A Valiant Effort…

Winning 2-0 in Munich against a very good Bayern Munich side is no mean feat.

In fact, I have to say, I didn’t expect us to beat Bayern. I didn’t expect us to get anywhere near them. When I heard that we’d dropped Szcznesy completely, relegated Vermaelen to the bench and that there was no Podolski or Diaby in the squad, I feared for the worst. But the team did something great. They did what they should have done in the first leg and defended valiantly against a very good Bayern side.

As far as stats go, the home team had the possession, the shots and were more dangerous – but hats off to the back five who played their hats off – Fabianski’s best game by far, without a shadow of a doubt, pulling off great save after great save. Koscielny gave his all and Jenkinson and Gibbs showed why they are the future of the Arsenal.

The game ended 2-0 with an early goal from Giroud who looked so much better than he did in the first leg. If he could play like that every game, then we’d be slightly higher up the league than we are now and probably still in the Champions League. It’s great that we won and I believe it will be very good for us moving forward for the rest of the season. But why can’t we play like that all the time – well, the stats don’t lie, we weren’t very good – but at least we fought with passion!

Our very own Super Totti was out there in Munch supporting the team…

totti

And he witnessed a great victory… a victory which ended the game at 3-3, meaning we go out of the Champions League on away goals.

The best thing we can take from this is the spirit and fight we had. If we can take an ounce of that into the weekend, when we play Swansea, and pick up the three points we desperately need in the league, we could close the gap on Sp*rs and Chelsea and revive our last possible chance of getting into the top four.

It was a bold move by Arsene to drop Szcznesy and I was very happy with his deputy – Fabianski showed that he can challenge Szcznesy and perhaps should be in the sticks against Swansea. Another interesting move to relieve the captain of his duties. Vemaelen hasn’t been the TV5 we all know and love, he’s been out of sorts and Koscielny stepped in and showed why he should in the team.

Yes, we’re out of the Champions League, but today was full of positives – so let’s focus on them – and get behind the team – this weekend’s game against Swansea is our biggest of the season. We need Champions League football next season. Simple as.

  • sevin

    The bottom line for Swansea, decide tomorrow or Friday. It was Gibbs’
    first game back, and see how much tonight has taken out of the others.
    If we can, keep that group together if we can

  • Hokage Babayemmie

    IF

  • @ASAPCon

    I thought we’d be on the end of a 4-0 hiding but credit to the team we played well. The best thing about sports is unpredictability and there weren’t many that gave us a chance. AW has to tell the boys that on their day we CAN beat anyone. So now we HAVE TO SHOW IT!! The issue is the inconsistency – now watch us struggle on Saturday.

    Good to see Fab have a good game but realistically it won’t last, we’ll need a seasoned pro to really push Scezzers next season.

  • leam

    The only problem with us getting 4th place is that it gives Wenger the
    excuse to say how strong this proves we are. All summer we will then be
    linked with a number of players buy none and in August be told by the
    manager that it is difficult to buy better than we already have.

    When we do invest we pannick buy over spend on fees and wages and buy
    total rubbish. Santos, Gervinho and Park are three that come under this
    heading but there are others too many in recent years.

    What we need is a total clear out of the dross which infects the first
    team squad and to buy top top quality players not fat overweight
    Brazilian full backs.

    To do this we also need a new owner, ceo, board and manager.
    Also need new scouts because whoever thought that Santos was a
    professional footballer, Gervinho could play or Mertsacker could run
    needs help.

    We also need to review our academy which is showing signs of being in
    need of new direction. -

  • leam

    There does remain the view though that failing to qualify for an
    unwinnable tournament at the hands of the spuds carries longer term
    benefit for the Club? Many now subscribe to that view. Im not so sure.
    Its only the missing out at the hands of the spuds that bothers me
    though, not missing the tedium of the CL that’s gets worse each season as
    we scratch and fart about getting through groups, containing tiresome
    Clubs before collapsing and losing to the first real opposition we meet!

  • barry

    The most recently available figures show Arsenal spending about £144m a year on wages. A quick glance at Spurs (£91m) and Manchester United (£162m, some of which will be bonuses for winning the Premier League, as the figures are from 2011/12), and then a quick glance at the league table, tells you we’re not getting our money’s worth from our expenditure. Is this likely to change any time soon?

    For years I’ve heard people talking of the much-vaunted ‘clear-out’ – AFC getting rid of the deadwood in our playing squad and using the freed-up income to invest in quality and make us competitive. For years we’ve been getting further away from the top whilst our wage-bill has continued to spiral. This year will be no different. “But Arshavin, Squillaci and Denilson are out of contract and we’ll sell our other players that are out on loan this summer – we’ll have loads of extra money to spend on new players,” I hear you cry. Wrong for two reasons –

    (1) We will seriously struggle to offload our garbage. The reason that Chamakh, Djourou, Santos, Park and Bendtner are out on loan is not because they might have a future at the club – it’s because nobody else will pay them half as much as we do. Unless they take a considerable pay cut and the club will accept a marginal return on their investment (in transfer fee and wages) on these players, they won’t be going anywhere. Unfortunately, Silvestre and Squillaci are proof that even players who have had a career at the highest level will happily take the hand-outs that we are willing to give and still be welcomed with open arms at London Colney. Don’t be surprised if these players are all loaned out again next season because we couldn’t find a buyer.

    (2) The money has already been spent – during the course of the season, Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Chamberlain and Jenkinson have all signed new deals. I doubt anybody could contest us tying Wilshere down to a long-term deal and the Walcott issue is quite divisive, although many feel the new deal was justifiable. What worries me is that the other four have undoubtedly seen a significant pay increase far beyond what each of them could dream of earning at another club. Gibbs was having a good season but, after suffering yet another break-down, he has shown what a risk a lucrative long-term contract is. Chamberlain could yet be a great player for the next decade and Jenkinson is a genuine Gooner who has made great strides and will probably be first-choice next season after Sagna is sold, but was it necessary to give these players new deals only 12-18 months after signing on a long-term basis? Finally, Ramsey has just signed a fourth contract since joining the club – it would be difficult to justify three pay rises (inevitably) for any player in that space of time, but it is alarming given how out of sorts he has looked in the past two seasons. Rest assured that these new deals will have soaked up any saving we set to make by players being released.

    Our approach seems to be to pay young players handsomely in the hope they make the grade and give them regular pay raises, with the fall-back of loan deals if they don’t cut it. This is in complete contrast to Manchester United, for example, who will only offer younger players a lucrative deal if they have proved themselves for a sustained period in the first team. They have accepted that some of their more frustrated youngsters may have their heads turned by big offers from elsewhere but they have deemed this a price worth paying and it’s hard to argue given their success. It also allows them to offer players like Rooney and van Persie in excess of £200,000 a week (reportedly) – I’m sure Ferguson doesn’t enjoy paying footballers that much money, but it’s a necessary evil if you crave success.

    The policy is not working. It speaks volumes that we have loaned Denilson out for the last few years of his contract, essentially waiving a transfer fee and paying him to p*** off another group of fans. There’s no way anybody will pay any sort of remotely substantial fee for somebody like Park plus anywhere near the wages we’re paying. We’re stuck with these players until their contracts expire (or in his case until Kim Jong-Un loses the plot) and there’s nothing we can do except lie in the bed we’ve made.

    Will lessons be learned from the last few years? It doesn’t look like it. Although there are a few players who will be snatched away from the teet of the cash-cow that is Arsenal FC every year, there are tens more waiting in line for unwarranted pay increases to ensure that our wage-bill goes up and we go down. All the while we’ll be hearing from those who staunchly defend Wenger and the club that we will be getting rid of X, Y and Z in the summer and we will use the money to add quality to the squad. Don’t believe it – nothing will change whilst the current manager is in charge under the current board

  • yemi

    Obviously all is not same on this blog again. Debbd, dev, jat etc have y’all deserted?

  • 84

    Just remember a couple of things about Wenger and Gazebo. This is the story of when Arsenal became Arsene_al. When Wenger¿s ally and friend David Dein was ousted from the board by Danny Fiszman in 2007, the manager¿s powerbase significantly strengthened. Wenger only agreed to carry on as manager with the proviso that he had complete control of player recruitment and strategy at all levels. The board, desperate to retain the services of the club¿s greatest post-war manager, gave him the keys, the combination and the code to the safe. Arsenal became ¿Arsene-al¿. Arsene Wenger has the autonomy at Arsenal that managers can only dream of. The result was that there was no-one to take Wenger to one side to ask, for example, whether Manuel Almunia was truly deserving of his status as No.1, as Dein would have done. Incredibly, the Frenchman vetoed the appointment of former Vodafone chief Paul Donovan as the new chief executive in late 2008. Ivan Gazidis, then Major League Soccer¿s deputy commissioner, got the job instead. Wenger had sanctioned his own boss. So englandsbest when you keep rambling about Gazidis just remember how he got the job.