Frank Stubbs: Ifs and buts

13/14: Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich - Jack Wilshere

My journey home from Wednesday night's game had been smooth and trouble-free. Getting into bed around 1am after a midweek home game is the norm for me and everything looked on track. Reaching the end of my journey however, I am sat in my car with the engine off in the early hours of Thursday morning, that whole scenario having been hugely affected by an 'incident', and all those plans going straight out of the window.

Thinking about the game does any of this sound familiar?

We knew it was going to be a tough game but for pretty much all of the first half I thought we were excellent. Chances were created and nobody can deny that we missed an incredible opportunity to take the lead when looking at our most dangerous.

Equally as important when playing such a powerful side, the way we performed without the ball was great too. Hard work, discipline and defensive shape were all evident and, as the half reached its conclusion, we could go into the break happy and with confidence.

Big matches are often decided in a split-second, however, and we couldn't have witnessed a better example.

Once the attacking player got to the ball first there was always a chance a penalty might be conceded if the ball didn't end up in the back of the net. Although there is an argument for and against the red card that followed, the most frustrating aspect is that there was no way the attacker would have reached the ball had he not fallen under Chezz's challenge.

The missed penalty that followed gave us some hope and it took a stunning strike to break the deadlock but, looking at it with the benefit of hindsight, it is extremely difficult to compete against anyone with 10 men, let alone arguably the best team in the world right now!

So at 'half-time', we have a mountain to climb.

For now we need to completely forget about it as we have massive domestic fixtures to concentrate on.

That starts with the visit of Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, a must-win game if we are to keep our Premier League challenge on track.

As I sit here still on the motorway with my engine off I can't help but think that Wednesday's display was certainly no disgrace. Keep your chins up Gooners and show your pride.


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