It is likely to be a very hostile atmosphere of Arsenal fans and the players both inside and outside the San Paolo stadium tonight as the Gunners try to complete the job and finish at the top of the group widely accepted to be the hardest one of all in the Champions League this season.
The Arsenal vice-captain is also the man in charge of scoring from the spot on the rare occasions that the Gunners are awarded a penalty, but when he was not on the pitch this season, the French striker Olivier Giroud had stepped up and scored against Fenerbahce and Southampton. So it was strange to see Mesut Ozil step up this week against Marseille and even stranger to see him miss it.
What’s happened to Mesut Ozil? by Ash
In the last summer transfer window, which actually seems like a long, long time ago, many Arsenal fans assumed that it was going to be a big summer for the Gunners.
A new transfer regime was created and big players were expected to join the club, however come the last day of the window we were left with the sorrowful news that at that point in time just a young French injury prone striker, Yaya Sanogo, had joined the club.
Arsenal 2 – 0 Marseille — Player ratings by Kash
Szczesny – 8
Was very alert today considering how little he had to do at times. Made a brilliant save to deny Thauvin and really is proving he is worth that new contract. His distribution was once again impressive.
Sagna – 8
Was ridiculously good today. Just dominated the right for us and embarrassed Morel throughout the game. Also assisted Wilshere for the first goal.
Mertesacker – 8
Another top performance by the German. Gave very little space to the likes of Gignac and did well enough to prevent Valbuena and Thauvin from combining.
Before the Champions League clash between Arsenal and Marseille at the Emirates stadium, Arsene Wenger had already revealed that he definitely was interested in the French club’s young player Florian Thauvin. The 20-year old is widely regarded as one of the most promising French players around and Wenger is obviously a fan, so it would be no great surprise if the Gunners do rekindle their interest in him sooner or later.
As explained in a Mirror report, the French manager was looking at Thauvin last year, before the youngster ended up signing for Lille. What happened after, with him apparently going on strike to force a move away from Lille to his current club, will certainly not have helped his cause with Wenger. He is still young, though, and I get the impression that the Arsenal boss feels that his mistakes do not necessarily rule him out.
Arsene Wenger has a lot of qualities as a manager, but the one that is most appreciated by his Arsenal players is the way he looks after them. Wenger’s softly, softly approach does not always work, as we have seen most recently with Gervinho and Nicklas Bendtner. In general, however, it takes some pressure off players like Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey, giving them the time and the confidence to realise their potential and show the Arsenal fans what they can do.
It seems that Arsenal are really surprising and winning over people all over the football world this season. The Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners at the weekend, declaring that we have been playing the best football in the Premier League, and that was before Arsenal became the first team to score more than once against his team.
Arsenal are firing on two fronts as well, with a great chance to take complete charge of the Champions League group tonight. We could even qualify if the result in the other game between Napoli and Dortmund goes the right way. Arsenal cannot worry about that, however, and must be ruthless in beating the French side Olympique Marseille.
Arsenal will have a golden opportunity to put one foot in the Champions League knockout stage when they entertain Marseille on November 26th.
The 1-0 victory at Borussia Dortmund left the Gunners in pole position to qualify from Group F with two games remaining. They are level on nine points with Napoli, three ahead of Dortmund.
It would be easy for Arsenal to start thinking about being in the next round of the Champions League. A lot of the fans probably are already, because on Tuesday the Gunners can qualify by beating Marseille at the Emirates, as long as Napoli avoid defeat in Dortmund.
Marseille were in the second pot for the draw, but they have lost all four matches so far and have no chance of qualifying. So on paper, it is a comfortable win for the Gunners, but our Spanish midfield maestro Santi Cazorla has issued a warning, reported by Arsenal.com, against any complacency in the team. He also believes that the French side could surprise people, even though they are out of contention.
Ahead of Arsenal’s pivotal Champions League clash against Marseille on Tuesday, Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla has insisted that the Gunners are a good bet for this season’s competition, claiming that Arsenal are indeed capable of doing ‘beautiful things’ in Europe this campaign. Arsene Wenger’s side can all but confirm a place in the knockout stages with a victory over the Ligue 1 outfit but the Spaniard believes Arsenal have what it takes to go a lot further.
It was not too long ago that Arsenal’s title chances were being largely dismissed by lots of football experts. The thinking was that the Gunners had not really been tested and that last season’s struggles against the other big sides meant that the early form would not last.
That standpoint is getting harder and harder to support, because Arsenal have passed all of the tests apart from a narrow and arguably unlucky defeat in the last game away to Manchester United. Critics will no doubt say that Southampton were in a false position at number three, but they deserve to be there and they gave Arsenal a stern test today.
Why next two Arsenal games are really important by MR
Arsenal might have had a blip at Old Trafford, but that does not mean our season is starting to collapse. We couldn’t have thought that we would have gone the whole season unbeaten, especially after the opening day shocker.
We can say the Gunners were unlucky not to get anything thing from our match against the current champions even after completely dominating in the second half. But what has happened has happened, we have to look forward to our next match as we are playing an in form Southampton who look like they could be the wild card of the season.