Lead manager emerges + Wenger’s pick throws hat in ring + DIEGO IS BACK

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Arsene Wenger had a mad bit of banter in the press.

Firstly, he shared with you what I told you as soon as he was booted… you know, that he was booted.

“The timing was not really my decision. And for the rest I’ve spoken about it already.”

Shortly after the press, he likely landed a call from HR. Then his tune changed.

“After reaching agreement about my departure, I was happy for the club to decide when to announce,” the statement said .”I wish to make it clear the timing of the announcement was right.

In America, when you’re fired or asked politely to leave, they make you sign a ‘I won’t be salty in the media’ agreement. One would assume Stan gave Wenger the £9m on the proviso he keeps his mouth shut and doesn’t make life hard for Ivan and the new manager coming in.

Pretty amusing. Also amusing for all the sycophants that believed Wenger left without taking severance.

Patrick Vieira slipped into some sexy panties and flaunted his career desires all over the media today.

“It’s an honour to be mentioned with Arsenal – I love the club. I played my best football there and made my name in the game.”

“I am always going to have a deeper relationship with Arsenal. That is not enough to coach that team but I’m ready to coach any side in Europe.”

I love Patrick, I truly do. He’s a warrior, a leader, and a smart man. However, I just can’t get onboard with him coming to the club. Some of the papers are saying he’s Wenger’s pick… there’s simply no way the club are going to roll with the kiss of death from an ex-manager, and look, his record is hardly impressive.

His New York club don’t play great football, they’re hardly dominant, and the caliber of the game over here is absolute pony. I’d love to have him join the staff in a coaching capacity, but there’s no way he’s ready for the Arsenal role. If you’re coming in as a risk, you have to have some sort of prodigal talent that stands you out, a 45% win rate in MLS for one of the richest teams isn’t good enough.

I’d say he could run the academy, but Per Mertesacker is taking on that duty. I was a bit rude about his appointment a few months ago, but apparently, I need to be thrashed for uttering such concerns. The BFG has been landing glowing reports from people around the club for his leadership skills behind the scenes. He’s been working with the kids, keeping spirits high and just being an all-round total hero. Apparently we’d be in much worse shape if he weren’t there.

When it comes to the emotional intelligence I spoke about yesterday, there’s no doubt that he has that in abundance. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad word said about him. After reading that incredibly candid interview of him in Kicker, and hearing his taking responsibility for a broken Arsenal, I am very excited to see what he can do.

Someone was trying to convince me that Andries Joncker represented success during his time in the academy. One FA Cup youth final that was lost and an U23 league win being proof. That isn’t success people. Success is bringing through elite talent. We have young players at the club, but I wouldn’t say much of that is about our academy. You can talk about Nelson, Nketiah and Willock. But I could point you to a whole host of young talent that had lots of excitement back in the day but never made it. Bartley, Watt, JET, Lansbury, Simpson, Sunu were all exciting in 2009, where did they end up?

Southampton has a successful academy. That’s what we should model our dreams on.

Anyway, talking of dreams, how about the Arsene Wenger farewell tour dream of going all the way for the Europa League #BackDoorTopFour push? The press asked Simeone whether Diego Costa was coming to play, or to just scare the Arsenal players.

“Knowing Diego, I think all of those apply to him,”

“In England and Spain, many teams have suffered at the hands of Diego. It is not just Arsenal.”

Look, I’m just going to put it out there, last time we saw Costa he was buried in Rob Holding’s pocket in the FA Cup final. He’s not scary anymore. Right? Come on? I’m right? No?

Ok, there’s a slight worry Costa is going to drop us over his knee and spank us, but it’s not a certainty he’ll start. I do think Simeone might be tempted to start him. His side are great at home having won 10 of 11 games with 10 clean sheets, however, away from home, they’ve conceded in each of their last 8 and they haven’t won in their last 4 games.

If Arsenal has a chance, it’s tonight at home. Our fortress. Our safe space. The place where dreams are made. Kind of…

This is massive for the players. They’re not playing for their holidays, they’re playing for their careers. The players are more than capable of lifting their game for the big occasion, we saw that in the incredible FA Cup final last season. They need to bring that magic to the ground tonight.

Ramsey is on the same page as me…

“It’s a massive motivation, to put the emotional side to one side and use it to go on and win this trophy for him.

“It’s going to be weird next season when he’s not here but for now he is, and we have to finish the season off as strongly as possible. You’ve seen with the number of fans that turned up on Sunday, and the noise they produced when they got right behind the team, and hopefully, they can give him the send-off he deserves.”

It’d be a great way to go. I think Atleti will be coming for a 0-0, knowing we’re there for the taking in the away leg. I’d hope Arsenal go all out to ruffle their feathers. I’d love to see Danny W have another blinder, his form since returning has been excellent and he is an absolute man-monster to deal with when he’s tuned into the game. Ramsey needs to bring beast mode and show the whole of Europe he’s the hottest Welshman this summer. You’d also hope Lacazette can continue his free-scoring. Maybe a bit extra in it for him after his move there failed?

We also need a focused game from our defence. Ospina will start, which is about as worrying as Cech starting, so no loss there. Whoever makes up the rest need to focus. I really don’t want to lose this game on a stupid Koscielny error, or a rush of blood from Mustafi.

Winning Europa might change the type of manager we hire. The frontrunner according to the press is now Luis Enrique. I’d not be upset, the guy has won the Champions League, he’ll massively elevate how we play, and he’ll bring a discipline and intensity we’ve lacked for years. My worry is he’s not the best candidate. He’s not a bad one. I just think if we’re dishing out £15m a year, it should go on Allegri.

I also think that it’s a massive risk giving the club to someone who has dealt with the best of the best. Doing amazing things with amazing players is a talent, don’t get me wrong. But we don’t have amazing players, we have average resources, and we’re a major rebuilding project.

Shouldn’t we be looking for coaches doing a lot with a little? Read about Jardim here and tell me he’s not perfect? He’s used to working under tough conditions, he’s a master of developing young players (a critique of Enrique is he didn’t bring through players), and he gives you all the attacking flair of #WengerBall. If not him, then Nagelsmann and Tedesco are doing great things with limited budgets.

We need great ideas, not a prestige coach. We are not Barcelona. I worry that Raul S might be in danger of trying to recreate Barcelona on a budget. Wenger tried that post 2006. It didn’t work out.

Anyway, that’s a story for another day, for tonight, we dine in hell… or Piebury Corner before the match, making sure we get into the ground on time.

Don’t be tardy, and know I am jealous as one can be that I’m not there with you! x

736 Responses to “Lead manager emerges + Wenger’s pick throws hat in ring + DIEGO IS BACK”

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  1. salpardisenyc

    This is such an asinine argument based on first 10 min when we were def. on our front foot against 11.

    No chance Simeone continues game in that fashion, he’d of dulled it down and taken on the pressure then struck once moment arouse and if it didn’t happily taken a 0-0 back to Madrid. Same tactics go Atletico got passed Barca in the QF of both 2014 and 2016, Peps Bayern in the SF of 2016 and Chelsea in 2014.

    If we wanna blame anyone lets not blame the referee for giving us a man advantage, lets blame ourselves for not converting any of those golden chances in the opening.

  2. Take me back to highbury


    As usual, duck my post and don’t respond to it but make some stupid comment about my typing when you don’t have an answer

    You’re wrong. Shut up. And move on

  3. Champagne charlie


    You don’t have anything to actually respond to you myopic twat. Just a bunch of one lined quips about Wenger and various posters because you’re cool af on the internet.

  4. Dave


    I think you’re saying that it was no advantage to us with AM going to 10 men. In fact it was a disadvantage because it meant that they “parked the bus”. Therefore, why don’t we start with 10 men next week?

  5. Take me back to highbury


    11 players vs 10 players. For 78 minutes. At home.

    That’s the advantage.

    Need help with that?

  6. Champagne charlie


    You said it benefited us, so care to tell me how? 3rd time I’ve asked.

    I’ve stated already why I don’t see it as an advantage. I echoed what Wenger said, the flow was killed and it turned the game into defence vs attack which meant no space.

  7. Take me back to highbury

    It’s not Dave’s fault we didn’t benefit from

    That lies on the manager who couldn’t get his team to take advantage of having a man advantage over the away team for 78 minutes.

  8. Dave


    Ok, this is how it benefitted us. Going down to 10 men , meant that AM virtually accepted a minor loss or taking a draw. In essence it neutralized their attackin threat. This meant that we could dominate possession of the ball. What you saw was that we could pass the ball around midfield without the threat of an immediate counter attack. In essence it gave us possession of the ball but we were ineffective with it.

  9. steve

    Lol CC can’t comprehend why it’s easier to play when you have more players on the pitch than the opponent. What a fucking dunce.

  10. Champagne charlie


    Right, and given AM came to the Emirates to play defensive. Just how did them being less potent help us break them down?

    Answer: it didn’t.

    What it did was kill any ambition from AM to enter our half and provide us with space to operate between midfield and defence. All being said, we did what we needed to and broke them down eventually – just also managed to gift them a goal.

  11. LINP

    Wenger has no idea how to breakdown a team that parks the bus. Our play has been like that for a long time, SLOW and BORING. Madrid parked 9 players in front of the box. We need a fast winger who can beat their FB/RB one on one. Danny Welbeck can’t do it. The middle is too clouded. We need to have 2 to 3 guys combined to breakdown their FB/RB. Once we have one player centering the ball from the baseline, the chance of scoring is much higher (see our goal).

    Wenger’s system is ball procession. We are passing the ball sideways. The wingers (Welback) pass the ball backward most of the time. The only time he tried to beat a player, he lost the ball and costed us a goal. I hope that the new manager will play a different style of game. And our team will sign a proper winger similar to those in Liverpool. Of course, our urgent need is replacing the goalie and 2 CBs.

  12. Elmo

    Is this ‘you’re better off playing against 11 men than 10’ a football hipster thing, or am I completely missing something?

    I thought that possession football was about creating overloads, and so by definition if you have an extra man, even if the opposition sit deep, you can more easily create overloads which you can exploit.

    Imagine a Guardiola team: would they ever be complaining about having to play against 10 men, when their entire game is built around creating situations where they can effectively take one on the opposition’s players out of the defensive structure?

  13. Champagne charlie

    It’s really not a hard one to grasp, AM having one less attacker on the pitch didn’t help us break them down.

    Being down to 10 men stopped any ambition from them, which would have created space. There was none because they say deep and held on.

    I’ve never heard of it being easy to break down a team that parks it, let alone the best defensive side in world football. As per, just the household morons who can’t appreciate a game of football and want to score some pathetic points.

  14. China

    Charlie by all means it’s annoying when a team sets out exclusively to defend.

    It’s annoying, we get it. But you’re literally the first person I’ve ever heard in my life claim that it’s not an advantage to be a man up.

    Sure they don’t have a reason to venture forwards but they also don’t have much of an outlet because they can’t really play it long and have much hope of retaining the ball

    Digging in that 11 v 10 at home for 70 mins is not an advantage is as out there as ‘Neymargate’ dude.

  15. China

    *regardless* of how good AM are this, being a man down means it’s much harder for them to steal some all important away goals (we bottled it so they did anyway, but that’s on us)

    It’s much more tiring to chase shadows because it’s harder to keep the ball

    You have far less outlets for pressure on your defense as the attack gets sacrificed

    AM are great at this and full credit to them for that. It would be nice if they wouldn’t play to their strengths n all, but that doesn’t matter

    What matters is that whilst outnumbering them for a vast majority of the game, we should be able to create a few good chances and if we take them, we win.

    I think you’ll be hard pressed to find more than a couple of people who will disagree with this…

  16. China

    Ask yourself this, what was the response from basically every single arsenal fan and what was the response of the AM fans to the red card

    If you’re alone in the face of mass disagreement that may be for a good reason…

  17. Champagne charlie


    Jesus Christ, I’ve stated it nullified their attack. But if you can’t appreciate that the red card put them into a siege mentality then there’s little else to say. Instead of a bit of back and forth, it was two banks of four “don’t concede”.

    That didn’t help us because they’re fucking mint at defending, and we don’t have the players to break that down, we need the space to play about in. Ergo, not an advantage.

    I mean it’s commented upon week after week when big sides meet smaller ones, how they sit deep and it’s hard to break them down. The fact that’s seemingly lost on some people here is baffling.

    Your Neymargate reference is embarrassing.

  18. China

    No, Charlie. Week after week those teams which sit deep and dig in still have a *very important* outlet most of the time and if they choose not to have one they have another man plugging the midfield

    It’s demonstrably not the same

    But by all means dig in…

  19. Champagne charlie


    Yes, because playing Atletico when their sole focus is defending makes our attacking them so straightforward.

    The red card ended their goal threat, until Kos gifted them something like a hero. But it certainly didn’t make breaking them down any easier.

    I’m beyond bored repeating myself.

  20. jasongms


    Really thought you had turned the proverbial corner.

    It was to their advantage to play with 10 men for most of the match???
    Come on man take those AKB glasses off.

    The reality was that Wenger had no tactical answer to the questions posed by AM. Being a man up should have prompted a change in tactics, which should have opened up and stretched the game as to take the AM players out of their comfort zones. We as you know didn’t do this and again this is down to Wenger’s tactics, his player recruitment and overall apathy that he alone is responsible for.

    Wenger allowed AM to play the game at their pace, setting the agenda and anchoring the game for that one moment, of which they knew would come.
    This is what happens when you play with no width and rely on shoehorning players into positions they aren’t comfortable with.

    We now have a mountain to climb… Thanks, Arsene.

  21. Champagne charlie


    Learn to read. I stated it wasn’t an advantage, not it was an advantage to them.

    Just skip past me, pretty much past the point of humouring twats that still dish out the “akb” bollocks. Not even remotely relevant to what’s being discussed.

  22. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Any other team would have taken 80 minutes a man up and systematically taken Atletico apart. Any other team with a manager who actually recognizes what a man advantage actually means and can switch up formation to break them down. Anyone making excuses to the contrary is in dire need of a dose of hard core reality.

    If ever in doubt as to whom the true AKB’s are, take a good look at the comments on this thread and it will remove all doubt – 5 of them for absolute certain.

    Champagne Charlamoot

    Its over, move on, deal with it.

  23. jasongms

    “Because them going a man down meant they defended all game long and we had no space at all. Likely galvanised their team as well because they felt hard done by.”

    This indicates that you thought it was an advantage for AM

    “A red card doesn’t automatically make a game easier. Atletico didn’t have to leave their half which made creating chances a fucking nightmare. 11 v 11 they’d have ventured forward more, enough for some variety in our attack. Sorry, but not once did I rub my hands together at that red.”

    This indicates that you thought it was an advantage for AM

    Either you don’t comprehend your own dribble or you’re a disingenuous goose, choose one…

  24. Frankie Coffeecakes

    10 men and they parked the bus. How is it that Arsenal could not break them down effectively? That might be a sign of a well managed and well disciplined squad and that might also be a sign of a poorly managed and poorly disciplined squad. I’ll let you figure out which is which. Clue: Score tells you which team is which.

  25. Champagne charlie


    You mean you’re dense cunt, then present two options and pretend that’s the reality?

    I’m ok thanks, as you were.

  26. Frankie Coffeecakes

    And the best line of the night comes from Pierre, who states he’s not impressed with Atletico. Maybe thats because you’ve actually never seen a defensive display like that under One Arsene Wenger. You’d actually be pretty funny if you weren’t so damned pathetic.

  27. jasongms


    I don’t know which is the more comical

    Stating that you thought Arsene had one more league title in him or believing that it is more advantageous to play with a man down for 80 mins

    Can hardly wait for your next act, hopefully, it’s one where you evanesce, along with your messiah.

  28. Take me back to highbury


    Everyone else is a moron only CC is the all knowing wise one

    Makes sense really

    But please CC, keep going. This is quite amusing

  29. jasongms


    You have been weighed and measured and have absolutely been found wanting….

    So go cry a fcuking river.

  30. E54_

    Ill play your little game. So yes it wasn’t an advantage to us because it made them defend deeper and harder which is something we find difficulty dealing with.
    ok sir, but as you saw we scored. We dealt with it, we broke it, we overcame our “disadvantage”..

    So Answer us this, Why couldn’t we see out the last 10mins with an on field advantage of 11 men protecting the ball against 10.

  31. TonyD

    Missed the match because I’m in Bangkok until Monday and the game was at 3am here where I have meetings this morning.

    Read the match report and posts here. Have to say page 5 here takes the bitter sting out of the poor result with CC at his dogged and misguided best. Equally Frankie’s usual suspects list added to the entertainment to a thoroughly disappointing night for us.

    At least I’ll get to see the United game and the return leg next week, but from all I’ve read we have 2 chances of beating AM away: slim and none!

    Still we’re another day closer to appointing a new manager, which makes us another step forward to begin the new era of rebuilding and games that offer plans A, B and C from us.

    What a novelty that is going to be ………….

  32. Take me back to highbury

    So basically what CC is saying is that next time the other team gets a red card we should decline it ala NFL style?

    Maybe we should start chambers and get him to two foot tackle someone in the first minute so we can play with 10 men as it won’t benefit atletico but us

  33. TonyD

    There is belief that playing against 10 men can be more difficult, which is why tactically astute managers plan for this in their training with 10 against 11.

    The key words here are tactically astute…………..

  34. TonyD

    Where was Shahid Khan when we looked at Kroenke?

    Seems like a decent guy that even ES would have approved of.

    Self made and not afraid to spend money. It will be interesting to see what he does for Fulham if they get promoted.

    Any thoughts from our friends across the pond?

  35. Pierre

    I stand by my comment of Atletico’s defending /performance as disappointing. Any team that let’s a midget like lacazette have at least 3 clear headers on goal and a couple of near post flick ons which should have led to goals, has not defended well in my opinion.
    Plus Ramsey, who I wouldn’t regard as particularly powerful in the air, had a couple of decent headed chances..
    If Arsenal, in the 2nd leg, allow Atletico anything like the amount of chances we had then they will make us pay that’s for sure and our defence would get slaughtered for allowing so many chances to the opposition.

    Where Atletico were good at was getting their bodies in the way of shots, the keeper had a superb night (sign him up) and manipulating every situation to the maximum.
    Football wise, we were a different class but Atletico did what they do best, scrap and get a result against the odds.

    It was a frustrating game to watch in the fact that we were playing so well, making chances, dominating the game but couldn’t find the back of the net.
    The mistake by kosielny was very poor, there were many things he could have done, put his foot through the ball, toe ended it back to the keeper, put his body in the way of greizman so that greizman would have had to foul him to get to the ball but no, kosielny decides to try a flick over his head… Poor decision and one that will probably cost us the tie.

    We now have 2 very difficult away games v United and Atletico and unless we get very lucky, we will concede without a doubt as our defence is not capable of sustaining pressure.
    What’s happened to holding, he is our best defender, he actually knows how to defend, I can’t see any other way than play 3 at the back with with wing backs.
    These 2 games v United could epitomise Wenger’s last ten years or so, I can’t say I’m confident in the slightest.
    2 bad /embarrassing results will be confirmation that the decision to change managers is correct.

    Bring on Allegri or PV

  36. TonyD

    “His Atletico team took the best that Arsenal could throw at them, 28 attempts on goal, eight on target, and they rolled with the punches after Alexandre Lacazette scored after the hour. The Frenchman was outstanding for Arsenal and by the end it was telling that Wenger did not make a single substitution, so limited were his attacking options from the bench.”

    “It would have mattered less if they had not given up that Griezmann goal, which stood as a motif for many of the most frustrating elements of Wenger’s team.

    “There was a long punt from Jose Maria Gimenez, one of the two excellent Atletico centre-halves, then Laurent Koscielny got the wrong side, David Ospina deflected a rebound straight at Griezmann and when the little Frenchman was faced with a tough job of finishing, Shkodran Mustafi fell over on the goal-line.'”

    Who would have thought – Mustafi falling over?


    I would dearly love to win the away leg – not for Wenger – but for the incoming manager as I believe we could beat Marseilles on a one-off final game, who look to be on their way to the final.

    I hope Wenger has the sense to rest players for the United game.

    Unfortunately Wenger doesn’t do sense – it’s not in his skill set along with tactics, plan Bs and so many other attributes to be a successful manager.

    Albeit a few FA cups in 14 years………

  37. Emiratesstroller

    The one positive for me is that Arsenal now have on their books two forwards
    in Aubameyang and Lacazette who are genuine prolific goalscorers.

    Personally I do think that they are capable of combining together and they
    could with the right support from a properly constructed midfield score a lot
    of goals.

    Bluntly they will need to do so in view of our defence being as brittle as it is
    and leaking like a sieve!!!

    For the record something that I omitted from my earlier posts I thought that
    Lacazette played very well yesterday. He worked very hard around the pitch.

  38. Wallace

    until the f*ck up it was a 9/10 performance from us. we were patient, composed, used the full width of the pitch to stretch Atletico…I’d happily have settled for 1-0 but thought we had an excellent chance to bag a second in the final 10mins as they tired. still can’t quite believe the Griezemann goal.

  39. Wallace

    yes, be nice to think Lacazette’s performances since he came back from injury will have shut up a few of his critics on here. was hugely impressive last night against probably the best defence in Europe.

  40. Rocko

    “We also need a focused game from our defence.”

    Right on, Rap Brown!

    “I really don’t want to lose this game on a stupid Koscielny error, or a rush of blood from Mustafi.”

    Oh …

  41. Jeff

    Whichever way you look at it, even if we didn’t concede, to win by just one goal at home against 10 men in 80 minutes isn’t really a good result. What we needed was to come away with a 3:0 or 3:1 win given the situation. It’s our long-term inability to go for the jugular when the situation opens its arms. We had a massive piece of luck but we appeared to look a gift horse in the mouth. For long periods of the game, it didn’t look like they were down to 10 men. And of course their superb keeper kept us out.

    Yes we still have a modicum of a chance in the away fixture but the probability is pretty low. The question you have to ask yourself is this. If we go down to 10 men in Madrid and have to play like that for 80 minutes, do you think we can muster a 1:1 result? And that really is the difference between the two teams and dare I say it, between the two managers.

  42. TR7

    I hope people will stop talking about selling Lacazzete now. So easy to see he is a very good forward. The guy will only get better from here. I had said in the summer we had bought the best one from the trioka of Morata, Lukaku and Lacazzete and it’s pretty much evident now.

    As for the game yesterday, my main gripe is we squandered so many scoring opportunities. Should have scored at least 4 goals. If we did that we wouldn’t have been talking about the goal conceded was Kosscielney.

    Atletico have conceded only 4 goals at home this season in La Liga. It looks increasingly difficult now to qualify for the finals.

  43. Frank Mc

    Laughable some cunts saying we have 0% in Madrid…it’ll be super tough but get an early goal and who knows what could happen!

  44. Jeff

    I don’t think we should write off our first team players until the new manager comes in and they have at least a year with him. It’s quite obvious to me that different managers have different styles and techniques. Case in point is how Pep managed to turn Sterling into a footballer. How did he do it? We have so many bad habits to iron out, so many tactical changes to make and we need to instil motivation and drive – lots of it. The players are really like chess pieces. It’s not just their ability but also how you play them.

    Will the new manager get everything right all the time? Will the players always perform 110% for him? No and nobody expects that. But for the love of all that is good, we have to turn up in more matches than we’ve been doing. In the PL, year in year out, we would squander games against lesser sides and drop points like hot potatoes. That’s got to stop. The infrequent blip here and there is expected but it shouldn’t be a habit. Other clubs should dread playing us, not look forward to it. The fear factor disappeared many years ago and turned more into pity. So much so that nowadays the opposition fans sing “Wenger we want you to stay”. That’s how laughable it has become.

    So three cheers to the new season and to the new manager but PLEASE no novices or failed ex-PL coaches. Let’s be bold and go for the very best available. We need to shed this cheap shabby mentality that has plagued us for 15 years.

  45. Gazzap

    Given the red card 2-0 would have been a good result. 1-0 was acceptable because of the clean sheet. Atletico should have been knackered by 75 mins and incapable of scoring an away goal. They weren’t really even looking for that goal. They’d happily settled for the 1-0. Then bloody Laurel and hardy get involved and gift wrap a goal for them as those two have been doing all season. They shouldn’t have been in the team such is their form. But this is a major reason why Wenger has not won anything major for years and is now hated by over half the fan base. Sadly we have no chance in the second leg now.

  46. Emiratesstroller

    ” I don’t think that we should write off the first team players until the new manager comes in”

    In the case of goalkeepers and most of our centre backs I think that they are past redemption. This is a complete rebuild job.

  47. mysticleaves


    I get your point totally but ATM didn’t particularly defend well. We carved open a lot of chances we just couldn’t finish because of their keeper. He was outstanding. The Ramsey and Lacazette headers, he had no business saving them and Laca put a ball on the post too. Plus the goal we scored that was at least 4 goals. We had them on toast in the 1st half and created all kinds of chances. The things with early red cards is that it disorganizes the team till they get to half time and regroup. That’s pretty much what happened yesterday. We had their beating and should have seen off the game in the first half.

    Honestly would have preferred a 0 – 0 draw to a 1 – 1 draw. 1 – 0 would have been awesome but Kos had to make it about himself.

  48. karim

    Disappointing result but good performance overall, just not clinical enough and a howler away from an excellent result.

    Tie NOT over, up the Arse !

  49. mysticleaves

    “I actually thought that Welbeck was one of our better performers, especially in that bright opening spell in the first half.”

    How anybody still manages to talk up Welbeck is beyond me. Had many chances with a midfielder-turned-RB and could not do anything with it. Was not penetrative at all, had one glorious opportunity and couldn’t put it away. If Iwobi had this performance he would be lambasted to no end on here. We need a proper winger

  50. Dream10

    Looking forward to a deserved 3-1 victory for our boys next Thursday. We’re gonna do them.

    Frustrating result last night. Big performance from young Héctor. Easily his best this season. Guy has a whole flank to cover himself with no RW for the most part. Mkhitaryan’s return will hopefully make things easier for them.

    Even with Mkhitaryan & Aubameyang, we’re still short of a wide forward & possibly another goalscorer. Shame we didn’t have Walcott & big Olivier Giroud on the bench to come on & increase our lead. Can never have enough players who can get in behind a backline.

  51. mysticleaves

    Dream 10 I have not been as emotionally invested in an Arsenal match since the 1-0 defeat at Spurs. I hope we do them in Spain. Winning the EL coupled with Wenger resigning will be my best Arsenal experience of Wenger’s tenure

  52. Dream10


    Yeah it was nerve-wracking, but not unexpected. Unfortunately, with our vulnerability to a route one long ball, Koscielny (who was pathetic for the goal & has made that same mistake even when he was 25 & athletic) & Mustafi were always likely to f*ck up for a clear chance/red card. AW should have brought on Nelson & AMN in the last 15 for Wilshere & Lacazette who both tired. AMNs recovery pace would have helped Koscielny & Monreal on their side

  53. mysticleaves


    The thing was that we thought we could get one more. They weren’t ok with 1 goal so they still overloaded. Frankly, hindsight is a b**ch but I don’t know if Wenger would have instructed them to retreat a bit and see if ATM would come out. Maybe holding on to the sender lead would have come across as cowardice but would have served us better. ATM now have all the momentum and we feel like mugs.

  54. Jeff

    “In the case of goalkeepers and most of our centre backs I think that they are past redemption. This is a complete rebuild job.”

    Goalkeepers yes, they need changing. But defence is never about one individual. It’s always about the unit. You can have 4 average defenders at the back and still play well enough to not concede. We’re not talking parking the bus here but making sure there’s always cover and you avoid the one-on-one situation at all costs. In the context of the game, if that mentality and tactic had been drilled in, the possibility of the long ball mishap would not have arisen. So in general, I completely disagree with your assertion.

  55. Dream10

    Thomas Partey looks to be a very good player. Can play as DM, CM & RB. Smart player, & a good athlete. They’ll be able to get a lot of money for him. He’ll be a PL player this summer or next

  56. MuddyGooner

    I know in football mistakes happen and I guess I have to accept that. Sometimes you’re punished and sometimes you can get away with making that mistake.
    But at Arsenal we DON’T make mistakes…… …… we only do FUCK UPS and last night just summed up a Wenger team fuck up !

  57. HighburyLegend

    “just not clinical enough”
    And mostly, like Kos – aka the “defending disaster artist” – not good enough.

    Thanks again to Ospina for his save, with Cech in the cages our chances to qualify for the final would probably have drop to 0%.
    With his save, we have… let’s say 5% to get through.

    The game last night was the perfect resume of wenger’s last 10 years.

  58. HighburyLegend

    “It’s not about blaming individuals. ”

    Of course, you always prefers to congratulate them, and mostly give them some shitty excuses…

  59. TonyD

    The thing about ties over 2 legs is that the teams and more importantly managers get to be able to measure each other.

    Tactics play a bigger part in the 2nd leg IMHO.

    Wenger and the team are going to have to pull out a Chelsea cup final game to have any chance because for so many reasons/factors Madrid are in the ascendency.

    It’s theirs to lose but this is football where luck, rub of the green and the occasional small miracle can make the difference for the under dog.

    I’d say we have a 20% chance of progressing and it is Wenger’s last throw of the European dice, so how badly does he want

  60. Freddie Ljungberg

    Great performance by Laca, looks like he’s starting to adapt now, that penalty Auba gave him seems to have been the catalyst for his form.

    No way we should sell him, we absolutely need to have a goal threat off the bench, imagine if Auba was available for this game and we had either him or Laca coming on in the last 20 minutes against a tired defense.
    Our options are so bad now in every position except CF, let’s not fuck up the only good thing we have…

  61. Wallace

    at 1-0 the tie was beautifully poised, maybe slight advantage to us, 2-0 and I’d have put our chances of going through at maybe 75-80%, while 1-1…maybe 25-30% chance now.

    and yes, not got a problem with looking for that second to kill things off. we had like 80% possession, they would definitely have tired the last 10mins without the shot of the Griezemann goal.

  62. Dream10


    Even if we go through, you can see our flaws. Like Raf Benitez sides, Simeone’s players have high concentration levels. Our CB who can focus consistently for 90 minutes is Mertesacker.

  63. TonyD

    *How badly does he want it and is he prepared to sacrifice his stubborn principles and change things up and have a plan B if things aren’t working in the first 30 minutes?*

    There’s a lot on the line for Wenger with this match – not just reaching a final.

  64. Freddie Ljungberg

    I really hope the rumors about Sokratis is just that, would be incredibly lazy by Sven to recruit from Dortmund again, and we do not need another 30 year old player.

    We do need 2 starting CBs though so he better pull off a miracle if the budget rumors are true.

    De Vrij + Manolas maybe?

    Abdou Diallo? Who knows, but Mustafi and Kos are just too error prone. Doubt a new manager can fix that.

  65. TonyD

    That’s what I was saying, maybe give Holding the shout and change it up and get a final cup final game from the BFG. Don’t play Mustafi and Kos.

  66. HighburyLegend

    For me it’s almost an autogoal from Kos.

    Such a huge mistake at this level, ridiculous, and he didn’t even excuse himself, he should have, imo.

  67. Leedsgunner

    Credit to our attackers they did their bit of the bargain. Our defence let our team down badly.

    Something is mentally not right with our defenders. They had three people marshalling on attacker and one smart pass completely took them out of the game… by defenders I’m not including Ospina — he had an amazing game last night.

    For once, all the cards were in our favour to snatch an unlikely victory and keep a clean sheet in the process — what do we do?

    Bottle it.

    It was comical. It was something Tottenham Hotspur would do.

    This is why Wenger had to go years ago. In crunch games we switch off.


  68. gambon

    We have next to no chance in Madrid.

    Not because we arent good enough, but because Wenger has created a team of babies with no backbone.

    If that had been a pre-season friendly last night, we would have kept it to 1-0, maybe got a second.

    Whenever, literally whenever the pressure is on, we crumble. This has been going on for absolutely years.

    Koscielny lost us a trophy in the Carling Cup back in 2011, and he is still there playing every week.

    Ive been telling you all that Koscielny is a useless bottlejob for years, and like with Ozil, the AKBs get all impressed when he plays well against teams like Watford and Everton.

  69. Emiratesstroller


    The central defence is also a problem.

    Mustafi and Koscielny are very similar type of players and both gaff prone. They are athletic, but when you analyse their game they lack discipline and positional sense.

    Maybe one of them could stay in the team but not both together. Arsenal need
    to invest this summer in at least one genuine world class centre back.

    That will cost serious money. Liverpool spent over £70 million on Van Dijk and
    Man City over £60 million on Laporte. Somehow I don’t see Arsenal spending that sort of money on any defender. Our horizon in January was £1.89 million
    on Mavropanos!!!

  70. HighburyLegend

    Simeone’s behavior last night is one reason why he don’t figure on top of my list for being our next coach.
    I want someone passionate, that’s clear, but c’mon, the man is always on coke!!

  71. Frankie Coffeecakes

    It would be remiss of me not to mention that nice little dive job from Welbunk that set up the tying goal. Typical Denny, lacks any sense of awareness and puts his already braincramped defenders under the gun. Way to go Denny!

  72. gambon

    Last night also showed us that there is a lot to work with for a new manager, and that Wenger has been significantly mismanaging this lot.

    The difference between our good and bad performances is so vast that clearly there is a huge motivation problem there.

    The team that battered Atletico Madrid are the same team that got easily beaten by Swansea and Brighton.

    No other team experiences such swings in performance.

  73. HighburyLegend

    “one thing is certain is we need to score first in Madrid”

    Of course, and after that, we will let our magical pair (koz/mustafi) do the job for keeping our advantage… lol

  74. gambon

    Literally the only way we get through this tie is to score very very late on, like 89th minute.

    What are the odds of that realistically.

    If we go one up, we will concede within 10 minutes, no doubt at all.

    If we are at 2-2, we will concede the losing goal within 10 minutes, no doubt at all.

    This team is a reflection of their manager. A weak, frail group with no accountability and no real desire to win, just a desire to be there.

  75. Wallace

    with hindsight Wenger probably regretted going with Nketiah ahead of Nelson on the bench. the last 15-20mins with him running at a tiring back line…

  76. Dream10

    Tony D

    The issue I have with Holding & Chambers is that their ceiling doesn’t seem to be very high. Limited athleticism & no particular standout quality. We want to be an attacking side, so our defenders better be able to defend 1v1.

  77. TonyD

    Highbury Legend
    I was advocating playing Holding and the BFG and keeping Kos and Mustafi for the game.

    But I’m not holding my breath……….

  78. Ishola70

    Welbeck actually had a decent overall match last night. Better than Ramsey I thought.

    Arsenal didn’t show enough conviction to go on and get the second goal and then we started seeing those ominous lulls in the match which we have seen before which is the prelude to something not nice being inflicted on Arsenal.

    We all know Koscielny is way past his best but it is being over-exaggerated regarding the conceding of the goal. He lost out on a one to one. Happens every week to every other club but because it is Arsenal and the history of Arsensl fvcking up in similar circumstances it is made bigger. I was hearing that Koscielny should have put the ball into row Z. He wasn’t in a position to clear the ball into row z. He was face onto the ball. He did actually hook the ball away but it hit Griezmann’s head. Not defending Koscielny in any way because as said we have known for quite a while now that his best days are gone but the criticism is over-egged.

    Writing seems to be on the wall in this one. Atleti will press a bit higher up the pitch at home and Arsenal can’t expect as much possession and control in the second leg. Plus they have Costa to unleash in the second leg.

    Some people were saying that maybe Atleti may not have the real hunger to win this competition because they qualify for CL through their domestic league placing. You could see last night this is not the case. They are very serious to win this competition. If Arsenal get through this it will go down as one of Wenger’s best results while at the club.

    Oblak made some good saves but some earlier ones were not as good as some are making out. But his save from the Ramsey header near the end of the match was absolutely top drawer.

  79. Leedsgunner

    How do you know your defence is not fit for purpose?

    When you can’t even keep a clean sheet at home against 10 men.

    Arsene Wenger’s FC – conceding silly goals, specialists in heroic failures.

    Very very disappointing… At. Madrid were there for the taking and we gift them a goal — thereby effectively defeating ourselves.

    Even if we keep it, 0-0 at their ground, we lose the tie because of our stupidity.

    Not good enough.

  80. gambon

    Also really think we have to try and sell Ozil.

    He is the biggest symptom of the Wenger malaise.

    All style, no substance, and goes missing whenever you need him.

    I’m hoping whichever manager comes in has no time for him.

  81. TonyD

    Dream 10
    Agreed but I was saying play Holding and BFG.

    It’s a desperate measure, but Holding did a good job on Costa in the cup final who may well play, and just maybe there is one more big game left in the German that very few of us believed there was for the Chelsea cup final game.

    Can’t be any risky than playing Kos and Mustafi, can it?

    Mustafi will spend most of the game checking the flavour of the grass against Costa who will bully him throughout the game.

  82. Leedsgunner

    Last night was our best chance of winning this tie and we pissed it away because our defence collectively turned their brains off.

    If our chance versus At. Madrid was slim last night at home, it’s even slimmer at their ground.

  83. Ishola70

    ” Mustafi will spend most of the game checking the flavour of the grass against Costa who will bully him throughout the game.”

    Costa will bully any defender that Arsenal put up in the second leg.

    Handling him in one match in a neutral venue is different from handling him when he is playing at home on his own patch.

  84. Dissenter

    Did anybody else miss Cazorla’s public training session, all in front of the media?
    Nothing surprises me about this club anymore. 220 million wages and out bnch looks worse than a championship clubs.
    I’m sure they will give out another contact to Cazorla who won’t be fun enough to actually play games for next season.

  85. mysticleaves

    Kos was ahead of Griezmann on that ball. He had two options, slow it down and get a foul or cushion it out of danger. Monreal and Mustafa were covering and it looked relatively safe. Next thing ball is in the net.

    Monreal kept Griezmann on side by the way that was lazy. If anybody was to be a sweeper it’s better to be a central defender. Some things are basic but keeping a high line against a nimble forward like Griezmann when he will be running to your post to score is suicidal. Kos or Mustafa should have been sweeping

  86. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Try is the correct word, Gambon. This is the mistake that will cripple Arsenal moving forward. Everything about tbe Ozil signing smacks of the sense of desperation that enveloped the organization as a direct result of Wenger’s chronic dithering in allowing his arguably two best players run down to the midnight hour. Ozil should have been sold as he brings nothing but malaise and indifference to the pitch, when of course he’s not busy getting ill every third week.

  87. OleGunner

    Am I the only one expecting a pummeling from Athletico next week?
    I fear they could do a “Bayern” and really rattle our ramshackle defense, putting a good few goals past us.

    The home crowd will be baying for blood and Madrid players will want to make up for what they feel was an injustice last night.
    I dunno that game just screams epic scoreline defeat though I hope I’m wrong.

  88. mysticleaves

    Best way we make it through is hope to score in first 10 minutes, if we don’t retreat and defend like we are winning then hit them again in the last 10 mins. You never know. Looking to be on the front foot the whole match will be disastrous and looking to defend from the off will be atrocious

  89. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Mystic, the mitake was not Kozzers, but rather Mustafi moseying back thinking that Koz had it covered. That one play defines Mustafi’s total lack of awareness and defensive frailty. That, by any other term, is what is called carrying a liability.

  90. TonyD

    Not disagreeing with you.

    Desperate measures and clutching at straws, call it what you will, but it could go either way with Holding vs Costa psychologically.

    However with Mustafi there’s only one conclusion where Costa wins.

  91. Dissenter

    The Ozil deal will go on to be one of the worst that’s being given out in our history.
    He successfully bullied the club to give him a mega contract with a wage that no other European club would have paid him even on a free transfer.
    All this while we are in the Europa league!!!
    De Bruyne who is a better player is on 250k weekly, City’s highest wage is 250k weekly.
    Erickson is on 85-90k weekly ate Spuds and his numbers are very close to Ozil’s

    We’ve been throwing money away like drunken sailors.

  92. UTarse

    Best hope of us to get thru is to get a man sent off….. it will give us that siege mentality…. worked for Atleti apparently

  93. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Know this, Atletico scores first and they will park the bus even tighter than yesterday, and doing it with 11 players. Arsenal have little choice, play all out up front and press for the first 20 minutes. If you dont score and they dont score, then revert back to preventing the long ball and take your chances when they come. As simple a tactical plan as this may be, its frightening to realize that Wenger either has no such plan or his plan is the same that its always been and to that, they are already handcuffed.

  94. Ishola70

    “Kos was ahead of Griezmann on that ball. He had two options, slow it down and get a foul or cushion it out of danger. Monreal and Mustafa were covering and it looked relatively safe. Next thing ball is in the net.”

    Mystic I have already said that we all know that Koscielny is way past his best and yes as you say if the play happened at the other end you can be sure that Godin would have just stood his ground and got a foul against him. There was panic in Koscielny’s play. In saying that though I heard absolute horror descriptions of the Atleti goal. It wasn’t good but it wasn’t as horrific as some are making out. Koscielny did actually hook the ball behind him to clear the lines. Couple of inches higher and the ball is cleared over Griezmann’s head and then everyone would be saying got out of that one well enough. Instead the hooked clearance hit Griezmann full on the head.

    And those that are saying that Koscileny should have just smashed the ball out of play are talking nonsense. He wasn’t in a position to smash the ball out of the ground.

    Not good defending but not as tragic as some want to portray. It is being portrayed as absolutely tagic defending because these type of situations have happened to Arsenal so many times before.

  95. HighburyLegend

    “Not good enough.”
    The 10 last wenger’s years resumed in 3 words lol

    “Also really think we have to try and sell Ozil.”
    With his crazy wages demands ?? Good luck with that…

  96. Dissenter

    “Mystic, the mitake was not Kozzers, but rather Mustafi moseying back thinking that Koz had it covered. That one play defines Mustafi’s total lack of awareness and defensive frailty. That, by any other term, is what is called carrying a liability”

    That’s like spanking the paupers son to teach the naughty prince a lesson
    Had Kos death with the ball in a simple fashion, they wouldn’t have been any problem
    It’s not the first time Kos has fuc*ed up in big games, is it? Where those other ones Mustafi’s too.
    Why can’t you just call a spade a spade.

  97. TonyD

    Deep down I feel the same as well as a win for them probably puts both Madrid teams in the European finals.

    As a supporter, though, I have to cling on to some fragile hope rather than fear and expect the worst.

  98. HighburyLegend

    “There was panic in Koscielny’s play”

    I thought there was panic at Arsenal, but only for the transfer windows, wtf ??

  99. Ishola70

    I saw on here last night a discussion about it being harder because Atleti went down to ten men.

    They wouldn’t have played much differently with 11 on the pitch. Still the same two banks behind the ball.

    All the sending off did was nullify them in having more of a go at Arsenal on the counters.

  100. Leedsgunner

    Is Mertesacker injured?

    I know he’s looking forward to his retirement but we could have used his experience last night in the latter stages of the game. Once we scored, I would have taken Wilshere off and put another defender on as soon as 70 min came… and parked the bus.

    Negative I know, but this tie would been a whole lot brighter if we kept a clean sheet last night.

    Kos and Mustafi are simply mentally not strong enough — nor are they natural leaders. As long as they are in the side we will concede silly goals. In fact, thinking about it, last night’s goal was as stupid as the one he conceded to Birmingham.

    That was 7 years ago.

    If you’re a pro footballer, and you had been humiliated in one final that way, wouldn’t you work hard at your game to make sure it never happened again?

    The fact that Kos is STILL making these elementary errors says much about how Wenger has tolerated his players’ weaknesses rather than helping them to eliminate them.

    I’m so glad he is going.

  101. TonyD

    Wonder if it would be too much for Wenger to ask Bouldy to drill the defence?

    Too little too late but ………..

  102. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Like Arsenal’s defense is for shit, Dissenter? Is that the spade you are looking for? Kozzer screwed the pooch and Mustafi was too busy watching it to realize where he should have been instead of sauntering back thinking his dumbfuck partner had it covered.

  103. Frankie Coffeecakes

    @Leeds – “Is Mertesacker injured?”

    No, he’s just a coward who no longer wants to play.

  104. Dream10


    Koscielny is a little too honest like the majority of our squad. Godin & Partey were in comprising positions on separate occasions where a giveaway would lead to a chance. Both manufactured phantom fouls. Monreal & Ospina the only two in squad who are fluent in shithousery

  105. mysticleaves

    Ishola, true. Not as tragic, just very disappointing. You could see people actually invested emotions and really wanted us to win. I haven’t seen The Emirates that loud before. So to concede like that was really disappointing. Cue the exaggerations.

    Frankie I don’t know how you would blame Musfati for that. Griezmann wasnt his man and you don’t do other people’s work, it’s a team game after all. All he could do was cover and hope Kos deals with it. It’s also very perplexing that he slipped at that very crucial second.

  106. gambon

    Just tell Ozil he will rot for 3 years if he doesnt leave. He will soon accept a pay cut and fuck off to a hipster team that only perform against shit teams.

  107. TonyD

    Give Mert the same meds as Robbie Williams takes to overcome his fear of performing live.

    And I don’t mean Bolivian marching powder lol. That was in his Take That days if you read his biography. It’s actually an interesting read as is Stairway To heaven by Richard Cole.

  108. mysticleaves

    Generally, bash ozil, but after a good performance yesterday? I don’t get it. Ozil was good yesterday. Couldnt have done much more

  109. Frankie Coffeecakes

    And if he hadn’t sauntered back he would not have had to suddenly react and trip as he did. Did we watch the same play or were you too focused on just Koz?

    You do realize how that play transpired and unfolded, right? Started with Welbeck taking a childish dive trying to fet a free kick, followed by a longball to Griezmann, and Ospina and Mustafi thinking Koz had it so they went off the peddle. You saw all that, right Mystic? Or were you just focused on Koz?

  110. Ishola70

    “Koscielny is a little too honest like the majority of our squad. ”

    Yep Godin streets ahead of Koscielny in gamesmanship and nous.

    As Mystic said you know if Godin was in that same situation that Koscielny found himself in he would have got himself in front of the attacker and simply stood his ground, fell over and the ref would blow for a foul against Godin.

  111. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Thats funny, gambon. Actually, Ozil will take the money and put in the obligatory appearance and give a shit look every 8th match. He’s got it made for the next few years, which effectively will wind his career down. A new manager may interest him, but for how long? Uts a chronic and habitual thing for Ozil to put in a rare spell of wow.

  112. Frankie Coffeecakes

    “All he could do was cover and hope Kos deals with it”

    That sums up my argument on Mustafi. He didnt cover as was evidenced by his panicked backtrack and stumble. A good, notice i said good, defender has an awareness to anticipate plan a and plan b. Mustafi is more a Plan 9 from outer space defender.

  113. Dissenter

    “@Leeds – “Is Mertesacker injured?”
    “No, he’s just a coward who no longer wants to play”

    He is however not afraid to collect the big money while playing the role of non-playing captain.
    What a joke of a club we’ve become.
    Next season it will be Cazorla that takes up that role.
    We are paying too much for antiquities that should be on in display in a museum, not at a major European club.