Glorious failure…

by .

Arsenal vs Bayern

Arsenal vs Bayern

Ahhh well, we didn’t expect to win did we? The shame of it is, that once again, there was a mitigating circumstance standing in the way of what was once again, a ‘glorious failure’. (Alex coined that)

I can’t write this report with any sort of neutrality, because I haven’t seen the game back and as far as I’m concerned, the way the match played out is we dominated the chances until our keeper found himself sent off harshly for conversing a penalty. Then the match was only going in one direction… A loss. And so it was.

I feel aggrieved. I almost feel positive in the sense that it felt very much like Arsene arrived with a game plan. He parachuted in Yaya Sanogo to deputise for an emotionally broken Giroud. I want to believe Yaya was played because he offered pace and the power Giroud has lost. He also brought in The Ox. Again, a tactical master stroke-ish, because he gave Bayern food for thought with their pressing style.

As you can see, rose tinted spectacles here, because despite some solid running around and some nice touches, Sanogo is a million miles off being able to cause Bayern problems in the Champions League. Not his problem, Arsene’s for having an inadequate squad.

Anyway, apologies for jumping around, but massive round of applause to Red Action for sorting out the cardboard display. It looked spectacular in the ground and grown men love nothing more than waving something around. So much fun. The ground was literally rocking by the time I arrived. The difference in excitement levels between that and the FA Cup was embarrassing (for the FA Cup).

Anyway, early on, Kroos let us know he was there when he let rip with a monster shot that Chezzer did extremely well to claw away. I was stood right behind that shot, it really was a ripper.

Yaya showed a lot of excitement early on, bounding into players, making a nuisance of himself. He went close with a header that went about 6 yards wide. Look, I’m an Arsenal fan who has suffered Giroud hitting corner flags with his head from 6 yards. That was progress.

Santi let rip with a shot that Neuer, the most German looking German of all time, did well to get down to. He also did well when Yaya let off a well worked first time shot.

Then our moment came… Ozil had his legs clipped. Penalty.  The crowd, wild with anticipation, so excited, many had picked up their red bits of cardboard to wave around, looked up and winced… Ozil had stepped up. Almost everyone around me face palmed, you knew what was coming. He stepped up, tried to psych the keeper, hit a duff penalty Neuer fisted away.

The crowd flatlined for a minute. Then we were back in the game.

The Germans felt their way back into the match, a rocket shot was blocked by Flamini. Then came the moment that we were all dreading, some lovely interchange work out wide allowed Robben in on goal with a volley, he clipped the ball round the keeper (it went wide) and then clattered into him. For me, it was merely a foul. He saw red, penalty awared… but then their left back hit the post! Redemption.

Arsenal fans were disgusted and it fueled an us vs the world mentality in the ground that sparked an evening of heavy singing regardless of what was going on. It was like being on the deck of the titanic as it slowly sunk. A sorry sight, but the simple realities were that we couldn’t compete against the monsters of Europe chipping away at our deplted vessel.

The second half saw Rafinha introduced to the show… and so the dominance began.

We still had the air of a threat. Chamberlain and Sanogo were doing their best to break when we had the chance, but it wasn’t enough really.

Kroos opened the scoring with a beautiful long range effort that hit the top corner. Our midfield not alert enough to close down the impending danger.

The second goal at the end, was even more disappointing, Muller waltzed through the middle and scored a simple diving header. Upsetting in the extreme. At 1-0 it’s a game… at 2-0, it’s a training match. Really upsetting, but once again, a great match dressed up in glorious failure. Much like Milan, Barca and Bayern last year. Always the side kicks to great European nights, rarely the lead super hero.

Takeaways:

Ozil:

Big players show up in big games. Ozil is a big player, but his penalty was pathetically timid and ill thought out. A lot of people were complaining that he must have a clause in his contract that says he plays all the minutes. Sorry people, no modern day player asks for that. He’s not lazy, he’s just totally ruined because Arsene hasn’t looked after his fitness. His sprints per game are down by half post Christmas. That’s not a change in attitude, that’s a change in energy levels. He can’t run… which makes the decision to leave him on the the pitch and taking off Chambo even more baffling. I said a few weeks ago, playing big players in games like Coventry would bite us… last night, you saw another example of why rotation is so important.

Sanogo:

Ahhh jeez, I can’t help but like the guy. He’s a big old lump that has ‘the new Ade’ written all over him. He’s infectious to watch on the pitch, but mainly because he puts in a lot of effort. He’s still 3-4 years away from being anywhere near the striker we need. He’s so, so raw and it’s a bit of a shambles he’s even an option against the Champions of Europe. However, full marks to him for playing the best he could play last night. I just hope he’s not the excuse of the summer as to why we didn’t sign a world class striker.

Bayern Munich:

They knew they were coming to Arsenal to win. I know we dominated the chances early on, but realistically, I think we all knew they had many gears to work through. We’ll never know what might have happened, but my suspicions say we’d have been beaten in the end regardless. We didn’t have teeth last night, they had some of the sharpest.

Focus:

Arsenal are going to have to rotate heavily this weekend because a ten man defeat against Bayern isn’t good for recovery and it’s certainly not great for morale! Giroud should return, because Sanogo looked ruined after 60 minutes. Podolski and Santi should both start and Ozil should be rested. Sunderland is hugely important now. Pick up three points there and we’re still massively in the mix. Now Wenger has a decision to make, does he give up the away leg and focus on the FA Cup and League glory… or does he go for the 3-0 win against a team that’s won 32 from 36 and scored in every game for the last 54?

I know what I’d be doing…

Lukas:

Lot of people saying Lukas should have started through the middle. I’m not sure I can agree. I’d have considered him out on the left, but through the middle, he’d have been eaten alive by the Bayern centre backs. I like the German, but he’s massively limited as a centre forward. He doesn’t have the engine and his movement, at the highest level, really does leave a lot to be desired.

Bayern:

Not as impressive as I thought they’d be, but I think that’s because they didn’t need to step into 5th gear. They have so much talent all over the pitch. That’s where we need to be as a club. We have too many gaps in quality. That, in the main, is because we don’t have a manager who is comfortable with major competition. I think another factor in that is that he’s not comfortable with the concept of rotation. If you have 14 players you like to run into the ground, why would you even contemplate a squad of 25 top. top players?

The fans:

Nothing short of superb last night. From the firs minute, to the last, absolute heroes of the terraces. That was one of my favourite fan moments of the Emirates. No bitching, no moaning, just singing and enjoying our day out in the fading European sun. I think we just have to accept that the Premier League is all about occasion. Football is too diluted by average games to get a ripping atmosphere at every game. Which is why I love games like that so much!

 

 

 

651 Responses to “Glorious failure…”

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  1. kwik fit

    Hackneylad

    As John Mc Enroe would say ‘ You can not be serious’
    In the premiership any team can win if the opposition are not focused , especially if carrying injuries or are tired from a grueling Champions league defeat at the hands of the European Champions. If we turn up like we did against Liverpool then we’re in trouble. Hopefully though the guys will want to give us something to cheer following the disappointment of midweek.

  2. Bermy boy

    Lets you know where we are when you put Sanagos speed up against Girouds and there’s positive talk.Can you imagine if we had a class A striker with not only the speed but the whole package.

  3. hackneylad

    Anyone find Peps praising of Wenger embarrassing.

    Like a hot chick saying to her fat mate she isn’t that fat!

    This life is not just about winning trophies.

    “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Arsenal compete with huge teams. Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City—they are important teams. But Arsenal remains a good team and good club.”

    He is saying we aren’t a huge team that those other teams our bigger and more important, notice how he doesn’t say great about us but good.

    “I have a lot of respect for my colleague Arsene: he always likes the good, good players, the good style of football.”

    good not great?

  4. ArseneWengerNose

    @NM
    Trust me, I ’til this day hate Barcelona for the Cesc saga, and hate him for going there despite the obvious disrespect to our club. But how much can you blame it on Pep? Also comments by Xavi and other cunts like him were way more offensive than anything Pep said or did. I always thought he was a true gent.

  5. salparadisenyc

    “We need to stop acting like fearful maids in a Bavarian tavern.. ‘

    Clearly never been in a Bavarian tavern, fearful not really how id describe a lady whom can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch whilst delivering the perfect pint of pilsner. Fearless more apt and that is quite possibly how Sunderland will come at us.
    Its a banana skin for sure.

  6. Keyser

    It doesn’t really matter what we do, we’re not playing, we’re observing what we’ve seen over the years. It’s not reall fear as opposed to it can happen because it’s possible, Heh, fuck it.

    Sanogo’s got the Kratos beard going if he’s half as good as a hero he’ll be excellant.

    http://goo.gl/XngJM0

    Should really be compulsory.

  7. hackneylad

    Sal

    No fearful because its a woman surrounded by lots of male drunken loud louts who after to many drinks may cause a problem. I know women I have also lived with and known various Barvarian women as well. Women aren’t actually fond of being groped and yelled out by drunkards. Some men think that’s being charming and women should be flattered but women just find it rude and intimidating.

  8. ArseneWengerNose

    Not sure you can call Kratos a hero though. An insane, overpowered individual, with an unquenchable thirst for blood, who if I understood correctly, doesn’t have a problem killing the innocent in order to get what he wanted.

    Fun games though!

  9. hackneylad

    I simply don’t get why people are acting as if we’d be lucky to beat Sunderland.

    If we should worry about Sunderland then we must be a pathetic excuse for a team.

    Yes we should be focused but there is no need for defeatism around here.

  10. Norfolk

    hackneyladFebruary 20, 2014 21:15:32
    We need to stop acting like fearful maids in a Bavarian tavern.Sunderland is the equivalent of me having a fist fight with a 11 year old. There can only be one winner………”

    Mate that 11 year old was a right bully though 🙂

  11. kwik fit

    We need to stop acting like fearful maids in a Bavarian tavern
    ———————————————————————-

    Thats got me all flustered thinking about that little blonde bit of skirt that Pedro keeps showing. You all know the one……. the one with the big 6 inch litre glass of premium lager 😉

  12. Nasri's Mouth

    @ArseneWengerNose

    No doubt there was a fair bit of work from Barca behind the scenes and if so Guardiola would have been part of that. Who knows. I only mentioned it because apparently there was no greeting before the game either, so the lack of handshake after the game seems to have been pre-meditated rather than as a reaction to whatever happened on the night.

    Meh, my level of caring is struggling to move off the bottom stop to be honest.

  13. Adam Bucci

    i think fabianski should start the next couple of games, he’s going to need the practice for when we go to munich.

    ozil should stay at home for the sunderland game. he looks like he’s about to drop dead from fatigue. he also needs to be given a reason to want to play to his full potential again. so five or six days locked up with his supermodel missus/girlfriend ought to do the trick.

    if bendtners healthy he ought to be given the start. giroud has also been overplayed and ought to come on a sub. if not, let giroud play the first half, then put in sanogo for the second.

    i’d like to see rosicky given a start too. he’s one of the few members of the squad who really seems to be enjoying himself and seems to give 100% every game.

    of course none of this will happen. if ozil doesn’t get a break soon i half expect to see him putting in for a transfer come may.

  14. MarsBar

    If Ozil does play against Sunderland to ‘Regain his confidence’ questions must surely be asked at why he is being played and not given a mental break at the very least.

    Easy team selection for the weekend. Rosicky in for Ozil, Podolski out left Cazorla on the right. The rest of the team picks it selfs.

    Just need to hope Per and Kos stay fit for the the remainder they’ve hardly ha d break at all. Some games being easier than others.

    We should do Sunderland. We’re at home. After the other night no questions asked!

  15. Dark Hei

    Let’s not look past Sunderland. They have been hard to beat under Poyet. A really difficult time to play them. Let’s pull out the TGSTEL. After missing out 2 games, he must be hell bent on the next one.

  16. Evan

    Record signing Ozil missed a penalty in Wednesday night’s 2-0 Champions League defeat at home to Bayern Munich and is struggling badly for form.And billionaire Usmanov, an influential shareholder at the Emirates, believes the German can do more.He said:

    “What do I think about Ozil’s performance? My view – Less than his capacity. Why was that? Maybe he was tired.”Usmanov insists it is still up to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to decide if his team needs more investment to end its trophy drought.

    “Of course I am disappointed (by the Bayern defeat) but this really was the best team in the world against us. Unfortunately we did not have luck,” he added.“Good play but what can you do when you have one man less? It’s a difficulty in football.“My view of the red card for Wojciech Szczesny? I don’t see so well whether it is contact or not.

    “Does this team need further investment in order to win titles? This is for my lovely friend Mr Wenger to decide. It’s his decision.”

  17. Moray

    Michael Ballack: ‘Mesut Ozil not accepted by Arsenal teammates’
    By Daniel Lewis, Reporter

    Retired German midfielder Michael Ballack believes that Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s drop in form is down to the fact that he does not have “the acceptance of the team”.

    Ozil, who joined the Gunners for a club record £42m in the summer from Real Madrid, has failed to impress in recent weeks at the Emirates Stadium.

    “He looks a bit lost in this team,” Ballack is quoted as saying by International Business Times when asked about his compatriot. “When he came here there was so much expectation with the quality he has.

    “The first games he looked good, played well and was comfortable. With his quality he should be untouchable and bring out so much in the team. But it looks like he has not got the acceptance of the team.”

    What the fuck is this all about? Anyone heard anything along these lines?

  18. Evan

    It’s natural that high expectations are expected by your record signing. I have faith he will come good. Ozils problem is he is expected to track back and defend, I doubt this was a Real requirement, he’s knackered. His argument with flamini looked as if Ozil was saying “why am I defending this, I should be in advance position, not you”

  19. samsensible

    If we had 70m net to spend I’d try and prise Cavani from PSG for 55m, sell Podolski, Vermaelen and Cazorla for about 25m leaving me with 40m which I’d plough into a DM and 3rd choice CB.

    Then I’d ring up Stan and say “Stan, if you don’t let me spend another 35m we won’t win anything and I will make it clear in the press that I have not had enough money to compete”

    Then I’d buy Draxler.

    Then I’d win the league.

    Cavani, Draxler, Bender plus a 10m defender. 95m net spend. Done.

    Managing is easy.

    Just please don’t ask me for a goalkeeper, a right back or a 4th choice CB.

  20. Bergkamplegend

    “The Club is also delighted to announce that Dennis has confirmed that he will be present for the unveiling and will be a guest of Arsenal for the Sunderland match”

    I jump in the eurostar right away.

  21. Norfolk

    Nasri’s MouthFebruary 20, 2014 21:20:35
    Any team in the PL can lose to any other team if they’re not fully focused”

    Correct.
    A quick look at the FA cup results will confirm that.

  22. Norfolk

    BergkamplegendFebruary 21, 2014 09:28:44
    “The Club is also delighted to announce that Dennis has confirmed that he will be present for the unveiling and will be a guest of Arsenal for the Sunderland match”I jump in the eurostar right away.”

    You might see him on the train eh 🙂

  23. Bergkamplegend

    Apparently Ozil will be rested for the sunderland game.
    Giroud is back (hat trick at last), Gibbs is out, Arteta is back (please hide your joy).

  24. Dissenter

    You’ve got to give Usmanov some credit.
    The guy actually follows the team.mhe knew how many games Ozil had played for Arsenal to suggest that he was tired. He does care about results.
    Stan only cares about the money trail. He’s not known for winning teams over here in the states.

  25. Al

    I really really hope we start with sanogo tomorrow. We have looked far more dangerous in the last 2 games with him in the team. The fact he has speed and is willing to make forward runs has opened up our game.

    Also who would you guys prefer Isco or Draxler? IMO, Isco is the better player of the 2 but is too similar to what we already have. Just think Draxler would offer the squad the power we lack in certain games

  26. Bergkamplegend

    “God knows I love Arsenal, I love the game advocated by Wenger but without Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira, Petit, etc. .. it does not matter. He wanted to please the fans and the press and take Ozil. Arsenal is a club for progress, not to win. Mourinho (which I hate) has still hit a nerve talking about failure. While Arsenal is still in the top 4 and in LDC every year, but does not progress anymore .. Too bad.”

    This is a translation of a comment from a psg fan, read on l’Équipe.fr
    No other comment required.

  27. Norfolk

    MarbleHallFebruary 21, 2014 11:39:16
    Nasri’s MouthFebruary 20, 2014 21:20:35
    “Any team in the PL can lose to any other team if they’re not fully focused

    ”False”

    Why do you say that ?

  28. Bamford13

    Wilshere’s detractors should acknowledge that (1) he played well against the best in the world the other night and (2) the move and pass that set up Ozil at the start was world class.

    Jack is a fantastic player. He just doesn’t always show it.

  29. goonerboy

    Arsenal spent $500m they would not come close to what BM had on the field against Bayern Munich.

    When any English club plays Bayern Munich they are at a huge disadvantage before a ball is kicked. Bayern enjoy a monopolistic position in German football and have been allowed to cherry pick all the very best players from the Bundesliga to supplement the investment in foreign players. No English team not even money bags Chelsea or Man U (who have been cherry picking the best players in the North West for years), comes close to enjoying their market position.

    I did not expect the outcome to be any different-but I am sick of watching embarrassing one sided games in Europe.

    We also discovered this week that one of Europe’s other monopolistic football institutions Barcelona has been defrauding the taxman-what a surprise that is.

    European football is corrupt- what are they going to do to ensure fair competition? Thats a joke- thats the last thing FIFA and UEFA want.