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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Arsenal Becoming Matured in Europe?

(This entry was originally published on Thursday, April 30th, 2009)

Arsene Wenger is perhaps to see that his team just conceded only one goal in the Champions League Semifinal first leg against Manchester United last night at Old Trafford. He should be very happy to see that his team did not suffer a humiliating defeat despite the matter that the Red Devils totally dominated the match right from the start. Now, Wenger has to wait 5 more days as the second leg will take place on next Tuesday.

He is hoping that his team will win the second leg and then go to final to meet either Chelsea or Barcelona. In fact, who ever they meet in the final will be an exciting prospect because Arsenal has some history with both of the clubs. Chelsea is their London rival and people of London are now praying to see a final between Arsenal and Chelsea. On the other hand, Arsenal only time reached the final was in 2006 and they lost to Barcelona. So, they will surely want to take revenge if they can this time.

In the past, many Arsenal fans felt disappointed and unhappy to see that their club is very weak in Europe compared t Liverpool and Manchester United. Even Chelsea has better record than the Gunners in Europe. However, it seems that Arsenal is becoming matured in Europe. Last year, they reached to quarterfinal and lost to Liverpool. This time, they are in semifinal and so far, have performed superbly. Although their form in England fluctuated a lot, the Gunners were in consistent form in Champions League. They could defend when it was needed and they could get the odd goals when needed. If they did not suffer a lot of injury of the key players then they could have got more goals.

I feel that this time, everything was against Arsene Wenger. First of all, there was injury all year round. Then they got Arshevin but he cannot take part in Champions League matches this season because he already played for his Russian team in Europe. If he was available then Arsenal would have been much stronger in Europe. In fact, I feel that Arshevin is the second best player in the current Arsenal squad after Cese Fabregas. Still, the club managed to reach semifinal and now, they can go to final.

Therefore, I really feel that Arsenal is becoming a major matured force in Europe. Do you agree with me?

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