Champions League season 2013-14 by Blaz
The Uefa Champions league season 2013/14 is off and running. As per usual, Arsenal is a part of competition and as per usual we didn’t have any luck with the draw. For the last couple of seasons we have been paired (in the second round) with future champions like Barcelona and then Bayern Munich and it was more of the same a month ago. We actually got the worst possible combination – last years finalist, a team that spent almost as much as Tottenham in the summer and former champions Marseille.
We play the latter today in France and we do have a a fair chance of winning the game. I do believe that we were quite fortunate with the schedule, even if the draw was harsh. We should start the new season with a win and than at least a draw at home against Dortmund. In a couple of months when the games turn it will be us hosting Marseille at home while Dortmund and Napoli will be trying to beat each other senseless for the remaining spot in the last 16.
I feel no matter how much we suffered in the EPL, Europe was a place where we would always get the task done. Even though Borussia became a European powerhouse, a team that somehow can’t do wrong and always gets the right players, we did always manage to get a result against them, even in our darkest hours (after the loss of Nasri+Fabregas). In the last decade Italian and French teams brought us good fortunes more or less, so I do expect more of the same this year. And we did have luck, we won’t have to travel far – ok, Napoli is not that close, but still, it ain’t Russia or anything. And besides that, it should be nice and warm over there. For the last few years our experience was enough to get to the top 16 and than we maybe missed a bit of good fortune, which this year, with the current crop and an extra player or two in January, shouldn’t be a problem.
Some of the pundits would have you believe that Arsenal doesn’t stand any serious chances, well they can go to hell! Manchester city, with all their money and new players don’t have the right champions league mentality. The only one with real credentials in the competition is their boss – the thing which is completely opposite with their neighbours United. An experienced team (maybe a bit old even), but Moyes isn’t the one I would want to lead my team in the UCL. Chelsea has Mourinho, of course, a doddle of a draw and a good team, but I feel they rode their luck already and their golden generation reached its peak few years ago. So, if you ask me, Arsenal are the best English hope of achieving a proper result this year in Europe. That is, if we stop losing players every game because of injuries (and even before games).
Last year loads of City fans said that had they been in our group they would also go through, but since they were in the group of death and blah blah blah (seriously, there’s just so much one can take from anyone who likes Man City), so now this year it’s our chance to show the world how it is done – how to kick Borussia and the master of European tournaments, Benitez. I can’t wait for the games to begin.
Blaž from Ljubljana a.k.a. Archangel
Ps: A truth or dare moment, my fellow Gooners: A few years ago, when Chelsea played Bayern in the finals and Tottenham was fourth in the Premier league (a place leading them into CL next year had Chelsea lost), tell me the truth, who did you support? Bayern, whose victory would see Roman cry like a baby again, but also Tottenham in CL, or Chelsea, whose victory would see the spuds cry like babies yet again? I must admit I found myself cheer for Chelsea couple of times; what about you?