Happy Monday folks, there’s not much in the way of Arsenal news this morning yet but of course there is the preparation for the visit of Napoli to the Emirates in the Champions League this Tuesday.
Napoli are really looking good this year. Their attacking quartet of Higuain, Callejon, Hamsik and Insigne is young, quick and able to compete with the best. If we’re going to get a win out of this game, our defence will need to be at their very best. Arsenal have been good defensively this year. There’s talk of a possible return for Rosicky, who could be pushed out onto the left flank giving Serge Gnabry a rest. I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all. Rosicky is often deployed in the middle but when we signed him he used to play behind the striker or on the flank. For us to get three points out of this game, we will need to play a smart, passing game. The only way we’re going to get one over the Italian side is by playing intelligent football and hoping our defence can keep up with their speed. On the left, Callejon will be against Sagna, this is where I’m worried. I would actually prefer to see Carl Jenkinson in there. Yes he’s experienced, but he has the pace to deal with the threat of Napoli’s wing play.
Napoli have already impressed in the Champions League this year, as they beat Borussia Dortmund in the last matchday. Wenger said of that performance: “For Napoli to beat Dortmund is certainly something very special and it will lift their confidence.”
That’s exactly right. This is a young team brimming with confidence as they look to be early favourites for the Serie A title. I’m also of the opinion that Rafa Benitez will be eager to produce the goods in front of English football fans, having been dumped by Chelsea at the end of last season; despite helping them win the Europa League trophy.
Arsene Wenger also referred to the pace of Napoli in a comment yesterday: “When they win the ball they come out very quickly with Callejón, [Marek] Hamsik, Insigne and Higuaín – they all come out like bombs every time they win the ball. This means that the transition from our team from offence to defence will have to be very quick.”
The question is can we deal with that little attacking threat, let’s hope so.
Have a nice week folks!