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Dortmund away | Liverpool and Brendan’s Suit | Beer…

Brendan Roger’s choice of suit the other night sums up Liverpool. Black on black was fashionable in the 80’s, but has since become  dated. Sure 16-year-olds wear it to their prom, but it doesn’t make it cool, Brendan.

Neither is it cool to play 3-5-2 when you have Flanagan and Cissokho playing. The last team to find success playing that way was Brazil in 2002. They had Robbie Carlos and Cafu.

Gibbs injury isn’t as bad as  first thought, he has traveled, so should play. Gnabry has done the same. Flamini and Walcott are expected  back for the Old Trafford game.

Jack Wilshere hasn’t traveled. He isn’t playing badly; but we all know how much better he can be. Not playing in Dortmund wouldn’t be a bad thing for Jack. Form is a strange thing and can really change on the subtlest of factors. Physical condition, confidence, rest… Jack’s form is definitely improving, though I expect he’d rather mend it elsewhere from Dortmund. As to do so would be like a lumberjack, short in confidence, going off to fell a giant redwood.

There’s my lumberjack simile ticked-off for the year.

I, like many, was devastated that Hansen was unable to show on Saturday. I am also getting more and more peeved by this “ask me later” nonsense – as if it is a credible response from people who get paid to watch football? It is wholly fair to say ‘no’, but to play for time is just weak.

One half expects Shearer and his ilk to ask for 5 more games when there are only four left. But hey what can you do? He played the game at highest level. On a constructive note Gary Lineker is growing on me and you can see that he often itches away from the impartial. He is a competent presenter; he writes well and aside from the shit puns is likable.

I loved watching Giroud on Saturday. Apparently he’s from a wealthy family and you can see from how he bosses every defender he plays that he has had a lifetime of good nutrition. He is for us, what Mandzukic was for Bayern last season. Not prolific, but he didn’t have to be. His industry and athleticism made him an excellent target: able to win territory and deploy teammates in dangerous areas. They are a reflection of the modern game. Where the striker is not simply the last consequence of play, but a fundamental part in making it.

Midfielders might be the new strikers; but strikers are also the new midfielders. It’s a progression that has been happening for a while now, with Tony touching upon it in his ‘rotational football’ piece.

The strikers that have nothing to their game but goals are old fashioned: That’s why Gomez warms the Bayern bench; why Madrid sold Higuain, why we didn’t buy him and why United wouldn’t dream of starting Hernandez.

What team has an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in this day and age?

I must confess that after telling you lot/everyone who’d listen (all 5 of them) that Koscielny would ‘ave Suarez, I had a sleepless Friday, pondering what name change might suit me. So Koz, if you’re reading: cheque is in the post, sir. Share it with Per.

On Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund were founded on the 19th December 1909, by 18 young men disgruntled with their church-sponsored team. I see their thinking, as Trinity Youth was never going to be the name to evoke fear in opponents or inspire pride in locals. They were particularly unhappy with the overbearing Father Dewald – the Lutheran Tony Pulis – a man chiefly concerned with strangling the fun out of anything… fun.

Like with anything noble, details were concluded at the local pub. In their first ever meeting they needed the landlord to bar Father Dewald at the door, when presumably he had got wind of the conspiracy. Now I just love the idea of an enraged priest banging on the doors of the Local, as some blokes are on the brink of birthing one of Europe’s largest clubs.

*        *        *

The average distance Dortmund covered in a Champions League game last year was 121km. 7km more than Bayern and 9km more than us. That’s like an extra player, albeit a lazy one. They also averaged 46% possession, quite unlike any of the other top teams.

Klopp has had some kind things to say about us – a few phrases to offer warmth on a November’s morn:

“He is really something. I love him. He is Sir. Sir Arsène Wenger for me…

I think he likes having the ball, playing football, passes, it’s like an orchestra. But it’s a silent song, yeah? And I like heavy metal more. I always want it loud! I want to have this ‘booooom!’

…nearly perfect football for 10 years”

If you haven’t read the interview already, I recommend you do. Most of the main papers have it and from personal experience, the Telegraph offers the best read.

Klopp’s charisma is refreshing. A Mourinho team counterattacks you to death and you’re miserable for the rest of the week. Klopp does the same thing and yes, you might be down, but at least he’s a decent bloke. His love for football is sincere and manifest. And how, under financial constraints, he built this entertaining and successful team that one can watch for less than 20 Euros, is remarkable.

Unchanged team from Saturday I expect:

 

                                                   Wojciech

 

                 Sagna                   Per               Koz           Gibbs

                                                  

                                         Arteta           Ramsey

 

                     Cazorla                   Ozil               Rosicky

 

                                                  Giroud           

Incredibly hard to predict this game, they’re pretty good, so are we. The Westafalenstadion is a cauldron of fanatics. Indeed after their 1997 Champions League win, a 20km radius around Dortmund was drank completely dry of beer! (Needs a citation that one, but there is something like that). For the few who are travelling: enjoy the beer, if we play well there should be plenty of it…

I’m going for an emphatic Arsenal win – similar to when we dismantled Inter in the San Siro. Then again I could be a nutcase…

Cheers all – have a good day.

D-Sanchez-Cabello

Today’s anniversaries appear here

The books…

Today on the history site

Stewart Robson, decent footballer outrageous commentator

The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society

 

97 comments to Dortmund away | Liverpool and Brendan’s Suit | Beer…

  • kago

    Nice article man, very insightful. I also predict a win for Arsenal, albeit a narrow 2-1 score.

  • magaon

    Big game tonight, obviously. I would say that unless Gibbs has absolutely no possibility of aggravating his niggle from Saturday, Monreal should probably start tonight. He’s a more than capable deputy. I feel like Gibbs needs to be ready for United on Sunday as he’s the more capable fullback going forward and I think we’re going to need that then. We’re also going to need (another) big game from Ramsey tonight to help out Arteta in holding down the fort. Ramsey has been immense this season going forward, but you would have to imagine that had Wenger been able to, he would have selected Flamini alongside Arteta to try and help nullify Dortmund’s attacking threat. Finally I hope Giroud gets through tonight in reasonable shape for Sunday. He was brilliant against Liverpool and it’s a big ask for him to produce that level against Liverpool, Dortmund and United in quick succession. I’m thinking back to the Bayern (A) game last season – I know it can be done. (As a small aside, if I were given the choice between 3 points tonight or 3 points on Sunday, I’d take the latter any day of the week. United haven’t been this attackable in years – and I want some small measure of revenge for the 8-2!)

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Now, now, now! The one about Father Dewald is proof that Billy the Dog is on the prowl at UA HQ. Right?

  • HenryB

    Like most Arsenal fans at the moment I have been whiling away my time waiting for THE game to start, and coincidentally wondering why there is a disconnect between my finger tips and my brain, when all I am attempting to do is communicate by typing on a blog.

    This irritation with my lack of typing skill is exacerbated by both my excitement at the prospect of a rousing game tonight and my marginally subliminal anxiety that all might not work out for us against Dortmund as I would wish it to.

    So what? you may be thinking in a perfectly reasonable way, and all I can offer in response is that I have at best got my concerns off my chest, and in consequence of the tortuous pace at which I type I have managed to twiddle away another 20 minutes from the chasm that separates me from the kick off.

    Thank you for your tolerance — if indeed there is anyone out there. It is tough being a Gooner in the lull before the game! 🙂

  • HenryB

    Incidentally, has anyone on the UA noticed that the clocks have gone back in the UK or has there been a management decision to switch to German time?

    Just wondered. 🙂

  • Tasos

    Whatever the outcome tonight you just know it will leave it’s mark going into Sunday’s game, physically.

    Dortmund don’t do “bus parking”.

  • AL

    Good read. I too am still devastated by the Hansen no-show. Hoping for a good, open game tonight, and may the best team win.

  • magaon,

    I share your sentiment about Sunday. I’ll happily take a draw tonight but I NEED those 3 points against Man Yoo and we are more than capable of getting them. A draw tonight without any injury or knock to our players is all I ask for although I’ll be overjoyed with a victory.

  • vacong

    I’m worried about Ashley young he has quick feet he might fall over himself and get 3 penalties LOL Ray Wilkins makes me laugh…

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/23064/9011041/man-uniteds-ashley-young-is-giving-himself-bad-name-says-ray-wilkins

    Hopefully we can do what we did to Bayern in the back yard! 2 – 0!!! Woooo!!!

  • AL

    vacong
    Thanks for the link. We should be wary of Young, he has got no shame. I recall a game where he dived twice(was it against QPR/Villa?), and I think he did it again the following week despite the public outcry. So if Moyes starts him Sagna will have to tread very carefully.

    With the media having been going on about how Sagna was allowed to get away with an imaginary foul in their eyes, I suspect Moyes might target that flank to exploit this doubt/pressure that’s been put in the refs’ minds. Not that they needed it anyway to punish us, but it’ll give them a perfect excuse. Even if there’s no contact against any Young dive, we will have the likes of Hansen pulling out of the archives Sagna’s ‘fouls that he had been getting away with’. Anyway, just glad we don’t have to face Young tonight. Off to get a few beers to down while enjoying the Ozil-Carzola-Ramsey show tonight:) COYG!!!!

  • AL

    I’m starting to dislike this ref, he’s starting to look like a premiership ref now; every time Giroud gets the ball he’s awarding a free kick against us. He penalised Per for a perfect tackle and gave Arteta a yellow for a much lesser offence than the one committed against Rosicky.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Ozil-Giroud-Ramsey axis at work again. Wonderful!

  • AL

    Yessssss!!!!!!!

  • Pat

    Yeeees yeees yeees!!!!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Top in EPL & group F of CL. How awesome is Ramsey? How happy and thankful should we be?!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arsenal cannot defend
    Ramsey is shit
    We never beat the big teams
    We haven’t played anyone yet!!!!

    A night for heroes
    We fear nobody
    We are top of the leagues!

  • Heeeeeellllllpppppp. I’m going crazy in my living room.

    I cannot believe it.

    Dortmund 0 – 1 Arsenal

    We won!!!!!!

  • Yassin

    @ Mandy Dodd
    Please add,

    We cant defend.
    We cant win ugly
    We dont have championship mentality

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    What a great result. COYG!!!!!!

  • Persian gunner

    Yessssssssssssss!

  • Yes Mandy,

    We are top of the leagues!

  • vacong

    orgasmic… got my Ramsey T shirt on too oh yeah baby! 😀

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Well be lucky to get anything coherent from Walter tonight. Clearly a good luck charm. Hope the bratwurst were good as well as our performance.

    Now for Manure!

  • Emphatic. Could have been a Cricket score that one! xP

  • Persian gunner

    Fantastic game, absolutely no mistake!

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Excellent beating both the Champions league winners and runners up in the same year, with clean sheets!!
    Strangest of all I seem to have turned into Criswell, my partner said to me just before half time,” How are Arsenal playing and what do you think the result will be?”, I answered, “0-1 to Arsenal”, and the rest is history!!
    Big big cheer to all the lads tonight, but especially to the defence who were rock solid. Great away support, hope you enjoy a celebratory bratwurst Walter!!
    COYG!!
    Amen

  • vacong

    Your right AL so everything Ashley Young has the ball just keep saying “here comes a dive” “here comes the dive” (like here comes the bride) think that would out him off? or will he go for the perfect 10 dive finish? triple somersault?

  • Stuart

    I wouldn’t get too excited yet, I’m not convinced, I mean, they’re second fiddle in a two horse race. You’d expect to win these games……..or something like that.

  • Gord

    Two very nice comments in the BBC commentary:
    > Adam from Edinburgh: Aaron Ramsey is unstoppable right now! I’m a United fan who keeps being told that Cleverley is young and will come good, Ramsey is two years younger and HAS come good! What a player this season!

    > Kevin Kilbane, BBC Radio 5 live at WestfalenstadionBorussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal

    > “There were real warning signs at the start of the second half, but Arsenal soaked it up and played really well. After the break especially, Rosicky, Ozil and Giroud played their part. It was a wonderful performance from Arsenal.

    > “Now they go to Old Trafford on Sunday full of confidence, tonight they have proved what a good side they are.”

    Hear that pundits! No more tests!

    COYG!

  • elkieno

    ohh man!!! reading Arseblog live update and my superstitious self closed it hoping that my bad luck wont rub off. When I opened it were were 0-1 to the good!!!
    The rest of train trip was torture knowing what is going on but not reading the updates. I couldn’t handle it sometimes and would open it up and check, then close it quickly.
    I am too superstitious for my own good, but I don’t care as long as we win I will do whatever!
    COYG!
    oh btw we are shit, Ramsey should still be loaned out..
    Serenity beats heavy metal!

  • Stuart

    Wow, what is going on at Sky, they seem full of compliments for us.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Bring on the divers on Sunday… 🙂

  • I’ve woken up the children with my screams (at final whistle by the way, I was too jittery to shout during the game 🙂 )

    Mrs Bootoomee is beginning to get annoyed. I wish I have some gooners with me right now.

  • bjtgooner

    Yes!!! A great win against a very good Dortmund team. What a performance and what a great team effort and spirit!

    I didn’t think too much of the ref at times, however we got the result despite him. I would be interested to see what Walter says about the ref – speaking of Walter – the away fans were great, I could clearly hear them singing on my TV.

    Well done team and fans!!

  • Persian gunner

    @elkieno
    Me too bro!
    My Internet stream was weak recently so I just managed to watch 2 of our matches: first game against BVB and the capital cup game!
    And I was really worried tonight about my sinister effects on this game!
    Believe me or not, I did fight hard with it 😀

  • elkieno

    ohh yeah Walter went there to watch, ohh what a lucky so and so… Fans that dont go co sthey think we will lose or something, this is the reason why you always go!
    obviously finances permitting and wife etc, that is hard to get around peacefully.
    have we finally passed a real test then?
    I think we know how to play these teams that can open you up, we sit off them and wait for the tired legs to show then BAM!
    I said in an earlier comment that I think with Dortmunds ‘heavy metal’ approach like at the Ems we soak it up and then in 2nd half of 2ndf half, we hit them when they tired and switch off. It has happened to us so many times over the years that it feels good to do it to them.
    Finally City, UTD, Chelsea, all leak goals (like us sometimes) so we know we can hurt them if we play smart like tonight and even last game when we switched off and tehy scored from 2 mistakes.
    Feels good to the a Gunner!

  • Persian gunner

    @bootoomee
    You have to practice my voiceless scream brother!
    I used it a lot in the living room while every body is sleep!
    It’s something like this …….. …….. ……… ………. …….. ……… …. …………….!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Oh…I almost forgot, wenger doesn’t do tactics….but he does beat German giants in their backyard.
    One of the best teams in the world in front of 77000 great fans reduced to diving for scraps at times.
    Still hard work to do, but reinforcements to return, we will need them, some of our finest have run themselves into the ground. What a team performance.
    What a result, unlike some, I am not sure we ever really went away but Arsenal are back and now the world knows it.
    Let’s finish the job and let wenger do what surely everyone can now see is the right thing.

  • Rupert Cook

    That’s a fabulous result. To win against a team of Dortmund’s calibre is reason for everyone to take us seriously. What we did in Munich last year was great but that was effectively a dead rubber as far as Bayern were concerned though we gave our all that night, but this game was a different matter. The only unfortunate outcome is that now Manu might take us more seriously than they normally do at OT.

    Well done Arsenal.

  • nicky

    The so-called Group of Death is beginning to look like it for every team but dear old Arsenal…

  • Shard

    What a game. Both teams played at such a high level. Dortmund were dominant in attack and pressing for about 60 mins and the result could have been different. Just like in the previous game, it could have gone our way. I was also reminded of how we beat Barcelona once they fell away around the 60 min mark. Pressing has its risks and we exploited it well today. If Chelsea had won, we’d be subjected to ‘Mourinho’s tactical genius’, but Wenger doesn’t do tactics so it can’t be that can it?

    Whatever. A great, hard working performance from the team today. Mertesacker and Koscielny were IMMENSE today. Gandalf would be proud.

    Dortmund were really impressive today. So were we. I think we’re at about the same level as a team. We just need to go out and prove it every day till the end of the season. We’re about a quarter of the way to doing that. Who’s next? They better take us seriously rupert. I bet they’re having a bit of an ‘Ashley’ in their pants.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Looking on twitter, even Piers Morgan has become an AKB now, not that it really matters.
    Any Ramsey haters left? Even my spud brother in law has been singing his praises

  • sperez

    Massive result for Arsenal today. It’s not easy to beat Dortmund at their place. The better team didn’t win but this is football. Anything can happen.
    My concern during the game was Arteta. He was good against Liverpool but today he was very nervous, making fouls, complaining to the referee and picked up a yellow card soon. I thought Wenger took a big risk allowing him to stay for the second half. I know he is an experience player but sometimes even those guys can lose their heads. Fortunately, Arteta calmed down in the second half of the game.

  • Shard

    “The better team didn’t win”

    What bull!! When we say that when Arsenal lose then it’s unacceptable. Today, when Arsenal stayed disciplined, defended brilliantly, and waited for Dortmund to tire before opening up in attack, we weren’t the better team, and Arteta shouldn’t have been on the pitch. Your reputation is well deserved sperez.

  • Persian gunner,

    Thanks, I’ll give it a try next time 🙂

    How I envy Walter, the lucky bastard! Something tells me he would have lost his voice by now. I’ve been screaming alone and I’m a little hoarse. Can’t wait to read Walter’s report.

  • AL

    Still buzzing, well done Arsenal! This is not a result to be sniffed at; no English team had ever won at Dortmund in the CL, and they hadn’t lost a CL match at home since the 11/12 season, including beating Madrid two times.

  • mk

    LOL @ Sperez, is it really so hard to begrudgingly compliment Arsenal the team you ‘support’?

    Last game it was all ‘Klopp out thinking Wenger’, this time when ‘your’ team wins in a similar manner it is all down to luck.

    Top of the league, top of the ‘group of death’, perhaps it’s time to have a hard look at yourself and give the relentless negativity a rest!

  • Mihir

    This win was as sweet as the 5-0 at the San Siro so many years back! and as to what we did to Dortmund today paraphrasing Michael Corleone: Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.

  • AL

    Shard 11:50pm
    Enough said mate:)

  • Harry

    This Arsenal team just love a good test 🙂

    Two great sides. Nigh on impossible to say which is the “better”, but that was a really brilliant 2nd half performance, and I would say we thoroughly deserved the victory in the end.

    To beat Dortmund in their own backyard, you can’t overstate how significant that is. I would have taken a draw before kick-off, but as it turned out I think we could easily have scored again. All this endless blather about “tests”. Well they surely don’t come anymore difficult than that. And they passed it with flying colours.

    It’s evidence of a real maturity to our play.

    It’s a totally different Arsenal who will be going up to Old Trafford on Sunday, unlike the one last season..this team will be brimming with confidence and self-belief right now. Can’t wait.

  • sperez

    If you couldn’t see Dortmund were better despite the result then you’re helpless.
    As for Arteta, he was nervous and could easily have picked up a second yellow card. Anyone noticed this. If the referee wanted he could have sent him off for his complaining (way over the top).
    But I guess you (and Wenger) never saw the red card coming for the likes of Diaby (against Newcastle) and Wilshere (vs ManU) when everyone else was saying this would happen.

  • AL

    “The better team didn’t win but this is football”

    ….but this is football???? Surely, such a comment? You’d expect to hear that coming from someone bemoaning a loss when their team has didn’t deserve to lose, like ‘my team played well and didn’t deserve to lose but this is football..’. Hmmmm, I have a lot of questions, but I’ll give it a rest. Gotta enjoy some moments in life.

  • Shard

    sperez

    Better at what?

    Here’s what I said just a few minutes ago

    “Dortmund were dominant in attack and pressing for about 60 mins and the result could have been different. Just like in the previous game, it could have gone our way.”

    Besides, when has Arsenal being dominant ever led you to say they played well and deserved to win, especially after a loss. But forget a loss. Arsenal won today, and still you can’t praise them. But whatever..Even you can’t get me down today. Arsenal won a great game of football. Suck it up and take it because boo-bally-hoo to you.

  • Pete

    To those who asked whether there is anyone still out there who wants Wenger out, I found the following quite astonishing post + comments at the Online Groaner:

    http://onlinegooner.com/article.php#.UnrNIPnGBzY

    And it was posted TODAY – albeit before the match.

    As for the game, excellent defensive performance although rode our luck a little at times. But about time we got some!

  • mk

    Sperez now you are just embarrassing yourself..

    In your view luck only plays a part when we win, can you not see your own ridiculous anti-Arsenal bias?

  • sperez

    There’s a difference when you fight for the win and then lose and when you have complacency or really bad tactics in the way…

  • Tasos

    Classic European away performance. Text book.

    Well played Arsenal, well played Arsene Wenger.

    This team is growing into something special.

  • Shard

    Oh and isn’t sperez usually telling us we can’t be talking about the referees. But suddenly we should be talking about the referee not sending off Arteta for something he didn’t even do. Commit an offense worthy of it. Hilarious.

  • bjtgooner

    Part of the raison-d’etre of being a fan is to enjoy the good times, surely this is one of them.

    One probably should be sorry for the sad unhappy psycho that sperez appears to be – but is hard to have any sympathy for such a twisted nutter.

    Similarily, we have the rupert trying to devalue our win last year against Bayern, that win became a season changing event, which he now slyly describes as a dead rubber.

    Lighten up guys and enjoy the moment – or piss off and support the Spuds.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Great game tonight. A very similar game to the one played at Ems. At the 55th min, when they were giving us a hard time and threatening in waves after waves of attack to score – just as we were at the Ems,I felt that we might just be the lucky ones to score – against the run of play.

    Man,was I thankful when the goal came! Then a new fear took over: not to concede any late goal. Not only did we not concede, we became more dangerous,getting the greater share of the scoring opportunities and yet maintaining a strong defensive shape as proof that we learnt from the sad ending at Ems.

    To think Wenger doesn’t do tactics!

  • sperez

    Shard,
    Have you ever seen a referee give a yellow car for complaints ? You know this happens a lot in football. Don’t you ?
    I’m not saying Arteta should have been given a yellow but he could have been given a yellow card for his antics.
    Had the team been Barcelona instead of Dortmund, I think you’d understand better when those Spaniards swarmed the referee like bees trying to put pressure and influence his decision.

  • Untolders, stop feeding the troll.

    Sperez is a sad little being, desperate for attention. Ignore him and he will go away. Hopefully.

  • Va Cong

    Sperez Rupert go support a different team whinge mongers. I’m sure if you both found a pot of gold you both would complain it’s not big enough?! Pots the wrong colour?

  • Andrei

    To be honest I don’t quite understand posters having issue with the ‘the better team didn’t win’ statement. It doesn’t take away anything from Arsenal win. Actually what makes so special is that despite being outplayed for long periods of time Arsenal still found a way to win. This is a sign of true champions. What is particularly impressive is how Arsenal were able to practically shut Dortmund down after they scored. I expected an onslaught with Gunners grasping to preserve the lead but at the end Arsenal closed the game quite comfortably.

    In a similar way I thought that Arsenal were the better team at Emirates but still lost. It doesn’t take anything away from the Dortmund win. After all, it is a game of inches when evenly matched teams like Arsenal and Dortmund play.

  • Tom

    @sperez
    I understand dissent and it’s value in a healthy debate and I have defended your right to voice it on here but now I’m beginning to doubt if you are even an Arsenal fan at all .

    You gave Mourinho credit for being a great tactician for winning CL with Inter when everybody remembers Inter only beat Barca on away goal rules and Wesley Sneijder scored a goal being a yard in the offside position .
    I don’t remember you complaining about refereeing mistakes that gave that cup tie to inter and the “special one”

    Complaining about this Arsenal win makes you look ridiculous ( that is if you are an Arsenal fan)

    This was exactly how Arsenal should’ve set up for Dortmund in a away game.
    Wenger and the entire squad deserves nothing but praises.

  • Shard

    So the opposition can complain to the referee, but not Arteta? No. Arteta was ‘nervous’, Barcelona ‘put pressure on the referee’ to favour them.. hahaha..this just keeps getting funnier and funnier.. The desperation to find something negative to say. And the list of contradictions keeps growing.

  • Shard

    Andrei

    THe statement itself in isolation..Ok..It’s just an opinion, either way.. I personally think the two teams are almost impossible to separate..Except in the fact that Dortmund have won their league (although an easier one to win) with this team while Arsenal have still to achieve that. They are at different stages in their development. But over the two matches, we’ve been very evenly matched.

    I actually expected Dortmund to run out of steam around the 60 minute mark. No team can pres with that intensity for 90 mins. I think we knew it too and were waiting for that, in the meantime staying disciplined and defensively solid. Does that make Dortmund the better team on the night? Not necessarily. As it is, it’s an opinion which you are perfectly entitled to. But sperez is constantly contradicting himself, and surprise surprise, those inconsistencies always align themselves to exhibit Arsenal in a poor light. So no, the opposition isn’t to the opinion. I’m fairly sure sperez doesn’t believe what he’s saying himself either. The opposition is to the quite obvious intention behind the expression of the opinion.

  • Rufusstan

    @Rupert — agree that United will take us seriously on Sunday, but that was already the case as it is a must win for them; even more than it is for us.

    That said, for the first time in years there is the feeling that it doesn’t matter how seriously they take us.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Here I am…exhausted…tired…filled with Bratwurst… and oh so happy to have had the privilege to have been there. When the final whistle went I looked to the dark sky above the Signal Iduna stadium…and I thought of you Adam.

    Driving home I had my memory stick on in the car and the golden oldie song: “wish you where here” was on. And I also thought of you.

    What an evening and what an experience. Both good but also some bad things. But if you don’t mind I will now go to bed as it is 3.25 over here and I should get some sleep now.

    Don’t know if I will get it as the adrenaline is still running like mad.

  • rantetta

    Well done Arsenal.

    I’ve now seen the game for the 2nd time. It reminded me in some ways of the win against Barca, except this game was somehow more gritty. Dortmund players towards the end were really complaining especially to the linesman. There were also several times when the ref could’ve booked their players for tackles – but he didn’t.

    It’s time to ban the naysayers. They’re not about debating, they’re just about abusing. Whilst I skip over their comments once I see their names, you and I know what’s coming. They know where to go in order to have their comments appreciated, and you know they know. Get rid of the ****s while things are good for Arsenal.

    There are positive and negative Arsenal blogs whose editors don’t allow naysayers to continually project comments that don’t fit into their aims, so why allow it at UA? Most people reading are doing so because they’ve seen and agree with what the heading says, right?

    Lately, even fans from other clubs have largely made decent/informed comments (even Spurs), although perhaps Tony and Walter banned some comments. So if commentators from other clubs can come on and be decent/acceptable/make cogent remarks despite disagreeing – why the hell do you accept comments from people who’ve shown themselves to probably not be Arsenal fans/wanna get rid of Wenger/wallowing in unenviable negativity, etc, etc? Get rid!

    Well done Arsenal. Looking forward to Sunday.

  • elkieno

    Walter you lucky thunder bastard!
    What bad things do you mean?
    Tell us tell us I can’t wait 20 hours to read you article!!!
    Well spose ill have too.
    What Gooner in their right mind would the name Sperez? Unless your a spud in disguise?
    Get rest lads and do it all over again at old toilet! Then a break for week which is really internationals, can’t believe I want this break!

  • elkieno

    Walter you lucky thunder bastard!
    What bad things do you mean?
    Tell us tell us I can’t wait 20 hours to read you article!!!
    Well spose ill have too.
    What Gooner in their right mind would the name Sperez? Unless your a spud in disguise?
    Get rest lads and do it all over again at old toilet! Then a break for week which is really internationals, can’t believe I want this break!

  • rantetta

    Walter

    I’m glad you’re safely home and that you enjoyed your experiences at both games. Thanks for the previous posting. (You might want to look for a program called Man v Food, but if you take on the challenges you won’t be reffing for much longer. Still, t least you’ll have more time to do ref reviews (smiley face, which you taught me how to do a few years ago, and which I’ve now forgotten :/: [Aw **** it] I need my bed too).

    I’m looking forward to reading more from you about these games against Dortmund.

    Sleep well.

  • PJ

    Sunday will be the real real real …x100 … real super big test.
    I hope we wont bring sniper to OT. They always targeting poor Young.
    Or Rooney, or Nani, or Janujaz.

    A penalty and a red card will be the real test for us. We failed that test before when we met Aston Taylor.

  • RooM28

    Joy. Happiness. Pride. Take it away if you can. But you really can’t, can you? If you felt a prick on your conscience, find another hobby mate.

    We are top of the leagues, we are top of the leagues!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO , HOOO ! Well done guys , really proud of you !
    Woke up to watch the last 15 mins of the game and could not go back to sleep again.
    Just cannot understand why there are spoilsports and killjoys in life. No matter what I don’t think we can get rid of the AAAA types , even if they are dressed in their best suits and feign innocence.
    Like in this tale….

    The Irish Wedding
    At an Irish wedding, everyone got drunk. The bride’s and groom’s families wrecked the reception hall fighting with each other.
    The police had to break up the fighting.
    The next week, both families were in court.
    The judge asked, “All right now, what happened?”
    Paddy rose and said, “Judge, I was the best man. I should explain what happened.”
    “Go ahead, Paddy,” said the judge. “Take the stand.”
    Paddy explained, “Per tradition, the best man got the first dance with the bride. After I finished my first dance, the music kept playing, so I danced a second song, and then the music kept going some more so I danced a third song.
    “All of a sudden, the groom leapt over the table, ran to us, and gave the bride an unmerciful kick, right between her legs!”
    The shocked judge said, “By God, that must have hurt!”
    “Hurt?” replied Paddy, “He broke three of my fingers!”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Then again , you may say that the smart-alecky, cunning linguist ought to have had his theeth kicked in !

  • Asif

    Well done lads…I think the best players on the pitch yesterday were Kos and Mert…they were outstanding! What defensive partnerships we’ve got now. Brilliant play Arsenal…you guys are great…was awake till 4 in the morning to watch the game (+ added time to let the feeling sink it)!

    I think at the end of this season…Kos would be one of the players who we will have to fight to retain…and please a contract extension for Sagna and Rosicky…they played with so much heart!

  • when this arsenal team gets in to “now we defend ” mentality it is very very tough for opponents to break us down. I can cite a few matches from last seasons PL and even yesterdays match . Its awesome that we can finally defend as a team.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hah….An impressive away win. For all the “the better team lost” arguments, How many clear cut chances did they have?????….3??? Isnt that the same as us. Our defenders did enough to put their offensive players under pressure to hurry their shots….

    Divedowksi. Why wasnt he booked for simulation???? When things are going his way, he is an impressive player. But when under pressure, he elbows, dives…….so much for a star reputation.

  • ARSENAL 13

    And what will stop us from making it 15 in a row??? A dive???

    Time to teach Man Utd a lesson in football….

  • AL

    Arsenal 13
    Yes, we could’ve scored 3 or more in this match; that second Ramsey chance, the goal line clearance, the Per header that sailed just over the bar with their keeper stranded, to name a few obvious ones. I thought we had the clearest chances. They were not as many as theirs but ours had more threat about them. And if they got credit for sitting back and hitting us on the break at the Ems then I can’t think of any single reason why we shouldn’t get credit for this result. I know I’ve bored you guys to death with my obsession with stats now but we had more possession in both games. That shows we had a game plan to contain them till they tire and then attack, far from being a chelski-sque-type smash and grab.

    Yesterday I was impressed with Gary Neville’s comments that this Arsenal team deserves all the credit and need to be taken as serious contenders right now rather than keep saying they haven’t played so and so and bigger tests await, because they’ve answered all the questions asked of them. Even our rivals are starting to praise us. That makes it even more difficult to understand why some of our fans will always try to find reasons why the opposition didn’t win.

    I know Per & Kos have been getting all the plaudits, and rightly so, I think Rosicky deserves special mention too. He harried and chased the Dortmund players all night, and started the move leading to the goal. He seems to be getting better with age! Ozil’s inch perfect lofted pass again made the difference last night, just as he had done against Liverpool 4 days ago. That’s the difference such players can make, one move that unlocks a tight defence. Well done team.

  • AL

    Anyway, a team that wins away at Dortmund & Bayern in succession ought to be taken seriously. Even Madrid and Barcelona have failed these tests. So can’t think of a bigger test than what we’ve achieved.

  • AL

    Sorry but Rupert I think your reference to our match with Bayern being a dead rubber deserves a response; bayern were 5 minutes from going out of the cup. Don’t think that is the definition of a dead rubber.

  • Florian

    I think sperez is Brazilian, if I remember from one of his older posts. Only coincidentally is it pronounced a bit like the team from down the standings. Not to take anything from his negativity though. And yes, he could have chosen a better nickname.

    I had to work all day without a break so I couldn’t go home and watch an Internet stream (stupid Fox chose to air Barfa-Milan, like there was any doubt ever who’s going to win). Only saw the bitesize highlights half an hour ago. I’ll have to contain my patience and watch the cracker on Arsenal Player Sunday morning. Will make it a complete week-end, with what I expect to be a victory at Old Toilet, in revenge for that infamous result of 2 years ago. Dixit!

  • Armin

    I would not say we were outplayed, nor BvB were better. Because from strategic point of view it depend on what managers were asked from players.
    Obviously BvB just love when opponent have ball and than they put them under pressure, force to lose ball in middle and here we go with super fast counter-attack ending with goal. Arsene sow it, and seams to me told our players to hold, and wait, give them ball and don’t let them create too many chances.
    If that was case, and I think it was, Arsenal were better team, as our boys done exactly what is planed and come with result asked from them. Borussia didn’t manage to find space, and to score. They had more shoots at target, but how many of them caused Szczęsny or our defenders panic reactions? Not many, those were more desperate shoots, as BVB prefers situations where they play 1 on 1 or 2 on 2, what was well denied to them and they were forced to play against superbly organised defense.
    So let me conclude, team with better game plan, and one which managed to hold on it won.

  • colario

    We weren’t suppose to do that!
    Florian
    This link for a stream might help. Sometimes a bit slow but last night could not have been better.

    http://firstrownow.eu/

  • Stuart

    Florian,
    Look up Bloodzeed on Twitter (although be warned he is a Spurs fan and doesn’t like people asking how to use his stream). He does brilliant streams in HD. You need to use Acestream to pick it up and it takes a while to buffer but once it gets going the picture and sound is perfect.

  • Stuart

    Rantetta,
    Although I to would love for some of the commenters to not appear here and cause the stir they do (stir for the sake of causing a stir), I believe that UA policy of freedom of speech should be maintained and deep down, would dislike the idea of censorship.

    My suggestion is that people (me included) don’t respond to these people and they will eventually go away.

    They are only posting because they get a little orgasm each time they get a response.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, I think as far as Bayern were concerned it was a dead rubber, we didn’t. Any team with a 3-1 away lead is going to feel fairly invincible in the second leg. The urgency is not there, a streak of complacency runs through a team and the confidence that imperious position gives can be weakening as well empowering. If we’d had got a second goal in the first half or within the first 30 minutes of the second half we might have progressed but Bayern only had a few minutes to defend. In those few minutes Bayern looked completely nervous and rattled.

    As I said at the time that win really boosted our confidence and laid the foundations for a strong finish in the league. We can’t measure how much effect that win had on our following games but I feel it had an extremely positive one.

    @Sperez, you can find fault in any performance. Has any team played the perfect football match? Even the Hungarian dream team of the fifties couldn’t win the World Cup despite all their brilliant football. When Brazil won the world cup in 1970 was every single action they made perfect? What do you want Arsenal to do? Win without the opposition touching the ball. Matches between two good teams ebb and flow, it’s impossible for one team to completely eradicate every threat the other team poses. Try and enjoy the win.

  • Armin

    It is hard to compare, and impossible to say which team was better if you accept fact that both managers set their teams play different strategy. There were, maybe in whole game about 15 minutes when both teams played on equal terms, and in those moments we had 3 big chances while BvB hardly managed to come near. Rest was again absolutely different games from both teams.
    All what counts now is which team done what was expected from them to do and who won.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Armin Amen to that.

  • AL

    Rupert 9:51
    Fair enough, if you meant to put it that way. I was thinking you were using it in the strict sense of the term(dead rubber), which I take to mean a match whose outcome is meaningless. For instance, one team is leading 2-0 in a best of 3 series, the team that is leading may as well not turn up for the penultimate game as they will be having an unassailable lead.

  • Va Cong

    That’s what I thought Rupert meant to Al so I take that back as I am too cool for school!

  • Florian

    Thanks guys for the links, will try them out on the first opportunity;)