PBP: Arsenal FC vs Valencia CF

Discussion in 'Arsenal' started by GunnerJacket, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    [​IMG]
    Image courtesy of sportsaxe.com

    2018/2019 Europa League Semifinals
    Arsenal FC vs Valencia CF
    Emirates Stadium, London
    May 2, 2019
    3 PM EST


    "I sent my ships to fight against the English, not against the elements."
    King Phillip II

    Though we may be watching through the hands covering our eyes the show must go on. Not the least of which because the fine, er, we'll presume, folks at Bleacher Report TV have to have something to upload to YouTube that afternoon.

    The good news comes in 2 parts in that Arsenal are at home, where they have at least traditionally been far superior than their traveling edition (think Broadway productions!), and that in playing against continental competition Arsenal is bound to be grateful for a change from the anything that could negatively impact their standing in the Premier League table. For all the foundering in jolly ol' England Arsenal has indeed made the semis of a European competition. Mock all we want but we know we'd enjoying seeing such a piece of hardware arrive at Ashburton Grove.

    Arsenal remain without long-term injuries for Holding, Bellerin, Ramsey, and Wellbeck, but you can add Suarez to that list while Ozil (foot) and Monreal (calf) are yet to be confirmed eligible. AMN is eligible and presumably rested after being ejected from the weekend match.

    Valencia has likewaise struggled in the home stretch of their domestic campaign and in fact limp into town after losing 2 in a row and currently sit 6th in La Liga. Rodrigo and Kevin Gameiro lead their attack, while some chap named Coquelin tends to feature in their midfield. Theirs is not a high scoring side and they tend to play conservatively, though they remain prone to mistakes and defensive lapses which can cost them both ball control and ultimately points.

    I do think the change in competitions helps Arsenal, as does a home crowd that will at least get behind them early. Hopefully the lads will be anxious to show some (read: any) fighting spirit.

    2-0 to the team in red.
     
    ArsenalJake and Shen-O repped this.
  2. Shen-O

    Shen-O Member+

    United States
    Jul 26, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  3. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Our game is on Spanish TV: Futura (while Chelsea is on Univision Dep)

    Both teams are in similar situations: not quite firing on all cyllinders (that may be be too kind for Arsenal's form!), and far enough away from CL qualification via league standing, that advancing to the EL final has huge importance.

    Thus I'm expecting a tight, hard-fought affair.
     
    GunnerJacket repped this.
  4. Shen-O

    Shen-O Member+

    United States
    Jul 26, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What is Futura? I have Arsenal on UniMas for Thursday, source: livesoccertv
     
  5. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Futura is the old name for Unimas. My guide still lists it that way. Sorry for any confusion.
     
    Shen-O repped this.
  6. KozIsCul

    KozIsCul Member+

    Feb 6, 2005
    Over the last couple of weeks or so, I had been more optimistic than most, probably. Even where we had a bad result here or there, we didn't let ourselves get sucked into a spiral. Clearly, that optimism was misplaced. We are in a spiral, no doubt.

    But even now, where hopes are dim, they are still not completely lost. In fact, in conventional terms they are not even on life support really.

    For me, the problem in our recent games is a comprehensive breakdown in the midfield. Players we need are hurt. Others are inexperienced, and seem to be running into a rookie wall, NFL-style. Finally, we'd like to have Moe or Denis Suarez play some good minutes for us when the chips are down but they have not been up to the task.

    For the most part, I'm expecting these problems to remain through the end of the season. But there are a couple of things working in our favor. First, we're taking a step or two down in competition. Most of our poor results recently have come against the better teams in the League (though not the best). Our next two games are Valencia and Brighton at home. Those teams are bad enough so that we have some hope of beating them even in our current form. And after that, we can hope that Ramsey is healed enough to play, and we've desperately needed a kick of energy in the midfield.

    When push comes to shove, we're legitimately better than Valencia. After that Chelsea in the final is a tossup. In the League, we need to win two winnable games and hope that Chelsea drops two points somewhere, in either of two fixtures where that's a highly plausible outcome. So in spite of everything that's gone wrong, there's still hope yet.
     
  7. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #7 NorthBank, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    In the 2nd half of our season Ramsey had been absolutely key. Our decline after his recent injury has brought that into focus. Personally I assume he's probably done for the season. OK maybe they rush him back (and that would be understandable) but it's hard to imagine he'd be close to 100% fit or contributing at the level he was.

    Other players like Koscielny & Torreira seem to be walking wounded. Both seem to be carrying nagging, disruptive injuries. Monreal too? We're going to need some carefully managed minutes and some good luck to keep the squad in playing shape.

    But Chelsea has new injury woes, especially Rudiger. And Spurs OMG... they've been lacking key star personnel (injury or supsension) just when they could use them most... I guess their lack of squad size and individual resiliency is finally coming home to roost.

    Relatively speaking, maybe there's a tiny little bit of hope for us. But the Arsene Wenger Memorial 4th Place Trophy seems distinctly less likely than the Europa League Trophy. At least in the latter, our fate is 100% in our own hands.

    So let's go boys! Go all out, and all in, for this first leg at home. No cautious timid defensive crap. Try to play them off the park!!!

    <he says with just a hint of delusion>

    Edit: After I wrote the above, I checked Arsenal.com, and the only new team news is that Monreal is iffy for Thurs, and Ramsey is out for the season. But then that same website says he's just missing Thursday and would like to try to play one more match. However with all the eulogies they're posting for Aaron, it basically confirms that his season and Arsenal career, are now done. :(
     
  8. thebigman

    thebigman Member+

    May 25, 2006
    Birmingham
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    2 out of form sides

    Could be a horrific event 2-1 us
     
  9. KozIsCul

    KozIsCul Member+

    Feb 6, 2005
    I was sure Ramsey would play the final if we made it there. It didn't look that bad during the Napoli game, and it's already had three weeks to heal, and another month before we play the final. But apparently Emery says that's not gonna fly. That's gonna hurt a lot. I'd give us at least even money to beat Chelsea if we had him.
     
  10. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One of the bigger, more interesting decisions Emery has to make* is Leno vs Cech. I'm pretty split on that frankly.

    *Actually he already made it and we just don't know yet.
     
  11. ArsenalJake

    ArsenalJake Member+

    Feb 11, 2013
    Charlotte
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Interesting point, because it hadn't really occurred to me that there is a decision to make. At this stage of the tournament, and at this stage in Leno's run of form, I think Emery would be wise to select Leno over Cech.

    Cech is the ultimate professional, and I think he'd agree with that decision.
     
  12. ArsenalJake

    ArsenalJake Member+

    Feb 11, 2013
    Charlotte
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Cech, Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette
     
  13. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Apparently there was a decision to make after all ;)

    Looks like a back 3/5 again. Pray for Mutafi. Pray for us.
     
  14. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here's the full 18...

    Arsenal
    • 1 Cech
    • 20 Mustafi
    • 6 Koscielny
    • 5 Papastathopoulos
    • 15 Maitland-Niles
    • 29 Guendouzi
    • 34 Xhaka
    • 31 Kolasinac
    • 10 Özil
    • 14 Aubameyang
    • 9 Lacazette
    Substitutes
    • 4 Elneny
    • 7 Mkhitaryan
    • 11 Torreira
    • 17 Iwobi
    • 18 Monreal
    • 19 Leno
    • 49 Nketiah
    I have this strange hunch that Nketiah is going to figure, just not sure if that's going to be more a positive or a negative.
     
  15. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    12' and our defense is suspect once again.

    0-1 as their tallest dude out jumps 3 of ours.
     
  16. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    Arsenal
    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Xhaka got about 4 inches of air on that jump.
     
  17. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    1-1! BEAUTIFUL counter-attack, team goal!!

    And amazing slide-rule throughball from Laca to Auba, who in turn sets Laca up for an easy tap in. Slick.
     
  18. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    25' Laca with #2. Nearly wide open header down into the ground. Too easy?

    2-1 to the good guys
     
  19. mebeSajid

    mebeSajid Member+

    Feb 16, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Guendouzi has been Elneny level awful lately.
     
  20. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    *pulls phone out during mtg*

    *checks score*

    *nods in approval*
     
  21. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    Arsenal
    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    He needs a summer break. Up to almost 3,000 minutes this season, which is double what he had last season.

    I hope he isn't part of the France U-20 team this month, or that they go out relatively early.
     
    mebeSajid repped this.
  22. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    LACA IS THE MAN. He just put in a blistering crunching tackle on some guy who never saw him coming from behind. He is SO motivated tonight it's awesome.
     
  23. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    Arsenal
    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Kolasinac has no finesse to his game whatsoever.
     
  24. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    HT 2-1

    A fantastic response from our boys after they went down 0-1 early.

    Now we badly need to consolidate this with another goal. Or two? And no more away goals for them!!
     
    GunnerJacket repped this.
  25. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    Arsenal
    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I'm going to jinx this, but our press has been fantastic in the second half.
     

Share This Page