It goes without saying that the Europa League semi-final first leg against Valencia on Thursday is one of our most critical matches so far this season and bluntly put, we cannot afford to screw it up.
There are many many things we need to get right on the night and below I list, what I consider, five of the most important aspects of the game that we simply must nail down.
Keep a clean sheet
That is so important, away goals are like gold dust, just ask Man City if they regret not getting an away goal at Tottenham. The last thing we want to do is give our opponent more of an advantage in the second leg than necessary.
Score of course
An absolute no brainer, 0-0 is not the end of the world but going away without scoring in our own stadium is not worth thinking about, we have the talent up front to get goals and simply must find the back of the net.
Control the bloody midfield
I keep saying this and against a team like Valencia it is absolutely imperative, we do not have Aaron Ramsey to rely on but that does not mean that we cannot both control the midfield and provide decent service for our forwards.
Defend much better than we have been doing.
Another no brainer but it needs reiterating, we kept a clean sheet against Napoli because the defence was well organised and well drilled and there is no reason we cannot replicate that.
Spanish clubs are excellent at retaining possession, they are the kings of the side pass and patient build-up and we cannot allow them the freedom to do that, we have to hassle them every second they have the ball, we must frustrate them even if that means niggly fouls, we must break up their play and when we have the ball do to them what they do to others and that is control possession.
There is more of course but in my opinion, if we get those five things right we will win, we will not concede and we will have taken a huge step towards the final.
Think you missed the important one
No iwobi ,elneny,or mustafi anywhere near that 1st 11 ,actually not even on the subs bench
Add Xhaka, Kolasinac, Monreal, Miki, and Ozil, onto that list as well. Time to play the youth team if you ask me!
Thank you Ajax, thank you!
Hell yeah!! Bloody brilliant!!
Doesn’t matter how bad things get at Arsenal, Spurs always put a smile on my face. Haha! I think ALL Arsenal fans needed that after the week we’ve had.
How considerate of them ??
Don’t do what Spurs did 😉
Loved it, a Dennis Bergkamp groomed side, Total football from Ajax. Reminded me of the team from the Seventies.
They were amazing in the 1st half, Kenny! Should have won by more… well done Ajax!
They were Sue and they can play better. Rooting for them to win it.
Kenny-it was not that long ago 5pur5 fans used to celebrate their season on Arsenal failing.Now it’s the other way around.
Still makes me smile though.
Tottenham Hotspur’s-The Club that just KEEPS ON GIVING
Can’t see anything else than an Ajax win but lets not count our chickens Phil.
I take it you were at Highbury Kenny when we played Ajax?Was it 71-72 season?
Love the effort of the Ajax team, always in there snapping away, hunting the ball down in packs. Skilful, quick and determined, what a team.
I just hope arsenal can play nd get d result just the way this young Ajax team are doing it.
We must NOT start Mustafi, Elneny, Jenkinson. They are liabilities
We should start Koscielny;Sokratis, Monreal, Torreira, Guendouzi, Aubameyang and Lacazette
Not sure which three to choose from Ozil, Iwobi, Xhaka, Niles, Kolsanic, Mavrapanos,
Arsenal team can play and get the result but Unai Emery can spoil the show with the team selection and confusing tactics…..
Mhiki out.Saka in and Iwobi benched Nketiah starts. Ozil out Willock in- these are combative and productive kids. The guys can help errorstafi by putting some drowsy pills in his food. The sight of Mhiki makes me sick
@chu-Do you seriously believe ANY MANAGER would even dream of playing untried kids in a major European game,let alone a must win semi-Final?Emery needs to win this tie.The Club needs to get to this final.Its the only hope we have of getting something out of this season.What on earth makes you think he will gamble a whole campaign on kids?Or perhaps someone has put drowsy pills in YOUR FOOD.