Have you ever thought that the reason behind Arsenal’s lack of spending may all be down to the fact we aren’t officially in the Champions League yet? Although we seem pretty certain to go through to the group stages now, following that magnificent 0-3 win out in Istanbul against Turkish side Fenerbahce, Arsenal have spent most of this summer not knowing which European competition they would be taking part in and this may be the reason behind the lack of additions.
In a matter of days, the problems that were threatening to to bog Arsenal down in a swamp of despair seem to be slowly drifting away. The weekend was a dark time and we all showed our discontent at the way things were going.
The opening Premier League game of the season brought a 3-1 defeat to lowly Aston Villa, half of our team was injured and there was no sight of any incoming transfers. We have not seen significant improvement yet but steps have been taken to do so, we hear.
Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners over Fenerbahce in Turkey last night, with our opposition set to return to the Emirates next Tuesday. Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud all scored goals in what turned out to be an enthralling win against the Turks.
The scoreline may make the game sound as if it was an easy win for the Gunners and a game we could sit back and relax as fans, however I felt slightly different about it. I felt the Arsenal performance was a bit strange last night. Although we played well and obviously had enough strength to beat Fenerbahce, we still struggled for large parts of the game to do anything with the ball. There was always a strong threat that we would concede and some very close misses and several good saves from Szczesny was the reason behind how we somehow managed to keep a clean sheet on the night.
This evening Arsenal will come up against Fenerbahce in the first leg of the Champions League qualifier. Arsenal travelled to Istanbul yesterday and will today come up against the mighty Turks in which I am sure will not be an easy game.
When the draw was made it was the single team none of us wanted but behold Arsenal’s luck we got the draw and so now not only do we have to come up against the arguably toughest opposition but also all the other problems that come with it. Turkish fans are known for being ‘passionate’, perhaps a little too passionate in which the passion soon turns to violence and to be honest that’s my main concern. On paper we have enough quality to beat them but its Arsenal isn’t it and so you never know what’s around the corner.
I am not exactly doing cartwheels here, because Arsenal are still in a terrible situation at the minute, but we are ready to pounce on the smallest piece of good news at the minute, and worry it like a dog with a bone. Anyway, after being decimated with injuries at the worst possible time, Arsenal were handed some welcome news on the injury front today.
As I’m sure you are aware Arsenal have been drawn against Turkish side Fenerbahce in our Champions League challenge to get through the playoff rounds, and many fear that we have got the toughest draw going. Out of the teams available to draw I think we certainly did get one of the possible two hardest in Fenerbahce or PSV. However, although we say they are the toughest draws, we should emphasis on that Arsenal SHOULD be good enough to beat any team in that play-off round and if we aren’t then quite simply we aren’t good enough to be there and we don’t deserve champions league football. For me it’s as simple as that, however the game still won’t be easy, and one player that seems to be a tad concerned is Arsenal and Germany defender Per Mertesacker.
As announced on the clubs official website Arsenal.com, we have been seeded amongst four other teams in the Champions League qualifying round stage, which we will have to progress through to get to the group stage of next season’s European competition.
The draw isn’t till next week, but its already been made known that Arsenal have been seeded alongside Italian side AC Milan, German side Schalke, French side Lyon and Russian side Zenit, who Andrei Arshavin returned to this summer.
Bacary Sagna’s future remains uncertain to whether he will be at Arsenal come the start of the season, after there have been still no known developments on his contract negotiations, whilst his agent has also been talking up the Frenchman’s chances of securing a move away from the Emirates this summer.
The latest club to be mentioned in the Arsenal rumour mill is Turkish club Galatasaray. Last season we sold fan favourite (although for all the wrong reasons) Emmanuel Eboue and now they seem to want to take another defender off our hands. Galatasaray have also been invited to this year’s Emirates cup competition, hosted by Arsenal and so surely discussion will further take place then, if no transfer involving Sagna has already happened.
It looks like Arsenal are lumbered with the grinning fool that is Andre Santos for another season, after the Brazilian club Gremio declined to make his loan move from the Gunners permanent. The 30-year old showed once again how little he understands or cares about the Arsenal fans by moaning about his plight.
“Gremio had an agreement with Arsenal and I had to return.
“I wanted to stay. Gremio were fair regarding everything. I felt well there and I wanted to win a title before leaving.
“Unfortunately there is no deal and I had to return to Arsenal.”