On Thursday I posted a rather ominous article in regards to any of the Arsenal optimists still hoping for a chance to knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League despite going to the Allianz Arena with a 3-1 deficit to overturn. Arsenal will need to beat Munich by three goals to complete such an unlikely feat and the last time that happened at home for the Bavarians was in September 2008; when Werder Bremen won 5-2 against a lacklustre Bayern side.
That was on the 20th September and it got me curious; did Arsenal play that very day. They did and were much more successful than their German adversaries. While Jurgen Klinsmann’s men were getting a good pasting courtesy of Markus Rosenberg and co Arsenal were seeing off the threat of Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.
The Gunners won on that day 3-1 against The Trotters but wait until you hear who scored the goals for Arsene Wenger’s men; Emmanuel Eboue, Denilson and Nicklas Bendtner. That’s right three players who were demonstrable of the youth development experiment that has not seemed to get Arsenal anywhere.
All three were and still are maligned as talents and their futures no longer lie at The Emirates. Nowadays Bendtner can be seen watching on from the stands at Juventus while Denilson is in the midst of a perpetual loan-deal at Sao Paolo. Emmanuel Eboue was also shipped out to Galatasaray as his erratic performances became more and more frustrating.
In fact this was the starting XI for that game in 2008.
GK: Manuel Almunia
DC: Kolo Toure
DC: William Gallas
DR: Bacary Sagna
DL: Gael Clichy
MC: Cesc Fabregas
MC: Alex Song
RW: Emmanuel Eboue
LW: Nicklas Bendtner
ST: Emmanuel Adebayor
Only Sagna is still at the club as the others have either been shipped out or reluctantly lost.
So about four-and-a-half-years ago was when Bayern were anything near beatable in this manner and while the Arsenal team of today may be as good as if not better than the 2008 team; it is certainly nowhere near as good as the Bayern Munich team has become in the same timeframe.
Which of the 2008 players do you think would have the biggest influence on the Arsenal team today?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald