Can Arsenal prosper without Cesc or Denilson tonight?

By Avenell Dave

As any of you who read my post yesterday would have gathered, it is really hard not to get carried away by Saturday’s result.

Yes, Everton had a bad day at the office and the organisation David Moyes has instilled in his side was conspicuous by its absence, but even so, we were outstanding.

Two things sobered me slightly though.

Firstly, the only other side to record such an impressive opening day victory was Liverpool in the 1994/95 season, when they beat Crystal Palace away by the same scoreline – 6 -1.

Admittedly, Everton are a much better side than Palace, but the fact that Liverpool ended up fourth (behind Nottingham Forest and just ahead of Leeds Utd – how times change!) is a reminder that it is very early days in the domestic marathon.

The other thing that came to mind was the fear that without a huge squad, we may struggle to cope in the big big games.

Tonight is one such game and doubts over Bacary Sagna, Cesc Fabregas and Denilson are actually a good thing, in my mind.

Of course, this is a massive game and with the exception of Forest many years ago, no English side has managed to win at Celtic Park including M*nure.

None of those sides were managed by Tony Mowbray, whose attractive, free-flowing brand of football could play right into our hands.

But with so much of the season still to play, and even if we face a Portsmouth side in total disarray at the weekend, now is not the time to risk players with niggles.

Manu Eboue could fill in at right back, Ramsey and Diaby could replace Cesc and Denilson – and then we will see how good our squad players are in the heat of the Glasgow cauldron.

Big players only become big players through talent and experience – and what better way to prove once and for all that our understudies are capable of stepping up than to throw them in to such a huge and important game?

Celtic have a lot to prove tonight – that Scottish football is not so much of a joke as we southerners think it is – and that they can maintain their impressive record against English clubs at Parkhead.