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Bayern – Arsenal, my preview and a new kid in town?

By Walter Broeckx

After a long time finally an Arsenal game today.

The return leg of the CL game against Bayern Munich. Lots of players are out. At first the bad news came for Bayern Munich with the fact that Schweinsteiger would be out. And then it was confirmed that Ribery also would be out. It set a few people in dreaming mood. After all Ribery is one of their big names. And Schweinsteiger is their Jack Wilshere one could say.

But good things never last long. Certainly not when Arsenal is around. And yesterday we learned that we will have no Wilshere in the team. He is out with an inflammation on his ankle. Not the foot he was injured at and lost a season but the other foot. Maybe getting kicked from left to right without the refs protecting him played a part in this.  But if all goes well he should be back at the end of the month. Let’s hope it is not a Diaby 3 weeks out thing.

Also missing is Podolski. He has also what is described as a minor ankle injury. Maybe that was one of the reasons why he didn’t perform in the last weeks. He said on his twitter account that it was troubling him but he hoped to be fit very soon. But the Bayern game was too soon apparently.

We are also without Sagna who had a knee problem before the Tottenham game. And finally Wenger decided to give Szczesny a breather. This last decision was greeted with a strange set of emotions on the internet. For weeks the moaners moaned about Szczesny having a bad run and he ought to get competition, he out to be benched, he… and then when Wenger does it as he gets abuse for doing what they told him to do.

But this is the internet, so it was ever thus.

So we have Fabianski in goal for the first time since…well I can’t really remember since when. Fabianski suffered a long term injury and a few weeks ago returned to training and played for the reserves on a few occasions. Mannone himself also had a little injury and will be on the bench.

And finally we will not able to use Monreal in this game as he has played for his former club in the CL.

But the good news is that we have Gibbs back to cover on the left back spot. He has trained with the team and so I think we will see him taking back his left back spot. Diaby also should be back to being fit or thereabouts.

The last little surprise is that Arshavin joined the group to Munich.

So who will play and what formation?

Fabianski

Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Gibbs

Arteta

Diaby – Rosicky

Walcott – Giroud – Cazorla

 

That looks the strongest starting line up give the absentees to me. But will we play our strongest line up or do we have already an eye at the game of next Saturday?

If so I expect us to play with maybe the same 5 at the back but with The Ox and Gervinho up front instead of Walcott and Cazorla. Or who knows maybe he even could play Arshavin in this game.

I think we will learn from the starting line up on how much Wenger is looking at the next game or not.

On to the ref for this evenings game. It  is Pavel Kralovec. A 35 year old from the Czech Republic. And as far as I can see it is the first time for both teams that they have him in a game.  So I have no real data to present about this ref. Except that he gives around 4 yellow cards per game. And one red card every 9 games. To be honest I never heard of him before so he will be utterly new to me.

About the result? I’m usually bad at predicting scores but last night just  before the Barca – Milan game with lots of people saying that Milan would defend their lead I predicted that Milan just like last year would suffer after winning the first game. They won 4-0 in the first leg and we had them with their back against the wall. And if that traitor had done a decent job we would have made it 4-0. And who knows what would have followed then?  But he missed from 5 yards out with the keeper already on the floor. B*sterd. And so I said that Barcelona would beat them as we did. And they did.

So for tonight…I’ve seen Bayern mess up before. When they should have won and lost. Come to think of it.. I did see it happen a few times. And how unlikely it is, anything can happen. We’re always better in the second half. But Bayern is one of the most complete teams I have seen for a while. So it will be difficult. But only those who accept defeat before the game are already beaten. So why not? Impossible is nothing.

Finally a little word about the most used position in Arsenal: defensive midfield. I have written about it last season and said that this position is a bit old school. In fact most teams now use a more box to box type of player. Not just a player who can win the ball but he also should be able to retain the ball a  bit. No longer the brute force type of defensive midfielder but more the Yaya Toure type. Don’t call him a defensive midfielder because he is not that player. He is more of a Vieira type of player.

But many people have said that we need someone like that. But maybe we do have already the new Vieira, Cesc, Song, Arteta, or put them all together in one at the club.

Rumour has it a 16 year old young boy has been invited to train with the first team on a few occasions. He just joined us in January and has not even played for the youth teams it seems.

But according to the sources he was making such a good impression that Wenger let him join in the training of the first team.

Maybe we get a first glimpse of him in the Nextgen game in two weeks time? Gedion Zelalem is the name of this player. Maybe a name to remember in the coming months?

Recent posts

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The sites from the same team…

100 comments to Bayern – Arsenal, my preview and a new kid in town?

  • Stuart

    I’m amazed that this is seen as the ideal game for the return of Fabianski. This is going to be a big mental challenge for him and if all does not go well, I imagine that’s it for him.

  • Linz

    Zelalem has been with the academy since the summer i believe.I hope you are not suggesting that instead of buying a much needed DM,we use another 16 yr old? Why do Arsenal fans have an obsession with young players? Let them serve their apprenticeship in the youth team first;for every Cesc,there are plenty of Simpsons,JETs,and Barazites.I thought Eisfeld was going to be the Next Big Thing? Where is he?
    It looks like Cazorla,Arteta and Walcott will be rested tonight,so insert Gervinho,Ramsey and Coquelin instead.I predict headlines of Munich Massacre tomorrow!

  • 49Unbeaten

    Well there’s even more bad news as Walcott and Cazorla are being rested too. Wenger may as well just come out and say “sorry everyone but we’re not really up for it tonight so we’re going home with our tails between our legs as we hve no fight, belief or mental strengzzzz left”. What a defeatist!!! I hope Arsenal use some of their £130 mil’ cash reserves to refund my fellow gooners who paying vast amounts of money to travel all the way to Germany to watch the likes og Fabianski in goal. They will see some big star names but it’s a pitty they won’t be wearing red and white. What a disgrace!!!

  • Sammy The Snake

    It all looks pretty bleak for now and it looks like AW has decided to let this one go past and focus on Swansea, but let’s keep our collective chin up and support whatever team goes out there. Pity we’re not competing any more, we’re only participating.

  • Arun

    @Linz & @49unbeaten
    Any links for your thoughts about Cazorla and Walcott being rested. I read it first from neil ashton on dm and sounded like utter bs to me.

  • Arun

    Furthermore, we have 14 days rest after the Swansea game.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Linz,
    I’m not suggesting anything. But this Zelalem kid only joined from January as he couldn’t join earlier.
    He came over from the USA in school holidays to have some training but as he only turned 16 this year in January he only could come from then.

    But maybe he could be the guy to look forward too when Arteta will be getting old or too old.

    And the names you mentioned never really made it properly to the first team. Apart from carling cup games.

  • Rupert Cook

    http://guardian.co.tt/sport/2013-03-13/goodbye-arsene-wenger

    Just to get you all fire up for the tie. At least if the team can’t get motivated, the supporters can.

  • @Walter i was one of those who wanted Szczesny to have a breather but i never anticipated that his reliever will be Fabiansiki. Manone was the second in command but if the Professor sees that Fab is better than Man then nothing much to say. But one big thing the Prof Have to put in mind is about preparing for the next games,we need to win the game at hand and wait to see what the coming ones brings in. We have lost narrowly in matches we should have won because we are preparing for the next one. Imagine Blackburn,we would have played Mil-wall and Wig-an. But we rested and see what we got. Anyway past is past, but we have to put that into mind that conquer first and think later how to govern(King Muteesa I).
    Lets make history after all history is there to be made,LETS GO GUNNERS

  • Goodbye Arsene Wenger!! @Rupert i have read it but who wrote it?No names and the things the publisher says are the very things Wenger is working on. I went to the comments there was none. Expected more team building than that.

  • Rupert Cook

    I expect us to win 5-1. I’ve applied Walter’s statistical method to my research and that’s the result. Bear in mind that half their best players are out and we are rumoured to be playing a few second choice players. This should catch them off guard. A win is certain. COYG.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Kampala Gun, it’s a scurrilous piece. And anonymous. He or she may get some facts right but it’s weak in real facts. Read it and feel the outrage surge through your veins. If the team read it I’m sure they’d be doubly motivated.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter,

    Jeorge Bird gives a little more detail about Gedion Zelalem in his blog today – http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/ He is clearly a great prospect for the future with German U15 and U16 caps under his belt but not yet the physically imposing player we need. He has a lot of growing to do yet before he gets anywhere near first team duties.

  • Sam

    It does seem like Wenger is not fielding the ‘strongest’ side, but we should remember that with Santi and Walcott and Wilshere we still lost 3-1 @ home to BM. While the players coming in the game in their place I would not rate as highly, perhaps they will be the change in dynamic needed to spark a historic comeback. COYG!

  • Stuart

    Sam,
    I fully agree. People say Wenger doesn’t do tactics or play to the opposition but this is exactly what we are seeing here.

  • bob

    Sammy the Snake,
    “Pity we’re not competing any more, we’re only participating.”
    Alas, the CL is conceded, or Szezny’s injured (physically or mentally or because we don’t want to risk his fragile confidence with Swansea coming up), or he’s actually on the way out or giving way to a summer purchase (well, maybe, as it is a transfer window).

  • nihirealist

    I was a bit ‘meh’ about this match all day today, but as we’re approaching kickoff, I’m getting excited again. Yaay.. Football is back.

  • nihirealist

    Decent first half. Bayern are good, but they are also nervous. The referee has given some strange decisions. Nothing major and partly it could be explained with a difference between European standards and English standards. Still.. I’m wary of referees..

    If we can get a goal within 15 mins of the second half, it’s game on. But this is still Bayern’s game to lose. Hopefully, that’ll weight heavy on them

  • nihirealist

    weigh*

  • andy bishop

    Bayern look a little tired…they need a reaction…do we have the quality to exploit???? Keep it tight for 15 minutes Arsene and then go for it

  • nihirealist

    Ok. The ref is definitely favouring Bayern.

  • AL

    These games can be funny and anything can happen, who knows. Talking about that DM position, I know there is not a chance of this ever happening and dont wish to give the AAA any fodder, but if we could get Busquets that would be the signing of the season. He’s the most technically gifted DM I have ever seen; fancy footwaork, never loses the ball, no stray passes, and he’s underated. Ah well, just wishing:)

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Just waiting for all the negativity to invade these boards… We’ve won a game in Bayern…Well done lads!

  • nihirealist

    Some confidence can be drawn from this. If we can carry that sort of concentration, determination and quality into the league, we should be able to finish in the CL spots again. And if we do, we can look to beat Bayern, Milan, Real and Barca next year. Come on Arsenal.

  • Rupert Cook

    Good result. Out but we’d never have won the tournament anyway. This should give the team a great confidence boost for the upcoming league games.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    …close!Well played the Guns!!!It was great to see Bayern crepe their shorts at the end, you should have heard the relief in the voice of the German commentator!

  • dan

    Head high, head high.

    Now we’ve restored some pride, good show.

  • Tasos

    Great performance/result against a team who have looked awesome this season.

    Hope they can get some confidence from this even if it wasn’t enough to knock Bayern out.

    Only 3 minutes injury time was an insult.

  • Tasos

    Maybe Vermaelen needs some time out from the team.

    We looked more assured without him tonight.

  • nihirealist

    Tasos

    The refereeing as a whole was a joke. I don’t know if it was against Arsenal, or just being a ‘homer’, but it was once again, crap refereeing, which did us no favours at all. It’s become so common it hardly seems worth commenting on. Some people seem to accept it by now.

    Walcott disappointed today, despite providing a vital assist. Rosicky grew into the game. Looked rusty early on. We ALMOST almost pulled it off..again.. come on.. Let’s use this to finish 3rd again.. Then we can look to build on it in the summer.

  • Yassin

    that is to show that when arsenal have no pressure on them, they dont concede stupid goals, they can win, even on the best team on the world now….
    wish that wilshere or poldi were here, could have changed soinething…
    so can the fans now protect the team and take the pressure off them, or shall they blame wenger fir anything that comes to their mind.
    those saying Wenger cant motivate hid team, just shut up
    as for referee, now can amazing geniuses of the AAA say that ee should be 3-0 up iif walcot wasnt called offside when he wasnt, come on, he was biased second half, really killed our game

  • WalterBroeckx

    My Dutch match commentator was also not really happy with the ref. And you could feel him being a bit more supportive for Bayern (Robben connection I think) so him noticing the ref giving all to Bayern and hardly a foul against them was sharp noticing.

  • Russell

    Excellent defensive performance. Ref was awful, Bayern were barca in disguise with all the diving going on. Extremely proud of the lads

  • robl

    Didn’t realise Flappy had a twin. Well done son!

  • Yassin

    1st half the ref was making a lot of mistakes, but both ways.
    2nd half it was only against us, they killed our game with their fouls, still no bookings…
    still i believe the not offside which shall not be given to walcot was only a mistake not bias, just like the nlackburn game when the assisstant raised the flag foe and offside which was wrong on walcot and dean was so happy not to give us the penalty…

  • AL

    Brilliant result. Shame on the media for trying to demoralise us instead of issuing a rallying cry to the last flag bearers.

  • nihirealist

    Bayern’s performance was actually disgraceful. Not just how poorly they played, but the way they behaved. They were diving, looking to hurt at times, time wasting. Much as they were fantastic in the first game, especially in the first half there, they should be ashamed of themselves tonight.

    Fabianski, people tend to forget, was very solid prior to getting injured and losing his place to Szczesny. I wasn’t surprised he looked solid. Koscielny looked very good. All of the defense did actually. Keep it up guys. Defend like that, and we should be alright in the league.

  • Yassin

    Wenger said it fabi can be the best in the world, only for those mistakes under pressure that killed him, Proud of Arsenal, as always, proud of the away fans, as always again, proud of Wenger, all the time, now can we start a good run in the league, from this we shall get a push….
    BTW, where are those Ramsry haters, anyway, i thought he was not worth wearing arsenal shirt, man of match ttthink 2day, jenki great too, ofcoarse, per , kosi, and captain arteta… what a captain and what a player.
    again really proud when i hear the oh santiago cazorla chant in away stads, really best away fans in the world……

  • Rufusstan

    Great result on the night, just sad it was not quite good enough.

    Telling that with the defense we had I really never felt worried, and that Bayern in the second half at least) were largely restricted to shooting from outside the box.

    Can I say that that tackle on 75 minutes reminded me what we’ve missed from Koscielny, even more than the goal (and the reaction after).

    Amusing that the unstoppable Bayern spent the last 5 (10?) minutes time wasting.

    Was the ref Bad, or just really awful? Besides attempting to book everyone, and deciding that an Arsenal player touching a Bayern one was a foul, he still managed to miss the worst tackle of the game (on Giroud). Not sure he could be blamed for the Walcott (not) offside though.

  • Strus

    That was one of the best defensive performaces of the year. Midfield (Walcott too!) were commited to this cause.
    It is a shame that Walcott did not worked the same way against Spuds 🙁

  • Good game like i said earlier that we would win but not go through.@Walter i think Fabiaski did a good job it will give Scezecny a good work out. As of the AAA i think we need to buy the whole Bayern team now,don’t you agree?@Rupert give credit where it is deserved you appreciate first and lastly you take out your spots.Its really hard for a leopard to hide its spots.Anyway who would have won it manure,manshity or chelski?As always the mike deans of this world follow us whenever we go @ Walter why? And the worst of all no journalist talks about it!Why? All in all death is death but i rather die in my sleep than be elecmanured.

  • Yassin

    no kampala
    better die standing in battle than in sleep, just like what we did 2day, die standing…
    Arsenal does it everytime, to show how commeted these players are, id only they get the support from fans,, media, justice from reds, and NOT get dean at all

  • John

    A great team performance. Everyone played a part, especially the defence. With a bit of luck and better refereeing, we would have done it.

    Amusing to see the Sky pundits having to eat their pre-match words.

    A special compliment to Fabianski!

  • @Yasin you are damn right die hard.

  • @John as far as i can remember we have never hard those bums on our side but today we proved them wrong. Milwall teaches blackburn a lesson’ some pundits where dreaming of blackburn doing a miracle!!Talk of day dreamers.

  • Yassin

    Nobody call him flapianski anymore, he deserved that 2day, very good very good….
    let set our eyes on the last trophy, finishing above spurs, and laughing at them, again…
    Lesson today, if you believe u can beat the best, please arsenal fans, last 10 matches, Believe as ee used to, we are the best team in the world, ( i know know,, just that i am aanaan arsenal fan thus biased, really biased, isnt that is way a fan is)

  • FunGunner

    So that was us conceding the tie in advance, was it? That was a mature, disciplined performance. Deserved to go through on that alone. Proud but feeling devastated to get so close but not quite pull it off.

  • John

    Also, could we tell Piers Morgan to f… off and support Man U.

  • Ben L

    I enjoyed the game and did anyone see Jenkins’ reply to the interviewer on SS2 after the match? 🙂

  • i wonder what type of hashish winter henry smokes?He today in the daily telegraph tha arsenal will not win because they can not do so if jack messi is not in our team! We proved him wrong that arsenal is not a one team man like spunks and its high time he shut the fuck up.

  • Yassin

    @ john, i wish he do, he is one of the big i.fluences that put pressure on the players, wish he do really i wish, the most pessimist arsenal fan on the world i have ever seen….

    @benL do you have a Link, ifff not then what dis u noticed u liked?

  • WalterBroeckx

    they didn’t show that over here Ben. if you could have a link or write it down would be great

  • Arun

    Great confidence booster for the team. I believe that main reason behind this poor performance by Bayern was the absence of Bastian Schweinsteiger. Without him, they were lacking conviction and Gustavo was nowhere close to match Schweinsteiger’s performance from the first leg.

  • John

    @Ben. Yes, credit to Jenkinson for a mature and intelligent reply to the usual Sky approach.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Arun, they will take anything to put a negative spin on an even great win.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Many heroes out there this evening. Some competition for regulars and a rest for some. Alas not enough but they deserve huge credit. Jenks kos per santi and the gk were immense. Is it my imagination or are we more solid without jack? This reminds me of earlier season performances

  • sperez

    The ‘nearly’ team. AC Milan all over again. ‘Great Mental Strength and Belief’ to be perennial losers. Wenger can’t get it right. You take into account two leg ties. But the team at the Emirates was terrible. There was no game plan at all.
    I just hope Wenger doesn’t get a 2 years extension off the back of this.

  • americangooner

    Sperez…more like spurz.
    If you can’t enjoy this win, when the whole world was rooting for our defeat, calling for AW’s head because he chose a weakened squad, this team won against all odds and you seem to belittle this moment is simply incredulous. For your consideration this weakened squad won 2-0 @ bayern, the Invincibles were defeated 3-1 @ bayern.

  • WalterBroeckx

    We were one wrong offside decision away from a 0-3 victory…

  • Adam

    Weird game to watch.

    To take the positives out of this game. Podolski, Wilshere, Sagna, Verm & scheza will have to step up their games to get playing time. The side that was put out tonight should now have the belief that they can beat most opposition in the prem if they play this way.

    I think it may be time for these boys to realise that the points marathon of the league is of paramount importance and drop & deny tactics are a way of building confidence and a route back into free-flowing football.

    All said, well done Arsenal. A good foundation to work from.

    Positivity and progression.

    P.S. well said Jenkinson.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I like what Jenkinson said.

    It’s great to see an Arsenal victory and to note that most of the vermin that like to infest our site are back in their corners. Anyone know of a cheap exterminator? 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Away from the impressive players thought the ref completely lost control of the game. When in doubt and he usually was he just produced a yellow. Where do they get these officials from and don’t get me started on the Walcott onside.

  • bob

    Rosicky, Rosicky, Rosicky. Solidity, vision, passion and experience.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Can anyone tell me was our much derided manager too distraught at the ref to give a post match interview?

  • sperez

    Americangooner, which team did qualify for the next stage ?
    This once again shows that Wenger’s record in the UCL is not good.
    Arsenal knocked out in the round of 16 for the third time in a row. At this rate, I really don’t know how long Arsenal will be in Pot One.
    The guy from ESPN was talking about highest football clubs wages. He said Arsenal was the only team on that list without a trophy since 2005.

    Walter, Podolski’s goal against Bayern came from a corner that shouldn’t have been allowed.

  • bob

    sperez,
    how do you deny that the discipline with heart and soul of this victory are a collective performance, of which AW is an essential, if not indispensable part? i didn’t expect it and was proven dead wrong. i’m glad to be so wrong this time. this team (that is, these players tonight) have inner resources of quality that can be tapped. if AW manages to tap it for the next 10 and produces a CL qualifier, he deserves massive credit. it’s dishonest to blame him for all that’s bad; and then deny him his propers when this team excels. the proof of the pudding is what’s on the pitch; and, absent the refshite – so jaw-dropping miscalls — any fair-minded person would have witnessed one of the great upsets. this was one to lift the spirit; and, even if we are out of the CL, the way ahead is cleared for a total commitment to a CL finish. it should not have come to this, but it has: and the team has shown it’s best under hard circumstances. may it endure…

  • Rufusstan

    As far as I can tell, the ref was on a bonus if he could book the whole Arsenal team. Highlight was Koscielny who as far as I can tell was booked for daring to score.

    On old Rednose, Guess which group of fans are already winging that Martinez(?) kicked Giroud in the ribs and only got a yellow

  • bob

    sperez,
    are BM not widely considered the in form best team in Europe? no one expected AFC to win this CL. would you prefer that AFC goes out in the next CL round or the next, or focus on securing a CL/3-4 for next season and a re-consolidation? if there is no re-consolidation for next season via the summer window, i’ve had it with the current regime at AFC and endure the ride. but this team has the potential to set up something solid and good for next season. you may argue that it is impossible under AW; but you’d have to deny all the positives of tonight’s performance to do so. to wish the team ill, as you seem to be doing, is to be horribly purist or horribly malicious. as i see it, the choice going forward is your toxic stew, or naive badge kissing that sees no flaws, or a pragmatic understanding that we can grow from this victory and re-consolidate and deserve the space and chance to do so. this does not mean being uncritical; but it does mean calling a positive positive. tonight was positive and, based on this demonstration, and the serious damage of a non-CL finish, this team truly deserves our (not blind) support.

  • bob

    ^won’t endure the ride.

  • Jerry

    Walter, was wondering, based on the decision in Man U – Real Madrid game last week, the foul by Javi Martinez on Rosicky in the 81st minute, should have been a red card instead of yellow and more importantly 11-10 men for the last 10 minutes! Not saying that we would of won, but the chances would have been better. Just want to throw that out there for consideration also. Ah, only if the rules were applied equally. Interesting how we always get screwed in the Champions League by the refs somehow

  • Domhuail

    To those whiners and pessimists, here are a few answers to some moans you’ve excreted lately:

    1) We want our Arsenal back – TODAY YOU GOT THEM…but they were always there!

    2)Wenger doesn’t do tactics – HIS GENIUS AT MOTIVATING AND TACTICS ARE ONCE AGAIN INTACT – They were always there!

    3)Arsenal are in decline – NOT EVIDENT TONIGHT – but it never was a decline!

    4)We won’t make the CL next season – THAT’S A BET YOU’LL CERTAINLY LOSE – but that was always the case!

  • Rufusstan

    Sperez– Arsenal will keep themselves in pot 1 as long as they keep qualifying for the tournament and getting out (preferably winning) their groups.

    Actually, since the teams seeded 4th and 5th stand to drop points over the next couple of years compared to us, we will be catching them up. The funny thing is one of them went out at the same point we did (United), and the other went out in the group stages (Chelsea)– funny enough I believe they have bigger wage bills as well. Then of course there is City…

  • bob

    Jerry, Walter,
    this non-call plus the blown offside miscall against Theo for the possible scoring chance spell Bussaca Moment.

  • bob

    Walter,
    americangooner reports that he’s heard that this ref has been banned in his own country. do you/anyone know of this? it would be telling and worth researchifying to the max.

  • Rufusstan

    Bob; Walter, I’d love to know as well, I’ve heard similar things all day, but what research I did turned up nothing — there’s next to nothing on the guy in English and sadly my linguistics skills are about as good as Harry Redhnapp’s accountancy….

  • Sav from Australia

    @Bob
    The ESPN commentators mentioned that the referee was banned for 3 matches by the Czech federation for ‘dubious’ decision in the domestic league. I think they also said the referee was a last minute change.

    Bloody cheats the lot of them.
    Bayern acted like the Man Utd of the Bundesliga.

  • Adam

    someone Put the refs name up and I will look for any information. Or put up any links even in Czech and I will get the missus to translate.

  • sperez

    As I said, AC Milan all over again. A ‘respectable’ failure but a failure nevertheless. The two leg ties are very important, but this seems too much for Wenger, so his team performs better when there’s no pressure to qualify.
    This performance against Bayern was not the rule but the exception. I won’t change my mind about Wenger just because of this game when eight years of failure are there for all to see.

  • bob

    Adam,
    his name is Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic). bon voyage!

  • Tasos

    With the notable exception of the nou camp, Arsenal have now been victorious in almost all of the major stadiums in Europe during Arsene Wenger’s remarkable reign.

  • bob

    Sav from Australia,
    wow, a last minute change!? did ESPN say any more? Did UEFA announce the referee who was replaced at the last minute?
    What might that have been all about? anyone have more?

  • bob

    Gents,
    Please consider my previous UA posting on these very points:
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/27769/comment-page-2#comment-575139

  • bob

    Here’s a December 2012 report of Kralovec’s promotion by UEFA to its Elite category (top-flight). Is this for services rendered or for services to be rendered or both?
    http://refereeingworld.blogspot.com/2012/12/kralovec-promoted-to-elite.html

  • bob

    Here’s evidence on Kralovec’s controversial miscall of a handball in the recent Dortmund-ManCity match: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1358218-manchester-city-did-city-deserve-their-handball-penalty-vs-borussia-dortmund

  • gouresh

    Guys guys, its a known fact that platini loves AW soooo much that he will do every thing possible to make sure that we cannot progress and if we reach the finals, U still know what happnes. So lets forget us winning the CL. All we can do is give it our best. The boys were fantastic, could not see the game but we WON. This is what we mean my COMPETING. This is the momentum we need to race to the finish. Again my question, why does he not play the ‘little Mozart’ every game?

  • ARSENAL 13

    One goal, Man I loved it.

    One nervous defender can make the back line look out of sorts. May be Vermi needs a break.
    Again it was clear, defensive discipline chokes the life out of offence (when playing a well drilled team ie). BUT do I care, well…NO. Bayern (the best team in the World today)were resorted to shooting form out side the box. I hardly saw our defense breached (a couple of times), but when that happened we had the other Pole.
    And Jenko, what a game.

    After the first 15-20 mins of the game, I honestly thought we are going to make it.
    AGAIN we go out with our heads held high.
    GO GUNNERS

  • AL

    Bob,Arun, thanks for the links, shows this is a thoroughly incompetent official. He made so many wrong calls it looked like a joke. He single handedly rescued Bayern last night, well, add the other lino to that list for flagging Walcott incorrectly when through on goal. But well done lads, winning 2 nil away to such a difficult side with such a poor ref deserves nothing but the highest praise.

  • nihirealist

    What decided me about the refs behaviour was the way he started the second half. The first 5-7 mins of the second half, he basically did everything to spoil Arsenal’s momentum. This tendency slowed down after that, but it continued nonetheless.

    I don’t know if it was corrupt. There were no major decisions he had to make really (Potentially Martinez should have been sent off, but I can understand a yellow being given) But there is no doubt he favoured Bayern.

    Would the result have been different if he hadn’t? Hard to say, but I feel cheated not because the result went against my team, but because I hardly ever get to see a match which is properly refereed. Honestly, when was the last time we had a good refereeing performance? When did it happen 3 games in a row? To the latter question, I’d say not once in the past 3 years. AT least.

  • Rupert Cook

    The sad thing is if we hadn’t been so average at home we might have gone through. Having said that I doubt Bayern would have been so timid if they hadn’t had a three goal cushion. They looked nervous, maybe because that Chelsea match was still haunting them.

    Swansea will be a very different prospect I feel but this result should strengthen our resolve for what is not that easy a run-in.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Domhauil, great post at 1.55 am.
    Point 1, er we went out but yes we won on the night.
    Point 4, we’ll see. Tough run-in.

  • bob

    Arun,
    Great link on this so-called ref. Cheers!

  • Rufusstan

    You know what strikes me about this. Last week, the media were starting a Jihad against the poor Turkish guy, ripping his life apart to find evidence of his bias to justify his putting ManU out.

    This week? I guess there was no one big decision to have the story on so no interest.

    –Other than Nani red VS Martinez Yellow, the offside that wasn’t, if the legbreaker on Giroud that was completely missed had actually…

  • Rufusstan

    crap have = hang.

    I’ll say it again; only thing i dislike on the site is the no preview or edit; makes it hard to hide my stupidity.

  • nihirealist

    Rufusstan

    One unrelated point. The concept of Jihad is not the ‘war’ or violent or terrorist scenario it is portrayed as. The terrorists abuse/misinterpret the meaning to fulfil their own ends, and the media legitimises their stance by using it the same way. It is one of the sadder parts of modern popular usage that jihad has become synonymous with something destructive.

  • Rufusstan

    –nihirealist

    Yes I know. It struck me that it was a lazy phrasing as I wrote it, just got me an easy analogy.

    Of course I came up with something I felt was better afterwards, but we can’t bloody edit anything.

  • Adam

    @bob, we had a look at the ref and nothing else has come up that you cannot read in English, not saying there is not anything, just after a brief look we didn’t find anything more than what’s already stated.

  • nihirealist

    haha..No worries Rufusstan. I know the feeling of not being able to edit some statements 🙂