The Armchair Gooner

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

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

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

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