Last night’s game against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena was a shameful outing at best from the Gunner’s.
To be completely honest, it is quite difficult to express my sincere reaction to the match as emotion has gotten my logic on lock down. Anyway, a post-match analysis is still required as objectivity for future Gunners.
The most painful moment of the game was the way players seemed to just melt away after Thiago Alcantara made it 3-1. Alexis Sanchez for his industrious attitude was left isolated in what became a futile effort to fight for a decent scoreline to return to the Emirates with.
From the moment the starting lineup came in, it was evident that a victory had eluded us already despite the kickoff still an hour away. His selection set the platform for what will go down as infamy in the North London club’s history.
From his match conference, Arsene Wenger had already conceded possession during the game to the opposition. There was hope that he was angling for mind games with Carlo Ancelotti having bettered him in the tournament when he was in charge of AC Milan.
That apparently wasn’t the case. Furthermore, his assessment of the Bayern Munich team should have forced his hand into a team selection willing to attack and defend like we saw PSG do against Barcelona the previous night or Diego Simeone’s natural approach but that wasn’t to be either.
Instead, he picked outfield players who are quite reluctant to track back and defend to start the game. Mesut Özil is no doubt a top talent but had no space in the starting 11 for this fixture considering his lack of work rate.
Alex Iwobi who tries to do some defending but would prefer not to was drafted out wide on the right side by Wenger. This ensured Hector Bellerin had a game to forget as his own admitted nemesis Douglas Costa gave him the run around for most of the game.
It takes a certain kind of manager to make a group of talented players look so amateurish and outnumbered in such a big game.
Here are some of his post match comments from Arsenal’s official website:
It was a strange game, because I feel in the first half we played quite well. We had some good chances just before half-time. After, we got a few blows – the first to Koscielny, and then we conceded two goals in minutes 53 and 56.
On the second goal we were really [let down] because it was a corner for us, we had five players in the box and there were two balls on the pitch when they started again.
The real problem we faced was after the third goal, because we lost our organisation and we looked mentally very jaded. From that moment on, the last 25 minutes were a nightmare for us because we looked like we had no response
He further added:
I think it was difficult to swallow the two goals after minutes 53 and 56. I think we have to analyse that, but it looks like that from outside. We lost our organisation, we lost our centre back. But after the third one it was a combination of [mentality] and organisation. Before that, we controlled them quite well
Wenger’s analysis of the second half doesn’t go down well with the club faithful because it was clearly evident that the Gunners were truly outclassed and the manager should accept that.
Laurent Koscielny who was subbed off due to injury at the beginning of the second half, had this to say about the game as well;
Yeah. I don’t know either [what went wrong]. I think the first half was good – we were deep, like you need to be, and tried not to give them space or opportunities to score. It being 1-1 at half-time was good for us but after we conceded the second goal, I think we needed to stay more compact because we had a second leg at home.
When you can win [there], you need to stay together, defend together with all 11 players and keep this. Tonight we didn’t. Bayern played very well – they have some top-class players who can make the difference in front
When quizzed on things going wrong after being substituted off, this was his response;
It’s difficult because during a game like this against a team like this, you need to play together, to have a good spirit and to push yourself for your team-mates. When you’re sitting on the bench in the second half, it’s difficult. In the first half we did the job and in the second half with their quality it was more difficult
The simple truth remains that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have once again managed to prove their critics right and there doesn’t to be an end for their big games blues. If you missed the game yesterday and you are willing to watch it again, you can catch the summary and highlights here
Till the next thought. …COYG!