Skip to content

A few thoughts on the Montpellier 1-2 Arsenal Champions League match

September 19, 2012

Hi Gooners.

Champions League is back and hit our screens yesterday. One word comes to mind. HYPE!!!…

A working day passed with no hiccups and went quite quickly. Lunch at Jamies Barbecoa in Cheapside, so when I got home at 6pm, a light evening snack was on the cards, beans on toast. Then take my seat/bed for the footie…

Picture the scene, yours truly, feeling lazy, laid on the bed and watching the old 40” TV on the wall relaxed.

I’m not a great one for the pre-match expert discussions as I find most of it totally boring as they go over and over the same old, same old… Asking the same old tired questions about Arsenal. Stelling “Alan (Smith) what can Arsenal reasonable expect to get from this years competition?” Said in a  way where Stelling feels Arsenal have not a chance in hell and just wants Alan to confirm it.

I like the way Arsenal Wenger summed it up. “The Champions League is two competitions, first the league and then the cup starts”. So like Chelsea last season, if you get through to the cup stage and lady luck is with you, then anything is possible.

This is where I turned off and waited till 7.45 for the game to start. Montpellier’s first ever game in the Champions League. Whereas Arsenal were starting their 15th Season. United 17 & Real 16, beat Arsenal though in Arsenal’s case these have come in succession, and during Wenger’s time as manager

I saw this in an article –  the last season in which Arsenal did not compete in the Champions League was 1997-98, Gilles Grimandi was playing, Oxo-Chamberlain was four.

The home crowd were up for it and Arsene was well up in the stands sitting next to Mr.Gazidis. I thought it would be tough, all Champions League games to a degree are, more so the away ties. Arsenal hadn’t won in their previous eight away CL ties.

Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Gervinho, Cazorla (Coquelin 90), Podolski (Walcott 90), Giroud (Ramsey 76). Subs Not Used: Shea, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The ref  blows for kick off and quickly blows up again to book Diaby for a foul, might as well have just done it in the tunnel to save time. Ok maybe it was a booking, I’m thinking, Ok maybe he’ll be tough all round and have to say I thought the ref got better as the game went on.

Pretty much standard early CL affair with both teams jostling and taking a good look at each other…  Bellenda had the ball just inside the edge of the area and the Verminator though trying for the ball, takes a piece of Bellendha and the ref blows for a penalty, oh dear! only seven mins gone.  Bellenda steps, does a good RVP impression, gets it right, cheeky and chips it over the Mafia Boss for 1-0 to Montpellier.

Arsenal were now having to look to get back into he match quickly and started to look like they wanted to play. Some good passing ended up with Giroud placing a nice ball into Podolski in the area and the Lu Lu Pod takes his time and places the ball past Jourdren, to make it 1-1 and silence the home crowd. Not sure the commentary team were all that happy either.

Gervinho, Giroud, Jenkinson-Giroud-Jenkinson who puts in a lovely low cross and there is Gervinho to make it 2-1 to the Arsenal, two in two minutes, get in!!!! Arsenal were playing well, trying to pass the ball around. Podolski was a good game as was Jenkinson who looked dangerous down the right hand side. Arteta and Cazorla were doing their bit in midfield both attack and defence wise. Few chances came along but if we had gone in 3-1 up, you could not ague it would have been fair.

Arsenal see the game out till half time on top and with no real scares of losing the lead


I said to my Son at half time that as this was Montpellier’s first Champions League venture and being 1-2 down at home, they will come out firing the second half with nothing Toulouse. I was right, they did.

Arsenal looked jaded early in the second half, yet take nothing away from Montpellier who just came forward wave after wave playing some good football. Their only problem was they run out of ideas when they reached the 18 yard box. Something many of us Arsenal fans have witnessed from our own team over the last few years. Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, give the ball away. Montpellier had one chipped shot that hit the bar that the Mafia boss had covered, which was not going in no matter how Sky’s Comms tried to dress it up. One mis-timed tackle by the BFG where Mounier should have done better but just chipped the ball to Mannone in-goal. One of the best chances of the second half was for Cazorla who rasping shot was saved by the keeper.

I though the second half  consisted of a lot of decent football from Montpellier yet huff and puff. What real danger apart from these two efforts I mentioned? Sky would have you believe we were lucky, while City were unlucky. Not everything was perfect last night, but as I said Montpellier went for it and Arsenal tired a bit. We lacked  a bit of nouse upfront, didn’t create much. We gave the ball away to often in midfield, but when they came back at us, the defence stood firm. This was the “so called” other side of Arsenal that many Gooners have been crying out for.

I was not worried, no matter how much pressure Montpellier SEEMED to put on Arsenal, it was going nowhere. This Arsenal side looks to have more steel and did not collapse like they would have in previous two seasons. Sit back, turn off the sound, watch the game unfold.

In the past few season, I’ve seen fans up in arms at how we would collapse, but not this team, made of sterner stuff. They soaked up what Montpellier threw at them and kept them out to mainly shots from around the 18 yard box.. Arsenal finally running out 2-1 winners, a well deserved win and a good start to this years campaign.

At times I do wonder what some sections of our support actually want. Tony Adams was on Sky last night, had his view, which for me was based upon “Arsenal got by with more luck than judgement” good insight Tony. Now let me say right now, I think Big Tone is a total Arsenal Legend, and do not disagree with a lot he says, but just because he played 700 games and was a legend, doesn’t mean he is right. Yet while some will listen to a legend that had played 700 games, they will stick to another legend with almost 1000 games in charge and say “what does he know”.  I didn’t see Tony Adams pulling up any trees as a manager. Put Tony Adams in a room with Arsene Wenger and talk about how teams play and I’d listen to Arsene first all day long.

I’m sick of some of the rubbish some ex-footballers dressed up as so-called experts come out with. I’d listen to Gary Neville all day, he reminds me of Andy Gray when he first started for Sky, brilliant at his job, made it all interesting. Today most of the experts seem to be giving opinions for effect and good TV, the Talk-Sport good cop, bad cop ploy.

Football’s there to be enjoyed. Your not going to win every game and will lose some. Teams will have the front to come in your half. Teams will score against Arsenal, no matter how good the defence is. Players will make bad passes and miss sitters. I’m not sure some fans today can handle this…

Another 90 mins and just a penalty conceded. Three wins on the bounce, though for some sections of Arsenal’s support you could almost think we just lost those three games.  Have some fans forgotten how to enjoy victory? Or has it all come down to a couple of days set aside in May?

Cheers @harlowgooner

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jay permalink
    September 19, 2012 21:22

    Very well said, nice post!!!!!!!!!!

  2. weedonald permalink
    September 20, 2012 01:49

    Right on mate…………Some fans,too many in fact, won’t accept anything but perfection ALL the fookin’ time…….even Barca lose so the only perfection is their perfectly stupid whining!

Leave a Reply to jay Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Manager's Diary

An exceptional informative site, with top quality content on football and other contemporary issues

Poznan In My Pants

an Arsenal blog

Gro(o)ver's blog

Pour l'amour du foot, du beau jeu et d'Arsenal


Exposing the Arsenal's conundrums in Bahasa


The Truth About Football, WWE, NFL NBA and More...

Arsenal FANS Africa/The Gooners

"Arsenal we trust in!"

Football Sansar

Connecting the World of Football


musings of an eager sportswriter...

Joe Heywood - Online Writing Portfolio

Writings from an aspiring journalist, football fanatic and rock listener. Currently a Creative Writing Intern at SEO company Strategy Internet Marketing.

Café Futebol

Football stories and analysis from around the world

Gooner View

Arsenal Latest

The Boring Girl's blog

just some of the few hidden words


Arsenal Forever


For You.


"And it's Tony Adams put through by Steve Bould. WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?! That sums it all up!"

A Cultured Left Foot

The young man from Harlow's view on The Arsenal & Football


I came, I saw, I got annoyed


Just another site

%d bloggers like this: