Arsenal need to be firm in tricky encounter

Champions League playoff – Arsenal vs Besiktas: What kind of a game are we in for? by SE

Arsenal take on Besiktas in the 2nd leg of the Champions League playoff tie at the Emirates later tonight, with the aggregate score tantalizingly poised at 0-0 from last week’s first leg in Istanbul. The Turkish outfit, contrary to expectations, put up a stern resistance at home and, had it not been for some flimsy finishing from Demba Ba and Co, the story could well have been different going into tonight’s game. However, on the balance of play, you got to say that both sides deserve to remain on parity. And, having witnessed an engrossing brand of football from both sides, in the first leg, what kind of a game are we in for, tomorrow?

1st leg
Before the tie, it is not uncommon for both sides to experiment a bit and play with a bit more audacity in the first leg of the two-legged playoff tie. And, from whatever we saw last Tuesday, both sides did play an expansive game and weren’t feared of dishing out a counterpunch or two, when the opportunity presented itself.

What can we expect out of the game tonight?
In the second leg however, the dynamics of a two-legged tie will have its effect on the mindset of both teams – which is why it could turn out to be a tactical and attritional battle. Arsenal, playing at home, are expected to score more goals than their Turkish opponents, but it’s tough to say whether the Gunners will possess home advantage, like any other game in the Champions League. Besiktas, on the other hand, could well defend deep and catch a slightly weak Arsenal backline on the break.

Also, let us not become oblivious to the absentees in the Arsenal lineup, and the subsequent repercussions that could come with it. Aaron Ramsey’s suspension will not bode well for Wenger, as the Welshman is someone who gives Arsenal that drive and penetration from the middle of the park. Yes, Wilshere can be a joy to watch once he starts motoring forward, but Ramsey, with all the enhancements he has made to his game, can be that bit better. Ozil’s fitness will be put through a stern test, as well, and the German needs to wake up to the defensive duties expected of him.

Fitness could become a factor, especially for Arsenal, given the workload they have had to endure during this early part of the season. There are enough questions posed for Arsenal and Wenger, who are now tasked with the proposition of answering them.

Final thought
It’s going to be a nervous battle for both teams; and, given the manner in which the tie is poised, after the first leg, Arsenal might not quite possess the advantage of playing at home. Besiktas will set up to counter-attack, which will not really surprise Arsenal, but their backline has to hold out against a Besiktas frontline that is chock-a-block with pace, precision and dynamism.

Tags Besiktas Wilshere


  1. Sanchez
    OX Rosicky Campbell
    Flamini Chambers
    Monreal Kos Mert Debuchy
    Szczzzzzzzzz Good morning guys 😀

    1. That is hardly a threadbare team. People panic over a few injuries and Wenger even said that just because of one poor half against Everton does not mean Alexis cannot play striker. Most people on this site have no right to call Wenger deluded when they make judgements based on one game. People were hoping Giroud get injured a week ago now people are shouting buy buy buy. We can only register 1 more player due to squad rules which will most likely be Carvalho or another defensive midfielder. If we want Cavani then we must sell someone else. Someone was saying that we need more natural strikers. Real Madrid only have 1 with Benzema and if he gets injured then Jese and Ronaldo who are natural widemen are versatile enough to play there. Alexis, Walcott, Sanogo, Campbell and Podolski can all play there. If we throw money at Remy then I don’t think Remy will be happy on the bench when Giroud comes back! Then you will make a player unhappy and have problems like when Chamakh had a good first half to the season and Van Persie came back. Buying isn’t always the answer.

      1. To be fair mate of we had Bale and Ronaldo on the wings Bendtner would be capable of leading the line with the defenders those guys occupy..

        1. Hey come on there, we might not be Real Madrid but we have are own fairly dynamic wide duo, Sanchez and Walcott. Bale may be a galactico now but Walcott had pretty much matched him stat wise until he went to Spain. As for Ronaldo, well, this guy and Messi have their own private stat war in a parallel universe to all others.

  2. So the £51m for Cavani rumour has suddenly changed into £50m for Cavani. Strange. Was £1m the max discount PSG was able to offer us? How generous. However, if we could negotiate £1m discount per day up until Sept 1st, we could afford to nick him for £44m, which will break our transfer record by a measly £2m. I think we should DO it. Cavani for £44m is a no brainer.

    1. If we could manage landing Cavani / a DM / and a CB it would be our best transfer window ever. I don’t see PSG saling him though its worth a shot. If this deal doesn’t pull through then a season loan for Falcao wouldn’t be a bad idea too (rumor has it Juve are trying to snap him up).

      1. You can’t throw money and panic. Carvalho can play cb so he counts as both plus we are going to have problems with starting spots when Giroud is fit and there is only one spot left to be registered. If you believe that Juve will snap him up then you are deluded. They have Tevez, Llorente and just signed Morata. Juve are also skint and no one is attracted by Italy these days. When Walcott comes back, we will have plenty of striking options.

        1. Don’t you know the meaning of the word RUMOR mate…

          And yes Juve MIGTH be in for him, its only at Arsenal were you are satisfied with having 1 striker the whole season and 2 more strikers in the medical room half of the season you know!

          Cavani or Falcao could be an upgrade to what we have (This includes OG and Theo coming back) and this could be the difference between us winning trophies or getting knocked out of competitions by February.

          Some of us watched the invincible’s play therefore we are hard to please easily because we know how good this team was, and how it can get there once again. We cant think small in this era, if need be we can ship out some players on loan or sale them (Coq / Ryo / etc) in order to create space for WC players who can improve our squad.

          1. “Cavani or Falcao could be an upgrade to what we have (This includes OG and Theo coming back)”…lol could be.

            1. @ SA_Gunner…. English is my third language mufwetu or brewww (depending on which part of SA you are from, get it), but I guess you all know what I meant. Lol

  3. I know I shouldn’t be but I’m nervous we have to win the game. This game will define our season

  4. This is the type of game where I get really nervous, we should definitely win, but will we?

  5. This is OT, but Everton have just signed Eto’o for two years – the most realistic option we had to snap up a striker is out the window now. I’m really curious who is going to replace Giroud – Wenger was never going to get a striker this window but with his main man out something must be done and done quick.

    I don’t dare expect a big name signing, but – as much as I like the kid – Sanogo won’t do just yet. Maybe Podolski up centre..?

    1. i expect Poldi to fill in the Center role , at least for today.
      but the spot needs immediately some generous filling – and by saying ‘generous’ i dont mean players like D.Welbeck (ffs!!!) or Remy (id have him any day instead of Welbeck though).
      lets take advantage of the situation of PSG (ffp) or Monacos weakness to keep Falcon in their squad..
      besides….Falcao said that he joined Monaco in order to follow his idols steps (anyone knows TH14??!!)
      Lets just hope he wont end up in Juve for a loan instead of us…
      i think he suits our game more than Cavani but their both welcomed!!!!
      COYG 3-0 !!!

      1. Anyone heard of the Alexis Sanchez lad that can play up top? Heard he is world class and once of Barcas best players. I wonder how much he would cost?

          1. ok , that might have been sarcastic of u…
            if so..that was full of points..! i agree with u , Alexis can play up front alright..!

  6. The trick to tonight’s encounter is to play a fast passing game….

    Lets score early and starve them of possession as much as possible. We usually start slow in games but we should avoid this by all means tonight, an early away goal from our opponents tonight can really destabilize our team and change the whole complexion of the game, besides will be missing our battler in midfield who runs at the same pace the whole game to dig us out the hole in the dying minutes of the game.

    A 2 nil lead by half time would be awesome. COYG

      1. Well Arsenal is not Everton now are we mate.

        We play better in the 2nd half anyway and am trying to be realistic here. DO YOU EXPECT ARSENAL TO BE 5 nil at half time.

        All in all we need to concentrate for 90minutes +4 tonight and see out the job!!!

  7. I would play sanogo from the start if hes fit…sanchez right ox run the defences down..than put cazotla rosicky and campbell in for the final blow

    1. Radamel Falcao is what we needed in the past present and future now that OG is Injured Arsenal can use the excuse to break the club salary structure i’m sure other players will understand the special circumstance which we have.

      1. We cant let Real and Barca get all the class in the world we have to stop them and buy Falcao otherwise no one else will win the CL ever again. Man up Arsen you still have around 180 Million siting in the bank.

  8. Cavani to arsenal for whatever money is a no brainer..

    man united with there backs to the wall got in di maria at any cost (paid way over the odds as they desperately need him)

    I feel we need a ST just as bad

    needs must arsene!

  9. Sanchez
    OX Rosicky Campbell
    Flamini Chambers
    Monreal Kos Mert Debuchy
    Szchezny. We should be fine and win narrowly without injury. Arsen Wenger is still on course,He will deliever when it matter most.

  10. Arsenal vs Besiktas

    Flamini – Rosicky
    Sanchez – Ozil/Cazorla – Ox

  11. Szczesny
    Sanchez – Ozil– Ox

    I would start podoslki ahead of sanogo because of his experience this is abig game can’t take a risk

  12. on another note we are being linked to welbeck and Cavani. Big difference there cos one is $h1t and the other is $h1t hot!!!!!

    1. cavani should be our 1st option else go for bony who has 19m buyout clause or push for reus/falcao can’t see manure selling us welbeck (which is good in a way) after we refused 2 sell them tv5

      & if falcao joins Madrid, benzema………

    2. I’m not as down on Welbeck as most are. Wouldn’t be over the moon if we got him but wouldn’t be upset either. He’s quick, holds the ball up well and works hard. A change of scenery and being played in his preferred position up front might be what he needs.

      1. Nice to see some people can talk sense on here. Welbeck ain’t Cavani…but he’s strong, rapid, holds the ball up well and is a good passer (87% compared to Girouds 74% last season). Scored 9 in 25 games (15starts) all pretty much from the wing.

        Would prefer Cavani, but as you say I wouldn’t throw the toys out if Wenger goes for Welbeck.

        1. I really hate to say it but I think Welbeck has a lot of qualities. Think there is a really decent player there somewhere lurking beneath the surface. Good technically, rapid, stamina and strength. Alas, one thing he isn’t is prolific but that often comes with decent runs in the 1st X1, something he has never had. Prefer him to most non-galactico names linked to us.

  13. Sporting Lisbon have informed Arsenal that they will accept €30m (£23.9m) for Carvalho please get this deal done wenger

    1. Leo – what is this I hear that Wenger NEVER buys players with 3rd party ownership rights? Don’t know how true it is but it sounds very Wenger-ish, and the point being isn’t WC part-owned? Maybe this will be a case of the need outweighs the upholding of a principle!

  14. Whats with Arsenal players ankles?? Arteta, Giroud, Wilshere all have had or are having issues with their ankles??

  15. Tonight, 442 would do, with Sanogo doing the hold up play n fighting off the defenders n Podolski doing the finishing

        1. He doesn’t. Just speculates. Get used with that. All his predictions failed to materialize over the years. Would be funny if not painful to actually fall for any of these “news”. Whatever he does you can do it as well, read all the rags and follow all twitter accounts and then post here. Flexx.

  16. Welbeck / Remy or Falcao / Cavani…?


    £10-15 million or £45-60 million…?

    I wonder which Mr Wenger would go for, which is better value…hmm.

    A true marquee signing, or a true value signing…?

    We can dream. 😉

    1. Agreed

      Jackson Martinez sign a new deal?? He could be somewhat of an in between…not blockbuster at 45mil but not 15mil and a little underwhelming…

      Arsene has some decisions to make. DM and Striker…you can do it Arsene!!

      1. If we’re not aiming for a marquee striker, I don’t think Bony would be a bad shout to stand in for Giroud. Experienced in the PL too.

  17. AW – “In England as soon as you have a problem people want you to buy,” the Gunners boss added. “I can give you clubs with plenty of players who every time they lose say they have to buy more. But if you give the number of strikers we have it is unbelievable.”

    Geez are we living on the same planet with this man. I hope with just playing around with the press and not been serious. Yes we have strikers but WE DO NOT HAVE A WC STRIKER to win us the league or the CL Wenger.

  18. #AFC unlikely to sign striker despite Giroud injury. Not definitive but current plan is existing options rather than buy/loan #bbcsportsday(Ornstein)
    Sadly he is our most reliable source after

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