A proud night in Monaco

Morning all,

Last night’s gallant efforts away to Monaco ended up a huge disappointment in as much as the result, but the effort put in by The Arsenal players was immense. The team plugged away all night to try and get the goals needed, even to the last seconds, tired legs were still pushing just to find that one goal that would have put us through.

Arsene Wenger surprised many of us at the start by leaving out Aaron Ramsey. I suppose that was because Aaron has not shown, since he returned from injury, the form that he showed last season but whatever the reasons I felt we missed him. Although the eleven he did pick worked their socks off. This was  not an easy game, with a resolute Monaco seemingly happy to defend most of the game, without really troubling the somewhat under worked  Ospina .

My friend had flown out to Monaco to join the thousands of travelling supporters. He posted, on Facebook, photos of himself in a floppy Irish Top Hat drinking a pint of the black stuff in a local bar close to the ground. He knew this was a tough task but went all the same and I imagine he sang his heart out along with other hero supporters and although heart broken he must have been proud of his club at the end.

Arsenal did all they could to turn this game around, a massive ask after the first leg but try they did right up to the last kick of the game. Olly battled and was rewarded just before the break with what can only be described as a battlers goal. The moment that goal went in it lifted all Arsenal support and we had a proper game on our hands.

We went in at half time with belief that we could still fight back and out they came for the second half with only one thing on their minds to dig in and fight. Bellerin excelled himself again as he ran and battled up and down that pitch until those tired legs would not let him run any more. Monreal also, on the other side of the park also ran his legs off and to a man, Arsenal players did their utmost to claw back the goals we needed. We had chances, but on the night Monaco stuck to their tactics and defended well.

Arsene decided he had left it as long as he could and started changing players. Le Coq had thrown himself around all game was to be replaced by Ramsey. Monreal who looked worn out was taken off for Gibbs and Welbeck replaced by Theo. Wenger was not giving up, Ramsey added a little spice he had been missed even with the trio who came off you couldn’t have asked for more from but Aaron you could feel was to add a little extra.

Another Arsenal attack saw a chance for Theo he stroked the ball towards the right hand post only to bounce off the post a Monaco defender in vain tried to clear but rolled it to the ever waiting Ramsey who controlled the ball and fired it across the Monaco keeper and into the net. The crowd went ballistic and I went ballistic and you all went ballistic 2-0 we were not finished yet.

I have to say I felt that our attack was too much through the middle. Monaco were almost impenetrable, Theo was a let down for me, here we have a player as fast as lightning and he sat on Girouds shoulder we were crying out for a wide man someone to stretch the Monaco defence but Theo stayed central while Gibbs was doing his best down the left our right side was a vacant space.

Could we had scored that third goal and make the come back of the century? Yes I believe we could but it wasn’t to be on the night. Disappointment for thousands  of Gooners but they certainly tried, and we can ask for no more. Pride restored and out for another season but not broken. FA cup and League still on  and this team will keep on showing heart. Supporters like us will be bitterly disappointed but proud of the side that gave their all.

Steve Palmer  

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143 Responses to A proud night in Monaco

  1. RC78 says:

    It was a decent display against a team that just sat back and did not even try to create chances, even on the counter-attack…

    Our best players: Cazorla, Giroud,
    Our worse players: Bellerin, Monreal, Walcott, Sanchez
    Players on par: Wellbeck, Ozil, Ramsey, Coquelin, Kos, BFG, Ospina

    I thought that we missed some movement when in possession of the ball. Bellerin and Monreal did not cause any trouble with overlaps and their crossing was appalling…

    Sanchez had a horrible first half and was trying too hard in the second half – he looks jaded and needs a rest.

    Wellbeck played well when he was moved to right wing and when he played behind Giroud but his first touch is heavy…He really needs to sort this out and he will become a cracking forward.

    Wallcott’s introduction was really anonymous…We miss OX and Gnabry badly…

    Overall – a decent display but nothing to shout about…We did create 5 clear cut-chances and should have really won by 3 goals but we either messed up (last chance) or we messed up (Wellbeck’s shot on the defender)…

    CCL – We thoroughly deserve to be out of the Chamions League as we defended like amteurs at home. We are not learning from past mistakes and to be honest, we should be through against a good solid but rather limited offensively Monaco team…Now let’s win this damn FA Cup and finish in the top 3…

    PS CCL – We need to look at a new defensive coach because we keep on making similar mistakes for the last 5 years and we need also to invest in another HM/DM and maybe look at a winger as well…

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Fine stuff Steve. Thank you.

    RC. We disagree. I don’t think we had any poor performances and for me Bellerin was very good.

    Scoring 3 against a team who did not have a single shot in the whole game was always going to be tough and we didn’t have any good luck either.

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks Steve, a night of mixed emotions. I am loathe to criticise the players after the immense effort they put in.

    Like you, I felt that we could have used the width of the pitch more and perhaps the fb’s could have been more willing to overlap – but that was the quandary. We had to remain solid defensively as well as score the goals and so the wing backs in particular had to get it right on the night.

    We were a lucky block away from going through and can be proud of the team performance.

    We can also be optimistic that the team is looking in good shape for the rest of the season.

    What we also can only hope is that we will have finally learned the lesson of the repeated mistakes in our CL campaigns of recent years and put it right in 2016.

  4. RC78 says:

    BR – it was a “decent” (not poor nor brilliant) display…

    Bellerin did not offer anything offensively (not enough width or overalps) and none of his crosses were dangerous. He coped well defensively but against a team that parks the bus, it is not hard…Even Coquelin was venturing forward a bit…

  5. Ant says:

    Proud Night ????? what a joke what pride is they in being knocked out by a smaller and inferior team, sure the team played ok and put effort in but should we expect anything less that is what they are paid for after all and if you cannot do it in the champ league then you shouldn’t be playing. Its ground hog season all over again and will continue to be until the manager is changed keep doing the same thing keep getting the same result its simple really

  6. RC78 says:

    Ant – I am not sure the team would be better off without Wenger…I think the players just need to man up instead of being paralysed in CL…

  7. ‘morning all, well done Steve, it must have been difficult writing that in light of the disappointment engendered by elimination from the Champions League.

    I was really pleased with the way the team were set up and the way they gave their all. All of them deserve praise for a fighting performance that almost saw a remakable turn-around.

    RC78, I feel your comments are more than a bit harsh, complaining that Bellerin and Monreal weren’t getting forward enough is unfair considering the outcry following the suicidal forays made by our defenders in the first leg. I thought that they did pretty well to balance the need to attack with the need to counter Monaco on the break.

    I don’t think this morning is the time for “what ifs”, more for looking forward to more displays like last night’s, displays that earned wins at Man City and United and almost got us into the Quarter Finals.

    If we can carry this new fighting spirit forward into the reamining games of the season we could yet see this turn out to be a memorable chapter in Arsenal’s recent history.

  8. Terry White says:

    I take positives from last night. We screwed up in the first leg, but Monaco aren`t some crap team, No team who makes the last 16 are crap as, Wenger said. The first 15 minutes they gave us a very good game and then we took over and with a tiny bit of luck could have made it.
    But you shouldn`t need luck, you need discipline and we had a defence who went walkabout in the first leg with BFG mostly as captain to blame .We all knew Monaco are a team who hit you on the break and yet we left massive gaps.for them to run into
    No wonder Wenger went livid after the game
    If we play as we did last night, 3rd place in the premiership should be no problem and even 2nd.
    If we play next season as we did last night, then we are a match for any team
    Very well written report, thanks

  9. Big Raddy says:

    RC OK. We just saw the game differently.

    I would have liked to see us shoot from distance a few times because their GK looked a bit suspect but we don’t really have a player who is willing to do that .

  10. PV4 says:

    I think that on reflection we maybe took the first leg for granted – read our own press and thought we would slip into the quarters without fuss. Alas, not meant to be, but that is not to say that we gave a huge effort last night. if you had to choose the manner of elimination, then rather play decent football and have a go than use any despicable trick in the book to cheat your way through (against 10 men etc ). There will always be AW haters – a bit like Ozil and his unfortunate laid back persona, but there are a shit load of clubs who would swap our football experiences and heritage for theirs. One last thing, could someone please find a way to kick that sulky Manc twat Scholes square in the bollocks!

  11. Rasp says:

    Just to clarify, the comment from ‘Ant’ @ 10:11 is not the ‘ant’ of ‘ant and duck’ fame 🙂

  12. Rasp says:

    Excellent comments Terry and PV4

  13. Big Raddy says:

    “there are a shit load of clubs who would swap our football experiences and heritage for theirs.”

    Top work PV4

  14. Rasp says:

    Here’s a link for all those numpties who criticised Ozil’s performance last night …..

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/lequipe-player-ratings-monaco-arsenal-mesut-ozil-highest-rating-picture/

  15. PV4 says:

    Cheers Rasp and Raddy – you are obviously the ‘bleed red and white’ variety.

  16. What a shame… a good game on the night in Monaco, so close, so very close but the game at the Ems let us down. We didn’t give them enough respect in London and getting 3 in France was always going to be difficult. We still have the FA cup to win….

  17. Some lovely vegetables posted by Chas earlier this morning 🙂

  18. RA says:

    It is odd how a couple of incidents lasting a second or two can alter the course of games lasting over 180 minutes, and lead to brickbats rather than praise.

    In the first leg, we looked for 20 minutes as if we would score a hatful of goals for fun – and did not. Kongdobia then scored with a great shot, in what was effectively a break away goal – in the last seconds of that game, an eager Ox unnecessarily went on the attack, lost the ball and allowed another break away goal to put them 1:3 up – and our chances were in the shit-house.

    Last night we decided not to go all out in the early part of the game, and only scored at the end of the first half. Chances came and went with desperate defence and fortunate blocks from Monaco, and a dodgy referee allowed repetitive fouling to break up our attacks, and despite a good Rambo goal we did not quite do it.

    Just a few seconds out of 10,800 seconds over the two legs decided the whole shebang, and, depending on your personal demeanour, it was either a good effort overall, [despite some admittedly poor defending in the first leg] or another catastrophe demanding the manager or certain players are to be vilified.

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s obvious from the comments after the game and this morning that we all watch the same game – but see a very different game.

    My belief is that we played one of the best games I have seen an Arsenal team play and I am a very proud and deeply disappointed supporter this morning. The only two ingredients that were missing were a favorable referee (some hope) and Lady Luck.

    The good thing is that the team’s confidence is in tact and they must now fully understand the problems a lack of concentration can cause (1st leg).

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches/Rasp,

    I emailed you a post for either Thursday or Friday – on the PL run in…………

  21. fatgingergooner says:

    Glorious failure is still failure.

    The lads were good last night and gave absolutely everything, but ultimately we are out of the competition to a lesser team.

    We don’t need a new manager to progress, we have a perfectly good one in Arsene. What we need is a bit more leadership and nous on the field down the spine of the team. Going gung-ho when 1-0 down in the first leg is pure stupidity which could have easily been avoided by a calm head instructing those around him.

    On Özil, I thought he was good last night, and having watched all his touches again I still think he was good and he certainly didn’t have a shocker as some would try and make you believe. Thankfully he doesn’t seem to care what others think about his play. Gervinho was forced out by people booing him after 10 minutes, I don’t think the same would happen with Özil. Hopefully he will stay fit next season and I think we will see 20+ assists and a handful of goals from him.

  22. arnie says:

    well done, Steve. pretty much reflects the feelings of most of us, I think. 🙂

    Just to emphasize a few observations.

    1. We were naive, or shall we say our defence was naive, to concede the third goal in the first leg. This cost us the tie.

    2. Bellerin needs to improve his crossing to become a true competitor to The Bushy, wo we really missed yesterday.

    3. We lacked width and this restricted our attacks in a game where the opposition had a really tight and disciplined defence. This is despite Welbz / Theo being on for all the game. Maybe Gibbs brought on from the start or at least earlier might have made a difference.

    4. Respect and credit where it is due. We were level on scores, over two legs, with a team that topped their group stage. which we did not. That is creditable that we were neck and neck with a better team, as it turns out over two legs. Let us not be supremacist and hold the illusion that Monaco was shit, which it is not!

    COYG. 🙂

  23. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Steve for a positive post. Now let me see if I can do my best to ruin your positiveness 🙂

    Oh and sorry RA my personal demeanor is to not take too much from the positives. Really am very sorry 🙂

    Last night we played well and put in a very good effort and came oh so close but I still can’t bring myself to use terms like heroic effort and pride. This was a 180 minute + injury time game, and so my assessment is we played very well for portions of the game (over 180 minutes) but ultimately failed by reverting to some old (maybe very old) bad habits. Things that we have said time and again we need to learn from and correct.

    We lost to an inferior team, not a bad team or a team that wouldn’t present difficulties, but still an inferior team. We have capitulated to teams inferior to us on a few occasions this season and seasons before, and so I would look at our season, (as a whole), as being one of under performing and punching below our weight.

    Now we still have a lot to play for and I will support the team all the way. If we were to secure the F.A cup and get 2nd or 3rd in the league that would be a reasonably successful season, but if you were to ask me if we were ready to spring forwards to challenge for the biggest stuff next season I would view that differently.

    I hope Wally doesn’t mind but I want to use something he put up yesterday, not to take issue with him but because it perfectly explains how I come from a different angle. Wally said :

    “No complaints, NONE! That was a heroic effort that wasn’t rewarded.
    We showed a patience and ‘nous’ that has been a loooong time coming. Showed great maturity.
    I thought we played really really well. Never panicked. This team keep playing like that and this time next year we’ll be walking it home, in any competition we choose!”

    The problem for me is that recently we have always put in better performances, even a few on the trot, after some bad ones, and so we all think we have learned lessons and turned a corner, only to be brought back down to earth with an almighty bump and shoot ourselves in the foot with the same old bad habits. The ones that we all triumphantly declared we had left behind when we were playing better.

    Now I hope Wally is right in fact, and that we have now finally turned a corner and can challenge for everything next year, but if we were basing it on historical evidence it would more suggest that we will go through purple patches and then mess it all up by reverting to bad old habits.

    As it stands I think Ant hits the nail on the head with his 10.11. These players are supposed to do this, and bearing in mind the quality of the players we have, we have under-performed across a 180 minute game even if sections of the 180 were good.

    I was pleased with last nights performance but still put it in a context of overall failure. I hope we have turned a corner but will not be holding my breath and will reserve judgement on that till I see it on a consistent basis, not a temporary one.

  24. GoonerB says:

    Oh and sorry I am a bit late but I was Rasped and you all know how that can waylay you for a while.

  25. RC78 says:

    BTW – Thanks Steve for the post 🙂

    Again – good effort but not stellar and definitely this encounter begs the question (see l’équipe): Can Arsenal cope with pressure?

  26. RA says:

    Good and very different comments from GN5 and GoonerB a Bad Boy.

    As often happens after a game there will be many different opinions expressed with extremes at either end of the spectrum and a ‘grey zone’ of broad agreement in the middle.

    The second leg of a CL tie can cause some conflicting opinions with those fans who see progression to the next round as the be all and end all of their agendas expressing unremitting condemnation, whereas others may share in the disappointment of being knocked out of the competition but still find it possible to objectively praise a good performance.

    GB has apologised for the opinion he gave as a result of his demeanour, and there is no need.
    None of us can change our personal outlook, and neither can anyone make another person ‘happy’, because let’s face it some will take to gloom like a bat to a dark cavern. 🙂

    Alternatively there are those of a cheery disposition who will always look on the bright side and find consolation in even the worst circumstances.

    Me? I am obviously disappointed that our team just could not get across the line, and the tension last night was severe.
    However, I thought the guys played well and could not be faulted for their efforts, and as much as I gave them a rocket because of the first leg performances, I think it would be churlish to deny they had put their hearts into it last night.

    Happy hearts make smiley faces! 🙂

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you for the post Steve.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s onward and upward from here to secure our spot in next season’s CL.

  28. Great comment Redders, I’m in your camp 🙂

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    RC78

    When our World Cup winning central defender says we couldn’t cope with the mental pressure of the 1st leg then I guess the answer is no.

    It’s great that the lads have the ‘mental strength’ to put in a performance like they did last night when all seems lost, but why do they seem to crumble when there is genuine pressure to perform?

    We have improved a bit this season in some of the big games (City home & away, United away, Dortmund home) but we have still had too many of those mental lapses (Liverpool away (we were rubbish but scraped a draw), Spuds home & away, United home, Chelsea away, Dortmund away, Monaco home).

    I don’t think its all down to pressure as most of these are good teams, but the level of performance just hasn’t been where it should be in the high pressure matches.

    Personally I think it comes down to the mix of players we have. All those in our squad have the ability, but not many seem to have that ‘hate to lose’ mentality. Merts came out after the game and said that Monaco deserved to go through. That’s bulls**t! He should be too pissed off to answer questions and there should be YouTube videos of him punching the ref in the tunnel!

    We are too nice as a team and need more attitude. The Invincibles were ruthless and nasty when needed. We don’t seem to have that mentality.

  30. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Steve

    Excellent write-up and I agree with every word.

    No team goes through a season without bad games. Even the Invincibles were fortunate to keep their unbeaten record on a few occasions.

    And look at the Chavs – they will certainly win the league but they have had a whole string of disastrous performances and have also been dumped out of the Champs League before the QFs. Does it make them crap? No. They will still go down in the record books as the league champions.

    But if you take the big picture, we have been on an amazing run of form for quite some time, with just a few blips here and there.

    If we can keep that form going we can secure CL for next year with no need to pre-qualify, and we have a very good chance of retaining the FA Cup.

    That would be another good season, with plenty of indications that we can mount a proper title challenge next year.

  31. RockyLives says:

    FGG
    “why do they seem to crumble when there is genuine pressure to perform?”

    You mean like, away at Man City? Away in the Cup at Old Toilet? Being 0-2 down in the FA Cup Final?

    This “weak mental strength” “no leaders” rubbish is just a media narrative trotted out because we don’t win every single game all of the time. There may have been an argument for it during the austerity years, but now we are one of the best teams in the country and our position reflects that.

    Yes, it’s disappointing to be knocked out of the CL by Monaco, but it’s football – stuff happens. The Chavs are out as well – do they “seem to crumble when there is genuine pressure to perform?”

    Naturally I respect you view – I just have a very different one 😀

  32. Jeremy says:

    One of the aspects I enjoyed about last night, considering what was on the line, was that the game was played in a good spirit by both teams. No pushing, no diving, no sledging, just two teams playing football the way it should be played. I know some people would prefer if we were a little bit nastier sometimes but it makes me glad to support a team that wants to play the right way. I am surprised by Arsene’s comments about the better team not going through though.

  33. RedMJ says:

    I think the entire team (players and coaches) deserve our respect and credit today. Yes, they screwed up on the first leg but last night they played with great patience, control and discipline against a team that simply tried not to concede. Our team clearly tried damn hard to put that first leg right and came oh so close.

    The comments about the full backs not offering enough are based on hindsight, safe in the knowledge that we held a clean sheet. If they had been bombing forward (a la Chelski and others last season) we could easily have been out of the game and tie after 20 minutes. They, like the rest of the team had a good game plan and they stuck to it.

    Pressure? losing at Wembley against so called inferior sides and coming back to win. Of course they can cope with pressure.

    They are paid to do it so they should? What bollix. Which of us have never had a bad day at the office, however much we are paid? They are deeply competitive sportsmen who have all fought their way to a top level professional career since they were 5 or 6 years old – they are programmed to win regardless of the pay cheque. They are not robots and are prone to cocking up from time to time too. But they are still our team our club and we keep pushing on with them, hoping for, even expecting better days ahead.

  34. RA says:

    FGG,

    Surely you do not really expect the Arsenal team captain to behave like a thug and punch the referee?

    Each to his own, I suppose, but if that became the way forward – I would go support the tiddly-winks team.

  35. arnie says:

    Jeremy. I agree. That statement shows disrespect. When it rubs on the team, it results in performances like against Monaco at home. I dare say. I hope we learn from that mistake.

    No team at this level is a numpty, certainly not teams that top their CL group. Which we have not, BTW.

  36. RA says:

    Spot on RedMJ.

  37. RC78 says:

    FGG – I agree with you about the lack of ruthless attitude

    Rocky – It’s not so uch BS when our team comes undone in big occasions time and time again…Yes we are better this year but we are still not close to being GENUINE CL or EPL contenders…Why? We lack that ruthless attitude defensively and offensively…We need these hungry players like Sanchez, Suarez, Costa, Matic…

    I would say we lack 3 players: 1 per line

    I would sell our BFG for what he is worth and go out to get a player like Garay

    I would get rid of Flamini and get a Bender

    I would also make some space (loan out Gnabry?) to accomodate a player like Meertens, Reuss or if we want to gamble…Fekir from Lyon

    Osp – Debs, GARAY, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, BENDER – Ozil – Sanchez, Giroud, REUSS

    PiG – Bell, Chambs, Gabs, Monreal – Wilshere, Coquelin – Cazorla – Walcott, Wellbeck, OX

    It s not a bad squad…

  38. RA says:

    I agree with you, Jeremy.

    Arsene was obviously disappointed, and well aware of the opprobrium he would face from some quarters, and today probably regrets what he said in the immediate aftermath of the game.

    We have all done it when upset. 🙂

  39. RA says:

    Hi arnie, 🙂

    What time zone are you in?

  40. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Steve

    How do I sum last night up? I spent the last 15 minutes suffering chest pains forcing me to chain smoke to prevent a heart attack. Who says fags aint good for you? Who ever they are, there lying.

    I admit,at the final whistle I put my hands over my head and started sobbing. My cries only interrupted by my daughter playing some shit hip hop tune on her mobile and demanding I make her a cup of tea

    I had just put my nightly bromide in my tea, when I realised that my tears and pain had now transformed to elation. We were bloody brilliant. Keep playing and improving like this and next season we will win the effing lot.

    Tears streaming, I started star fish jumping around the Loft proclaiming “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring” as in the background my spoilt daughter yelled “tea dad, you mad git” and Kanye West threatened to shoot me and pimp my ho

    A crazy night of emotions.

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    RL

    Not sure if you read all of my comment but I did list those games you mention as signs of improvement and I did say I don’t think its all down to ‘mental strength’ but more down to the blend of players we have.

    We have a fantastic record against bottom half teams (lost 2 in 55 I think) where our superior ability is usually enough to get us over the line, but when playing the better sides the matches are decided by more than just ability. The last 2 seasons (when money hasn’t been an issue) we have under performed in these games. If it’s not leadership or pressure causing this, then what is it?

  42. Jeremy says:

    Hungry players like Suarez and Costa should simply be fed before the match. Maybe then they wouldn’t be running around pushing and biting like lunatics.

  43. fatgingergooner says:

    RA,

    No, it was purely sarcasm. If he punched Mourinho or LVG though I wouldn’t complain! 🙂

    My point was just that I don’t want him coming out and saying the opposition deserved to win 30 seconds after the game ends. I want him to be a bit cheesed off about the fact we are out.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  44. RockyLives says:

    Ah, FGG…

    This could turn into a long conversation.

    We are third in the table behind two teams who have spent half a billion more EACH than we have on their squads. Is it so surprising that they are the ones in front of us?

    It’s not mental strength. It’s wallet strength.

    However, FFP is definitely having an evening-out effect and – unlike RC – I feel we are very, very close to being genuine EPL title challengers. As for CL contenders? Next year, why not?

  45. RockyLives says:

    Terry

    I love you.

    But not in “that” way.

  46. arnie says:

    Redders. 🙂 EST. that’s life. 😛

  47. RA says:

    arnie,

    You are an educational marathon man.

    My job took me all over the world for many years, but when I moved on I found I did not miss the treadmill of the constant travelling. 🙂

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    RL,

    Other poor performances in big games this season includes:-

    Spurs home
    Spurs away
    Dortmund away
    Liverpool away

    I agree about the money, but I’m not sure that’s much of an argument anymore when you look at the strength of our squad and the fact we are 1 point behind City.

    We lose more than we win in the big games. I believe a leader or 2 at GK, CB or HM would definitely help.

  49. RA says:

    FGG,

    I did not believe you were really wanting anyone assaulted. 🙂

    There have been many people over the years who have been cornered immediately after a game by man with a microphone, and felt obliged to answer a loaded question – and if I could give them any advice I would say — don’t.

    And that includes Per and Arsene.

  50. RA says:

    FGG,

    I am back for clarification.

    We played ‘Pool in December last, and were winning 1:2 until extra time when they got a jammy equaliser. That does not sound too bad to me – tho I would have preferred to win.

    Compare that with the licking we got in the previous year at Anfield, and that represents progress. 🙂

  51. RA says:

    Of course the Anderlecht game 3:3 would add to your argument – but do not tell Rocky I said so.

    [injuries cannot be discounted in games that matter – and we have had plenty of those this season – and last – and the one before that.] 🙂

  52. RA says:

    Terry,

    Unlike Rickety, I do not love you — in any way – you are barmy.
    And now they have abolished Tax Returns and your clients won’t have to cough up – you will not be able to keep me in the luxury I have come to expect!! 🙂

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    RA,

    The performance was rubbish though. They could easily have beaten us.

    My initial point was just that we lack a bit of nous, leadership and spite. Not much, just a light dusting of whatever made the likes of Vieira, Adams, Keown etc so scary to play against.

  54. RockyLives says:

    I think this Guardian article offers a lot of perspective and avoids many of the lazy cliches the other hacks have been spouting:

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/mar/18/arsenal-arsene-wenger-champions-?

  55. Rasp says:

    Micky …. you got your wish …. 🙂

  56. chas says:

    Excellent post, Steve, thanks.

    Superb banner, Rasp.

    I don’t really understand how last night has produced the reaction it has in the Goonersphere.
    Back to debating how weak we are in big games?
    Weird.

  57. arnie says:

    wow, Rasp, what a banner! 🙂 well done Steve! 🙂

  58. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon again all. I thought I would disappear for a while after my comment until everyone was out of bullets.

    I would like to thank Redders for outing me as a whingeing negative doomer but in a really nice flowery way as only he can, so that you are never totally sure whether he has just outed you as a whingeing negative doomer 🙂

    The thing is I am not as negative as my comment may have made out. There was just such a well of positive support for the boys last night that I felt was in many cases absolving them of all prior misdemeanors that I felt I would come from another angle. It must be the rebel in me that I will do the opposite to all the others even if I still hold a lot of common views with them.

    I was actually very pleased with this performance and I am hoping that this is a springboard and we are turning a corner. My point is that we have been through these (kind of) euphoric surges of optimism before.

    I had a brief look at the link Rocky but will have to read it properly later, but I also feel there is a good side lurking in there and I feel it is very close to potentially doing great things. However I did feel like this at the end of last season that we were close and ready to challenge this year. I am also fairly certain that if we were to look back to comments after some games last season there would be lots of declarations (after good performances) that we were ready to spring on and win all and sundry next season (this season now).

    So now we are in this season and have unnecessarily cocked it up (and I say this with recognition that all is not dreadful and we could still have a fruitful end to the season) on a few occasions I guess it is next season that we will conquer all before us. It kind of reminds me of that commonly seen plaque in the pub that states “free beer tomorrow”.

    I really hope this is it now and next season is going to be the one where we having everything in place from the very off and I am weirdly optimistic about it within a frame of cautious pessimism.

    So there you are go, just the view of a humble pessimistic optimist who also happens to be an open minded cynic.

  59. GoonerB says:

    Chas, I may get critical at times if I feel there is evidence to be so but I don’t really like media driven cliches. I am not sure about this one about being weak in the big games. It sounds lazy and wide of the mark.

    Our record against the bigger teams, the ones we are in more direct competition with, has not been great in the last 2-3 seasons but maybe recent performances against City and Utd away could show the tide is turning.

    I think it is fair to say that over the last 3 seasons we have been prone to allowing certain big rival teams to hand us a thumping while conversely we have occasionally won against these teams (and had draws) but never thumped any of them. That would suggest to me that they have a better tactical approach to these games and even if they lose it will be by a narrow margin so that in effect they are still in the game till the end.

    We on the other hand have been blown away inside 30 minutes at times. We played Liverpool 3 times lat year winning 2 and losing 1 which should suggest we are slightly the better side but the one we lost was a disaster and the ones we won were tighter games.

    I have always felt our problems in these games were primarily tactical issues rather than the weakness of the side or any individual players within it.

  60. RA says:

    Thanx, Rocket,

    That Guardian piece is superb reading and pretty much is the way I see it too – except when I am feeling grumpy. 🙂

    There is still room for improvement – there always is, but to improve you need to identify who is/are the weak links, which in his own way is what FGG is getting at.

    AW has now addressed the CB cover question that arose with the departure of the perennially injured Vermaelen, when he bought The ArchAngel Gabriel, and he will need to look at one or two other positions as well — I am sure he does not need me to say that, obviously. 🙂

    Oh, go on then – I know you want to hear who I think needs to be checked out.

    1. I was always relatively happy with Chezzer, but I am not convinced by Ospina – and it seems to have unravelled Chez.
    [watching a bit of the Bayer Leverkusen game I was quietly impressed with Bernd Leno.]

    2. Le Coq has been a revelation, but we still need cover and someone like Kondogbia would add the physicality and skill that would drive us forward.

    3. Both Welly and Giro are perfectly adequate in their own ways, but we really could do with a more mobile and ruthless CF ( to use FGG’s word).

    4. We need to make up our minds (OK, AW needs to 🙂 ) about our midfielders, and weed out those approaching age related ‘sell by dates’, such as Arteta, Rosicky, Flamini, Cazzor, and allow youngsters to start coming through, or go look for younger replacements, although this might be part of [2. above]

    5. Finally the contentious one. There are apparently ongoing contract negotiations with Theo, and perhaps now is the time to bite the bullet.

    Watching the last two games when Theo played, he consistently left the wing and shadowed Giro at CF, this cluttered up the centre of the opposition defence, and left no width. The result was that Chambers and Belli were both criticised for not getting up and down the wing enough, or making quality crosses. neither can be expected to do that and defend when Theo goes missing.

    My suggestion – Yarmolenko – he is a 25 year old, 6′ 2″ left footed winger with amazing dribbling skills, and a terrific turn of pace.

    Actually this looks a lot written down, but are only ‘tweaks’ in the great scheme of things and necessary in the near future anyway.

    What thinkest thou? [Not you, Rasp, you never reply anyhoo!] 😀

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Dear GB a.k.a Devil’s Advocate. I guessed your earlier comment was a reaction to the positive comments about last night 🙂

    Humble pessimistic optimists are few and far between and we are privileged to have your input on AA.

    With time for reflection I am happy with the way we went out – we went down in flames, on the front foot and without a blindfold etc etc

    I maintain I would rather we lost last night and take 3 points at St James. Had we won does anyone really believe we could have gone on to win the CL? Some might say “of course we can” but really?

    IMO it is better to go out now rather than after two tough games against Barca/BM or Real in the next round. We might have beaten Porto, PSG or AM but this is unlikely.

    No ….. better to get the pain out of the way early.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Terrific banner.

  63. GoonerB says:

    I actually think we lost this tie because we didn’t take the clear cut chances that we created in the early stages of the first leg which is why I hold the view that a (cliched) world class striker needs to be with us if we are to challenge for the EPL and ECL in what is likely to be Arsenes final 2 years.

    He owes himself that so as to try and leave on a high with the EPl or ECL on his C.V, and I think if he puts too much faith in Ollie fulfilling this we will fall short. Ollie for me should be our Solskjaer and I see no shame in being a 2nd choice striker at a club like ours, as you can still have a great career and contribute significantly to the silverware at the end of the season.

    I think everything else was kind of a domino effect after squandering the chances; the deflected goal against the run of play, the chasing of the game and playing into their hands on the counter-attack. I think the whole tie unfolds in a different way if we take our chances, but taking the chances clinically in the biggest games is what often separates the winners and almost there also rans.

    I actually agree with Arsene that we were overall the better team over the 180 minutes.

  64. RA says:

    You do not need an ouster from me, GB. 🙂

    It would be nigh on impossible to label you as one thing or another as you tend to say one thing (agree with Micky on something) and shorty thereafter agree with his arch nemesis Rasper) 🙂

    I always find your views delightful and tend to turn a blind eye to the inconsistencies and contradictions.

    In short – I could not label you as a bat like temperament, always heading for a dark place, or an insufferably optimistic person who is irritatingly cheerful.

    On reflection I realise that you share the same views of your personal outlook, by the final ‘signing off’ comment of your 4:33;
    ” the view of a humble pessimistic optimist, who also happens to be an open minded cynic.”

    You do understand that you have now taken the place in my affections of the inestimable and equable Ricky Rock, and this is an epistle of love – in a manly way, obviously! 😀

  65. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, My apologies for not being here to answer some curious comments and thank you guys and girls who stepped in .

    Supporters watch a game, and surprisingly they often see things in the game that others don’t, For those that didn’t agree with the post, well what can i say.

    Forget the first leg for a minute. We had a 3 goal target against a Champions league opponent who won their group. they deserved to be there the same as us. Many believe Monaco is an inferior side, inferior to who Barcelona Real or the Germans. We have come up against all and sundry in the 17 years of Champions league, we have never won it We must be inferior to those teams although i would never admit it.

    Monaco kicked our Arse at the home of football, well and trully, a late goal left us with a mountain to climb. Monaco never came across as inferior to us on that night.

    We did all we could and still never went through, and in my opinion Arsenal was the inferior team overall which was proved by the final result.

    Many take it to heart when our club lose, i know i am one of the worst losers there are, but when i see a team try like they did last night although disappointed i have to hold my hands up and say they deserved it’

    Yes we played crap at home, but take nothing away from Monaco they can only play who are in front of them and they tanned our arse.

    Arsenal tried for all they were worth but just fell short at the final fence. Obviously Arsenal are still not ready to come up against the best teams and win this competition. There are no easy games in Europe nowadays results have shown that we are just lots of others left by the wayside but at least we were there to try, hopefully we will be again next season,

    This competition is one of the most sort after places in world football. 4 teams get picked out to represent this league and we have managed to get in it since it started. We are not the best team in it so usually we lose.

    For those who think Wenger is the wrong man to lead us think again as who else could of had us qualify for all these years.
    Wenger’s the man aright until he has had enough that may not be to far off and should please some of you but be very careful of what you wish for.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Good comment.

    1. Unless TPIG has done something incredibly stupid I cannot see him leaving. Ospina has let in 3 goals in 6 games, he deserves a longer run.

    2. I agree but the signing and lauding of Bielek might suggest that AW will use Flamini, JW or Arteta as backup to Le Coq rather than spend big on a DM.

    3. We have enough strikers of quality. Having seen Cavani, Aguero, and others struggle I am happy with OG and Welbeck.

    4. I expect AW to keep them all. Santi is playing better than ever despite his age. Arteta is negotiating a new one year contract, Flamini will go in 2016 as will Rosicky.

    5. Theo: I can only think that AW told Walcott to play where he did, if not he will be benched for the foreseeable future.

    Once again I cannot see us signing anyone even if Walcott is sold. We have the Ox and Gnabry to come, both of whom have pace and trickery plus both are defensively aware.

    Yarmalenko? Why not?

  67. RA says:

    GB,

    Right on cue you come up with a truism that none could argue with;

    – “I think the whole tie unfolds in a different way if we take our chances, but taking the chances clinically in the biggest games is what often separates the winners and almost there also rans.”

    So let’s have a look;

    Arsenal goal attempts =30 ——- Monaco Goal attempts = 13

    AFC on target goal attempts = 11 ——- Mon on target = 7

    OK applying your logic, if we had taken our chances last night;
    we would have won 11 : 7 — right?

    Genius – sheer genius!

    And — over the two legs if we had taken all our chances we would have won 18 : 10 . You are wasted on the likes of minions like us – well…me! 🙂

  68. RA says:

    Hi Raddy, 🙂

    I bet you still have the toys you were given when you were 7 years old.

    Go on admit it!! 😀

    Tho’ I respect your wish to keep all our players — what do we do when they are all 60 years old? 🙂

  69. RA says:

    Alas,alack anon, I must depart before the slings of outraged fellow bloggers reach me. 🙂

    But first, can I offer my genuine apologies for any feathers that I may have ruffled – hopefully, those who know me will be aware it is only meant in jest, with no malice intended.

    Adieu, mes amis. 😉

  70. Jeremy says:

    Arnie I could understand his comments if they spent the two games diving or if they kicked us off the park or the referee was terrible. Seems we agree RA.

  71. RockyLives says:

    Redders

    You’ve banged on about this Yarmouth Lennie fellow before.

    Who does he play for? Is there a clip? Would he be cheap?

    You know I am a Theo apologist – sorry, supporter – but even I’m struggling to defend his recent outings.

  72. California Gooner says:

    Raddy (Hello!), I don’t agree with your bargaining away last night for a win at St. James. I wanted us to go through. All the same, I did not expect us to be in a position to do it come 90 minutes against Monaco’s stingy defense. T he fact that we were one goal-line clearance from doing so shows just how amazing a performance it was. Ozil was immense. Welbeck a huge and very pleasant surprise (I would not have picked him). Giroud, Monreal, Koscielny, Bellerin. These were real battling performances, the kind that make me proud.

    Last night’s performance shoes what the team can do now that they are playing together. I hope we get Schnederlin (who is a beast) and perhaps we need to replace Merts with someone faster, particularly in games where we are likely to get hit on the counter. But in general, last night’s play made me feel like this team, without a single addition, could already grow into something immense.

  73. RA says:

    Bum, just switching off and you caught me, Rocky.

    Yarmolenko [Andriy?] plays for Dynamo Kiev.

    Unfortunately both the Spuds and ‘Pool are after him, with the Spuds hot on his trail.

    Vids – or whatever – are not in my purview, but I am sure Chas could find something. But he is good! 🙂

    Bye for now.

  74. RockyLives says:

    Cheers and Ciao, Redders 🙂

  75. RockyLives says:

    CG

    Spot on!

  76. GoonerB says:

    Redders, enough of the wasted analogies. You know as well as I that NB has the copyrights to that 🙂 I am delighted that you feel a bit of man love for me as well. About time, I have been waiting for ages.

    I like your break down of the positions Redders and Raddy’s riposte as well.

    1 I am reasonably happy with our keepers at present.

    2 Cover for Coquelin? Kondogbia for you Redders and California also mentioning Schneiderlin as cover for Coquelin. My question is are they cover or a replacement. All 3 look more like holding midfielders to me and while I am all for competition sometimes too much is bad. I can’t see any of those 3 now accepting a back up role.

    It is why I would consider bringing back Jenks and free up Chambers from that RFB position (unless we are really depleted) and get Chambers playing as a CB that can cover the holding MF role in Coquelins absence. He is young and can become more a specialist at one or the other in another 2-3 seasons.

    3 Agree with you Redders (and not you Raddy, sorry) we need a new shiny toy. I still have a soft spot for Lewandowski. Could be possible.

    4 I have said that decisions need to be made on the midfield so shall stick with that at present but I agree with Raddy that he will likely keep them all. Arsene does like a techy ball player.

    5 I have championed Theo but if Arsene doesn’t feel it for him anymore I can only see things going wrong if he continues with back up and bit parts anyway. He will end up forcing his game and trying too hard to over-impress in short cameo appearances and that doesn’t help him or us.

    Your Yarmalenko chap sounds interesting and I also would like to see some clips. I do like the Ox though and have always liked Gnabry so we already have possibilities. On top of that can Campbell step up to the plate and could you at times use Bellerin and Gibbs as wide attacking players with another FB behind them?

  77. arnie says:

    sombre mood, but very very nice comments all round today. that is quality. well done AAers, and thanks to our lovely co-ordinators. 🙂

  78. arnie says:

    very nice Guardian article, Rocky. 🙂

  79. fatgingergooner says:

    GK – If Cech is available then go for him. Not an easy deal to pull off but worth it if you get him.

    HM – I’d take a punt on Schneiderlin or Krychowiak and let Flamini leave. Keep Arteta if he’s happy to play back up for a year.

    CF – Lewandowski would be brilliant.

    I love all our players, but if there is an obvious improvement to make then do it. I loved Podolski but i’d rather have Sanchez!

    1 or 2 of these upgrades would probably be enough to see us challenging on all fronts, injuries permitting. I think we are as close as we’ve been in a long time to challenging for the title again.

  80. arnie says:

    regarding positions, nice comments GB, Redders and Raddy. Here is what I feel.

    GK is good. We had a problem in DM, but with le Coq we are OK for the moment. Reinforcements here will be good.

    We have made defensive reinforcements, and we have to give this some time.

    I know Giro is not a universally loved character, I feel somewhat unfairly but I also think he is one of the best of his type. If we can get a better one, all for it, but a 30-goal-a-year striker please. Let us not get another one as good as Giroud just to spoil the scope for Welbz to develop.

    The place where I think we still lack, as shown in yesterday’s game as well, is winger. I dont know what is happening with Theo. But using Bellerin and Gibbo as wingers can only be a short term arrangement.

    We will come unhinged in some big games if we cannot spread the game sufficiently wide.

  81. chas says:

    It’s absolutely disgraceful that the FA and the TV companies are stalling with regard to the FA Cup semi-finals.
    Apparently tickets to Villa fans went on sale today. Tickets for Arsenal fans with 3 or more away points go on sale tomorrow morning.
    How can anyone plan a trip if they don’t know what day it’s going to be on?

    By the way, any of you season ticket holders with less than 3 away credits have until 11am tomorrow to register your interest (that’s if you can make both the Saturday and the Sunday, of course!)

    http://www.myoldmansaid.com/fa-cup-semi-final-date-delay-aston-villa/

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    Barca 3 – 1 City
    Dortmund 1 – 1 Juventus

  83. The Cockie Monster says:

  84. arnie says:

    I have to admit I dont watch Lewandowski regularly but I do watch Giroud. Lewandowski has scored 13 goals in 23 starts for Bayern. I still dont get how this equates to an upgrade on Giro?

    Maybe Bayern face much better opposition than what we do? Dont know.

  85. arnie says:

    Now, as for Ibra, thats another matter. Please, Arsene! 😛

  86. fatgingergooner says:

    Arnie,

    Little suprised by those stats for Bayern although I don’t think he’s settled that well into their style of play. He had 103 goals in 187 games for Dortmund which is very very good.

    Is Milner still on a free soon? I’d be happy to take him from City. Home grown too.

    Anyway, that’s for Wenger to sort out end of season. Hopefully we will have won the FA Cup and finished top 3 by then!

  87. Chas, arrange the following words to make a well known phrase or saying relevant to the FA. “a organise up piss a brewey in couldn’t”

  88. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Cocky

    He does look pretty tasty. Maybe Redders is onto something for a change 🙂

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    Some real quality players on that YouTube!

    Don’t know what managers moan about, it’s easy to find decent players! 🙂

  90. fatgingergooner says:

    Feel like I’m watching a Messi YouTube video right now. He’s tearing City to pieces.

    Funny watching Nasri and Sagna being useless!

  91. Big Raddy says:

    It is a privilige to watch Messi. The man is the dog’s cojones

  92. fatgingergooner says:

    Anyone can look good against these BR! 😉

  93. fatgingergooner says:

    Yaya Toure is 31 apparently. He looked about 50 tonight! I wonder if he’s another of these African players with suspect DOB’s

  94. fatgingergooner says:

    According to Sky stats Barca have had 8 clear cut chances and Joe Hart has made 10 saves!

    Could’ve been a cricket score.

  95. RockyLives says:

    I think City need to address their mental weakness. They just don’t have enough leaders in their team.

    Same for the Chavs.

    🙂

  96. RockyLives says:

    Pelligrini just can’t figure out how to succeed in Europe…

    🙂

  97. fatgingergooner says:

    All that money spent by City but they look like they have more holes to fill than we do at the moment. Wouldn’t be shocked to see a new manager there next season.

  98. RC78 says:

    I think City chokes in Europe for some reason…they are so undone…However, Hart played well…Pelligrini will leave – now who will replace him? Klopp maybe…

  99. fatgingergooner says:

    RC78,

    I would say ours was a choke (1st leg), City’s was more a case of being outclassed by a far better team.

    They could slip out of the top 4 if not careful. Imagine how that would go down with the owners! That would be hilarious.

  100. arnie says:

    a very exciting young(ish) talent who I have been following for a while now.

  101. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, can’t argue with the assessment Steve.

    A lot has been made of the third goal at home. I think I’d suggest that if Monaco hadn’t got it they would have had a very different approach to the game, as we were the first to score past them in CL this season at home maybe they would have been confident ofholding out for a nil nil, but I imahine they would have looked to commit more men on the counter, whether that would have been good or bad for us is impossible to know.

    I thought the way we managed the game was exemplary and all we lacked was a little bit of good fortune, we were calm and measured even when Monaco started a few more breakaways in the second half.

    Anyone who thinks Ozil didn’t have his best game in an Arsenal shirt was watching a different game to me. What I liked most was in comparison to games when I have criticised him he constantly showed for the ball for 90 minutes, he didn’t hide, his pass completion considering he had two players pressing most of the game was a minor miracle.

  102. chas says:

  103. RA says:

    Norfolk @ 8:27

    I nearly got — “a organise up piss a brewey in couldn’t”

    It was that damned ‘brewey’ I could not work out! 🙂

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    Very briefly

    Morning all

    Fantastic write up Steve, thanks. Certainly agree that on the night we were terrific, although to go out of the CL to Monaco was very, very poor. We should be doing a lot better than that.

    Rasp. Great banner

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh God, the sitar is back 🙂

    Must dash

  106. arnie says:

    🙂

    target 303

  107. arnie says:

    Dortmund and Arsenal both crash out. shows what a piss poor group we were in. 😛

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, school run done. Now what’s this target 303?

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    Arnie

    Monaco are 4th in the French League!!!!

    Look, the sun shines, and all is well, but Monaco are not that good.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    The drunk Irishman vid LOL

    It was a poor group and one we would have won but for a stupid few minutes at home to Anderlecht. That said, would we have beaten Juventus?

    Yes, we would.

  111. RA says:

    No! Don’t, Micky!

    arnie will take that as either a challenge or an encouragement, and will increase the threat of Sitar’s from 303 up to 1,303. 🙂

  112. arnie says:

    Micky. Dortmund are bottom of the Bundeslega, and they came above us. Fine margins. But disrespect is not acceptable. 🙂

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Arnie, you’re a cultured man of diverse tastes. I now get up to “live” grade seven level piano in the same room I have my coffee. Effing marvellous it is.

  114. fatgingergooner says:

    Speaking of Dortmund, I wonder how many of their star names will be available end of season. Even the manager might be up for grabs.

    Subotic
    Hummels
    Ginter
    Schmelzer
    Piszscek
    Gundogan
    Bender
    Jojic
    Mkhitaryan
    Blaszykowski
    Reus
    Aubemeyang
    Immobile

    Some good players in there certainly capable of adding strength to our squad and many others.

  115. arnie says:

    cricket, Micky. 😛

  116. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh crap RA,, what have I done 😦
    Is 303 some kind of bad noise code?

  117. RA says:

    Morning Raddy,

    Hopefully we have ‘done’ all the CL navel gazing now, and, like we have done over the years, move on to the next game.

    Of course that may be just wishful thinking.

  118. arnie says:

    Micky. I want to study music in Rotterdam Conservatory, but most likely will be rejected. 😦

  119. RA says:

    Actually arnie you may be OK.

    Rotterdam are famous for their Hillbilly music and you would be great at that.

    Now – ‘grab your partner, turn her ’round, once in the middle and twice on the ground’ ………. oops that might be something else. 🙂

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    Seriously Arnie? That’d be fantastic.
    I want to take up the cello. Really.
    In fact, off to a gig tonight. Three russian chicks post grad. Royal Academy. Piano, violin and cello

  121. Big Raddy says:

    RA. You are right. It is history.

    Micky. Which sprog M or F? And can they play the opening to Bohemian Rhapsody?

    Arnie. I like the morning music and have been missing it. 303 will be an easy victory – fine innings from Rohit

  122. mickydidit89 says:

    RA HA HA

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy
    M is on grade seven piano and works hard
    F is grade about 137 drama and needs no tuition whatsoever 🙂

  124. RA says:

    Oh sheeeet — listening to Ed Bollocks on the TV talking about how he will wreck the UK economy – again. 🙂

    US politicians are universally dreadful, but the UK have their share too. They all think we are totally stupid and believe their bullshit.
    I guess some do. 🙂

    It is not my business who wins what – I just wish they would all shut up and just let you guys vote on the day. 🙂

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha
    I have this image from RA’s comment of Arnie rocking up for Music Academy audition. “Yes, I said Country and Western Sitar. Got the beard. Deal with it”

  126. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, a great days blogging by all AAers thank you very much and a banner as well i am proud.

    The last premier league side out of the Champions League, with Man City getting whacked by Barca, not one of our sides through to the last sixteen a sad day indeed.

    The EPL has often been called the best league in the world, strange that when we dont even get to the nitty gritty part of the comp.
    Maybe we talk our league up ,and try and convince the rest of the world that were good, but it certainly has not convinced me.

    Football today is all about pound notes, forget history and how the game was created in England, just as England the country, is now being beaten in birth rates 3 to 1 against foreign mums we are now being taught how to play football by the people we taught.

    English football may make millions of pounds, players earn big wages we employ many many foreign imports Managers and coaches alike they are showing the English that they can do it better.

    Today’s top elite teams are usually owned by Arabs or Russians or whoever can afford to buy the clubs, and many of these rich owners especially the ones who own clubs in England will not be happy with how their clubs are being out performed.

    Strangely where an Englishman would always blame foreigners for defeat that is now not possible, as all clubs where ever they are based, are filled with players from all over.

    The England team is a good example to the state of English football, we now believe that qualifying for a competition is better than winning it, as 1966 is a long time ago, we have tried everything possible to get to the level of the 66 world cup standard we have manipulated someone’s grandfather or grandmother to put a player born out of the country into our team because we cannot find good enough proper Englishmen and still we cant win, we have enlisted foreign managers, who would have thought that Eh. .

    In actual fact we have tried everything to get our position up and still we are what is now being termed inferior. Funny that when Monaco was also termed as inferior, and they are through to the last sixteen and we are looking only at the FA cup and 3rd spot.

    Our football at present is not the best in the world, just look at the way our teams have been destroyed by other countries. Our best all out and never ever looking to get through.

    English football needs sorting out, I said at the start of this comment that football is all about the pound note, the pound note is generated by sponsors supporters you name it, but it wont buy us a spot in the last sixteen and it didn;t buy us an English world cup hosting. But it does give many a good living, and a nice lifestyle. We will just have to put up with that.

  127. mickydidit89 says:

    Oi, come back you lot. I haven’t finished talking about our appalling European campaign 🙂

  128. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Steve, your right about money been the deciding factor but it can work both ways.

    Madrid, Barca, Munchen, are in the top four money turnovers in club football and have the best sides.

    Conversley, the Premier League is awash with money.The richest league in the world yet our clubs are shit and the National team an also run. Why?

    My theory is that the hype and money of our league has created such a hype that players now regard themselves as pop stars. Honestly, Arsenes mistake the other night was bringing on Theo. He should have bought on Bono instead.

    Once you get it into your head that you can play a guitar, you change. Believing everyone loves you and when you retire from football you will form a n band better than the Stones is an illusion.

    The players are pampered fools who lack heart.

    When Greece won the Euros in 2004, we were shit. None of the Greek players were good enough for any of the elite clubs, and some would have struggled to pull a Swedish tourist. Obviously not Georgios Samaras, been a Cretan the guy could pull anything he wants, unlike those Athenian cissy boys.

    However, not one of them Greek boys thought they were a star, they just played with heart and each other, and ended up winning the tournament (They were also duller than Keith Chegwin selling insurance, but you cant have it all)

    To much hype, overpaid, and a fixation with the guitar. Thats the problem

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Another classic Terry 🙂

  130. RA says:

    Terry,

    Just a couple of things – or three.

    1. Only guitar? — Sitar discrimination?

    2. British clubs are sh*t = No good — Greek team are sh*t = Winners? Wassat all abart?

    3. “them Greek boys thought they were a star, they just played with heart and each other” — Playing with heart = OK. Playing with each other = Are you sure?

  131. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Its true though Raddy. All these prem players have to do is stare at a guitar and they lose some form of edge.

    those Liverpool teams of the eighties were shit but they dominated Europe. They had Sammy Lee in there teams for f*ucks sake?

    The thing about fat Sammy, and personality of the year Phil Neal however is thay they knew there place. There idea of been a Rock star was going down the pub with there mates and taking the piss out of a geezer who wore any form of tussles.

  132. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi Redders,

    Dont want to turn arnie on. Any more sitar from him and I will soon be killing a baddie who man handled my love and celebrating the event by doing a synchronised dance on top of a fast moving train

  133. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. Reminds me of that Ian Rush quote from when he played for Juventus “I couldn’t settle in Italy, it was like living in a foreign country”.

    Good pro and thick as a brick (fine title for an album)

  134. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Spot on Raddy. Thats why Rush scored so many goals, he was thick.

    He also had a phenomenally large nose to help guide him

  135. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    To be fair, statistically speaking, men who can play guitar to a low to moderate level have been shown to be more successful than your average joe. Having there own business, pulling more birds etc.

    As a kid, when i got a guitar as a christmas present, within two weeks I was using it to beat my brother over the head, and then later as a storage device to hide my Arsenal programmes.

  136. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Terry again you have me smileing, never have i met a guy who can make any situation sound like it was meant to be, but as clear as mud mate.

    What with your band mate Big G you make a fine duo 🙂

    Please dont make Arnie put more Indian music on

  137. RA says:

    Terry, 🙂

  138. Morning all I know there’s a post from GN5, just going to look for it

  139. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    ….. New post ……..

  140. But Rasp got to it first 🙂

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