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1) So close yet so far. How are you feeling about the game?

@accidentel - Calmly resigned? I don't think there was so much an air of inevitability pre match as much as there was a big, effing mountain to hobble up. Disappointment is there but very mild as I didn't get my hopes up too much. Thats the pragmatist for you.

@DanielJ95_ - I have a bit of Deja Vu, it seems to be a yearly tradition to make me believe we can actually go somewhere in the champions league then crush my dreams in the first knockout stage.

@Jack_Bailoor - Surprisingly, given the low expectancy before the game, I feel frustrated. We got the leveller at  great time but couldn't capitalise, and it just emphasises how needless the 3rd goal was in the home leg. Same old, same old I guess, but we really should be beating teams like Monaco across two legs.

@WilliamConboy - Feeling an immense, overwhelming feeling of pride. We played our socks off and deserved the 3rd goal. There's no making up for the 1st leg and some huge questions require pragmatic responses to ensure no repeat (no easy task given previous efforts) but this game was approached perfectly. 5 wins since the last leg have lifted the team to a marvellous standard but tonight's efforts must be a launchpad for the remainder of the season!

2) What did you make of the starting line up? Would you have changed anything?

@accidentel - The balance looked right on paper and pitch and for the most part, each and every team member performed their duties valiantly.

@DanielJ95_ - I thought we got the XI Spot on, a little surprised to see Alexis and Welbeck on the right and left instead of the other way around. Even with Ox fit I would have played the same team

@Jack_Bailoor - Before the game, I said Walcott for Welbeck, but given how Welbeck played, it was the right decision from Wenger. Ramsey has looked back to near his best, but today was a case of trying to fit various options in and he hasn't been back from injury long.

@WilliamConboy - Apart from Alexis seemingly needing a rest, the line up was spot on. Theo for Alexis would be the only potential change prior to kick off, but leaving a player of his ilk out of such an important game is a very difficult choice to make. Huge kudos to Le Coq and Bellerin who appeared entirely at home on the grandest stage.

3) Mr Özil appears to be dividing opinion again. What did you make of his performance tonight?

@accidentel - It seems Özil will forever remain the whipping boy for the media and many of us supporters look through their tinted lenses when judging his performances. Tonight? Apart from the odd errant pass, and who doesn't have those, he was one of our more influential players.

@DanielJ95_ - A few sloppy passes but his work rate is definitely improving, he tracked back all the way to our box right at the end and I was pleased to see that.

@Jack_Bailoor - I thought he worked hard. As usual when he went down and didn't win a free kick he sulked and wouldn't get up and chase, but he was strong on the take ons,  and offered bright touches. He was seeing the passes but too often couldn't execute them. A solid performance, but not a £42.5m performance.

@WilliamConboy - MOM. For sure. He dropped back when required, drove the team forward and never gave up. All elements he's been criticised for prior to tonight. Playing in an environment not to his preference, 10 players behind the ball, he really adjusted well and was the leading light where perhaps Alexis and Santi showed signs of fatigue. A very important player with hopefully the best still yet to come #OurMesut.

4) Who was our best player tonight and why?

@accidentel - I'm not one for picking out individual performances but Laurent Koscielny really stood out for me. He had a stormer tonight.

@DanielJ95_ - Koscielny again, continuing on from West Ham I thought he played fantastic as he broke up the opposition attacks well which helped keep our momentum. Cazorla a close second.

@Jack_Bailoor - Santi for me. 145 touches, the most in the CL by a player for an English club in 6 years. Buzzed around well as the metronome in front of Coquelin, and played even better after Coquelin went off despite having to drop deeper. Was also very impressed by Giroud and Welbeck although both lacked a little composure at times.

@WilliamConboy - As already mentioned, Mesut was outstanding. Koscielny and Bellerin were also majestic in shifting from front to back. Laurent Le Rock has to be one of the finest CBs in Europe and he ensured no threat from Monaco. Le Coq was entirely comfortable too.

5) Who did you feel was not at their best and why?

@accidentel - Alexis will be the obvious answer for most but I don't think that's entirely fair. Giroud, although he did get on the scoresheet, didn't seem to have as much joy with his hold up and inter linking play as he usually does and young Bellerin's crossing wasn't pin point accurate tonight, but really, I'm nitpicking. The team as a whole played very well.

@DanielJ95_ - I thought Bellerin struggled a bit but at 19 and in such a huge game I can't blame him. Alexis and Welbeck perhaps looking a little tired as well.

@Jack_Bailoor - Alexis. Nothing seemed to come off for him. To me he didn't seem to be able to offer the same work rate. Perhaps the lack of a winter break is catching up on him?

@WilliamConboy - Both Santi and Alexis seemed heavily fatigued. Alexis has played so much, often single handedly leading the team, this season and it's really starting to show. Santi less so but again understandable given his Herculean efforts in recent weeks. Beyond that, no complaints at all. As mentioned previously, immense pride is felt!

6) Do you think Arsenal will use this positively or will it affect us negatively?

@accidentel - I think it will provide massive impetus for the team to continue on their current trajectory. The team dynamic seems to be clicking and while I'm amongst those who think a serious run for the title is highly unlikely, there's absolutely no reason Arsenal can't apply some serious pressure to the forerunners, aka they-who-must-not-be-named, during the final games of the League.

@DanielJ95_ - Both,  as obviously we will be tired for Newcastle now as a lot of mental and physical energy was used tonight but we did continue our goals and a clean sheet streak which obviously is good for our confidence.

@Jack_Bailoor - In all honesty, I don't know. Our next 6 games define our season, so it better be positively!

@WilliamConboy - I don't know. This is the one worry. We have outstanding ability to bounce back from defeats but this could be different. It wasn't a defeat and we were so close to an astonishing result. We have won 6 games on the bounce and been rather brilliant overall for months now. The answer shall be evident against Newcastle - they have several players missing through suspension and we really must get focused and fast. A win there and we're set up perfectly to finish the season in style.

7) What's your team for Newcastle on the weekend?

@accidentel - Oh, i don't play this game. I have what I refer to as bad pre-match juju. BUT perhaps, perhaps Alexis needs a rest?

@DanielJ95_ - Depending on tiredness/fitness I would probably keep the same team. With Ramsey perhaps in but I can't pick where as no one really deserves to be dropped after a 2-0 win.

@Jack_Bailoor - Ospina - Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal - Coquelin, Ramsey - Welbeck, Santi, Ozil (rest Sanchez) - Giroud

@WilliamConboy - I'd go with Super Dave, HectorB, Laurent Le Rock, Gabriel, Gibbso, LeCoq, Rambo, Theo, Mesut, Santi & Olivier Giroud. Alexis needs a rest and Theo must be desperate to play. Giroud missed the start at OT so should be suitably rested.

8) Any other thoughts?

@accidentel - It's not been a great week for English football on the continent, City are the last and unlikeliest of hopes remaining, but the race for the top finishes in the EPL seems to be heating up. Many teams, including Arsenal are hitting their finest form in the mad dash to the finish so, while European dreams shall have to be shelved for another year, there's plenty of fine football to be seen before the end of the season including the FA cup semi final. Keep the faith fellow gooners!

@DanielJ95_ - Strange to see Monreal subbed so I guess that could be an injury, I thought Kondogbia looked a good talent but I know very little about him.

@Jack_Bailoor - How do you solve a problem like Theo? Uncomfortable in front of goal on the weekend, and offered next to nothing aside from hitting the post after coming on tonight. Seems to have lost the zip in his game. At the moment he's not doing enough to justify a £75k contract, let alone the £135k he reportedly wants!

@WilliamConboy - Be proud and get behind the team. We've beaten Man City and Utd away this season, have won a phenomenal amount of games in recent months and we are in prime position to finish 2nd and win the FA cup. After how we started the season, this is a huge success. We are the Arsenal!

Follow the guys on Twitter @accidentel, @DanielJ95_, @Jack_Bailoor & @WilliamConboy

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more