Oleksandr Zinchenko makes demand to team-mates
Ahead of the World Cup, Arsenal’s midweek schedule includes a Carabao Cup match against Brighton on Wednesday. Their Europa League group stage matches may be over, but the knockouts come after their World Cup preparations.
In yet another competition, the Gunners will be looking to build on their strong start to the year. Oleksandr Zinchenko has sent a clear message to his teammates following Sunday’s statement win over Chelsea.
Arsenal must be patient while waiting to learn their opponents for the Europa League’s round of 16 matchups.
Every recent development from the Emirates Stadium is examined by Mirror Football.
Zinchenko, a versatile Ukrainian left back, has told his teammates at Arsenal to “kill-off” their old mindset as they continue their improbable Premier League title run this season.
Since their illustrious 2003–04 season, the Gunners have not won the title. For the club for a number of years, a top four finish was sufficient enough to at least qualify for the Champions League.
Zinchenko is now calling for a culture and mentality change in the dressing room, though.
Following Sunday’s huge victory over Chelsea, he said: “I think I would say that before I got used to hearing that Arsenal, it means straight away in your mind, top four, top four. I would say, I really want to kill and destroy this stereotype.”
The Europa League’s knockout stage draw was held on Monday, but Arsenal still doesn’t know who they will play in the round of 16.
The Gunners won five of their first six games to finish first in Group A, and they moved on directly to the next round. However, they won’t know their opponents until the play-offs for the knockout round until February.
The Gunners have avoided a potentially challenging two-legged play-off by moving on to the last 16 because these are played between the eight teams that finished second in the Europa League group stage and the eight teams that finished third in the Champions League group stage.
Aaron Ramsdale, the goalkeeper for Arsenal, has come under fire for allegedly “lying” when he claimed that former striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was not discussed in the locker room prior to the game.
After losing his captaincy and moving on to Barcelona in January, Aubameyang had an awkward reunion with the Gunners when he lined up for Chelsea on Sunday.
When asked about his former teammate, Ramsdale told BT Sport: “No, I don’t think he’s been mentioned.”
However, Rio Ferdinand responded by openly accusing the shot-stopper of a mistruth by saying: “He’s lying, Aubameyang definitely would have been spoken about in the dressing room before this game.”
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