Marseille gaffer on how far Gunners can go in Europe and why

Ozil Arsenal 3

Arsenal have to be considered Champions League contenders, says the man bossing the side who take on the North Londoners this evening…

Arsenal are a balanced team who have enough ability to claim the title that has thus far eluded them throughout their history, the Champions League trophy, according to Olympique Marseille boss Elie Baup, who takes his Ligue 1 representatives to the Emirates Stadium this evening, Tuesday, looking to score their first point in Group F competition.

'In my mind Arsenal is a team which has both ability, but also a very balanced side,' said Baup, as quoted by the Daily Mail. 'This is also a team which, when it has difficult moments, they can manage it very well and then be decisive.'

Arsene Wenger's control over the current crop of Gunners was underlined in the summer when he retained the services of all the fundamental first-team players.

The individual improvements to shot-stopper Wojtech Szczesny, box-to-box midfielder Aaron Ramsey, towering striker Olivier Giroud and the defensive partnership that is blossoming between Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have ensured balance in the starting XI, while the acquisitions of Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil have given both bite and style to both ends of the midfield.

'Arsenal are an extremely strong side in these competitions, and have made further improvements since Mesut Ozil signed,' Baup added.

Like they are in the Premier League, Arsenal enjoy top spot in their European group, however, because Napoli are also on nine points after four match-days, it is imperitive Arsenal slay Marseille this evening. This is not lost on Wenger, who believes the point-less French side are able to spring a surprise if the Gunners become complacent.

'They have quality, they are in a better period at the moment because they won their last two games and that makes them a dangerous team to play against,' he is reported to have said by the official website of UEFA. 'The quality of our concentration and focus will be vital.'

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch