Friday, 22 September, 2017

Arsenal vs Cologne: Seven senior players to miss Gunners' Europa League clash

Wenger Reveals Why He Turned Down Man Utd In 2001 Posted by Daniel Jenkins Wenger Reveals Why He Turned Down Man Utd In 2001 Posted by Daniel Jenkins
Cecilia Poole | 14 September, 2017, 00:58

The last time Arsenal played at this level at the outset of a season, Arsene Wenger hadn't yet won his first trophy at Highbury and Reiss Nelson, a player generating great expectation ahead of his likely arrival on the continental scene, hadn't been born.

This may sound ambitious, but it's merely an extension of the two sides' agreement to share scouting information ahead of their Group H clashes, amid hectic domestic schedules around the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Chelsea are heading into the game on the back of a huge win in their Champions League campaign, and after making up for a disappointing opening game in the Premier League as well.

Arsenal have not begun a season outside the Champions League since 1997 and now face the Thursday-Sunday pattern of games which other managers have bemoaned in the past. And Wenger is clearly prioritising that one, with a host of big names sitting out Wednesday's session.

Wilshere is expected to start against Koln with up to seven first-team players rested.

"He needs a little burst to get away from people because he can turn the game forward, and if you can turn the game forward you need your legs to get you out of pressure and that will come back - it is coming back in training as well".

One of the most polarised figures at Arsenal despite his exemplary record for the club, Giroud seems to be at a crossroads at Emirates now.

A strong showing can go a long way in helping Giroud grab a positive result for the Gunners, it will also give Arsene Wenger some pleasant selection dilemma, and possibly a larger role to the player over the course of the season.

So it is reasonable to believe that a lot of Arsenal season ticket holders are going to be less than ecstatic about turning up at the Emirates for the game on a cold Thursday night and may make their tickets available for sale, while the Germans are going to be very excited about this tie indeed.

If Arsenal fail to perform, Wenger will not be blaming the Cologne game - for which Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey will be rested - as he feels there is enough time to recover.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has admitted that he genuinely came close to leaving the club during the summer in the pursuit of more regular football, before ultimately deciding to stay with the Gunners because he felt the "story was not finished".

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