In this Mailbox it's England v Algeria in 2010 that is seen as the nadir, but there's potential for worse, surely. Plus, one man says we should praise Rooney's honesty...
The morning mailbox ponders Luis Suarez's current predicament, cool footballers, the Lion City Cup, Spurs' transfer policy, Kanu's absence and lots more...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop Picking On Wenger
I know bashing Arsenal is very much in vogue right now, but could you honestly come up with nothing better today than your pathetic snipe at Wenger?
Everyone had written us off, but we went out there and won. We didn't have their quality or ability - not even close, but we gave it everything and even put in a solid defensive performance.
Wenger was brave enough to drop his captain and first-choice keeper and made key decisions during the game including the introduction of Gervinho who caused their defence real problems and The Ox who won the corner for our second goal from nothing.
But what do Arsenal fans, desperate for an albeit brief respite from the constant (often deserved) criticism see today?
'Wenger says the same stuff, why do Sky even talk to him?'
Who actually cares what he said...we tried and we won; what needs saying? I hope you don't expect "We will now finish second, definitely!" because you would just say that was unrealistic, which it is.
Stop trying to catch the man out and say something f***ing worthwhile. And for the record I doubt he'd give a flying f*** if Sky never spoke to him again.
Alex Phelan, Manchester
Do F365 Love Arsenal Really?
Football365 come so very, very close. Close to actually saying something positive about Arsenal this year. They beat a team that many regard as a favourite for the Champions League, a team that hadn't lost in months, a team clearly in control both in domestic and European competitions. This was very much a case of damned if you do, damned if if you don't. Arsenal win, and it's a nothing game. They only won because the pressure was off and it means nothing. Arsenal lose, and it's only fitting. They're in decline, Wenger is deluded and stubborn, and their transfer policy is a shambles. Just another sign of their waning strength. Insert a cautionary tale about Liverpool, and your article's done.
Fair enough, it's casual pessimism at its easiest. You've got to write something about the game. Toe the line you've been following all year. But think about why you're writing this way. All season long, there's been more than a hint of disappointment and it's out of place in your, generally, neutral tone. There's a sense that you're owed something from Arsenal. That you expect better, because you want better from them. But why? Could you actually like them? In a league where Arsenal are financially out-muscled, rely upon a largely technical game and are organised by a thoughtful manager, could it be that you are really rooting for them? They're mentally too weak, they insist on a tactical system that they're not talented enough to use, and employ a moral sensibility that's outdated and stinks of martyrdom. It's easy to cover disappointment with false schadenfreude, though.
So go ahead, tell them they shouldn't feel good about themselves, call their football 'dire' and condemn Wenger to the heap.
It's okay to be disappointed. To want better from them.
So I'll tell them what you won't.
Congratulations on the win, you played well.
Arsenal Fans Should Be Happy And Sad
After the inevitable loss last night, Arsenal fans should be happy that they now have to play every weekend only for league positions. Add to this the positive vibe which is created by their display against Bayern yesterday, it should take them comfortably to fourth. Walcott seems to re-discover his pace and Rosicky has to play in the middle from now on whenever he is fit. He is perhaps their most important player now. Arsenal are going to benefit by Chelsea being active in Europa League and FA Cup, while Tottenham might end up still being in the top four. Once they qualify for Champions League, I guess all will be forgotten and forgiven by the fans. Unfortunately that might make Arsene take bad decisions during the summer and we will have to go through another year of Arsenal bashing.
Sagar Deo, MUFC, Mumbai
Happy And Sad Like This Boy?
So, the game has just finished, and I'm really struggling to know how I feel. I imagine you'll probably get a fair number of mails on both sides of my tortured soul.
On the one hand, we were good. This is the best possible result for Arsenal in terms of our quest for third/fourth. We were going to get smashed by someone over two legs in either the quarters or semis. Instead, we get the confidence boost from beating Bayern away and now don't have midweek games to worry about; unlike Chelski and Spuds whose fitness will surely suffer in the run in...
On the other hand, f***ing fourth, brilliant. I can't really be that happy about tonight's result for a multitude of reasons, chief among which are the following:
1) Bayern were there for the taking this evening. A seriously awful display.
2) Another year without a trophy.
3) If we do get fourth, the board will consider it a validation of our current policy and nothing will change.
I know what people will say; I should be happy. we're currently fifth out of 92 teams, with a spanking new stadium and there are plenty of supporters out there who have it much worse - they may not even have a club next season, or they have to watch Stoke RUFC every week. But you know what? It's the hope that kills more than the despair; every year I think, maybe, just maybe, Wenger will have rediscovered that magic touch. And every year the boys find a new and exciting way to hurt my soul.
Yes, I'll support them 'til the end and yes, I'll probably be happy if we finish third/fourth, but I think I'm coming to the end of my love affair with football. It sickens me to think I'm potentially happy with Champions League riches, without ever challenging for the aforementioned competition. Or any competition, come to think of it.
Also, I think we might be schizophrenic.
Jimmy Skew (I am Jack's inflamed ankle), Los Angeles
Quick conclusions at 7.30 in the morning in Australia:
Great result, say what you want about Bayern being off the boil but you can only play what's in front of you. To win 2-0 against Bayern in Germany is a great result for anyone!
Kos and Fab should start from now on. I love TV5 but we looked a lot better back there with that pairing.
Arsenal played very well as a defensive unit, kept a very good team to mostly shots from outside the box.
Subs should have been made earlier, a hallmark of Wenger for the past two years.
Ramsey is not good enough for me, I like him but he is a liability and has been for quite a while. Harsh to pick out one midfielder with them all being very average but it was a blip for the rest of em, for Ramsey this is the norm.
Don't let the score fool you, Arsenal were terrible on the ball for vast periods of the game; inability to string passes together and when we did they were often behind the man, to the wrong man or floated, slowing down nearly every quick break. So very frustrating!
Related to the previous point: Jack was missed in a big way.
Giroud had a poor game, goal aside. As usual, average on the ball but this time added being average in the air. He also could have gambled a few more times with balls across the face. That said he was the only one who could have/should play that role in the system we were playing.
Walcott was onside, bad call from the linesman.
Speaking of which, I thought the ref was terrible. Not blaming us going out on that, just thought he was bad.
Pretty sure I woke up most of the house when Gehvinio span in the six-yard box, would have made a huge difference if we had scored the second at that point in the match, think it's not a stretch to say Bayern would have been on the rocks in a big way.
First goal was a lovely move, what happened in the following 42 minutes was all the more frustrating after seeing what we can do when the passing is crisp.
Second goal was functional, good to see the Arsenal boys fighting to get the ball back.
Bayern did very well to break the game up for the last 15 minutes just like Spurs last week. Wish Arsenal could learn a bit of gamesmanship from those two.
Fab should have gone up for Arteta's doomed free-kick, didn't really matter if we conceded we HAD to score, a silly omission in my book, probably wouldn't have mattered but these tiny percentages make all the difference.
Keep the suit Arsene.
Shane, confused Irish gunner in Melbourne
Signing Off With A Good Performance
Okay, Bayern were poor but Arsenal did play well and I think deserve credit. I make Bayern joint favourites with Barca for the title so to beat them 2-0 at their place whatever the circumstances is a very good result.
Any Arsenal fan will tell you we just wanted a performance last night and we got one, the back five were superb, Bayern only got through once where Fabainski and the extremely impressive Jenkinson busting a gut stopped him. Hope Wenger keeps that back five together for Saturday and yep even Flapianski should be rewarded with a start, not much to do last night but he looked more than comfortable when called upon. I particularly liked his berating of players in front of him, pulling them into position etc, seemed much more vocal than the suspect Woj.
We're out and probably wont be back till the season after next (if we get the transfer policy right this summer) but we signed off from the competition with some dignity restored. Thank you Arsenal for making our last game in the Champs League a decent one.
Lee 'Still hoping for a major transfer splurge' Lisno
Why Not be Arsed In The First Place?
I'm actually mightily browned off by yesterday's performance.
An Arsenal fan angry at his team winning? Madness you may say but hear me out.
The biggest problem with this team is no-one knows exactly how to feel about them - we don't know whether they are the worst team in decades or a good team that doesn't really try but last night gave me all the proof I need they're the latter.
This is a team that can contrive to lose against Blackburn but can go to Bayern and beat them on their own patch 2-0.
The laughable thing is Wenger came out and said he was proud of them. Well you know what? I'm certainly not proud of them because a team that can go to Bayern and win shouldn't be desperately seeking Champions League qualification for next season or be out of all competitions come March.
This is the second season running we have 'heroically' exited Europe's premier competition - here's a thought, Arsene - if your team was arsed in the first place we might have even qualified and still be in the hunt for an FA Cup as well as having a League Cup to show for your efforts.
All last night proved is this is a team that plays when it wants to - well you know what? After eight years the fans are wise to it - unlike you Arsene we're not proud of this shower that turns up when it wants to.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
...When the game ended last night, I wasn't happy, I was pi**ed. Two years in a row you do that, two years in a row not showing up for the first game then being one goal shy of going through!? And the ever present Wenger-ism (that is what I'm going to call it when anyone mentions mental fortitude, strong spirit and other guff despite the fact that they weren't nearly up to par) that he is proud of his team is a load of bullsh**. Well maybe not for him it isn't, maybe he really is proud of them but Arsenal fans can only be pi**ed. So don't worry Nick, we aren't happy.
Admir, Bosnian Gooner
Tried and Failed. Again.
While a lot of Arsenal fans, myself included for five minutes, will be walking with pride that we defeated Bayern Munich and have proved our worth as a team. In reality, we haven't, we're out of the Champions League, nothing to be proud of, the season was a disaster, and the league campaign looks to be heading in the wrong direction. That said, next year will be our year, I'm sure of it.
Joshua, (hoping, in vain, that Wenger comes to his senses and bids 45 million for Falcao in the summer) South Africa
It's Still Failure
As you are going to receive an absolute avalanche of indignant mails from Arsenal fans criticising Nick Miller for his piece on why Arsenal should not be too happy with the result last night I'll take a moment to try and summarise it succinctly.
You cannot have a 'glorious failure' without having failed, and while last night's result was glorious, it was at the Emirates that did for you. Still, it'll be good to keep the spirits up, eh?
Chris ITFC, Liverpool
Rare Big-Ups For Gervinho
Am I the only one who thought Gervinho was tremendous yesterday. Much better than his previous appearances. Granted it was 20 minutes, but still, it is encouraging. Especially considering Walcott was nowhere to be found after the third minute. Hopefully he can bring his form into the end of the season. I might be the only one, but I still think he can succeed at Arsenal. Anyone who ever watched Ligue 1 knows how talented he is.
Another interesting point, is Mandzukic the next Ibra? I mean, he puts Gomez on the bench and is hailed as one of the, if not best striker in the bundesliga. Yet, over the two legs, he was not impressive bar his goal in the first leg. Spent his whole game yesterday flopping, whining and missing shots. Granted, so did all of the bayern team. But big player in the league, inexistant in the Champions League?
If Juventus win the Champions League, does Bendtner get a medal? I really hope so, like that Arsenal can finally have a Champions League winner in their squad.
As predicted, Loscielny was different class. That is nothing to do with his goal. It is a result of another heroic performance in Europe, as he achieved against Messi at the Emirates two years ago. Wenger has finally dropped the club captain who has been awful all season and Koscielny has shown why he is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the business. His concentration needs some work, but he's a great player and as a wenger hater this is a rare admission of a good decision.
Greg (Diaby should have arrived) Hill
Just Shup Up And Get on With It, Liverpool
To the players, manager, staff and tea lady at Liverpool.
You have won some matches. We like this. Please stop saying "it has all come together", "now we can finish fourth if we win all games", and such. Just win the next game.
I feel like the dad of a cocky kid who's won a couple of matches - it's like if I don't curb your enthusiasm now when you lose you'll be doubly dissapointed and give up altogether. We get a few wins on the bounce and suddenly the sky's the limit again!
Calm down calm down.
The Big Issue
"Is that his real hair?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"He looks like a transvestite."
My girlfriend's pretty brutal take on Mikel Arteta's hairstyle last night.