years is that we have gone out twice against the winners of the competition. What we have learnt is that it was on away goals or because of one goal, which shows you that every single minute of these games will be absolutely massively important. We have gone out, yes, but only just. We want to stay in, even if it is only just.

“In the last four years we always came out frustrated because three times we conceded a goal at home in the first 30 minutes. That goal knocked us out. It was really tight. We have learnt from that and we can show that on Wednesday.”

What that suggests to me is that the manager is more concerned about his team keeping a clean sheet tomorrow than scoring lots of goals. Of course he will expect Arsenal to have good possession, make good chances and hopefully score, but not at the expense of leaving ourselves vulnerable at the other end as we have so often in the past.

With just one clean sheet in the last four games and away goals being so important I can understand why Wenger is trying to hammer the need for complete focus home. One mistake or a moment of switching off tomorrow could give us a real problem when we travel to Monaco for the second leg. So is it more important for us to keep a clean sheet than it is to score?

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25 thoughts on “Clean sheet BIGGER than goals for Arsenal v Monaco?

  1. muffdiver

    this stage there is no easy games.
    but we have one of the weakest teams left an they are missing key players
    i expect us to have this finished by end of first game- no excuses
    we have the quality an experience

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 10

  2. Greg

    A clean sheet would be a great asset for us! Keeping it tight at the back will be crucial, not to conceed any away goals from monaco, this would give them belief and momentum going into the second leg in front! Its important that we dont give away any foolish goals!

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 8

  3. Greg

    Come on gunners! Lets get the job done against monaco tomorrow at the emirates, and finish the job in the second leg in france! Coyg!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

    1. joezwa

      that’s what i’m thinking
      i say F()K the clean sheet and let’s smash them at the Emirate, and be dust n done in the first leg

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Goonsquad8

    who are these f*ckin losers that come on this site and troll constantly? all 4 comments mysteriously have 4 dislikes now

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 14

  5. Greg

    Not that im taking monaco for granted, but i believe we have the quality to beat monaco over the two legs! But our defense must still remain focus and dont get complacent!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 7

  6. RWRW

    Key players tomorrow. Ospina, Kos, Coq, Cazorla/Ozil and Giroud(most important).

    Keep it organised, definitely keep it disciplined(Clichy) and most importantly take advantage of our chances

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

  7. Andrew AFC

    If we play at our best we will see off Monaco.

    GOYG show Monaco what we are made of.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  8. fred cowardly

    Kondogbia is a guy to look out for. He is young at 22 but very good defensive Midfielder. A lot like Vista. Controls midfield. Great at interceptions, winning back balls. Very good tackler and pass percentage in upper 80s. I’d love him to come here.

    Him and Pogba as box to box midfielder make an excellent combination for back of midfield for France. Actually both Kondogbia and Pogba are both welcome here. Lol. Lacazette is also a brilliant French footballer. Scores almost every game.

    Sorry getting off topic

    Anyway, Monaco have a decent defense, so we need Ozil and Cazorla to do their wizardry to get some goals. Giroud MUST start proving his doubters wrong by consistently score in big games. Champions League matches are big matches.

    As to clean sheet. Ospina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertsacker, Gibbs/Monreal and Coquelin are the men to get it done.

    A big thing I want to see is to Not take the foot off the accelerator in second half. We have been doing that lately. Play hard for full 90 mins +

    COYG

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

    1. Hafiz Rahman

      2 nil not good enough… 3nil and we are 50 percent safe…. the more the merrier…

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

      1. fred cowardly

        Yes obviously the more the merrier but Andrew was just making a realistic prediction. Monaco have a good defense. They only let in 1 goal in the group stage. And why would you think 3-0 = 50% safe. You must not have a great deal of faith in our Defense playing in Monaco if we are only 50% safe with a 3 goal lead.

        It’s not impossible for Monaco to beat us 3-0 in Monaco but I would expect us to win on aggregate if we Went to Monaco with a 3-0 lead.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  9. HA559

    There was so many occasions this evening when Barcelona just easily gave a throughball over the top with a simple dink/chip. If our players could do that more often it would be good. Its a reason to actually defend a little bit deeper because otherwise you are going to be in big trouble.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  10. fred cowardly

    So much quality in the other match too.

    Vidal, Pogba, Pirlo, Reus, Hummels, Ramos
    Gundogan, Tevez

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  11. Andrew AFC

    Have faith in our squad. Wenger has said we have the best attacking line up since 2004.

    Goodnight all and cheer our lads on to a win tomorrow.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  12. ruelando

    i have said so before that at present we have one of the strongest attacks in the world at the moment, many may say we are far from it, but i differ in opinion. it should be interesting to see how much more the attacking team develop, we have a pacey attack, we can also switch to an attack with hold up players and we have tricky forwards who can dazzle the opponent.

    The defense line although not perfect, is doing a far better job than earlier n the season, Coquelin as been outstanding in front of the back four, it could be even more amazing if he is paired with a good partner in big games.

    I am actually very confident that this team has what it takes to reach finals in both cups and climb the table further

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  13. rex

    I’m more worried bout d fact that each time we get a relatively weaker team (on paper), these teams tend to bring their A-game and suffocate us, anderlecht comes to fore…….. I guess d fact that Monaco has a tight defensive record is a consolation for more often than note we Gunners are stubborn enough to break such records! see Dortmund not losing to an English team at home! that being said, I expect a goal fest and a clean sheet from the Arsenal. COYG

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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