Tag Archives: AC Milan

Lucky, Lucky Arsenal

Well that was easier than we thought.

Despite AC Milan not being the great side they once were, they are still a good side.

Before last night, they had lost just once this year, a run of 1 defeat in 14 games. they had been revitalised under the stewardship of Gennaro Gattuso.

That single defeat was against Arsenal in the San Siro in the first leg.

To emphatically win 5-1 on aggregate sends a message to the rest of the teams in the Europa League. That we are taking the competition seriously.

Looking at the sides left, only Atletico Madrid are on par to Arsenal. And if we perform to our best, they can be swatted aside with ease. The Europa League is Arsenal’s to lose.

An interesting little stat for you all now:

When not in the Champions League, Arsenal have made the final in 3 of the last 5 occasions.

1993/94: European Cup Winners Cup (Winners)
1994/95: European Cup Winners Cup (Runners-Up)
1996/97: UEFA Cup (Round 1)
1997/98: UEFA Cup (Round 1)
1999/00: UEFA Cup (Runners-Up)

Hopefully this year we can put the run of 3 European Final defeats in a row to bed.

Whilst we praise Arsene Wenger for what he has won at the club, we have also lost a lot of finals under him (1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cup). One thing that people will always ask once he is off retired into the sunset is did Arsenal under achieve under Wenger. With 6 final defeats and 3 league titles that we should have won (99, 93, 08), a strong argument can be made for yes.

Anyway, I digress, this is not a blog about bashing Wenger, it is about the Arsenal. I love the feeling and sense of pride when we win. Made even better when Tottenham and Chelsea are no longer in Europe. But it seems some people are not as proud as me when The Arsenal win.

Despite us winning, and getting in to the QF in Europe, some still moaned. One chap on Twitter said “a better team would have taken us apart. arsenal got lucky.” We scored 5 goals mate.

To claim scoring 5 goals and gong through was due to “luck” is just silly. It is bitter. It shows the person who wrote the tweet, and those that agree, are just sad. Sad little men who probably sit there tweeting Arsenal’s sponsors during a game that he has to go. Who claim it is Arsenal FC not Arsene FC; yet dedicate there waking life to wanting #WengerOut.

The majority want Wenger to leave, but there is a point where you have to look at your own behaivour, as a middle aged man, and realise the fact that you are just a sad bitter man.

So onto the next round?

Not sure who I want, but the hope is the away leg is second so that I can give myself a chance of going. Will probably consider anything but Moscow. Madrid in mid-April will be beautiful weather. Marseille and Lazio could be fun. The two Red Bull teams are cities I have never visited.

Lets see what the draw brings us at noon today.

We now do not have a game for 17 days. My advice? Get off twitter. Get out and enjoy your life. It is a short one. Spend some time with your kids. Your family. Get out doors, get some fresh air. Use the time to not think about Arsenal 24/7, not think about Wenger 24/7. Do not become bitter like the weirdo that tweets Arsenal’s sponsors, journalists and various TV channels #WengerOut during the game.

Enjoy a few weeks off.

Up the Arsenal

Ps: Danny – no need to dive mate


Wenger the Talent Extractor, AC Milan, Chelsea Fans

Wenger the Talent Extractor

Over the years, I have been more than happy to criticise Arsene Wenger when he gets things wrong. And it happens a lot. I am more than happy to point out his lack of plan B, his predictable substitutions, and his failures in the transfer market.

But one thing I will not call him is a “talent extractor”. It is just BS.

You only have to look at the amount of players that have come to Arsenal, and improved under Wenger. And the amount who have then left Arsenal ,and not gone on to be any better.

Whilst the likes of Gael Clichy, Ashley Cole, Kolo Toure, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri might have won trophies elsewhere, they did not improve as players.

As Arsenal fans, we often expect too much. Not every Yaya Sanogo can be turned into a Thierry Henry.

I always laugh at people moaning about Andrei Arshavin. He is the player that many fans complain about the most. But these people base their view on little knowledge. Arshavin, in Russia, was always inconsistent. Capable of doing brilliant, game winning things, before disappearing for weeks on end. It is his incoistency that saw him struggle to become a regular for Russia in the early days.

Arshavin was excellent for Arsenal in his first 2 and a half years. 25 goals, 30 assists, but some have re-written history.

And we see the same with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

People are pretending that he was absolutely awful every single game for Arsenal. And since moving to Liverpool, he has been brilliant, every single game.

The reality is somewhat different.

At Arsenal, he would have a couple of good games, showing the raw talent he clearly has. Getting people excited that he might have finally broken through the glass wall. But then he would go missing for a month. Not being able to play a pass. Not contributing anything.

Then he would have another couple of good games. It is his consistency which has made him so frustrating.

At Liverpool, he is no different. He has had the odd good game, but has had a lot of rubbish in between.

The big difference is we no longer have to watch the poor performances, or get frustrated by them, so they kind of disappear from memory. Meanwhile his odd good performance is repeated on Match of the Day and Sky Sport and fools you into thinking he has been playing like that every week.

So I had a look at some statistics:

Make your own conclusions.

AC Milan

We are 2-0 up after the away leg. A solid base to start from, but Arsenal must not rest on their laurels tonight and become complacent.

Whilst AC Milan are certainly not the side of yesteryear, we still need to take them seriously.

If we go in to start the game how we did against Östersund, AC Milan could find themselves back in the game quicker than it takes me to find a stream to watch out on.

Do not forget that this Arsenal side has lost to the likes of Östersund, Nottingham Forest, Tottenham, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bournemouth and Swansea this calendar year. Small, weak sides that we should have rolled over with ease.

Tonight we need to take the game seriously, get an early goal, get the job done, and look forward to the Quarter Finals.

Chelsea Fans

Absolute disgraceful scenes in Barcelona last night involving Chelsea fans.

All football disagreements aside, the way English football fans are treated abroad is sickening. We are walking targets for the police. In previous years, I have been at Roma, AC Milan and was in Lille for Wales v England.

At each game English fans were targets to be attacked by the police. An over aggressive police who would be quick to use batons and tear gas.

Whilst when other fans come into the UK, they get the run of the streets, as we saw with Cologne, English fans abroad are attacked.

What is most worrying about the incident in Barcelona is it is stewards using batons and attacking fans, not the police. How is this right? How does UEFA allow this?

A similar thing happened with Arsenal fans in 2016. And that bridge you have to walk over is dangerous. On the other side is just two turnstiles.

So at one end of the bridge you have stewards physically forcing people onto and over it, and on the other side, you have no where to go. It is an accident waiting to happen.

Earlier this season, Liverpool fans were attacked by the police in Sevilla.

English fans were banned in the 80s for their behaviour, and justifiably so. But it is now 33 years since the Heysel disaster. Things have changed.

The fact UEFA remain so silent on the issue indicates that they condone it. That they accept English fans – same young teenagers and children – being attacked by police and stewards up and down the country.

I do not expect UEFA to act, just like they have not acted when English fans have been stabbed (and killed) in the likes of Turkey and Italy.

Attacking English fans seems to be acceptable. It is not.


Dr Jekyll returns as Arsenal triumph in Italy

Well who expected that?

Actually I did. I had written when the draw came out that AC Milan were fallen giants, no longer the force they once were.

Of course, Arsenal have had an equally poor season this year, so it all depended on which Arsenal and which AC Milan side turned up.

AC Milan has been massively bigged up by both the media and Arsenal fans prior to the game.

No defeat since December, an unbeaten run in double figures. Their league position was a lie, they were better than that.

They were baying for blood. Hoping that Arsenal would lose their 5th game in a row. I imagine the stories were already written.

And then Arsenal turned up and ruined the party. Won 2-0. And all the journalists had to re-write what they had been saying this week.

Suddenly it was a “brilliant AC Milan side” but one which was a shadow of its former self. The same idiots who were saying thy were going to thrash Arsenal are now saying AC Milan were there to be thrashed.

Arsenal are a Jekyll and Hyde. And yesterday it was Jekyll that turned up (or Hyde – which one was the good one?).

Free flowing attacking football mixed with defensive concentration saw Arsenal beat the odds and come back to London with a 2-0 win. Away goals and a clean sheet. Not much more you can ask for.

With how Arsenal are at the moment, the tie is far from over. If the Hyde Arsenal turns up in the home leg, the team that lost to Ostersunds. To Brighton. The side that has lost 8 times this year, Arsenal could throw it all away.

But I don’t want them negative thoughts. We are 2-0 up and showed AC Milan for the average team they are. We have one foot in the Quarter Finals.

Suddenly next Thursdays game looks much more appealing. It is sold out, will have a 60,000 crowd on a mild spring evening. Make the noise for the Arsenal boys.

We can win the Europa League. Regardless of your opinion on Arsenal, the only agenda you should have is for Arsenal to be a success. And winning the Europa League would be a success.