Arsene Wenger is hoping Jose Reyes knowledge of Celta Vigo will end Arsenal’s Spanish hoodoo in tonight’s Champions League tie at Celta Vigo.
Reyes is poised to start up front alongside Thierry Henry and Wenger hopes the young Spaniard can help Arsenal reverse their awful form against la liga clubs. Arsenalhave drawn just one of their six games in Spain since Wenger took charge – and lost the other five.
‘That is something we want to rectify,’ stated Wenger. ‘We have had bad experiences in Spain in the past but we have a Spanish guide now so we hope that he will help us to put that right.
‘It is the kind of game for Jose. He doesn’t have to adapt, it’s against the kind of football he knows. I would not put too much responsibility on his shoulders as he is a newcomer without any experience in the Champions League.
‘But he can, of course, be very useful because of his workrate, his runs and invention. He gives us some pace up front, which can be vital away from home.’
‘We are in a position where we have nothing to lose as we feel we are miraculously still in the competition,’ admitted Wenger.
‘We were just one minute away from going out against Kiev and we had to win our last three group games. It was a bonus for us but we want to take advantage of it.
‘This is the most experienced squad I have had as most players have been here for four or five years. The rest are well equipped for the challenge but we have to show that over the next few months.’
Reyes, meanwhile, is relishing the chance to make his first Champions League appearance.
‘This will be a special game for the club and, especially, for me to return to Spain with a club from abroad.
‘It is very important to me to be a player in the Champions League and I feel, of course, that Arsenal have a great squad and a great tradition.
‘But the most important thing is not returning to this country or my aspirations for the national team but the performance of Arsenal. I expect Arsenal to give a competitive and beautiful display.’