There's hardly any enthusiasm about Florentino Pérez remaining as Real president so he will buy popularity in the usual way - by spending oodles of cash this summer...
We have one Chelsea fan who recognises the job done by Rafa Benitez while there's maths from Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester. And Shawcross to Arsenal? Nah...
So, Arsenal gave a good account of themselves, and they should be praised for beating Bayern Munich (something only two other teams - Bayer Leverkeusen and BATE Borisov, since you ask - have done this season), etc and so on and so forth.
They did well. They defended in a stout manner anyone who watched the defeat to Spurs would not have expected, Lukasz Fabianski turned out not to be an utter calamity in goal, and they either forced or took advantage of (depending on your point of view) a curiously limp Bayern performance.
And yet, we've seen this before. Nobody sane expected Arsenal to actually get the three-goal win they needed - not even Arsene Wenger and Thomas Vermaelen in their pre-game comments.
"Last year against Milan we almost did it and most people thought it was impossible," said Vermaelen, illustrating that if there are two things Arsenal are good at, it's playing well when the pressure is off, and very nearly winning.
It shouldn't necessarily surprise anyone that Arsenal did well and won a second leg after the tie was basically already lost, because they did exactly the same last season. They lost 4-0 to AC Milan in the opening game, before taking an early 3-0 lead but eventually bottling it in the second. As then, Arsenal once again did well when nobody expected anything, but when that pressure returned, they couldn't quite finish things off.
The standard line before this game was that, even though the tie was lost, Arsenal could take heart from a good showing in the second leg and apply it to the remainder of their league season. However, after the Milan win last term, they played 11 games, winning six, drawing three and losing two (to QPR and Wigan) - solid form, but hardly a heroic run inspired by a brave performance in Europe. Their eventual third-place finish owed plenty to Tottenham's post-January choke, rather than their own inspired run.
So saying 'Ooooh, haven't they done well' isn't particularly helpful. It's reasonably patronising for a start, and not the sort of attitude that a club of Arsenal's side should take, especially if they have any serious intention to challenge for those trophy things any time soon. Arsenal should routinely challenge clubs like Bayern, rather than edging them out in a dead rubber - it was a little like the English cricket team of the 90s, losing three or four Tests to Australia before picking up a consolation win when the Ashes were lost.
The other problem is the issue of confirmation bias. Wenger is a stubborn man who believes his ideas are the best, and the only way to go, when the evidence against that argument is stacking up. Wenger may look for any indication that he is right and everything is fine, and could find it in a win over one of the favourites for the Champions League.
Indeed, his platitudes after the game ("We have to keep doing what we do. We have the quality...") suggested that is exactly his mindset. This site has commented in the past that hitting a form of 'rock bottom' by finishing fifth might be a good thing for Arsenal, and although Liverpool have proved that once you're out of the top-four club it's incredibly difficult to get back in, in Arsenal's case it might shock them into changing something. As things stand, having a manager who tries the same things over and over, whether they're working or not, is not good news.
To be happy with nearly doing what's required is dangerous. That's how you become a nearly team.
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter
Excellent article that hits the nail on the head and manages to upset gooners who live in an alternate reality. Job done.- Mulsey