Tactics? Inexperience? No Plan B? What went wrong for Arsenal in Munich?

What went wrong against Bayern Munich?

Last night’s game is a hard one to take and for someone like me, who was feeling maybe a bit too confident before the game, was disappointed with how things turned out and how we played. I expected a lot more from this Arsenal side and think we again just switched off when we needed to be focused. I’m not sure if that’s just due to experience of the manager and the players but when we needed to be focused, we weren’t. The fact is that Bayern are Champions League royalty with 6 winners trophies already and their fans have probably already been checking on how to buy UCL Final tickets before we even played the second leg.

Here’s a rundown of what I think went wrong last night.

Firstly, I think the first half was decent, I think we came out and looked confident, Bayern are a massive team with extensive experience and for a team like Arsenal who have a lot of young players, playing up against a side like theirs could be daunting, but I think we came out with confidence and the belief that we could win, but the second half was completely different.

Bayern came out in the second half and looked like they have figured Arteta’s game plan out and although they played very defensively, that is what worked for them against a side who was making little passes and trying to build play up through the middle. Both games Bayern were very defensive, and I think that worked to their advantage.

Again, we weren’t clinical enough when we had chances, I hate to single a player out, but Martinelli had the opportunity to score a number of times and didn’t take advantage of those opportunities. He is still a very young player and still learning but when you’re handed chances like he was, in a game this big, you have to take them.

I think Arteta should have brought Jesus on earlier and played him on the wing, Jesus has the experience I think we needed on the pitch last night. If you look at his stats in the Champions League, they really speak for themselves. Bayern took advantage of Arsenal’s weaknesses and exploited them, making the front line distant and unable to connect with each other. I think Jesus would have changed that.

As I said, Bayern were defending well and looked to had figured out the tikki takki passes we were doing to try build up play, and I think that’s when a manager must step in and change the plan, push the ball out wide and cross balls into the box. Give your team a fighting chance and a back-up plan when the first one doesn’t seem to be working.

You can blame whoever you want, but I think as a collective we just weren’t good enough and the better team won on the night. It’s disappointing but that’s football and hopefully we learn from our mistakes and next season we grow from it and do better. I am proud of how far we have come and what we’ve done this season in Europe, but it still hurts all the same.

We will go again next season and hopefully go even further…

Tags Bayern Munich v Arsenal


  1. Its just a a bad night we wernt clinical nor tough enough we needed a clinical striker and better holding midfielder better luck next time coyg

  2. I don’t think there was anyone in the bench or any tactical changes that would have win us this game.
    IMO what went wrong is our summer transfer business.
    We are turning into another Man United, other clubs have identified us as a target and are ripping us off for their mediocre players.

    Poor overpriced transfers have consequences, and this is just the beginning.

    We have spent close to $800m under Arteta, the club has barely improved, and now we are dangerously close to PSR limits and have a small budget come this summer.
    All these rumours about signing Osimehn and Gyokeres are pipedream nonsense.

    We don’t even have anyone to sell to balance the books.
    Soares, Elneny and Georginho will leave for free. Tavers and Sambi will come back after having terrible loan spells. Viera, Smith Rowe and Nelson stocks are lower than ever.

    We have been falsely performing well in the league this past two seasons because the standard of the league has been very low and most other teams have been poor. And it’s been hiding a real problem with the squad.

    1. “We have spent close to $800m under Arteta, the club has barely improved”. That is a staggering statement!

      So we were competing with City when Arteta took over?

      1. Wenger 6 th 5th ( cup ) 2nd , 3 rd ( cup )
        Arteta 8th ( Cup ), 8th, 5 th , 2nd

        Wenger last years , Arteta first
        For 800 million that’s not a dramatic change

          1. I’m afraid this is very poor analysis. There are other teams in the PL with whom we are competing. Considering transfer fees in isolation without considering other factors tells us nothing.

      2. No, but the league is a lot weaker.
        The bottom half is unpredictably poor, and the financial gap between the top 6 and the rest is ever wider.

        A relatively poor mid table Italian team like Roma wiped the floor with Brighton.
        I can’t imagine what would have happened to us if we faced Inter in CL

        1. Roma is 5th in the Italian league with a game in hand. Brighton is 10th in the English Premier league. Perhaps you wanted to say Roma beat a mid table Brighton?

  3. I think a mixture of everything.

    Like the Villa game in the second half, MA couldn’t find a way of changing things up tactically, and given how good our defense is, I think we would have found a lot more space, inviting pressure and playing on the counter. Risky, but the pay off would have been huge if we pulled it off.

    Whilst MA had an off night tactically, all three goals over the course of the tie were terrible individual errors, and no manager can be blamed for that. Especially when it’s your key players making the mistakes, so one cannot even blame MA for having them in the lineup.

    Lack of experience was huge as well. Bayern maybe off form, but have pedigree in Europe. They are the 4th most successful team in European history, mixing it with the likes of Real, Liverpool and Milan, whereas Arsenal are a million miles off a club like Sevilla when comes to success in Europe.

    Overall, we would have beaten Bayern if we could have translated our domestic form into Europe, because they were not great, but we were too timid, and you get punished at this level for individual errors.

    1. Those are MA’s players, his formation, his game plan, his in game management. YES the manager is to blame because it is the third end of season collapse.

      1. You can have the best tactics, best players in world but literally nothing you can do about your players failing to do the basics.

        1. You said it YOUR Players, Arteta & Edu have no nous when it comes to building a squad, therefore all the dead weight and player mistakes. Saliba was not good enough for Arsenal and Arteta send him on loan again just one example.

          Take this saying on board, if a basic mistake happens once it is an error, if it happens twice it is a coincidence, if it happens 3 times it is a pattern. Arteta has bottled it the last 3 times, he needs to go because his pattern is bottling it and therefore no trophies.

          1. Some of us saw that our season was over after that Villa game, but the ARTETA KNOWS IT ALL said we were blabbing.
            1. Harverts a good buy for scoring 10 goals in 40+ games.
            2. GJ, Zinc, Harverts plays no matter their form and who they are competing with
            3. Nketiah, Nelson, Kiwio & co only plays when we don’t have options
            Whether we like it or not, nearly will continue being the outcome in this pattern. INSANITY IS DOING SAME THING, EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT

  4. Everything went wrong last night, from the starting line up. Harvertz has no business being in the starting XI, yes I know he has improved lately but there are certain games that suits certain players. What was Party doing on the Bench. Sometimes managers need to be ruthless and unpredictable. Tuchel watched Arsenal match against Villa and figured out Arteta’s tactics. Sadly, he got it wright because our manager does not have a plan B. Another heartbreaking end of the season for us Arsenal fans.

    1. Havertz has no Business being Anywhere near the Bench.😕
      At this Crunch stage of the season, a slow Player like him is not needed.
      He slows the team down and it’s a Quite a Pity that Arteta prefers to Die than even sub him a Match.
      Arteta has put all of the Team’s Efforts to WASTE due to his Silly Love for Havertz.

      1. It really is not that simple. One player (who isn’t even that bad btw) can not be the reason for us not winning trophies.

        Gotta zoom out and look at the bigger picture. Flawed transfer strategy is how we ended up like this.
        Paying $70m and $100m for players on their last year of contract means we can’t buy anyone else and is how we end up with squad debth issues.
        Paying $100m for unwanted Man City players means they can strengthen while we stagnate.

  5. A lack of rotation has simply done us in. Players that should have been eased up to match fitness up till this time have not had game time. After their goal, I would have pulled Rice and put on Partey, ESR, and Zinchenko to keep the ball in the very least. ESR is direct and a good runner with the ball. But that’s just my opinion. I think the players and gaffer didn’t do enough to win it.

  6. Zinchenko needs to be played in his natural midfield position like a deep lying playmaker. He’s definitely smoother than Jorginho on the ball.

  7. apologies doom merchants

    but Man C, Liverpool and West Ham have joined Arsenal in being knocked out of Europe in the last 2 days

    that’s right Man C – best team in the world, hugely experienced at winning trophies, best striker in the world

    that’s right Liverpool – vastly experienced in Europe, won the CL, one of the most lethal attacking units around

    Haarland does not score in either leg

    Liverpool drop Nunez for the fight back leg, and only manage 1 goal in 180 minutes

    this non-sense that Arsenal are under achievers

    this fantasy that a new striker will score every game to rescue Arsenal

    get a grip JA notables, start ‘supporting’ Arsenal

    1. What, exactly, has the above got to do with supporting The Arsenal?
      All the clubs you mentioned have won trophies more recently than we have and not spent anywhere near the amount of money either.
      Pointing out the obvious doesn’t make one more or less a supporter, so I ask again, what have city, pool, west ham got to do with The Arsenal?
      By the way, you forgot to mention Aston Villa and the performance of Martinez – don’t think Haaland or Nunez would have scored against him either!!

      1. Ken, stop talking sense, you will get a reputation. Like you say, the teams mentioned have all won something recently and the poster is not talking with any logic at all.

        1. 👍👍ken and Reggie. Unfortunately too many people want to deflect to the performances of the opposition rather than concentrate on the efforts and achievements of Arsenal.

  8. None of the above, just not in to win it yet, considering our development plan in Europe’s elite competition. Like i’ve been saying past two months, the league is the club’s frame and they are ready to hit. Let’s go, COYG!

      1. No, no, no, no he didn’t ken. Well thats what he will tell us. Chill people we have this!!!!!🙄

      2. No i didn’t, i said one of them not both, which i wasn’t sure of till last month, where i concluded it’s the league and Bayern will be the end of our cl journey this season.

  9. Arsenal lost this tie in the first leg at the Emirates by drawing 2-2 by conceding two poor goals. To succeed in European competition you must win at home with as high a goal difference as possible. Given the quality of the opposition in Europe, an away loss to an experienced and talented Bayern Munchen 1-0 is not unexpected.
    In both legs Arsenal paid for its defensive lapses capitalised on by Bayern Munchen, whereas Arsenal’s forward line squandered too many chances. Just remember Arsenal only got by FC Porto on penalties and Bayern Munchen was up a grade in class. The further you go in this competition the better the opposition.

  10. Folks get behind the team. Remember the 5-0,5-1 European nights? We lost to a UCL power house 3-2 aggregate. So did City with all their talent. As for the Villa loss, we lost to top 4 team but are still within 2 points off the leaders. We have become competitive again with MA. Only 1 team will win league, but MA and lads gave their best. No shame in that. We become stronger and better for the next season. Finishing 2nd is better then finishing 5th or 6th.

    1. Or even 8th Loose Cannon, I wonder why you didn’t mention that? 🤔
      Your another one who said we were going to win both the PL and the CL, but seem rather hesitant to mention that either 🤔
      What I REALLY don’t understand is why you keep going back in time, to try and justify what’s happening today.
      What on earth have those old results got to do with MA and HIS squad of players today? 🤔

      MA has certainly made some excellent progress in the last two seasons, albeit with the absolute support of Mr. Kronkie – but to try and gloss over his mistakes / failures by referring back is both ludicrous and unhelpful.
      I’m rooting for MA and believe we will beat both wolves and chelsea – if we don’t, I won’t be looking back to seasons gone by to justify why we didn’t!!

    2. Good points LC
      However, I try to forget those awful nights. We are now a much more competitive team. We are also as of now still challenging for the PL.

  11. So where exactly is the improvement this season? Even I feel we have improved but I can’t exactly identify it. Looking at the players:
    Ramsdale / Raya ( no improvement
    White – (yes, but still not very effective in attack)
    Tomiyasu / Kiwior / Zivchenko ( No, not really)
    Saliba & Gabriel ( Yes, although the latter is still accident prone )
    Rice ( has improved the defense)
    Odegaard ( Yes, definitely)
    Jesus, ( No, gone backwards)
    Jorghino ( Yes, but has his limitations)
    Trossard ( Yes, one game; No the next )
    Martinelli &Saka ( Not really)
    Nketien ( Gone backwards )
    Viera ( Who? )
    ESR / Nelson ( Not much happening there)
    Those two youngsters who were given opportunities and will make an impact next season) ???
    The manager ( Still doing his O. J.T. )

    1. 👍
      As far as I’m concerned, our season ended on Sunday against Villa. Give yourselves false hop as much as you want/can

      1. That’s probably what pool fans were saying after they lost to Palace.
        Now The Arsenal, city and pool have all been beaten in europe, so it’s game on once again.

  12. There’s no game on anywhere. we still have Chelsea, MAn u & Spurs. It’s a joke to think we’ll win all those games
    I don’t know why we like giving ourselves false hope

  13. As long as our O.T.J trainee calls the shots, we will continue to be trophy less. His CV had listed as qualifications for managing Arsenal the setting of cones for Pep at City, not what I would consider needed for an elite manager.

    Before anyone else here challenges for a list of managers to replace him, that is KSE’s and Edu’s job. If you pay me the millions they get, I will gladly provide a list. In the meantime I reserve my favorites.

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