The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Arsenal. Muck. Cack. Pants. Balderdash. Rubbish Performance.

Even Klopp was surprised at how pants Arsenal played…

Morning, folks.

It’s hard to know where to begin. I’ve had sufficient time to digest the horrors before my eyes last night, to make sense of the madness, yet I find myself coming back to the phrase that erupted from my lips when the final whistle blew:

F*ck off, Arsenal.

It was, in no uncertain terms, a woefully inept performance. I did consider singling out Mikel Arteta for some scathing criticism as I thought he was uncharted levels of sh*t-awful, but that wouldn’t be particularly fair as his was far from the only poor display. Collectively, we simply didn’t turn up and allowed a Dortmund side some distance from their strongest to waltz through our midfield and defence seemingly at their leisure.  Continue reading

Borussia Dortmund Predicted Starting XI, Thoughts and Stuff.

None of this nonsense tonight please.

Morning, folks.

I might be in the minority, but the Champions League has lost a little of it’s appeal in my eyes. As we head into what feels like an annual fixture with Borussia Dortmund, I’m not as excited as I feel I should be.

That’s mostly down to the fact the competition has long been set up to ensure the progress of all the big teams. Understandable, I guess, in terms of revenue, however, it removes that sense of romance and unpredictability.

Of course, my lack of enthusiasm is probably down to the manner in which Arsenal’s campaigns invariably pan out; start the group well, qualify, field weakened team in remaining group games, finish 2nd, play European giant in last 16, go out.

Tonight we travel to Germany with real defensive problems. Debuchy is out for somewhere in the region of 2 months (allegedly – no confirmation yet), Monreal hasn’t travelled due to a back issue and Chambers is doubtful with tonsillitis. Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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