With the absence of Jack Wilshere, Thomas Vermaelen and Wojciech Szczesny, even more people began writing us off before a ball had been kicked. The fact is we beat Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena to end their twenty four game unbeaten run but went out on away goals. Despite this, Geoff Shreeves decides to ask Carl Jenkinson how he feels that it is now eight years without a trophy – to which Jenkinson swiftly shut him down and enforced the positives we can take from the game, spoke of how proud he is of the boys and the performance.
Before kick off, Arsene got slagged off left right and center about his team selection with Gary Lineker also chipping in on Twitter with his two cents worth. I haven’t heard an apology, or even a ‘Wenger got it right’ from him, but let’s be very clear on the matter, Wenger got it right. Some may suggest that Bayern were the better team or even that they didn’t think they would be going out so took their foot off the gas a little, but for periods of the game they dominated although the early goal looked to shake them a little and in the dying embers of the game, Arsenal were in total control. We took our chances well, with only two shots on target resulting in two goals. Possession wise, the game had a 54-46% split in favour of Munich. One thing frustrates me however. The fact we can beat the best clubs in Europe when we want to, but no turn up to games against Blackburn irks me. It must also kill Arsene Wenger, who must see it every day in training and then wonder what happens when they get onto the pitch some weeks. He knows we can play, he knows we can be world beaters and he knows we DO have the players to do so.
I don’t see the fuss surrounding resting Wojciech. He hasn’t been performing well recently and his confidence looks shot to pieces. Lukas Fabianski came in and done a great job in goal, looking tidy when he needed to be and making a brilliant save against Robben one on one. I think that some praise for his performance must also be placed on the solid back four he had in front of him. It is my opinion that Laurent Koscielny is the best center half we have at the club. I love the boy, his pace, composure on the ball and ability to score goals from corners are second to none of our defenders. He makes a few mistakes, granted but his recovery is excellent. I’d start the same team against Swansea at the weekend with no exceptions. Every single player who played against Bayern Munich has earned his place in the squad after last nights performance. I know Swansea are a good side who play attractive football but I cannot see anything other than an Arsenal win. If we keep Dyer quiet, which we should be able to as 90% of his game is his pace (which our fullbacks can deal with) and stop Michu from improving his goal scoring record against us, we should be fine.
Hopefully we take this momentum into the final ten games of the season and reduce the gap between us and Spurs. It is vital as we all know to make the Champions League. If we show the determination and competitive nature we showed against Bayern then we can do it. With Swansea, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton still to play, Spurs have a tough run in. Oh when the wheels come falling off …