Milan at home. An empty stadium? But is the media finally changing its tune?

By Bulldog Drummond.

Who would have thought it?   Instead of being seen as a dire warning as to where a club should not go, the anti-Arsenal attacks on the club and Mr Wenger are being seen as a model that can be transferred to other clubs.   Likewise the mainstream media’s constant attacks on Arsenal are being replicated elsewhere.

Tottenham and Liverpool are safe, and as long as they get top four finishes and don’t win a trophy they’ll be given all the plaudits from the media that they want.  Because getting a top four finish and not winning a trophy is what it is all about.   Isn’t it?

Oh, perhaps not.

Manchester City are also safe from attack, despite the continuing growth and expansion of the investigations into City and its clone clubs for breach of transfer regulations (which we have been following here).  Not every newspaper deems that story newsworthy but Fifa and the CAS do.   More on that anon.

But try this for size from the Telegraph…

“Manchester United fans must hope Alexis Sanchez has at least hit rock bottom and cannot slip any further”

Or from the awful Daily Mail

“United fans rage on Twitter as they urge ‘awful’ Pogba to ‘grow the f*** up’ after dismal display in European exit” 

And the blog Football Fan Cast has a decent piece on this too

“Double Standards: How the media treats each top six team differently”

Anyway, back to the game.

Milan have to score three to win, two to get extra time.   They have in fact scored five in their last six matches in total.  Arsenal meanwhile have scored five and conceded none in their last two.   Which is promising.

And tickets at the Emirates for the game were incredibly cheap for anyone wanting to buy – it is classified as the lowest level of game in terms of ticket prices.   But it hasn’t sold out I’m told.  Ah well.  Can’t please everyone.

But good news comes from the fact that we have Shkodran Mustafi available.  After he came off looking the worse for wear with a groin problem in the Watford game I feared a long break, but it seems he is fine.

Hector Bellerin is also ok but is apparently getting his luggage ready to move his family to Barcelona (again) and might not be quite ready enough.   However Nacho Monreal is also apparently ok to play.  Alexandre Lacazette is said to be two weeks away from being ready to play and so should be back after the internationals.   And the silly rule means that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible.

So the goal scoring prognostications are good, as is the fact that in each of the 11 previous knockout ties in Europe, when we have won the first leg away from home we go on and win the tie.

In fact we have always gone through (in both qualifiers and later knock out rounds) when we have won the first leg by two goals or more.   It has happened 24 times so can’t really be called a fluke.

On the other hand Milan haven’t recovered from a two-goal deficit in the first match of a knock out tie since October 1985.  The victims there were Auxerre to whom they had lost 3-1 in the first leg.

Another rather surprising fact is that no team based in Italy has ever won an away match in the Europa League in London.   Roma, Juventus, Lazio, Inter Milan and Fiorentina (twice) have all tried it but none has managed it.   Perhaps it is the local food.

Davide Calabria (with a calf injury) and Ignazio Abate (with a muscle injury) failed to make it to the airport so won’t be playing.

As for ourselves, something along these lines might be possible…


Chambers Koscielny Mustafi Monreal


Wilshere Ramsey

Ozil,  Welbeck, Mkhitaryan

Bellerin will presumably at least make it to the beach, along with Maitland-Niles, Holding, Elneny, Iwobi and Macey.

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91 Replies to “Milan at home. An empty stadium? But is the media finally changing its tune?”

  1. Bulldog.

    Regarding the medias presentation of an ’empty’ stadium Sunday, none of us should be surprised. There was a complete lack of perspective, the schedulers had this as a midday game on Mothers Day.It was therefore never going to be fall.

    Tonight will be better. However, we do have a section of fans who seem to get more pleasure from us losing than winning. A good example of that was one of those morons who have hijacked that awful Arsenal Fan TV and turned it into a go to place for rival fans to laugh at our club. Despite beating Watford comfortably he spent his airtime moaning, not at all interested in beating Watford, who he said was rubbish. When asked about AC Milan, they too were rubbish. I have no idea why fans like this bother going to the games if they don’t enjoy us winning, unless their motivation is to hope we lose so they can moan. The media have succeeded in brainwashing these people. Some fans who want Wenger Out aren’t interested in anything other than getting their own way.

    Media narrative – the same old story
    Before the AC Milan game in Italy we were told how good AC Milan were under Gattuso and their amazing record of 6 clean sheets and the 3 month unbeaten run. How we were going to struggle. When we beat them two nil, suddenly AC Milan were being described as a poor team, there was little credit for us.

    The three FA Cups in four years has been largely ignored as an achievement worth celebrating, yet the media are now going on about Spurs chances of winning it and how important it would be.

    We just have to accept everyone is setting us to fail, including a section of our own fans. Win and the other team are rubbish. Lose and we are rubbish.

    A good win tonight will result in a narrative about how poor AC Milan and how empty the ground is. They wont mention the 25,000 on the waiting list for season tickets.

  2. Ryan Mason just said on SSN that Oxlaide Chamberlain has improved immeasurably since joining Pool and Jack should leave too unless Arsene leaves then he may regret leaving Arsenal.

    Another bitter ex spud welcomed to the fold by Sky.

  3. Can we not identify these disgraceful cretinous saboteurs and kick them out of the stadium? For good?

    What do you do to a client who persists on coming in your restaurant and taking a shit on your tables in front of other customers?

    I run a theatre and some bastard in the crowd does not like the play. Yet he comes every week and moans and ruins it for the performers and rest of people. Simple. 2 big fellas escort the gentleman out and get him a cab to hell with no return.

    I PAY1 I PROTEST! Ok then here is your money back and hasta la vista baby

  4. @hunter13


    They are a cancer. It’s all about them, they stopped supporting years ago.

    I don’t like One Direction so you won’t see me going to one of their concerts and moaning about how bad it was afterwards. These idiots forget they are nothing but a tiny bunch of self entitlement egotists.

    They are now all being paid for slagging off the club on Arsenal Fan TV. Think about that. Disgrace.

  5. On jacks contract simple pay him 230 grand aweek when hes not playing 80 grand a week simple he stays

  6. Like Wenger said, nemesis, when arsenal plays they represent 30 million fans worldwide.

    Taht makes the 20-30 toxic dickheads hugely irrelevant but they do make a lot of noice and the media love throwing it in our face.

    every fan of every other team i meet only ask me about my opinion on arsenal fan tv. They love it. They watch it all the time. To laugh at Arsenal fans

    And those cretins still dont get it. They think they are exercising some democratic right to voice opinion but they have done that already.

  7. @hunter13

    Yes, I was reading a Spurs thread the other day after they lost to Juventus. Loads on there saying they can’t wait for the next Arsenal Fan TV so they can cheer themselves up. Its like our own version of the Jeremy Kyle show, the people on there are a pretty dim lot. They all make money from their You tube channels now and one or two run live in game pods. It is an utter embarrassment to the club but the fact they are making money from it shows exactly what they are. They arent supporters they are just blokes who go to games to find something to moan about.

    I would refuse to renew their season tickets.

  8. Just reading online and considering how utterly usless Arsenal have been in Europe – as the press has been beating that drum, what have Manure and Chelsky been ?

    Manure have won 2 out of their 12 last games in knockout stages and Chelsky have won 2 since 2012….

    Not sure Sp*rs have more than a few games on record and they must not have won many. Same for Pool!!

    Leaves City$$$

    Do I see some sort of English wide trend here ?

  9. I hate it when the statistics are so much in our favour.

    It did not help against Bournemouth or Brighton.It seems that Che$lki have failed their first try at beating the big 2 Bs in the first knockout round.

    They have 3 more tries to do better than us, although I doubt if the same set of fixtures that we have had for the last 5 years will happen to them or any other team.

  10. I think Le Boss himself as the Gunners manager does recognise the importance of making all Gooners happy. And as a result, Arsenal MUST keep going in their latest resurgence that has seen them won 2 games on the trot in all competitions by beating AC Milan decisively tonight at the Ems to knock them out of this season’s ELC competition. And also follow it up with another decisive beating of Liecester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday to make it 4 wins on the run which will cancel out the 4 defeats on the run suffered by the Gunners prior to their winning at San Siro to attempt starting a 4 game wins run in all competitions. Which I believe if they succeeded at doing, it will compensate. And the majority of the Wenger Out Brigade will start to keep quiet in their shouts and protests against Le Boss. Let’s mark it, it isn’t Arsenal FC the anti-Wenger Arsenal fans are protesting against but Le Boss. This is principally for his inability to guide his Gunners team to another Premier League Title after abstaining from winning it for 14 seasons run. And also for his failing to see Arsenal win the UCL Title at least thrice in the last 14 seasons as well. A situation the anti-Wenger Arsenal fans see as untenable, unacceptable and inexcusable. After all, Arsenal are a giants top 4 London club side for 20 consecutive seasons before the last season decline set in that saw the Gunners finished outside the top 4 for the first time in 2 decades. Arsenal fans, the AKBs or AOBs are all thirsty for a drink in the Premier League Title trophy having last drank from it in 2004. And are loathing for a drink from the UCL Title giant trophy having never drank from it before. Starting from next season campaign, I believe Le Boss will deliver the PL trophy to the Gooners at the end of the 2018-19 season’s campaign to drink from it to quench their thirst. And in 2019-20 season will deliver the Uefa CL Title giant trophy to the Gooners to drink from it and be happy. For, it’s the happiness of all Gunners Le Boss is after. But I must warn these ambitions can only be achieved if he has the money needed to sign more world class players to enabled the Gunners compete on the level playing ground with their rivals in the top 6 teams. Meanwhile, Le Boss will make the Gunners see some happiness at the of this season when he’ll present to them the Europa League Cup to drink from it to wet their appetites. Hmmm, what a quench of appetite will that be!

  11. @samuel

    I believe we will do what we need to do tonight. I suspect AC Milan will be cautious, they won’t want a drubbing. Hope we see a good game.

    I hope you are right about us winning the PL next season!! My concern, however is that I believe the doping of Man City endangers competition in our league. No coincidence that generally speaking whoever spends the most usually wins the PL or the CL. I am not talking about what is spent in once season but over a couple of seasons. It isn’t just the ability to sign the best players but having the ability to keep the best too. The inevitable trophies that follow further act as an incentive for players.

    You only have to look at other Countries to see what has been allowed to happen.

    I am not a fan of Talksport but this is why I get so infuriated with the media and the section of fans jumping on Mr. Wengers back:

  12. Nice to see you’ve written off all the Arsenal Academy there SAA. The only solution is spend, spend, spend.

    Starting lineup out at UEFA, no bench yet.
    _ 13 David Ospina (GK)
    _ 6 Laurent Koscielny (C)
    _ 8 Aaron Ramsey
    _ 10 Jack Wilshere
    _ 11 Mesut Özil
    _ 18 Nacho Monreal
    _ 20 Shkodran Mustafi
    _ 23 Danny Welbeck
    _ 24 Héctor Bellerín
    _ 29 Granit Xhaka
    _ 77 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

    Our officials are from Sweden
    Referee: Jonas Eriksson
    Assistant referees
    _ Mathias Klasenius
    _ Daniel Wärnmark
    Fourth official: Mehmet Culum
    Additional assistant referees:
    _ Andreas Ekberg
    _ Stefan Johannesson

    UEFA still using that insufferable Daniel Thacker.

  13. Maybe there is a bench?

    Cech, Iwobi, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Elneny and Nketiah.


  14. Sure hope we take the game to them tonight, grab a couple of early goals in the first half.
    Its ironic to see all the results this week, suddenly three teams are booted out of the CL, and now need the FAC, you know the trophy that isnt a trophy if Arsenal win it, but only if they do.


  15. To clarify, that is the time where I am, in Manly, the town at the interface between Sydney harbour (largest natural harbour in the world) and the Pacific Ocean.

  16. Several pictures of the stadium from UEFA, looks like plenty of people to me.


  17. Kos off Chambers on.. Hope that’s the best move, I would have moved Monreal across and brought on Maitland Niles. Fingers crossed Chambers has a blinder.

  18. Koscielny slipped or something? In any event, Chambers in for the man with an accordion.


  19. I’m impressed by Milan.
    They are not falling all over the place, they are playing, they are not asking for fouls and so every time nor searching for an Oscar.
    And they are playing.

    Nice for a change. if this is italian football today, I may start watching Serie A games

  20. Our commentary team needs a big pair of spectacles…

    Everytime Ramsey touched the ball, they’ve called him Xhaka or Ozil…..

  21. Embarrassing dive by Welbeck. Hate it when other teams do it, hate it when we do it.

  22. Wow a penalty, Welbs went to strike the ball and caught the defender.
    We would never had got that in a million years in the prem.

  23. 1-1

    When did we change the convention that the person fouled should not take the penalty

    Good job we did

    Hopefully this goal and the England call-up will do wonders for Welbeck’s confidence

  24. I guess it just proves Wenger’s point that the divers now in the Premiership are all English – but Welbeck has a long way to go before he is at the Ali/Kane/Vardy level.

  25. Such a shitty dive from Welbeck. Don’t care if my father dived – a dive is a dive.

  26. Anyone that is okay with that penalty has absolutely no right to moan about it when teams inevitably do it to us. I just hope we score enough so that we don’t go through by only that one goal.

  27. Some UEFA statistics for you.

    Shots _ _ _ _ _ _ _7:5
    _on target _ _ _ _ 4:1
    _off target _ _ _ _2:1
    Blocked _ _ _ _ _ _1:3
    Corners _ _ _ _ _ _2:3
    Offsides _ _ _ _ _ 1:4
    56% Arsenal possesion
    Passing accuracy _89:88
    _passes _ _ _ _ _339:225
    _completed _ _ _ 303:197
    Balls recovered _ 19:13
    blocks _ _ _ _ _ _ 3:1
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ _5:4
    Yellows _ _ _ _ _ _1:3


  28. Gattuso was signalling for a yellow card before the assistant behind the goal (who couldn’t have been any closer) even called the penalty. Truly poor decision and out of character for Welbeck.
    No extra time now!

  29. …..and Chambers couldn’t help the ball hitting his arm for the AC penalty claim, but with these officials………….

  30. Dive, hm, you have a guy running at full throttle hoping to catch the ball, and then he gets pulled back by his shoulder. That is an attempt to prevent your opponent from playing the ball, which by the rules of the book is a foul. Stuart Holden apparently forgot that – but what can we expect from AAA-ESPN.

  31. Maybe the penalty awarded to Welbeck is very generous (but let’s be honest, when a PL team is awarded similar penalty against Arsenal, nobody in the medias see anything wrong…)

    On the other hand, Koscielny should definitively have been rewarded a penalty for the nudge he received, and no one will talk about it

  32. Both sides guilty of giving away cheap passes, we need to tighten up.

  33. Love the shoot on sight attitude of Miki, needs to train Ramsey and Xhaka the same skill.

  34. And another blatant penalty that the media won’t talk about. I mean how late was that tackle on Ramsey?

  35. Now I do acknowledge that Milan are creating chances, and with better strikers they could have put us into more trouble. Oh, and thank you Mr. Eriksson for spotting another dive.

  36. The UEFA idiot, “There’s no snap to the …”; two seconds later we score.


  37. Well, looks like we are getting closer.
    And I lkie our pressure, the way we go after each ball, the way suddendly there are 2 or 3 Arsenal players banding up all of a sudden.

  38. Chris, your observation is almost exactly opposite of this idiot commenting for UEFA.


  39. Yes!! Yet another brilliant display, lets hope we can keep this up! I’m guessing we’ll be drawing Athletico Madrid tomorrow.

  40. Arsenal 3 AC Milan 1

    Another one in by Welbeck. Eat your hearts out you traitorous fans, arsenal fan tv moaners, pundits and so called media experts. Bet money, they’d do a complete wash down of AC Milan afterwards and tell us how they have been playing rubbish

  41. At least we were not contaminated by Sp*rs and did not collapse for 5 minutes….

  42. Chambers did an excellent job jumping in for Koz.
    And Me Wenger has finally found the right formula to have Wilshire and Ramsey on the field at the same time. And it f…g works

  43. Closing stats

    Shots _ _ _ _ _ _ _7:5 _ _17:14
    _on target _ _ _ _ 4:1 _ _ 9:3
    _off target _ _ _ _2:1 _ _ 5:5
    Blocked _ _ _ _ _ _1:3 _ _ 3:6
    Corners _ _ _ _ _ _2:3 _ _ 4:6
    Offsides _ _ _ _ _ 1:4 _ _ 1:5
    56% Arsenal possesion _ _54%
    Passing accuracy _89:88 _ 90:89
    _passes _ _ _ _ _339:225 618:466
    _completed _ _ _ 303:197 557:417
    Balls recovered _ 19:13 _ 32:33
    blocks _ _ _ _ _ _ 3:1 _ _ 6:3
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ _5:4 _ _13:9
    Yellows _ _ _ _ _ _1:3 _ _ 1:4

  44. Savage cannot understand why Ramsey and Wilshere don’t play together more. Try looking at the British thugs like Shawcross.

  45. Great win by the team. Arsenal 5-1 on aggregate, if this is how ‘lost the dressing room’ or ‘ AW can’t motivate his players’ look like, then continue it please.

  46. Arsenal 3-1 AC Milan is the final score-line at the Emirates Stadium tonight in the Europa League Cup last 16 2nd leg match. And this result puts Arsenal into the hat for the quaterfinal draw of the competion. We all know this but I am just saying it for saying sake. But from the look of things, will Arsenal have a Premier League game date this weekend to honour as Liecester who are their next opponent team in the PL will play in the FA Cup this weekend? What a 2 weeks rest it will be for the Gunners until after the international break when they’ll return to action against Stoke in the PL at the Ems. Fortunately, their playing for their national teams during the international break will keep the Gunners busy and fit away from match rusty.

  47. Polo

    So true.

    But the problem is we cant just have a bad game without it being an utter disaster.

    A player cant play bad without being a disgrace. Not fit to wear the shirt. Blah blah blah.

    I hate it when we lose. I hate it when we play poorly, but one thing I always try to do is keep it in perspective, something so many in the media don’t want to do, and so many fans refuse to do.

    I don’t think we are the only victims of this type of over reaction, but with us it is just a lot worse than most.

    Anyway, I thought tonight was a thoroughly professional performance.

    Before the match it was a tricky one to know how to play it.

    Kind of stick or twist?

    In the end I thought we got the balance just right, so well done Wenger and the lads.

    I must say I was pleased for Welbeck, and for Xhaka. rightly gave him MOTM.

    One last thing. I would like to echo Chris’s sentiments regarding AC Milan.

    No diving. (well, 1) No dangerous fouls. Tried to play football. Played in the right spirit. They had a couple of things go against them and were understandably a bit annoyed, but never went OTT and certain didn’t try to seek retribution by resorting cheating. Well ok one small dive as I said.

    But honestly, over the 2 legs they’ve been a credit to serie A.

  48. So the Guardian says, if I make it short :

    – the ref gave us a penalty
    – the Milan goalie gave us a goal
    – they did not give Milan a penalty

    we got lucky, did not deserve the win, etc.

    GuEss they are still not over the Spurs melt down

  49. Well we will be in Europa at least one month longer than Alexis and ManU, Chelsea and the spuds. And that for a rubbish team and a rubbish manager. Well done boys!

  50. Chris

    Have a bit of sympathy man, this must be really hurting these guys.

    Lets go back to the morning of Wednesday the 7th of March. As we stood then:

    Spurs were poised to go through to the next round of the Champions League. They were bringing a glorious 2 -2 draw back to Wembley, and surely that evenings match was just a formality.

    Man United were bringing a solid 0 – 0 home from Spain, and surely the 2nd leg against Sevilla was a mere formality.

    Then we had Arsenal, 4 defeats on the trot, and next up a resurgent AC Milan in the San Siro.

    Make no mistake, this is a serious media wank fest in the making.

    But wind on just over one week later:

    Spurs LOSE at home and are OUT of the Champions League.

    Manchester United LOSE at home and are OUT of the Champions League.

    Arsenal Beat AC Milan 5 – 1 on aggregate, and are through to the quarter finals of the Europa League.

    How would YOU feel, if you were just about to pull one off and somebody through the coldest bucket of cold water you’d ever seen, all over you ?


    They must be really pissed off !!

  51. @Nitram,

    you forget Chelsky…. !

    And now Manure, and Chelsky have as bad or worse a record in knock-out stages in CL since 2012….

    But then, you are right, poor guys. Their certitudes just blown away. All that hard work for nothing. All the preparations, the excitement…. poor guys…..

    Then on the other hand they arebeing very nice with all those specialists in failure and are far from really criticizing all these world-class managers.

    I do wonder what the draw tomorrow will bring us.

  52. Wouldn’t it be such a hoot if none of those three also don’t win the FA Cup ?
    Out of Premier league contention ,out of Europe and long out of the League cup .
    Would that be considered a failure ? Only CL qualification to look forward to, but as we all know those are not trophies !

    And lets not forget, that the mighty FA Cup giant killers Wigan Athletic are still in the mix !

    For me personally , I ‘d love to see Swansea win it and our old boy Fabianksi add another medal to his collection . Come on you Swans , gut them chickens!

  53. As for Guardian, I will repeat it again: it seems to me that only Pochettino and Levy have taken their “Since you are here…” appeal seriously.

    As for last night, Welbeck’s dive was awful but Arsene’s comment on English players’ diving was a master-class.

  54. There was a healthy contingent of Milan outside the Cocks Tavern by 5pm yesterday, in full voice and looking forward to the game (according to the couple I spoke with). Didn’t see it as an unwinnable tie either. Good turn out from the Italians and our home support also – stadium looked pretty full.

    Gattuso is absolute class. You could tell he was frustrated by events but his comments afterward were gracious and restrained. A real pro.

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