Bayern win masks the wider failure… Arsenal need to change

by & filed under Match report.

I’m not sure how much of a match report I can offer up this morning. The excitement combined with the beer screwed up any hope I had of taking notes. Needless to say, it was an eventful match.

We took the game 2-0, away from home, against a team that had scored 30 odd goals in their last 11 straight wins. Whichever way you decide to spin that, it’s an amazing result. However, it doesn’t take much digging around the stats bank to see that really, we were hardly scintillating. We managed 5 attempts on goal all evening, 3 of those found the target and two were goals.

We won the leg, not the game. What was important to the travelling faithful and those watching on the box was that the club didn’t capitulate. We wanted to see the boys had some pride, we wanted to see that they cared about the shirt enough to put in a shift in an intimidating arena against superb opposition.

Well, we certainly saw a fight out there. We also saw some standout performances from some unlikely players. The first on that list has to be the keeper. He hadn’t played a competitive game since 1992, so the worry was that he was going to be rusty. Well, he wasn’t, he had a blinding game and kept the Germans at bay single handedly at times. His performance was solid, his concentration levels were high and he shouldn’t be dropped for the Swansea game.

The second performance that impressed was that of Laurent Koscielny. A player who did so well last season he was linked with a move to Barcelona. He’s had a nasty year, he found himself unfairly relegated to third choice defender by proxy of Vermaelen’s captaincy, then when he has managed to land a game, he’s been atrocious. Not last night. He was in the main, calm, composed and aggressive when he needed to be. He looked solid and he brought far more assurance to the back than Thomas has been all season.

As for the rest of the team? Well, it was a battling performance. We were generally dominated for possession  We don’t play the Arsenal way these days. We do a bad impression of teams of old. Watching us chug the ball around is painful at times because I know how good the system used to look. The midfield didn’t really click during the game, the teams pass completion rate was a painfully poor 65%. It’s never going to when you’re playing someone like Ramsey in there. He doesn’t have the speed of pass or skill to make things happen.

Up top, bar a few half decent runs from Theo Walcott, we really didn’t set the world on fire. At the highest level, whatever your support levels are of the club, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud really don’t cut the mustard.

The game opened well, Rosicky slipped Theo down the right, he bombed into the box and picked out Giroud with a ball that travelled through the legs of Dante. The goal was a tap in. Giroud’s first in 497 minutes. Staggering eh?

Bayern took the calm and easy approach. They tried to slow the pace of the game and get things back on their terms. As a Bayern fan, the lack of urgency would have killed me. At times, it bordered on complacency how easy they were taking things. However, they were dominant. They created chances, but nothing cut throat. We made it through to half time with a goal to our name. Really what we needed was an early goal to put Bayern into a panic. We couldn’t make anything happen. The Bayern keeper must have been freezing because he had hardly anything to do until we eventually scored our second late on when Koscielny connected with a corner to make sure things were spicier than a spicy piece of chicken.

Well, nothing too spicy happened. Arteta did his best to ensure he slowed down play with three fouls in injury time. Nothing says you’re off the pace like conceding 10 fouls during a game. The game played out, the battle was won, but the Champions League war had been lost once again.

I’ll enjoy the win. I’m proud of the boys for not capitulating, but at the end of the day… the result is what matters.

Out of the Champions League.

What does this mean for the rest of the season? Well, I’m hoping it acts as a launch pad. Wenger dropped under performers for the Bayern game and guess what? The people he put in their place did a great job. Thomas Rosicky… what a solid performance from him. His energy and know how worked wonders yesterday. Why has it taken until March for him to see any sort of action? Wenger needs to adopt a form based policy going into the weekend’s game. The players need to be under no illusions that careers are on the line if last nights level of battle isn’t shown in every game.

Moving forward, Wenger needs to look at how impressive Bayern have been over the course of a season and ask himself whether attaining those levels is something Arsenal should be aiming for. Is Arsene doing the best for the club every summer? Is the way he operates best practice… if it’s not, someone needs to ask why he isn’t doing all he can to make the club the greatest it can be. If Wenger thinks his antiquated ways are the way forward, he needs to go. This isn’t an Arsene Wenger issue anymore. It’s a club issue. What is best for the club should always be the first question people ask. Wenger has been a massive part of our past, is he the future? It’s a big question. Not one that tarnishes his legend. If he approaches this summer with anything other than a jack hammer, he’s not doing the best for the club any more. We’re a million miles away in the league, we’re a million miles away in the Champions League and we’re on the decline.

It’s not acceptable that I’m proud about a defeat in the last 16 of the Champions League. We’re better than that. People say no other English club made it to the quarter finals. So what? Does that justify our poor performance in the the first leg? No. You know what… the other three clubs will rebuild. They’ll invest. They’ll try and come back better. If we don’t take that attitude what is the point in calling ourselves a football club? Where was the worth in all the upheaval of the stadium move? We need to achieve. We need to want to be the best and we need to stop making excuses. You don’t have to be the richest to compete.

321 Responses to “Bayern win masks the wider failure… Arsenal need to change”

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  1. The Poldi Prince

    Girouds first in nearly ten hrs because he has missed about 15 chances from 6 yards or less.

    No such thing as a tap him with him as our striker.

    Too good for a small club. Not good enoigh for a big club with aspirations.

    Would suit Liverpool.

  2. ardentgooner

    The sad part is we all saw that when the team has the desire and the right tactics/instructions they can do well..

    Shame we don’t do it every game. Hold Wenger responsible for that. Nevertheless a nice win yesterday and one which we should build on.

  3. Joppa Road

    “Would suit Liverpool”….

    Liverpool who already have one of the best strikers in the world and who have won 5 European Cup and 18 League Titles.

    Dumb comment but expected.

  4. @makienakiapampa

    @pedro, i agree with you. Wenger needs to check out if he can not change his ways. Being under pressure made him drop some underperforming players and see how it turned out. Making someone captain doesnt mean he has to be the first name on the sheet when he underperforms. Vermalean has been whack all season and yet Wenger persisted with him.

    @ Pedro special mention goes to Carl Jeckinson, IMHO he had a blinder yesterday!

  5. Bimal

    The inquest will come in the summer and after the end of the season. For now, we should really be getting behind the team and aim for a top 4 finish. Creating negativity at this point of the season will not help us but will only push our rivals forward. Get behind the club until the season ends at least.

  6. Ghost

    Giving credit is necessary for the performance but Rosicky? What game did you watch? Apart from his involvement in the goal he was all over the place, didn’t defend at all, misplaced more passes than any player on either team. Ramsey had a better game and covered more ground. Rosicky and Cazorla were abject. Podolski gets slated for not defending enough which is unfair, cazorla makes zero effort, just watches players pass him by. I hope he gets dropped for Swansea.

    All in, good performance + Giroud is not good enough to be a starter. Gervinho did well when he came on didn’t he?

  7. N21 Tone

    Thought Jenkinson was worth a mention? If Wenger puts Sagna back in the team automatically when he is fit then I think I will bust a blood vessel!

  8. Gbenga

    This is what you get when d manager is courageous enough to make some bold and courageous calls to allow for healthy competition for places. I think Fabianski should continue as gk until otherwise proven incompetent. Too little too late though, a superb performance from d defence…they played for one another. But this does not in any way paper over d cracks.

  9. N21 Tone

    Ghost – think you are right but as for watching players go past you without chasing back you need look no further than Wallnut! He was abysmal and has no team ethic whatsoever!

  10. Joppa Road

    ‘Compete’

    That’s the word and all we ask. Wenger is no longer the man for the job and I honestly don’t know what the man has to do to get fired. It’s just amazing and sickening the man is still manager at Arsenal.

  11. Guns of Hackney

    Last night summed up Arsenal – when the pressure was on (first leg) they were destroyed) but last night (technically the pressure was off) they did okay.

    Wenger is unable to motivate his team when it matters and to be paid £7.5m to…well, please let me know what he does, is truly horrendous!

  12. Danny

    Arteta left Everton and took a pay cut to join us so that he could play in the champions league. Seems hard to believe after the way he played in the last 5 minutes. Hopefully he”ll fuck off in the summer.

  13. Guns of Hackney

    Joppa Road

    “I honestly don’t know what the man has to do to get fired”

    He would probably have to go all Mike Tyson and eat Kronke’s children…other than that, he has the safest job in the world.

  14. Rob The Goon

    Great post…

    It was a surprising but great result, beating Bayern away and a clean sheet but what is not so surprising is the fact that Arsene FC always perform when the pressure if off!

    Typical!

  15. gambon

    Last night for me is absolute justification for the sacking of Wenger.

    The enormous polarisation in performances shows that Wenger is not motivating these players. They are picking and choosing when they can be bothered to perform.

    How can a team lose to bradford, but beat Munich away?

    How can a team lose 8-2 to UTD and 4-0 to Milan then beat Milan 3-0?

    Its a management, motivation problem as well as clear skill problem.

    How many points have been thrown away due to a criminal lack of preparation & motivation this year?

    Didnt start playing until we were 2-0 down against Munich.

    Didnt start playing until we were 2-0 down against Spurs

    Didnt start playing until we were 2-0 down against Chelsea

    Didnt start playing until we were 2-0 down against Man City

    Didnt even bother showing up against Swansea, Norwich, Villa, Stoke, Sunderland, Southampton, Olympiakos, Shalke(H).

  16. peter doswell

    Sorry but what a negative blog! Last week Wenger has no tactical brain and this week despite beating Bayern away 2-0 no praise for him just negative. Reading and listening to much to “Arsenal haven’t won a trophy in 8 years” comment made by every form of media outlet. You should rename the blog doom and gloom1

  17. Biggles

    I’m proud of the team for winning, because beating Bayern Munich in Germany is a great result no matter what.

    But like Pedro says, the problem is we’re still out and we’re still not winning anything.

    On some level I’m annoyed that Arsenal won. A defeat – especially a heavy thrashing – would have been another nail in Wenger’s coffin. But, just like he always does, he managed to find a lifebelt. Last year it was finishing third after Spurs blew an astounding lead. This year, when the pressure was much greater he can turn round and say “this is the best team I’ve ever had, we went to Germany and won!” and he’ll stay that bit longer. Gah.

  18. gambon

    “I think Fabianski should continue as gk until otherwise proven incompetent”

    Sigh, exactly the kind of pathetic comments we can expect all day.

    What next…..”Giroud has shown he is just as good as RVP”

    Fabianski is probably the worst goalkeeper in the premier league. One decent performance is enough to convince complete spas.tics like Wenger & his AKBs.

  19. Josip Skoblar

    What a weird game: a complacent and poorBayern side against a solid but very limited Arsenal side (tactically, teachnically, physically speaking). We had three serious chances and we scored two! How un-Arsenal that is!
    The best performers were are back 4 + keeper! I can’t believe I’m writing this. Jenkinson (I like the lad), Mertesacker, Kozzer and, well, Fabianski were consistently good. I think the Meertesacker/Kozzer partnership worked fine.
    For once they played like the Arsenal of old: tenacious, physical and realistic.
    Our midfield were sloppy and wasteful. Cazorla didn’t have a great game and spent too much time complaining about the referee’s decisions. I like Rosicky but his passing was mediocre.
    The problem was the attack: no penetration, no pace (apart from the first goal), no skills. Gervinho could/should have scored. We really have to spend big on a totally revamped attack next year.
    Over the two games, an Arsenal victory would have been a travesty, but I am going to start thinking that this Bayern team for all its class and depth is a bit of a team of bottlers.

  20. kulastu

    Morning Gooners,

    I thought Jenkinson was superb last night and am a little disappointed he was not mentioned in your post today. He was easily our best player – I actually thought Rosicky looked rusty but am always pleased to see him in the team – bar the one who shall not be named he was our best player last season, especially 2nd half of the season. I was proud of the team last night defensively – it actually looked as though they have been drilled over the last 10 days or so. Has Bouldy been allowed to work with them again? I thought the difference was sensational. They actually looked like a unit and played like one too! I thought all 5 at the back should come in for special praise. I agree Flappyhandski has to keep his place and TV should remain benched. I was disappointed with us going forward though. With a little more cohesive attacking I think we could have won by 3 or 4 last night but going forward we just did not look like we had the belief. Cazorla was anonymous last night and Theo only looked ok in patches. Anyway all in all I think it was a positive game for us and I am very hopeful this sets us up for a good run in. I know there are quite a few on here who wants us to finish outside of the top 4 but I just can’t. As much as I want things to change I just can’t want my team not to win etc. I have tried but I cannae do it! I also worry that once out of that top 4 it may take quite a while to get back there a la Liverfool. Anyway think I’ll stop rambling now. Up the Arse!

  21. Josip Skoblar

    gambon
    I agree with your observations about Wenger for not doing what it takes to motivate the players.

  22. Kemp1886

    Great post,superb last paragraph.The same people who call you fickle for wanting change are the same ones who think that everything is fine now,based on one game.

  23. progman07

    I don’t agree that Rosicky was good, he misplaced the most passes, in fact almost all attacks broke down because of him.

  24. @sean_harmon

    Considering games are 1.5 hrs long, 497 minutes isn’t exactly a drought.

    I don’t think it helps that we don’t play to Giroud’s strengths, but at the same time, he is quickly heaping pressure on himself by shooting from 40 yards.

    One of those comes of and there’s a different response from people.

  25. Guns of Hackney

    Nuns on the Run! Holy moly.

    Motivation: you either have it or you have to be able to do it.

    Wenger is a pointy faced glow worm

  26. Josip Skoblar

    Giroud is definitely not good enough to be first choice striker, but I very much liked Kozzer’s performance – also singled out by Pedro – and he should be played more often.

  27. Dev_Gooner

    It was bound to happen but it was not the type of performance I expected. Its a real shame that we can not play like this every game. The Bould effect was present yesterday. Has Wenger finally allowed Bould to take charge of the defensive strategies? Swansea will provide the answers to that. But yeah I do feel that in order to avoid defensive errors question from the press from now till the end of the season, Wenger will have allowed Bould to take charge of.

    A little but of pride restored in Europe I feel, but it doesnt hide the bigger picture that we lack that killer instinct when needed. Wenger comes out and blames the falling standards of EPL because no English club in the quarter finals for the first time since ’95? I dont think so… Yes we have reduced our standards but I dont think the others have. United were down right unlucky, Chelsea suffered a hangover and City are expected a tough progession route because of their low Co-efficient ranking. give it a few seasons and a better manager and you’d expect City and United to make the quarters every season.

    I hope we carry this momentum into the league and push for 4th. I dont want last night to be Arsenal’s last night in Champions League for years to come. I only want it to be Wenger’s last in charge.

    Don’t hate the club, hate the man who is running it into the ground.

    Wenger OUT

  28. ardentgooner

    Gambon

    Spot on “Its a management, motivation problem as well as clear skill problem.”

    Something needs to be done about this. Motivation and desire has to be there for every game. It is frustrating. Have to blame the manager for it no other person. Absolutely no consistency.

  29. Joppa Road

    I actually cannot stand many Arsenal fans now. I said we are the new Spurs fans and I stand by it. The comments on Twitter prove it. All the bollocks last night after the win and what about all the tweets about Spur’s Q&A session that are flying about? ‘Forever in our shadow’ and all that bollocks.

    Hello, they just beat us the other Sunday, have a better squad than us at present and arguably a better manager.

    Sick of the lot of you.

  30. Dplanet

    It’s been making me sick reading how ‘proud’ everyone is of last night’s performance. We lost the tie! It’s just not good enough for a team with our supposed aspirations. This ‘glorious defeat’ shit should be left for teams like Barnet FC (no disrespect), not the 5th richest club in the world with the most expensive tickets.

    The real question is how these players can pull off a performance like that against Bayern but can’t be bothered against Bradford (and countless others). It’s a question we don’t need answered on here though – we all know it’s down to Wenger.

  31. ardentgooner

    Dev Gooner

    Haha typical of some fans. One clean sheet and its Bould effect and as soon as we concede its Wenger’s effect?

    Clearly it doesn’t work like that in management. You dont keep switching around responsibilities every game.

    Credit where its due.

  32. Joppa Road

    *especially that argumentative **** Keyser. Tried to pay him a compliment last last and he got all narky. ****.

  33. Danny

    It’s the 88th minute, we’re 2-0 up and chasing the 3rd. We win a free kick in the middle of the Germans half. Up steps Arteta to take it and what happens? FUCK ALL!!

  34. Guns of Hackney

    Dev

    Yes, I have to agree with Ardent there – this was not a Bould effect…merely a Bayern couldn’t give a fuck effect.

    Lets see how much influence Bould has on Saturday’s performance – I suspect Swansea will have a laugh riot at our expense.

  35. mystic

    Flappy might not be any sort of a keeper to want, but his performance last night did highlight one thing – when under pressure to keep his position a player can do better than those who swan about feeling assured of their status.

    Do I have any higher opinion of him? No

    Do I think he is a better keeper than Chesney? No

    Do I think that for the next 10 games maybe he should be given a chance to keep the gloves? Yes – but not because I think he is suddenly a good player, but because Chesney clearly needs to accept there is competition after all.

    Come the summer then the goalkeeping situation needs a massive overhaul.

  36. richard

    well an interesting piece. I will give you that we were not good enough over two legs to beat bayern and therefore didn’t deserve a place in last eight. As for Giroud and walcott they have had good seasons so has podolski and cazorla. Lets take this into perspective Giroud 15 goals in all competitions and 7 assists in his first season in english football not bad, also every season he has improved coming from ligue 2 up to ligue one then ending up ligue ones top scorer to scoring 15 goals just six less than he managed last season in a harder leaugue is not bad. Yes he is not a top striker and neither is walcott but add another striker to our line up and we have a very good forward line. we need six players this next window in my opinion A new centre back a right back two midfielders at least one a defensive one if not two defensive minded ones and finally a Keeper of course we also have at least 4 or players to get rid off to make room for them those players are as we all know santos, park, bendtner, Djourou, Squilacci, fabianski or mannone or both, then a list of others that i would consider just because i am not sure they can get to this team. Frimpong good player and injuries at crucial times have made it hard to get into team, Eastmond, Diaby time for this injury hit player to be given his cards. With eisfeld and gnarbry and yennaris all looking to make marks and having shown glimpses we have a bright future

  37. AFCEd

    Lets be honest, Bayern had 2 key players missing and had the game in the bag. They could have got out of second gear if needed and put one past us.

    This is classic us over the past few years, we have a terrible run, get knocked out of competitions and then have one good game against a good team and everythings rosy again. We keep masking the same issue every year, we don’t have the same calibre of players that we once had, the new players are poor versions, the club blatantly don’t want to invest in the squad and Wenger has too much power, whilst his ideas and methods have been caught up and even surpassed.

    Time for a new direction as we have slowly drifted backwards the past ten years.

  38. Rob The Goon

    Mach III March 14, 2013 10:38:29

    What a classy performance by our powerhouse master tactician 😀 don’t be so doom and gloom, celebrate a victory!
    ____________________________________

    We must keep the faith! I hope he signs on!

    ____________________________________

    You’re absolutely right…I shall be keeping the faith!

    I’m looking forward to the “Beating Bayern Munich when the pressure is off” trophy parade at the end of the season!

    Ahh man…I cant wait!

  39. ardentgooner

    Guns of Hackney

    Bayern couldn’t give a fuck? Again for all our ineptness and inconsistency, I think yesterday performance has more to do with how well we did and not “Bayern couldn’t give a fuck”

    They almost got knocked out and as soon as the third minute goal went it they were trying to keep the ball and pass it back to the GK at every opportunity possible. They were nervous and most Bayern fans I was with were nervous too. They couldn’t believe that the team couldn’t create the opportunities they are so used to create on a weekly basis this season.Also I count only 1/2 shots from inside the box.

  40. kay

    Nice post pedro but the misery will continue with wanker getting a contract extension for another 2 yrs.. rinse and repeat stuff is the reality..
    we can all dream.. they dont give a shit about us.. AKBs have enough reason for wankers extension.. munich win..

    but wanker out.. dream on..

  41. A.k.b nemesis

    Spot on gambon. I don’t understand how we put up performances like that. Wenger still has it,he’s just not good for us anymore.

  42. azed

    Dplanet

    I’m with you mate. I can’t believe people take pride in loosing. We lost the tie which makes it 8 years without a trophy.
    Wenger has so lowered expectations that beating Bayern is now seen as an achievement.

  43. SSAANN

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Fabianski is good enough long term, but that on his performance last night should stay in the team.

    We can’t go out and buy a new keeper until post season, so we have to live with what we have.

    Jens said yesterday pre-game that he benefitted from Wenger dropping him. Hopefully the same will be true of Szczesny.

  44. Engin

    That rubbish about no other English club made it to the 1/4 final doesn’t wash with me.
    The other 3 teams are all in the Top 4 places and are likely to be in the CL next season again.
    I can’t say the same about us. As it stands, last night could’ve been our last CL game for a while.

  45. gambon

    Heres the problem…..if you dont fear for your job then you will not be motivated, unless you have a very unique personality.

    Wenger creates a culture of entitlement via his management & salary fuck-ups that mean there is little reason for the players to give there all.

    Bad game? Back in the team
    Own goal? Back in the team
    Lack of effort for 6 straight months? Still in the team

    There is no ambition, no accountability, no punishment for poor performers and therefore little reason to over extend yourself.

    Jack Wilshere has looked like our best player for 6 months, he isnt even that great, hes just the only player that can motivate himself to try hard all the time.

  46. Joppa Road

    I’ve never ever said Redkanpp is a better manager. Don’t be so fkin ridiculous. I have long said Wenger is well past his sell by date though.

  47. Mach III

    I agree with ardentgooner. Our tactics were spot on last night. Perfection. I understand that football is interpreted in a lot of different ways. Most people, take Gambon for example. He will struggle to see the tactics, and psychological influence being imposed on the game. It was a mental battle on that field last night. Wenger turned the outlook last night and we beat them! I hope it’s the break through that we’ve been looking for after restructuring the entire team over the last few years. We just need to replace diaby and rosicky with a top, top class player. Bring in a stylish striker, a tricky talented young player, a really good defensive midfielder and tighten up the defense. We beat an amazing team last night, if that isn’t something to celebrate, then you lot must be really depressed people! COYG!! TOP FOUR TROPHY ON THE CARDS!

  48. Danish Gooner

    Bayern were shockingly poor,i expected much from this german juggernaut but it was like watching arsenal when they are worst all the sideways passing nonsense.Credit to the players for winning at a very difficult place but once again we are left with what could have been this is slowly becoming the mantra of this club and it must be stopped or it will turn endemic.Do anyone rally think Barcelona or manure would celebrate an early exit from the CL like a victory ?? of course not !!

  49. A.k.b nemesis

    A new manager (frank de boer),kp(julio cesar),cb(phil jagielka),rb,dm,wg and a striker would see us compete next season.

  50. Usedbustickets

    Ramsey has gone backwards since he joined us. Yet Wenger picks him every time, it defies all logic!

  51. gambon

    Mystic

    You dont create competition by having 3 shit keepers.

    You create competition by bringing high quality players in.

    Fabianski is terrible, truly terrible. Theres a reason Wenger hasnt had any trust in him at all for 2 years now.

    What next? Arshavin, Park, Denilson all return to the first team cos Wenger literally doesnt know what hes doing?

  52. Guns of Hackney

    ardent

    The tie was won in the first leg – game over. Bayern weren’t exactly going to extend themselves in last nights match.

    Sorry, but there aren’t any positives to come out of last nights performance.

  53. Dev_Gooner

    @ardentgooner and Guns

    I know that. I was just pointing out the fact that the defence looked a little organised than usual. and Bayern as you said could really give a fuck about the game. This so called “Bould effect” will only be confirmed if we defend properly for the rest of the season starting with Swansea.

    But as this is Wenger we are talking about. TV5 will be back in the line up against the Swans and all hell will collapse as usual.

  54. mystic

    Gambon, Arsenal cannot buy another keeper until the summer, so the argument about better players is irrelevant until then.

    Until that time it makes sense to tell Chesney that he must prove himself no.1 if he wants to have any sort of future, otherwise you are simply doing exactly what you say is wrong and letting a player keep in the team for the remaining 10 games regardless of form/pressure.

  55. gambon

    We need:

    – World class GK
    – World class CB
    – Top class Sagna replacement
    – 2 top class CMs
    – Top class wide player
    – World class CF

    So thats 7 players of “super super quality”.

    We wont even get one of the above. We will sign an average striker from France, and Wenger will hold buying a CM as he is desperate for Diaby to play as much as he can.

  56. AJ

    We still need a defensive mid. Our system (if there is anything like it) completely fails without that kind of a player.

  57. gambon

    mystic

    Szczesny is not playing well, and should be our number 2, Fabianski is a league 1 calibre player, and shouldnt ever play for us again.

    Putting a terrible keeper in to teach a lesson to an average keeper is awful management.

  58. Monk

    Great post – good summary. Knee-jerk optimism is the tune of the day apparently. Plenty of ‘That’ll shut up the “Wenger Out” brigade’ comments today – whereas I simply felt it was validation that he hasn’t got what it takes.

    Bayern turned out their worst performance of the season (mainly because they could) and they still could have comfortably won that. We converted our chances, fair play, but let’s not forget that they didn’t. Robben could have scored / set-up 5 and that was Bayern in second gear.

    I shudder to think the ease at which we would have been dismantled if we had progressed and drawn Barca.

  59. Paulinho

    I would’ve been interested to see how organised our defence would’ve been if we had scored the third goal at some point. If that had happened no doubt we would resemble a bunch of headles chickens again.

    When there’s no pressure we defend well in these type of games. It’s like the Barcelona game when RVP got sent off, all of a sudden all of our defenders turned into Franco Baresi’s and we dealt with Barca quite comfortably.

    Kolscieny is the prime example of this. Always puts in these action man performances and returns to clown mode when the pressure is on.

  60. Guns of Hackney

    Game on Bum

    Honestly mate, the most important signing Arsenal can and should make, is a new manager. All the best players in the world wouldn’t make a difference if that maniac is still in charge.

    Wenger is the only man who could turn Messi into Ben Thatcher in 3 training sessions.

  61. gambon

    “We still need a defensive mid.”

    We need 2 CMs, not just one DM.

    We had Petit-Veira / Vieira-Gilberto…….now we have nothing in the middle.

    Arteta & Ramsey should be reserves, with 2 top class CMs coming in that can tackle, move forward at pace, pass & score. One more defensive, one more box to box.

  62. mystic

    gambon
    ‘Szczesny is not playing well, and should be our number 2, Fabianski is a league 1 calibre player, and shouldnt ever play for us again.’

    I don’t disagree, however until the summer there nothing that can be done about it and allowing Szczesny a totally unfettered run-in is potentially worse than threatening to play Fabianski.

    In the short term Wenger has allowed yet another balls up to manifest itself, but at this moment in time (unless Arsenal elevate Martinez or Shea) we must unfortunately make do with what there is.

  63. Yippee Kai Yay

    Mach II, you are either an idiot, a trolling spurs fan or both.

    That or you are the type of no brained imbecile who subscribes to the sky sports ‘one game’ mentality and reads the sun.

    I hope to some form of mythical deity that you are not a gooner, because other fans might think we are all as gullible as you.

    When is a win not a win? When it’s over two legs and you lose.

    Cold light of day, out of all competitions, currently 5th in league, last nights victory is hollow, nothing else.

  64. Nasri's Mouth

    Jenkinson played very well last night. He seems to need a few games under his belt to get up to pace, but then looks very good. I thought him and Koscielny were excellent.

    Fabianski played well. I don’t think he did anything that you wouldn’t expect any PL level keeper to do, but he did it, and there were plenty of shots of him shouting out orders, which is always nice to see from a keeper. Would Chezzer have done the same? Possibly, but I’d stick with Fabianski for Swansea.

    I agree with the idea that Bayern thought they’d already won it, but they still worked hard, closed us down, and tried to attack a lot. (The number of shots they had showed that. ) They also unsurprisingly played like a team with a lot of confidence.
    Had the first level been much closer, I’m sure we’d have seen a different Bayern but they were a better side than AC Milan, and they were at home.

    We made a lot of individual errors. Lots of misplaced passes. Esp Rosciky. But I don’t agree with him being shit defensively. I thought he harried the opposition very well indeed.

    We defended as a team much much better, and we improved as the game went on. Bayern had something like 20 shots, yet I don’t really remember them missing any real sitters, nor Fabianski pulling off any super saves. I don’t remember too many moments when I had to hold my breath either. There was the backheel from Muller to Robben, and a quickly taken throw in that allowed Muller to put in a fairly dangerous cross, but we dealt with both of those. We seemed to deal better with their corners too.

    We just need to take that same performance into the game against Swansea and we should get a result.

  65. gambon

    mystic

    For me making do with what we have means playing Szczesny for 2 reasons:

    – hes the best of a bad bunch
    – He has a future at Arsenal

    Fabianski is on the scrap heap, hes not even going to be an Arsenal player next year, so theres no upside to playing him.

    If Fabianski was clearly a better player, or even 1% better, then id agree he should play, but for me he is the worst keeper ive ever seen, the worst in the PL and frankly the fact that he played yesterday is absolutely pathetic.

    Obviously Wenger has to take the blame, when youre dropping your no1 keeper and replacing him with the worst keeper in the clubs history then you have real, real issues.

  66. Radio Raheem

    I did criticise Arteta yesterday for his poor performance but really the blame rests on Wenger. Arteta’s performances this season have not been great but his limitations have been obvious for a while to any one with an IQ above 1 – so nothing insightful in pointing that out!

    The problem is Wenger gambling the season on the fitness of Diaby. After selling Song there was a glaring need for a physical presence in the middle. Arteta is not necessarily a bad player but he clearly is not suited to the role he is being asked to play, especially with the players he asked to play that role with.

    Like I have said in the past I see him as a rubbish version of Xavi – a ‘continuity’ player. Although, I’d expect Xavi to play the holding position better than Arteta you will not expect him to do so for barca. Without Busquets I don’t think Xavi will look as good as he does. It’s a thing of balance. If I can see this I am pretty certain Wenger can too!

    If buying Arteta was a bad decision depending on Diaby was an even worse one. Most managers will make mistakes but these are fundamental ones that have and will continue to plague us for the rest of the season.

    I’d rather count this as another transition season and allow Coquelin make his mistakes in the team. Coquelin’s limitations – passing and reading of the game – are attributes that can be learned over time but pace, strength…and vision are attributes that are behind Arteta now.

    Then again we paid £10m and he is on£60k/wk…he’s got to play, surely!

  67. TT

    “Arteta & Ramsey should be reserves, with 2 top class CMs coming in that can tackle, move forward at pace, pass & score. One more defensive, one more box to box.”

    Fellaini and Capoue come to mind and that’s to name only 2. would cost in the excess of £30 million and both are young.

    There are plenty of those combinations out there that are much better than what we have.

  68. Carts

    I think the point Gambon is making is that these goalkeeping issues should not still be an ongoing issue. Chesny has been coasting for nearly 2 years now. Him slacking of was inevitable as he well knows that Fabianski & Mannone are Championship class, at very best.

    We could’ve signed Shwarzer for around £4m 3/4 seasons ago but Wenger refused to cough up…really?!

    Wenger has created this problem himself – he’s tried to get by, by simply buying average players and making top 4. This isn’t not what a team of Arsenal calibre should be doing. I’d rather him come out and say ‘we can not afford £20m+ players bla bla bla’ instead of making himself look an absolute lying twat and say ‘we can get Falcao if we want’.

    He and the board are taking us all for flippin mugs.

    As for last nights performances: *sigh* it makes me laugh how many people even found time or energy to applaud them. Getting out the groups is the absolute minimal requirement. We’re not a QF or SF team. Leave that to the likes of Malaga and Dortmund…

  69. Gbenga

    gambon March 14, 2013 10:25:57
    “I think Fabianski should continue as gk until otherwise proven incompetent”

    Sigh, exactly the kind of pathetic comments we can expect all day.

    What next…..”Giroud has shown he is just as good as RVP”

    Fabianski is probably the worst goalkeeper in the premier league. One decent performance is enough to convince complete spas.tics like Wenger & his AKBs.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    You get me wrong Gambon. I didn’t say anythg like fabianski’s performance justifies wenger not buying a half-decent keeper in d face of schezeney’s howlers all season. What I meant was dat based on form, I think he shd continue in goal until proven otherwise for the remainder of d season. Afterall the transfer window is over. Anyways I understand for passionate dislike for AKBs which I share. But sometimes u need to read btw d lines before rashing off.

    What

  70. Paulinho

    Radio – And the problem next season will be Wenger gambling the season on Diaby.

    He’s a mentally ill. He’s been doing this with Diaby for three years already.

  71. freddie

    No TV5 makes all the difference. Kos and per also partnered away to man city which was also one of our rare standout performances compared to what we’re used to this season.

    Arsene Wenger has worked building this stadium and paying it off with champions league qualification for the past 6 years, with no budget to replace top players who have left who he originally bought for a pittance. I’m not saying he’s made mistakes because he has BUT he has coaxed us through those years and if you believe what all good info tells you then the idea has been that this summer arsenal will spend big. Check out any good arsenal journalist, james olley, jeremy wilson and even geoffarsenal. They all say we’re planning to spend big this summer as this summer we do actually have big money(70m) to spend for the first time. So as Wenger has coaxed us through the hard times he deserves a little more credit than he gets and he deserves to spend all that money because it’s because of him we have it.

    Judge Wenger by the end of the summer.

  72. mystic

    ‘………….frankly the fact that he played yesterday is absolutely pathetic.’

    Can’t say he would have been my choice, but I guess he did what he was supposed to do and that is keep a clean sheet. So to me he earned the opportunity of challenging Szczesny for the starting gloves against Swansea.

    I’m not sure I’d start with Flappy, but I certainly wouldn’t tell Szczesny that I would 100% be picking him regardless of anything that happened in Germany.

  73. Guns of Hackney

    freddie

    Judge Wenger by the end of the summer?

    Didn’t his CEO say to the Arsenal fans about 3 years ago “The fans will determine when Wenger leaves the club” – well, I think apart from you and a few other nutcases, we sane fans know that Wenger’s time has been up for 7 years.

    He hasn’t coaxed us through any period of doom and gloom, mate. FFS we have a wage bill of over £140m!!! Hardly sailing us through troubled waters…jesus!

    You go onto say spend big? Errr…£70m? That buys you two players – we need at least 7-10 throughout the squad. Explain your financials.

    In closing TV5 is FUCKING SHIT!

  74. Yippee Kai Yay

    freddie, you poor misguided fool. we’ve clearly always had the money, that was never a problem. The myths you are perpetuating is one born out of either blinkered or deliberate ignorance. the best example (the £70 mil ‘war chest’) propagated for the purposes of season ticket renewal (hence the timing of the ‘leak of misinformation’).

    Open your eyes and see how the BoD and manager’s lies have been woven over the last 6 years,

  75. Gbenga

    mystic March 14, 2013 10:44:28
    Flappy might not be any sort of a keeper to want, but his performance last night did highlight one thing – when under pressure to keep his position a player can do better than those who swan about feeling assured of their status.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Thanks mystic…u got my point. Gambungger had it all muddled up!!

    Even if we are stranded wt 3 shit keepers because arsene refused to get a half-decent keeper in d window, competiton based on form is still needed to ‘harness’ them.

  76. Matt Bowden

    Something Mark Lawrenson said on the Beeb last night:

    “From the boardroom down Arsenal have to decide what they want to do. Yes, the club makes money, but the shareholders and the guys who run the club have to make the decision. Maybe they should have one year when they spend millions. Why wouldn’t you? It’s crossroads time.”

    I don’t really like Lawrenson but the more people that realise this the better IMO.

    Last nights result highlights that the boys can do when they want. The big question is why, for most of this season, they haven’t wanted it?

  77. Radio Raheem

    Paulinho

    I’m not one of the rabid Wenger out mob but he really has to go ).

    Gambon,

    I disagree with you on the Fabianski/Szczesny. Szczesny has been poor for over a year now. He is young and quite frankly would benefit form spending some time out of the big. All the promise he showed early on seem to be a distant memory now. I am not not sure if he is the best of a bad bunch any more.

    This might not be popular but Fabianski has always had the talent, the problem was, and I hoping he is past now, always the mental side. He’s always been a bit fragile mentally. He seems inhabited by that so called characteristic fragility of Wenger teams more than others. It is like the longer the run he had in the team the more likely he was of breaking down, quite contrary to logic. Is it any wonder that the same voodoo has befallen our dear Szczesny, our great Polish plumber?

  78. djourpoo

    Fabianski is one of the worst players I have seen at arsenal, we may as well bring back lukic or seaman out of retirement.

    It was a good team performance last night and at least shows we have a glimmer of hope for a top four finish, hopefully finish above the spuds

    Can wenger spend in the summer and sort us out for next season…..not sure.

  79. Kane

    As a one off performance, last night was fantastic and made me immensly proud to be a gooner. The work ethic, the bodies on the line, the fight and spirit over 90 minutes was everything I could ask of my team and we came so close to one of the greatest upsets the ECL has ever seen. I hope the team now sees that possesion is great, but does not automatically win you games.

    There were some stand out performances and we defended as a unit and looked as solid as I have seen us all season. IF we could show the same passion, commitment and desire in every game we would surely be challenging for the league.

    It does however ask the question – why do we not show the same effort and desire in every game? Sure, players are human and will not perform to the same levels all season, but it was clear that the defence had been drilled, the players were focussed and the team went all out for the win.

    Why does this not happen in all (or at least a higher percentage) of games?

    For all the talk about a lack of quality… the key for me is effort and preperation. If you have a team of average players and they have the required level of effort and are drilled to be hard to beat, then you have a much higher chance than a team containing better quality players who lack desire and do not defend as a unit.

    As I say, the performance was fantastic and I am very proud – however, unless this is followed up with a win and the same level of effort and defensive solidity at Swansea, all it shows is we can beat anyone on our day, but are too inconsistent to be considered a force, something Arsenal fans have felt all season.

  80. Johnty79

    I admit koz played well last night but to say he played well last season is untrue…his agent linked him to Barcelona just so he could get a new contract.. Look at kozs individual errors that have cost goals…surely no one on this site can say he is better than Christ samba who was available for around the same money? No won?

    Jenkinson should definitely be in ahead of Sagna who people on this site were saying he was the best right back in the Europe to seasons ago…

    Nice to see Gibbs finally played tru the pain…he is such a wimp . Some won should tell him you can play thru calve strains and niggles…John terry has done it his whole career..

    The truth is bayern were never going to lose that tie if we had of scored in 89 th minute they would have scored in the 90 th minute and beat us in extra time.

    Wenger out! Come on Swansea maybe we can have him out before the end of the season…

  81. AJ

    freddie March 14, 2013 11:34:29

    Judge Wenger by the end of the summer.

    ——————————————————————————————-
    And come summer, judge him the next summer and then the next and the next and the…………………………….

  82. Johnty79

    When Schezny was 16 he was a better keeper than he s now…he used to be very skinny but had a spring in his step..since the double elbow break he’s put on weight but has no spring to save long distant shots.

    But remember people if you defence and midfield is good enough you don’t need a great keeper..Chelsea under Morineho only conceded two shots a game over two seasons?? Good defences make golies look good!

  83. Ric

    fifteen more seasons of crap all, bye lads I’m giving up this mediocrity.

    Will not see another piss poor showing like last night until Wenger is gone.

    We fucking “safed” a potential clawback all so Wenger could hold his head high.

    We’re fucking pathethic, our fans, our manager, our board, our players.

    All fucking pathethic.

  84. azed

    Freddie
    Oh yea we are going to spend big so we can beat Bradford and Blackburn next season.

    I’ll still remember Wenger taking his cheque book to the euro’s and we all know what he came back with

  85. mystic

    Johnty
    Arsenal were never going to win that tie because they gave themselves too much to do after the appalling 1st leg. Team work only seems to kick in with this lot after they have given top opposition a 2 goal lead.

    Had Arsenal managed to grab 3rd last night I’m sure Bayern would have come back, certainly little in their earlier play suggested there was a great deal more to offer on the night.

  86. Ric

    KaneMarch 14, 2013 11:49:14

    You wanna know why it doesn’t happen in a higher percentage of games???

    Because your an effing idiot.

  87. supergunner14

    Fabianski is a very good goalie and if it wasn’t for his injury he would still be 1st choice.a fantastic shot stopper and him and the defence was organised well.gambon your to harsh.i normally agree with what you say but you wrong on him.

    Other than that Bayern was piss poor and if we had lets say a rvp we would be through.

    Bayern did what we do most games believe its already won.

    Fair play to the lads tho great win against a top side

  88. Johnny5

    My gripe with last night is why has it taken so long for wenger to use rosiky properly when we all saw months ago in the COC he was better than half the team. Why has it taken Kos so long to find that kind of form. Why does it take being 3-1 down to bayern for the ox to have a decent game. And Ramsey had a good game too. Also it’s clear the top two are shit and not good enough for arsenal.

    Why does it take being out of the chase for anything for wenger to use a gameplan. Why has it taken all this time for wenger to get certain players playing like they actually want to play for the club. It’s too late to make any difference to our season now.

  89. Ric

    Radio RaheemMarch 14, 2013 11:43:00

    I agree on the Flappy issue though, but then again I think I know why, I mean when Flappy came he was the hottest shit since sliced bread, but then had to live with the indignity of being placed behind effing Almunia in the pecking order.

    An effing travesty this club is.

  90. K.C.

    Great post Pedro. Did some akb just come on here and tell us all to give Wenger till the summer?! Really?! Do they even realize they’re using his old rubbish lies as their own excuses for Arsene now? We’ve tried the “Give me till May thing” for years now thanks. We get there and nothing happens. And nothing continues to happen all summer long. Wenger is DONE!!

  91. Nasri's Mouth

    Somewhere inside Fabianski there is a very good keeper. I don’t think he’s up to Joe Hart levels but he has the ability to be a starting PL keeper. But he has massive confidence / anxiety issues which seriously limit him.

  92. Johnny5

    I don’t think somehow wenger will get away with not strengthening the squad properly this summer. I think that if he doesn’t even some of most loyal akb but jobs will turn on him

  93. HerveDeNerve

    Once again, last nights performance and subsequent result masked and covered over the real problem with this team.

    2 of the last 3 goals we have scored have come from corners. I cant remember the bayern keeper making saves to keep them in the game….can you? Same against spurs, we had 46 minutes (40 normal plus 6 injury) to find an equaliser and we didn’t even come close. Again can you recall us working Lloris in that game?? I can’t, and apart from a Ramsey shot screwed wide of the post we were hopeless.

    So the Wenger Circus rolls on, stories of how brave and how nearly we turned it around against Bayern only go to serve the AKB’s and the supporters of this lunatic. No doubt, he will be rewarded with a new contract, the man has no pride and will sign it, the suffering will continue.

    A lmost
    F ootball
    C lub

  94. hughie

    Our defense looked solid. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Bould had more time to work on them as they haven’t played a match for a while.

    Wenger out

  95. Josip Skoblar

    “Wenger had omitted his captain, Thomas Vermaelen, and from the manager’s words afterwards the Belgian had not taken it well.” (Today’s Guardian)
    Did anyone hear what Wenger said to the media? Incredible stuff. Vermaelen has been so poor this season. He has no right to complain about his omission whatsoever.

  96. Jaroda

    It’s difficult to draw too many substantive conclusions from this result because we won a second leg against a team who were not trying to win but only contain their opponents.

    You’re not telling me that if last night was a one off match starting 0-0 that Bayern would have played that way and we would have won 2-0.

  97. Leedsgunner

    Good battling performance – but let’s not kid ourselves Bayern Munich played a weakened side because they could afford to. Their main midfield generals were given a rest because the BM management knew they could beat us without them. What a contrast withour club – our best players are run into the ground so much that when they. Are neded for crucial games they are unavailable. Am I glad the Arsenal won last night? Yes, but it was a dead rubber game. So we won such a game… we still have nothing to show for it.

    I hope not but I’m afraid the team not played well last night might disappear against Swansea. Inconsistency has been the problem all season. If and when they do, last night will be used as an excuse rather than bringing the culprits to book.

    Well done Arsenal for showing up last night. Shame you didn’t when you played the first leg and when you faced Bradford and Blackburn.

    Where were you?

    Some pride back? Really? Do it when it matters. Then we’ll talk about bringing pride back to the Arsenal.

  98. Guns of Hackney

    Pedro Wood

    Do you have the hots for me? Because of all the posters on here, you do single me out for criticism. I can think of at least 15 other posters on here who all share the same ethos as I do…but for some reason, you target me.

    Not that I care, I am just intrigued.

  99. patthegooner

    Thoughts on last night

    1) Fabianski did have a good game but it is going to take more than 90 mins to shake off his Flappyianski title. You should be picked on form though, and I think he should keep the gloves for Swansea.

    2) Rosicky…Really, I thought he had an average game

    3) Ramsey…I actually thought he had a good game

    4) Koscielny. Superb last night and I don’t rate the guy. Again on form, it should be Per and Kosser starting against Swansea.

    5) Cazorla.. Completely ineffective playing out wide.

    As for the result, I just hope it can be a springboard for 4th place. A lot of people are saying we only won because Bayern were so poor. I don’t agree with that. For once I will give Wenger some credit. His tactics (yes tactics) stifled Bayern and reduced them to hit and hope long shots. He got that bang on for me.

    And that is what is so frustrating. It is the first real example of Tactically setting up for the opposition I have seen from Arsenal in a long time. Yeah there was no pressure, but likewise to a man, all of us (even the hardened AKB) expected a battering last night based on the lack of mental strength and motivation in our players.

    Sadly though, we are out and what is important now is 3 points at Swansea. If we don’t get those then our season is truly over, and the confidence built in Munich will be for nothing.

    Well done on the night Arsene and Arsenal but my position remains the same:

    Wenger needs to go
    As do a lot of our players

  100. Johnny5

    Ill tell you what we could with the right reinforcements have a great team next season. With sagna looking to go psg an in form jenks who is starting to look a decent player will be in the first team. If wenger keeps kos in the back and he builds on last nights performance he could be a big player next season. Merts was good I thought too Monreal seems so far like he is a decent player. Rumours are poldi might go juve so if the ox wants it there’s a place up for grabs if he too can build in last night. Then if we buy a new keeper a DM coz arteta isn’t really great at it Fellani and a proper top quality striker (Suarez or hulk would be awesome) we’d be in great shape for next season.

  101. salparadisenyc

    Had I not seen the teams sheet i’d of not know that was Fabianski in goal. Looked a new man. The same keeper whom single handedly gifted Porto 2 goals in 2010? We turned that tie around with a scorching 5-0 at the Emirates, fuck me times have changed. Although Arteta’s lumbering in midfield is reminiscent of watching the return of Sol in that very tie. I’m not sure whom should be in goal for the rest of the season, Ramsay?
    Rosicky certainly has received the shaft from Wenger this season and has shown classy bit of composure when played, not sure what the problem is with giving him more game time, a blind manager?
    Loved seeing Kozzer battle it out with Neuer for the ball after scoring, ze Germans were certainly off their game.

    What a cunt Robben is.

  102. Johnny5

    I think guns is cool Pedro chill. Yes he may be a little militant sonetimes and shit but each to there own init pedders. We all handle grief In Our own way.

  103. Ric

    JarodaMarch 14, 2013 12:28:38
    .You’re not telling me that if last night was a one off match starting 0-0 that Bayern would have played that way and we would have won 2-0.

    So true so true.

  104. Richie Powling

    Decided to become a glory hunter and watch Welling next season if they get promoted. No more paying to watch Arsene FC. They don’t deserve my support.

  105. gambon

    Wenger – We went close, im proud

    Ramsey – We did ourselves proud

    Gibbs – We’ve shown we have character

    Fucking complete embarrassment of a club. Celebrating defeat like only Arsenal FC are capable of.

  106. TOLI83

    Johnny5March 14, 2013 12:46:21
    Did anyone else think arteta looked unfit yesterday like he was always half a yard too slow?
    ————————————————

    I personally think he has looked like that the last few months now. Not a DM by any means and is slow to release the ball these days.

    He would be an ideal squad player, if we’re winning 2-0, bring him on for an attacking midfielder to shore things up.

  107. Nasri's Mouth

    @johnny5

    Fabianski will end up at a decent club. Part of his problem has been a very disorganised defence around him. Put any keeper behind our defenders at corners and they’d make mistakes. His problem is that he struggles with it more than others would

    If he gets a decent defence in front of him he’ll do fine.

  108. gambon

    PTG

    Totally agree with your ending, thought Ramsey was pretty shit though, he does highlight how important workrate is though, he is basically a terrible workhorse, imagine if we had a classy workhorse.

    Unfortunately you can already see the attitude of the club, making out like we’ve just got through to the final,

    Nothing will change, Wenger will refuse to address the issues, he will keep on backing his failures, and the club will keep on backing the utter failuer than is Arsene Wenger.