I saw the Bayern Munich match with a lot of interest. As a team Bayern Munich reek of quality. They have a strong midfield and a strong foundation at the back. The statistics speak for themselves having conceded only 7 goals in the Bundesliga before yesterday’s kick off. In response to such a stat, many critics will state the quality of the Bundesliga is not at par with the premier league. While I completely agree on this point its a very shabby excuse. Arsenal have conceded 29 goals this season all be it playing 4 more games than Bayern Munich. Although I agree there is a difference between the 2 leagues yet it is not vast enough for Arsenal having any excuse to concede more than 4 times as many goals as Munich. Also, its significant to note that Munich and Dortmund both topped their champions league groups with the latter placed in the group of death.
Yesterday Arsenal started the game well, but by the 7th min Wenger’s world was turned upside down as Toni Kroos, a product of the Bayern Munich youth academy smashed in a superb volley beyond Szczesny. The Arsenal defense was thrust into the spotlight again for all the wrong reasons (this is becoming a habit), but to be honest Kroos volley was too good. From that point the Arsenal hit a mental block.
Its important for us to understand that before the 7 min Arsenal were not playing badly. But Kroos goal shell shocked the team, and they looked broken after his volley. In the 21st minute, the second goal was a shambolic one to concede. Szczesny’s fumbled as Muller capitalised. Bayern Munich had 2 away goals within 21 mins.
Posloski did pull one back in the second half. It was a cheap goal for Bayern to concede. a finger can easily be directed towards the Germans for not taking responsibility as an unmarked Podolski guided the ball home after it took a bounce from the corner.
This goal opened the game up as Arsenal had an incentive to attack. Ofcourse, this made them susceptible to a quick Bayern counter-attack. This goal should be shown to the Arsenal defense to teach them the adverse effects of holding a narrow back-line. Robben got the ball on the right moved central in turn encouraging Vermaelen towards him before playing a reverse ball to the overlapping Philip Lahm on the right. Mario Mandzukic claimed the 3rd as he finished the game with a simple poke of a Lahm assist.
It unlikely for Arsenal to knock out Bayern in the Germany. If you want to bet on it, then I guess you do have a lot of money to waste. Before this trip Arsenal have 2 important games against Spurs and Everton, both contenders for the top 4. Its important for them to win these 2 games because getting into the top 4 will be crucial for next season. (Do I sound familiar to you ?)
I strongly believe that the quality of any team not only starts from the basics but also getting the job done in a consistent manner.
My point can be well illustrated with an example. Manchester United grind out wins. Sometimes at Old Trafford, they come under a lot of pressure. They perform badly. And YET, despite all this, they grind out a 1-0 or 2-1 result. Sometimes they don’t even concede, inspite of playing in their own half for a good part of 90 mins.
In short, Arsenal have to perform in this way if they want to hear the champions league anthem next season. It just has to happen.
If you have read this blog you will know I generally and rightfully blame Wenger for Arsenal’s lacuna in performance. This time I just don’t care.
On a personal note, I WAS always convinced Arsenal would not win anything this season. Not the way they have been performing, no way in hell. But if things look up, we might get top 4, and since that is a trophy one might as well be content that our season has gone well.
You support Arsenal, and you are a worthy supporter\gooner, but does the management value you as a supporter.
Do YOU think they value your support ?
I don’t think so.