Arsenal Update: Everton Review, Fenerbache Preview

Ashish WesleySenior Analyst IOctober 21, 2008

Hello again! How goes it wherever you are? Much better after the return of real football and the Arsenal win against Everton on Saturday, I'm guessing.

It wasn't the most convincing win by any stretch of the imagination, but it's three vital points and hopefully Arsenal can get their season back on track after the stop start stuff so far.

I think a big factor which is going to determine whether Arsenal are successful at all this season is mental toughness.

Van Persie deals with it by saying: "At this time, in football, the mental aspect is really important, maybe more than 30 or 40 percent [of the game]. If you look at the matches against Bolton and Blackburn, the mental aspect was more important than the way we wanted to play.

"I do not think it is a real big problem for us, but every single time we have to prove it again. Last season we played fantastic for three quarters of the season and then suddenly everything fell down.

"I do not know if the reason was mentality, maybe it was a bit of everything, but we learned a lot from last year.

"The season is long. We've lost some points but we've won some as well, so we just have to stay positive."

While Arsenal did have to come back from a goal down to win the game, it wasn't against the toughest of opposition. Arsenal looked sluggish in the opening exchanges and indeed for most of the first half.

It was only in the second half that they began to take control after the crucial goal by Samir Nasri. Maybe it was all the traveling by Arsenal's international players, but maybe it was lack of real thrust and drive, which is what I think will determine whether or not Arsenal can win any cups this season.

Do they have the drive? The team still needs to convince me of that. Again I am nit-picking a bit , especially after their comeback win against Everton. I can't help but wonder if Wenger has a determined, driven bunch at the moment. Some heads with real character are needed to lead the young 'uns.

To say there are no experienced campaigners in the squad would be stupid, but then again, will they step up sufficiently to prove themselves? I haven't seen enough of that yet.

We are just into the season, but Arsenal could have had a better start, and can't afford too many more slip-ups in the Premiership. They need to show real character from here on out.

Post Everton, Le Boss spoke about Samir Nasri, who is one of the stronger characters and a vital cog in the present set-up.

Wenger said: "When you look at the impact he had already here you can say he’s ahead of what I planned for him.

"He's 21, goes from France to England, and I must say I'm quite pleased with his attitude and his performances. He's doing extremely well and he is already becoming an important player for us and that is why you do not want him to get injured."

Fabregas dismissed speculation that he had refused a contract at Arsenal with this here. Read all about it, if you haven't already that is.

It's back to CL action tonight as Arsenal take on Turkish powerhouses Fenerbache in their own backyard. The fans really create a cauldron-like atmosphere. It's one of the toughest places to go.

I think Arsenal should be able to deliver there though, and I fancy the gunners to come out on top. While a draw won't be too bad, I really think they can do one better.

The complete squad for this game is available here. Djourou and Bendner are back for this one, and we are missing all but Clichy from our starting back four. That could mean a Djourou and Silvestre partnership at the centre, while I really hope that Arsene deploys Eboue at right back.

That's about it for now. A win today will get Arsenal well on track and restore a lot of much-needed confidence.

Come on you Gunners!


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