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Latest Arsenal Europa League updates – anger, injuries, ticket allocation, security

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The build-up to the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea is being mired in controversy and all because of the utter incompetence of UEFA.

There is the ridiculous ticket allocation, security fears over Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the almost criminal fleecing of the fans to name just a few of the issues that the decision by UEFA to hold the final Baku has caused.

Arsenal football club is not at all happy and has expressed their disappointment with UEFA in a statement released today.

Statement in full

“Everyone at Arsenal is delighted to have reached the Uefa Europa League final and we are all very much looking forward to the match against Chelsea on Wednesday, May 29.

“However, we are bitterly disappointed by the fact that due to transport limitations Uefa can only make a maximum of 6,000 tickets available to Arsenal for a stadium with a capacity of well over 60,000. Time will tell if it is even possible for 6,000 Arsenal fans to attend the match, given how extreme the travel challenges are.

“We have 45,000 season-ticket holders and for so many fans to miss out due to Uefa selecting a final venue with such limited transport provision is quite simply not right. The reality is that whoever reached the final would not be able to meet demand from their supporters.

“We have received many complaints from our fans about this and we fully share their concerns.


“On behalf of our fans, we would like to understand the criteria by which venues are selected for finals, and also how supporter requirements are taken into account as part of this.

“Moving forward we would urge Uefa to ensure that supporter logistics and requirements are a key part of any future decisions for final venues as what has happened this season is unacceptable, and cannot be repeated. We would be happy to join any future discussions to avoid this situation happening again.”

Then there is the absolutely unforgivable situation of Henrikh Mkhitaryan possibly missing the final due to the political situation in Azerbaijan.

It is utter madness that UEFA did not see this coming but of course, money is their driving force and not player security.

In terms of injury updates, it is our opponents that have paid the cost for the stupid decision to play a friendly in the USA just a few days after the domestic season has finished and two weeks before the final, I mean, who does that?

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to miss the final due to an ankle injury suffered against New England last night.

Can you imagine what we would have said to the Arsenal management if they would have made such a boneheaded decision?

Ah well, not our problem.

That is it for updates on the Europa League final but no doubt there will be more news over the next 13 days and we will bring it to you as it comes in.

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Six days to go – Latest Arsenal Europa League final news and updates

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There are now just six days to go before Arsenal and Chelsea face off in the Europa League final and a stream of reports are coming in thick and fast covering everything from team selection, fan issues, UEFA incompetence and so forth and we will now be doing a daily update of what is being reported.

Arsenal has sold just 3500 tickets out of their measly 6000 allocation with the rest being returned to UEFA. The ridiculous cost of getting to Baku has resulted in many fans being excluded from a major European trophy thanks to the utter incompetence of European footballs governing body.

Azerbaijan are playing the victim following Henrikh Mkhitaryan correct decision to not risk his safety. Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the UK has accused Mkhitaryan of “trying to make a political statement” by declining to visit a country that is effectively at war with his own nation.

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has made it clear the whole team wants to win the Europa League for Mkhitaryan following his decision to miss the final due to security concerns.

“It’s a shame for him not to be there, especially as he has often played on the way to the final, but our team has that in mind: We also want to win for Micki,” Mustafi told Kicker.

Arsenal fans have launched an online petition to have the Europa League final moved from Baku to Wembley Stadium. The reasoning behind the petition is the exclusion of Mkhitaryan making Baku an unfit location to hold a major European final

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also come out in support of Mkhitaryan saying “We know it is a big shame but we respect his decision. It is not easy for him to go there because of political problems. It is a big shame but now we have one more motivation to win”

Former Arsenal legend David Seaman has urged Unai Emery not to pick Petr Cech over Bernd Leno for the final because he feels that the German is simply the better player.

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David Seaman tells Unai Emery to copy Arsene Wenger with big Arsenal decision

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Cech has been the regular goalkeeper in the Europa League for Arsenal since losing his spot as the Premier League No 1 to Bernd Leno midway through the group stage.

The 37-year-old is set to retire after Wednesday’s match in Baku and reports claim he is set to become a sporting director at former club and final opponents Chelsea this summer.

That has led to many Arsenal fans claiming Cech should not play, though the former Czech Republic international has tweeted saying he is completely focused on the match ahead.

Seaman is surprised Cech’s proposed new job has been leaked but says he would have picked Leno in the final before hearing the news.

And Seaman referred to how former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger picked him ahead of Richard Wright in the 2002 FA Cup final despite not playing in previous rounds.

“Well it was announced and I was thinking ‘woah, who’s let this out? Who’s actually leaked this?’,” Seaman told talkSPORT.

“If it’s Chelsea then is it mind games? To make Arsenal think ‘is he going to be thinking about Chelsea when he’s playing?’

“Or maybe Arsenal have leaked it because they might not even be playing him, and use that as an excuse?

“It’s a strange one because there was a poll last night and I think it was about 60-40 wanted Leno to play.

“I know Cech has played all the games but in a final like that, especially against Chelsea.

“Arsenal need to win this game to get into the Champions League.

“For me, you play your strongest team.

“If that means Leno plays then that’s what I would do.

“I know Arsene Wenger did it with me, he did it to Richard Wright.

“He played all the FA Cup games and then played me in the final.”

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Arsenal on the verge of landing one of their top targets

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Arsenal is set to make a move for long term target Bournemouth star Ryan Fraser after the Europa League final according to reports in the media today.

Now, we have been hearing these sort of rumours for a while but what I like about this latest report is that it comes from the Independent and not the likes of the Daily Star or the Sun.

While I do not trust the high brow papers too much I certainly do more than the tabloids and I have to say that I do find it credible that Arsenal will be tabling a bid for the 25-year-old.

Fraser has been brilliant for Bournemouth this season racking up 14 assists in the Premier League with only Chelsea’s Eden Hazard doing better.

Manchester United was apparently interested in the Scottish international but the Independent is claiming that the Red Devils will not be pursuing the playmaker despite what some have been claiming.

Bournemouth wants £30 Million for Fraser, however, Arsenal are said to be confident that they can get the figure lowered because the player wants a move and only has a year left on his contract.

One final thought, Fraser has spoken previously of a move to Arsenal and the speculation about him being linked with a move to the Emirates.

“I am not going to lie, it is very nice,” Fraser said

“It means you are doing something right. They are a huge club, a massive club.

“When you see your name thrown around you always think to yourself that you are a Bournemouth player and you try to do well.

“I am not going to lie, you do feel good, especially when it’s a massive club.”

Of all the rumours currently going around this is the one that I do believe is real and I am now in a position where I would actually be surprised if we fail to get Fraser to put pen to paper.

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