Arsenal -Out of Tune in Europe.

Howdy, I hope you are well. It’s that kind of morning isn’t it? When you quietly walk into the office or school and expect to be invisible especially after trolling United and City fans all through the previous day. My advise, put your chin up and take it like a man or woman!

What else can one do really? Personally, European defeats no longer hurt as much for me as honestly my expectation from the competition is very low. Bar the Champions League final in 2006, we have never really come close to winning it coupled with the fact that we have crashed out at the first hurdle in the competition when it really does become interesting. However, when Arsenal travels to play a Croatian team, the natural expectation is that we should win. I heard the commentator say the combined worth of the team we were up against was less than what we signed Mesut Ozil for.

According to Transfer Markt.com the most expensive players in the current Dinamo squad cost around 5million Euros and total squad valuation is 48.25m euros. Football might be 11v11 but we one would expect that the combined quality that Arsenal took to Zagreb should have been more than enough to do the job despite Zagreb’s excellent home record.

While everyone is a better coach with hindsight, when I saw the starting eleven for the game I felt it was good enough to win the game. Most of the comments I saw after the game hinged on the manager disrespecting the competition by not picking his best possible 11, but I feel he was well within his rights to rotate his team considering the opposition he was about to face, Chelsea on Saturday and Spurs next week. We are all aware of how Arsenal have suffered away to top clubs immediately after European encounters. The defeat to Liverpool and Man City come to mind and this might have played on the manager’s mind when he was selecting his team. In the end, none of the players given a starting berth proved why they should be trusted with that opportunity again. In generality, everyone was poor, bar Theo for his goal and SHAD FORSYTHE for his reaction to Theo Walcott’s goal. If you didn’t catch that, look for it. It’s not every time you see a Physio actively trying to gear up the team.  In some other clubs physios are relegated for even answering a referee’s call to attend to a player.

Olivier Giroud

It’s almost like Giroud wakes up in the morning and asks himself how am I going to make this day harder for the Arsenal fans that support me? For a really big beautiful guy, he seems like one whose game is extremely affected by emotions and what people say. In some way, you feel Arsenal fans throw a lot of vitrol his way due to Wenger’s decision not to sign a striker. Whilst this is unfair, it behooves on Giroud to prove his doubters wrong and his see-saw performances for club and country is currently doing him no good. I feel the decision to send him off was unfair, the first for dissent and the other for a tackle he couldn’t have done anything to prevent.  As is, I feel Theo is more deserving of the start upfront and should be there against Chelsea on Saturday. That being said, Giroud does have a good scoring record coming off the bench.

Oxlade Chamberlain

One minute it’s “The Year of the OX” next minute you want to “KILL THE OX”.  With his performances at the tail end of last season and during pre-season, Ox seemed to have locked down the starting position on the right side of midfield but his outing against Newcastle and yesterday gives the indication his best contribution might be from the bench. His biggest problem I feel is holding concentration for 90mins especially regarding his defensive responsibilities. Whilst it would be unfair to blame him for the goal yesterday, a culmination of several defensive errors that have led to goals means he is running out of excuses to defend his actions or inactions. The goal last season against Monaco at home, his giveaway for the West Ham strike at the season opener and now the own goal against Zagreb. The Ox is quickly cancelling out all his good with this growing bad.

Mikel Arteta

His effectiveness was clearly summed by the difference in class when Coquelin was introduced. Whilst Arteta is an awesome captain to have, his best roles now seem to his contribution off the pitch rather than on it. Injuries and the lengthy spell off the game would have contributed to his poor showing as reflected in the Squawka stats below and with Gabriel doing well in the squad, it seems the new Arsenal team is carrying its Captain and Vice-Captain.


As is, I feel the game away to Olympiakos would be the most important game for us now. 10 points from the home game against Zagreb, home and away against Olympiakos, a possibly a point against Bayern should still see us qualify but that is just being optimistic. Right now, we have no choice but to remain that way, Optimistic.

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