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Arsenal v Bayern Munich: German papers round up as Arjen Robben endures bench time and Arsenal in ‘chaos’

February 18th, 2013 Sports

Arsenal v Bayern Munich: German papers round up as Arjen Robben gets used to life on the bench and Arsenal are in 'chaos'

Te gambler: Arsene Wenger rested players for Bayern and ended up losing to Blackburn, something noted in the German media 

News of Arsenal’s less than perfect preparation for their Champions League
meeting with Bayern Munich is widely talked about in the German press today.

In Suddeutsche, under a picture of a particularly troubled looking
Arsene Wenger, crouching on the Emirates touchline, Raphael Honigstein
reports on Arsenal’s ‘embarrassing Cup exit’ and ‘pokering
too high’; a gamble that failed spectacularly.

Even more than losing Arsène Wenger hates admitting to mistakes. But 20
minutes before the end of Saturday’s match he could do nothing else. The
Frenchman had rested six first team regulars for the visit of Bayern Munich
on Tuesday night … Wenger replaced three players with Theo Walcott, Jack
Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, to avert a troublesome replay. And the emergency
measure immediately delivered, in a way. Blackburn’s Turkish international
Colin Kazim-Richards scored on one of the rare attacks of the visitors …
Boos accompanied the Gunners on their way back to the cabin.”

German tabloid Bild, too, observes that all is not well with Wenger’s
side, with a short piece headlined simply ‘Arsenal-Chaos’.

The Gunners marred their dress rehearsal for the match against Bayern, losing
against second division side Blackburn Rovers … celebrity fans such as
golf star Ian Poulter and television host Piers Morgan called for the
disposal of Arsène Wenger … The coach played a B-team. Lukas Podolski was
90 minutes on the bench. Per Mertesacker was not even in the squad.

“Can Bayern use the Arsenal chaos mercilessly tomorrow? Sports CEO Matthias
Sammer warns it will still be a heavy game: “You have spared almost all
regulars, and it went wrong. But if Arsenal play well against us, then it
was worth it for them to sacrifice the cup.””

Apart from the heavy servings of schadenfreude at Arsenal’s FA Cup
humiliation, most concern among German pundits is what to do with a problem
like Arjen Robben? Such is the galaxy of stars currently on the books of FC
Hollywood, the Dutchman is barely getting a game these days, despite a
goalscoring cameo in a recent victory over Wolfsburg.

Robben himself certainly believes he is worth more than a place on the bench
at Arsenal this week. With the debate also taking place across the pages of
Munich daily Abendzeitung.

Under the Headline ‘Arjen
Robben; How long will this go well?’, the paper discusses how long
Bayern and Robben will be able to maintain a situation that is threatening
to boil over. Or see Robben leave.

In Robben’s world, Robben is still a regular player, of course. In [Bayern
coach Jupp] Heynckes’ world, Thomas Müller is a better choice as a right
winger … Heynckes sees no reason why Mueller should not play on Tuesday.
It is not so bad. The last five games have seen five wins. Bayern’s
sensational away record remains almost without blemish: eleven games, ten
wins, 31 points, 27:1 goals.

“The question arises: do Bayern need Arjen Robben anyway? Yes they do. A
little anger is good – see Wolfsburg. It was “very clear”
that the players were disappointed on the bench, but Heynckes stayed cool
… Heynckes has developed the fine art of moderating and rotating in the
weeks when there is a high frequency of games.”

Bild report that Bayern have travelled to London today with a clean
bill of health for their squad, while the recently underused goalkeeper
Manuel Neuer has insisted that the german runaway leaders will not be
interested in playing for a draw in London.

In reference to the meeting with old boy Lukas Podolski, an articled headed ‘Martínez
fit for the Poldi-hit … Goalkeeper promises stormy Bavaria’ reveals

When Bayern head out today at 11.40am in the direction of London, Javi
Martínez will be on board … Martinez trained with the team yesterday for
the first time since his toe bruise (that prevented him playing against
Wolfsburg). Jupp Heynckes confirmed of the toe: “It has been quite
good. As it stands now, it can be used again.

“Arjen Robben will probably again have to be satisfied with the bench,
even though he made a compelling 12-minute application with his goal against

Neuer has promised a stormy approach from the Bavarians in London: “We
cannot play for a draw there. We go there and try to get the best possible
result. And the best would be a victory! ”

“Bayern are certainly favourites,” Podolski told the “Welt am

Elsewhere, it is not Bayern’s opponents that Die Welt are worrying
about, or Arjen Robben, but, rather, the whole of German football, with
Bayern’s dominance this season ‘threatening
a Bundesliga Bore-out’.

Bayern sit 15 points clear at the top of the league, haven’t conceded a goal
in five matches, or even given up a chance in something like 4 hours of
football. Rosey for them. A worry for the excitement of the league.

The overwhelming superiority of Bayern this season has its downside … A
study on “The boredom as a risk factor” is brought together
psychologists in direct connection with various addictions who found if
Bayern continue like this, a new, previously unknown variant of yawning,
deadly boredom will occur: the Bore out.”

Boring, boring Bayern? Didn’t they used to say something similar about
Arsenal? Back when they were winning things, of course.