Santi C apologises to fans, Monaco bores everyone

By Tony Attwood

Before the last game between Arsenal and Monaco we did a bit of a review of Monaco’s inglorious past, and their very limited number of goals.  So they promptly went and scored three.

Since then they’ve had a 0-0 draw at home with PSG, a 0-2 defeat in the French Cup quarter finals to PSG, a 1-3 away win against the wonderfully named Evian Thonon-Gaillard in the league, and a 3-0 home win over SC Bastia.

So it seems they can score three after all and not just against us.  Which all leaves them looking like this…

Paris SG

So the papers are now glorifying the fact that no one has ever overcome such a deficit, while to be totally honest if we suffer a defeat but get no injuries, and go on to win the FA Cup and come second in the league, I’ll find it hard to remember who the hell it was that put us out of the Champions League this year.

But the press do go on and on seeking out ever more strange tales.  The Daily Express came up with the headline that

Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla explains decision to leave and apologies to fans

Now if you don’t know the story that might come as a bit of a shock, but reading on Santi is apologising for leaving Malaga.

But the Express do this sort of thing.  I remember finding a cutting about the 1971 Cup Final in which they got Jimmy Hill to “decide” what the Arsenal song for the Cup Final would be.  Writing in the Excess Mr Hill said that he “had to” make the decision as otherwise the fans wouldn’t know what song to sing.

It’s that sort of paper.

Of course that sort of headline is a bit silly (a bit like the guy who wrote the advert headline “Free sex and chocolate” and then wrote underneath “right now I’ve got your attention I want to tell you about the exciting range of office furniture that we have at Alpha Office…”)

However if you really want to see what’s on the media’s blinkered agenda, try this from the Telegraph.   Top headline this lunchtime

Ozil is the high quality oil in Arsenal’s slick machine but he is not delivering in Europe

Third headline down the page is

City have spent £327m and barely progressed

Now even if you think the Ozil headline is true (and I think there is a fair debate to be had about all English clubs not delivering in Europe, as opposed to one player), the second headline (which is much easier to argue) is actually a lot more dramatic.

Ozil cost around £42.5m, which is just 13% of the cost of the Man City team as cited by the paper – and yet they make their alleged failure of Ozil a much bigger headline story than the Man C.  £327,000,000 and no progression, now that is a story.

But the tale goes on.  Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal knock knock knock snigger.

Yep it was a poor show against Monaco, yep, we’ve hoped for better, and quite possibly all of England will be out of Europe shortly, at which time the press will pretend that the European games are a “distraction” from the real business, and go back to promoting the Premier League and how wonderful it is that Reading have just reached their second semi-final in 88 years.

Monaco has let in one goal at home in their past 12 games and haven’t conceded three at home for over three years.  Hardly much point turning up then.  Indeed their fans often don’t turn up.

They have a capacity of 18,000, are fourth in the league and get 7989 average this season (which is fewer than Barnsley).   And they have a manager who spent a fortune getting the club into the top league, and then stopped, and now says he is “developing youth”.

Fortunately we’ve got enough players to do some rotating and Gabriel and Arteta are now apparently back from injury, but I can’t see them being thrown straight in.

More likely is


Bellerin   Mertesacker  Koscielny  Monreal

Ramsey          Coquelin

Sánchez     Özil     Cazorla


In the casino

Chambers  Szczesny  Gibbs  Flamini   Welbeck   Akpom  Arteta Gabriel

In front of the TV

Me.  Walter.  Andrew.   Anyone else?

131 Replies to “Santi C apologises to fans, Monaco bores everyone”

  1. Tony – I have had a fair amount of success predicting teams lately… will go with your XI. However Akpom didn’t travel and I don’t think Arteta did either.

    Gabriel and Theo on the bench instead of them then.

  2. Their headlines are always misleading. They go to extremes to get attention. Thank you for pointing it out.

    Arsenal vs Inter at Highbury, remember. Henry scored a hat trick at Inter. Everything is possible in football, never thought Arsenal would lose to Monaco at the Emirates let alone by three goals. Keep the hope alive. Also, agree no injuries, hopefully

  3. Am hoping for a thumping win for us , a clean sheet and no injuries .Come on guys , go get them !
    Up the Gunners !

  4. Kampala gun what do you reckon? Alleluia and Amen? Time to believe again? Calling Paul Vaessen, we need your help mate! Calling the spirit of the second leg of the Fairs Cup 1970
    final. COYG!!!!!
    it aint over yet…

  5. Anfield 1989.
    Liverpool hadn’t conceded two goals at home since, God knows when.
    Country behind Liverpool.
    Press telling us that Arsenal should, perhaps, do the decent thing in view of the Hillsborough tragedy.
    The game:
    Arsenal go for an early goal; Bouldy’s header cleared off the line. It didn’t come. No panic, just don’t lose discipline and chase the game.
    91st minute…”It’s up for grabs now. Thomas!!!”
    Monaco 2015
    Monaco, goals at home blah, blah, blah.
    More of the same please Arsenal

  6. We will see estra time today, did the boys prepare for the pens? because we will need their skills today. You wait.

  7. We’re alright at penalties from what I can remember, we beat Wigan last year and a few years back I recall eliminating Roma with them, then again there was the UEFA cup final against Galatasaray too. I’d be happy to go to penalties.

  8. Tony I’d like to remark on your team selection for tonight’s UEFA Cup tie. Look at the talent in that 11! It’s been years since we’ve fielded so much quality at every position. Sometimes even we faithful Gooners get bogged down in details and forget the big picture. This is a hell of a side and getting stronger each season. I’d like to partly attribute our good run of form lately to the competition for places we see week to week. Also, more urgency in our play, I think for the same reason. I’m looking forward to a good performance tonight. We can still progress.

  9. gooner72 – agreed.

    In fact, I would argue that only Debuchy of the injured would be guaranteed to play if fit – but Bellerin isn’t a bad back up.

    The Ox might force his way in – conceivably Gabriel if fully fit – but, right now, couldn’t see any of Jack, Mikel, Tomas and the others starting. Happy with Cazorla playing in a front three because we will need guile rather than pace to break down a packed defence. Ramsey’s hoped for return to form will also add a significant goalscoring threat from his long runs.

    Monaco won’t be interested in attacking until we get 3…

  10. Tony

    Not sure what figures The Telegraph are using but here are some stats I was going to use yesterday to make a point but didn’t bother in the end. Anyway, it seems United have more to worry about than City, if progress versus net spend is anything to go by.

    Last 3 years net spend:

    Man Utd…..£51 + £67 + £104 = £230 Million

    Man City…..£14 + £90 + £60 = £160 Million

    Chelsea……£72 + £50 + £11 = £130 Million

    Arsenal…….£8 + £32 + £65 = £105 Million

  11. Referee Appointments are out. We get Mike Jones for our trip to Newcastle.

    Saturday 21 March 2015
    K.O. .MATCHES . . . . REFEREE . . . . ASST. REF. 1 . .ASST. REF. 2 . .4TH OFFICIAL
    15:00 Aston Villa – Swansea .Robert Madley . M McDonough P Kirkup . C Pawson
    12:45 Man City – West Brom . Neil Swarbrick .D Bryan . . M Salisbury G Scott
    15:00 Newcastle – Arsenal . .Mike Jones . . .R West . . .M Scholes .K A Woolmer
    15:00 Southampton – Burnley .Roger East . . .A Garratt . H Lennard .L Probert
    15:00 Spurs – Leicester . . .Mike Dean . . . S Long . . .M Wilkes . D Bond
    15:00 Stoke – Crystal Palace Andre Marriner .S Ledger . .M Perry . .A Madley
    17:30 West Ham – Sunderland .Lee Mason . . . L Betts . . A Halliday K Friend

    Sunday 22 March 2015
    K.O. .MATCHES . . . . REFEREE . . . . ASST. REF. 1 . .ASST. REF. 2 . .4TH OFFICIAL
    16:00 Hull – Chelsea . . . . Michael Oliver .G Beswick . J Collin . M Clattenburg
    13:30 Liverpool – Man Utd . .Martin Atkinson M Mullarkey S Child . .A Marriner
    16:00 QPR – Everton . . . . .Jonathan Moss . D Cann . . .E Smart . .R Madley

  12. goonersince72

    “Look at the talent in that 11! It’s been years since we’ve fielded so much quality at every position”

    At the risk of repeating myself, I’ve been saying this for Months. I contest this is the best squad we have ever had. Not the best starting 11, even best 12 or 13. But the sheer depth of quality in this squad is frightening.

    Alas as yet not a soul has agreed with me.

    Oh well, as they say it’s all about opinions 🙂

  13. Jambug.

    It may be that no sole’s have agreed with you, but I seem remember 13 halibut and 65 flounder’s that did agree with you. 🙂

    There were a bunch of skates and rays in the distance, but I couldn’t make out what their verdict was. I think they were feeding on Riley-fish.

  14. Jambug
    I agree with you, in fact I was parroting what you were saying as I read it. Not the best team, but best squad, and that’s what wins you trophys.

  15. Gord.

    I think the boys will be ‘Angling’ for a quick start tonight.

    And that’s my final ‘fishy’ comment.


  16. jambug
    Should have given you a shout out because you have been talking up the squad for a while. Apologies mate. And isn’t great to be down 3 away goals, look at the side and think “We still have a chance”! COYG.

  17. goonersince72

    Isn’t it just.

    I mean, it is only a chance. If what I’ve seen in the media is true they actually have a better side out tonight (or available at least) than at the ‘Ems, and they really do know how to defend.

    But we have nothing to lose. For all intense and purposes we are already out.

    Heroes if they do it.

    OH well, lets focus on attaining the highest possible PL position we can get, and the FA Cup, if they don’t.

    It’s actually a strange feeling. If we where taking a narrow lead there, even a decent lead, I’d be a bag of nerves, but as it is, I actually feel pretty relaxed.

    I wonder if that is what happens in the minds of the players?

    If so they may just relax and do there thing and it all might just click.

    We can dream.


  18. @jambug

    Actually, I (kinda) agreed with you as I had claimed we would score over 100 goals in the league. There is a lot of talented players.

    @Mr Attwood

    Monaco don’t have a manager that spent a fortune as Leonardo Jardim was appointed in summer 2014.

  19. Jambug

    Definitely the best spread of talent I recall, but something stops me from calling it the best squad.

    Semantics, basically. Bloody hell, I can’t even find the words for it

    …I suppose if you add up the value of each player we have now, it exceeds even our greatest teams; but it still feels right to think of the best squad/team as the one with the best chance of winning the big trophies.

    Even with the difficulties of comparisons between eras, i.e different competitions, I don’t think we’re yet as strong as we’ve been in the past. Among all the promising signs, what I don’t think we’ve seen much of from this team is the capacity to react well to conceding first against the toughest opposition (no offence, Hull). That could be just around the corner, hopefully it is, and it feels like once we have it we will be very hard to stop.

    My hope is that with one new player this summer we can prove ourselves to have the best squad, by every measure, we’ve ever had

  20. Since there’s so much bait out to catch support jambug, I agree with your theory/ observation. Our squad is so good we could win more than the FA cup this season.

    3 good laps at Monaco & then 3 more & we’re through to the next round.

  21. Hi Tony…. Me too, in front of the TV. As always…

    It was the plan all the while. We play shit at home. Let them win. And help Monaco sell out(tickets) for their home game.

    Now at the principality we show the royals and the filthy rich people the real ARSENAL. We show them how it feels to be scored against.

  22. every arsenal team of the last 10 years has had to live in the shadow of the invicibles, what a fantastic chance this team has of putting down a marker to say yes we can do do the almost imposible as well and writing themselves into arsenal history.

  23. There has been an ominous silence about the state of the Monaco pitch…..since Arsene expressed some concern last week.
    Hope it’s not a cow pasture because we can do without unnecessary injuries.

  24. Google only wants to show me English news about the game. An English language website about French football has an old (1988) interview with Wenger. There is also a short note (to be updated tomorrow) about the announcement that Nimes is to be relegated to the 3rd division at the end of this year due to match fixing. A little quote below.

    The LFP have announced that Ligue 2 side Nimes will be automatically relegated from the French second tier at the end of the season into the National after finding the side guilty of match-fixing.

    Nimes were alleged to have fixed several games including ties with Dijon and Caen, reportedly paying the latter side with caskets of wine at half time.

    UEFA has a page to follow the game, which supposedly has an audio feed (probably with a herd of muppets spouting nonsense).

    According to UEFA, it is 15C in Monaco, and the humidity is 60%. Which seems quite nice to me for a football game.

    Our referee is Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR).


  25. More Ozil bashing from the Express then. I was looking for the David Silva not delivering in Europe headlines but I can’t seem to find them anywhere…

  26. I have not been this relaxed before such a crucial match in a long time. Why? I don’t know, but there’s just this calmness. COYG!!

  27. UEFA has the lineups out.

    Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
    Santi Cazorla
    Welbeck Giroud Alexis Sánchez

    Tony came close, just swap Ramsey for Welbeck.


  28. Very excited. Nothing to lose – but going down in history to gain!

    Would rather have had Ramsey there for the goal threat but good enough.

    C’mon you reds (or blues as it seems to be – really don’t like that. Yellow for me every time). A Norwegian ref is a good sign – Northern European always better against a latin team.

  29. ARSENAL 13
    I was thinking some thing similar but can’t see Monaco going along with any of that, they will want to go as far as they can too.

  30. Wenger really giving it a go with an attacking line up. We just hope an pray. I am feeling optimistic today. COYG

  31. Well, the BBC are more or less predictable. They loaded up with muppets that are going to make life miserable for any Arsenal fan trying to follow the game. The coverage is neutral.


  32. get in thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. why in the world do footballers fall from the slightest touch> its like just grow some fucking balls and play

  34. No again, not again the ref is gonna fuuck us!
    why do we always get stupid refs? What the hell?

  35. Proud of the way they are performing this evening. It is only the usual bent ref keeping them in it, OG and Alexis are going to have to be careful with this crook

  36. @tjay
    I think some players anticipate knocks or fouls, rides the pressure and goes down, which helps to prevent injuries. This can look at times as if he is diving.

  37. As usual, Fox didn’t show the replay of the Alexis incident among the highlights.

  38. And what is it with Monaco and Luck?
    how many times does the ball gonna bounce out of the way to goal, either to FK or out?

  39. Alexis was pushed in the back and then tripped, of coarse that was a foul, a penalty? i dont know if it was in, but definitly not diving.

    And what about free fouls for Monaco? What about the Coquilin tackles (which he got thr ball) that the ref gave a foul? Fouls on Giroud which was flipped to Giroud?

  40. We’re more or less on track. We got the better of them whenever we accelerated. They tried to hamper our construction, but Ozil and Santi are figuring them out.

  41. @Florian,

    I was surprised as well that didn’t show the Alexis foul replay as well! Arsenal should have been 2-0 up at half if the ref actually made the right call!

  42. I am seeing replays after replays here…..

    Not a dive. Even pundits agree!!..

    Ref was 5 yards away. And he had no one blocking his view….

  43. The ref will see some sense after he gets info that he was wrong but it may be too late. We are better than them but they seem to get away from cheating. They dive and they foul from behind & the refs don’t see it.

  44. Yassin,

    2 of the Coq’s fouls were legitimate fouls, Moutinho was a fraction of a second faster. Still, I don’t think the ref likes him too much either, Moutinho was very quick to remind him about the repeated fouling Coq has committed. The ref seems rather inexperienced. Svein Oddvar Moen – whoever heard of him.

  45. TailGunner,

    My apologies if I missed it, Fox Sports 1 certainly didn’t show it together with the other highlights – Giroud’s goal & other opportunity, Welbeck’s shot. Oh well.

  46. BT Sport really hating on Ozil – want him subbed off . He has been one of our best players. Everything positive he is involved in.

  47. Just seen the Sanchez incident again and it looked like he tripped himself up. Not a dive.

  48. Now that was a dive, from the Monaco left back. Why not show a yellow there? I take it back, the ref is not inexperienced, he’s just having selective vision.

  49. Did you look him up at Wikipedia Florian? 🙂

    > He was also in charge of UEFA Champions League second round first leg between Bayern Munich and Arsenal on 19 February 2013 at the Emirates Stadium where he controversially awarded a corner to Arsenal that led to Arsenal’s only goal.

    He’s been doing the high level refereeing since 2011.

    I just looked at the top of the page, and Walter hasn’t finished the summary yet. 🙂


  50. Gord,

    Bit of a gung-ho guy, rash when about making big(ger) decisions. Doesn’t bode well to me.

  51. Another dive in our box by a Monaco player. No yellow this time – why am I not surprised.

  52. why didn’t Berbatov get a yellow for his dive in the box since no foul was called? oh yeah, he doesn’t play for Arsenal

  53. We have to take risks. We have nothing to lose anyway, one goal of theirs won’t make too much of a difference, we still need 2 more.

  54. get facking in there!!!!!!!!!! COYG! COYG! come on one more…………

  55. 3 fuckin penaltiea and the cheat did nothing? What the heck was that? That was total cheating you fuckin coward. That was a damn penalty u coward.

  56. We were there but for a fucking poor official again. Too many advantages played without booking for blatant fouling stopping our advance. The reality of our downfall is always being cheated of simple selective blindness.

  57. good game…
    again too late… but never tooooo late…

    ramsey is back!
    giroud is an animal!

  58. Why everytime does this happen? In PL we get it its Riley, but here why the fuck did he cheat? Free fouls for monaco? Didnt know what is a corner or a a gk, fouls on us no damn yellow, how many time do we have to rerun the attack and disturb their defense before they foul us, then no yellow that damn cheat? I cant accept this loss, it was the ref (again) ruining the damn game!.

  59. Heroic performance. They were facing virtually the whole Monaco team camped in defence for much of the game, that is very difficult to break down, let alone come away with a win and clean sheet. I like this new, stronger version of the team, it has taken a bit of time and a few hurdles this year, but we are now seeing changes planned last summer coming to fruition. This team have moved on to a different, more effective style,,witHout sacrificing flair and technique, like some I could mention.. Think naive performances like the first leg that did so much damage are now being consigned to history, a lot to take from this performance and a lot to play for until the end of the season. This evening they showed themselves as a very able , physically and mentally strong team. They should never forget the qualities they possess.

  60. So now the nocall penalty hurts bad.

    Hurts real bad.

    Joke of a yellow to Alexis

  61. Proud of the lads. Gave it everything.

    Ref just let them keep fouling.

    ITV insinuating Alex wasn’t getting his fouls because he went down too easily.

    Didn’t see that at all.

    100% penalty in the first half.

  62. And the BBC muppets are still bashing.

    Another clean sheet. From what I was reading, it doesn’t look like we picked up any injuries. From the reading, Ramsey and Walcott seemed reasonably effective, both coming off injuries. Some good points.

    I don’t think UEFA has anything to worry about with how Arsenal play in Champion’s League.

  63. and that one in the end on Mertesacher, he was going for the damn shot. That should have been a penalty!

  64. Yassin just to put some perspective on it 1-3 at home really didn’t help .

    Or probably more telling was conceding a third in the last minute. !

  65. Yes it didnt help, then what? We missed it up, we played with heart, and we deserved something.
    The ref did affect the game, again, after the Bussaca incident, again after the Milan game, again he did affevt the game. I can understand if he didnt give a penalty but was good all over. But to miss that much up? that was one reason ( to add to the first leg) which took us out.

  66. Shoot – a team that didn’t look that special? They were excellent but we dealt with what they had. They would have put 5 past most EPL teams including Chelsea & the mancs.

    Your positivity screams out for a change of team to support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *