Arsenal embarrassed by smarter planning. Shocker.

by .


Last night was quite the numbing experience. I said to a friend at the time of the draw, you almost want a big team to keep Arsenal on their toes. I still have horrible memories of losing to teams like PSV when it’s almost inconceivable to do so. Arsenal have traditionally suffered in the Champions League because we don’t take care of ourselves. If it’s a big team, we don’t go with a game plan to nullify talent (aka, ‘we have no special plan for Messi’) or last night, when it appeared we had no plan to take care of a very unambitious Monaco side with a terrific defensive record.

It’s hard not to be torn about the result in a way, and look, I’m no excuse maker, but you can’t not look at the chances we had and not wistfully imagine what could have been.

But then, if your aunty had bollocks… she’d be your transgender uncle.

Simple fact is we were utterly complacent and arrogant yesterday. The players looked at the injuries and the position Monaco hold in the Ligue 1 and they made a poor assumption we’d roll them. Well, turns out Jardim had other plan. I mean, it didn’t even feel like much of a plan. He played two banks of four and didn’t even really bother to press us. I think he had a right midfielder at right back. His outlet was Berbatov, a 20 a day smoker. They were there for the taking in my opinion.

The starting line up was more than enough to take them. I think it could have been more ambitious if I’m honest. A lot of people calling for the inclusion of Theo. He was dropped for #WELBZ who proved pretty ineffectual again despite putting in a workman like shift.

Despite have most of the early pressure, we didn’t really create much. The team didn’t seem to flow with much energy and considering we had Ozil and Cazorla on the pitch we created limited chance and the movement was pretty non-existent. I know it’s the first leg of the Champions League, but I kind of hoped for a bit of urgency. Play for the first goal, put them off their game plan then demolish them in the second half.

Well, it didn’t happen and our laissez faire approach was punished when Welbeck lost a challenge on the half way line, the ball was played to Moutinho who found Kondogbia, the Frenchman had all the time and space to gear up a shot… Coquelin not there, Per didn’t move in on the midfielder, the shot was ripped, it took a deflection and flat footed the keeper.

Now… I personally thought the keeper was slow to react considering how far out the shot came from. He was rooted to the ground, which would suggest he wasn’t properly on his toes. Others around me disagreed. For me, he should have made a better attempt there. Disappointing. Still, the focus of that cock up has to sit with our defensive unit falling asleep.

The first half played out to a few jeers. I’m never sure who’s doing it. It’s like some sort of weird secret speaker system hidden in the ground that Ivan controls. Anyway, key points were that Monaco did a great job tactically of killing our energy. A two man operation on Sanchez, two banks of four coupled with a total lack of interest by most of our team.

The second half started off with a bit more zip, sadly, our outlet was Giroud and he didn’t have a good day in front of goal. Sanchez fed him in after some tricksy work out wide, Giroud shinned it right back at him (Alex screamed great shot at that point and took pelters from the guys in front). His next chance came from a free header, he showed all the technique of a Seaworld sealion playing football with his mates in the tank, then his final chance came from a parried shot, the ball sat up for him to slot into a free net, he flew it over the bar like he’d seen a disrespectful pigeon on The Emirates roof he was trying to hit.

Total car crash strikerism. Really poor. But kind of expected. Giroud is a very good striker, but he’s not the sort of guy you can rely on at the highest level. I kind of cringed in the week when I saw articles pinging around about how Giroud is indispensable, because it’s just Arsenal fans being too smart for their own good. Giroud isn’t good enough to lead the line of a club that has serious ambitions.

Things went from bad to worse when Sanchez lost the ball which led to Fabinho breaking, pulling our whole defense over to his side of the pitch, he threaded Berbatov through allowed the Bulgarian to steal the second goal of the night. You know you’ve fucked up somewhere when the slowest man on the pitch is getting in behind you.

Arsene made relatively early changes. He brought on Theo for the hapless Giroud which gave us a bit of pace through the middle. Chamberlain made a difference, he’s driven whatever the occasion. He was on hand to curl an absolute undeserved peach of a goal into the top corner. At 2-1, you felt we could live to fight another day… Arsenal had other plans…we totally switched off, we allowed Currassco (the player I scouted for you the other month) in on our defence, he powered through on our goal and fired a shot that Ospina could only tip onto the inside post.

3-1 at home, to the easiest team left in the draw. Really disappointing.

Talking points:

Fans: Just a minor point to the large guy with the hipster beard screaming at a fan for standing up. Pressumably, because he wanted to sit down. I absolutely hate that this sort of behaviour can creep into the ground on a Champions League night. Stand up, get involved and add to the atmosphere. Utterly embarrassing carry on that led to a whole section not standing up because a grown man in his thirties bullied the section into sitting down. Pathetic. Watch it at home if you’re so tied to your seat.

Gibbs: Knew the writing was on the wall for last night when I caught glimpse of the back page of The Standard and you read Gibbs quote ‘We want to win it for the boss’. Nice one Gibbo. What about for the fans? What about not saying stuff like that at all?

Sanchez: He’s like our pressure release valve. When things get hot in the kitchen, give it to Sanchez. It becomes all about him and he tries too hard. He almost stops being a team player. It’s not his fault, we panic and give it to him in every instance. Kind of felt he killed a lot of moves last night because he was trying to be too cute. Still, my gripe isn’t with him, it’s with the rest of the team for putting that pressure on him. No accountability last night.

Adebennour: What a player. Interesting that the last time a centre back was that imposing in a Euro game, I was thinking about Alex of PSV who dominated us. He had so much heart. He put something on everything. Really, really impressed. Loads of communication.

Game Plan: Arsenal walked into that game without thinking. We had no answers for a team we knew would be all about defending and hitting us on the break. When I was in Lisbon this summer, I was told Jardim was a good coach. Very intelligent and tactically astute. He apparently identified that we detoriate in the second half and are suseptable to the counter. We played right into his hands and the collective mentality of his team outshined our offering. That’s the difference at the highest level, you can’t get away with not thinking. You can’t underestimate anyone. We did yesterday and paid, like we always do.

Ozil: Sorry, but once again, he showed he’s not up to it in the big games. He was largely anonymous and he offered nothing. He might be the dream player that only people that are super football nerds can understand… but he doesn’t cut it for me. He should have been yanked at halftime. How he didn’t get taken off is almost as amazing as it was against Spurs. Not sure he has the stomach for it.

Change it up: Wenger really does have a weakness to identify what teams are doing during a game and making changes. We didn’t really have much going on during the first half, yet no changes were made. The players don’t have the collective intelligence to see what’s going on around them. So you get these weaks performances where the only way to change the game is through a sub, not a different way of approaching the actual game from a structure stand point.

Conclusion: Come on, we all know what’ll happen… we’ll win 2-0 away from home and we’ll all be talking about what could have been.

‘Yeah. But at the end of the day, Giroud hits that shot 60 yards lower and we’d be in the semi finals of the CL, mate’

People focus on the wrong thing when they talk about Arsenal in the Champions League. It’s not about consistently qualifying for it that’s interesting, it’s consistently failing in it that is. 17 attempts and we consistently disappoint. Thing is, Wenger isn’t good enough to win it. He’s not getting any better. He’s not learning from year to year. We try the same thing every year, and fail.

We’re simply not a smart enough team under Wenger.

Still, as Hot Chocolate once said, I believe in miracles.



542 Responses to “Arsenal embarrassed by smarter planning. Shocker.”

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  1. Drew

    Cannot believe we let them score a 3rd away goal after the boys got back in the game.

    To be so open at the back, 55 minutes into a 180 minute game is just plain ridiculous.

  2. @snoekrats

    anyway have a good one gents I refuse to read any articles on this game upsets me too much.

    Just a question to ponder: Should wenger be blamed for Per and Girouds horror shows?

  3. Danny

    In a normal world, that 3rd goal would’ve been the final nail in Wenger’s coffin but of course it will make no difference.
    At least 2 more seasons of this shit to go.

  4. El Patron

    I keep telling you guys… all the talent in the world with no effort and accountability is useless… that my friends in Mesut Ozil.

    We got the wrong set of Germans in our camp. I tell you that much.

  5. Zementalstrength

    Anyway, good joke this morning from my pal at work : too bad Monaco failed to score the 4th goal, it would have allowed arsène to take his reserve team for the second leg lol

  6. TitsMcGee

    We beck is the exact same player for us as he was for UTD. Shame really.

    I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since they beat us in the Emirates Cup.

    It seems as some fans (Wenger fans) are happy with getting to the round of 16 and losing 3-1 but hey “we play attractive football “.

  7. shad

    On to the game. Utter shambolic. Pedestrian pace like the lads learned about the fixture at 3am after a wild night out in a cheap brothel.
    What was more irksome was no leadership from the bench – Wenger resorted to fold into himself as usual with a resigned look, Bouldy looked like he had just given his last fuck, and the train wreck that was on the pitch was just…a nightmare.

    As some twitter chap said, we’ll never get an easy draw in the UCL because you can’t be drawn against yourself.

  8. leon

    Not really suprised to be honest. There is far too many tipy tapy players in the team they need some real athletic players in the middle of the midfield . The one thing has suprised it was at home well very suprised. Bottom line until a new manager comes in will have same problems again and again

  9. midzed

    Good post, we have the talent just not the right players with strong mental strength. Samir Nasri said ‘we’re too timid’ we have the quality just when we go against oppositions of good quality we then doubt our own abilities and then end up running like headless chooks. I can accept not dominating posssession against the likes of Chelsea, Man City. But it does bother me when a team like Crystal Palace had more possession then us. In most games we struggle to even get that 1 goal little lone 3 goals for the 2nd leg. I never see us have a clean strike at goal, because we can’t open teams up we always shoot it at the man in front. I’ve been a gooner for a long time and nowadays I control my rage and feel sorry that the past 10 years we could’ve achieved something with another manager. The state that we’re in now just proves to me that the last 10 years were wasting on a clueless manager. It’ll forever be dark the 2000s of our tenure.

  10. Dream10

    Abdenour linked with Spurs. He always plays with that type of commitment.

    We can’t afford to drop Giroud on Sunday as he is our best source of a goal.
    Don’t want to see Ospina start again. Gibbs is below average.

    The XI vs Everton

    The Ox,Ozil, Sanchez

  11. Danny

    Ozil and Sanchez can’t play together. Since Ozil returned Sanchez’s playing has gone right down. It’s clear (except to Wenger) that we must get rid of Ozil at the end of the season and use the money to build the team around Sanchez.
    Mert is finished and of course we need a real bloody goalkeeper – that 3rd goal should’ve been saved by a goalkeeper playing for Arsenal.

  12. Bamford10

    Good post, Pedro. Measured, after such an abysmal display — though maybe too measured with respect to Giroud. A “very good” striker? That’s being far too generous. He’s a decent back-up with serious limitations. I don’t think I’d even say he is a “good” striker. Do “good” strikers put in displays like he did last night? No. They don’t.

    Every poster here who has defended this mediocrity owes Le Grove an apology.

    And Wenger owes all Arsenal supporters both an apology and his resignation. What a disgrace.

  13. Zementalstrength

    “Would anyone drop Ospina, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ozil and Giroud for Sunday. ”

    Will drop this whole fucking team exept Theo, Ox, Rosicky and a (very) few others.

  14. Blsany

    ozil must be a stoner.No other way i can undrstand his performance last night.Giroud should have put us ahead.kongdobia,wanyama is exactly what we need.Not schneiderlin.mertesacker proved to me how much of hindrance he is to the team.gab has to play return leg and rest of the season.

  15. midzed

    If players like david silva, eriksen can play the way they do in the EPL, I definitely expect way more from ozil. Wenger been a nice manager therefore we cant make the big decisions. One minute arshavin is the man next he’s nothing, there’s been heaps of players that leave in the same fashion. Players such as vermaelen will probably feel bitter towards wenger if not arsenal. Saddd

  16. gazzap

    “We try the same thing every year, and fail.” Very true pedro.

    I think we did under estimate them, which was criminal. if you look at their teamsheet they actually have a lot of highly rated players, and more to come back from injury in the 2nd leg. To play that open and right into their hands was beyond naive. #Wengerout.

  17. Dream10


    Sanchez is not reliable enough to build a team around. Loses the ball often. Since Ozil and Cazorla returned to the first XI, he has failed to combine with them. His off the ball movement leaves a lot to be desired

  18. Dan T

    Totally shocking performance.

    I wouldn’t have started both attack-minded full backs and I would have started Rosicky over Welbz. Other than that, I probably wouldn’t have changed anything in the starting line-up. I would have brought the Ox on first too, but Walcott did actually manage to find space behind on a couple of occasions.

    At the end of the day, you just can’t account for that many individual shocking performances. The big Per was utterly woeful, Giroud didn’t even manage a shot on target from 3/4 very good opportunities. A top level forward would have had 3, but even Giroud with his poor finishing should have had 2. We moved poorly, passed poorly and gave the ball away too cheaply far too many times.

    As for Ospina – I don’t think he could have done much with the first one, that was just a bit of bad luck with the deflection taking it the wrong side of him. However, I thought he should have saved the 3rd one.

    As a side note, does anybody know the last time they scored 3 goals?

  19. Arsene's Nurse

    We don’t need Fabregas we’ve got Ozil. Hold your hands up all you mugs who were saying that in the summer against better advice.

  20. shad

    Wenger’s time is up. Finished. Kaput. Done as a top flight gaffer.

    With Arsenal’s stature you need a coach who will be like the music coach of the kid in “Whiplash”. Someone who doesn’t tolerate mediocrity and will drop you at any instance for under performing just to get the best out of you.

    Ozil is world class but his attitude isn’t. He has come in and while his stats can be deceiving, his tendency to hide in big games is glaring. For large chunks of the 1st half I thought we were down to 10 men.

    NO motivation, No tactical nous, just watch as my team implodes while I fiddle with my bloody zipper as I get 8.5m a year.

    When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

  21. Blsany

    look at the second goal.mert lets the winger go coz he knows he wont get to him and goes for the ball he will never win.why was he a captain again?

  22. Biggles

    Last week I went to the Celtic vs Inter Milan game (not even a Celtic fan, I’m a blue nose) simply because I wanted to go to a game and it was local. I’m pretty sure if anybody suggested sitting down in the section I was in, they’d get stabbed.

    I honestly think we need to give some Millwall “fans” some free tickets or something to get the atmosphere up. The Emirates is pretty much the least scary stadium to visit for a team. Everybody loves drawing Greek or Turkish teams, because they are crap teams. But nobody loves going to play them over there, because you expect to have fireworks launched at your head. That’s intimidating. We need more of that.

  23. Bamford10


    I’ll freely admit that I said that this summer, but that’s because I believed we needed a CDM and CF more than another CAM — something I’d stand by — and because I believed Ozil would snap out of it.

    I would swap Ozil for Fabregas in a heartbeat now. Were we to sign a class CAM, however, there’d be no reason to keep Ozil. Had we a Fabregas, we would be right to sell Ozil.

  24. London gunner


    I was one of those mugs! I honestly thought ozil would improve. He is not the all powerful playmaker we supposed.

    I think most fans expected him to have a full range of passing able to pull off pirlo like long balls and Xavi like through balls with incredible dribbling ability. When he is actually incredibly limited in many ways he can’t dribble past a player or keep possesion like cazorla, does not have a full range of passing and can only create opportunities against the lesser teams who allow him enough time and space to spot the pass.

    He gets such a high amount of completed passes in the final third simply because he side passes all the time.

  25. shad

    List of players to join Wenger ins the summer exodus;

    1. Mertesacker – slow, horribly unreliable, prone to switch off.
    2. SZCZ/Ospina – None of these deserve to be the #1. Drop one, buy another.
    3. Wilshere – Yep, doesn’t cut it for me. Is a Diaby Mk II.
    4. Flamini & Arteta – their unathleticism and age speak for themselves
    5. Welbz – all huff and puff, but won’t blow the house down.
    6. Ozil – No huff and puff.

  26. tippitappi

    I saw the Gibbs headline before the match, cringed and skipped it, on reflection perhaps they showed how much they ‘wanted it ‘ for the manager that 90 min. I know its been said a thousand times already but why didn’t they just shut up shop at 1 -2 and live to fight another day against not the best side in the competition by a long way, as thick as shit. 17 years in this tournament and play like they’ve been in it for 5 minuets that skinny arsed Frenchman even more so

  27. Micheal

    And hands up those who are truly surprised by the performance. There was nothing really unexpected about this car crash – inadequate management and leadership, shabby tactics, lack of effort, lack of defensive cover in midfield, shocking defending, ineffectual finishing, etc.

    The msot astonishing statistic is that Ozil covered more ground than anyone else – yes, Ozil, our worst performer on the night. What does that say ?

    For me the worst failing is that Wenger cannot get the players up for the biggest game of the season. Lost the dressing room ? Yep. Time to go.

  28. London gunner

    Not many class cam’s out there.. Bayern, Barca and real hogging them.

    Koke or debruyne

    Debruyne having an amazing season, but is it purple patch? Though I did rate him at Chelsea despite it not working out.

    Koke been very decent for awhile now, but I don’t love his game

  29. gambon

    So it really all came home to roost last night.

    Where are Willow fucking Wilson and Wallace, oh and Goondawg.

    All taking a day off?

    I want to hear more about:

    – Our grand financial plan finally coming together
    – Wenger the master manager
    – Wengers tactical brilliance (only the Man City game from 18 years as evidence)
    – Ozil the genius
    – Olivier Giroud, who is on Agueros level

    All ive heard over and over and over is how we got so unlucky drawing Barca & Bayern in recent years.

    So explain last nights lesson in football from fucking Monaco?

    As ive said over and over, Wenger is a big game bottler. He is a consistent loser and finds it impossible to manage his teams through tough games. The team completely fell apart last night.

    As for Ozil, what a complete waste of space. £42m thrown away on a guy that can only be effective against shit teams.

    Same as Giroud, but at least we didnt go and spend £42m on Giroud.

  30. Dan T

    I think criticism directed at Ozil after this game is a little harsh. Not because he wasn’t bad, but he just seems to get singled out a lot. He wasn’t any worse than anyone else. Didn’t give the ball away as much as most of our forwards and didn’t play us into trouble too many times. Ozil didn’t really stand a chance in this game to be honest. He needs to be playing with players with great off the ball movement. People seem to expect Ozil to drive the team forward and win it for us single handed. That isn’t his game. He isn’t a driving force that will take the game by the scruff of the neck and go and win it for you. He gives other players the opportunity to go and win it for you.

    He hasn’t turned into a bad player, he just needs great movement around him to play his game, last night he didn’t get that so didn’t stand a chance. He should have been subbed early when that became clear and the Ox should have come on who will drive us forward and make things happen regardless of what the rest of the team are doing.

  31. shad


    We paid peanuts for 2nd rate defenders and midfielders and strikers. Ozil and Sanchez are the exception and even they were deemed excess to requirements at their former clubs. Do their former clubs miss them? Not one bit.

  32. London gunner

    “The msot astonishing statistic is that Ozil covered more ground than anyone else – yes, Ozil, our worst performer on the night. What does that say ?”

    That he was running away from the ball

  33. gambon

    “I was one of those mugs! I honestly thought ozil would improve. He is not the all powerful playmaker we supposed.”

    Same here, thought he was a game changer, but he is just a timid wimp who performs against relegation fodder.

    Eriksen is a much better player, and Silva is literally levels better.

  34. KurtF

    Hate it when the pundits say “This is typical Arsenal” – no, it’s not, it’s typical Wenger’s Arsenal. And I’m a big fan of Keown, but him calling for Wenger to be given ‘more time to build the side he wants’ is ridiculous, – whatever you believe about the club’s financial situation, Wenger has spent a huge sum of money in the last five years and there are still glaring holes right through the team.

  35. gambon

    “He hasn’t turned into a bad player, he just needs great movement around him to play his game,”

    So hes such a great player that he can only play well if he has amazing players around him?

    In other words he isnt a particularly good player?

    Lets be honest, Real Madrid completely mugged us off. We were the only mugs willing to pay £42m for a £12m player.

    They saw us coming.

  36. craszy gunner

    Jeez Pedro

    You don’t have to say it all because shit man it hurts!!

    Spot on just about everything

    In the real world if you’ve tried 17 times and failed on every occasion yet you go back believing next time it will be different most people will say you’re mad..

    Maybe thats the problem …is wenger gone mad?..

    We all knew what Monaco was coming to do…we all knew how we would respond…is there a french word for de ja vous?..

    My main worry is our bench …why on earth does wenger sit on the bench he may very well watch from home or in his office!!

    Managers are by the touchline to influence games when the whole world can see whats happenning why does he not leave that zip alone and baulk out orders to close down or stop players from over commiting…

    Anyway I am confident we will win 2-0 at monaco..thats what we do..we are nearly men

  37. Kimmono

    Gabriel for BFG and they might not have scored. He is much faster and more aggressive.

    Still think we need William Carvalho.

  38. Dissenter

    I’m tired of this “Ozil is world class but …” bull sh*t
    When are we going to start judging him by his Arsenal performance?

    I also noticed that Ozil apologists were mounting the “the whole team was poor and Ozil was no exception” excuses to conflate the issue.

    He’s been a bust, £43 million could have been used in better ways. He lacks the mentality and desire a top player should have. He doesn’t stand out amongst men and hides when the going gets tough.

    As for Giroud, oh dear oh dear.

    I really hope we lose out of fourth place. Something drastic has to happen to push the fraud manager out.

  39. Dan T

    “Why did Gibbs start anyway?”

    Who the hell knows. Monreal has been our best defender so far this year, that seemed a bizarre decision to me. Especially given that Bellerin started so we knew we were already going to be one player short at the back, so why go and player another winger in defence?

  40. Frank Mc

    Monaco singing “We’re at home!” as the second goal went in was a nice touch! Fair play to them I guess….
    Still… “we’ve got a lovely stadium!”

  41. craszy gunner

    For me ozil and cazorla can both play together against the small teams but can’t play together in big matches…Pedro could you kindly check the stats and see how many big games we have won when both of them play together….i.e CL games or against top 6 sides…I don’t think we have won any…

  42. Zementalstrength

    “Still think we need William Carvalho.”

    Still think that, as many other great players, he would not wants to join us after what we saw last night (among other great performances… lol).

  43. Danish Gooner

    Ozil is simple mismangement under Maureen at real he was the bollocks then Wenger started tinkering with him and the rest is history,he will be gone in the summer.

  44. Dan T

    “So hes such a great player that he can only play well if he has amazing players around him?”

    Not necessarily, but he needs off the ball movement. There was very little last night. I’m not trying to go overboard on defending him here, I think he has turned out to be a poor signing (I really thought he would have been perfect when we got him) I just think he didn’t stand a chance last night and there were quite a few worse performers.

  45. Leedsgunner

    I’m an Özil supporter but he really needed to step up to the plate. He really disappointed last night… but as Dan T says the whole team was an absolute shambles.

    For all his blustering, nothing will change. It will be business as usual next time we win. This is what srustrates me the most. Nothing ever changes. Lessons are never learnt.

    Wenger has to go. A lovely stadium doesn’t mean he has a right to a job for life. We made him, he didn’t make us. We owe him nothing.

    He needs to do the honourable thing and resign. He can’t take us any further.

  46. Bergkamp63


    “Lets be honest, Real Madrid completely mugged us off. We were the only mugs willing to pay £42m for a £12m player”

    I remember getting slaughtered on here for saying this the day he arrived !

    Romford “Ozil” Pele was one of them !

  47. Arsene's Nurse

    The trouble is we’ve got 2 1/2 more years of this crap. We know it’s not going to change. It’s impossible for Arsenal to win the league or the CL with Wenger in charge.

    Apart from the first 10 minutes last night was a farce. We are a laughing stock. Even the pundits sound like broken records when discussing Arsenal because they say the same things over and over due to our incompetence. We never learn.

    Whenever Gibbs plays we are left wide open at the back. He needs to be sold ASAP. Why didn’t Monreal start? He’s at least in good form.

  48. London gunner

    We got welbeck… When we could have bought griezmann.. Let that sink in.

    There is a reason why he was shunted out wide at United and a reason he has now been shunted out wide at afc to giroud of all players.

    He is 24 not 21. If he was a top quality player he would have replaced the Frenchman by now.

  49. craszy gunner

    Ozil is not the messiah we are looking for…in the summer I suggest we sell him give cazorla a new contract and buy Kondogbia amd Jackson Martinez..

  50. Bergkamp63

    The minute you start with Giroud, Ozil & Mertesacker you know you are going to struggle for a high tempo game with that kind of pace from front to back.

  51. Dissenter

    We’ve been told that we need the CL qualification to attract top players but how many top players do we really have?

    All we have is Alexis.

    First we need Wenger to f*ck off.
    The build up to the game didn’t have to be all about him and his 20 years ago oddesy at Monaco. He’s a selfish prick because that distracted from the central issue: beat an average team.

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed: 90% (I’m exaggerating of course) of the news stories about AFC are soft romantic cushy pieces about Wenger’s nostalgia.
    Oh, I should have signed Jesus, oh I got fired etc.

    This guy needs to walk away. He didn’t even take any responsibility for last night.
    It’s always Wenger, Wenger, Wenger!

  52. Zementalstrength

    And when you play some “sterile tiki taka” for almost 45 minutes, when you finally took a goal you know it’s the end of the story lol

  53. Bergkamp63

    Gary Neville was correct in saying Ozil leaves you confused & bemused ! He loses the ball and shrugs his shoulders whilst remaining motionless.

    When Sanchez loses the ball he tries like fuck to make amends.

    That’s the difference between the two of them right there.

  54. Jamie

    Shad –

    I take your point, and I agree. Far too much mediocrity in the squad and coaching staff. The real failings lie with Wenger and Kroenke, though.

    I’m not particularly despondent that we lost last night. We’ve been filler for the Champs League for almost a decade. Would it make sure a huge difference if we had beaten Monaco and taken a pounding in the QF against ‘even stronger’ opposition? Not to me.

  55. Paulinho

    Ozil will never cut the mustard, but Wenger will never have the balls to drop him or sell him, so we’re stuck with him. Not only is he limited, he just seems totally oblivious to context; and just carries on playing in his little world, regardless of the intensity of the opposition.

    It’s not completely his fault though. He’s playing under an awful manager who was secretly dreading this period ‘post-austerity’ because he knew he would get exposed, and not have the money argument to fall back on when it all went tits up.

  56. Dissenter

    We got the wrong Germans and our English core is made of Smarties.
    We have the wrong personnel who also happen to be overpaid.

    The next manager would have to dismantle before he can build. The foundation isn’t strong at all.

  57. GoonerInNY

    Jardim even said after the game what many of us have said on Le Grove: Arsenal are easy to plan against because Wenger always does the same thing. How humiliating for Wenger and depressing for Arsenal supporters.

    Wenger supporters love to hold up one good game as evidence of Wenger’s fitness to manage. But when you look at the longer term/big picture, Arsenal have underachieved and disappointed again and again. Games like yesterday are all too common and symbolize all the problems w/Wenger as a modern manager (squad construction, tactics, adjustments, etc.).

    That is why Wenger needs to go today.

  58. Ishola

    “Wenger will be gone if we capitulate at Old Toilet.”

    No he won’t. Not a chance.

    Two clubs that used to battle it out for the league title now no longer good enough for that particular top honour scrapping for secondary trophies.

    That is the real context of this upcoming match even though many don’t want to see or admit to it.

  59. Quagmire

    These rats have no dignity. After his shit performance, Meet can’t wait for things to cool before coming out with the usual crap: “We will fight in Monaco” . This is a guy who flinched from being hit by a ball while he’s paid to throw his body and block the ball.

  60. Uwot?

    Depressing,really much more pain can we take?same shit again & again & again….silent Stan & the mad prof out along with a useless board please day maybe we’ll look back in horror & refer to these days as “the wilderness years”.”..”..

  61. Kane

    A few things I need to get off my chest today

    1 – I went into last nights match thinking we were playing against the worst team in the last 16. by the end of the game it is clear WE are the worst team in the last 16, by a mile.

    2 – I have been an Arsenal fan for over 25 years. Last night was probably one of the most tepid and downright embarressing displays I have witnessed. The whole club should be ashamed of that performance, from the players, to the manager to the owner. Truly pathetic and an insult to the club, the occiasion and the fans.

    3 – A player’s price tag should not be used as a means to judge. I don’t care if we bought Ozil for £2m, £12m or £42m – his performances for Arsenal have not consistently been good enough to warrent automatic selection.

    4 – Arsenal do not have a world class striker at the club and until this changes, we will continually come up short in big games

    5 – Wenger…. what can we say… He bought the players, he picked the team, he decided the tactics, he is responsible for preparing them for the match, he makes the substitutes – HE IS CONSISTENTLY GETTING IT WRONG.

    I want to defend Wenger, I want to world to see that he can lead us to glory again, but in my heart of hearts I just don’t think he can.

    6 – At least we won’t have the ECL distracting us from securing our top 4 spot.

  62. Dissenter

    Crazy gooner,
    You’re right.
    We will beat Monaco 2-0 and lose on a squeaker.
    That way Wenger can still come out with “class”

  63. DUIFG

    you can tell within the first 15 if ozil will do anything or not, if he stats poorly he never gets out that rut, looks devoid of any confidence to me, isnt willing to carry the ball.

    so many poor aspects to yesrterday, ospina looks well short of decent, mert looks ancient

  64. Leedsgunner

    Since 2006 Wenger has changed us to Chelsea – a decent cup side that occasionally beat the top teams and in the meantime Chelsea has taken the place of Arsenal – a perennial winner of challenger of league titles and cups who used to challenge for the biggest and best names in world football. Remember those days?

    The usual suspects on here will tell us in their self righteous way that we are being reactionary, that better days are just around the corner to be careful what we wish for…

    They despise us for criticising the team but at least we call it the way it is.

    They only sing when they are winning.

    Credit to Wallace and Tunny for turning up and putting forth their views in a respectful way not patronisingly like some others.

    Thank you guys although I disagree with you I stand with as a Gooner for your decency.

  65. kapslock

    What a complete fucking disgrace. I haven’t been upset over a game for a very long time but last night did it for me. I was so fucked off, especially when we let in the third goal. I think Ospina could have done a lot better for that goal, he’s getting found out in the big games.

    Conclusion: Come on, we all know what’ll happen… we’ll win 2-0 away from home and we’ll all be talking about what could have been.
    ^ Bang on. We’ll probably win the return leg but not enough to take us through. We always lose the round in the first leg, it’s so embarassing.

    Ozil – I love him, he’s a brilliant footballer and world class on his day but he just does not cut it in this league or in the big games. I don’t know what it is. He just doesn’t try or get stuck in. Doesn’t chase, doesn’t harass defenders. I wish him all the best but I think we need to cut our losses and get rid of him. He’s had a good amount of time in the league and even though he’s bulked up a bit he’s still too lightweight for me.

    What a fucking shit morning, this has completely ruined my day.

  66. Bergkamp63

    Arsenal are easy to play against, just sit two narrow banks of 4 and play counter attack.

    They are hopeless from wide positions, hardly ever score from corners, let them have the ball in front of you until they lose possession (which you know is going to happen sooner or later), one ball to the two players you leave up top to deal with the one defender in his own half to cope with.

    Simples !

  67. Dissenter

    What’s Steve Bould’s job description.
    If Wenger is stuck in meditation, why can’t he go to the sideline to relay instructions?
    If people watching games thousands of miles away on 16 inch black and white TVs can see glaring mistakes the players are making, why can’t the manager spot them pitch-side?

  68. Danny

    6 – At least we won’t have the ECL distracting us from securing our top 4 spot.
    For what – to start this cycle of shit all over again?
    Until Wenger fucks off it’s all a waste of our time.

  69. kapslock

    Also, Mertsacker?! Should have been our 3rd/4th choice CB at the start of the season. He’s bang average. Why did Monreal not start at LB? He has been our most consistent player all season. Wenger went gung-ho when he knew and said himself before the game that Monaco would absorb the pressure and hit us on the break. They did that all night and we had no answers. How pathetic is that? Knowing exactly how the opposition will play yet doing nothing to counteract it. Fucking hell.

  70. BCB25

    Why so much hate for Ozil? He has been on good form since he return and was nowhere near our worst player last night. Cazorla, Welbz, Coqelin played worse in the midfield and Sanchez was only marginally better.

    Per, Ospina and Giroud the main culprits, Ozil just gets scapegoated because his contribution goes under the radar and he doesnt run into blind alleys as much as Sanchez or the Ox.

  71. Leedsgunner

    So the conventional wisdom says we need top 4 to attract the best players.

    Like who?

    I say it’s a smokescreen. Apart from Sanchez we have no one on the team that consistently turns up. Including Özil.

    The truth is we are in the CL to make up the numbers and to fill Stan’s coffers.

    I hate Wenger humiliating the club again.

  72. up 4 grabs now

    Ok I had 12 hours to calm Down now.
    So here goes.
    Watched the game again last night when I got back from the ground
    (just because I couldn’t believe we ballsed it up so badly!)
    On another day we are 3 up at half time with a better finisher than Giroud.

    Cant Fault Ospina for the goals 1st is Another poor deflection and 2nd & 3rd he had no defence for gods sake.
    (Dont think Chesney would have saved any of them either.)
    Why Gibbs? not Monreal.
    The 2nd & 3rd goals were down his side he was too far forwards for me Monreal is much the better defender and didn’t deserve to be dropped.
    Bellerin barely got forward, (But that was more to do with our defenders playing a high line again.And him having to cover for Per)
    Mert & Koz’s passing was atrocious, how many blind passes straight back to the opposition?
    Cazorla & Ozil in Midfield were Anonymous Misplaced passing, or all side ways passing (it was like the ghost of Denilson & David Hillier had taken over there bodies for the night!)
    Balance in midfield has gone since Rosicky was dropped to the bench again.
    Giroud, (should have had a hatrick, but its Giroud so that was never going to happen) Shocker
    Wellbeck And Sanchez both ran around and did more than Giroud So cant fault the commitment for them,
    But I said yesterday Sanchez looks like he could do with some bench time. And wellbeck isn’t the player we needed for last night.

    The annoying thing is, we all knew Monaco would be hard to break down and hit us on the break. and that’s exactly what happened.

    It just amazes me how we can shoot out selves in the foot so many times.
    Mental strength my arse!
    And finally where is our great leaders, on and of the pitch? New Captain Please, but god knows who?
    Wenger should have subbed Ozil & santi at half time for the Ox and Rosicky
    But if it aint the 67 minute he not interested.

    Piss poor, and I have the feeling the second leg isn’t going to be any better,
    at trying to break them down.

    Rant over with, lets see what team gets put out at against Everton on Sunday?

  73. underrated Coq

    Apparently Wenger has blamed the team for their “suicidal defending” and accused them of losing their ” nerve and rationality “.

    Spot on, especially the second part but maybe Mr.Wenger really ought to have a self-introspection as well. Funny: Accusing your team of not being rational when you have been continually doing irrational things from years.

  74. Bergkamp63

    “Ozil just gets scapegoated because his contribution goes under the radar and he doesnt run into blind alleys as much as Sanchez or the Ox”

    If his contribution gets any lower he will be a fucking limbo dancer, and the reason he doesn’t run into blind alleys is because he doesn’t fucking run, period !

  75. Thank you and goodnight

    Sorry Ozil is not WC. He was better than most in his age group in his younger days but unfortunately hasn’t kicked on since. WC players are generally judged on their ability in big games, Ozil always goes missing in these games so for me he isn’t WC. A 2 yard sideways pass in the box for an assist against mediocre teams does not make you WC.

  76. Leedsgunner


    “Apparently Wenger has blamed the team for their “suicidal defending” and accused them of losing their ” nerve and rationality “”

    It doesn’t matter mate, it’s just words for show. If we win well against Everton — he’ll hail them for their mental strength and bravery to respond well — all the while forgetting that we shouldn’t have gotten into this mess in the first place.

    I’m tired of the team making the same mistakes, giving the same excuses and giving the same promises that is always for tomorrow not today.

    Is there anyone on that team who plays for the honour of playing for Arsenal FC? It should be an honour but they’ve made it a joke.

  77. Leedsgunner


    Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud admits he gets fed-up with speculation linking the Gunners with other forwards.

    Giroud says the transfer rumours “sting”.

    “When talking about a guy to play in your place, you take it personally because it’s your position. I hear: ‘They have Giroud and Welbeck, but need a world class striker’. Like, we’re not world class strikers,” he told L’Equipe.

    … he looked World Class last night didn’t he?


  78. lemonadethatcoolrefeshingdrink

    Fans: Just a minor point to the large guy with the hipster beard screaming at a fan for standing up. Pressumably, because he wanted to sit down

    Onr of the reasons i cannot go back that despicable shit hole called the Emirates

    Last time there threw the loaned season ticket i had acquired from a friend back in his face after repeated sit down sit down ……………

    I had to explain to said person that it was a football game and not the FUCKING THEATRE!

    i will never go back – even if you paid me

    horrible hole – all thats bad about football

    People berate the 70’s and 80’s for how it dragged football into the dark ages, for me it was the opposite, as a young teenage lad standing on the NB and CE with mates singing our hearts out will always go down as one the best times of my life.

    Now …pfff…….its sanitized shit, wash your hands on the way out!

  79. Jay4741

    Still numb from that shambles last night feel need to post

    Mert sacker has to dropped for Gabriel and given a run of games

    Gibbs as well cause not left back bring Monreal back he’s a defender

    Ozil??? Wtf how was not dragged off at half time

    Wenger got team wrong last night again u cannot play ozil giroud & welbeck on the same starting line up the balance is all wrong everytime I see this
    Best balance team seen this season front three giroud sanhez chamberlian backed up by carzola cog rosicky or Ramsey gives us balance

    We need a frekkin miracle in return leg and just don’t see it

  80. karim

    Your obsession with me is pathetic
    Your joy when everybody else is sad is pathetic
    Your ” sense of humour ” is pathetic
    Your English is pathetic

  81. Carts

    Woiiiiiii!!! Moments after Monaco were announced as our last 16 opponents, there was so much pre-jizz in here. I admit, I was confidence enough that we’d beat them; but I suspect some people are now homesless after better their homes???

    Anyway, what is there to really say – up on till I got in for the second half, I thought we were away. To see how Monaco dealt with us quite comfortable at home tells me they’ll go through.

    One AKB friend of mine said we missed Ramsey last night! The same Ramsey that has been utter tripe all season. More strangely, he conveniently failed to mention Monaco missing 4 first teamers. SO if we add those variable, we would’ve lost 6-2.

  82. mano'gunner

    >Knew the writing was on the wall for last night when I caught glimpse of the back page of The Standard and you read Gibbs quote ‘We want to win it for the boss’
    What happened to just plain old “we want to win it”?

    I’m worried about Ozil. I feel he’s slowly following Arshavin’s career progression. As of right now he is only worth around 20million and not the 42.5 Arsenal paid for him.

  83. MoFaya

    Your Comment Here
    Arsenal need a good Coach. Pep Guradiola!
    Wenger is a financial manager. He delivers profits for the shareholders. 17 years of Champions leahue financial success and no trophies required.
    Ozil should not be used for the big games because he lacks the energy and commitment required. Better players at Barcelona try harder all the time! Rosicky would have been far better for this and the Spurs game.

  84. Jaroda

    I have looked into my crystal ball and the near future is this….
    1) We go to Monaco and win 2-0 and go out on away goals
    2) Man utd play lie absolute garbage agaist us in the FA cup but win 4-0
    3) We achieve 4th spot, Tottenham win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League. UEFA renege on their agreement to allow 5 teams from England to play next year. We are demoted to the Europa league.
    4) We qualify from our Europa league group in second place after throwing away a 5-0 lead at half time to Metallist Karksiht Karkalov.
    5) We go out in the last 16 to Tottenahm who fail to qualify from their Champions league group and drop down to face the second tier of Europe.
    6) Tottenham win the Europa league again to qualify for the Champions league despite finishing the 13th in the league. One place above Arsenal.

  85. WengerEagle

    Chris Hudson’s interview on Arsenal Fan TV is brilliant, sums up my thoughts exactly.

    We are an incredibly arrogant club for one that has never won the UCL and hasn’t won the BPL in over a decade.

  86. Bristles

    The detailed analysis of each player’s performance is a waste of time IMHO. The preparation, the tactics, the team selection, the inspiration, the ability to change plan and personnel if the game’s going badly, changing things at half time, firing up the team for the second 45 minutes – all of this is the manager’s job. The buck stops with Wenger, end of. WENGER OUT, now more than ever.

  87. Jaroda

    Also apologies, I made number 6) up.
    It would take a change in the universal laws of everything for the Tots to finish above Arsenal. Like Dale Winton’s wife…. it just cannot exist…….wait what’s that??

  88. kel

    There is know way you can play carzola and ozil in these big matches but I guess wenger did not view Monaco as a big team(idiot) The truth is Arsenal have only played well in 1 of the last 4 matches and that was against middlesborouh And they are a championship team. You cannot be poor in every match and expect to get away with it and we were poor against palace, poor against Leicester. And we have be caught out by a average team. People seem to be blaming the players but in earnest wenger is at fault he is a.clueless man and needs to go but I guess that only me..

  89. peanuts&monkeys

    As expected Pedro has held Wenger’s brief in the post. Today’s post should have been tearing the thinkpod apart, tearing into the complete lack of planning and tactical ineptness, and further tearing into the shit shit shit performance.

    It is for this reason of remaining soft toward Wenger that he continues to run amok with the fans. You deaserve it Arenal fans. You deserve every bit of this shame. As long as we keep reading such sugar-coated criticism of a completely inept football manager, Arsenal will keep losing. You deserve all this.

  90. Lee


    Fuck you pussy boy, some of have to work.
    Can’t all sit around wanking into mummy’s computer.

    So nobody is hiding. I’ll happily meet and bitch slap anyone of you or your computer nerd network.

    Yeah so what do you want from me??
    Giroud is dog shit in front of goal when the pressure is on.
    Ozil plays like he is constantly sulking.
    Theo should have started either up front or wide
    Personally I’d like wenger to give him a run up front now as giroud only seems capable against Norwich or Coventry.
    Gibbs shouldn’t have played if belle run starts
    An wellbeck left United cos he didn’t like playing on the wing…..well start fucking playing like a striker then fool.

    Now when and where for this bitch slap, hurry, I’ve got a company to run

  91. WengerEagle

    I have to admit that I was a big Ozil enthusiast but I’m willing to hold my hands up and say that I was wrong about him.

    It’s not even that he was pathetic last night it’s just that watching him week in week out over these last couple of seasons it’s become clear to me that he’s actually quite a limited player.

    He’s great at slipping through-balls past the defence and does have a sweet left foot but he can’t beat his man on the dribble, can’t use his right foot at all, doesn’t have a great range of passing like Cesc or say Toni Kroos do, has a very predictable game when trying to break down defences rather than attacking on the counter and he rarely if ever performs in the big matches, often performing disgracefully. His passive sideways 5-yard passes are becoming a trademark irritant of his game.

    He also has no bottle or presence like the world’s best players should have.

    I don’t think that he’ll ever ‘snap out of it’ because he’s not as good as we thought he was.

  92. Lee

    Thomas you cock sucker…. Don’t blame me for arsenal losing.
    Or or cheering us on to win. Or for wanting ouranager and players I succeed.
    Cheering for the oppositeakes you a total fanny. Which you are.
    And I’ll happily bitch slap you too.
    Thomas…. I mean gotten it to Tom and it sounds vaguely less vagina like. But Thomas??? Mummy’s boy, gotta be

  93. Blsany

    I think you could play Caz and Oz in the same side if you have speedy recovery type of defenders not snails in the shape of Mertesacker.Holding mid like Kong,Wanyama next to Caorla and play Ozil in Am mid.Sanchez on the right.Buy a new actual Lm player.New Cf.Ship walcott,Welbeck,Giroud,Wilshere ,Ramsey,gibbs ,Meretesacker,flamini,Arteta.

  94. peanuts&monkeys

    Ozil is a fairy. He is no good for us. Wenger must have realized it long back. having realized it, he shd have sold Ozil and got Cesc. Can you now see the difference between Cesc and Ozil? Its is the approach man. Cesc is a leader we need on the pitch.

  95. Leedsgunner

    Wenger Eagle

    Like you I value Özil but he severely tested my patience last night and very much disappointed me. For my faith to be restored he needs to serious raise his game for the rest of the reason.

    The big question for me is Wenger has consistently ruined our record signings under his tenure – Reyes, Arshavin and sadly Özil right before our eyes. Why do we want to give Wenger another red penny?

    Özil was universally acclaimed as the Prince of Assists at his arrival — where is he now? Regressed.

    If this is how Wenger treats and trains our players why should he be given anymore money… It’s madness.

  96. RJM

    I ain’t no Wenger fan but I’m not blaming him for that.

    I blame the Captain – Mertesaker you are a fucking disgrace! Fuck off, I never want to see you play for Arsenal again! Put that Gabriel in, don;t care if he makes a few mistakes, long term anyone is better than that useless piece of German shit!

    His attitude is a disgrace and that was reflected from the first moment he touched the ball and it spread throughout the whole team. If Adams/Viera had been Captain last night, with exactly the same players, manager etc – we’d have won, – fucking gurantee it!

  97. Carts

    “Chris Hudson’s interview on Arsenal Fan TV is brilliant, sums up my thoughts exactly.”

    Mon-ar-ko…I lost my shit when he said that.