Howe backs Gunners fightback
November 04 , 2003
The Gunners are desperate for victory having secured only a single point from their opening three Group B matches.
That means that only three successive victories would now guarantee them a place in the knockout stages.
And Howe believes that will prompt a cavalry charge from Arsene Wenger's side, starting at Highbury on Wednesday.
"Arsene Wenger has got no alternative now. He can't afford to mess about now and he has got to win the games," Howe told this website.
"Everyone is going on about Newcastle last year, when they won their final three group games to qualify, so in many ways the situation will make his mind up tactically."
Howe is a former Arsenal player and coach and also had a three-year spell as manager during the 1980s.
And he remains baffled by Arsenal's failure in Europe on the back of their Premiership form.
But the former England assistant coach believes that their luck will change if Wenger's team goes for the jugular at Highbury on Wednesday.
"I don't think Arsene changes things when he plays in Europe," Howe said.
He added: "If he was making three or four changes you could see it, but he's not, so he must think 'what do I do here'.
"But in Kiev, in terms of one team attacking, going forward and trying to create chances and goals, you couldn't play any better than Arsenal.
"Their goalkeeper started to play well in the second half, their defenders were okay without being too dominant and it was one-way traffic.
"Kiev scored a freak goal in the second half but they hardly attacked. They didn't create a thing, but all of a sudden they have got a goal out of nothing.
"So I don't think there is anything wrong tactically - they are just not getting the rub of the green."
Howe believes the return game with Kiev on Wednesday is crucial to Arsenal's hopes, as any lack of a change in fortune could weigh heavily on the players' minds.
"It can become a mental problem because you get reminded about it every day," he added.
"If anyone at Arsenal puts the TV on and they are talking about Europe, you get the so-called experts they all start asking what's happened to Arsenal in Europe.
"Then all of a sudden all these people start coming out with ideas about what has gone wrong.
"I'm not saying they are wrong - some of them are spot-on - but at the end of the day it's Arsene Wenger who has to pick the team before the game.
"I think the spirit of all the players is good and the spirit of the team is good.
"Now all they need is a little bit of luck."