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The group is done, let the draw begin

By Walter Broeckx

So Arsenal has done it again. Loosing at Olympiacos. It is getting a bit of a habit in the last seasons. Always the last game of the group, always a rather unfamiliar Arsenal team out on the field.

From last weeks starting line up only  Szczesny, Jenkinson  and Vermaelen were on the field.  The rest was players we didn’t know (Meade) and players that we hardly see play in the first team for the moment. Be it due coming back from injury or just put on the bench.  Rosicky was for the first time in a very long time back on the field from the start.

I found it a rather entertaining game with both teams who had  nothing really to win or lose so  they played an open game. Both teams got their chances but they were missed or the keepers stood in the right place.

The player that caught the eye the most for me was Rosicky and I don’t say this because he was the one that scored the goal. I say it because when my internet stream was working he seemed to be the player who was controlling the game for Arsenal. He was shouting, pointing, running, tackling, battling for the ball. I really was impressed by his first half. For me the best player on the pitch.

And a well taken goal to round of his first half performance. More of that I thought….but to my amazement Rosciky was taken off at half time and replaced by Arshavin. Was this a preventive substitution?  Please let him not be injured again because this really would be a big blow. Not just for him but like he played in the first half he really was proving that he still has got what it takes. Maybe not for all games all the time but he certainly could be helping the team to some form of rotation and give more rest to other players.

So we keep our fingers crossed for Rosicky and hope it was just a case of giving him a good 45 minutes of top class football.

Let us look at left back. Meade was certainly no meat for the Olympiacos attack. I think the young man did a very solid job. He really worked his socks off and stood his ground during the game. Well done I would say. I hope he gets another game next week in the Capital One Cup. Wouldn’t mind it at all.

With Rosicky no longer on the field we were forced back in the second half a bit. But still we had a some good chances and an excellent save from Caroll on a shot from Arshavin could have prevented an Arsenal victory. He now stopped the goal bound volley and the defenders were first to the ball to smother out any further danger.

But Olympiacos threatened more and more and like I said the missing presence of Rosicky was in a big way responsible for this.

Then the Spanish refs started a bit of their own 6 man show. Even on my dodgy stream I couldn’t see Szczesny touch the ball. It clearly went out from the outside of the goal post and should have been a goal kick. As we are the Arsenal we conceded from the corner after we couldn’t really clear the first ball.

Olympiacos thanked the ref, Szczesny got himself booked for telling the refs to wipe their  glasses off  next time or something like that. A ref, a extra useless ref, an assistant and still they made a wrong decision. Maybe we could ask Platini to put on a few more refs. So the comedy capers can get bigger.

I just hope Wenger didn’t mention it or asked the ref if he needs his glasses because it would mean that he would get a £1.000.0000 fine and a 6 year ban.

Some 9 minutes later Olympiacos scored the winning goal. A shot that went past a few players and Szczesny saw it late and couldn’t keep it out. The ref then made sure Arsenal would get nothing more and blew all he could against Arsenal and nothing in our favour.  It was a bit embarrassing at times to see Olympiacos players go down after a slight hand in the back and the foul was given. When Chamakh was clearly pushed in the back with an arm, he gave nothing. Or he did he gave a foul against Chamakh who was getting a bit angry and then blocked the loose ball with his studs a bit high.  But that was most of all the result of growing frustration of the way the ref treated both teams very different the longer the game went on.

No need to say that I am looking for excuses but it just was something that I saw on my internet stream when it worked.

So Arsenal finish second in the group behind Schalke who drew at Montpellier.

So who could we play that we know for sure in the next round? Well we can’t play Manchester United that is for sure and of course Schalke04. For those saying that finishing behind Schalke is bad I suggest you look at the other groups where German teams are playing.

But we could have Barcelona of course.  But we also could have a game against Borussia Dortmund. Something that I rather would like as it is not that far from home and well we could visit Dortmund again after we did it last year.  We could have Paris St. Germain and that would only add fuel to the rumours of Wenger and PSG. We could have Malaga as they won their group. The other possible group winners are Shakthar Donetsk or Juventus and also there is a chance of Bayern Munich or Valencia.

So the teams we could draw that are certain: Barcelona, PSG, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund.

32 comments to The group is done, let the draw begin

  • WalterBroeckx

    In which pot will City be? oh….er…. they didn’t get passed Ajax????? er….

    All jokes aside, I do think that today City won the league title.

  • Larry

    It does not matter whom we draw we will not go through , another tactical disaster 1-0 up and we still lose wenger has no tactics at all, it happens every time clueless

  • Mandy Dodd

    Afraid barca await. Saw game live on tv, you are correct on the ref,,he gave us nothing

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Larry inform us please.
    what was the tactics used today? Who was supposed to do what? who should mark who with a free kick? who should mark who at a corner? what was the instructions for each player? What the instructions were at half time and how we would play. You know the things we mortals don’t know about but you do know about.

    and after giving us all that information, you can of course tell us where Wenger made a mistake?
    And where you would have done a better job of course…

    Hell if you could give us all this information you might send it in as an article…

  • Doublegooner

    Walter:

    The mistakes on view tonight in no particular order

    1. Gervinho £11m + £60k pw
    2. Chamakh probable signing on fee + £50k+ pw
    3. Squillaci £3/5m + £40+ pw
    4. Arshavin £15m + £80k pw

  • Mandy Dodd

    Every team has those doublegooner, do I really need to list the equivalents at Chelsea, city, and Man Utd….ok just a little teaser for the latter in recent years, two players, both named Owen….nearly two hundred grand a week between them…..

  • MK

    Poor Squillaci, must be hard living on forty pounds a week in London, no wonder he hasn’t been playing very well since he signed for us.

  • Doanythingformoney

    I agree Doublegooner- these are not ‘Arsenal’ players.

    The first-half midfield performance was one of the best, most balanced and dynamic of the season. We were even starting to pass and move. Cham worked but generally the front 3 were poor to average and the retreating after-you-Claude defence drives me barmy. Our attackers get mobbed but we let theirs run willy-nilly. I don’t get it! Thomas back is a big bonus though.

  • bjtgooner

    Good article Walter and it took some pretty awful refereeing to beat our much weakened team.

    But Walter – do we really have to tolerate some of the more obnoxious moaners and double moaners on this site – they have nothing constructive to offer and seem to rejoice when we don’t get results – our views are not published on the sites they normally frequent – so is it not time we stopped them infecting this site?

  • alex

    Can someone tell me why is playing week in week out Ramsey ?

    May be Wenger want to irritate English arsenal fans.
    Wenger,if you love him so much why not send him on loan ???

  • Gooner Murphy

    To all the begrudgers
    I through Ramsey had a reasonable game as for the second goal although Ramsey was made to look bad he was trying to cover for Vermaelen and Squillaci who had pushed up to far, so why not get of the young man’s back, of course some of our players let themselves down Gervinho had a poor game but he wasn’t on his own. The match was a great experience for all youth players that travelled and participated in the squad training.

  • Gord

    I was so hoping that this article and thread be a report on how the young people played. Yes, it would have been nice if Arsenal would have won. That is always the desired result.

    As far as I can tell, Rosicky was substituted to not give him too much game time, and hence possibly get injured.

    I am going to guess that one reason Squilliaci, started, was that he has been playing with the reserves a lot. And hence bringing in so many players who haven’t played in the first team, gave them someone familiar to play with.

    I’ve no idea about Djournou. I was expecting him to be named. I think he probably has some injury. This has nothing to do with how good a player he is in the infinite IQ of all the bloggers who just seek to create problems.

  • ARSENAL 13

    every now and then someone somewhere has an issue with RAMSEY.

    The last three games he started, he was one of the most influential players for ARSENAL. And the goal he missed at the start……lets not forget, even HENRY missed a few sitters.

  • Doublegooner

    bj @1.30am

    I assume you were refering to me. Perhaps I’m affecting your blood pressure !

    On a separate note.

    Do you think we’ll finish top 4 ?

    If so will that be above Liverpool ?

  • WalterBroeckx

    This is what Larry our new tactical genius and possibly article writer said at 12:13am: ”
    It does not matter whom we draw we will not go through , another tactical disaster 1-0 up and we still lose wenger has no tactics at all, it happens every time clueless”

    I then asked him to explain his “no tactics at all” sentence.

    But in doing this I forgot to ask him his sentence: “it happens every time clueless”

    So if my English is still a bit okay and I can still understand it Larry is trying to say that we always lose when being 1-0 in front.

    Well Larry I got news for you….. this was the first time this season that we first were in front and then lost the game.

    Maybe the last word was the most correct in your comment but I think it rather refers not to Arsenal or to Wenger.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe 3 refs giving a corner when it wasn’t a corner was a tactical mistake from Wenger according to Larry? Because that is where it went wrong. Before that we had the better chances to go 2-0 up in fact.

  • Sav from Australia

    Nice article Walter. Agree with bjtgooner about the AAA posters spinning their lies on Untold.

    Oh, and speaking of blaming Ramsey…not sure if you guys say this article…I laughed so hard…

    http://northlondonisred.co.uk/blame-ramsey/

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sav,
    That was indeed a very funny link. 🙂

  • rupert cook

    Don’t think Ramsey had a bad game. Gervinho is utterly frustrating, one minute he can do something sublime like set up Rosicky’s goal and the next he runs up a blind alley or can’t make a three yard pass.

  • Stroller

    Well, Ramsey should have put us ahead early in the game and was at fault for their winner but you have to admit he doesn’t hide and put in a good effort overall. Gervinho continues to frustrate – far too often making the wrong choices when in good positions. I didn’t think Chamakh did too badly given his lack of games and that he was invariably outnumbered by their defenders. Was disappointed with the Ox as I’ve been most times when I’ve seen him this season (last few minutes v Spuds excepted). He seems to have lost that urge to run at defences with his natural strength and pace.

    Plusses were Rosicky and Meade, but another game where we couldn’t push on after taking the lead and where we looked 2nd best physically and fragile under pressure.

  • Doublegooner

    Sav:

    Care to give some examples of recent ‘lies’ ?

    PS: BJ is a very sensitive soul. I do try & go gentle on him/her.

  • Stuart

    I’m sorry but it is impossible to take seriously anyone who has a moan about Ramsey. He has been playing well recently. Anyone who moans about him can only have an agenda and looking for that one mistake to use against him whilst ignoring the rest of his brilliance.

  • Dale de ruig

    Guys, appreciate the positivity and again I don’t think that last nights result is the end of the world but seriously….. Guys Ramsey is playing very badly. If all you do is work hard and make yourself available, that is not good enough for an Arsenal team. His distribution is poor and he is generally unable to hold on to the ball under pressure. The miss could have happened to anyone and the goal was not his fault but if you refuse to see that he is not good enough to play for Arsenal then I believe its you who has some sort of an agenda. Coquelin would get a run ahead of him all day for me, whether its on the right or in the middle. He also has his short comings but he is quicker, better defensively and he makes far more successful balls over the top. It pains me to say it as I have been a support of Ramsey for a long time now but I can’t see him coming right. He has now had a season and a half and is nowhere near any sort of form. Unfortunate, tragic actually but true.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @ Dale…seriously.

    Simply barking (take this lightly) on Ramseys foot is the laziest analysis of his game.

  • Mick

    @bjtgooner
    Totally agree, I come on Untold to hear the views of like minded souls. If I want to depress myself I would go on Le grime or whatever its called. Or I could switch on the radio and listen to Talk Shite, especially that Durham turd. Do these people come on here to deliberately wind us up? Kick em out I say, bollocks to friendly debate.

  • Matt Clarke

    Nice one Walter – thanks.

    I disagree with who was our best player in first half though.
    For me it was Tony’s tip for the top – Coquelin.
    He was in all the right places, intelligent and alert; covering for others’ errors.

    As for the draw – Bring on Barca!

  • Dale de ruig

    @Arsenal13, I have to disagree. In the last season and a half he has been back, fully fit, he has 6 assists and 8 goals in 80 games, 60 of which he started, ( across the teams he represents, the majority being for Arsenal ). I can assure you I was a big fan before and still like the guy but he has been consistently poor. Something is gone and he should not be starting games for Arsenal at the moment. If anything, he should once again go on loan to a slower paced league, get his confidence back and see if he can resurrect his career. If you consider he had 36 games, 19 starts and scored 6 and had 4 assists the season leading up to his injury, at the age of 19, it is obvious how far he has regressed. He was a great prospect but In my opinion and statistically, he is not good enough for Arsenal and should be far from the first team.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dale I do think the only way to bring him back is to play him as much as possible. Also keep in mind he has started a few games not in his best position.
    I always compare him with Lampard and I think at his age and without the injury Lampard played almost every game for West Ham and only had some 5 or 7 goals a season. In the first two years for Chelsea he also only had 5 or 6 goals.
    If he will gain a bit of calm in front of goal I think Ramsey will score at least 10 goals a season.

  • John L

    @ Dale,

    hows this compare with….lets say….allen, henderson, cleverly, huddlestone etc etc.

    if you watched any of that GB team in the olympics, when ramsey was along side some of these guys he looked one of the best players on that team.

    patience, understanding and encouragement can get you far in life my friend….

  • Dale de ruig

    Fair Play Walter. I agree he should play as much as possible, I just think it would benefit him to be removed from the pressure environment and go out on loan. @John, your tone is not far from the sarcasm that comes from the Arsenal fans you detest. I am bringing across my opinion, constantly referring to it as my opinion and backing it up with a statistics. I think you should wind your neck back in and realise this is a blog about Arsenal. Discussing the individual posting, as far as I am aware, is the very behaviour you are against.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @ Dale …..

    Stats…..Lets compare the same with Cesc. Cescs initial years and Ramseys, with that career threatening injury in between which fortunately Cesc dint have to endure, are comparable.

  • Dale de ruig

    @Arsenal 13. Firstly, the statistics for a 16 year old Cesc and 19 year old Ramsey compare. I am not sure if you notice but I have said he was a great prospect. You are essentially making a point that is mine. Secondly, within 3 years at 19, he had 17 assists….. at 20 he had 24 assists and 17 goals. Seriously don’t compare the two, it is not fair on Ramsey. Ramsey WAS a good prospect, he is currently ( sadly, unfortunately and all the other things I agree with ) not good enough. He has been fit for a season and a half and he is miles off the pace. I wish Ramsey the best, I really hope he proves me wrong but he is not a premier league level player at the moment.