Apocalyptic Bayern loss a seminal moment that felt like the end for Arsene Wenger

by & filed under News Review.

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 8.35.29 PM

Another disgraceful night against a big team. Arsene Wenger presided over his second 5-1 hammering away to Bayern Munich within two years. There were so many unreal moments, I’m struggling to work out how to form a narrative that reads coherently.

Here are a few of the best stats to start with

  • Bayern managed 703 passes to our 185
  • Bayern had 24 chances to our 7
  • 9 players in Bayern’s team made more passes than our most prolific passer of the night
  • Xhaka was our most prolific passer with 25 successful passes. This is a guy who can hit the nineties in a good game.
  • Ozil made a pitiful 18 successful passes all night
  • Ospina’s passing success rate was 43% on 30 passes
  • Coquelin didn’t make a tackle (some places, according to FourFourTwo, he made 2)
  • Coquelin made just 6 successful passes all night
  • Only one player had more touches of the ball than Ospina

This wasn’t just a bad game. This was an apocalyptic demonstration of terrible management. You can’t say you didn’t see it coming. The warning signs have been there for weeks. Wenger is dead as a top flight manager, I’ve been saying this for 10 years. It is over. He should hand his notice in and the club should make plans for the future.

Things went terribly before we’d even set foot on the pitch. Our starting 11 firstly chopped in a goalkeeper who inspired leaks in the press last week, bad move. Only a manager with nothing to fear makes such an atrocious choice there. He ploughed on with Ozil as a second striker, when the guy is clearly tired, uninterested and woefully out of form. He didn’t play Danny Welbeck. He set up with a 4-4-1-1 in basically a really shoddy attempt at the deepest block of all time.

Where was the fu*king ambition?

We had a positive opening 10 minutes. Then Arjen Robben was allowed the freedom of Munich to drop his not so secret left foot rocket at the top corner. Did no one show Coquelin a video of Robben and what he does? How did we get into a structural situation where basically our whole team was in a straight line trying to defend. Crazy he was given so much space.

We were unbelievably allowed back in. I mean, I didn’t really understand it, Koscielny nipped the ball away from Lewa and was kicked over, not sure the Pole knew too much about that. Sanchez smashed his penalty, Neuer parried it back out the Chilean cooly brought it down with his chest and turned the ball in.

It felt like game on. We had other good oppotunites as well, actually hitting the target more than Bayern in the first half. Xhaka blew a great chance. Ozil fluffed an even better one. Very disappointing in a big game not to make those count.

Not that it would have counted for anything. We were full on Stoke under Pulis. 67 passes and a goal to show for it. We were never setup to sustain.

Things went south straight away. Ospina made a hash coming out for a ball that he shouldn’t have been anywhere near, he faked injury while Koscielny pinged a hamstring. Gabriel came on. Ospina dealt with his embarrassment and carried on.

Then it went to full on ‘3 old curries out of a New Dehli dustbin’ diarrhoea. We were roasted down the right for their second, Gibbs doing nothing to stop a perfect cross finding Lewa who beasted Mustafi and nodded across Ospina. The third came quickly, our whole midfield ghosted by Thiago who picked up a beautiful flick from Lewa and slotted past Ospina.

The embarrassment didn’t stop, and to be honest, I was glad, because I didn’t want to spend 2 weeks talking about luck, hope and a magic night in North London that was never on the cards. The 4th came when Coquelin headed meekly to the edge of the box and no one closed the ball down, Thiago hit a shot that deflected past Ospina down the middle. The 5th was laughable, Gabriel passed to Chamberlain, presumably because Gibbs was so far up the pitch there was no option to his left. Chamberlain took a poor touch, then misplaced his footing allowing Bayern in. Muller was found free and he finished us off with a clean decapitation.

That was it. For me, the seminal moment in Wenger’s season and maybe career. That will hopefully be the final nail in the coffin that has been on spring release. Wenger should retire and duck out. He’ll have to do it, because the paid for board members won’t.

We should go out and throw money at Monchi (Sevilla), Zorc (Dortmind) or Ragnick (Redbull) so we have a world class sporting director. Then we should ask Allegri to name his price. I’d love Sarri, Sampaoli, Tuchel or Hassenhutl, but we need a steady hand. Not a risk. We need a winner who can manage a dressing room and bring a new brand of thinking and quality to Arsenal.

Wenger is over.

So are some of the players. Mesut Ozil was disgraceful. Zero interest in running, zero interest in helping out, zero interest in being an example to his team. Sell him, he epitomised all that is wrong with Arsene Wenger.

We need a clear out of some of the others too. Shift on Kieran Gibbs, how the hell a disgrace of a bottle job like him ended up with the armband is beyond me. It’s shambolic. Shift the hangers on like Priromac, Colbert and Peyton.

Chamberlain threw a paddy when he went to close down Vidal. It looked like the frustration might have stemmed from Ozil not doing his job or the team not pressing. I don’t care what it was, it was 2 weeks wages for me. You NEVER stop working for the team. Unbelievable.

Our keepers need a refresh. Ospina and Cech aren’t good enough. Don’t even think about bringing our Roma loanee back to the club, he’s done.

We need a pressing philosophy and a group of players who are programmed to do it for 90 minutes. We need to have tactical fluidity built into the DNA. We need to have a plan for every single game and to lean in hard to the infrastructure we have in place at the club and replace the bits that don’t work, like the scouting group.

We also need to ship out the members of the board who have overseen stale football for young, fresh, football smart bodies. People that can help the club, not feed off it. It’s not acceptable to keep the old guard in if they’re offering no value whilst taking huge salaries to be patsies. It’s not on.

Finally, we all need to take a deep breath and look to the future. It’s going to be incredibly positive. What’s going on is a minor blip that can be fixed with some smart hiring policy and a well thought out succession strategy that is put into place with immediate effect.

Let Wenger have his swan song. Then say goodbye. Don’t put him upstairs unless it’s as an ambassador.

Arsenal need a new start. Let’s hope Wenger shows true love for the club, and does the right thing by not renewing.

Next up, Sutton. Before then, listen to the damn podcast.

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478 Responses to “Apocalyptic Bayern loss a seminal moment that felt like the end for Arsene Wenger”

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  1. underrated Coq

    And please, don’t let machinations of the club’s PR fool you. As we’re all too familiar with, there is no depth to which they’ll sink to con the fanbase.

    All this noise about Wenger’s sadness, frailty, broken body language etc.. all fabricated to manufacture sympathy, to get those gullible “One Arsene Wenger” crowd to sing again.

    Watch how quickly Wenger will go back from this supposed broken state to his usual smirking, smug, condescending best.

  2. Thank you and goodnight

    @UnderratedCoq

    Totally agree with you. I do believe the stories about players being unhappy but not at each other….at Arsene Wenger. They no they’re being hung out to dry right now. The stories coming out that boulders was really angry is the club trying to say, look the management are furious it means so much to them.
    In a few days time they will put out a statement saying Wenger feels let down by the players and he’s fuming with them and things will change etc etc.
    The club will then say they’ve given wenger a contract extension because he’s realised players let him down he’s learnt his lesson and things will change before we roll into next season for pretty much the same shit. As I said the players are being hung out to dry

  3. mano'gunner

    There’s also the talk going around about how the club will be in dire position if Wenger leaves. How they’re not ready, no proper replacement, etc.
    Beware the PR bullshit.

  4. Sid

    The loss against Bayern doesnot make any difference to Wenger because winning the CL is not expected from him . Wenger is still looking for top 4 finish and the FA cup . If he delivers on both , then he will sign a 3 year contract for sure.

  5. GG

    We are one of the biggest teams in the world and if people think that we can’t figure out who to hire after wenger, they need to have a word with themselves.

    And don’t say “look at united”. Fergie was successful right until the end winning major trophies with average team. He brought out the best in players.

    Wenger’s teams are under performing because of him. And hasn’t done shit for 13 seasons.

    Easily replaced unlike fergie

  6. S Asoa

    Whatever the Mr Anaxetogrind contortions to defend Wenger against all odds , one thing is clear .
    Wenger is a Cancer in the Club and should be scalped out along with all Old Fogeys on the Board.
    Thereafter there can never be a fear of the unknown. Any other Manager who fails will be out without a problem. It’s the cancer Wenger and his control tentacles that is a serious problem.
    So grow your tomatoes. You’ll need them aplenty for the whoosh splosh surgery.
    Next game onwards.

    On a brighter note Allegri , Tuchel earning far less than Le Fraud so that’s the added saving grace.

  7. Snowman

    Seen stories about Pochettino, his credentials aside. How fun would it be to watch the meltdown at shithart lane if that were to happen? LOL better than Sol Campbell.

  8. Rambo Ramsey

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/feb/16/arsenal-arsene-wenger-bayern-munich

    comments in this Guardian blog tells you we’ll not be moving forward as a club. the sheer number of AKB muppets citing either or all of ‘He deserves respect’, ‘There’s no one who can replace him’, ‘Be careful what you wish for’, ‘Some fans are too entitled’ etc

    C*nts, the lot of them, C*nts that hold back the human race from progression cause make no mistake its a mindset issue and they bring the same mindset to all aspects of life.

  9. Henry's Love Child

    It hurts me to say as a lifelong Wenger fan – that I think it’s finally time :(

    It’s been real….I was there every week for The Invincibles and I will always be grateful for Wenger, but it’s the same old Arsenal and I believe we need to shake things up dramatically. I agree with Wrighty.

  10. Rambo Ramsey

    Donald Trump dismissed reports of chaos and conspiracy in his administration and claimed his team is running like “a fine-tuned machine” during an extraordinary press conference at which he tried to reset his beleaguered presidency.

    In a boisterous and often bizarre session, he fired off numerous broadsides at the media as he skipped from topic to topic in what critics saw as an attempt to deflect attention from his alleged ties to Russia.

    “I turn on the TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos, chaos,” Trump scolded reporters. “Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my cabinet approved.”

    —————————————————–

    Lmao, the similarities between Arsene Wenger and Donald Trump are striking

  11. Wallace

    Joe

    “The question is would another manager done better than wenger with 90m to spend? Fucking rights he would have.”

    Mourinho blew 150m and has spent the season floating around mid-table(again). I sometimes forget he’s still managing in this country.

  12. Ishola70

    Arseblog basically called for Wenger’s head yesterday.

    Today he says this:

    “He’s like an old wizard, working harder and longer than ever to recreate the magic formula of his younger years. He almost gets there, so tantalisingly close, but when it comes to executing the spell, there’s something not quite right. Something missing. It’s trying to find that again which drives him, because he is, at the end of the day, a man obsessed with football, with Arsenal, with winning games, and more and more he appears beaten down by his inability to get his teams to take that final step between very good and champions.”

    Absolute nonsense. What a misguided and easily forgiving fan base. He has not come “tantalisingly” close to winning any major honour for years and years. It’s just pure false statement written from Arseblog.

    I knew that plenty would just sweep under the carpet again another humiliating result but by to do this just a day after that excuse of a performance just shows how weak willed so many fans are in actually seeing the back of Wenger. It doesn’t help when a voice piece like Arseblog peddles this sort of rubbish. The new Emperor’s clothes show just goes on and on and on,

  13. Ishola70

    They have just had their asses completely handed to them by Bayern, completely outplayed and outclassed and Arseblog terms this current side “very good”

    If you didn’t laugh you would cry with these fans peddling this sort of stuff.

  14. tunnygriffboy

    We’re in serious bother about finishing top four. The way we are playing is as soul less as I’ve seen in years. Something is very wrong. There’s a lack of togetherness. With the players we have we should be performing better. I don’t see Wenger staying because I don’t see performances improving from where we’re at.

  15. Leedsgunner

    What was it DT said on Arsenal Fan TV?

    He’s spent £70k following the Arsenal — which Debuchy earns in a week, and here we are at Arsenal where some fans are feeling sorry for Arsene — a man who has earned from Arsenal FC the wealth of a small island nation.

    Why do people sorry for him? Wenger is in a job where he earns millions without any pressure and with total freedom.

    He made this mess completely.

    The AKBs condemn us for having a sense of entitlement for titles and trophies. Excuse me, we’re not entitled we just want the club to come good on what we were all promised.

    That we would compete.

    Did that look like competing to you or capitulation the other night? What’s about against Chelsea? Against Watford? Against Man City? Against Everton? Basically against any team where we were facing actual real pressure?

    Is that why we moved to the Emirates?

    I feel sorry for us, the fans. We were sold a dream but in reality it’s no better than a scam.

  16. Jeff

    Ishola, it’s the “puss in boots” moment again with the eyes. That’s how Wenger portrays himself after a great loss – somehow or rather implying that this isn’t the “norm”. Of course it is. It happens several times every season. When he wins, all praise and glory. When he loses badly, conciliation and sympathy. That’s the name of the game. How some people still haven’t caught on is mind boggling in its own right.

  17. tunnygriffboy

    Players are good enough

    Lack of tactics, organisation and now it appears motivation are the issue. These could all be put right with a new philosophy and a few kicks up the arse

  18. Carts

    “I won’t care if the next season or two are ‘bumpy,’ as long as you can see efforts at progress, new manager, poaching a great DoF, new players, new coaches, really whoring ourselves commercially etc.”

    Oh noes…you better be careful what you wish for, CA!

  19. Vince

    Just saw some shocking stats this morning. I’ve never understood the noise against Coquelin, the evoke team is dysfunctional and singling people out is idiotic. So far you’ve not seen him concede penalties/red cards on a regular basis or fear to shoot or shoot like shit regularly like Ozil, I think players deserve some slack.
    Back to Coquelin compared to the team against Bayern:
    6 – Passes by Francis Coquelin in 77 minutes against Bayern Munich.
    11 – Passes by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 90 minutes against Bayern Munich.
    25 – Number of passes by Xhaka in 90 minutes. Led all arsenal players.
    So in isolation Coquelin may look bad but compared to others the outrage seems OTT.

  20. WengerEagle

    ‘All this noise about Wenger’s sadness, frailty, broken body language etc.. all fabricated to manufacture sympathy, to get those gullible “One Arsene Wenger” crowd to sing again. Watch how quickly Wenger will go back from this supposed broken state to his usual smirking, smug, condescending best.’

    On the money.

    Good to see you posting on here again.

  21. Vince

    And even more outrageous:
    PREMIER LEAGUE 2016/2017 – Per 90min metrics
    ==============================

    FRANCIS COQUELIN: GAMES: 21 MINS PLAYED: 1433
    VS
    N’GOLO KANTÉ GAMES: 24 MINS PLAYED: 2148

    TOTAL SCORE: 21.22 VS 19.81

    PASS COMPLETION: 88% VS 88%

    KEY PASSES: 0.82 VS 0.67

    CHANCES CREATED: 0.82 VS 0.67

    SUCCESSFUL TAKE ONS (%) 88.24% VS 72.97%

    TACKLES WON: 2.39 VS 2.26

    AERIAL DUELS WON: 66.67% VS 36.96%

    INTERCEPTIONS: 3.08 VS 2.35

    BLOCKS: 0.31 VS 0.08

    CLEARANCES: 1.63 VS 1.34

    ERRORS LEADING TO GOAL: 0 VS 0

    Maybe we are just aiming our ire at the wrong person. From the above its obvious that teams set out properly make each individual look better.

  22. S Asoa

    Watching the live TV recorded.
    And Ospina chasing Lewandosky like a puppy . Further considering the height of Bayern players imbecile judgement.
    When Gabriel goes in for Kosency , for duck’s sake there is such a chasm no additional protection to the 50% defender.
    And when armband was given to Gibbs of all the animals in the zoo, this unworthy so overwhelmed , just getting scared holding ball and making a run . Keeps passing to Sanchez.
    Our Le Nero fiddles …with his fly buttons .
    Bayern just did it in 2ND gear

  23. S Asoa

    Wenger Eagle
    Spot on psychology.
    Le Con survived for 13 years of failure and 100 million in his pocket.
    Let us not allow Le Fraud to get his foot in – smirking cunt

  24. Kwame

    Wenger and his board are pure businessmen who have hoodwinked the fans and made their millions at the expense of the fans. Someone to tell Stan and his fraudsters that it’s time to sell and move. Arsenal will rise from the ashes come hell or high water. It’s normal that changebegets fear, but do we have a choice?