Staring Into the Post Champions League Void In England

Farewell, then, to Arsenal in this year’s Champions League, and by extension to England’s involvement in the competition. Given the apocalyptic nature of many of the predictions that were proffered for the club’s two-legged tie against Bayern Munich, perhaps emerging from the competition with their heads held high was about as much as the club could hope for. Bayern are clearly an excellent team, amongst the favourites to win this year’s competition and miles clear at the top of the Bundesliga, and after the first leg of the tie at The Emirates Stadium went about as badly for the home side as many – if not most – had expected it to, it was strongly suggested in the build-up to the match that Arsene Wenger was going to rest some of his first choice players in preparation for some critical forthcoming Premier League matches. As things turned out, however, his team gave a very good account of themselves in Germany last night and came desperately close to achieving what surely would have been the greatest result in the history of the club. If this Arsenal team was able to put in that sort of performance consistently, the large metaphorical cloud with the word “CRISIS!” etched into it which so often seems to be hovering over or near The Emirates Stadium might finally dissipate a little. In some respects, this...

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