Freshness concerns ahead of fixture crunch

by .

Unai Emery does NOT seem too concerned about away form.

“I think generally we are well. I don’t think we are very bad,”

“It is a bad result, not a good performance but we are fourth.

Yes, this is true.

“This was a very good opportunity to take the three points and go third but after the result we are fourth and we need to be consistent.

“We are going to have chances also in the next matches and it depends on us and on other teams.

“After the result we can be negative because three points less (to be won) but it is in our hands to continue taking chances to be in the top four.”

This is also true.

Our top 4 chances have taken a big hit after that result, mainly because the loss has taken the wind out of the momentum sails. We’re heading into a crunch run of very important high-intensity games with a horrible away record hanging around our necks with tired legs… not. ideal. fam.

However, if we want to mix it with the big boys next year, the players have to react. If they want bigger bonuses, they’ll have to dust away the sad-webs and make a serious adjustment to their mentality away from home.

The manager is going to have to start learning lessons a touch quicker. Matteo G and BIG Mo cannot be played together, it’s a mix of low talent and raw experience that blends worse than orange juice and milk. Our rotations are going to have to be cuter if we’re to maintain belief, energy, and skill.

We have a monster match this Thursday against the MIGHTY Napoli. I say mighty… I’m not really sure. Juve are mighty and they are top of Serie A by 20 points. Napoli reside in second, 7 points ahead of 3rd. Is this a bit like the difference between Dortmund and Bayern? I would think so. That said, it’ll not be easy and let’s be TOTALLY real here… we’ve been taken down by Rennes and BATE this season, so even if we snatch a win, it’ll be very tough to deal with them at their place.

The big question for Emery is how hard will he go in this game? Where does he see his biggest opportunity? Or, has the season become so unpredictable now that he’s just going to gun hard for both top 4 and Europa? I think likely the latter. He’ll be desperate for a trophy and he’ll really want that tag of being the greatest Europa League king who ever did exist… I heard that he’s hoping they retire the trophy if he wins it this time. He’s very focused.

That could come with issues, we have 6 games in 18 days, players are already tired if Everton was anything to go by… so what impact will gunning for everything have?

Well, we’re going to find out my pretties… but please, don’t be dim in the comments and tell me that an international break is enough to bring players back to freshness, or that fatigue is related to character… or that love for the badge will change anything.


P.S. Hazard… whoooahmy

888 Responses to “Freshness concerns ahead of fixture crunch”

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  1. Siddharth14

    Iwobi and Mikki not tracking back enough. Important thing is keeping a clean sheet rather than a third goal.

  2. Siddharth14

    I feel like crying. We are clueless when it comes to defending. You just know we are going to fuck it up.

  3. Gazzap

    I feel 2-0 is the MINIMUM we could get tonight if we want to go through. It’s not over by any means at 2-0. Napoli on their ground will be a fearsome prospect.

  4. bennydevito

    God alive! What is wrong with? Why can’t we shoot first time or always need to take an extra touch letting the chance go??

  5. Siddharth14

    The fact that we are not confident even with a 2-0 lead tells us a lot about our defence. Napoli must fancy themselves at home.

    Well we never make it easy for ourselves. Bring on the return leg.

  6. Marko

    You’ll take that. A fucking clean sheet. But really should have scored another couple more goals. Kolasinac taking that extra touch time and time again. Good performance considering how they let the club down last Sunday

  7. Un Battle Angel

    Big win
    Should have been signed and sealed though Ramsey and auba
    Ramsey showing the best and worst of himself tonight

  8. Un Battle Angel


    Ramsey was fucking wasteful as hell
    Jesus you don’t half look through rose ti ted glasses at this fella

  9. Dissenter

    Is two goals enough?
    I’m not sure but every goal we score at Naples will be like double so we should be good.

  10. Marko

    Rambo MOTM for me with Koscielny and AMN doing very well too. Thought both strikers were shite tonight though

  11. Paulinho

    Really liked the look of that midfield duo. Wanted to see them for a while play together,

    Both can go forward and both can defend. Fluid combination that could’ve been great if Ramsey wasn’t leaving.

  12. Un Battle Angel

    Ramsey has a real issue with first Tim shits
    Always slicing them unless they are weighted spit on perfect and even then he misses loads

  13. bennydevito

    All eyes on Watford now. Is Deulofeu injured still? Will Watford have an FA Cup hangover with nothing to play for in the league and not be quite at it?

  14. TheLegendaryDB10

    Well done Arsenal!!! We kept a clean sheet. Shame that we could not score a 3rd goal. But, this hopefully should kick us on to go for the away goal as that should help secure going to the semis.

    This is why Unai should go for the exact same starting line up, when we play our second leg, and play with the same intensity.

    Intensity is exactly what we have been lacking in our away games. We really hit the handbrake when in a setup defensively. Why that is, I don’t know.

  15. Paulinho

    We could’ve scored the third and conceded a cheap goal at the death and been worse off.

    Battle- You’re just bitter that Ramsey played with dynamism without the supposedly vital Xhaka.

  16. Dissenter

    The Watford game is on Monday
    The away game in Naples is on Thursday
    The next week will be brutal for the squad which is why a 3-0 win tonight would have been really nice.

  17. Redtruth

    We’re going to miss Ramsey, goals from midfield are hard to find.

    No we won’t, it’s the sitters he misses is what he’ remebered for. lol

  18. Un Battle Angel

    No. I’m pissed off thatbhe missed three sitters (as usual) when he could have put the tie to bed. That’s not a £200k pw player. Kevin Nolan has a better record than Ramsey for Bolton

  19. WengerEagle


    Na don’t think anyone had them as favourites really, just a dangerous dark horse but they’ve been pedestrian this season in Italy compared to previous ones, Juventus can win the league on Sunday sparing 6 matches which is comical and they’re barely ahead of Inter who are a shambles.

    Chelsea are the favourites for EL, I make us a close second with Eintract Frankfurt before tonight being a potential dark horse although they’ll need to really pull it out of the bag 2 goals down to Benfica.

  20. Dissenter

    I think Chelsea are the most decorated team [Europe wise] left in the competition
    I really hope they get knocked out before the finals.

  21. BacaryisGod

    All the moaners and whiners relax. 2-0 is a fantastic result for the first leg. We’ll score once over there. They won’t score 4.

  22. Paulinho

    Three sitters? Bullshit.

    One sitter and even then Aubameyang, a supposedly world class striker, has missed worse at twice this season.

  23. Paulinho

    How stop being a bitter twat and take into account his part in the first goal. Involved in the build up and then on the end of it.

  24. Paulinho

    As a team we seem to have missed loads of those types of chances this season.

    Mikhi ballooned a couple over as well.

  25. Dissenter

    Shouldn’t you be saving your energies for the big night?

    2-0 is a good result but 4-0 is better, especially is we are to play Mustafi
    That said, Sokrates will be used solely for the EL for a while.

  26. Dissenter

    Sorry people
    The draws are already in, made that error, not once but plenty times

    1. Napoli (ITA) / Arsenal (ENG) v Villarreal (ESP) / Valencia (ESP)
    2. Benfica (POR) / Frankfurt (GER) v Slavia Praha (CZE) / Chelsea (ENG)

  27. Guns of SF

    Was hoping for the third goal too. If we nick one in Naples, especially the first goal of the game, then its curtains for Napoli

  28. Dissenter

    People keep praising Cazorla for scoring but keep ignoring the fact that Villarreal have been on a gradual slide with him in the squad.
    The dude is on his last legs and La liga is perhaps too fast for him because the central midfield role he is running isn’t ticking.
    Valancia beat them at home and they’re in a relegation spot.

  29. HighburyLegend

    @Guns : let’s not forget that our away form at the moment is…. average ?? lol

    But tonight it was nice to see Emery beating Ancelotti with his tactics.

  30. Receding Hairline

    Dissenter regardless of how the game went offer anyone at Arsenal a 2-0 first leg win and they bite your hands off.

    Let’s stop talking about missed chances coming back to bite us or not bite us, we got a result and a clean sheet, that was all anyone wanted going into the game. Some were on here offering spurs a bj for a 1-0 home win just two nights ago

  31. ddkingz

    the worst player on the pitch today was kolasinac…. he just took a touch too many on the ball, on so many perfect positions in the oppositions box…

    at on point, I was made to think, he left his brains at home

  32. Un Battle Angel

    He skied two cut backs right in front of goal missed a straight shot on goal from a well worked corner and missed a shit at a tight angle in the first half on the right hand side.
    I’m not bitter at all but let’s not pretend he covered himself in glory with those missed chances
    The goal he scored couldn’t have been out any more on a plate for him
    Yes he was Dynamic and yes he helped to drive us forward but he squandered our best chances tonight. Aubameyang second
    Go back through the comments section and see how many ffs Ramsey comments you can find.

    He’s off to juve so get over it. Could have been a great but his selfish streak fucked that for him

  33. Nelson

    After tonight’s game, we have to put more priority on the Euro_Cup. The two Spanish teams are weaker than Napoli. We can also defeat Chelsea on a neutral ground.
    This Summer, we have to replace Ramsey and Monreal. We should go all out to sign Adrien Rabiot.

  34. Dissenter

    Torriera got a good rest and should be good for another month of frantic football.
    Mystic wont like this but I don’t ant to see Elneny anywhere near a starting 11 again.

  35. Un Battle Angel

    Why would mystic not like it? He’s shit. The only player in our squad whose worse is Lichtensteiner

  36. Batistuta

    Totally enjoyed that…We shouldn’t really have any fear going into the 2nd leg as long as Mustafi remains on the bench

  37. Batistuta

    There has to be something wrong though with the disparity between our home form and the away form…It’s almost like we’re 2 different teams but with the same players

  38. Batistuta

    As I’ve maintained, the Europa league has to be the priority, we have a way of raising our game for the big ones….I’d play a couple of kids at Watford on Monday if i were Emery so everyone is fresh for Naples but what do i know

  39. Paulinho

    Interesting to see how we use the squad over the next week or so. We won’t win an away premier league game without Ramsey playing centrally, but we will need him in Naples as well, and he’s guaranteed to pull up with an injury if he plays all the games.

    Maybe a good idea to prioritise the Europa now. I think the league is gone realistically.

  40. Paulinho

    “The goal he scored couldn’t have been out any more on a plate for him”

    Shows you still don’t get it.

    He was THERE to put it in. Would Guendouzi have been to there to put it in? Xhaka? No.

    You can’t seem to grasp the importance of off the ball movement and just seem to think Ramsey is there by chance all these years.

  41. WengerEagle

    We’re still right up there in the PL, Chelsea are at Anfield and Spurs at the Etihad next week so you imagine that they’ll both drop points there.

    As shite as we are away from home, if we can even win 2 of our last 4 away and pick up a draw in there we’ll be thereabouts for 4th.

  42. Nelson

    Just thinking that we don’t with PapaSok for two EPL games and we have to rely on Mustafi. The chance that we can get something from the Watford game is quite slim.

  43. Dissenter

    Mustafi has his good games too, not to often but he can be that beast offensively and defensively.

  44. bennydevito

    Receding HairlineApril 11, 2019    21:13:07

    Complaining we best Napoli and didn’t concede? Most of you will whine about anything just for whining sake


    Not all RH, not at all. We’re being realistic that a 2 goal lead coupled with our abysmal away record may not be enough to see us through.

    And with being away to Watford on Monday and the having to travel to Italy on Thursday I fear Emery will now tinker too much for the Watford game and we’ll blow our top 4 place AND get turned over at Napoli.

    We really needed 4 and should have had 4.

    So no, no whining just realism.

  45. vickingz

    That some of us are complaining about the missed chances doesn’t necessarily mean we hate the club or appreciate the players less. Missed chances mostly have ways of punishing us and when you have arguably 2 potent strikers playing like imbecile in a match where goals are needed cos away result is unpredictable, complaints are inevitable. Arsenal should have scored more than 3 goals in this match during the first forty five minutes. I hope we’ll celebrate our advancement next week.

  46. bennydevito

    Just watching the highlights and Benfica look brilliant and some young kid of theirs got a superb hat trick.

  47. Leedsgunner

    The players and coaches at Arsenal need to figure out why we are so fragile on the road. It’s not acceptable. If we don’t sort it out very very soon we will not a successful season this year or the next.

    Surely, it’s a matter of mentality.

  48. bennydevito

    Chelsea fans showing their class again with a video circulating of them in a bar tonight before their match singing a song about Mo Salah being a bomber or something.

    A few on hear will be proud.

  49. vickingz

    Players like elnehny, guendouzi, ozil are the reasons why our away form has been terrible. Elnehny played for like 20 minutes or so in this match and he didn’t touch ball more than 5 times if at all he touched ball up to 5 times. These players jumps over or just avoid any 50/50 challenge, they’d rather be marking space than marking opponents

  50. Nelson

    The coaching stuff should ask Kola to shoot more. He has a hard shot. Now he always tries to advance to the baseline and then center. It hasn’t generated anything the past few games.

  51. LeMassiveCoq

    Right, we need to chuck our eggs in this UEFA basket. Auba needs to find some form. Think we can get a result against Napoli away and beat Villareal or Valencia. Chavs in the final? We can do this.

    We’ll lose to Watford.

  52. Luteo Guenreira

    Away form has been bad in that Arsenal have lost some games they shouldn’t, but it hasn’t been so bad that we should be worried about shipping 4 goals away to Napoli, assuming we score at least one. 2-nil is a great result and I have to think we have basically won the tie by being able to keep a clean sheet at home.

  53. Luteo Guenreira

    Not to count chickens before they hatch but if it’s Chelsea in the final I honestly like our chances.

  54. Dissenter

    Watford are bully boys. They have some flair players but they have a dirty hard edge to their game.
    We have to still play them with a very strong team because two back to back league losses will be devastating.

  55. Charlie George

    A recent survey somewhere stated that teams who fail to score an away goal- win only 20% of the matches.

    If Arsenal score 1 -Napoli need 4.

    I know Emery has a penchant for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory ( Barca/PSG debacle )- but an attacking line up next week- and emphasising the importance of away goal- should see us through into the semis.

    Valencia are not good enough to beat us over 2 legs.

    So we meet Chelsea in Baku.

    Could that unnecessary sale of Giroud – come back to bite us on the bum?

    Arsenal v Chelsea in Baku.
    That could be a 1/4 billion blockbuster!!

  56. WengerEagle

    Ajax will be eaten alive this summer, hopefully they can at least pull in some serious coinage and continue the excellent work at academy level.

    De Ligt, De Jong, Neres and then Tadic, Ziyech and Tagliafico on top of that.

    Be doing well just to keep Tadic and Ziyech.

  57. WengerEagle

    One can dream eh Marko.

    Not getting that pairing for under 100 million, Neres fee doesn’t all go to Ajax as Sao Paulo have add ons owed to them from future transfers.

  58. Pierre

    Ramsey , Torreira and Ozil controlled the game for Arsenal .

    Ramsey and Torreira won the battle in midfield , they won the ball and kept it simple , finding Ozil in space who has the awareness to bring his team mates into the game , feeding the wing backs on numerous occasions.
    Kolasinac was surprisingly wasteful with his final ball as it is normally his strong point , consequently Aubamayang was not as effective as he was waiting numerous times for the ball across the face of goal that never came.

    Though Ramsey did miss a few guilt edge chances , the timing of his runs have without question improved. He is now arriving late instead of being over eager to get into the box and, as we have seen many times over recent years , he would be caught out of position.
    He had a good game today as did Ozil and again they showed how poor the decision to marginalize the players was earlier in the season .

    Torreira was back to his best simply because he played in the position where he plays his best football , sitting in front of the defence , putting in tackles and intercepting passes from the opposition and then playing the ball simply and effectively to the offensive players .
    Let’s hope Emery forgets all this nonsense of Torreira being a box to box player, he has not the legs or the energy to play this role but is top quality at protecting the defence.

    A good all round professional performance that probably deserved at least one more goal but keeping a clean sheet was vital going into the 2nd leg.

  59. bennydevito

    They weren’t marginalised they were injured (Ramsey/Ozil), not training well and throwing sickies (Ozil). Stop with the agenda driven mystic Meg lies.

  60. bennydevito

    And in the case of Ozil even if he was marginalised it was a masterstroke by Emery because now Ozil knows who’s boss, knows Emery won’t take any shit and Izil has to actually work hard in training and on the pitch for his place, unlike under Wenger, and because of Emery’s genius if marginalised we’re now seeing Ozil’s best form of his Arsenal career.

  61. bennydevito

    “I know Emery has a penchant for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”

    What like Lord Wenger did on numerous occasions like when we were 4 nil up against NEWCASTLE NOT BARCELONA and it ended up 4 – 4?

    Chuckle chuckle vision, Charlie chuckle vision.

  62. Dark Hei


    Lol, I hope Mo Salah put a hat-trick past them.

    After that they can start their Sarri-Out thing again.

  63. Emiratesstroller

    We missed a golden opportunity to kill off this game by combination of wastefulness up front and some good goalkeeping by Napoli GK.

    The tie is not over, because we know that our defence is leaky particularly away
    from home. Arsenal need to sort out this department in the summer transfer window.

  64. Dream10

    Ramsey scored the goal and had the best opportunities for us tonight. But, I thought young Ainsley and Koscielny were the standout performers. Happy for AMN, he’s one of our own. Old warhorse Koscielny was excellent tonight. He’s a player who has got the maximum out of his career and come back from a career threatening injury at 33. Tremendous stuff

    My guy Monreal looked way past his best. Sad to see. Even though we need him in the XI, he’s one of a few I’m pretty sure who won’t start at Watford. Cech looked rusty as well.

  65. Dream10

    Ramsey, Torreira and Ozil very good as well. Next week is all about Aubameyang and Lacazette. Don’t agree with the tactics Emery will use next week, pretty sure we’ll sit back and absorb pressure. Likely that Iwobi and Mkhitatyan will start instead of Ozil and one of Auba/Laca. We’ll struggle, just hope we can get an early goal.

  66. Tony

    Just managed to watch the full game with my son here and great result, especially the clean sheet.

    Emery got his selections and tactics right but he is supposed to be the master of this cup.

    All eyes on next week then.

  67. Guns of sf

    Worried for the game in Naples
    We must score one …. however we cannot sit back we must attack them when they are pushing forward as they need three to move on. Just get one and the demoralization will take care of the rest

  68. Un Battle Angel


    Totally agree with you
    Koscielney was fantastic last night, along with AMN and Torreira. I thought Ramsey played well but his prolificacy in front of goal marred an otherwise good performance. Should have had at least one more goal to put the tie to bed

  69. Graham62

    We will definitely score in Naples, as Napoli’s defence looks suspect.

    It will be tough but see us progressing.

  70. Graham62

    Would have taken 2-0. OK, Ramsey missed a sitter but Napoli could have scored a couple.

    Watford selection will be interesting.

  71. useroz

    Obviously a good outcome. Even better if we didn’t miss 3 or more big chances, though.

    Ramsey x2
    AMN x1
    Auba x1

    Not counting the many good and half chances that made up the near 20 shots… a record this season?

    Most played well enough last night, not the two strikers unfortunately.

    Yes, Kolac took one too many touches.

    Mikhi wasn’t assured and lost possession in dangerous areas. Not cool.

    Away or not, demeanour of he team was noticeably different from the start, vs the meek play at Everton. It has something to do with team selection obviously.

    Having said that, can’t afford to start the same 11 (Papa out for 2 PL games anyway) in this hectic time.

    Cliché aside, should have nothing to fear for the return leg to Napoli. It’s like the first 5 to 6 min last night when Napoli was doing well while we were coping.

    Counter attack….

  72. Emiratesstroller

    The simple truth is that we know that our defence buckles constantly under “pressure”.

    Leaving aside how many goals Arsenal might have scored the fact is that Napoli could also scored on a number of occasions as well.

    I think that we have to accept that most of our current backline are not going
    to improve either collectively or on an individual basis.

    Frankly the only one who has room for improvement is Maitland-Niles.

    Messrs Mustafi, Sokratis,Koscielny, Monreal and Lichtsteiner are not going
    to get better. Kolasinac is okay going forward as a wing back, but is woefully
    inadequate as a defender.

  73. Graham62

    I think Arsenal should take a chance with a few of the youngsters against Watford.

    Eddie needs to show some metal. Give him the full 90 and let A and L play a half each

    Auba and Lacazette need to be fresh and on the boil for the return.

    I’m Hoping that Watford slacken off after their Wembley heroics.

  74. ddkingz

    April 12, 2019 07:23:07
    I think Arsenal should take a chance with a few of the youngsters against Watford.
    Eddie needs to show some metal. Give him the full 90 and let A and L play a half each
    Auba and Lacazette need to be fresh and on the boil for the return.
    I’m Hoping that Watford slacken off after their Wembley heroics.

    graham… hope are not high on something… start a few youngsters in an EPL match… are you drunk?? who does that?¿

    is it wrong to attain top four and Europa league trophy at the same time?¿

  75. TheLegendaryDB10


    Watford play their FA Cup final on 18/05. That is in a month’s time.

    We are playing them this coming Monday. I therefore doubt that they’ll slack off when playing us.

  76. Graham62


    Just a couple of coffees!

    Auba and Lacazette starting to look jaded.

    At the very least play EN with them or even give Denis a game. Remember him?

  77. Nelson

    I can see that Napoli will attack Monreal’s side. Kola has to be more alert and keeps the defensive line. Our defense has more problems against over the top long passes. Napoli plays more ball procession. Insigne is fast but not physical. Mertens is not as dangerous. I think we can handle both of them.

  78. HighburyLegend

    The result from last night is good, but far from being perfect.
    Napoli were shit.

    Considering the number of opportunities missed by Auba and Ramsey (Laca was transparent), do you really trust them for score at least 1 goal in Italy ??
    Me, not so much… Auba is a joke of a finisher.

    Plus we have to play 2 huge away games in 4 days…
    I’m everything exepted confident about our chances to reach the semies.

  79. Un Battle Angel


    As long as we continue to dominate the centre of the park I can’t see too much coming from them. I could be wrong but they were so lax centrally last night they just couldn’t get to grips with the game and I think that’s where the return leg will be won or lost. Yes we are always a danger at the back and yes we will have to limit them but I feel safer with koscielney in the side. We look so much more organised and composed with him in there

  80. Un Battle Angel


    Calm down. Jesus. Can’t you just enjoy a big victory? I’m meant to be an AKB and I’m happier with it than you.

  81. HighburyLegend

    @Neslon : every PL teams are motivated when it comes to beat Arsenal. And in front of their fans, they will be highly motivated, and… away, we are shit. Any other questions ?? lol

  82. Nelson

    For the Watford game, I’ll have Torr and Guen in midfield. Iwobi, Mikki and Auba in attack. We have to keep Ramsey fresh for the return leg.

  83. G8

    It’s funny that some trolls saying winning the FA cup is more valuable than winning the Europa cup..
    Winning Europa gets you to the prestigious champions league and the super cup, winning the FA cup takes you to….Yes you guessed it..Europa cup!!

  84. Victorious

    Good win but tie far from over judging by our rotten away form..very much still in the balance I mean it says a lot the manager still see our chances of progressing as 50:50, absolutely no confidence when we go away

    won’t be surprised to see us blown away in Naples and I’m even less confident on Monday at Watford

    Absolute No clue why Emery can’t get the boys playing away from home

  85. Charlie George

    Can I reassure HL

    We will progress into the semis.

    Napoli are virtually already guaranteed CL football next season- ( they are 2nd in Serie A) they do not need to get their hands dirty worrying about this Europa Cup filth.

    Our concerns should be focused on Watford. And their physical style of play.
    With the absence of Sokratis- will Emery reintroduce our other Greek warrior to combat Deeney,Gray and the brilliant Defoleu.
    Monday could be painful- if Emery gets his team selection wrong ( again).
    Arsenal must always prioritise Prem League football.

    I agree wholeheatetdly with Gambons sentiments weeks ago- we should have jettisoned the Europa to focus on our prem games

    If we cant make top4 over 38 games – we do not deserve CL.