Wenger warns against overconfidence in Zagreb (plus form guide)

So Arsenal’s Champions League campaign begins against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday and Arsene Wenger is worried that his team may expect an easy ride against the Croatian Champions. One could argue that overconfidence affected us last year as we lost out on top spot in the Group Stages thanks to throwing away a 3-0 lead at home to Anderlecht, and of course our depressing 3-1 defeat at home to Monaco when everyone was certain we were the hot favourites.

Wenger brought this up on Arsenal.com: “You need to find the balance between urgency and confidence and at times that is difficult as you can quickly be too confident and lose your urgency.” Le Prof said.

“We have Olympiacos and Zagreb first and we have to finish above them and the result will come down to that. I think it is important to start well because the hunger of a team is shown as well in how well you go in every competition.”

The Croatian League may not be the strongest in Europe, but Zagreb are the dominant side in the country. They are currently unbeaten in nine games to top the division and have scored 11 goals in their last three games. Amazingly they haven’t lost a League game since May last year and haven’t lost at home since 2010!

In the Champions League they are not quite the same force. They only beat the Norwegian side Molde on away goals in qualifying before easily beating the Albanian Champions Skënderbeu Korçë. Last year they were eliminated in the Qualifiers by AaB Aalborg from Denmark and the year before Austria Vienna knocked them out.

So we can surmise that we definitely should be confident going into this one, but with a note of caution that they are in form and are in front of around 9000 of their home fans…..

Tags Wenger Zagreb


  1. ‘You can lose, of course, but it is important to fight until the end of the match. This victory is important to restart well after the (international) break and to get three points is fantastic.’

    Arsenal can learn something from Leicester. You can be down 2-0 against Monaco but if you really think you can do it then it is possible.

    1. @Budd
      Yeah that was amazing fighting spirit shown be Leicester…Those are the kind of wins that give you belief that you can win from any position…Hope our players can have the same mentality in games that we concede 1st…

  2. Squad rotation is key, koscielny rested with Per in to partner Gabriel, I would also swap the full backs especially when our game relies on them attacking bombing up n down more then defending. 3 games in a week and travelling that’s asking for trouble in regards to injuries n I think we all know how that ends,
    My line up would be
    Debach, Per;gabby, gibbs,

    I think away from home let’s have the solid Base of defence throw arteta alongside coq, and why not give campbell a chance surely he will be chomping at the bit??? He’s not played a single minute

    I don’t think it’s a gamble that should be enough to win n if it doesn’t seem to be working unleash santi,ozil,sanchez
    I just feel in regards to priority the chelsea game could really define our season therefore that is more important, win it n what a Massive boost it will give Lose n all the negativity press etc comes flooding back in n right on top of Arsenal.

    1. @Mo1
      You do realise that this is a CL game and not a Capital Cup game…Rotation is important esp with Chelsea game on Sat, but i dont think Wenger gonna bring in Campbell for this game are Arteta with Coq – No Ozil or Santi….Its also our 1st CL game this season – points in the bag 1st then squad rotation at final games if we already through….

    2. My only change in this your lineup will be Ospina for Cech and Jeff for Coq.the rest we are good to go and win


  3. I know we have Chelsea at the weekend but let’s go to Zegrab with a strong squad get the game won in the first 45 mins Then make the changes.3 points Wednesday and 3 points Saturday PLEASE it will send mr mourineo into a meltdown .

  4. I like to see the Boss start his strongest starting XI and his fastest Gunners for this game. Any Gunner that has the slow playing tendency and slow reaction to the game should not be started for the game. A 90 + fast starting playing Gunners will react quickly to repel any attempts bv Dinamo Zagreb to score any goal against them. And a prevailing speeding Gunners will give them the speed advantage to out play Dinamo and create clear cut chances to bury in goals. The thought of Dinamo Zagreb are not a strong Ucl team and therefore will be cheap to beat by the Gunners could turnout to a big mistake if the Gunners held on to such a theory. That perception was for the past seasons Dinamo’s Ucl games. We don’t know what quality they have in their armpit this term. So, it’s better the Gunners don’t underrate them and thus become overconfidence. But rather, they should be fully prepared to successfully handled any eventuality.

  5. A win against chelsea cld see mourinho in real crisis and on the verge of being fired…..

    If only we had sign Benteke and Martial….

    We would hv enough firepower and creativity to send Mourinho a one way ticket out of London

    1. Can you all see my points in another articles comments?

      MaureenHO could and might be fired by the meanest mighty abramovic after won the epl trophy last year?

      how the hell on earth wenger might still in his chair if in chelshit.

      Please SILENT STAN, get the f@ck off arsenal, you’re not doing the dissapointed fans a favor.

  6. We hace to win at Zagreb.
    And that’s pretty much it….

    (Wenger always say that they are only thinking of the next game….and I agree that’s the way to approach….so now focus in Zagreb. …later on chelsea)

  7. @Gunner,

    i think you missed the point i was trying to make, i do know its a champs league game but i was colearly pointing to the significance of an away game to Dinamo zagreb or Chelsea away?

    mentally will winning the zagreb game mean much especially with bayern in the group so thats 2nd place at best for us or beat Chelsea and get a morale boost that could really make us go on a long run and actually challenge for the title.

    for me the chelsea game is more important Alot more regardless of what thier form is that means nothing.

  8. I’d love 2 see arsenal go at zagreb guns blazin from da start lyk they did against da orcs. Dunno if they can tho since zagreb are at home. They can win ugly 4 all i care.

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