After the Gunners pulled off the brilliant last gasp result that we needed to stay in the Champions League, for at least two more games anyway, I can understand why Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal players were very upbeat and also full of confidence for the latter stages of the competition.
As reported by Sky Sports, our England international forward Theo Walcott expressed the feeling in the Arsenal dressing room perfectly with his post match comments in which he claimed that it did not really matter what the draw for the next round brings on Wednesday. In fact he even suggested that it would be the club drawn to face us that might be cursing their luck.
Walcott said, “It doesn’t matter who we play. I think we can beat anyone on our day, definitely.
“Hopefully if we can get players back fit as well, the squad will be even stronger than it is now.
“If we get the likes of Wolfsburg, we’ve played them in the Emirates Cup [Arsenal won 1-0 in July] but it will be a completely different ball game. They had a very good result against [Manchester] United.
“I’m sure none of them would like to play us after that result. Whoever you get in the draw is going to be difficult.
“You’ve seen teams struggle when they should be going through and winning. It is just the way it is now.
“You’ve seen that in the Premier League – teams are getting so much better.”
I do agree with the striker, to a certain extent at least, especially about Arsenal being the team, along with Juventus, that the winners of the groups would rather avoid. And because of the competition rules stopping us from facing an English side or Bayern Munich from our group, we are left with just five possible opponents.
Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St. Petersburg and Wolfsburg are all teams that we should not be afraid of, but I would temper Walcott´s words by saying that we really do not want to be drawn against Barcelona with Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. They are favourites for a reason.
So will Wenger’s talk about this being our lucky year be proved right by Arsenal avoiding the current holders?