Ozil and Ramsey to miss Arsenal's clash with Cologne

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One of the most polarised figures at Arsenal despite his exemplary record for the club, Giroud seems to be at a crossroads at Emirates now.

"It was a private decision". Arsenal my have had a battle-hardened core of English veterans, but Wenger nearly immediately brought with him a change of focus toward continental players and methods that saw careers extended and trophies lifted.

"I am humble enough to be happy enough to want to win every competition". "So as I said to the boss, our story was not finished, so everybody was pleased with that". The fact that winning the Europa League would bring both that and a piece of silverware is what makes it so appealing, particularly as the north Londoners are widely considered outsiders in the race for the top four back home. "He's had a great evolution here and overall the contribution to the club has been tremendous".

And he believes there is no reason why Arsenal can not return to the European high table through the Premier League despite heightened competition in the top tier of English football.

"He has shown a loyal spirit and has high respect from everybody at the club and the fans".

Chelsea endured a hard start to the life under Antonio Conte last season but eventually lifted the title in May.

FC Koln do not appear a huge threat on paper, but players can often be lifted by a big occasion and against a side who are expected to win, and we mustn't get complacent.

"We are very focused on the Europa League and want to go and win it".

'We really look forward to the challenge, it is independent to the Bundesliga. It's very nice for everybody.

Thoughts, Gooners? Has the spending gone too far or do we just need to accept it?

"It's always nice to have good players alongside you".

"Trust me, we've got a very good team on paper tomorrow", Giroud said.

Arsenal also played at the old Mungersdorf ground in 1996 - long before it was refurbished for the 2006 World Cup in Germany - when they faced the Billy Goats' near neighbours Borussia Monchengladbach.