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Hollins and Talbot say early strike will silence Istanbul fanatics

PUBLISHED: 15:27 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 07 September 2010

John Hollins and Brian Talbot both played in Arsenal s midfield the last time the Gunners travelled to Istanbul to meet Fenerbahce, Tuesday night s champions League oppnents, in a Cup-Winners Cup, first round match back in October 1979. On that fiery ev

John Hollins and Brian Talbot both played in Arsenal's midfield the last time the Gunners travelled to Istanbul to meet Fenerbahce, Tuesday night's champions League oppnents, in a Cup-Winners' Cup, first round match back in October 1979.

On that fiery evening, Terry Neill's side comfortably kept the Turks at bay to bring a 0-0 draw back to London.

They finished the tie off a fortnight later with a 2-0 Highbury win, thanks to goals from Alan Sunderland and Willie Young.

"They make a lot of noise over there," Hollins told Ham&High Sport. "But my advice is plain and simple - ignore it. They can't do anything to you, just shout and scream behind fences. The fact is you can make it as hard or as easy for yourself as you want."

Talbot believes the Gunners youthful exuberance can be a major plus. "It is an extremely volatile place," he recalled. "But when you are young you aren't phased by anything and I just remember wanting to play well. I remember, and I'm sure John [Hollins] will agree, we pretty much controlled the game out there. Once you do that, the crowd hate it.

"Cesc Fabregas is young and knows what it is all about. The crowd won't affect him one bit. When you are young you are oblivious to it all - it's only when you get a bit older that you also get a bit wary about things."

And both former Gunners agree on the best way to hit the mute button on a highly-charged 52,000 sell-out crowd. "Get an early goal and you can hear a pin drop out there," said Hollins.

Talbot adds. "I honestly believe Arsenal will be too strong for them home and away," he said.

More on this in this week's Ham&High, in your shops on Thursday.

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