Monday, March 20, 2023

Cech critical but insists Gunners can win second-leg

Petr Cech was critical of the Arsenal performance in the 1-0 defeat to BATE Borisov last night, saying the Gunners could have played for hours more without scoring, but insists that they can turn things around in the second leg.

Unai Emery’s side created good early chances, but in spurning them left themselves open to the sucker-punch that was Stanislaw Dragun’s goal just before the break. You could say he was Dragun us down to their level.

Afterwards the veteran keeper didn’t hold back on the lack of Arsenal quality on the night.

“Today was one of those games where if you play another couple of hours we wouldn’t have scored,” he said, “but there are games like that in football.

“You try, you play and sometimes you go home with the result you don’t want, but you have to pick yourself up and make sure that you’re ready for the second leg.

“That’s the advantage of a two-leg play-off – if one game is bad you can always make up for it.

“We had enough chances to win the game and we didn’t do that.

“We have to make sure we win the home leg now and I’m sure we can do that … but we’ve made it more difficult for ourselves.”

The Gunners will have to win it without Alexandre Lacazette who will miss the game through suspension following his 85th minute red card. The striker apologised, but will be available if Arsenal qualify for the Round of 16 as the ban is just one game.

For more on the game, check out the brand new Arsecast recorded just after the final whistle last night

BATE Borisov 1-0 Arsenal – player ratings

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While i do think that part of the reason we are sticking with three man backline is justified because we dont have a good right back to play if we want to play 4 at the back, against team like BATE we should have taken a chance and played maitland niles at right back. Even at the end i thought he would take out a defender and put more bodies in midfield, but all he did was change the wingbacks with iwobi and mkhi. With one less player in midfield we really struggled to break them down.


What I felt was that many of the senior players have dropped in form. It’s ridiculous how some of them can’t seem to make a precise pass in the final third, even the simple ones. And the coach also shares the blame for the ineffective game plans of late.
I believe if we played some of our youngsters we could’ve gotten a decent result. That game was not much different than Qarabag or Vorskla away. Even not as difficult as Sporting away.
We can do much better with fresh legs.

SLC Gooner

Against that team we shouldn’t need anything more than an adequate RB. Can’t imagine why Jenko wouldn’t have been fine.
And though his scoring for Chelsea as of late hasn’t been great, that’s the type of game where we miss Giroud. Strong, good aerially and with a good touch. Neither Laca or Auba can replicate that.


I understand Cech is on damage control duty here, but it would be nice to see a player other than Lacazette as frustrated as the supporters are with this dismal performance.
The ‘hard work’ of 2018 has been replaced by the shoulder shrug in 2019.


It does seem in the past few months or so that players kind of watch the game go by. With exception of Mkhi against Huddersfield, and Laca in every game. The rest seem to just float through games not bothered too much.

Ozil's chewing gum

Very evident that we are lacking creativity in the field in the final third. Beyond me to understand starting with three at the back. I would like to support Emery as a gooner but my mind hinders. Was saddening to watch us play yesterday, running haywire on an farmland like headless chickens. Second leg can’t come sooner.


Here’s a stat for you: Bate have only won two times against an English side. In 2009 against Everton and in 2019 against Arsenal…

… and Mustafi featured for both Everton AND Arsenal?


Ha, and the Everton page on him has a very Mustafi shot.


He played the last ten minutes of the Everton game it hardly newsworthy


Come on guys! Yes it was a shitty game we should have won but we’re not out. We played on a potato field by a crazy minus temperature after travelling 20 hours(It is their field where they play week in /week out!). Can we give the manager the benefit of the doubt until there is no chance of accessing Champions League football next year? it is our target and we’re still on course for that. The negativity and the nonsense about Ozil’s “magical creativity” is killing me. He is a good dude but he is a whimp as a football… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

They haven’t played week in and week out for 7 weeks. No get out there. We were simply not up for the challenge. How “Mister Europa League” cocked this game up is anyone’s guess. Seems to me he didn’t turn up himself… and he was happy with the result? Is he taking the piss and trying to make us look rubbish to force Kroenke to give us some cash for players? If he is we’re buggered because there’ll be no money. That is NOT the way Kroenke operates. The only real question is whether he gets sacked at season’s end,… Read more »


Sorry, Petr, but yesterday was utterly abject. I bet that you’re secretly delighted that you’re going at the end of the season. You were probably deeply embarrassed by what happened last night. I’ve made my mind up about Emery now: he has to go. This is not a knee-jerk reaction: it’s pure logic. It’s obvious now that he’s lost the players and that they are no longer playing for him. That utterly lifeless second half was a clear indication that the players no longer trust or believe in him. He’s our David Moyes: the job’s just too big for him.… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp

You say the job is too big for Emery, like Arsenal are a big fish in the ocean, when the truth is that Arsenal haven’t been one of Europe’s elite teams for at least a decade now. If you disagree, look at the Premier league and Champions League record in that time. For the record, I’m split maybe 50/50 about Emery, but he does have a lot of shit to work with.

Crash Fistfight

If you go by that logic Liverpool are nobodies. In which case Klopp would never have gone there (and look where they are now). That is the problem – a lot of people associated with the club (fans included) now have this idea that we’re nobodies and should be grateful for what we’ve got. We’re the 3rd most successful team in English football history, in the top 10 most valuable clubs in the world, with probably the 3rd highest level of support of any clubs in England. The club shouldn’t be aiming to squeak top 4 or a Europa League… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp

Before Klopp, Liverpool were nobodies, they just had a great history. What they’ve done over the last season and a half, combined with their potential has put them back on the map.
Being the 3rd most successful English team means nothing. In that case, Inter and A.C. Milan are right up there as Europe’s biggest clubs.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yes, we have a fine history, BUT it all happened before Kroenke, apart from the FA Cups that the “old guard” managed to win for us. The history of success was almost entirely earned when we had a board that wanted success on the pitch and were willing to spend money to see that we got a chance at it. Kroenke doesn’t do that. To him we are a cash cow among many cash cows, and as long as we remain in the Premier League that will probably continue. If he feels we need a boost to bring greater profits… Read more »

Lucas Sam

That’s the thing, we already are in London, the best city in England for commercial and glamour purposes. Going to Manchester is a downgrade, no traveler goes there… Kroenke is a leech that is just hitchhiking the club’s finances and popularity to grow a portfolio and nothing else. He has no ambition to win and no real love for the club.


Arsenal are a MASSIVE Club!! Just look at the Forbes financial ranking of the club. We are one of the top ten SPORTING BUSINESSES on the planet.

And yes Emery has a lot to deal with but we’re a joke right now. We’ve just lost to a pub team!


We are massive financially, but that doesn’t make us massive as football club. We are second tier, just like what Thierry Bergkamp said. We want to grow, and that means we shouldn’t overreact after a few months with a new manager where results-wise we are ok. Last night was a horrible football match, it happens. However overall we’re still in for 4th spot competition, and we’re capable of rectifying the result vs Bate at home. The new era was never going to be simple and smooth sailing. No reason to start making final judgments when we have still something to… Read more »


You’ve hit on the only trophy that kse care about- the bank balance trophy.

Thierry Bergkamp

You define a clubs stature by revenue, I look at what they do on the pitch first and foremost. How can a club that hasn’t had a decent shot at their league’s title since 2007-2008, while continuously get battered domestically and in Europe, plus not getting past the first knockout round of the Champions League in the last 7 times competing in it and not qualifying for the competition at all for the last 2 years, be considered as one of Europe’s elite, top tier teams? If you can’t compete with the big boys, you’re not one of the big… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Don’t mistake the Forbes financial ranking as meaning we are RICH. Much of our value is tied up in real estate. We are now down to 6th place and seemingly still falling.


Saying somrthing is pure logic doesn’t make it logical. What evidence do you have that he has lost the squad.. Looks like a knee jerk reaction to me.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Fat, you’ve been quite reasonable lately. Who are you going to bring in? Sarri unable to fix Chelsea with a better squad than us. Mourinho unable to fix Man U with a better squad than us.


Someone who’s not a twat like those two,
I’d prefer Emery gets a little bit more of a shot, but soon he’s got to start showing that he’s starting to figure this puzzle out.

Scoring a few goals and showing some attacking verve would help my mind immeasurably in that department.


well Arsenal failedto masterBATE.

personally i’ve avoided posting because i never belied in Unai and didn’t want to bring the negativity, especially during our run of luck and world class Cech. I’ve lost all the gas to watch football. I just go through our slow pass pass slower side pass pass for 90 minutes and get taunted forit after. then i do it again next game.

hopefully we put the coach and ourselves out of this horrible dream soonest

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Its the constant failure to string as many as four passes together most of the time we have the ball that depresses me. We have been making smaller teams like Huddersfield look world class when they pass their way straight through us to get into dangerous areas and give us a scare. I worry that Emery spent a few months analysing every player and once he decided which ones weren’t up to his preferred way of playing then they were effectively finished from that point on… “Jenkinson…. Slow, Ozil…. Slow. They will NEVER fit my template for the perfect player… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Begger Me! I’m turning into Fatgooner II


What you need is a milkshake.


Jenkinson is poor.


Is it already confirmed that it’s only a 1 game suspension? Usually those kind of offences result in 2 or 3 game suspensions. Good for us.


Gameplan was Wenger-esque in how stubbornly they insisted in short passing across their potato field of a pitch.

DB10s Air Miles

Not at all. If it was wengeresque we would’ve had some creativity in the team and would set up to attack.


This is becoming a very depressing season. We are out of the two domestic cup competitions already, are behind 1-0 in the first knockout leg of the Europa league and our only hopes in the league are to somehow muddle our way to 4th place (which will be a minor miracle if we can do that). Our performances on the pitch unfortunately match what they show on paper and we certainly don’t look like a team that is playing for and with each other. Their is no fluidity to our game, our defending continues to be haphazard, our highest paid… Read more »


light up, this isn’t over!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We have to play better than Chelsea for the remainder of the season to finish 5th. At best that is standing still, IF we can achieve it.


But hey, Martial and Lingard are out for their Chelsea and Liverpool matches.

Silver-ish linings.
Maybe more ashen grey.


This was always (and is) going to be a turbulent season. I agree with Gary Neville in that to see the best of Emery we need to give him transfer windows where he is allowed to recruit properly. I’m sure Emery recognises Mustafi as a liability and the quality of defending is poor accross the whole back line, Koscienly possibly may be excused. The sheer panic in our defence even against Bate was embarrassing: with no opposing player within 10m we still hoofed it away like a Sunday league outfit. Also, we have 2 very good finishers but are being… Read more »


Well, I don’t put much stock in ‘reports’ but if it’s anywhere near that 40m thrown about, we’re fooked. How many of these is that going to get us: Attacking mid (replace Ramsey AND likely Ozil) 1? 2? Center Back? Left Back Right Back / Wingback backup to Hector Winger (1? or 2?) Goalkeeper? Both Ospina and Cech gone. 1 experienced, or fly with project youth? And what if Kos wants to go back to France? Couldn’t blame him a bit. Looking like 6 players, maybe more needed. And not a whole lot of funds coming in from outgoing players… Read more »


How was Mustafi a liability again?

MONREAL gave away the silly foul.


I love how Petr, Emery and Lacazette are all reassuring us that they will win next week.
It’s not about that all, the frustration from the fans is purely down to the performance tonight, like I would feel equally as dissapointed this morning if the result had been 0-0. The performance was nothing short of abysmal, I fully expect us to win next week, but other teams in the Europa League and in the league will be looking at that match last night and realizing that Arsenal are there for the taking.


Off topic comment.

The Arsenal Gent today is absolute gold. Comedy gold.
I’m cleaning coffee (which came out of my nose while laughing) off my keyboard as i write this.


At least we can take some positives from last night’s debacle.

We’re 1/7 to win the return leg, and 1/3 to qualify for the next round.

Hurrah for Emery giving us a game with some meaning to it next week during our “FA Cup interlull” week!


anotheraway defeat,


All very well coming out with that now!! They should have got the job done last night! This was against a bunch of farmers that hadn’t played for 2 months!
What an embarrassment!
I love my team & I’ll always be a gooner till the day I die, but I don’t know how many more of these performances I can handle, it’s actually putting me off going!! I’m not enjoying it right now


Easy to bleat on about “change” last 3 or 4 seasons with Wenger Out posters but as I said, be careful what you wish for

I mentioned those pundits and fans who said Unai would have 3 or 4 seasons to rebuild were talking completely out of their arse.

These people don’t have the patience.

Wenger’s MINIMUM standard of 4th place pot or better for close to 2 decades with a restrictive budget (albeit some self inflicted) not as easy as they imagined.


Pitch was puss poor but we lacked fluency final third.

Defensive lapse would always still be an issue but the greater question surrounds our lack of scoring.

Mustafi wasn’t a problem.

If anything Monreal gave away a cheap foul which cost us a goal but the same voices all too eager to cast blame on Mustafi or Granit or Iwobi now strangely muted.

Jack gunner

Emery’s game plan is almost similar to Wenger’s : short passing to retain possession.The problem is the speed of the attack is reduced and that’s why the gunners were never in a one on one scenario where they could score. Take a leaf from from how MC destroyed Chelsea with long raking passes. Of course they have better players. Wolves come to mind with their passing game. If Arsenal fail to get the better of Bate,you can bet there will be an uproar but Arsenal don’t have divine right to win like all teams. The board members who think Arsenal’s… Read more »


You can’t score fast break goals when the opponent never leaves their defensive third. They knew to just pack in and clog the box. It goes way back for us. Theo was quite capable of scoring goals on through balls and the break. But opposition -especially lower level- never pushed up, so they left no space in behind.

MC could destroy Chelsea and beat us, because we push our defensive line out leaving space in behind. Top half of the table clubs do that. Bottom of the table, they know their only chance is to pack it in.


We’ll beat them… No worries ?


If only we had a world class number 10 to create more opportunities from open play…oh wait.


Last chance saloon for Mesut on Thursday… If Emery doesn’t start him against what is basically a pub team where we need to create chance after chance, Mesut is done…..I hope he plays and plays well, we can’t afford to leave quality players at home or on the bench. I start Rambo too…..COYG


Teams have bad games… It happens! That said, it was really painful to watch and quite shitty in terns of performance. I have no doubts that we will push 4 goals at the very least past them at the Emirates… Now that, you can take to the bank!


Ozil issue is certainly rather strange. 1) It doesn’t seem like Emery has any allergy towards playing players on contract wind down – see Ramsey. 2) In terms of protecting the asset for a summer sale, it seems more sense to play the player even in limited occasion (perhaps as an impact sub). Any positive contribution could stoke better interest and competition for his eventual purchase. 3) Tactically, it may be that Unai feels Ozil is a liability defensively (we know his attacking side is strong enough) and particularly with midfield in recent games struggling for cohesiveness, a half hearted… Read more »

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