Saturday, June 15, 2024

Wenger: Napoli game is a decider

Arsene Wenger has reiterated the importance of this evening’s clash with Napoli well aware that a heavy defeat and a subsequent Champions League exit could seriously harm his squad’s confidence ahead of a busy Christmas schedule.

Arsenal currently top Group F but know that a loss by three goals coupled with a win for Borussia Dortmund against Marseille could see them drop to third – and the Europa League – by end of play this evening.

Quizzed on whether the game was more important than the two Premier League clashes with Manchester City and Chelsea, the boss told media at his pre-game press conference:

“This game certainly. It is to be in Champions League or not. The other two games, not definitely, we are five points ahead. The championship is a marathon.

“We will be in race no matter what happens, it will show ours strengths hopefully. Tomorrow [tonight] is a decider, that is for sure.”

Facing a fanatical atmosphere at Stadio San Paolo – check this – the boss accepted that the crowd will play a role but that his players had the experience to cope with everything thrown at them from the terraces.

“The atmosphere is part of the big games, we know how to deal with that. You have that everywhere. We played everywhere in Europe, we are used to this kind of atmosphere, when you go from Fenerbahce to Dortmund, you are used to this kind of atmosphere.”

As reported yesterday Arsenal’s squad remains relatively unchanged for the trip to Italy. While in years gone by final group stage fixtures have represented an opportunity for wholesale changes, this time around Wenger said he can’t afford to take risks.

“I cannot afford to do that [rotate]. We will try to rotate a little bit at times, but never more than two or three players because the stability of the side is so important.

“When you play so many games, sometimes in one game you have a feeling the legs are a bit tired, but sometimes the game after they surprise you again and everybody has recovered.

“At the moment we have a stable squad. In some positions I rotate more than others where the stability is important. But overall we have no major signs of fatigue medically.”

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HitsMan

If we win tonight, we will have come out of the Group of Death with 15 points. Wow. Just wow.

Another Yank

Culann Davies’ account got terminated on Youtube…damn it all

_

there’s a new one https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAR8MrNE7Qh16KJsWpe2t2Q
just check his twitter if it will be taken down again.

itshopethatkills

two tottenham fans celebrate winning the league…..(long pause)
in 1961

Goonerestgooner

Got a feeling it’s gonna be 2-1 Napoli, and Marseille earning their first points of the group in a shock win over Ze Germans.

Perry S.

hey, that’s the spirit! good on you to have a feeling we’re going to lose and internet-verbalise it.

indiangunner

we need a public announcer for mesut OZZZIIIIIILLLLL!!!

gooner_expat

Ozillll la la la la la la la laaa
la la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la laaa Ozzziilll

in the tune of Brazilll la la la la la (vengaboys!)

I think this is brilliant! What do you guys think?

Finsbury Park Gooner

In a way, I quite like that we’re still not guaranteed anything at the last game. Obviously it’d be nice to give certain players a rest with a dead rubber, but it’s felt like a big knock to momentum when we’ve had that luxury in years gone by.

However, ask me again if I feel this way at 8.30 this evening and I doubt you’ll get the same answer.

goonerbynature

On a completely-unrelated-to-anything note, I love how Wenger always refers to the league as the Championship.

iwearnosocks

Au contraire, I think it’s quite related.

completely unrelated would be a sheep eating a deep-fried carrot on a stick.

Evans u.

Gunners by the grace of God will emerge tonight group leaders from the group of death. This will make the round of 16 a lot easier for us.GUNNERS WORLD WITHOUT END.

AustrianGunner

I think it’s vital to top the group, we would be drawn against teams like real, psg, barcelona and bayern if we finish 2nd! I don’t doubt we can beat them but I could sleep better with olympiacos in the next round

dp

The Napoli announcer has to tell the Neanderthal crowd the name of their new striker 45 times before they remember it.
La-la-la-la, Gi-roud.

gunnergav

That photo of Wenger really is something to behold. Its fantastic to see our gaffer with a giant cheesy on his face.
Really proud that he’s overseen the transformation from utter gloom in august to such child-like fun at training there, enjoying the summit of the league. Up the Arse!

deano

Early goal for the Arsenal in a 3-1 win COYG. Fancy the other match to be a draw. Top of the group with a nice draw to come Monday. Hope citeh get Real or Barca in the next round!

gustard

schzney,
jenko,mertsacker,tv5,nacho
walcott,flamini,arteta,rosicky,cazorla
nick bendtner

should be able to do a job, leaving rambo ozil wilshere etc with a nice rest for the crucial fixture on saturday

sol (not campbell) eid

Nah Wenger said himself that he won’t change much, the only change I see happening will be flamini and arteta in the middle with Walcott on the right and wilshere on the left. No way he’ll leave both ozil and giroud on the bench for a crucial game. As much talent as we have on the bench, changing multiple players will surely effect our rhythm and Wenger won’t risk it.
Hopefully we can get a lead by the 60th minute to switch ozil and giroud out and rest them.

Rajthegoon

This Arsenal is a different Arsenal from the recent past. Napoli will need to bring more than their A game. I think Ozil definitely needs a rest and maybe Santi plays just off the striker.

weedwacker

With the way our defence is shaping up we can finally win this thing so winning this game gives us an advantage thru the knockout stages. This is the biggest game we have before christmas actually the biggest game we have played this year. The Man City game is huge also but but thats another bridge to cross in the future and the result will be less significant than this one. 2-0 to The Arsenal.

Angolan Girl who Loves The Gunners!

This game is very important. Haters goona haters. COYG!!!!

PxGunner

We really need a win against Napoli if momentum plays any effect in football. City came back to beat Bayern last night and we all know what beating Bayern does for morale. We can’t go into that game after a loss

Sean Essex

Why does The Boss have Blonde hair in the photo? Looks like Freddie’s Dad.

Ahhhhh, Freddie……….

Steve

Seen the youtube clip of the Napoli announcer and the fans – what a caldron – come on you gunners and shut these Muppets up

vosegus

… and it’s decided AFC yet again finish runners up and instead of being in the drivers’ seat, enjoy being the lower seed and face the big boys in the knock-outs…
fucking brilliant

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