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April 2021

If everyone is injured can we call the match off?

By Bulldog Drummond

Time once again for all good supporters to stand up and be counted, whether you can make it to Germany or not.  One, two, three, four… hang on this could take a while.

Picking the team is a bit difficult this time, because we could have

  • Chambers – fit and ready to play
  • Mathieu Flamini at right-back if Chambers does not make it.
  • Chambers fit and playing next to Mertesacker with Koscielny at right-back.
  • Bellerin at right back
  • In the midfield – Jack has been superb in the last two games – but should he best rested?
  • Cazorla must be well rested – so should he play?

But wait just a dar-gone minute.  Who have we got all told?

Arsenal listed 38 members for the squad, 25 in the main list as allowed and 13 “List B” players.   Players in List B are 21 years of age or younger and have been eligible to play for the club for at least two uninterrupted years since their 15th birthday. Between the two lists, every Champions League side must have at least eight home-grown players, of whom four must be club-trained – although I think the Works Team of the International Petroleum Investment Co is allowed a dispensation on the grounds of having lots of money.

A home-grown player is one who has spent at minimum of three years registered to a club in the same association over a period of time up to and including the season during which he turns 21 years of age. while a club-trained player must have spent at least three years registered to the club selecting him.

This differs from Premier League rules, where there is no club-trained requirement.  So this is our total squad

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Wojciech Szczesny, David Ospina, Damian Martinez, Ryan Huddart, Josh Vickers.

Defenders:  Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Kieron Gibbs, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers, Hector Bellerin, Isaac Hayden, Tafari Moore, Brandon Ormonde-Ottweill.

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Midfielders: Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby, Serge Gnabry, Francis Coquelin, Gedion Zelalem, Jack Jebb, Glen Kamara, Kristoffer Olsson.

Forwards: Lukas Podolski, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell, Chuba Akpom, Alex Iwobi.

The other lot…

Borussia Dortmund started this season with a goal conceded nine seconds into their first match – the fastest goal in Bundesliga history, in a 2-0 home defeat by Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

However they moved from eighth to fourth after the 3-1 win over SC Freiburg at the weekend and are now only one point behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

We’ve played Borussia Dortmund regularly in recent years. Here are the results

  • 3 September 2011: Borussia Dortmund 1 Arsenal 1
  • 23 November 2011: Arsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 1
  • 22 October 2013: Arsenal 1 Borussia Dortmund 2
  • 6 November 2013: Borussia Dortmund 0 Arsenal 1 (Ramsey)

In 2009/10 we won the group, in 2010/11 we came second to Shakhtar Donetsk

In 2011/12  we won the group, and Dortmund came fourth

In 2012/13 we came second and last season we came second again with Dortmund top.  That was the season where three teams all ended with 12 points and first to third was still being decided up to the last kick of the matches.

Last season’s line up was  

Szczęsny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Rosický (Vermaelen 90+1), Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla (Monreal 75), Özil, Giroud (Bendtner 90).

Dortmund won the Champions League in 1997, were second two years back, and last season reached the quarter-finals, beating Real Mad 2-0 but losing overall after a 3-0 away defeat.   Last season’s defeat by Arsenal was their first against an English team in a European competition and ended a run of seven successive home UEFA Champions League games.

This is as you will know, the 17th successive group stage campaign which is not bad for a team that hardly figured in Europe before Mr Wenger came along.

We are unbeaten in the last ten matchday one fixtures, winning eight with two draws.  In all senior competitions Arsenal have now gone 13 unbeaten, including the winning of the FA Cup and the Community Shield.  But it is very important that you don’t tell anyone this because it is our little secret.

On the playing front Tomáš Rosický played for Dortmund from 2000 to 2006, scoring 19 goals in 149 league games.  He’s the only member of Arsenal’s squad who has played for them, but our three German world cup winners have played against them.

Mesut Özil played against them four times for Real Madrid and eight times with FC Schalke 04 and SV Werder Bremen (2006–10).

Lukas Podolski played 14 times against and scored twice against Borussia Dortmund in 14 games while with FC Köln and Bayern Munich including winning the Cup Final against Dortmund in 2008.

Per Mertesacker played 16 games and scored two goals against Dortmund with Hannover 96 and SV Werder Bremen.

Apart from our unbeaten run, other things rarely or not mentioned are the fact that Alexis Sánchez has scored in each of his last three appearances.

So who will play?  This is going to be wild guesswork but here goes…


Chambers, Koscielny Mertesacker Gibbs

Wilshere Arteta

Ozil Ramsey

Sanchez Welbeck

If Chambers can’t play then Bellerin will be there.

Yep, I know that’s odd, but then odd is my middle name.  Actually it isn’t but you know what I mean.
The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.

81 comments to If everyone is injured can we call the match off?

  • Tony Attwood

    Oh my we almost got it right. Bulldog didn’t go for Bellerin, but his format is pretty much rjght, and we did talk up Bellerin in the previous article.

    While the nationals were saying Wenger is reluctant to play him, we went with the “what is the point of bringing these players through if we don’t play them” approach.

    This team has Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey and Bellerin, all developed by Arsenal.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Battle of the puma giants….

  • Alex

    famous german diving skills…
    good old robbery tradition…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Aaenh… Dive no dive??

  • Alex

    clearest dive eva

  • Alex

    second from armenian

  • ARSENAL 13


  • ARSENAL 13


  • Alex

    that was “oooooooooooooooooooOOa”

  • ARSENAL 13


    Come on Gunners

  • Yassin

    Really? He dribbled through kosienly by this thing? Damn! How about we get some of those dribbles to our team? I see those are more effective than old beautiful dribbling.

    On another note, where is our midfield? Why are we struggling? I have no idea, is it a mental block? What is it? Am sure its neither tactical nor technical, but why cant we be our old selfes?

  • Sean

    In wenger we rust. I wonder what ref we willblame for this sshambles

  • Mick

    Glad to see Sean is enjoying life as an Arsenal supporter. Poor sod.

  • Mick

    Maybe it is just me but is Alan Smith getting on anyone elses nerves?

  • Alex

    it’s just a half-time…
    but crying and whining will help!

  • Sean

    I am not enjoying myself you fool. I am shockedto see we xcan’t even string three passes together. This scoreline flatters to deceive. Anyone who thinks otherwise is smoking weed

  • JonFromWellington

    Do not know what game you are watching. I think Arsenal are playing well and would be winning if there was better refereeing and they had been a bit luckier in front of goal.

    Come on you gunners!

  • Alex

    arsenal can’t even beat second best german team!!!!!
    what is happening to us!?!?!?!?!
    78% Pass Success 71%
    27% Aerial Success 73%
    51% Possession 49%

    arsenal just hopless!!!

  • Alex

    bellerin is good.
    kos is brilliant
    need some luck

  • JonFromWellington

    this referee is useless! no way Arsenal should be 2-0 down. A fair score would be 1-1

  • Alex

    did i miss smting ?

  • Sean

    Wtf… We are lucky not to be five down. Are yousseriously watching the right game? Read the arseblog live commentary, who by the way is a pro wenger guy and even he is slating our performance. We deserve a good hiding on this showing. Think klopp is taking pity

  • dan

    Quite disheartening.

  • JonFromWellington

    i came here to get away from the anti arsenal trolls

  • JonFromWellington

    this blog is called supporting the club, the players, the manager

  • Alex

    the only reason for AAA existence is to crying and whining.

  • Va Cong

    Is pushing not a foul anymore?! WTf?

  • Sean

    Oi dimwit it’s not aaa or whatever bullwhip you’reccalling it but the mere facts which are in front of you. And if you can’t see or accept the fact that we are a million miles behind teams like dortnub then you obviously are just a Idiotic and biased supporter bordering on the insane

  • Va Cong

    ok now its pulling on welbeck

  • Va Cong

    Sean we are not playing well and it doesn’t help when the ref is shit and the supporters aren’t screaming

  • Alex

    what we should do about it ?
    start to hate arsenal ? or wenger ?
    it’s just one game… after pretty good game against manOil
    check liver against ludo..some…gorets

  • dan

    Welbeck seriously needs help with his finishing, as bad we’ve been he could of scored 3!

  • Va Cong

    Ah shit happens we’ll bounce back

  • Alex

    it’s a group stage.
    first game. the hardest one in our group.
    so yeah!!!!
    life is shit. wenger out….
    or whatever..

  • AB

    One of a poorest performances. Happens

  • apo Armani

    LETS JUS FACE IT: we were pants and NOTHING wrong with the ref!!!

  • dan

    Another injury, please please no, we are cursed.

  • Va Cong

    you watching the same match?

  • Va Cong

    dan wilshire has been push pulled and ankle bashed all game

  • JonFromWellington

    the ref has been a disgrace and missed 3 great chances.

    Another day we would have won that game 3-2.

    Don’t believe the anti arsenal media.

    Wenger is building something very special

  • Va Cong

    another foul for dorm that have done 30 odd same fouls on arsenal and we get nothing and the poodits are so fucking annoying

  • Va Cong

    talking shit about lack of defence again so fucking boring

  • Va Cong

    some body shoot them

  • Alex

    turn off the vol.

  • Alex

    bellerin is good.
    thats what arsenal need right now… little anger

  • marcus

    ref poor. AFC dreadful.

  • ARSENAL 13


    Idiots. If every shot from the diving bastard is considered a possible goal, then why not the same yardstick for ARSENAL???…

    You know what ref is doing when you see players using hands in frustration. Like Wilshere did towards the latter half of the game..

  • marcus

    Ozil….yeah right
    Welbeck…..looks like Tony Adams playing as a striker. Oh sorry, he’s the best buy of the season.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Lacking performance from the lads, the goal just before HT and being hit quickly after break was probably psychologically too tough to deal with in that stadium, and the weird sluggish/dreamy atmosphere that’s in NRW tonight.Not sure BVB were so great but more Arsenal were poor.
    Frustrating all round.Feel sorry for Walter and all the travelling fans. Bellerin did OK though.One for the AAA to froth at the mouth with.Look out Villa…
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Sorry, not a good game for you to watch tonight. I hope we don’t play that tentatively again for a very long time. I can’t remember so many misplaced passes in a very long time. Kudos to Dortmund though they worked very hard all game and gave us no time to settle on the ball plus their ability to get away with sly pushes blocks and kicks to further disrupt our rhythm.

  • Va Cong

    brilliant push pulling game

  • Yassin

    The ref was goos bar some missed fouls, which I assume are simple mistakes.
    Where we out played? No
    Where we good enough to win? No
    Whats happening? My point of view there is 3 things:
    *wilshere and ramsey cant play box to box together, attacking wise they are awesome, but defending, Artera cant do the job alone with such teams.

    *Those injuries are killing us, our players cant gel cause everytime we have 3 to 4 new faces due to injury. Look at Gibbs + sanchez, Bellerin + whoever played on right, Welbeck and all the team. This needs time, but injuries aint helping either.

    *Mental block, and this is the most dangerous thing, even though we werent at our best, we could have clinched the game, up until they scored, and we went missing. Why do we get those mental blocks, and then we go play another game, against tougjer opponents with much better way, I have no idea. Is it the media pressure? Is Ozil under huge pressure which affects his game? Arteta? Flamini? I dont know, but something must be solved.

    And please Wenger, go buy some luck!!!

  • Pete

    We played poorly and lost deservedly.

    Mitigating factors:

    – Tough game at the weekend.
    – Playing away to one of the best teams in Europe.

    It happens. The true test in sport is how a team/individual reacts to adversity. This team will come good sooner rather than later.

    And the assorted miseries can just f*ck off. No team can avoid defeat indefinitely. It is really, really boring reading the cr*p some people spout every time we play badly and/or lose.

  • ARSENAL 13

    What do they feed them???… They run and run and run…

  • TommieGun

    Not a good game. Can’t remember when we last played like that. But it can happen and probability wise this is the game we were most likely to loae in the group stage. So 2-0 is not a bad result. Let’s just hope it’s one of those days.

  • para

    Anyway, my perspective of the game. Feel free to dis-agree.

    Embarrassing, and AW’s face showed it too well.
    Still there were a few of our players moving and attempting to create something, but the rest just stuck closely to their positions.
    Wojciech must be man of the match, else we would have been 3 or 5 down.

    Unlike Dortmund, EVERY player was constantly out of position, and another replaced him, only the goalie was stuck in front of goal, every other player was moving, creating, trying and pressing.

    Result justified.

    I hope we were not trying to conserve energy, and leave everything to the home game, because we knew Drtmd would come at us, but without an away goal, this leaves us in a sticky situation. I think we expected to score, but their defence was also very efficient AND well organised.

    Well on to Villa away, tough game i’ll bet, and we need ALL of our strength.

    I’m glad i do not need to express my feelings of disap…
    Shut up…

  • Sammy The Snake

    There are 6 games in the group stage. We have time/games to turn this bad performance around.

  • Sean

    All in all a pretty pathetic showing from Arsene Wenger’s men who well and truly had their arses handed to them by a far more organised and determined outfit. Next up it’s Galatasaray at home before Anderlecht away in late October. It already feels like we’re playing for second in the group, but even that’s going to be a tall order unless we improve quickly . arse blog

  • InitialsBB

    @Sean, what little credibility you had evaporated with your plagiarism

  • InitialsBB

    But I agree with Arseblog nonetheless

  • Masterstroke

    Quick word of praise for Bellerin. He didn’t look out of place, and considering he had no protection for most of the match was almost faultless.

  • Yassin

    The result is not what frustrates me, its the way we played, am really missing the old beautiful passing Arsenal, and after City game, I was waiting for today to be our best show. Now am depressed. Please Arsenal please, we should destroy Villa and play the best football back.

  • bjtgooner

    Bad day at the office. We looked very jaded esp in the first half. Just before the first goal there was a fracas in the Dortmund half, we seemed to lose concentration and allowed a breakaway.

    Just after half time – we again conceded a breakaway – pressing too hard.

    Second half we played with more purpose & after the substitutions moved the ball more quickly and looked more dangerous.

    Welbeck got himself into a good position towards the end, his shot was too high – but he was being pulled back.

    At least Bellerin has been blooded and no doubt will learn from the experience.

    But overall we were not quite up for it.

    Dortmand did play well – very fast and dangerous counterattacking – but what a bunch of divers and masters of professional fouling.

  • Sean

    Can you read? It says at the end it s from arseblog

  • Damilare

    We were just not up to our usual selves tonight. The sewer rats would infest here till our next win (hopefully against Aston Villa). Bellerin looks like he’s been playing CL for ages…positive from tonight’s game

  • InitialsBB

    @Sean, I stand corrected. You’ll have to excuse me missing your reference, I usually don’t get to the end of your posts

  • bjtgooner

    I don’t read any of Sean’s crap.

  • 5th Gen Gooner

    Struggling to find any positives from this game… BD 23 shots at goal AFC 3

    So glad YaYa wasn’t playing on Saturday!

    If we don’t buy a world class DM during the January window… Why is it Arsene doesn’t see the bleedingly obvious? Ozil out of position, no cohesion in defense, no depth in defense, gosh the list goes on.

    Dreading the Chelski game!

  • Yassin


    A big like from me mate 🙂

  • Dec

    Bad night against a decent team in a cauldron.
    Learn something and let’s move on to Villa!

    One point that irks me (apart from Sean) was in the second half tonight when Szczesny came out and headed the ball into touch then collided with a Dortmond player. The outcome was a throw in to Dortmond.
    Had the roles been reversed and the striker got the ball and then collided with Szczesny we’d have been deafened by the howls of ‘Contact’ from every wannabe pundit under the sun (and Sean). Szczesny would have been sent off and a free kick/pen given against him.
    Keepers can be flattened without any consequence but should they even breath heavily near an attacker he ‘has the right to go down’ and get a penalty.
    Anybody have opinions?

    Allez les Gunners!

  • menace

    I cannot call a diving fouling cheating team decent. They can play good football but when an official ignores the cheats, the game becomes a farce. Arsenal were better than them because we play a decent game.

    2 – 0 is not a bad score considering the tide we were playing against.

    Arsenal are an excellent team and will prevail despite the missing specsaver clients.

  • menace

    @Dec In my view the ref should have sent the Dortmund player off. He had no reason to crash into the keeper.

  • Arsenal 1 4 Chelsea, Arsenal 1 3 Manchester United 2008, City 4 2 Arsenal 2009, Barcelona 4 1 Arsenal 2010, United 8 2 Arsenal 2011, Milan 4 0 Arsenal 2012 Arsenal 1 3 Bayern, City 6 3 Arsenal 2013, Liverpool 5 1 Arsenal, Chelsea 6 0Arsenal 2014 different players on the pitch, one constant.Arsene Wenger, a Past it,out of date manager.Villa will beat us at the weekend,Mertesacker will be torn apart by Agbonglhor. This is the season we don’t get out of the CL group or get the 4th place trophy,Wenger should have gone at the end of last season.

  • Dec

    Anybody who’s not deluded have an opinion?

    Dortmond were by far the better team tonight. Not by cheating or a dodgy ref, they were just plain better. Live with it!

    The ref made the right call, my point is that if the roles were reversed the clamour for a foul and red card would have been huge, and wrong.

  • Nelson Wong

    U know… May be the should start checking the Fung Sui of the Emirates :p Unbelivable long list of injury. Players falling on themselves during matches and training and then apparently excellent can’t provide good performances.

    (just a joke. Evemthough I am Chinese…)

    The thing about this year is. Many new faces at the front. News time to gel. It can be a world class front unlike last year or two. Those who say the team haven’t improve are plain idiots. Hope it comes sooner than later.

    The back is obviousely a bit weak. It seems more to do with the middle than the back.

    I also beleive already nailed down the names he want at the back. Hope they join in January rather than next summer.

    Looking at Chel$$a and Man City, you know its not easy for arsenal to get EPL. A second would be great result. I believe however the team will be up to the level we all want next year.

    It takes at least two years to get the team to very high level. Given that many said the team was rubbish last year, waiting one more year for an excellent team aren’t asking too much, right?

    Even if Arsene buy 8 or 9 players at the same time, the team will probably end up not working during their first year and they will only show what they can do in year 2…

  • gouresh

    its all said here, so won’t add much, apart from that the fact I was closing to using inappropriate language in front of my kids. Jack, Alexis, Rambo, and the others, should keep the passing simple. this is very very important. they run with the ball too much, invite tackles, loose the ball when trying to make fancy moves, get injured, loose possession and we don’t have pace in the midfield to nullify the counter attack.
    they bloody get their act together for the weekends game.

  • Linz, you are quite wrong. The constant is that every season people like you say “. This is the season we don’t get out of the CL group or get the 4th place trophy,Wenger should have gone at the end of last season.” People like you do it every season, are wrong every season, and come back and do it again. Do you never learn from your mistakes?

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Nelson Wong, agree, it takes a while to build a team and we have some very good players. Sometimes though it’s a little worrying how inconsistent our players are. As for new players gelling, well yes that’s true but having said that look at Fabregas and Costa, they look like they’ve been at Chelsea for years.

    @Dec, afraid I have to agree with you.

  • I think szcezesny is a nice goal keeper but we need ospina in the Champions league,Damian in the FA cup and Szcezesny stays for the premiership and Carling cup.
    Because if it was not for Fabiaski we will be having no trophy,lets start to use campbell also.