After the champions league first leg in Milan, it was pretty obvious the tie was over as a contest. There were serious questions being asked of Wenger and the players. Well, not just questions, but some severe criticism and even abuse was directed towards them.
I am particularly disappointed having taken a putt on us getting a result away from home via paddy power. However, I think we did better than the result have shown. What I thought was, the team was a lot better than what they demonstrated in Milan. In the return leg we needed to show that. We needed to use it to restore the fans’ faith in the squad, to restore the respect that Arsenal lost through that hammering in Milan. The only way to do that is to put up a good performance and a get a positive result, preferably a win.
Since the defeats to Milan and Sunderland, our players have done a lot to make it up to the fans. In a week we outclassed Spurs and then stole three vital points at Anfield. It’s been a week that has uplifted the mood around the club. The players seem happier, it feels good to be an Arsenal supporter again, and suddenly the team seems so much better.
But we still have something to prove against Milan. Some have suggested that Wenger should rest our best players for what will be, ultimately, a pointless match. But I’m glad Wenger isn’t listening to them. He’s said he’ll try to make the impossible possible tomorrow, and I’m super glad that he is. Milan are almost certain to go through, but a win against them would mean a lot. We need to go out there and prove that the 4-0 defeat was a mere blip. Milan taught us a lesson a fortnight ago, and we need to return the favor.
So resting players will not do. Imagine if Wenger puts out a reserve XI, and we get hammered again. Imagine the “CRISIS” headlines the next morning. More quotes about this being “the worst Arsenal team in 10 years” and all that. Imagine the relentless discussion that will follow about Arsenal’s decline and whether we even deserve to be in the Champions League.
We may have nearly no chance of qualifying tomorrow, but this game is more important than that. We need to show the world that Arsenal still belong among the top clubs. Our only option, then, is to play our best team and play like the way we did against Tottenham.