Through circumstances and due to inconsistency, the Arsenal Vs Napoli match could be one of Arsenal’s defining matches of the season and it’s not even a final.
Napoli will present Arsenal with problems at home and away and if the Gunners continue to be out thought and out fought by delivering another wishy washy, lily livered performance as they did against an intense but poor Everton, it may even be game over before they get to the second leg.
FT | Three wins on the bounce. ?
— Everton (@Everton) April 7, 2019
Playing the second leg away ends any chance of removing any deficit and the atmosphere will make it hard to get a draw, let alone anything else.
The scale of this task can not be overstated, even at home, Arsenal will have to smother Napoli and they can’t afford to give away a vital away goal.
Emery will have to work out a formation and side that has bite and determination, not one that meekly rolls over and runs out of ideas.
Hopefully, the elements that have been missing such as Kosceilny, Torreira and Xhaka will be available to shore up the team in the Arsenal Vs Napoli game, but it’s clear that there are issues less easy to resolve, such as a lack of discernible grit, creativity and firepower.
Without a creative midfield, the two strikers will come up short and that will be a distinct problem in the first leg.
The only crumb of comfort is that Napoli have also been less than convincing of late and Carlo Ancelloti has already had regroup after dropping out of the Champions league to contest the less favoured Europa league and they have lost and drawn their last two games.
These are just hiccups that will mean very little in the great scheme of things during the Arsenal Vs Napoli encounter.
The main threat, if they are available or selected, will come from Arkadiusz Milik (striker), Jose Callejon (RW), Lorenzo Insigne (LW) and Marek Hamsik (CM) and Emery will have no choice but to go with an attacking side which will also need to defend as a unit.
The bottom line is that Arsenal have to win well at the Emirates by a margin of three goals, if possible and then go to the Stadio San Paolo and hold on while hoping for the best.
Emery knows how to win this trophy and that it’s one of his only two remaining options of achieving his goals this season. It will all boil down to desire and ambition and whoever gets ahead in the first leg, which controls the Arsenal Vs Napoli tie.