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‘Gunners yab, no be small’



When Arsenal connived to draw a match they were winning by three goals to a “small” team, the footballing world raised their voices and said Arsenal was almost the only team capable of such calamitous behaviour.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, Arsene Wenger was called a genius for plotting Arsenal’s second place finish, as it allowed us to face Monaco, a team less prestigious than his team. For the first time in 5 years, Arsenal were favourite to reach the quarter finals.

Monaco is the little team, who had just two years earlier, gone through a massive sale of top players, when the owner decided not to just throw money at the club. Many forget that Monaco topped their group, with a very impressive defensive record, conceding only one goal, despite scoring just four.

The same team that beat Arsenal in preseason to win the Emirates Cup! Guess we should have expected they won’t be easy. This was a team expected to come to the Emirates and hit the Arsenal on a quick counter attack. Exactly what they did. Two goals from excellent counter attacking moves at the perfect times, weakened and destroyed any game plan Arsenal had. Despite, an injury depleted squad.

A review of the match is actually not my aim here. I am looking to talk about Arsenal’s continuous failings in the Champions League, as there is little to explain the reason behind this. Many I have spoken to, believe today’s loss was a result of over confidence on the part of Arsene Wenger’s men, who just believed all they had to do was to turn and they would win the game.

The game started with Arsenal showing clear superiority, at least that’s what it seemed, until it became clear, that it was Monaco’s game plan to soak the pressure and hit hard. Arsene Wenger did not see a reason to play the “patient” game that had brought them success recently (since Coquelin got in the team).

It would be easy to say Arsenal players just did not turn up. Ozil was awful, so was Sanchez (who has been since he got his recent injury, no goal, no assist). To even give a description to Giroud’s performance would be an insult in itself, as the usually patient Wenger hauled him off when the team conceded a second goal.

I have no problem with Wenger’s team selection as I think I would have done the same in his position. The players just did not seem to turn up today. Incomplete passes, unsuccessful dribbles, unnecessary slips and a lack of a decision to go direct.

My concern comes from the constant failures in the Champions League. Is it just coincidence that it’s on such a night they failed to turn up? Is it just a coincidence that they lost to Milan by 4 goals in the 1st leg years ago or to Bayern by 2 goals the year after? Their performances in the second leg of both games show that if they mean business, they can get results.

I do not put it past Arsenal to go to Monaco and get the three unanswered goals they would require to go through, but why did they have to get themselves to such a position in the first place. For a team which has won 15 of its last 19 games, this is quite an anomaly.

Why did Chamberlain lose his hero status ( after scoring the one goal that was needed to have just one goal to make up in Monaco), to losing the ball without pressure that led to Monaco’s third and probable goal that takes them to the quarter final? The questions are plenty, if only we can get answers. Time will tell.

My player ratings

Ospina – 7

Bellerin – 6

Mertesacker – 5.5

Koscielny – 4.5

Gibs – 5

Cazorla – 5.5

Ozil – 3

Coquelin – 4.5

Welbeck – 5.5

Sanchez – 4

Giroud – need not mention


Walcott – 4

Chamberlain – 5

Rosicky – 4

– Seun Okegbemiro wrote in from Lagos

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  1. damizzle!!

    March 2, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    but ds arsenal too de loose match sha!!! CHELSEA FOR LIFE MEHNNN

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