Prior to its pivotal showdown with Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals, 19 first-team players of the Arsensal squad made a trip to the Barricuda Casino on Wednesday night. Arsenal sits in 6th place with 5 matches to go in the EPL, so the club’s best and only realistic chance to make the Champions League is to win the Europa League.

If Arsenal hopes to avoid the ignominy of missing the Champions League for the second year in a row. In such cases, a roster either ratchets up the stoicism for an upcoming gritty performance or it seeks a break from the pressure to bring a new energy to the match.

Arsenal chose the latter. The idea is to relax and bond a bit before the final stretch of the English Premier League‘s schedule. The Gunners squad is said to have laid on a private room and even received some pocket money for gambling purposes.

Arsenal at Barricuda

The Gunners booked a private room at Barricuda’s, a London casino and club. The event began at 7pm and went on until 12:30am or so, when players began to emerge from Barricuda. By that time, papparazzi were on hand.

Splash News published photos of the likes of Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Per Mertesacker, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Walbeck, and Granit Xhaka leaving Barricuda after a night of fun.

The tone has been deadly serious for Arsenal this season, as the fate of Arsene Wenger hanged in the balance. It was announced on Thursday that Wenger would be leaving the club at the end of the year.

Arsenal’s 2018 EPL Season

The success of Arsenal’s 2018 season depends almost entirely on their success in Europe. The team is preparing to face the Spain’s Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final. Arsenal is 14 points out of fourth place, which is held currently Arsenal’s North London rivals, Tottenham. With only five games to play, Arsenal faces huge pressure to win. Most likely, Arsene Wenger’s squad will not reach the top 4 needed to qualify for the Champions League.

That would mean Arsenal needs to win the Europa League championship, which itself is a tall order. With the need to win a string of matches ahead of them, Arsenal’s players decided to eat, drink, and place a wager or two. Fans might think seriousness is in order, but the football club signed off on the excursion, so Wenger must have decided R&R was needed.

Alexandre Lacazette on Europa League Semi-Final

Arsenal’s players said winning the semi-final against Atletico Madrid is important on a number of levels. Alexandre Lacazette said he wanted to help Arsene Wenger keep his job, though the next day, it was announced Wenger was leaving Arsenal after 21 & 1/2 years in charge.

Lacazette also said he wanted to play for high stakes in front of his loved ones. Lacazette said, “It can be the way to keep the manager because he’s done so much good for the club. I really want to be in that final, to play in front of family and friends. I came to Arsenal because I want to win trophies.”

“So to get to the final is very important. It will save our season because in the Premier League we are not doing well. Winning a cup would be good.”

About the Author
April Bergman avatar
April Bergman

April Bergman was a longtime news blogger for BOC. She wrote gaming news posts from January 2013 until September 2018. April also wrote slot reviews, strategy articles, and online casino reviews for the site.

April Bergman began in the online gaming industry in August 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she managed evergreen content for several top online casino. Her duties included developing and maintaining multiple websites in the gaming space. When not writing about online gambling, April loves horse racing, travel, photography, and gardening. She's began in the business as a devoted poker players and spent several years as a card game editor on the now-defunct DMOZ. These days, she lives with her husband and two children in the Toronto metropolitan area.

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April Bergman was a longtime news blogger for BOC. She wrote gaming news posts from January 2013 until September 2018. April also wrote slot reviews, strategy articles, and online casino reviews for the site.

April Bergman began in the online gaming industry in August 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she managed evergreen content for several top online casino. Her duties included developing and maintaining multiple websites in the gaming space. When not writing about online gambling, April loves horse racing, travel, photography, and gardening. She's began in the business as a devoted poker players and spent several years as a card game editor on the now-defunct DMOZ. These days, she lives with her husband and two children in the Toronto metropolitan area.

READ MORE
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