One way or another after Arsenal’s Champions League match against Fenerbahce, Arsenal’s transfer window will finally open. Speaking after the win at Craven Cottage on Saturday, Arsene Wenger confirmed that no new signings would arrive at the club until after the Champions League play-off second leg against Fenerbache.
With a 3-0 win from the first leg already in the bag it would take an epic failure on Arsenal’s part to find themselves eliminated from the competition and not in the group stages for the 16th straight year by the time the final whistle is blown tonight and despite the fact that Arsenal have only lost one game since March, it’s a possibility – albeit a slight one.
Koscielny returns to the squad after getting a boot to the face in the first leg and Jack is expected to start after being rested on Saturday against Fulham. Beyond that we have no new injury concerns and none of the long term injured – Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen, or About Diaby – are back.
Speaking about reinforcements, Wenger is focused on getting the right additions in to his squad and has urged his fellow managers to go about their business a bit more discreetly, telling the press
“Everybody has a good opinion about what other managers should do but they do not look at themselves.
“It’s better that you shut up and don’t say anything. The key for us is getting in the right additions. It is not just about additions but the right additions. Attitude, focus, the mental aspect in the modern game is vital.
“The market has been difficult this summer for two reasons. One, I have quality players; and two, the competition for players is absolutely massive in the international market. Before, we were privileged – a bit more lonely out there. Now, everybody knows everybody and it is more difficult. It is true when I arrived in England, English clubs did not go on the international market as they do now. But we will try until the end and I am optimistic.”
Arsenal are expected to make a second bid for Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye however it seems that it will still be short of what the Magpies want for the Frenchman. The back up plan? Gareth Barry. But there is time enough for all that tomorrow.
Tonight, complacency will be Arsenal’s biggest threat, not a Fenerbahce side who offered little in the first leg in Istanbul. As has been the case so many times over recent seasons – it is Arsenal who can defeat Arsenal and Arsenal alone. We’ve seen enough from Fenerbahce to know that they don’t pose a serious threat to an Arsenal which is on form. To one which is already concentrating on Sunday’s North London derby however they are a massive danger.
All Arsene’s focus will be on the game tonight but once that final whistle goes, the window swings wide open, Arsenal will know for certain whether they are in the Champions League proper, and recruitment can begin.
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