Wenger on why Arsenal can NOW compete in Europe

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.

Arsenal team for Southampton a BIG risk from Wenger?

While most Arsenal fans have been looking forward to seeing the two late transfer signings in action after the international break, I am not so sure that too many of us would have started with both MUstafi and Lucas Perez against Southampton today.

Mustafi is not such a surprise but to see the Spaniard start in the centre forward position with Olivier Giroud as well as Alexis Sanchez on the bench seems to be a bit of a risk. There is no Granit Xhaka either, and the manager hinted before the game that energy levels after international duty may have been the reason behind his surprise team selection.

NO Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal face 4 games in 10 days

Even though Arsene Wenger has declared himself happy with what Arsenal were able to do in the summer transfer market this year, spending more than ever to bring in Lucas Perez, Mustafi, Holding, Xhaka and Asuno to strengthen the squad in key areas, the international break did not come at a very good time for us.

The boss told Arsenal Player that it would have been nice if the Gunners were able to carry on where we left off with the fluency and penetration we saw away to Watford but he does believe that our squad now has the quality and quantity that we need to fight on the four fronts of the Premier League, Champions League, FA cup and the EFL cup.

BOTH new Arsenal transfers set for debut against Southampton?

With Arsenal suffering our usual rotten luck with injury problems already at this early stage of the season, especially in the defensive areas where Arsene Wenger has been without Gabriel and Per Mertesacker since before the new Premier League campaign even kicked off, it was always likely that the new centre back Shkodran Mustafi would make his debut for Arsenal against Southampton.

It was far less clear whether the other late addition from the transfer market would play, especially with Olivier Giroud having proved his fitness and scored a goal for France over the international break, but I think that Lucas Perez could well feature against the Saints tomorrow.

Higuain? Rooney? Are Arsenal going to aim for a “Galacticos Project”

It has been 9 years since Wenger had hold the league trophy and 2 years since Arsenal has played the final of any major tournament (if one considers it major?). Since moving to the dreaded ‘Emirates’ the moments to cheer had been very few. All we had seen are some moments to cheer here and there, whether it was the Carling cup final in 2011 or the win against the mighty Bayern side in last season’s Champions’ League. But most of the time it was the stars leaving the club for greener pastures and club being reluctant to part with the cash to bring in new stars to fill the void. Situations like the Walcott saga is just the tip of the iceberg of the larger systemic failure of the club’s contract philosophy.

Wenger set for a German summer – Another done deal lined up?

There are an amazing amount of Arsenal transfer rumours floating around considering that there is still three months left until the end of the season, and it seems clear that Wenger is concentrating on bringing players over here from the Bundesliga.

Perhaps it was Germany’s performances in the World Cup that persuaded Wenger to move his centre of scouting operations to the Motherland, but whatever the reason it seems to be a shift in his thinking away from the weaker Ligue 1 and over to the (much) stronger German League.