Arsenal bruised battered and beaten, but showed fantastic heart‏

Morning Gooners,

I am writing this straight after the match, you would think that I would be down with a 5-1 score line, but I have to say I was proud of the players. If you listened to the commentators or the studio pundits and you looked at the score you could be persuaded that we had a hiding and speaking the truth we probably did. We knew who we were playing, Bayern are probably classed as the best club side in the world right now and that is probably right, but what we did show was heart with a capital H.

We knew going into this game that it was important, we also knew that a loss or a draw still wouldn’t guarantee us going through. We had a depleted team, having Bellerin, Walcott and Chamberlain to add to the rest of the injured prior to the match and then losing Koscielny with an injured hip that was not completely healed in time. Wenger put him on the bench in case of a catastrophe but apart from the score a catastrophe never came about. He should have another few days to shrug the injury off before the NLD

We started the game on the attack, so it seemed the Manager had decided to play Bayern at their own game, and although we had an early shot from Giroud he acted slightly fast and shot wide of the target. Bayern when in possession were the side we knew them to be, a team with great players with oodles of talent.

Bayern got their MoJo working. They had most of the possession but it has to be said that although our defence were doing well, with those missing, holes would open up and of course that is what happened. I wont bore you with the goals but the first was scored by Lewendowski, making his forward defence splitting run just about perfect to get on the end of a perfectly flighted chipped forward pass that he just nodded into a corner leaving Petr Cech for dead.

Minutes later we broke away. The play was just fantastic fast and direct and the ball passed into the box aimed at Ozil who really had a blinder, he shoved his shoulder to ricochet the ball passed the stranded Neuyer. The crowd and the commentators, assumed a goal it went 1-1 on the TV screen but the Bayern players rushed to the officials claiming a handball, and almost straight away the decision was changed Ozil had a little groan and the ref responded with a yellow card.

Bayern took control of the game; it seemed that we couldn’t even get a free kick as our players were hounded, but as soon as we got back possession the ref decided we had fowled and possession given back to the home team. Speaking the truth I don’t think we had one decision in favour in the first half. The first half ended 4-0 and Bayern were worth the score line although I feel Ozil’s disallowed goal was a little harsh but Petr Cech saved many and 4-0 was about right.

The second half was much the same as the first but Arsenal did make several fast breaks, the first saw Santi Cazorla clean through with only the keeper to beat and the keeper made a magical save, minutes later Arsenal were still attacking and Cazorla found Giroud in space in the box he brought it down on his chest and guided it down to his left foot and blasted it past Neuyer which lifted all our players and sent Neuyer into a strop. There were one or two chances after that for us but just the one goal at the end. Bayern did add another goal and it has to be said it was another beauty,

This was a lesson in football at the highest level, and although we were on the end of what seems a hiding, I feel its only fair to say that Arsenal never gave up the fight, every Arsenal player gave their all right up to the final whistle. Wenger in his interview after the game had got his composure back and admitted that our defending was not good enough, not enough challenges had been made and we had not marked well enough.

Wenger I believe, with the side he had to pick from, would have been quite happy with our performance, of course in front of the camera he had to show we could have been better, but they worked and worked, and the best thing was they never gave up. Beaten Bruised and battered they gave their all, and I for one praise them.

Bayern with all their talent, and I must say it is vast, they still had weaknesses and we in all honesty, could and should have made that final score a lot closer. With a full team I believe they are beatable, who knows we may get to play them again with our strongest side, that I look forward to.

Steve Palmer




150 Responses to Arsenal bruised battered and beaten, but showed fantastic heart‏

  1. Gooner4ever says:

    Completely disagree with you. No leadership and no tactical awareness on show anywhere last night..

  2. We could still play them this season. I think that I might be the only one, but I still think we will qualify for the last sixteen.

  3. RA says:

    A noble effort, Steve, and you did well. 🙂

    The fact is, I never quite know which Steve will show up — like a weather vane, you are capable of pointing to doom, or just as easily to hope, depending on which way the wind is blowing. 😀

    There is not a lot to say about the game last night that you have not already said or commented on by others.

    It is not life or death – it is just a game of football – and as I always say, that one is done, let’s move on to the next game, and as you said, it is still possible we will meet them again for the ‘decider’ — maybe in the Final. 🙂

  4. ‘morning all, well done Steve I think you and I saw the same game.

    There’s a spirit about Arsenal these days that has been missing for a while. A never give up attitude. Every Gunner on the pitch gave everything, even a rusty out of touch Debuchy was still able to sneak the ball off of Robben with a terrific tackle at the end.

    I have been a critic of Giroud for some time but his goal last night showed a level of skill that I never thought he was capable of. A few more moments like that and I’ll be forced to reassess my opinion of him.

    I just hope the team can put this result out of their minds and take their new found spirit with them to WHL at the weekend.

  5. RA says:


    The game at the weekend against Spurs would always be important on its own merit, but with the Micky-taking going on after last night’s result, the intensity is bound to be sky high.

  6. Hi Redders, is Dixie your dog? Does he/she come when you whistle?

  7. Rasp says:

    Thanks Steve, although you and I saw the same game, we reached conflicting conclusions.

    The game was lost in the first 20 minutes because for some reason we tried to beat Bayern playing the sort of football that they are the best exponents of. Our main aim should have been to get to half time without conceding, instead of that we committed too many forward and then didn’t work hard enough in getting back to defend. We allowed them too much space and they exploited it with German efficiency.

    By the time we rallied in the second half the game was already lost.

    It appears we didn’t get our tactics right. The loss of Koscielny and Bellerin made the task much harder.

    Santi is doing a job at DM but it’s expecting too much of him to keep a rampant Bayern MF quiet.

    We may have had a different result if we’d been smarter tactically and if we’d put Flamini alongside Coquelin at the expense of Campbell and moved Santi in front of those two.

  8. chas says:

    Cheers, Steve.

    When I heard you had written a report (yet again, thanks), I assumed it would be the full reinforced codpiece stuff favoured by some on here ( 🙂 ) but, as RA said, we never know which Steve will appear.

    I like your assessment but can’t agree or disagree as I only watched bits of the game. Putting in effort is always number one in my book. If we’re outclassed by a superior team on the night, so be it.

  9. Rasp, moving Santi to the right and putting Flamini alongside Le Coq was never going to happen. Wenger said earlier in the week that he wouldn’t break that particular partnership, and quite right too.

    I doubt that Flamini would have been effective anyway, he doesn’t have the legs anymore nor does he have the pace and discipline to play against a team like Bayern.

    According to one London paper, when his contract expires in the summer he won’t be offered a renewal, nor will Arteta or Rosciky.

    I think the tactics were spot on, if we had managed an early goal, Giroud’s for instance, or if Ozil’s effort had not been ruled out, it would have been a different game altogether.

  10. chas says:

    Ooops forgot to move Alexis up.

  11. Malaysian gunner says:

    When Arsenal have their full team back,I say bring on Bm.The analysis about the ref’s decision ,instantaneous,speaks volumes,if it is proven correct. You never know .I though it happened only in England with one bald ref giving countless refs to one red faced to help him win.
    Nevertheless I don’t know whether tired legs is a factor but overall
    were far superior.

  12. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Steve

    Deep down we all knew the potential for this was lurking uncomfortably in the mind-set, but when the Groups were drawn, if we had been offered three points against Bayern we’d have snapped their hands off.
    It is a strange European campaign for Arsenal, one I had written-off before the home game against Bayern, then it was re-ignited again.
    Damn the Sheffield Wednesday game!
    We owe Tottenham from last season, and putting them in their place will soften the blow of last night’s result.
    I’d gladly sacrifice Europe this season if it means Arsenal winning the PL title.

    RA – Tottenham is the definitive MWG.

  13. fred1266 says:


    trying to get tickets for this game but seeing not green section does this mean it is sold out

  14. fred1266 says:

    was trying to post a picture but was unable to anyone can tell me how to do this you you can see what am talking about

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    We were thoroughly outclassed and given the lesson our lacklustre defending deserved. It’s easy to praise effort but it should be a given in every game no matter who we are playing. If anything, our effort to defend in the first half was poor and one of the reasons we got a good beating.

    Having said all that, I didn’t go into the game expecting to see a positive result so I’m not overly worried about what I saw. So far we have we come back strong from poor CL performances and I expect the same at the weekend.

    I was a little puzzled by Wenger leaving the likes of Sanchez and Özil on for the full 90 with such a big game coming at the weekend. We’d have been better getting them off once it went 3-0.

  16. fred1266 says:

    Dont mean to be rude or anything but for the past 2 weeks i have been asking question about coming to England to see an Arsenal game can’t believe you all are so unhelpful, can someone please assist me

  17. Le Coq Monster says:

    Thanks Steve.

    Last night`s game, before, during and after meant nothing to me, it`s always been about the Spud game. With (at this moment in time) 11 injured players I`m scratching my head on where we will provide any attacking threat down our right hand side against the Spuds !………….Halloween could be repeated on Sunday as I`m fcuking shitting myself !.
    Can we possibly win our last game before the mini break against a high pressing Spud team who can smell our bleeding squad ?….will we be able to carry it on after the break with so many injuries ?….not for the faint hearted…..for the first time ever I would actually settle for a draw as I have an horrible feeling about it……then again, I had a horrible feeling about the Manshafter and Swansea games !……..I need some medication !.

  18. Rasp says:

    One aspect of yesterday’s game that disappointed me was Alexis holding onto the ball too long and trying to beat the whole Bayern team on his own.

  19. Le Coq Monster says:

    Hi Fred…………………I`m probably not the best one to advise as I don’t go to too many games myself, but as far as I know you have to be a an Arsenal member ( I`m a Red member….the lowest of the low ! hahaha ) to get a ticket….unless the game is not sold out and becomes open to the general public… will need to go onto Arsenal`s website to get more information, where there will probably be telephone helplines or email inquires.

  20. fred1266 says:

    thanks le Coq am also a red member so would do as you suggest and give them a call

  21. Le Coq Monster says:

    Fred, if you are a Red Member then I`m sure they allocate 3000 tickets per home game and if you do not succeed there, then you can always look on the Ticket Exchange for tickets as not everyone who buys a ticket turns up and it changes by the minute so keep at it !. 🙂

  22. fatgingergooner says:

    Can anyone confirm if Campbell picked up a knock last night? If not then obviously he will be our RW for Spuds game.

    If he did then I think Wenger may be tempted to play Sanchez RW with Gibbs playing the other side.

  23. fred1266 says:

    hi Le Coq am actually on the site now and when i go to the interactive stadium it saying not available also ticket exchange not available

  24. fred1266 says:

    yea when i hover over it is says No Availability am i doing something wrong

  25. Le Coq Monster says:

    It can all depend on which game you are choosing. The site will tell you when it`s available to Red Members and as for the ticket exchange it`s something that changes by the minute….you can be on there all day and not get a ticket come up or be on there 2 mins and find plenty !. Phone for advice or maybe one of the more knowledgeable AAers will answer later as some have work commitments.
    Good luck 🙂

  26. fred1266 says:

    thanks again for the advice have a great day

    NB was trying to buy for the Sunderland game on the 5th December

  27. Le Coq Monster says:

    Just had a look myself and no Sunderland ones available at the moment. I also had a look for the Zagreb game and there where some available. It`s a case of keep on browsing !. 🙂

  28. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. Cockie you ought to warn that nice chappie Fred not to go to any game NB is attending.

  29. Le Coq Monster says:

    True GB !………French Letters, French Kissing, French Baguettes and a Piss Artist …….I wouldn`t trust him with a French Poodle !.

    Offski !…..this body beautiful take some working out !. 😀

  30. GoonerB says:

    See you Cockie, I hope your missus doesn’t find out about the body you are working out.

  31. fred1266 says:

    thanks again Le Coq thought i was doing something wrong hopefully i do eventually get one Coming all the way to England and can’t see Arsenal play is tourture

  32. GoonerB says:

    A great write up Steve with a good positive spin. I agree with much of your assessment. The thing is, as Herb said, when the draw was made we would all have happily taken 3 points over 2 games against Bayern. Even before the home game I said 3 points was needed from those 2 games and we got it.

    I don’t think Guardiola or Bayern are a manager or team to play half-heartedly in any game so fully expect them to win their next game. We should then head to Olympiacos with it still in our hands. If Olympiacos get anything from their next game then so be it they deserve to go through. If not and we can’t get what we need in the next 2 games then we don’t deserve to go through.

  33. kelsey says:

    I must have seen a totally different game to everyone else, which isn’t unusual 😉
    We were totally outclassed and when the manager says our defence was a shambles,who is there to argue.
    Yes we had at least two good chances and pressed a lot more in the second half but by then we were 4-0 down, so I doubt BM were particularly worried.
    Giroud did score a pretty good goal but Debuchy has completely lost it and Campbell never had it. Le Coq shows maturity as each game goes by, but despite new staff at the Arsenal Hospital we have 11 players out after just over 2 months of the season,.
    At least 4 if not more players are not having their contracts renewed and we seriosly need a replacement for Mertesacker and probably Cazorla, but with one season left on his contract after this is Wenger going to go on a shopping spree only to step down.
    I would say we have been very unfortunate to draw either BM or barca so frequently recently but this campaign was lost before yesterday.
    With regards to Sanche.Of course he is knackered but we just can’t afford to drop him.
    Injuries especially long term cannot be reckoned with beforehand but to have added only Cech in the Summer is now showing to have been a really bad move.

  34. kelsey says:

    Sorry Steve I forgot to thank you for the write up.

  35. Eddie says:

    Benzema ha ha ha, wenger knew or was it s bit of luck we didn’t buy him?

  36. Eddie says:

    Thanks Steve! I had hardly seen any of gherkins game, so cannot comment, but I’m sure you are right ☺

  37. chas says:

    Mr Fred
    Here’s the photo you were trying to put up earlier. To get a photo to display you need to delete anything in the link before http and anything after .jpg or .png as this one is.
    i.e. you needed to delete [img] from the start and [/img] from the end.

    The Sunderland game is sold out so you will have to go through the Ticket Exchange. I’m sure lots of tickets will be become available at some point. I don’t use it myself as I’m usually putting tickets on it rather than taking them off. 🙂

  38. VCC says:

    Cockie 1:36….brace yourself…it’s coming

  39. chas says:

    My favourite Valbuena photo

  40. Le Coq Monster says:

    What`s coming Vickers ?……….my medication ?. 😀

  41. chas says:

  42. Le Coq Monster says:

    I think I`ll wait until after the Spud game, chas…………..if we lose…..I will kill it !……………after some serious torturing !.

  43. chas says:

  44. Le Coq Monster says:

    Ok ! I know Die Mannshaft is not to kill your knob !………….it`s something like …The Team……..funny enough there`s no “I” in Team, but there is in Mannshaft !…..a one eye !. hahaha

  45. Le Coq Monster says:

    Time for treadmill.

  46. chas says:

  47. fred1266 says:

    thank chas, and really hope your right and tickets does become available

  48. chas says:

    Spuddies v Anderlecht tonight.
    I do some hope they come through it with no injuries whatsoever.

  49. Le Coq Monster says:

    Nice read, chas………….I particularly liked….”You hate the fcuking tea-lady”. hahaha

  50. Le Coq Monster says:

    And your 5:07 is an excellent definition of the art of sarcasm !……………I would even go one step further and hope they don’t die !……especially their Mannshaft !.

  51. Le Coq Monster says:

    In fact, it could be said that the only way to survive the NLD is to beat the Stefan Kuntz as even a draw will flood the DVD market .

  52. Le Coq Monster says:

    I got 5 out of 5, but guessed 4 of them !…..obviously, Rasp will have an explanation of why it was not luck !.

  53. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all apologies for not being here, decorating round my daughters for a few days.

    I often hear supporters say that the game we have just played is not important, but the next game is. I cannot understand that mentality, thats why i get the hump with people.

    Having been a sporting man myself in my younger days, i found early on that i am not a good loser. My Father used to give me a clip as a kid when we used to play competitive games, i used to show off.

    I have played a few sports and if i speak honestly, not been bad at any of them, Even pub games we used to get in arguments i just dont like losing. I played golf for over twenty years practiced 3 times a week and got down to an 8 handicap, but the times you come up against an eighteen handicapper who plays as well as you has a tendancy to get the blood boiling.

    Getting back to the next game. I dont care who the next game is the one your playing is the important one to me. We play weakened sides to save players for a game a few days later 567 changes and expect our team to gel when that next game comes, Meanwhile we lose a game we could win to save players.

    Spuds game is just another league game as far as i am concerned, if you want to win the league you need to win all your league games.

    Whem supporters dont care whether we are going through to the next round of Champions league i say i dont understand your mentality. We fight all year for a top 4 spot and you dont care, what kind of supporter are you.

    That is the same mentality that says dont bother with a cup we can win lets go for one thats almost impossible. No wonder we don’t win to much if our management has the same agenda.

  54. kelsey says:

    Ah, but have you played indoors and outdoors for Middlesex at Bowls. 😉

  55. RA says:

    Well, Steve, I have never read on here anyone saying “the game we have just played is not important, but the next game is” so perhaps you can name names – or are you deliberately misquoting someone – like me, for example?

    I hope not – as that is something that would really make me cross!

    So, go ahead, tell us who said it and at what time?

  56. stevepalmer1 says:

    Have a look through a couple of weeks of comments RA, i’m sure you have probably said it as well its not a secret is it.

  57. RA says:


    The wind must have changed – your weather vane is swinging around, again — does it remind you of other sites where you were …….. we both know what I am saying.

    No need to go back a couple of weeks – here is what I said;

    “It is not life or death – it is just a game of football – and as I always say, that one is done, let’s move on to the next game, and as you said, it is still possible we will meet them again for the ‘decider’ — maybe in the Final.”

    Not at all what you were claiming – so you are blowing smoke out of your ass – as is the norm with you.

    Don’t worry about my mentality – just concentrate on your own.

  58. Le Coq Monster says:

    Don’t apologise Steve !….if that’s you attitude I didn’t miss you !
    If only it was a simple as that. Even our great manager has prioritised the League.
    Deep down we all want to win every game, but if you do not see what is happening with our injuries then you need glasses….fcuking big ones !. hahaha
    I`m not the only one who sees it as our best chance of winning the league in a decade and if it means forgoing the likes of the COC. CL and Europa League to achieve it then so be it, lets face it, that Sheff` Wed` game did us no favours at all apart from helping us stay top of the injury league.
    Obviously you are a better supporter than me or some others on here, but let me say, even though I call it using your head over your heart in trying to optimise what`s best for our club in the trophy pursuit and I may have said I`m more interested in winning the Spud game than the BM game, but come the night my head was truly given a kick in by my heart !….my head was saying lose and lose to Zagreb as well so we can win the EPL with no obstacles and further injuries, but my heart got hold of my heads bollocks and squeezed them so tight that it was a one submission win…..or maybe it was a two submissions win !. hahaha
    You may get the hump and wonder what kind of supporter some of us are, but we are the same in that we all want what is best for Arsenal, we just have different opinions on how we achieve it !.
    So chill out Gooner brother !….maybe stick your knoib in the icy waters instead of your tackled lined rod as you`re coming over as an arrogant so and so !.

  59. Le Coq Monster says:

    Talking of bowls from Kelsey`s previous post comment , I`d like to relive an old comment on the matter……..I always thought Bowls was like a “starter course” before the “main course” of death !. It`s was my thought`s as I was waiting in the local hospital car park, next to it is The Dunheved Bowls Club !…is it a coincidence that next to all Bowls Clubs are mortuaries and that ghosts wear white like the bowls players ?. It`s the only sport where the last player to die is the winner and instead of raising a flag at the end to honour the winners country they have it at half mast instead !.
    It`s also the only sport which actively encourages drugs to be used for players and fans alike, for the players so they can get out of their death bed and the fans to stop them killing theirselves from boredom, although I did notice they were handing out knives to people on entry just in case they wanted to slit their wrists !.
    In fact, Bowls players having girl groupies chanting for their heroes to die is a common thing as rigor mortis is the only way some of these players will ever get a hard on !. It`s also quite often you see young relatives go and watch these players and they are usually watching from the aptly named ” inheritance stand ” whilst rubbing their hands in anticipation instead of clapping !.
    Actually, Kelsey is quite young for a bowls player and probably plays for the Middlesex youth team….also known as The Middlesex Under 71`s.
    Well that was my first thoughts on Bowls, but after reading that Kelsey is the ….Peter Storey of Bowls after breaking someone`s ankle with his knuckle dustered jack, I have come to change my mind and think I might take it up myself !. hahaha

  60. stevepalmer1 says:

    Guys, Guys, please dont keep telling me that i am talking about you, although the pair of you seem ready to confess to my comment it wasn’t meant as a full blooded assault on any body in particular.

    If i have just concerns over anyone who blogs on this site then i would come out and say it. I dont intend to apologise to anybody who jumps in feet first. You if yyou feel like that is your opinion your both adult enough to understand what you want to believe but don’t bring me into it.

    Many on this blog have said they dont care about certain games, I dont agree with them thats all, if you think i am going to start pointing the finger then you a surly wrong. If you dont like my posts or my comments then please yourself in whether you comment, but please do not go on a witch hunt where there is no cause.

  61. stevepalmer1 says:

    I watched my team play last night, i have to say that tactics did not really play a part in the game (in my opinion) because they were far superior on the night. I said as much in the post.

    I knew before the start, that we would probably lose, Just looking at our injury list told us that the Manager had less players to pick from.
    If everybody is honest with themselves most would admit that.

    Even though we never had the team to win, i felt that those that took part did as well as they could and i felt that they never gave up trying. I admire that, as i stated i hate to lose but even i had to say that the best side won on the night.

    People said about the transfer debackle that we deserve or Wenger does defeats like last night as he should have bulked up the side. That was not the reason we got thumped, the reason was the injuries we have sustained Wenger cannot be held responsible for those. Ant team with 8 injuries will struggle and we did. But the guys out there playing worked hard kept at it and never gave up.

    Those players or some of them maybe not up to the task skill wise as Bayern last night but even so, i liked the way they tried.

  62. Herb's Army says:

    I’ve definitely said it Steve.
    Arsene clearly could have done without the Sheffield Wednesday game, in hindsight, couldn’t we all. He’s never won the League Cup, he always uses the competition to give youngsters first-team experience, so he hardly goes for it all guns blazing.
    We were woefully short going into the game last night, and even with our strongest XI, Bayern are a level above us, so last night’s result isn’t a shock. Sure we can still qualify for the last 16, but we’re not equipped to go all the way and win it, much as we’d all love to believe different.
    We don’t have the quality in depth to cover every injured player, just look what a difference it makes not having Hector Bellerin available, and that’s before you get to Ramsey and Walcott.
    We have a very realistic shot at winning the title, to be the best in the country for the first time in twelve years.
    That must be prioritised when assessing our current situation.

  63. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening Herb, I understand that many supporters would like us to win the league, i would myself, but not excluding everything else.

    I have said many times that a game of football is about 90 minutes, if you had 3 games a week you would still have enough rest to play more.. Marathon runners have run a marathon everyday of the year, They build up stamina much the same as a footballer.

    Many times i see an injured player returning and many say he needs a few games to get his form back. That is rubbish as a player should prove he is fit enough before he gets picked, thats what training is all about. There seems little sense in dropping a form player for a player who is not up to speed but we seem to do that quite often.

    Sixty games in a season is not too many games for a player in my opinion. Of course those who know about sports science will endeavourer to make me wrong but as i said in my opinion which apparently wields no weight at all .

    Not being great at maths Herb, i reckon that works out at about 90 hours playing time. Not bad for a season if you can get away with it is it.

  64. Herb's Army says:

    I agree Steve, I’m old enough to remember Shankly and Paisley’s Liverpool regularly playing 60+ games a season, and not having many serious injury problems either.
    But it seems to be a new phenomenon where every club pays premium prices for less playing time.
    I’m sure most players could play a ninety-minute game of football seven days a week, but unfortunately, as fans, we have to accept the landscape for what it is.
    No player actually says they’re unable to play two games a week, but you’ll hear a lot of club managers complain about fatigue and the fixture schedule.
    Every club does it Steve, possibly with the exception of Chelsea and City, but they’re all about short-term fixes and stock-piling players.

  65. LB says:

    “You hate the fucking tea-lady”

    It’s a fair cop……

  66. Gööner In Exile says:

    A fair report Steve although I wasn’t shear tendency the display as others that may be because during the second half I was souring out a light fitting I’d put up in the afternoon which now had a burning smell, in truth it was probably a mixture of halogen spots and dust but to be sure I was up in the loft re doing my wiring.

    The game was up at 1-0 you could see the heads drop and I’m afraid Gabriel needs to be singled out, he dropped too deep, and when he realised he could have attacked the ball but instead decided to rush out to try and play the offside allowing Lewandowski a free header. Seemed like the players knew they had an impossible task from there.

    There has been much talk of our squad and injuries so I went off to look at the other main teams in the PL to gauge where we were in terms of squad depth, we have 22 over 21’s named, but from memory only 2 spaces for overseas players, Hector and Chambers are first team squad members without needing to be named.

    Unfortunately the difference between the first leg and second leg was the players on the bench, in the first leg we had Ox, Ollie, Gibbs on the bench along with Debuchy, Gabriel, and Flamini.

    Last night we were far lighter on the bench and that meant whoever started was going to have to try and get through 90 minutes without relief.

    I also mentioned last night how Bayern played on Friday night, that extra day to recover and being at home meant they had more time to recuperate and prepare, while we were counting the cost of injuries.

  67. LB says:

    Good read Steve

    Not easy to find any kind of silver lining to that one but you did, so respect.

  68. Red Arnie says:

    Nice one, Steve, 🙂 and sorry I could not come in all day. 😦

    I dont agree with your view. Yes, we had a depleted side, and yes, we kept on fighting. And yes, if Ozil’s goal stood it could have been different. But Bayern’s game was a treat to watch, and I am glad I watched this game. Just briliant play from Bayern. They showed why they are one of the best teams in the world.

    But, they were playing at home, and we defeated them at home. All square. We evened up points against them. Some say we were lucky at home, but so were they. Over the two games, we gave them a good fight and that for me is brilliant. I would even say that there are very few teams in the world, and none the EPL that could have done what we did. Nothing to be ashamed of.

    The problem is elsewhere. We were not clinical against the weaker two teams in the group. Now that brings me to the two questions regarding where we stand this season.

    First, we are doing well against the top teams this year. Bayern, United, et al. Two years back, we were rubbish against the top teams, and not so good against weaker sides. Last year, we were better against the top teams but not quite even-stevens. But we were clinical against weaker teams. This year, we are neck and neck, even better, than teh top teams. But we have lost points against weaker teams. Not in the EPL, but certainly in the CL. So, where do we stand? Work in progress is what I would say!

    Second, our backup players are not very good. We were exposed against Zagreb, against Olympiacos and against Sheffield Weds. This for me is the real worry. De Bushy has been no Bellerin, Theo has been a weak alternative to Giro, Campbell is no match for Rambo, Ospina poor relative to Cech, and even Easter is not quite a Kos. This is a worry.

    Work in progress, yes, but there is a silver lining. Hopefully we will improve over the season. The season is long, if the second fiddles cannot keep the game up, this will be an even longer season for us.

    But we live in hope. COYG. 🙂

  69. Red Arnie says:

    I also have a gut feeling we may qualify. But a long way to go still. Away in Olympiacos will be key. COYG.

  70. Red Arnie says:

    To wade into the priorities debate, heres my tuppence. 🙂

    We have won the league many times and will win it many more times. But we have never won the CL so that should take priority over everything else. This year, for me, even the FAC takes priority because winning 3 years in a row will be an immense record and achievement.

    The Mucky Mouse Cup is important for the youngsters. We were right to field a second team. But our second fiddle are rubbish at the moment, which is a bit of a problem.

    Hmmm. let us see what happens as the season pans out. 🙂

  71. Fred. If you can’t get a ticket through the club get on twitter and follow Arsenal tickets. You can always get spares at face value on twitter

  72. goonermichael says:

    I didn’t watch the game as it was 2:45 am ko here and I had to be up at 6:30. I’ve seen Giroud’s goal though. Great strike. He’s so underrated.

  73. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you for your comment Arnie, Its nice to know we can disagree but still have positive views.

    My trouble is Arnie, is i start believing some of the drivel that the club dish out, one of the richest clubs in the world, and also one of the best. History shows that we have won a lot, even under this Manager we have probably won the most, but in present day football, we are far from challenging on all fronts, Yes we have a couple of Marquee signings, and if we had to go out and Buy a Koshielney or a Bellerin we could say they to are Marquee Players Coquelin Ramsey Walcott Wilshere could even be classed in the same mould, but we still do not have a squad good enough to challenge on all fronts.

    We are supposedly rich, counting up our assets and turning all that into money, we could see how Arsenal’s wealth has accumulated, but against the filthy rich football club owners of the world, we are still very much down near the bottom of buying the latest talent.

    Given when we are all fit, i fancy us to beat any football club in the world on our day but to sustain a challenge in more than one competition is beyond us. Great winning football clubs across the world Show that they lead in their own leagues they also show well in domestic competitions, they get a reputation as a club you wouldn’t want to draw in any competition. Arsenal are far from that point.

    A successful team build a fear factor, we had that for a season when we won the league unbeaten, But United came along and stopped that run mainly due to our buying policy. A winning team need a turnover of players quality players, in our own league we have found that the very rich owners through their spending has brought top quality players, and usually that keeps them fresh and rejuvenated. Sometimes the owners feel they have spent enough, and as it has proved their teams start dropping points and trophies a thin on the ground. Many of those owners do not like to see defeat irrespective of what competition they are playing, where we prioritise a certain competition as we are the poor neighbour.

    I now have the opinion that if we cannot compete with the squad we have and that is proving to be right, then we are far away from being contenders in all competitions which gives no fear value at all.

    Arsenal football club is being run as a one competition a season club and that is something i am uncomfortable with.

  74. stevepalmer1 says:

    Hiya Gooner Mick, Yes it was a fantastic strike, i have criticised Giroud, i still believe him to be lacking but his strike and how he took it was sublime, Giroud worked extremely hard in that match and deserved a goal..

  75. stevepalmer1 says:

    I wont be around until this evening so i will say this now. It seems i have ruffled a few feathers with some of my comments and some have taken the comments to heart. That is what blogging is all about, opinions that..s all .

    RA you seem to be one that see’s me as picking on you, i can assure you that has not been the case, for you to bring up my blogging past from other blogs is a bit below the belt in my opinion. Those comments made years ago were of different times, things change from season to season, i have never regretted anything i have said about the Arsenal past or present, My comments of the past have usually been complementary to the football club i have always followed.

    Blogging is opinions if you dont like what a person says then thats fine, you have your views and of course you could well be right, i tend to disagree a lot as i see things differently but thats why we all discuss. My blogging History is written down and probably in the archives for all and sundry to read, i have no hidden skeletons that i am hiding from, in fact i am an open book as far as Arsenal is concerned. What i said at the time is how i felt at the time and i take nothing back.

    This is the second time my past has been brought up as if its meant to hit me over the head with when i disagree. if you have something to say come out and say it. as my opinions change as Arsenal do.

  76. Gööner In Exile says:

    Steve, I don’t think it is the desire of anyone at the club to target one competition a season at least not in July/August.

    Given our injury list something has to give.

    Arnie I really think it is tough to assess Debuchy at the moment, he has no chance to get up to match speed, and at right back that’s difficult, as you will face a lot of pact wingers, has he played a game yet where the other 10 are first team quality? If not I think it’s difficult to form an opinion, the same with Gabriel, although there have been games when he is playing with what we would call our first choice team everywhere else and he has looked absolutely fine.

    And it is also harsh on our club at the moment to say the second string isn’t good enough, we are not seeing our second string.

    First team:
    Cech, Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Nacho, Coq, Santi, Rambo, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud
    Bench from:
    Ospina, Debuchy, Gabriel, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Theo, Ox, Jack, Welbz

    When needed:
    Rosicky, Flamini, Campbell, and the rest of the youth academy.

    Surely that’s a comparable first team and bench to most in the PL, but we do still seem to be suffering from some injury curse, when you look at your treatment room and you can field a decent PL XI that would give most other PL outfits a good game you have to ask questions of the medical staff or the players attitude.

    I though the new doctor was supposed to be addressing our injuries….obviously not yet, you can’t help knocks but we really need to work out why all the muscle pulls happen.

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Steve,
    “my opinions change as Arsenal do”. Damn right 🙂

    Sorry not able to get back and attack with you 🙂

  78. kelsey says:

    I will never forgive you Micky 😉

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Loved Le Coq’s comment about bowls. Surprised kelsey didn’t reply 🙂

    And Steve’s “my opinions change as Arsenal do”. My opinions change by the hour and sometimes sooner dependant upon whom I am talking to, the direction of the wind, the shape of my tea leaves, the smile on Mrs Raddy’s face etc etc

  80. fatgingergooner says:


    I don’t think the club is being run as a ‘one competition club’, I just think injuries have a large say in what is achievable within a season. No club in the world can afford to lose 10 first team players and continue to challenge on all fronts.

    As for rotation, I hope you don’t mind me saying but I think you have a pretty old fashioned view on that! When players are ‘rested’ it’s not because they are incapable of playing a football match, it’s just they are not capable of playing at close to 100% in a game where the smallest of percentages can win or lose you a vital match. When people say things like ‘I used to play 3 times a week for the Duck n Hound and I was fine’, that is probably true, but if you did a scientific study of those 3 games like they do these days, then you would probably see a decline in athletic performance as you get through the third game. The smallest of margins can cost people their jobs and cause a lot of heartache for fans like us.

  81. Gööner In Exile says:

    i know for sure three games a week used to cost me, and is as a team, difference was none of our livelihoods depended on it.

    The fact shouldn’t be forgotten that someone like Hector is playing games against players physically stronger, I remember the change in me from 17 to 21-22. At 17 I was in truth a bit weedy to be playing senior football, my goal kicks from the floor were particularly questioned especially if I had to take a lot in the game. Come 21-22 I was a different beast altogether.

  82. Gööner In Exile says:

    Pray tell that’s a look a liky and not Arsene himself

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Has to be a fake.

    AW would never take the short trouser route – well executed though

  84. chas says:

    The above by Dan Evans @Dan_Draws

  85. Eddie says:

    OMG, that photo is scary

  86. chas says:

    Yeah, the skinhead short turn-ups…….

  87. Eddie says:

    The first one, the second is great

  88. chas says:

  89. Eddie says:

    Chas – they suit me, but not AW ☺

  90. chas says:

    The Dettol advert is back, telling me about how much fun she had at playgroup.
    Très annoying.

  91. chas says:

    Here is a screen shot of it

    If you suddenly hear something about a playgroup and a sweaty spin class, you’ll know what it is. 😦

  92. chas says:

    I’m sure this will resonate with some of you cod-piece wearers. 🙂

    From The Daily Mash………

    WITH Champions League progress unlikely, Arsenal will now focus on securing the chance to exit the Champions League early next season.

    Defeat against Bayern Munich has left the Gunners on the brink of elimination League, but in the long term it may be a blessing in disguise as it will allow them to focus on longer term failures.

    Arsene Wenger said: “Our plan is to book our place in the Champions League as quickly as possible so we can look ahead to getting eliminated from the Champions League next year in order to focus on qualifying for the Champions League.

    “Of course there will be short term thinkers who questioned the wisdom of losing to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos and would like us to win trophies now, but that’s not the Arsenal way.”

    Arsenal fan Stephen Malley said: “It’s important that the club is always looking to the future, even if the future is a constantly moving concept.

    “I used to take my six year old to the Emirates every weekend but instead I’ve just told him to make sure he brings his children.”

  93. chas says:

    I bet he’s thinking about football.

  94. chas says:

    Here’s what you get if you google Wenger look alike. 🙂

  95. Rasp says:

    Morning all, anyone got a rant for today?

  96. Red Arnie says:

    motning all. 🙂

    nice pics, Chas. 🙂 That Spud rant is brilliant! 🙂

    Steve and GiE. Fair enough. Just expressing my current opinion. And as the wind changes direction slightly, it may change as well. 😛

  97. chas says:

    “The only time for happiness is the present. The past holds regrets. The future uncertainties.

    “Man realised this quickly and created religion. It forgives him for what he has done wrong in the past and tells him not to worry about the future as he’ll go to Paradise. There’s great advantages to this. Man is very early on ‘self-pyschoanalysed’ through faith.”

    On how he finds meaning in his work, he adds: “In the religious world, it is said that God created man. I am only a guide. I allow others to express what they have in them. I have not created anything. I am a facilitator of what is beautiful in man.

    “I define myself as an optimist. My constant battle in this business is to draw out the beauty in man. At this level that can portray me as naive. At the same time, it allows me to believe it and it often gives me reason.”

  98. Gööner In Exile says:

    I love that Spud rant, how many times have we thought about Spuds this season? Erm COC round 1 and this week.

    Compared to other teams I would think when thinking about other clubs an Arsenal’s supporters our thoughts are divided something like this if my own thoughts are anything to go by: Chavs 50% ManUre 30%, Dippers 10%, City 5%, Spuds 4% the rest 1%

    I think it’s testament to City’s fans that they occupy such a low percentage of my thoughts, and the way they play football, the oil money gives me less concern there as it does really seem that as well as bringing trophies and success to the club they have tried hard to improve the surrounding area, I’m not sureManUre have ever thought like that and Chavs certainly don’t (and possibly don’t need to).

    Rasp I may have one for you in about 30-45 minutes or so.

  99. kelsey says:

    Raddy, that was regurgled by cockie 😉

    I would like to see two things before I kick the bucket.

    1.See us win the CL

    2. To meet the elusive giant hairy monster who may in fact be the Yeti, otherwise known as RA 😉

  100. Red Arnie says:

    Kelsey, the first may yet happen, but the second, …… 😛

  101. Kelsey, just like the Yeti, there is no conclusive proof that Redders actually exists.

    Some say that his meandering maunderings are written by a group of semi-literate chimpanzees fed on a diet of marijuana and single malt whisky, that are kept in a secure area of a major United States penitentiary.

    But who really knows the truth….

  102. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sorry Rasp, bloody clients hassling me, i’lll try and get something posted for a teatime tickler, rather than a full on Friday Rant

  103. Red Arnie says:

    GiE, where is your post? I thought you have the magic keys to post yourself. 🙂

  104. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. I didn’t have time to say all I wanted yesterday after the Bayern game. In my line of work I meet a lot of different people each day many of them into football ( yes Redders you would be surprised how many camels love football 🙂 )

    Most of them know I am a Gooner, as some of them also are, and will then inevitably bring up the game. I could almost predict word for word what would be said and cue……”well that was a disaster last night wasn’t it?”….They were then quite shocked when I said “no, not at all”.

    I have read through some of the other comments since and agree with much of what has been said.

    The way I looked at it was that we have, possibly more than any other team, given Bayern a hard time in the last 2-3 seasons. Not many take 3 points from them in 2 games.

    It didn’t fully feel like a 5-1 and I think that they could easily have had 1-2 less goals and us 1-2 more. We were bereft of options with the injuries and that is a mark of their quality that they can exploit this. I don’t feel we were far off them and I think the margin is closer when we have all our squad available.

    I have heard the terms “disaster, footballing lesson, thumping”. For me I don’t see it as any of those, I looked at that game more as useful feedback in a game we were always going to be up against it in. It told us where we need to improve tactically and coaching wise,and where the squad needs strengthening.

    Now I will say that even with a fully complimented squad we are a tad behind them. Personally I only think it is about 3 players in recruitment terms, but the other reason I think we are a bit behind is the coaching. Don’t mistake that as an Arsene out rant. I don’t see anyone better to lead us at present and feel he can lead us to the title.

    However when it comes to the absolute highest level of modern coaching then I think he has (possibly only one) superiors. Arsene is an excellent coach but for me Guardiola is an excellent coach plus 10%. I think as a younger manager he has blueprinted all the successful stuff that Arsene has done but added to it.

    I want Arsene to see out his contract but if it at that point it happens to coincide with Guardiola looking for a new project I think we should roll out the red carpet. It may be that Guardiola cannot actually bring that style successfully into the EPL but I don’t think we can afford to miss the opportunity to find this out first hand.

  105. kelsey says:

    He may even extend his contract, who really knows 🙂

  106. chas says:

    I like the sound of that diet of marijuana and single malt whisky. 🙂

    RA is definitely a single entity – he is consistently consistent in his cyber persona.
    Whether he actually has any physical existence is another matter.
    Sightings are as rare as those for the Madagascar pochard.

  107. kelsey says:


    There is a sticking point here which I mentioned the other day.
    AW has one more full season after this. In the coming Summer Arteta,Flamini,Rosicky and possibly Ospina and others will be released and there will be need for cover for Mertesacker and
    Cazorla because of age and pace.You also have to consider the track record of injury prone players such as Jack and Gibbs.

    Does AW go out and but 5 or 6 players, highly unlikely and if it is his last season the new man whoever that maybe might have totally different ideas.

    So in conclusion a lot to think about as one has to plan forward.

  108. chas says:

    Great comment, GoonerB. Love the optimism of it.

    I see the legendary (2 or) 3 missing players rear their head again. 🙂

    Forgive my pedantry (as you’re not Polish, you won’t take offence 🙂 ), but I absolutely love the idea of a fully complimented squad.

    Giroud, your hair deserves to be shared by the gods on Mount Olympus.
    Ramsey, your handsomeness reminds me of the most stylish film noir I’ve ever seen.
    Petr, that hat makes you look gorgeous.
    Alexis, your six-pack gives me a boner.
    Theo, your tattoos must make Melanie moist.

  109. chas says:

    By the way, that comment was intended to flush Mr RA out from his hiatus.

  110. fred1266 says:

    Thanks gunner Michael, Joanne told me about him but only thought was for away games

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No Rant. Nothing to be angry about? 🙂

    This takes the biscuit for me

    Crystals @ 12:56
    “He may even extend his contract, who really knows”

    You really are a miserable git 🙂

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BBC1 Last night “Grand tour of Scottish islands” featured Buzzcoks drummer John Maher. Now photographer living on Isle Harris. Nice stuff

  113. Red Arnie says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂 Returning to AA after a couple of hours is usually the best comic relief that one can have on a busy day. 🙂

    For me, that Guardiola pic takes the cake. With a bottle of water handy as well. 🙂

  114. kelsey says:

    He looks a lot like Theo Paphitis (dragons Den) Arnie.

    Don’t worry Micky it might be only for 3 years lol

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha Arnie
    Anything eating you away from within anger wise?
    I’m fucking furious, but as always, can remain entirely flexible about the object of my rage 🙂

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually Crystals, you had another gem
    “Does AW go out and buy 5 or 6 players”
    But I thought you were simply taking the piss at that point 🙂

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No anger? Bad Friday 😦

  118. chas says:

    Wow, ta.

  119. Gööner In Exile says:

  120. chas says:

    Do you fancy taking them around the ground again before the game on Sunday to sprinkle some more magic fairy dust? 🙂

  121. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha hadn’t thought about that. Ill run it past Mrs Exile

  122. chas says:

  123. LB says:

    What a great picture.

  124. LB says:

    Big game tomorrow, not just so we can put the bragging rights back in the box where we keep them year on year but for the bigger picture — The League.

    With this game out of the way and the points secured the troops start returning and continue to return until the New Year when they all should be back ready for the big push — to Glory.

  125. Eddie says:

    Cherubs😊 much better than cats

    It was A VERY GOOD GAME Salford played last night!! Good old fashioned footy

  126. Eddie says:

    GiE – would you be the gang leader with the ‘what is shit? ‘ with your lads around? George ‘ s ears hurt after fireworks ☺

  127. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie, I am being very careful these days as G just repeats everything. So when I was trying to sort wiring the other afternoon for a light fitting, G went off to see Mrs Exile and said ” Daddy needs some more bloody room”. As I was questioning why Sparks think 2 inches of mains cable is the most expensive thing on the planet (it must be because surely they’d leave you an inch or two of play when trying to refit light fittings).

  128. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bournemouth vs Newcastle early televised game…..they really don’t care about the fans do they?

  129. Eddie says:

    Ha ha ha GiE ☺ so not chanting for you☺

  130. Eddie says:

    this is another great story – David Ball’s (who?) Goal of Fleetwood Town is nominated for best goal. Ball is competing against Messi and Ronaldo 😆

  131. LB says:

    Good goal, pretty good kit as well………..

  132. Eddie says:

    And their stadium is called Highbury

  133. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I was at the Anderlecht game – so was Kelsey

    Seems so long ago when fans threw toilet rolls

  134. kelsey says:

    It was long ago Raddy 😉

    I hear the club are trying to get the game postponed because we haven’t got a compliment of 16 fit senior players

  135. stevepalmer1 says:

    One in Nuts, should we fancy a change. Morning all

  136. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Steve.

    There is a New Post

  137. Mia Myers says:

    At the very least it is more enlightening than one of those reality
    Television stars, kim this? Joey what?

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