Winning UCL group is great but should Arsenal fans calm down?

It was only a week or so ago that some Arsenal fans were wringing their hands with despair and predicting a collapse of form and results that would see Arsenal slide out of the Premier League title race, exit the EFL cup and suffer the usual fate of being runners up in our Champions League group which would see us knocked out in the first knockout stage.

Thankfully it has not worked out that way for the Gunners, although we were dumped out of the league cup by the Saints. After moving up to second place in the EPL table and pipping PSG to the top spot in Europe, things are looking a lot better, but I think that the pendulum of confidence may just have swung a bit too far the other way.

We have the usually negative and pessimistic Charlie Nicholas telling Sky Sports that Arsenal are now a match for any team in Europe and that it should not really matter who we get in the draw for the next round, which I must say appears to be a bit over the top.

The former Gunner said, “When Arsenal are a club with fluency and momentum, they are as good as anybody.

“They’ve beaten Barcelona in the past and they can beat any of the top sides, but can they do it consistently. It’s looking as if they are much tougher. They are much more up for the fight and it is all good news for Arsenal.

“Arsenal have got their swagger back and were in the groove. He didn’t score tonight but Alexis Sanchez, alongside Mesut Ozil, was absolutely fabulous to watch.

“The players that came in also did well. Lucas Perez got a hat-trick, Alex Iwobi scored, Kieran Gibbs basically got three assists and Rob Holding also played well at the back. So it’s all good news and a happy December so far.”

So far it is, but I do not really agree that Arsenal are in top form, as the scorelines against Basel and West Ham at the weekend were a bit flattering. I think we should also remember that our current position looks good but would not have done if PSG had not fluffed their lines so badly. In the game that we really needed to play well in, against the French champions, Arsenal were poor.

We were lucky to get the draw against Man United at Old Trafford as well, so all this talk of Arsenal suddenly being world beaters is a bit premature to my eyes. Yes it is encouraging that we got through the November slump without too much damage and are looking better again, but don’t you agree that we have a long way to go before the Gunners are firing on all cylinders?



  1. Uzi Ozil says:

    Like I said in one of my posts.. Topping the group is great but let’s focus on the next round as some good teams finished second.

    My guess is Arsenal will play Real Madrid in the next round.

    Anyway, whoever we meet, we have to bring our A game. If you wanna be the best, you have to beat the best and the rest. Awaiting for the draw. COYG

  2. NY_Gunner says:

    Wheres the harm in enjoying the win? If things are looking up for us, we should ride the high until the next result…

  3. Dee@ease says:

    Arsenal fans should no better than most not to get too excited,we could still draw Real Madrid or Bayern Munich and we all know our results against the bigger sides are not great

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      Doesn’t matter who we draw. This is a different squad, expect different results…

  4. dragunov762mm says:

    Most important thing for Arsenal now, my opinion, DON’T CHANGE OUR COQUELIN-XHAKA AXIS. It’s not as tricky as Santi running around but it’s pretty effective.They are guarantee our quick transition. Alexis, Ozil, Theo or any forwards won’t work well if we didn’t release the ball quick enough. Nine goals from two games have spoken it self. I think if Arsene figured this out since early November, we might be top of the league right now.
    As for UCL, being top of group was good for us because we’re going to face a slightly weaker team. But if you put the Monaco’s story (which is still pits me off) into this case, then we should consider that all opponents are dangerous.
    In fact, they are dangerous, just look at this list. If we are lucky enough, we’ll face : Benfica, Porto, Leverkusen or Sevilla. If we don’t, we’ll face : Muenchen or Madrid.
    Anyway, I think this Arsenal is more resilient and tougher then last year. We’ll see soon. COYG!!!

  5. Jansen says:

    I don’t think there is world of difference between the teams we could have faced if we had finished 2nd or the ones we can draw now.

    In fact, I hope we draw Bayern. They are not playing great this year and we owe them.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I like your enthusiasm but by the time Feb comes around and they’ve had that massive winter break all of a sudden things could take on a whole new look.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Nah scrap that, I hope we get Bayern too. We can rest players also with our squad size larger than ever.

  6. Onochie says:

    What some ppl fail to understand is that if it was in the round of 16 that we play 1-1 away to PSG and 2-2 at,that we would be knocked out of the Champions League,if we can be consistent till the new year,it would go a long way in boosting our confidence

  7. citrenoogeht says:

    This sounds like the debate that they were having on talkSPORT yesterday during the Drive show, where that numpty “Adrian Durham” refused to give Arsenal any credit for topping the group.

    Winning the group was a significant water shed moment. Prior to the final tie against Basel, the common consensus was there was little advantage to winning our Champion’s League group. However judging from the following options, and considering the fact that we will play the second leg at home, there is a distinct advantage to us winning the group.

    Possible teams we could face as group winners:

    Bayern Munich
    Bayer Leverkusen
    Real Madrid

    Teams we could have faced as runners up:

    Atletico Madrid
    Borussia Dortmund

    There is not much between these two groups (and ultimately it boils down to who we eventually get in the draw) but judging from the above groups it seems well worth the effort of winning the group yesterday. Therefore, of course we should celebrate minor victories as it ultimately breeds confidence. However every thing should be done in proportion. We should not go overboard with a victory nor should we suffer a melt down when things don’t go according to plan.

    1. Koss says:

      by the look of the things, we will definitelyl be paired against one of the teams starting with B as usual, hope it’ll be leverkusen this time.

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