Saturday, May 25, 2024

Wenger eyes repeat of 2006 Madrid victory

Arsene Wenger says he’s hoping his current squad can take inspiration from the class of 2006 who so memorably achieved an unexpected victory against Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’ on their way to the Champions League final.

Against the backdrop of a poor domestic campaign, a back line featuring Emmanuel Eboue, Philippe Senderos, Kolo Toure and Mathieu Flamini kept a clean sheet as Thierry Henry’s mazy run and finish secured a famous 1-0 win in the Bernabeu.

While the Gunners don’t necessarily need to beat Atletico Madrid this evening to make the Europa League final in two weeks time – a high-scoring draw will do the job – Diego Simeone’s side is strong favourites having snatched a 1-1 draw in the first leg. 

Reflecting on his previous visit to the Spanish capital, Wenger said: “We came here with a very young team and beat Real Madrid who at the time were a fantastic team with fantastic names, that’s what you will try to repeat.”

Atletico Madrid come into the game having lost only once in their past 17 home games in Europe and having conceded only 31 goals in 54 matches across four competitions. It’s an enviable record, one that Wenger hopes will come to an end.

“History has to stop,” he noted. “In the first game we created chances but we didn’t manage to put them away.

“We have to keep the same commitment and not focus too much on the way we play, just focus on how well we attack and build the game up from the back.”

He added: “The advantage is the way to behave is clear. We know we need to score so we have a clear demand in our head and a clear approach.

“We need to have a positive way. Will Atletico do the same? Will they have a more cautious approach and try to hit us on the break? That’s what we’ll have to deal with in the game.”

So…it’s over to the players now.

Here’s to Eddie Nketiah’s stoppage-time strike taking a massive deflection off Diego Costa’s arse to secure us a memorable away goals victory.

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The most arsenalish of all things would be to smash Atletico 3-0 today and then lose the final in the most probable slapstick way.
But we can deal with that later. For tonight I have to say I’m quite optimistic, although I’m not really sure why, to be honest. But we will do this! COYG!


Going to Athletico is huge, make no mistake about it. You’d be struggling to find any team in Europe that would’ve been happy with drawing Athletico Madrid in the semi-final of any European competition. So for me, I just want the lads to go out there, and really give it everything they have – leave it all out there on the pitch. Arsene deserves that from them. If we lose, we lose, but I just want to see us fighting tooth and nail right till the end. I don’t want to see what I’ve seen firsthand on so many occasions… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

With a new manager coming in with two or his own favorites from outside (as usual), this is the game for Welbeck, Wilshere, Mustafi and Ospina.


Its not really all that Arsenalish at all.

If last years fa cup is anything to go by, it will be the arsenalish thing to win a close semi and then take the lead in the final, see the other side go down to 10 men and then concede to a costa goal before Aaron Ramsey with a stooping header won the game.


The facts are:

– 4 goals conceded at home by AM all season in their League and Europa League
– we haven’t won or drawn away all year in the PL
– Ospina, Kos and Mustafi not in great form
– we drew with them at home with 11 v 10

Obviously I would really love us to win but at the moment keeping my feet on the ground.

Let’s hope the Wenger leaving effect beats the evidence above. COYG, please do it.


The stats are woeful but this is football – anything can happen. COYG!


This is not the premier league


so we should win then


At times, it is much easier to play against 11 than 10


There is a little truth to this. I must say as soon as their boy was sent off I was writing headlines in my mind. “Ten man Athletico Frustrate Arsenal”. There was a certain inevitability about it all.

Of course, all that said, while its sometimes harder to score against 10, it should definitely be easier to defend…


Exactly this. After the sending off they camped all 10 players around their penalty box, and as the stats show, they’re one of the best defending sides in Europe anyway. It was inevitably going to be hard going, but we created chances and even scored. Playing against 11 should mean that AM play out a bit more, suiting us, although with the advantage they may just sit deep again. Hell, it’s a tactic that works for teams in the lower half of PL so why wouldn’t they. It’ll be interesting with both Costa and Greizmann playing though. I’ve not seen… Read more »


True, but I think we’ve only lost once in an away match in this season’s EL #facttoo


Good counterbalance to the above.

I’m happy to have the good news, just hope and pray it goes alright on the night.


We have however won 4 of our 6 matches away in the Europa league.


They Said – “You haven’t got a prayer Arsenal”
We Said – “It’s up for grabs now”



Today is a big day for my Arsenal supporting


Fear not. We are going to Madrid to win.

We’ll beat any team we find there be it real or fake.

John Bull

I remain puzzled by the nature of the support expressed by several fans of Arsenal – or to be more exact , those who express themselves on the Arsenal related social media – almost always a touch of negativity , ad hominem criticism of players and manager , pulling the team down . A lot of this gets absorbed by those who attend the Arsenal games , gets relayed by the media and those who text the BBC sites , post on the newspaper sites – all this goes to create a more difficult atmosphere at the stadium and for… Read more »


It’s not about whether or not our “negativity” helps the team or not. If the team truly has what it takes to win when it counts, they should be shutting that out. If they’re letting what the fans or media say about them affect their performances, then they don’t have the mentality or the emotional capability to be winning football players. You want to see an end to the “touch of negativity” and an end to the criticisms for the manager and players? Then you (and they, if they want the same) better hope they actually start WINNING. You don’t… Read more »

John Bull

If you are an employee , earning your living , with managers and people you are accountable to , what are the best circumstances for you to deliver outstanding performance — i.e.achieve things which are very difficult and competitive ? Winning in football means beating another team of 11 professionals who are well supported and who are comptetitive with you … losing and winning depend on very fine margins as any Arsenal supporter at games Arsenal could have won based on how they played and still lost could confirm –think about the home and away games vs Man U ,… Read more »


If the carrot does not work, you must resort to the stick. Arsenal are a club that has tried the carrot for far too long, and far too many times to count. It has been reluctant to try the stick. Make a mistake that costs the team the game? Don’t worry, no one will tell you anything, so you don’t have to worry about your feelings getting hurt. Consistently underperform to the point where you are a liability to the side every time you step onto the pitch? Not to fear, you’ll be in the starting lineup next week. And… Read more »

Ya gooner

I’m not going to set myself up for disappointment now by being optimistic, not after last week anyway. Obviously hope we win but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Inevitably when I start watching the last sentance will go out the window….


Ospina looks to be very interested.


I had to laugh out loud reading the arseblog this morning, when he talked about ozil pulling the strings, someone ought to tell ozil that his strings have been cut


Yes, our away record has been poor this season, that’s a fact, but strangely not in europe, where we’ve played 6 games, won 4, drawn 1 and lost only once, keeping 3 clean sheets!


And the loss was at home, so no away losses and a win vs AC Milan away. So some better evidence to balance the points I made above.


We lost in Cologne, albeit with the group won and if I recall a heavily rotated team, but yes, it is a complete reversal of our domestic form.


Look at the photo. That’s why Ospina is in the team, he’s Wenger’s right hand man.


I think atletico Madrid would do their best but trust the boys. Winger has only this game to be won and make history behind


They are very discipline and are efficient on the counter. They may also have Costa to partner with Greizzman so its double trouble and two different sorts of threats. In some ways I wonder if a 3 at the back may be better suited. One thing though is they have a super thin squad. They may be leggy. If we push and keep up a high tempo, we may be able to unsettle them like we did first 15 minutes at Emirates. Also Welbeck gave them lots of trouble first half. If he runs at them diagonally , he may… Read more »

Green Cannon

On the law of averages, it’s about time one of these ‘Blog’s wishes for a winner from an off-the-arse deflection came true. Anything to not give me a sleepless night computing what-might-have-beens, please.

Matt P

I think we are a real chance. Atletico aren’t that good anymore.

Matt P

I reckon Ozil and Mikhi are gonna turn up big time


Laca will score in stoppage time – 0-1, assisted by Ramsay

Bai Blagoi

I don’t care if Atletico has conceded 31 or 1 goal so far — they didn’t play with us!
We are Arsenal and we WILL score!


Just go for it. We can’t defend anyway, but get two goals and they’ll need three.


It’s going to be tougher without the back four of Eboue, Toure, Senderos and Flamini, who played in Madrid in 2006

Elneny's Hair

Oh Man. That was quite an odd back four who did so well. They had to be good, otherwise they would have to face wrath of Mad Jens.


HAHA…I forgot about that.

On the flip side, its the attack where we need to be most efficient. If we don’t take our chances and damage them, it can easily come back to haunt us with our backline.


Just here to say: Ospina’s bored expression! “A picture is worth a thousand words”


Merlin's Panini

David Ospina in the photo:
“I wish my arms were that long”.


The most Arsenish of all things would be to make defensive substitutions towards the end of the match, inviting them into our half and conceding in extra time.

You could do this, if you know how to “park the bus”. But Arsenal have no bus. All commuters push off their own scooters.


We need to win.

And avoid a 0-0 or loss.


20 years ago


Actually, the winner ought to be a 30 yard netbuster that goes in off Costa’s face, causing 150 grand’s worth of cosmetic improvements on the way.

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