The heat rises in Arsenal’s quest for UEFA Europa League success, as Unai Emery finds Italian giants Napoli posing as a brick wall blocking his way to attaining his first competitive trophy with Arsenal. The stakes are high as ever and any mistake could be fatal to their chances of progressing further.
Napoli are the toughest team they could’ve faced in the quarter-finals. Currently sitting in 2nd place in the Serie A and managed by European expert Carlo Ancelotti, they’ll be facing their toughest test so far.
In such a heated encounter, risking potential error-prone players is not an option.
That much is obvious, right? Well, as you Gunners reading this will know, Arsenal don’t often do obvious things.
Still, Emery shouldn’t risk playing Petr Cech due to his nervy reputation. Granted, the Czech Republic goalkeeper is much more accustomed to European nights than Bernd Leno, yet his knack of switching off and making unnecessary errors are too high a risk to play him.
He’s looking his age and, while the idea of him seeing out his career by starring in Europe is heart-warming, it’s pretty much not going to happen.
Cech might’ve given an impressive showing against Rennes in the last round but his recent record against big teams isn’t kind. He made some shocking mistakes leading to Arsenal’s FA Cup elimination to Manchester United, and in the chunk of his 6 Europa League appearances, the Czech Republic goalkeeper’s looked extremely shaky.
Bernd Leno’s in commanding form and should be the one guarding the Gunnars goal against Napoli’s menacing attack. In Cech’s case, experience is invalid as he’s caused too many problems with his shaky work.
Risking the 36-year-old on Thursday night can allow Napoli to gain crucial away goals and effectively dent Emery’s hopes of winning the tie.
Arsenal fans, would you want to risk playing Cech against Napoli? Join the discussion by commenting below.