Give Arsenal a break! Look at the 8 teams that DID qualify…


Hi again folks. As the dust of Arsenal’s Champions league exit continues to settle and with our weekend game against Newcastle fast approaching, a lot of fingers are still being pointed in blame for our cup exit, and Wenger continues to take the customary hammering from the pundits and fans, in spite of our amazing win at Monaco and our superb League form. This is all very amusing especially when you read some of the opinions on our beloved

Many think that Wenger should have won the Champions League already after all these years, regardless of the fact that he has been running Arsenal on a transfer budget as hefty as that of Stoke City, until recently. Some have branded him a perpetual failure, a sentiment that does not even warrant a response.

Here is a simple explanation and I am not an AKB. To whom much is given, much is expected. True talk – and I did not come up with this saying. To whom nothing is given, nothing is expected as well. Wenger never had big money to spend until the year he bought Ozil. That happened to also be the year we won the FA cup after nine barren years. Coincidence? Of course not.

Yesterday I studied the teams that qualified for the last eight in the Champions league and I was humbled. Have you guys noticed anything that most of these teams have in common? They are Champions of their various leagues and have invested obscene amounts in their squads. This is not a coincidence. Their pedigree is above the rest. Take a look at this roll call:

PSG went through to the last eight, beating Chelsea with 10 men. They are Ligue 1 champions of France and spent 50 million pounds last summer on a defender they don’t even need.

Juventus thrashed Dortmund to qualify. They are three time consecutive Italian Champions of the Serie A.

Bayern Munich brushed aside a stubborn Shaktar side to qualify. Their bench boasts of names like Robert Lewandowski, Thiago Alacantara and Javier Martinez. They are reigning Bundelsiga champions for the past two seasons and recently off-loaded Mario Manzukic just because they got bored.

Athletico Madrid are through. They are the current La Liga Champions of Spain and have the best coach in club football.

Porto qualified as well. Two seasons ago, they won their Taca De Portugal and remain the most successful Portuguese team of all time with a total of 74 club titles.

Real Madrid are the current Champions league holders and need no introduction. Soon after they won the champions league, they bought James Rodiguez for 60mil pounds and sold their best playmaker to Manchester United just to feel the transfer buzz once again. By the way, they bought Gareth Bale two summers ago for over 80 million pounds.

Barcelona as well have a pedigree like no other. In the past twelve years, they have dominated club football the world over and won more titles than any other team. And yes they spent 65million pounds on Louis Suarez so he can keep Messi and Neymar (57mil Pounds) company.

Monaco, the only outsiders in this group were second place in Ligue 1 last season. They have spent an obscene amount of money as well and boast the tightest defense of the lot. They won’t win the Cup but overall, they have earned their place in the last eight.

So there is a clear pattern here. If you want to really compete for the Champions league, get yourself a blank cheque and begin by winning your own League first. That is an essential dress rehearsal. You need to pay your dues.

You have to run before you can fly. Arsenal finished fourth in the EPL last season. Having that on your CV does not entitle you to a Champions league trophy. There is nothing about our league position that entitles us to a place in the last eight so grumbling is unnecessary. We have been punching above our weight for years and when you put that in perspective, you will not be complaining. Have a nice one guys.

Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria


  1. I get what your saying but that doesn’t apply to our situation this year, we should’ve qualified given our draw. We were piss poor at home and thats what cost us. And simeone is not the best club manager right now he is good but not the best. He is a mourinho 2.0, have you ever watched atleti play? It is pretty boring stuff but it is effective

    but i hope klopp and bvb steady the ship, but it looks like the honeymoon period is over.

    1. Honeymoon period? More like drawn back into the nightmare, asking me. Reus’ injury history should be reason enough for us not to try to sign him. Fantastic player when without injury, but he’s pretty much just another Wilshere/Walcott. Notoriously injured.

    2. We will continue our great form and win the fa cup and at least finish second in the bpl. That would shut all the negativity. Next season we will challenge for the bpl and cl

    3. Doesn’t anyone think that finishing joint 9th in Europe for 5 consecutive seasons is an over achievement, for a team that hos only finished as high as 3rd in the premier league during those seasons.

      I am sorry but anyone thinking that a team that cannot even finish runners up in the premier league, should go on and win this tournament is kidding themselves.

      As far as I am concerned the champions league should be for champions only anyway. The champions of each league in Europe plus the current holders of the champions league. Perhaps a few wild cards to the best runners up at most. Then enhance the Europa League with the best of the rest. Teams finishing 7th in any league should not be qualify for Europe anyway, 7th is no achievement.

      1. You used to get a harder draw in the FA Cup than the old style EC. Revert to that and you will have a 32/48 team comp with only 5 or 6 possible winners each year from PL, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A or Ligue 1.

        Wonder how many will tune in globally to watch Dundalk, HJK, Valetta, Apoel FC, Midtjyland, Astana, Milsami Ortei, Lincoln FC, Nomme Kaljn instead of say Atletico, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Arsenal, PSG, Benfica, Dortmund, Milan, Inter etc who would miss out.

  2. Any article where the author says they are not an AKB, is obviously an AKB.

    Stop making excuses, Wenger needs to go so we can taste success again, not just a Mickey mouse cup every 10 years.

    1. Mickey Mouse cup? Absolutely disgusting comment.

      All big leagues have domestic cups and are taken very serious in every country the FA cup is a massive honour to take part in. Ask any big player at any big team and they’ll tell you they’d love to win a domestic cup.

      1. this craig guy is a joke don’t waste your time he just chats sh*t no matter what.
        A lot of people on this site have an agenda and say the fa cup is a “mickey mouse cup” when wed win, then would b*tch and moan and say id rather win a trophy instead of making the top 4 before we won last year.

        1. Good point, i heard that more than a few times. Saying fcuk the CL places would much rather win the cup as thats what its all about .. winning trophies. Hypocrites.

  3. Instead of looking at which teams qualified, which by the way I think was a good argument itself, how about looking at the teams that did not qualify?

    Dortmund – Been in the semi-final for three good years now, as well as being in the top of Bundesliga for the last 5 years. However, this year is quite special with the form theyve had in the league.

    Chelsea – bossing in the PL, autopiloted through the group stages. Should have been a natural pick for a QF-spot

    City – champions of PL, have the squad for winning CL, but have still to be a succeeding team in Europe. Put up a good show against Barcelona.

    I could also mention Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen, two really good german teams.

    We’re not alone in having a disappointing run in Europe this year, and I personally think that we put up a good show against Monaco in France, and went out with our dignity intact. We lost due to a collective failure at Emirates, simple as that, better luck next time.

    I think Arsene is doing a good job, even though I’m an AOB.

      1. We’ve really just been sh*t out of luck and not focused in the first match the last four years. Every year we’ve player horrible the first game, just to chase the goal difference in the second match. We played good on St. Patrick’s day, but scoring 3 goals against monaco (who’s only conceded 8 goals in total at home this season before the match against Arsenal) is something not many teams in Europe would manage.

        The previous years: Bayern Munich x2, both we’ve been closer to winning than the teams they met in the quarter final / semi.

        Barcelona: If i remember correctly, they won CL that year
        AC Milan: Horrible match at San Siro, dominated them at Emirates. Sadly we played worse at san siro, conceding one more goal than we managed to score at emirates.

        It’s a notable habit, indeed

  4. I will be the happiest if you leave arsenal to join chelsea or city at the end of the season. Hafiz sometimes talk sense than you do. Where were you when we were winning? I dont think many of gooners were expecting us to qualify after the poor 1st leg but maintained that if we are to drop, then we must not drop without a fight. I dont know why you are so mad despite the fact that you know that our hope of going through is slim due to the 1st leg.

    1. His mad like others because they don’t believe the stays quo is acceptable.

      Yes, big clubs who spend big were mentioned. That’s called ambition. You want to be the best you have to procure the best and develop a winning mentality.

      I’m sure Budd or similar will correct me with their almanac of stats but even AW’s winning sides weren’t filled with ‘big’ names carrying huge price tags.

      You cannot argue that others have been more successful on less (most recently – Simone & Athletico) in a shorter period of time. You just can’t.

      1. Funny how you can’t even spell your hero’s name nor the team he manages. I’m eagerly awaiting your next round of nominations for manager appointment at AFC when DS wins nothing this season or next. And whilst you constantly profess to have Arsenal’s best interests at heart you constantly wax lyrical about a guy who manages a team that makes Chelsea look like a Ajax (1970). They would have to take a couple of tiers out of the Emirates because no self-respecting Gooner is gonna pay to watch his brand of football – certainly not 60,000 of them. I’ll agree with you on Klopp who you have championed until very recently – when Wenger’s contract is up he is the man for me regardless of what he does or doesn’t achieve at Dortmund in the interim. He has a far more complete profile and management “toolkit” than Simeone.

  5. Call me arrogant or whatever you like, but Monaco, Porto and even Juventus and Atletico, are clubs we should be better than. Simple as. Our budget is far bigger than any of theirs. Not going to ‘give a break’ to Arsenal for not being good enough.

      1. Ill reply even though im upset with JA for keeping the same arguments ongoing with the posts and getting a bit fed up with it as the whole day is gone and still….

        Not going to give Arsenal a break for not being good enough. It was a knock out game and as we know with these games the best team doesnt always win. We are better than Monaco but our own fans urged our players to attack which hindsight shows backfired.

        Also Porto Juventus and Atletico, they went a different root so i dont know why were mentioned. We could just as easily drew one of those instead and i can say with hand on heart i would be confident with knocking each or any of those out.

        Our budget is large… now. Also last season but only for one top player. Juventus have been scooping up the best talent in Italy for quite some time now. Atletico have similar budget to ourselves but they have had full use of it for much more than two years. Those clubs have Spanish or Italian home grown players which is useful. Their totally different scenarios to our own.

      2. Spot on guys, that’s what boils my blood, if we were southampton or Westham fine but we are Arsenal not Arsene

    1. I wouldn’t call you arrogant Mick – you don’t come across that way. No two ways about it we should have beaten Monaco. But isn’t part of the problem that we make these glib assumptions about our entitlement and how we should be better than others. The 4 teams you mentioned have 74 league titles, 5 UCL/EC titles and 5 runner-up medals between them. And whilst we may have more money (Monaco?) all these clubs have an easier task of qualifying and gearing up for the UCL each year. And even if we overcame these lesser clubs we still have the proper top tier teams to get past who we have no divine right to be beating on a regular basis – and as many of the Arsenal detractors will tell you finishing 2nd in the UCL is ultimately no better than going out in the group stages, your trophy cabinet ain’t gonna look any different. There are 31 failures in the UCL each year and being one of those 31 for the past 10 years is not abject failure. I laughed when the match commentary team leapt on to the fact we have gone out in the last 16 for 5 years in a row – fair enough, but what they didn’t say is that we are the only English team to have been in the last 16 for the last 5 years!

  6. Wenger is part of the illumanati and his lack of trophies is a conspiracy in order to deflect attention away from the bigger issues in society.

    1. You jest, but people believe football like other such constructs are great tools for keeping people away from the real issues in the world.

      Like, when will Wenger zip that coat up with style. Think he needs a coach to help out.

  7. I get what the writer is saying in terms of a lot of these teams being league champions, and having spent a lot of money, but it’s ridiculous to suddenly lump Monaco onto that list with the likes of A. Madrid, Real, Barca and Bayern. As if to say, that we always up against it facing Monaco. Monaco had a depleted squad at the Emirates, whilst we more or less had our best XI available for both legs, and we have better players. We lost to arguably the worst team in the last 16, it was pathetic! In the past we’ve lost to the likes of Bayern and Barca. Fair enough, I never expected to win those games, but I did expect to go through against Monaco. I honestly cannot believe people are trying to almost justify the defeat. It was shocking, unacceptable, and 100% proof that not only will we never win the Champions League under Wenger, I doubt we’ll ever even threaten to win it.

    A. Madrid nearly won it last year, and are back in the quarters this year, but they don’t have a squad full of superstars, and haven’t spent huge amounts of money. What they do have though, is a fantastic manager who gets the best out of is squad, and is a very good tactician. Diego Simeone is doing a fantastic job, and to beat Barca and Real to the league title, with the amount of money they spend, and the world class players they have, proves how good he is.

    It’s not about a blank cheque, although this helps, it’s more about how to get the best out of your players and being a great tactician. Wenger, yet again, proved he’s neither of these against a rubbish team. Monaco may have spent a lot, but remember that their two best players left in the summer, so no excuses!

    1. But that doesn’t suit their stance of complete and unquestionable adoration and blind following does it now. So they left those very obvious points out.

    2. Fair comments there but Simeone will prove how good he is by sustaining Atletico’s successes for the next 5/10 years. And easy to forget that Wenger has the same “been there and done that” badges as Klopp and Simeone – resurrecting a team, making an impact on their domestic leagues and getting to the UCL finals – his “crime” is that he didn’t sustain that for longer than 5-6 years. Klopp has 2 league titles in 7 years, Simeone 1 in 4 years – Wenger 3 in his first 8 years. And “nearly” winning the UCL is commendable in my book but the virulent AOBs on here will tell you close no cigar, doesn’t matter, not good enough etc.

  8. We should’ve gone through considering our draw. Monaco is respectable, but anybody that thinks we should’ve lost out to them over two legs needs to wake up or go support a club that isn’t as ambitious. They’re decent but c’mon, be serious!!! Like most other comments before mine, we blew it at home and made it too difficult for ourselves after a valiant 2nd leg effort.

  9. Wenger is a loser end of the story. He doesnt have any tactics to beat well organized teams.
    Wenger’s record against tactical masterclass like Mourinho and Fergusson was terrible.

  10. Kevin de Bruyne now has 24 assists, 14 goals in 38 matches. And Mourinho sold him for £19 millions.


  11. That’s not the point really.

    Going into the 1st leg, I believe we were the best team on paper. We were all happy when we drew Monaco because we all genuinely believed we would beat them.

    I’m not trying to be arrogant (I applaud Monaco for going through. They totally deserved it). But we showed how better we were by beating them 2-0 in Monaco. We lost the first leg because we played pathetic football and Monaco played good football.

    We should be the only English team still in the CL.

    We were given an awesome opportunity by drawing Monaco rather than any of the better teams and we blew it in 1st leg. No way we should have ever lost 1-3, but we did.

    The fact that Chelski, City are out too doesn’t make me happy. We should not have been out. The fact that top teams are in last 8 does nit make me happier because we should have been there.

    Again, I applaud Monaco. They did what they had to to win. They were the best over two legs even though it was 3-3 on aggregate, but we winning 2-0 hurt even more because it showed How rubbish we were in first leg.

  12. I’m not sure why the FA still insists on teams playing through the winter months, they need to keep up with the rest of European teams. 2ndly Wenger is a player developer meaning i think his true strength is in getting the best out of his players individually; Look at the improvements of Giroud/ox/cazorla/Kos/Monreal etc., this is what he does! He makes people’s careers but his drawback is that he likes to play his brand of football which is soooooooooooooo entertaining to watch but often comes short when he plays defensive minded teams. This is why he won’t win the CL or the league because other teams know this about an Arsene Wenger team; sit deep and defend,, let them keep possession and hit them on the counter. Lastly, our never ending injuries which is a sign of over-training which he’s been accused of on numerous occasions. If he changes these two aspects about his philosophy i think Arsenal will win the league and might even get to the semis of the CL next year pending transfers of course.

  13. Next season we could add Dybala/lacazette, Kondogbia/Schneiderlin, Subiotic, Cech, Reus…whoever but that doesn’t guarantee us going past the round of 16. It won’t guarantee us not playing like we did in the 1st leg.

    Three things must always happen
    1. Manager should make sure the best players are put in the best positions
    2. Manager makes sure to fire up the players before and at half time and give good instructions
    3. Make sure to change players who are not playing well as early as possible
    4. Players should play hard and with passion.

    I think when we sign New players Wenger should look very closely at their work rate, not just their quality.

  14. Simple logic, Atletico are champions and have the best coach(you own words) so they are through to the last 8, the contrapositive of that statement is we are not through to the quarter finals because we don’t have the best coach hence we are not champions in the EPL.

      1. LOL. Did you see Simeone weaving his magic in the Leverkusen tie? 1 La Liga title in 5 years is simply not good enough, 4th in the league now after flattering to deceive last year. Stupendously boring to watch.

  15. The sad truth in the article is that it persuades Arsenal fans to admit that Arsenal is not in the same class with Atletico, FC Porto, Monaco, Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona Bayern and PSG

    1. @zulu-boy-sa, this is not about persuading anybody to accept arsenal’s failures. Read the article again. I just made an observation. The Champions league is a competition for champions with a lot of money to spend too. Period. If they are not profiting from the fact that they are champions, then it is their obscene riches that is helping them. Either way, they have something that we don’t. That is why only a handful of teams have been able to win it. That is why we have been trying and not succeeded even with the invincibles. PSG beat chelsea with ten men. If we had a better goalie than Almunia, we might have beaten Barcelona in 2006 with the best team we have had in arsenal’s history. Bottom line is that the more complete team won in 2006. This is not a coincidence.

      But Arsenal should do better of course. I desire better for arsenal. But I also realise that we can only go so far in the pursuit of that champions league trophy. Our competitors are so crazy and obsessed about this trophy that it will be hard for us to join in the madness. The competition is mad. This is why the competition sold us Sanchez and might sell Suarez and even Gareth Bale. Their quest for absolute domination is not one that we can match. Do you see Arsenal buying a player for 80 million pounds? Hell no. If I were the one writing that cheque, I won’t even do it. That is madness. How much exactly is the champions league cup worth? At some point, common sense must come into the running of a club. So it is complicated and that champions league cup is not for everybody. That is all I am saying. If you think that it is okay to invest 150 mil pounds in your pursuit of something worth around 60 to 80mil, then I cannot argue with you. We clearly do not see the world from the same perspective.

  16. i personally think we lack some determination.
    we were given some chances this year, and we have good players.
    sorry to say it but i think its down to wenger.
    as a coach you have to get the best out of the players and look at the squad that played monaco….we had the better players.
    that we cant then go on and beat barza or Madrid?
    i dont buy it. we have started to beat teams but we just didnt know how to manage the chance given.

  17. That’s not a valid reason. Drawing Monaco was the best thing to happen to us in years and Arsenal squandered that opportunity. We can still safely say which ever team draws Monaco next will already have a foot in the door to the semis.
    And yeah Monaco spent a lot recently but the only big money player they have left from that shopping spree is Moutinho and he’s not great. Still proud of the second leg performance, but no excuses bowing out to such a weak team.

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