Monreal & Özil Cost Arsenal The Game, And The Tie (w/ Player Ratings)

Arsenal started the first 10 minutes on fire. Yaya Sanogo, the surprise choice ahead of the troubled Olivier Giroud started brightly; winning headers, taking on players and keeping possession well. The whole team looked confident and we had half decent chances through Sanogo and Cazorla.

Then Özil won a penalty. This was our chance to take the lead against the reigning European champions.

Our red hot start to the game looked to have been rewarded.

But to my surprise, Mesut Özil was readying himself to take the kick. He had already missed a penalty kick against Marseille earlier this season after taking a very short run up and I said at the time that it looked lazy and it was a stupid way to take a penalty.

And unfortunately, he did exactly the same again.

The worst thing was that it wasn’t a surprise the penalty was saved. It obviously doesn’t work (at least not against the better goalkeepers) and it was a massive chanced missed to take an early stranglehold on the game.

After that as you would expect, Bayern had more possession and it was more of an even match, and Mathieu Flamini made a really excellent block from a half-volley which looked destined to go in.

Sanogo’s impressive start wasn’t restricted to the first 10 minutes as some excellent hold up play and a brilliant through ball almost saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain through on goal to score the opener. The young winger who was selected ahead of Tomas Rosicky looked full of confidence and wasn’t afraid to take on Dante whenever he could.

In the first half an hour, we showed the best team in Europe we were a match for them.

Unfortunately, Gibbs had to go off and Monreal came on. You all know how I feel about him, I think he’s useless defensively, a slight upgrade on Andre Santos. And apart from the fact he played in the games where we lost 6-3 to Manchester City and 5-1 to Liverpool, he was also up against one of the most intelligent footballers in game (according to Pep Guardiola) in Philip Lahm.

Once Monreal came on Bayern sensed they could open the scoring. Götze, Robben and Lahm were all the right side of the pitch, exploiting the space the Spanish left-back tends to leave. And within minutes of Monreal’s introduction his “influence” told and as he left Robben to go on a free run and Szczesny clipped the Bayern winger.

The decision to send of the goalkeeper for me, was a disgrace. Surely, it’s a penalty kick but surely a yellow card would suffice?

With Szczesny sent off, Fabianski came on and his first job was to face a penalty from Alaba. The Bayern midfielder opted to fizz it into the corner but got his angles slightly wrong as it hit the upright.

When you think things couldn’t have got any worse for Arsenal, it was a let off but we had the prospect of facing Bayern Munich with 10 men for 50 minutes.

We went in level at half time in a game which was not short of drama. We missed a penalty, we had a man sent off and then they missed a penalty. Robben was booed every time he touched the ball and it was hard to feel happy we hadn’t conceded a decisive away goal or gutted because we didn’t take the lead.

The positives at half time were the performances of Mathieu Flamini, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Yaya Sanogo. They were immense in the first 45 minutes and gave it everything they had.

The negatives were the performances of Nacho Monreal and Mesut Özil. Monreal isn’t a good defender by any stretch of the imagination and he was “supported” on the left hand side by Özil. A change at half time was needed if we weren’t going to concede in the second half. And then we come to the conundrum that is Özil. His style appears lazy and the penalty miss was a disgrace, and his third penalty miss in a row.

Maybe I’m being simplistic here, but what’s wrong with just smashing the fucking ball into the net?

As you would expect, Bayern attacked down our right hand side where the useless Monreal and Özil were “defending”. And the opening goal came from that position, where Robben and Kroos had the freedom of the city to knock the ball back and fourth. Kroos then curled a shot into the top corner and even on Twitter before they had even opened the scoring, I had predicted that Özil and Monreal would cost us the game.




Bayern were attacking so much on that side of the pitch that Bacary Sagna and Oxlade-Chamberlain were virtually spectators.

With half an hour remaining, Arsenal needed to make sure they didn’t concede another goal and be out of the tie completely.

As Monreal and Özil allowed Robben, Lahm and Gotze to dance around, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before the German side doubled their lead.

It baffles me that when Tomas Rosicky did make his introduction with 20 minutes to go, it was Oxlade-Chamberlain who made way instead of the terrible Özil. It was obvious from the start of the second half that our left hand side was our major weakness and for Arsene not to address it was deeply worrying.

And with 3 minutes remaining, yet another cross from the right hand side was our undoing. Lahm should have been charged down by Özil but he was given about 50 years to pick out a ball for Bayern to score a second from a header.

In the end, it was a hugely frustrating night caused by one man in particular. The man who is supposed to be the diamond in our side was actually a hinderance us and obviously, the moment which defined the game was the poor Mesut Özil penalty.

My grandmother could have taken a better penalty than that, and she’s in a wheelchair.

After the game, Arsene remarked that he “preferred players to run properly to the ball” on a penalty. That, I don’t disagree with Arsene.

Player Ratings:

Wojciech Szczesny: 5/10
Unlucky to be sent off. Didn’t have a huge amount to do before being dismissed.

Bacary Sagna: 7/10
Solid on the right hand side but hardly involved as Bayern attacked relentlessly on our left hand side.

Per Mertesacker: 8/10
Excellent in the circumstances, organised the back four well. Made some important tackles and interceptions as well.

Laurent Koscielny: 8/10
Very good alongside Mertesacker, and did well considering. Also made some vital blocks and won the majority of his tackles. Also drove the side forward whenever he could.

Kieran Gibbs: 7/10
Did well until he went off injured.

Mathieu Flamini: 8/10
Gave everything he had and made some truly fantastic blocks. Without him fighting in the middle of the pitch, we could have lost by a larger margin.

Jack Wilshere: 7/10
Found it hard in the middle once we were down to 10 men but coped well all things considered.

Santi Cazorla: 6/10
Couldn’t impose himself in the game and struggled.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 7/10
Full of running in the first 30 minutes but subdued once Szczesny was sent off. Unfortunate to be taken off in the second half.

Mesut Özil: 2/10
Awful. Awful penalty and awful performance. Once he missed the penalty he disappeared, which isn’t really what you’d expect from a supposedly world class player.

Yaya Sanogo: 7/10
Made an excellent start to the game, holding the ball up well and almost created a great chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain. Couldn’t influence the game once we went down to 10 men.

Lukasz Fabianski: 7/10
Made a few decent saves and couldn’t really do anything about the Kroos goal.

Nacho Monreal: 3/10
Got absolutely mullered by Lahm, Robben and Gotze.


36 thoughts on “Monreal & Özil Cost Arsenal The Game, And The Tie (w/ Player Ratings)

  1. Managers fault all day long. Keeps playing people out of position and only has one system.
    Better off out of this anyway as we don’t have the depth to keep going on all three fronts.

    • Agree.. Wenger consistently makes it harder than it should be. Cazorla should never be playing on the wing and has never looked comfortable there. God only knows why Podolski doesn’t start games and finally Rosicky for the Ox must be the most stupid substitution ever. Everyone and their dog knew that it should have been Ozil coming off but Wenger once again shows his tactical genius!

  2. If I were the manager. the first thing I will do in the summer is offer Ozil cash for draxler. He is too lazy for the English game. Ronaldo made him look special at Madrid. Cazorla and Rosicky are far better

    • If you were Wenger Arsenal would been relegated to the 3rd division. If Ozil missed a penalty then what about Alaba? Where is your Kroos or Muller? Arsenal lack the response mechanism that’s the problem and not Ozil, Montreal or anyone player.

  3. Once, Gibbs got injured the option was to bring in jenkinson and shift sagna to the left. As Lahm is not a fast player, Podolzki could have been considered. Should Gibbs not recover than we should start the away leg like that. Don’t despair, we will beat them 1-3 @ home. Some off the changes were forced changes and we got wrong on them. Ozil is a quality player and has plenty to offer the team.

  4. I wonder why wenger would tell Henry to allow RVP to take a free kick and not do same to Ozil when it’s even a penalty kick.

  5. Sanogo was a solid 2 at best. Lazy player and saw him do nothing for most of the game . Ozil and monreal the same … I would have had podolski on any day of the week

    Wenger is out if touch with the team and football today. We need an injection of money to a man who knows what to do with it.

  6. Unbelievable nightmare.
    No doubts the ref is a spud fan,
    Why was ozil taking the pen?
    2 takes, 2 misses…. add that to his states.
    Whats up with him?
    He must have his goggles firmly fixed on the world cup.
    Wenger’s made a bulls up with the subs…AGAIN!
    Oh well, at least it was only 2nil.

  7. I bet koscielny would have bury dat penalty rather than giving it to a dumb ass hole…if the damn idiot Ozil is tired why not leave him out of the squad completely..smtyms I Wonder if Ozil is 33 and Rosicky 25!
    In terms of Monreal..hmm I fear in as much as many games he played for us i see us loosing al except with a bit of luck..
    Gibbs pls cmback we really need you to b sure of a trophy dis season

  8. It was crystal clear how ozil and monreal cost us this match…but I ger could have helped in savaging a goal down till d of the 90mins by bringing in poldoski for Ozil…Ozil personally for me lacks team spirit and he should change his mentality….this is english football and ncannot be compared to any other league

  9. Flamini cost us both goals pressed on Kroos in first goal then backed off he s trying to do everything himself he need to stick to his job . 2nd goal to buisy trying to boss people around he s a load of crap

  10. The biggest shortcoming of arsenal is the inability of the strikers and or the team to convert chances. No need to slate Ozil, he created an avalanche of chances e.g against united.

    • There is no striker that understands Ozil and Arsenal will never see the best of Ozil unless they buy the top quality striker that match his level. I am sure Ozil should be regretting joining Arsenal. Arsenal fans should be ashamed of, or angry with, their management and not one player.

  11. The penalty miss killed us. However, some people getting on Ozil’s back really watch the game with blinkers on. He’s the best in posession which is our normal game and he’s vital to our play. Once we went down to 10 men we were always going to struggle, Ozil or no Ozil. If you analyse the two goals, the player most at fault is Flamini as he lost his man on both occasions. Not blaming him per se as we were always going to concede against the relentless pressure. Having a go at Ozil and Monreal for that is just looking for scape goats.

  12. i was so dissapointed that the ox was subbed for rosicky,it should have been the poor ozil coming off….its high time wenger accepts the fact that ozil has not performed to his best,he should not be our penalty taker….thumbs up to sanogo,flamini,d ox,wilshere,bfg,koscielny,u guys tried….by GODS grace we will win in munich 1-3

  13. In a game where all the 7players gave evrytin running tirelessly..then we have two silly idiots Ozil&Monreal playing hide&seek with each other…
    Mark my words I fear Ozil myt just be the next Arshavin i tink we all knw wat happens

  14. I struggle to understand how arsene fails to see why ozil needs to be benched, no fight, no passion no interest. Jack wilshere gets fouled gets up has a go shows some aggression. Mesut just looks like he wants to go home. At the moment all he is doing is wasting a name on the teem sheet. If he can’t directly affect the game by scoring or assisting at least put in a good shift. Pressing and challenging for the ball.

  15. if ozil had score that goal earlier, we would have played with more confident. The schesney penalty incident wont have arrised. Ozil is a pain in my ass.

  16. I guez sm pple watch games with black spect! How many chances did your so called passer of the ball created 2nyt..
    In blaming Flamini stickng to his Job,wat do you expect him to do wen the two moron who shud be seen no threat is cmng down the left hand side were sleeping..
    Am sure shud they have done their Job wel,den Flamini won’t be so concerned of getting to help where the main threat booms..
    Lets all be sincere,when a playa is playing bad let it be known..OZIL AND MONREAL were just so annoying to watch this nyt

  17. Silly to blame Monreal for that loss… All comes down to ozil’s missed pk and a harsh red card. Stop distributing blame where it doesn’t belong.

    Oh yeah… And yaya with a 7 rating is ridiculous. As much as I think giroud is avg at best, we could’ve used a professional striker for the match. And podolski instead of santi (at least as a sub). Guess u can blame wenger for that.

  18. Ozil should have been removed instead of Chamberlain. After the penalty miss, Ozil just went dead on the pitch, the best thing to have been done is to remove Ozil during half time. I suggest Vermaleen to take the position of Gibbs if he is yet to recover during the second leg. Monreal is very lazy.

  19. Your report is a shambles. How do you blame Monreal for the first goal.?Yes Robben is his man, but once Robben drifts into the middle, he’s no longer Monreal’s responsibility. That was a ball that Mert or Kos should’ve read as it was a straight one over the top. 2nd half they piled up on that side cos they were dragging Ozil backwards defending. They knew on the other side they were weaker and we had a good combination of Ox and Sagna who could deal with it. The other point is, how can you blame any player? We were down to 10 men for over an hour, and they only had 3 shots on target. I thought the lads were fantastic and we put up a great fight and conceded from an unbelievable strike from 25 yards. All you negative people slating Ozil or any player tonight are a bunch of wan…rs!!!

  20. Wow. Ozil is doing the best he can with the shit around him. Ozil a central attacking midfielder, a number 10 is being told to play LM for 70 minutes. That’s what you get. At Madrid Ozil had the movement of Benzema, Ronaldo, Higuain, Di Maria. At Arsenal the lack of fast wingers and slow immobile strikers has resulted in an ineffective Ozil. How does a playmaker make play without anything to aim at? When aramsey/Walcott was here he was making runs and Ozil was finding him. Now Ozil has become a scapegoat for all you silly fans that don’t understand that his poor performances are down to Wengers tactical stupidity. Why he didn’t buy a poacher lord knows. He’s playing 4 playmakers 1 defensive mid & a striker all the time. When the Ox is on we have a Winger. Thats why we pass pass pass pass pass no goal attempts. All of you silly fans are expecting a playmaker to turn into a goal machine overnight. Wenger shouldn’t be letting Ozil take penalties too. He’s missed 3 of his last 3. Cazorla is always cutting in onto his left that central area is too crowded. Our lack of speed runners wingers and a fast striker is the reason we are heaping blame on Ozil. What can he really do?

  21. The ‘failure specialist’ will want to make everyone blv that it was the referee’s fault. If u turn it the other way round, if it was Bayern’s keeper that collided wit an Arsenal player, Wenger wld also be swearing at d ref if he doesn’t send the keeper off. The game needed a tactician, Wenger is d worst tactician(if at all he has ever been)

  22. Untill Now that I strongly Aggree with Jose Mou when He said Wenger A specialist in Failure. What Good has wenger found on Ozil? Why doesnt he give Podolski time too play when he very well know only Podolskii can give u goal in hard games like this? He keeps on Failling us. Ouch!!!


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