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A few thoughts on the Monaco Champions League match

February 27, 2015

Sometimes it’s just as well to give it a few days before airing a view after an Arsenal performance, especially a defeat.

Though not helping or making me feel any better about Arsenal’s result, as it stands Chelsea are 1-1 with PSG. Liverpool and Tottenham have both been knocked out of the Europa League (as were Celtic), Everton got through hardly playing the best of opponents and Manchester City are having to got to Barcelona 2-1 down from the first leg.

So much for the Premier League! If you want the hustle and bustle excitement in and around the box, players who will bust a gut, good old-fashioned get-in-yer-face stuff the Premier League is what your man. It most certainly is not the best league for quality football.

What can add about last night’s abject performance?

Well I thought the team Arsene Wenger picked for the match was a good one, the bench also looked good. No issue there then. I also doubt anyone was expecting what lay ahead against Monaco, maybe some other top sides, but not Monaco.

I also thought Arsenal started well enough and looked to be playing on the front foot, going for Monaco, showing intent with two attacking full backs. Welbeck spun his man early on and fired over. Cazorla went through the Monaco defence with ease and then for some reason crosses a low the ball across the area. Why not shoot? Welbeck had two on him? Tight angle yes, but Cazorla still could have a shot instead of looking for the pass.

Then after about ten minutes for some strange reason which affects Arsenal quite a bit, Arsenal simply stopped playing. The game went to sleep, in fact it became a bit of bore fest. Arsenal’s passing game went to pot as the players couldn’t pass wind. Quite a few passes that did reach their team mates were mis-controlled. I just don’t understand why Arsenal just don’t bloody shoot sometimes?

Cazorla then had a mazy run into the area, but instead of pulling the trigger, he got tackled for taking too long. When Monaco came forward as soon as they got the chance they had a shot, Moutinho shot, OK! It’s wide but he shot. Then Mountinho shot again when the chance arose. Then another chance to shoot and Kondogbia takes it from long-range, the ball hits Mertesacker, took a deflection, wrong foots Ospina and it’s 1-0 Monaco – simple. You don’t buy a ticket, you’re not going to win the f***ing raffle.

Monaco were looking good and in control of a game Arsenal had handed to them on a plate. This passing game Arsenal play looks great when it’s working, but when it’s not the players do not have a clue how to deal with the game and change things around. Arsene just sits in his seat looking nonplussed at his players and waiting for them to work it out for themselves, instead of getting off his seat and screaming instructions at them, which as far as I am concerned the players obviously need. Mind you I’m often told this is not how Arsene works. Right!!

Watching a game where Monaco were defending very well, Arsenal were simply passing the ball around from side to side, front to back until they either give the ball away as soon as they reach the twenty yard line with a poor pass, or the Monaco defenders taking the ball from Arsenal like candy from a baby can be very, very frustrating.

The second half started well enough, Sanchez to Giroud but he gets it wrong putting the ball wide of the near post. Then Giroud followed this with a serious of other chances he failed to take. In between. Sanchez lost the ball on the edge of the Monaco area, they broke, Mertesacker was not sure to go with his man or go for the ball, chose the latter gets it all wrong and Marital with acres of space, to Berbatov and 2-0 Monaco. Sucker punch seen so many times against us.

Sanchez had a shot which the keeper could only parry straight to Giroud, I am up off the seat, 2-1, but no! Giroud puts the ball over the bar. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Walcott is then through, keeper saves, again I’m up and yet again as Welbeck hit the loose ball, and instead of ending up in the back of the net, Welbeck hits Theo on the floor and the ball goes over the bar. It’s comedy gold right now. Oxo came on and put a lovely ball through to Theo who doesn’t put his foot in, bottles it. Finally someone wants to shoot from the edge of the area, not two yards out. Oxo with a peach of a shot 1-2 we’re back in it. Wait!!!

Oxo lost the ball seventy yards form goals – Silva to Ferreira-Carrasco who runs  along way down the right hand side of the pitch towards goal and a smart finish and it’s 3-1 Monaco. OK Oxo lost the ball, but come on, where were the defence when a player runs seventy yards to stick the ball into the net. The only shooting Arsenal do, is shoot themselves in the foot. Comical play from Arsenal.

For a period, both before and after the Manchester City match at the Ethiad Arsenal started to play different style. More solid and mixing things up. More crosses, more shots, more focus on defending and a bit less of the passing overkill. Then suddenly here we are now, back to the passing overkill.

Overall another complete mess up of a last sixteen tie at the Emirates. No fight or passion showed yet again. The players looked lost at times, only Coquelin for me had a decent game, got his tackles in, couldn’t do everything but tried and looked like he gave a toss. Made some lovely cross-field passes and got booked. The rest simply let everyone down including themselves.

OK! we’re 3-1 down and the smarts is pretty much Monaco progressing to the last eight. Chelsea looking the best bet to continue England’s representation in Europe this season yet while there is still life in the and ninety minutes left, who knows? This is football and strange things happen.

Cheers

@harlowgooner

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