Arsenal beating Napoli in Italy is a true turning point

Before the game against Napoli, there was so many that thought we could be dumped out of the Europa League because of our abysmal away form and I must admit, I was one them.

I actually predicted that we would progress but I was far from certain but the lads showed last night that we really had nothing to worry about.

You see, the thing is this, streaks have a starting point and they also have an endpoint and I am now of the opinion that our poor away streak is truly at an end, and it could not have come at a better time.

The win over Watford was lucky and there is no point kidding ourselves it was not, but the win over Napoli was not lucky, it was a professional performance against a top Italian team in their own backyard and that cannot be underplayed.

Napoli knew they had to win by at least two clear goals without conceding and they had a proper go. The Italians had 70% of the possession, they had 20 shots to our seven and nine corners to our five and still did not get past Cech, in fact, we reduced them to just two shots on target compared to our four on target.

Those statistics do not lie and the reason that we overcame such dominance was that our defence stood tall, our midfield battled like lions and the forward line was lead impressively by the irresistible Lacazette. Unai Emery got the team selection right and he got the tactics right it is as simple as that.

This was more than a win it was a message to our rivals, it tells them that they can no longer rely on us giving up points on the road, and that we have proven that when the pressure is on that we will be strong, we will not flag and we will not succumb.

I am now far more confident about our upcoming away games and that is what the win over Napoli has achieved, a sense of optimism that was wavering, not no more.



  1. As long Emery uses two forwards and one CAM to press high up the pitch, I’m confident of Arsenal’s performances in the away matches

    The Bats’ attackers (Guedes, Rodrigo, Cheryshev, Gameiro, Mina) are inconsistent in this season, therefore I believe Arsenal would go through to the EL final

  2. Isco to Arsenal?We are the only suitors and Florentino Perez has no option,he is ready to sell at bargain price just to get rid of the ” rotten apple”.Which means…..Ozil out.About Valencia-Emery knows the club as his own pockets,he coached them….

    1. antonioro, why does the rumour that we might sign Isco mean that Ozil is on his way out?
      IF we do sign Isco, do you not see him as a replacement for Ramsey?
      If we do get him for a “bargain price”, what do you think his salary demands will be?
      Why would UE want to sign a “bad apple”?
      Emery left Valencia seasons ago, have you not considered that the club, it’s players and it’s philosophy and style of play might JUST have changed?
      Ours certainly has if you compare just last season to this hasn’t it?

      gotanidea, as far as Valencia’s attack being inconsistent, are you saying that our attack hasn’t been?
      The easy chances that Lacs and Aba have missed this season are incredible, so why do you think we are any better than them?

      One bit of fortune is the fact that Coq is banned, so that sort of equals out the loss of Ramsey.

      I am over the moon at the way UE is now using our players, it makes so much more sense than earlier in the season, but let’s concentrate on Sundays game.
      The result of this game means so much, especially as spuds / city game will be a massive issue regarding the final top four positions.

      We are in the semi-final of the europa cup for the second season running, let’s hope that there are no “supporters” out there wanting The Arsenal to lose, in order to follow their own blinkered agenda.

        1. Ken, it certainly makes a difference for team selection when a greater number of players are available. Injury and suspension have adversely affected Emery’s choices for selection.

      1. Isco is a playmaker,just like Ozil,he’s not a box-to-box midfielder.Salary demand?When you leave on the back door and no team wants you,except Arsenal,you keep the demands down until you regain your form and repair your dignity.As I remember,it was the case of Ozil,coming to Arsenal for not being wanted at Madrid anymore.With a lower wage.About Valencia-you should know that in Spain,teams keep the same playing style and philosophy no matter the players or the manager.Valencia,Seville,Real,Barcelona or Villareal play the same football they played 10 years ago.With different squads.Same applies to teams like Ajax,Bayern,Benfica or Dortmund.This is why Mourinho was hated in Madrid or Manchester-trying to turn an offensive team into an ugly,defensive one.And that is true for Arsenal too.The moment we become a deffensive team is the moment when Arsenal is not Arsenal anymore.

        1. We were a defensive team from the thirties right up til WENGER CAME. Learn your history, young man. We were still Arsenal then , confounding your silly remark. I was there for the last sixty years and well know that truth. Shame you do not!

          1. Jon, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you but there was a spell in the sixties where we scored plenty of goals but also conceded plenty. Can hardly say we were a defensive team in that era. I’m sure you remember a forward line of Macleod, Strong, Baker, Eastham, Skirton with Geoff Strong and Joe Baker regularly scoring over 50 goals between them and back in 1931 we actually scored a massive 127 goals in a season, winning the league but getting pipped for highest goal scorers by Aston Villa who recorded 128

            1. Of course I DO Kenny. But you cannot surely deny that over the many decades from Chapman to just prior to Wenger we were widely called a defensive team. That does NOT mean that our defence was up to scratch for many of those years. In ’63-64, I think it was, both Baker and Strong were equal top scorer with 26 LEAGUE GOALS EACH in 42 games. I think we scored 90 and conceded 84 that season. WENGER TOTALLY CHANGED THE WHOLE OUTLOOK OF OUR CLUB and though he lost the plot in later years, our standing all over the world , though not ONLY down to him, is in large part aided by what he did here in his first decade. I don’t forget that, despite my criticism of his later years. He was DR. JEKYLL BACK THEN , BEFORE MR HYDE KICKED IN!

        2. antonioro, so RM are playing the same type of football today as they did five years ago?
          Man Utd, city, chelsea, spuds are all playing the same type of football?
          I watch the spanish and german leagues on a regular basis and have seen teams change their style as eacn new manager and his players come in.
          Didn’t pep change BM’s style of play?
          Didn’t mourhino change utd’s style of play?
          Hasn’tklopp changed pools style of play?
          Hasn’t UE changed The Arsenal’s style of play?
          Nothing stays the same, certainly not football clubs, managers, players, tactics and styles.

          As for Isco, are you now saying that we should think about buying a “bad apple”, who has lost his form and dignity to replace Ozil?…who as far as I am aware, has never been called a bad apple, has always acted with great dignity, whatever the provocation and is currently playing some great football for the club.

          If UE did buy Isco, in my opinion, it would be to fulfill the Ramsey role, as he is a more defensive player than Ozil.
          He would also demand a large salary, probably more than Ramsey is earning at the moment.

      2. @ken1945: Valencia’s attackers are inconsistent, therefore our defense would have an easier task, compared to facing Liverpool’s, Barcelona’s or Man City’s

        Our strikers also missed easy chances, but not as bad as Valencia’s, as seen on our strikers’ statistics. I believe their focus would increase since the Valencia match is an EL semifinal

        1. gotanidea, don’t you think that the Valencia players will realise that it’s a europa cup semi-final as well?
          Quoting stats from two different leagues is pointless, as is the fact that UE managed them in the past.
          Their defence will have an easier time facing our attack than when they face RM, AM or Barcelona…so it really depends on the manager and players, not wishfull thinking in my opinion anyway.

      3. Coq equals Ramsey then Ken? SHAME HE NEVER REMOTELY EQUALLED GILBERTO THOUGH! However, that apart, I love that you are doing what so many are now finally doing and recognising what a great manager we have in charge. I felt almost alone at times on here in knowing this even in our bad spells and saying so, because it is the truth. He is not perfect though; I never say nor expect that.
        Frankly to have us in the semis and in fourth place with THAT “defence” is beyond fantasy. He has no right to achieve this nor do we to expect it. To me he is the manager of the Prem this year, considering all the handicaps he has had .

        1. Well Jon, Gilberto wasn’t playing Thursday night, so It didn’t occur to me that a comparision was required!!
          However, like Gilberto, he qualified for the CL every season he was at The Arsenal and a better comparision too him would be Torreria, Song or Flamini…all very adequate players, as our top 4 and CL qualifications indicate.

          As you know, I have always supported UE as a manager, but certainly queried his treatment and selection of players.

          Just one more fact for you to ponder over…THAT DEFENCE actually qualified for the same semi-final spot last year, so it’s not really beyond fantasy is it?
          It’s IS an actual fact, so your question should be…How did they do it?

  3. It could be a key turning point as it’s our first away win against a top side. I’ll admit that Napoli were a lot worse than I thought they’d be for the second best team in Italy over the last few years, but we also made them look bad. Emery completely out-thought Ancelotti in regards to tactics.

    We also have a great chance of beating Valencia, given Emery’s years there. Yes the team may have changed, but the club and it’s fans haven’t. Emery knows the stadium, the pitch, the atmosphere, which can only be a bonus.

  4. Top 4 and Europa League are both still a possibility
    I’m very excited at the moment

    Love to see Emery win his 4th EL and our 1st European trophy

    But 1st things first. We have a match on Sunday
    Huge match. Actually every match now is a huge match

    1. 1st European trophy? We’ve won fairs cup and cup winners cup before unless you mean first Uefa cup?

  5. Win our next 2 games and we’ll be in a really healthy position! If by Wednesday We’re on 72 points I’ll be over the moon ? beat palace on Sunday and find a way to beat wolves however they do it then I’m convinced we’ll have champions League football next season. COYG ? come on Everton! Come on City! Come on Cardiff! Come on Burnley!

    1. I’m really worried about tomorrow… no slip ups from City – will they manage it so soon after Wednesday?? Same team, same stadium… I really don’t know. Although they’re as good in the CL as we are ?? so back to the PL.. it might be different! There’s hope I guess…
      I was glad Cardiff won their last game, as they need to win on Sunday, so will really be up for It! In all honesty I know they won’t beat Liverpool, but you can always hope for one of those freakish results!!

      1. Norwich have just equalised… I bet Delia Smith was just aabout to grab the mike & start her drunken let’s be having you ramble…. ?? the crowd are safe!

        1. It proves I was right all along in saying Guardiola is seriously overhyped people calling him a genius! Goes where the money is won the champions League with an awesome readymade Barcelona team and hasn’t won it since and probably spending over a billion.. don’t think he’s even got past the quarter finals ? I do think they’ll beat spurs though ? haha I’ve been hoping Liverpool lose most games this season and it hasn’t happened, only one defeat and they should have won that ? hahaha I’ll take it you don’t own a Delia Smith cook book? ?

          1. Look at the teams he’s managed though, they could manage themselves!! I don’t mind him though, and will absolutely love him if they win tomorrow!
            Hahaha no not a chance – I prefer Gordon Ramsay & that acid tongue of his ?

            1. Yes Sue Bayern as well! Emery has worked his way up the ladder as has Jurgen Klopp ? even Mourinho built a great Porto team ? haha I love kitchen nightmares can’t stand Delia Smith ?

                1. I don’t watch that ? guessing you do though ? did you see Ronaldos face the other day ? Haha he had the look to say I didn’t sign up for this I’m carrying this Juventus team lol his vanity is beyond control ?

                  1. Yes it was a complete smacked arse look! I bet he was thinking I’m Ronaldo, I don’t ever lose!! His son will be playing before we know it…..
                    I sure do!! I love it

                    1. Hahaha couldn’t agree more Sue ? ? that’s exactly what he was thinking, how dare Ajax celebrate in front of me lol apparently he told Juventus heiracy they need new signings this summer! Why doesn’t he just manage the team instead ? his son is his spitting image bloody twins ? oh I must watch that then if it’s good ?

                    2. Do you think his son might be even better than him?! I bet he’ll be a bigger diva!!
                      Well he’s got Ramsey coming, what more does he want?! Haha yes.. or just do everything, he is Ronaldo/superman after all!
                      Soccer AM tomorrow ?

                    3. Oh Christ… Jon Moss is the ref on Sunday… Will he send Xhaka off again? I’m going to it… not been since that cold Cardiff game in January… I was excited until I saw that ?

                    4. I remember when he came to utd he had curly dyed blonde streaked hair and awful little yellow chipped teeth ? Ronaldo is cosmetically made up ? he’ll need to be a rarity to be better than Ronaldo cos he is awesome ? he’s almost 35 I think some people forget that ? you love that nearly as much as our green kit ?

                    5. Yeah, I saw that Sue god I hate that ref so badly out of shape he makes Rooney look slim ? you should sneak a Jon Moss out banner in with you ?

                    6. He has a really long neck ? yeah he’s doing well for 35! Wonder when he’ll retire?
                      ? don’t mention that bloody kit it’s days are numbered Kev ?

                    7. Like a swan ? Maybe that’s why he’s good at headers ? ? Well he’s so vain (Carly Simon) he’ll probably try to emulate Stanley Matthews, in his 50s ? not quite Wolves Burnley ? ? 2 more games Sue ?

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