“No pollution. Until the press conference starts.” A. Wenger.

By Bulldog Drummond.

According to the Independent website, “One of the problems with Arsenal for the past few years has been a stagnant flatness.”  Ah well.  I guess that maybe they were not at the Cup Finals.

And while there is a lot of coverage of Mr Wenger, and of violence once again surrounding a match that Liverpool is involved in (Uefa were said to be “deeply shocked” although of course that is not to say that anyone supporting Liverpool was to blame) there is not too much coverage of tonight’s game in the media as yet.  Perhaps it will come later.

So let’s have a look at where we are on the playing front…  Here are the last 10

Date Match Res Score Competition
04 Mar 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
08 Mar 2018 AC Milan v Arsenal W 0-2 Europa League
11 Mar 2018 Arsenal v Watford W 3-0 Premier League
15 Mar 2018 Arsenal v AC Milan W 3-1 Europa League
01 Apr 2018 Arsenal v Stoke City W 3-0 Premier League
05 Apr 2018 Arsenal v CSKA Moscow W 4-1 Europa League
08 Apr 2018 Arsenal v Southampton W 3-2 Premier League
12 Apr 2018 CSKA Moscow v Arsenal D 2-2 Europa League
15 Apr 2018 Newcastle United v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
22 Apr 2018 Arsenal v West Ham United W 4-1 Premier League

Two defeats and a draw – all in away games.   Which might be rather worrying for next week but is rather reassuring for tonight.

Our record through the season in the Europa League is

Date Match Res Score
14 Sep 2017 Arsenal v 1.FC Köln W 3-1
28 Sep 2017 FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal W 2-4
19 Oct 2017 Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal W 0-1
02 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda D 0-0
23 Nov 2017 1.FC Köln v Arsenal L 1-0
07 Dec 2017 Arsenal v FC BATE Borisov W 6-0
15 Feb 2018 Östersunds FK v Arsenal W 0-3
22 Feb 2018 Arsenal v Östersunds FK L 1-2
08 Mar 2018 AC Milan v Arsenal W 0-2
15 Mar 2018 Arsenal v AC Milan W 3-1
05 Apr 2018 Arsenal v CSKA Moscow W 4-1
12 Apr 2018 CSKA Moscow v Arsenal D 2-2

We have scored three or more five times in the competition which is quite encouraging especially as we saw in the last piece there has been a bit of a hiccup in the performances of Atlético Madrid of late.  (Incidentally I have only just discovered that Atlético Madrid were known as Atlético Aviación from 1939 until 1947.  If you didn’t know that, now you do).

The slight decline in their recent results might be down to the fact that this seems like the end of an era for Atlético as there is talk of Fernando Torres,  Antoine Griezmann and Jan Oblak, all leaving – and this is something of an ageing side.

Gabi is 34, Juanfran and Diego Godin are both 33, and Filipe Luis 32, although he is injured.   So although it looks like Atletico will be runners up this year this can’t be seen as the start of an even more intense challenge to the traditional top two, but more then end of an era.

In the last five years they have won the league once (in 2014) and come third four times.  But they will have to build a new squad either this summer or soon after.

There is always a lot of talk about Atletico Madrid’s defence and it is true that this season they have had 11 consecutive clean sheets … at home.  But away from home it is a different kettle of whatnot, as they have not had a zero in the goals against column in their last eight away games and as we saw yesterday, have lost three of the last four away.

However scoring against them isn’t that easy as they have the best defensive record in La Liga with just 18 goals conceded in 34 games.

So we need goals tonight, although there is a slight benefit in that their keeper Oblak has said he doesn’t know where he will play next season – the rumour being that PSG are paying 100m euros for him.  There has been talk that we could buy him, but that would blow all of this summer’s budget in one player – and leave nothing for next January either.

Oh yes and there is talk of them using a five man defensive back line tonight, just to make the match more exciting.

More anon…

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7 Replies to ““No pollution. Until the press conference starts.” A. Wenger.”

  1. Simeone will park the bus. Long balls up to Costa if he’s fit, which will be dangerous as it’s our achilles heel.

    Just need to keep it tight and not give them those valuable away goals.

    I’ll take 3-0 now……..!!

    Come on boys, do it for Arsene and the true supporters.

  2. Given the exprience Atletico have got in the European competition under Semeone, i’m afraid arsenal is highly likey to get knocked out. Atletico is better than arsenal in every position on the pitch.

  3. OT: The (sweet) FA

    A few places in the news have an article about the owner of Fulham (and other stuff) wanting to buy Wembley for a lot of money. Part of the reason is to try and get a NFL franchise which would play there.

    One news article suggested this windfall would allow The (sweet) FA to pump more money into grassroots football.

    I doubt it. A big chunk of this money will just disappear, just like the Grenfell Tower charity money.

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