Thought about this during the summer. Just as Arsene Wenger’s big tactical flaw is the lack of defensive nous, Jose Mourinho’s is in attack. He always got by with solid defense and great individual attacking talents. Can he change that this season? He’ll need to if Chelsea want to recover.
It’s official. Arsenal are headed to the Europa League.
Okay, maybe that’s a premature conclusion. They are, after all, bottom of their Champions League table with a massive zero points. It seems more likely that there won’t be any Europe at all after December. Progress at it’s finest.
Still, it is more likely that the Gunners will at least make the Europa League spot at this stage.
Bayern Munich has the group wrapped up and should really make it six wins out of six even when Pep Guardiola decides to have Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer switch positions mid-game for the hell of it. Arsenal, because this is just simply how the Arsenal works, should get six points in their last two games. Just enough to make it seem like they may get second place. The hope will that be that one of Olympiakos or Dinamo Zagreb gets less than three points from here on out.
While those two exchange notes on how easy it was to beat Arsenal and, hopefully, take points off each other, the Gunners have to deal with Bayern Munich.
Grabbing a point off the German giants should be seen as victory and if all goes horribly wrong for the other two, draw their two games and lose to Bayern again, then second place is a possibility for Arsenal. That would leave the Gunners with seven points and those two with five presuming all the other results end up as previously stated. There’s little chance of that though. In this scenario, it would have been better had one of these first two losses come against the German giants. Now Arsenal has to face Bayern back-to-back in the two games they’ll be wanting to ensure qualification for the next round before cruising to first place in the next two.
Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich then Bayern vs. Arsenal. Sound familiar? Not in a good way for the Gunners. Arsenal fans, at least the more optimistic ones, will state the club still has a chance and shouldn’t give up so easily despite the consensus being otherwise. Sure, the Gunners shouldn’t give up but realistically the chances of progression are slim.
There’s no point talking about how the Gunners got to this point. Those issues have been beaten to death during the last few seasons. The recent losses to Dinamo Zagreb, Chelsea and now Olympiakos have only managed to highlight those weaknesses even more. There is
So, on to the Europa League and a new exciting adventure from the most enigmatic team in all of Europe.
Dare it be said that this side has the quality to go all the way. Not to mention they won’t have to suffer the ignominy, as far as English clubs are concerned, of those brutal group stages. Arsenal should make the most of a Europa League campaign if occurs. If being pretty close to when in this instance. A strong squad and good selections would make the Gunners big favorites. The Premier League is so topsy-turvy this season that a top four place is still very much on the cards so there’s no excuses in terms of selection. And no, the title was never a possibility. If disaster strikes domestically then a win in the Europa League assures a spot in the next season’s Champions League. It would be highly disappointing if the club doesn’t win it.
Arsenal will face no shortage of quality teams on such a journey should it occur. Their fellow Champions League failures and a host of solid sides already in the Europa League, oh hello Monaco, should make sure of that. Maybe, just maybe it may even entice Alexis Sanchez to stay. Maybe.
Oh, to be an Arsenal fan.
Oh, by the way, we’re back. Sort of. Just in time for all the latest FIFA news too. How fun.
Is Platini still the most likely winner of this thing when it’s all said and done? Probably. We’ll see how far these investigations with Sepp Blatter go.
Makes sense when you think about it. The author makes some great arguments. Of course, it’s all for nothing now but one can’t help but wonder how things would’ve turned out for England if Beckham was played as a regista. Very good piece here
If you haven’t noticed, we’re taking a regular postings for an indefinite period. Probably two weeks or so. I’ll still post outstanding and fascinating posts that I read and all that jazz. Most of the posts will, hopefully, be my contributions to various places as I definitely want to get back into that on a regular basis. I may even post full pieces straight to Always Thinking Football as I did early on.
Some interesting thoughts here. I get it. Winning should be the only philosophy. I’m not in disagreement but I also think there’s no problem with having a viewpoint with how the game should be played. Does that mean managers should be/or are satisfied when their teams lose even if the philosophy is upheld? No. In fact, I doubt many of them are.
Pretty much spot on all throughout. Will be very interesting to see what happens if the US does lose to Mexico. Although the Confederations Cup is not that big a deal it robs the side of some much-needed competitive experience. They may get it in the Copa Centenario though so there’s that. Still. Lots of questions for Klinsmann and this US side.
Good read here on Laurent Robert’s cult hero status at Newcastle. Definitely a scorer of great goals during his time in the Premier League
Really great piece here on Champions League debutante FC Astana.
Interesting time for an autobiography, and such a colorful one, to come out.