Earlier today Arsenal were drawn against Rennes in Europa League the Round of 16.
The first leg was due to take place on March 7th at the Emirates, but presumably because Chelsea are also at home that night and it would mean another 17.55 kick off, the game has been switched to France.
This has probably caught out plenty of Arsenal fans who would have moved quickly to book flights and hotels to try and take advantage of non-football inspired prices.
The Gunners will travel to Roazhon Park first, and then entertain the Ligue 1 outfit at the home the following week.
Petr Cech seems happy with the draw, a chance for him to return to a former club:
When a goalkeeper makes the draw good things happen!
Quand le gardien de but fait le tirage au sort les bonnes choses se passent !
Cuando el portero hace el sorteo buenas cosas pasan . Gracias .@Palop1 #gkunion ? pic.twitter.com/aLEheXxvpg
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) February 22, 2019
He joined the French side from Sparta Prague in 2002, and it was during his time there that he first came on the Arsenal radar.
Arsene Wenger was keen on him, but admitted that Arsenal didn’t move fast enough to secure his services.
“There was no work permit issue or anything because he went to Chelsea from Rennes and we could have been quicker maybe on the day than Chelsea, especially because I know his agent very well,” said the former boss.
“It makes me just think that I missed him when he was at Rennes, and how that could have changed for us if we had signed him in that period.”
Another interesting little side drama to this game is the fact that Hatem Ben Arfa, a player heavily linked with us in the past, plays for Rennes following an unhappy time at PSG under Unai Emery.
In fact, the 31 has recently taken legal action against the club, seeking compensation of around €8m for the 15 months he felt he was frozen out of the team while the current Arsenal Head Coach was in charge.
That should certainly add a bit of extra spice to proceedings.
Bastards! I was looking to go out for the away leg. I can’t make it on the 7th March. I really dislike uefa
We have spurs away on the Sunday then united at home the following Sunday (both obviously being played in london). Having the first leg at home would have been good for us because at least the players wouldn’t have to travel so close before the big game against united but once again the tv companies who decide the fixture schedules have found another way to make life difficult on Arsenal.
Travelling to Rennes is probably easier than travelling to somewhere like Newcastle so I don’t think it’s much of an issue. And with KO at 17:55 the players will be tucked up in bed at a reasonable time dreaming about the prior weekend’s thrashing of Sp*rs
Good news. But why is it a 17:55 KO in Rennes?
Always thought Ben Arfa a twat.
If we wait long enough a guy with the username Alex will come and explain to us that Ben Arfa being frozen out of the PSG squad is a sign that Emery doesn’t know how to manage egos.
Best possible draw.
A home game in between Tottenham and Man Utd seems better to me that a trip to France so I really don’t see the benefit of switching the tie?
Surely Arsenal and Chelsea are at home on the same day/at the same time occasionally in the league or cup? It’s not as though the stadiums are next door to each other!
Good thing too. There’s nothing like having a bunch of thugs living in a rundown hovel next door to fuck up the value of your property.
Honestly why do we lose players ‘because we didn’t move fast enough’ as a multi-billion pound club? Wtf? Is it too hard to hire someone to make moves on behalf of the club faster?
The most difficult thing for gooners to do or wish is the replacement of the Kroenkes for Arsenal’s sake!
Collectively the decision to move the game will have cost Arsenal fans thousands, probably tens of thousands of pounds.
They made no caveat when making the draw – the team draws out of the pot first would play at home first.
Absolute disgrace, the most loyal and dedicated match goers have been shafted yet again.
I have such little faith in this group of players, and our ability to compete consistently.
My expectations just keep getting lower+lower, and the more I see from this group of players, the more it convinces me that we need a giant overhaul, and there are absolutely no easy fixes out of this elite mediocrity.