It is all about getting into the Champions League for Arsenal now, although hopefully there will be some serious work being done on the transfer front behind the scenes as well. But for the players and fans, it is absolutely vital for the Gunners to beat Besiktas on Wednesday and book our regular place among the elite of Europe.
Those plans have been hampered somewhat by the re3d card shown to Aaron Ramsey and the ankle knock picked up by Olivier Giroud, but Arsenal do not seem to be too worried about this and they have good reason, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain explained to Sky Sports this week.
He didn’t actually blame the state of the pitch in Istanbul, but he did talk about Arsenal being able to show our technical superiority at the Emirates, which amounts to the same thing really. As long as we can match the physical efforts and determination of the Turkish side, the Ox reckons the game is ours.
He said, “We have to have confidence in ourselves to come through this test.
“Besiktas are a quality side, and it is not going to be easy at all, they will fancy their chances as well, which will make it a good game.
“But I am confident in our team, if we approach the game in the right way, match them physically and competitively, then hopefully our technical side of our game will come through at the Emirates and we will be able to come away with a win.”
And that will to win that we will need against a typically battling Slaven Bilic team, was in clear evidence at Goodison Park on Saturday. And Jack Wilshere thinks the way the Gunners refused to accept defeat and managed to come back, just like in the FA cup final, will give the players the belief to make sure we are in the draw again.
Wilshere told Arsenal Player, “This was a fantastic point and now we have a big game on Wednesday and this will give us great confidence going into that.
“We have got great character, great togetherness and some leaders out there that keep us going. We also have great players to go with that.
“We never give up and at this level that is massive. We have always shown over the years that Arsenal are going to battle like mad right until the end.
“There have been a few games where we have been behind right until the end but have kept going.”
So with a great team spirit and better players, should we really doubt that Arsenal will do the business against Besiktas?