Arsenal's European struggles continue

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Monaco Stun Arsenal in Champions League


By NICK PAPADIS
College Contributor Network

With the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 match quickly approaching, Arsenal will hope to turn around their fate as they face AS Monaco.

Despite numerous accolades for Arsenal including league titles, FA Cups and Community Shields, the one major achievement that has eluded the Gunners has been European success. The Gunners have reached the finals and semi-finals in recent years but have found the success they desire unattainable.

The closest Arsenal have come in Arsene Wenger's time in North London is as runner-up in the Champions League once and in the Euro League once. Which raises the question, why does Arsenal struggle in European play?

In recent years the answer is more obvious than in Wenger's early time at the club. Lately, the Gunners have lacked a consistent quality striker. With Olivier Giroud very injury prone, Arsenal do not have a variety of options at striker.

This year's addition of Danny Welbeck is Wenger's current answer for the issue, but this has not proven to do the trick thus far. Welbeck has scored three goals in five appearances in the Champions League this season, all of which came in the Gunners 4-1 win over Galatasaray, but is yet to score in the knockout stage.

In the past, Arsenal had a dominant striker in Thierry Henry, but lacked in various other positions. The Gunners have never quite seemed to find the right formula for European play.

Though they have had consistent success in England, they greatly struggle against foreign teams. The tactics across Europe can vary greatly which may be one reason for the North London side's difficulties.

However, the majority of the Gunners' struggles can be attributed to lack of depth. Arsenal is made up of several good players but doesn't quite have as high qualities as other European clubs.

Star-studded teams such as Bayern Munich, who knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League last season, consistently beat the Gunners due to having more top-quality players.

If they hope to make a further run in European play, Arsenal will need to add further depth to their current roster.

The Gunners will have to hope for a miracle in the second leg of their Champions League match-up against AS Monaco, as the Ligue 1 side scored three away goals at the Emirates.

Nick Papadis is a sophomore at American University majoring in broadcast journalism and broadcasts AU Men's Soccer amongst other sports. Nick is an avid Liverpool fan. Follow him on twitter @NPSoccerTalk
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