Will Fenerbahce be a cauldron or a cakewalk?

I have to admit that, apart from the BIG teams and those in the former Eastern Bloc, Turkish clubs scare the beejaysus out of me.

I remember how we pummelled Galatasaray in Copenhagen in 2000 and as soon as it was decided that penalties would have to be taken at the Turkish fans' end, it was clear we were doomed.

And with stories of sacrifices being made on the pitches and "welcome to hell" messages, coupled with Fenerbache's record last season, it makes for a worrying prospect. If only us Gooners made half as much noise.

They beat the Ch*vs and a host of other teams last season and with three of our regular back four missing, it could certainly going to be a challenging night.

But if you look at how they have fared this season under Luis Aragones, it suggests that their desperation to win this game could play right into Arsenal's hands.

If we can survive an early battering - with Mikael Silvestre requiring all his experience to guide the young team - I can see us winning this one by a couple of goals.

I wouldn't be surprised if Wenger opts for one up front with Alex Song protecting the defence and, sadly, RVP playing on the left again, a position where he has struggled to impress.

And the more the home side attack, the more chance for us to use out counter-attacking guile to tear them apart.

One other point though, especially in light of reports that Cesc Fabregas is stalling on a new contract offer (and I have been told from a very good source that this story is completely true, despite Alex Hleb-style denials on the Arsenal website).

Why oh why has Manuel Alminua been given the captain's armband this evening?

Apart from the fact that goalkeepers should never wear the armband for precisely the same reasons that strikers should not - because they are isolated from large elements of the game because of their positions - this sends out worrying signals.

If we are to keep Cesc, who is indisputably our best player and he who makes everyone else tick, even when he is not playing to his full potential such as now, he must be our vice captain and take over permanently as soon as possible.

Cesc is a symbol for everything that the club stands for presently - young uber-talented young players from across the globe finding their niche in N5.

So what sort of signal does it send out to him that he is overlooked again as captain? Tony Adams may have been a different sort of player, but he was made captain at 21 and when I see Cesc's reaction to scoring goals for Arsenal, he has that same love and desire.

He deserves to be rewarded both contractually and by being made captain.