The first impressions from the Dortmund match

By Walter Broeckx

Note: this was written down just when I came back from Dortmund in the middle of the night (3.00 am). I haven’t seen any images on Tv, heard no talks from media, pundits or whoever feels free to say what I ought to think.

Because of this I could have missed 3 or 4 wrong penalty decisions, 7 offsides, 14 bad tackles and one blind assistant. So if I did miss all the above forgive me as I only wanted to comment on the things I saw from the bad position in the Nord Stand.

So the first thing I want to moan about is and this time I will write a letter to Arsenal as chairman of the Arsenal Belgium supporters to show them what terrible places that Dortmund sells to Arsenal supporters. From where I was sitting (if I would have sat down – which I didn’t) I could see zilch. Nothing. Nada. Noppes. Niets. Nichts. Even if there would have been a nice nude female streaker I wouldn’t have been able to see her. But I think there was none as I think otherwise the crowd would have started cheering her I think.

It really is absolutely not done in my opinion to dare to sell those tickets. And they also have done this amazing thing that if you want to enter block 60 where we were placed you are sent up the stairs and then go down the stairs on the field side of the stadium. And then suddenly after some 10 rows going down you end up in no-man land.

The only way to go down the remaining 10 rows is to hop from seat to seat over the different rows to the bottom of the stadium where our seats were. As at some point all the seats were taken we had to shuffle our way through the rows to somewhere in the middle where suddenly a free space was going down. But there was no visible link between the initial path we we obliged to take and that path some 15 meters further in the stand.

Sorry my dear friends from Borussia Dortmund but this is unacceptable and I will make a complaint to Arsenal about this dangerous situation and to Dortmund also.  Of course I know Arsenal cannot change this but maybe they could file a complaint towards Dortmund also to make sure that this never happens again and people can walk in and out the stadium in a safe way and at least can have a complete view on the pitch. Not too much asked for 44 euro I would think?

On to the match. The result was hard to swallow. The way we played at times was hard to digest.

But this is football. And what we could see in the stadium with our own eyes was amazing. I was in Dortmund the other 2 matches and had one draw and an Arsenal win. So for my third visit a defeat looked on the cards. Now the other matches Dortmund also was impressive. But this was one of the most impressing things I have ever seen.

11 Dortmund players looked as if they had been super charged before the match and when the ref blew his whistle they started running at an incredible high speed. And at the final whistle they were still running at the same incredible high speed. I even think I noticed a few Dortmund players after the final whistle who still were running towards any Arsenal player they could find on the field trying to double mark them; triple mark them…  Okay this last thing didn’t happen as the technician could switch off their engines at the same time.

But I really cannot remember a team running around like Duracell rabbits like the Dortmund players. As a result not one of our players had one second of time to think about making a next move. As soon as they got the ball they were surrounded by at least 2 and most of the time even 3 Dortmund players. Even Szczesny was included in the closing down by multiple players. And the amazing thing is that this happened all over the pitch with each player.

I think Arsenal should launch an investigation in to this. There must be a reason for the extreme fitness levels of the Dortmund players. I’m not suggesting that they get something special mixed in their food, I think it us purely down to the Bratwurst. I suspect the Dortmund players to be fed Bratwurst on a daily basis. So what are you waiting for Wenger: change the diet at Colney. Give them Bratwurst!

The consensus after the match amongst the travelling supporters was : the best team on the day won. Period. I could only share that impression based on what I had seen (could see!).

I know the moaners will have a few field days where they can fire the manager in their dreams, sell all the players, buy all new players.  They can take their moans to some other place as far as I’m concerned.

We had a bad day at the office. And they have probably played their best match of the season. These things can happen and when they both happen in the same 90 minutes you get this result. But this was our toughest match of this group stage. We lost where the other teams in this group will also lose points. We have 5 matches to make up for this. We should win our matches against Anderlecht and then win against Galatasaray and that would get us to 9 points. And then we would need one more point to be completely certain of qualification.

Dortmund was impressive today and we were too slow and couldn’t find the needed rest to pass around their pressure. We tried to use the same tactic of last season for a big part of the first half but failed to prevent them from scoring. The goal just before half time lifted them just when I felt they were getting a bit desperate that they might see the same thing happening as last season.

But once they scored they knew that this wouldn’t happen and the second goal (which looked soft to give away from our end) killed us off completely.

Bellerin was not bad at all I thought and he will make it of that I am sure. Time to get back to London. Swallow the bitter pill and then move on to next Saturday. Time to make up for this in the league. I’m sure a few players will want to show what they really are capable off. And we all know they can do better than what they showed last nigh.

Come on you Gunners!

More to follow from Dortmund: all about the Bratwurst and other catering!

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86 Replies to “The first impressions from the Dortmund match”

  1. I know I’ve been absent from Untold for a long time, but I swear I haven’t transformed into a doomer in the meantime 🙂

    All the same, I am feeling very doomy and gloomy about yesterday’s performance, if that word can be used. I know Dortmund were good, but we were terrible.

    I can accept losing, I can accept not being the better team, I can accept missed chances, but I cannot accept the way we played yesterday. We were outplayed because we were outfought. We showed none of our teamwork and determination from last weekend, let alone last season.

    It is this fluctuation in form that worries me. We’re not seeing progression. We get some momentum going and then it seems like we play like we think we’re too good to put in a shift. Like things will just happen for us.

    Yesterday’s performance really stung me, and I’m now looking forward to seeing that it stung the players and the manager too and that they’ll remember that feeling beyond the first few games that go well.

  2. Nice read as usual
    One of the reasons I read Untold is because of its sensible commentary and backing for “under fire” Arsene
    Yes last night from the Telly was disappointing – Just as we were to get to half time goalless – Alan Ex Gooner Smith put the kiss of death with “if Arsenal can get to half time at 0 – 0 they’ll consider it a result” Then for mo reason we give the ball away from a throw in and 1-0 to the team that deserved the lead
    Apparently we had no attempts at goal in the first half – obviously the guy was sitting next to you and couldnt see much!
    Some good play from Wilshere and Welbeck – he made some chances and missed some – I feel he just needs to break his duck and the flood gates will open.
    Good debut ( and it really was) from Bellerin – I work with some Watford fans – they have mixed feeling about his performance last season – but the grapevine he is the next Ashley Cole except on the right.
    However – my worry is that we are still woefully short at the back and this has hit us harder and earlier than I expected – cannot see that this is not going to cost us dearly this season.
    Still if you are a true fan you take the rough with the smooth
    Long term Hector, Isaac and maybe Carl will prove what youth policy really means.
    And yes finally other will loose by a far bigger Margin than 2-O in this cauldron of True fanatical total football – why can’t we create that atmosphere at emirates, Lets all wear red for the return game!!!

  3. PS

    Did not help with the ref disguising himself as a Gooner to get out of the way to every pass to him!!!!!

  4. For only the second time in my life, I switched off an Arsenal game. We were not only abject but stupid as well.

    We could see they were playing a high pressing game yet, instead of switching the play up and going long to our speedy strikers, we played the same, tikitaka style passing in and around our box allowing the Dortmund players to hassle us and force mistakes.

    IF we had gone long sometimes, it would have given their players something to worry about as they could not have all pressed forward like they did, it would have given our strikers something to do.

    For this I blame Wenger. I am his greatest supporter but he failed last night, he should have had the ability to see they were playing a high pressing game against us and adjusted.

    Also, I want our pre game warm up looked at. We start every game at half pace and by the time the players are into the game, we are on the back foot. Something there needs to change. We need to be up and at 100% from the first whistle, not taking 10 minutes to work our way into the game. I remember the old Arsenal would be at it from the get go and sometimes be 3-0 up within 25 minutes.

    Things needs to change and change quickly.

  5. Shard and Will have said it all. We don’t seem to be progressing at all. Apparently we had more possession but that’s useless unless you do something with it.

    Let’s hope we see a different Arsenal against Villa, we really need to win that to stay in touch with Chelsea.

  6. Our bad performance is due to several factors, some direct and some indirect.
    -The referee gave a yellow to Mekhytarian for going down unchallenged, but allowed a lot of very physical play, benefiting the more physical and aggressive team; we are lucky Jack is not badly injured.
    -The spacing of our players was neither good for a direct over-the-top type of offense nor for a more tiki-taka-like type of game. We turned the ball over because the passing channels were always covered, and it seemed that the players could not find each other as movement off the ball was left wanting. I exclude the rookie right-back and Alexis; Jack tried, but was isolated and rotationally made to avoid fouls (Dortmund players are far smarter than your typical Prem Orcs) while Welbeck looked like he forgot his shooting boots. Ozil and Ramsey are suffering from aGiroudia, not too many people realize how that trio carried our offense last season.
    I trust the Boss will not treat this as a blip, and that he will find adequate remedies.

  7. Shard, welcome back, if it helps with something, I live in Seattle, so I’m always 8h late to the party, which is why it seems that I’m going missing for weeks. If only Tony could put back that section that lists the latest posts.

    Other than that, yes, not exactly the best performance we’ve ever seen, but I think even Arsene was expecting to find it difficult to get something – anything – out of this match. The last match of the group, the one away at Galata, became really important. The previous game is away at Stoke RC though, and I really hope we leave in 11 pieces from there. Realistically, we can get 10 points, so qualification shouldn’t be a problem. It’s that first place that makes out life so much easier in the knock-out rounds that proved so difficult to reach. What with the second best team in Bundesliga, who are pretty much settled for a CL spot (where did we see that before?), behind a team that can buy whoever they want in their league (again, any similarity with a well-known and hyped-up league with abject refereeing is purely accidental).

    Looking forward to the Saturday, when the perfume-smelling posts of certain contributors will be rendered laughable, as they always end up being.

  8. One of the buys I always wanted during the transfer window was to buy a strong, holding MF and even today, I state the same. The performance y’day was shambles. Dortmund were running riot and were totally unlucky not to have scored more goals (some credit to Szczesny for making those saves). And what does Wenger state ‘poor display,’ who is to blame for it, I would state the manager’s tactics. Why can’t he give directions to his fullbacks and holding MF (supposedly Arteta) to just sit back around the middle of the pitch. Wenger can’t see what most fans can see, to get a strong, holding MF. The saving grace that the other 2 teams in the group just drew their game. I’m to a very large extent sure that we are not winning anything this season. If we finish 4th this season, that would be an achievement (not for me coz I expected a lot more after we ended our trophy drought by winning the FA cup) for Wenger.

  9. A couple of other points:

    1. We always tend to struggle after WC years.
    2. We are trying to integrate a larger number of new players than usual – this takes time.

    I am confident that things will come right – but we could do without the tough schedule of matches we have coming up.

  10. 1st sensible thing I’ve read on the match last night (including untold amounts of texts etc from my fellow arsenal fan friends), I know why I save this site for last so to finish on a sensible reasoned article before going about my day, thank you once again for keeping me sane.

  11. How can anyone say wenger is doing his best with what hes got, so many mind boggling decisions we’ve become a joke. Nothing makes sense anymore, it really does feel as though wenger has lost his marbles and wants to do the opposite of what every Fan, pundit, Manager and ex Player would do just to prove a point.

  12. I don’t know how a midfield of Arteta,Ramsey,wilshere and Ozil can fail to keep anywhere near the required possession in games.As it is the system we play limits our attacking options but to see us having no control over the game is ridiculous.Now if you see those players they’re all talented,but the honest truth is that none of them have any idea what is to be done.It seems like they play with no confidence.The only thing arteta knows to do is pass back to Mertesacker who passes back to the keeper.Whenever wilshere gets the ball he’s always looking to go past a player or that final pass but not finding it,same with ramsey.And ozil just keeps losing the ball.If next game the system is not changed we might as well not travel for the game.

  13. Thanks Walter for giving me a bit of a laugh after last night’s unfortunate result.

    We’ll be back. I don’t think our world cup winners are quite up to speed yet. I was out and couldn’t watch the match, but I read and heard that Dortmund were pretty physical as well as fast, and dived a bit as well.

    I also think we had really given our all in the 2 – 2 draw to Manchester City, which was also very physical.

    Maybe these things catch up with you.

    On to the next battle.

  14. I think some rationale over last nights performance is required. We play really good football but at our pace. Any top quality manager knows this and our weaknesses were exposed by sheer pace and speed of thought by a supercharged home team. Were they on drugs? No..was the referee against us..doubt it..just incompetent at times. Arteta could have been red carded without touching another player. We had a tough one against Man City and looked jaded. For the first time I doubt Ozil..however he has played a lot of football at the top level in recent months and I believe he is playing through a leg strain. Jack was heavily exposed at times and Dortmund doubled up even to the last minute. They wanted it badly. However it is the first of six matches. It is a defeat but not terminal.. all good sides have an off night. Wenger will never park the bus unless we are down to 10 and hanging onto a expect these sort of results.

  15. looks like either the players do not like, or still adjusting to playing this system. think we either need to alter the approach, or put in some serious hours on the training pitch…the likes of Ramsey and Ozil are clearly struggling with something. terrible performance, but things will get better. yet another injury to a key player………

  16. Shard, your post was …true to your name, a shard of glass in the ass for the team. One of the reasons I visit this site. Direct to the point, no messing about, aind no abuse and stuff. The point is, we were rubbish on the field and even the players know it. They mayii not put it exactly like that though. But, I fail to understand why Wenger played (started) Wilshere, Ozil, and Ramsey owhen he had guys that were fresher, hungrier and had a point or two to prove on the bench. Like Rosicky, The Ox, and Campbell, who didn’t have any part to play in the high-octane, high profile Man City game on Saturday. At least two of the former should have been allowed to contribute from the start, not from the bench. I believe this impacted on the overall tone of the match from the blast of the wistle. Wishere et al were just knackered given their contributions to their countries’ international games mere days before Saturday. The same cannot be said of our captain ithough. In my opinion, Bellerin was a positive, aside from the fact that the scoreline was flattering to us. I find it hard to legislate for Arsene’s error of judgement in his selection, given his pedigree. Yea, many of these players are just learning to play in THIS team, but then itheir adaptability to the game was curious and left much to be desired. I believe we will improve, and respond emphatically. But then, there are many questions that are begging for answers. Like the Campbell and Rosicky-zero-playing-time one. Like the Ozil-must-play-every-match and Wilshere-play-until-you’re- injured tactic. We all wonder what the reason was that prevented us from replacing TV5 and reinforcing in the DM BEFORE the window slammed shut. Questions. I see potential in the team as it is, potential to be very strong and hard to beat for ANY team. Maybe I’m expecting too much too soon…

  17. One of the problems so far has been lack of understanding on the pitch, lack of team cohesion. It’s like players haven’t got used to each other and to the new system. So many passes end behind our players’ back. I guess we are yet to get used to the new system.

  18. maybe we brought too many new players in to the team at the same time. We have 5 new players in Alexis, Debuchy/Bellerin, Chambers, Welbeck. A bit like Tottenham had last season. It takes time to get them going and get them understand each other.
    And unkind injuries to players that had been used to each other and now we suddenly also see the importance of Giroud out there on the field for us. I hope those who were happy when the news of Giroud his injury came out hang their head in shame now.
    I think with his physical presence up front we could have had more to offer last night. (and in other matches)
    This is no criticism on Welbeck mind you because he is a bit of a different player and the team was set up to play with a Giroud kind of central striker.

  19. Stan, maybe he just wants these key players to play through it. But I agree on seeing JC, TR a bit more.
    There is a lot of change at the club, perhaps more than meets they eye. players and the systems are being changed, injuries are not helping, perhaps we are a signing or two short for whatever reason.
    Transition can be unsettling, especially with players that seem a bit jaded….and confused at times.
    There are concerns, defensively, we really seem to have gone back to the bad old days. Anything that is wrong will be put right on the training pitch, this team need a bit of time together, away from the distractions of internationals, or extended summer leave.
    Utd are in a transition now, Liverpool were at the beginning of last season. Chelsea and City done have to worry about transition, they can just buy in who they want when they want, looks like Utd going the same way. We cannot. Wonder if the media will give us as much patience as they have those two clubs.

  20. 1) having a bad day
    2) this system so called 4141 is not working. Switch back to last year4231- 433 whatever you call it. The team will instandly get a very good team and a very strong bench / B team. Also there are already plenty of new players who needs time to understand things. This is not a time to get the old players also confused.

  21. Think Wenger is using the current formation to ensure there is one, and when needed two deep lying MFs….as opposed to the mythical DM monster beast to protect the defence – MA, and when required, Jack or Rambo. But yes, it certainly does not seem to be working as yet, Rambo seems to be struggling, and we are missing his drive in forward positions at the moment.
    Familiarity is clearly an issue… times , as shown in parts of the game against City, things work from an attacking point of view, but for now, it only works in fits and starts…..and certainly, work to do on the defensive side….as shown in virtually all our games this season.
    Wenger will either have to abandon it, change players, or play through it, hoping they dont lose too much confidence.

  22. Following Arsenal’s previous European game I posted my displeasure at the teams performance, even though they won.

    For this I received some posts suggesting that I should move my allegiance to another club if I could not be positive about the Arsenal.

    Should you care to check the backlog of my posts you will find that they are always positive.

    Now that tiny whinge has been aired, let me again say how poorly I thought the team played against another European club, apart from the GK all the players were well below standard (to be fair they tried very hard – but surely that must be a given in any game)

    The team must always do well at the parts of the game that they are good at, in Arsenal’s case pass and move with creative intelligence (in utd’s case, get it wide and get the crosses in)

    What happened between the city game and last night to bring out such a diverse level of performance.

    My opinions are based only on what I see, the TV is always on mute and the washing up done at half time and on the final whistle!!!!

  23. @Walter

    Nice write about about a disappointing performance. You are right to draw attention to the poor access (and therefore egress) to the seating arrangements and the inherent danger in an emergency.

    Like you I was waiting for Dortmund to run out of steam, perhaps the two cheap goals we gifted them kept them going, but I have rarely seen a team with so much energy and I agree, if the source of that energy was legal AW should adopt it.

    The possibility is that we were a bit leggy after the MC match and couldn’t generate that extra spark necessary to cope with the turbo charged Dortmunds – if we were leggy some rotation might have helped.

    I agree with Mandy, the formation is being tweaked & so far the tweak has not worked, the team does need time to settle & adjust – but we can’t afford to drop too many points during the adjustment process. Lets hope for a better performance against the Villans.

  24. Having played a difficult game with Man City on Saturday and with only 2 days intervals to play a big CL game with a bratwurst fed Dortmound players, we should all take this defeat on our chins. Shouldn’t we? If the Gunners had tried to play a high pressing game which they can’t due to the tiredness they got from the City game, they would have conceded more than the 2 goals they conceded. The game might have gone for us, but for the ineptness of Welbeck, we were instead scored. Welbeck is living up to the label of van Gaal of only been able to score scanty goals. Knowing the fact that every team want to beat Arsenal, yet we can’t just be waiting for a particular striker to ready without trying other available options. In this regard, I want to plead with the boss to please consider Akpom and Campbell to start in the away game to Villa on Saturday. He played Bellerin and it worked. Akpom too can work too, moreso as he is currently on song for the youth team. It’s all about form, isn’t it?

  25. what i learnt from Arsenal vs Dortmund is that some problems of last few years have not been addressed. Whenever a team presses us we seem to lose our creativity. Also thought that reaction time i.e. time taken to receive the ball and pass it to a teammate was more than acceptable. Players in the middle of the park were slow. So effective counterattacks could not be started. Ozil on the left sucks. Germany had pacier and lethal players down the middle to run at defenders. left wing is still a liability. From the days of Arshavin no natural pacey left winger has featured for Arsenal.Arteta is super slow to start counters. to counter Dortmund’s pace Ox could have started. These are the problems that persisted last season and also against leicester city this season. Barcelona under Guardiola would hound the opposition when they lost the ball. And one sometimes need to dribble past an opponent when one starts a counter. It opens the defence like a can of tuna. waiting for teammates at that position also brings in opposition players. And why is it that we always seem leggy after a tough fixture?

  26. i think teams like Bayern, Dortmund, Real Mad always plays the high pressing game. Teams just need to attack them on a counter. Yesterday our reaction time did not help us. They had the time to close in on us

  27. Same old same old. I find it bizarre that Wenger has suddenly stated he would like a Vieira type in midfield after the transfer window closes. We’ve needed that sort of player since PV left and everyone seems to have known it except Wenger. Arteta was totally overrun and half the team is still up field when Dortmund attack. Wenger has invented kamikaze football. God knows what destruction Chelsea will reap if we keep playing like that. And why spend a fortune on Ozil and waste him on the wing where he looks out of sorts. He won’t track back because he’s too above that it seems. He’s a no.10, don’t do an Arshavin on him.

    Sanchez is the one shining light, the best player Wenger has bought since Henry. If only some of our other players had his energy and fight.

    Three more years of this as Wenger is unsackable. The challenge for the CL or league will not be happening soon as we don’t have the will from above, the personnel, the tactics or the manager to do so. Fortunately though we have an extremely healthy bank balance.

  28. That is really not acceptable and should be brought to Arsenal’s attention. They seem to have a good relationship with Dortmund.

    Now the game, it was not that Dortmund were running around like hares, but that Arsenal were not doing so.

    Call me crazy if you want, but it did not appear that Arsenal wanted to win the game. Some of the things we did when we played were great, but we just did not do enough of them. Like Gibbs run which nearly was a goal.

    We seemed to fall into a (known)pattern and the players except for 3 of them, stuck rigidly to that pattern AND position,
    which made it easy for Dortmund(and many other teams)to neutralise us. I could not even tell what formation Dtmd were playing, if they were even playing one.

    But no need for despair, as i think we now have the players to play that spontaneous football that we are all longing for, and i hope it all starts to gel soon.

  29. I know the moaners will have a few field days where they can fire the manager in their dreams, sell all the players, buy all new players. They can take their moans to some other place as far as I’m concerned.

    We had a bad day at the office. And they have probably played their best match of the season. These things can happen and when they both happen in the same 90 minutes you get this result.

    another bad day at the office then… and we move on..repeat and rinse

  30. Mandy, its definitely the new players misunderstanding each others movement, just wondering if Wilshire and Ramsey are occupying the same space and Ozil wanting to play behind the forward rather than the left. Yesterday was a horrible game we played poor the ref poor and Dortmund were on drugs of some sort!

  31. wenger should not be blamed for this. He has done enough in my humble opinion to command respect. My only gripe is that three out of the top five were slow to close down and start a counter attack. They did not do enough for me

  32. We have won only two games of the seven we have played. The style of play is absolutely atrocious and I can’t remember the time we actually stood toe to toe against a top team, rather than nick a win. Good job it was dortmun poor finishing that saved us from humiliation because if it was a top four would have conceded at least five e

  33. @sean every team has problems. there are no football teams without a problem. Arsenal have its own problems. but calling for wenger’s head is not going to solve these problems. The problem as it seems to me is that Arsenal players don’t press that much. this can be solved without having to call for wenger’s head. If Costa and Farbegas were to get injured ( not that i wish them injury of any kind.May they play football without ever getting seriously injured) for two months can you imagine where Chelski would be in the league table?

  34. You know, I just read Desmond Kane on Eurosport. I Can’t post there, but if any of you guys with a Yahoo account can go there and comment, please tell him TommieGun says he can shove 2 fingers up his ass.

    Reading him seems like we lost 9-0, what a wanker.


  35. @partha… Whatever it is that Wenger is not getting right tactically is now rubbing off on the players. For five games no or so, our dear manager persists with the idea of changing one of the best midfielders in the world into a winger, even when we have wingers in the team already. Most people felt this is the season Ozil would consolidate on his modest achievements in the midfield with our pacy acquisitions but not our dear coach. As he tried to make a midfielder out of Ramsey in the past, he probably wont give up on doing so in the coming matches. And when his approach is not working, he waits until the 70th minute to make changes.I just dont get it. This can be down to football. ARsene Wenger is very stubborn!

  36. we can play any formation we want, 4-5-1, 2-3-4, 2-3-5, or system, diamond, heart, spade, but the bottom line is if don’t pass to our own players, we will get punished. how many times did we see jack run with the ball, only to loose it, or make that long ball, which did not reach the player and hold on just that long. that goes for Rambo as well. I am not criticizing them, its something that was quite glaring and the management should point this out. if one finds it difficult to play, against such a team, one needs to play simple passes which will keep the confidence up, hold possession and frustrate the opposition and they will make mistakes. instead we started to force the game by trying to be too clever. the 1st goal was lucky as the Dortmound player tried to cut the ball back inside as he know that he was out paced and marked, but as he tried, the ball hit his left foot and went forward, where our defenders were caught out just that fraction. but what’s worrying if that the ball was lobbed behind Arteta and there was massive space between the defence and him, which allowed their forward to run straight to the heart of our defence. the 2nd goal, again straight through the middle of our defence. I will blame [generally I don’t blame players] Arteta as he did not track back at all. you could see him jogging back and hoping the RK blocks the shot.
    the players need to look at the video reply of this game and they will be horrified by their performance. they need to get their act together….and fast.

  37. @sean ramsey is a midfielder. playing them out wide improves their game in the middle. and i have not seen a genuine pacey left winger at Arsenal at the moment. @ gouresh I think the team lacks pace on the left wing and just behind the front man

  38. There is a brilliant piece over at A***blog, posted yesterday. It was a piece on Tim Stillmans column (brilliant blogger btw) but written by a guy called Whitehouse. I urge everyone to read. In it the guy, who knows his football talks about why England are the way they are but also spoke about Wenger in a way that I haven’t heard before but hit me like a bolt of lightening and resonated 110%, esp when talking about our English core. I quote “The concern I have for the development of the English core at Arsenal is that Wenger is not a coach. Wenger is a facilitator of players development. His philosophy is one of allowing the players to create, express and develop. Wenger is not overly concerned or focused on tactics and while he wants to play a ¿tiki-taka¿ style of football, he appears to neglect the key aspect of this approach, POSITIONAL PLAY” In a nutshell our players are technically very good but lack TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE and that sadly comes directly from our Manager. How many of our players actively know what to do instinctively to change a game? How many are tactically astute enough to see the danger e.g BOTH BD’s goals yest, BOTH MC’s goals at wkend? Just two instances but they’re many many more over the years. It is a shocking neglect by AW not to have rectified or addressed the errors we keep making but he sets the team up and they simply follow his now outdated instructions. Shame on you Wenger you keep telling us you’ve had years of managerial and coaching experience but it seems your mind is now becoming a little fuddled and it is plain for all to see you lack TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE!

  39. Walter,
    Giroud is the answer?
    Buying too many is the problem?
    You take of defeat of this magnitude of disarray and extract proof of your old saws. No analysis of what we did/didn’t do – just these bromides.

    Imo, Giroud would have been smothered by Klop’s pace and pressing, as other sides have done to him. And as for too many purchases, do you mean replacing (some of) those who left? has Campbell played? Do you mean that we bought another DM that (you might allow) would be an improvement on Arteta/Flamini in that position? No, that would have been a problem, right? One too many.

    And not a scintilla of analysis of the 4141, either way, which would have been substantive.

  40. “What happened between the city game
    and last night to bring out such a diverse
    level of performance.”

    Isn’t it obvious that you can’t play the same team that suffered through 90 mins against city against a team like Dortmund just two days later. That loss is on our clueless manager

  41. probably the performance against Dortmund would have to go down as a blip. never were Arsenal so outplayed in the last five seasons. I dont think anyone could have envisaged that. So calm down.allow them time.

  42. @partha but this is the exact problem. It’s not just one game is it? It’s been the case since 2005 we have been absolutely trolloped last season and I fear more of the same if this manager does not change anything. His stupidity has now rubbed on to the players who can’t even kick a ball. A draw or a loss against villa will confirm this. You watch.

  43. “probably the performance against
    Dortmund would have to go down as a
    blip. never were Arsenal so outplayed in
    the last five seasons. I dont think anyone
    could have envisaged that. So calm
    down.allow them time.”

    Lol are you kidding??? Did you not watch any of our away games against the top teams last season, or the 8-2 at old Trafford a few seasons back? Hell even Everton bossed us last season. We simply go into every game with no plan at all, and look lost if the other team shows up even half prepared

  44. @Jamie, spot on. Not sure what some of these people have been smoking but the club is on a massive decline and these dopes can’t see it. Scraping past a lowly Palace was the icing on the cake for me. It was then I knew this team does not have it in them to pull of a result against the real teams. And that’s why lister should have won against us.

  45. @ partha: what’s the point in having pace when the pass is not made accurately or if the player cannot use it. pace is important, but not the loss of passing accuracy.
    what we lacked yesterday was some1 on the field to calm them down and go back to basic simple passing.

  46. Eh? The club is on a massive decline? What do you mean by that Sean? The first game of the season, which we won btw, was the icing on the cake for you? What ingredients do you like to put in your cake and what are you on that you not only feel the need to bring up a Liverpudlian quote intended as a jibe at Arsenal, but also express the hope that we should have lost to Leicester as well?

    Great, Maybe we should have lost to City too, and then your hypothesis would be proved once and for all. Too bad we didn’t, but don’t worry, we will next time (or next, or the next, or the next), so then you can be right.

  47. @shard Not sure how every fan, pundit and ex-player can see that Arsenal needed a Centre Back, imposing defensive midfielder and a top class striker in the summer, and despite spending about £80m we bought none of the above to address the obvious flaws in our team. Chambers, Sanchez and Debuchy are all excellent acquisitions in my opinion but if you keep setting yourself up in the same way time and time again and expect things to be different then you are deluded. Wenger has clearly no respect for other teams as he does nothing to prepare for playing the big sides. His famous comments for how to handle Messi in years gone by are just laughable. We wonder why we have no leadership on the pitch? That all stems from the manager. Enough is enough Arsene, you’ve embarrased this great club and its fans once too often.

  48. Here they come. Projecting their unhappiness in life on a club and manager because it’s easier than figuring out what’s really making them unhappy. Whether it be their job or position in life. You just don’t get that angry over a sport. There’s usually something that lies beneath. Gain some perspective.

  49. Sean

    Interesting as that tirade is, it does nothing to explain what you mean by Arsenal being in massive decline. Care to try again?

  50. @vincelome..yes I read that and agree. It is constructive criticism but a red rag to many on this site who will see it as anti arsenal. Once this team beds in and Welbeck, Sanchez and a returning Walcott hit top form…on our day we will be a match for anyone. However there will be a few days and nights like last night but hey you cant have everything. Wenger’s fundamental tactical error is both full backs and attacking midfielders push forward and the space behind is never effectively filled because the back four plays too deep. At times you see Sanchez calling for them to push up. That is why Paddy was a great player under Wenger..he had the freedom of the park and the ability to cover the ground. All top managers exploit that space as did Klopp last night

  51. @Shard

    Good to see you back.

    During your absence, Sean has crawled out from somewhere dark & has taken over as the self appointed resident AAAA prick. (He may have competition as I note Rupert the troll has returned to do a bit of knifing – its first post for a long time).

    As noted earlier the team looked jaded last night and couldn’t raise their game. We have had changes in personnel & formation, with new players to fit in/bond, it will get better, but we need that improvement to be a quick one.

  52. Hi bjtgooner

    I agree, and the reason I am annoyed by yesterday’s performance is because despite our shortcomings, I think we are a very good team with some very good players, which we did not show yesterday. I would have loved a DM, I would have loved Welbeck to be a clinical finisher and possess a great first touch a la Henry, I would love us to have another CB etc etc, but that isn’t really the issue right now. The issue was us not playing to our capabilities.

    The complaint I have with Wenger is a lack of rotation. Not the formation or play Ozil in the centre bit. I would like to see players like the Ox and Rosicky get a start now and then. Of course, I realise the manager has more information, and also that he might just be trying to get the first team familiar with each other quicker. However, I still think we need to shake things up a bit.

  53. Shard, its obvious, of course we are in massive decline.
    Great stadium already built…unlike some clubs I can think of. Some great players, a rather good one about to come back as well, encouraging developments in the youth set up, increases revenues meaning we can push the boat out when Wenger, or his successors can get the right players.
    Oh, nearly forgot to mention. We have a couple shiny pots in the cabinet, unlike last seasons high spending specialist in failure. Shiny pots… even after much of the media and AAA said we would never win again under Wenger.
    Some decline

  54. Going toe to toe with Man City at the weekend was always going to leave its mark, physically, on the team.

    Once you include our busy early season schedule, the late return of some players plus the integration into the team of others then it was inevitable that those demands would add up to a below par performance at some stage.

    That that performance came at the home of possibly the hardest working team in Europe helped to exaggerated how poorly Arsenal had performed.

    Maybe Arsene Wenger should’ve rotated the team a bit more for this game, brought in some more fresh legs but thats easy for Me to say with absolutely no guarantee that the result could’ve been any different. On the day Dortmund were superior in every department.

  55. @partha – speaking of wingers, when Alexis signed, I was mostly pleased with that purchase because I thought we would play him down the left flank and relieve the pressure of Gibbs/Monreal, especially in big matches (in all big away matches we were over-run down our left flank), Campbell – who imposed himself as a work-horse during World Cup – as an option on the right flank (rotated with Chamberlain) until Theo’s return and Giroud down the middle with an option of moving Campbell in some matches down the middle (in a similar way Theo played against Spuds in FA Cup last season).

    I’d like to see Rosicky in the place of Arteta in forthcoming fixtures. I know that he has been an attacking midfielder during his career but his aggression, tenacity and fearless tackling can help our defence.

  56. Sean,
    if like you say enough is enough there are two options: Arsene goes or you go.
    As Arsène is not going the easiest option for you to regain some happiness in your life if to follow another sport. Try bowling I would suggest. It looks rather relaxing… and it will stop you from putting so much hate in your life

  57. Mandy

    But we are in decline because we beat Crystal Palace only at the final whistle and not before through the TKO rule, otherwise known as the Riley rule. Also, Crystal Palace is a figment of your imagination because they are not a real team. Anyone we lose to is. 🙂

  58. Yeah Shard. They just hate Wenger and no matter what will happen they will stay hating him till he is gone. And if we fall in to the MU pattern (I hope not) then they will stay silent of course…

  59. Walter

    You are an eternal optimist. Of course they won’t be silent. They will blame Wenger for leaving us in massive decline and blame the board for robbing us and complain about the highest ticket prices in the world, and about signing/not signing a ‘world class’ player.

  60. Shard
    Welcome back.
    It’s silly to say Arsenal are a club in a decline of course but there are reasons why we aren’t clicking. There seems to be a lack of vision and or a clear plan or execution there of.

    Why buy a £42.3M playmaker, who’s strengths and weaknesses are obvious to anyone familiar with his career and play him to his weaknesses?

    ‘Because when a player like Ozil becomes available then you must act upon it’ ,said Arsen Wenger.

    That’s true but only if you are willing to make the next step, which would be to acquire talent necessary for Ozil to thrive in his natural role.

    Ozil is at his best when fed the ball by a combative midfielder on the brake when defenses are out of position ,so he can pick them apart with his pin point passes. Like it or not , but he will never flourish in an environment where he has to do a lot of tracking back and defending.

    He will never give you 90 productive minutes either . Never has. Playing him for longer than what he’s acostum to is just holding back another squad player , who can easily outperform Ozil in the later minutes of a match.

    That’s only one example but there are many others and I don’t feel the need to go into them right now. There’s been enough negative posts already.


  61. Tom

    Because Ozil came to us to improve.

    We bought Sanchez and Welbeck who would provide the runs for him to pick out. We also have Walcott coming back soon and possibly Campbell in the ranks too for that role. So we have taken the next step.

    We are adapting to a new style of play, one which does not need a central AM. I don’t think it’s working right now, but I think the idea is that it will make us more stable in midfield. Stick or twist would be the question there then. I hope we can switch tactics as required, and change personnel too more regularly. But that has nothing to do with Ozil and his position. He is talented enough, and good enough, and given the freedom to conduct the game from wide as well. He does not deserve a free pass for his lack of defensive effort.

  62. Shard

    ‘Because Ozil came to us to improve.’

    Improve Arsenal or his own game?

    If you mean the latter, then I’m afraid it’s not going to happen.
    He is more likely to go backwards.

  63. GOD! Y’all dont get the point. I think the biggest AAA would agree that getting us through the stadium building period was a great achievement on Wenger’s part, so credit where it is due. But how has anything he has done in the past few seasons showed that he’s the manager to make us one of the top dogs in football again. Given he’s done well this window, but having Arteta and Flamini as our DM options is criminal. Heck I’d rather have Coq playing. So is setting up the same way against Dortmund as we did against the big teams away last year. Honestly its like running into a brick wall again and again

  64. I am back to the forum again. Apart of wanting the boss to try other new legs in the players of Akpom and Campbell for our away game to Villa, I also want to state that, I am not saying the boss should drop Welbeck which I am sure he won’t. But as Welbeck has been struggling to find the net now, Akpom should be tried to see if he will give us goals at Villa park with Welbeck coming from the bench. I think the boss should retain Bellerin at right back until when Debuchy is back and fully fit to play. While Chambers should move to CB and start at Villa. It appears our twins CBs are no longer at the strong level they were last year, with Bfg appearing to be aging and getting slower and disorganized with his defending. While Koscielny might not yet be fully 100% fit from his Achilles. look at how Immobile powered pass him to score us. And Mertesacker poor defending caused us the second goal. I think the boss should identify some specific weak positions in his starting X1 and tackled them before going to Villa.

  65. Walter, sad and deluded(when I can spell my name right, even with the “L” still on!) and thats why I come to this sad and deluded website, where people from cloud 9 hang out!!
    Have you noticed that the things I wrote about in the War and Peace off piece are showing up?In that the AAA etc voices were one of two things, either sadistic (and some old favourite pals have crawled out recently) in nature, or evangelical, in that they want to convince the fools at UA how wrong they are, but the regular posters have all written pretty philosophically about the game and potential wider issues.But as you wrote earlier, these people will never be happy until AWs gone.Probably the same folk that wanted Moyes in.
    Strange thing was that in my experience as a player, theres many more things that affect teams than just having tactics thrown at you, footballs so much about chance, psychological mood,(including are you recovering form a big booze up(etc))the atmosphere at the away ground, the weather( which was weird in NRW last night)and then reacting to the psychological power/weakness of the other team.
    Mind you its the first time we lost in a competitive game since April so no wonder people are upset. What will the X factor generation do when they find out you get old and eventually die?
    Anyway, Im just glad to be a deluded fool in cloud 9 land.
    Wenger out! Kenneth Widmerpool in!
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  66. Tom

    So you’re saying a 24 year old footballer as talented as he is cannot improve at Arsenal? By the way, I wouldn’t mind if he doesn’t but Arsenal do. Is that likely to happen in your prophecy, or are we all doomed anyway?

  67. @Walter….I posted on here a few years ago that it doesn’t matter who Wenger buys, it won’t make any difference as there’s a complacency, arrogance, coupled with a brittleness in big matches, or against small teams like Birmingham, Blackburn or Bradford that is never going to be cured until a new man comes in. When you think of the players Dortmund have sold or were injured last night, compared to our supposed thoroughbreds, who wanted it more? When we have got to the last match of every CL group and we’ve had the capability to come top of the group, Wenger fields a weakened team or by his words indicates that just “qualifying” is enough and guess what? We lose, come second, draw a giant and then go out. But it doesn’t matter as we’ve got the money from participating and then we can concentrate on the holy grail of coming fourth and the same cycle repeats itself again next season. I love this club as I’ve supported and been going since the age of five. I was a season ticket holder for many years am now a silver member. I do do not spend as much money as you or Steve68, but I begrudge throwing hard – earned money at a club, whose manager cons us and a supine Board out of £25m for a three year contract and repeats the same mistakes that he’s made for the past decade. He’s an arrogant, stubborn, has-been, who stupidly thinks he knows best, recruits a dozen midfielders, none of whom can play as an effective defensive anchor, refuses to plug obvious gaps, gives CL debuts to Bellerin and Sanogo last year against Bayern and then says last night we were “average”. If last night was average, I await a “poor” performance with trepidation. Just wait till we play City, United or Chelsea away- what’s the score prediction when we play like last season’s spineless rabble?

  68. Sean,

    Are you okay? The anger you’re projecting onto Wenger such as arrogant, stubborn, and stupidly thinks he knows best can easily be used to describe your own comments. Basically, your pointing out all the deficiencies in Wenger, but you’re really complaining about yourself and you don’t even know it.

  69. Moyes……some of that lot have wanted Owen Coyle in Kenneth. And let’s not even start on some of the players they have called for!

  70. So Linz I take it you have something against not English supporters of Arsenal? Could you answer this question before I allow any more comments from you?

  71. It would seem to me, that the recovering time for some players after a Premier League game, is a complex subject.

    The Arsenal did play at The Emirates, at an early kick-off time. About 72 hours recovery time, subject to travel time.

    As far as I am concerned, the game begins when the players collect at London Colney and go by coach to an airport, or by train or by stay on the coach, according to the itinerary.

    The game finishes when the players return to London Colney, to collect any personal belongings and their cars.

    Team picking is a complicated and scientific matter requiring expert knowledge, and, in my experience, a few bloggers on this site “know bugger all”.

  72. @Dave c my anger is only directed at wenger for making us the brides maid time and time again. I fear we won’t even get there this time around.

  73. I enjoyed the article, its good to have you back Walter.

    I just can’t seem to get upset about this team. I really did not see that much of an issue. Dortmund are good, I like them and their coach has style, all the best to them, the better team won on the day. But why does Dortmund good mean Arsenal bad? Arsenal okay, Arsenal a bit flat? Maybe. Certainly not that bad, really, if we are honest.

    Some of you have alot of patience dealing with AAA trolls and disengenuous sorts. I really cannot be bothered. There are serious problems in the world and generally people have to worry about their lives and livelihoods. Football is a lovely distraction, Arsene and Arsenal turn it to artistic levels at times. This team, this squad, I cannot but be grateful that I can watch the growing pangs of something special.

  74. After reading some of the comments by the vile AAAA , I have this evil urge to go on a hacking spree !
    It did get rid of one piece of shit , the last time !
    Anyway , I’d just would like to find out when and where that survey was done ,you know , “where …every fan, pundit , bloggers and ex-players KNEW that a MONSTER DM was the answer to all Arsenal’s problem ?”
    And WHY was I not consulted , nor included in said survey ? After all I TOO one of those fans .
    pure and Could it be that that statement was unadulterated prime bullshit , or were overseas fans not part of the equation ?
    Feeling quite hurt and pretty low that I don’t matter .
    Sniff , sniff .

  75. This tale also brings tears to me eyes !Are you in any doubt that this man is an AKB ?
    Check it out .

    The Happy Hangover

    Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his company’s Christmas Party. Jack is not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn’t taste like alcohol at all. He had vague memories of being very loud and screaming at his wife. This did NOT promise to be a good morning.

    Jack had to force himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose! Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean.

    He takes the aspirins and cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror.

    Then he notices a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in lipstick: “Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get groceries to make your favorite dinner tonight. I love you, darling! Love, Jillian”

    He stumbles into the kitchen and sure enough, there is a hot breakfast, steaming hot coffee, and the morning newspaper all waiting for him. His son is also at the table, eating. Jack asks, “Son… what happened last night?”

    “Well,” said the son, thoughtfully, “you came home after 3 in the morning, drunk and out of your mind. You fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when you ran into the door.”

    Confused, he asked his son, “So, why is everything in such perfect order and so clean? I have a rose, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me?”

    His son replies, “I don’t know. The only other thing I remember is mom dragging you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, ‘Leave me alone, I’m married!'”

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