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October 2016
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Arsenal – Olympiacos, bouncing balls, own goals, switching off… The CL is haunted it seems

By Walter Broeckx

A few changes compared to our match against Leicester. Some forced and some by choice.

Ospina comes in goal and Coquelin is declared fit and will start. Gabriel also comes in the side and Gibbs was also starting. And Oxlade-Chamberlain also in the starting line up.

Per Mertesacker was given a birthday present by giving him some rest on the bench (don’t know if he likes such a present). Arteta and Flamini are injured and Giroud is banned because of some ref giving him 2 yellow cards in the first match of the CL.

The Arsenal team in full: Ospina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Alexis, Walcott

On the bench we had: Cech, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Monreal, Chambers, Campbell.

The Greek team hanging back from the start with most of their players and Arsenal slowly trying to find some opening but not really leading to clear cut chances.  Olympiacos get a corner but Arsenal can clear and counter, the ball goes to Oxlade-Chamberlain but he shoots against the outside of the post. The first real big chance of the match after 10 minutes.  My stream doing difficult for a few minutes but when I return to the Emirates still no score after 17 minutes.

Arsenal not as dominant as in the opening stages now but a long distance shot from Olympiacos hobbles harmlessly wide. Both keepers not really busy up to now.

Just after the half hour mark Gabriel and Kos almost get in eachothers way and Olympiacos have a chance but it is diverted in to a corner.  The corner is being pulled back to the edge of the penalty area and the shot from Pardo hits Oxlade-Chamberlain and goes in the goal. 0-1 to Olympiacos and the second own goal from Oxlade-Chamberlain in the second CL match.

But Olympiacos cannot enjoy long from their advantage. Alexis with a great ball to Theo and Theo beats the keeper to make the score level. GOAL!!!!! 1-1 after 35 minutes.

Olympiacos with another corner that swings in and Ospina couldn’t hold on to the ball and spilled it and somehow it fell over the line and Olympiacos take the lead again. A bad moment for Ospina this time. 1-2 after 40 minutes. No goal line technology (???)  in the CL but the 5th official gives the goal.  Two own goals from Arsenal. Alexis gets a yellow card for dissent after disputing a goal kick. The ref was right.

Gabriel gets a yellow for a too strong tackle. 1-2 after 45 minutes.

My  stream went down at the start of the second half so missed the first 5 minutes. Koscielny goes down a while after having made a great block to stop a Greek counter. Per Mertesacker making himself ready and Kos goes off after 56 minutes.  Not the substitution you want to make when you are behind. Ramsey comes on after 59 minutes and Coquelin goes off as can be expected at this stage when you are behind.

Arsenal then has two shots in succesion on goal but first the keeper saves the effort from Per and then Santi is stopped by a defender on the goal line.  That should have been the equaliser. Theo with a great run but he cannot keep the ball in play or get a shot in. A cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain is clawed away from under the cross bar in to a corner. Santi with a shot after the corner but a great stop from the keeper. A curler from Alexis goes wide. Arsenal really putting the pressure on. Roberto the Olympiacos keeper finally getting a yellow card after his time wasting antics. Theo with a great cross to the middle and Alexis in the middle with a header to make it 2-2 after 65 minutes.

But then Olympiakos goes right up the other end and scores through Finnbogasan after Arsenal didn’t really clear their line. 2-3 after 66 minutes. The whole team looked to have switched off after the equaliser. Could the team react after such a blow?

Cambiasso gets a yellow card for handball just outside the Olympiacos penalty area. And Fortounis for not getting to the required distance.  Özil with a great free kick but the keeper with a great save and Oxlade-Chamberlain cannot get his foot around the ball to put it over the line.

Özil then getting a card as a player runs in from behind against his arm. That wasn’t even a foul. Olympiacos now opening all registers on time wasting.  Oxlade-Chamberlain with a shot after a free kick but the deflection takes it wide. Some teams have all the luck, and Arsenal is not that team today.

Alexis with a diving header but the ball goes wide in to a corner. Bellerin goes off and Campbell comes on with 5 minutes to go. Alexis with a dipping free kick but again Roberto with a save.

Walcott with a run from the left but he cannot bend it in the far corner. Arsenal play all or nothing but it is one of those days that it is nothing.

For some strange reason everyting seems to go wrong in the CL this season. Oxlade-Chamberlain who twice puts the ball in his own goal in two matches, Ospina who has a howler and concedes a terrible owngoal.

And just when we seem to play them off the pitch and come back from those two unlucky goals we switch off for a second and give Olympiakos the only real chance and a goal in the second half. We completely lost our composure in that minute with not enough balance in the team. The third goal was a goal we didn’t really recover from anymore.

Let’s hope we don’t have a too big set back from this defeat and that the players can recharge in time for next Sunday.

58 comments to Arsenal – Olympiacos, bouncing balls, own goals, switching off… The CL is haunted it seems

  • dan

    We’ve been shocking inthe CL, not looking forward to Bayern.

    These slow start’s are costing us dear, now we face the scumpool this Sunday.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Apparently English teams have now lost five out of six ECL group games.
    Maybe Mr Scudamore might like to comment. But that aside, we were annoying this evening, I just wish we would not conceed first so often, or shoot ourselves in the foot. We have been patchy so far, are the team being conditioned for a strong finish? If so, they need to make sure they don’t sacrifice too much of the present.
    We fight another day, but at this rate, I don’t fancy our chances in the ECL, some on Twitter are saying going out of this will help us in the EPL, but being in the Europa league, should it happen would not.
    We must beat BM at least once, and Wenger must put out a team that will do it.
    Apart from this result, we need to get a bit of a grip on this season. But could say the same for others, far richer than us, and who have spent far more than us.
    Very poor on a few fronts, but this weekend becomes even more important, the team will treat it accordingly……and stop OGs , and generally very silly goals

  • chibyke

    Its tiring.honestly. just tiring. Is Wenger naive or weak? For trusting in this same core of players who keep coming up short when it matters.saying he found noone who culd improve this squad is ( for me) an insult. Post all the stats in the world but any gooner who truly believes we will compete with giroud, Walcott and Campbell and (hopefully going to be fit in january-welbeck) is…. Deluded. Am not saying Wenger out; am just saying the pain has been consistent and it is just not fair. Every season we are just 2 or 3 players away from eldorado and it Neva happens…..why?

  • Tom

    What you call ” bad luck” is more of a case of tactical and individual mistakes by Arsenal.

    The first goal was the mirror image of the goal conceded in the FA cup final versus Hall City.

    Much like Hull City from two seasons ago ,who liked to keep Tom Hudlestone at the edge of the box from corners, Olympiacos does the same. Either Arsenal scouts have failed to pick up on this or Arsenal players never paid enough attention.

    Ospina’s mistake was two fold . His positioning was all wrong and then once he realized he got caught out, he elected to control the ball instead of just punching it out.

    The third goal was the result of lack of organization at the back right after we scored.

    So we can talk about bad luck an all , but other than the unfortuitous bounce of the ball for the Olympiacos first goal, everything else was pretty much our own doing.

  • Yiannis Ioannides

    So disappointing. The players owe it tothe fans. We must make a sensational comeback on Sunday. Tonight was disastrous.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The U19s fought back from a goal down this afternoon with a much more disciplined performance and held out for a three two win, pity the seniors didn’t follow suit. Think that we are more likely to be last in the group than third and that second is way beyond us. Arsène, please play our strongest keeper in the remaining four CL games!

  • Yassin


    But the first goal, Ozil was there, he chose to.try and cut the ball and.counter instead Of letting it reach the player and pressuring him not to shoot. Again our own individual error.

    Looking at how many chances we wasted, and how many they got, and then looking at the score, i would say we need some luck! Which was on our side in the last game btw.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very frustrating. Just when you think we have got a grip of defensive issues, then, especially at the start of the season, we seem to go back to some of the bad old ways. But not just us, apparently Chelsea….of all teams gave away stupid goals as well.
    What’s going on with the EPL teams in general? The rich teams that have bought are pretty pants up against fairly average European teams, as are we. Yes, early days, but English teams are punching below their weight at the moment. Are there wider issues here other than a very poor arsenal performance?

  • Yassin

    Mistakes, everybody do mistakes. But what kills me is when every player on the pitch tries his best, and you see one or two not giving that extrs yrd of a run. Why? Am not gonn go for names, but why?

    And we missed Giroud today, we needed him in those last minutes.

  • Yassin


    Maybe the too many games, all challenging ones.
    Although we have a good.squad, but injuries again are hunting us.

    In addition, some players are unmotivated, and i think Per is playing through injury.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think there is a lot of truth in that Yassin. And giroud could have been very useful today. And yes, the injuries are worrying. Not sure of any lack of effort but certainly a lack of application in some areas

  • Josif


    1.English league is too competitive foe its own good. There is no easy match.

    2.Too many matches, no time for training and work on team cohesion on the pitch.

    3.English players lack tactical and technical knowledge to compete with Germans and Spaniards. No wonder given that pathetic ratio of coaches per players. Just look at Gibbs and Ox.

    4.The pressure is too big.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe Josif, Spanish and Germans, but we should be able to compete….with respect, with olympiakos or Dynamo Zagreb.
    But agree on the pressure , the competitive nature, especially with the recent TV money and the amount of games.
    I don’t know why, but this to me at least is one of the most disturbing results in the last two or three years…..just keep hoping we have put these things behind us….especially at home!

  • gouresh

    Football should be at art, which includes attacking, passing as well as DEFENCING. The 1st goal, ok there was a deflection, but my take on it is the if you HAVE to stick your leg out, do it with come conviction. 2nd goal, Ozil to be blamed here, when you come out for the ball, come out thinking you will get it, not half heartedly. If you realize that you cannot reach it, stand in front of the opponent, make it difficult, not wander into no mans land with you back towards the ball!!!! 3rd goal….our BFG just stands next to the attacker as he strikes the ball. Put your foot out and make the block, your a defender for fuck sake. Make it difficult for them. Did wwe see how they defended?

  • Florian

    Relax, we’re not lost yet. We can still come out second in the group if we draw with Bayern, then Bayern win the rest of the matches, and we win the last 2 matches. The margin for error is zero, but it’s not impossible.

  • SheWoreAYellowRibbon

    Just back from a very frustrated Emirates – we were outplayed on the pitch and out-sung off it.

    Was the Ospina drop over the line – I was at the other end of the ground. It wasn’t shown on the big screens in the stadium at all after the goal and only once with no slow motion replay at half time.

    Most depressing statistic – Our previous record on Match Day 2 in the Champions League Group Stages – played 20, won 16 drawn 4.

  • apo Armani

    Those who have no connection with Greece please understand this…I live here…the majority of football people are Olympiakos supporters…my phone has gone red hot!!!!

    I still stay firm…telling them; we may not qualify but we will be ahead of you!!!

    Never have I and I never will judge the bosses selection; many – and especially our friend in the Media question Ospina. I have never seen him drop a ball like that, and if thats the way Olympiakos has to sneak a goal so be it.

    Arsenal will grow from this…and maybe its the call for Sunday!

  • bjtgooner

    Feeling really gutted about this result. We played some good football but ruined it with poor defending. I was not happy with our defending against Leicester – and again tonight. It needs to be sorted urgently.

  • Mandy Dodd

    She wore, really, outplayed? we dominated much of the game, but we were wasteful, inefficient and gave away some really stupid goals.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree on the defending bjt, some old bad habits creeping in, and we all know how costly they are. Seems that when things go a bit wrong ie dodgy ref, frustration, let stupid goals in, the teams instinct is all out attack…..then more stupid goals let in. I just cannot believe how often we concede first, and end up chasing. And yes, Leicester should have been a wake up call despite a fine win. Also cannot believe the amount of own goals this season, strange as we looked relatively robust at the end of last season.
    The problem is, lesser teams are set up to defend better than we are at the moment, our players get frustrated and concede.too often.
    Needs stopping. Fast.

  • apo Armani

    @Mandy & Josif, whilst I feel and mostly agree with what both of you write; I would like to add and maybe also agree with Joseph on the matter of national league competitions; Olympiakos is a one team league on various fronts – richest (by far), more organized internally -facilities, staff, commitment to player contracts/wages (by far) compared to others in Greece, Spend (by far) more then anyone in Greece, are champions of corruption whenever and wherever possible, can play their juniors and still beat several of their competitors in Greek Super League, and of course this means more rest for key players, much lower risk of injuries to key players.

    Olympiakos, whilst a team I completely detest (for what it stands for) are therefore at advantage – much the same as Dinamo Zagreb; a team with almost identical characteristics to Olympiakos.

    Funny how we end up shocking everyone when we lose to such teams – both at home soil as well as foreign.

    I will conclude though; that we were well below par, and Olympiakos capitalized (half expecting it?) on our mistakes (not pressure off the ball, slow in tempo, passing errors, not finishing when we should/must have, at very crucial moments, we made crucial, game changing ERRORS…and…of course the officials left much to be desired (no excuse though – even we predicted that).

    For us to get through this group? No way unless we pull finger…so much finger that will match a team who absolutely WANTS to do it (from top to bottom)…I am starting to feel its not a priority this year for AFC – not that it particularly finds me opposed to that plan, as long as we push on the other fronts convincingly with expecting no fair play from our main rivals in PL, FA and PGMOB.

    On to MaNure…lets at least send them home with zero points!!


  • Moses N.

    What an annoying game this was. On any other day we win this game comfortably, but today its like we were destined to lose despite all efforts to win the game. In my opinion, we take the defeat and move on. The most important thing right now is to bounce back, there is still a lot to play for and we could still turn it around.

  • Polo

    I fear this would happen and the WOBs are all out in force again. I think we need to stop tinkering with the team and allow some cohesion. My guess is there are contractual agreements on game times for players hence maybe why the tinkering. Also, I think Arsene should adjust his tone in pre-match interviews so the media don’t over hype the importance or game, and when things don’t go to plan allow them to hammer him and the team.

    Let hope they bounce back and beat ManU.

  • para

    We played well, i wish we played with that focus and concentration in the PL all the time. Still a few costly slip ups we need to take care of in training.

    They fought to win this game, but luck was dismal and anti-Arsenal tonight as well as the opposition were playing good.

  • goonersince72

    That was not the performance of a so-called big club. Come on people that was not Barcelona or Bayern out there for fuck’s sake. In your own stadium no less. No excuses for that performance or defence of it. Why they don’t show up for ‘must win’ games is a question for the manager. They were sluggish and on the back foot from the off. Completely unacceptable by any measure. Disheartening. I was screaming for Cech before the window opened. One of my points to those who said we don’t need him was that he is a Champion’s League winner. but I wanted him to PLAY these games not sit as a sub. Those three goals against were just a shambolic mess. Not up to the level of a top side, a ‘big team’. If anyone thinks otherwise they were watching with their heart not their eyes.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Why are we so nervous in defense at home?? This is a weird thing,

    We can still make it to the next round. Should prepare well for the next game. come on gunners…

  • Laen

    Mandy, that is the point. Wenger never learns. It is why he Will never be able to win the major trophies like Pl and champion LG. The confidence of a team with these kind of players should be steam rolling olympiakos.

  • Laen

    Dumbfounded as to why Cech didn’t play, if he’s injured then why the hell is he on the bench? Not having Arteta today was also a massive loss, as soon as I heard he was out I was worried, it was obvious Coquelin wouldn’t be 100% today and with Ramsey being rested it was always going to be tough for him to come back in so quickly. Injuries racking up too, losing the Boss tonight will seriously hamper us this weekend……..lets hope they can pick themselves up for a massive game…..

  • Samrat Jha

    we just need to be more incisive in front of goal. Since our style of playing resembles both Barcelona and Bayern we need to remember that they play with Messi, Neymar and Suarez on one hand and Muller and Lewandosky on the other. These guys can convert half chances better than we are doing at present. That shot conversion rate of 12% will have to improve. With our current crop of forwards we should commit less men upfront to score. If we have as many attackers as opposition defenders in their half we should be scoring much more.

  • M18CTID

    I didn’t see the game but I honestly don’t know what’s been going on with English sides in the Champions League these past few seasons – at this rate, we’ll lose that 4th CL spot. Despite having generally better players than many other European sides, all 4 English sides are regularly getting tactically out-thought by lesser teams. I’m not at all convinced that City will get a positive result in Germany tonight which is a damning indictment when you consider that Borussia Monchengladbach lost their first 5 games of the Bundesliga season and got beaten 3-0 at Seville in the first round of CL matches. It really is baffling why the likes of City, Arsenal, United, and Chelsea are struggling to lay a glove on some of these teams. It’s not like we all play the same style of football – City and Arsenal are similar but United and Chelsea are more refined yet everyone is struggling. You’d think with all 4 teams having foreign managers with experience of managing in other European countries they’d know what it should take tactically to do well in this competition.

  • Mick

    You are right and it is similar in the Europa cup as well where our teams are losing to clubs who, with due respect, most of us have never heard of.
    We need to wake up to the fact that we collectively in the Premier League are not as good as we hype ourselves up to be.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Is our CL campaign haunted, or just mismanaged? Too many local competitive games may be hurting EPL team. Which other country has a League Cup competition? Too many games is wearing EPL teams thin.

    And then of course, Arsenal are the masters of shooting themselves in the foot. And I still love them. 🙂

    Forget about CL for this year. My only hope is that come bottom of the group so we won’t have to go thru Europa League. Playing on Thursdays could totally ruin us.

  • ArseneIfy

    I have posted this comment on positively Arsenal today.
    After all the elation and promise Saturday gave us.. To loose like this is numbing. I’d like to highlight a few things abt wat I’ve noticed 4 a while on days when we play teams dt defend in numbers and give away little space.

    1. I think it’d help if Sanchez tries to make off the ball runs instead of coming to receive the ball to dribble inside or looking for a pass when he is our most dangerous attacker. He needs to be in the box when we are faced with dis kind of challenge.
    2. Ozil can do better than he does. As our playmaker, I feel he has to take more responsibility in d sense that he can’t just keep doing the simple thing he does all the time like the one touch passes n coming to the left wing to look for a cross when d tallest person in our d box is Theo. Perhaps it would be better to try and playmake 4rm the right which I think will help him to penetrate better and have the option of a defense splitting pass of which Theo, Alexis, and bellerin can benefit from.
    3. Gibbs’ is a long way off of challenging Monreal for that leftback spot. Just like The Ox, He seems not to av conviction in both his attacking n defending. Both the Ox and Gibbs look way too predictable and soft mentally.
    4. They must cut out the habit of feeling sorry for themselves, embarrassed and downtrodden when it’s not going according to plan. That’s not wat men do. They need to look hard at themselves in situations like this, talk to themselves, readjust and step up their game instead of just trying to rush the ball inside the net. It seems we forget our game plan once we r in an awkward situation even with much time . It hasn’t bn a successful approach as far as I can tell. A game is not over until after 90 mins.
    5. I believe the boss has to be frank with the team. They put him in an uncomfortable position more often than not with their shallow performance and that’s considering the faith he has put in them. I hope they can respond and kick on from here.
    6. To all Unashamedly AKBs, we cannot allow ourselves to be sucked into the negativity n irritating emotional rambling. The storm will pass. For me, I’ve av decided to ignore all the other social media outlets… Can’t live with the meltdown. There is already much to deal with in my life than letting myself made uncomfortable by some madmen’s incessant grumbling. There was a lot to learn about football yesterday and if we cannot see this even when we loose, y do we watch football games.

    Like George said, Nothing left but to keep the faith. Onwards and upwards people, onwards and upwards.

  • WalterBroeckx

    M18CTIC and Mick,
    May I point at the fact that Untold and I have been talking and warning about this since 2 or 3 years. 😉
    Untold, Always ahead of the game 😉

    In a way it is sad to be honest and it shows that spending money or not it still is down to the players on the field to deliver or not.

  • Marcus

    @ArseneIfyL: A few weeks ago on here I sort-of jokingly asked what was the point of Newcastle after I watched them turn in another insipid performance in the Premier League. This morning I’m of a mind to ask what’s the point of Arsenal in the Champions League? We don’t ever seem to learn from our mistakes, we certainly don’t invest in the team as if we have any serious ambition to go and win it, and time and again we find ourselves on the end of results which are nigh-on embarrassing.

    Last night was a shambles, and the weight of that will fall on the manager. When you stick rather than twist in the transfer market it’s an obvious gamble, but if results that might have been avoided with greater investment become the overreaching arc of the season, then there’s simply no hiding place. Win your games, you justify your decisions – if you don’t, it’s on your head and that’s the reality of it.

    So, no points from two games and we now realistically have to get something from Bayern Munich to qualify. Whether anyone considers that realistic or not is another question. There are those who will point to the disappointing start to the Champions League campaign in 2003-4 when we took a single point from our first three games, including a disappointing loss which involved a goalkeeping error, then went on to top the group.

  • Sean

    Some aspects of our game were quite good but I thought we lacked quality defensive concentration and we played against Olympiacos who defended very well. I believe we had a bit of bad luck as well because they had four shots on target and scored three goals and that happens once in 100 Champions League games.
    Except that’s not bad luck. It’s bad defending. And when it keeps happening it speaks to a fundamental problem in the team. How often have we bemoaned the amount of goals the opposition score from fewer chances, as we blast shots from everywhere and end up struggling to score? You know how you deal with that? Defend better, maybe buy a good goalkeeper and oh …

    It’s also a bit disingenuous to blame bad luck when Olympiacos become the third team in the last 12 months to score three times at the Emirates. Anderlecht in that glorious 3-3; Monaco when they took advantage of our ineptitude to knock us out last season; and now this. There’s no bad luck involved at all. It’s entirely down to poor performances.

  • Marcus re
    When you stick rather than twist in the transfer market it’s an obvious gamble,
    You haven’t read all the evidence on this site. When you buy in the transfer market it is a huge gamble. Most big purchases fail to make a big impact.

  • Sean

    This post has been removed. What we have here is two seemingly different people writing anti-Untold comments from different email addresses, under different names, but their computer records suggest they are either the same person, or two people sitting on each other’s laps.

    I’ve put up with it for a while, in an attempt to hear all sides of the argument, but this is getting ludicrous, and I’ve stopped it.


  • ARSENAL 13

    Out of the 3 goals they scored only one came from the prime location. Rest were from outside the penalty box. We defended well, An unlucky deflection and a goal keeping howler cost us the game. If you look all game, how many promising attacks did they have!! I cant think of any..

    And turn around and see how many desperate blocks they had to make…

    We lost, no one can change that result now. BUT to call for the managers head is absurd and bollocks. Yes we lost to Monaco, Dinamo and now Olympiacos. And performance was poor. BUT circumstances different and there was nothing in common in those defeats as people like to point out (to suit their grand agenda).

  • Al

    Arsenal 13
    I’m with you on this one. I think of the last 10 goals we have conceded about 6 have been either own goals or cruel deflections. That’s just bad luck, and noone can do anything about bad luck. Asking for someone to get sacked because they’ve had some bad luck is absolute bonkers.

    I know I’ll probably get slated for this but Ospina dropped the ball intentionally as he was diving backwards and didn’t want to carry the ball with him into the net. His momentum would have carried him both with the ball into the net. He deliberately dropped that ball on the line then palmed it out as it bounced. Had he held on to that ball it’d have been a definite goal. He did the right thing for me. Just unlucky the officials saw it the other way.

    I’m still not convinced that ball crossed the line. Only one man saw it as having crossed the line, and it’s that statuesque man behind the goal who never sees anything. What I also don’t get is the lack of conclusive angles to show if the ball did cross the line. I find it incredulous that for the second or third time running we lacking a definitive angle of a replay in a goal involving Arsenal; think the other one was Welbeck v Lloris. Both times the decision went against us… What happened to the overhead camera or the one that’s in line with the goal line??

  • Al

    What I also find weird is that when Arsenal profited from a couple of own goals the team was branded lucky, and even some cruel jibes being coined on national TV like Wenger had signed a striker called OG for own goal.

    Now we’re losing to own goals the other teams are not labelled as being lucky. Instead it’s still Arsenal that gets bashed. Double standards?

  • ARSENAL 13

    Regarding Ospina,

    He couldve done better. BUT at that moment of time he might have thought of that as the best option. Even I am not convinced that ball crossed the line. at least from what they showed us. It looked like ball bounced on line. And I am not sure if the ball crossed the line after the bounce as Ospina palmed it away…

    Ospina is not a bad keeper. He’ll not turn bad overnight. It was one of his very rare bad games. And people claiming Cech could’ve done better are the ones who claimed Cech is shit after game 1.

    I still think we can qualify. We’ve made it tough for ourselves. BUT we still can.

  • Al

    You’re right. He was badly positioned to begun with, and that is the mistake he made. But after that he handled the situation as best as he could. And I agree re Cech, the same persons were asking Wenger to take him back.

  • Mandy Dodd

    rsenal 13, you may be right. for all that was wrong in our first two games, I will wager we will dramatically raise our game against Bayern.
    That was very poor , but we are not done yet. We are Arsenal, making life easy would just be against the grain!

  • Menace

    The ‘own goal’ where Ospina dropped the ball, was never a goal. The whole ball did not cross the line. It doesn’t matter that the moron with the dildo gave the goal, he is a lying cheating swine. He showed with his hands that the ball crossed the line by a foot but it never did. Even without definite footage, the ball bounced on the line & was palmed out immediately. There must be footage that shows ‘it was not a goal’ but it is being suppressed. The corrupt have ways of ensuring their income.

  • Gw

    prior to this it was 12 defeats in 12 visits to England for this team.

  • proudkev

    To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I have to temper that with the fact that the Champions League is not something I beleive we can win. For me concentrating on the league should be our priority. But I don’t want to see us play in the Europa league or finish fourth. I still think we can qualify but we have just made it a bit of a mountain to climb. We now have to hope other results go our way and that we can win one of the games against Bayern. We’ve done that before but it’s going to be difficult.

    But look, if we really want to challenge for the league we have to avoid this lacksidasical approach and the switching off that comes back to bite us.

    We outplayed Olympiacos if you base that on the stats but so we should. When teams play a deep line and put players behind the ball we have a real problem breaking them down. Its not easy. Watching us play a slow game in front of Olympicaos was frustrating. Very easy to defend against. We missed Giroud, in these types of games we need to get the ball into the penalty area a lot more directly. This is our achilles heal. We are too predictable when we play in front, play sideways balls and have no tempo. No shots from distance and we are trying to thread a ball through a needle. You have to mix it up.

    Everyone deserves to get stick stick, including the Manager. But these are experienced International players for heavens sake. I have played at a decent level but nothing like this. Players know their jobs on the pitch, they have responsibilities. They know how to react as a team in different scenarios. For example, they all know you are most vulnerable when you score and that you defend compactly. We looked like we were still celebrating Alexis goal. This is down to the players. They switched off and that’s not good enough, they let Wenger and the fans down. Not for the first time.

    Yes we can all make excuses, losing Koscielny didnt help neither did not having Giroud. We can all argue that the first goal was a lucky deflection and that the second was another stroke of luck aided by Ospina. But we shouldnt need excuses against Olympiacos nor should we hide behind them. We are off the back of two good wins, confidence is high and these are top, top players. Until we learn to be as good without the ball as we are with it, these things will happen.

    I blame our in game managment, which at times is dreadful. This is not all down to the Manager, he sets the team up and his coaching staff will have worked with the players all week, as units and individulally. They know how to play. They know what to do. Is it lazyness or what?

    Regarding Ospina. I agree 100% that Petr Cech is our number one gaolkeeper and therefore should play in our big games. I dont want sentiment. I just hope the rumour that Cech had a slight calf strain and was saved for Sunday, is true. Otherwise, I have to criticise Wenger, despite my support for him.

    Unless we sort out the basic errors and our in game management, we are going to continue going home frustrated and having to listen to the naysayers who you only ever hear from when we get a knock back.

    Wenger needs to sort this out and if that means dropping players, so be it.

  • Steve0


    BT showed pretty clearly that the whole ball crossed the line, and that the decision was correct. It was an awful mistake, and it was rightfully given as a goal.

  • proudkev

    I do wonder whether the intensity of the English game or the fact that it is literally up and at them football is the problem.

    Is it because when we go into European gaes we are facing a different style of play and approach and we fail to adapt. Our rhythm and approach is skewed.

    I have been one of the biggest critics of English football. We have too many dinosaurs involved, including pundits and journalists. We have this idea that English football is great when it really isn’t. We love a bit of thuggery, especially if an English player ‘loves’ a tackle. You only have to see all the pundits and journalist views on Diego Costa.

    Just suggestions because the Englsih teams should be good enough to be doing better.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I had a very pleasant breakfast with my 8 and 11 yr old boys this morning. What’s up next, lads?

  • norman14

    The problem we have is that two of the players who COULD make a difference are out injured. If Welbz was fit, he would be the player filling in at centre forward while Ollie gets his mojo back. The other player who we miss terribly (IMO) is Jack. When he came back from his initial injury, he was running much faster than before. He is capable of covering for Coq and equally able to play further forward. NOT having those two available means we are restricted – to the point of having to rely on Theo as centre forward, and an out of form Ox in midfield. Even Rambo, despite his brief appearance last night, is I believe struggling for form.

    Unfortunately, I think this season is almost over unless we imrove immensely – and pretty damn quick.

    A Marquee signing in the January window would be nice – but we still have some players in the squad sadly, who no longer fit this evolving side.

  • ColG

    A couple of years ago Wenger was copping a lot of criticism over the defense. Since then he has recruited extensively, and also brought through players like Bellerin and Coquelin. Yes, still, Arsenal’s defense is primarily famous for debacles like last night. Individually, it can’t be said the players are not good enough, in fact the defense generally is looking good, squad wise – arguably could do with DM cover, but not a lot wrong.

    Yet – these type of results keep on happening. It is costing Arsenal big time. Last season (and probably this) – any kind of meaningful CL progress. I have no real idea what the reason is, but thinking back to the George Graham era, and the stories of endless defensive drills, I can’t help feeling that just a little more focus on actually defending, and a little less on providing attacking options, would make all the difference – particularly in CL games, where it is rare to play teams as accommodating as Leicester. Much as Arsenal attacking is a wonderful sight to behold, it takes a bit of the gloss off if you end up losing anyway.

  • Al

    I don’t think that’s true. I watched on BT sport too and never at any time did they show the whole ball crossing the line. Martin Keown and Fletcher were the commentators and they both said it was hard to tell from all the angles (which happened to be two or three only) whether the ball had crossed the line or not.

  • Menace

    Al – spot on. SteveO – I recorded the match on BT & have not seen anything to convince me.

    The UEFA method of morons with dildos does not work for goal line decisions. The EPL system is quality. It gives an answer with sufficient consistency & authority.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I fully agree with your comment.
    Same for me; there are enough morons out there, why ask for more AAA types?
    Incidentally, it looks like the refereess got the memo to screw us in the CL.
    First, the two yellows to OG and now a “phantom” goal given to Olympiacos.

  • dieter

    Is there really any point going on and on and on about the alleged “phantom” goal? The goal line referee was perfectly positioned and immediately signalled the ball had crossed the line by about one foot. So on what grounds – other than the obvious conspiracy theories – should the goal have been disallowed?

    And yes, Menace, feel free to call me an “arrogant twat” and an AAA or whatever just for asking this.

  • M18CTID


    Not wanting to cause an argument mate but just watched that “OG” here:

    One of the replays appears to show the whole ball is just over the line as it bounces and if anything it spins slightly backwards from there before Ospina pushes it out. It looks like a goal to me.

    What I would add is that you could’ve done with the goal line referee that City had in our game last night – our equaliser saw an attempt from Demichelis that was much further over the line than the Ospina OG cleared with no goal given. Luckily for us, we stuck the rebound in otherwise there would’ve been uproar!