BFG: We need to make our fans proud again

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Per Mertesacker has called on Arsenal to show fight and to ‘go for it’ against Bayern Munich even though they are 5-1 down on aggregate following a torrid first-leg in Germany.

After a wretched run of four defeats in six games that has left the Gunners’ Champions League and Premier League hopes in tatters, the Arsenal captain was openly critical of his side’s lack of fight in recent weeks and called on his teammates to make the fans proud again.

“I think we saw on a lot of occasions that we were absolutely not ready for a fight, and that’s what I want to see tomorrow: that we are up for a fight, to challenge something,” the BFG told press Monday.

“We need to turn it around. That is really the focus, to come back to our strength.

“I think it’s up to us to show a different face. That is really something we are going to demand because we literally blew it away in the second half [at Allianz Arena]. So it’s really down to us now to make the first step to make our fans proud of ourselves again. That is really something that we need the emphasis on.

“I expect a lot from our players performance-wise, that is what we demand. We wanted to be in the Champions League, we are still in there so let’s go for it.

“We played hard last season to get there and now this is our chance to get everyone back [onside]. But it is down to focusing on the next opposition.”

As we all know, Arsenal haven’t made it past the round of 16 since 2009/10 and the chances of us changing that this year are apparently ranked at 1.2%; that’s according to a UEFA study that looked at every single identical scoreline from every competition in European history ahead of second legs.

Only three clubs have managed to recover a four-goal first-leg deficit in UEFA competition.

Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Real Madrid CF 5-1 at home in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup third round, only to lose the return 4-0. Leixoes SC (against FC La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1961/62 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round) and FK Partizan (Queens Park Rangers FC, 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round) overturned 6-2 away losses with 5-0 and 4-0 home victories respectively.

Deportivo La Coruna hold the record for the biggest first-leg deficit overturned in the UEFA Champions League era, recovering from a 4-1 away loss to AC Milan with a 4-0 home win in the 2003/04 quarter-finals.

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37 Comments on "BFG: We need to make our fans proud again"

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David C

“so you’re telling me we have a chance!”

— Jim Carrey’s character from Dumb and Dumber 🙂

JustAGooner

The only pair that lifted the team in the last couple of years was Coqzorla. Even our summer spending of £100m+ could not replace them

Jack

Anyone think Mert should start instead of Mustafi tomorrow night? Anybody? No? Dust.

Franzsigel

Sounds like a good idea. Miss the pairing of BFG/Koscielny, and the risk is minimal. So why not?

Sancheezy

A sensible, calm, experienced and authority CB figure? Yes please.

I love Mustafi but he mustafi learn from Per’s experience.
That was horrible. *grabs coat*

Bertieme

Mustafi has been decent but I am glad to see this thread. Mert and Kos was a good partnership. Mert, who we know can get beaten for pace, adds a lot of positional nous and allows Kos to be aggressive without being caught out.

IamaGoober

I think that was Arsene’ biggest mistake in the away leg, when Kos came off injured. He had the BFG on the bench, a guy who speaks German and has played like shit loads of big games at centre half for Arsenal, and knows what its like to play in Germany – oh, and our other centre half is also German….. but instead he opted to play Gabriel; a guy who literally can only speak Portugese, and who is also shit at football. Hilarious.

Granit(e) hard!

plus he is a monster for defending set pieces and aerial balls (because of his height and positional nuance) and it wasn’t a coincidence that we have conceded a lot of those since he went away

Arsenal is my life

Play 3 at the back and go for it….

Sancheezy

Yes!!! Chaka and Coq in the middle but Coquelin’s passing worries me sometimes. I’d have Welbz, Alexis and Theo at the top in a 3-4-3 formation.

A Different George

Before his injury, I thought Per spoke pretty fluent English. Still does, but I think he has been taking accent lessons from Bellerin.

32 goon

Per should be the Arsenal boss. At least he has the nerves to shout at Ozil when he needs to. Imagine what he would say to other players after an abject performance?

At least I know he won’t be saying “I didn’t see it”.

Franzsigel

Would love to see the BFG as a part of the future coaching staff. We should defintely look to Bayern where there of lot’s of legends and former players in different positions around the club.

Wouldn’t mind Overmars and Bergkamp either. We need keep our brainier players after they retire…

Steakfordinner

I love you Per, I really do. None of this season has been your fault. But please…enough with this make the fans proud bullshit. Make yourselves proud first, and then worry about everyone else. Nobody is in the mood to hear this right now (even though I know you were only answering a question).

kinghenrythe14th

Now where have I heard this before..?

Hutch

I’m watching tomorrow’s game regardless of what’s going on internally in the club.

As long as the players make an effort, that’s all that matters to me.

We've done it again

So that’s 3 – 1 to Bayern then

Tom Gun

Wouldn’t it be far more Arsenal to win 3-0 and agonisingly miss out? Who remembers Milan? 4-0 down after the first away leg and we play brilliantly with nothing to lose and the skunk had a golden chance to make it 4 but tried to be too clever with a delicate chip instead of putting his foot through it.

Gunman

That’s optimistic at best.

If the the players aren’t up for it (the most likely scenario judging by recent weeks) this will get very ugly.

Brace yourself!!

Runzac

We´re making all the headlines for all the wrong reasons. That´s what you get when you dont show up in matches.

Greg

Yes. More lessons learnt. What we need to do……

Cue another abject performance and a 3 or 4 nil defeat

santori

But we keep saying this trite over and over.

Not expecting anything from CL.

If we don’t get humiliated again, I’ll be satisfied.

Stringer Bell

You are a changing man Santori.

badaab

It’s time for the bfg to make the dressing room care again.
I won’t be tuning in tomorrow due to work, but haven’t watched more than ten minutes of a match since the bayern game- I don’t need anything else negative right now.

José P

We really needed those stats didn’t we?

Santori

just don finish below spurs which we are in grave danger of now.

Arsesupport

So many stories,so many lies, the only thing I believe is what I see and i see a team in really poor form that has completely lost its way.

It doesn’t matter what any of the players say before a game, we’ve heard it all, it means nothing now.

It’s the players actions on the pitch that counts, go out there and make a difference stop depressing the fans and stop feeding the media.

I’m not expecting miracles but turning up and giving it everything and leaving it all on the pitch should be a minimum. Coyg

soffen

“I’m not expecting miracles but turning up and giving it everything and leaving it all on the pitch should be a minimum. ”

Thats an contradiction

Hi-brid

Are we gonna go for it tomorrow night like we went for it at Anfield? Cos I don’t think I wanna see that. http://news.arseblog.com/2017/03/arsenal-set-to-go-for-it-at-anfield-as-wenger-looks-to-change-away-record/

Santori

The trick now is not to expect anything.

Santori

Regarding the “Board”/American Owner…I struggle to think what exactly you want them to do beyond firing Arsene Wenger which will make some fans feel better (short term at least) without thinking of wider ramifications.

Firstly – I’m not sure I’d like the owner (who is not a footballing man) to weigh in on matters football. He sould take care of keeping things financially healthy which is what he is doing.

Secondly – If you were the board, the last thing you’d want to do before the end of the season has worked its way though is destabilise the ship further by throwing out inuendos that there will be change at end of season because like it or not, if the players know Wenger won’t be around, they are more than likely to take the foot off the pedal (Particularly without any succesor identified which will be difficult at this stage)

Thirdly – The board have been doing the right thing. Its results on the pitch which are beyond their control. Perhaps they could sack the gaffer but Wenger is NOT your ordinary hire. He has built the club up from humble finances to where the brand is now.

Fourthly – The board has ensured we have the money to compete in market which I think is more what Gazidis was alluding to in saying we would be able to compete with Bayern. And the money has been there over last 3 years since stadium naming and sponsorship rights have been renegotiated. Whether Wenger spends it sufficiently is another issue as in the case of last season. But this season, he has certainly dipped into the funds a fair bit.

Fifthly – The board has been quietly putting contingencies in place. Little has been made of the recruitment of the Leicester scout last season but clearly there is an element of planning ahead to ensure that there is someone solid in the market who can come in to help the new gaffer should he take reign. Also revamped has been the youth coaching staff.

Sixthly – We also have to ask ourselves the question whether the frustrations some feel surrounding the board as all things evil at the club is because things are not going right on the pitch. Are they the latest scape goat? Seriously, unless you mean them to sack the gaffer as a show of “ambition”, I’m not sure what they are doing wrong.

They have a gaffer who admittedly doesn’t seem to climb the final steps to the apex but whom (as ex United player and pundit Neville so rightly points out) consistently finishes the team in CL as a MINIMUM standard. Whilst there is every reason to feel a new manager will push us up the ladder, the reverse is also equally as likely and we may be left floundering for 3 to 4 seasons in the dark trying to even achieve our minimum, should we be hasty and appoint the wrong successor. These things take lucid judegement and should not be rushed.

Seventh – I’m struggling to think whilst we have been consistently frustrated over many seasons, why some would feel we are in impending disaster. Worse to worse we finish below Spurs for one season in 2 decades plus (and out of CL). The gaffer gets changed and we push back up (provided we find the right succesor) as mentioned.

BUT this fear mongering as postulated by the press that we are fucked because of Wenger is a bit beyond me. He apparently lacks ‘authority’ to some because he is so long in the game? The same can be said of gaffers are new in the business (if not more…its called inexperience).

Liverpool have been struggling to gain consistent top 4 qualification let alone the title for a quarter of a century

Spurs have been doing that for half a century.

Yet we are let to believe they have every bit a chance for the title even though (bar maybe this season) they have consistently finished below us more than not despite following the media prescription of consistent changes in management (remember Brendan Rodgers, AVB, Juande Ramos whom we were told were all tactical genius?)

Now…

I’m not saying Wenger is the right option going forward. It may very well be his time is up and he is more than likely to levae sooner than later.

It may be that a candidate will show himself that ticks all the right boxes this summer.

BUT we have also to be prepared (as I am sure the board will be) to have a transitional season if need be.

2018 Wcup should precipitate a management reshuffle. If we do not find suitable candidate, it may make perfect sense to see it out a season and lay further ground work in place for a succession. It will save face for the gaffer to bow out his last season with the dignity he deserves.

BECAUSE even IF we change the gaffer, it is NOT a guarantee that we will finish better and the management KNOWS that.

Are the same impatient fan voices calling for the gaffer’s head even before the season has been fully prosecuted willing to wait for the new man to get things right over 2 or 3 seasons let alone one?

Too many people have foggy notions as to who they want to blame.

The truth is the results on the pitch is the issue on hand and that is in the onus of the gaffer NOT the board.

BUT we are not a club that does things spur of the moment.

We are a club that sees the long game, the full picture.

IF there are steps being put in place to eventually replace the gaffer sooner than later, this is not the time to announce it simply to placate the fans.

More is at stake than that.

The fans just want a quick fix to make them feel better. BUT as Neville knows all too well, be careful for what you wish for. (and he should know having seen United in recent seasons plus he’s one fo the few pundits who has put his money where his mouth was and actually tried his hand at management to see how hard it actually is…Thiery Henry? you’re having a laugh)

Appreciate the positives because whilst trying to reach for a fruit higher up the tree (when standing very high up already), you may fall down further.

Ambition should not be confused with establishing firm footing. That should not be confused with sending the wrong signals to BOTH the gaffer and team whilst we are fighting in the league.

We are underachieving but it is not as abject as many would like you to believe.

Change will come all in good time sooner than later.

Until then, all this vociferous shouting and railing only poisons the atmosphere further and to no end.

Think.

Futsboller

The fans want blood, mate, and the mob shall rule; it’s over. Lock the doors and turn out the lights, and wait for the proverbial storm to pass. This shit is going to get biblical …

ClockEndRider

Pre match presser: “let’s go for it, play our game, come out and play at high pace”.

Post match presser: “we started slowly, couldn’t find our rhythm, didn’t play as a team”.

It’s almost as though we’ve seen the movie before.

Only excuse remains for whichever player is on Denilson/Djourou/Walcott bullshit meaningless platitudes duty post match to reprise John Belushi’s desperate rant to Carrie Fisher in Blues Brothers : “a friend came in from out of town….there was an earthquake….,,IT WASNT MY FAAAUULLTT”.

Shank

We are the butt of all the jokes rite now.
Its great, I fucking love it………..
Last nite on MOTD, we were just having a barrel of fucking laughs about the Arsenal, such fun for everyone.
Then its time for Goal of the Fucking month……Hazard waltzing thro the pathetic Arsenal rearguard……..at one stage during the clip where Eden( a relatively small chap) is bypassing his fourth Arsenal “challenge”, Coq sort of bounces off his legs and does a kind of twirl before he hits the deck, the like of which you wouldnt see on Strictly come Fucking Dancing.
Oh its just massive fucking fun alright.

(Happy Arsenal Fan)

FREDDO

Mertersacker is basically being paid these days to be a backup and use his authority to keep his team-mates in line. So I guess the Sanchez blow-up is a big fail, I’m afraid.

Godfrey Twatschloch

Make Arsenal Great Again!

SadArsenalFan

Arsenal fan for 24 years. Never felt this sick and let down before by the club players and the manager.

We are a mess, hope things change. 6th looks like our best shot this season.

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