Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Napoli (H)

Another tricky away game and another nice win for us. Ramsey on target and fantastic to see Serge Gnabry get on the score sheet after a couple of good games. He's really taking his chance whilst Walcott is out.

Tonight we return to Europes Elite competition with possibly the toughest team in our group against Napoli. A team who beat Borussia Dortmund in the last game and a team who are hovering near the top of Serie A. They are a good team under Benitez and a team with a lot of dangerous players. Higuain will no doubt get a bad reception despite it not being his fault that we didn't attempt to buy him.

We'll have to keep tabs on him tonight as I'm sure we all know how potent he is in front of goal. Napoli also have a wealth of other attacking options in Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne. They are a powerful team and I expect them to try and use that to their advantage. We also face a man who knows Wenger and his style well after his years in the Premier League.

However we can say the same about Wenger and our side has momentum at the moment. Pepe Reina moved their from Liverpool and we all know he is a bit hit and miss in his age. If we can get some shots on target I think we'll grab a goal or two, it's keeping us tight at the back that concerns me. The defence need to be on form if we're to escape serious damage tonight.

I don't think the team will change from the one that beat Swansea on Saturday, mainly because apart from Rosicky we don't have anybody else. So it'll be a baptism of fire for young Gnabry but his time has to come eventually. Ozil will face ex-team mates in Higuain and Callejon, whilst Vermaelen has identified Belgian colleague Dries Mertens as a threat to watch.

Tonight is going to be a really tough match and make no mistake that a loss would put us under real pressure for the remaining games. 12 points will be enough to qualify, which in effect is 3 home wins and 1 away win. We have the away win in the bag and a win tonight and we're bang on track.

Finally a word on Le Boss who has been with us for 17 years today. Under extreme pressure last season before our incredible last 10 games, people were calling for his head, but he is by far the most successful manager in our history, the pioneer behind our Invincibles a feat that may never be matched. He is a man who knows football inside out and I hope he gets the backing he deserves from everyone.

But for tonight he will be focused solely on Napoli.