The Arsenal and France international defender Laurent Koscielny is apparently fit again and available to play in the second leg of the Champions League knockout tie with La Liga giants Barcelona and hopefully our best centre back will then stay fit for the rest of the season.
It is just a shame that he was not around at the weekend because the ponderous Per Mertesacker and the guileless Gabriel helped Watford knock Arsenal out of the only competition that we had a decent chance of winning. Whether Koscielny will replace the German or the Brazilian remains to be seen but he is sure to improve our defence.
And if the rest of the Arsenal squad take on what he said in an Arsenal.com report this week and start to play without the pressure of expectation and as if they have nothing to lose, he might just get Arsenal back in with a chance of the Premier League title. The Frenchman has not yet given up on Europe either, but he does accept that our chances there are even smaller after losing the home leg 2-0.
Koscielny said, “We don’t have pressure like in the first game, because we play against the best team in the world.
“Now we need to play the second leg away at Barca and we have nothing to lose. People always talk about the statistics and I think we have maybe a five per cent chance to qualify.
“You know when you play against the best players in the world, the best team with a good collective side, it’s very important for us. It can be very important if we can have a [good] result.
“They have a lot of quality, they can have a lot of possession during the game and when they accelerate with their top players, they create chances.
“We need to play with freedom and believe in our quality because we did well during the first six months of this season. I don’t see why we can’t [play like that] against Barcelona and for the rest of the season.
“You know we are in a difficult period and we need to stay like a unit to be stronger. We will fight until the end of the season.”
In a funny way, this hardest of tasks that Arsenal face at the Nou Camp could be just what the club needs, especially if we do pull off a miracle and get through. Even if we don’t though, a positive and pressure free performance could provide the blueprint for the remaining nine EPL games.
We really need to head into the international break in a better frame of mind though and with another three points on the board from Everton. Would that give us a chance if the team can take note of Koscielny and relax, or would it still be too late?
Spot on boscielny!
It was sad to see how our defense folded like a deck of cards against watford!
Honestly it pains me to say this, i’m a huge supporter and admirer of Gabriel paulista but after his nightmare and out of sorts defending display, i hope he doesn’t start against barcelona!
I’m getting that deluded feeling that Arsenal will beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp ?,
We may not qualify ?,
but, we will beat them!
Maybe it has something to do with the Groundhog Movies, that we have been watching for the last decade or so?
With No expectations .. and with everyone expecting a sore ass, afterwards!
The boy’s go and do the unthinkable … and win ?
Naaaah!….. We are going to get humiliated, for sure! ?
We’re a bit too late for everything but the beauty of football no matter where your allegiance is, is that the impossible could happen on ANY given night if things simply go your way & almost everything if not everything goes your way!! Look PSV was one save & penalty score away from getting into the quarter finals of course our meeting is on another level.
That being said a huge collapse, early (10 mins or less) red card with penalty being scored against Barcelona would have to happen thats the only way I see it.
Same thing for the league unless we go unbeaten & circumstances which are really really HARD to foresee such as Leicester & Spurs losing/drawing like 4 of the last 9 there’s just no way…again everything is possible until it’s NOT!! We had things in control we don’t anymore…and that has been the case for a while now with our usual collapse, recurring problems & deficiencies that were not addressed at different level for various reasons.
Most probably we will get beaten. Don’t know the margin but if you judge by the team spirit you may want to be prepared for some hiding. On the other hand, if they have nothing to lose then they may put some good shift and get a result. I am not sure we can get more than a draw or some decent defeat. But for the life of me, beat Everton because if we don’t then we lose sight of these Spuds and that will pi$$ me off.
We couldn’t beat the mighty Watford at our own ground and some people here think that we might get a result against the best team in the world and at their own ground!! Good to see the Wenger delusion is rubbing onto the fans.
I say we’ll be lucky not to concede 5.
To answer the question in the title, yes.
I just watched 1st leg replay, I’m still worried how we lost that game, up till 75 mins arsenal was on fire. Our two centre defender cost us d game. Two of dem left at d same time. As per today. I see draw.