A great Arsenal win – despite our defence and the empty seats

It’s all about the Europa league by Konstantin Mitov

Arsenal raised their game for the last tournament that matters this season and we got a decent 4:1 win over CSKA Moscow and to be honest it could have been more!

But this scoreline should be good enough and if we manage to not concede early and score at some point in Moscow we’ll be safely through to the next round.

We had a flying start to the game with a disallowed goal, but moments later, a similar situation was converted in by Ramsey and it was the perfect start!

Then in typical Arsenal fashion we made a collection of defensive errors, leading to a completely unnecessary foul by Koscielny which resulted in a free kick brilliantly put in the top corner.

In the post Sol Campbell era, our defense has always been our weakest spot, but I must say this is the worst defending I can remember across an entire season. There is massive need for rebuilding in that Area, if we are going to compete again next season.

Koscielny’s age is getting the better of him, Mustafi doesn’t look like he’s good enough, Bellerin cares more about his speeches and looks rather than his playing, and you’re left with Monreal, who’s been the one good thing about this defense for a long time now, but his age is also a concern.

We have to address this, because we could’ve been 2:1 down in 2 minutes time, but the moment they missed their chance, we took ours and we scored 3 more goals, some being of real class!

You have to acknowledge that their 3 defenders combined age was 108! We have all the tools to destroy such a defense and I must say Ozil made the best of it. He just dominates opposition who allow him space. Ramsey was also excellent.

Comapre his performances to Wilshere. Take the stats of goals and assists and Ramsey is miles ahead. It’s difficult to understand what our plan for midfield is if both will leave. But if Wilshere doesn’t want a pay as you play contract, then I’d offer that money to Rambo as he’s at least giving us something.

Now moving on; Alex Lacazzete was excellent! That decision to give him the penalty against Stoke was excellent and you can see that everyone realises the Europa league is all we’ve got.

Even if Chelsea continue their downfall it’s unlikely we’re catching up with them and 5th or 6th matters little compared to winning a tournament that puts you in the Champions League!

And winning this will be a typical Wenger trap card. How many seasons in a row have we bottled the big one and been left fighting for something to salvage the season? Winning the Europa league will be the biggest papering over the cracks! It would be like Wenger’s dream of a top 4 trophy as you do get an actual trophy and you play with the elite next season.

That ain’t fooling nobody though. Wenger can blame it on Easter, the weather, Thursday and everything else, but the attendance was shocking again! When I was watching Liverpool and City I was honestly jealous of the atmosphere. Anfield was a hell hole for City that ate them alive.

Compare this to the Emirates and we look like a ghost town. And I cannot blame anybody who has had enough of this. But I hope that if we get to the next round, we’ll fill the ground up, because it will be a much better opposition.

But the message has been loud and clear. This season was awful and we need change. Wenger hasn’t won the Europa league yet and even he does it will be nothing more than a nice way to leave!



  1. GunnerSince2004 says:

    If Ramsey is demanding 200k per week, is it not cheaper to give it to him on a 4 year contract which will cost us 41,6million rather than selling him for the 35million Arsenal valuation, buying another midfielder of his calibre for at least 50million who will probably be paid at least 140k per week (total net spend = 50million + 140k x 52 weeks x 4 years minus $35million = 44,12million).

    So but refusing to give Ramsey 200k per week we could possibly lose 2,52million (44,12 – 41,6) but let’s not forget the experience and adaptability to the EPL.

    This is a no brainer, give Ramsey the damn 200k per week and let’s not destroy our near perfect midfield. We don’t want Ramsey turning into another Oxlaide wherever he goes and we kick ourselves.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Ramsey is not Oxlade that is very versatile and quick, but he has a good connection with Ozil when attacking, as Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan

      1. GunnerSince2004 says:

        Exactly my point. Why destroy that 5-way partnership that we’re building between Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang & Lacazette????

    2. Sue says:

      Well I’m not kicking myself over Ox!!

      1. Phil says:

        Nor me Sue-let’s see what impact he has at the Etihad next week.Too many false dawns with him over the years for me to lose sleep over him.

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Nor me Sue and Phil, it’s not bothered me too much about the Ox and no way would I give Ramsey £200,000 a week. Sell him and if some idiot’s prepared to give £35-£40, million for him, snatch their hand off.

          2. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Sorry, quick quote off topic. I’m sure you can all see how fortunate again Manchester United have been with the fixtures this week by playing Manchester City in the middle of two massive Champions League games against Liverpool, well I’ve news for you. If, as expected, we qualify for the semi finals of the Europa League, we play Manchester United right in the middle of the two games in a week. Coincidence ? you’ve got to be joking, just another example of how crooked our game is.

          3. jon fox says:

            Right but what does it matter to us about United. The Prem will be over by then, at least top spot and we are almost certainly destined to finish 6th anyway. I would happily take an embarrassing defeat to United to pile even more presure on the club to announce Wengers sacking. Though I am certain the decision to sack has already been made, in any case but may not be announced til seasons end. And Kenny, i don’T subscribe to your idea of the games administrators being crooked, not in law any. The whole edifice of the Prem is of course immoral and corporation cosy , at the expense of the ordinary helpless fan. But then we already knew that long ago , surely. But legal, though NOT moral!

          4. Mwsupporter says:

            Wow, that was 8 posts on a topic before John Fox did another cut and paste with the same message, again and again and zzzzzzzz

          5. jon fox says:

            Jon Fox actually NOT John Fox. But hey, the truth is not important to some people. I am not concerned how you spell my name, which is irrelevant BUT I AM CONCERNED YOU CLEARLY DISAGREE ON WENGERS NECESSARY REMOVAL. Otherwise you would not complain at most people who agree with me and constantly write the truth to help hasten the departure of the man ruining OUR club!

          6. Mwsupporter says:

            No issue with your thoughts what so ever just sick of hearing the same thing over and over, we’ve heard it. Can we not have a discussion about some other topics Jan fpox?

          7. Mwsupporter says:

            Just to add some truth you seem to desire I too think it’s time for a new manager.

          8. Kenny Rolfe says:

            OK Jon, sorry about the word “crooked” but lets just say another example of the FA and administrators of the game making it as comfortable as possible for their beloved United. Happened too many times Jon for it to be coincidental and anyone who can’t see this is naive to say the least

          9. Sue says:

            Well I hope we stuff United!!

          10. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Well said Sue, always on point

          11. jon fox says:

            Kenny, It is true that most PREM
            big clubs tend to get the rub of the green more often when playing against lower teams. I do think much of this is because the bigger / better teams have the lions share of possession and get into the opposite pen area more often. I don’t buy though that refs are actually crooked. But huge crowd noise and pressure does have an unconscious effect very often. I firmly believe world , European and British club admin is deeply biased towards the corporate money makers and little opinion is taken of the ordinary working man football or woman fan. Huge corporate greed and agents are a cancer in our great sport.

    3. Midkemma says:

      Pay Rambo 200k a week, next season he gets injured and form drops, still worth 200k a week?

      This is Rambo we are talking about, how many seasons has he gone in top form from start to end? I can’t recall a single whole season where he was performing at his best, he has always had injuries which set him back.

      IMO we should try to haggle a bit but put more emphasis on pay for play side of deal, like Wilshere. Offer him say… £170k a week with £30k per appearance. 1 game a week played means he gets the 200k, some weeks we have to play 2 games… Esp if we get in UCL, that could be £230k a week….

      Oh and Ox… Really?
      You are going to cite a player who turned down a payrise for a move and kickstart his career after Wenger failed to develop him?

      There is a difference and I find it a joke to compare them, Rambo appears to be happy to wear our badge and wants to be paid a competitive wage, Ox wanted to leave. Clear difference.

    4. jon fox says:


    5. Tristan says:

      Like Ramsey- sweet little dinked finish last night. nice work on the maths. Ramsey should stay imho. I think him, ozil & wilshere all give the team something special when at their best & that can be hard to replace.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Ozil surprisingly played with a very sharp performance in the CSKA Moscow, even though I think the penalty was unjust. This was Ozil that we expected to create sharp through balls and assists from open play, not from set pieces

    If Ozil can maintain his sharpness and his connection with Ramsey in the next rounds, Arsenal could lift up the Europa League trophy. I think Ozil clicks better with Ramsey, than Arsenal forwards such as Podolski, Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez, Lacazette and Aubameyang

    The next opponent could Atletico Madrid that are of Champions League quality in this season. I hope Arsenal players can always play flowingly like that

    1. Midkemma says:

      How was the penalty unjust?
      The opposition put his foot in and hit Ozils legs without touching the ball, then the GK made contact with the ball AFTER the foul had happened.

      It was a CLEAR penalty…

      Take the player without touching the ball is an unjust penalty???? XD

      Dude, go read the rule book.

    2. jon fox says:

      “UNJUST?” Stonewall to me!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        I’ve only had one look at it being at the game but thought it was a penalty also how can you say Ozil links better with Ramsey than with Auba, five goals in six games not enough for you.

  3. Jeremy says:

    What would the old fool say now? Any Easter in mid week, as an excuse?

    Hope the old fool and Kroenke wake up to the fact fans hated them!

  4. vale says:

    give him the money,lets keep our senior players happy coz during summer anything can happen,tha big boys wll come with their monies

    1. Jeremy says:

      The problem is, even if we give Kroenke the money, we will still lose players. So might as well, we keep our money.

  5. Ngaaa says:

    Let Rambo stay at all cost. He can be our future and remember when he scores the normally win.

    1. Hayzed says:

      No,Rambo is not what is required to compete for the big trophies but I would not want him gone either as he is more of a squad player.
      We should offer him 150kpw and if he rejects it, then we should sell him.

  6. Innit says:

    Empty seats are Not good in a tournament we can win
    Fans need to be smarter
    Tactical boycotting

    Don’t go to Premier League matches.
    Don’t renew season tickets if you want
    Don’t buy merch
    That’s more than enough to hurt Kroenke financially

    But at least go to support the team in the tournament we can win. Winning Europa is very important for us and our next manager to get Top players

    Just my 2 cents (im not even American. Sorry 2 pence)

    1. Phil says:

      Why would I even dream of not renewing my season ticket?Why would I even consider not going to watch the team in ANY competition?Wenger is doing a pretty good job of getting himself out of a job without me not attending games.Winning the Europa Cup nets the club next to nothing in finance compared to being in the Champions League Group stages.Its the financial loss to Kronke that will force his hand if we don’t win it.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        INNIT. I’ll give up my season ticket if you give up your armchair.

    2. jon fox says:

      Our remaining home Prem matches will not be widely viewed on world TV. Europa ones will be. Consequently , boycotting those is key!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        I know you’re going to come back with “it’s the only way to get Wenger out” Jon but I don’t like the idea of boycotting games. When you attended the game versus Leeds United in the mid sixties with a four and half thousand crowd you never thought about boycotting then, even though we were in a more desperate position than we are today. Maybe it’s because you’ve given up your season ticket that you wan’t the rest of us to. I respect your decision Jon, but not for me.

        1. jon fox says:

          Kenny Good for you and you have my full respect. I think all this constant Wenger in or out is shortly to come to its natural end, with his sacking , probably just after the last Prem game. I think the club already know who they want as his preferred successor, though may not yet have agreed terms to get him. I have no idea who it is but am sure Kroenke is too worldly (moneywise) to risk further alienating our fanbase, which is his money supply, not just through the “turnstiles” but also in corporate worth , with empty seats risking losing commercial backing and less TV money and no CL etc. I am possibly the most certain of all on here about this but always back what I personally think and take little heed of those who can’t or won’t see what is clearly happening upstairs. The empty seats, which otherwise would go on long term, have done for Wenger and so Hurray!!!! I NOW think even IF we won the Europa ,it is too late to save him and I firmly intend to start attending again next season , once Wenger is gone. My pledge made in October 2016 was never to give the club another penny while Wenger remains and I have kept this pledge. Perhaps we will meet in person at Emirates next season. Hope so!

        2. Ingleby says:

          I was there against Leeds – a club I’ve loathed since Bremner kicked George Eastham out of a game at Highbury a season or two earlier. Was it that 4000 crowd game when Ian Ure was drafted in as CF?

          1. jon fox says:

            I was in that crowd of 4554 too. I think Terry Neill played and can’t remember if Ure also played, Might have been Laurie Brown possibly.

          2. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Jon and I have talked about this game before but for Ingleby, brilliant spot about Ian Ure, just looked it up. Now I have to be truthful and say I never went that night and these are the days when I never missed a game. The weather was terrible, raining all day and night plus Liverpool v Dortmund was live on TV in the Cup Winners Cup final, a rare event in those days. the team that night was Furnell, Mcgill, Roy Pack, in his one and only game for Arsenal, Storey, Neil, Court, Baldwin, Sammels, Ure at centre foward, Eastham and Armstrong. We got beat 0-3 in front of a crowd of 4554 and these youngsters think it’s bad today. The Live game on TV and the weather contributed to the low attendance but on the Saturday after there was no such problems and we had a crowd of just over 7000

          3. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Jimmy Mcgill not to be mistaken for Jimmy Magill along with Roy Pack were both debutants on the night

          4. Ingleby says:

            Thanks for that, Kenny.

            Got very wet walking home.

    3. jon fox says:

      I am not even American either . And very glad not to be so!

      1. Durand says:

        I’m an American John, it’s not so bad across the pond.
        Kronke is in the States, in California. Although we consider him more a Californian than anything else.

        Many of us don’t care much for him here either.
        Especially St. Louis, he’s considered somewhere between Satan and herpes. You know, bad sh*t that never truly goes away.

        1. jon fox says:

          As far as being American is concerned, I was referring less to Kroenke – though I loathe him and all he stands for- but rather with your President and to those non evolved folk who voted him in. AND YOUR COUNTRY’S OBSESSION WITH GUNS , WHICH IS FRANKLY, BONKERS! The opponents of Trump, I praise and excuse from criticism. We have our fair share of duff politicians in Britain , as we all know, but by comparison , ours are merely incompetant(some only), wrong headed but, in their hearts, relatively decent people at heart. THOUGH MAYBE I AM BEING NAIVE; SOME BRITS WOULD THINK SO, FOR SURE. A country with Trump as President is to be feared and distrusted on every level and scorned as morally backward. Nothing personal but I know a huge number of Brits share this view. The country (USA) itself- the actual land -is awesome, of course! SORRY TO BE NON FOOTBALL THIS TIME. I will try not to make a habit of it.

          1. Durand says:

            Jon Fox
            I understood your reference, I’ve read some of your posts about Trump on other articles.

            It was just light-hearted retort, and harmless, which you clearly understood.

            As far a presidents go, our last guy much much worse. That is if jobs, savings, and keeping your house are important. Sorry to stray, I agree about sticking to football.

            I’d like to see Allegri as next coach; he could coach up defenders. Maybe get Mustafi to his German team quality, and help Holding and Chambers get to the next level in quality.

            Any preference from you on managers or new player additions?

          2. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Really guys, should keep politics off this site. Personally, I like Americans for the reason that the majority of them like us, being London Cab Driver I can talk from experience also, I might add, they’re the best tippers, can’t say the same about Europeans.

          3. jon fox says:

            You are right. I will not mention it overtly again and sorry!

          4. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Respect Jon.

          5. jon fox says:

            Durand, Yes, I too would love Allegri but think he will go elsewhere, not to us. Ancellotti would be fine. Tuchel too but he too is going elsewhere I think. Enrique or Simeone would also be great. My knowledge of world football and best foreign players is limited but I DO want the entire existing defence and two first choice keepers gone as soon as they can be replaced. I would break the bank for the best CDM around the world. I would offer ONLY Monreal a new contract but not as first choice LB. I think Jack will leave and think he should too. What we most need is a new broom in charge who can also properly coach and without all Wengers many faults. Apart from the defence, we have many top attacking players and we need to find a way of getting the most from them. Esp strikers, as Aub and Laca have been getting no service at all without natural wide players. We definitely need hard working dedicated wingers and a will to win throughout the club that has been lacking for a decade.

  7. Ozziegunner says:

    Innit, even though I don’t live in the UK I wouldn’t expect any gooner to give up their season ticket unless for financial reason, given the length of the waiting list.
    There is no doubt the empty seats are obvious and are being noticed by the media. I agree with you that absenses have to be targetted, so as to not reduce atmosphere and support for the players in matches that matter.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      You might live ten thousand miles away Ozziegunner but your love for the club is obvious for us all to see.

  8. Midkemma says:

    “It would be like Wenger’s dream of a top 4 trophy as you do get an actual trophy and you play with the elite next season.”

    Yet Wenger has said that is the backdoor, he didn’t want UCL from UEL but from fin in the top 4, top 4 is still a better ‘trophy’ for Wenger than the actual UEL trophy.

  9. AndersS says:

    Yes, we won 4-1, but in reality it was “same old, same old”.
    A typical Wenger disorganization allowed a weak opponent way too much time and space, and against a stronger opponent we would still not have anything to rest our hopes on.
    Anyone, who watched Spurs beat Chelsea and Liverpool beat City this week, will realise how dar behind we are.

    1. Midkemma says:

      We can only beat who we play, we won with ease in the end.
      Lyon didn’t did they… They conceded 3 goals while we only conceded 1. That 1 goal was from an awesome freekick. Non from open play.

      Lyon are not such a bad team, they are currently 4th in their league, 7 points behind 2nd place.

      But hey, lets slander the opposition so we can point the blame at Wenger.

      1. AndersS says:

        Sorry, but I see nothing in the style of play we have under Wenger, that will get us anywhere in the PL or in the Champions League, should we manage to get in.
        We still have the same problems we have had for years, and that is why we always do bad against real top teams in competitions that matter.

      2. jon fox says:

        Not a question of “slander ” at all. Slander is the act of saying something defamatory and untrue thus damaging the person or company in question. CSKA’s defence was EVEN worse than ours which is anyway a sick joke . Not slander either as this is demonstrably true. Just the facts, which disappointingly don’t appeal to certain people.

      3. Tristan says:

        yeh, man. every silver-lining has a cloud. news from the realists- ” things are definitely without a doubt, f%£ked beyond repair. let’s line the team up against the stadium , execute them by firing squad and burn wenger and the board in a whicker man! If that doesn’t Improve results nothing will.

        1. jon fox says:

          No , a simple sale of club to someone who loves and cares for it will do. Together with a mere sacking of an incompetant manager and removal of almost the entire defence by legal, football based reasons.

  10. jon fox says:

    Congratulations Konstantin, on writing an excellent article full of truths, well argued ones too and with the clear and correct conclusion. The best article I have read on here for a long time. Keep them coming!

  11. Durand says:

    The sites counter-weight to Sam P. Thanks admin for posting point of view from both sides of wenger in / wenger out camps.

    Where is the dude that would post transfer rumors? Anything on new manager search would be nice. The house of Hafiz demands answers!
    ( Did I get the name right? )

    1. Tristan says:

      I’ll make up a rumour… Roberto Martinez, henry no. 2. I’m doing the lotto results tomorrow.

      1. Durand says:

        Thanks Tristan, at least Eddie Howe rumors are dead. Aren’t they?

  12. KEN says:

    if you can paper over a crack with a Europa league cup then it will do more for the fans that support arsenal football club through thick and thin then those that just complain. man city is a team whereby managers win premier league titles so how do you define pep with rest without endless money playing a huge part. what has united, spurs, Chelsea and even Liverpool won in the last 5 years that get people so excited other than their premier league position

  13. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Jon and I have talked about this game before but for Ingleby, brilliant spot about Ian Ure, just looked it up. Now I have to be truthful and say I never went that night and these are the days when I never missed a game. The weather was terrible, raining all day and night plus Liverpool v Dortmund was live on TV in the Cup Winners Cup final, a rare event in those days. the team that night was Furnell, Mcgill, Roy Pack, in his one and only game for Arsenal, Storey, Neil, Court, Baldwin, Sammels, Ure at centre foward, Eastham and Armstrong. We got beat 0-3 in front of a crowd of 4554 and these youngsters think it’s bad today. The Live game on TV and the weather contributed to the low attendance but on the Saturday after there was no such problems and we had a crowd of just over 7000

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