Gooners must get behind the team as if Zagreb is a first leg

GILBERTO IS right when he says the players were over-anxious to put on  show against Aston Villa in the first game.They would be.

However, Arsenal should be less anxious tonight. Sure, starting your first European game at the Emirates is a big event. But starting the Dinamo Zagreb game 3-0 up is a bonus for the team.

It takes the pressure off a second leg that should be a formality.

Even so, the crowd will have a big role to play tonight, and in the first ten games.The atmosphere against Villa was a bit pre-season in the first half, noisy in the second half.

Naturally, everyone is settling in, enjoying the novelty, experiencing the Wow! factor.

But the novelty, and nostalgia for Highbury, gets in the way of supporting the team at a time when they really need support.

During the Wenger years the Arsenal team has been better than the stadium.

Now they have a fantastic new stadium and there's a danger that the fans think the team will autoamtically be as good as the new stadium, that opponents will gasp in awe and roll over, that everything will fall into place.

It won't be like that. Arsenal will have to fight for every ball, every goal, every point.

And the fans have to help them do that by getting right behind the team from the kick off, especially in August-September-October, while the boys are settling in.As Thierry said in his programme notes, the stadium won't win games.

If Gooners get behind the team from the kick-off tonight, Arsenal should have no problems in finishing the job against Zagreb.

THE DRAW for the group stages is on Thursday at 5pm.

Last year Arsenal had an easy group with FC Thun of Switzerland, a club from a town of 42,000 people, Ajax, and the worst team Sparta Prague team I've ever seen.

FANS seem to be split on whether Arsenal have to sell to buy.

Some think Arsenal have loads of £££££. Others reckon if they didn't have to sell to buy they would have bought already. I'm in that second camp.

The Chinese water torture (a.k.a. the Ashley Cole saga) looks set to go on for another seven days. August has been a hellishly long month.

WITHOUT CARRAGHER AND RIISE, Liverpool wobbled a bit in Kiev, drawing 1-1 with Maccabi Haifa, and going through 3-2 on aggregate.

Classy wing  play by Pennant set up Crouch for the first goal in 54 but striker Calautti equalised nine minutes later and it might have gone into extra time if Reina hadn't made an electric save from Calautti.

Left winger Mark Gonzalez, from Chile, is one to watch : bold, direct, dynamic .

He has more bottle than most wingers and looks the real deal. But it's early days.Let's see what Gonzalez can do in his next 20 games.

It's a 16-man game with Benitez, so he didn't bring Gerrard or Bellamy on until late.

SPURS centre forward Berbatov reminds me of Martin Chivers.

Slick, nimble, precise with his headers, quickish over the first 15 yards, Berbatov did well against new boys Sheffield United. He tapped in a Lennon cross for 1-0 and flicked on for Jenas to make it 2-0 in 17 minutes.

Robbie Keane was different class in the first half, as he should be against such opposition.

Keane-Berbatov will be Jol's strike force, leaving Defoe to be a 20-minute hero.

When Spurs get Ledley King back they might be a decent side, although a lot depends on Zokora, the 25-year old Ivory Coast midfielder, who played with Toure and Eboue from the age of 13.

Tottenham's director of football Damien Comolli, formerly Arsene Wenger's French scout, was influential in persuading Zokora to join Spurs from St Etienne for £8.2 million.

Most teams will beat Sheffield United at home because Neil Warnock does not have one Premiership class player.

Warnock should have gone for it at the Lane. He should have said, "They don't have Ledley King, their best defender, all their best players are in attack, so let's play two up and go for it."

Poor old Adi Akinbiyi won a few flick-ons but he was one his own .

Spurs v Everton will tell us more about whether Jol's team can challenge Arsenal.