German paper suggests main reason Arsenal struggled at Besiktas

Die Welt has offered an insight into Arsenal's struggles during the 0-0 draw against Besiktas.

German newspaper Die Welt has offered an explanation as to why Arsenal struggled in their 0-0 draw against Besiktas in the Champions League play-off last night.

The paper argues that one of the main reasons Arsenal weren’t able to get an advantage in the first leg of the game is because they didn’t have their German trio of Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker available.

“Arsenal secured a goalless draw in Instanbul and showed a weak performance,” reports Die Welt.

“Arsene Wenger’s team were largely harmless in offence and lacking ideas in midfield as the Gunners travelled without German world champions Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski.”

The three German stars were given extra time off by Arsene Wenger following the World Cup with the Frenchman very clear that he wanted to avoid the issue of burnout with each.

They have since returned to first team training and Mertesacker was ready to step in had Laurent Koscielny not been fit to face Besiktas because of an Achilles injury.

All three could feature in the Premier League this weekend against Everton away from home but Wenger is unlikely to take any unnecessary risks and could nurse them all back into the team from the bench.

It’s way too early in the season to judge Arsenal because they haven’t had enough time to increase their match sharpness and find their best form.

They also laboured to a win against Crystal Palace in the opening weekend of the Premier League last Saturday.

However, take nothing away from the value of this result because while it may not be what Arsenal were hoping for, it certainly puts them in a good position ahead of the second leg.

Aaron Ramsey’s red card and Mikel Arteta’s injury will force Wenger into making changes but with those German players due to return, Wenger can be confident of lining up in the group stage.

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