Arsenal – The Giant Killers
Arsenal have never been a rich club and they are not in a position to attract star players. In fact, they are only one of three clubs (alongside Boca Juniors and Lanus) who adopted their association’s suggestion to make their board members responsible for any deficit in the club’s books – and they are one of the few clubs not in the red. They therefore have to choose their playing staff carefully and they caused quite a stir at the beginning of the season by signing 13 new players.
They must have been chosen well by coach Gustavo Alfaro in the light of their cup success with a comparatively small pool of players. And they surprised all along, first beating big Argentine club San Lorenzo and strong Mexican opposition Guadalajara and America in the semi-finals and finals. And Arsenal also travelled well, as they won all their matches as visitors.
Arsenal were also the giant killers in the last Apertura, beating San Lorenzo 4-2, River Plate 2-1, Boca Juniors 2-1 and Independiente 3-2. And with no relegation worries for the moment – halfway up the relegation averages table – their main aim now is the Copa Libertadores. If they win that — and London’s Arsenal finally manage to win the UEFA Champions League — they may fulfil another dream of meeting their London namesakes in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan at the end of the year.