by Dan Smith
Arsenal might have their own injury concerns, but we have benefitted from a bizarre situation involving Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela.
Officially, the defender will miss the first leg due to a fever, the club announcing that minutes before UEFA then banned him.
The Club will never admit this nor will newspapers but there is a conspiracy theory that this ‘cold’ has been exaggerated to keep the 34 year old from entering the UK.
UEFA and Police Scotland have launched an investigation allegations that the centre back racially abused Ranger’s Glen Kamara in the last round of the Europa League, with lawyers suggesting Kudela will be questioned by the police the moment he sets foot in Britain.
Like most Football fans we only really focus on what happens in our own country, but this is serious news in the Czech Republic. So much so that Prague tried to refuse their player travelling to Wales on International duty based on ‘security fears’.
At the last minute, the player reversed that stance and did play in Cardiff, although there are rumours that was after confirmation that Kamara’s lawyers were not prepared to travel to the Welsh Capital, having already planned to take legal action in London knowing he was due to play at the Emirates this Thursday.
Ironically, it was on the pitch where he wasn’t safe, taking an elbow on the nose from Gareth Bale. It’s that blow that is now being used as a reason for ‘nasal contusion’ and a reaction to antibiotics.
It’s believed Slavia, who deny the allegations, are exaggerating the injury to protect the player, knowing he was about to get hit by a one game provisional ban.
Their president has accused the Scottish Champions of ‘biased pressure’ and ‘xenophobia prejudice’. The accusation is Prague knew a ban was the likely outcome but believe they are taking control of the situation by simply saying it’s their choice the player is not playing in midweek and nothing to do with guilt.
I should stress that a ‘provisional ban’ doesn’t mean UEFA have reached any conclusion. Their policy gives them a right to ban any player for up to 90 days while fact finding if they feel it’s convenient.
From the Gunners perspective Slavia Prague are not a good enough team to be losing talent. He’s an experienced leader in their dressing room and vital at set pieces in both areas.
They say to win a trophy you need luck that you can’t control and this could be it.
Slavia Prague have put a spotlight on them and because of a situation where they claim to be the victims, they now are without one of their best players in North London.
Rangers’ fans have been quick to give their theories to why someone conveniently can’t travel the week a lawyer wanted a chat and to be fair, many were predicting the moment he went down holding his face in Wales that he wouldn’t be in London this week.
This is becoming a circus that is going beyond Slavia Prague. It’s put a spotlight on the Czech Republic’s tolerance to racism and is becoming a huge national story
In other words, it’s a massive distraction.
The club have been so keen to fight Rangers they may not be focused on Arsenal.
All the more reason to destroy the club that lowkey supports racists in its ranks.
I wouldn’t mind UEFA kicking them out of the competition for not coming clean about this but I’d prefer Arsenal mangle them 7-0 in both legs.
We could take advantage of their internal problems if we have our supporters at the Emirates. They just got two red cards in two consecutive games, so hopefully their confidence becomes low
This Prague side is everything arsenal don’t want to play against
They play with high energy, press very well and very organized when defending
To beat them we need to pass the ball very quickly and try to catch them out of position
There biggest threat is their wingers which looks like our weakest with Tierney out…
After the liverpool game they will feel confident on keeping the score line low while getting an away goal
When last did we manage a clean sheet?
We should be more concerned than they are with the pressure we have placed upon our selves by making the Europa the only path for redemption
If Slavia Praha have towering midfielders that can pop up to head the ball like Soucek/ Fellaini and if they can press high up the pitch like West Ham/ Liverpool, then we need to worry. However, I predict they would park the bus first
We are talking about Arsenal here. The reasons given above is exactly why Slavia Prague would show more ambition to win the game.
All I am saying is, I have never known Arsenal to take advantage of any situation, it could be a laboured win but COYG!
Nah I’m confident for this round
Salvia Prague are not a great team
Don’t get me wrong neither are we lol
But player for player we are better , as long as we show up ?
Arsenal will be upset at this development. The club would have wanted Arsenals loss to Liverpool as the main talking point to develop a backs to the wall underdog siege mentality to help the team come out firing.
Now Slavia will claim they are the ones who have been hurt so it is they who under siege.
The mind games have begun.
Can Slavia Prague take advantage of the Arsenal circus ?
If Arsenal doesn’t turn up for both legs against Slavia Prague, their distractions and shortcomings won’t matter.
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Players must go all out, win EL.
I think we are going to climb back in EPL and win this, not lose a game til end of season.
Hopefully Arreta will play Auba at his CF position and we should be fine….’
The good news is Luiz injury obliges him to play two better CBs..
With Luiz, i would see no end of tunnel….
Arsena to win this game,Arteta should tell his players that,when the slavia Players take them counter tarck,let them not run revarnse to the box! while make sure that,that one on counta tarck can not leave the center