On being surprised by Vitoria’s quality:
HB – No, I wasn’t surprised at all because even though they lost the first two games in the group stage, we knew they were very tight games, and that [the opposition] had to score goals at the end or that they scored through set pieces. We knew they were a team with a lot of quality and very physical players, with quick and creative players at the top. We analysed the last few games they played, and knew it wouldn’t be easy. It was harder than some people expected, but we knew it and not every game will be easy. It was a hard game, and Pepe won it at the end with the free kick. Obviously we play away from home, they will have the home crowd, so we expect it to be harder but we are ready.
On being surprised by Vitoria’s quality:
There are a lot of things to talk about right now within Arsenal Football Club – from the fact that the Vitoria game today is kicking off at 3.50pm to Granit Xhaka being stripped as captain of the first team. As we look ahead to this afternoon’s game, Hector Bellerin and Unai Emery have both taken the time to address the media ahead of the encounter.
Arsenal’s win last night was notable and positive for a variety of reasons, with one of the most intriguing factors behind it being Hector Bellerin’s appointment as captain for the game. It’s the first time that he has been given that honour, and judging on the result, it seems as if all went well.
We aren’t completely sold on the idea of him as a permanent captain, but we know that probably isn’t going to be the case moving forward anyway. As seen on Arsenal.com, Bellerin was very humble when discussing the accomplishment.
On Arsenal’s performance:
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confirmed the Granit Xhaka has been named club captain. The queue behind the Swiss international goes like this: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette, and Mesut Ozil – these players are in line for the armband in case Xhaka is unavailable to play.
The boss praised the midfielder’s commitment, behaviour, experience and determination, but most of all his ability to deal with pressure and criticism and lead the way.
The summer transfer window is upon us as we all know, which means to a series of entertaining rumours as speculation runs rampant over the future of players up and down the country. Arsenal are not immune to such speculation, and in fact, they probably experience it more than most – as everyone knows just how key it’s going to be for them to bounce back after a poor end to the 2018/19 campaign.
Arsenal should, and we should stress the word should, be one of the busiest teams in Europe during the upcoming summer transfer window. Their season fell apart during the last few months, and as such, they need to re-group and really think about who they want to come in and who they want to go out at the club. It’s not going to be easy to pick and choose what’s going to happen, but these are the kind of tasks that managers like Unai Emery need to make.
Different players have different things that they like to do in their spare time, and we should all learn to appreciate whatever it is they enjoy doing. Playing football for a living doesn’t exactly sound like something which should be particularly difficult, especially given the finances involved, but it can be a stressful environment. One error or mistake can lead to a great deal of scrutiny, and there’s no real way of ignoring that.
According to the Express, Arsenal are the latest Premier League club to show an interest in Crystal Palace’s highly-rated young right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The 21-year-old has been one of the Eagles most consistent players this season, nailing down a starring role and producing a number of impressive displays for Roy Hodgson’s team. His performances have led to reported interest from the biggest clubs in England.
Youngster in-demand this summer
The reality is that Wan-Bissaka is now one of the most highly-rated young defenders in the Premier League. His performances have led to inevitable interest from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and now reportedly Arsenal.
According to the father and agent of Manchester United star Antonio Valencia, Arsenal are a summer option for the Ecuadorian this summer. Luis Valencia has revealed that his son will definitely leave the Red Devils in the summer when his contract in Manchester expires.
Valencia has many summer options
Valencia senior told Ecuadorian El Universo: “He definitely will not continue in Manchester. He wants a change in the air and the club is not going to renew him either. Like everything in life, everything comes to an end.”
There are many world class players that currently reside in Arsenal’s first team, and it doesn’t exactly feel like that’s some kind of groundbreaking statement. The Gunners may not be considered one of the best teams in Europe but they’re certainly a top side in their own right, and we’d defend that point of view against just about anyone. Of course, the team is nothing without the players themselves, and Arsenal have many that they can rely on to consistently put in top level performances.