Time to gird the loins, take a deep breath, cry God for Harry, England and St. George.
We can do this. We will not win the tie if we go into it thinking the game was lost with Koscielny’s mistake. We need positivity. Attack from the first, score an away goal, silence the crowd, bang in another early in the second half, then park the bus.
Or do it the *89 way. Tight until half-time then rely on The Lord Above and Micky Thomas.
We showed at the Em’s that we can compete, that AM are beatable. People say that if we can’t beat them when they had 10 men then tonight we have no chance. I say “poppycock”, AM were forced to PTB and scored with one lucky, very lucky, punch. They were not better than us. And let us not forget we scored and had opportunities to score more.
OK, tonight we may have to contend with Costa and Griezman in tandem, but so what? Gabriel had Costa in his pocket last time he played us.
The injury to Elneny could be costly but it forces AW’s hand, he has to play an attacking team. A massive bonus is the return of Miki who alongside Ozil could define our play. Razor sharp finishing from Laca, Welbz coming on to harry the ageing AM defence and we are kushti.
Koscielny Mustafi Monreal
Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Wilshire
Mr Wenger may choose to start Welbeck ahead of Miki but I hope not, Miki coukld be the catalyst for a win and frees Ozil from the pressure of being the main creative force.
Can Wilshire play a disciplined, defensive role – we shall see
Very little on the bench if things got TU.
AM have a new ground the 67k capacity Wanda Metroplitano which will hold the CL Final in 2019. The noise will be considerable and the few Gooners attnding will struggle to be heard.
The bookies make AM strong favourites with good reason. They haven’t conceded at home since Queen Victoria was on the throne and we must score.
Hopefully a tense evening ahead
CYYG! It is a tough arena but we can do it. We have to contain Costa and Griezzman but they are also very hard to break and have not conceded a goal at home in 11 games. We need grit, we need a fighting spirit and we need to be clinical and cynical in both boxes. Let us not go Gung Ho – we have 90 minutes to win 1-0. They wil play as usual:
-> Exert pressure in the first 15-20 minues and try to nick a goal
-> Then wait until half time
Let us play it smart in the first half. Let us play simple and give them things to think about like long balls, like shots from outside the box. Let us cut their transmission.
I would play:
Ospina – Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Monreal – MN, Xhaka, Wilshere – Ramsey, Ozil – Lacazette
I then have Miky and Wellbeck that I can use as subs.
I play MN because we need his engine and energy. The big miss is indeed El Neny but we are the Gunners so let us fire all cylinders and get to the final in Lyon where Lacazette has always excelled
I would leave Koscielny, Mustafi and Xahka on the bench. Too often this season they have let us down with mistakes that are inexcusable for players at this level … instead replace with Mavropanos, Holding, Maitland Niles. Bellerin has not had a great season either and i would consider Reiss Nelson, perhaps starting with Kolasinac behind him instead of Monreal. But would bring on Monreal 2nd half if it was 0-0, or we were up by 1 or 2 goals.
Thanks Raddy. I think the “attack from the off, swarm all over them, charge of the light brigade approach” is our usual policy in these games. I do feel that Simeone would see that coming, tactically prepare for it, and it would be our undoing and we need to do something he might not expect. These tight European games are normally won by the team that gets their tactics right and do a professional solid job.
I think we should be patient and solid and keep ourselves in this tight fixture as long into the game as possible. Don’t panic even if we are still 0-0 midway through the second half. With the right set-up we have the players to nick a goal even if we are not launching wave upon wave of attacks. I doubt very much we can thrash them by swarming them anyway but nick 1 goal in a solid display and it will be squeeky bum time for them.
I would switch to a 3-5-2 formation with 3 CB’s and Monreal and Bellerin as wing backs, Ramsey, Jack and Ozil as a 3 midfield combination and Miki as one of the front 2 behind Laca. Miki needs to be the main support to Laca and musn’t get caught too deep too often but will also drop at times to interplay with the other 3 CM’s.
Ramsey Jack and Ozil just need to be told to make sure that if one of them has been aiding the attack more, that one of the others covers behind. We don’t have a specialist HM anywhere in the squad anyway, so they just need to get this balance right, but the 3 of them should provide that mix of creativity, energy, and support to the attack while not sacrificing our defensive stability in midfield.
I just feel without being foolproof or perfect in all areas the above represents the best balance we can get and the best chance of coming through the tie victorious. We can win this, COYRRG’s.
Games like tonight is what it’s all about for me
You set the scene perfectly, Erik, so many thanks
Like RC, I’d go for M-N next to Granit, but unlike him, I’d play Miki and Jack would have to sit this one out
Ramsey M-N Granit
Thanks Raddy, a rousing introduction to a tense day.
I’d take a risk on Mavropanos in place of Koscielny if he’s not fully fit, or otherwise the accident prone Mustafi.
I agree with RC78, let’s not go for suicidal attacking. Let’s take control of the game, give them something to think about but don’t for goodness sake overcommit unless it gets to 75 minutes and we need a goal.
Yes we need more fight than we’ve shown all season, but we also need to use our heads …. it has been a feature of this team that they score and then suddenly think they’re invincible again … and then concede a silly goal.
It’s a night for head, heart and lungs … in that order
Nice one, BR.
It’s gonna be emotional.
One advantage of sitting in the upper tier is that you get a bird’s eye view of the shape of teams. Our defensive line is often all over the place … Tony Adams wold never have allowed this.
We may have hoped to tire the 10 men of AM in that first leg. But not a bit of it. They were calm, organised and didn’t waste energy chasing lost causes, they just held their shape and everyone did their job. This is why they have the best defensive record in Europe.
The real problem tonight is not AM … it’s Arsenal. If we play typical Arsenal football, they can remain the same and they’ll probably come through … we need to change. Our main challenge will not be scoring, it will be whether we can hold firm and give ourselves a fighting chance by not conceding.
I wouldn’t chance AMN tonight. I have championed him to take a CM spot earlier this season but Arsene passed it up for much of the time and Idon’t think right now is the time for it without having tried it more. It is a game for our experienced heads. We shouldn’t sacrifice one of them for AMN in this game. Keep him on the bench as our best back-up option for Bellerin.
Xhaka has had a few good games this season but has failed to consistently convince me, especially in the biggest games. I don’t think he really brings any more defensive solidity to our midfield than the others. he is a good passer but so are Jack, Ozil and Miki, and Xhaka is less a threat getting into the box as a late runner than them and Rambo.
There is a reason that AM are so hard to score against. They are so tight and disciplined in their last defensive line that they often just swallow up and negate the striker in their traditional strikers role. Of course we look to our striker to score, and maybe he will but I actually don’t think the striker will be where we get the 1-2 goals we need.
Also I don’t think their keeper looks like one that is easily beaten with a shot from range. This negates much of Xhaka’s potential goal threat.
I think we are more likely to get our goal from our late arriving hard to pick up midfield runners. It could be Micki, but we know Ramsey is a specialist at this, and interestingly, although not prolific, both Jack and Mesut have that ability to be in the box and find the net. Xhaka doesn’t.
I think that Laca may need to act as more of a foil in this game, pulling into space away from the traditional central area and look to supply Miki and the midfielders looking to join the attack. That or the over-lapping WB’s can cut a ball back into the penalty box but behind their defence with our midfielders running onto it.
If Jack, Rambo and Ozil (and possibly Miki) can get it right in not all going up at the same time and leaving us exposed down the centre then they represent our best option. Xhaka and AMN will weaken us if they take one of those players places.
I think we need to overcommit right from the whistle 🙂
The idea of this Arsenal side trying to be clever and keeping it tight is ridiculous. Our strengths are in attack, and our weakness’ in defending
Miiiiiicky …. Miiiicky …. are you Arsene in disguise 🙂 🙂
ha ha 🙂
I’m right, you’re all wrong. Keep it simple, do what you’re good at and hope it works. Not difficult.
As Napoleon once said when asked about battle tactics bollocks, he correctly stated…turn up and see what happens
Tim Stillman…yuk. Look like a twat, probably are a twat
Actually Rasp, I am giggling to myself even thinking about some of the suggestions.
So, Mustafi and Kos, with a defensive shield of Granit Xhaka are going to keep it tight against Atletico Madrid for 90 mins, or 89 if you discount for the break away winner 🙂 🙂
🙂 I get your point Micky …. but the aim is to try to win the game … hence my earlier point about us being our own worst enemies … 🙄
Err Micky, “stick to what we are good at”?. Not picking a fight old chap but what exactly are we good at these days? 🙂
Honestly I don’t actually see any consistent strength for us to play to right now, and feel much of our basis of thought that we are a superlative attacking side is because we once were and it is just assumed we still are.
I don’t think we are a great attacking side right now, but we have game winners. We need to shut them out while still having a threat going forwards and allow those game winners that opportunity to sneak the tie for us.
Well GB, good luck with that hedging tactic of yours 🙂
Shut them out eh? Ok, I have a funny feeling we’ll need two goals. If we leave it late, there’s no better side than Atletico for putting a wall up, and I know what’ll happen the. Blubbers will appear wondering why we don’t have a big ‘un anymore to deploy hoof ball.
Nope, I’m right. Go for the jugular
We’re good at schoolboy defensive errors and conceding soft goals GB 🙂 🙂
OK Micky … on your own head be it 🙂 …… attack, attack, attack 🙂
Fans’ opinions in their own minds compared to fans’ opinions in reality. 😆
Here’s a teaser …… how confident would you be if we were 3:1 up at half time?
Ermmmm .it’s a football blog … for expressing opinions?
Of course. 🙂
Even though for each of us “I’m the only one who is right!” 😆
Rasp – i wouldn t be confident given Mustafi and Kos form…
I say – let us be patient, contain them and then move the ball quickly to destabilize them. I think we have a shot IF we play smart. Lacazette was a handful for them, Bellerin too, Rambo and Ozil are also tricky to play against. Now – will the players give themselves a chance by playing disciplined and smart football? We need 14 fighters and smart players tonight. If we do, I can even see us go into ET and eventually PK…Then it is the lottery but I think we can snatch a 1-0 or 2-2 if we play to our full potential.
The main thing is not to concede in the first half. Then anything can happen and Atletico will not know on which foot to dance
Hear hear ….. RC78 for new manager!!!!
Charlie’s analysis on Skynews is spot on. He says we will not qualify due to our defense and that Ramsey will be instrumental today. I can’t agree more with him about both our poor defending and Ramsey. That said – I am hoping that the players are hungry and are willing to play 2 games at an outstanding level to bid AW farewell properly. They owe it to him. to the fans. to themselves. Glory is only 180 minutes away – CYYG!
Great PM Raddy really stirring stuff.
Here’s a little Tommy Cooper to relieve some of today’s tension.
” Two aerials meet on a roof – fall in love – get married.
The ceremony was rubbish – but the reception was brilliant.”
Thank you, Raddy. brilliant. 🙂
We can do it! COYG
This game will be another typical Arsenal away game as per
AC Milan:0 vs Arsenal:2
Tickets for Arsene Wenger’s final home match in charge of Arsenal are being sold for £1,800 — a game which will include the return of former players and commemorative T-shirts for fans to wear in their match against Burnley.
Hahaha Chas. Where did you find that video of Mustaffi trying to do what the well trained well drilled professional did? 🙂
RC, it seems we are of like mind in keeping it tight and trying to get them late on, after which they will be worried about how to play it. If they push and we counter for a 2nd goal then…..
It seems we disagree on the line-up to achieve this though. I still maintain that with a defence as mean as theirs it will be won by our undetected late midfield runners to score rather than trying to put Laca in on goal against arguably the best defence out there.
Miki, Ramsey, Ozil and jack are all capable of arriving in the box as a late runner and providing that goal threat. they just need to get who drops and covers and when right so they aren’t all caught high up the pitch together.
The back 3 is not my long-term favoured line up but I think it suits us better against better opposition in this type of situation, and plugs certain defensive gaps that we don’t have the natural ability or focus to do. It worked well when we switched to it at the end of last year, where we saw off superior opposition at the business end of cup knock out competition.
Think I would put the bigger CD of Mavropanos in the middle to physically match Costa and have 2 of Kos, Mustaffi or Chambers either side of him as smaller quicker CD’s that can go and meet danger in the wider areas. It also gives us the opportunity to double up on Costa with 1 body to spare.
Dennis only knows if I am right Rasp, or if any of us are. As you say just opinions.
One thing I would be fairly confident of saying is that we can’t just do what we would normally do, and what they would expect us to do. It is slightly anathema to Arsene’s DNA but I feel he will need a specific game plan to win this, not just rely on the great fluid game he desperately wants to implement.
It will not be enough to focus on whether hand-brakes are on or off, and rely on all players playing at their optimal sharpness all together for 90 minutes. I desperately want us to win this for what it means moving into next year but more than that I desperately want Arsene to win it and am praying he lets his deep lying hard to find pragmatic side come out.
He has given us the superlative football in the past, and that can never be taken away from him or our memories. A better footballing side is now for the new man to develop. Tonight is all about doing what we need to do to get the job done.
RC78 for manager
Micky for manager…
Chas for manager …
Gooner B for manager ….
🙂 🙂 🙂
I prefer AMN to start over wilshere
So, as many have said, AMN for me over Jack all day, unless Arsene wants to try and nick an early goal then pull Jack in the second half, and then put AMN on. That kid can play a heck of a lot more D than Jack and has pace to keep up with the likes of the nasty boys on the other side of the ball.
While Arsene is at it, put Cech in too, the D will at least have control of the box, and Danny up top to stretch them, unless Miki is full fit or at least fit for a half.
2-1 to the Arsenal it is!
If AMN is to play it should be for Xhaka, not Wilshere. Xhaka will start because he seems to be AM’s man (don’t quite understand this) and he has some elegant qualities about him but he is a red card waiting to happen and gets caught the wrong side of the ball too often as a DM without the pace to recover, and gives away free kicks as a result in dangerous areas.
He did it at Old Trafford and look at the way he went to ground and let Pogba go past him so easily in the lead up to their first goal.
Wilshere gives something different to carry the ball than Xhaka does. AMN can stand a man up and steal the ball off him and has good pace so it should be between Xhaka and AMN. Preferably I would like to see alll of Wilshere, Ramsey, Miki and Ozil out there.
As I say Xhaka has some qualities in his passing range but is more often than not a liability against better teams beyond that. He may still improve in the future but tonight we will be weakened if he plays as a result of who is dropped to accommodate him.
Sorry AW’s man
I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another sending off tonight … I just hope it’s not Xhaka, he was lucky not to get a second yellow in the last game.
…. also. Dannyboy … cut the diving, stay on your feet!
….. on top of all that … I genuinely think we’re going to do it tonight 🙂
My beef with Jack is he holds onto the ball for days, helping create the slow, sideways and laborious offense, and anyone can run past him all day, especially as he often slides in and does not get the ball or the player, and then the other team is off the races.
Xhaka helps move the ball 30 years or more, side to side, and can stretch our offense vertically if needed.
But, I do get your point, yet I feel Xhaka has been improving as of late with his reading of the game.
Good Evening. I am already getting tense and have broken open the first bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, should be rat-arsed by kick-off.
I agree with Micky, we go for it from kick-off. Yes, Someone will expect us to do so but that does not mean that his team will be able to stop us.
And I can guarantee Xhaka will start – he has in every game this season.
I’ve been drinking since 1.30.
Just about to have a G&T.
No sense in not being prepared. 😆
What I really seeing from DR best we but lacazette in goal then
Fred must have tied one on
chas. A cheeky G&T early doors is the sensible option
‘Tied one on’, made me nearly piss myself and I’ve got absolutely no idea what it means. ☺
Early Viking expression
10/11 Welbeck starts not Miki
Welbz to attack the substitute right back must be the way forward
Am I alone on the sofa for such an important and exciting game?
Damn this is exciting
Thankfully not. Would you like an after dinner chocolate oliver, Micky?
I’m here …. not particularly buoyed by the pundits in the studio ….. Mustafi and Kozzer coming in for some flak 😳
Poor Eddie drew the short straw, she’s on grandma duty 😉
Peaches. Let’s hope it is the short straw!
wow, great stadium
Right, business time, come on you GUNNNNERS
Yes please Erik
Can I have the dark chocolate one
Come on boys ….. make history for Arsene
Not a great start. Poor Laurent
I’d guess at ruptured achilles
Time for Chambers to make the position his!
Sorry for Kos in this WC year, but his achilles has been on countdown for over 2 years.
Lets go Arsenal, time to unify and rally around the moment.
Terribly bad luck for Kozzer …. definitely Achilles …. maybe this will help galvanise the players
If only Bellerin could cross
I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax
Someone needs to have a talk with Jack.
AM playing with a violence which the referee is allowing. It is not up to JW to seek retribution
Why do so many of our defensive headers go straight to the opposition? All the hard work undone by weak defending
shitballs big shitballs
The Arsenal D is the weakest bunch of saps. Damn, really, give up a goal right before half, at death…what f’never!
Just played themselves out of the game.
Don’t think that goal changes anything really, players shouldn’t let it affect them, they always needed to score still need to score, only issue now is Atletico can sit back.
psycho killer 🙂
But even so if they sit back too much we could find two.
It’s time to go full Wengerball, 5 attackers please
Going in at half time level would have been great. Brilliant pass to Costa when our defence was out of shape – not for the first time.
Overall the team are giving it everything they have but we did not create a single chance in 45 minutes despite having the majority of possession.
Need to try a couple of shots in the next 45. You never know, perhaps we can score a couple.
Bring Mhki on soon, Danny is doing nothing
Was just commenting on that goal and decided to delete it. We can still win this. come on
No. Bring Mhki on for Jack , If we are going down, let’s go down in flames
Since Bell cocked up that cross, he’s terrified to try and passes backwards every time
Didn’t see the bench, is Miki available?
GB. That goal was a summation of our season’s defensive inadequacies. We are desperate for a quatity defensive coach
We’ve come out from half time half asleep???
Ref is genuinely pants. How can we have the only yellow. They should be at 10 men now
Kozzers last Arsenal game?
If only Bellerin could do more than run fast! I hope he has a good World Cup so we can get top dollar for him and get defenders who can defend.
Fgg, i kind of feel that i dont want to write off any of our defenders until we see whether a different approach improves them. Especially the younger ones.
I understand that view but it’s slightly different with Bellerin as he’s the one who could potentially bring in a lot of money that helps the new manager rebuild. If he doesn’t improve, is that money going to be on the table in 2 years time?
Maybe it’s better to take the cash to improve other areas and have a different RB.
Ospina’s distribution is very poor
Pathetic …. we didn’t have to kick the ball off …. that’s the ref’s decision
Need to score…1 shot on target all game. Well done guys
Our crossing has been woeful.
FGG. Agree. We have always had players in the box but hardly a decent cross all night. Monreal and Bellerin are just not wingers.
Once again pathetic defending was our undoing
Plenty of chances to beat them over the 2 legs but not good enough.
That is as good as this AFC team can play but we came up against an impenetrable defence.
Burnley at home to look forwrd to.
Beaten because of two lapses in concentration. One in the first leg and 1 tonight by bellerin.
Can’t fault the effort. In the past there were question marks about the effort of certain Arsenal teams, but I think it’s become clear this season that this side lacks more than just effort. Even at their best they are nowhere near the sides we’ve had under Wenger.
The side lacks intelligence and know how. They are naive in their decisions in all areas of the pitch and it’s going to take a big shift in training and culture to change things. Thankfully, those changes are just around the corner.
Shame for Arsene, but Arsenal will come again in the future.
And there lies the rub FGG, people will focus on the two goals concede, admittedly, they were both poor and the one at home was more costly. But simple fact is we have only managed to score one, for all that possession our crossing tonight was woeful, and without any true aerial threat that allowed AM to hold a very tight shape in their centre giving us no room to play in there. Some threat to the crosses and a few more players committing with everything they had to get on the end may have forced them to change tack.
Just like the first leg we need to look at our offensive options as much as our defence. The goal they scored tonight was meaningless, in order to win the tie we had to score and the players didn’t seem able to keep up the intensity to deliver.
To have a shot on target you have to shoot. Bellerin, Ramsey and Ozil all passed from positions when players in any other team would have had a shot
Totally agree GiE.
The forward movements have become basic with players just looking to run in behind and running towards the touchline. In the past it’s been about 3rd man running and clever movements but you don’t hardly see it anymore.
Over the 2 legs we managed to get to the by-line easily and often but then what we produced from those areas was terrible, espescially tonight.
The plus side for me is if Auba and Mkhi were both fit we’d have seen a far more potent attack. They are intelligent players and along with Laca, Özil and Ramsey there is hope that the forward line will be able to produce in the future.
I’m with fgg on this. An honest effort and nothing to complain about on that end. To have that much possession and so few chances to score is merely another one of those deja vu moments that define what we’ve become. AM were clearly the better team. Good luck to them.
And we’re about to draw a line under al that.
Playing out the string and looking forward to see who the new boss will be. Exciting times.
GIE, your point resonates, and it probably means we needed an Ollie option in the box. With them sitting deep when we attacked it would have made sense, but then I look at the quality of our balls from the flanks, not just tonight but over recent seasons, and I feel we still wouldn’t have necessarily played to those strengths well enough.
There have been so many examples of us falling short even with an aerial threat in the box. We also don’t seem to have developed the right set-up for our new quicker strikers, and seem to be a bit stuck between everything.
Actually over the 2 legs I felt we were equal, or possibly even better, than AM but those fine margins and attention to detail again proved our undoing.
In truth FGG’s 10.03 seems to accurately describe where we are. It is not purely about one thing. We are probably 10% inferior in a few areas, and FGG’s description regarding know how, intelligence, and naivety in most areas of the pitch is likely the most telling.
I am a bit upset but at the same time relatively calm about not being in the ECL next year again. I have personally felt the evidence suggested we were sliding towards this point for the last few years anyway, and it may give the new man a little more breathing space to not worry about the ECL next year and having to play a certain way just to be at least competitive and not get battered by top teams while we are in transition.
It may allow whoever it is a little more time and latitude to implement the changes in style and mentality required without the pressure of trying not to be on the end of embarrassing score lines. A new man more often needs at least 1 year to make the changes (Guardiola), and sometimes 2 (Klopp).
Our priority is to firstly give the great man a big send off on Sunday, and to then cheer the team on so that we can enter next year with a positive vibe between the fans and players for the new man to inherit.
1. When does the World Cup start, and
2. For good behaviour in the face of adversity, can we relax the site smut rules
I’m not sure how close we actually were to beating or matching AM. They played with 10 men for nearly half of the tie. Their style and defence means they will often win games by one goal, and I imagine lots of teams come away from playing them and think ‘we nearly had them’ but in truth many of them were miles away from getting a result. I imagine it was exactly the same with George Grahams old sides and the ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’.
Our failing was definitely in the first leg.
Micky. 2.Peaches is not onsite and her mother hardly ever pops in, so ….
Morning all, maybe this is all part of coming to terms with where we are now so we can move forward to a new and different direction. Arsene was genuine and honest in his comments after the game and even mentioned bringing in ‘the right players’ in the summer. I think his relationship and loyalty to some players may have been stronger than his objectivity … and he is already able to see things more clearly as he steps back.
I’m doing something to put up as a post.
Should be up soon.
I am sad for the team and for Wenger, they deserved to win.
And I am furious that a team like Atletico can actually win the trophy, fucking Spanish orcs, antifootball at its worse. I was furious watching them and their ugly animated manager. I hope they will get proper treatment from Marseille
Hurtd this mrning. I genuinely thought we would win.
As to the Giroud option – if the crosses are as inaccurate as last night not even Michael Jordan would have scored.
Eddie. I love your comments. They light up my day 😀
raddy – but do you agree?
I really think we were the better team
a complete collapse in UKIP local elections. Did the dirty work and fecked off back under a stone
You’re right, Atletico are tedious to watch.
I was surprised the commentators kept saying how well we were playing as I thought it was a bit limp.
Agree with FGG that we lost the tie in the first leg when we should have been 3 or 4 to the good.
Shall I hold back with a post as it seems to stop people commenting – unless, of course, you can all just carry on but on a new post? 🙂
Ok, that’s scared everyone off.
I’ll put it up, but please carry on with the morning chat.
That was a wasted comment 😀
Sad, but fair, onwards and upwards.