Feed me my drug of choice.
Inject me with your silvery goodness.
Take me to my happy place.
Let’s dream of European glory, and a backdoor entrance to a competition we are ill-equipped to survive, with a manager in the last year of his deal.
YES PEOPLE, my favourite competition of all time is upon us. Arsenal face down CSKA in a winner takes the semi final type game.
This should be a walk in the park, right?
Arsenal can’t go into this game with a sloppy complacent attitude. We’ve already seen a shaky first half from Liverpool that nearly let City back in, we saw Barcelona fuck a lead in Rome, and Juventus nearly beat Madrid after taking a 3 goal lead at the Bernabeu.
If any team in Europe can go to CSKA and blow a 3 goal lead, it’s Arsenal.
Still, an admittance from Arsene Wenger that the trophy is important is a welcome boost for team focus.
“Europa League is important for us – everybody knows that and we are at [the] stage where of course we focus on it because in the Premier League we have a very, very, very slim chance to get further up,” said Wenger.
“The Europa League is one of the big targets of the season.”
I like that he’s still thinking about the top four race of yesteryear. No Arsene, it’s been Europa or bust for a while. We’ve never been in the top 4 hunt. That much was clear last summer when you absolutely tanked it.
The Europa is an opportunity though. If we land an easy-ish draw in the semis, we could easily find ourselves lining up in Lyon.
One game at a time.
The team news is mistake machine Granit Xhaka is certainly out of the game (I’m being mean, he’s been good for at least 5 games). We have no Mikki who we know loves the Europa League. I expect we’ll see the in-form Danny W start, along with assist King Alex Iwobi.
I hope we go there to soak up the pressure. We don’t need to win 4-1 again. We need to keep it calm for the first 20minutes and slowly feel our way into the game. No dramas. No rash decisions. Just see the result through.
Sounds great on a blog, let’s see how it plays out in the real world.
Fun fact: The CSKA game was the first time since 99-00 (UEFA Cup) that we’ve won 3 knockout European games in a row. Isn’t that shite?
Right, see you in the comments. Also, last chance to listen to our bloody excellent podcast.
Also, jump on the pod, it’s excellent.
- Aubameyeng: Hit or miss?
- The case for our defence: Who stays or goes?
- Iwobi: Hero in waiting, or another Nik B?
- Jack Wilshere: What do you do with him?