LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: FC Koln Fans let of flares after Jhon Cordoba of FC Koeln scored the first goal during the UEFA Europa League group H match between Arsenal FC and 1. FC Koeln at Emirates Stadium on September 14, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The Frenchman revealed he was ready for the fixture to be set to another date following safety concerns.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger insists he was mentally preparing himself to have the Europa League opener against FC Cologne called off after the kick-off time was delayed with an hour due to safety reasons.

A reported number of 20,000 Cologne fans arrived in London despite the fact only 3,000 tickets were available for the German supporters. Riot police were deployed to keep things in order inside and outside the stadium as ugly scene occurred on social media, depicting inexplicable behaviour by Cologne’s fans.

Despite the crowd congestion issue, Arsenal proceeded to win the game 3-1 and secure the three points in their first fixture in Europe. Speaking after the game, Wenger said:

“We waited patiently in our dressing room but what was difficult for me was that I had all kinds of plans to think about.” the Frenchman stated as quoted by Goal.

“Do we play tomorrow? At what time do we want to play? Do we play next week? But they have a Bundesliga game midweek, we have a League Cup game midweek. Do we move it to Tuesday and play Thursday? It was all kinds of speculations that we had to analyse.

“In the end, at some stage, I thought they will not play the game. I can’t see the police taking any risk. We live in a society of 100 per cent security.”