What Leicester winning the league taught us | Why they and Spurs are probably in big trouble next year

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Super post from BennyDevito earlier. Addiction is a dark path, but Kenny, with a bit of guts and determination, the sort that made you an England and Arsenal hero, I’m pretty sure you’ll be good!

Raising an avocado, pheasant and quinoa smoothie your way! GET WELL SOON!

So, onto the football.

OH WHAT A NIGHT… LATE ON MONDAY IT FELT SO DIVINE (do doo).

That’s how I felt. Spurs went two up, my chirpsy football group started giving it some Spurs smug, I left the canteen I was watching the game in… then Cahill pulls one back with a fine first-time finish. You’re thinking, here we go, some jitters… and we know how the Spurs are… then Hazard finds a gap and curls an OUTRAGEOUS beauty of a shot into the top hand corner.

It got a bit silly after that. Spurs looked heavy legged, they started to lose their rag, egged on by the usually placid Pochettino… Kane was making rash tackles, Dier was doing the same, Dembele was eye gouging (hilarious that it was Costa), Ryan Mason was just doing, err, not much… it was all a bit embarrassing considering what was riding on the game.

Anyway, Chelsea held out, destroying another teams title hopes… and wasn’t it just perfect?

So there we have it. The greatest upset in English football history. A team that was 5000-1 to win it, not only won it, they took it at a canter. I actually can’t believe what an incredible story this is.

What makes it even better, is it massages what I’ve said for years.

Smart management can out power money.  

‘No, no, no… it’s all about money. Arsene was never going to be able to topple City with his £120m wage bill + £30m in the bank’

Well, look what we have here. Leicester, taking out the lot. They have a brilliant infrastructure in place (we shared this back in 2014), they have a superb scouting network that’s worked absolute magic and they have a manager who has just pulled the biggest rabbit out of the hat EVER.

(and a board who wanted to invest and win things)

It’s a total madness. But my lord, how it’s put a lot of ill-informed commentary into perspective. You don’t fluke the league, simple as that. Smart management, empowered staff, investment in the basics, good players and boat load of sport science informed fitness luck. I also lived there 3 days a week during my early work years… looking out over that unspectacular stadium.

Anyway, what can learn from all this?

Players: You don’t need to buy a team full of £50m superstars to do great things. You need balance, talent and hard work. You also need smart players who can play a system. Leicester have all of those elements and they’ve rocked it hard. They’ve also spent wisely. Uncovering gems like Mahrez and Kante. Rejuvenating players like Wes Morgan. Inspiring players like Vardy and Drinkwater.

Changing manager can be a great thing: If I have to listen to one more petrified Arsenal fan spout off ‘careful what you wish for’ I think I’m going to explode. There are so many examples now of people bringing in new managers and doing better things. Whether it’s Tony Pulis getting shit canned at Stoke (AND PALACE) and being replaced by Mark Hughes, Slaven Bilic killing off any sadness about Allardyce or Ranieri taking over from a Leicester hero Nigel Pearson… change is good if it’s smart and well thought out.

The 10 (or 5) year plan is bullshit: Spurs have gone from dross to great inside 18months under a brilliant young manager. Leicester went from the team that spent the most time at the bottom of the league last season, to the team who just won the Premier League. Tomas Tuchel took over from Dortmund and he’s pushing Bayern with basically the same team that finished 7th under Klopp. You don’t need 5 years to create a winning team. You just need a very smart plan and the balls to deliver on it.

We’re spoilt: Yeah, people still going along with that one. Look at the party Leicester are having at the moment. Look at the memories that are being carved into people’s brains… ‘do you remember when Leicester took the Premier League by storm?’… we’ll all remember it. It was incredible. We need more parties like that. 2 in ten little parties in 10 years with our resource is unacceptable. Arsenal fans aren’t spoilt… the only people who are spoilt are the bean counters or the people like Arsene who are making mega money to prop up the portfolio.

Things you’ll see next season:

I’ve been having great fun with Spurs fans, because they genuniely think this is a turning point in their history. Oh my, do they no know what’s coming. For all the positives both Spurs and Leicester have been through this season, they’ve had a lot of things go in their favour… a lot of things they’ll lose when Champions League football comes in.

Games: Spurs bombed out of the Capital and FA Cups early doors. They rotated heavily in the Europa League, using it to keep players fresh and bombed when Dortmund destroyed their over rotated team. Next season, they’ll have to play first teams in the Champions League. That impacts:

That impacts:

  1. You ability to plan against Premier League opposition
  2. Your ability to practice that plan
  3. Your teams freshness. Late night plane rides, terrible nights sleep, playing 3 games a week on the regular and shite surfaces

Look at this way. Newcastle finished 5th under Pardew and hit 16th the next season after Europa football. Swansea did something similar. Liverpool made the Champions League and Brendan Rodgers was a year or so later after they bombed the league.

Leicester could end up relegated next season if they’re not careful and Spurs couldn’t hack the Premier League pace this season with no cup runs and a heavily rotated team in the Europa. They’ll have to bolster hardcore this summer, then hope things gel. Also, they had the most luck with injuries this season. Let’s see how a season of beasting the same 11 over and over + 5 of their players getting emotionally and physically brutalised by the Euro’s this summer.

Also, remember this… next season, you’ll have Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United with the Spurs / Leicester ‘fewer competitive games’ advantage. It’s going to be really fucking hard next season when mega clubs don’t have the Champions League to worry about.

So whilst you can’t guarantee order will be restored next season, you can be sure that great teams will be playing less intense amounts of football and they’ll take advantage of that.

We’ll see progress of the middle pack as they eat into that new TV money and we’ll see an attempted resurgence from the elite clubs left out of the major showpiece tournament.

It’s going to be exciting.

… I mean, just literally so glad our ship is being captained by a guy who has no f*cking clue how to make us a powerhouse.

OVER THE MOON.

But hey, at least out fans are pleased… seeing out old Arsene Wenger with a bag of party poppers and a gold watch.

What a classy bunch of sausages we are.

RIGHT, have a great day whilst I once again attempt to fathom why Arsenal fans are so eternally grateful to a man who is better at repackaging a predictable product than Apple.

GOOD DAY. x

386 Responses to “What Leicester winning the league taught us | Why they and Spurs are probably in big trouble next year”

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  1. seg

    What I learnt from Leicester feat is it will be almost impossible for Arsenal to win the league under Wenger again. Then it used to always be about money I. E financial doping, now suddenly it’s not about money, and it was wenger and his AKB who were saying it was always about money to excuse his not winning the league nonetheless! Unless wenger has the absolute best team in the league, with players that can change things themselves. He would just choose another excuse from the repertoire whenever he come up short.

  2. TitsMcGee

    Money (spending it) will win you the league 19/20 so let’s not get carried away. Can it happen? Well it just did but you’d be silly to think it’d continue.

    Either case. Wenger hasn’t /can’t win playing cheap-ball so it’s a moot point for us.

    Here comes year 13 of GroundHog Day.

  3. vegas gooner

    this weekend’s game against city is important for a couple of reasons. a win would put us level on points with spurs and cement third place.

    with that knowledge, it would make sense to put your fastest most offensively minded team out on sunday to get an early lead and build on that. like we should have done against sunderland. instead we got ramsey and his worthless back heels, giroud who seems to have his mind somewhere far removed from the pitch, and iwobi who might be the flavour of the month, but is being overused. I’ve seen children running in a playground at lunchtime move faster than arsenal on a break.

    so heres my prediction for the team wenger picks for sundays game with my and a couple of other’s suggestions as to who should start.

    cech
    bellerin
    mertesacker
    kocielny
    monreal
    elneny
    ramsay – wilshere, coquelin, or cazorla should start before him
    iwobi – give campbell or even walcott a run out (if anything a walcott appearance may just up his transfer price)
    ozil
    sanchez
    giroud – always start welbeck before him. we should not be making subs to chase a game.

    so, lets hope for a faster more balanced attacking setup on sunday and for southampton to repeat what they did to city.

  4. Wallace

    STV

    I’d rather see Bayern go through than Atletico, but mostly just looking forward to it. Should be fascinating. Guardiola’s been raving about Lahm in the build up to the game. Said it’s been an honour to have been his coach.

  5. HillWood

    Just read that post from Hunter. Long term fan so disillusioned he’s giving up his ticket. Nice one Arsene. You just carry on

  6. Joe

    I want Atletico to win just to show again how useless wenger is. Simone showing him up again

    The more stuff like that happens the better.

  7. Sam

    all these Bayern cunts

    how they beat Arsenal with ease i have no fokin idea

    We should sign Jeremy Goss in the summer

  8. Wallace

    yeah, Atletico are going to have to try and do some attacking or Bayern are just going to wear them down. Lewandowski definitely getting under the skin of the Atletico defenders.

  9. gonsterous

    Vegas gooner

    I applaud your belief in the team and in this season. As for me, I don’t care who’s starting tomorrow or where we end up this season. When arsenal used to lose, my heart would be heavy the entire day, these days I’m used to it.. I just shrug my shoulders.. another day at arsenal is what I think !!

  10. gambon

    Say what you like about Pep being overrated, which may or may not prove to be the case…..but fuck me does he kniw how to get a team playing posession football.

    If i were a city fan id be ridiculously excited.

  11. gonsterous

    Bayern need 2 goals to qualify.. looks unlikely that this Madrid team will confer that many !!

  12. gambon

    When you see that Griezmann, Higauin, Aubemeyang all moved for £30m and under in recent years it becomes very hard to believe that Wenger has a clue what hes doing any more.

  13. Paulinho

    I predicted the Bayern bottling back in October.

    Muller messing up that chance in the first half is a prime example of bottling. Against Arsenal he takes that down, dummies the keeper and slides the ball into an empty net.

    Guardiola is immense at a certain aspect of management (possession football, being compact) but his players lack a certain sharpness at both ends of pitch, when it matters at the business end of the season. Probably a consequence of playing at such high level in general; you lose that spark and are vulnerable to teams that conserve themselves a bit more.

  14. WengerEagle

    Ironic that after so many years of dominating Spain with Barcelona that it’s been 3 Spanish teams including Barca in 3 consecutive seasons that have dumped Pep’s Bayern out of Europe.

    Providing Atletico hold on.

  15. WengerEagle

    Weird that Barcelona/Bayern Munich/Real Madrid playing against each other is never the Champions League Final considering they are the 3 biggest and best clubs in Europe.

    Always proves to to be a Semi-final.

  16. Dissenter

    Emirates wont have Simeone at Arsenal because he doesn’t speak English PROFICIENTLY.
    That’s worth a laugh before you go to bed tonight guys.

    I would rather have Simeone on board and require EVERYBODY in the club to take Spanish classes even as Simeone learns English.

  17. gonsterous

    Gambon

    To be fair to guardiola, players like robben, ribery, lahm are not possession based players.. they are powerful, direct,pacy players who have other strengths. I doubt he could have come to bayern and made an overhaul of changes. His priority was always winning the league, which he did while breaking the record of being the earliest bundesliga champions crowned !!

  18. gonsterous

    Sorry that comment was directed to paulinho.. I need an early night in lads, I’m tozally not right in the head.. couple screws loose I suppose !!

  19. Wallace

    you have to admire Atletico’s efficiency in attack, but I’ll never be a fan of this kind of football.

    ooh, 2-1…

  20. Wallace

    “Muller messing up that chance in the first half is a prime example of bottling.”

    how many titles has Muller won? 10? 12?

  21. WengerEagle

    ‘but his players lack a certain sharpness at both ends of pitch, when it matters at the business end of the season. Probably a consequence of playing at such high level in general; you lose that spark and are vulnerable to teams that conserve themselves a bit more.’

    Somewhat agree with this but I’m not sure if that’s a fundamental flaw with Gaurdiola teams as much as that sometimes that style of football proves to be more effective than Guardiola’s swashbuckling all-possession based domination football.

    At the back there is a definite argument that his teams have vulnerability, mainly because he requires that his back 5 including the GK can play out from the back with the ball at their feet. All his defenders are great at this but because of this you won’t find a defensive wall in a John Terry in his back 4.

    Going forward I think that his teams are extremely efficient, his Barcelona side was slightly lopsided and reliant on Messi for goals but his Bayern attack is much more balanced and dynamic from a collective standpoint.

    He won the UCL every other season at Barcelona with 2 of the 4 seasons resulting in them being shut out by defensive units in Inter Milan and Chelsea.

    With Bayern it was different, they were outplayed by Barcelona and overpowered by Real Madrid.

  22. Joe

    Yeah

    Wallace doesn’t like winning competitive football

    Just pass it around without any purpose a mullion times

    Give my Atletico football Over anything wenger has dished out for 6-8 years anytime

    Wallace you are an imbecile

  23. Paulinho

    Gonsterous – I think he’s done a great job with them in terms of getting them to dominate possession. With Barca it was always the thing of “well they’ve got Iniesta and Xavi, how can they not dominate possession?” but with Bayern he’s done it wit players, as you said, are not particularly noted for that style of play.

    There’s always a catch in football, or hamartia, and Guardiola has it when it comes to defensive fragility once the press dies down or is evaded, and struggling to convert dominance to goals.

  24. Joe

    We can’t even play pretty football vs the likes of CP and Sunderland but Wallace doesn’t like the type of football AM play in the semi final of the CL. Leading the tie I must add

    Hahaha. You can’t write the shit that comes out of wallaces mouth

  25. Dream10

    Paulinho

    Could it be that both Muller and Lewandowski are target men of some kind? They score against teams like us because we’re not mentally sharp when defending. Better collective units like Atletico give you less time

  26. Paulinho

    WE – Yeah it’s a mixture of flaw in Guardiola and playing exceptional teams that have certain strengths that exacerbate it.

    Always remember Barca really struggling to score away goals in Europe.

  27. Wallace

    gonsterous

    “And what type of football is that ?? Getting the results kind ??”

    attritional. and people saying they only play like this against the big sides, they had 34% of possession at home to Rayo Vallecano at the weekend. Vallecano are 16th in la liga.

  28. Joe

    I guess griezmann wasn’t available to us since RVP. Nor is he better than anyone we have.

    One arsene wenger

  29. Joe

    Because our “possesion” football is really pretty to watch Wallace

    If you are into paint drying kind of pretty

    Wallace you really have no clue do you?

  30. WengerEagle

    ”they had 34% of possession at home to Rayo Vallecano at the weekend. Vallecano are 16th in la liga.’

    To be fair, you picked the one team outside of the top 2 in Spain that are unusual in that they play a strict possession based game, it’s admirable but it’s a big part of the reason that they are 16th in the table.

  31. Joe

    Wallace

    You probably thought Jose and Chelsea played shit football last year when they smashed the league???

    Even though the football they played until Jan was better than anything we be played in a decade

  32. Paulinho

    Dream10 – I would say Muller and Lewa are pretty different. Muller a mobile floater and Lewa more a target man type. Both should be able to adapt.

  33. gonsterous

    Wallace

    I don’t know how much athletico have spent in the window but if it’s anywhere near close to us, I think we can question why Wenger is still not in the title race come may or even further than the round of 16 in the CL ? Or even why he never stands on the side lines, giving his players instructions or at the very least motivating them ?? So apart from saying athletico Madrid play shit football, why do you not question their mental strength or their will to win it the passion they show for the club and the fight that the manager instills in them… Oh, they had 16% against a team like Sunderland.. but did they get 3 points ?? I think so, with a champions league game against bayern to look forward to in midweek.. did we get 3 points against a team like Sunderland with our full squad ???

  34. Joe

    Bang.

    Another dagger into the heart of the akbs and wenger.

    Athletico are a one off they said.

    Let’s see Simone do it again they said

    Great result for a great FOOTBALLING side

  35. Paulinho

    Wenger is just an embarrassment of a manager at the top level.

    Guardiola makes him look naive, and yet Guardiola gets made to look naive and too idealistic by other managers when it comes to the latter stages.

    What does that make Wenger?

  36. Wallace

    weird how the CL seems to favour the ultra defensive sides. this is like Chelsea’s run to the final all over again.

  37. STV

    As always STV showed you beforehand with calculated predictions 😉

    STVMay 3, 2016 15:39:34
    “Bayern 2-1 Athletico. My prediction”.

  38. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    Yeah it’s interesting.

    Away from home in the Semi-finals of the Champions League, Bayern haven’t scored a single goal in the 3 matches that Pep has managed and at Barcelona they didn’t score away to Chelsea and only once away to inter Milan.

    I think that there’s definitely something concrete behind what you’re saying.

    It’s footballing perfection between both the boxes but much of the time, the last 5% is lacking from his players.

    A lot of this is down to the individuals though.

    And it’s very fine margins, if Messi tucks home that penalty in 2012 at the Nou Camp, Barcelona would have made the Final.

    They scored a good goal (Bojan) that was wrongly disallowed vs Inter Milan in 2010.

    Tonight if Muller puts away the penalty there would have only been one winner in the tie.

    It’s credit to Guardiola that he brings out possibly the finest defensive displays that you are ever likely to see from the opposition, that’s what is needed to beat his teams.

  39. Joe

    Weird how teams with smart managers can win without money and other excuses

    Hey Wallace??

    Real Madrid city and athletico

    Yeah real defensive. Muppet

    Always wrong Wallace. Always.

  40. Paulinho

    “weird how the CL seems to favour the ultra defensive sides. this is like Chelsea’s run to the final all over again”

    Or it’s like their own run two years ago.

    It’s called being efficient. If you’re not efficient with the away goal rule you’re fucked.

    Explains why Wenger is a laughing stock in Europe, and why players now openly admit they want us in the draw even though our players are more talented than those playing for other sides.

  41. Carts

    I’m happy for A.Madrid, but would’ve much rather see Bayern in the final vs either City or Real.

    Notwithstanding, A.Madrid will now win this competition!

  42. WengerEagle

    ‘weird how the CL seems to favour the ultra defensive sides. this is like Chelsea’s run to the final all over again.’

    Yeah there’s definitely some truth to this.

    Most of the time the best team wins the competition though.

    in the last decade or so, only Chelsea in 2012 was really an anomaly in this respect.

  43. Joe

    How great would it be to see Atletico win it and wenger still trying after 20 years hahaha

    What a loser

  44. Wallace

    gonsterous

    “So apart from saying athletico Madrid play shit football”

    i’m not saying it’s shit, it must take an incredible amount of concentration & organisation to be able to defend for 85mins of a game like that. it just doesn’t do it for me.

  45. Paulinho

    WE – Yeah, despite what I’ve said, I love him as a manager. Unlike Wenger, his teams actually play to their reputation regardless of what level of opposition or what competition they are playing in

    He’s not fraud that defends constantly against top sides and explains it away by citing lack of sharpness.

  46. gonsterous

    Red truth

    See the replay again, I think he was onside.. was just looking from a different angle !!

  47. gonsterous

    Wallace

    Well done, just ignore all the important questions asked and just focus on what you want to see and answer.. I wonder how you are going to live when Wenger leaves !!

  48. Ishola70

    Redtruth:
    “Griezmann miles offside for Atletico’s leveller.Atletico v Madrid in the Final is one massive turn off.”

    Nah not miles offside. Borderline when the ball was put through.

    Not if you want to see Atletico take revenge for having that CL final snatched away from them at the death by Real those few years back.

  49. Cesc Appeal

    Ateltico’s year. surely now, neither City or Madrid will be more of a challenge than Barcelona or Munich. Won’t be able to say they haven’t earned it.

  50. Paulinho

    WE – Also, as I was saying the first leg last week, he doesn’t respect the central midfield position enough in terms of defensively switched on players with power and legs.

    A bit like Wenger in that respect, *cough cough*

  51. STV

    Wallace you may not like their football but it’s passionate resilient and playing fire with fire. The qualities you’d love in football and things Wenger completely sucked out of club in his long hard stay at the club. Guardiola is fucking fragaile and Simione masters him as a player and as a Manager. No comparison.

  52. Wallace

    Paulinho

    “It’s called being efficient. If you’re not efficient with the away goal rule you’re fucked.”

    yes, Jonathan Wilson wrote an interesting article the other week about the away goals rule. said it was unfair and no longer served the purpose it was introduced for.

  53. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    That’s the funniest misconception about us and Wenger in general, that we consistently play vibrant, attacking football.

    In truth we play terrible football a lot of the time and virtually every match we play a top side in the Champions League/Chelsea in the BPL we play like we’re fecking West Brom.

    It’s embarrassing. And it’s amazing how so many people can actually watch us vs the likes of Spurs/Chelsea/United/City and call us attractive to watch.

  54. gambon

    I dont think defensive football suits the CL per se, but it does suit knockout competitions IMO.

    Results in cups are a lot more subject to variance than a league competition.

    A more defensive style can be more successful over 180 mins than 3420 minutes.

  55. Wallace

    gonsterous

    “Well done, just ignore all the important questions asked and just focus on what you want to see and answer.. I wonder how you are going to live when Wenger leaves !!”

    sorry, but at this point i’m just so fuckin’ bored of talking about Wenger all the time.

  56. Paulinho

    Wallace – Definately suits the teams comfortable playing cat and mouse.

    It reminds me of the big servers in tennis waiting for the tie break to make their move, and not bothering to try and break serve in the games before.

  57. WengerEagle

    gambon

    The unusual thing is though that Atletico Madrid are also joint top of La Liga with Barcelona.

    Barcelona and Real Madrid have both nearly scored twice as many goals as Atletico have.

    Like Leicester, they are just masters at edging out win after win at a freakish level of consistency.

  58. gambon

    We used to play good football against all teams.

    These days we look absolutely lost against top teams.

    We have absolutely no football identity.

    We bully smaller teams then cant string 2 passes together against top teams.

    Elneny is the only player that plays the same game against all opposition.

    Players like Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere have 90% pass completion against West Brom then 78% against the better teams.

  59. Redtruth

    Pathetic having two Spanish sides contesting a European Final…

    The format needs changing to stop two teams from the same Country meeting in Finals

  60. gambon

    WengerEagle

    Certainly this Atletico team is something special. I think theres no doubt Ranieri has been looking at what they do and tried to incorporate it.

    In general i think that defensive style will struggle to win league trophies.

    Not to mention most managers probably couldnt implement it.

  61. Paulinho

    WE – Our philosophy stopped at the end of 07/08.

    Remember us playing amazing football at Anfield in our champions league exit.

    That team doesn’t get the credit it deserves for level of football IMO.

    Closest side to the great Barcelona teams in terms of playing through the lines.

    I have to give Wenger genuine credit for putting together the Hleb – Fabregas – Rosicky midfield. Completely lost it since then mind.

  62. Wallace

    STV

    “Guardiola is fucking fragaile and Simione masters him as a player and as a Manager. No comparison.”

    you think Simeone’s side out-thought and outplayed Bayern over those two legs? I don’t. one moment of genuine quality, another goal that was a borderline decision, and then defending for their lives the rest of the the 180 mins. play those two legs ten times over and Bayern go through seven, maybe eight times.

  63. WengerEagle

    gambon

    Agree, with defensive sides having a 30+ goal a season goalscorer is absolutely crucial too.

    Where would Atletico Madrid have gotten this season without Griezmann? Or in 2014 without Diego Costa.

    Mourinho’s first Chelsea side were unusual in that they didn’t have one of these, Lampard was good for 20 goals a season and Drogba about 15 goals, they were insanely good defensively though, just as good as this Atletico Madrid side.

  64. STV

    Wallace frankly there’s no point of you watching football. You’re too accumsted to failure and defending failure is a norm for you.

  65. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    That was by far our best season post-Invincibles.

    We genuinely could have won the League and Champions League double with a better defence/GK and a couple more experienced/street-wise older heads.

    Gallas was brilliant but he was our only real leader, Cesc was too young at this stage and Flamini wasn’t as strong a personality in 2008.

    Some of the football was mind-blowingly good, the 3-0 win at home to Sevilla in the group we played the best football I’ve seen anyone play besides Pep’s Barcelona and Bayern’s sides and Ancelotti’s Real Madrid side. Think we were the 1st ever English side to beat AC Milan at the San Siro too, and they were the European Champions at the time.

    Like we usually do under Wenger though, we ultimately threw it all away with a few brain-dead moments from the likes of Clichy and Kolo Toure.

    Almunia in 2006 vs Barcelona too.

  66. Ishola70

    Atletico Madrid really do confuse the puritans with their success. Atletico Madrid do not top any fancy stats tables. In fact they are nowhere to be seen at the top of any stat table bar one. It is the same stat Leicester are top in the Premier League. And what would that stat be? Tackles per game. In your face aggressive football is winning out.

  67. gambon

    Eagle

    I think the most important thing overall is goal difference.

    Attacking and defensive teams can win the league, but if you are not the best at either you will struggle.

    This is where Wenger just keeps getting it wrong.

    Hes paid £8.5m pa yet cannot seem to grasp that a team with an ‘ok but not great’ attack & defence is hugely unlikely to win anything.

  68. gambon

    Ishola

    Atletico top numerous stats tables.

    Just more sophisticated stats than ‘tackles’ or ‘pass completion’.

  69. Paulinho

    “Some of the football was mind-blowingly good, the 3-0 win at home to Sevilla in the group we played the best football I’ve seen ”

    Yep. That was a top Seville side, with Capel and Navas arguably at their peak at 19 years old, and they came out trying to press us. A tactic that failed because that side was so good playing around the pressure.

    If that Seville side rolled up to the Emirates this season they would absolutely batter us, or least have us hanging on for dear life like the likes of Bayern do.

  70. Wallace

    STV

    “Wallace frankly there’s no point of you watching football. You’re too accumsted to failure and defending failure is a norm for you.”

    well, it’s interesting that even when we aren’t talking about Arsenal I still seem to hold a minority view on here. suggests maybe it’s just a case of wanting different things from the game.

  71. Ishola70

    gambon:
    “Atletico top numerous stats tables.”

    Ah any examples?. I just looked at the whoscored stats and they were not topping any on there except the tackles per game. I just thought the link with Leicester was quite relevant in both teams success re: tackles per game. Leicester’s newly acquired and Atletico’s continuing.

  72. WengerEagle

    gambon

    Yeah 9 times out of 10 you need to be the best side at either attacking or defending to win the league.

    Leicester this season are proving an exception but it’s been a freak season and the weirdest we’ll ever likely witness.

    We have nowhere near the best attack, even though individually on paper we have a very good back 5, defending is the opposite of attacking in that everything depends on the collective unit. Whereas it only takes a flash of genius up front, it only takes a moment of stupidity in defence.

    We have a man that hasn’t put overseen a quality defensive unit since 2004 in charge of us.

  73. gambon

    How often did we used to batter teams in Europe?

    We scored 4 against PSV with Gilberto scoring after 19 seconds, we put 5 past Porto, we put 7 past Steaua Bucharest i think it was.

    5 past Inter. Destroyed Leverkusen.

    Doesnt happen any more. Theres something fundamentally different about Wengers teams in recent seasons.

    We should have absolutely trashed Napoli 2 seasons ago, we destroyed them….got 2-0 up then retreated into our shell.

  74. gonsterous

    The simple fact you guys forget is that Wenger at that time had a sense of plan.. he built the team around cesc and nasri, 2 of the most talented youngsters at that time.. he made sure everything went through cesc and as the team had a plan, the whole group functioned better and more effectively. Wenger these days just seem to throw players on the pitch and let them sort it out themselves.. he’s not been lazy, just gotten older and is no where near as hungry for success as when he first came here.. that’s one of the main reasons why he needs to go.. when the manager isn’t motivated, how can he motivate the team ??

  75. Paulinho

    Gambon – I remember it was feast or famine with us.

    We would batter talented but open teams and then hit a bit of a wall against the sneakier sides.

    I remember the Deportivo coach before our game against them saying “if we start slow against Arsenal, it will be goodbye like Leverkusen”. They kept it tight for a bit and then taught us a lesson.

    Also, the 0-0 draw at home to Valencia in 03. Against certain teams we looked a bit clueless.

  76. STV

    Wallace I too am a fan of free flowing attacking football. Every one likes I think. But if I am a Bayern fan, in tgis instance, I would admit Athletico probably deserved to go through over two legs and Guardiola certainly outsmarted by Simeone. That’s all..

  77. gambon

    Ishola

    They give up the lowest number of expected goals of any team in Europe.

    Teams have the least shots per pass against them.

    Teams have the least shots per game from the danger zone ( high percentage shots ) against them.

    Teams have the lowest pass completion in the opponents 3rd against them.

    They block a higher percentage of shots than any other team

    They have basically mastered the art of defensive, off the ball football.

  78. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    It’s been a while since we’ve convincingly beaten a very good side in the UCL and we’re usually shit away from home against anyone with a pulse.

    Napoli in 2013 was the last UCL performance where we battered a decent team and even then we failed to make it count and nearly got embarrassingly knocked out when Napoli beat us 2-0 at their place, one more goal would have done it.

    2007/08 was the last time we really took top sides apart in Europe though, we may have lost 4-2 to Liverpool at Anfield but we battered them around the park for most of the 90 mins, Adebayor was incredibly wasteful from memory.

    Nowadays we’re a joke in Europe, even Monaco spanked us when we got a bit cocky thinking we’d roll them over.