Arsenal blown chances and errors costly against Barcelona: By the Numbers


For 65 minutes Arsenal more than held their own against Barcelona. Despite a 70-30 possession count in favor of the Spanish side both teams had only taken 7 shots each and both teams had created 2 big chances. You could even say Arsenal played slightly better than Barcelona, having taken all of their 7 shots in the 18 yard box, while Barcelona took 3 of their 7 from distance.

But from the 66th minute until the end of the match, Barcelona cut Arsenal to shreds with a pulsating counter attack. Barcelona actually let Arsenal take possession of the ball and the touches were 192-204 (essentially 50-50 possession) with Barcelona having just a slight edge. But in terms of creating, with Arsenal playing so high up the pitch, Barcelona hit Arsenal on the counter with the speed of Messi and Neymar. As a result, the shots in those last 30 minutes went 8-1 in Barcelona’s favor with 4 of their 8 shots as big chances. Even removing the penalty, which was the correct decision and we can have no complaints, they created 7 shots and 3 big chances, all in the Arsenal 18 yard box.

But while the “big numbers” look fairly even the game actually turned on just a few events:

1 – Ox missed big chance (21st minute)
1 – Ramsey missed big chance (78th minute)
2 – Suarez missed big chances
2 – Neymar saved big chances
0 – Coquelin neither tackles, fouls, or follows Neymar when Sgt. Iniesta passes him the ball (70th minute)
0 – Mertesacker fails to intercept the pass from Neymar to Suarez taking himself out of the play and creating a 3 on 2 with Koscielny and Monreal versus Suarez, Neymar, and Messi (70th minute)
1 – Suarez draws Koscielny to him and passes to Neymar who is now unmarked and in a 2 v. 1 with Messi on Monreal
1 – Bellerin is trying to get back but he’s well behind the play
0 – Coquelin and Ramsey don’t even try to get back, they are beaten comprehensively
1 – Monreal leaves Messi to close down the ball
1 – Neymar makes a great pass between Monreal and Bellerin
1 – Messi scores from the big chance
1 – Koscielny shoves Messi in the back, nothing vicious, just out of disgust for what just happened
81 – Minute Flamini is subbed on
82 – Minute Messi wins a penalty off a Flamini foul
0 – Mertesacker isn’t given (by Opta) either an error leading to a shot nor a failed clearance
2 – Messi converts the penalty and thus goes 2/3 on big chances for the day

Some other stats

90 – Ramsey was 90% of 50 passes on the day, Arsenal’s most accurate passer
80 – Nacho, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Ozil, and Alexis all finish below 80% passing
3 – Ramsey leads all Arsenal players with 3 shots and they are arguably 3 of the 4 best shots in the game: 1 from the Özil drag back, 1 from the broken play but side open in front of goal and he almost kicks it out for a throw in, and 1 right in front of goal at the end of the match
4 – The Arsenal front 6 of Giroud (1), Walcott, Welbeck, Ox (2), Alexis (1), and Ozil only manage 4 total shots: Opta counted Giroud’s header as a big chance (which seems a bit harsh) and Ox’s shot was a classic big chance
13 – In contrast, the Barcelona front three (Suarez, Messi, Neymar) took 13 of Barcelona’s 15 shots
6 – Alexis led Arsenal with 6 dribbles and 6 fouls (drawn). He also was only dispossessed 1 time and only had 1 bad touch but he did fail 3 dribbles (6/9)
2 – Giroud only won 2/5 attacking aerial duels
2 – Coquelin only won 2/6 tackles. He also didn’t have any interceptions, only passed 80%, and managed just 5 ball recoveries (Bellerin and Koz led Arsenal with 7 each, Rakitic had 8 for Barcelona)
4 – Ramsey and Alexis both won 4 tackles for Arsenal, though Ramsey was better going 4/4 while Alexis was 4/6
6 – Koscielny led Arsenal with 6 interceptions, Alexis was second with 4 and Per Mertesacker had just the one failed interception (failed interception isn’t a stat that I’m aware of)
4 – Opta credited Mertesacker with 4/4 clearances even though one time, at band camp, the ball went to Messi
0 – Margin for error if Arsenal were going to win this game
2 – Errors that lost the game
2 – Missed big chances that could have won the game


Bonus stat: Messi now has 82 Champions League goals. In the same period of time (since 2005) Arsenal Football Club have scored 183 Champions League goals.

Sources:, 442 Stats Zone app



    • The ref wasn’t the best but lets not take that route. I watched the game as a replay, so it was less emotion than many of my fellow fans here experienced live.

      Unfortunately, I felt this was an expected win for Barcelona for the exact reasons why it happened. We have a squad with definite weak links for a competition at the highest level of football. We knew that players like Flamini would fall short against the likes of Neymar/Messi.

      Even if you set aside the Barcelona game, how many league games will you feel comfortable starting flamini OVER coquelin? I don’t mean after an injury or if coquelin needs a rest. Is there any scenario where flamini would tactically or in any other way be better than coquelin? No. So the reality is we have an unreliable second string defensive midfielder(one of the most important positions at the core of the team: which means that a team like ours with a bad injury record was always an injury away from a big drop in quality.

      Onto the left wing position: Sanchez is first choice, but who really is our second choice? Isn’t it a blatant waste of time to play Theo there? Can Theo really do much as a winger? You need to be able to defend and take people on in the winger role, and its glaringly obvious that Theo can’t do both. Alex OC is currently our First choice right winger, so its not the best thing to just say “hey we’ll move him over to play on the left and campbell starts on the right”.

      A club the size of Arsenal should have two candidates for every specific position including the wings. Playing one winger on the other must be a dire emergency, not one injury away. It will even help us rest and rotate players better. That way, players like sanchez or koscielny won’t have to be played despite niggles and get injured as a direct consequence.

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      • I agree, i said before the season that keeping Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky was going to cost us and so it’s proving, a case of sentiment over sense. Whilst Arteta and Rosicky are past it, Flamini is a never has been and his re-signing a couple of seasons back should have only been short term and we certainly shouldn’t still be relying on him 2 1/2 years later.

        As for not having specialist back up for Sanchez again i agree but how many players do we have in our squad where no one even knows what position they play in? Walcott, Welbeck, Ox and Ramsey, are all jack of all trades, masters of none, and don’t excel in any position, you can’t possibly expect to beat Barcelona under those circumstances.

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        • I disagree, I think Rosicky is still class.

          I think if we had let Flamini and Arteta go, and replaced them with two decent midfielder’s, and we still kept Rozzer around on a pay as you play deal we’d of been in decent shape.

          But 100% agree with your point regarding not strengthening over the two windows costing us key games in the Premier League, and ultimately in the Champions League too.

          The Champions League is nothing but a pipe dream until we assemble a squad of genuine quality by investing money into the correct area of the squad.

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          • What makes you say Rosicky is still class, he’s played 15 minutes football in the last 7 months?

            No non-contributor should be retained as it sends out completely the wrong message. It’s hardly surprising that the likes of Walcott and Chamberlain don’t improve when they see more senior players retained despite offering nothing to the team. Being nice isn’t a qualification to play for Arsenal.

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          • Although we were all pleasantly surprised when RVP stopped getting injured and got rather excellent. So perhaps getting rid of players who seem perma-injured isn’t always correct? Although I concede RVP and Rosicky are completely different levels of injury prone.

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          • Rosicky on a footballing level is far superior to the likes of Walcott and Chamberlain, and Arteta and Flamini.

            Yeah he has a poor injury record of course, but he was very good for us last year and the year before that when he got the opportunity to play, and he stayed fairly injury free over the last couple of seasons.

            Bare in mind too he didn’t resign for us when he was already injured, he signed the extension when he was fit and playing well.

            I think to have a player of his experience, and quality wiling to stick around and be happy with a sort of part time deal, dipping in and out the team when needed, is/was no bad thing at all.

            Unfortunately for him, and for us, he got injured again.

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          • Nonsense, top teams don’t offer 34 year olds with Rosicky’s injury record a new contract. If Barcelona can allow Xavi to leave at a similar age, and he’s twice the player Rosicky’s ever been, we should have been able to let him go too.

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          • Rosicky is still technically a class footballer; miles better than Arteta and Flamini

            He isn’t on some mega big deal where sucks up the payroll, and players of his ability at his age still have their purposes in a squad when we are competing across 4 competitions every season.

            Off the top of my head here are some players who played (or are playing) well into their 30’s who still are (or at the time) helping (or helped) their teams compete for major honours at club and international level:


            I agree 100% that it was a massive oversight by Arsene keeping Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky, and not bringing some much younger guys – but saying that having older more experienced players around the squad is bad thing is just widely inaccurate in my opinion.

            I doubt you were calling for Rozzers head when he rasped in that volley away at Spurs, or when Flamini did the same at White Hart lane this year.

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          • Sorry iamaGoober, but you still haven’t answered the question as to why you believe he’s still good enough despite only playing 15 minutes football this season.

            All those players you mentioned were multiple league and champions league winners, Rosicky hasn’t helped us win anything, there’s no comparison!

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          • Regardless of how many minutes he has played this season, doesn’t change the fact that he is still a class footballer, which he is, he is far better on the ball than Arteta, and Flamini.

            My point is there is definitely a place in Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Seria A squads for players of Rosicky experience and quality.

            Obviously the key is balance, and Wenger should not of relied on Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky in the manner in which he has done this season. He 100% should of purchased the appropriate cover in midfield and not kept all 3 of them, but one of them I think would of been totally justifiable.

            And remember, he didn’t sign an extension for us when he was injured, he signed it when he was playing well, and injury free.

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          • I agree that there’s a place for talented and experienced players in a successful squad, i just disagree with you that Rosicky fits that criteria. He’s started 107 league games in 10 years and must be the least experienced 35 year old in football!

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      • The Flam vs Coq argument. I think Wenger swapped them because he wanted a DM who also wants to score. Which is flam but not coq. Although we know that makes flam a terrible DM, Wenger of course does not.

        After he came on I saw him on a few occasions playing above Ramsey and even Welbeck a couple of times.

        Someone needs to tell him he isn’t Santi.

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  1. A familiar story. At one time Arsenal were conceding goals galore from corners and set pieces. When asked if he needed a defense coach,Wenger arrogantly brushed it aside saying he had 30 years coaching experience and knew what to do.Sadly its the same with being clinical.
    Fans have been saying for years if the gunners were more clinical they could become trophy winners.
    Instead fans are waiting and waiting for the dawn that will never come unless Wenger changes his tactics or is forced out.

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      • Tapps, you missed the point. People are free to air their opinion as well. What Tapps and Wolfgang said don’t make them a lesser fan than you. The truth need to be told sometimes.

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        • I agree with Cantanor.
          This is my opinion too.
          And if someone else has the same opinion as me, then that opinion must be THE TRUTH. And it must be told sometimes!

          Anyway, I cannot emphasize enough that what I have written above is, in my opinion, also a FACT!

          I meant, what Canador said…

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          • @denton, just because you or anyone else repeats a phrase multiple times, and or shouts it out, does not make it either true OR a fact.
            In fact it usually means that, that same person is either wrong and or, not listening to another, counter point of view or observation.

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    • So you mean the defending was off really ?? You don’t think the fact that we didn’t score was an issue?
      I’ve seen barca a bit this year and I haven’t seen anyone else shut them down as well as we did the first 70 and we did that while creating our own chances.

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  2. We are about to score eight against someone. I can’t recall so many of our attacking talents being so goal shy for so long. On the law of averages we have to click soon. Let’s hope we click against United.

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  3. 0% – Percent chance I thought Arsenal had of winning this game.
    100% – Percent chance I think Arsenal have of winning the league the league.

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  4. This shows how statistics and football don’t make a good marriage in a single game. Where is the stat showing Ramsey giving the ball away at least three times? Where is the stat showing Ramsey forgetting his midfield duties and running forward to miss shots. Ramsey is crap yet Wenger plays him every minute in the big games. Don’t even start about Walcott. We dropped to 10 men when he came on.

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    • Hear hear – Ramsey flatters to deceive in the stats.

      Tackles – he only commits to 70/30 tackles else hangs back by breaking stride.
      Pass completions – would be interesting to see how many times we lose possession after a ‘successful’ Rambo pass to a teammate.
      Box to box going forward but nowhere to be seen coming back

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    • I think the biggest player who flattered to deceive in those stats is Alexis. He and Ox are neck in neck for inability to possess the ball around the box at the moment. I fully expect Alexis to turn that around, though, but he’s not currently passing the sniff test.

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  5. Blown chances and errors, Sad to say, but the headline seems a little too familiar, not only in champs lge but in all competitions. And the answer of “we have to be more efficient with chances that we have” seems never materialise.

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  6. Sad reality is, as much as I like Giroud and welbeck, we need a new striker, literally someone super good so that he walks into starting 11 and gives a good kick in the balls to all the wasters. I can not remember the last time Arsenal have not scored so many goal chances that they had tonight, had we scored at least 50% of our chances tonight that would have guaranteed a win for Arsenal

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    • Agree with this 100%. After splurging big money on Alexis and Ozil, neither of whom are out and out strikers. The next big transfer must be on a clinical striker, who’s quick and takes his chances. Welbz and Giroud are both second rate strikers sadly.

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        • Romelo Lukaku would be a great buy though… Who else we could possibly get? I don’t know.

          But hey that’s a story for the far away transfer window. We’ve got 3-4 months of football still to play with our current forward options who, contrary to popular belief, can still push us to the league title. So yea, COYG! Bring on the ManUre!

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  7. The ox was shocking. Don’t know how he is even getting a look these days. Campbell, Welbeck, Gibbs anyone but him right now.

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  8. Love Ramsey, but getting so very sick & tired of the tounge out wryful smile “Oh my, I just missed another complete sitter” face.

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  9. It’ normal sometimes to missed chances. They can’t convert their chances as well before we gave them the easiest goal in the history of football!

    It was toe to toe before that. They make more possessions, but that means nothing really.

    And this is actually makes it hurts more. Ugh.

    Need to destroy Man U this Sunday.

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  10. As much as I love Walcott and Ox, and as much as I want them to be our poster boys of English football, the fact is that Campbell would have been a better choice in both cases. He’s creative going forward, he tracks back and his work rate is amongst the best of the lot.

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    • Ox I will repeat all brawn before brain.

      His energy level does not coordinate entirely with his brain. or he has so much ability it’s overloading either way does not explain why he still can’t pass a football.

      He is frustration personified.

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      • No, Herold, that monica ‘frustration personified’ goes to Ramsey imo. The Ox had a good game until his injury, both offensively and defensively v Barca, look what happened when he was subbed….

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    • For this game i disagree wenger got it spot on in his team selection the only other person i would have started with over chamberlain would be welbeck but he is not match fit yet hence bringing him on later in the game. We need to counter fast and quickly and in order to do that we need people who like to dribble with the ball and beat a man.Wenger got the tactics spot on but we decided to f**k them off at the 70th minute: get the ball out wide and let either shancez or AOC run with it to get us up the field to relieve pressure. We had that in sanchez and OX. Campbell is much more of a playmaker to me who beats a man through a pass and retains possession, in this instance we didnt need that as barca had most of the ball. There was actually a good analysis talking about this on here.

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      • I was really torn on this when I first saw the tea sheet, but I agree. Think Ox was on there to put fear into their fullback and pin them back and make them hesitate to commit to the attack.

        I like Campbell, but the aggression and pace Ox drives forward with I think would scare Barca more than a guy who’s notably less likely to beat his man and ghost in behind to the corner or touch line. Campbell is better on the ball no doubt right now, but he cuts inside and doesn’t have the potential to blow past opposition as much.

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  11. For the love of God, when will someone finally take a chance in a big game against big opposition…in according to our recent matches against ANY competition

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  12. is it true that arsenal have created more chances than barca this season? yet we have only 63 goals ? and msn have 91. doesnt that stat scream for a composed clinical striker ?

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  13. I am not a fan of Mourinho but he sure knows how to keep his teams switched on for 90 mins.
    We had Barca largely in control; pouring out for that freekick was not necessary.

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  14. Wenger said we were naive. Who brought all those players?? With Wenger things won’t change, it’s gonna be the same story every season. Come on guys, let’s justify it again with “it was another bad day at the office”…..

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    • the same players who are second in a very tough league and have won 2 trophies in 2 years, yes those worthless clowns dont justify anything

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  15. First half defending from arsenal worried barca, you see the best club team on the planet barcelona tactics at marking the defence especially styles of their front three the first goal gunners caught back peddling unlucky gunners gd resillience through the game and defending flamini caught out the team needed more of a pacey younger player as sub barca were tired

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  16. I think the biggest problem was the crystal clear lapse in concentration. I wouldnt have minded a 0-0 or a 0-1 scoreline. This is where experience comes into play, and Cech is the perfect example of that because he never got nervy not even once. I think I missed Cazorla most of all. And I was very surprised that Chamberlain got the nod ahead of Campbell. I don’t know why maybe there was a small problem, but I really wanted to see Campbell knowing how well he would have tracked back with Neymar. As for Walcott, I’m sorry but in such games either you are a superb world class talent that makes huge differences up front or you track back and make those tackles. All is not lost I want to see a fired up arsenal next leg. I loved it when Ozil got pissed at the defence following the first goal, wanna see aggressiveness from our front players more.

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  17. The failure to take big chances is just infuriating. It’s becoming a mental thing, players not doing the simple thing with with a close range shot and just the goalie to beat. This is partly a statistical blip in that conversion rates are so low in football that the occasional bad run is to be expected, and partly the same old players who always have appalling conversion rates (hello, Aaron Ramsey, possibly the biggest waster of chances in the league over the past few years).

    At any rate, this doesn’t affect us in the league, losing to Barca is no crime, we should have confidence that we weren’t smashed and outclassed, now on with the league.

    PS: Flamini should never again be preferred to Elneny. He’s done his best covering for injuries this year but he is no longer up to this level and shouldn’t be called on outside emergencies.

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  18. I still haven’t come across an explanation for the Flamini substitution. Was Coq hurt or tired? Also, is Elneny cup tied? Mertesacker was largely responsible for both goal…stupidly diving in at halfway for the first and trying to control it in the box instead of aiming for row Z for the second. Why didn’t Wenger and Bould pull the defensive players back when they began to get too excited? If only we were more clinical. Alexis is really poor recently, works hard but tries too much and loses the ball too often. Welbeck looks really up for it…great to see. Bellerin and Monreal were really impressive against Neymar and Messi respectively. Feel sorry for Joel, he played really well when guys were out and now can’t get a look in in the big games. Hope Ox is okay. The double is still on. COYG

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  19. I just logged in to say I thought Ramsey was terrible, absolutely terrible.

    Watching him yesterday was getting to my nerves. He just couldn’t do anything. Wow we really do miss Cazorla yesterday seemed to shout it out loud too.

    Embarrassing from Ramsey.

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    • 2 questions
      Did we watch the same match? Because Ramsey completed 45/50 passes and was very good defensively
      We have lost to Zagreb and Olympiakos with Santi in midfield. Lets not pretend that he would have magically won us this match

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      • I shit you not those passes counted for nothing yesterday. He played like he has never been at such a level. He was timid when in possesion high up the pitch (those 5 misplaces passes) and ineffective with those 45 completed passes.

        He was terrible and so you know Cazorla would have been better I. the final third than Ramsey was. Who to now I can’t truly tell you his strengths.

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  20. Giroud, Ramsey, Chamberlain killed too many chances. Period. It hurts and adds up to wasted efforts. Which hurts more because we had the game to win but gave it away.

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  21. Sadly the ‘naive’ card has been overplayed now. Doing the same thing but expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. How many times has Merte missed that exact same interception high up the pitch? How many times have we failed to convert opportunities because we play for spectacular goals rather than putting the laces through the ball? How many times does Ox need to over-run the ball before we think “for f#cks sake Ox, control it”? Same mistakes time and time again. Wenger bought these ‘naive’ players now it’s time to accept responsibility for them. I don’t recall Sanchez being naive at Barca? Or Ozil being naive at Real? The excuse about players not being available is utter rubbish. If you offer 100m for someone they end up signing. We have 250m sat in the bank (allegedly). That buys a world class striker and a world class defender to partner Kos. Job done, silverware galore. Merte is a good defender, but only good. Not a worldy. Same for Giroud, good but not great. Same for Walcot and Ox. Shame because the worldies we do have are continuously let down by the rest.

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    • “Naive” is believing any team can buy any player if they chuck enough money at it. United have larger revenues than us and couldn’t get a top striker for love or money last summer. “Naive” is believing Arsenal is the club that would try to dump 100m on a striker.
      Did you watch that game? I have to say for all the bemoaning better players barcalona are and always have been a better team. When we play them we have to respect that take our chances and defend. That was the best we’ve played against them including the 2-1 at our place and on another day we may have won that game.
      Not all doom and gloom to have just lost against the best in the world. Now let’s go play like that against United and the rest of the prem elite and destroy them

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      • It’s not naive to say any team can buy any player by chucking money at it, that’s exactly how Barcelona got Neymar and Suarez and Real got Ronaldo and Bale, thats exactly how it works.

        I bet for the last 10 years you’ve been saying we couldn’t compete with the “financially doped” Chelsea and Man City because they buy all the best players and we can’t match their spending.

        And no if we play like that against United or the rest of the premier league elite we won’t destroy them, because to destroy them you actually have to score, something we can’t do at the moment!

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  22. Welbeck was great when he came on, I see him way ahead of OX and walcott, and I’m talking about guy who didn’t play for 10 months and came back like he was never injured, even alexis need to find his rhythm back after his injury, but I never seen a player 10 months out injured with only one week of training to come on and look so good and sharp on the pitch, I think he will be vital for the reminder of the season and pushing us to the title. Really impressed by him still I can’t believe how sharp and on form he looked so, after 1 year of not playing, that’s shows you his is a great talent. Someone said that he could be our Sturridge and I agree with that I think he will be even better as he has more pace and trickery than sturridge, and don’t forget that sturridge was wasteful in front of goal that is why chelsea sold him.

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  23. I was surprised at the freedom Messi was given. Was no one given the job of keeping a close eye on him? To see him run unhindered into our box to slot home the first at his own leisure – you wouldn’t forgive the U11s for that sort of defending.
    As for Flamini, I am slow to blame him. Had he not tried to intervene, Messi would have again scored easily, and he is sooooo fast. At least Flamini tried to kick him up in the air.
    As for Olivier, I have already voiced my opinion that he is simply no an Arsenal-standard striker. He just isn’t of the same mould of our previous strikers, or of our superstars. Ozil was brilliant last night, and I was delighted to see him getting in on that wagon Alvez. For a self styled hardman, Alvez sure does a lot of rolling about on the floor crying.

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    • A bit harsh to say no one was picking him up. It was a counter where they were 3 on 2.

      The defenders have a very short time to make a choice. Nacho chose to go toward Neymar in an attempt to force an error, it didn’t work out and Messi was allowed clean through, with just Cech to beat.

      Up until that point Messi is was largely subdued and defensively, where the play was in front of us we did very well.

      Neymar also got very little in the way of action in front of goal, the only striker that up until the first goal that had a sniff was Suarez and both times he was off target.

      I think we can win in Spain, however, qualifying is another matter entirely.

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  24. Honestly the boys tried yesterday. They kept Barca abbey until when their usual mistake cropped up again. Some of the players are really not up to scratch. Ox is still a kid but not sure if he would ever amount anything in Arsenal shirt. He may end up just like Wallcut, with too much promises without delivering. Giroud is not the strike that will take Arsenal to the promise land. If he was such a good strike, he should have hit the ball yesterday instead of flicking it to an empty space. Flamini has no place in Arsenal. I have said this many times, Wenger seem to have his favorites or sympathy with certain players. I could not understand why he did not play Eleney last night. Ramsey should be a top striker or midfielder at Cardiff or Swansea not Arsenal. He is really not up to Arsenal level. I do not see him improving further. He lacks energy and speed. Sanchez has continued to disappoint since he returned from his injury. He can’t pass and looses the ball at dangerous areas. Ozil is a world class player but he has continuously failed to impress in big games. I know that the boys lost their discipline last night and Wenger was angry about that. However, I expected Wenger or his assistant to stand up on the side line and shout to the marauding players to maintain their discipline but he didn’t. Above all, we learnt a lot

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  25. Still feel the team need an upgrade on3 positions to get to Barca level:

    CF- Giroud seems to have reached his highest level, a really good player but a little too limited to play such a big role in the team, if Arsenal wants to reach the level of Bayern, Barca. Maybe time to give Walcott and Welbeck a chance.

    RW- atm the weakest spot in the team, Ox and Campbell haven’t performed at the required level and a new signing is probably needed, or play Welbeck there. Walcott seems to be more of a CF these days and it feels like a waste to play him there.

    CB- Mertesackers time seems to be over, two costly mistakes in the match and Gabriel and Chambers should be given chances this or next season.

    All in all this team os close to really get to the highest level and it is just a matter of small details and introducing the players wenger has planned to make his best eleven (Gabriel, Chambers, Welbeck)

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    • Honest question for anyone: have we had a half way decent Right Wing since Freddy?

      I’ve just been running through who has played there over the past several years and probably missing a few:
      Jack and Welbz have each played a few
      Santi (a few but more on left)
      Rosicky (where hasn’t he played!)
      Lord Fucking Bendtner of all fucking people
      I’m sure I’m missing something important (aside from Eboue!)
      But the point is, we’ve been weak on the right side attack for years.

      If Ox and Walcott are incapable it might be high time to address that.

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  26. Easy to look back at that goal and point fingers. Mertesacker simply should not have dived in, that was a dreadful decision. Just stay on your feet and make them take you on. Even if you get beaten for pace, at least they are having to really push it and there’s a bit more pressure on the ball.

    However, with all that said and done… I wonder if Monreal simply should have stuck with Messi. That’s not a finger point; it’s a tactical muse. If Monreal marks Messi, and leaves Cech to try and save from Neymar… is that a statistically better chance at preventing the goal than leaving Messi and giving Neymar the chance to cut the ball across to him? Neymar is at an angle – better for Cech. Cech has already saved from Neymar.

    Thing is, if Monreal doesn’t come across and Messi scores, he gets castigated for it.

    End of pointless thought process.

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