On the back of a grueling defeat by Chelsea on the shores of the Caspian Sea in the Europa League, Arsenal endured a difficult summer, punctuated by the tumultuous departure of club captain Laurent Koscielny, a renewed fan revolt against the aloof ownership of ‘Silent Stan’ and a limited $55 million transfer budget at Unai Emery’s disposal.
On Sunday, Arsenal rescued a 2-2 draw against Watford, even if Emery didn’t change the diamond formation in midfield that had left his team so exposed in a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.
It was a bad result that felt all too familiar for Arsenal: the sense of opportunity, the hope, the rued chances, the implosion, the terminally-bad defending, the emotional collapse, the lackadaisical attitude and the wry capitulation at the end.
Getty ImagesThe dispiriting draw has dampened the optimism that engulfed the Londoners after the summer signing of Ivorian prodigy Nicolas Pépé for a club-record fee of $87 million.
On Thursday, Arsenal embarks on its Europa League campaign against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt, a team that was one penalty away from reaching the competition’s final four months ago.
Last season Frankfurt’s Europa League run was the end product of shrewd management at the German club with a record turn-over exceeding $200 million.
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- Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal prediction: How will Europa League clash play out?The Independent
- Arsenal predicted line-up for Eintracht Frankfurt clash as Unai Emery plots sweeping changesMirror.co.uk
- Arsenal chief explains transfer plan that will allow more big-name signingsExpress.co.uk
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles tells Unai Emery he wants a more attacking role at ArsenalMetro
- Gunners aim for perfect Europa startSport24
- Fragile Arsenal face another massive test of character in Frankfurt cauldronEvening Standard