The Hard Tackle takes a look at the most important Arsenal news that have been making the rounds.
Arsenal saw their 14-match unbeaten run in the Premier League come to a grinding halt, as Everton beat Arsene Wenger’s side 2-1 at Goodison Park on Tuesday. Post the disappointing result, here’s a roundup of what’s been happening in and around the Emirates Stadium.
Arjen Robben issues Champions League challenge
Earlier this week, the draw to announce the fixtures for the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League took place. Arsenal’s luck of the draw continued to evade them as they managed to draw Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich yet again, with this being their fourth pairing with the Bavarians in the last five seasons.
Bayern star man Arjen Robben had his say on the impending meeting in an interview with ESPN FC, laying down the challenge to the Gunners. He said: “For us, it’s very important that we’re at a 100 percent after the winter break when we play them. For them, the pressure is to make it to the quarterfinal for the first time in many years. Our target is always the final. But this draw doesn’t make it easy [for either team.]”
Arsenal have been knocked out by Bayern Munich repeatedly, being eliminated by the German giants in the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons. As the Arsenal fans lament yet another pairing with Bayern Munich, Arsene Wenger’s men must put their heads in the right place and look to get the better of their German opponents when 16th February comes calling.
Cech urges team to move their focus on to Manchester City
Meanwhile, after the frustrating loss at the hands of Ronald Koeman’s men last night, Arsenal custodian Petr Cech has impelled his side to quickly move on from the defeat at Goodison Park and turn their attention to the weekend’s clash against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, Cech was of the opinion that Sunday evening’s meetup with Pep Guardiola’s side could be the perfect way to quickly forget the hurt from the loss against the Toffees: “Sometimes I think it is best if after a big game you play another big game. You have opportunities to win, it’s a kind of a six-pointer [against City] – it’s probably a perfect game for us.”
Defeat on Tuesday saw Arsenal scupper the chance to climb to the top of the table ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Sunderland. A win for City over Watford on Wednesday night could set up an enticing fixture on the weekend, with just one point separating the two giants of English football.
Bellerin’s key to success
Hector Bellerin has discussed the inspiration behind his meteoric rise at Arsenal in the last few seasons. Attributing his climb up the ranks at the Emirates to years of hard work and determination, Bellerin also reserves special praise for one of his coaches at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, Victor Sanchez.
In his interview with Arsenal.com, Bellerin said: “At the beginning, you’re just playing football for fun. I remember I had this coach, I talk about him a lot, his name is Victor Sanchez. He’s the first coach that kind of introduced the psychological side of football to us. He is the first one that told me, “Hector if you work really hard, you can really become someone”. Since then, that’s been my ethic.”
Bellerin’s rise at Arsenal has been nothing short of impressive, both for the fans of his club and neutrals alike. Still just 21, the young Spaniard is already considered as one of the best defenders in the Premier League. As Bellerin continues to reap the rewards for his hard work, Arsenal fans will be excited by what still lays ahead in the future for their right back.
Other Arsenal News
La Liga leaders Real Madrid could put in a shock bid to bring playmaker Mesut Ozil back to the Santiago Bernabeu, should Los Blancos sell their Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez.
Meanwhile, right back Carl Jenkinson could be on the move yet again, as Championship side Aston Villa look to strike a loan deal for the youngster in January with Arsenal, as Steve Bruce looks to shore up his defence.