Thirty Five Minutes of excellence, then beaten, but far from disgraced

Where does one begin in a game where Arsenal were written off by many before a ball was kicked and then to the astonishment of many the fledgling Sanogo was announced as leading the line, yet who was to believe what was to unfold.

You will either have attended the game or by now read numerous reports. The many controversial decisions will be discussed for days to come, so I will just offer a few personal thoughts.

There is no doubt we were fired up from the whistle with a fantastic support from the Home crowd which lasted the whole game despite the dramatic events that were to follow.

Apart from the excellent Kroos testing Szczesny after a few minutes we took the game to Bayern. We had their back line at sixes and sevens and then what we thought was the breakthrough. Ozil got tripped in the box, decided to take the penalty himself and to say he fluffed it would be an under statement. To be honest he never recovered his composure and that naturally affected his game.  We continued to press and the gulf in class between the two sides was negligible, and Bayern were worried.

Then the inevitable happened when Gibbs, who was having an outstanding game, once again got injured. It looked like a hamstring pull and he was replaced by Monreal.

A quick word on Sanogo . This was a huge game for the kid who is built like a tank, he showed good vision and that was clearly seen with his dinked through ball from the half way line for The Ox nearly to score .His time will come.

Bayern were getting more of the ball and nearly every attack was concentrated on our left side. To me, Monreal is not the answer to replace Gibbs and it showed.

In the thirty-fifth minute Szczesny was alleged to have brought down Robben. He was shown a red card and not for the first time his youth got the better of him and he made some gesture as he left the field. A penalty was awarded and there was another miss but now it was 10 versus 11 for over 50 minutes and that was always going to take it’s toll.

The second half was basically played in our half and we didn’t have to wait long before we were behind with second scored as injury time approached. In all probability the tie is now over.

Ozil is tired, he should never ever take a penalty again and needs to be dropped for his own good. Apart from Ozil, neither Cazorla nor Podolski are best at tracking back.  However, as a team we have improved dramatically from last year and I would say judged by their own high levels,Bayern aren’t as good as they were.

I thought taking off The Ox was the wrong decision but apparently he is alleged to have got a niggle. Flamini acted like a captain urging his team mates on throughout the game and Koscielny played his heart out and yet was lucky not to give away a second penalty.

I wonder if a fit in form Ramsey would have made a difference,but let’s not dwell as all is not lost and we still have an excellent chance in two competitions.

The photos provided by chas were fantastic and showed what a wonderful sight it is to be at The Emirates.. .

Written by kelsey

97 Responses to Thirty Five Minutes of excellence, then beaten, but far from disgraced

  1. Bryan says:

    Fair interpretation of the game & definitely agree with comments about Ozil being rested & not taking penaltys 😉

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, we’ve done the game. What shall we chat about?

    Yes, Kelsey, I have been planning that line 🙂

    Off to read.

  3. Rasp says:

    Excellent Kelsey, that is a very good and fair summation of the game. The frustration is that even with the injuries we have, we showed that we are a top side on our day.

    Guardiola is a real gentleman and his praise of Arsenal means a lot to me – the British media could learn a lot from him.

    If we can get an early goal in Munich, they will be worried. It would be nice if the luck and refereeing decisions went our way. It comes to something when the crowd has to continually alert the ref to the fact that the linesman is flagging for offside as was the case last night.

    I would also like to know what FIFA are going to do about Roben spitting on the back of Sagna’s head.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s a perfect write up Kelsey. Thank you.

    As I said during the game, what a great night. The atmosphere came across as absolutly electric, and game itself was so entertaining. Even taking out the disappointment of the red card and how it effected our chances, the new dynamic of “can we at least hang on to give ourselves a fighting chance in the return” was, for me at least, exhilarating.

    Brilliant stuff from the players, and brilliant support from the crowd (not the leave earlies obviously).

    0-2 in the return, then penalties. Best practice some them 🙂

  5. Rasp says:

    I really don’t want to scapegoat one player. Ozil is being pilloried from all quarters. I think we have to be realistic. The player we bought for £43m is the player we see on the pitch. He’s never been one for tracking back or putting in a hard tackle – it’s not his game.

    Clearly he’s lacking in confidence and there may be some friction with team mates, but if we can get the best out of the talents he possesses the money will have been well spent.

    I don’t remember DB being any better at the defensive side of the game. We must get off Ozil’s back. Maybe AW will rest him, or maybe he believes that he has to play through this down spell, either way, Ozil is an Arsenal player of exceptional quality in his first season in the EPL – we need to give him a break.

  6. Gööner In Exile says:

    I like fighty Rasp 😀

    Fine thoughts Kelsey, I’m sure most Arsenal fans will see the performance as you did rather than the dross served up by the media today.

    I’ve heard that we were outclassed far too many times this morning, we stood toe to toe for 35 minutes then played like Chavs in the CL final for next 55.

    Difference being they had a multi million pound 11 man team and didn’t dare do what we did from kick off yesterday.

    Yes there was no need for a Jack to play that free kick as he did at the end and yes there was no need for Koz to continue moving forward at the same time…..but you know what….we wouldn’t be Arsenal if we didn’t, we take risks and take the consequences I wouldn’t have it any other way

  7. Jabesh Gilead says:

    i’m proud of what we did early on in the game,loosing gibbs to injury is a blow for us.

  8. Bryan says:

    I don’t think scapegoating Ozil is right, I agree he isn’t a player that does defending in any form, but that is why I think Wenger should of taken him off when Scez went last night.
    Ozil is a luxury player & is struggling with the hustle n bustle of the PL, he will come good of that I have no doubt but think he needs to be rested more.

    Overall was very proud of the players, they gave their all, it was stupid of Jack to take that freekick at the end but that’s life.
    I now think we need to concentrate on league & cup
    because now we have a few very winnable games coming up & can’t afford to slip up, just hope Gibbs is back soon cos Monreal is a liability.

  9. 26may1989 says:

    Nice write-up, kelsey.

    I had a United fan in my ear this morning, going on about how crap we are. Bloody cheek, take a look at the league table…..

    Someone (I think Exile) put up a chart last night showing the distance covered by individual players, and that had Ozil as one of those who covered the most distance. The allegation of lazines isn’t right. But his choice of defensive position often wasn’t great in the second half. He dropped back and sat quite centrally, leaving Monreal to choose between staying narrow with the defence or going out to the wing to pick up the spare man, which is what Ozil should have been doing. I really like Ozil, he remains a great signing, but he needs to get into the mindset of what it takes to battle for a result when the chips are down.

    His penalty was poor but I’ve seen many worse penalties hit the back of the net. Neuer just played very well, he didn’t just choose a side and dive for the corner in hope, he stood up till late and watched what Ozil was doing. Great keeping. The Bayern penalty was far worse than Ozil’s (obviously, since it didn’t even hit the target).

    As for the result, as was covered last night, it was a function of the rules on red cards. The ref didn’t do anything wrong, he just did what he was meant to do, and I also don’t think Robben dived, it looked like a foul to me. I don’t blame Szczesny either, he had to go for it. But the rules aren’t structured in the right way, and that destroyed the game and our chances.

    And as Jabesh points out, the injury to Gibbs had a big impact on the game.

    Rasp, completely with you about the fans who left early, it really is pathetic to give up on a game in those circumstances, especially with another leg to go (and I brook no excuses about it being a midweek match and people have to get trains!). That said, the support for the team was very good last night, starting with the excellent REDaction organised, club funded collage.

    Re Robben and Sagna, I know from that clip it looks at first glance like Robben spat on Sagna, but a closer look shows that it was a bead of sweat that dropped from Robben onto Sagna as Robben leaned down to pat Sagna. Nothing for UEFA to do there.

  10. Danny says:

    If Ozil is knackered now, what will he be like next season after the world cup? There again after last night’s display, Joachim may not even pick him.

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, fair enough if Robben didn’t spit – but he is an odious character so I shall continue to dislike him 🙂

    I didn’t see the reported obscene gesture by Sz. We all applauded him off the pitch and he was nowhere near the Bayern fans – so who was it directed at I wonder and will it lead to an extended ban?

  12. 26may1989 says:

    Fair enough, Rasp, Robben deserves that!

    I interpreted Szczesny’s wanker sign as being about the ref but it could have been about Robben. I guess only TPIG knows.

  13. Rasp says:

    Probably both I reckon 😆 and he’d have been right.

    I haven’t seen a slo-mo of the tackle that won Ozil the penalty but I take it there isn’t an argument that the perpetrator should also have had a red as being the last man?

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, Well done Kelsey, I’ve just one quibble, “Szczesny was alleged to have brought down Robben”. No “alleged” about it, the slo mo replays show his studs thudding into Robben’s leg, if the foot had been on the ground there was a high likelihood that his shin would have been shattered. Wenger’s gesture to Robben that he had dived was ridiculous.

    God! I just hope the second leg doesn’t come down to penalties!

  15. Bryan says:

    I have looked at that clip enough times & I’m not convinced it was sweat that dropped but can’t confirm he spat either

  16. Bryan says:

    I agree it was a foul & penalty but don’t agree with your the studs in the leg analysis, I thought he turned his leg sideways & that’s what brought him down, never the less don’t think he should of been sent off & hopefully they change that stupid rule as another great game was ruined by that decision.

  17. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Bryan, from what I saw in the replays last night it was an horrendous challenge, worthy of a red card on it’s own.

    Maybe someone can find the clip and put it up.

  18. TwentyTwelve says:

    Norfolk, actually, the top of Szczesny’s foot, where the boot laces are, not his studs, appeared to have made contact with Robben’s shin. In addition, Szczesny was clearly folding his leg back in an attempt to avoid contact. He wasn’t in any way kicking at Robben.

    I feel the impact was mininal, because if it weren’t, Robben being in the air, would have flipped forward from it. As it was, Robben had time to land, pulled his leg up, pirouetted 180 degrees, and crumpled to the ground.

    Anyway, what’s done is done. Another match for TPIG2 to look forward to. At this rate, he might get to start in more cup games than wherever he might end up next year.

    (Sorry you can tell I’m still disappointed.) 😦

  19. TwentyTwelve says:

    Clip here. Sorry I don’t know how to inline.

  20. Oguntuase Amos says:

    A sweat will not have a while colour only thick saliva can have such colour. Robben might be a great player but he is a cheat, a diver and a pretender. A bad role model for the young ones.

  21. TwentyTwelve says:

    Ahh… apologies, very nice way to sum up the game, kelsey. I heartily agree with you, “However, as a team we have improved dramatically from last year.”

  22. Bryan says:

    He had no way of getting out the way, for me was just a foul not a bad one so don’t agree it was a nasty challenge

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Bryan & TwentyTwelve, we all have our own opinons and none of them will make the slightest difference to last night’s outcome. I’ll stick to mine, you’re welcome to yours.

  24. 26may1989 says:

    I admit it, I’m a rules geek, but I thought this item, from, is interesting:

    “Two controversial Champions League sendings-off this week have re-focussed attention on the so-called ‘triple punishment’ – penalty, sending off and subsequent suspension – that continues to so cause so must consternation throughout the game.

    UEFA’s executive committee have made a point of tabling the issue at the forthcoming International FA Board meeting in the hope of finally clarifying the situation from football’s law-makers.

    Manchester City and Arsenal both had a player red-carded, in Arsenal’s case goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, after conceding penalties against Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively. Both decisions effectively killed each game, the visitors going on to carve out healthy 2-0 first-leg leads.

    The rule has been hotly debated, with referees frequently applying different interpretations as to what constitutes a goal-scoring opportunity. Critics complain that a penalty would suffice in cases where the foul is not of a violent nature.
The issue was controversially left off the agenda for last year’s IFAB meeting but is back on this year though it is by no means certain any clear ruling will be established.

    UEFA are firmly against the existing law as their general secretary Gianni Infantino made clear after the organisation’s December executive committee meeting.

    “The Executive Committee has asked IFAB to address the issue and clarify the situation at their next meeting so that there are no more red cards for fouls committed inside the box,” Infantino said at the time.

    “We need to resolve the issue of the ‘triple punishment’ once and for all. Everyone is talking about it and feels it is an injustice.”

UEFA boss Michel Platini says goalkeepers in particular face over-harsh treatment but is not holding out too much hope that IFAB – which comprises FIFA and the four British associations – will change the rules.

    “It seems excessive. The penalty is itself already is punishment enough,” said Platini. “I think it’s something that everyone in FIFA and UEFA agree, but one or two of the countries that make up the International Board are unwilling to change.”

    So those Little Englanders who want to blame far off foreigners at UEFA and FIFA for excessive punishments such as that suffered by Szczesny last night should in fact be looking to the four Brits who sit on the International FA Board (one each from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who sit with four FIFA reps, who represent every other country in the world). It seems it’s the intransigence of some of our people that’s the problem.

    But at least people at UEFA and FIFA understand that the triple punishment for this offence is a real problem and needs to be corrected.

  25. Bryan says:

    Ok Norfolk thats fair enough but clearly no studs are shown & I think Boating’s tackle that he got away with was much worse.

  26. GunneN5 says:

    Thanks Kelsey, You have a great knack for post match reflections, short and to the point.

    I’m every happy to see so much support for the team on AA, we had a really tough night but the team can rightly hold their head high they put in a great performance.

    It’s so easy for folks to be critical of Ozil missing the penalty but I’ve seen penalty misses with a far worse end result –

    I give you God in a certain semi-final!

  27. Bryan says:

    Don’t remind me of God in certain semi final, I think everyone & his dog knew where that was going but for me it is Ozil’s casualness that irritakes, he should of put it down & blasted it

  28. GunneN5 says:

    Bryan a miss is a miss, if Neuer had dived to his right and not left then it would have been deemed as a cheeky penalty and Ozil would be lauded – it’s always a game of if’s and but’s.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    I see that Spurs are playing tonight in the “hot bed” of football Kiev against the super stars of Dinipro Dinipro……

  30. Bryan says:

    If you Van Persie the pen you have got a great chance of scoring even if the keeper guesses the right way, in such an important game & at such an important time, you would think a player with Ozil’s experience would know better, it was a very bad call & a very poor pen & the second from him, the first was even worse

  31. kelsey says:

    Thanks for all the comments so far but where are the pictures as the crowd with their various pieces of carefully placed cards was such a slpendid site.

    Talking of missed penalties surely the Pires/Henry one wins the prize 🙂

  32. kelsey says:

    sight not site. oops.

  33. RA says:

    Morning, All, and very well done, kelsey, and so you should be! 🙂

    Your Post was clever and addressed all the main areas of contention without falling into the trap of the self pitying fan.

    You are certainly the master of the post, pre-match report summary!! 🙂

  34. TwentyTwelve says:

    Apparently that’s how Ozil takes his penalties, GN5. Wenger has said as much in several occasions. When it works, as in the example below, it looks smart. When it doesn’t, well… we know too well. 😳

    It’s up to Wenger and the coaches to decide the hierarchy, but I think, an exception might have been made for Ozil v Neuer, as the keeper is a “childhood” friend, who might have dealt with Ozil’s style many times.

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    TT, yep when it works it’s great and when it doesn’t it looks stupid.

    Personally I think Ozil is taking far to much stick, he is obviously an “ego” player and needs to be stroked, if the crowd get on his back all will be lost – unfortunately we’ve seen it happen before.

  36. RA says:

    I thought I would say that Shard made a couple of very astute comments, earlier, one of which I can really empathise with, and that referred to the disappointment I feel, not with the game, which I was absorbed by despite the unfortunate turn of events, but by so many Arsenal fans being so vitriolic towards certain players and, inevitably, towards the manager on the blogs.

    It has never interested me when I have heard the terms AKB’s and Doomers, as I think they are just silly and deliberately pejorative names that do not do anyone any favours.

    However, I wish there were a polite term that did not prevent people referring to themselves as Arsenal fans, while publicly laying into the club administration, the team or the manager, because that’s the way they feel, but which would also identify me as someone who was just an Arsenal fan (full stop) and not an Arsenal critic.

    Wishful thinking, I suppose.

  37. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches/Rasp, post e mailed. I will send an update if anything breaks before 17.00.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    RA, if a pre post match is posted too early does that make it pre-post-erous? Maybe another idea would be to hold pre–postmortems on games and have then emailed to save on stamps.

  39. chas says:

    Cheers, kelsey.
    I’m proud of the team and the crowd after yesterday’s effort.
    All to play for in the second leg. Who knows, they might have their keeper sent off for a mistimed challenge in the area.

    It was GIE providing photos of the stadium. Here’s that tweet.

  40. chas says:

    NG, like Robben’s leg. 😆

  41. TwentyTwelve says:

    GN5, yes, I think the same as you regarding Ozil.

    Reading back the comments, I see that I should have addressed my video example to Bryan @12:10. Stupid me as well 😳 🙂

  42. TwentyTwelve says:

    Thinking again about Ozil and penalties, it’s worth noting the clip above shows that Ozil is a penalty taker for Germany, ahead of others on the pitch at that point, like Klose, Kroos, Reus, Schweinsteiger, and Mueller.

    At that point, Germany was two up, with more than 35 min left, so to ensure being three up was important, no way a formality. Reus was working on a hat trick, but he didn’t get the opportunity to secure that. Ozil delivered that day.

  43. RA says:

    Shush, GN5, or Kelsey will collar the market in that specialist style of writing. 🙂

  44. Vinay says:

    35 Minutes, well i would say the first 20 min was when we rattled the defending champs like no other team has ever. If not for Neur, we may all have been saying something better today.
    Ozil was poor, its not about the penalty but the overall play. He tries hard but he needs to know he wont get the time and space like in Spain.
    Woj needs to grow up, i am sorry i keep saying this but the fact is for a team that wants to win something big we need to have a great gk and even though stats may say differently i do feel he has a lot of learning and decision making that needs to be learnt.
    Arsenal were good, bayern would have gone disappointed if they had won just by a goal but then that second goal was a sucker punch, kos was brilliant but in trying one moment of bravado, he was cruelly exposed in the end which resulted in the goal albeit both jack and flamini found wanting.
    Win against sunderland guys, league is within reach, boss pls play poldi, santi and giroud and rest mesut.

  45. whisperingwhippersnapper says:

    This defeat probably hurt more than the one at Anfield simply because we weren’t outclassed and almost scored twice before a red card spoilt it all!!

    Feel sorry for Ozil at this moment..we were forced to play like the Chelsea cunts for the majority of the game…I mean give the guy a break he isn’t a defender and we couldn’t take him off because the Ox and Gibbs were properly banjaxed. not to mention a certain diving knob ensured that our final sub was used to replace our keeper

    Can’t really blame any player, it’s just horribly unfortunate

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s good to see Flamini taking charge and running around like his tank is always full but some players don’t have his reserves of energy and to be admonished in front of everybody could be upsetting to their psyche and could have a negative and not positive effect

  47. RC78 says:

    I think that we have to be honest here. It was a good showing by the team but at the end of the day, we are almost out of the CL…and we fielded our top available team (except maybe the inclusion of Sanogo ahead of Podolski)…One more trophy out of our reach now and we lost Gibbs 😦

    Ozil messed up big time with the penalty and should be blamed for it. If he scores, we are in control of the game…

    Positive news: Sagna is back to his best, Kos-Per are solid, Sanogo is better than expected and Ox is in good form

    Negative news: Ozil’s form is concerning and Monreal need major improvement. Wilshere is not as aggressive as he used to be defensively and he is still missing his former driver offensively.

    All and all, great half hour and disappointing result.

  48. kelsey says:

    I would say that Ozil has lost confidence, is getting used to the pace of the game and has hardly had a rest since he joined,nearly at the end of the Summer transfer window.
    It is hard to get a reaction from him if he plays well,good or poorly as he has a bit of a poker face.
    The fickle fans will think that as we spent 42 milion on him he should single handedly win games for us. He is not that kind of player,he is world class, intelligent and is a playmaker always looking to place a telling ball.
    As I said before he needs a rest and then just watch him go.

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches/Rasp, Post Script!

  50. GunnerN5 says:


    I’m in total agreement with you,.

  51. arnie says:

    Superb job, Kelsey. Fantastic view on the game.

    Very good game for the good guys in general. Two key moments, the penalty miss and the red card. On another day, it would likely have been different. But not to be. Murphy’s law.

    So, what do you do? Buck up, and get on with it!!!! 😀 😀

  52. arnie says:

    Have not had time to go through all comments. Apols if someone else has posted this gem! 😛

  53. kelsey says:

    Gibbs injury is of concern.he can hardly ever get a regular run before getting injured again,yet such an exciting prospect.

    One can only imagine that Nicci is now completely out of Wenger’s plans and has moved down the pecking order to rock bottom.

  54. TwentyTwelve says:

    Brilliant Podolski comment, arnie @4:49. Hope someone can make that picture appear inline for you. The players do get affected by fans attitude toward them.

  55. jnyc says:

    Kelsey, I think I saw it all 100 per cent as you did. Unfortunately it could have been so different if Ozil had made the penalty.
    He needs to work on his penalties, and a rest wouldnt be bad. Not as punishment, simply earlier subs in game, and an occasional day off. Its not like we dont have alternatives in his position.
    Maybe a penalty, but never a red card. That rule needs to be tightened and clarified.
    Arsene and the boys made me proud, we can beat any team. I hope they take positives into the next matches.

  56. chas says:

  57. TwentyTwelve says:

    Argh!! Have to stop watching that. It drives me crazy.

  58. JanMan says:

    Nice write up Kelsey. There was absolutely no doubt that it was a penalty but with that said what more could WS do? He was in motion going for the ball which was a 50-50 situation. Of course the contact was there and we cannot challenge the decision. However, surely the awarding of a penalty kick was punishment enough! I truly think the rule needs to be looked at, if WS had brought him down outside of the box then no issue, red card, but surely a 50-50 in the box, a yellow would have been sufficient. As for Özil’s penalty miss what more can be said other than that is not the way to take a penalty but that is his style. However, when you consider he has missed the last three all with the same style then why is he taking a penalty? I did not see anyone else stepping forward though to say they wanted it? All in all I thought the team did extremely well and I wonder what would have happened had it stayed 11-11? From what I saw on German Sky sports the crowd were magnificent, just a shame that they bailed out on the team at 0-2 that was shameless! On sky sports Germany, Beckenbauer was a guest and he was full of praise for Arsenal and said we should have been 2-0 up after 20 minutes. He also said that no one had played Bayern the way that we did and he felt that had it stayed 11-11 the final outcome could have been very different. I have looked at the most negative Arsenal blog there is and was disgusted at some of the comments on that site aimed at Wenger and the team. Those people are not fit to be called Arsenal fans.

  59. kelsey says:

    Thank you. Very quiet on here,is everyone watching Spurs.

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, interesting discussions today.

    I think Wenger said Robben made the most of the contact, I think that’s true, could he have tried to continue to get the ball, yes, would it have changed the refs decision probably not as Robben was not going to struggle to get the ball back on target after the touch.

    When Wenger is giving the dive gesture to a Robben he is talking about Neuer after Sanogo got booked….and it looked to be a clear dive from the keeper to get Sanogo booked. It’s all a bit unnecessary.

    I have also heard others say that Boateng didn’t deserve a red as the keeper was still in the goal… wonders whether these people watch football at all, did they not see City v Barca the night before….as far as I am aware Hart was in goal, and no one questioned the red.

  61. evonne says:

    very good post Mr Kelsey! you hit just the right note – not to pessimistic or critical, but not taking the defeat lightly either. Well done, I really enjoyed reading it.

    I too felt that to start with it was a well balanced game and an excellent spectacle. What a shame that the bastardly ref has spoilt it all. I think a penalty was enough for the offence committed. He should never send Szcz off. Unless there is something in the rules that says otherwise.

    Well, no point crying over a spilt milk. Let’s forget it and look forward to the 2nd leg in March. We will go there mad for revenge!! The history has a tendency of repeating itself

  62. LB says:

    Hi Rasp

    I have a ticket for Saturday, next to me, I don’t want any money for it, can you use it, I don’t want it to go to waste.

  63. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evonne I think we only have ourselves to blame or more precisely Willie Young.

    “The concept gained notoriety in association football after an infamous incident in the 1980 FA Cup Final when Willie Young of Arsenal committed a deliberate foul on Paul Allen of West Ham, when Allen had a clear run at goal. As the laws of the game stood, the referee (George Courtney) could only award West Ham a free kick, which he did. This provoked a national debate on deliberate fouls that denied opponents the chance to score a goal”

    This led to the red card for professional fouls. Curious that it should have been brought in for a foul outside the box, I guess the law now goes further, but a clear goal scoring opportunity has surely not been prevented if the penalty is awarded.

  64. Shard says:

    Two things I disagree with (but only slightly) One, that Ozil should be dropped. I would think it’s better for him to play and find his form again rather than dwell on his mistakes even more. Of course he could also be tired and in that sense a rest will help him. But I think it would be better for him to rest him when he rediscovers his form, and his enjoyment of the game. My suggestion for the next game would be to start Podolski on the left. Ozil knows his game, and will probably enjoy the game more with Ox and Poldi making runs behind. With Cazorla and Gnabry replacing Ozil and Poldi as and when required. We’ll need an in-form Ozil for the FA Cup quarter final and the second leg. Not to mention the succession of big games that we face in the league again.

    Second, that Monreal is a liability. I can see where that line of thinking comes from, and I also blame him for the penalty against Bayern. But I think he’s a better defender than he looks. He always looks panicked. Like against Liverpool in the FA Cup. But statistically, he had a good game. He’s a bit like Clichy in that respect. Again, I get why he doesn’t inspire much confidence, but I think he’s a good backup. Of course, if there’s an upgrade available we should get him, but there will be other areas in the team that will need addressing more.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, I have to admit, thinking back to that Willie Young foul on the youthful Paul Allen is the soul happy memory I have of the 1980 FA Cup Final! It was such a complete act of cynicism, it was virtually a piece of art!

    Your point about fouls punished by penalties amounting to the creation of a new obvious goal-scoring opportunity is a good one, and appears to be what UEFA’s Gianni Infantino was on about in that article I copied at 12.03pm.

  66. 26may1989 says:

    That should’ve been the “sole happy memory” but perhaps the mistyped version is more accurate……

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha 26, I was 3yrs11m and hadn’t quite taken up football fandom.

    My Granddad made my Dad cry by giving me a West Ham kit for my 4th birthday, it took my Dad a few years to convince me my Granddad was wrong 🙂 I now know how my Dad felt as my father in law insists on buying George Norwich stuff….so far a teddy and a football.

  68. GoonerB says:

    Excellent report Kelsey and I am sorry I am so late to comment. It may be better to be late to the forum because I am going to slightly buck the trend of the day and be slightly critical of us in one aspect of what happened last night. I have my tin hat at the ready but maybe my late comment will pass mostly unnoticed.

    Firstly I would say that I agree with pretty much most of the general views about last night and am not downbeat about anything greatly. I thought we started very well and had the team many consider the worlds best on the rack for a while. We looked like a team that are increasingly able to match the best in the European game, but I feel are still 2-3 high quality players short of that goal. Hopefully the summer can address this.

    I don’t think the referee got it right with the balance of his decisions as I don’t think the penalty we conceded should have merited anything more or less than the one they conceded. The fact that Boateng should have received a second yellow as well should have resulted in us playing the bulk of the match on an equal footing either as 11 vs 11 or 10 vs 10, and this only adds to the sense of injustice. Guardiola’s removal of that player at half time is his literal admission that said player should have been sent off and that the ref gave them a get out of jail free card.

    I am also delighted and proud of the fighting spirit that the players showed and feel we have an added dimension to our mentality that should bode well in our near future and allow us to secure some silverware. Although I only saw it on T.V I would say that the fans were also brilliant.

    My critique though is that I don’t think we started with the right team or set-up, and it is an area I feel we often don’t get right against the tougher opposition. Some may not feel that tactical set-up and shape is that important but I have always held the view that it is against the better sides. I am aware that many will point to our early dominance as being proof that the initial selection must have been correct, and while I was delighted with our play during that period, I also feel that to beat a team like Bayern that a consistently high performance level is required across 90 minutes. Being excellent in a small section of the 90 generally doesn’t get you the result at this level.

    It could be said that our ability to cause them problems only ceased once we were reduced to 10 men but I actually felt that for a period before this that Bayern had regained their composure and had started to dominate proceedings. I felt that they had managed to push us very deep with them adopting a high defensive line and we were mainly just repelling attacks only for it to just come straight back at us. We were penned in and couldn’t find a way to move the ball out and retain possession long enough to move our team out and force Bayern to retreat deeper. This siege type situation lasted too long for my liking and I always feel that the longer that situation goes on the more likely you are to give them something.

    The answer for me is that you need to have players that are good at moving the ball out from deep without surrendering possession for some 5-10 seconds. Jack at his best is excellent at this and will often burst away from players closing him down but the other player who is excellent at this is Rosicky. For me he should have been on the pitch from the start as well as Jack to give us that tempo and control and ability to bring the ball out.

    Sanogo had a couple of good moments which is pleasing and looks good for his future development, but at the end of the day he is a young rookie who has arrived from the French second division and has only just come off the back of a long injury spell. I am not sure that getting in the starting 11 in a game of this level is the best idea, especially at the expense of more experienced internationals. Outside of a couple of flashes of quality can we really expect him to put in a consistent performance for 90 minutes like say Rosicky would give you?

    I also feel that Podolski should have got a start. He would have loved to have put one over on his old side and it was obvious that Joachim Low would be there so I feel Lukas would have had a double incentive to put in a great performance. Generally I feel that a line up with Flamini, Jack, Rosicky, Podolski, Ozil and the Ox would have given us a great blend of midfield solidity, ability to bring the ball out from deeper, guile, pace, goal-scoring potential and counter-attacking ability. It may have made the game a bit more cagey but I feel it would have given us a better platform across the 90 minutes.

    Anyway, I wanted to get that off my chest before retiring for the night so see you all tomorrow.

  69. neamman says:

    I may have missed it but is Bendtner sick? I was shocked Sanogo started ahead of him or Podolski especially

  70. neamman says:

    I am sick of these so called fans who attack our own players. I just wish they would F off and support some other team. I never have and never will criticize our own players during a match. Sheer lunacy.

  71. chas says:

    Perhaps it’s better to let George become a little canary.
    Just imagine how simple his football supporting life could be?
    Never having to justify how the club’s run to other supposed supporters.
    Never being pilloried for not winning trophies.
    ………and they showed us how to beat Bayern over two legs. 🙂

  72. chas says:

  73. chas says:

  74. chas says:

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, yesterday evaporated for me.

    Bastard Robin. I thought he might do something ugly. Watched the whale vid again. Brilliant.

    I can’t decide if he looks tired or if that’s just the way he chugs about the pitch. Either way, he’s played a lot, so I’d give him a rest. It’s not as though we don’t have cover.

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Trouble with Exile encouraging George to be a Canary (and I do see the sense) is that Exile won’t have anyone to pass down his full kits 🙂

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It really would be nice to beat Bayern on pens. Can you imagine the excitement. Let’s face it, 0-2 is hardly beyond the realms of possibility.

  78. evonne says:

    yeah Micky, it would be nice. Would you let Ozil to take the decider ?

  79. evonne says:

    job satisfaction

    This is the world we live in. I remember times that a prozzie would go to great lengths to hide her profession, but no longer, oh no

  80. chas says:

    Ive had a small email conversation with him. He enjoyed Bayern more than Dnipro. 🙂
    Ive suggested its quite appropriate that he favours black and white.

    Whale vid re-run was a Rasp request.

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:


    “Would you let Ozil to take the decider ?”

    The Decider?!!!? I wouldn’t let him anywhere near any of them, let alone the decider. He should do Mesmertrons, not Pens 🙂

    You spoke to Robin?

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, sorry, email. Drrr

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Although a Spud, and he appears to watch every football game going, he’s actually an even bigger Cricket bloke.
    When I’m with him, texting never stops. Wherever there’s a Test, not just England, he’s following it with that Surf Photographer bloke McKinnon. Next time I see you, I’ll give you some quality Arsenal related dirt from him.

  84. kelsey says:

    morning crew.

    No I am not late as I got up at 3.30 did some work then went back to bed.

    Ozil has stated last night that he wants to take our next penalty

    NG In your round up which has already been submitted are you aware Adofe has been recalled from Brentford.

  85. Gööner In Exile says:

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey, brilliant idea, let’s have a football league of say three clubs tops 🙂

    Bin the other 87 odd forthwith. 🙂

  87. kelsey says:

    Brilliant,lard, absolutey fecking marvellous,why didn’t we all think of that.

  88. Gööner In Exile says:

  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas you make very salient points about letting G-Man support Norwich, the one problem for him would be I won’t speak to him again. 🙂

  90. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Sorry, Kelsey, could not be around much yesterday to discuss your very measured assessment. It was a fantastic piece.

    GoonerB: You have echoed my sentiments perfectly. Even if I would not like to discuss strategy and individual players after a game that we played well but lost. 😀

  91. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    …. New post …….

  92. GoonerB says:

    Morning all and morning Arnie. Thanks for your backing. I was a little worried about bringing up any critical points about the game, but then what is the blog for if not to air your views and discuss them with your fellow A.A’ers?

    I haven’t really entered the Ozil debate to date. My thoughts are that we acquired a great player who will get even better. It is his first season in the EPL and even world class players have an adaptation period with the EPL. How many times have we heard an interview with a top foreign player once they have been here 3 years and they talk about how hard they found it in their first season and were shocked by the pace and intensity. They also then refer to how playing in the EPL made them a better player. I saw one media institution refer to Hazard as a player for the big game and you could see there inference was that Ozil wasn’t. Well Hazard had a very muted first season as well, with some questioning the £35m price tag, but let’s just conveniently forget that shall we.

    People think that at £42m or so that he should arrive as the complete finished article whereas I think that in today’s market that gets you one of the worlds best players that could still get even better. The people who use the price tag to beat him with are the same who moan that we don’t spend the money to secure these players like other clubs, and worryingly it is not just the media but many are so called Arsenal fans. Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it.

    I think his style is deceptive leading to many wrongly calling him lazy. He is playing in a central role behind the striker so you don’t really want him tracking back too much anyway. That is a tactic for mid to lower league teams. I feel it is important for certain players to adopt a more offensive position even when we are defending otherwise you have no out ball and no chance to launch a counter-attack.

    I also feel he is slightly hampered by not having a pacy player in front of him. I think he is probably a master of the slide rule pass but has his options for the ball in behind the defence limited due to our lack of pace up top. How often did God find Ljunberg with one of those passes, but Freddie had the pace to get onto them. Would he have found Ollie with those passes? It is why I agree with many that his limited playing time with both Walcott and the Ox hasn’t helped him to display his full repertoire at this stage. I like Ollie but I think AW will find someone that plays more to Ozil’s strengths for next season and Ollie will still be a valuable member of the squad but will not be in our best first 11.

    I think Mesut is under the best coach to help him realise his full potential and feel he will become a different animal over the next 2 seasons. I expect him to beef up slightly and I think another big key to him realising his full potential will be more regular goal-scoring from his position. I believe that AW will already have identified this and have a plan in place.

    The media, as always with Arsenal, have their knives out and sharpened so it is vital that we the fans don’t do the same and we show him that we love him and give him our full support. Podolski has it spot on for me. A massive chorus of “super, super Mes, super, super Mes e.t.c” at the next home game would be the best thing for him right now.

  93. Vinay says:

    Spare Mesut please, let him rest tom but pls spare the over the tip criticism, he is a genius and we will be the losers if we keep piling up so much pressure on him,

  94. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when
    new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same
    comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service?

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