Arsenal must take a big lead to Napoli for the second leg

So we have been paired with Napoli for the quarter-finals of the Europa League, and it is probably the toughest opponent we could have got other than Chelsea. Here are the dates of the two legs….

Arsenal v Napoli
Thursday, April 11
Kick-off: 8pm
Emirates Stadium

Napoli v Arsenal
Thursday, April 18
Kick-off: 8pm (UK time)
San Paolo Stadium

We have been been made to play at home for the first leg (thanks UEFA!) which is normally an advantage to the away side. Usually the first meetings are tactical affairs with the home side trying hard not to concede an away goal, and the away side trying to stop any goals being scored at all. This is bad for Arsenal, as we cannot afford to go to Italy with anything less than a 2-or 3-goal lead in my opinion.

Napoli are vulnerable on the road and Arsenal need to take full advantage of that as in the cauldron of Naples they are nearly invincible. A couple of weeks ago they did lose at home to Juventus, who are 18 points clear of them in Serie A, but that was their only defeat in the last 28 games in all competitions spanning a whole year!

Obviously that doesn’t mean that Arsenal can’t buck the trend when we are in top form, but with our away form this year I believe it is imperative we go all out at the Emirates to try and kill the tie in the first leg.

If we don’t, I will be very worried….

Darren N

49 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Too soon to talk about Napoli, since Arsenal still have Newcastle and Everton to worry about

    I think it’s more possible to maintain the top four position in EPL than winning the EL, because Arsenal are currently ahead of Chelsea and Man United

    Lacazette could play an important part in the remaining games, because he usually acts as the first defender upfront like what Sanchez did

    1. waal2waal says:

      what is the point of having a squad if not to have the luxury to be able to field a team for any occasion and do your very best in each and every competition? UE has restored our team belief and confidence and put us on an almighty roll when it comes to home form – that suggests we’ll be just fine.

  2. Sal says:

    nothing to do with the article but just spotted mochi to sevilla, abit gutted if i’m honest..i know about our summer plans so we need to have someone Asap to strengthen as soon as possible and start making those moves… i personally didn’t see us in this position with winnable games on the horizon, as GTA said we do have a top4 finsish in sight, it would be a shame to waste it!!

    emery has seriously made the most of his players, great job so far…but next season he will be judged on the players he brings into the club, so i beleive mochi is a big miss we have to think long-term we are just rebuilding, and i beleive he needs all the help he can get with this board who didn’t back him in january!!

    1. kev says:

      According to reliable reports Monchi was going to Arsenal but Sevilla came in late and he accepted their offer.I hope the Overmars move materializes as he’s good with young players and has been reported to wanting to make De Ligt his first signing should he move to us.
      Regardless,I believe we must go all out for him and I know very well we can bid around £75m for him.if we actually wanted to.

      1. Sal says:

        if sevilla can take staff away from us 🙁

        overmars is better than edu to me at least so i’ll take it if that’s the case kev, but us spending 75 mil on a teenager?!!!

        don’t think it’s ever gonna happen as much as i would have loved De Ligt who would have had the best chant as a defender in the PL, and would have been a solid passing defender with an eye for the goal, but that ship sailed last year now everyone knows about him so we will be outbid for sure. Tah is more feasible in my eyes as he is underrated like Poulsen who would be a steal as well plays everywhere perfect welbeck replacement.

        to me if we are going for an ajax unknown product maybe ryan gravenberch he always stands out in the under 18’s so technical it’s silly a gazelle!!

        PS: the chant would have brought back the years of MC Hammer with a ” it’s de legit, de legit to quit hey hey!! 😉

        1. Break-on-through says:

          Monchi is a coward, he chose the easy option after the hassle with Roma fans, he even called them out asking them to take him on one at a time. He is a giant douche bag, he looks like a douche in truth. He spent 17 years or something at Sevlle, finally moves for a new challenge, then goes running back even though a bigger offer than the Rome job came along. Despite his bad or weak character, he probably is good at his job, so it’s still a disappointment, maybe. The worse thing about it is us getting rid of Sven, and then this douche bag turns us down, I don’t see why we didn’t let Sven have higher authority. I hear that one of the reasons for Monchi refusing us, is that he wasn’t getting total control over transfers, as he’d have to report to Raul, Raul had final say. This is madness, why are we looking for a director of football all while Raul is the one pulling the trigger, it looks like Raul just wants someone in to help him with some of the duties.

          I’m not happy with how we managed Sven’s situation, not at all, and others have pointed the finger towards Raul, and they may be right. Overmars has got some good finds, but some patchy ones too, there was going to be a learning curve though. If Overmars can bring in De Ligt, and that left back with him, this would be great, also it might be good to have a Dutchman looking into Holland for future young stars. Overmars also cares for Arsenal, we need more people who actually care about our club because of the owner situation, in this sense then Overmars is a good choice, he’s a popular figure.

          1. Midkemma says:

            Sven gets a lot of praise but he wasted a LOT of our money.

            Auba, Mkhi, Sokratis and Lich are not young players.
            Only Auba is worth his wages so far from those mature players and even this wage can be questioned as we fo have Laca, Laca could be more prolific if he was our number 1 CF and given more full games.

            Any wonder he wasn’t going to be given free reign over transfers?

            Sven did good as well, can’t just ignore the bad for some good.

          2. kev says:

            If Overmars comes I believe all that would hold us back from signing De Ligt would be our willingness to go all out for him.
            If Arsenal get this opportunity and miss it then they are not serious.He’s not just any player but a player who would take our defence to a whole new level.If we get the chance we must bid and sign him.

          3. Midkemma says:

            I have the same belief Kev.
            If we get UCL football then the rumors are we could have up to £100 million, admittingly the rumors also say that the figure also includes wages.

            We have Mustafi who I do think we could get £20 million for, maybe more but I doubt we would get the figure we paid.

            Chambers could be seen as funding towards a CB, this is a real gem in my opinion, he has done well at DM and he signed a new deal with us prior to loan move. £20-30 million is realistic in my opinion.

            The wages saved on those two along with £40-50 million is over half the fee for De Ligt along with his wages covered, making this cost us £25-35 million out of the reported £100 million, assuming UCL football.

            Depending on the other transfers in then it could be the catalyst for massive growth on and off the field. If us fans seen the board acting with certainty and ambition then it’ll really help heal the rift that has grown due to Silent Stan.

            Plus… Overmars! I’d love to see that speed demon back here 🙂

          4. kev says:

            Yes, I agree.If Overmars comes De Ligt must be signed at all costs because he would probably have secretly already convinced the player.He’s a possible legendary CB in the making.
            I beg to differ on our budget though because no-one really knows what it is.Those being published I’m guessing is only an intentional move to make clubs think we don’t have money so that they would be more soft with us in negotiations.If I were to guess I’d say Arsenal already have around £80m- £100m even without UCL.Dennis Suarez and Perisic alone would’ve cost us around £50m.

          5. Midkemma says:

            I’ve read articles and stuff indicating that Arsenal do have something like £150 mil in the bank but it isn’t all available for business reasons, think I read it was operating costs.

            It is hard to know, the figure I used was from Ornstein(spelling?) as he is a good reference in my opinion.

            If we are publishing low figures and acted like scrooge in Jan to push through some good deals in the summer then I’ll get behind it.

          6. Durand says:

            Exactly Midkemma; Emery choices of getting the band back together won’t work in PL. I personally don’t trust Emery’s picks, especially when he creates friction with big players (from Emery himself).

            Personally glad about Monchi, if Sven was leaving then Overmars at least has Arsenal DNA. Plus Ajax youth shows real talent and progression.

          7. Enagic says:

            That’s the new infrastructure like when Gazidis mentions in the past, we need more people involved in decisions unlike in the past with Wenger and we paid dearly he saw things and believed on them despite not working

          8. jon fox says:

            Blimey , you are a bit hard on a man whom you know nothing personally about in truth but you damn him merely because he has chosen another club than ours. Talk about a fan scorned. You have really had your nerve hit it seems. Stay strong, as this hysteria only makes you look foolishly immature and prematurely judgemental. You need a far deeper thinking strategy than this diatribe of bitterness , in truth. All people are free to go where they wish when out of contract and that is all he has done. Anyone would think he had burgled your house by the way you wrote.

          9. jon fox says:

            This reply was to Break-on -through and his surprisingly strong bitterness over Monchi who is freely choosing to go elsewhere.

        2. kev says:

          Naa.I believe De Ligt is more than a realistic option if Overmars comes in.He fits the bill of Arsenal and Emery’s system and I believe Arsenal would be willing to take that gamble considering we need one young CB who can come in and make an instant impact.
          Arsenal must go all out for him even and for around £75m it’s more than possible.If Overmars suggests it and the player wants the move and Arsenal don’t sign him then I doubt the new management are serious.We must try at all costs for him if Overcomes because he will easily be able to convince the player.

    2. Midkemma says:

      I think we have dodged a bullet with Monchi.
      Some people do fantastic at one club but elsewhere they are average at best, that is what I think of Monchi, not meaning to diss him or anything but being realistic.

      Roma was happy to mutually end his contract, if he was blowing them away with good work then I think they would have fought to keep him a bit more, at least demand his contract to be bought out… None of that though.

      I have been keeping my fingers crossed for Overmars, I have wanted him since he was linked to us, if he can bring De Ligt then I think that would be a massive coup. It would not only show ambition but it would give us fans confidence in the board again, we need to see people doing good jobs… Getting Overmars is getting a DoF who knew this club and had the fans backing as a player, this is good from my perspective. If the DoF then instantly looked to resolve our def frailties then I think that would get the fans bouncing with joy.

      Lastly, I wouldn’t trust Emery with transfers. Emery needs to learn to do his job and not try and power play, we have had enough of managers doing their power play right? Emery is supposingly a manager we can give players too and he will make them better, we didn’t hire him for his expert scouting.
      We are thinking long term by not allowing the manager to dictate the signings, we did that with Wenger and look how long it has taken to progress this much after him.

      Emery doesn’t deserve to be given free reign with transfers. He is not a scout. We need to think forward so we do not need oldies that Emery wants, like Nzonzi and Banega.

      1. Enagic says:

        Banega, Hector Herrera and Brahimi will be good addition a

        1. Midkemma says:

          I disagree.
          They are players of Everton quality, they are not players who will take us to the next level.

  3. ForeverGooner says:

    No Arsenal football until 1st April ??
    We still have two matches before Napoli

    April fixtures
    1/4 Newcastle
    7/4 Everton (Away)
    11/4 Napoli
    15/4 Watford (Away)
    18/4 Napoli (Away)
    20/4 Crystal palace
    29/4 Leicester (Away)

    1. S says:

      If the doomsayers are to be believed, thousands are set to lose their jobs and go broke on march 29…

      1. jon fox says:

        But intelligent folk do NOT believe “doomsayers”. Intelligent folk make up their own minds and act accordingly. People who panic are usually not in control of their own lives. It is understandable to panic when faced with, say, a tsunami about to hit you but to panic over Brexit, whatever happens is plain daft. I have no idea what will happen and when but I just carry on with my life and I stay calm. All should do likewise. In life many things happen which we cannot control . Just get on with life and worry not.

  4. Declan says:

    Don’t know what all fuss was about Monchi, he didn’t do much at Roma and antagonised a lot of people. I much prefer Overmars, a younger man with younger ideas. We need to move forward with players somewhat younger than the oldies we’ve been signing and have been linked with. Antonio Valencia ffs! And that’s coming from me, a 67 year old.

    1. Declan says:

      Also, he’s a Gooner.

    2. ken1945 says:

      Declan, you old fa*t!!!
      As a fellow old-fashioned fa*t, I totally agree with you, but don’t forget the boss at the heart of our defence is STILL one of the best in the PL even at his ripe old age.

      Had enough of utd’s rubbish anyway (not including Danny Welbeck in this), rather keep Jenkinson.

      1. Declan says:

        Absolutely agree, old un…..

  5. Sue says:

    How jammy are Liverpool….. all I wanted was for Fulham to hold on & they couldn’t even do that ???????

  6. Eddie Hoyte says:

    Chelsea getting raped is good for us??
    I don’t believe we also have easy games, but I hope Emery and the boys will do everything to not lose a game anymore

  7. Sue says:

    Thank you Everton ? get in there!

    1. Declan says:

      Yes. Chelsea lost their game in hand.

  8. ForeverGooner says:

    Thanks Everton but please don’t do the same thing to us. We got Everton Away too after Newcastle

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Exactly right, ForeverGooner – hopefully this will make Everton over confident!

  9. Gogo says:

    Wow, I just checked this Dr Ligt guy out, he’s areal big thing.I’m already obsessed about pairing him with holding. We might not need too much in the summer.
    My dream for our summer;

    Sales
    (1) Mustafi _ £20mil
    (2) Elnany _ £5mil
    (3) Montreal _ £10mil
    (4) Ozil _ £25mil
    (5) koscielny _ 8mil
    (6) Guendouzi _ £50mil
    (7) Licht _ release pls
    Total _ £118mil

    Returnees from loan
    (1) Nelson
    (2) Chambers

    Signing (purchase)
    (1) De Ligt _ £60mil
    (2) Winger _ £40mil
    (3) Bissaka _ £30mil
    (4) Left back _ £25mil
    (5) backup keeper _ £15mil

    This prediction is based on the assumption that we qualify for UCL and out transfer kitty rises to about £70mil. Add this to our player sales we will be having a total of £188mil.

    Our full squad
    keepers
    (1) Leno
    (19) new keeper
    (50) Illev

    Defenders
    (2) Bellerin
    (3) New Left back
    (4) De Ligt
    (5) Socrates
    (6) Bissaka
    (16) Holding
    (25) Jenks
    (26) Macro
    (31) Saed
    (47) Medley
    (52) Osei-tutu
    (53) Pleguezuelo

    Midfielder
    (7) Mkhi
    (8) Niles
    (10) Iwobi (not cos he’s that good but he will want it)
    (11) Torraira
    (12) Chambers
    (17) New winger
    (22) Suarez
    (34) Xhaka
    (43) Gilmore
    (52) Willock

    Forwards
    (9) Laca
    (14) Auba
    (18) Nelson
    (49) Nketiah
    (72) Tyreece
    (87) Saka

    1. Evening, it’s not fifa ?! And we would more likely have to pay a club 20 million to take mustafi!

      Champions league qualification is key to any of our business, but let’s be honest if we don’t emery will be working on a shoe string.

      A massive end to the season coming up, but we need to sort our away form to achieve our goals.

      Enjoy your evening sir

      1. Kedar says:

        And why anybody would take Ozil at 30 age with this 300k Salary…. We need some Chinese club to take Ozil…. No one in Europe will buy him for sure…

      2. jon fox says:

        Paul, Let’s be realistic and honest ; Emery will be working on a shoestring irrespective of whether we qual for CL. You surely have not forgotten who owns us!

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Yes jon, it’s all smoke and mirrors and the supporters will be treated like mushrooms; kept in the dark and fed on bull ____ by Kroenke and Son.

        2. Evening Jon, yes a shoestring budget either way I agree with, but maybe silent Stan might let emery have another 15 million if we qualify for the champions league and we gave to hope that emery can find another torreira or guendouzi on the cheap. I am a realist though Jon and the handbrake will be firmly on whatever happens. Have a good evening sir

    2. Nameless says:

      So you would sell Ozil, Guendouzi and Elneny, while Ramsey also leaves for Juventus on a free but not sign any midfielders? Interesting

    3. jon fox says:

      Gogo, Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth…..! Jeez, you sure like fantasy, I’d say!

      1. Gogo says:

        Good morning Jon Fox and everyone on here, I just wanna dwell on the thought that it could even be better than I’ve stated and Jon, I take your reply to my post as a compliment cos the Jon Fox i know here will never take a second look at senseless posts.

        nameless, take a close look at my first and second posts and u will see that 4 midfielders will be leaving according to my assumption. Their replacements are; Nelson, chambers, the new winger, and Madisson. This is common sense sir…

        1. jon fox says:

          Gogo, Well, congrats on a craftily worded reply but you fool no one, least of all me. The people whose posts I deliberately avoid reading are very few and so far have not included you nor will they from now on either. The “replacements” you mention are just your opinion and I suggest that Chambers has NO chance at all of a return; had he been rated he would never have been loaned and his lack of speed damns him. Madison is a good player but what makes you think we could afford him? Kroenkes “legendary generosity in fantasy land” perhaps? I believe Nelson will return as a winger and most of your others on that long list are , I repeat, sheer wishfulness, aka FANTASY. There is realistic hope and there is also self delusion, albeit born out of wanting , which all true fans share. I would question, were I you, which one applied to me. As for selling Guendouzi at all and especially for £50 mill, I would leave the fantasy writing to JK ROWLING; she does it far better. B y the way, lest you doubt , your posts are CERTAINLY worth reading and replying to. Merely because I say your wrote fantasy does not mean I don’t respect you. I am known and rightly so for using “to the point language” and I urge you not to take it personally. It is only because I seek out the real truth, as I see it, obviously. I have always found it a shame when some folk fool themselves.

    4. Kedar says:

      And I would take Andre Gomez from Everton to CM instead of keeping Suarez…. Gomez is very very good talent as CM and could be perfect replacement for Aaron Ramsey…
      I would take James Madison instead of Winger because if we want to accommodate 2 up top then we have to play narrow may be 4-3-1-2 formation… May be we need winger if we play 4-4-2 but I don’t see 4-4-2 a feasible formation in this new era and anyway we don not have Sir Alex who could able to win with formation even in modern football….
      Even if we play 4-1-2-1 still do not require any winger… Anyway we want replacement for Ramsey….
      And we have witnessed that if we play 3-5-2 then there are no wingers… AMN and Kolasinac do the job of Winger…. So Instead of wasting money on winger buy one CM who can replace Ramsey
      And 1 attacking number 10 type player…. And also 1 striker if we want to accommodate 2 up top because then Aubameyang and Lacazzet would need back up…

      I would go for Kostas Manolas as CB who is available for just 32 Millions with his release clause
      James Madison from Leicester City
      Timo Werner from RB Lipzig… He is real deal to compete Aubameyang and Lacazzet…. And if budget Allows then Matt Targett from Southampton or Ryan Bertrand….

      I would go with

      Leno

      Bellerin. Manolas. Holding. Kolasinac
      Andre Gomez. Torreira. Xhaka
      Madison/ Mkhitaryan
      Lacazzet. Aubameyang/ Werner

  10. Gogo says:

    The only person i missed to purchase James Madisson from Leicester to be our number 10. he might cost us about 40mil so I probably replace him with Bissaka and use Niles and Jenks to deputise Bellerin…

    This will bring our spending to about £170mil. With this squard and Emery as our manager we will compete in all fronts but I think I’m a little obsessed with our little success on the pitch these days. I also think Arsenal will be more shrewd in their dealings than I’ve assumed.

    After all its a free things to dream.

    1. jon fox says:

      Gogo, It seems a little realism has entered your head since your earlier post. Good to know, since fantasy is for children only!

  11. John Wick says:

    David Ospina collapses with head injury ? hope he’s ok ?

  12. NMC says:

    Ospina has had the all clear just being kept in for observation apparently

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Good news!

  13. Enagic says:

    Monchi succeeded at Seville in the past because he had full control when you come to transfers and it seemed he didn’t have that platform at Roma also he felt he was going to get the same feeling when he join Arsenal so he decided to head back home and Arsenal need a link between Raul and Emery who is Overmers

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