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Arsenal Foudroyé

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I suppose I should have sensed the risk as I arrived far too early at the Ems for the game with the stadium empty but for the corner of Monaco fans hooting and hollering, decked out in white and red plastic sheets and evidently determined to enjoy their last 16 tie despite arriving as under-dogs.

I suppose I should have picked up the scent, despite a bright opening moment from Danny, we struggled to make any impression on the solid phalanx of Monegasque defenders with its midfield shield for the next 35 minutes. Our passing game not quite “right”, the ball when delivered a little to slow, a little behind, a little too high etc. You saw it, you know. Santi buzzed, Danny ran, Ozil tweaked but it never opened the defence. The keeper never had so much to scramble after the ball,  let alone a save to make.

Never mind I said to myself, they have come for the draw, their attacking efforts are sparse and delivered with little conviction. One man pushed up, two men at most. I understand, I forgive them, I can be generous. We will press and press and press, and a crack will appear. We had control, we had the players and the form. When our short passing clicked and they tired it would be our night.

And then on 38 minutes, out of nothing save for a creditably speculative shot and a lack of closing down, a slight but decisive deflection and the keeper distracted, the whole evening turned.

It did not turn in the sense that buoyed by their goal the visitors suddenly moved on to the front foot and delivered a display of scintillating football. No, Monaco played throughout the 90 minutes as they did from the first minute, organised and intelligent. Rather like their fans nothing spectacular, nothing we have not seen before.

Now after the goal went in like me I am sure you thought, “bugger” that was bad luck but with a few minutes to half time and a full second half to go plenty of time and quality on the field and on the bench to put that setback behind us, and set ourselves up for the second leg on a firm foundation. We have special players, a rabbit will be flourished.

What had changed, what had turned was our attitude to the game. From a patient approach, albeit one in which the gears were not quite meshing, we lost our composure. We lost, as Steww referred to yesterday, perhaps our Grace. I sensed that players were looking at one another saying “ what now” ? We took no confidence from the fact that to that point at 38 minutes we had controlled the ball and pressed the opposition.

Half time came and went, Olivier skied one over the bar just before the break, then another as the second half opened which I think marked another watershed in the game. The admirable core  that runs through  our game, of being willing and able to retain the ball, to pass accurately, to try to tease out an opening was replaced by an increasingly frantic and ever quickening assault on the Monaco goal.

Chances were created and absolutely spurned. A header from six yards out shot off at right angles to the goal. I have no idea how they looked on TV but from the Clock End the two rebounds off the keeper which looked entirely convertible but ended in both cases somewhere about 27 rows back in the lower tier were excruciating. I am not a man given to gesture but after the second I was out in the gangway on my knees. (Alright, I am a man given to gesture but it was so painful.)

And thereafter, for the next 43 minutes or so, calamity heaped upon misfortune. What we tried failed, players who normally are confident and creative looked bereft of ideas. Berby plunged a second dagger which turned a lack of composure to outright panic. Per and Kosc as twitchy as cats at the greyhound derby. Olivier departed, carried out on a metaphorical footballing stretcher.

And then, and then, and then the Ox dangled the lifeline of opportunity in the water, after 90 minutes of discomfort could it be an Anderlecht style revival could be open ? Even if not then to travel to Monaco at 2-1 down was a hill that could be conquered. Yes, Yes YES!

But no NO – not at all – not even that small worm of comfort on a night of frustration and ultimate disappointment. And on cue the Monaco fans kept up their racket to the final whistle and beyond. They may still be there. Good luck to them.

Two faint sparks of comfort to end on.

One, that Monaco players celebrated at the end in a way that showed they feel they have won the tie. The tie is not over.

Second, we travel with nothing to lose. We have done it before against Inter, we may do it again.

I suppose it is plain porridge this morning though.

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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86 comments on “Arsenal Foudroyé

  1. With regard to atmosphere I blame the price of a pint these days. Most fans who complain about the atmosphere do so from the comfort of their own homes. They could always turn down the sound on their TV and play this loudly instead.

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  2. Don’t you worry Limey – we shall do lunch one game !!

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  3. wait….didnt we also need just one goal to turn the a.c milan fiasco 4-0 / 3-0 ? and bayern with hoenckes crapping it at the end…. and people think were out? heh…

    we got this

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  4. and we will play shalke for last 8

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  5. I’ve been thinking,
    (stop laughing at the back, you lot).
    I agree with Hunter
    Arsenal can score 3 goals at Monaco.

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  6. ANicoll (:49am

    Bravo mate, let’s take the skinheads bowing!

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  7. *bowling.
    It’s a punk song, btw.

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  8. i believe these players have more desire to do good for wenger than the previous ungrateful bastards ( or maybe im too romantic ).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. in fact id say they fuck it up because they want to do well…they are keen to do good for arsenal, manager and fans ..they just get overexcited, overcommitted and naturally over-disappointed when things dotn work out quickly…it is a mental thing …they seem to sink individualy instead of regrouping…maybe per can do betetr in that department..last year he was a figure of calmness and silent leadership…this year not so much….

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  10. then on the other hand….there was a period where we had mastered the patient game and waitng..waiting ..waiting and BANG! … when we beat villareal with adebayor’s chest control side bicycle kick after epic cesc pass..

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  11. “in fact id say they fuck it up because they want to do well…”

    Now you’ve got it c13. This has always been my opinion. Rather than not caring (what bullshit) they care so damn much that they try too hard.

    Maybe if they were more detached…perhaps it would be best if they all hated each other. Then they could scream and shout at their teammates for fucking up, blame every loss on each other. That’s proper emotion after a loss right there. None of this “we work hard for each other”, “we’re all disappointed” crap. And no smiling in training the next day either. No supporter wants to see that.

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  12. absolutely…diddnt little ox want to do well? of course he did ..he scored even…and then he forgot the ball and fell over..heh… why? cause he was keen to get to the other end and score again…thats my take.

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  13. Anicoll, Pie at Piebury Corner. We win at Monaco, I pay. We finish 0-2, I lose my appetite!

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  14. We win 0-3 at Monaco, I pay. (of course!)

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  15. then again, alabama lets recognise that when things go wrong in the match…someone has got to get them to pull it together… .. will that be wenger? 65 years old from the bench? will it be bould? will it be per? will it be flamini ( hahaha) i dont know..but they need to find him. and yes some times it will be uncivil..its sports..high tempo,, hearts and veins pumping..its natural for teammates to sort things out by ‘fighting’ ..i hope you understand what i mean by fighting here.. i dont mean the malicious and disruprtive that leaves grudges but the productive ( come on you arseholes we are getting pasted here..wake the fuck up)…. example: many people make fun of flamini pointing and yelling …i also laugh at him a bit when he backpeddles and never attacks the ball and just guards the player waiting for someone else to come tackle him BUT he is a war horse and a bit of a personality that you can rely on to get nasty with opposition when needed and also to alert his teammates when the focus is getting lost.

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  16. Hunter that’d be Arteta you are thinking of. The Leader who helped this squad get third (!), fourth and then the new lucre started to roll in and thanks to his leadership the club were able to bring in
    Ozil and Sanchez.

    The gaffer’s eyes and ears on the pitch and pat rice’s gob too hehe

    For me a fit and settled Mikel doesn’t make that error at 0-1 in the Utd game. Of course he’s not getting any younger and perhaps next season he’ll take over Flamini’s squad roll (is the flame is on a three year deal? We’ll find out over the summer what the plan is…) but he’s been missed!

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  17. very true fins but he is 3 months out i think and i have also missed ramsey

    arteta ramsey song …got 4th …

    and the following year arteta and ramsey and rosicky nearly turned the bayern tie.

    ramsey coqlin cazorla…schooled city ..with santi playing ahead of them unlike with monaco were he played next to francis

    coqlin cazorla ozil….too porous and lightweight imo and inexperienced for the roles and duties in those areas of the pitch.

    for me its no coincidence that the 3/4 above succesful combos include ramsey’s energy

    Liked by 1 person

  18. James Olley @JamesOlley · 3h 3 hours ago
    #afc announce pre-tax profits of £11.1million despite confirming a record transfer spend (£93.7m) during 2014.

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  19. Yep, c13, you’re right about that. I was exaggerating there, and you of course want the players to call each other out when necessary, and I think they usually do that. I’m still not sure what happened on Wed. I do think Fins is right about Arteta. He’s always the calming influence. Someone else needs to learn that skill. I happen to think Aaron has the potential to be that person. But, he is guilty of youthful over exuberance at times now, too. Give it a few more years, and I think he can do it.

    And, no, it’s not a coincidence that Aaron is part of every successful midfield grouping you mentioned. Seems the manager sees that as well, given he starts whenever he’s fit…and even when he’s not.

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  20. “Crucially, this investment remains at a level which is consistent with our principle of affordability and which is financially sustainable in accordance with the applicable regulatory regimes.

    * OUR PRINCIPLE OF AFFORDABILITY*

    ……..i thought it was evil wenger keeping the money to build a swimming pool…

    oh its club policy… and company policy comes from owners/shareholders ….. wow look at that hey..

    so the fan who demands that vengah spends the money is like me ordering pizza at burger king…all clear now

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Chelsea say they have a new shirt sponsor worth up to £40m a year from Yokahama Tyres.

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  22. Dont be surprised when Yokahama Tyres turns out to be owned by an oil Billionaire !

    Liked by 1 person

  23. for those at highbury on this particular evening this is a great read http://thearsenalhistory.com/?p=9902#respond and brings back some great memories

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  24. It’s true.
    When Rambo’s hammy twinged I started to headbut the nearest wall forget about the hoardings.

    We saw enough of Kondy in pre-season to know that he was no Fernando.

    We saw them both in pre-season (I think – the super cup.)

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  25. so tight wad Wenger has overseen a transfer spend of over £100M this season,

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  26. I was reading a blog by the sporting tipster, Ian Carnaby, and he had this to say: “I may be in a minority of one but I wouldn’t rule out Arsenal in the second leg of their Champions League tie against Monaco, despite the 3-1 deficit. Olivier Giroud was guilty of some dreadful misses and I also thought the Gunners keeper should have stopped Monaco’s third in the dying seconds. On the subject of keepers, Monaco have a problem in that respect and Arsenal would do well to play a few high balls in under the bar. Of course, they are long shots with the opposition having three away goals but Arsenal are the better team and an early goal could make for quite a story.”
    If Carnaby is half as astute about footballers as he is about six furlong sprint handicappers we may indeed be in for some fun!

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  27. Robin could be out for the rest of the season, such a shame, such a darn shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Alas I have to work and can’t go to the everton game.

    But on reflection I was at the City home game, Utd, Monaco but not Dortmund. I can spot a trend there. It’s all my fault. Arse.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Bielik made his Arsenal debut today in the U18’s v Norwich U18’s

    Huddart
    Moore
    Chatzitheodoridis
    Donovan
    Smith
    Bola
    Eyoma
    Bielik
    da Silva
    C Willock
    Robinson

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  30. Arsenal’s U18’s lost 3-1 at home to Norwich this morning, Arsenal remain second from bottom just above Norwich. Schoolboy Da Silva scored Arsenal’s goal today

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  31. Really says it all when The chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association is getting stick on the web for calling for our fans to support the players.

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  32. if Arsenal beat Everton tomorrow it will be a good weekend, Southampton lost, at least one of Liverpool or Man City have to drop points, and one of tottnum or chelsea have to lose a final too, so as long as Arsenal win it will mean a good round of results

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  33. NB, why so negative?

    Agreed a certain player’s Goal Probability Added is Zero, after his last performance, on display.

    Chances were created, but not converted. IF, no chances were created, then I too, would wonder!

    NB, do not be a jock strap.

    COTG, who he dares, WINS!!!

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  34. Ed, I’ve seen da Silva at hale end and he was always one that stood out. Although Chris Willock is the star I’m hoping da Silva goes a long way

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  35. the youth teams are on a bit of a bad run, having so many defenders all out injured at the same time, combined with the better players being promoted to the U21 side has seen us field very young teams, its always good to see young players play a level up, but confidence of the team must be affected by so many defeats.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Fins, By that logic, I should be going! I’ve attended Galatasaray, Dortmund, Southampton, Newcastle, Hull, Brighton. 6 straight wins.

    Actually, the club should just take me up to OT and give me tickets to Liverpool and Chelsea at home!

    Liked by 2 people

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