Sunday, January 23, 2022

Not scoring goals annoys players

From keeper to striker, Arsenal players lamented their inability to turn promising opportunities into goals as Barcelona delivered a patient performance that culminated in two killer strikes by Lionel Messi in the final twenty minutes.

Here’s what Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud had to say to Arsenal Player at full time.

In case you were struggling to get the gist of their frustration we took the liberty of bolding up the recurring theme…

We stopped just short of posting Beverley Knight’s 2002 hit ‘Should Woulda Coulda’ . You’re lucky.


Petr Cech

We are disappointed because we lost the game, not because one of the best players ever [Messi] managed to score against me. I’m not disappointed by that. I’m disappointed because we lost by two goals and our task is very difficult to qualify. I thought we did really well until the first goal. We had some opportunities and we should have scored. I think that would have made them a bit more defensive. Another blow is the second goal where they got a penalty to make it 2-0. It is a difficult deficit to overcome but 2-0 is not 5-0 and we have 90 minutes with a chance.

I think the only thing we didn’t fulfil was that we didn’t score. If you play one of the favourites to win the Champions League and you have a chance, you need to find a goal. We had a couple of chances where we could have scored and we did not. I think that would have made a big difference.

Per Mertesacker

You will never keep them quiet for 90 minutes, we managed it well in the first half and then in the second half had a good period of time with a couple of chances but we needed to score then and drop back. But we took more risks and then they scored, and it will be much more difficult. We tried our best but we didn’t deserve it because we had enough chances to score at least one.

We have to concentrate on the Premier League now and in one month we will face Barcelona again. If we have the same courage and bravery, we still have a chance – we won’t give up. We are always fighting and we keep going like that.


Aaron Ramsey

In the first half I thought we did really well, we created a few opportunities but we didn’t manage to take any. As soon as they scored it was obviously going to be tough for us, but we will go there and try our hardest.

We created a couple of opportunities, especially in the first half and against a side like that you have to take them. The three strikers they have got, they have so many goals between them and they average a goal a game so you know they are likely to score. They scored twice and we know it is going to be difficult.


Olivier Giroud

We were not cautious enough of their counter-attack [afterwards], which is a model counter-attack, and then they finished it well. We couldn’t score in the first half after we played well on the counter-attack and were dangerous.

We couldn’t finish our hard work and it’s disappointing because at the end of the day we’re 2-0 down and our chances of qualifying are very small. There’s a lot of disappointment.

I said before the game that we needed to be cautious if we could not win the game and not concede goals to keep our chances high for the second leg. In Barcelona it is very, very difficult to win, so we can have regrets after [the first leg] because we didn’t finish our counter-attacks.


Fuck it. Sing it proud Beverley…

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Arsene-al fan

I believe Coq was substituted as he was caught upfield on the first Barca goal, when he should have been disciplined and stayed protecting the back 4.

He reminded me of Denilson, running back helplessly after getting stranded whilst the opposition score. I think that was the naivety that Arsene was referring to.


That was a big mistake form Coquelin, but was Flamini a better option? He is the guy who likes to roam in the opposition’s box! Maybe Coq picked up a knock of some sort?

Arsene-al fan

He ran off quickly, so no.

Flamini wasn’t a good choice, Elneny would have been better imo (though wasn’t on the bench), or leave Coquelin on the pitch with strong instructions to keep the defensive solidity that we had just given up by everyone pouring forward.


I just assumed Elneny would have been cup tied as he has played European competition with Basel this season?

number 7

There might’ve been a hint of keeping him fresh for Sunday as well perhaps?


I think Wenger feels he is not fit yet for 90 minutes at this level as he really has had just a few games played since returning and this one obviously took a lot out of him.

Thoughtful Goon

We need not get into singling out players or the manager for that matter. There were a string of bad choices on that break that led to the first Goal by various players. Let’s take the positives and move on no time to wallow we have Manchester United next and a loss to them will be more detrimental to us in the scope of all things than losing 2-0 to the UCL defending champions and favorites.

He is Well Beck Now!

No Webger doesn’t sub players for mistake. Sometimes I wished he did and subbed Ox as soon as he missed the chance.


The problem was more that Neymar sucked in Mertersacker which opened up the space and left a 2 on 2! The Coq has run over but by then he’s left in a sprint with Neymar whose no slouch. You can’t really have 3 on 3 with arguably the 3 best players in the world.


as frustrating as it is – he will learn. he still has to hit his peak and he’s already a fantastic player to have.


If only we could forsee the lack of efficiency in front of goal in previous games.
Oh wait…

Arsene-al fan

Hope we get our scoring boots back soon.

Giroud, Walcott, Ramsey and Sanchez have all had hot streaks in the past so let’s hope one or more can get back in the groove.


This game is already swept under the carpet in my mind.
It was always more hope then expectations against the best team in Europe. No shame.

Now we must beat the worst Manchester United team in years, and win the most open league in years.
Double winning team 2015/2016 will do me nicely.

Lots to play for. COYG!


An honest thank you for a helpful dose of positivity this rather deflating morning


A pleasure my gooner friend. Onwards and upwards! Remember how far we’ve come (silvestre, cygan, denilson) etcetera ecetera The invincibles may be once in a lifetime, and the current team will often be compared, but we’re going in the right direction. We have removed a lot of the deadwood and prima donna’s, and added quality in Sanchez, Ozil,Cech etc. We got the monkey off our back with a trophy (twice) and next we get the premier league bottlers tag removed and look at our squad again in the summer and where we need to purchase… Alas! You can’t find a… Read more »

Arshavin's fake moustache

Seconded. The negativity train was bringing my inner Arshavin down.


Do like the Outer Arshavin would and go get a Happy Meal!


It is strange that Giroud is one those who are complaining about taking chances. He never took the chances that came his way. When he was suppose to shot, he flick the ball to an empty space. In all honesty, the boys played very well last night but those marginal errors have refused to go away. They can not just maintain their discipline. However, Wenger was angry that they did not keep to the structure. He should have stood up on the side line and shouted to some of the marauding players to go back or maintain their discipline. Some… Read more »


So true. Well said. Also, how strong and passionate is Welbeck? I love the player. I’m not sure if it’s something that he brought with him from his time spent at Manchester United but his level of confidence, belief and want to get the result is great. Wish to see it more in our players. Kind of like Walcott’s performance when he came on in the Leicester game… More of that from all please.

Mr. White

Don’t wanna hear Giroud talk out of his arse again. Gets the ball on his favoured left foot, inside the box with space to get a decent shot away and he try’s to pass it wide to Walcott?! Wtf. Said it so many times, can’t wait for a decent striker to come in this summer and hopefully Welbeck to start upfront from now on.


I think Welbeck was a better option especially if you watch barca games and see how they concede goals. Always on the counter or from set piece and they don’t press nearly as hard as they used. We squander some a lot of chances last night.


To be honest i don’t blame Giroud, he does his best but unfortunately at this level his best isn’t good enough. Sick and tired of hearing that we didn’t take our chances or we created lots but to no avail. We have suffered so many times this year because we have not been able to put teams away after all the possession and chance after chance. we have needed a top striker for years now and now we have the best chance for the title in years and will blow it again because we are lacking a clinical finisher. And… Read more »


Maybe, just maybe, if we rule our team out from any chance, the player will be free from the pressure and can win second leg game at Nou Camp. Fuck it this hurt my brain’s logic hahaha


Talking about the other end of the pitch, we have this tendency to build attacks from our box, with center backs passing through the lines. This is costing us big time. I see many of our players trying fancy stuff or passes at the edge of our box rather than booting it clear. This was very evident in Walcott losing the ball at the edge of our box against Liverpool, ox against west ham and of course in yesterday’s game. For the second goal I blame per more than flamini. Rather than sticking his boot through the ball, he laid… Read more »

bims lay

I agree 100% with the whole of your comment, hence my thumbs up apart from @”we have this tendency to build attacks from our box…”…this is the way arsenal plays and have always played. This is “the arsenal way”…..granted, it might cost us sometimes, but its also fetched us a few trophies over the years, no?


I agree with you completely. All I’m saying that we need to be intelligent enough to identify the moments in games where it’s better to clear it. So often we are accused of being naive in crunch situations, there is absolutely no shame in clearing the ball when we are under pressure or are protecting a lead in the last minutes or playing world class opposition like Barcelona.

bims lay

i agree….point taken

John C

20 years ago it wasn’t the Arsenal way, Adams, Keown, Bould etc would have just booted that ball into the stands


they would probably boot flamini out of the way too…heheheh


Another reason I see things to like about Gabriel.. He seems much more programmed to take the safer route in those circumstances.

Get well soon Gabby, Santi, and Jack.

Andy Mack

Although I tend to agree with this, the Walcott example was a poor one as he was clearly fouled in that particular move. The ref was the one that made the error in that case.

Block 93

Same mistakes different players for last 10 years ! Defenders who can’t clear the ball out of area , forwards who can’t shoot and when the do its a powder puff shot.
Common denominator is Wenger

bims lay


John C

Yes, i take it you haven’t been a fan for long?


Spot on.

Van Persie


I’m very sorry but there is no excuse for Beverly Knight.

Arsene's handkerchief

I’m not too concerned by the result last night, losing 2-0 to a team with arguably one of the best strike forces in footballing history isn’t something to be ashamed of. The frustration is the way we gifted them the goals. Why no one took down Neymar is beyond me (for the first goal), I think you could see Arsene gesturing on the side that someone needed to take one for the team. That’s down to the players on the pitch, they need to take responsibility for making certain judgements on the pitch. Arsene can’t tell them what to do… Read more »


That was my first thought exactly when he was breaking down that touchline. ‘Bring m down ffs foul ‘m!!’, but no.

Petits Handbag

Oopsy Daisy I hurt you again, crushed your heart in the palm of my hands, if you walk out baby, I’ll understand, cos all I do is hurt you again.
Famous words from the English poet Chipmunk. If only Johan Djorjou was still around to sing it.


I do maintain that starting Coq and Elneny in the middle would have given us a great stability at the back. Where was Mohamed Elneny anyway? Not even on the bench. Galling. Incomprehensable. Confusing.

Chamberlain did a whole lot more than Theo Walcott, frankly – but again I think Aaron Ramsey would have been better on the wing. He was caught out positionally a lot in the second half.


Let the records also show that our defence was mostly superb. Koscielny made some fantastic tackles and interceptions, Coquelin and Monreal also.

Arsene-al fan

Per too, for most of the match.

bims lay

Yep!. I agree. Our defense was majestic yesternight and kos particularly was the boss!

It does take some effort to keep the most potent strike force in the world of football right now quiet for 70 minutes. I watched Kos actually pro actively “nicked” balls off messi a few times in midfield……you bet he is kind of like telling him “all those fancy stuff?…not on my watch pal” magnificent!

shame we had those momentary lapses that led to their 1st goal and later the 2nd, but we need to acknowledge these positives amongst all these doom and gloom.

David Hillier's Luggage

I keep hearing people screaming for Elneny’s inclusion, but is he upto the pace of Pl and CL yet? Does he have a good working relationship with the Coq yet? Does he speak good enough English yet? These are the questions that I keep asking. Maybe wenger feels he’s too much of a risk for such high stakes games at the moment? Just a thought.


Considering that they’re the best club side there’s ever been, I think we did OK. The finishing is off an that’s a massive frustration but we had them on the ropes for a time, they were giving it away at the back. This is what led us to loose concentration and that was that. Flamini’s goose must be roasted to a crisp but blogs rating for the Ox is harsh. You can’t just focus on his bad moments. Yes he over run to get injured but you can’t just gloss over the fact that he had just sprinted 3/4 of… Read more »

John C

It does take away from Chamberlains overall performance, it’s the big moments that make a difference and The Ox didn’t take his.


4.5 out of 10 is harsh, in sure Barcelona would view his performance higher than that. That’s my opinion. Yours is clearly different, thats the free world my friend. Enjoy your day John C you miserable slaaaaaaag

John C

I’m a very cheerful person thank you very much, i’m clearly not an easily pleased mug like you!

Little Mozart

The Coq struggled at times last night but he was solid for the majority of the match. The problem came when Barcelona allowed Coquelin to get forward, thus leaving the space they had needed to score. When Coquelin cropped up on the wing twice in quick succession, I knew we were too exposed.


Absolutely. Coq was definitely out of position for the first goal. There is certain favoritism even amongst us fans. If it was flamini instead of the Coq in that situation we would be stating him to no end. We give certain players like Sanchez, Coq etc a benefit of doubt, whereas certain players like flamini, Ramsey etc are given a hard time.

You might say that the players like Sanchez and Coq have earned it but it is always better to judge a performance on merit rather than on the player’s reputation.


Depressing, isn’t it? Let’s be honest: we all knew what was coming, but it doesn’t make it any more pleasant when reality bites. Going out at the last 16 stage for the umpteenth time is a real downer. There’s been a load of nonsense spoken and written by the manager and players since we lost, but the sad fact is a simple one: we just ain’t good enough. Does anybody sane really think that we can compete with the likes of Messi and co with utterly mediocre players like Walcott, Ramsey, Mertsacker and Flamini? If we are going to seriously… Read more »

Yorkshire Gunner

Koeman Fats? You’re joking?

Runty Wilson

“We need a top manager”

Van Gaal should be free in the summer. Be careful what you wish for!


No matter what name someone puts up as a potential manager someone will find fault with it.
Let’s go for the current manager of grampus eight and see what happens then.


I bet your mates ‘love’ you


That’s too much to read and I know what it says anyway.


Wenger is not at all past it as some say, the team played well and a the game was about small margins. Still, can’t understand why buy and have players like Chambers and Elneny and still choose to substitute Flamini in in such a big game. Everyone knew what would happen.


You just don’t get it, do you?


Sorry fatgooner but Wenger’s plan was working until the players let him down, again. The only thing I do blame Wenger for is his substitutions and not playing Welbeck and Walcott sooner in the game. I’m sure either Theo or Danny could have scored when the ball dropped in front of the Ox’s feet in the 1st half.


Agree completely. The game especially on the second half would have been more suited for Walcott and Welbeck than Giroud/Ox




WAKE UP!!!!!

John C

But his plan didn’t work for the whole game, and it’s never worked well enough to win us the Champions league and thats what counts.

It doesn’t matter if it works for 70 minutes or 70 seconds if you end up losing the game.


You can’t really expect Arsenal to win the CL with the resources they have had during the last 5 years. It takes 2-3 seasons to build a team on that level and arsenal has just recently got the cash boost they need to do it.

John C

First of all, he couldn’t win it when we had the best team in Europe, he has been here almost 20 years.

Secondly, how can you build a team if you don’t buy players?


Who’s players are they? They are all his. Why do they continually let him down?

Ild like them to hold their hands up. both giroud and Ramsey saying they should have scored, per admitting welbeck got him out of jail for his miss against Leicester. Too easy to say we didn’t take our chances, well who didn’t? And per maybe look at your performance before stating the fucking obvious

I have no problem when we lose but when we hand it to them in the plate then that’s a kick in the balls


Can’t we book a session with DB10, I’m sure he could fix the problem.

Jack Kelsey

Deep down I think many of us were expecting to get well and truly shafted by Barca last night, which, after being on parity with them until 70 minutes, makes the defeat feel worse than it perhaps is. If we had played Barca a year ago we really would have been hammered, so the fact that we kept up with them for so long is a crumb (if only a crumb) of comfort. Going forward the really worrying thing is our chronic inability to put chances away. In the league all the three teams around us have a much better… Read more »

Victor Louden Kudanga

I believe in Europe we now on top when it comes to clear cut opportunities missed and that seems to be out problem for many seasons, I just hope we get over this and win the legue coz its now getting frustrating


I was disappointed yesterday…very disappointed..but after some thought I realized that we still have a lot to play for…champions league may be hard to get this year but the epl is…the boys need to get back to scoring and win the next 5 epl fixtures… this will get our groove back…cmooon gunners


Really depressing defeat, given how valiantly we kept the so called ‘Gods of Attack’ in check for 2/3rds of the game. Then came the usual Arsenal mistake. How many times have we conceded the same type of goal at the Emirates (Swansea, ManUtd etc. etc.). The look on Wenger’s face was that of a man thunderstruck. This is probably the 100th time the team has let him down big time. The same players he banks on so much. The problem is, he still will play the same formation with the same lads hoping for a different result. God bless him.… Read more »


Put Welcott in the market ..get lewandowski or Higuain…summer isn’t far.


Is Elneny cup tied in the CL from Basel?


According to one article I saw no because he only played in Europa League for Basel. Haven’t verified the accuracy of that statement though.


The sad thing is….this was a VERY winnable game and the old unable to finish bugaboo continued once again. Camp Nou will not be as fun.


Looks like our attackers, to varying degrees, all have the Yips. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a golf term that’s been applied to baseball here in the States. In golf, they think it may be muscular, but in baseball it’s considered a psychological thing – when throwing, suddenly you can’t hit your target, when batting, just can’t hit the ball. While Giroud doesn’t seem much different than normal – he’s always had his ups and downs – Alexis, Theo, Ox, Ramsey – guys who can usually score aren’t. Of course it just self-multiplies by hurting confidence, increasing pressure. It’s… Read more »


Grr – forgot to add, I think Welbeck & Campbell seem to be the least affected by our Yip epidemic. Of course Welbeck just came back and instantly scored, and Campbell just doesn’t look as frustrated. So I vote we go with them until…they catch it too…sigh.


Arsenal cannot beat Barca in competence , there is almost no team in the world that can do that. Real Madrid did it few times, however overall record is still in favor of Barca. How do you beat them then. Well one approach is to , get physical . Athletico Madrid tried it few times it worked, again overall the Barca have over powered them too. Arsenal are neither physical as Athletico nor classy as Madrid nor as disciplined as Chelsea. Logically Arsenal cannot beat Barca. We all knew this before the match. The match only proved all our thinking… Read more »


Elneny is a fantasy choice at the moment.

Flamini is still a stronger player than him.

Yes Flamini made a mistake with the tackle but the pass was short to him too.

Elneny would have likely done the same. If you watch the previous game against Hull, Elneny was not physical enough on several occasions where Flamini did not misplace a pass.

I can’t defend Flamini for the obvious fault in this game but it happens and most of the overeaction against him stems from the misconception that Elneny is better than Flamini.

Not yet.


And as mentioned before, our problem is not defending per se. Ramsey and Flamini have kept several clean sheets in recent games and the team has fashioned plenty of chances against Soton, Bournemouth, Hull so there is no midfield dissconnect and clearly Flamini can hold. The problem is up front where we have created opportunities but are unable to finish at the moment. We seem to be rushing it. We need to take half a second longer and be more nuance with the final execution. This is the main issue at the moment. This is the difference between some of… Read more »


Just a thought, but wudn.t going with Giroud AND Walcott up front and leaving Ozil on the bench have taken.Barca by surprise and offered us more threat? It.s a tactic that has been working for Leicester all season

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