If Henry Can, Welbeck Can

Time to play with The Big Boys. Finish Top 4 and this is the reward. No-one expects us to win the CL, only one club can do so and, let’s be honest, it is not going to be Arsenal in the near future, but what Top 4 offers is the chance to play in the Camp Nou or the Allianz Arena or the Bernabeu.

In other words glory.

Can you remember when Thierry waltzed through the Real Madrid defence to score an unlikely winner? Or wee Arshavin slotting home to beat Barca? Or Ramsey scoring against all the odds at Dortmund?  Why do you remember those particular goals?  It is because we played and beat the very best and we have the opportunity to do so tonight.

 

Can Arsenal win? Why not? We have beaten Barca before and they have already declared that a couple of their first team will be rested (well, Pique at least). Barca will expect to win at a canter and there is no pressure on an Arsenal team who have been written off by both the media and their own fans.

We were a Bendtner kick and a bent referee away from beating them over two legs in 2011. Given that Welbeck is even better than The Greatest Striker Who ever Lived, we must have a fighting chance, though  it must be admitted that MSN are slightly better than VMP (Villa, Messi, Pedrito).

Our Team: Should Mr Wenger prioritise the weekend game with Everton or go with a full first choice team tonight ? Montreal and Bellerin were benched on Sunday and will surely start. Welbeck played just 15 minutes but what an impact he had! Will he start ahead of Giroud who took a battering from the Watford CB’s? In my opinion, Welbeck  – if fit – should be our first choice central striker until season’s end.

Campbell on the right or Theo? Was Theo rested or or dropped on Sunday?

Midfield must be Elneny and Coquelin, we have little choice.

And what of Ozil? He went missing in the home leg and has been peripheral in recent weeks. He tried to grab the game on Sunday and almost effected an unexpected comeback but where was he in the first 75 minutes? People question whether Ozil wants to stay at Arsenal; perhaps they should think about who would sign him to a winning team. Leave Arsenal and Ozil is unlikely to find a club playing to his unique talents nor will he find a place with the Big Boys. Sanchez is in the same situation.

We are massive underdogs for a reason , primarily thanks to Coquelin’s stupid foul for the penalty and BFG’s momentary lapse of reason, should they make similar mistakes we could be on the end of a hammering BUT Mr Wenger cannot PTB at Camp Nou – we have to score. Get one early and Barca could wobble. Get two and we will win.

Unlikely but possible, and whilst the possibility exists let’s believe it can happen

COYRRG

 

 

 

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178 Responses to If Henry Can, Welbeck Can

  1. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m expecting a 10-0 defeat so a 3-0 win would be a bonus! I fancy us to start with a front 3 of Sanchez, Welbeck and Walcott with pace being key on the break. Im one of the few who actually still thinks we could win the PL if we somehow get 3 points at Everton, so I’d like to see Koscielny rested for that if he’s not 100%.

    Looking forward to a good game. Barca are cheating bastards but always good to watch.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    First XI, Erik 🙂

    Agree with Danny central and can’t decide between Joel or Theo wide right. Cannot help thinking Joel deserves it, but there’s always that feeling that this is the kind of game Theo might be the rare Good Theo.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    FGG
    If we’re two down early on, all players and fans should pretend to be sick and walk away.

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    He’s from Barcelona

  5. fatgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    We are 2 down before kick off. Is that early enough to call it off! 😄

  6. X - the blogger formerly known as RA says:

    Very `good pre-match, BR.

  7. Never mind his strongest team v Everton, he should have picked his strongest team to beat Watford.
    WELBECK, Bellerin & Monreal and we go through IMO.

  8. X - the blogger formerly known as RA says:

    FGG.

    I belatedly read your Post yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it, so many thanks for an accurate and fun list, which is also a guide to how to ride the surf of disappointment in modern football. 😀

  9. kelsey says:

    Thanks Raddy once again.

    As you have recalled, we can beat any team on our day, maybe that’s what is so frustrating supporting this side as you just never know if they will turn up.

    I genuinely hope that we perform well and the gentlemen from Cape Town who travels to all our home games and some away games,doesn’t run out of petrol in his helicopter.

  10. JM says:

    Match official is Sergei Karasev from Russia. He is also the Russian representative for EURO 2016.
    Officiated CL group stages, PSG vs Malmo, AS Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen, Lyon vs Gent.

    ==================

    Arsenal’s possible 18-men squad (11 starters + 7 bench) in contention to play:

    GK: Ospina, Macey
    DF: Bellerin, Mertesacker(c), Koscielny, Monreal, Gabriel, Gibbs
    MF: Coquelin, Elneny, Ozil, Flamini, Iwobi
    FW: Welbeck, Alexis, Giroud, Campbell, Walcott

    Barcelona’s 18-men squad (11 starters + 7 bench) in contention to play:

    GK: Ter Stegen, Bravo
    DF: Alves, Mascherano, Bartra, Jordi Alba, Aleix Vidal, Vermaelen, Mathieu
    MF: Rakitic, Busquets, Arda Turan, Iniesta(c), Sergi Roberto
    FW: Suarez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Munir

  11. Rasp says:

    Excellent thanks Raddy.

    This is a one off, a cup final, a nothing to lose everything to gain game. Of course we can do it.

    I hope they’re complacent, we’re clinical when we get chances and the ref doesn’t fall for any of their cheating and diving.

    Wouldn’t it be great if one of their players got sent off for a change.

    I cannot pay them the respect their record deserves because they don’t need all the play acting.

    If the ref falls for it we could have 2 yellows in the first 20 minutes and have a red card hanging over us for the rest of the game.

    I know Arsene has said it’s simple, we know what we have to do … attack.

    But we don’t need to attack recklessly from the start. Nil nil at half time wouldn’t be a disaster. We need to silence the crowd and take the swagger out of their play ….. we can win this game!!!

  12. chas mobile says:

    Cheers, BR.
    If there’s a small chance it’s still possible, then we have to dream.
    It would take chavesque amounts of spawniness but why not?

    Might watch it down the gym – at least I’ll be doing something useful with my time. 🙂

  13. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    I’ve sent a follow up of yesterday’s post to arsenalnuts.

  14. Rasp says:

    Thanks FGG – would it suit as an ‘alternative match report’ if it goes tits up this evening? 😆

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    If you want something that has nothing to do with the game then it’s perfect! 😄

    I think we need to dial down the optimism a little. Let’s just stick to 10-0 defeat and see what happens 😄

  16. Rasp says:

    I can’t help myself … at this point in time, I think we’re going to win 😕

  17. GoonerB says:

    Thanks BR. Welbeck up top for me as well.

    Going to be controversial and state that I think one of Arsene’s biggest mistakes over the last 2 seasons is in over-estimating what Ollie can bring to this side, and as such persisting with him as 1st choice up front. Not Ollies fault, he is what he is. Thierry Henry had it spot on when he poked the hornets nest on this subject.

    I get that when we bought him he was likely the best of what we could get, but after 4 seasons he is still the first choice striker. Has there really been no opportunity to improve on this recently?

    This leads me onto Ozil and Sanchez. Off form somewhat for world class players but ask yourself what kind of attacking set up these players would prefer? What type of players in and around them would bring the best out of their skills? What type of players are they and how have they been developed before they came to us?

    It is certainly not in a system where they are expected to feed off headed knock downs. It is actually very un Arsenal and un Arsene like to persist with this type of play anyway, and I find it very strange. Do we think he sold them the vision of feeding off headed knock downs when he persuaded them to come.

    I don’t think Arsene has lost the dressing room as such but it wouldn’t surprise me that these 2 are having a long hard look at the situation and have possibly lost faith in Arsenes ability to deliver a top side for them to work within and win silverware with. It is likely to me that he hasn’t done or followed through on what he told them was going to happen.

    I know many (not aimed at you Raddy) point the finger at the players but I think ( know FGG 🙂 step 7) their poor form is a direct consequence of the poor attacking cohesion of the whole team and the way Arsene has developed it recently. They are forcing their game and are having to play differently to what is their normal style. They are under pressure to carry this team to cover the major deficiencies.

    Can we really say that no-one else would take them, that no other side with another manager could not bring out their best on a more consistent basis by developing an attack to suit their strengths?

    I can’t, because we have seen this historically so often before in other circumstances at other sides. It is just a new situation for Arsenal as most players peak at us not elsewhere but I do wonder if this is now just a past trait that we like to cling on to. It is not irreversible though but I do feel we are sitting in a dangerous position with regard to top players and how they look at us.

    Been meaning to say that for a bit but struggled for time so sorry to bring down the tone. Anyway I do believe we have an outside chance tonight so COYRRG’s…….got my tin helmet on so fire away…

  18. peter says:

    It’s a good job you lot weren’t around in Chapman’s day, he’d still be managing today.

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s the curse of the Arsenal fan. We know how good we can be, but never really see it!

    For the last month I’ve been thinking today’s the day we go on an unbeaten run and storm the league, but it’s just not happening!

    So frustrating.

  20. fatgingergooner says:

    Peter,

    It’s a good job you weren’t around because we finished 2nd in his first season. The banners wouldve been out, although probably written on slate!

  21. fatgingergooner says:

    GB,

    Sanchez was amazing last season playing off Giroud. Özil was outstanding first half of this season playing off Giroud.

    Maybe the problem is Giroud, as he does go through patches of terrible form, but there must be more to it than just him.

  22. peter says:

    “It is unacceptable for a big club to go 4 years without a league title.” – Arsene Wenger 2008

  23. Gööner In Exile says:

    Dont you just know we will take a 2-0 lead into the dying minutes to see them nick one at the death, or more likely get two after they’ve got one and struggle to get a third.

    I’d start Welly and I’m sure that’s who Arsene will start too, if only he had been fit all season we may be a different side to where we are now. For me team as follows:

    …………Ospina
    Hector…BFG…Gabriel…Nacho
    ……..Elneny…….Coq
    Campbell…Ozil…..Alexis
    ………….Welly……….

    Despite Alexis huge drop in form he still merits a selection over Theo, and that should tell Theo something….although the message doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    ‘I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel’
    Stuart Pearce

  25. GoonerB says:

    FGG, I agree it is not all about Giroud. There are other factors but even though certain players played well for a time off Giroud it was always likely to dry up for me.

    World class players can carry teams for periods, even if the set up is not ideal for them, but the longer you don’t build the best set up around them the greater the likelihood that they will go through periods where they can’t carry the team anymore. I feel this poor form then leads to added pressure on their game so they almost end up trying too hard. i think this is exactly what we are seeing with Alexis.

    I would have preferred Welbeck (with what we have) from some time back but Arsene hasn’t shown a huge inclination to make him first choice striker either last season or before injury this one so I don’t quite see how he has been Arsene’s master-plan all along.

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    Did Wenger actually make that statement in 2008? Can’t find it anywhere. Would be interested to read the context.

  27. chas says:

    It looks very doubtful that he did.

    It seems some fool called ‘gelbs’ posted it on numerous blogs back in 2008………………and subsequently other morons have re-posted it as fact.

  28. chas says:

    It seems as though ‘gelbs’ sometimes posts it as ‘3 years’ as well. 🙂

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    That’s what I saw chas but couldn’t find any actual evidence of the quote.

    Gelbs, trolling Gooners since 2008!

  30. chas says:

  31. chas says:

  32. chas says:

    Yep, FGG, some are just there to wind up the idiots who believe everything they read. 🙂

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    If anyone hasn’t got Sky and wants a good deal I have some cracking offers on until 10pm tomorrow. Just let me know.

  34. chas says:

    I find the stats stuff interesting.
    So many games we should have won if our finishing had been better.
    I know we’ve conceded silly goals at the back but if our chance conversion rate had been halfway decent, they wouldn’t have mattered.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    That was a shit day.
    Now to get cheered up

    Where are Eddie’s travelogue updates?

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    They didn’t matter Chas 🙂

    How are we? Going to brave watching with beer and crisps, or head to the salon?

  37. chas says:

    I’ve just started working again, so not enough energy for gym.
    2 Stellas in the fridge will be more than enough.
    No crisps – on a diet.
    The lads are hating prawn and rocket wraps in the pack up. 🙂

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    “The lads are hating prawn and rocket wraps in the pack up”

    Ha ha ha. Hit them with a drizzle or delicate glaze next week 🙂

  39. GoonerB says:

    Chas I think Giroud’s bare stats disguise a lot of issues. Similar to when one of his flicks or headed knock downs comes off. These seem to be more remembered in conjunction to these stats and then it appears on the outside we have a great striker.

    It ignores all the lost possession from balls being played up to him that he doesn’t bring under control, and it ignores whether the other players actually work more effectively with this type of striker. If they did surely the whole team would be scoring more goals and looking more fluid and quick in attack.

    As I say it is not the only issue but I feel it is a big one and I think we have been blind-sided here. As I say Thierry got it right when he said that he wasn’t a title winning striker. I think he had to back track slightly to keep harmony with his compatriots and former manager when they got all sensitive about what he had said, but I still feel this is what he truly believes.

    I wonder whether Thierry saying what he did brought out the stubborn streak in AW where he persevered with it in an attempt to prove it wrong?

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Is the Moore pic your way of transmitting a signal?

  41. chas says:

    Ah, but what about all of the other players who’ve been misfiring, GoonerB?
    You’re so blinkered. 🙂

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi GB
    Henry should zip it.
    Hate the arrogant so and so. Wish he’d clear off (like he did after trousering the 200k per week)

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Back from Sweden just in time to see Chris Gayle put England to the sword 😦

    Gelb is probably Sniffer, that is how he remembered the quote

  44. chas says:

    It’s a shame you don’t get ‘GoonerB is typing’ on the blog like you do on WhatsApp.
    It’d be there most of the day. 😆

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Any “holiday snaps” to share, Erik? 🙂

  46. chas says:

    Right, I’m off for some food.
    CMON YOU GUNNERS.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    He’s penning a few short words as we speak about speed up top

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Yeah…proper diet food. Nice 🙂

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    Silver nail polish chas, nice! 😄

  50. chas says:

    Nutscaping!

  51. chas says:

    It’s your daughter’s pizza, Micky. 🙂

  52. chas says:

    He should be on the second paragraph by now.

  53. GoonerB says:

    Thats what I was trying to say Chas. The whole team is misfiring in attack and I feel a large part of that comes from the cohesion of the other attacking players to the striker. He is just not the right type for Arsenal and players like Sanchez or Ozil.

    The evidence was there at the end of last season and earlier this season that our attack is more fluid with a mobile quick striker. Our best performances were with this type of striker. Take your pick from which one that should be from within or from somewhere else, but Wenger, like so many on here, seems to rate Giroud very highly.

    Just trying to find answers Chas. Why do you think we look shite and are frequently playing well beneath a performance level relative to the players we have? Do you feel that Giroud and the others are actually fine? In which case it must be the manager failing to get the best out of them.

  54. chas says:

    Bottom right hand corner of 5.39pm?

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody Nora
    Off for food 6:10
    Back 6:28
    Some diet extreme that is. What did you have, a leaf?

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    I did recognize the pizza and daughter
    Made the first, own the second 🙂

  57. chas says:

    Pizza still cooking.
    Got bored.

  58. chas says:

    “own” 🙂

  59. GoonerB says:

    Oh I see Chas. He says we are not moving the ball quick enough in attack. Lucky we have Olivier Bolt up top then to help us speed it up 🙂

  60. chas says:

    What blog are you reading from?

    5.39 implies we are creating chances for Alexis, Ramsey, Ozil, Theo and the Ox even with the FP playing up top, but for some reason they are not scoring when they should.

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Olivier Bolt ROLF

    Mr Marmite is at the Camp Nou, and worse news for Wenger fans is that Eddie’s in attendance as well.

    Oh come on Eddie, send us a message

  62. chas says:

    Oh, and the ball moves faster passing it than running with it.
    Haven’t you ever heard of ‘let the ball do the work’? 🙂

  63. fatgingergooner says:

    Ospina
    Bellerin
    Gabriel
    Koscielny
    Monreal
    Flamini
    Elneny
    Iwobi
    Özil
    Sanchez
    Welbeck

  64. GoonerB says:

    Ok I agree with that Chas, but there can be a difference between shots on goal and good chances where the opposition have been opened up with quick incisive football. We will have missed good chances admittedly, but maybe there are also a lot of eventual desperate pot shots with lots of bodies in the way after passing it back and forwards for eons around the edge of the box. This normally happens because we don’t move it around quick enough on the ground with quick interchanging players and good running into space.

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Iwobi will learn a thing or 2 night. As might Elneny. Interesting team selection.

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Iwobi wow

  67. chas says:

    Did you see this from Arsenal v Watford?

  68. GoonerB says:

    Interesting line up. He has gone with pace in the attack. What’s up with Le Coq?

  69. chas says:

    Not like you to change the goalposts, sniffer. 🙂

    So you admit the first ‘quote’ was false?

  70. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant curtain raiser, Raddy. 🙂 The only thing we can play for is our pride. That suits us well.

    COYG. 🙂

  71. Red Arnie says:

    GoonerB. repitition. 🙂 not that anyone is complaining! 😛

  72. chas says:

    Twatter says Coq has a slight ankle knock.

  73. GoonerB says:

    Moi repetitive Arnie, Never 🙂

  74. Hellllooooooo

    Off to read the post ……. Come on ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Only thing is pride to play for, Arnie?
    Have you shaved off your beard or something 🙂
    Score once. Then again. And again and whallop, Champions League Winners in waiting 🙂

  76. fatgingergooner says:

    Chas,

    What does the 6.57pm refer to? Have we had confirmation of 🐂💩?

  77. chas says:

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    What do we think of Iwobi (no goals) starting ahead of Joell or Theo?

  79. chas says:

    FGG
    He put up some other nonsense without admitting the first one was, how shall we say, in line with the purists’ motto? 😆

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    Great pic Chas
    Rain.

  81. chas says:

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah yes, the purists motto. Bollockseus ad Infinitum

  83. Just the weather our North London boys love 😃☔️☔️☔️

  84. chas says:

    Ad Majorem Bollerksus Gloriam

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. It was a beautiful day in Sweden – well, the weather was. Have you ever been to Sweden, the ladies have a nasty habit of being sensationally beautiful

  86. chas says:

  87. Red Arnie says:

    GoonerB. 🙂

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie will be furious. She is sure to have done her hair and nails and stuff. Don’t think they allow brollies into grounds anymore 😦

  89. chas says:

    Eddie’s in a box.

  90. Got extra totts here too, at least one is a Gooner 🙂

    Alexis must want to score………please Alexis.

    Ozil must want to assist…………We’ve got Ozil……..

    If Danny has his clear thinking head on he should score.

    I’m thrilled for Iwobi just hope he’s had good instructions 😉

    What’s up with Campbell?

  91. chas says:

    Brought her own.

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Evening Peaches and Erik

    No Erik, never to Sweden. Yet.

  93. We could always have an Eddie travelogue for tomorrow’s post ………… hope she got there ok and on time to get into the game.

    Camp now or camp noo? Need LB really, he’ll know

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    All that cash they nick, and no roof.

    There’s a thought for Stan “Fans: shut up, or the roof goes” 🙂

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahhhh, the minutes before. Hope reigns highest and expectations in tact

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. Denmark first please

  97. Here we go, good luck Arsenal

  98. Big Raddy says:

    All that water on the pitch is sure to assist Barca’s diving technique. Expect to see a double salvo with twist

    COYRRG

  99. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m going to take my own advice and watch full match replay on BT sport app later on tonight once I know the result. COYG!

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    We’re thrashing them so far 🙂

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Another homer ref. Barca dive and he gives them a free kick

  102. Red Arnie says:

    Vitai Lampada time. “Play on, play on, and play the game”. 🙂

    so far so good. COYG.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Good game so far. M&N are quite good aren’t they.

    Can we score 4?

  104. Bless Danny Welbeck applauding Iwobi’s chance there

  105. Oh blimey we really need to convert one of these chances. Come on Arsenal

  106. Just the three goals in the second half then ……… 😉

  107. Rasp says:

    What a shame, poor finishing lets us down once again. If we had any one of Barcelona’s front three in our side, which probably be winning this game

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, here we are. Half time
    My assessment? It’s not quite Go Salon Time yet

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Really enjoyable game. Sadly the difference in class is obvious – if we had MSN we would be winning but we don’t.

    What has happened to Sanchez. Banjo/Cow’s arse and his passing is wayward at best.

    Major positives: Bellerin;& Iwobi, young men with a bright future. And Ospina who has been solid.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Bayern Munich being hammered at home by La Vecchio Signora 🙂 🙂

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey Erik
    Juve 2-0 in Munich
    That is astonishing
    Thanks for that

  112. You gotta laugh …….

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    brilliant peaches 🙂

  114. Rasp says:

    Game on 🙂

  115. At last that move pays off for us and Elneny, well done 🙂

  116. Rasp says:

    That play acting little shit Neymar got Sanchez yellow carded.

    One more from us and they’ll be bricking it 🙂

  117. mickydidit89 says:

    Superb strike from the Fabulous Pharaoh 🙂

  118. Rasp says:

    Elneny was a really good buy, I hope he keeps playing in his style

  119. GoonerB says:

    Liking the quick fluid movement up front Chas 🙂

    Regardless of what happens now it shows what we can do.

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on lads, one more
    Loving the cries of shoooooot

  121. Rasp says:

    If only Sanchez was in the form of last season

  122. Rasp says:

    Ffs don’t take Welbeck off 😦 😦

  123. Rasp says:

    Walcott scuffs it into the keepers legs, Messi keeps calm and delicately chips the keeper – there’s the difference

  124. mickydidit89 says:

    Muller scores in the 90th
    Extra time in Munich

  125. Switching channels then. Come on Juve

  126. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well can’t really fault the effort, but the finishing leaves a lot to be desired….and I only watched the second half.

    Oh and did anyone make a point of listening to the Barca crowd, especially when they decide to pass back 4/5 players and go again….well there was definitely no agonised groans, and the ooooh every time a shot is hit no matter where it ends up.

    The Emirates crowd would destroy Rakatic and Iniesta.

  127. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just for the record over half of Barca’s passes were sideways or backwards, they never attack with only pace, they keep shape and retain composure on the ball and pick the right pass when it’s on. They rarely had us outnumbered at the back but the way they attack on waves and with space between the players is what makes them dangerous, oh and the fact that they have three outlets who can hold the ball up and take a pass to feet and aren’t just running like headless chickens towards the goal.

    And that time they take means the midfielders have time to join in when needed and can pick more telling runs into space or just to back up the forward who is in possession.

  128. mickydidit89 says:

    Exile
    They’re also just quite good, like everywhere 🙂

    Really hoping for pens here. Love a penalty shoot out.

  129. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, of course you can play that way when you’ve got 3 of the best strikers in the world. We haven’t 😦

  130. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ok I really think I’m struggling to explain this…..when we break invariably we are looking to get forward as quickly as possible, and that means the players making runs rather than the man on the ball. Watch where Suarez and Neymar receive the ball and where they are running when they do, the first or second pass is rarely to a man running towards goal, it’s the third and fourth pass that have that purpose, the first two passes and runs are to stretch the back line out and create the gaps. For me we very rarely have those kind of runs and I think that’s players decision making, because you look at Sanchez, Ozil and even Giroud and Danny (which is why I like him) they are prepared to run away from goal and make space for others.

    Big positive of tonight for me was Iwobi, the boy has got skill and vision and yes apparently a football brain.

    And what really wound me up on way home tonight listening to Radio 5 was the commentator purring over everything Barca did even though most of it ended in no shot or a tackle from Arsenal, and I was asking myself I wonder what the same commentator would be saying watching Arsenal play like that against a normal PL parked bus….yep that’s right “overplaying”

  131. fatgingergooner says:

    If Bayern had scored one of these goals in normal time i’d be £146 better off. Amateurs.

    Sounds like we put in a performance to be proud of but finishing once again our downfall. Looking forward to watching it.

  132. mickydidit89 says:

    Well worth watching FGG.

  133. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, it’s goodnight from me

    Comment highlight of the evening came from Peaches’ twit

    “Football’s outdated overreliance on goals as a critical metric is really holding arsenal back”

    Nite 🙂

  134. Red Arnie says:

    ok, enjoyed the game. sad, but not down. COYG. 🙂

    I will probably do a post on the FAC Ems visit over the intl break. Plus, one on referees. Thats the plan anyway. 🙂

  135. Rasp says:

    You’re not struggling to explain anything to me GiE. Of course their crowd don’t groan when they pass sideways because they are in top form, with quality throughout the team and winning everything in site. If they weren’t performing as a team and were 2:1 down then I can assure their crowd would moan

  136. Rasp says:

    We played well as a team this evening, and the difference was the quality of the players. If we had played like this throughout the last 10 matches we would probably still be top of the league. I just hope we can play as well as a team for the rest of the season.

  137. Red Arnie says:

    yes, Rasp, two disappointing results. But let’s hope we can find the positives from the game today, and there were some. And then, find some consistency now.

  138. Rasp says:

    Hi Arnie, there were a lot of positives tonight. It was a good team performance. Alexis is still misfiring sadly and our finishing in general is not good enough but we gave them a good game.

  139. Red Arnie says:

    True, Rasp. 🙂

  140. fatgingergooner says:

    I think 5-3 would’ve been a fairer reflection of the 2 legs. We created some good situations again tonight but the lack of quality in front of goal was obvious once again. You don’t need the quality of Neymar, Messi and Suarez to beat Barca, but you do need to be clinical. Even a confident Welbeck, Sanchez and Giroud could’ve been enough to get us close, but a mis-firing forward line gives you no chance.

    Iwobi was excellent, and Elneny continues to show how a price tag means nothing. I loved watching Bellerin burn Alba who is also incredibly quick! Welbeck also showed why he has to play at the moment, even if it’s wide. Once again we were sloppy in defence with the first goal coming from our free kick and the third from gifting them possession.

    As for the quality of Barca, their ability to beat players is what gives them the space to play. Messi can draw 3 opposition players to him and is good enough to get away and switch the ball. That inevitably means other are stood in space. Suarez, Neymar and Iniesta are all just as good at this. Lets not forget they had a 3 goal lead for most of the tie tonight so it’s no wonder they have space when we have to chase the game. In the first leg we restricted them pretty well.

  141. RockyLives says:

    Didn’t see the game as I was travelling, but it sounds like we put in a respectable performance.

    And on to the league at the weekend…

    I’m in the camp that says this is a strange season and strange things may yet happen. Let’s keep supporting and hoping.

  142. mickydidit89 says:

    Superb start to the day
    A Rough xG Sum chart 🙂

    Who cat on bottles
    Who in bath
    What weird propaganda/movie pic with squirel

  143. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    While there’s no-one here, can I ask you a question. Do you have the first idea what any of the charts mean? I love them, and that includes Heat Maps and shit, but not a clue what they’re on about despite staring at them with my intelligent and clever look on

  144. chas says:

    Micky
    All I’ve deduced is……
    the squares are chances
    pink squares are goals
    the bigger the square, the better the chance (estimated using position with relation to the goal, time available, how easy it was etc)

    Have a butcher’s 😆

  145. chas says:

    Whoops, apols for spud photo.
    Caley is a yankee spud.

  146. chas says:

    Must go.

  147. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, perhaps just one clue will help me unlock the puzzle

    On the Rough xG Sum chart, we have little red boxes on the left, and pink/purple ones on the right. Some bigger than others. I don’t understand this, but can live with it.

    BUT, why oh why is there one tiny little pink box in amongst the red ones?

  148. mickydidit89 says:

    Noooooooo, don’t go now
    I’m on a diet as well if that helps, and I’m not going salon

  149. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Thought we played well last night especially in the first half.

    Naked Princess Margaret?

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Diet? Me too. Less sugar, less carbo’s, less food, more exercise.

    Not helping that I constantly giving in to temptation – been like that all my life 🙂

  151. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik
    Pleasant surprise
    And the really depressing bit, no grazing between meals 😦

  152. Big Raddy says:

    Right. It is such a bore especially cutting down on my wine intake. I am reduced to eating muesli at breakfast 😦

    I blame Isaac Newton. If he hadn’t discovered gravity my chest muscles would not have descended to my waist.

  153. mickydidit89 says:

    Muesli is a disaster. Wheat is bad, and you practically have to add nothing but water to wash the muck down

    Bacon and Eggs is the motning solution.

  154. mickydidit89 says:

    Must go. School run. Back 9:30 after not pausing by the bakery section of supermarket. No. Absolutely not even one warm pain au chocolat

    Have a simple, and relatively elegant, solution to a match report if it can wait, but footbally, no,

  155. Rasp says:

    Go for it Mickey, I’d better not write anything since I’ve just heard that arsene has said we were unlucky to draw Barcelona again – nothing to do with his team selection for the first two games then?

  156. Red Arnie says:

    motning all. 🙂

    what about sugar tax then? 🙂

    is “arson” a banned word? 😛 great find! 🙂

  157. Big Raddy says:

    Arnie. Fine song and video to see me out of the door 🙂

  158. Red Arnie says:

    This one is better.

  159. Big Raddy says:

    Arnie. 8.40. Wasn’t the song punishment enough…

  160. Big Raddy says:

    8.43. No, it isn’t

  161. Red Arnie says:

    we appreciate the beauty of Messi, dont we? and Gayle? 😛

  162. Rasp says:

    Is anyone doing a post for today?

  163. fatgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    The red squares are Arsenal chances so the little pink square amongst them is Elneny’s goal last night.

    Wenger does seem to have a good few excuses up his sleeve but we all know he’s a horrible loser. If he wasn’t the Arsenal manager I probably wouldn’t like him for that trait alone.

  164. mickydidit89 says:

    Post sent

  165. fatgingergooner says:

    I suppose with Bayern in your group we were always looking at 2nd spot so drawing Barca in the next round is unfortunate, but then again we had an ‘easy’ draw last year and still ballsed it up!

    Just the top 4 position to concentrate on now. Who knows where we will end up.

  166. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    Just put up the headline ‘Anyone seen some shooting boots laying around?’ Then we can discuss what’s happened to our strike force.

  167. fatgingergooner says:

    In fairness to Wenger I’ve just read his post match comments and he was full of praise for Barca. He insists that the PL is more open than people think and I have to agree, but it won’t be if we don’t beat Everton!

  168. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky ……

    …. New post …..

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