Is Home Where The Heart Is For Arsenal?

Arsenal and perennial Serie A runners-up Napoli square off in the 1st leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie at the Emirates Stadium.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side is without a doubt the toughest team the Gunners could have draw in the last eight, but get past them and it’s one step closer to opening up the backdoor to Europe’s premier club competition next season with the Premier League route too tough to call.
Our miserable PL away form has spilled-over to continental competition as we lost both our previous knockout stage 1st leg away ties against BATE and Rennes respectively, but with the backing of the Emirates faithful, few tactical and personnel tweaks, Unai Emery and the boys turned things around at home. Thus making it imperative that we take full advantage of home comforts or risk being up against it with the 2nd leg in front of an animated, vociferous and passionate Stadio San Paolo crowd.
Napoli don’t have fond memories of playing on English soil.
Since 2010/11 they lost on each of their five trips away to PL opposition by an aggregate of 11-3, however, they did had the upper hand in Naples with an aggregate score of 8-4 (W4, D1).
So the take away here may be that whichever team makes the most of their opportunities in their home fixture will have the better chance at progression to the Europa last four.
On teams news: a worry for Emery is still the fitness of two key players, Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka, but hopefully both will return to action ahead of another crucial PL game on the road for the Gunners on Monday night. With Lucas Torreira also back after missing the weekend due to suspension, we can expect to see a very strong matchday lineup.
The prospect of Arsenal against Napoli in whatever competition is certainly something that will have many football fans salivating… and here’s hoping the Gunners get off to a great start to leave us with a good chance in Italy next week.

17 comments on “Is Home Where The Heart Is For Arsenal?

  1. Labo has been putting in overtime.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Labo sums it all up! Thanks Labo. Can’t add too much to that.

    Fingers crossed their keeper isn’t as good as Oblak.
    Following on from the thread discussing the loss of the targetman option away from home, not forgetting Welbeck, I think a good game from Lacazette could affect the away tie given his recent development (he’s only entering the conventional peak ages now) but I’m getting ahead of myself here the big plus is that unlike against Atletico Auba is available this season, Rambo was saved for this fixture and I’m hoping for some goals and a clean sheet COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice one, Labo.

    u16’s continued the good times for youth teams recently by winning Liam Brady cup today.

    u18’s jetting off to America soon I expect for Dallas cup (think starts on Sat). Should have good chance there unless a lot of those eligible are kept back for u23 duty.

    Strong chance Amaechi, Saka and John Jules will stay, and maybe others like Okonkwo, Cottrell and Swanon who also played for u23’s last night

    Regardless, another good year for youth ranks. Top scorers now in both u23 and u18 leagues and lots of good development this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good, bright read by way, LaboGoon.

    I’m still struggling to shake funk from weekend. Getting perilously close to feeling that whatever we do at Emirates with performance and results will be undermined by away results.

    Thankfully, don’t feel that half as strongly when it comes to Europa as do with league, despite those two defeats. Extenuating circumstances in both of those for me

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy

    Congratulations to #AFCU16, who were crowned champions on the Liam Brady Cup this afternoon 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    5h5 hours ago

    Miguel Azeez has been named as the Player of the Tournament in the Liam Brady Cup 🏆https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D3zj4PMWkAAeIV2.jpg

    Liked by 1 person

  7. xhaka and koscielny were in full training today

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent again LG both quantity and of course Quality
    While the home form in both camps in both camps has been good in previous years in probably doesn’t tell the full story of a two leg system where away teams may only need a draw or small defeat.
    I think we will do well tonight but the real test as you be away from home, not concerning tonight is obviously important.
    We have goals in us and plenty of them if we play to our potential and get a bit of luck COYG.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. another long term injury hits out Women’s team

    Lia Walti undergoes knee surgery, likely out 9 months
    Lee Hurley –
    Apr 11, 2019
    Lia Walti has undergone surgery to reconstruct her lateral collateral ligament and now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
    BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 04: Lia Walti of Arsenal warms up prior to the WSL match between Arsenal Women and Birmingham Ladies at Meadow Park on November 4, 2018 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
    BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 04: Lia Walti of Arsenal warms up prior to the WSL match between Arsenal Women and Birmingham Ladies at Meadow Park on November 4, 2018 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

    As I was doing a round-up yesterday of the internationals, I noticed that Lia Walti was missing from the Switzerland squad but gave it little thought at the time.

    Had I bothered to think about it a bit more I might have realised something serious was up.

    At the time of writing, Arsenal have said nothing about the injury but we can expect Walti to be sidelined for up to nine months as she recovers.

    Unlike Jordan Nobbs, who did her ACL, Walti has injured her LCL. However, as James H. Lubowitz, MD, writes, “The LCL (lateral collateral ligament) is a ligament located on the outside of the knee and contributes to lateral knee stability. It is uncommon for an LCL injury to be in isolation.

    “Typically, an LCL tear is associated with injuries to the ACL, PCL, or a complete knee dislocation. When the LCL is torn, along with the ACL, it is recommended to have surgery approximately 3 weeks after injury.

    “Early reconstruction for an LCL and ACL tear, requires recreating the ACL with a graft through an arthroscopic technique, and open surgery for the LCL. As directed by your physician, a thorough rehabilitation program will begin.

    “Patients are typically able to resume most normal activities within 9 months after surgery.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good first half . Hope we press on now and play with pace.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I might not cancel my BT Sports and Sky Sports subscriptions next season at this rate….

    Liked by 2 people

  12. That was a decent result and performance against a good side. Could have had more, so could they, suspect an early goal will go down well out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Strange subs, I thought Mezut was dropping back into the midfield well and still causing a threat linking the attack, Auba looked like he had just come back from flu and was suffering and was adding nothing to the defensive set up. Miki and Alex also didnt work hard enough going backwards when they come on and both were wasteful on the ball. That all added to a nervy ending especially as we continued to waste chances throughout the second half. I was surprised just how tired we looked in the second half and they doesn’t bode well for the second leg where we might have to work even harder. Overall another positive home game if only we played all our games at home.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. if only we played all our games at home! i sure do echo dat sentiment,

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Subtle change of shape from Napoli/Ancelotti at HT, I think with from a 433 to a 442/424 with the wingers stretching the play and the strikers running into space behind the FBs gave the visitors the ascendancy after HT but the Gunners fought their way back into some rhythm before the subs. Miki looked a little dopey, like he needs 90 mins iwobi was ok and with Lacazete pencilled in to start at Watford I guess UE had to try and rotate a little. Papa impressive again, he’s going to be missed against Watford.

    Two goals, clean sheet, this is a stronger squad then last season, in this competition that’s not even up for debate, and tonight’s opponents didn’t have a striker or forward of Griezman’s
    quality. There’ll be tougher tests to come in the Europa if the Gunners get through but I’m looking forward to the return leg.

    Best footballer on the football pitch (playing in their best position)?
    You all saw the Football match!
    Didn’t think I’d get the pleasure of seeing the variation of the Rambo Torreira combo to Rambo with Xhaka. The two started off the match passing and moving their way through midfield and I was having a great time after a few minutes watching that! Not going to indulge the grief at the dismemberment of a midfield that can be composed (rotated) from three complementary yet different top top quality midfielders, I’m just appreciating it when its on the pitch! I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. I do worry though: do y’all think that Rambo and Ozil can start in the same team? Th mind boggles. Think I might go and watch that first goal again…


    Liked by 1 person

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