Time for Arsenal to step out of the shadows?


Football FanCast columnist Lewis Doe thinks Arsenal will struggle to get a result tonight against Manchester
United. 

For a long time the fruits of Arsenal’s youth system have been there for all
to see. We all know how talented the first team are and on their day they are
still arguably the best side to watch in the world.

The problem is that with games like tonight’s Champions League semi-final
against Manchester United, the much grittier side is often required to pass the
test. It is time Arsenal’s youthful formula stepped up and demonstrated they
have what it takes to grind out a result as well as play elegant
football.

Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger, honestly believes that the youth and
talent of Cesc Fabregas, Denilson and Theo Walcott among others, is more than
enough to counter and overhaul the attacking influence that United display.

Some of them have known the taste of a Champions League final but United are
powered by a man in Sir Alex Ferguson that seems to find a new passion to win
everything year after year.

Wenger cannot keep using the youth of the side as an excuse and the eleven
that he chooses to field must play out of their skins of the Gunners are to
take anything back to the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking in The Times, Wenger
said: This is the moment we’ve waited
for and this is the moment we want to show we have what’s needed, I don’t know
if we’re underdogs, I just believe that we’re on a good run and that, as a
team, we go from strength to strength. I believe we can deliver something
special.” 

“It is a gap on our CV and that’s why
we’re here and that’s why we’re determined to wipe that out.” 

More often than not, Wenger generally knows what he is going on about and it
will take a big performance over 180 minutes for his side to get through this
tie. They do have the quality necessary to win but it is a case of whether his
less experienced players can apply themselves for a long period of time and
keep United out at the other end.

Arsenal fans over the last couple of years have been left with watching a
side in a form of transition, searching for something that reminds of the
magic era when the likes of Henry, Vieira and Pires were making everyone look
ordinary. If this current crop are to get anywhere near the success of those
players then they must start tonight.

One thing is for sure though; we are set for one hell of a match.