It’s a well-known fact amongst Arsenal supporters that Emmanuel Adebayor, the top scorer at the club this season with 21 goals, is still yet to score in the Champions League. However, despite making six appearances in the competition this season and failing to score in any of them – including the 0-0 first-leg draw against Milan which saw his late header crash against the bar – the Togolese striker is positive that he and his side have a good chance of turning things around in the return leg at the San Siro.
“We will go there with confidence. It will be a more open game [than the first leg] and we will have more chances to score. We will play our football, pass and move and if we have a chance to win the game that is what we will do. I don’t know how many chances we will have but, whatever happens, we will have a chance. “
I gather that Arsenal are going to have a couple of chances against Milan then? Heh heh, it’s always funny reading interviews with Adebayor. He seems to ramble on and on and has an amusing habit of constantly repeating himself. It’s really quite hilarious actually, especially when it’s as blatant as it was today.
Nevertheless, he does make a good point. AC Milan are likely to go into the match at the San Siro with a more attacking approach and that should open up more spaces at the back for the big striker and his attacking teammates to exploit. Arsenal are an incredibly dangerous side on the break and I won’t be too unhappy if the home side do come out with a more attacking attitude. The first leg showed again how well Milan can play a backs-to-the-wall defensive game and it wouldn’t be the silliest idea to let them have a bit more ball in the second leg. As always, we’ll have to see how it pans out though.
Before that game there is of course another one, the increasingly important Premiership clash with Aston Villa. With the form that Martin O’Neill’s have been in lately coupled with the excellent effort they put in when they played Arsenal earlier in the season this is certainly going to be a tough one to win for Wenger’s men. Villa have been free-scoring of late and although Arsenal have yet to lose at the Emirates Stadium this season I’d suggest that with everything the club has gone through this week this game could prove to be one of their biggest tests so far.
The boys need to respond and perhaps the player that needs to show the best response to the week’s drama is the captain, William Gallas. He has been absolutely hammered for his behaviour at the end of the Birmingham game – incorrectly in my eyes, mind you – and the pressure will be on for him to step up and show what kind of a leader he really is this weekend. A strong, passionate performance would certainly do the trick and an important goal wouldn’t go astray either. I’ll be very interested to see what sort of an impact he has on the side on Saturday.
Other players that will also want to do well are Gael Clichy, whose mistake lead to the late equaliser at Birmingham, and Nicklas Bendtner, who will surely be given a rare start by Wenger as a replacement for the injured Eduardo. I’ve spoken in the past about the fractious relationship he seems to have with Emmanuel Adebayor but I can’t think of any better way for the two lads to get back in each other’s good books than by combining for a goal or two against Villa. Fingers crossed it all goes well and there’s no repeat of the Carling Cup debacle.
That’s about it in what has been, thankfully, a quiet day for the Arsenal Football Club. There will surely be some team news starting to trickle through from Wenger and his squad in the next day or two as the Aston Villa game edges closer, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime if you’re still in the need of a positivity boost in the wake of the Eduardo incident I’d encourage you to compare the charitable deeds of Lukasz Fabianski with the less-than-exemplary behaviour of Tottenham’s Ledley King. The photos say it all really.
On a final note, a very happy birthday to Arseblog. The grandfather of Arsenal blogs turns 6 today and he deserves all the celebrations in the world. All the best mate!
What do you think?
Have your say on Adebayor, Aston Villa or King by leaving a comment.