Seriously if Arsenal can’t beat Slavia Prague it is unacceptable

Perspective Needed For Prague! By Dan Smith


I’m the first to point out the flaws in this Arsenal team, but I do think some Gooners are making the second leg of the Europa League into something it isn’t.

It’s natural to be disappointed by a stoppage time equaliser and it’s fair to criticise the players finishing. Yet the way some fans are speaking you would think we now have to win at the Nou Camp to advance to the next round.

To clarify we have to beat Slavia Prague to reach a Europa League Semi Final.

Once the disappointment of the first leg subsides, our task for Thursday becomes straight forward.

If someone offered you this scenario at the start of the season, Xmas or even a month ago, you would have bitten their hand off.

The Czech Champions deserve respect and not to be taken lightly, but if your honestly saying you consider this a tough tie for a European Quarter Final, then we have hit rock bottom.

I see through some of our supporters. They are trying to make our opponents out to be a great team to excuse us if we are knocked out, or if we advance, they will crow what an amazing achievement it was.

It is real simple, player for player the Gunners are a better team.

Take the emotion out of it, if the 2nd leg’s pattern of play follows the first, we should win. They will again park the bus; we will again have most possession.

If I was Arteta I’d approach the match with a target of scoring two goals. Do that and they need to score 3.

Our biggest danger is having one of those days where we can’t put the ball in the net. Put it this way, IF we score, we will qualify.

Some point to the fact of Slavia Prague being unbeaten domestically. That stat works if you go up to someone in the street who doesn’t watch Football.

The truth is their level of weekly competition can’t be a measurement for this stage. If we can’t beat them over two legs that’s unacceptable, period, and would put a lot of question marks against our manager.

Put it like this, when Spurs lost to Dinamo Zagreb, I don’t remember anyone saying ‘they are Top of the Croatian League so therefore it’s a tough draw.’

No, being top of a League with poor standard doesn’t mean anything. Sheffield United would walk the Czech League.

That’s why when Celtic were going unbeaten in Scotland, they still lost to anyone average or above in UEFA competition. Simply because beating Hamilton 4 times a year doesn’t prepare you for Europe.


Don’t get me wrong, eventually the pressure of having to win this tournament will be our undoing. We haven’t got the leaders to cope, hence why we had scares against Benfica and Olympiakos, but just got over the line.

We couldn’t beat Villarreal, or Man United, Roma or Ajax in our current shape but we should be beating Slavia Prague.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently!


Be Kind In The Comments



Tags Slavia Prague


  1. We couldn’t beat Villarreal, or Man United, Roma or Ajax in our current shape but we should be beating Slavia Prague.

    What irony, we may not beat team whose manager has been sacked by Arsenal for not delivering his targets.. So don’t like why we have brought Arteta??
    Arsenal look like to be underdogs against Villarreal…

    1. Kedar, yet another comment surrendering! It is a cup competition, which is a great leveller. On our day we are quite capable of beating any team (as our wins over Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea in domestic cup competitions last season! Being underdogs sometimes gives teams the edge, so get behind Arteta and the team instead of all this negativity!

      1. Hard to get by a team who have let us down big style Les. With boring tactics pressed into them by a championship style manager it’s a no win situation. How the heck does Pepe, Lacazette , Bellerin { captain but leaving } Cabellos and Elneny ever be allowed to wear the famous shirt it grates me. Do we not have another left back in our whole team selection ? Poor year and we are where we should be and lucky for it .

  2. Yes. Arteta has the game in Sheffield to assess the senior attackers’ motivation

    Arsenal should also help him out by promising Lacazette a salary raise and a contract extension if we win EL

    1. You are on form GAI. Learning from Mesut and Aubameyang experiences they should go on and do the same to Lacazette. Are you serious on this?

      1. Arsenal paid Aubameyang handsomely because we won FA Cup. So if Lacazette can give us EL, I’m willing to see him stay longer

        1. And how can Lacazette give us EL pray tell me. Even if we win it I don’t think it will be sorely because of him.

          1. If we promise Lacazette a salary bump and an extension, he would likely put in extra effort to make more goals and more chances/ assists for his teammates

            If Arsenal promise similar things to other players whose contracts are expiring, such as Elneny, Chambers and Xhaka, they’d also work harder for the team. For the ones with longer contracts, we could offer substantial bonuses

          2. Yeah that would be a genius move congratulations! And after he has signed what will be motivation then?

          3. @Highbury Hero : The new motivation could be another extension, if we win another major trophy after winning EL

            If he’s not motivated, at least we win EL first. We haven’t won any major trophy in more than fifteen years, so winning EL is crucial

          4. So he extend and they give him more than 200k and we don’t win the EL. What do we do we do then? He has to be paid that amount regardless even if he doesn’t make the bench.

        2. GAI
          I’m afraid on this one I disagree
          The senior players on big money have not shown their worth and Laca is already on a hefty contract

          1. I just want to win EL so badly, that I believe can be achieved if our senior players can be more motivated

          2. If 200k a week is not motivation enough I don’t know what is. You are talking as if Arsenal players are toddlers to be pacified with a bottle of milk.

          3. @Highbury Hero : Capello once said it’s not easy to instruct and motivate millionaire players. I believe we have to throw in bigger bones to motivate mercenaries and divas

          4. @gotanidea: Gareth Bale, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Paul Pogba, Mesut Oil, Aubameyang (jury still out on him.)

          5. @Highbury Hero : Some of the players you mentioned didn’t win any trophy two months prior to the contract offers, so the clubs made big mistakes

            Aubameyang deserved the salary raise. Because he was one of the main factors of our FA Cup win, which happened two months before the contract offer

          6. @gotanidea: you missed the point about those mega contracts. And your logic has hit the bar and travelled all the way back to an own goal.

          7. SueP, overpaid, soft, pampered prima donnas, who turn up when they feel like it. The past Arsenal players with their so called “drinking culture” and all, played hard and worked hard, were more professional, for a fraction of the money (salary inflation included) of this lot.

    2. GOT- Balogun signing means the end of Lacazette. And the days of pay rises for anyone of his age group and limited ability are long gone PAL

      1. Just how I read Baloguns new contract too Phil. TBH, I would happily lose both LACA AND AUBA. Auba has no ambition on the field – or desire if you prefer that word – and LACA JUST COMES UP SHORT OF WHAT WE BADLY NEED. This years AUBA IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT AND FAR LESS EFFECTIVE PLAYER; ONE WE CAN WELL DO WITHOUT, IF – and its a big if- anyone will take him.

        1. GAI’s original suggestion re’ Lacazzete , and the supposed “logic” behind it , leaves me speechless – I despair at times.

        2. Jon-I cannot see Aubamayang going anywhere to be honest. I would love is to go for Danny Ings to replace Laca with Martinelli and Balogun as backups. Aubamayang is suffering from Arteta’s mismanagement and is still one of the best finishers in the game

      2. Balogun’s contract extension hasn’t been announced officially yet. Maybe Arsenal wait for our EL result before finalizing the deal with Balogun

    1. Knowing how Arsenal helps Arsenal getting defeated (from Leno to Auba/Laca – all are culpable), we need to score two. Leno is a bundle of nerves, need a calm and cool Matt in the goal or our hopes are gone. Starts with the GK and Mikel should know it. Start the Sheff game with Matt in the goal to warm up.

  3. Its not a scenario we shouldn’t be able to sort. They are obviously a good team but they are not as good as people make out. It wont be a walk in the park on Thursday but surely we have enough to progress without too much trouble but this is Arsenal who dont do, not too much trouble.

    1. Funny though Reggie , coz we are no good like people are making out and we fail to convince otherwise.
      Not the Arsenal way and our team is oozzing nothing bar Smith Rowe & Saka shining.
      Leader needed and speed in defence with a good stopper behind because Leno should be sold . Too slow at throwing ball out and when he does there is a on coming forward closing down ? German , say no more

  4. I agree Dan, but there is a wildcard. Arteta. We have all seen the bizarre team choices he has made and that is my worry. He doesn’t have the selection wisdom and could do something stupid in the team he selects. We have all scratched our heads in team choices. An example, he could play Willian, who is lightweight, totally out of form and would make us almost a 10.5 man away team. We do have a team to do the job but will Arteta choose THAT team. I sometimes wonder does Arteta have a self destruction urge in his psyche?

    1. Fully with you Dan .
      Not good enough for our team and we need not only a leader who can show us the way but a leader needed in the team shouting and balling giving our so called stars a right kick up the arse.
      Pride needed restoring us to where we should be and not where we are going to be.

  5. what you’re looking for is score one early goal and look to add more, don’t care if Slavia score one back.
    We’re away, as long as we get more than one goal, they’ll need two more.
    Like Dan said, the target should be hitting 2 goals, if we can hit 3 goals the more better. If we 2 goals and we lose the game 3-2 then Arteta and his full staff + the squad have some answering to do.
    It’s that simple.
    Like Dan said, we aint going to the Camp Nou if Anfield.. Shít we ain’t going to the Allianz Arena so I don’t get what the meltdown has been since Thursday.
    I was the first to say a clean sheet was more important than us even scoring one more than one goal at home and I know that wasn’t a too good result for us, but I ain’t lose my cool yet because as unpredictable as this team can be, they can come up with the results needed to qualify. There’s still one more game and it’s 50-50 with us having the better chance to come out on top.

    1. Yeah I really think his mindset should be score two goals and your comfortable
      Law of averages we won’t miss as many chances again

    2. If we really lost 3-2 you would be the first to blame only the players and exempting arteta from any blame and worshipping arteta.. so dont try to sound like an objective fan, you are not

      1. Very stupid response… I don’t force my views on anyone so don’t try to tell me what to do or not do.
        If we lose out this time, both manager and players are to be blamed.

  6. Considering the number of goals we missed in the first leg,I can’t see less than victory.
    I blame arteta for his choices.
    Leaving your best striker on the bench and Pepe who could have tear them and playing Wilian who is no more a player you can do rely on and Lacazette missing a one to one goal .time to ask questions.
    Our ranking in the league speaks by itself.
    How long can we escape punishment,we have been punished too often,we need europa league to keep the fans happy.

    1. No no no Linds, Auba, Laca and Pepe have not been consistant enough and had many games as has Willian . Move now and give Martinelli , Folarin Balogun , Lopez or even Azeez a longer run in number of games . Starting from now because all the above have let us down scoring goals and we can’t rely on Elneny, Ceballos , Willian or even Partey getting any goals. What as Arteta to lose because if we don’t win the Europa he will get booted out. Show us your steel Mikel and stop boring us and the nation in awful worrying styles of play and Sam Allardyce tactics . Ps Leno is trash

      1. Chris, in the League first, not in this away cup tie. See how they fare for the rest of the season with little at stake, but table position.

  7. Simple fact is we have to stop believing we are a good team because we are not. Arteta if the right man , has one hell of a job shaping us . Given his negative tactics lately doesn’t look like he is . Get back to basics and trust your players to express rather than wasting time worrying about the oppositions tactics . Talent will shine through and playing slow , negative minded players filled with dread believing they do not have to put a shift in but just turn up. Get rid, move on and at least show us your enjoying a great club not destroying.

  8. Look you say IF we score on Thursday we will win. Where do you get that conclusion from. We have a very poor defence and Prague are well capable of scoring and winning. If we play the same nervy way on next day Arsenal will be beaten. Please no Willian. Show some balls and believe. Leaders where are you

    1. Because I think they are defensive
      If we score 1 , then have to score 2 more then 1 to stop extra time
      Only way I can’t see us going through is if we don’t score

  9. It all depends on which Arsenal turns up in Prague and how quickly the team starts. If Arsenal start slowly and in endeavouring to score that first goal concede two, then the pressure is really on. Like others have said, fast start and ruthless accurate finishing in front of goal or it will go pear shaped.

  10. Though I predict us to progress in Slavia, I see no real hope of winning this competion with this team and this squad. Bear in mind that Man Utd will almost cetainly reach the final and against them we will not win this cup, despite our Prem results against them.

    1. jon, don’t discount Villarreal under Unai Emery in the semi final should Arsenal get past Slavia Prague.

  11. It will be interesting to see Arteta’s selections for the match and how they play.

    Will he let them attack and go for goals or his usual bus tactics and uber-defensive?

      1. Hi SueP
        I choose to believe that Arteta will have them playing on the front foot looking to get the first goal.

        Hopefully he doesn’t get it then park the bus and defend to finish the match.

        Has to be soul crushing to the players when their manager shows no faith in them to attack and get at the opponents.

        At times being defensive is necessary to see out a result; but going defensive strat off the whistle has to be demoralizing.

  12. People keep saying Auba is a clinical finisher . I am beginning to think i dont know the meaning of the words.
    Kane is Clinical , Lewandoski is Clinical ,Haaland is lethal . I can go on . Auba misses at least 2 to 3 chances a game .

  13. Correct.
    No big club ( BIG) Came in for him says enough.
    Lacazette big… France
    Pepe great in France
    Big money paid in wages to score goals to put our team where we should be……

  14. Please respect a opposition. Slavia are there on merit and Arsenal have to earn their position in the semi. Just saw Leeds best city with 10 men. West ham with two top Czech players inspire west ham to the fringes of CL places.
    Hope for the victory, strive but expect nothing. Even after the first leg some don’t respect the opposition.
    Play Chambers again and let’s hope Odegaard can play some part. Mari and clean sheets, is it a coincidence?
    Xhaka found his position?

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs