Monaco defeat can be the catalyst for Arsenal’s success this year

Monaco defeat could just be what Arsenal needed! By Adrian Noone.

So we all still recovering from the humbling we received last week from a determined and well organised Monaco side. The victory over Everton helped to repair some of the damage done, and the promising performance of Gabriel (despite that one incident) will help to relieve some of the pressure on Wenger and the players. However, as the eternal optimist, I believe that we will look back at the Monaco game as a much needed wake up point which transformed what, lets be honest, has been a mediocre season – given relevant success of the 2013/2014 FA Cup.

We simply didn’t show up against Monaco, and I think many of the players (and fans) who have being so used to receiving the hardest Champions League draw, took the French side for granted. The team selection was solid, however the players simply didn’t turn up. Ozil was poor, he drifts in and out of games too much and in many ways he resembles Berbatov. Bags of potential but an inconsistent desire to perform. Alexis needs a rest, he carried the team through the first half of the season now it is their turn to repay him. Mertesacker, ah the BFG, we all love the Big man but I simply don’t think he has the ability for these big games, in many ways he has become the Arsenal scapegoat, something I don’t agree with. He has the passion but not the ability and I still believe he has a vital role to play in Arsenal season, albeit more as a presence off the pitch than on it. I believe Gabriel will hold his place for the forthcoming QPR match, and given another successful performance we could see the formation of a new, more balanced centre back partnership.

In previous years we have struggled in the first leg of the last 16, losing to AC Milan 4-0, and then to Munich in successive years, however the way we have responded in the reverse fixtures has often sparked a fine run of form within the team, which last year resulted in us lifting our first trophy in nine years. I believe that we once again will respond positively when we travel to Monaco in a few weeks’ time. However there is one fundamental difference compared to previous seasons; Arsenal for the most part have been on a fine run of form with eight wins in the last nine premier league games. And in many respects we failed to hit full gear in the majority of these games. I think it’s frightening what we could achieve if we are firing on all cylinders, and I believe that the Monaco defeat could be the catalyst for that. The realist in me says that we are out of the Champions league, three goals, away from home against a team built around its defensive capabilities is a big ask, maybe too big, nevertheless we should win in the style reminiscent of our 2-0 victory in Munich.

The next two games will show us how Arsenal are going to react to last week’s defeat, a win against QPR, and even a draw away to United in the Cup would set us up for a fine end to the domestic season. Monaco will teach the players to take nothing for granted and I am confident this will be seen on the field in the next two games. I foresee a revitalised Arsenal side achieve a hard fought 2-0 victory over QPR – then a confident draw (or victory) over United. We need to believe in the team and trust in Wenger and his ability to instil the character needed to come back from the disappointment of the Champions league – and carry this into the remainder of our domestic season. We CAN finish second, and trust me that would be a huge achievement in itself, I also expect us to retain our FA cup as long as we can bypass the old enemy and finally achieve a much warranted victory over United.

Come on you Gooners lets all get behind our club for the rest of the season and prove to everyone we are not specialist in failure but procurers of success COYBIG!


Tags Gabriel Mertesacker Monaco QPR


  1. I’m speechless!

    A Catalyst, yes. For a new direction under new management.

    As for the players learning from their horror showing: they are all highly paid professionals who are not new to sport/football and therefore know you NEVER undersitmate your opposition especially considering your not that good yourself.

    We have fabricated a false ideal of success transmitted from board via wenger and down to the team.

    From invincible to the predictable.

    1. I understand your premise but we must realise that for years Wenger was confined by financial constraints, and I honestly don’t think many other managers could have kept the club in the champions league, look at Liverpool and Man United, even with there inflated budgets they failed to achieve a top four finish in recent years.

      I know as fans we should expect more, and many of us thought this season would be the year we returned to the glory days, and so far we have not achieved that success but if we examine two last two seasons we can see that Wenger and the board are changing. The signing of Alexis and Ozil in has proved that Arsenal is no longer a ‘feeder club’, but a club capable of performing at the highest level of European football, and at the moment we are maybe one or two players away from that.

      I understand that we are all becoming impatient but think of what Wenger has achieved on a shoe string budget?! And maybe he has become to set in his ways, which is understandable considering how he was forced to operate for almost a decade. Whether Wenger is capable of achieving more, or not, will be decided by our performance and desire for the rest of the season, I know we all have misgivings, but we are at a point of ‘no return’ in the season whereby we cannot sign new players or sack Wenger because it would throw the club into chaos.

      So simply put, we need to support the club with passion and respect, we can judge Wenger and the team on their success at the end of the season, but now we must fulfill our role as fans and show everyone involved that we are behind the club as proud Arsenal supporters, a club who’s success was not purchased but instead achieved on the back of financial fair play, stability and commitment. Lets prove that we are the best fans in the league! COME ON YOU GOONERS!

      1. The badge and club I will always love but not always respect.

        Man U and others also spent wrongly, hired wrong managers, bought wrong players, adopted wrong formations etc. But I’m not interested in them, only AFC. It doesn’t make it success if ‘we’ under achieve and don’t move forward just because we are not the only ones.

        Southampton and Koeman have done far better on their miserly resources in two years than we have when you consider our finances our heritage.

        I support the team (when they show up) but cannot sit silently as I see the same things and tired excuses occur again and again.

      2. Adrian you are looking to much into the category of excuses. The fittest survive the weak are left behind. We are risking to fall behind to much bec nowdays we are no rivals for epl title but rather rivals to the likes of Spurs and other weaker teams for the well known Wenger trophy.

        I think that even if we buy the likes of Messi or Ronaldo we would still find our selfs losing to the likes of Monaco. There is no good damn excuse to lose to the likes of Monaco, we have a strong team who fails to deliver bec of the incompetence of the manager.

        Deal with it, Wenger has expired his time long time ago. Legend status or not, a manager should not be allowed to stay with performances like this. Manchester united would have never allowed Fergi to stay if he would have underperformed like Wenger, and thats a fact and thats why Wenger needs to go.

  2. Monaco defeat could just be what Arsenal needed! For F sake Adrian, what are you thinking?

    1. I understand that I might be far to optimistic (even deluded) but we can only judge our failures on how we respond, we should never lose to Monaco, but we did, the only way of stopping that happening again is by growing and learning. I support Wenger but not because I am a ‘fanboy’ but because I believe in his values, I disagree with a lot he has done, and maybe he should leave the club to pave way for fresh ideas, but the point I was trying to make is that we can still turn this season into something we can be proud of, if we don’t then come June I expect that we will (respectively) call for change and it will be our duty to make the board listen, but June is still a half a season away.

        1. Year after year? Can we not categorize last year as a success, after all we ended the dreaded drought, we all know that we need to build on last year, but only time will tell if we have or not.

  3. silk purse and sows ear come to mind . some arsenal fans are so deluded they are beginning to believe their own spin , lol.

    1. Nail on the head.

      A club of spin doctors! The players and manager, building themselves up and making themselves out to be better than they are whilst trying to kid and placate/pacify the fans.

  4. Usamov is the 71st (individual) Richest Billionaire in the world. With a fortune of around £9.4 billion according to Forbes.

    He should Usesomeof his dough to help us move forward.

    1. All he cares about is success with money not trophys…..sounds similar to Finanacial Economist Manager AW…

      1. Unlike Kroenke he is a AFC fan, has attended our matches and has openly offered to help finance the club further if required.

        I sure as f@ck wish he held the major share instead of Kroenke. He would also be less in favour of Wengers continued ‘successes’ and management;)

  5. What Arsene has done for the Arsenal has been immeasurable but it is time to
    o move on.I now believe that he should see his contract out and leave with all our gratitude. I also believe his successor has already been sounded out.My guess is as good as yours but Gardiola seems the Ar senal type and with a impeccable Cv.
    Patientts is the order of the day. Just one more season.

    1. Well said, but lets focus on this season so that it doesn’t become another mediocre notch in Arsenal’s history.

  6. Strange how the almoat same squad (maybe just a few changes) can start winning trophys wit Pep Gard….

    1. This. More to the point, Sir Alex won a lot of silverware with squads inferior to this Arsenal team.

      I’m of mixed mind on AOB/AKB; I have a lot of sympathy with the idea that holding things together when money was tight is a real accomplishment, but then seeing the delay in fixing the DM and CB positions, and above all the lack of rotation as infuriating. FFS, BFG was runner up to Ramsey as Arsenal player of the year last season. He always lacked pace, but every other aspect of his game was top notch or nearly so — until this season. Is it a coincidence that he had played nearly every minute of every game since he came to London? I think the BFG is done except as a veteran presence on the bench, but he doesn’t deserve the sh**t he’s given on this site — the manager who overused him deserves it.

      Is it a coincidence that Giroud’s form has improved after the injury-enforced break he had? I have no doubt that a game off or coming in as a late sub would do Alexis a world of good. The only place I see a glimmer of evidence that this may happen is that Monreal and Gibbs might be rotated to fit the opponent or situation. Otherwise it seems like his best XI are being run into the ground.

      But for all this, third place is very doable, meaning no CL qualifiers, and second is within reach. The only absolute necessity is one more quality DM — Schneiderlin would be ideal because he’d be good alongside Coquelin as well as rotating with him. Khedira would also fit this but we don’t need the injury risk, and Morgan is younger by 2 1/2 years.

      So where does this leave me? In the middle ground of don’t replace Wenger mid-season, but if you can find the right manager to replace him at the end of this year or next it would be OK. But David Moyes should be a cautionary tale. It has to be a good fit, not just a replacement for the sake of sacking Wenger.

  7. Pep guardiola, with Simone as defense coach!

    Am I being too greedy?!

    I would be very surprised if Wenger is here until the end of his contract..

  8. I agree to an extent.

    Before that our worse defeat was our 2-0 loss to Southampton. After that we went on a bit of a winning streak.

    The thing is Monaco can happen again if we aren’t careful. If we play a match where we are playing lazy and not into the match, if Wenger misplaces players in positions we could have another big loss.

    I beg Arsenal:
    1. To players, please play with passion and high work rate for 90+ minutes each match. It’s not a lot to ask for.
    2. To Wenger, a. Play our best players from now until May; b. Play Ozil/Cazorla in no. 10 position; 3. Play Mertsacker if required, but play Gabriel instead for the time being. He is faster and performing better. 4. play our top players in FA Cup matches. We NEED a trophy for successful season. Top 4 does not equal successful season anymore

  9. i d rather have a catalyst game inthe capital one cup to wake us up in UCL.
    and win it.
    for once.
    I wanted wenger to win it and retire bit now i am convinced he wont ever.
    move on.
    and I want a UCL trophy!

    1. I thought the anderlect capitulation in the UCL would have served as suffecient wake up?

      Apparently it wasn’t shameful enough to remember!

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