Tag Archives: Champions League

Ozil Out Of NLD, Arsenal Exit Champions League And The Players Rated.

The scene was set (Photo borrowed from @LittleDutchVA)

Morning, folks.

A brave defeat (over two legs). A triumphant exit. A magnificent failure. Those are some of the terms I’m sure people will use to describe Arsenal’s performance and, alas, departure from the Champions League. There can be absolutely no shame attached to falling out of the competition (again) at the knock-out stages against Europe’s elite, but I can’t help but ponder the “what ifs” in retrospect. What if Mesut had buried that penalty. What if we had 11 v 11 for the entirety of both games.

Truthfully, last night was nothing more than a formality. We gave it our best shot, but faced with unsurmountable odds we succumbed to the inevitable. Bayern controlled the game for long periods, as you would expect, but on occasion we ruffled a few feathers and, albeit very briefly, threw the odd cat amongst their pigeons.

Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

Bayern Munich: Champions League – Thoughts And Predicted Starting XI

More of this, please!

Morning, folks.

Right, you’re in for the a horrendously short preview today as I’m currently suffering with an upset stomach – nothing to do with nerves – and I have little or no inclination to write, other than for the sake of you wonderful people who read everyday, of course.

It’s a big ask tonight. Trailing 2-0 down and headed to the home of, arguably, the finest Club side strutting their stuff in Europe at present.  We have little or nothing to lose. Trawling through the majority of the best sports betting sites, it’s very clear that the opinion amongst media and fans alike is that Arsenal stand little or no chance of progression.

The team news is mixed. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Match previews

Arsenal Have Won Absolutely NOTHING Yet….

Relax. Have a yoghurt.

Morning. folks.

Sounds like a morose title. It isn’t. Think of it more as me adopting an air of caution to what I write. It is excellent that Wigan defied expectation to knock Man City out of the FA Cup and, undoubtedly, the competition is a genuinely fantastic opportunity to bag some silverware. However, that great chance at glory is going to bring with it tremendous pressure.

We all know how much the media love to build up the chances of an underdog. Coupled with how much they appear to revel in Arsenal’s failure, we can expect tension and such to be ramped up several notches in the weeks leading up to the game – think; dials being turned to ’11′. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Arsenal

Ozil Blunders, Sanogo Starts, Szczesny Sees Red and Arsenal Fall to Defeat.

The REDactionAFC card display – Image taken by @KieranCPhotoAFC.

Morning, folks.

Last night was a game of “what if?”.

What if Mesut Ozil scored the penalty? What even the referee had used a little lenience and shown Szczesny yellow instead of red? What if we’d been able to compete with Bayern Munich with an equal amount of players? What if Arjen Robben wasn’t such a monumental disgrace of a footballer?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to excuse our loss and claim that any of the above would have made a difference. I’d have simply preferred to see the manner in which the game played out if the aforementioned didn’t occur. Bayern were very worthy winners over 90 minutes. They have a team of exceptional players and looked very impressive in possession of the ball. You couldn’t help but be impressed – aside from Robben that is, who writhed around and irritated as he always does, and even appeared to spit on Bacary Sagna at one point. Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

Champions League: Bayern Munich (h) Team News and Predicted Starting XI

One of Jack Wilshere’s less-than-fortunate facial expressions…

Morning, folks.

They don’t come much bigger than this. When we played our German friends last year, I didn’t expect anything other than a swift exit. Our form at the time was pretty abysmal and we ended up getting a bit of a trouncing on our own turf. This year there’s that relentless spark of hope and expectation brewing inside me. Arsenal are a better team this time around and a more cohesive one.

I believe we can get a result.

It certainly isn’t an easy proposition. We face daunting opponents filled to capacity with pace, guile and strength. The diminutive Barcelona side we faced in previous competitions always looked susceptible to an intense pressuring game, Bayern do not.  Their midfield is brutally effective. Looking across their potential line-up, even with its notable absentees, finding a weakness or point of attack isn’t particularly easy. Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Match previews

Napoli vs Arsenal: team news and predicted starting XI

Olivier loved nothing more than to dislocate the jaws of the unsuspecting.

Morning, folks.

Before I get into talking about the match, I feel compelled to point you all in the direction of the latest Goonersphere Podcast. Joining Daniel and I were newcomer @LewBob91 and the chatterbox that is @LittleWillAFC and it turned out to be a great show. Okay… It gets a little weird halfway through, and it’s kinda my fault, but I strongly recommend you take a moment to listen.

We ought qualify today. Barring something stupendously bloody awful happening, we’ll be through one way or the other. That, dear friends, worries me slightly. I’m going to keep this preview as short as possible as I’m tired beyond comprehension and I’d like to go to bed. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Arsenal

Ozil, Ramsey, Giroud, Wilshere and Champions League qualification in our own hands.

Great performance from Jack with 2 goals.

Morning, you delicious bunch of so-and-sos, you.

It was a fairly enjoyable game last night. I say “fairly” because – I’ll be honest here – I expected a little more. Now, hold your tounges for a moment, folks. I’m not wishing to be ungrateful or disparage the team in any way. My sentiment is simple; Marseille were there for the taking and we could have battered them if the mood took us.

I’m not going to write an in-depth review of all the game’s key moments as I’ve actually, for once, already done one. Yesterday’s report on Arseblog News was penned by yours truly. Instead I’m going to focus my efforts on discussing a few individual performances. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Arsenal

A tale of the ‘big guns’… Lewandowski, The Flame and reasons to be cheerful

Arsenal 1-2 Dortmund: Football is one of those games…

Morning folks.

I’ve just finished watching the game. It’s actually 10.00pm of last night. As my already weary bones must surface at an ungodly hour tomorrow (today) I’ve decided that the sensible thing to do is write before bed time.

We lost. Sometimes these things happen. We are not an infallible unit of footballing cyborgs programmed to perform at levels higher than mere mortals, unfortunately. We lost a game we deserved something from against a very good team. They hit us with a sucker punch on the counter attack at the perfect time to demoralise. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

Boggle-eyes, The Flame, Handsome Bast**d and the Goonersphere Podcast

Arsenal 2-0 Napoli: Ozil celebrates, Flamini searches for someone to murder.

Morning, all.

I hope today finds you in good health. I’m buoyant. There a few things in life as capable of putting a bounce in my step as seeing Arsenal perform brilliantly. Well… there are actually quite a few things, but none of those are particularly the kind of thing I should be broadcasting to the world. Yes , Scarlet Johannson –  I am talking about our recent romantic liaison at the Holiday Inn.

Watching last night’s performance was a joy from start to finish. Our Italian guests are an excellent side filled to the brim with some very capable players – Marek Hamsik – minus his ridiculous hair – is a player I rate extremely highly. From the first minute to the last, Arsenal made them look like a very ordinary side. In what was widely branded as our “toughest test to date” we came through with flying colours. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

3-0 to the Arsenal. Benzema and Di Maria on the way…

Fenerbahce 0-3 Arsenal: Yikes…

Morning, folks.

Ahhh, that’s better.

Feels good to have a little bit of triumph to distract from all the bickering and negativity. As much as I’m prone to agree with much of what’s been said since Saturday, all that dismay and fury was beginning to grate on my nerves. One result certainly doesn’t go far to fixing the glaring problems regarding Arsenal’s squad, but the assurances a 3-0 victory away from home gives to our qualification certainly helps things seems momentarily brighter.

The boys looked good last night. Make no mistake, Fenerbahce is an intimidating place to visit. Even with such a hostile atmosphere, we rarely looked anything other than in control, and fully deserved to take a very impressive lead into the return leg at the Emirates.

Our midfield especially caught the eye. Aaron Ramsey is starting to grow into his role in the team, and whilst his distribution could occasionally benefit from a little haste, his overall play is vastly improved. Once wrongly maligned by many, it really pleases me to see him showing what he’s made of. I’ve said so before, I’ll say so again; he has all the potential to be a huge player for Arsenal in years to come.

Koscielny’s injury was the one downside. I’m sure Pierre Webo didn’t mean to injure anyone whilst flaying his legs around above his head, but the look on his face in the picture above makes him appear psychotic. I’ve seen players take the red card walk of shame for a lot less. Hopefully, Laurent will only have a bit of a headache whilst he sits out his domestic suspension, and nothing more.

Now that our Champions League qualification appears a formality (take nothing for granted, folks) the world an its dog has started to go into transfer rumour overdrive. Miraculously, we’ve somehow managed to begin negotiations with Real Madrid for not one, but two of their more high profile players.

Interesting.

Had that been a tweet from that IndyKaila cretin, I’d pay it no attention whatsoever, and give serious thought to FedEx-ing an enormous amount of cat faeces to his home address.  Perhaps it’s nostalgia, perhaps it’s a little patriotism shining through, but I tend to take the BBC and it’s associates seriously.

However, neither of those two players fills me with excitement. Benzema I don’t really rate as a centre forward. Di Maria, on the other hand, I do believe is a fantastic footballer, but find myself dubious of his ability to fit into our set-up. Arsenal don’t tend to play with out-and-out wingers.

That said, what the bloody hell do I know? It’s probably not very likely to occur, but it’s nice to see the wheels appears to – FINALLY – be in motion. It’s been stated on many occasions that they key to recruitment was qualification for the Champions League. Barring a capitulation of near biblical proportions, we’ll be in the draw for the group stages.

Now is the time for Arsenal to really press on and do some business. We’ve been let down this far. We’ve had every right to air our grievances. Last night saw a very good performance and result against a tricky opponent. Things, for the time being, are looking up. Hopefully, now that I predict some serious movement in the market, I might actually be right.

Don’t let us down, Arsenal.

That’s all for today, folks. The comments are primed and ready for the evacuation of your thoughts. Wh impressed you the most last night? Are you confident of players heading our way now? Let me know.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

10 Comments

Filed under Match reviews