Elneny & Bellerin gunning for European silverware

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Hector Bellerin says Arsenal are one of the best sides in the Europa League and Mohamed Elneny says the squad should prove it by winning the competition.

The Gunners made a solid start to their debut in the competition as they beat Cologne 3-1 at the Emirates on a night overshadowed by crowd safety issues and a delayed kick off.

Sead Kolasinac, Alexis Sanchez and Bellerin all got on the scoresheet in the second half after Arsene Wenger reshuffled his formation to counter a clunky opening 45 minutes.

“It’s a new competition for us and we knew we needed to set the tone,” Bellerin told BT Sport after the game.

“We think we’re one of the best teams in the competition, so we have to show that on the pitch. After not a very good start, the coach decided to change the tactics and it worked for us with Sead coming on, scoring and helping us to get a boost in the second half. I’m very happy.

“After not a very good start, the coach decided to change the tactics and it worked for us with Sead coming on, scoring and helping us to get a boost in the second half. I’m very happy.”

Elneny, who played the full 90 minutes in midfield, was similarly enthusiastic about the challenge posed by the new tournament.

“We always have different talks together as a team about this,” the Egyptian told Arsenal.com.

“One goal on our mind is to win the trophy which will be great for the club. What we want is to continue fighting for the [trophy], today was a brilliant start and we wanted to prove ourselves and that what we did.

He added: “It was such a difficult game against a tough German opponent. We played well and performed in such a great way on the field because we want to win the group and qualify to the next round.”

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BidOnLard
BidOnLard

Well, not one of the best, you are indeed the best team in this tournament, so COYG!

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

*at the moment. Knowing our luck, Bayern will come third in their CL group.

Paul
Paul

Love the motivation.

Far East Stand
Far East Stand

If everyone plays to their full potential and if Wenger plays everyone in the position they are most effective playing in, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be in the running to win the Europa League. Some pretty big “ifs” there but let’s hope the team goes for it. If all else fails, just give the ball to Saed and tell him to bulldoze his way to the goal!

Goonas
Goonas

The back three didn’t work too well in the beginning, but I liked that it was still a good team (but not the best) and despite a bit of rustiness in the first half I think the team looked pretty motivated!

Mark
Mark

We certainly are one of the favorites, but will have to contend with either Dortmund or Spurs from that group of death in the knock out stage. Although it sucks not being in the CL, this competition can go a long way towards getting us back into the top 4 this season by giving Wenger many more opportunities than just the domestic cup matches to give playing time to those that aren’t getting the minutes in the league (like Elneny, BFG, Giroud, Iwobi, Walcott, etc.) as well as the youngsters (that could play a big role as the season goes one) while being to rest many starters. With the club’s injury history we will surely need those players to step in at some point during the season and playing in the EL will allow them be more ready.

gooner1981
gooner1981

I don’t see why we can’t win both the Europa League, AND finish in the top 4 (preferably first). We have the ability, let’s hope we play our players in the best positions for them!

SB Still
SB Still

For once I agree with Mourinho…CL is for the big clubs like Real Madrid, Barca and Bayern Munich to Win, with about 3 other dark horses. This is a realistic chance of silverware as well as a good opportunity to rotate the squad. If it was the CL we would probably be stretched

caligunner
caligunner

Its just alot easier for the those clubs like PSG, BM, RM, Barca, Juve to win because they play in leagues where you can realistically rest players regularly throughout the season without causing problems.

PatJ
PatJ

If I could choose, I would rather win this competition than have a decent run in the CL.

FAXE
FAXE

Obviously

santori
santori

At this level of opposition, Elneny can deliver and I thought he did well second half.

Bellerin seems to be enjoying corresponding revival with the effect Kolasinac is having on other wing.

That said, we remain thin on options beyond these two fullbacks/wingbacks.

The goooch
The goooch

I’ll take Elneny over Ramsey in midfield all day long.
If Ramsey gets up to his tricks Sunday playing everywhere except where he should be we’ll get shafted in the middle of the park

Martin
Martin

And scoring winning goals as in the cup final