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.”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Good post

    I was a little bit upset about the paul Davis comment the other day, but this post was spot on….
    So the cash cow finished for this season ?

    We may need to finish third if we are to quakplify next season .

  2. N5

    Grabs, sounds great man. I’ll be out there soon enough with Middy, Kwik and Cesc, swimming around GoonerGirls pool and ribbing her Manc boyfriend.

  3. Vince

    Zeus. I totally understand that and that’s exactly why I think he’s attainable. I’ve watched him starting and coming off the bench often and he’s pure class. A player sitting on the bench at times doesn’t mean he’s bad, it simply means some coaches are morons. Remember the impotent Wilshire playmaking for us early in the season while Carol rot on the bench or gets shunted to the wings? remember Pogha on manures bench? Vieira playing second fiddle at AC? some players just need the trust and environment to come into their own and Pastore is definitely one of such.

  4. Vince

    London. Exactly. We should be looking for someone who can playmake for us for the next 6-10years. As simple as that. I expect max 2 years from Cazorla and I expect him to spend the last of that as a bit part player.


    If we sign eleven hard tackling dm’s, wenger will still turn them to sissies.I hate being negative abt arsenal but why are coaches allowed on the sideline if not for them to give instructions? .One thing about footballers is that when they doing anything and their manager is calm they tend to think they are pleasing their boss.Anderleght came back into the game from 3 goals down last season was the same thing away against chelsea and liverpool.When ever we concede we usually go all out .Its managerial problem

  6. WrightIsGod

    A damning indictment of Wenger and the team yesterday. Good write up Peds.

    I had a Man U fan at work who claimed the defeat had nothing to do with Wenger. Kind of sums it up. Our opponents would love him to stay….kind of what Merson eludes to when he says everyone loves us because we don’t win.

    Any Ozil bum bandits look away now.

  7. kwik fit

    Can you believe Claude split up with his wife after 6 wks because she told him to dress like Arene Wenger and speak to her in a sexy french accent and he was having none of it 🙂

    Happy Birthday N5!!!

  8. tunnygriffboy

    If we want to use our full backs as wing backs we have to play two defensive midfielders to cover the fullback positions. No good continually leaving the one DM and two CB v 4 or 5 attackers.

    In terms of our counterattacking threat, if we practiced and worked on it we have players to really nail it.

    Lpool and Spurs fans on radio pleased they out of Europa leaguem Spurs going to crush Chelsea on Sunday. We got big big game v Everton. Am expecting a response after yesterdays debacle

  9. Cesc Appeal

    ‘To be honest, we were not surprised,’ said Berbatov ‘Arsenal have very quick players and when they go forward they leave a lot of space at the back,’ said Berbatov. ‘We knew that and we had prepared well and took advantage of it. We knew their weaknesses and we exploited them and I think everyone can agree that we deserved our win.’

  10. Cesc Appeal


    All I know is we’ve been tactically horrible for ages, everyone knows what can and can’t do, what we will and won’t do

  11. Emiratesstroller

    Last month I made the suggestion that I did not think that Arsenal would bring in more than 3-4 new players in the summer transfer window and that our budget would be significantly less than in current financial year with probably around £50-60 million to spend.

    Yesterday I suggested after our performance against Monaco we needed probably more players than the figure I mentioned, but the only way that would be achievable is if we sell some of the players on the books specifically one or
    two of our British born players e.g. Wilshire,Gibbs or Walcott.

    Today the Telegraph are suggesting that Arsenal’s budget is likely to be around £50 million presumably a net figure of any sales generated. This is based on the fact that Arsenal will be compliant with FFP and that £40 million
    will come from Puma sponsorship.

    Clearly if both their and my analysis is correct then it will undoubtedly limit
    the number of players we are likely to bring in this summer.

    I think that everyone more or less agrees that Arsenal will bring in a new CDM
    and that will be probably someone in the price range of £20-25 million e.g. a
    Schneiderlein or Lars Bender rather than the fatuous suggestion that we would be in market for Pogba. Some of the other suggestions such as Khedira
    are unlikely particularly if they are injury prone or are likely to demand inflated wages. There is also another trend at club and that is we don’t seem prepared to buy players beyond the age of 25.

    My view also is that Arsenal will not bring in this summer offensive midfield or attacking players. Whilst we had a poor game on Wednesday we have been
    on the whole not short of goalscoring potential since December.

    What has to be a priority this summer is a review of our defence, because it
    leaks far too many goals. Part of the problem is defensive weakness in midfield, but also a complete lack of discipline in goal and at back.

    Personally I think that Wenger will now reinstate Szczesny as first choice goalkeeper for rest of season. He will give him the chance to prove whether he
    is good enough. Ospina has had his chance, but in recent games there have been clear weaknesses in his game and now I tend to agree with Pedro that he
    has also got physical limitations. The third goal on Wednesday could [should]
    have been saved by a bigger gk. In any event I can see the club looking in market for a replacement, but I doubt that they will spend big money.

    This brings me to our defence. We bought last Summer Debuchy as a right back and I think that the club will regard Bellerin as a long term first choice even if he has been rather immature defensively in recent games. They have
    also option to bring back Jenkinson who is adequate as squad player.

    The left back position is a different matter. Gibbs and Monreal may be okay as
    squad players but neither is frankly top division. If Monreal were to leave and
    return to Spain then I would be inclined to buy a top class LB for first X1.

    However, the number two weakness in our 1st X1 is now a CB. Mertesacker in
    particular of real concern. Chambers has shown absolutely nothing to suggest
    that he is good enough to play in starting line up so the question is whether
    Gabriel will fit the brief and be compatible with Koscielny.. Is he good and disciplined enough? If not then I suspect we will need to buy an additional CB rather than LB.

    However, the real concern for me is off field. Is Wenger and the coaching team good enough to improve the squad both defensively and tactically. Sadly I don’t think so and we are likely to be saddled with these people for another 2
    years until Wenger’s contract ends.

  12. Dark Hei

    I came out of my hibernating chamber to report a weird dream.

    In my dream-state, I was watching a football match between ourselves and a Spurs-United lineup. We were 1-0 down when Falcao passed the ball from the midfield all the way to Kane in our 6-yard and scored. 2-0. Good thing my brain had the sense to wake itself up. This shows the psychological damage I have received lately.

    In reality, Spurs and Liverpool conspires to be as bad as us.

  13. gnarleygeorge9

    GuNZ (re previous post)


    Lil’ Jacky is a bit like a hobbit & Arsene Wenger is becoming like Golum 😯 with The Arsenal being his “precious”.

  14. gnarleygeorge9

    Arsene Wenger really has become a dictator figure like that Zimbabwean git. He has managed to polarise the ‘fans’, while continuing to draw strength from his devoted followers who condemn those who dare question him. The difference is that instead of being locked up, tortured, disappear never to be seen again or even die, you are told you aren’t a true Arsenal supporter, you are plastic & should phuck off & follow a club like Spurs. He has no intention of leaving his position of absolute power. My thoughts are that The Club is his. History is littered with public figures of note who never knew when to blow time on their tenure.

    Geez I hope he’s not be like Mugabe & dies in office 🙁

  15. GuNZ


    Superb! Arsene and his Precioussssss . . . . brilliant analogy.

    Yep, I can see Samwise Bould scraping and bowing in front of him : ‘Oh master, I only meant to dictate tactics for that one Manchester City game, I meant to hand control back to you . . . honestly.’

    Arsene: ‘Give it back to me NOW! You don’t understand, it will destroy you. It’s my preeeciousssssssss . .. . ‘

    And you’re dead right about Jack as well. Bang on Hobbiton material there.

  16. gnarleygeorge9

    The longer Arsene Wenger stays, the more his legacy diminishes compared to George Graham’s. Yes, a new stadium wasn’t built during GG’s tenure, but the North Bank & Clock End got re-jigged. He dragged The Arsenal up out of mid table, put together arguably the best back 4 in The Clubs history, & even won a trophy in Europe. And besides, the manager is not hired to build new stadiums anyway, its the backroom boys/girls who should see a window of opportunity to expand/upgrade & just do it.

  17. GuNZ

    I have had to send an e-mail to the Raglan Hotel to cancel my booking for 7th June (NZ time) along with all the catering and extra bar staff I had ordered for the Champions League final celebrations. Arsenal’s defeat against Monaco yesterday has severely dented the Waikato economy and I understand that our PM will taking the matter up with David Cameron. I have also had to withdraw my invitation to Arsene and the boys to come on down for an open ute victory parade down the main drag here once they finish in Islington. I was going to fill a Raglan District Council recycle bin with frothing Waikato Draught and lay on a victory banquet at the Raglan Fishing Club rooms of mince and cheese pies and sausage rolls but they can all go fuck themselves now.

  18. Frank Mc

    GuNZ, your attention to detail is amazing IF only Arsene would just take a bit of it on board…..
    Still we’ve got a lovely….
    Another cracking gesture from the Monaco fans was the standing ovation Giroud received when he was substituted, underlined with a chorus of “merci merci merci!” Piss taking cunts!

  19. GuNZ


    I was even going to make sure there was tomato ketchup in little plastic bowls for the sausage rolls. And make sure there was a new loo roll in each of the lavs. Don’t know what to do with myself now.

  20. Wallace

    moer from the Telegraph article –

    “Jose Mourinho’s appearance on Goals on Sunday might have served another agenda but, when he suggested that Arsenal’s squad was good enough to be challenging his team more closely this season, there was some truth to the observation. “Arsenal? I don’t understand why they are not where we are with Man City,” Mourinho said. “Look at the players, look at the squad, they have to win because it’s fantastic.”

  21. GuNZ

    TKAG/Frank Mc

    I once sent in an offer to the Emirates with my ‘vision’ for what I could do for the players and they basically (very politely actually) wrote back and told me to fuck off. Bet they’re fucking regretting it now.

    Anyway, huge sporting weekend coming up. NZ vs. Aussie in Cricket World Cup pool game at Eden Park (Auckland) tomorrow. Will be watching that down the Raglan Hotel with my Aussie possible future step-son-in-law then the missus is going to trawl us out of there for the drive to Hamilton to watch the Chiefs vs. Crusaders Super 15 rugby (basically all the All Blacks on parade) so hopefully the Black Caps have dealt to Aussie by time the rugby starts otherwise we’ll be in the shit with what we should be watching. Then a day of repose, then the Everton game.

  22. Thank you and goodnight

    An article by John cross today accuses wenger of being in the CL not to win it but just for the financial rewards. According to him we are also rans like basle, shaktar and porto. He’s having a laugh, those 3 teams would show us up as well. We are the equivalent of Everton in the CL.

  23. Frank Mc

    And to think there’s deluded fucktards that think we can win the CL with Wenger at the helm.
    GuNZ your attention to detail knows no bounds…. truly impressive!

  24. wenker-wanger

    Yet another pathetic display from wankger. Some fans blame players but that cannot account for thrashings and a collectively inept display on the pitch. He should have fcked off years ago….. His only effect nowadays is to further send our once magnificent club backwards. I personally dont care if we keep losing… Maybe he would just realise he is no longer even an average coach and do the dignified thing and walk.

  25. Emiratesstroller

    The priorities this summer.

    1. Finally offload Wenger with compensation bill of £14 million
    2. Sack our coaching staff.
    3. Appoint a Football Director
    4. Appoint a top quality Manager who has won something in last 3 years.
    5.Bring in coaches with contemporary approach to football.
    6.Rebuild our defence with more solid and intelligent players.

  26. Le Prof


    No you sad cunt I’v not gone anywhere. Pedro banned me yesterday you fucking imbecile.

    I like it that I give you such a hard on, take it you’re having problems at home/the zoo?

    It speak volumes that you only come out of the woodwork when we lose, it’s really quite pathetic.

  27. Leedsgunner

    “An article by John cross today accuses wenger of being in the CL not to win it but just for the financial rewards….

    Did he just realise that now? It’s been like that since 2006 at least!

  28. Leedsgunner


    It is. 😉 The family is great thanks — are you and the family well? No more late nights spent at the hospital I hope?! I might be wrong but did you also have a new arrival recently? If so congratulations! 😉

  29. Le Prof


    It called baiting and you know exactly what you were doing and it wasn’t asking for my take at all.

    Your take should be the same as mine. Massively disappointed that we lost a game against a team that, if we played anything like we can, should be beating and angry that the players lacked the fight for the biggest game of the season so far.

    It’s pretty obvious what happened if you actually watched like a few on here that didnt.

    Not one player turned up and performed to any level whatsoever, the team were arrogant and assumed we could just stroll past Monaco without even breaking sweat.

    Our centre forward was a disgrace and was rightly hooked. Mertersacker is a liability, everyone knows he is, but chasing a game and playing a high line with him in it is just suicide. He should be dropped indefinitely, more of a hindrance to the team than anyone else at the moment.

    A bit more to it than Wengers a cunt wouldn’t you say?

  30. Thank you and goodnight

    @Le prof

    Thank you and yes I agree with you. As for baiting, no I wasn’t. As for wenger being a cunt, well in my opinion he is…sorry. If he had any honour like he claims he’d do the honourable thing and resign. I loathe the man and his stubbornness and believe him and kroenke are destroying our reputation at home and abroad.

  31. Le Prof


    Listen call Wenger a cunt all you want its your opinion but after a shitty result no need to gloat and call people out cos you know you’ll get a reaction.

    We’re supposed to be all about The Arsenal and no matter our stand point, a loss fucking hurts.

  32. Thank you and goodnight

    @Le prof

    And while I agree with you to an extent that players should look at themselves for Wednesday nights performance, who coaches them? Who signed them. We’ve suffered beatings over last few years with different players yet the only constant is Wenger. Out of all the top 4 teams in their respective leagues in Europe, not one has suffered as many humiliations as us over last 5 years.

  33. Leedsgunner


    Cheers mate, nothing a fresh bacon sarnie and a raw egg can’t cure! 😉

    I find if you drink the real good stuff the hangover is less… or that’s what I tell my wife anyways. 😉

    Thanks again for your kind wishes! Enjoying my last 24 hours of being *ahem* 21, that’s right 21. 😉

  34. Leedsgunner

    “We’re supposed to be all about The Arsenal and no matter our stand point, a loss fucking hurts.”

    Well said.

  35. Le Prof


    No worries. There’s absolutely no disputing Im a cunt but I can be a civil cunt.

    Sorry about the insults….you WOB wanker!!