Arsenal simply must believe they can beat Atletico Madrid

We can and must believe we can beat Atletico! by Konstantin Mitov

The final meaningful game of the season has come. We go to Madrid needing a win or a high scoring draw to progress against a side which has conceded just 18 goals in La Liga and only 3 in the Europa League.

They will be happy to sit back and hit us on the counter, but we have to attack and that’s not necessarily bad. We tried defending a few times this season and it didn’t work. We failed to make it an easy game against CSKA and even Ostersunds so even if we had a lead I doubt we’d be able to hang on to it.

Up front though, we have the quality to hurt them. The starting 11 pretty much picks itself, with the exception of two positions. The keeper choice is likely to be Cech, due to his experience although neither him nor Ospina have been great for us. Then comes Mikhi or Welbeck?

I’d personally start Mikhi and bring Welbeck on in the second half due to his pace and his work ethic. He’ll be very helpful in defense if we have a good result. Mikhi is the more creative one and although his injury will likely keep him out of full 90 minutes, I’d start him.

We are major underdogs, but this is a plus for us. We’ve gone away to massive grounds needing results and we’ve failed to get them in recent years, but we only need 1 goal this time.

If there is one thing that has not been a problem this year, it’s scoring goals. And while this season has been a massive reality check for us, we have to literally forget everything that’s happened and just give 100% to try and win the game.

The players will be up for it no doubt. They know it’s the last chance to prove themselves in a meaningful game and for some it can even earn them a world cup spot. I have this little tickling feeling in my heart that we’ll nick it 2:1 but logic tells me we’ll make a defensive mistake that will kill us.

Anyway, I’m excited! Being an Arsenal fan in the last 10 years has often sucked the joy of football out of me as I always knew what would happen. Now that Wenger is going I’m excited for the future as I have no idea what it looks like.

Finally on that thought, the news about Liverpool’s assistant coach leaving to replace Wenger are hilarious! The media is reaching the point where every football person that shifts his job is the next Arsenal manager.

It’s sad what they’ll do to get more clicks. Besides, the betting companies are really enjoying this too as the more names are in the mix, the more profit off of failed bets they’ll make.

We’ve just sacked Wenger and there is still the small matter that we might win the Europa League, which will completely change the cards we can play to attract a new manager. Besides we’ll be looking at a lot of options, not jump to the first guy.

We hired one of the best scouts in the world and we signed a director of football, that has overseen some of the most successful parts of Barcelona’s history. Those people are here to ensure we don’t get another emperor in charge.

With Ivan Gazidis putting his grip on the football club and Josh Kroenke closely looking at the club, we will not hurry with the decision. Anyway, there will be plenty of time to discuss this. Now it’s time to get our Arsenal scarfs on one more time as this is a massive game. Exactly the type of game I want us to be playing in!



  1. gotanidea says:

    Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Ramsey, Elneny and Lacazette should start, because they can pressurize the opponents and force Atletico to make mistakes. The players that cannot work harder should be benched as they tend to disappear at tough away matches

    Zeljko Buvac could be a good option because the high profile managers like Allegri, Enrique and Ancelotti require high transfer budget. We can also increase the transfer funds by selling the underperforming expensive players, which would show their true colors again at Wanda Metropolitano

    1. Me says:

      My guess is that before the media contrived that story you had never knew a thing about Buvac yet now you claim him to be a “good option” because in your opinion he wouldn’t need to spend much money – I find it interesting that you base your opinions with no actual knowledge – no offence of course…
      This Arsenal team is woeful and we need to replace the entire back five plus several key positions in midfield – who ever comes in will need to spend lots of money because to acquire the quality we need you need to invest.
      Time will tell….

      1. gotanidea says:

        I said “could be a good option”, because he is Klopp’s assistant manager

        I also want high profile managers like Allegri, but only Arsenal board can decide

        1. Me says:

          Well that is true – it is the boards decision.
          Whoever comes in will have a job on their hands because aside from a few good players there is a lot of dross at Arsenal.
          The question I ask myself is how many of these players could challenge for a position in the last title winning first eleven – I would say two or three, maybe four. And that illustrates the amount of work that needs to be done to make Arsenal into challengers again…

        2. Kumagaya says:


  2. barryglik says:

    Arsenal bossed Athletici
    all night at the Emirates.
    Should have put the tie to bed
    by halftime.
    Need a tough starting X1.
    Can bring pace and creativity later.
    Bellerin Mustafi Koz Monreal
    Ramsey Xhaka Kolasinac
    Mkhitaryan Ozil

    Wilshere Welleck Iwobi the three subs if we are chasing
    Chambers Niles if we are defending a lead
    Ospina Niles.

    1. Arsene is Out says:

      Did we ever play Kola in midfield before? I dont remember seeing him there.

  3. John0711 says:

    I pray we win

    On another note BUVAC ??????

    Penny pinching money grabbing low standards,low aspirations wan***s

    The stadium can stay empty

    1. Counsel says:

      That’s what you wished for.According to WOB they would take anybody instead of Wenger. Now we can shift the Blame to kreonke since the motto of most the fans is keep whining

      1. tas says:

        we have always known that the board is stingy it has nothing to do with AW’s lack of tack-ticks as he always says ” WE PLAY OUR GAME NO MATER WHO THE OPPOSITION” its thinking like that and a only business thinking owners that brought us to this mess ” Mid Table”

        modern game requires tactic’s in every single game

      2. John0711 says:

        Council you wrong I didn’t wish for Wenger our solely
        I wante the club to complete for the PL and CL so nothing has changed when ever is in charge the target should be the same

        If Wenger had competed with this team we wouldn’t be in this position

  4. Counsel says:

    Technically we lost 1:0 because of the away goal. We underestimated them when they were reduced to 10 men because we now wanted to score more and left a lot of space behind with the mindset of attacking.Tomorrow we need to score a goal and close the shop defending is easier in numbers we can defend very well

  5. John says:

    Arsenal should win this game if they work hard……..they were better in the first game…..Atletico is scared of Arsenal……..and will plan for every detail of the game……I hope we do…….

  6. tas says:

    Tomorrow the most important to remember is as soon as the whistle blows it has to be our passing to be clinical from start to finish, if JW is playing he will do well to pass early rather than try to impress, i think we should field the Greek Boy as everyone calls him, you know Konstantinos Mavropano he will do well with battling with Costa after all he did have Lukaku in his pocket and wrestled him out the game 🙂 marking Griezmann is another story 🙁

  7. Ray says:

    Firstly, lets all keep a calm head about Buvac to Arsenal. After all, this has come through the Bosnian media and nothing is confirmed. There are going to be many rumours coming our way over the coming weeks!!

    Secondly, sticking to the storey. I agree with barryglik and we should have had the job done after 30 minutes of the first leg. Unfortunately, this is Arsenal and we do have a tenancy to screw things up on an epic scale! Be it a mental issue of simply down to bad luck? The thing is, this squad are capable of completely imploding. I’m hoping not but, i think we have all got used to “not banking” on a great result over the years. You just never know what you are going to get with Arsenal.

    As always though, I will be supporting my beloved Arsenal (from the armchair) in pure “hope” that we are mentally strong with a great big portion of luck thrown in for good measure!

    I’m sure you can al see I’m not putting the biggest bet on Arsenal going to the final. I just hope the balls and determination are evident tomorrow because this teams era is likely to end in a few weeks time!?

    1. Hez says:

      Well put

  8. Ignasi says:

    I really, really hope Ozil turns up for this ‘big’ game.

    First time for everything, right?

  9. Ignasi says:

    One thing: It would just be so Arsenal-like to beat Atletico…

    … only to lose in the final against Marseille/red Bull

  10. Ozziegunner says:

    All we need is Oblak to play like the Bayern Munchen goalkeeper and Arsenal will win the tie.

  11. jon fox says:

    Konstantin, What interested me in your article was the last bit about who will be the new manager. I have long ago written off any chance in the Europa. Feel free to hate me for being a total realist. Of course I will hope. But I know it is useless. WE ARE FAR WORSE THAN THEM AND COULD NOT BEAT THEM AT HOME PLAYING AGAINST TEN MEN, SO WE HAVE ZERO CHANCE OVER IN SPAIN.
    On the new manager , you make some good points and the media and social media feeding frenzy after every little rumour clearly makes the bookies rich with those foolish enough to bet on this impossible to call market. My take is that the regime know that an appointment we fans will NOT accept will again mean swathes of empty seats next season and they will be mindful of that. The Liverpool number two, Rodgers and Arteta would fall firmly into that category. Viera would split fans but many would, perhaps reluctantly, accept it. Most of us want a proven top man. MY IDEAL CHOICE IS ALLEGRI AND AFTER THAT ANCELLOTTI . But as to who it will be , I have not a clue. But who it will NOT be is probaly easier to call.

  12. Gregooner says:

    We have to make sure we score in the first 30 minutes. And/or in the early stages of the second half. Otherwise Atleti will be more than happy to see out that game 0-0. It’s a big one gooners. Let’s do this!

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