Arsenal attack more to blame than defence for Europa League exit?

Okay so we saw at the end of the Arsenal v Atletico Madrid clash that the two goals scored by the Spaniards were enough to book them a place in the final, and it is easy to blame the Arsenal defenders. The cock-up by Koscielny and Mustafi in the first leg feels especially costly, but I have to argue that the players in our attack were just as much to blame, if not more.

Going back to the home tie once again, when we created enough chances to win 10 games and played against an ever tiring under strength opposition, the failure to fill our boots was criminal, even giving the Madrid defence it’s due. You could well argue that their goal would never have come if we had scored more because there would not have been the same onus on pushing forwards.

Although Arsenal created a lot the final ball was never quite there. We blew it to be honest. The likes of Ozil, Ramsey, Lacazette and all have the ability to produce those moments but for some reason they were a bit off target. More sloppy defending tonight cost us again but it actually made no difference to the overall outcome as we drew a blank.

Did we really expect Atletico not to score? Of course not so it was up to the Arsenal attack to do what they do best. They failed. So maybe go easy on the defenders Gooners?



  1. S says:

    New manager must come down hard on ozil. His nonperformances should not be tolerated. Bellerin I’d give a chance to prove himself as long as new manager brings in a RB to compete for his spot. Not even relegation-threatened clubs put up with this much slackness for so long

    1. mikey says:

      It seems everyone is on Ozil’s back but the team as a whole was not up to par, we pass the ball then we pass some more without any plan, no off the ball movement when we have the ball and no defensive awareness without it.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Both playmakers, Ozil and Wilshere, were out of ideas in the first leg and they were unable to control the tempo in the second leg

        A playmaker should not produce predictable passes like that

      2. Footballistrivial says:

        Everyone knows the team was not upto par, captain obvious.

      3. Kenyanfan says:

        Paulo Fonseca is our new manager

  2. arie82 says:

    Sell mustafi, buy a wingers and put ozil as am or behind striker, not as winger or wideman wannabe.
    And just release wilshere, one moment he ask ref to give opponent a yellow card, one minute latter he got a yellow card for a stupid behavior.

    1. gotanidea says:

      On the screenshot last night, Ozil was put as a winger

      But in reality, he played centrally and often dropped deeper to release himself from the opponent’s pressure

      1. arie82 says:

        He majority playing in left side, since ramsey and wilshere are in middle all the time

  3. Broccoli says:

    Two words….NO BALLS

  4. Sue says:

    Well the week from hell is over & all we managed was a draw against 10 men & 2 losses. I’m so disappointed… whoever takes over from Arsene has a mammoth job to do to get us back to where we should be! Last night showed how weak we really are, aniother loss to a big team in Europe. Will we ever compete with them again?? The defence has to go, all either too old or just not good enough! New gk’s are needed… midfield needs sorting…. Jesus after performances this year, will the new manager keep anyone??
    Thank God the season is nearly over! #gutted

    1. Sue says:

      Just saw that Iwobi has agreed another deal & will sign at the end of the season ???? you’re having a laugh????!!!!!

      1. arie82 says:

        I dont mind it, since hes still very young and have potential to be good player, just loan him to another team in premiership to gain more experience and consictency.

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          Provided his wages are not so high, as to dissuade any prospective club, should Arsenal wish to sell him!

    2. jon fox says:

      Sue, W could make a serious case for keeping absolutely no one presently in first team squad. I would however keep just a few. Ozil, despite prodigious talent has the heart and backbone of an aged jellyfish. I have til now always said we must keep him . But his constant days off(with fake illness) and hiding, Walcott style, in big and vital games is making me want him out. Spineless players never win big prizes. After his grossly overpaid new contract , I doubt we could sell him to anyone who could afford his wages. What top club would want him? I suggest, NOT ONE!

      1. Sue says:

        I probably wouldn’t keep many Jon, as they’re all either too old or not good enough! On his day I love Ozil…. but he hasn’t done enough lately…

  5. Jide says:

    Cowardly performance from Arsenal. To be honest I think that we don’t have the players to penetrate a well manned defence. For years teams just sit back and watch us play backwards and sideways until we lose the ball and then they counter and with Laurel and Hardy in our defence you can guess what happens next.
    In the first leg I expected that the moment ATM were down to ten men that there would be a tactical change by removing a defender and bring on an extra attacker in order to increase the pressure on ATM but AW didn’t even make a substitution in the whole match. We lost the tie at home. Wenger is tactically inept and his players are mediocre.

  6. Roy says:

    Surely we didn’t expect anything different from that shambolic performance in Madrid last night.Usual crap from the usual suspects again.Lets get this season over,watch the World Cup and look forward to an early England exit and then fingers crossed that our new manager cracks the whip and does the business for our ‘still ‘ great club.
    PS I hear we’ll need a new kit man so there’s a job for Wenger.

    1. ArseOverTit says:

      Haha! Couldn’t have put it better.
      Shame we won’t embargo Russian World Cup finals, would have saved us the trip and embarrassment.

  7. Well at least the ruinous pest of a manager won’t be here any longer.. only great things can happen next season. If Allegri or Ancelloti come I am sure the defence will be sorted out..and that truly is what our problem has always been, a weak under invested defence. We keep buying rubbish guys like Holding and Chambers as defenders, why don’t we do that for striking as well? Oh that’s right, the manager thought defending is a nuisance we can do without. Good riddance Wenger, GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Quantic Dream, I wouldn’t give up just yet on Chambers and Holding just yet. Given their ages and cost (relative to what defenders are bringing these days) it will be interesting to watch their development under a new manager, who coaches defense with the attention and priority it requires.

      1. We will see, we will see. Though whats the saying, all the love in the world won’t turn a donkey into a race horse? These guys wouldn’t cut it at Tottenham, Man utd, Chelsea, Mancity..maybe Liverpool..and we all know what their defence is like. We are sixth and rightfully so given the kind of players Wenger has been putting in our defence. MUSTAFI that clown must be the first one to leave in the summer.

        1. jon fox says:


  8. Andrew Williams says:

    What else do we really expect? The simple fact is that we don’t have the quality of player to compete. To have reached the semi final in itself was an achievement with the squad we have.
    It would have been a great miracle if we had beaten Athletico Madrid over two legs (yet with better players we would have). We didn’t reach the final because our attack is average and our defence is worse than a very bad joke.
    The new manager has a mammoth taks ahead of him. How many of our players should actually be playing for a team that is competing at the highest level.
    A case i point is the clubs our players are linked with. Many are linked with clubs like Everton and Leicester, but the sad fact is that these clubs are the ones we are closest to at this time and this is also the level our players are at.
    So the majority of the squad needs an overhaul, however the first issue the new manager has to address is the culture of loosing in the big games and being soft. This is endemic within the whole club. Arsenal fielded two very different teams in the recent games against Athletico and United yet the same result occurred and what is most evident is that the goals came from poor defensive awareness, lack of concentration and an inability to manage the game. For two different sets of players to behave in the same manner and to make the same mistakes and to dominate games and still find a way to lose shows how deep rooted this culture is.
    Whoever the new manager is, he had better be a good one for I fear we are facing many years of mediocrity to come.

  9. st sass says:

    the season ends with joy. Wenger is out.

  10. #MAGA says:

    Who would want to come to us now? Having seen these crap performances and likely out of all European competition next season after losing our remaining 3 games, which we will.

    1. Wibble says:

      David Moyes?

    2. gotanidea says:

      Arsenal managerial job would be ideal for the unemployed top managers

      The new manager can focus on building the team without the pressure of the Champions League

      And there would be a lower expectation on his work because the next season is the transition period

      1. ArseOverTit says:

        Exactly! Focus on the league/FACup and assembling a team of players that can natutaually play in a certain position and date I say ‘play them there’! within a well defined system and strategy of play for modern football.

        Enrique would be a revelation as would Allegri. Ancelotti also. Tbh anyone now will be an improvement as we can get rid of the overpaid prima donnas , the old and infirm and those who just can’t control a football and start the process of becoming a top and intimidating club again.

        I for one am excited. A new dawn approaches…

  11. Mal says:

    What’s done is done, it is what it is.
    The point now is what can be done to redress the situation?
    There are plenty of “Mercenary” managers and players around.
    Who in the managerial arena is available, good enough, willing and determined to resurrect the team to compete at the highest level? Please not a three year term narcissist “take the money and run” guy only interested in enhancing their reputations at the expense of their billionaire owners!
    Who in the current team is worth keeping? Very few! Where on earth is the new blood we most certainly need now that we are not competing in Europe?
    It is not right to heap all the blame on Wenger.
    Arsenal has been, and hopefully, will continue to be a great club BUT only if all levels from Board level down through the ranks show the same level of skill, strength, stamina and determination that we expect from the players. I wonder how many of the above have ever asked themselves “has the club benefitted by my contribution to the club”? If the answer is “No”, get out, you are part of the problem.
    The Board is the head of the snake, are you all pulling your weight in a positive fashion or are you content to sit there and blame others? Lead by example and let’s see some leadership!
    The new manager and the team will no doubt need some time to fuse and perform. If supporters support instead of wasting time and effort on negative criticism that task will take much longer.
    Go the Gunners!

  12. AndersS says:

    We lost the tie in the first game. Not being able to win at home against a team with only 10 men for most part of the game, was a disaster.
    If we had won, Atletico would have been forced to play more attacking football yesterday, and then they are not as good as when they primarily can defend and wait for the opponent to make the mistake they need.
    Anyway, it is history. The fact is, we are simply not good enough to compete with top teams. The last few years have shown that beyond any doubt.
    Our hope is a new manager.

  13. Grandad says:

    Spot on AndersS.You could not fault the players for a lack of effort,we are just short of quality.Athletico are a team which play in a way which comes close to thuggery at times.They reflect their Manager who took the rules of the game to the limit. They may win the Europa Cup but they are not a great team and I for one would not pay to watch them.

    1. John Wick says:

      Here here grandad excellent assessment ?

  14. LastnightHURTS says:

    OT: Liverpool assistant Zeljko Buvac has interviewed with Eintracht Frankfurt for their managerial position with current Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac taking over Bayern Munich after the season ends.

  15. Loyal T says:

    How many major European matches has Koscielny lasted more than 20 minutes in? A CB should be a guarantee for 90 minutes +, and he has been a consistent letdown. It is unfair to completely blame the offense. His injuries have consistently been muscular and the Arsenal medical team should know better than him if he is good to go or not. Let’s not forget, having a CB come out in the first half robs us of some 2nd half fresh legs in offense. Something needs to change…. Wait, everything needs to change. Mustafi is a slouch. Anyone who looks at the German national team would see him as the weakest link outside of Howedes. Why can’t we? Why can’t we admit that Koscielny was an outside chance to even play in the WC for France when he ‘arguably’ has Umtiti, Koulibaly, and Varane in front of him? I like the steps being taken hiring Sven, but we need more. We really needed the lure of Champions league to help with transfers, but due to this loss, we are gonna need straight cash to attract any talent. At least we will have a fresh set of eyes on the lookout. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME TO CONSIDER USMANOV’s OFFERS, NOW IS IT! Let’s bring the passion back to AFC!

    1. gotanidea says:

      Koscielny plays like a grandpa lately, as seen as in his last several matches. He is old and should be replaced along with the other injury-prone, old, unmotivated and weak players

      In the first leg at the Emirates, we could see which player that were too lacklustre to pressurize Atletico players and it was shown again in the second leg

      Had the midfielders and the attackers pressed harder to force Atletico players to make mistakes, they would have better chances to break the opponent’s defense

    2. s says:

      Koulibaly the senegal man being picked for france? Um, that’s a joke right?

      That said France will definitely pick Umtiti and Varane barring freak injuries, and their backup would be youngsters Kimpembe and Lucas Hernandez. They’re well stocked on all positions and will be contenders no doubt

      1. Loyal T says:

        You are probably right on this one. Haven’t seen Koulibaly play much… was just going off of the price tags that are consistently linked with him

  16. Ray says:

    And so..

    This Arsenal squad and Arsene ends his career with suicide (again)..

    The quality has been missing for years now. You could see we were bad with the basics everywhere on the pitch last night. The movement off the ball, not using the flanks enough, the poor crossing, the over-powered final pass, the lack of communication between defender and keeper and, of course the usual switching off at the wrong time!

    All these are mistakes that have been evident for years. That “Ground hog day” again. It’s been a problem that has ultimately caused the board to question if Arsene has what it takes any more and, of course the answer was no!

    It’s simple. If a cake factory, for example, continuously made the same mistakes of over-cooking it’s products for years it would no doubt fail to sustain and eventually close out of business.

    In the same way, Arsenal’s football has been a product that has been dropping in quality for some time. The crowds got fed up with the dropping standards and turned away. The “factory” or Arsenal in this case has been struggling to rectify the same reoccurring problems that we could see last night. The simple basics were missing like a single lose rivet on a plane. It was bound to fail. And did!

    Next year will be alien to us because I for one can’t imagine not watching my beloved Arsenal play mid-week. Just one or 2 games a month on TV. And that may just be the case for some time to come. After all, which “top level” player wants to play for a club who are not competing in Europe!?

    1. gotanidea says:

      I thought Arsenal would play in the Europa League again, if they finish at the 6th position?

      Talked to a Liverpool fan yesterday and he sees the Europa League as a mickey mouse cup

      Arsenal used to dominate Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham with their talented players, but now we only have highly paid players with limited skills

      1. Ray says:

        That’s right @ gotanidea. But I can now see Arsenal losing the last 3 games while Burnley win theirs!!

      2. Sue says:

        Well Liverpool didn’t win it when they were in it!!

  17. goonervishrut says:

    Off the ball… Arsenal are the worst team

  18. bran911 says:

    So pissed, can’t even shout WENGER OUT coz it’s already obvious he’s leaving.. damn!!

  19. Sue says:

    Hopefully this time next season it won’t be all doom & gloom!!

    1. Ray says:

      Surely it can’t get any worse, can it?

      Thing is, with the World Cup this year, it’s likely to have a massive impact on transfers again. Most deals will be done after the WC which means Arsenal have to be “very” ready to make moves!!

      1. Sue says:

        Yet more torture to come then… although Arsene won’t be around to panic buy an hour before the window shuts!!

  20. McLovin says:

    If Liverpool win the CL, and we finish 6th, will Chelsea get into the CL qualifications?

    And we go straight to Europa League?

    1. s says:

      nope, unless Liverpool finish outside top 4 (which is impossible unless Chelsea beat Liverpool this weekend)

  21. Tatek Girma says:

    Things have gone now. We are out of Europa league final, next year CL and an old manager service. Lt’s think about the future especially about the next year issues. Who ever come to manage Arsenal, He is expected to address and handle a lot issues and rebuild the team to be competitive enough.

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