Looking back a story of missed chances, bad luck and losing our head

By Walter Broeckx

So we are out of the CL for this season. Time to try to make an analysis of what caused our exit this season.

1. The missed chances in the first leg.

It was one of those days that even with a shot on goal from Welbeck going in, no defender able to do anything anymore…it would hit our own other attacker Walcott on the back somehow, and fly over. Giroud having a day that saw him miss several good and clear opportunities which on every other day he would have scored one or two blindfolded. But not on that day. Those days happen. And when you enter the dressing room after such a match you can sit there wondering for hours how on earth the ball just refused to go in.

2. Bad luck.

Yes compare our missed chances like the Welbeck hitting Walcott with the luck Monaco had in the first leg. They hardly had been near our penalty area in that match when suddenly a shot from 25 meters out would have been an easy catch for Ospina but a wicked deflection on the chest of Mertesacker changed it course and  it ended up in the back of the net. Bad luck also with their third goal. Ospina getting a touch on the ball and then it was a matter of luck if the ball would bounce out of the goal from the goal post or it would go in to the net. Lady Luck chose the side of Monaco on that day. A deflected shot and a shot going in from the post.

3. Losing our head.

What we did wrong against Monaco was that we lost our head. We were in control when they scored their lucky opening goal. We kept on missing chances and that affected our players a bit. Instead of thinking: okay, this isn’t our day today so we have to be more cautious and try to at least prevent them from scoring more goals. But we ran forward and committed more and more players forward. As if it was the final minutes of the final match of the season and we had to come back and win this particular match.

If it had been a match with the loser going out after one match I could accept the way we did our business on that day. But in the CL when you always have two matches you have to keep that in your mind.  As a result Monaco could score their second goal on the counter. Yes individual mistakes did happen but it was the whole team running out of position that made us pay for one individual error 10 meters on their half. There should have been more cover at the back on that moment in the game.

4. Losing our head again.

When Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the 1-2 in the first leg we should have kept the score like that. But the rush of blood made us lose our head again. Again we ran forward in an attempt to score an equaliser. And in fact…that equaliser would not have changed the set up for our second match. Even if we had made that 2-2 we still knew we had to go there and win at Monaco.

Okay only a 0-1 would have been sufficient then. But still it meant we had to win over there. Looking at that match that evening I immediately said: okay, keep the score like that and we go and win it in Monaco. I had seen enough missed chances to know that we could beat them with 2 goals if we would keep calm.

Alas, we lost our head and gave away the ball in a stupid way and suddenly the whole team was so advanced that only Per was left behind and got the full blame. I think it was more others who should have been blamed. Where was our left back? Where was our other central defender?

Per plays on the right hand side of our defence. And if you remember well the attack for that goal was completely on our left hand side. No left midfielder, no left back, no left side central defender running where he should have been. All had lost their head in the haste to try to score an equaliser.

For points 1 and 2 there is not much you can do. Strikers will miss chances. And sometimes it can look ridiculous but even Thierry Henry and Bergkamp have had such days. These things can happen. And not much you can do about bad luck. A ball hitting a body leaving the keeper stranded is just one of those things. Nobody is to blame, except the football gods if they would exist.

Points 3 and 4 which are the same is a thing we can do something about. The go out all attack is understandable when you lose in a league match and then you can pay for it if the other team can counter well. But then it is about the difference of losing 3 points or winning 1 point. In a CL match it is not about winning a point but about getting the best result over two matches. Wenger had even said so before the match at home that in such matches every second and minute counts.

Our players forgot about that in the final minutes a bit and didn’t use their head enough. In a CL match the team with the best result over two matches goes further. And that is something we should keep in mind when we play a first leg next time. Don’t let panic take over or don’t let a rush of blood let us lose our head.

Given that it is very likely that no other PL team will make it in to the next round it somehow makes me think that even if it is hard to take we might be blessed by this exit.

If we would have stayed in the CL it would mean that of the current top 4 we would have been the only one who was fighting on 3 fronts. All the other top teams can only focus on the PL. We also have the FA cup to focus on and so does Liverpool. So we have a disadvantage compared to Chelsea, Man City and Man United but luckily only with one extra match. For Liverpool it is the same calendar like us.

Lets hope the boys recover quickly and that we can field a strong and fit team at Newcastle. A win there would keep us near City or who knows if they keep on dropping silly points could take us to second place. And with Liverpool and United playing each other a win would take us further away from one or both teams in case they get a draw. Let us however just focus on our next match and get a good result over there.


One year ago…

  • 18 March 2014: Cazorla, Ramsey and Zelalem all signed new contracts.


60 Replies to “Looking back a story of missed chances, bad luck and losing our head”

  1. I have not yet gotten out that game out of my head but thats life mwatu. We need to keep going,who knows we might go for a double. And how come the ref gives Sachez a yellow card instead of a penalty did he contact busacca or platini??

  2. At least for a change the players are not making excuses and talking about bad luck, missed chances and bad refs. There instead saying we make the same mistakes all the time, we actually do need to start leaning from our mistakes and Monaco deserved it after there 1st leg performance. Which is refreshing to hear

    I actually think there is a chance that some of the experienced players in this squad will start to man-up and we can have an adult team again with some men & winners again. I think with a couple of signings in teh summer this team might be ready to dine at the top table again which is what we all want.

  3. Sensible honest analysis well said Walter , time to move on now and enjoy
    what’s left of the season, who knows we might even win something !

  4. Top stuff. Exceedingly bad luck and some lamentably poor judgement was the story of the first leg. To succeed yesterday we needed a top performance and the luck to be with us this time.

    We got the performance, but, other than the fortuitous way the ball rebounded to Giroud for his goal, I felt we were pretty damn unfortunate again yesterday on the luck front.

    I really would like to think Wenger mentioned to them at half time in the first leg that, though they should work hard for goals, 1-0 would not be a total disaster while two would put the team in a lot of trouble. (three! aaargh)

    Bad luck again that Arteta happened not to be on the pitch in such a situation. I’ve a lot of trust in him to have used those seconds after 1-2 to tell some players around him it is absolutely imperative not to concede again. Hopefully it will be a defining lesson for all hose involved who got it wrong in those moments.

    Kos, despite being established as one of my all-time favourite defenders, occasionally gets it wrong in those situations (I remember him going absolutely all out in the last few minutes against Bayern last year when, again, a third goal conceded would be lethal to us), and all of Gibbs, Rosicky and the Ox are susceptible to misjudging things in terms of game management. I’d say that, as well as the aspects of it they were responsible for, it was another piece of staggeringly bad luck for them all to be present in the key positions and misjudge things in the same way and same piece of play

  5. Arsenal made 2 defensive mistakes over 180 minutes and got punished. What we needed was a bit of the Henderson luck that he got at Swansea, but no, welbecks shot hits a defender who knows nothing about what’s happening and the ball deflects wide.

    This is the very small margins in today’s game. A little bit of luck, a nice deflection as for monacos first goal. Did arsenal get a nice little deflection in either match, no.
    This failure is hard to take. I don’t blame any player or tactics, monaco just rode their luck and got very lucky.

  6. It was a curious game last night. We put ourselves in that position by losing at the Emirates and were savaged by the media…Fair enough we did it to ourselves by crazy stupid defending. But last night we were great. But for a couple of deflections and a call for diving on Alexis that COULD have been a penalty, we would have been through…But we actually played really well. The result…the media are savaging us again…When in doubt be negative towards Arsenal….in case they haven’t noticed only Man City is still in and by 10 pm tonight they, too, will be out. Dollars to doughnuts they don’t get the same treatment.

  7. The press are negative against most of the bigger tams and enjoy them messing up. Chelsea were savaged last week for there failure and behaviour. United and Van Gaal have been savaged all season long for bad tactics, long balls and bad players.

    Arsenal are as badly treated in the press as those clubs.

  8. It’s worth a look at how the quality of our performance yesterday bodes very well and has opened some previously jaundiced eyes:
    A top Guardian football analyst (who has been viciously anti-AFC/AW in the past) has today written a capable, balanced, highly-Praising assessment of our CL round vs. Monaco.

    Yes, against the tsunami of serial moaners and Ground-Hog-Bayers, his analysis (in unexpected places) proves that ours is a quality side on the rise that has put the rest of EPL exit- performances in the CL this season – especially Chelsea’s – to shame.

    Here’s the piece:

  9. I agree Walter, we lost our heads a little and bad luck completely condemned us in the first leg. But considering that, the team’s response yesterday and ever since that leg has been amazing. Yesterday’s performance gives even more confidence, because Monaco played with the negative tactics that Mourinho and other clubs use against us, but we completely dominated them! Look forward to an amazing run in!

  10. 5. Complacency.

    Mertesacker made a curious admission that the team ‘was not mentally in it’ in the first leg. This is puzzling that Arsenal with a group of seasonal players with plenty of CL experience was undone by a mediocre Monaco team that played in CL for the first time in 10 years.

  11. Good analysis as usual, Walter. The only thing I’d quibble with, from you and commenters, is placing too much emphasis on bad luck. Bad (and good) bounces happen in football. This applies as well to the refs. Making mistakes and losing their heads are the reason the Club lost the tie. And as Rambo has admitted, they underestimated Monaco in the first leg. Some maturity would cure that. Arsenal will still make a very nice showing in the table; especially considering the first 6 games of the season. And they’ll retain the FA Cup. Pretty damn good in my book.

  12. This is my subjective opinion based on their displays in the CL group, against Arsenal and in the French League. A team that relies on Berbatov who way past his prime as the main striking option. A team that playes uninspired defensively minded boring football. An inferior version of Chelsea.

    Tony can you honestly say that Monaco is a really good team with wealth of CL experience?

  13. We can talk about bad luck or losing our heads , but the main reason for Arsenal’s exit from CL to Monaco is our lack of consistency against the better sides.

    Sure we are consistently in the top four and have been for the last eighteen seasons, but that’s not the same as performing consistently.

    We are just as likely to have a bad game against a decent team like Monaco, as we are to have a blinder.
    And they are a decent team, nothing more.
    How many Monaco players would we want in our line up? One , maybe
    How many Arsenal players could walk right into theirs? Five or six.
    FFS , they couldn’t wait till the end of the game to get their hands on Ozil shirt.

    There was an article in ‘the mirror ‘ comparing Arsenal’s average points versus top 10 , minus average points versus bottom 10.

    Arsenal have the worst diference in the league at -1.31
    Liverpool are the best at 0.19
    Chelsea are fifth at -0.43
    Tottenham are tenth at – 0.67
    Man U are eleventh and City are twelfth

    I haven’t checked the veracity of those statistics but if they are true, this is your reason for our struggles in Europe, and to certain extent in the PL.

    Arsenal can’t seem to put together a consistent run of games against better oponents.

    A terrible game in Milan followed by a stormer at home .
    A poor performance against Bayern at home, followed by an impressive one in Germany.
    Same thing happened against Monaco.

    It has very little to do with complacency or taking your oponent lightly, but rather everything to do with getting your tactics right, in game player management, and individual performances on a day.

    Until we can consistently perform against the better teams in the Pl, there’s absolutely no reason to think we can make a run at the CL trophy.

  14. The only thing i cannot understand is, how after being at this stage of CL for many years we seem not to have learned how to play “two legs”. As Walter said above we should have tried to keep it 2-1 as 2-2 would not have made that much difference.
    Reminds me a little of ManC in last years CL making a mistake too.

    Anyway, that’s that for another year, but i think we are now stronger and with any additions and possible, probable leavings(hopefully none) we will be there again next season.

    PL and FA now.

  15. Coyxx
    No I don’t think Monaco is a really good team with a wealth of CL experience. But that is not what you called them. You called them a “mediocre Monaco team” and they were not that. They are a club that don’t care at all about playing good football, and don’t mind that they get crowds of 8000 for matches, they play as boring as hell in order to scratch out results. That is not the slightest bit the same as “mediocre”.

    I am merely responding to your chosen words.

  16. Definitions of mediocre – 1) of only moderate quality; not very good; 2) of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad.

    Anyway this is my subjective opinion of the Monaco team. On all counts Arsenal is a better (subjectively) team with significantly more CL experience (objectively). And they still got beaten by Monaco making mistakes that one would not expect from a team with so much quality and CL experience.

  17. After tonight it is highly probable that there will not be a single EPL team in the final 8 of the Champions League.

    Two French teams are through. At the very least that fact alone demands an examination of the criteria we use to judge how good a team is.

    Last night’s performance was genuinely iumpressive. As far as I was concerned the first hurdle the team jumped was recognising where they were playing – in Europe, in the Champions League for a place in the final 8. After that recognition they started imposing their will on the game.

    In the first leg they played an EPL game. The gallery of the narrative myth took over and ran their decisions.

  18. @Coyxx,

    A team that had a net spend of 120 million over these last 3 years (12/13-current), even after their massive sell off last summer, that got promoted to the French League 1 last year and finished 2nd, is hardly a mediocre team. That’s like Burnley getting promoted this year and finishing 2nd in the EPL. A good team is needed to do that. They might not be the most offensively potent lineup, but they are one of the stingiest defenses. I would not be surprised if they end up going far this tournament.

  19. Bit late in the day to introduce this now, but what the heck :

    ‘I am very interested in the mental subconscious force of the memory of a team [ there follows a discussion of watching Athletico’s performance in their European cup final 40 years ago, and how last year’s team had focused on that match in the build up, and then proceeded to play out a remarkably similar game, including conceding in the last minute while ahead]
    …But I hope it was not a subconscious thing to repeat the history. That is what you discover- the huge importance of the subconscious language is in people’s minds, with the strength of that mental aspect’

    That’s Wenger talking at the end of the Invincibles book, and so clearly he gives a lot of thought to the mental side of the game and even entertains what to some, though not me, would be outlandish theories.

    One telling feature of recent years is that the pattern of ‘home tie, bad; away tie, good’ is broken massively one year, the year the away tie was first up. This certainly isn’t definitive proof of any sort of mental problem for the team, but it is suggestive of it.

    Personally, I attach very little blame to them. Sometimes things happen to you in life which are not your fault or are the result of bad fortune, or some combination thereof…and you continue to feel the effects of them for years even when there is no particular new misfortune.

    The thing that was not our fault in this case was being a good team but not being good enough to beat vintage Barca or win our league, then, after taking the hits of that, not being able to ‘solve’ it the way a club rolling in cash can, by buying ready made solutions, and not being able to trust the group to learn together and finally overcome…because key people kept quitting on us.

    So, we stayed for a long while at a similar level, tended to draw massive clubs, and quite likely picked up some nasty mental scars along the way. Unlike the league, you don’t get to take your beating and come back fighting immediately. You wait a year, and then have to try overcome whatever inner demons you have against the best of the best in a 2-leg knockout contest with so little margin for error. That’s tough. So tough in fact that perhaps some of those issues carried over into the tie when we met a good, instead of great, team.

    My conclusion however is not a doom-laden, resigned one. Far from it. I believe there are tons of signs we can break the cycle now. A team moves up to a higher level either through high quality signings or the improvement of current players. Both things are happening for us and the process looks likely not to be derailed by the loss of key players, and to be augmented by further signings.

    We just need to do it. There may still be some nerves about again, but I think we are finally well equipped to overcome them

  20. Jerry
    I don’t think anyone is saying Monaco are a mediocre side in general footballing terms, but in the context of who’s left in the CL draw , I must say they are not the strongest.

    That’s why this is going to be such a hard defeat to get over for our players and Arsene Wenger himself.

    It will be interesting to see Monaco perform against the likes of Barca or Bayern , if the draw allows it, to see how good or mediocre they really are at this level.

    My personal guess is that would get played off the park, but for the sake of our club I hope they go far.

    The last thing we need is Monaco getting pasted in the next round.

  21. Before the matches I read some statistical analysis of all the 2nd Round games (think from the Football Observatory). Arsenal were adjudged to have a 72% chance of progressing. Slightly less than 3 in 4. So this was the 1 in 4. Not that unlikely!

    The key moment for me was when Monaco scored their first goal at Arsenal – extremely unlucky goal from Arsenal’s point of view. That meant that not for a single minute over the two legs did Monaco have to chase the game – which suited them down to the ground. Yes, we made errors of various kinds, and did well in parts – 2nd leg in particular.

    But it is what it is. We are out. That’s football.

    Just need to pick heads up, focus on Newcastle and get on with it.

    All this self-flagellation and excessive criticism is not helpful. We are actually on a great run – but need to sustain it. As the injuries subside, the team is playing better and better and the next two and a half months should be very exciting. Sit back and enjoy it!

  22. The team were superb last night and awful in the first leg. We have lost again and it doesn’t matter if they were better, mediocre, worse , French, defensive etc etc.
    What matters now, is that we focus on the next game and win it.
    The crap that is coming out from the media is amazing and I will never understand the hatred shown to Arsene and Arsenal by talksport and in particular Adrian Durham. This idiot thinks he, along with Piers Morgan, know better than our club. I listened for precisley two minutes to his garbage before turning him off. What a spineless moron he really is.
    But the problem is the players let this idiot spout his particular venom because they messed up in the first leg. They showed in the second leg what we all know they are capable of.
    This article was an excellent piece of reporting and I wonder if those fools at Talksport should be sent a copy and answer each point to a selected AKB audience for rebuttal of their ridiculous views.

  23. Whether Monaco is a mediocre team is a matter of subjective opinion. However I maintain that Arsenal have more quality and objectively more CL experience. I know things happen and many say that this defeat will help team mature. The question is it really true? Who on Arsenal needs to mature so they can beat a not so great opponent like Monaco? Ozil, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sanchez, Cazorla, Wallcot, Welbeck, Ramsey, Rosicky still need to mature? These players have years of CL experience and playing at the top level between them. Not to mention Wenger the most experienced manager among all CL managers. And yet the team has these lapses in concentration that prevent them to realize their true potential.

  24. @Tom,
    Actually he clearly said Monaco was mediocre and even provided a definition of it to further his point. I agree that Monaco are not as good as say Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, but not many teams are.

    I’m just not happy with the many articles written in poor taste since in regards to Arsenal. These articles don’t give any credit to Monaco and also don’t consider the many things that went against us. For instance they talk about the results the last 5 years, yet fail to mention if Sanchez was rewarded with a penalty instead of incorrect yellow, we most likely would have gone into half time 2-0. They also never mention RVP getting a red card for being on the pitch against Barcelona by Busacca. The team has been progressing every year and are finally beginning to click after overcoming so many injuries. In my opinion, this team is on track to win the EPL before Arsene’s current contract is up.

  25. I went on the ESPNFC website to read what they had to say about yesterday’s match. There was an article from Peter Wood from Le Grove about Wenger being a specialist in failure, I can’t believe they gave space to that fucking douche-bag moron. That stupid motherfucker’s tiny brain is screaming out for help from a mental health professional. This asshole is one of the most negative Arsenal fans I’ve ever come across. I’ve seen plenty of AAA assholes on this site, But this fucking cretin takes the prize for biggest knob on the face of the earth. I not gonna lie and say I’m a pacifist, I have used violence in my colorful past. This motherfucking piece of shit brings out the worst in me, I wish I can meet him for just five minutes. I know opinions are like assholes and everyone has one, But this idiot goes too far. He deserves a beat-down of the highest magnitude. I have never seen on the ESPNFC website articles from a positive slant such as this website. Tony, Walter, and all the rest who carry the Arsenal banner proudly are so much more erudite and classy compared to that fucking piece of fucking shit asshole Wood and his ilk from Le Grove. They just sprout their propaganda like Herr Goebbels did in the past.

  26. Tom, agree, our performances against better teams, and in key games is something that has needed addressing. We have experienced some sickening results, last season especially, the first leg against Monaco was one such game. But, still think, these such games are becoming fewer and further between. We are not there yet and will still have our moments, having Coquelin playing well is helping us, as, in general, the stable per Kos partnership, with Gabriel waiting to help out.
    Wenger has been consistent, to the point of boredom for his critics, top four and goes out in the knockout phase of the CL. Some would kill for this, but yes, I would like to see more consistancy against the top teams, we will need this to move on. Hopefully, a few changes made to the way we play will soon pay dividends, and help us move onto a level where we can win these games, and start getting a few more spectaculars as we develop. We do look more solid now in MOST games. Sadly the first leg was not one of those games, but we now avoid a fixture pile up and can still make this season a success, and really have a go next season.

  27. @Pete

    Fully agree with your comments at 7.34pm. There has been too much analysis already – mostly by those who have a shallow knowledge of football and/or have an anti Arsenal agenda. The team and fans now need to put Monaco behind them and move on to the next match.

    Lets hope we have something left in the tank for Newcastle.

  28. @Ken

    Arsenal could win every game and win every trophy in one season and Adrian Dungball on drive time would still say your not a great team until you have defended your titles. He will always (like others in the media) look for the negative regarding Arsenal (and some other clubs).

  29. Plucky under resourced Man City go out, at the same stage as plucky under resourced Chelsea…..and us. Guess it is only fair we take the biggest media bashing then!

  30. I initially decided to let it slide but I’m sorry guys. I’m venting my anger here. This is because I have like minds here who understands me better than a whole bunch of idiots out there. Arsenal lost to Monaco and so what? It is not the end of the world and will not affect the price of beef in the market.

    I am sick and tired of seeing so many stupid articles about it treating the club as if we lost 11-0. Even if we had won 3-0 and progressed, these doom day sayers would have still looked for a way to slant the club and the performance. Ozil is this, Giroud is that, Wenger is this, Ospina is that. If it were so easy to qualify, how come Chel$ea didn’t despite their advantage. They didn’t even get a tenth of the media bashing we are receiving. And the last straw that broke the camels back was and I quote ” and Arsenal will now return their attention to the EPL where they are 3rd and only 3 points ahead of 5th placed Liverpool”. Hey, you stupid fool, Arsenal are a point behind 2nd placed City who just lost to Barca while missing a penalty in the process. Will they get a bit of the media bashing. I don’t think so but let’s see what tomorrow brings.

  31. That was a bit punishing watching 3 of the world’s best attackers not score when they had about 4 times as many golden chances as the two counters Monaco did us in with.

    So…is there a large element of luck in that or not? Seems possible to me for it to be both good keeping and good luck when those lot have such a night. And poor play/ good finishing and very bad luck for us that it went as it did.

    Anyway, all over. Really eager for the weekend’s game.

    No shame in losing to Barca, coos Martin Tyler, just as he always says no doubt.

  32. Tonight’s result: Barcelona beat Joe Hart 1-0. (should and could have been 10).

    Poetic justice that Aguero missed the penalty which he won by diving.

  33. Oh – I didn’t phrase my 8.32pm post very well – UA writers and AKBs exempt.

    @BILL FROM MANHATTAN – read your post just now (somehow missed it first time around) – fully agree with your opinion of Peter Wood. What surprises me is that Wood has some sort of relationship/contact with ESPN. The insidious aaaa network is spreading!

  34. @swales1068

    I thought I was the only one who got wound up by this moron Durham!! He sums up a school bully perfectly by ensuring the only “arsenal supporters” he lets spout their crap are those who agree with him.Then he purports that the majority of Arsenal supporters agree with him.
    I call on all real gooners to boycott this station “talk(garbage)sport” until he goes.
    As for Peter Wood on Le Grove, I have my suspicions that he is actually Adrian Durham!!
    Positive noises coming from our players though. At least they seem to be up for the fight, which is more than can be said for the AAA mob.

  35. ken lock
    Durham has Piers Morgan on his ‘show’ tomorrow. The two biggest Arsene Wenger haters on the radio at the same time. I would advise all true Arsenal supporters, for their own sanity, to keep well away.

  36. Peter Wood from Le Grove…..he has every right to his opinion and I will defend his right to an opinion to the death and all that stuff, but he is a digital marketing guy , and his views when he judges or condemns, or even if he praises Arsene Wenger should be taken in that context. But don’t forget his Blog styles itself as “The Opinion Blog” so we clearly must all bow down to his views , over the views of Untold, Arseblog, Gunnerblog, or even Arsenal.com?
    Mick, Morgan and Durham…..hope they discuss city and Chelsea’s exits as well but guess we know the agenda. They should get Scholes to comment on ozil, a man who retired early from his national team to comment on a World Cup winner who played every game for Germany last summer. Scholes seems obsessed with Ozil, he probably thinks of him even as he makes love to his wife.

  37. Sad, the once great Telegraph sports dept are reduced to lazy journalism and claiming Einstein said something nobody can prove he ever did say. The definition of insanity……an AAA staple , in the way their concept of Groundhog Day is. Why would a paid journalist resort to this? Humiliating for him.

    We have seen some bad articles, but this must rank amongst the most cliched article on Arsenal written?
    Sad to see a once mighty sports page in such a dire way.

  38. Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph gave none of our players more than a 7 out of 10 for that great performance on Monday. What rubbish!

    Mandy, I reckon Scholes is jealous of Ozil. I think jealousy has a lot to do with some people’s attitude to Arsene Wenger as well.

  39. The medja is just completely screwy. All the English sources of any size, are just bitching about how poor Arsenal are, after doing better than any other English club in Champion’s League and only going out on away goals. And there are articles about other coaches wanting to change to Arsenal’s style. And some news form the Far East.

    There is that Barclay’s tournament. Well, it seems like Arsenal may play a Thai All Star team a couple of days afterwards. And Liverpool have other games. One against Malaysia, and two against A-League teams (Australia).

    I hope the non-believers go find somewhere else to wallow, it’s been annoying the last day or so here.

  40. Very interesting points in the article. Ok the 1st goal was lucky, whether our BFG should have faced the ball rather than show his side is for another debate. ‘WE e lost our heads’. Now this I don’t get. I am sure players and coaches prepare for games and the coaches / managers know what’s required on the pitch. Then, if we say we lost our heads, shouldn’t the coach / manager be vocal from the touchline making sure that this does not happen? What about the senior players, surly they can influence better from the inside? If its the 1st time this has happened, one can say its a learning process, but is this not happening regularly? The manager cannot and should not leave it to the players on the pitch to decide.

  41. Arsenal Transfer News: Arsenal ‘eyeing up shock transfer move for Metro Writer Will Giles

    He writes up better smelling shit than anyone at Daily Mail.

    The Mirror slump to predictable glorious failure in Publishing as Dr.Suess punts John Cross down the steps.

    Wellington Silva moving to Arsenal. Writer Ben Jefferson says that he has started buying real estate in North London, and that he has a place where Wellington could stay for free for a couple of months. When asked about the free rent, Ben said that he gets so many kickbacks on writing articles he has trouble spending all the money he gets.

    Arsenal can catch Chelsea and win the Premier League title this season, says London Evening Standard twit extraordinaire Samuel Stevens.

    All Arsenal need to do, is wait for Chelsea to start crossing the Thames, and then blow up the bridge.

    Q. What’s red and bad for your teeth?
    A. A brick.
    (Or Paul Scholes.)

    Q. What’s white and can’t climb trees?
    A. A fridge.
    (or Phil Neville.)

    Q: Why did the Piers Morgan cross the road? (Was dinosaur)
    A: Because the chickens wasn’t invented yet.

    I ran across a joke website, which had red text on a medium blue background. Really painful to read. Must have been designed by Gary Lineker.

    Q: What do you do if a football pundit throws a grenade at you?
    A: Pull the pin and throw it back at him.

    Well, The Thursday morning headlines are coming out, and they don’t look any better. Good night people.

  42. we should have been playing the second leg at home because we should have beaten Anderlecht (and not thrown that match away). Recovering a 1-3 (or any other deficit) at home might have been different. But ultimately we wouldn’t have been so gung ho away from home in the first leg. We have to start winning our group and making life a little easier for oursleves. But we are Arsenal so that’s not in our DNA!

  43. Blacksheep

    IMO it has nothing to do with winning the group. I would still prefer to play Monaco than Juve which we would have gotten if we won the group. Playing the first leg away is not a guarantee for success (ask BVB and Chel$ea)
    We just lost and that’s it. It’s time to move on.

  44. Walter,Repetitive failings suggest the lessons are not being taken on board. This feels the same sort of exit inflicted on us by Milan, PSV, PAOK and Lens. Unnecessary, entirely avoidable. It is what it is though and I think it was Lee Dixon who said last night that Arsenal have the first leg performance in them at any time, it can be dredged up from anywhere. As he said, consistency is minimising those outbreaks and in the Premier League – domestic football generally – there’s a sense that they have more control.

    Europe? No, that type of performance is inevitable; it always happens.

    For another season, aspirations are gone. As with 2003/04 and 2006/07, we can look at this as an opportunity wasted. The players go forward to the next match, toward ensuring they get the chance to try again in 2015/16. It would be great to dispense with the need to qualify for the group stage, to have a proper pre-season and to know that transfer market activity is not based on two matches in August.

  45. Naman.

    You overlook the FA Cup and the (very) outside chance of the League. Plenty still to play for.

    It may have escaped your notice that Arsenal have never won the EC/CL. That means that every season since the EC/CL was invented they have either:

    – Not qualified for it; or
    – Been eliminated at some stage.

    Were you actually expecting us to WIN it this season?! Possible, but unlikely – even for the most optimistic fan.

    Yes, disappointing to go out at this stage but at least it reduces the load on the players as they pursue their remaining goals.

  46. Had European cups been around in the 1930s, Arsenal would have won it three or four times. There’s no doubt about that. But they weren’t, European football wasn’t officially recognised until 60 years after Arsenal’s formation.

    But you miss the point. It’s more about Wenger not learning the lessons of previous failures; he is the only common thread between the cock-ups against PAOK, Lens, 2002 when we didn’t win any of the home second stage group games, Chelsea through to Monaco. The same patterns.

    Sometimes, we’re beaten by better sides. Valencia at the turn of the century, Barcelona, Bayern but the rest? The same mistakes cause our exits. AW’s track record in Europe is pretty poor and it isn’t all down to the players.

  47. Naman that is a bit like looking just at one poor match and saying, that shows Wenger is useless. You have to look at the overall package. Does anyone remember what happened to us in Europe when we did the double or the season unbeaten? In the future will anyone remember that we didn’t win things for a number of years, just like most of our previous existence, but actually built a sensational ground and paid for much of it by constantly being in the Champs League.

    We were never going to win the Champs League, and the financial requirement was to get in the top four each season, which was delivered. Going another two rounds in the Champs would have done nothing much, but if we had then not achieved the top four it would have hindered our finances, and reduced our chance to buy. We didn’t buy many, but we would have bought fewer had we kept on battling in the champs.

  48. Tony, correct we may not have necessarily gone on to win the champions league but are you honestly saying the failings of the past few years at the same stage against who ever we play is not down to the management? No matter who we have had we have not been able to progress.

  49. Naman

    Who wins and who loses in a game has something to do with skill or quality. It is not entirely determined by that. Luck is a huge part of who wins and loses. If officiating is not unbiased, it has an influence.

    Yes, the fact we have lost at the same stage in the last few years, could have absolutely nothing to do with management.

  50. We lost the first leg for one simple reason. We didn’t take any of several good chances to establish a lead before Monaco scored a lucky deflected goal which then allowed them to park the bus and catch us on the break. For Naman and other to attempt to put the result down to some inherent flaw in Wengers and the teams approach to European games is stupid and ignores the simple fact that you have to take your chances. Or do you blame Wenger for that? Our exit was nothing to do with Wenger, tactics, team selection or any other reason Naman wants to come up with.

  51. Mick that’s a stupid reply. If this result was a one off then yes I would be inclined to agree with you. But as mentioned above this is now over the course of fifteen seasons. Are you saying it’s always the players fault?

  52. On this occasion it was the players fault, they were the ones who missed the chances or do you deny that and blame Wenger. When we got knocked out by Barcelona 4 years ago Bendtner missed a guilt edge chance near the end which would have seen us through. I suppose that was Wengers fault as well.

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