Morning all.

In the dressing room it was quiet because everybody knows that it was not a good performance from us. We cannot change it anymore but the positive thing is that it was a warning.

We need to be 100 per cent every game. If we play like today then we won’t reach anything this season.

Bernd Leno is right, that really was a poor performance by Arsenal. Olympiakos should have been well beaten and would have if Aubameyang could have been bothered to do his job properly. He could have had a hat-trick after what were three relatively easy chances for a player of his so called level. Pepe too should have been on the scoresheet and late in the game, Ødegaard too.

I’m not making excuses, certainly not for our captain, but this group of players have had a tough week so I’m not at all surprised they huffed and puffed a bit yesterday evening. Arsenal got the simple things wrong like passing to a teammate. The Olympiakos defence wasn’t put under enough pressure and in front of goal, calm and composure was nowhere to be seen.

But yes, if Arsenal want to make it past the quarterfinals, then performances like yesterday’s need to be exactly that, yesterday’s.

At least we finally got to see Martinelli again and he looked fit and keen.

We’re in today’s draw and that’s what matters right now. Which is more than can be said for that little club down the road. Boy did that result cheer me up. By all accounts, Man Utd huffed and puffed a bit too but managed to get the goal they needed to knockout AC Milan.

Mikel Arteta was asked about the Toots result:

It shows as well the level of opposition, that people take for granted that you play against an opponent and you will go through, because the name of the club that they represent. It is not like that, every team in Europe is difficult to beat.

I smiled.

In the pot today are:

Ajax
Arsenal
Dinamo Zagreb
Granada
Manchester United
Roma
Slavia Praha
Villarreal

My hunch is we’ll draw either Man Utd or Villarreal. The latter because of Unai Emery. Granada would be nice but in all honesty, any team we draw now will be a tough challenge for for Arsenal.

Tough challenges and Arsenal go together right now, or rather the club’s hierarchy, because there’s many tough decisions to be made over certain players within the squad. Big games need big players and Arsenal simply don’t have enough big players who perform consistently.

I know this season has been a weird one because of Covid and the heavy fixture list but that aside, Mikel Arteta has a number of players who either simply refuse to roll up their sleeves when the going gets tough or seemingly, just can’t be bothered. Aubameyang sits in either or both of those categories in my opinion. And no, not just based on yesterday as that would be churlish of me but the season in general. Pepe just doesn’t seem to suit Arsenal. For one or ten magical moments in two years, he’s an expense who I think we could do without.

I know, we could list our ‘sell them’ players but of course, they can’t all go in one summer. Especially a summer after two Covid hit season’s resulting in money being tight but as said before, Arsenal can generate their own funds by selling in numbers rather than with one big transfer.

I’m sure Arsenal are already thinking about the summer transfer dealings as much if not more than we are but for now it’s about who we draw in the next round of the Europa Cup and then West Ham on Sunday.

See you in the comments.