EUROPEAN RECORD – WERE WE USED TO BEING HUMILIATED IN THE CL DURING ARSENE WENGER’S LATTER YEARS?
OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER MYTH BEING PERPETRATED BY OUR OWN FANS TRYING TO REWRITE HISTORY YET AGAIN?
While reading a recent article in “JustArsenal”, I came across a statement that alluded to the above, mentioning Bayern Munich as an example.
Having asked the fan in question (Davi) for clarification, none was forthcoming, so I decided to check up this version of events, just to see if my memory was playing tricks on me and/or I had got it wrong myself.
Now we all know about the 10-2 two-legged fiasco and that’s not up for debate…it was humiliating…but what about the other results from the CL during those latter years?
So, I went back over each season, detailing the game(s) that we got knocked out of and then let us all judge whether or not they were actually “humiliating”.
I have divided (*****) the two periods that fans seem to want to compare and here they are:
98/99 Knocked out in the group stages…. GF=8 GA=8
99/00 Knocked out in the group stages GF=9 GA=9
00/01 Knocked out in Q/F by Valencia on away goals rule 2-2
01/02 Knocked out in Second group stages GF=17 GA=17
02/03 Knocked out in Second group stages…. GF=15 GA=9
03/04 Knocked out in Q/F by Chelsea 2-3
04/05 Knocked out in Q/F by Bayern Munich 2-3
05/06 Lost in final to Barcelona 1-2
06/07 Knocked out in Q/F by PSV 1-2
07/08 Knocked out in Q/F by Liverpool 3-5
08/09 Knocked out in S/F by Man Utd 1-4
09/10 Knocked out in Q/F by Barcelona 3-6
************************************Here come the “humiliating years”!!!!
10/11 Knocked out in Q/F by Barcelona 3-4
11/12 Knocked out in Q/F by AC Milan 3-4
12/13 Knocked out in Q/F by Bayern Munich on away goals rule 3-3
13/14 Knocked out in Q/F by Bayern Munich 1-3
14/15 Knocked out in Q/F by AS Monaco on away goals rule 3-3
15/16 Knocked out in Q/F by Barcelona 1-5
16/17 Knocked out in Q/F by Bayern Munich 2-10
The two results that DO represent a “humiliating” scoreline in Wenger’s later years, are the 16/17, 15/16 results… if we take the usual date for his “decline” as the oft quoted 2010/11 season onwards.
That makes it 2 out of 7, or less than a third of the results.
Now, while I agree that getting knocked out seven times out of seven in the Q/f stages was disappointing and frustrating, I fail to understand how anyone can say it was a sign of a decline.
We were just not as good as Barcelona or Bayern Munich, simple as that!!
In fact, it was the two heavyweights of that time, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, who account for five of the seven eliminations from the competition.
Of the other two, one was on the away goal rule and the other by just one goal!!!!!!!
In summary then, despite the accusation that AW’s second term in office was not a success story, three fa cups, three CS trophies, seven top four finishes and seven Q/F appearances in the CL would suggest a different story.
The problem has always been the COMPARISON with his first ten years by a minority of our own fans and the media at large.
How we would like to boast of three Q/F CL appearances since he left, or even three lowly fourth places that was so derided by our own fans.
So, let’s just get the FACTS right when trying to rewrite the history of our club, it’s most successful manager, Arsene Wenger.
YES, he should have left after the 2016/17 season, when we only finished 5th, won the FA cup, Charity Shield and the miserly quarter finals of the Champions League……with, so we are told, dross, mentally frail, lazy players, no defence, along with Kroenke and Gazidis to guide us into oblivion!!!!!
What a terrible season that was, compared to the land of milk and honey we were promised once he left. Even in his final year, we finished 6th…not 8th twice in a row!!!
If being only one of the eight best teams in Europe for seven consecutive years was seen as “a decline”, where we are now must be seen as catastrophic!
All the above stats are in the club’s official handbook – please take time to read and check them out.