Before focusing on all things Arsenal, I thought it would be appropriate to comment on Liverpool’s absolutely sensational win over Chelsea in the Champions League last night. It was an absolutely enthralling game of football and Liverpool were rewarded for coming out with an attacking attitude with a great win on penalties against traitor Ashley Cole’s side.
Despite being an Arsenal fan I couldn’t help but be impressed with the tactical performance of Liverpool and their success in reaching another Champions League final with a team that is, player for player, inferior to Chelsea will remind the Arsenal side that they will be able to make an impact in the competition next season if they perform well enough. Jens Lehmann obviously thinks so, and stated that his reason for signing on for another season was down to his belief that Arsenal can achieve great success in the Champions League next season.
“We are among the teams who can win it along with the other English teams. Barcelona, Real Madrid might be stronger next year, AC Milan we have to see and Inter Milan are a good prospect as well. I think they are the teams who can actually win it.”
I have to say that I agree with Lehmann but this is most likely only going to happen if the big German is sitting on the bench with the rest of the substitutes. Time will tell if this turns out to be the case, but it is good to see that one of Arsenal’s most senior players is still showing ambition – a positive sign for the club.
As mentioned earlier, Chelsea is out of the Champions League and they could well be out of the English Premier League race by Sunday night if Arsenal get a result at the Emirates Stadium. Man of the moment Emmanuel Adebayor has said that being in a position to end Chelsea’s season will provide great motivation for Arsenal to get a win over for the club’s fans.
“We know there will be a lot at stake next Sunday and the fans will be desperate for us to beat Chelsea. It is a very important game for them, but we are going to play to win for our fans and as players we always want to beat a big team like Chelsea.”
Again, these sort of comments show that the hunger in the Arsenal squad is still evident, a great sign for future success. Arsene Wenger surely knows that a win over Chelsea on the weekend would provide such a psychological boost for his young squad – he must be delighted to hear one of his in-form players of the future showing such determination in the build-up to the big game. Adebayor has also gone onto to say that he believes Arsenal’s young players have turned a corner in relation to dealing with on-the-pitch setbacks and that this was evident in Arsenal’s win over Fulham on the weekend.
“When they equalised it was a difficult moment for us on the pitch but we never know how to give in. I think at the beginning of the season these are the games that would have finished 1-1. We know we all have to give our best from the beginning to the end of the game and if we do we know at the end we are very happy.”
There is still a large amount of doubt with regards to the Julio Baptista-Jose Antonio Reyes situation but one thing has been all but confirmed, Reyes will not be returning to the club next season. Whilst Wenger has stated that he would welcome the Spaniard back if he did want to return to the club, Reyes has reiterated his desire to remain in Spain. As for Baptista, the fans are no closer to knowing whether his poor performances have been enough to earn him a permanent transfer to the club. Many fans will of course want “The Beast” out of London as soon as possible but I am one of the few who are not convinced that this is the best solution. Only time will tell what Wenger’s opinion of the situation is.