Arsenal News - Celtic, Merida and Simpson

Sorry about the lack of a blog yesterday but other things got in the way, namely taking my missus out.Anyway we now know the team standing in the way of our path to the Champions League and it is Tony Mowbray's Celtic. The Battle of Britain will commence at Celtic Park on the 18th of August with the return taking place at the Emirates on the 26th. Celtic will not be an easy draw by stretch but I'm happier to have been paired against Celtic rather than the dangerous Fiorentina or Atletico Madrid. The first leg will be a big test of our character and temperament. To say Celtic Park is a fortress is an understatement, Man Utd, AC Milan, Barcelona and various others have come unstuck in Glasgow in the last few years and it will no doubt be a tough test for our young side. Celtic may not be as great a side as they have been in previous years but they are perhaps the sort of side we have the most trouble with. They are hardworking, strong, tough in the tackle and committed and it is against this sort of side we have come unstuck against. i.e. Bolton/ Stoke/ Hull etc. We should however have enough to get us through over the two legs but it's not the forgone conclusion the press will make it out to be....Surprisingly Fran Merida looks to be heading out on loan again. It's rumoured he will complete a loan move to Spanish second division side Levante tomorrow. This appears to be a strange one as Fran was finally making headway in his attempts to become a first team player. He was given a new squad number during the summer and impressed during the Emirates cup and with the injuries to Rosicky and Nasri a move away seems a bit strange to me. Fran definitely needs some more minutes but how much will he learn in the Spanish second division? If he needed a loan move surely a move to a good championship side or a mid-table Premier League side would have been more beneficial.Jay Simpson looks like he will be following Merida out the door.,19528,12874_5478059,00.htmlA loan move to the Championship or to Champions League opponents Celtic has been mooted, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him move in a permanent deal. Jay hasn't ever really had a look in at Arsenal and to me I don't think he'll ever be good enough to be an Arsenal player. The Championship seems about the right level for him at the moment and maybe permanently.We take on Valencia tonight in our last friendly it is being shown on Arsenal TV Online and will be streamed on a number of sites. I'll be watching and will cover it tomorrow.

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