Arsenal v Bayern: self-preservation …… the first law of nature

The long awaited moment has finally arrived. The Bavarian brigade have descended on London. Time for nervous anticipation and a bit of trepidation perhaps. Following their survival from the Group of Death, a fresh challenge awaits the good guys of Arsenal. What can be more daunting than to face Bayern Munich, the “best team in the world”, in the first leg of a dance unto death?

2 nil against bayern

Neither is this the first time. Last year as well, Arsene Wenger’s men played Bayern in a first leg at The Home of Football, and they lost 1-3. An outrageously superb return leg victory by 2-0 still saw Arsenal crash out of Champions League on away goals. Bayern Munich went on to win the Champions League in Europe followed by the World Clubs Cup.

However, daunting as the challenge no doubt is, there are some positive notes of encouragement this time round.

First, the away win against Bayern in Munich sparked a remarkable run for Arsenal, leading to an amazing record over the calendar year 2013; by and large, this run of performances and results still continues.

Second, Arsenal have had occasional indifferent performances, but the positive vibes from the FA Cup win against Liverpool are fresh in the minds and hearts. This is in sharp contrast to last year, when they went into the game against a disappointing loss to Blackburn. Quoting Arsene from yesterday: ““We have a strong team spirit, that is for sure, and a strong desire to do well and a united team. … We did not always have the belief, because belief is built by the results and on that front we are stronger.”

Third, Bayern were the champions last year, and are favourites this year. But they are not yet champions again, and the law of averages indicates they may falter at some step. And after the heroic display by our boys last year, it is quite possible that the massive fall from grace may happen here and now, against the mighty Arsenal.

Fourth, Bayern were a formidable unit last year, and they still are. But are they better than last year? Well, the core of the team is essentially the same, and the main difference is the new manager – the master craftsman Pep Guardiola. By contrast, Arsenal have a new magnificent wizard, Mesut Ozil, plus a lovely bunch of upcoming stars in The Ox, Wilshere and Gnabry. On balance, the relative changes in team strengths seem evenly matched.

On the injury front as well, it seems fairly balanced. Arsenal are missing two key players in Ramsey and Theo. Bayern have sustained injuries to Ribery, Shaqiri and Badstuber; Schweinsteiger is returning from injury and may not feature in the game.

Fifth, Bayern have been mighty impressive in the Bundesliga this year. But they get to play largely weaker teams in the German league. Whereas Arsenal has fought hard against the Oilers, and is therefore potentially better tempered by their fighting performances. The motivation and spirit within the team is very high. Yes, there was a minor incident involving the truancy of one Olivier Giroud, but that cancels off against the reportedly unsettled Kroos in the Germand side.

Overall, it looks even stevens. It remains to be seen who turns up on the night. Who has the greater desire to perform well. Arsenal’s defensive performance will be under particular spotlight. Not conceding an away goal will be particularly crucial.

On the line-up, the goalkeeper and defence select themselves. The primary objective to my mind will be to withstand an immensely potent Bayern attacking force, likely comprising midfielders Robben, Kroos and Muller and frontman Gotze. With this in mind, I would suggest Flamini and Wilshere as defensive midfielders, and an attacking midfield of Rosicky, Ozil and The Ox. Rosicky may moving back in defence and Wilshere likewise move up in attack.

And finally, here is the bombshell. Given disciplinary issues, including a disregard for team curfew the night before a game, I would not be averse to Wenger allowing Giroud some more bench warming time. Football is a team game, and no one is indispensable within the team. Podolski is the striker in my starting lineup. He has just scored a fantastic team goal against Liverpool, and so his confidence should be high. Santi scuffed shooting opportunities twice gainst Liverpool and does not appear to be fully fit. He will be on the bench as well, in preparation to launch a salvo when the need comes.

a  v bm

However, the Boss knows best. We will see what team emerges. The bottomline is to fight hard in the midfield and break down opposition attacks, and a tight and compact backline to thwart any advances that may trickle through. The priority is not to concede an away goal to Bayern. There will be chances at the other end, and we should be eager to take these chances.

All to play for. Onwards and upwards!

COYRRG!!!!

Written by arnie

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223 Responses to Arsenal v Bayern: self-preservation …… the first law of nature

  1. kelsey says:

    Lovely write up arnie and this is in my mind the biggest test we have faced all season.
    I can’t remember a game for a long time where despite playing at Home we are huge underdogs and with all respect to Wenger keep mentioning that the squad have a new found mental strength the physical strength is just as important and though I maybe contradicting myself Ithink we may benefit more by not playing Wilshere as European refs blow the whistle for the slightest of touches and furthermore we don’t really know how fit Jack is.
    It is imperative that we start as if we mean business and get right in their faces,none of this casual,lack lustre opening 10/15 minutes that we have seen far too much recently.
    We can beat anyone on our day but Bayern are the form team in the world so not conceding will play just as much as scoring.

  2. Rasp says:

    Super upbeat PM arnie. I know many think I err on the side of pessimism but I really think we can overcome BM over 2 legs.

    I was at the home game last year (I think I was sitting with chas) and I remember saying at 1:2 , this is not the end of the world as long as we don’t concede a 3rd :( We went all out to get the equaliser and were hit with a sucker punch on the break, it was that last goal that cost us the tie.

    So I agree with you, we must keep it tight tonight. A draw or even going behind by 1 goal wouldn’t be a disaster. Obviously we have it in our ability to get a win – but that could create the wrong mind set for the return leg – I hate it when we try to preserve a lead.

    Odd as it may sound, a draw tonight probably gives us the best chance of winning this time round.

  3. Point 5 for me is key. With this unbelievable endorsement from the German FA that gives Bayern first choice of every star footballer in the Bundisliga, all they have done is taken a strong league and made it very weak. There is no challenge to Bayern’s dominance and as a result, since their last CL game at home to City, They’ve played 9 competitive games and won 9. Scored 28 goals and conceded 2.

    I believe they’ve had things very easy in the Bundisliga and I have a sneaky feeling they will carry that sense of how easy their results are into the Emirates.

    Arsenal will be key here though. We have to be cautious and feel our way into the game. We can’t go guns blazing like we did at Anfield and at City. Bayern will punish us. Arsenal must defend the last man, stick like glue to Gotze and don’t breath on the master cheat Robben.

    This is the game that Ozil will announce himself. I don’t know why. But I have a really good feeling.
    COYG!!!

  4. RC78 says:

    I think we should just make sure that we give ourselves a good chance to go through before the next leg in Munich. What does that mean concretely? Limit the goals conceded. If we go to Munich 1-1 or 0-0, we are in good shape…If we go there with a victory, even better but we need to be solid tonight.

    I would play Monreal today and I would bench Ozil as a result…

    Rosicky – Flamini – Wilshere or Monreal
    OX – Giroud – Monreal or Wilshere

    I would also play Giroud because he will be able to match up the defenders in the air on offensive and defensive set-pieces.

  5. TwentyTwelve says:

    Nice pre match, arnie. I like your 4th and 5th points, and your overall optimism.

    Am I mad to think that Sanogo played in the FA Cup, so that Bendtner will start this match? Assuming that Giroud would be diciplined, or not in the right mindset to compete. Podolski to come on later, after Arsenal has survived the first half.

  6. I would not be surprised to see Podolski start.

  7. Rasp says:

    The bookies’ odds against Arsenal are ridiculous. I think the most likely outcome is a draw but to make us such underdogs is crazy. But that’s all good, underdogs will do for me. Our defence is better than last season. Let’s hope that Ozil sees playing against Bayern in the same way Cesc performed against Barca (forgetting the backheel :( )

  8. arnie says:

    Thank you, Rasp. The title is …. perfect. :D :D Meetings now, back a bit later. :D

  9. Rasp says:

    I suppose one of the questions we should ask is – how different are we as a team compared to last year? Well at least 2 of the players in the pic in the post won’t feature, but we’ve got Ozil, the defence is more solid and we’ve spent most of the season so far top of the league (despite GiE’s swingometer :? )

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m neither pessimistic or optimistic, maybe just too excited to be either. If we do end up with a draw Rasp the only good draw would be 0-0 ant score draw would be in Bayern’s favour,

    I cannot see us winning the CL so in a strange way I would prefer us to go out in this round to ease our schedule for the PL run in.

  11. arnie says:

    Thanks everyone. A nervy day. Yes, 0-0 will be the best result realistically for me. We have to break down Bayern attacks. The signs are good. We have been challenging better in the midfield in the past couple of games. If we can keep the defence tight, we can do this. :D :D :D

  12. Sukky says:

    Am really excited about this match and am also badly frightened.We may play with a handbrake,defend well and hit on counter but where is the pace against a very fit German team?But i just have this feelings that we will surprise the football world today.

  13. arnie says:

    Bayern chief Rummenigge: "We waited 20 years for our Arsène Wenger – we were close to sign him in the 90's. But now we have Guardiola." #afc— Ahmed (@Ahmed91Gooner) February 18, 2014

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, there is no reason why we couldn’t score in Munich. Obviously a 0-0 is best, but I think there will be goals. I predicted 2:2 for this game about a month ago – maybe I have kelsey’s talent for looking into the future :lol:

  15. Sav from Australia says:

    Excellent pre-match, Arnie! Now I’m pumped!

    Damn, have to go to sleep and wake up in a few hours for kick-off. I don’t know whether to be nervour or quiety confident. This is the big tie. Are we ready yet? Is this the season?

    Night all. Catch you in 7 hours!

  16. chas says:

    Cheers, Arnie.
    Excited to find out what is going to happen tonight.

    Just think, we could be facing the prospect of facing Dnipro tomorrow night if we’d been born disfigured by the curse of the basketball-balancing chicken.

  17. Excellent pre match Arnie, I think you’ve just written yourself into the vacancy of Big Raddy’s deputy. :) :)

    I have to take issue with one of your points re. disciplining Olly for his nocturnal escapades.

    If it is purely on the basis of him breaking curfew then, of course, it’s necessary, but if it’s for his alleged lothario-like behaviour then I say pish-tosh.

    Whatever two consenting adults do (or not do) is totally none of our business and far too much self-righteous, puritanical bullshit is written about how sportsmen should behave.

    I also don’t buy into the fallacious argument that off field distractions necessarily affect on field performance; if anything they provide an escape from them and probably improve performance.

    Anyone remember when Lee Bowyer and Jonathon Woodgate were awaiting trial for beating up a Pakistani? While this was going on Bowyer was in the form of his life as on the pitch was the only place to escape his troubles. It had no negative effect on him whatsoever.

    So in conclusion the decision to pick Olly should be made purely on footballing reasons and not some hypocritical, arbitrary moral code that some commentators/red tops are screaming for Wenger to adopt.

  18. Norfolk Gooner says:

    G’day day all, G’night Sav,

    Great work Arnie, I like your optimism.

    I see no reason why Giroud shouldn’t be up for this game, or dropped for disciplinary reasons. His sexploit was weeks ago and any action taken by the club has more than likely already been done.

    If anything, he should be more pumped up as he will want to make amends for the embarrassment he has caused.

    I wouldn’t ever try to second guess Wenger’s team selection, suffice it to say there will be at least one surprise.

    Our priority tonight must be to avoid conceding a goal, if we can go to Munich on an equal footing we will have a good chance of going through.

  19. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I see nothing wrong with sex before a big game…so long as the couple can find a quiet corner of the dressing room. :D

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Earlier today the subject of marriage and divorce came up. This September I will have been married for 50 years and one of us deserves a medal. Frankly we have grown closer as we’ve got older.

  21. kelsey says:

    “We can’t go guns blazing like we did at Anfield and at City. Bayern will punish us. ”

    Did we , I thought we werw 4-0 down within 20 minutes,hardly threw two passes together. !!!!!!!

    “I would play Monreal today and I would bench Ozil as a result”

    you are kidding, aren’t you :)

  22. kelsey says:

    I agree Norfolk, even better whilst watching a game,if you have got your positions right :)

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Kelsey, Chance would be a fine thing. :D

  24. arnie says:

    Congrats, GN5. That will be some jubilee. After the private celebrations, can we please have a party somewhere to which all of us are invited? :razz:

    Thanks, Chary and Norfolk. My point was only about discipline and agreed rules. What one does outside as consenting adults is outside football. There is a social responsibility thing that Arsene talks about, role models and all that, but about this I hold my judgment. :D

  25. arnie says:

    I do not necessarily think Giroud should not be played. My point is that, (a) if Arsene were to do so on disciplinary grounds it would be OK by me, and (b) personally, I dont think Poldi would be a substantially poor alternative. :D :D

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well done Arnie definitely reasons to be optimistic.

    I think last seasons home game could have been very different if it wasn’t for one incident. Namely the first goal…..and the events that led to it. Most people blamed Ramsey but I placed the blame on Arteta, with the opportunity to clear his lines he chose a four yard pass to Ramsey in his own area.

    Would Flamini do that? Probably not so Arteta’s absence could be a blessing tonight.

  27. Rasp says:

    I met up with GoonerB this morning and had a very interesting discussion about our attacking options.

    He thinks along the same lines as Micky – we should play with a quick, mobile tricky, 2 footed finisher up front as opposed to a big guy to try to hold the ball up …… one more vote for The Ox in the Box. I’m coming round to that way of thinking myself.

  28. arnie says:

    Chary: you are too genorous. Raddy’s replacement would be you. I was s**t scared I may let everyone down. No, I am not good enough. But I am glad you guys are a generous lot! :D :D

  29. arnie says:

    Rasp: The Ox in the box. Yes, for me, when Theo is back. Not now, we need someone to run behing the back line. No one else to do it. :D

  30. Bryan says:

    A good write up Arnie.

    If we turn up from the start I feel optimistic but if we do the usual,
    of bottling it & showing them to much respect, then I think it will be similar to last years result.
    I think a massive loss for us is Theo, so I believe Ox has got to start as in your team.
    I would go play Giroud though & would also be tempted to play Carzorla instead of Rosicky.
    I do think we need to give Pod more game time & would definitely bring him on with 30mins to go, if it wasn’t going our way.

    Hopefully though we will not show fear (a problem I believe we normally suffer from) & can play our normal game.
    If we can do that I think we have a very good chance.

  31. 50 years of marriage !!!. You don’t deserve a medal…..you deserve parole !.

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    Watching Barca last night I was struck by just how rarely the moves finished with the man in the middle. It was all about runners from deep.

    That’s why I think we can play with OG up front, we just need the midfield to go past him to finish the moves he helps to create.

    Having had a luxury of many goal scoring centre forwards I think it hard for us fans to come to terms with the fact that a centre forward doesn’t have to score a lot of goals to be effective. If the team stop going past him our attack becomes toothless, I’m all for Ox being in the box I just think he needs to be breaking from deeper to make it effective. The same goes for Pod as his goal on Sunday highlighted.

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    No Cockie my wife deserves a reprieve………..

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    What I found fascinating was Barca’s stop start form of attack, from a walkabout they suddenly sprinted and frequently caught out the City defense. The second goal came after a brief period of walking with the ball.

  35. arnie says:

    I saw a slightly different game yesterday. Barca is clearly not the same team we faced a few years back. For all of their passing fluidity, Shitty defended OK, until the penalty and red card.

    The on, it was 11 versus 10. Fair enough, it was spectacular. Agree fully with GiE and GN5’s analysis of the benefits of holding and sprinting in.

  36. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Watching last night I was strangely disappointed with Barca, at first their passing and movement was enthralling, in the first 16 minutes they completed 141 passes to City’s 41, but it was all completely sterile, not a single attempt on goal. Perhaps the plan was to draw the city defence out and leave space behind them but that didn’t seem to work at all.

    When Barca did eventually score, dubious penalty, foul outside the box? they seemed content with a one nil lead and played at walking pace, while City seemed equally content with a one nil deficit before waking up to the fact that they were capable of creating a few scoring opportunities of their own.

    The Fabregas off-side was a travesty, but maybe evened things up for the penalty decision, while only Alves seemed intent on seriously attacking. His reward a well taken goal that should see the end of City’s Champions League aspirations for this season.

    Barca? Pretty but I wouldn’t want to watch them every week.

  37. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Fans’ group Red Action, working with the club, have pulled out all the stops in a bid to crank up the volume, writing to ticketholders with a special plea for support.

    The three-point plan outlines how fans will be asked to create a huge mosaic of cards spelling out the club crest and red and white stripes around the four sides of the stadium.

    But, clearly concerned their plans could be undone by a few boozy latecomers, the club has taken special measures to urge fans to arrive promptly.

    As well as being asked to be in their seats by 7.35pm (ten minutes before kick-off), supporters enjoying a pre-match pint have, rather optimistically, been asked to ‘bring others with you!’.

    Now, if they can just get them to stay in their seats past the 75-minute mark we might have a night to remember.

    From Metro.

  38. RockyLives says:

    Nice pre-match Arnie

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Ollie will play – he’s our first choice centre forward and, as Norfolk says, any disciplinary action by the club will already have happened.

    So with Ollie up front, it’s a question of who plays behind him. I would go Oxo on the right, Ozil in the middle and Pod on the left. Ozil and Pod will really want to show their stuff tonight in a game that will be watched by every football fan in Germany (in a World Cup year). Ditto the BFG.

    So for me the only question is whether we play Flam and TR7, or Flam and Wilshere. I think I would prefer the former but I expect AW to go with the latter…

  39. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey
    We did go all guns blazing at Anfield!

    Their first goal came when Suarez broke down their left wing with Sagna nowhere to be seen because he was still up near the ‘Pool penalty area, forcing the BFG to foul Suarez.

    Then when we went one down we kept charging at them instead of shutting up shop and calming the game down.

    Twenty minutes later… 4-0 :(

  40. LB says:

    ————Szez

    Sagna, Mert, Kos, Gibbs

    Wilshere, Flamini, Rosicky

    –Ozil, Giroud, Cazorla.

    I don’t understand why I am the only one including Cazorla, is he injured or something?

  41. Norfolk Gooner says:

    LB, he’s looked a bit weary lately, could be carrying an injury.

    Ollie’s tweeted, “we did not commit adultery” Sounds just like Bill Clinton, “I did not have sex with that woman”

  42. evonne says:

    very good PM arnie! You are going to get Raddy out of his job :)
    I think your points pro us winning are superb, but football is a funny old game. You can tick all the boxes and come unstuck. It’s enough to look at the results of our 2 last meetings with Pool – does it make any sense to anyone? No. So for me – anything can happen tonight. I am neither excited nor optimistic – nervous if anything. But I rather suspect us to lose – is it all right Micky? Late enough for a bit of gloom?

  43. evonne says:

    GN5 – what do you mean you’ve been married for 50 years? Is that legal in America?

  44. kelsey says:

    short memory loss, Rocky :)

  45. kelsey says:

    short term , I meant (see what I mean)

  46. RA says:

    I totally agree with the Norfolk Incomer @ 1:17.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with sex before a match provided there is a little discretion, and as for myself, I am also in favour of it during a game too, if I can find someone willing and able. :-)

  47. RA says:

    While I am in the mood for being agreeable, I completely concur with my colleague and good friend, CharyB @ 1:07, in that any prurient interest in punishing Giro for a bit of tickle my fancy is quite unacceptable, and as I have previously said it is a matter between him and his wife, and I am sure she is well able to administer suitable chastisement on her own account. :-)

    Any punishment should be confined to a slap on the wrist for smuggling a flappy mouthed gold digger onto the premises.

    The one thing I should make clear is that CharyB was NOT recommending that Giro should beat up an innocent Pakistani to improve his performance – on the pitch – a la that toe rag Bowyer!! :-)

  48. RA says:

    Evonne,

    Poor old Raddy, he hops off for a little furlough, only to come back to find you have ousted him and installed another Pre-Matcher.

    He will be pleased – not! :-)

  49. RA says:

    Hi GN5,

    I am not sure that it is right, among superstitious folk like me, to offer congratulations before a wonderful milestone, so can I get around that by offering you my felicitations on the forthcoming special event!! :-)

  50. RA says:

    Look, don’t worry guys, I am quite capable of filling up the idle hours until kick off on my own.

    After all, Norfolk is no doubt having his afternoon nap, or partaking of a pre-match preprandial, and Rocky is up in the mountains, making money and god knows what the Cockie one has done to our mascot Terry Syrup! :-)

  51. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders … I’m listening :)

  52. 26may1989 says:

    Afternoon all, and chapeau for that exiled in Scotland geezer, goes by the name of arnie.

    I feel strangely relaxed about tonight’s festivities – I don’t expect us to progress in the competition, and to be honest, I do think we’ll lose the game tonight. But I don’t mind, we’ll be playing one of the world’s best teams, and as a football junkie, that’s good enough for me.

    Not that anyone should write us off. It amazes me how quickly pundits seem to have forgotten that the mighty Bayern only disposed of us last year on away goals. I heard a journo yesterday say something like “How will Arsenal cope, playing the side that swept past Barcelona 7-0 in aggregate last season?” Well, let’s first consider that when we played them, the score was 3-3. Sheesh…..

    One thing that struck me about Bayern in the second leg last year was that they were absolutely paralysed, they just couldn’t lift themselves. And even for chunks of the CL Final against Dortmund, they seemed to be having some problems getting into gear. As I say, I expect them to win tonight, but I can easily imagine things going in a different direction tonight.

    Anyway, let’s make sure we all enjoy the evening – three hours to go and counting………

  53. Bayonne Jean says:

    RA @ 4:17: re sex during a game, EPL referees are familiar with the practice, particularly Howard Webb, who’s been buggering Man U opponents for years. Based on this past weekend, he’s also capable of doing it to both sides…..

  54. Rasp says:

    Here’s hoping ……….

    ……”Bayern Munich are unbeaten in the Champions League since that game on March 13 2013 and, furthermore, unbeaten in all domestic competitions in Germany under new boss Pep Guardiola.

    In fact, not only were the Gunners the last team to keep a clean sheet against Bayern Munich but they were the last team to beat the Bavarians at the Allianz Arena in all competitions and have held that record for 11 months which will surely give Arsene Wenger’s side the belief they can avoid conceding this evening and go on to get a result in the second leg”

  55. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, are you going this evening? If yes, you have to be in your seat by 7:35 to hold up your card for the stadium collage.

  56. Redders – at your 4.21; crikey, I hadn’t thought of it that way and I’m glad you pointed out I hadn’t recommended some miscreant violence to improve on field performance.

  57. 26may1989 says:

    Oh, there’s a collage thing tonight, thanks for that Rasp, I didn’t realise. Will make sure I’m in position!

  58. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ZZZzzzz, ZZZzzzz, What’s that? Somebody mention my name? Sleeping in the pm? Me? No! No! Fully awake! Blimey is that the time? Off to open a nice bottle of Claret, one must let it breathe you know.

    Don’t forget all you attendees at tonight’s match, in your seats by 7.35 at the latest and in Delia’s famous words “LET’S BE ‘AVIN YER”

    C’mon TheGuuners!!!

  59. Kick off at 4:45 am here… The night is gunner be tough ! COYG !!!

  60. kelsey says:

    Hi 26m

    Not so sure about last year,did we see the real Bayern as the game was effectively lost in the first leg, but I suppose we will never know.

    With regards to tonight I would rest Wilshere.He is not in top form, I believe isn’t 100% fit and as usual would get targeted a lot. Does he bring something extra to a game like this ? To be honest I am not sure.

    If we play not to lose, it could be fateful and goes against Wenger’s philosophy,so a middle ground needs to be the game plan tonight.

  61. johnnie nyc says:

    great post on a big day – I am an Arnie fan ! I agreed with Trent on point 5 – Bayern used to weaker league opposition,– but I’m afraid they know that we are the toughest draw they could have in this round. so there are no surprises, they will be well prepared.

    Rasp, (and Goonerb) I also have wondered whether Ox should be tried up front– even Gnabry in the future for the same reasons – trickery, speed, causing havoc- they have both shown they can earn penalties with their speed and footwork- that’s something we almost never get- and NO, im not talking about diving – just putting so much pressure on defenders that they end up making mistakes.
    plus Ox and Gnabry are not lightweight- that’s what sets them apart from players like sterling, and makes them much better prospects for our league.
    with Ramsey out, I actually prefer Chamberlains talent helping in midfield, because he brings the athleticism I think we need there, because of Artetas physical shortcomings. I would give Gnabry more game time on the wing than Arsene has.
    But for today, I expect Jack to play and to excel. I think he likes the big stage, he’s had some rest ( I would never, ever play jack 2 matches in a week )- and I think he has great memories against Peps teams in the past.

  62. JanMan says:

    Trenthscreenwriter: I can assure you the the Deutsches Fussball verband (DFB) has nothing to do with endorsing players for Bayern or any other German club. German players want to go to Bayern simply because they are the best in Germany and Bayern can out bid any other German club.

  63. JanMan says:

    Arnie, super post. The key to success is not to give up an away goal. I would be happy with a 0-0 as then anything can happen in Bayern and we would have an advantage if we score in Bayern. Of course a 2-0 win tonight would make me a very happy man especially as I will be watching the game live on German skysports with about 9 German friends who will all be shouting for Bayern. Hopefully I can keep them quiet!!!

  64. JanMan says:

    Pep Guardiola has never won a game at the Arsenal!

  65. JanMan says:

    GN5. If we can go through to the next round at the expense of Bayern then surely that would be a massive morale booster to continue on a good streak in the EPL. If and a big if, we beat Bayern over two legs who is to say we cant go all the way, ok maybe I am dreaming somewhat but I am ever hopeful :-)

  66. JanMan says:

    Ok, no one is talking to me as I guess everyone is preparing for the match. Time to eat and then break open the keg of German Bier. All enjoy in your own way tonight’s game :-)

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    JanMan,

    I would be delighted if we got to the last eight but I don’t think we have the depth to continue on in 3 competitions.

  68. GunnerN5 says:

    THE SHOEBOX
    A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

    For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

    In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totalling $95,000.

    He asked her about the contents.
    ‘When we were to be married,’ she said, ‘ my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.’

    The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two Precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two Times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with Happiness.

    ‘Honey,’ he said, ‘that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?’

    ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.’

  69. Rasp says:

    Kelsey, peaches has asked if you’re still up for writing the match report. :)

  70. evonne says:

    RA @ 4:25 – that will learn him not to swan off on a holiday during the critical part of the season. Why can’t he, like everybody else, go during internationals or even better – summer break? If he is made redundant, he has only himself to blame

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great PM Arnie.
    You’ve set the mood and I’m so ready for this now.
    Really busy day, off for a nibble, then back for my own pre-match routine on here.

    Can’t believe LB left out our two on-fire goalscorers in Pod and Ox. What a strange cat loving fellow he is :-)

    Back in 20.

  72. arnie says:

    Thanks everyone. really enjoying this. sorry busy all day. should start to proceed towards the pub now. COYG!!!!!! :D :D :D

  73. dandan says:

    As far as I am concerned Jack has to play alongside the flamester in the absence of Arteta. Also for me Cazola should sit out the first hour at which point Arsene can make a decision. This was a game made in heaven for Ramsey and Theo and they will both be missed tonight, when pace will be important so come on the OX

  74. evonne says:

    aha, the crowd is beginning to gather, hello Dandan :)

  75. GoonerB says:

    Evening all. A fine pre-match Arnie and interestingly I had the same line up as you in mind. I also dropped Ollie to the bench but not due to any tittilation in the Travelodge, but more because I feel the lack of pace up top with him would hand certain advantages to Bayern.

    The one thing I would do differently would be to play the Ox up top (almost like a false 9) and Pod to his left. I feel the extra pace of the Ox will keep the Bayern defenders more worried with balls in behind and I would like to see the Ox spin off the CD’s into the wide channels away from them onto through balls when we look to break from deep quickly, rather than the normal ball into Ollie centrally while he tries to hold of the CD’s. From there he can hold up the play while the cavalry arrive. If he spins wide left then it would also allow Pod to angle into the centre so that the 2 of them could almost dovetail at times between each others positions.

    For a long while I have always felt the Ox would make a top number 10 more like a Rooney than a Gerrard. At 5’11” he is no giant but no midget either and would be around the same size as Suarez. Add to that his pace, body strength, eye for goal, and the ability to take on defenders and strike the ball off both feet, and I feel he has all the right attributes and could play that role for us. It would likely stop the Bayern defenders from pressing a high line and would create more midfield space for our maestros to weave their majic. I just feel this type of set-up would suit us better at the moment against the top sides and would cause them more problems than playing any of Giroud, Bendtner, Podolski or Sanogo as the spearhead of the attack.

    I was outlining my devilish plans to an erstwhile gentleman earlier. He knows an awful lot about football as was nodding sagely, but I am not sure whether he was convinced by me on the tactical switch of Oxlade-Chamberlain through the middle and Podolski slightly deeper to the left as oppose to the other way round. What we did agree was that it was very unlikely that AW would set up like this anyway so that was a waste of good typing time..

  76. evonne says:

    I have a complaint to the admin. I used to talk to dog walking Arsenal supporting ladies in the park. Yes, some women like talking about footy, admittedly from a different perspective, ie hair cuts, new kits, if their wives had babies, etc. But since I started here on AA you lot brainwashed me with formations and tactics, and now the girls don’t want to talk to me about Arsenal

  77. dandan says:

    Talk of Sanogo up front tonight, interesting, we will see if that is correct

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GoonerB
    I think you and I could become new Bezzies :-)

    A week or so ago, I dropped the same thinking bombshell and was met by a deafening silence.

    I do understand the thinking of keeping him wide until we see The Walcott return, but still, great minds :-)

    I’m still all aflutter on the back of the Ozil-Ox-Pod goal the other day, and want more of the same. If that means crowbaring oone of the above into the team ahead of Pantsdown Giroud, then so be it.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bonsoir Dandan

    I’m so excited by tonight’s game. Just great privilege to be able to watch The Gunners dining at the top table alongside the European Champions.

    Wouldn’t mind some straws to clutch to for when I head out to Munich for the return on the 11th.

  80. dandan says:

    Mickey we are privileged to have a team that gets to play CL every year, will sit back and enjoy tonight win or lose. There are 500 plus professionals at other PL clubs who would give there all to change places with us.

    Sanogo is playing up front

  81. kelsey says:

    Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo

  82. evonne says:

    that’s a big as of a young lad. Mind you, the arrogance and bravado of the youth could be a nasty surprise for the Bavarians

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    True dandan. I was speaking to a very old Spurs chum of mine today, and saying how much I was looking forward to the return win, lose or draw tonight. He agreed about the experience being so important.

    Sonogo. Very interesting. Reckon Pantsdown took one in the sensitive region from ‘Err Indoors. Painful and thus on the sick list. Ouch :-(

  84. RA says:

    Evonne,

    Your logical assessment of the ‘Raddy Doings’ @ 5:58 has convinced me. :-)

    Down with the vacationer!! Boo!! Boo!!

    [Not that I approve of boo-ing, of course, but for you - anything!]

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hooooooooray The Ox takes to the Meadow :-)

  86. TwentyTwelve says:

    Wow, Sanogo starts.

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah RA

    Our paths cross at last. Been meaning to have a quiet word with you.
    You mentioned something the other day about that idiot Didit being a good surfer. Let’s be quite clear on this, enthusiastic is what he is. Good, oh no.

  88. RA says:

    Micky, are you dissing Raddy too with your coded message at 7:04? :-)

  89. RA says:

    No, Micky,

    I did not believe me, either! just trying to smoke you out, and see if you were in cahoots with that Exile re the ‘flat Hawaiian Islands, which just happen to be the tips of ginormous, mainly underwater volcanoes with their ‘tips’ sticking out! :-)

    That last bit was in no way a reference to Giro!!

  90. Didit has stabilisers !.

  91. RA says:

    Seems to be a lot of ‘tips’ there – hope Evonne did not notice!! :-)

  92. kelsey says:

    Wasiu Lawal: Yaya Sanogo starts. I’m about to hyperventilate!!(BBC)

  93. RA says:

    Cockie, darling, i knew you would get right to the bottom of matters!! :-)

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA
    Diss away I say. As the saying went “never trust a hippy”. Always sloping off on holiday and abandoning his duties :-)

  95. kelsey says:

    RA

    where are you these days apart from yentzing on the sofa whilst the match is on.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cockie

    Brilliant :-)

  97. RA says:

    But he strums that geetar beautifully, and that smooth, smoky voice belting out his one and only song, and those beseeching eyes …. oh, go on – let him write his blooming’ pre-matches!! :-)

  98. dandan says:

    Mickey I was on the beach at Eilatt Israel, Decided to go into changing room and change out of my swimming trunks, in the middle of this a very attractive young lady came in and went into the shower which had no curtains and began to remove her wet suit under the running shower. She pulled it down towards her waist and I saw she had nothing on under it. I panicked grabbed my gear and ran out to rejoin my wife on the beach. She couldn’t stop laughing said I had no bottle.

    Is this why you do surfing, is this a regular bonus you get for belonging to the club

  99. kelsey says:

    You told me a slighly different story,dandan ;)

  100. dandan says:

    Kelsey it frightened the life out of me.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA
    Re the Exile comments. I actually interpreted some crossed wires between mountains and built up coastlines.
    Me, I’d love to go there.

    By the way, aren’t you in Wichupichu or something. The iconic surf film was made in the sixties by a Californian, Endless Summer. They went to NY to see backers for distribution who said it would only work in sunny seaside places, so they took it to screen as far as poss from the sea. Waccupaccu or wherever it is you be. Record snowfall greeted its opening. It was packed for the weeklong run, So they booked a second week. Ditto. Fullski.

  102. RA says:

    Kelsey,

    I wish you had not asked. :-)

    I am just bumming around staying with friends and relatives – which sometimes means I have to miss Arsenal games – as some of them think it is a perversion, and they pray for me to give up my Brit ways – and that is only just worse than being from NYC. :-)

    Could be back in the UK in the near future, if just for a while.

  103. dandan says:

    Lars go to bed with a hot water bottle my friend you are obviously unwell

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha dandan.

    Many many many years ago, I played in a band (really badly in my case). We were playing a gig in Paris, and between bands, two girls came into the dressing room. Said nothing. Stripped down to very little then disappeared. We “oh ok’d” and thought this must be normal in France. Two minutes later they dashed back in stark bollock naked, got clobber back on and vanished. Again, we shrugged, and “oh ok’d” each other.

    Only later discovered the promoter had organized strippers.

    Right, football only now. Really shocked about Sanogo.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    dandan

    Lars want Arsenal lose. Innit.

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, popping out for a last breath of fresh air. Then away we go.

    Come on you mighty Gunnnnnners

  107. kelsey says:

    and its goodnight from me and goodnight from him :)

  108. kelsey says:

    You mean a fag,Micky.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooo Lars gone. ROLF

    Yes, fresh air Kelsey :-)

    Catch up half time.

  110. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sanogooooooooooooooo

    I’ll be saying that in about five minutes :D

    Brave or mad you’ve got to love Arsene’s belief in players

  111. kelsey says:

    He’s a very big lad that Sanogo

  112. evonne says:

    who the feck are those guys in red shirts?

  113. kelsey says:

    everyone in shock

  114. kelsey says:

    How can you write a match report after these opening 40 minutes.Unbelievable

  115. RA says:

    Well what did you make of that?

  116. kelsey says:

    great opening save by Szsney then all Arsenal. Why oh why did Ozil take the penalty.That’s two lame efforts on the trot. We really rattled them and then Gibbs get injured and monreal is and will be targeted all night. Kos magnificent then Szsney ses red which is a debate on it’s own,why one keeper sees red one sees yellow.
    Sanogo’s threw ball to ox was magnificent.
    We have a fight on now but bayern will be wondering how goof and well organised we are.

  117. TwentyTwelve says:

    Real proud of the team. Big, challenging half still left though.

  118. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well that was eventful :D

    Shame Mesut missed, shame referee chose not to book Boateng a second time for the foul on Wilshere, if he hadn’t been on yellow he would have seen yellow. Szczesny red card ref had little choice but think he could have got away with a booking considering where Robbens touch went. Contact was minimal too.

    But unlike last night it worked and he missed the pen.

    All to play for….2 subs down there are going to be a lot of tired legs, need to conserve energy and break when we have good opportunity to.

    Sanogo’s doing ok but we may need Giroud for more hold up work, which means everyone else has to put a shift in.

  119. RA says:

    My first half impression was that the guys played very well in that half.

    It is not that I am blinkered by being a Gooner, but what was Chezzer supposed to do? Stand still like in netball, or whatever, or dematerialise, Mr Spock?

  120. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’d like to see the Emirates boo every touch of a Bayern player not just Robben let’s make it a hostile atmosphere.

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey, haven’t needed some fresh air so badly for a while.

    What an exciting half. Brilliant. Such a shame about red card. Crowd unbelievable. Can we pull this one off? Yes, we can.

  122. Gööner In Exile says:

    Agree with RA, don’t think Szczensy has a choice

    Like Keksey didn’t fancy Ozil with the pen…..but when we got it I couldn’t really think of anyone else except Gibbs or Ox….generally that’s to do with the way they are both so upright in stature which gives an impression of confidence. So not based on any science.

  123. evonne says:

    I am counting to ten, it doesn’t bloody work!!!!!

  124. kelsey says:

    I fancy a bayern player been sent off.
    Can’t bring Pod on won’t track back,but who, as he must make other subs

  125. evonne says:

    only 1 sub left. Has to be Giroud

  126. RA says:

    Life is unfair and so is football.

    That stupid red card rule has wrecked the game and turned it into a bit of a farce with 10 brave men given no chance.

  127. Now we have to win 3-1 at Munich. Easy.

  128. That would be the real revenge.

  129. RA says:

    Sadly, that brave and defiant run by Kozzer probably led to the final nail in the coffin,

    He was still out of position when they scored the second goal.

    But what a gutsy player.

  130. kelsey says:

    Beaten but not disgraced.

    If only Ozil had scored, if only Gibbs hadn’t been injured and if only Szsney hadn’t been sent and stupidly gestured to the crowd.
    We more than matched them for 35 minutes. so who knows what might have happened.

    our name is not destined to be on the CL Cup.

  131. TwentyTwelve says:

    Like your thinking, Benjamin

  132. Itsonlyrayparlour says:

    Ozil absolutely gutless. Not impressed. Fine he missed the pen but he was a lazy *** for the rest of the game

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What a bugger about the red. Looked so good until then.

    You’re right, Benjamin, 3-1 sounds so much easier than 3-0 :-)

  134. Gööner In Exile says:

    Why bother conceding Benjamin? Just 3-0 will do :)

    To be fair 11 v 11 we were giving them a game…..we should have been 1-0 up before Szczesny goes off but if we were 1-0 up that might not have happened at all.

    Shame we couldn’t keep it to 1, there was no need for Jack to launch the ball to Koz looking for an equaliser and there was no need for Koz to have been going forward, he had already busy a gut taking us out of defence.

    I know Arsene kept Ozil on because he was worried about ball retention as much as defensive shape but personally I would have put him in front of Bacary and given Ox and later TR7 the job of helping Nacho against Robben.

    All in all I wasn’t that impressed with Bayern, they are a lot more dangerous with Ribery in the team.

  135. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey you think Szczesny was gesturing to the crowd? I reckon 4th official.

  136. RockyLives says:

    Hard to blame Szcz – as Redders say, what’s he supposed to do? It’s the “triple penaliser” rule that’s wrong: 1) the opposition have a penalty; 2) you’re down to 10 men; 3) your player is suspended for the next game.

    Bit disappointed we didn’t keep it to a one goal deficit. I thought it was nuts to take that quick free kick to Koscielny – of all people – in the centre forward position. We definitely weren’t “set” right in the run-up to their second goal.

    Ah well, if we’re going to get knocked out, better to get knocked out by the best team in Europe and after a valiant 10-man effort. It shouldn’t be too demoralizing for the lads.

  137. I was thinking the exact opposite of last year would be nice, you know, getting away with the away goal. But it’s true that Arsene doesn’t like the away goal rule, and it wouldn’t be nice to have all the pundits and haters reminding him that if we went through like that… So 3-0 it is !

  138. COYG, we haven’t lost yet !!!
    We can still get the triple !

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ramsey back for the winner in Munich?

    And on that note goodnight all

  140. RA says:

    Before the game I would have settled for the team to put up a good performance, and hopefully, because I was not honestly expecting to win.

    But somehow a brave performance has been spoilt by the cruel way that game was played out as a result of the red card nonsense.

    OK, the sending off was within the rule of the game — but the rule is an ass.

  141. Shard says:

    That second goal left me feeling a bit deflated. A 1-0 would have felt like some reward for the effort the entire team put in. The refereeing today was generally very good. Shame that the sending off spoilt what would have been a very entertaining game. My initial reaction was that a yellow was deserved because the ball ran away from Robben. But I suppose the case could be made that it wouldn’t have if he hadn’t been hit.

    We’re not entirely out of it though. The first 35 minutes or so showed us that we well and truly belong at the highest level. But I think they also showed that we are just a little way off of being what we would like to be. I know it goes without saying, but that penalty should have been scored. But when it was missed, the team lost its way. We should not have let that take away our momentum as a side.

    Also, maybe we need just a little more time together as a team, but we should have showed a little more even with 10 men. That is less criticism than an observation. It can be done. We’re good enough, and hopefully by next year, our evolution will be complete.

    But for this season, we still have the second leg. The quarter final of the FA cup, and the 12 league games left. Hopefully Gibbs isn’t out for too long.

    Just to mention Sanogo. He barely got to do anything going forward the entire second half, but he never looked out of place in the team. That’s Liverpool and Bayern he’s now played against and not looked outclassed. A very good beginning.

  142. Rasp says:

    I’m on my way back from the game and can’t believe what I’m hearing on the radio. I’m really proud of our boys. We were more than a match for them when it was 11 v 11. I am however disgusted at the 10% or so of our ‘supporters’ who flooded out when they scored the 2nd goal – disgraceful

  143. 26may1989 says:

    Well, I enjoyed that. Yeah, I know, 2-0 defeat at home, with a missed pen and a red card is all a bit tough to swallow, but expectations weren’t that high (at least not chez 26), and there was plenty to like.

    The thing is that triple whammy that Rocky mentioned. I’m all for decent punishments for offences, but sending off keepers in that situation really isn’t right. There has to be a distinction between the cynical fouls and the fouls that arise from genuine attempts by keepers to play the ball. An outfield player has more of a choice when there’s a goal-scoring opportunity as to whether he makes the challenge or not (see Demichelis last night), but a keeper facing an oncoming striker is in an entirely different situation, he has to go for it. And sending off a keeper when a penalty has already been awarded seems wrong, it doesn’t make sporting sense, and every punishment in a sport must make sense in terms of the sport in question. And that’s before we even think about the keeper being suspended for the next game. In fact, I’d say it’s a quadruple whammy, since we also had to use up one of our subs and drag off one of our attacking players in order to have a new keeper on the pitch.

    It’s not just unfair on the team (us tonight), it also perverts the sporting contest, since we were lined up to face one of the best teams in the world for an entire half with only ten men (and already having lost a player to injury, and therefore leaving Wenger only one sub to use). The game, which had been a fascinating and even contest, was defined by the mandatory red card for Szczesny, and that is a real shame, it demeans the contest, rather than enhance it.

    Although Bayern weren’t on top of their game tonight, they used their second half advantage as well as anyone I’ve seen – too often a team with one more player fails to realise the advantage it has, and runs up against the depleted side’s newly erected brick wall. But Bayern tonight combined consistently good passing and movement with concentration when they needed to get possession back to make real sense of their numerical superiority. They weren’t very efficient at creating chances but eventually we cracked.

    And well done to Guardiola for subbing Boateng at half time – he was one foul away from a second yellow, so avoiding the teams being quickly levelled up was a smart move.

  144. 26may1989 says:

    Four CL knock-out games this week, four away wins.

    I wonder when it last happened in a CL knock-out game that both sides missed penalties.

  145. Gööner In Exile says:

    Correction 26 he should have already received a second yellow for a foul on Jack in our half when we were about to go on another counter.

    Rasp agree with fans leaving at 2-0, they might have well left at 1-0 if all they were staying for was some miracle comeback. FairPlay to those left behind made ample noise to make up for those departed.

  146. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sky focussed on an incident between Flamini and Ozil where Flamster is giving him a bollocking got not tracking, Ozil shrugs him offas we have seen him do to BFG previously.

    Ballack seemed to think that perhaps Ozil hasn’t been accepted by his teammates yet. I wonder if there is any truth in that, we are not a squad of big time charlies, do we think Ozil has upset the apple cart within the squad?

  147. Gööner In Exile says:

    I do hope the Mirrors back page for tomorrow that I’ve just seen on Twitter is a photoshop, if it’s the actual paper I suggest not a single Arsenal fan buys it again ever!

  148. Gööner In Exile says:

  149. Gööner In Exile says:

    And as a comparison to this morning:

  150. Gööner In Exile says:

    Poor John Cross posted this on twitter….then started getting pelters about that back page…..seems he was unaware and says that he wishes someone would have warned him so he could have put his tin hat on.

  151. 26may1989 says:

    I think PaddingtonPaul needs to chill out a bit, that’s a bead of sweat, not Robben spitting on Sagna.

  152. arnie says:

    deflating, yes, but what a fantastic performance! 11 versus 11 we were just superb, 10 versus 11 even better. Very proud of the guys.

    But, and a big but, no pardon for missing a penalty. No blame, but if you do not take your chances, you cannot make your own fate. Just one of those days.

    Plenty of positives to take. Hopefully team will take these and move forward.

    Still smiling :D even if more than a tad disappointed. :sad:

    But, hey:

    “Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
    Weep, and you weep alone.
    For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth
    But has trouble enough of its own”

    Onwards and upwards!!!! :D

  153. Gööner In Exile says:

    One for Micky

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Exile

    Are you saying something prophetic what with a light at the end of the tunnel type of pic? :-) Nice.

    Very interesting points (Rocky then 26) about the red card being a quadruple whammy.

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    After Fab came on and then Monreal, both so early, it really was salt in the wounds stuff when Bayern brought on what seemed like an endless stream of fresh young sausagers as we inevitably tired.

  156. Gööner In Exile says:

    True Micky.

    Muller is a very good player to bring off the bench especially. I’ve always rated him highly.

    Can’t really fathom why Kroos has not yet been given a contract extension by Bayern. Worrying that he could be at a PL rival next year.

  157. Gööner In Exile says:

    Not sure if it’s been well publicised but the club funded the card display before kick off last night, Red Action have been tweeting thanks to the club for agreeing to fund and also the fans for getting there early enough to make it look so good.

  158. Gööner In Exile says:

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, great pics. Missed that. Must of being getting a last breath of fresh air :-)

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ramsey and/or Ribery back for the second leg?

  161. Gööner In Exile says:

    Think Ribery will have had his arsehole repaired, 3 weeks for Rambo? Surely!!

    Let’s hope Gibbo gets back soon and that last night was just a precautionary removal.

    Looking for fresh legs for Saturday…….Szczesny back in goal or do we go with Fab1?

    At the back Jenks, BFG, Koz, Nacho

    Middle ….. Arteta, TR7, Ox

    Up top….Santi, Giroud, Pod

  162. Gööner In Exile says:

    Biggest worry last night is that Pep called Ox a magnificent player who they concentrated on stopping second half.

    Hands off!!

    Also someone did a twitter search for Mesut Ozil + Lazy + Banned Word

    Oh my I wouldn’t do that search if I was Mesut….

  163. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Certainly, in Arsene’s mind, the problem of rotating Pantsdown has been resolved.

    Might make this the last day of calling our French Lover that :-)

  164. Gööner In Exile says:

    Someone posted this as a riposte:

  165. Gööner In Exile says:

    Poor old Oli, he never committed adultery…..not sure if that means the pants didn’t drop. :D

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “I did not inhale” ROLF

  167. Gööner In Exile says:

    :D I did

  168. LB says:

    Did the spat between Flamini and Ozil get shown on telly?

  169. kelsey says:

    Right just a few words about last night,in fact 504 to be exact,in drafts.

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Exile
    Funny and true story.
    When I started my first business, ends did not meet, so had evening/weekend jobs. One in an off license on The Kings Road (World’s End).
    One day, this sodding great 60 something yr old rasta came in, clearly off his tits. After spending an age staring at the fag/rizla shelf he said, and speaking really, really slowly:
    “How much de king size rizla?”
    “10p”
    Long, long pause.
    “How many packs in de box?”
    “40”
    Long, long pause.
    “How much de box?”
    “4 quid”
    Long long pause.
    “I take 10 buxes”

  171. chas says:

  172. kelsey says:

    Sorry 540 words :)

  173. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB in the post match yes.

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    What took you so bloody long? :-)

    LB
    If you and I ever fall on hard times, I’ve had a genius idea. We breed sliding cats. Get a long and thin cheap industrial unit, say Acton, lino floor it, breed pussies, and right from the off, train them to slide. Remember, I am a qualified sea lion trainer, so know what I’m doing. At least £100 quid a pop I reckon. Wha d’ya reckon?

  175. evonne says:

    what spat LB? tell

    I am gutted, we started so well I couldn’t believe that it was our team. I don’t know what Szcz could do, I am not a goalkeeper. But any actions that could result in him being sent off were worse then conceding a single goal. It would have been better if he scored the goal himself. I have no doubt that he lost us the game. One down with 11 men we had a chance of at least a draw. With Gibbs injured and Szcz off, and only 1 sub remaining we had no chance

  176. Bryan says:

    Great effort by the lads, really disappointed that the game was destroyed by an incompetent referee yet again!

  177. Bryan says:

    Flamini had a real got at Ozil when he did not make much effort to track back & I could see Ozil telling him to F Off.

  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good point Evonne.

    Everyone on here last night was saying “what else could he do?” but you are right. The real answer is he should have done “absolutely nothing”.

    Clever thinking.

  179. Bryan says:

    No I don’t blame Scez, he done what any goalkeeper would be expected to do, I blame the ref as he didn’t need to send him off even if he was following the rules as Robben had taken it wide & 2 of our defenders were running in & the ref didn’t exactly abide by the rules when he failed to give Boateng his 2nd yellow card 10 minutes earlier did he.

  180. arnie says:

    motning all.

  181. Bryan says:

    Just a thought, have we got the only German in the world, who can’t take a penalty

  182. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evonne and Micky, there is a distinct difference between Szczesny coming out and Demechelis tackle on Messi, Messi still had Hart to beat, Szczesny was isolated and tried to do something to force him to take more time, obviously Robben waits for the contact after his touch, just like Ozil did.

    The keeper is always the last man of defence, Robben smashes it in the goal unchallenged and everyone looks at Szczesny and says why are you still on the line. He narrowed the angle and pressured the ball as he has been taught to do since he started keeping. And no keeper has ever thought….”i’ll let them have that one” you just can’t expect

    He takes a huge risk as it was a floated ball, but if you are a keeper you “have” to commit to your decision.

    Now the second goal came from a very similar delivery, watch Fab1 hesitate to come at Muller, he stops half way (which is a cardinal sin for a keeper) and Muller scores easily. In fact Fab1 should probably have stayed on his line as there was an angle on the cross and Muller was stretching to meet it.

    Now on the subject of denying goalscoring opportunity, Ozil turns Boateng to go back on to his right foot, and is about to shoot…..Boateng gets a booking. Why? Because the ref played a small advantage to see if Sanogo scored, and therefore wasn’t clear goalscoring? Surely not much difference to Messi being brought down with only Hart to beat?

    Although I am not going to blame the ref, as its one of those ones that could go either way, but i do think Boateng was lucky to stay on the pitch especially given his foul on Jack after the penalty.

  183. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fair point Bryan. Bad time to blame anyone.

    However, we could have a little sign up in the dressing room, along the lines of: “Goalkeepers. Try not to get sent off in the first half of important Champions League games” :-)

  184. evonne says:

    Alaba is Austrian, almost German then

  185. evonne says:

    GiE – how about making yourself big and trying to stop the ball? I am sure there were many safer options for Szcz. The only worse one he could take was to headbutt Roben and then kick him in the head for good meassure. And even that would have been better, because world would be a better place without that earth worm looking git

  186. kelsey says:

    Can you please talk about anything bar football otherwise I won’t get any comments.
    Curling, surfing, sex, cats, divoce, or whatever.

  187. evonne says:

    hardly a spat then, frustrated lads, that’s all

  188. Bryan says:

    It went on more after that too GIE, were still shouting at each other in middle of pitch

  189. evonne says:

    Kelsey – what do you know about curling, surfing, cats or divorce ?

  190. Bryan says:

    Kelsey,
    Kroos fantastic CURLING shot gave them the lead ;-)

  191. Rasp says:

    Motning all,

    There is such a load of old tosh being spoken about this game. The newspaper backpages with headlines like ‘Expert in failure’. I don’t know what impression was given by the TV coverage, but let me tell you all, up until the missed penalty we were more than a match for Bayern – the so called best team in the world. In fact we had the better chances. So all this bollix about Arsenal being outclassed is just lazy journalism and nonsense from so called fans who don’t understand the game.

    That is 3 times we’ve had a player sent off in the latter stages of the CL where the ref could have exercised a bit of judgement.

    Sanogo put in a good performance and showed a couple of flashes of skill that you don’t get with OG.

  192. evonne says:

    Micky – talking about business opportunities. People pay for up to £5000 for a micro pig. You go and get 2 huge beasts that are uprooting your trees and dig up the foundations of your house. And it’s not as if you were going to have a juicy pork roast one day, no, because they are pets. Good thinking.

  193. evonne says:

    Rasp – no football talk in the morning on this blog :)

  194. Rasp says:

    Here’s a bit of joke journalism from this morning. The same ‘expert’ said “Bayern are the best team in the world” and “City will have a more difficult job to qualify now than Arsenal” …. priceless, what a complete twunt

  195. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    “Curling, surfing, sex, cats, divorce”. Now these are the subjects I’d expect you to cover in your post pre post

  196. Rasp says:

    I’m very angry evonne. Our 10 men put in an epic effort and at 1 nil down we were still very much in the tie. We did show our naivety once again by charging forward when we should have just continued to shut up shop and conceded the late goal. But you could not criticise the way we defended for 60 minutes apart from that.

  197. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    The list of mistakes I’ve made in my life is a very long one :-)

  198. Bryan says:

    Yes angry is how I feel, is it me but it seems everytime we have a massive game I feel refereeing decisions have let us down & we never seem to get a fair crack at the whip

  199. arnie says:

    Curling, surfing, sex, cats, divorce

    Bowling, canoeing, fight, dogs, wedding
    :sad:

  200. evonne says:

    Rasp – I know, we are all gutted
    Micky – thank Dennis the list of your accolades is even longer

  201. Rasp says:

    Hi Bryan. In fact the time I nearly erupted was when there was an exodus after we conceded the second goal. I stood up and shouted at the idiots leaving and with some colourful language – I asked them where the %$^& they were going, and told them that they should stay and support the team. The morons walking out just looked embarrassed whereas I got plenty of support from those who were staying.

  202. Rasp says:

    evonne, I’m not gutted at all, I’m proud of the team. I’m angry at the officials, the media and the Arsenal fans who don’t appreciate how hard we battled in that game.

  203. Bryan says:

    Rasp
    maybe they had a train to catch ;-) I’m just kidding.
    Yep is disappointing people leaving after team has conceded.

    We battled hard but again Wenger’s substitutions baffle me,
    I thought he should of taken Ozil off & left on Carzorla & even more confusing is that when interviewed he said that missing the penalty effected him, so surely then you take him off.
    Gibbs was a massive loss too as Robben hadn’t been able to cut in but as soon as the hapless Monreal was on Robben started having a field day.
    We really need to buy in the summer at least 3 players 2 being world class as saidly that is how football has gone & its the only chance of winning things these days.

  204. kelsey says:

    Oh you forgot that every pundit mentioned that was the hundreth red card since Wenger took charge. The prize giving and trophy will be presented to him personally by Sir Chips.

  205. arnie says:

    Yes, very proud of the team. Angry with the useless joker vitriol spewers. Shit happens, occasionally. That’s life. :sad:

  206. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right,

    Is there any last detail of the game we haven’t covered before the Kelsey match report goes up. Still time :-)

  207. Shard says:

    Morning all.

    Rasp, it was a frustrating game to watch. Many people who are Arsenal fans have the default position of venting that frustration at Arsenal, regardless of reason. It was a fantastic performance from the players, a few mistakes notwithstanding. But we faced a brilliant team, and 11 v 11 stood toe to toe with them. Even had them rocking. With a man down, we conceded basically an unstoppable goal, and one goal where we should have known better than to launch it forward. But that doesn’t take away from the effort the team put in in the face of a set of unfortunate circumstances. If people can’t see that. Well, what can you do. And all this constant hating on Ozil is ridiculous. ‘We’re bored of this toy, why didn’t you bring us another one in January. I’d specifically written to Santa, but that Grinch Wenger stole it away.’

    See this is partly the reason I have started to stay away from the net. If I start thinking about it, I get as hot under the collar as you :)

  208. kelsey says:

    Oh feck it, I give up. Just copy and paste all these comments on the new post :) :)

  209. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha Kelsey

    Anyone who has ever written a match report has gone through the “oh what’s the fucking point” thinking :-)

  210. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well played Rasp…..I often go for the subtle “these seats obviously aren’t expensive enough” but last night given the Herculean effort out in from the lads they deserved the fans support until the end and I think I would have been more than colourful…..they earned that last night.

  211. Bryan says:

    I’m not sure I agree with you Shard, Ozil is a brilliant player but has been playing poorly for quite a while.
    It is the same with any other player, if their not playing well people get on their backs & the player should be dropped.
    & he’s taken 2 poor penalty’s that have looked super casual, personally I never want to see him take a pen for us again, but I still think he will come good for us once he has a season under his belt.

  212. Gööner In Exile says:

  213. kelsey says:

    Actually he has missed his last 3 penalties ,one was for RM

  214. Bryan says:

    Well he should of smashed it, RVP stylee ;-)

  215. TwentyTwelve says:

    Guardiola: “They were much, much, much better than us in the first 10-15 min”

    Disappointed with the result, but am very proud of the team. Only wished Arsenal hadn’t gambled and exposed themselves for the 2nd goal. However, I understand totally how mentally tiring and frustrating—leave alone physically demanding—it must have been to be pinned back for so long.

  216. Shard says:

    I happen to agree on the penalty aspect Bryan. Also, it’s another thing to say Ozil played poorly. And quite another to label him a flop or a waste of space. It’s like they’ll tear down a world class playmaker for not being a world class DM, and call him lazy for it. The amount he ran in the game won’t matter. the fact that a playmaker needs runners won’t make any difference, and the context of the game (such as yesterday) or where the entire team does poorly (like Anfield) is irrelevant. What can you call this tendency to take something good and tear it down for not being perfect, except ridiculous?

  217. Bryan says:

    For me this season has been one of the worse for poor refereeing decisions, there seem to be at very least one in every big game :-(

  218. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………….

    I’m just trying to find some pictures of the stadium from last night.

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