By Bulldog Drummond
And so the negativity and the put downs continue as the media seem to be going on an all out binge to tell anyone who will listen that Arsenal are in terminal decline:
“A year long absence can happen to all the giants but a second season would begin to look like a trend and could conceivably have a direct impact not just on the players who Arsenal might attract but also the identity of the next manager. Would the likes of Max Allegri or Luis Enrique, who have respectively managed in Champions League finals for Juventus and Barcelona, really be drawn to a season in the Europa League?”
So questions the Telegraph, perhaps forgetting that in a four year spell Manchester United from 2014 to 2017 ended the seasons 7th, 4th, 5th and 6th, in one season not playing in Europe at all, and in another going into the Champs league, getting knocked out in the group stage into the Europa league and then going out in the Round of 16.
Or from 2010 to 2017 Liverpool were 7th, 6th, 8th, 7th, 2nd, 6th, 8th, 4th, and won the league cup.
My point is that the bigger teams go through lean times. Tottenham’s lean spell seems to have lasted a little longer than others, but no club goes on and on at the top. Arsenal have achieved the second longest run in the Champions League in the entire history of the competition, and now are indeed having a leaner couple of years but what is it, in the minds of these scribblers, that makes Arsenal’s case so different from those other clubs? Oh yes, of course, it’s Arsenal.
As it is Mr Wenger is one of only two managers to have been in charge of 250 games in European competition. But let’s not dwell on that, or being the greatest FA Cup manager of all time, or indeed anything positive at all. As Sky tells us daily, Arsenal, like all the clubs below them in the Premier League, are rubbish.
Back in reality, Simeone won’t be directing traffic from the side of the pitch tonight but he had the sort of grace long ago abandoned by commentators in this country in pointing out that Mesut Ozil is the genius within the team who links the defence and the midfield and then moves forward. He said, “Maybe they will have more anxiety as they need to score – we need the stadium to explode with passion and positive energy. We will try to be very blunt, direct and live every second to the maximum intensity – that is what we are about.”
Many of the comparisons with the past are negative such as the fact that we have not won in the last six visits to Spain – the last being that wonderful victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League. But on the other hand on the two occasions we have drawn the first leg of a European semi-final, we’ve gone through to the final.
If we get there it will be our sixth major Euro final and the third under Mr Wenger. And we do have Alexandre Lacazette who in his last 13 Europa League starts has scored 11 and assisted in two goals. Plus we had 28 shots in game last week against this team. Not a record but fairly close.
And here’s a final funny snippet that turned up. If we do go through it will be the first time two English sides have made the final of two major Euro competitions since 2005/6. And I wonder if, without looking it up you know both of them.
One of course was Arsenal in the Champs League but the other?
Middlesbrough in the Uefa Cup.
Where are they now?
- A Madrid v An Arsenal. Another Madrid man sent off this week
- How can Arsenal be fined for fielding a weakened team when everyone is rubbish anyway?
- Hoping a hero’s sacrifice will lead to the future we dream of.
- How the media always knocks Arsenal, but ignores England’s failures.
- Left has never been stronger at Arsenal FC!
- The seven main things that are wrong with football in England
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 2 comments from the manager and team news
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 1 the head to head record and comments on Spurs summer signings