Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

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Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Jay29 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:05 pm

That was bad. Hopeless. Diabolical. Abysmal. Horrible. Shocking. Sub-standard. Just plain shit. Whatever word you'd use to describe that performance, the fact is that Arsenal have shamed just about everybody they could shame with that disappointment.

That's the key emotion, for me. Disappointment. There's anger, of course, but when you examine the circumstances, the opportunity we had tonight, there's no way you can't feel let down by the team.

It was nothing new to us or anyone who has watched Arsenal for any period of time. They will always have games during the season where they're just plain awful against sides they should be beating comfortably. It usually happens on a Saturday afternoon, at home to a bottom dweller like Hull or Burnley or somebody like that, where the other team sets up with the most basic but effective defensive strategies and Arsenal toil away trying to find a way to beat it.

All the symptoms were there. A brief early offensive, followed by dozy sideways passing in front an organised defence. It was almost like we believed the pre-game reports that Monaco was just a pure defensive team with no attacking threat and thought it'd only be a matter of time before we broke through. Complacency has always been one of our biggest weaknesses. All Monaco needed was a bit of luck, which they got when Kondogbia's shot deflected in off Mertesacker past a statuesque Ospina, and all of a sudden we were in deep shit.

That goal shocked us more than it woke us up. There was still no tempo or rhythm to the passing. The combination play was non-existent. There was no pressing. We continued to play too narrow. The touch and pass in the final word was rubbish. Everything you could do to make a team with a defensive strategy comfortable, we did.

And that didn't change in the second half. In fact, it only got worse. Another short offensive spell was followed by a Monaco break away that Berbatov scored and not only was the game gone, but the tie as well. Giroud could have pulled one back sooner but he missed an open goal. Despite his recent good form, he was horrible tonight, having six shots, with at least three being presentable scoring chances, and not hitting the target once.

Walcott replaced him and showed that maybe should have started the game. He's not a player concerned about getting on the ball in midfield like everybody else in this Arsenal team seems to be. His first thought is to get in behind defences and score and twice his intelligent movement created two opportunities.

But the score remained 2-0 and the game just drifted away until the 90th minute, when Chamberlain curled one in from the edge of the box. Just when we started hoping we could salvage something from the game, we proceed to *bleep* up again by giving away several fouls in stoppage time, and then getting caught on the counter and conceding again.

I have to give Monaco their due. They were terrific. Almost Atletico-like in their performance. Subasic was commanding in goal, Abdennour didn't let anything past him, Kondogbia and Fabinho were imperious in midfield and Moutinho decisive when they broke. Solid at the back, and ruthless on the break. At this point, I really don't see how we're going to win 3-0 in France if they perform like that again.

Where does that leave us? In all likelihood, we'll probably win the second leg 2-0, miss a sitter or two at the end, and then go out on away goals. Or, even more likely, it'll be a scrappy 1-0 or goalless draw. The fact that I can't even conjure a scenario where we turn things around and progress into the quarter-finals is beyond disappointing.

I don't want to single any players out for poor performances, because nobody performed well. I'm sure people will jump all over Ozil since he's the resident scapegoat but even Cazorla, Alexis and Giroud were crap tonight.

Right now, I'm sort of wishing we did get Bayern again. At least that way a result like this would have been expected, and we would have shrugged our shoulders and move on. Tonight's result, though, against a very good but still beatable team, is going to take some getting over.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Eman on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:20 pm

Just plain awful. Every single player was terrible. Giroud missed a hattrick; Ospina gave up on the goals; Mertesacker was a positional nightmare; Ozil, Cazorla, Coquelin and the Ox (despite his goal) made terrible passes time and time again.

Everything needs to change for the away leg. Everything.

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by VendettaRed07 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:46 pm

This team really is the opposite of everything that is fun and admirable about sports right now.

We have an insanely expensive mediocre team. We no longer have the right to complain when we get trounced by other big clubs because "they spend so much more!!!". We have spent so much money over the past several windows and we suck. We've spent money very poorly and have been incredibly wasteful.

On top of that, We let our opponents out smart us. So even teams who don't have much money, or talent are difficult to beat. The gameplan to winning is easy to see and doesn't take much talent skill to execute effectively.

We don't hold our highly paid leaders accountable for their screw ups and constant poor form. We don't improve upon mistakes. We have no pride or sense of duty to show up and play our hearts out against our rivals. Our one specialty is scrapping out 2-0 wins against teams that have been promoted or relegated within the last decade or two. This is so frustrating that I don't care about Europe anymore. I don't care about titles. I want to scorch the earth with this team and start over. A new manager,  an entirely different system, focus on youth, build a core and add veterans to the mix. Whatever it takes, just start over. This season after season of "struggle, struggle, go on decent run, struggle, crash out of cups and Europe in embarrassing ways, finish fourth" needs to stop. I don't care if we finish mid table for a while, a complete rethinking of how we do things is necessary. We keep putting expensive bandaids on massive wounds that open and gush blood whenever were under any pressure. Maybe our typical CL spot would be better off left to a team like Soton or something. They have young guys and a system that would have gotten up for a game like this.

Ugh. W/e...

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by RealGunner on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:40 pm

No comment
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by El Gunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:56 am

@VendettaRed07 wrote:This team really is the opposite of everything that is fun and admirable about sports right now.

We have an insanely expensive mediocre team. We no longer have the right to complain when we get trounced by other big clubs because "they spend so much more!!!". We have spent so much money over the past several windows and we suck. We've spent money very poorly and have been incredibly wasteful.

On top of that, We let our opponents out smart us. So even teams who don't have much money, or talent are difficult to beat. The gameplan to winning is easy to see and doesn't take much talent skill to execute effectively.

We don't hold our highly paid leaders accountable for their screw ups and constant poor form. We don't improve upon mistakes. We have no pride or sense of duty to show up and play our hearts out against our rivals. Our one specialty is scrapping out 2-0 wins against teams that have been promoted or relegated within the last decade or two. This is so frustrating that I don't care about Europe anymore. I don't care about titles. I want to scorch the earth with this team and start over. A new manager,  an entirely different system, focus on youth, build a core and add veterans to the mix. Whatever it takes, just start over. This season after season of "struggle, struggle, go on decent run, struggle, crash out of cups and Europe in embarrassing ways, finish fourth" needs to stop. I don't care if we finish mid table for a while, a complete rethinking of how we do things is necessary. We keep putting expensive bandaids on massive wounds that open and gush blood whenever were under any pressure. Maybe our typical CL spot would be better off left to a team like Soton or something. They have young guys and a system that would have gotten up for a game like this.

Ugh. W/e...

Understand the sentiment.

But if we were to finish mid-table, I don't think the road to getting back to the top four will be made very easier, let alone back to the top.

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by silver on Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:32 am

After being 2-0 down I figured we would finally wake up, be more direct, take some risks and get some shots on target. But nope, just same tippy-tappy, everyone within 10m of each other, no movement, try-walk-the-ball-into-the-box, lose the ball and get countered.

I thought we finally moved past this shit, but nope, same pathetic game plan that fails 90% of the time against park the bus teams, but because it works that 10% we continue to persist with it...Wenger has to take accountability for our continually poor tactics.

Ozil was terrible and cannot play midfield. He does not have the work rate that is required for that role. I said this in the Crystal Palace game - he kills our shape with poor positional discipline.

Giroud...there are no words.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Peccadillo on Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:41 am

Pretty poor display. There goes our CL. It'll take a miracle in the 2nd leg.

Ozil should have been subbed after his poor first half.

Kondogbia was pretty impressive, not counting the fluke goal and his blunder to let the Ox through. Breaks up play amazingly well - very solid player to have protecting back four.

Might be one to consider in summer? Salary is only 600,000EUR apparently. M/Value 14mEUR.

In saying this we should have realised we werent going to get through them down the middle. We should have been more patient in our build up play and exploited the wings.


Last edited by Peccadillo on Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Jay29 on Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:41 am

I'm just waiting for the inevitable "we'll learn from our mistakes" comments from our players that come out every year after a Champions League screw up. Wenger's already described his players as "naive", as if we hadn't seen that before. :facepalm:

Funny thing is, I don't blame Wenger as much for this result as I do the players. I don't think he asked the team to play as slow as they did, and there's not an awful lot he can do when his defenders perform so poorly. His team selection wasn't even wrong; it was a team that had been winning lately and none of us had any complaints about it when it came out. The lack of tempo and passing rhythm I can't blame him for either.

I believe the players let him down big time. The centre backs didn't want to play the ball forward and kept playing sideways, which set the low tempo. Cazorla and Ozil had no where near the level of influence on the game that should be having as central hub of the team. Alexis was almost trying too hard when he got on the ball and he and Welbeck were impatient and kept coming narrow for the ball. And I doubt Wenger throws on Chamberlain with instructions to lose the ball near the halfway line.

Where I can fault him is his lack of reaction during the match. I say this with the benefit of hindsight, but perhaps after the first few signs that Monaco were threatening on the break he should have instructed a couple of players just to hang back a bit. If he saw any sign that were leaving ourselves vulnerable, he needed to correct that, even if he had to make a sub. If he can identify that his players were being "suicidal" he can surely fix that problem. No matter how much he trusts them to make their own decisions, sometimes they just can't make the right ones without some guidance.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Sri on Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:50 am

I see a very simple issue tbh. We're playing a 4-1-4-1 with no CMs. Neither Cazorla nor Özil are CMs. Cazorla had a peachy form in January - because he was playing next to Ramsey or even Rosicky, who have the workrate to cover for him and link between him and Coquelin.

I am not surprised that we have been awful by going for a four of Welbeck-Cazorla-Özil-Sanchez. Welbeck's workrate barely papers over that crack, we'd be much worse off if Walcott had been playing.

Any one of Rosicky, Oxlade, Ramsey, Wilshere or Arteta can address at least half that issue. The signs were already there when we were scraping nervy 2-1s in the last couple of weeks with Cazorla-Özil as CMs.

I am also not surprised that Coquelin's performances, as a consequence, haven't been as stellar as they were in January.

At the risk of sounding apologist, we really have been bent over and screwed pretty horribly by injuries this season. That is not an excuse in any way for what we enjoyed watching last evening, but I do recognize it as a mitigating circumstance.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Jay29 on Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:03 pm

I looked back on the goals. The first one isn't pretty:

Spoiler:


Monaco have passed the ball back to Subasic in goal and Giroud and Ozil pressed half-heartedly up the pitch. Seeing this, Alexis followed and actually gestured to the rest of the midfield to push up with them. They ddidn't, and Alexis got annoyed.



This is the result of that. Arsenal now have three players detached from the rest of the team. We don't know if the team were instructed to press and only three followed that, or if those three pressed when they weren't meant to. Either way, having created that situation, Alexis and Ozil needed to bust a gut to get back into shape. You can see Kondogbia lurking behind Cazorla, who hasn't realised he's there. Alexis, however, can see him, and should either be making Cazorla aware there's a man behind him or getting back in there himself. Equally, Ozil should be marking Fabinho, the deepest lying Monaco midfielder.



The ball is worked out wide and eventually played into the feet of Moutinho, who's found a nice pocket of space behind Coquelin and Cazorla. Coquelin is attracted to Berbatov, which opened up the passing channel. Cazorla identified Moutinho as the main threat and moved over. Kondogbia is still lurking behind him, knowing that the moment Cazorla moves towards Moutinho, he's going to have a lot of room to work with.

Alexis can see Kondogbia there, but still doesn't make an effort to get back and plug that gap. Fabinho, also, has been left untracked by Ozil and he has a lot of space to receive a pass as well.



Moutinho moves the ball along to Kondogbia and just look at all that space he has. Somebody (Alexis) needed to be where that circle is. If somebody is there, they can prevent Kondogbia from moving forward with the ball and force him to play sideways to a fullback or backwards. Instead, he moves into the space, takes a shot at goal and scores.

The second and third can be explained very easily:

Spoiler:


Seven Arsenal players in and around the Monaco penalty area, including both Arsenal full-backs. What happens when the attack breaks down?



Mertesacker, perhaps feeling he won't be able to match Martial's pace, decides to leave him to run free and attempt to win the ball before it gets that far. It doesn't work. The pass finds it way to Martial, and he and Berbatov have the freedom of Arsenal's half with only Koscielny to stop them.



Last minutes of the game. Chamberlain has lost the ball. Just count the number of Arsenal players in the Monaco half. More understandable because we were pushing for an equaliser, but needlessly gung-ho nonetheless.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by FRANTIC on Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:58 pm

Feel even worse today is was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning and immediately ruined my whole day.

Such a shocking performance. I would of preferred to play Barcelona last night a 1-3 home defeat would of been easier to swallow with them..

Can't see us scoring 3 goals out in Monaco really certain to say the tie is over and with the squad we have its not acceptable clearly Wenger is struggling to motivate his team.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by FRANTIC on Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:59 pm

I HATE FOOTBALL
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Raptorgunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:16 pm

We have gone through so many games like this that I dont even care anymore. Leicester City would have done better job than we did.

On Sunday expect the same results because we never learn from out mistakes. We have a blind manager who is leading bunch arrogant players who do what they want.

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Raptorgunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:17 pm

@FRANTIC wrote:I HATE FOOTBALL


I used to skip work and wake up early to watch Arsenal, now I dont even bother watching the highlights anymore.

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Sri on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:23 pm

You guys seriously need to start taking this lightly.. If I have learnt one thing in over a decade of supporting this club, it is to temper my expectations..

@Rapz - I told you pre-game to watch out, remember?
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Sri on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:25 pm

Also, Jay, you seriously deserve much respect for going through that again to look for the errors. It was bad enough having to watch that performance once.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Raptorgunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:31 pm

srigooner wrote:You guys seriously need to start taking this lightly.. If I have learnt one thing in over a decade of supporting this club, it is to temper my expectations..

@Rapz - I told you pre-game to watch out, remember?

You cant blame me for feeling confident about the game.Clubber Laughing

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Raptorgunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:35 pm

Wenger:
"We knew before the game they absorb you and get you on the break.
rofl

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Sri on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:39 pm

@Raptorgunner wrote:
srigooner wrote:You guys seriously need to start taking this lightly.. If I have learnt one thing in over a decade of supporting this club, it is to temper my expectations..

@Rapz - I told you pre-game to watch out, remember?

You cant blame me for feeling confident about the game.Clubber Laughing


........such a rookie error Laughing
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by The Franchise on Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:10 pm

I have said a million times and can only saw again, what plan do Arsenal have?

Its so annoying. Even more annoying is they have shown they are clearly capable of playing different ways, I have seen now Arsenal defend deep in a low block or press high.

For me, you have to press up high against a team like Monaco who want to keep a defensive shape. If you struggle to break them down with the ball, you have to win it off them when they are out of position (when they receive the ball at the back). They wont over commit numbers so its hard to counter, so win the ball high up the pitch...like Jay showed in the first goal, Alexis, Ozil and Giroud kinda press and the rest dont...

Whats worse than not pressing? Only pressing with a couple of players. Like it was shown, they get totally out of position and struggle to recover back, out of frustration from the team not helping them press or just fatigue of the press they failed in.

But yeah, again with Arsenal...I dont know what they are doing gameplan wise.

That all being said, its not all Wenger's fault in terms of tactics or line up. Before you even consider all that, you need attitude and desire...didnt see that in Arsenal at all. No way Arsenal's players play with that attitude vs elite teams..no way they play so casually and without fear.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Raptorgunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:58 pm


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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Raptorgunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:16 pm

@The Franchise wrote:I have said a million times and can only saw again, what plan do Arsenal have?

Its so annoying. Even more annoying is they have shown they are clearly capable of playing different ways, I have seen now Arsenal defend deep in a low block or press high.

For me, you have to press up high against a team like Monaco who want to keep a defensive shape. If you struggle to break them down with the ball, you have to win it off them when they are out of position (when they receive the ball at the back). They wont over commit numbers so its hard to counter, so win the ball high up the pitch...like Jay showed in the first goal, Alexis, Ozil and Giroud kinda press and the rest dont...

Whats worse than not pressing? Only pressing with a couple of players. Like it was shown, they get totally out of position and struggle to recover back, out of frustration from the team not helping them press or just fatigue of the press they failed in.

But yeah, again with Arsenal...I dont know what they are doing gameplan wise.

That all being said, its not all Wenger's fault in terms of tactics or line up. Before you even consider all that, you need attitude and desire...didnt see that in Arsenal at all. No way Arsenal's players play with that attitude vs elite teams..no way they play so casually and without fear.


We dont have a game plan, every player is out of position, and there is no cover.

The issue is not the players when the entire team plays like shit, the manager has to take responsibility. I was sick of all the sideways passing's, to me it looked like we were scared and no clue what to do. We have an unbalanced team and we make the same mistakes game after game.

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by MJ on Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:11 pm

We tried pressing and recovering the ball to prevent those deadly counter attacks which didn't work because of the insanely high amount of times our play would be unnecessarily disjointed by poor passing, anticipation and reading of each other. Some players just looked like they were putting in 60% for 50/50s when Monaco were clearly putting in a solid shift and capitalizing on the many errors we made.

A friend made the point that any time Gibbs and Bellerin play together we're left extremely vulnerable at the back as both press high up the pitch, overlapping wingers and that was on display last night. Shuddering as I recount the amount of times either Kos or worse, Per, was the only one at the back while the rest of the team were busy giving the ball away in Monaco's half.

3-1 is not a death sentence but going away to Monaco, it's absolutely stupidly bad and now they have to do nothing but sit back and do what they do best - defend.

One match at Old Trafford is probably the only thing we have left to salvage something from this season. Did I mention it's at Old Trafford? Yeah? Yay.

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by El Gunner on Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:16 pm

@Dani - I've always thought our collective high press is the best for big games.
Unfortunately, we've failed in some instances to do the pressing collectively, and then we get rolled over in the first few minutes of a match a la Chelsea and City last year.
But if done right you also get results like the 2-1 over Barcelona which was some good, what is it now? 5 years ago Laughing

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Re: Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Post by Twoism on Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:03 am

I see no point whatsoever to discuss tactic at this point, the attitude of the players was absolutely wrong and unprofessional. I can forgive if the team play the wrong plan but give it all, I can forgive if the team get smashed by elite team but dare to try. I do not forgive the way we played this game, everybody was walking around, watching balls, no intensity, no desire. Call it complacence, arrogance or whatever but Arsenal players as the team do not have the right to be, we haven't accomplish dick to play the game with that mentality.

The four players I give it a pass are Bellerin, Le Coq, Sanchez & Giroud, that's right Giroud. Sure he's donkey, he pissed me off but he got into position and tried and failed. And the other three, one youngster who just got into 1st team and fighting against 2 senior players for the spot, one also got into 1st team after 5 god damn years and had everything to prove, and one new genuine fighter through and through. But you know what, wait for sometimes once these players settle in and cement their places, they will turn into this Arsenal mindset like the rest of the team, a god damn virus spread around.

It's unbelievable how the team pissed their goddamn pants whenever they play against elite teams ( boohoo City game) and come to lesser teams ( mind you Monaco is not lesser team as they're top in their group), they thought they own a *bleep* world.

In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king, that's us. We're king of average and mediocrity.

Come June, 4th spot secured, maybe has a shot at FA cup, all is well once again.
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