Frame it. Nik B replay of a goal!!! #afc #arsenal
Frame it. Nik B replay of a goal!!! #afc #arsenal
Victoria Concordia Crescit #Arsenal
Arsenal logo pt 4 #afc
Arsenal logo part 3 #afc #gooners
Arsenal logo PT 2 #afc
#Arsenal #StationsignFantasies #EPL #afc
Arsenal lost their second home game of the season to Dortmund last night. A sad damp affair in the end, but the game didn’t quite bring the reactive anger the Villa game did. Arsenal fans were fully aware that we were playing Champions League finalists… a team littered with world class talent.
The shame of the result was that for the most part, we more than held our own. The issue is that once again, when it comes to Arsenal at the highest level, we tend to flounder. That’s not a one off sight, it’s a consistent one. Sure we had chances to finish them off, hitting the bar with a flying Santi shot and having a ball cleared from the line with a Rosicky long ranger… but as Klopp said at full time, he didn’t come to play pretty football, he came for the result.
In other words, Dortmund let us dominate. Not that it was a one sided affair, the Germans controlled the opening 20 minutes giving us very little. They pressed in packs and made it difficult for us to operate. Ozil found himself shunted out onto the wing and ganged up on.
Their goal came from some seriously naive Aaron Ramsey play. The Welshman tried the run the ball out of the penalty area, found himself tackled, Mkhitaryan picked up the ball and placed his shot past Szczesny who found himself sent the wrong way. Not the sort of play you can get away with at the highest level.
Arsenal perked up after that as the midfield started to find their fluidity. Jack was making a nuisance of himself wide right, though at times you did feel we lacked the pace of Theo. Our equaliser came from a Sagna cross, their keeper and full back had a comms break down, he spilled with Giroud on hand to bury a power volley from two yards.
The crowd upped the volume again, worth noting the noise didn’t drop even at one down.
The second half started with us on the back foot again. They didn’t really create too much in the way of clear cut chances. Lewandowski and Reus were kept quiet in the main. Dortmund didn’t make the advantage count and sat deep in a bid to soak up the Arsenal pressure. Jack slipped off with an injury with Santi joining the party. That made a difference straight away. We begun creating openings and creating dangerous moves. The closest effort came from Santi when he struck a high curled effort off the bar…
There was controversy from a corner when Rambo smashed home, some sort of foul was called, but I couldn’t see who by and what for. From the Chinese whispers around us, it sounded and unjust decision.
Then it happened, in our bid to secure the win, we left ourselves exposed on the break. Dortmund broke at pace, the previously quiet Lewandowski (bar a cynical elbow on Kozzer) was found at the back post where he slotted home with clinical precision. Arsenal were flattened.
Dortmund saw out the win and celebrated like they’d won the World Cup. A harsh lesson for Arsenal and one I’d hoped we’d avoid with the experience we have in the side. Why aren’t we shutting out a game at 1-1 draw at home? That’s a big point. Now we’re on the back foot having to go to both Napoli and Dortmund with a view to taking maximum points.
This has been one of my worries all season. The results have been superb. The performances electric at times, however, at the very top level it’s about discipline and an adaptable plan. Arsenal still have one vision. All out for the win. Which is admirable and fun, I just wish sometimes we’d opt for the sensible, slightly dull route. If Arsene were a golfer, he’d never lay up. Which is great for the pub stories, but not so great if you have aspirations of winning major trophies… unless of course you’re a player with Tiger Woods like talent (Barca / Dortmund).
Another key difference was up front. Lewandowski held the ball up pretty well last night, but he didn’t do much else… until he popped up at the back post and smashed home with almost his first attempt in the dying minutes. That’s the difference in class Dortmund have. Away from home, against the best side form wise in Europe, they know they only need one chance to kill the game. They showed patience and discipline and killed us when the chance arose. We have much to learn in our approach to games like that. A point is enough when you have six in the bag already.
With regards to our best player, I thought it was Arteta last night. He positioned himself well all game, he flew into challenges and kept play going. The flip side of that story is that without a Flamini in the side, we struggled to keep the pace of our game at its usual level. Aaron Ramsey really wasn’t at the races and I thought Rosicky was off colour for large parts of the game. We need to add a bit of balance going forward, we’re really missing the pace of Theo Walcott at the moment which hinders us on the break. Overall, I don’t think a game like that is going to impact too negatively on us heading into an easy weekend game against Palace. What it will do is cast doubts when we play our run of tough games.
A side note, the Dortmund fans were brilliant. Scary at times. They’re so loud all game. They really bring the carnival to the stadium. Incredibly loud and passionate. They put an on form Emirates crowd to shame. What do you have to do to bring that out? It’s not about them being working class. They’ve forked out a fortune to fly over here and pay for a ticket. It’s something else. An ingredient none of the English fan bases have. No idea whether that’s an area thing, a culture thing… or being part of a success machine at the moment. Whatever it is, it’s great fun to watch. I also like the their manager. He has a fantastic way with words, he’s charismatic, humble and extremely intelligent… he also has a sense of humour. I hope we’re tapping up for an eventual takeover of Arsenal.
This season was never going to be plain sailing. Yesterday’s game was always going to be hard. This is football, we were going to lose at some point. Now it’s about how we react. That’ll tell us all we need to know about the character of this team.
New Arsenal shirt? Looks damn sharp if real… via this site
Ozil Ozil Ozil Ozil (at Arsenal Football Club)