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Atlético ain’t that good, treating the Tots like Arsenal, and the Europa ain’t that bad

by Tony Attwood

As I was bemoaning the fact that we will play Atlético Madrid in the semi-finals of the Europa League Blacksheep (whose birthday it is today, and since he splashed my last birthday all over Untold, I shall say happy birthday here although without mentioning his age – a privilege he singularly faileed to give me) pointed that if we are to win it, we have to play them sometime.

And at least this way we get a chance to play them home and away.  Which I think is a good point.

Or to put it another way, as the Guardian said, “after surviving a scare to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 against CSKA Moscow on Thursday night” we are playing the Spanish child traffickers (although they didn’t quite put the last bit like that).

Oh yes and, “it will be a first European semi-final in nine years for Arsène Wenger’s side”, who will play the first leg at the Ems on 26 April before the return leg on 3 May.

I wonder, do they ever say about Tottenham in the FA Cup “it will be their chance to win a trophy in 10 years”, or “their chance to get to their first FA Cup final in 17 years”.  They might have written it, but I must have missed it.  And besides, balance in matters football is never really the media’s style.

So for Arsenal it is, as the article went on to say, “their only chance of winning silverware”.  I know that, obviously, since I go to most of the home games, and read the papers and listen to the radio and watch TV, but why does it need saying over and over – or if it does, why just about Arsenal?   As far as I can see Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester United each have a chance of winning one pot this season.  Like Arsenal.  Man City can win two, having won the League Cup beating us in the final.  Is it not also Liverpool, Tottenham’s and Man U’s ONLY CHANCE of winning something?

Yes of course the Europa is also our chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, but I would be surprised (very pleasantly surprised but still surprised) if we do get into that competition we will get into the semi-finals of that next season.  We might, but if we do, I shall be surprised.

That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on Arsenal, it is just I think that next season will be a significant improvement on this one, given that we have our new forward line in place now, but I am not sure if our new defence will be all in place and fully functional at a high enough level to beat the likes of PSG, Bayern, Barcelona and the rest.  Maybe we will make a lot of progress, but given the choice between going out in one of the first two knock out rounds of the Champs League and having a chance of a trip to the final of the Europa, I’d choose the latter for next season, and leave the Champs to the season after.

But that’s just me.  It doesn’t mean I support the club any the less or that I will give up my season ticket.  It’s just I think rebuilding takes time.

As Lacazette said in an interview, speaking of winning the Europa, “It will save our season because in the Premier League we are not doing well. Winning a cup would be good.”  Absolutely.

And of course Lacazette made 275 appearances for Lyon, his hometown club.  As he said,  “I really want to be in the final to play in front of my family and friends.  But it’s not only that – I came to Arsenal because I want to win trophies.”

Looking at our next opponents in the Europa, they don’t look too frightening in terms of recent results…

Date Comp Home Score Away Res
04/03/18 League Barcelona 1 – 0 Atlético Madrid L
08/03/18 UEL Atlético Madrid 3 – 0 Lokomotiv Moskva W
11/03/18 League Atlético Madrid 3 – 0 Celta de Vigo W
15/03/18 UEL Lokomotiv Moskva 1 – 5 Atlético Madrid W
18/03/18 League Villarreal 2 – 1 Atlético Madrid L
01/04/18 League Atlético Madrid 1 – 0 Deportivo La C… W
05/04/18 UEL Atlético Madrid 2 – 0 Sporting CP W
08/04/18 League Real Madrid 1 – 1 Atlético Madrid D
12/04/18 UEL Sporting CP 1 – 0 Atlético Madrid L

In the last nine games they have five wins, three defeats and a draw.  Our last nine gave us six wins, two defeats and a draw.   And our matches are much harder than theirs because the Premier League is the toughest league in the world.  I know that is true because I heard a man on TV say it.

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19 comments to Atlético ain’t that good, treating the Tots like Arsenal, and the Europa ain’t that bad

  • Perfect analysis. I agree with you 100%

  • Gord

    There seem to be lots of news article about Arsenal playing Atletico, hardly any articles about Atletico playing Arsenal. Marca has a matter of fact note about the draw, but it’s maybe 2 sentences long.

  • Polo

    From the media point of view Arsenal has no chance of beating Atletico Madrid, therefore UEFA should just let AM through to save time.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    OT or is it?

    https://youtu.be/5JPIX1GIGo4

  • Gord

    no VAR in PGMO-EPL

  • Chris

    Interesting that reading the Guardian, it says the clubs have objected because of the way the ref communicates (or does not) the decision to the public at large.

    Or at least that is what I understand

    Say what you want, but that is a serious indictment of PGMOB

    However, I do NOT understand how the clubs can accept PGMOB. And I’d like to know how Arsenal voted.

    Maybe at the shareholder’s meeting, a small shareholder will ask the question….

  • JimB

    Tony, you can’t have been looking very hard if you haven’t seen mention of Tottenham’s failure to win silverware since 2008 and their (and Pochettino’s) consequent dire need to win the FA Cup this season. It’s mentioned in practically every other article about Spurs – along with the certainty that they will lose most of their best players if they don’t win it!

  • Nitram

    Well said Tony.

    On this point:

    “…but given the choice between going out in one of the first two knock out rounds of the Champs League and having a chance of a trip to the final of the Europa, I’d choose the latter for next season, and leave the Champs to the season after. It doesn’t mean I support the club any the less or that I will give up my season ticket.”

    Here here to that.

    I am on the waiting list for a season ticket. At least 10 years I have been told. By then I have no idea if I will or will not be able to afford it. If I can I will get one, well 2 actually. If I cant, I will not.

    Being in the Champions League, The Europa League or even The Premier League, will have absolutely no influence on my decision.

    I Love Arsenal, and will support them no matter where or who they are playing. No matter who is manager. No matter the players.

    Some people cant even maintain there support after winning 3 FA Cups in 4 years, getting to a League Cup Final and Europa League Semi Final.

    I think these people are very very sad.

  • Pat

    You are quite right about the media Tony. It is utterly infuriating that despite our twenty years of successes at all kinds of levels, the journos have the disrespect to turn everything into a failure. Arsene Wenger must be heartily sick of it. I certainly am.

  • Andrew E

    Your article is spot on.Not a single pundit has mentioned that Spurs have not won the title for 57 years but I’ve lost count of the times they hammer us for last winning it in 2004 a gap of 12 whole years!

    I’ve put up with this s**t for over 5 decades and it never changes. Spurs and Liverpool are the media darlings but who cares ‘We are The Arsenal’. the club with class and we will be back.

    I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs in my time but God I love this club!

  • Andrew E

    Sorry 14 whole years!!!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Happy Birthday , Blacksheep . May your gift be that of the Arsenal winning the Europa Cup this season. And thus CL qualification for next season .

    We have to beat all comers to be crowned champions in that cup , so it does not make a difference if it is in the SF or final .

    Up the Gunners !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Kenneth Widmerpool – 13/04/2018 at 3:44 pm – In those days there was only one very articulate commentator , whose job was just that – commentate and say it as he sees it.

    And there were no smart ass lackeys/ex-players to sprout crap comments like –
    -I’ve seen then given .
    -Too soft penalty for my liking.
    -He was looking for the touch to draw the foul.
    – Made a meal of that .
    – Not too much in that , he should have been more firm/resolute .

  • what did you expect,the mafias dont want to be seen naked and the only they can servive is to get rid of VAR it will undress them. Ask your self why ? Its only in England.

  • The MAFIAS hate VAR with a vegence but why is it only in UK where it is believed that football is 98% fair. So they are naked and the world can see that. Its a blessing in disguise if they are so clean what have they got to fear,what are they hinding?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Too true Brickfields!
    Perhaps Peter Jones was the last of the old world commentators?

  • PTO

    I imagine that Arsenal would not have been Atlético’s first choice for this tie either.

  • Menace

    It doesn’t matter who the competition is Arsenal can wipe them to the floor – unless there is a Busacca moment!

    Considering the corruption in front of us, Arsenal are still the best of honest sporting football clubs.

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