By Richard Clarke
Danny Fiszman was quietly satisfied with Arsenal’s draw in Champions League Group G but he knows the team will have to clock-up more than their fare share of air-miles to qualify for the Knockout Stages.
Arsène Wenger’s side were drawn against Porto, Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev at a lavish ceremony in Monaco on Thursday. All are relatively long trips.
“It is not the worst draw we could have had,” said Mr Fiszman. “Arsène’s main issue will be the travel. Porto is not too bad but Kiev and Fenerbahce are long trips. That is the real issue for us.
“I don’t think we have got it easy or we have a hard draw. It is in the middle, with the problem of the distance of course.”
Kiev are a known quantity having played Arsenal in the Champions Leagues of 1998/99 and 2003/04. They also have former Arsenal defender Oleg Luzhny on their coaching staff.
“We look forward to meeting Oleg again,” Mr Fiszman continued. “I remember being there in Kiev when we bought him. He always did well for us and gave us 100 per cent.
“They were my favourites for the tournament after they beat us in 1998. But perhaps they are not as strong as they were.”
As for the other two opponents, Mr Fiszman said: “Fenerbahce are not going to be easy. They have great local support. The team will have to contend with the atmosphere as well playing the team. While Porto were champions in 2004 so they cannot be underestimated.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 28 Aug 2008