Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Pressure on Arsenal's young Gunners
by Paul Kennedy, May 5th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Arsenal plays its most important match of the season when it hosts Manchester United Tuesday in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League series (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, live, 2:30 pm ET).

Arsenal enters the return leg with a 1-0 deficit, so victory in the series would be a tremendous achievement for the young Gunners, who were given no chance of making it to the final four when the group stage concluded in December.

Defeat would be a crushing blow for Arsene Wenger, who has never won a European trophy in 14 years as Arsenal manager, and revive talk of the possible breakup of the Gunners' young team.

Wenger, who has won 11 English trophies, says what he has or has not accomplished is irrelevant.

"Because for me what is important is what's happening tomorrow," Wenger said. "What is done is done."

He is hopeful of beating Manchester United.

"I will feel very proud of this team if they achieve it because they have been through difficult periods and they have shown great mental strength," Wenger said. "If I had said in November that we will reach the semifinals of the Champions League and FA Cup and go 21 games unbeaten in the Premier League, you would have called an ambulance."

He is counting on his young stars -- including Dutchman Robin van Persie, who is back after missing the first leg with a groin strain -- to get the job done.

"They will," Wenger said. "I'm convinced of that. It's an opportunity for them to come out and be strong, and they will.

Keeping the young Gunners together won't be easy.

The contracts of van Persie and Theo Walcott both expire at the end of next season. There is the possibility that Real Madrid or Barcelona will make a move to acquire young Spanish star Cesc Fabregas, whose contract with Arsenal extends to 2014.

Wenger went so far as to call his commitment to keeping his young players together "an obsession."

"When young players get a chance like this somewhere," he said, "there has to be a loyalty to stay together. That is why we created that policy."

Fabregas, for one, says he'll stay.

"My future belongs to Arsenal," he said.

Probable Lineups:
Arsenal
1-Manuel Almunia (Spain, 31)
3-Bacary Sagna (France, 26)
5-Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast, 28)
18-Mikael Silvestre (France, 31)
40-Kieran Gibbs (England, 19)
2-Abou Diaby (France, 22)
17-Alex Song (Cameroon, 21)
14-Theo Walcott (England, 20)
4-Cesc Fabregas (Spain, 21)
8-Samir Nasri (France, 21)
25-Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo, 25)

Manchester United
1-Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands, 38)
22-John O'Shea (Ireland, 28)
5-Rio Ferdinand (England, 30)
15-Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, 27)
3-Patrice Evra (France, 27)
24-Darren Fletcher (Scotland, 25)
16-Michael Carrick (England, 27)
8-Anderson (Brazil, 21)
7-Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 24)
32-Carlos Tevez (Argentina, 25)
10-Wayne Rooney (England, 23)

Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. U-17s boys romp again, beat Turkey, 5-1     
After opening the Nike International Friendlies with a 7-1 win over Portugal, the U.S. U-17 boys ...
U-20 WWC: USA falls to Japan in third-place game     
Japan outshot the USA 29-3 while beating the Americans 1-0 in the third-place game at the ...
U.S. Abroad: Alvarado headed to Santos for Torneo Clausura    
Ventura Alvarado is back in the starting lineup at Mexican giant Club America, which tied Necaxa, ...
U.S. Abroad: Gooch faces three-month layoff    
Sunderland's Lynden Gooch, who made his English Premier League debut in August and U.S. national team ...
What They're Saying: Roberto Assis    
"It is a very difficult time. Later on, if there is a contact, we can talk. ...
Women's College Cup: Upstarts battle former champs    
The Division I women's season is down to its final weekend. Georgetown and West Virginia are ...
MLS Cup Countdown: Stars escape major injuries    
Both MLS Cup finalists had key players limp off in the second legs of the conference ...
MLS Preseason: Tournaments set at three sites    
The 2016 MLS season doesn't wrap up for another week, but teams are already finalizing plans ...
What They're Saying: Gareth Southgate    
"The days are gone from when I was younger where we did have beers after a ...
MLS Moves: Minnesota signs first two players    
MLS expansion team Minnesota United signed a pair of defenders -- Justin Davis and Kevin Venegas ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives