Monaco: Match report and Player Ratings

When the draw was made someone  (no names mentioned but it was MickyDidit), told me that he would not go to Monaco because the away leg would be a dead rubber – he was right 😦

Essentially we were rubbish all over the pitch. It is all well and good Mr Wenger being furious at the lack of professionalism evidenced by having 10 players in the opposition half in the 93rd minute just after scoring what could have been a tie-saving goal, but who trains these blokes?  If blame is to be apportioned then an equal measure sits on his shoulders.

We started well enough, pinging the ball around with our normal Emirates pace and efficiency; the game was open and enjoyable with both teams attacking. OG missed a couple of sitters, Santi was magical, the full backs were competing with the pace of the excellent Monaco wingers, then suddenly out of nowhere a man in blue takes a shot from 30 yards which deflects off BFG and deceives Ospina. Just what Mr Wenger warned about in his pre-match conference.

Then we lost the plot.

All out attack; BFG setting a very high line which totally played into the speedy Monaco forwards. Our forwards all decide to play through the middle encouraging our full backs to take the space on the wings and thus leaving acres of space at the back. The midfielders had no space to weave their magic. It all went to hell in a handcart.

Halftime I expected to see changes. We became even more gung-ho. Berbatov scored on a breakaway! A man who is already in his dotage and spends his days in a dressing gown, smoking a pipe and watching Emmerdale outpaced our defence!

There followed a baffling section of play. OG taken off having missed three more chances , Welbeck smashed an easy opportunity against a fallen Theo. Alexis got mad and was unlucky with a couple of efforts. The Ox scored and immediately allowed Monaco to turn the knife in the wound.

It was painful viewing. Thankfully, it was just one game in a season and to be honest losing to a poor MU at the Emirates was worse.

Perhaps the worst thing about last night was I fully expected us to thrash them, so did almost all the Arsenal fans, and unfortunately so did the Arsenal team. Monaco taught us a lesson and fair play to them  – Monaco were excellent.

Player Ratings:

Ospina: Could have done better with the 3rd. IMO doesn’t inspire confidence    6

Bellerin: Seemed to play too far forward. Was he told to? As the junior player he needed guidance  and support but didn’t get it    5

BFG: Very poor night. Directly responsible for two goals (the first not his fault).  As Captain he should have controlled the defensive line and pace of the team – he didn’t     2

Koscielny:  Not his best nor worst performance . One excellent header in the 1st half . Passes too slow to the MF’s      5

Gibbs: Too attacking, again probably told to be. Worked hard      4

Coquelin. Lost his defensive discipline. Booked as usual. Showed why we need a world class DM.    4

Cazorla: Glimpses of his magic but Monaco didn’t give him any space. Ineffective closer to goal.     5

Ozil:  A passenger for over 90 minutes. His worst performance on an important night. Given his talent tit was simply not good enough     2

Alexis:  As always worked very hard. Well marshalled by Monaco defence who always had 3 around him. Skewed a good chance wide.    6

Welbeck: Lots of effort, little result.      5

Giroud:    Not his night but at least he was in a position to miss his chances.       4

Subs:    Walcott :  We looked more dangerous when he came on though Monaco were tiring      6

Rosicky:   Had little opportunity to impress     5

Ox:     Added verve when he came on. Scored a superb goal. Let himself down immediately after.    7

A hugely disappointing night to be a Gooner.  That said, Monaco played a marvellous game, probably their best in recent years and deserve all the credit for their performance.

Onwards and Upwards

written by Big Raddy


118 Responses to Monaco: Match report and Player Ratings

  1. Rasp says:

    Spot on Raddy.

    We haven’t played a convincing 90 minutes all season.

    Our last two league victories have been tinged with long periods where we didn’t flow. The balance of the team is seldom right. We don’t seem to be able to cope when being pressed and our passing game falls apart because there isn’t enough movement away from the ball to give options.

    The midfield doesn’t click and our centre backs see more of the ball than our strikers because we fail to get the ball forward quickly and lack penetration in the last third. We do not exploit the full width of the pitch and have a centreback who consistently gets too far up the pitch and is exposed for his lack of mobility.

    I’d be quite happy to see a CB pairing of Kozzer and Gabriel for the rest of the season.

    I don’t like scapegoating, Giroud had a bad night and Ozil was just ‘Ozil’ but the BFG has no excuse – that was not a captain’s performance.

  2. Terry White says:

    Well written
    We all hate to lose, but at least you have analysed it without going overboard on the silly blame game, As you write the loss to M.U. was far worse.
    To blame Wenger is absurd, its like finding no toilet paper in the Emirates bog and blaming him for that !
    As you say ( and he says) he instructed his players what to expect.! The captain on the pitch BFG must accept most of the blame

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Raddy

    You say in your ratings about The Ox “Let himself down immediately after”. He lost the ball trying to beat a man 10 yards inside the Monaco half after demonstrating the kind of drive and will to win so lacking from others.

    I’m really disappointed as much as annoyed. Of course it’s far from the first time Arsenal are beaten by a team who simply want the win more (Spurs), but I know that we have the players capable of better.

  4. chas says:

    Well done, BR.
    Which is more than I can say for the team.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I think Ox could have tracked the player who beat him and cut off his run to goal, he tried but made a poor decision by cutting infield.

    Anyway. It’s done.

    I should have asked before using your name in the post … sorry.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Sign Kondogbia before he becomes too expensive. The man was awesome – reminded me of PV4.

    Though before spending 25m perhaps I should watch more than just one performance 🙂

  7. Another day dawns, the past is the past, you can’t go back and do it again…. it’s done, the consequencies of history are confined to what’s gone and cannot be changed but…. there is still a second leg… an opportunity to put things right. Will we be able to do the deed in Monaco? Who knows, at the moment I’m hurting badly… perhaps because I had high expectations for last nights game, which makes the pain all the more painful. Note to self: Stop being so optimistic before a match. 🙂

    Upwards and thrusting hard. Now I need to find the motivation to finish a painting… but my mood is lacking any creativiy.

    Fuck you Arsenal for doing this to me.

  8. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, Nice one Big Raddy,

    I feel your report was on the button, Yes we were poor on the night and i have said that a lot this season. We have seen glimpses of what this side is capable of but tonight wasn’t one of them.

    I see a few have said they feel Theo would be a starter had they been picking, not for me though. Theo has touches of sheer brilliance, his pace at times is breathtaking and usually his finishing is usually spot on.

    I watch Theo like a Hawk, usually Theo will have a moment in a game that makes some people believe he is the answer to sliced bread. But sadly those moments are not enough for me for a full 90 minutes, if of course he could last 90.

    Theo it has to be said is a passenger, when is the last time he ran at a defensive player took him on and scored a goal. Theo doesn’t like confrontation, he may pick the ball up just inside their half but a quick back pass and he disappears. Where some say he stays on the wing, i am sorry i haven’t seen that Theo cuts in on every attack leaving a full back to do what he should be doing. Belerin got some stick last night but in all fairness to him was trying his hardest to help the side out,

    Theo pulls out of 50 50 balls he ducks out of headers and seldomly chases down. Welbeck tries to do that every game and is a workhorse, Granted last night Welbeck was not good but who was’

    Its easy to pick certain players out for criticism in a game like that, but every player had a lame game. Marquee players were abysmal Sanchez ran down blind alley’s, and Ozil was non existent Santi was bulldozed.

    I watched Ox when he came on, i got the impression that he really wanted to help, his goal was a work of art and the way he encouraged players back to the centre spot only made me think he felt there was still time to turn the tie around. Sadly after the restart He tried too hard lost the ball but was the only player to chase the length of the field to try and right his wrong. The despondent look on his face showed me how disappointed he was with himself. I like that look when it matters to a player he would be a starter for me instead of Theo.

  9. ‘morning all, well done Raddy for a restrained post-match.

    So, here we are again. 1 – 3 down after the first leg and facing almost certain elimination from the Champions League yet again.

    Much was said, and much of it was said by Arsene Wenger, about how Monaco are a good defensive side but can counter-attack very effectively. In Wenger’s own words “Monaco are like a reptile, they will wait for us, absorb our game and try to kill us”. Prophetic words indeed!

    One has to wonder if those words were ever passed on to the team, because after just thirty eight minutes of “absorbing our game” Monaco came calling and started the killing process.

    From then on our game deteriorated into “Headless Chicken Mode”. All sense of discipline disappeared from our defence, full-backs, and the ever more sluggish Mertesacker, bombed forward leaving acres of the Emirates pitch vacant for the reptile to exploit. Which it did to the full.

    There is something deeply wrong at Arsenal and I believe it lies in the coaching. I don’t know what goes on at London Colney, I’ve never been there, but whoever is responsible for training our defence is falling down on the job big time. If Bould is the defensive coach it’s time for him to go.

    Another thing that was demonstrably obvious is that Meretasacker’s time is up, his lack of pace is an ever growing problem, bringing in Gabriel alongside Kocielny and getting them to play the ball forward a little quicker may just stimulate the general pace of our game.

    Last night’s game was horrible to watch.

  10. The Cockie Monster says:

    Seems like I was right yet again to hide behind my Sofa !.
    You are a brave lot !, especially Radders, but then again, he has to be brave living in Viking territory with all them big men with large horns !.
    As a normal doomer, I surprised myself by actually thinking we were going to thrash the speedoed suntanned ponc !….so will get quickly back to my normal train of thought and predict Everton will murder us 5-0 !.
    What I don’t get is that we hate playing teams who press us and we hate playing teams who counter attack us …….WTF ! 😀

  11. The Cockie Monster says:

    * speedoed suntanned ponces *

  12. Cockie

    Perhaps speedoed suntanned ponces with horns 🙂

  13. Rasp says:

    We should not kid ourselves – that was not just a bad day or a one off performance. OK, it was worse because it was at home, but try to recall our away game at Dortmund – they played us off the park for the whole game.

  14. Rasp, we actually had a decent game for half an hour, Giroud’s radar was obviously on the blink, he wasted five or six good chances, but overall we were too slow in the build-up.

  15. Rasp says:

    I agree NG, for the first 15-20 mins (I wouldn’t say half hour) we played somewhere near to what we have a right to expect from players of that quality. But after we missed those early chances you could see the malaise descending on the team, we switched into some alternative mode that encourages and invites the opposition to take control of the game.

  16. You’re right Rasp, it was at that point when I would have expected to see either Wenger, or the stuffed dummy in the bobble hat beside him, start issuing instructions from the sidelines.

    It didn’t happen but then, does it ever?

  17. TwentyTwelve says:

    Thanks, BR.

    Last night I still thought maybe Arsenal can recover in the return leg. After all, they nearly did pull it off when being 1-3 down vs BM in 2013. Today I realized Monaco will not be overconfident like BM was. 😦 That’s not to say it cannot be done, but it will take a much better Arsenal.

  18. VP says:

    ‘’To blame Wenger is absurd, it’s like finding no toilet paper in the Emirates bog and blaming him for that !
    As you say (and he says) he instructed his players what to expect.! The captain on the pitch BFG must accept most of the blame’’

    When all 11 players on the pitch play badly, surely the buck stops with the manager. His underpinning responsibilities are to lead and motivate and this was clearly lacking last night. Moreover, the manager chooses the captain and if the he is not competent to fulfill the role then you have to hold the manager accountable for this, not the player. All one needs to do is consider the list of poor captains that we have had over recent years.

    It’s important to not arrive at judgment in isolation to just yesterday’s game. This will be the fifth consecutive year were we’ll be out the tie before a ball is even kicked in the second leg. I don’t think you can blame any one specific player for this. To do so would be removing all accountability from the manager. Per has never been arsenal calibre and never will be and everyone can see this apart from Arsene.

  19. Eddie says:

    Raddy – thanks for the Prematch and the post-mortem. You were right about one team, which you described as ‘no fools, well organised and strong defensively’. Monacco were all of these. The other team you talked about didn’t go to the game, they sent some amateurs to play last night.

    But hey, there was a positive to be taken from the game – no injuries!!! Although quite frankly I would love to see a few of them with broken noses and a few clamps of beautiful hairs missing. Disgraceful twats. Are they going to get paid for last night’s performance?

  20. The Cockie Monster says:

    I immediately thought of you Terry Transplant !…………….I wasn`t sure whether you would want Arsene`s head on your body or your head on Arsene`s body !……..then it was obvious !…..your head on Arsene`s body !….. so you can look down and see yourself tossing him off !. hahahahahaha

    ARSENE WENGERS HEAD TRANSPLANT……..quite catchy don’t you think !.

  21. Eddie says:

    that toilet paper comparison is silly. Of course Wenger cannot be blamed for the peripheral services, but his team is his sole responsibility. Otherwise who is responsible? Me?

  22. GunnerN5 says:


    AW is responsible for the players purchase, selection and game tactics, the players alone are responsible for their individual performances.

    By the way even Gary Neville commented on how quite the crowd were – not the least bit supportive when the team needed the support. My son said that at times the crowd were so still it looked like they were painted onto the seats.

  23. Bryan says:

    Blaming Wenger is absurd some people say, do me a favour last night happens time & time again.
    He does not seem to be able to motivate the players anymore.

    To start with we started the game slow with no sense of urgency in any way, I thought we gave them too much respect.
    I am also shocked that Ospina is only getting blamed for the 3rd goal, goalkeepers practice deflections all the time & that was so near him, he could of at least made an effort to try & save it, he may not of but please make an attempt.
    As for Bellerin I’ve never seen a RB that is always so out of position as he is, I think we would be better of with Jenkinson.

    I have always supported Wenger & it really hurts me to say this but its time for change, we will never win the Prem again with him in charge or get near winning the CL, that’s is clear.
    This is not a knee jerk reaction this has been happening for years, different players same mistakes over & over again.
    What is the point of us always qualifying for CL every year if we have never got a chance of winning it.
    Ozil may as well be sold as he is a luxury player we are not good enough to have at this moment in time.
    We need to bring in a manager who does tactics as can be such a major difference, I always hark back to when we beat a star studded Parma side in CWC final with a midfield consisting of David Hillier & Ian Selley because George Graham was a brilliant tactition & of course we had some slices of luck.

    So sorry but its about time we do start blaming the manager as well as the players because the buck stops with him

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    I agree with your summation Raddy, a really awful performance and perhaps it will go down as one of our worst home performances. The bright side is that it can only get better.

    Our defense really needs a major overhaul – we have too many wanna be forwards and not enough steel framed stay at home defense-men.


    hahaha Cornwall. With my low to medium appendage, its defiantly my head his body

    Mind you, if his is as short as his preference for footballers, ive had it.

    Cheers Raddy

    Terrible result but in patches i thought we played quite well. We should have scored early and then second half had chances to turn the game around, but fluffed our lines.

    Maybe this is just what we need, a chance to pull off a miraculous result in Monaco could be the push that sends us on

    I took my daughter last night and my misery was compounded at the final whistle when I glanced down to see she was on that twitter thingy. Her tweet was “Hes got to go. hes just a senile old man that hasnt got a clue and looks like a horrible creep. And that Wenger aint no good either”

  26. RA says:

    Good Day,

    I have filleted a certain para from above and picked out all the salient hard facts.

    something (?) deeply wrong at Arsenal
    I believe it lies in the coaching.
    I don’t know what goes on at London Colney,
    I’ve never been there
    whoever is responsible for training is falling down on the job
    If Bould is the defensive coach

    Ha’ ye gotta light boy?

    Well it convinces me! 🙂

  27. Eddie says:

    GN5 – at half time Wenger had his chance to change things around. We have seen times and times over a different team appearing for the second half, after they had a word or two with the manager.

    I cannot even imagine ManU performing so poorly in the first half and doing even less in the second when Fergie was in charge.

    As much as I respect and adore AW, his outfit let us down badly.

  28. arnie says:

    well done, Raddy. At least there is a silver lining. Redders is back.

    😦 😦 😦

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    im not sure how many times I have to watch our full backs running towards our own goal 15 yards behind play before something changes. Full backs are DEFENDERS first and foremost. Their mentality should be to stop goals first, help in attack second. I’ve watched so many goals where Gibbs is caught way out of position. At the moment I actually prefer Monreal at LB and Chambers at RB because at least they can both defend a bit. Gibbs and Bellerin are more like wingers, and worst of all, they are allowed to play like wingers.

    As for the second leg, strangely enough I think the third goal may actually help us a little. If it had finished 2-1 then Monaco would’ve gone into the game thinking they may still need to score and would play as such, at 3-1, however, there’s a very good chance they will play to hold what they’ve got and thus have a negative mindset. Someone mentioned that Bayern got complacent 2 years ago when we beat them 2-0, but I don’t think that’s what happened. I think they weren’t sure wether to attack or defend due to having a 3-1 lead and when we scored early they panicked a little and couldn’t change the negative tactics they’d started the game with. If we can score early at Monaco then there is a chance that could happen to them. I also think it helps our mindset as playing for 2-0 or 2-1 means concentrating on defence. Now we need 3 goals at least which means we just go all out attack and sod the defence, something we are very good at!!!

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie, we will have to disagree, the manager can only do so much to motivate the team, he made changes at 60 minutes trying to rectify the situation. The team are so offensive minded that they do not take enough care of their defensive duties, now is that due to poor tactic’s or poor execution? I believe it’s poor execution – but I am admittedly a total fan of AW.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie, by the way the team let themselves and their manager down as well as us supporters.

  32. The Cockie Monster says:

    Even more bizarre, Transplanticus, is if you not only have a head transplant, but a head transplant exchange with Arsene !…………you will then be able to see Arsene shag your former self from behind through your own eyes whilst blow drying your former hairy back !.
    An LSD trip without the LSD !. hahaha

  33. The Cockie Monster says:

    I think AA head transplants is a more interesting subject than last nights result !.
    What AAer would you like to have a head transplant with ?.
    For me, it would have to be a woman AAer, then straight away I would become a Lesbian !. hahaha

  34. chas says:

  35. I’m tired of reading people’s excuses for Wenger.

    It’s an accepted fact that as Manager he runs the football side of the club from top to bottom. It’s his team that plays. It’s his tactics that are put into operation. It’s his instructions to the team that they are, supposedly, following.

    If the players aren’t following those instructions then he should be on his feet, on the touchline, exhorting them to do so, not sitting mute in his armchair.

    It was obvious after just thirty minutes that the set up was wrong yet no changes were made even at half-time, no we had to wait until the usual time of sixty minutes before he took any action, by then it was too late.

    We’ve had some decent performances and decent results lately, but as in the past for whatever reason it’s proved impossible to sustain the improvement. Last night was, I hope, the nadir, but it could be the start of the usual implosion, Man U away in the FA Cup? A couple of bad results in the league?

    In the words of the immortal phrase, “It’s déjà vu all over again”.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    chas. That was an interesting read . Thanks

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Interesting take on the game, thanks.

    It is quite a thought. Say most of the chances a side create will go through a central lone striker (as they did), and your defence is marshalled by a CB and your captain (it was), and both decide to play like two year olds, chances are you will not score many and you will concede a few.

    Bingo 🙂

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Sod The Arsenal, their fans, players, staff, shareholders and caterers, it’s you and me what are suffering the most.

  39. jacobsfemi says:

    Wenger seem not to always have alternative plans. Immediately his initial plan fails, he looses it and wouldn’t know what to do next. Rosicky is a player of a kind which Arsenal still don’t have. He is forward minded, others just dribble and possesses ball without driving forward. If Welbeck had taken the first chance, Arsenal would have won the game. Arsenal need striker with stamina that can hold the ball and withstand pressures. Welbeck messed up.

    BFG is too sluggish and old for Arsenal. I know Arsenal will qualify, but Wenger must start Rosicky, Gabriel, Wilshere, Carzola, Gibbs, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.

    Welbeck should start from the bench.

  40. wally says:

    It’s all been noted. Not enough passion, not enough energy, playing too narrow,….. same old, same old.

    I actually thought the introduction of Walcott was a good one. He made some very good runs. He’s not the dribbler steve wants him to be but that’s not his game is it. Asking a quarter horse to run a mile and a half is pointless.

    I do agree on Paulista. I think the objective is to have him ready by Liverpool. We’ll need his mobility v them and all the big boys.

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m tired of reading the views of people who condescendingly accept all that Arsene has done for the club but still expect him to be the eternal Messiah.

    He may or may not run the club from top to bottom, we simply don’t know – although speculators seem to know everything about him and the club.

    What we do know is that he is internationally acknowledged as one of the World’s top manager’s and he has done wonderful things for Arsenal. We also know that with the exception of a handful he would be welcomed with open arms as the manger of most clubs.

    Whenever there’s a very poor game his condescending detractors come out of their shells with their endless list of “expert” opinions.

    This morning I’m one among hordes of very disappointed supporters but my main concern is with under performing players who cost of a small fortune but are not doing their job. Is it AW’s fault that his players under perform – of course not it’s the players themselves that are at fault.

    I read about AW using poor tactic’s or incorrect strategy – but we have no idea what the plans were – all we see is the result and know nothing of the planning.

    I rue the day that the detractors get their wish.

  42. mickydidit89 says:


    I certainly respect your views, but the flip side is that I get a bit cheesed off with the view that somehow he is divorced from responsibility (general whinge, not at you), and I certainly hold him in part accountable for buggering up my holiday plans 🙂

    I thank Arsene sincerely for making it possible for me and some hippy to go and watch us win in Dortmund, and I wanted more!

  43. Transplanted on to another computer says:

    Nice GN5

    I once had sex with a very attractive bird, she could play the piano.

    I was always grateful for that. I never got it again, but thats besides the point.

    Arsenes still doing a great job. Always in the top four and at times playing some great football.

    Last night there were aspects our game which were poor and naive, but the overall factor was bad luck.

  44. The Cockie Monster says:

    Who has one of these from last nights programme ?
    Have you given it for your kids to play with or are you like Transplant who just sits in his accountancy office transfixed in a trance like state with it protruding from his trousers zip ?.

  45. The Cockie Monster says:

    ” Snap out of it Transplant !….you are hallucinating !….although in my capacity as Little Arsene, may I commend you on your good taste and mental strength !…….and could you lighten your grasp as you are choking me ! “.

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, I won’t say good.

    Well done Raddy pretty much sums it up.

    Now I was reading through comments and I have s little theory.

    Many are calling for Theo, last season many said Ozil would look better with Theo in the side. I think we can’t afford to play both ever. And that is a major problem.

    I also think Ozils effect on the team is opposite to what Alexis brings, and playing them both leaves us somewhere in the middle. They are both no doubt talented footballers.

    One appears to believe that what he can do with the ball at his feet is enough to justify his presence on the pitch, the other believes that if he wants to do pretty things he better make damn sure he can get the ball.

    When Ozil was injured our performances reflected more of Alexis influence, he wasn’t the only man chasing, others were joining in, looking at a player that skilful put in the shift he does will embarrass a lot of the other players. However Ozil strolls back into the side quite literally and sets a precedent at the opposite end of the spectrum. That precedent is easier to adopt from the rest of the team.

    When Santi was removed last night he was looking in one players direction as he walked to the bench, who can blame him, if you are putting a shift in and others are not then I think you have the right to complain.

    Ozil needs to buck his ideas up or be dropped, again like at SHL Wenger persisted with Ozil I know why it’s the chance that he may provide something quality, but just like at SHL if he hasn’t got the ball and we can’t get him the ball he is a passenger. Same with Theo.

    I don’t know if I would have started TR7 alongside Coquelin, but I think I would have definitely not had Ozil on the pitch. Perhaps Ox and Coq plus a more advanced three of Alexis Santi and TR7 is our best midfield right now then it’s Ollie or Welbeck up top.

    But workrate last night was the key, when Santi and Coq had the ball they were staring at ref and white backs looking for Hollywood balls over the top. When BFG and Koz had the ball and Santi and Coq were being marked no one has dropped another twenty yards to give a third option.

    And then the fullbacks, what on earth was Gibbs doing bombing forward every time we had the ball, defend first set the precedent for the youngster on the other flank to follow. Why try and help the attack if they are not doing their job correctly? Bombing forward on the overlap all game encourages them to cut inside. Sit back and say no, I’ll sit in at least we will finish 0-0.

    And on motivation? Sorry these are £50k a week plus footballers and they are playing in the QF of the CL, If they need to be motivated they can find their way to the exit door thank you very much, ok if it’s a damp Tuesday in the Midlands I get why they might need some geeing up, but last night? No way…..if they can’t motivate themselves for that game they are defrauding the club and the fans.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Hard to disagree with that Exile

    By the way, before Leicester, like you I suggested the same as your words “Perhaps Ox and Coq plus a more advanced three of Alexis Santi and TR7 is our best midfield right now then it’s Ollie or Welbeck up top.” on the blog.

    Then I get to the boozer pre-match and Chas and The Vine Gang take the piss out of me while rolfing at my advanced Mozart suggestion.

    How about you and I go “get ’em” 🙂

  48. GunnerN5 says:


    AW become responsible if he continues with the under performing players. I was happy to see him make a change at the 60 minute mark vs his usual 70 mins and it almost paid off with Walcott making a couple of great run’s.

    I’m still upset at the stupid defending, yet again, costing us a game!

    I’m in total agreement with GIE, some of the players cannot be on at the same time, when Ozil is on the field we do not see Santi or Santos playing at their top level – sometimes even the best players cannot play together. That’s the type of dilemma that AW has to think through and sort out.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the team put it right against Everton – lets hope the fans show their full support.

    Our CL run looks like it’s over but you can never take anything for granted with this team,

  49. Big Raddy says:

    I can’t decide if Micky’s suggestion makes sense. Seems a bit narrow but full of vim.

    I cannot describe how disappointed I was with Ozil. This bloke is a WC winner! Where was his passion? How could he repeatedly be shrugged off the ball? Why couldn’t he secure a 10 yard pass?

    GN5. Well said. No-one knows what Mr Wenger sent out his team to do, all we know is it didn’t work. Much as I admire AW, he has to take some blame. This is his team, coached by him, bought by him and given their tactics by him. Win together, lose together.

  50. RA says:

    Many and very varied analyses today, understandably, and maybe they are all correct, or they are all wrong, or just an attempt to rationalise something that simply defies logic, in my opinion.

    As a stats man, I am sure GIE or GN5 you can check this, but I saw a report that of the 5 players who covered the most distance last night – that ‘lazy’ Özil was the only Arsenal player listed. [he came third]. Clearly he was not trying or did not care. Yeah, right.

    I resolved not to comment on the game last night because every man or woman who had a toy was busy kicking it out of its pram.

    But in general, I do not think that Cazzor was in any position to look daggers at anyone else (sorry, GIE) – they were all affected by a collective madness.

    Many bloggers, on any number of sites, were saying we needed Theo on early, that way Monaco would not dare to counter-attack and leave themselves exposed at the back.

    Funny thing is that near the end (and after Theo had been on for 30 minutes) Monaco launched two break-aways by Carrasco, from one of which he scored their third goal.

    That does not take account of a fifty/fifty ball ‘challenge’ that Theo had with their GK – which if it had been Suarez/Rooney/etc would have resulted in the GK saving it, allowing a goal to be scored or giving away a penalty – Theo cautiously jumped over him.

    I think Rocky and LB summed the game up best: [Rocky] = ‘that’s football; [LB] = ‘that was schoolboy football’; or as I once put it, ‘our team were like a bunch of iron filings – wherever the magnet (football went) they were all determined to follow – whatever the cost.’

    Perhaps a bunch of bleedin’ lemmings.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. As to “getting them”. Despite GIE’s bulk I would expect the Vines to give you a damned good thrashing

  52. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Good to see you back. Lemmings? You know it isn’t true about them don’t you!

  53. The Cockie Monster says:

    Glad you mention Ozil`s ” lack ” of running , Redders !…..he runs a lot further than given credit for !………it is also true that, the Mini Arsene programme cut out is quicker than Mertesacker !…., fact, so quick he is given Transplant blisters on his fingers !. hahaha

  54. I’ve always liked AA as anyone is welcome to express their own opinions. If those opinions are not to the liking of others on the blog, so be it. They are just as entitled to express their dislike, should they wish.

  55. chas mobile says:

    Leave it out, Micky.
    First you tried to get Shard on your team when he was suggesting something completely different with Rosicky ‘bolstering the midfield’.
    Now you want to ingratiate yourself with the Norfolkian puffing giant by suggesting his 4-2-3-1 is the same as your preposterous suggestion of playing Tomas stuck out on the right wing.
    Unbelievable! 🙂

  56. RA says:


    I have just read your 3:48 regarding Arsene, and you make some very valid points.

    In the torture of seeing Arsenal being battered and served up like cod and chips, I was wriggling around and demanding AW ‘do something’ and lamenting that his bowed head in hands was poor body language – and – well, sounding a bit like NG.

    However, there is a mismatch that a cool head, the following day can recognise.

    For all the adulation that the players receive from the fans, it is my view that too many of our players, especially in midfield, are all to ‘samey’ – short, skilful and easily knocked off the ball.

    This means that bringing on Rosicky for another titch, is – just a similar player exchange.

    Let me come right out and say it. Some of our players are not as good as they think they are (and not just because of last night) and I think 2 or 4 of them might need to look to their laurels to avoid a transfer to newer pastures.

    Some or all of you might have possessed a ‘train set’ when you were kids, and I know Raddy still plays with his – and the train set too – (Micky told me).

    Once you line it up, get the wheels on the track, and set the signals to ‘go’, off it would trundle, and no amount of shouting at the little guy in the cab would change its speed or direction, even if there was a bunch of sheep in the way, (in Raddy’s case – a pair of afghan hounds, obviously) and so too with Wenger.

    Once he had explained to his well paid team, pre-match, what they were supposed to do, and given strict instructions that Le Coq and Mert should never cross the half way line – whatever the circumstances – and that Alexis and Welly should toe the white chalk lines on the side of the pitch, and only one FB at a time joined in the attack – they should bloody well do as they were told – or else.

    The only thing missing, as I see it, is the ‘or else’ bit.
    We seem to be a bit light on the “Do what Wenger wants, or he will get someone in who will” – but maybe the humiliation of last night will make AW more determined to do that, in the future?

    If he does not – he will be akin to a mangy old sheepdog with no teeth that the wolves laugh at as they pinch his sheep. 🙂

  57. Big Raddy says:

    RA. The “or else” is being dropped.”. It has happened to Szczesny this season and is likely to be seen again on Sunday.

    We finally have a squad wherein no-one is assured of his place.

    It will be very interesting to see how AW responds

    BTW I am a big fan of Afghan hounds though they can be a bit temperamental. I prefer the classic black lab. Proper dog not like those pug things or pocket dogs which have become so popular

  58. RA says:


    I have always liked teasing you and some others too, so I hope I have not unintentionally stoked your ire? 😉

    Your views are always worth reading, and sometimes I agree with one or two – well, one, anyway!! 😀

    Anyway, fear not, the AA blog has moved on, evolved if you will, and left me struggling far behind, so I will not be around too much to bug you – or anyone else for that matter.

  59. RA says:


    re: dogs – I agree – 😀

    ‘Dropping’ is not enough – it is essential AW gets out the whip transfers out those who disobey him, or better still, makes them spend a night with Cockie in his love shack!!

  60. RA says:

    Toodle pip. 🙂

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Norfolkian Puffing Giant ha ha ha

    Actually, I suggested Mozart on the right of the three, which I call the right wing

  62. GunnerN5 says:


    What a pleasure it was to see you blogging on AA again. AA is a far lesser site without your comments, please reconsider and continue blogging here on AA.

    Speaking your mind is what AA is all about and we need bloggers with your level of intelligence who, unlike GN5, can express their views without upsetting others.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Sooooo, after a dreadful night, I think I can safely speak for all here, and conclude that as we need/like a scapegoat, the winner is…….

    Frtiz with the funny eyes

  64. arnie says:

    Redders. stay. please, pretty please.

    Micky. 🙂 that is my first smiley in a long time.

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Look if one more person begs RA to stay, he’ll come storming back over the threshold and want to get all naked. I know his sort 🙂

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Tomorrow we start afresh and think goals and how to score masses of the little blighters.

    ’till the morrow

  67. arnie says:

    and avoid conceding poor goals at the wrong times. 😛

  68. chas says:

    Precisely, the right of a front three rather than as part of an attacking midfield three playing behind a lone striker.

    Fritz with the funny eyes, just look at him sat behind a disconsolate Wenger……..

  69. chas says:

    Poor spuddies out of Europe.
    Dippers get extra time despite the ball rattling their bar in injury time.

  70. The Cockie Monster says:

    So the Spuds will have to get higher than 5th to be in the CL next season !…………………Just let me check how that peaks on the Laughometer…..hold on a sec, this is technical stuff !……………………………hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahhahahhahahahahahhahhaahahhahahhahahahhahahhahhahhaahahhahahahahhahahhahahahaha

    Quite high then !.

  71. LB says:

    “We haven’t played a convincing 90 minutes all season.” (Rasp)

    The first sentence of the first comment.

    Sad, bit oh so true.

  72. arnie says:

    Liverpool out. should I be sad?

  73. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. It was better for us that they stayed in. Spurs as well. Disappointed by all the PL teams faring so badly.

  74. arnie says:

    that is right, Raddy. actually more true of the Spuds. I am having an occasional nightmare. that there may be no St Totts day this year. I know I know, not going to happen, but still ….

  75. The Cockie Monster says:

    What ???……….next you`ll be wanting the Spuds to win the COC on Sunday !.


  76. Gööner In Exile says:

    Convincing 90 minutes? I’ll take Man City away.

  77. Gööner In Exile says:

    Is it any surprise we struggle in Europe? In other countries games before are taken to a Friday, and they definitely won’t have a cup final in between European weeks.

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    By we I meanEnglish teams

  79. stevepalmer1 says:

    Just looked at my watch, and it tells me we are into a brand new day. The last 24hours has been a nightmare, I have looked at AA blogger’s comments and have seen who and what supporters think, and in some cases how some feel we should progress.

    Not being an expert i can honestly say i don’t really know what we should do, only to do better than we did in this tie. Some blame Ozil some Oly and others BFG, many put the Guvner to blame.

    All i do know is that Arsenal Football Club are better than the pathetic displays i have seen in this tie, We have players who are all decent players even the cowardly Wallcot and the BFG snail can all play better, which only means that all the team and the Manager can do better., after all i can’t put up with much more of this whinging.

    These players have a good living at a club that looks after them, its their responsibility to learn how to pass and how to kick a ball straight. I hope every one of them are as disgusted with themselves as the sixty thousand watching in the stadium and the millions like me at home. We expect more.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Steve, you make a good point about whether the players really care.

    Are they hurt by such a performance or just put it down to “a bad day at the office” as they get into their Zonda and drive back to their multi-million home in Hampstead?

    I fear that AW’s understandable dogma of “the next game is the only important one” implies that yesterday is gone and not to be worried about.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    NB. Get your internet sorted!!

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Sun shines and surf looks almost just maybe doable this weekend

    So life looking possibly bearable

  83. LB says:

    There seems to be a Real Madrid hang over: they care like crazy when they are there and fighting for their places but when they leave and their place is all but guaranteed — Not so much.

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you talking about Fritz LB?

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy/Anyone with power: is there a post?

  86. Eddie says:

    unfortunately pool and scum are out of Europe, too much time on their hands now

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. By next week the same could be said of us 😦

    Micky. I don’t know. Why not knock one up?

  88. chas says:

    Nearly three weeks to stew, BR.

  89. Eddie says:

    let’s just do a poll – should Arsenal players be paid for this week’s work?

    Raddy – could be out? you are having a larf! of course we are out. you said that Monacco only conceded 2 goals twice this season. Our mob will go there like bats out of hell trying to recover. And then we will all be saying, aaah, they did try their best, unlucky, next season, you know the spiel

  90. fatgingergooner says:

    You only had to look at Ox at the end and Wenger after the game to see there was some pain felt by the team. I’ve no doubt we will go over to Monaco and give them a good hammering, but we will need the same sort of luck they had in order to go through.

    As shockingly bad as the performance was, pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong. Walcott cleared off their line, our red hot striker suddenly got the Bendtners, our World Cup winning CB turned into Igor Stepanovs before our very eyes, and the one player brought on to get us back in the game did exactly that, and then stood on the ball and lost us it again….within the space of 4 added on minutes!!!!

    Lessons need to be learned, and so many questions need to be asked, but from a fan point of view, sometimes there are matches played that are just better off buried in your brain in a padlock sealed box labelled ‘F**K RIGHT OFF”!

  91. chas says:

    That’s my favourite comment since the game, ta.

  92. Eddie says:

    money is thicker than blood

    British world number one taekwondo fighter Aaron Cook has requested to switch allegiance to Moldova for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

    The 24-year-old was born in Dorset and has no family links to the country.

    But he had his nationality approved via funding from Moldovan billionaire Igor Iuzefovici, president of the country’s taekwondo federation.

  93. Eddie says:

    huge inflatable bananas were thrown at Gervinho last night!!!!!!!!!!!

  94. Gööner In Exile says:

    there was some conjecture after the City game that there had been a meeting of minds ore the game against City and the team decided on a different way to play. But I think what I struggle to understand is why our players cannot adapt to the situations that present themselves.

    It’s a bit like in cricket, Boycott (I think) always used to say look at the scoreboard, and then picture it with two more wickets down, does it still look good, if not then play yourself in, if yes then let loose a bit. Surely our players are capable of the same reasoning?

  95. Good morning Depressed doomers! 🙂

    Raddish, in a rare moment of network connection, I think I may be able to post a comment. My internet connection is a bit like Redders…. temperamental 🙂

    Fat Ginger has the right idea, compartmentalize the disappointment and get on with life, micky is going surfing this weekend to take his mind off the pain… Eddie will be looking on the internet to find a cheap Land Rover Defender….. she’ll call it Per when she buys it.

    Me………… doing the fucking usual and having a drink and thinking about all the women that were doable but I never got to score. A bit like Giroud. 🙂

  96. fatgingergooner says:


    Did he do a Dani Alves and eat one?

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie I should ask if you actually plan to drive the Defender off road, from my experience they are the most uncomfortable vehicle I have ever travelled in on road, but obvioisly marvellous off road.

  98. Eddie says:

    FGG – they were huge plastic bananas. Poor Gerv 😦

    I am not changing my car after all, it would be a shame to destroy another good car with my driving and stinking dogs. I have changed the reg only – it is now officially registered to me. Here I come – Y35 AFC 🙂 🙂

  99. Personalised number plates o a twenty year old VW Golf…. that;s class Eddie 🙂

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Good decision. You have to wear tweed to drive a Defender

  101. Eddie says:

    GiE – I do like to take a detour off road. In the mud. Needed rescue 🙂

  102. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    FGG, that comments says it all.
    Last nights results and the last few weeks results in Europe tells us that English football is not up to all the hype. English teams have been knocked out and now have to hope that they qualify for next seasons competitions.

    I noticed that the Tottenham boss left their record striker out of there game, to apparently rest him for this weekends game. Why the hell is it so important to qualify for Europe if you field a so called weaker team when you play i cannot take that in.

    Where we fielded probably the best team we could and still got our arse kicked by a supposedly weaker side, only goes to prove that The English leagues are not as good as many think.

    Not that i know much about world teams and who is supposedly the best, but i did watch Barcelona the other night and to be honest they still looked as good as when they knocked us out.

    Arsene Wenger has taken a lot of stick, i see in the papers and in some of the comments that its time for him to go, of course a bad result always has a knock on effect where somebody has to the one at fault. But in our case as i don’t really care about the rest of the world, we had a bad day not just one or two but the whole kit and kabudal.

    That game is over, yes we were shit, but we still have the return where the result can still be turned round we are not out yet and still can go through.

    I feel that Wenger has been doing a fair old job where he has brought players in and some are not cheap, ok some of them we believe should be doing better but Wenger cannot be held responsible for a players bad days. The side on paper is as good as any other team in our league, but for some reason we cannot get a decent flow of consistency that wins you trophies, we are not alone as recent results have proved. So far we are still in the Champions league we are still in the FA cup and we are still competing for the league. Many will laugh out loud as to our ability to win any of them at the moment as our spirits are as low as they can be , but the redeeming factor is that we are still there and with a little bit of consistency we could also win them as well.

    Arsenal supporters have taken lots of knocks over the years, we expect our team to be winners although we have gone through tough times, Wenger has had his critics and i have been one but he has kept us at the top not the very top but as high as our team could possibly manage.

    Wenger was hurt the other night make no mistake of that, Monaco sacked him, the only time he has ever been sacked and the only time he has not seen out his contract, Wenger would have loved us to have spanked their arses no doubt in my mind over that. and i believe the players would have been told exactly how he felt.

    Wenger will want revenge dont write this band of players just yet you could be surprised, i have a tough old skin and i wont give up until the fat lady sings i advise all supporters its not over yet.

  103. Eddie says:

    that was my final destination the day I went to rescue the pug

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    Just sent a pants post

  105. chas says:

    Hooray, a Micky special for a shiny Friday.

  106. chas says:

    Is it about Rosicky? 🙂

  107. chas says:

    Can’t see any dints on that motor at all.

  108. Eddie says:

    all four sides damaged, 2 really badly 🙂 it is in the garage now getting ready for the new reg. Cannot drive rubbish with AFC written on it

    I am not as careful a driver as Ant 🙂 Blimey, that was a performance you two staged! you insisting that people might want to drive across the lawn to park outside the front door and Ant obsessing with blocking a huge driveway by 1″ 🙂 It was funny

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    It’s a miserable post really, and actually we all got our doom out of the system yesterday, so could do with something light hearted, frivolous, even a little jocular

  110. mickydidit89 says:

    You need a 4×4. End of story 🙂

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp I will put up Micky’s post

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    Just do it Big, Rasp is probably busy

  113. ‘morning all,

    RA, don’t go on my behalf, I always enjoy your comments and have absolutely no problem with them.

    I was amazed to read this morning that Mertesacker admitted to being naive in the way we played against Monaco. Now did he know that during the game, or was it pointed out to him in the dressing room? If the former, why didn’t he do something about it on the pitch. He is the captain after all.

  114. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, I’m helping my daughter decorate her flat all day 🙂

  115. Rasp says:

    I think we have a new post …. with a new header 😆

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Yes it is true ….

    We have a New Post!

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