Wenger looking to avoid a knife in the heart

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Arsene Wenger is hopeful his team can keep a clean sheet against Barcelona tomorrow night, as the away goals rule in Europe has proved so costly in the past.

Despite the visitors possessing the most potent strike force in Europe right now, the Arsenal manager wants his side to try and shut them out, thus putting themselves in a good position for the second leg in three weeks time.

“We have always made it difficult for ourselves in previous years by conceding goals at home,” he said, “and the rules of the modern European Cup encourage teams to defend at home and attack away because of the importance of the away goal.

“Many times I have said that should be suppressed because if you concede a goal at home in the Champions League it’s a knife in your heart every time. Against big teams it becomes very difficult.”

In the last 7 games, Arsenal have scored just 6 times to Barcelona’s 23, but Wenger believes his players can find the net against Luis Enrique’s side.

“I think we will score so I am not too concerned,” he said. “It’s true that recently our goals have dried up a bit and we have to find a way to get that going again.

“But I am more concerned about stopping them from scoring because at home in the Champions League nil-nil is not a bad score.”

Yet his approach is such that he can’t simply tell his players to sit back and try to hold on for a draw.

“I cannot go into a game and think I will just play a zero-zero. I believe you cannot say you are a big club and you just want to defend. On the other hand, Barcelona is a very offensive team.

“So to give you no chance at all to score against them is guilty as well. You have to try to score against them because if they have a vulnerability like we have it is defensively like with any offensive team.”

Sit Giroud on Mascherano, get Cech to belt it long, knock-downs for Ramsey, 4-0 Arsenal, easy. I think that’s what he’s saying anyway.

33 COMMENTS

  1. 0-0 at home is great because you potentially have 120 mins to win by an away goal in the 2nd leg.

    I just hope we don’t blow up or lose our concentration they way we have recently. Being down 1-0 would not be critical, but we’d start pressing looking to hard to equalize and end up losing 2 or 3-0. That’s what I fear.

    We need to keep the game tight at all costs.

    COYG!

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  2. “Sit Giroud on Mascherano, get Cech to belt it long, knock-downs for Ramsey, 4-0 Arsenal, easy. I think that’s what he’s saying anyway.”

    I actually think this would surprise Barca, they certainly wouldn’t be expecting that!

    Arsene is right though, nil-nil is not terrible. But realistically we have to try and score also.

    Providing the everyone is reading from the same page, the noises coming out of the club seem to suggest that we are very aware and are keen to avoid an embarrassment.

    That being said, I am quite anxious about the game. Defeat, a heavy one I fear could derail us, however win or draw I feel would put is in good stead.

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  3. I honestly believe we can win this, especially if we play direct football from Čech to Giroud because it will force Barça to slow down. COYG!

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  4. I’ve just watched our 2011 matches against this lot and have come to the conclusion that I don’t care a jot how we beat them (fanciful penalties, mistaken sendings off, broken limbs, feigned biting gambits). If the universe won’t make up for the shitfest that went on during that away leg on its own then is it so wrong to want some vengeful redress for ourselves. I don’t think so.

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  5. Giroud is vital because he is an amazing outlet, first to relieve pressure and then to quickly feed a fast supporting runner (Walcot / Sanchez) into the spaces they will leave as they pile the pressure on.

    Big game Olivier…..you were built for this!

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  6. Breaking news: Laurent Koscielny gets pockets enlarged for Barcelona fixture tomorrow night. The old ones may not have fit all three of M, S and N.

    The Arsenal defender is also fearful of getting bitten by awfully frustrated opposition striker S.

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  7. I’m buzzing for the game. Getting anything from it will be a massive bonus but seeing The Arsenal against Europe’s finest is what the CL and brick shitting for qualification is all about. Fuck going out to Monaco. We beat Bayern 2-0 at the Grove this season still. It’ll be a cracker. Come on you Goooooners!

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  8. I will say it again.
    All they hype about this game will have a horrible effect on our season.

    We have enough depth to win the league and FA but not enough for a Treble with CL.

    We fought so hard against ManCity got tired and was battered away at Southampton

    A lot of times we have played a tough mid week game we tend to be knackered if the weekend game is a tough one.

    Let us Chase the more realistic premiere league title and keep our strength for old Trafford

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    • Sorry to other posters:
      Hi, I just moved out of Newark a little while back. Always wanted to see Detroit, but only been through the airport once – nice lane of rocking chairs.
      May I hit you up for a little info if I ever get a chance to do research there?

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  9. Eh we’ll win this easy why is everyone so negative.. Channel some positive energy for once .. I’m super hyped , can’t wait!! Play Walcott on the right, giroud up front , don’t allow flamini anywhere near the ground and we’re good. COYG

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  10. Sit back in our own half, keep good defensive formation and counter attack. Possession doesn’t win games, goals do. We just have to be down to earth smart about this game, we can not outpass them, we certainly can score against them and keep a clean sheet.

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  11. I would also play welbeck on the right, Sanchez left, giroud middle and ozil no 10, and bring on Theo and ox at around 67-70 minutes

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  12. Probably going to be a very unpopular opinion but I’d actually be tempted to rest özil for the first leg in favour of a more defensive option like elneny or arteta even. Özil is clearly our best player but this game is really not going to suit him. We will be starved of possesion and require tenacious tacklers and pace when the ball is turned over, neither of which are strongpoints for our wizard of Öz. My team would be: Cech, Bellerin, Per, Kos, Monreal, Ramsey, Coq, Elneny, Welbeck, Giroud, Sanchez in a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation.

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    • While there might be logic behind your reasoning, playing without one of our 2 “world class” players would be daft. He will for sure have his moments of magic and provide more goalscoring chances than anyone else. If we take one or two, that’s 1 or 2 goals for us. So, we need to play our best player this season.

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  13. I would really like to see us come absolutely flying out of the blocks like at home to Utd. Press them like crazy and try and get an early one. Then get very compact and pick them off on the break. We have to score first! I just can’t see them not scoring. Discipline will be everything. And possibly a little slice of luck.

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  14. A level playing field would be nice. For once. Can we at least get through the two legs with eleven men and no dodgy pelanties against us? That would be nice.

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    • Eleven does not make it even when Barca are playing with eleven, the ref, the linesmen and the fourth official.

      Hopefully, that cannibal Suarez would not get hungry again. Otherwise, a red card for him would be fine…along for all the Barca cunts who protested it.

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  15. I think we’re all hoping to avoid a knife through the heart!

    This is what we tried so desperately hard to qualify from the group stages for! Let’s just get behind the time and enjoy the occasion. COYG!!

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  16. Its not impossible to keep the goal scoring trio quiet, just some top quality defending and full concentration!!! I am hoping, when those cheats start diving, we return the compliment and get on of their players sent of having taken a swan dive!!

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  17. Every time we play this bunch of catalan cunts the tie is turned by some horrible officiating. If we can get through with a draw and 11 men I’ll be satisfied.

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