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Bayern v Arsenal: the teams – a conundrum.

By Tony Attwood

How are Bayern doing this year?  They are of course top of the league as the constitution of the federal republic demands, but the feeling is that they are not the sophisticated team they used to be.   They are seen this year as not stylish, not the Barcelona of the north, but a team that gets along and then gets the win in the last ten minutes – just like Liverpool! used to do when they were winning the league all the time.  Now Liverpool! are still the same but they don’t get that inevitable goal in front of the Kop with a minute to go, assured that no one but no one in the media would dare ask if anything was ever amiss.

The Guardian called it “Bayern-Dusel, something more than luck and perhaps better described as jamminess….The winner, it seems at times like this, is always Bayern.”   It makes you wonder exactly what they are saying about it and why no one in Germany has questioned it.  It certainly doesn’t all even out in the end.

The official line instead is always “you make your own luck,” and that’s what the media will always say.  And who knows.  With Bayern maybe it is true.

Bayern are taking Arsenal far more seriously than the aaa sponsored English media.  Robben for example didn’t play at the weekend, except for the last quarter or an hour being rested for this game.

Bayern have taken 25 points out of the last 27 and had the joy of seeing all the teams in what really is a rather weak German league from second to seventh losing at the weekend.  (That’s what you get when one team wins all the time)>  The captain Lahm has declared his retirement at the end of the season so they anticipate that automatically this means he will play in the Champs League final.

Back with Arsenal Granit Xhaka has been cleared of any suggestion of racial abuse and his four match ban is over so having had a long rest he could presumably be picked.   We know that David Ospina will be in goal and of course at once the media (in the form of the Independent) are suggesting that Cech is in such poor form he has been dropped.

Franck Ribery and Jerome Boateng are both injured.  Arsenal have no new injuries – so the squad expands with the return of Elneny from foreign parts and the aforementioned Xhaka.   I suspect Kieran Gibbs will drop back to the beach allowing Monreal to return.

Ospina;

Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal;

Coquelin, Elneny [or Xhaka or the Ox]

Walcott, Ozil [or Xhaka], Iwobi;

Alexis.

So what I am suggesting is that Xhaka could either play alongside Coquelin or could play in front of Coquelin and Elneny to give a real protection to the defence, leaving a three man attack of Walcott, Iwobi and Alexis, with Giroud added later if need be.

Taking the team without anyone in brackets in the starting XI, included the beach (if they had one in Munich) would be

Xhaka, the Ox, Giroud, Cech, Pérez, Gibbs, Gabriel.

We are of course top scorers in the Premier League (joint with Liverpool) and currently have three of the players in the top 17 league scorers playing for us (Alexis on 17, Giroud and Theo both on 8).   One of them will have to drop out though.

And maybe we have a bit of history in our favour.   We were unbeaten during the group stage for the first time since 2005/06.  And that year we reached the final.   On the other hand Bayern have won their last 15 home Champions League games, the longest winning run in the history of the entire universe since it was created by a gigantic spark (or a spaghetti monster if you are a Pastafarian) 13.8 billion years ago.  (Or 6021 years ago if you believe Genesis).

Olivier Giroud scored in three of his last four CL games against Bayern Munich, including in two of his last three away games against them.   So if my lineup is right, expect him on as a sub.  If not, don’t.

Predictions of an Arsenal win are hard, if not impossible, to find (well I didn’t find one) and you can get around 13/2 on an Arsenal win.   The common belief is Bayern will win 2-1 or 3-1.

And as everyone says over and over again, Bayern have knocked out Arsenal in their three previous round of 16 games (2004/05, 2012/13, 2013/14).  BUT two things run in Arsenal’s favour.  All runs end sometimes, and Bayern have already had one run ended for this is the first time they have not topped their Champions League group since 2009/10.

Plus here is an omen.  The only previous CL game between Carlo Ancelotti and Arsene Wenger was in the 2007/08 in… the round of 16. Arsenal beat AC Milan 2-0 on aggregate.

And let me throw this in.   Arsenal have developed the counter attack plan – the plan and approach developed by Herbert Chapman that made Arsenal the greatest team in the world in the 1930s.  The fulcrum of this is the quick move out of defence, with Ozil finding the pass to Alexis Sanchez, and Theo and Bellerin having all the speed in the world.   This could be the moment.

PS from Walter : I will be watching the match on the German TV channel that we can see in Belgium. So I am practicing my German a bit to not miss anything.  If the sky doesn’t fall on our heads which could lead to no TV in my living room there will be a match report shortly after the match.  Selbstverständlich, meine Freunde.

Arsenal History Books on Kindle

The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.

 

95 comments to Bayern v Arsenal: the teams – a conundrum.

  • timo

    article in good mood. hope we end the match with an even better mood

  • ossasa

    You really have little to say about a club of Bayern’s stature. Why the constant sour grapes. Very transparent.

  • Andy Mack

    ossasa, what do you think he should say?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    There is no chance for whatsoever reason that will make me to believe that Arsenal will lose in tonight’s Ucl last 16 1st leg knockout match against Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena. Arsenal will not even play for a draw in the match but for a decisive away win to positioned themselves better to dealt Bayern a knockout blow later in the return leg encounter at the Emirates Stadium.

    Let’s not worry as to which Gunners Le Prof should to start and have on the bench for this match, but we should better leave these issues for him to decide on them. For, I believe whichever Gunners’ starters he has made for this match to start it will win the match. Because every Gunner who will play in this match is hungry lion that is pursuing his game to catch it and devour it. Therefore Arsenal will devour Bayern Munich in tonight’s Ucl match unfailingly irrespective of whatever hard game Bayern play against them.

    The Gunners are very hungry to beat Bayern Munich more than ever before. More so to put Arjen Robber’s arrogance against Arsenal to bed. And to also break free from the shackle of chains with which Bayern Munich have held Arsenal bound in recent past Ucl season’s campaigns.

    Final Scores At Full-time: Bayern Munich 0-3 Arsenal.

  • Leon

    Samuel, after that amazing match last night, your prediction seems quite within the bounds of reason.

  • Samuel have you been on the Loopy Juice again . 0-3 how very dare you . Fingers crossed though !

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Lucas has a slight hamstring injury and has remained in UK, I expect Wellbeck instead

  • Menace

    Shame about Lucas. I love his aggression towards goal.

  • para

    If we want it deep enough, yearn for it than we will get it, the win.
    Lets hope there are no ref concerns this time and we can see a good fair match.

    The youth have shown the way lads, come on.

  • Jackthelad

    Hope to God you are wrong. Iwobi must be nowhere near the team.

  • para

    Was in a different dimension for a moment then. 🙂

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Leon and Shoot.
    Yes, after seen Barcelona unexpectedly crumbled to PSG yesterday night, and if that’s an indication to what will happen to the dominating club sides in the Ucl this season, and despite playing at away, I expect the hungry Arsenal to borrow a leaf from PSG exploits of yesterday and do same damage to Bayern Munich tonight at their Allianz Arena.

    Lucas Perez hamstrung? Oh dear! And I have him starting in my starts. Who will I use to replace him now? Ah! it’s Iwobi. Then, I’ll recall Xhaka whom I’ve dropped out altogether to be on the bench in my 18 man match day squad.

  • Tony Attwood

    Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs; Xhaka, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Iwobi; Sanchez

  • Ossasa there was a bit more about the opposition on “Bayern v Arsenal match preview: should Özil play?” But I think transparency is quite a good thing.

  • Gord

    Who needs to be kept away from the team is Jackthelad. Perhaps he would make a good State Aid supporter?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I can’t find or see any weak line in Le Prof’s starts for this our Bayern Ucl match. They all look strong to deliver a good result to us. But am not surprised to see Le Prof dropped Walcott to the bench. I have him starting in my starts for his pace. But maybe Le Prof dropped him to the bench for his repeated failures at receiving passing correctly in the opponent’s area or box in our last Hull City match which looked to killed potential goal scoring opportunities inform Le Prof to relegate him to the bench. Though I started Welbeck, but for his lack of full physical fitness issue, am not surprised to see Le Prof starting him from the bench for this match..

  • ARSENAL 13

    Come on ARSENAL
    Come on ARSENAL
    Come on ARSENAL
    Come on ARSENAL
    Come on ARSENAL

  • Leon

    That was shocking. Three players round him and he still got a shot away. And it ‘s not as if we don’t know what to expect from Roben

  • Leon

    All of Bayern attacks are down our left. They have obviously done their survey work on us

  • Leon

    Sanchez beat Hummells all ends up and all he could do was to pull him down . Lucky not to give away a penalty, but got a yellow card

  • ARSENAL 13

    Penalty!!!!!!

  • I like this ref

  • ARSENAL 13

    Yyyeeeeaaahhhhh ccccooommmmeee ooooooonnnnn

  • ARSENAL 13

    Yyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • ARSENAL 13

    There starts the Roben dive…

  • ARSENAL 13

    There starts the Martinez dive…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Come on Gunners.

    They are ruffled…

  • Gord

    Did you say something 13? 🙂

    Alexis, you are supposed to score those penalty kicks, but getting the rebound is good too.

    How come Alexis gets carded afterwards?

    COYG!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Now the Tiago dive…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Alexis got carded for getting kicked by Martinez

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooooooo Xhaka…

  • Menace

    The diving of the Bayern players is embarrassing. How the officials have fallen for them is also poor. There needs to be some cards for simulation. Ref has been consistent.

  • Gord

    I guess you have to give Alexis credit, for taking so many swipes at the ball, with so many defenders so close. And he still gets it in.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Moderation? What word triggered it this time?

    COYG!

  • Leon

    Good first half for us. Could have had three goals.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Other than a couple of lapses….Our defense has been pretty solid….I don’t remember any shots taken by them in dangerous areas….

  • Menace

    ARSENAL 13
    15/02/2017 at 8:22 pm

    True. Martinez is a cheating bastard. Dives after kicking an opponent & then playacts. Absolute unsporting conduct. What are UEFA going to do? Sweet FA.

  • Gord

    Possession for Arsenal

    05 46%
    10 31
    15 25
    20 23
    25 20
    30 28
    35 30
    40 30
    45 28
    45+2 30

    5 shots on target (3 to Bayern)
    0 off (5 to Baayern)
    1 corner (Baaayern 2)
    2 offsides (Baaaayern 2)
    10 fouls ?! (Baaaaayern 4)
    2 yellows (Baaaaaayern 1)

    COYG!

  • Leon

    I only saw the one dive by Martinez to get Sanchez booked

  • He gave him a shove when he was on the floor probably that . It certainly wasn’t a foul

  • ARSENAL 13

    Leon,

    Roben, from a nothing challenge by Gibbs.
    Tiago, from Iwobi.

    Both times players went down on nothing, with Iwobi looking puzzled.

  • para

    We hung a little when they scored but picked up after Alexis started running at them, (a much needed gameplay) all at once we started to show some of that Arsenal we know.

    I fear for Bayern in 2nd half if we keep that up and grow more into the game.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Captain Gibbs is back…

  • Leon

    Two key injuries at the same time. Not good

  • Gord

    If you look in the laws of the game, a shove is never allowed. On the ground, on top of the cross bar, standing on the ball or anywhere else.

    How did they get injured?

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Okay, I read Koscielny ha a hamstring pull. Hopefully not severe.

    COYG!

  • Leon

    Oh fuck!

  • Gord

    Bah humbug!

    COYG!

  • Menace

    Moron ignores the climb of Lewandowski on Mustafi.

  • Leon

    It was a odd decision by the referee to change his mind and award a free kick against Ozil , which led to that second goal. He indicted that Ozil held the defenders arm. And now they’ve scored a third. We still need another away goal to make this safe

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahahahaha…What was Alonso about

  • Leon

    He didn’t climb on Mustafi. It was a good jump. Get real

  • para

    We keep falling asleep for a few moments.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Handball….How will Gibbs get his hands away….

  • Well there’s always next year I suppose !

  • Leon

    I think that’s the end of that for us

  • Leon

    Walcott on, but no sign of a Welbeck yet

  • Vince

    Switch Ospina (how on earth did we keep him, and loan Szczesny and Martinez who both would be a better backup) for Neuer, and put a player that actually try to defend instead of Iwobi, and I’m sure that Bayern wouldn’t be leading this game…

  • gouresh

    I haven’t seen such awful football in my life. We were Lucky to get that goal. Cannot put 2 passes together. Absolutely shit. Now blame th refs for our loss.

  • dan

    Another CL tie done in the 1st leg.

  • Gord

    And out comes all the gutter trash.

    COYG!

  • Leon

    Lewendowski took a kick at Ospina

  • dan

    Bayern 608 passes

  • Menace

    Check the jump for the goal Leon & then comment. Lewendowski is a cheat – dives like a baby & kicks a keeper when he’s down.

  • dan

    Come on, get one back now

  • Meusenge

    Lol same old same old every year.

  • Leon

    Menace .I made my comment. It was a good jump from a standing position. We’ve only got Welbeck who can do that

  • Menace is having a sulk . Big shock !

  • dan

    Muller hasn’t scored in 16, what a complete shambles.

  • Menace

    shoot still trying to.

  • Menace

    ‘Them’ having a field day wit the media.

  • Leon

    That fifth goal was a disgrace

  • Meusenge

    Oh dear have we been here before?
    Get out of this club Wenger, please if you have any sense.

  • Leon

    So it’s just the FA cup again now

  • dan

    We do it to our selves, the high pressure games are too much for us, it can’t always be bad luck.

  • Va Cong

    well second goal was the ref helping with counter attack then a lucky deflection and well 5th goal was the icing in the cake koscielny off was the beginning of the end

  • Meusenge

    Sutton will have something to say about that don’t you worry.

  • It’s actually heartbreaking I don’t know how Wenger can stand it

  • dan

    VA

    Always bad luck, even Keown is now saying it’s time for Wenger.

  • Meusenge

    There are some people who’s allegiance to Wenger is so strong it’s disgusting.

  • Leon

    Lineker only interested in Wenger leaving

  • dan

    The same old said again, even the pundits look bored of it.

  • para

    Well, Arsenal have to take a good look at themselves in a mirror and ask?
    Are we really good enough?
    If the answer comes back yes then get of your bum and show it.
    If no, then get out.

    I can’t even comment on the game, i just know we lost, badly.

    Well they did it, so can we.

    That’s the spirit!

  • dan

    Leon

    So you missed Keown saying it’s time?

  • Va Cong

    If Wenger leaves do you think he will get the same level of ref bias? or do you guys think it will because Arsenal?

  • Va Cong

    We also played bad no more heart anymore but referring was a bit lower than first half

  • Leon

    I’d like to see what went on at the second Munich goal again. I think the referee changed his mind and gave a free kick against Ozil for holding. It may have been correct, but he was late making his mind up and a goal was the result

  • dan

    Va
    This Was The CL, and it’s been groundhog day c8me the last 16!

  • Leon

    Dan
    No I heard him. He also said this was Wengers lowest pointDon’t know if that’s true, but I think they were all over reacting a bit. Lineker seems to want him to go now

  • dan

    Leon

    I really do think Wenger will call it day, it’s the same every year.

  • Meusenge

    He’s lost the same dressing room and most of the fans. He’ll walk at the end of the season, there is no doubt about that.

  • Alex

    Özil = 5 tackles (80% successful) = more than Xhaka + Coquelin.

  • Meusenge

    Even accepting that Bayern are a better team, it’s not just that we lose in the round of 16 every single year. It’s the fact that most years we also get humiliated. And that extends beyond the Champions League as well. It’s not just that Wenger’s teams never win big games, it’s that we’re as likely to get absolutely killed as we are to steal a draw.

    It’s unacceptable. If you come to play on the counter, why bring Ozil? You need 11 players working. I know he’s going to get stick after this, but it’s only partially his fault. This was not a game for a player like him, no matter how brilliant he is. Koscielny going down obviously hurt, but how are we so goddam fragile? Surely this has to be the final season, right? Send the Southampton team to the 2nd leg.

  • Meusenge

    The level of Arsenal’s defending is truly horrific and embarrassing. Until the team is able to come up with any resemblance of defensive organisation and cut down on the comical errors, we should not harbour any hope of winning anything noteworthy. Sadly though i’m not convinced this will ever happen with Wenger in charge.

    Credit to Bayern as well, they played some incredible football and made us look like amateurs in the second half. If not for Ospina, this could have been a cricket score.

  • dieter

    Leon

    Nothing like that. The ball clearly went out off Özil’s heel and Masic first pointed to the corner flag but reversed his decision in about a second after having looked at his assistant. If you’re looking for some controversy there was none.

    A much more favourable score was on the cards until Kos got injured. Got to feel sorry for Ospina; conceding five goals is extremely harsh given he made several excellent saves.