Some Arsenal fans will not remember this, although the shock Premier League triumph of Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City side did cause a lot of people to hark back to the similar achievement of the managerial duo of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor in the 70s, but Arsenal’s opponents in the EFL cup after this international break, Nottingham Forest, were once the kings of Europe.
Hard to believe though it is, the midlands club that has been struggling to get back into England’s top division since being relegated under the managerial reign of ‘big’ Ron Atkinson in 1999, won back to back European cups after being crowned champions of England in their first season back in the top flight.
This was all a long time ago though, so the Gunners will travel to the City Ground later this month as firm favourites, but Forest have seen off Premier League opposition in the cups recently, most notably with a 5-0 hammering of West Ham two years ago, so we should not take them too lightly.
That is a possibility though, as the following weekend sees Arsenal go up against another European cup winner in Chelsea, and Wenger will surely see that game as the much more important one. The good news for us is that Chelsea’s League cup match is away to Leicester so they may be forced to field a stronger side while Wenger rests some key players.
So will September see Arsenal beat two European champions in the space of a week?