Arsenal have learned to our cost in recent years that finishing second in a Champions League group, despite being better than not getting out of the group at all, often means that you are drawn against a European giant like Bayern Munich or Barcelona in the next round.
So with our main rivals for top spot this year being PSG, the injury and form problems affecting the French champions at the minute is a big boost to our UCL campaign. Even without that, however, Arsene Wenger feels that the current Arsenal squad is better equipped to compete in this elite competition. ...........Read more
Despite Arsenal having a fine and enviable record of qualifying for the Champions League group stage and then getting past that and into the knockout phase, there is no getting around the fact that we have not reached the business end of the European cup for way too long.
That has been mainly due to the fact we have been runners up rather than topping the group, although even when we got the great draw of Monaco from the winners’ pot we managed to muck it up. With clubs like Barcelona and Bayern Munich expected to win their groups it is a massive advantage to win our own and avoid them and this year has given Arsenal a great chance to do it. ...........Read more
The Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has still not found his best form for the Gunners since coming back from a hamstring problem. He did not start the season too well either after helping Chile to win the Copa America last summer and looking jaded for a while.
But he still one of the players that Arsenal fans would be most loath to see leave and I am sure that Arsene Wenger feels the same way. But with The Mirror reporting that two big European clubs are looking to make a transfer bid for Sanchez in the summer, there might not be a lot we can do to keep him. ...........Read more
Arsenal could really have done with our England international forward Danny Welbeck coming back from injury a lot sooner in the season and his comeback may prove to have been too late to save the Gunners from this most frustrating of seasons, but he has at least come back with a bang.
Once again at the weekend he made a big difference after coming on as a sub in the FA cup defeat to Watford. Arsene Wenger suggested after that loss that he was having to ease Welbeck back as he has been out for a long time and is not quite fully match fit yet. ...........Read more
Make no mistake Arsenal fans, we have very little chance of getting past the current La Liga and Champions League holders Barcelona and into the next round. Even if we do manage to win the match it will not be enough unless we score at least three goals and win by two.
A 2-0 scoreline would, at least, take us to extra time and you can just about see Arsenal managing to score two or three against Barca if the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are on the ball. It is at the other end where our biggest problem lies though, as Arsene Wenger explained in a report on the Arsenal website. ...........Read more
Arsene Wenger was not just asking the Arsenal fans to look back on his time as manager and the good times he brought to the club and the way he transformed the team into such a successful one after arriving in London from Japan in 1996, as revealed in a Sky Sports report.
The Frenchman also insisted that he is still as motivated as ever 20 years later, maybe even more so. And he was bullish about the Gunners’ chances of overturning the two goal deficit from the first Champions League leg when we face Barcelona in the Nou Camp tonight. ...........Read more
The inability to cope with the pressure of needing to end the long wait for a Premier League title and to meet the level of expectation of the Arsenal fans has become one of the biggest criticisms leveled at Arsene Wenger and his team in recent years.
And once again this year that pressure seemed to get the Gunners in a big way and has seen us slide from five points clear at the top to 11 points behind the leaders Leicester City. So I can easily understand and agree with what our French centre back Laurent Koscielny has told Arsenal Player. ...........Read more
With the Arsenal team that Arsene Wenger selected to face Hull City in the FA cup 5th round match just a few days ago, it was fairly obvious that the Frenchman had one big eye in the Champions League encounter with Barcelona tonight, as he made none changes and rested most of what you would consider to be our best players. ...........Read more
There seems to be one player in particular that the Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin is looking forward to pitting his wits against when Arsenal take on Barcelona in the massive Champions League match at the Emirates tonight.
And with the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in their star studded side you might be surprised to hear that the player is the Spain international Andres Iniesta. Perhaps it is because, as a defensive midfielder, Francis Coquelin is more likely to be in direct opposition to the brilliant Iniesta, but the Frenchman is clearly looking forward to facing the attacking midfield threat of Iniesta. ...........Read more
If Arsenal can defy the odds at the Emirates Stadium tonight and prove all the doubters wrong by beating the treble winning Barcelona side in the first leg of our Champions League knockout tie, it will send us Arsenal fans into raptures of delight.
But our German international star Mesut Ozil wants the fans to act like the players have already given them something to shout about and make some serious noise throughout the big game this evening. Our creative midfielder thinks that the Emirates crowd has a big part to play if the Gunners are to get the right result tonight but he also feels that the team has got it in them, as proved when we shocked the football world earlier this season by beating Bayern Munich. ...........Read more