By Yoshiki Matsunaga on August 19, 2014
Arsene Wenger and his men are experts at navigating through UEFA Champions League qualification. With the tie ending in a nil-nil result, Arsenal will have everything to do in London. Here are five points to take away from the first leg of the Champions League qualification in Turkey that saw the Besiktas coach sent off.
After becoming a household name at Newcastle United, Demba Ba earned a big money move to Chelsea. Ba’s spell at Chelsea was unfruitful at best, with the Senegalese international spending a majority of his time in London outside of the first-team. The former Newcastle United striker seems to have gained his form and threaten Arsenal all night long. A move to Besiktas has certainly helped Ba.
The North London club were certainly missing creative flair in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying game. On a weekend where Cesc Fabregas shined for Chelsea with a wonder pass to setup a goal, Giroud was left somewhat impotent. It was reported at the beginning of the summer that Arsenal had first refusal for Fabregas, but decided against signing him. Fabregas would have definitely helped the Gunners make a title push.
Jermaine Jones signed for Besiktas in January of 2014 and made 10 appearances for the Turkish side. The American international did not start on the pitch or on the bench for Besiktas’ crucial Champions League match. Jones should push for a move to MLS to capitalize on his success and popularity for the U.S.M.N.T. The American fans would love to see their man play in MLS.
It was painfully clear that Arsenal needed a true holding midfielder to break up Besiktas’ counter attacks. Arteta and Flamini leave the Gunners wanting in that department. Arsene Wenger needs to sign Sami Khedira, even if he shatters his wage structure. Khedira is a great holding midfielder who can break up the best attacks in the world.
Aaron Ramsey was dismissed from the game with a second yellow in the 80th minute. The Welshman’s foul on Oguzhan Ozyakup was extremely soft and did not deserve a second yellow. The Arsenal midfielder was tangled with Ozyakup, but did not pull him down. Ramsey’s suspension will hurt Arsenal in the second leg in London, as the Arsenal midfielder has been a key figure for the North London club.
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