Goetze hurts as Song too strong!

Written by FatGingerGooner

Champions League week 5 and ze Germans were the visitors to London town in the form of Borussia Dortmund. Fresh from a fantastic 1-0 win against league rivals Bayern, they came into the game full of confidence and looking for the win that would put them right back in Group F contention. Arsenal, however, were looking for the victory that would see them qualify for the knockout stages.

No real suprises in either line up and the game started as expected. BD were pushing high up the pitch and pressing the home midfield at every opportunity. The Arsenal defence were seeing plenty of the ball but were finding it difficult to get the ball forward,  opting for patience as they knocked the ball from side to side.
The pattern of the game then changed due to a couple of BD injuries. First, the fantastically named Bender was caught by a stray boot and had to be stretchered from the field of play, shortly after, the boy wonder Goetze, who many were looking forward to seeing, was subbed with what appeared to be a dead leg. Unfortunate for BD and the game, but I wasn’t really complaining as he looked threatening early on!
Dortmund had looked dangerous but the loss of 2 key players seemed to effect their game and Arsenal were starting to find a little more space. Walcott, in particular, was starting to look lively. First, he had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, and then some neat play saw him latch onto a through ball but fail to round the onrushing keeper. Then came the most incisive action of the first half as Theo dazzled the full back with a beautiful dummy before collecting the return pass and whipping a delightful cross towards RvP, only for the keeper to stick out a paw and diffuse the situation. It was the best move of a tactical first 45 which saw neither keeper troubled. Surely the second half would see more goalmouth action with both teams needing a win?
No more changes at the break and Dortmund started brightly. Some slick passing down the right resulted in a deflected cross which rolled agonisingly across a packed area but fortunately for the Gunners, straight to the BFG who knocked it out for a corner. A scare, but nothing more. This kicked Arsenal into life. Some neat passing down the left eventually fell to the feet of Song, who showed his strength to hold off one tackle before twirling through 2 more tackles with moves that Robbie Savage would have been proud of, before finally floating a beautiful ball to the back post where captain fantastic did brilliantly well to not only generate power, but also head the ball down and beyond a disappointed keeper. 1-0 to the Arsenal.
The game had finally come to life, and with Dortmund looking a little dejected and tired from their earlier hard work, space was starting to open up for the Arsenal midfield. Song and Ramsey were starting to control the game and it was the later who found Gervinho’s perfectly timed run with a defence splitting pass, and suddenly the Ivorian was clean through on goal. He jinked past the keeper with a fantastic sidestep but should really have been more aware of the defenders getting back, one of which nicked the ball away for a corner just as he was about to pass the ball into the net. Gervinho once again showing little urgency in front of goal, something reminiscent of Kanu and something that will need to change if he is to be an Arsenal great.
More chances followed for the home side with Walcott firing wide and substitute Benayoun just unable to find Walcott at the end of another flowing move. Song was everywhere, Vermaelen was dominant at the back and my new favourite Santos was showing more tricks than David Blain as Arsenal took control. Then, with around 10 minutes left, the brilliant home fans were given a treat as Diaby made his way onto the field for his first appearance of the season. Its great to have him back. Seconds later the Gooners were cheering again as a corner routine reminiscent of Bould and co saw RvP all alone 2 yards out. Game over.
For the last 5 minutes, Djourou replaced Koscielny, and it was his mix up with Song that allowed Dortmund in for a consolation goal, Kagawa tapping in from close range. Szscesny was rightly furious that his clean sheet was taken away at the last, but it meant very little as Arsenal finished the night as group winners.
Overall, Arsenal were excellent. They found it difficult in the first half to find space but that was due to great organisation from Dortmund rather than poor Arsenal play. The second half was a different game and with the tempo of the passing increased, the gunners midfield proved too strong for their German counterparts. A great result against a very capable German outfit.
Oh, and Chelsea lost!
Player ratings:
Szscesny-didn’t have a great deal to do. Made a pretty routine stop at the beginning of the second half and kicking was good throughout 7
Koscielny-saw loads of the ball first half but played a couple of sloppy passes. Looked awkward going forward but solid as always in his defensive work 7
Mertersacker-won a lot of headers, as you would expect, and was his usual calm self. Never looked like making a mistake which is good to see 7
Vermaelen-what else can you say about this fella? Outstanding and commanding. Flicked on for RvP second 8
Santos-he’s dangerous, but my god is he fun! All the tricks you would expect from a Brazilian striker and solid one on one. love him 7.5
Song-outstanding display, espescially second half. His skill for the first goal was class. Would have been full marks had he not gifted Dortmund a consolation goal. MOTM 9
Arteta-along with most of the team he struggled to find space first half, but showed his class and experience in the second. Great corner routine. 7
Ramsey-excellent second half when more space was available. Playing well at the moment and appreciated by his team mates 7.5
Walcott-liveliest player in the first half and caused the Germans problems. solid performance. Great cross in first half 7.5
Gervinho-should have scored when clean through. Goes round people for fun but final ball/finish must improve 7
RvP-2 goals, smart performance rather than outstanding. Linked up well and knows where to be in the box. 8
Benayoun-worked hard as always but showed a bit more of his attacking ability. Great player to have in the squad 7
Djourou-didn’t have much to do and was sold a bit short by Song for the BD goal. Will get slated for the goal but Song should have got rid 6
Diaby-great to have him back. Could be a top player if can get through a season or two without injury 6 

110 Responses to Goetze hurts as Song too strong!

  1. Rasp says:

    Rocky’s comment from the last post……

    Morning All
    Such a fun night.
    As I said, great meeting everyone before the game – and I even bumped into LB again afterwards (he was busy assaulting someone with his bicycle ).

    Song was MoTM for me – fantastic defensive work plus that Brazilian shimmy to set up the first goal.

    But again, the most pleasing thing was the overall team performance and the obvious togetherness of this group of players.

  2. SharkeySure says:

    Aye… twas a lovely night last night for sure !!

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Fantastic match report FGG – fully agree with the scores as well.

  4. froners says:

    Loved every moment of the match. Song was unbelievable. From start to finish he proved why AFC has a better record when he is playing and nothing can be said about RVP! The man is not human!!! Gervinho didn’t have his best game but I still believe in him. This team can beat Man Shitty next week!!!!!

  5. Rasp says:

    Hi froners and welcome. Yep, contrary to popular belief we have quality on a par with last season and much better team spirit and balance to the side.

  6. Double98 says:

    God is a gooner so lets hope we are the only english CL after match day 6.

    Laugh? i’d piss myself!

    Any of you watch the match on RTE last night? the post match analysis was about how arsenal are crap and won’t spend money. how our reliance on RVP is proof that we are crap

    Man City were being held as a role model for them.
    And Liverpool… because as you know they aren’t afraid to waste 85 million on 3 substitutes.

  7. Double98 says:

    If messi had provided that song assist – There would be a national day of celebration in spain with Graham Hunter locked in his bathroom all day.

  8. Danny says:

    It really shows when the same starting eleven starts two matches in a row, I can’t remember the last time that happened. I felt ill when at 1:0 Djourou replaced Koscienly….. Interesting that Benayoun again came on instead of Arshavin…..

  9. Double98 says:

    I liked when RVP had scored his 1st goal he moved to left wing and allowed the other two a run in the middle – watch that in the weeks to come – succession planning or injury protection

  10. Florencia says:

    Amazing gunner the first english team 2 make through!

  11. froners says:

    Im watching all the way from South Africa and supersport was all about how we are a one man team. I say bull shit. Since that money hungry “i am so fcking fabulous” na$$ri left, we struggled but with arteta finding his rhythm and settling in as a great distributor we are a much more balanced team. RVP scores because he gets great ball not because he single handily runs through a team. Our defence can do better but this team as a whole is defo one worth watching!

  12. Rasp says:

    Hi Danny, I must admit to being slightly worried when Djourou came on for kozzer, but I thought I detected a limp as he walked off so maybe he took a knock.

    It would be very nice to start with the same team again on Saturday and be 3 nil up at half time so we could rest players in the 2nd half

  13. Rasp says:


    Couldn’t agree more. I’m pleased na$ri’s gone, I suspect he was a disruptive influence in the dressing room and not a team player. I hope he enjoys watching us progress in the CL when city go out after their next game. Gervinho is much more direct in his play and will grow in confidence with his shooting once a couple hit the back of the net.

  14. Rasp,

    Watching on the box, I thought when Koscielny went to take a throw-in, just before he was subbed, that he looked absolutely knackered.

    What a fantastic display by Alex Song, and people wanted Wenger to buy Parker!

  15. Rasp says:

    Haha LG, there should be a lot of people eating humble pie when it comes to Song – but strangely they seem to have lost their appetite. Its a bonus we can rest players in our last CL game as they all become tired in time playing 2 games a week. The PL really should work out some way to create a mid season break.

  16. itchyballs says:

    double 98-unless you have no choice i don’tknow why you bother to watch those C**ts on rte-in my experience they(pundits) .are so far up manure,liverpools & celtic arses’)it’s unreal-they hate arsenal.always have…

  17. LB says:

    Good report FGG and some good comments, my favourite being Double 98 at 10.20, Graham Hunter irritates the life out of me.

  18. evonne says:

    Good morning Ginger!
    That is one of the best post match analysis I have read on this blog!! Going to print it and archive in the big red folder. How on earth did you manage that at such short notice??

    Well done, love every word of it! What would you like for xmas, Peaches and I are going to chip in for your presie

  19. Rasp,

    The only way to achieve a mid-season break is to reduce the number of teams in the Premiership. That would be like getting turkeys to vote for Chrismas.

    Even then there would be nothing to stop clubs from going on winter tours in order to make up for the lost income from league games.

  20. evonne says:

    the final comment made me smile – oh, and Chelsea lost! We are horrible, our victory made even more enjoyable becasue another team lost 🙂

  21. Rasp says:

    LG, I am very much in favour of reducing the PL to 18, the 4 fewer games would give a 2-3 week break and that would reduce injuries but also benefit the teams with smaller squads.

    Great to meet up again last night. GiE has reminded us that Bunjaku was the name of the player we were searching for.

  22. Rasp says:

    Morning evonne – who are you calling grumpy? 🙄

    Fancy rustling up a target …. I mean candidate, for a post tomorrow since you did such a spiffing job last night?

  23. Fatgingergooner says:

    Hi Evonne,

    Glad u like it.

    I’m getting married next year and I’m dreading the first dance. Is there any way you could hook me up with a dancing lesson with twinkle toes Song!?

    That boys got moves!!!!

  24. Rasp says:

    Hi FGG,

    Thanks for succumbing to evonne’s persuasive charms and producing a top drawer match report.

    I added ‘the whole team’ to the options in the MotM poll because I thought everyone played their part and I was very pleased to see that all the starting players scored 7 and above in your ratings.

  25. evonne says:

    Ginga – you are getting married next year?? Fantastic, congratulations!!
    Unfortunately I have 2 left feet, no connection to Alex (I wish), but give me your postcode and I will do my best to find some dancing lessons in your area

    Once again, thank you for the brilliant write up!!

  26. evonne says:

    Rasp – you 🙂 Don’t take it personally, all men over certain age are grumpy 🙂 See you Saturday?

  27. Rasp says:

    Grumpy moi? 😕 no worries evonne, hope to see you on saturday.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    TV, inadvertently, really hurt Sven Bender badly yesterday. Bender’s jaw got broken and he had an operation on it the same night. Out for at least six weeks apparently. Bender had a good game until then, but that is football. Luckily it was not one of our lads this time!

  29. Evonne,


  30. Fatgingergooner says:


    Looking back at the game I think the first half pleased me more than the second. We were smart, concentrated throughout and gave nothing away. I think the players knew that they could step up the tempo in the second half once BD tired, and so it proved. The whole team was excellent.

    I guess I will just have to blah my way through the dancing, hopefully everyone will be too drunk to notice!

  31. FGG,

    Just don’t take lessons from any dads.

  32. Rasp says:


    You’ll have to subscribe to my new blog. It’s an eclectic mix of football, dancing and women like evonne 😉 It’s called ‘Strictly Come Arsenal’

  33. Carlito11 says:

    Great match report FGG! Lovely to relive the details as the first half was a touch hazy after all the prematch peronis! Finding GiE at halftime and urging him into the empty seat next to mine gave me greater focus second half and woke up our area with the added commitment to getting some songs going! An experience to be repeated I hope!
    Great to meet RL and Irish prematch for the first time. Truly a cracking night! I love the new “fighting Arsenal” mixing a bit of the Graham teams’ spirit with Wenger’s flair! This is a team I love to support!

  34. Rasp says:

    I have to make mention of how fantastic the Dortmund fans were last night. They were everywhere when we came out of the station, but without a hint of animosity.

    A group sidled up to us outside the pub and just wanted to engage in football talk. They were friendly, polite and very knowledgeable about English football. The way they sang as one in the game was awesome – by far the best away supporters I have seen at the Emirates.

  35. RockyLives says:

    Super write-up FGG. I normally like to find at least one thing to quibble with in in a match report, but today I can’t. I am in a state of quibblelessness. You saw the same game that I saw.

    Do you think that opting to bring on Benny instead of AA again is just a tactical decision (Benny being a safer option in a tight game where we’re ahead) or, as I think you’re suggesting, does it give credence to the speculation that our Mini Russki might be gone in January…?

  36. RockyLives says:

    Spot on about the BD fans. I talked to a few of them at King Cross on the way home. They were very gloomy because they said they were definitely unable to qualify now. But having looked at the table I think they’re wrong. if we beat Olympiakos and they beat OM by enough goals, surely they’re through?

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, this is how it stands: BD have a goal difference of -5 and Marseilles +2. The 3 nil loss to Marseilles was the killer, so I doubt they can qualify – shame, I quite like them

    ………………………P. W.. D.. L.. F.. A .GD PTS
    1 Arsenal ……..5 ..3.. 2 ..0.. 6.. 3 ..3.. 11
    2 Marseille ……5.. 2.. 1.. 2.. 4.. 2.. 2.. 7
    3 Olympiakos. 5.. 2.. 0.. 3.. 5.. 5.. 0 ..6
    4 Borussia D.. 5 ..1 ..1.. 3. .4.. 9 .-5.. 4

  38. RockyLives says:

    I suppose they would have to beat OM by four goals… definitely a long shot.

  39. Rasp says:

    I wouldn’t expect Song, RvP, TV, Ramsey and several others from yesterday’s game to travel to Olympiakos so we may not do BD a favour by winning that game. I’d quite happily risk an honourable defeat to protect our best players and give them a much earned rest.

  40. wally says:

    The team keeps building and building. A solid performance against an industrious side. Never really threatened save for Kasgawa early in the second. Koscielny is really coming on as a quality defender who can play across the back. Verminator adding a lot of strength and solidity at the back.
    Who’d have thunk it just a couple of months ago.
    We are playing differently. Mid-field sitting deeper, playing the ball wider and more balls over the top (although last night it looked like they were reverting to the old style of trying to play too much thru the middle).
    RVP on about as good a form as it gets. We need a bit more balance in that area. Need Park or Chamakh to come on and need the midfield to contribute a few goals as well. The Melon needs to produce an end product. Walcott seems to have moved up a level in terms of understanding his strengths (and playing to them) and his teammates have a better feel for where they need to be (on the end of some of these crosses), It’ll be good to have jack back and see where it all goes from there. Song and Gervinho gone for Africa in Jan and the depth will be tested. Probably see more Arshavin at that point.
    Kudos to wenger for making the adjustments. I like this side much more than last years. They feel and look solid. Looking forward to the Citeh game in the CC. That will be another benchmark for us.

  41. Rasp says:

    Good comment wally. I think it is about time the football authorities got together and sorted this problem out with the ACN.

    I’m not an expert on climate constraints and the timetables of foreign leagues, but I believe a ‘world football season’ is viable where we all start and finish our league games at about the same time so competitions like the ACN would not take players away at vital times.

  42. goonermichael says:

    If messi had provided the assist that Song did last night the journos would all be wanking over it and rightly so as they are a bunch of wankers. I sad at half time he was doing well. I like Song, Hope he signs a new contract.

  43. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, nice write up FGG. Saw what I saw….a commendable team display and a disciplined and responsible team getting the job done.

    For one that’s never played CL football Arteta is making it look easy.

    Benayoun is a great asset to bring on from the bench as he provides good passing and good work rate half hour of that is very useful when others have tired.

    I voted the team as MotM as for me that is the most important part of our current form.

    Rasp if you haven’t had an offer yet I’ll put in a post for tomorrow. Know what I want to say just need time tonight to do it.

    Carlito it was good to sit with you second half even if we were “on our own” too often 🙂

    Are those guys sitting behind you there every game? According to them Gervinho is useless and Mertesacker rubbish too.

  44. Rasp says:

    Offer gratefully accepted GiE.

    I voted for the team too, although Song was exceptional and Santos impresses me more each game. RvP is a different class.

  45. Rasp says:

    You think that’s bad GiE? This is what happened to me (and peaches will verify)…..

    When Gerv missed that chance, the guy sitting behind me launched into a ferocious tirade that resulted in him spitting all over my back and the top of my head.

    I gave him a look, and when he’d calmed down he apologised and tried to force £20 into my hand to pay for the dry cleaning. I refused the offer and suggested that he give Gerv a bit more time and he will develop the finishing to compliment his excellent runs.

  46. Fatgingergooner says:

    Hi RL,

    If quiblelessness is not in the dictionary then can we start a petition to get it added!? Brilliant!

    Anyone else think that we are managing our squad much better this year? We seem to be resting players at the right time and are dropping on with the fact that we have finished top of the group with a game in hand.
    Man U, Chelsea and City are all going to have a tough task in the last game while we can sit back and be fresh as a daisy for the league fixtures.

    It’s been 6 years since we last had a fresh squad going into Xmas.

    Also, didn’t November used to be our bogey month!? I love this squad!!!!

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi FGG, just image, we could be the only ones left in the CL and the rest is playing on Thursday night, Channel5 🙂

  48. RockyLives says:

    FIFA should stop the ACN being every two years

    It should be 4 yearly like the Euros.

  49. RockyLives says:

    I voted Song as MoTM.
    My next choice would have been the team

    By the way – the votes are great Rasp. Excellent addition

  50. gunnern5 says:

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned Song setting a new trend in shorts – right leg down, left leg up – it even sounds like a Song.

  51. LB says:

    It seems quite clear to me: if we had needed a goal, Wenger would have sent Arshavin on but as we were in the driving seat, then Benayoun’s abiltiy to keep the ball, always find a red shirt when pasing and put in a tackle here and there was and is more preferable. The thing I like about this is that Wenger is not playing to favourites, it is a very pragmatic approach which is clearly getting results. Can’t wait until Saturday.

  52. harry says:

    Nice one FGG……..pretty well nailed it………

    Great result, Great team game and performance……..

    However, today I am just feeling gutted………..

  53. Rasp says:

    Hi Harry, what’s up? – is your ‘guttedness’ because you weren’t at the game?

  54. Wonderman says:

    Very good match report FGG, just for the record imo Djourou is 90% to blame for their goal. As song is moving towards him he should have gone towards the corner flag therefore giving Song more space to work or the option of the back door. Instead he not only stood and watched him , but preceded to keep the ball in for the Dortmund player to take on and cross for their goal….ABSOLUTE DUMMY!!!

    Also the only players going to ACN will be Gervinho and Chamakh, Song’s Cameroon did not qualify

  55. RockyLives says:

    That’s good. I had assumed we would lose Song, which would have been a blow.

  56. Well it looks like the January transfer window has opened early our new signing, the bloke in the number two shirt, looked a bit useful when he came on. He could become a regular, anybody know if he has injury problems?

  57. RockyLives says:

    LG 🙂

  58. Rasp says:

    LG, he has no problems with injuries – he gets them all the time 😕

  59. LB says:

    Woo, that is good news, Camaroon not in the ACN, didn’t know that.

  60. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Super match report. I voted for the whole team because IMO everyone played their part.

    As has been said this team is more likeable than last season, there are not the vast egos that have plagued us. It really is All for One and One for All with RvP being our D’Artagnan

  61. chas says:

    Great report, FGG.
    I can’t believe you knocked up a report that good in such a short space of time.

    Did you miss the game, hence the ‘gutted’ feeling?

    I love the blink in this clip which shows that the claret-conked Caledonian has registered the word ‘struggling’.
    “Are you serious?”

  62. evonne says:

    Chelsea exploring move to Battersea 🙂 Woof woof !!!

  63. goonermichael says:

    I haven’t watched that clip Chas as I can’t stand the man. He just shows what a wanker he is all the time.

  64. goonermichael says:

    It’s the way you tell them evonne 🙂

  65. evonne says:

    Chas – he fucked off!! Ha ha ha

  66. evonne says:

    Micky!! Micky!!! oi Micky, where are you??? Cooking strange French soups like some old woman!! Micky, talk footy to us!!

  67. evonne says:

    GM – bitches? Yep 🙂

  68. RockyLives says:

    Brilliant Chas.
    There’s a man who’s feeling the pressure.
    That 1-6 against the ManChavs (with ManUre having a full team) must have really gotten to him.

    Meanwhile we, of course, are in crisis.

  69. evonne says:

    GM – I didn’t realise that next Tuesday CC game is v Shitty, damn, I would prefer to go to that one instead of Fulham. I love CC games, it was my first time at Highbury, Carling Cup game.

  70. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas,

    Four blogsites with the same ‘exclusive’ story – there’s a first 🙄

  71. chas says:

    You’d miss meeting Rocky if you didn’t go on Saturday though, Evonne. 🙂

    That’s if you’re still going, Rocky?

  72. harry says:

    Rasp, I was at the game, missed the gathering and the chance to meet rocky and Irishgooner………

    Rocky, you there Saturday?

  73. goonermichael says:

    I’m going evonne. £10 now that is a bargain.

  74. chas says:

    How high is the Verminator off the ground?

    All for one and one for all.

  75. evonne says:

    GM – £46 for Fulham, hardly a bargain. But meeting Rocky should make up for the hefty price.

    Chas – did John go last night? Is he coming on Sat?

  76. RockyLives says:

    I’m going on Saturday.
    Hoping to get along to the Tavern for a while. Can’t miss the chance to meet Evonne, Harry and hopefully some other AA-ers.

  77. RockyLives says:

    Meeting me is not worth 46p, never mind 46 quid.

  78. chas says:

    Evonne, I took John last night. He loved it and said it was a very enjoyable night. Our seats in block 115 upper tier were five seats away from the Dortmund fans in the upper tier. My ears were ringing it was so loud. When they were bouncing up and down the whole upper tier was bouncing in that corner, I haven’t felt that since the North Bank upper used to bounce.

    John is going on Saturday. My older bro is taking him. My younger bro and me are coming down by train first class. Much imbibing is guaranteed to ensue. 🙂

  79. evonne says:

    Chas – lovely jubbly, see you Saturday

    Rocky – that’s not what a little bird told me 🙂

  80. evonne says:

    Video technology to be introduced in EPL next season??!! Have I heard correctly??

  81. harry says:

    Good man Rocky, sorry I missed you last night. Had a mare of a day, only left Derby at 1330 and had to race back, then had tickets to pick up for other people and it left me short of time……..Had my young boy and he didnt want dragging over the other side of the ground to the Tavern. Will have more time on Saturday and will be at the Tavern by 1600hrs………

  82. RockyLives says:

    you don’t want to listen to Rasp 🙂

  83. evonne says:

    Rocky – I don’t

    Harry – the game doesn’t kick off till 17:30, you is going to be pissed!

  84. gunnern5 says:

    Here is a summary of a piece in the Telegraph, looking at the scoring rates of RVP, Messi and Ronaldo during this calendar year.


    Minutes/goal……………. 84.6………..90.2…………..79.6

    Reminds me of a friend of mine who worked for Johnson & Johnson
    (they manufactured Tampax) he told me that their sales slogan was….

    “We’re not number one but we’re right up there”

  85. evonne says:

    Gn5 – those stats prove our Boy Wonder is better than Messi, is that right? He’s the best in my eyes, but I can have biased view of the world when it comes to a certain football club

  86. Carlito11 says:

    GiE- thankfully never heard them before and never seen them either! They got on my wick and I was glad you helped me drown them out! Heard them say gerv is “as lazy as adebayor”! Talk about seeing what you believe! Prejudiced beyond belief!

  87. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sky had the same stats this morning but they only based in on Champions League and League goals (it was better stats for their story because they gave Messi 41 goals in 33 games or close to it).

    That’s proof of how Sky like to manipulate figures to fit the story.

    Carlito – I’m glad, altho I’m also annoyed as I kept my tongue thinking you sit next to them regularly. 🙂

  88. 26may1989 says:

    Evening chums. Some random thoughts before I get some kip:

    Lovely write-up FGG – but you’ve just proved that bullies (evonne) get what they want!

    Am as gutted as Harry to have missed out on meeting so many new AAers – Irish, London and Rocky – I want another chance!

    Even without having been at the game, I really like those Dortmund fans, muchos respect. Since I don’t have a favoured German team, I may even adopt them. There’s a lot to admire about them as fans and as a club.

    I wonder if Steve Bould enjoyed our second goal – after all, how long is it since we saw a goal scored from a near post flick-on??

    @Exile: I think Arteta played CL footy for Rangers. I might be wrong on that though.

    Love that Fergie press conference – what a complete prick that man is, can’t take a mild bit of criticism, and walks out like a child. Pathetic. Anyone in the press or on Sky or ITV taking him to task for his latest bout of self-indulgent sulking? Course not, bunch of cowards.

    And yes, struggling seems a fair description of United’s form in the CL: handed an absolute dolly of a group and they haven’t qualified yet, and could yet drop out. On reflection, struggling is being kind.

    Night all.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. That is very funny (and rude)

    This is the best November since the Invincibles and we have the opportunity to achieve two more wins. I would take a win on Saturday and a draw on Tues (if there are still draws in the CC), but better still would be 2 victories giving us a record of 5 wins 1 draw in Nov.

  90. Big Raddy says:

    26. I commend you for staying up so late last night. You are a true Gooner. Night

  91. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. Micky said he would be away for a couple of days. I think he returns for the weekend

  92. gunnern5 says:

    BR: I think of it as a colourful joke………………………?

  93. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Evening all, Just watched the whole game, thought the better team lost!, but who cares, Arsenal have been the better team most of the time in recent years and lost, it`s all about winning.
    I thought we had great away support,but them Dortmund fans are the dogs do da`s. When we were 1-nil up, they were singing ” you only sing ven your vinning, sing ven your vinning…….. “. brilliant !. 🙂

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    To be fair the Dortmund fans are well rehearsed and assisted ably by a good drummer to beat out the various songs.

    Now I know it wouldn’t do much for last nights atmosphere if the stewards stopped it getting in, but what would the stewards do to me if I turned up at Emirates with a big f’ing drum?

  95. evonne says:

    26 – ha ha ha, yes, I did bully FGG a bit

    Raddy – thank you for reminding me about Micky

    Night all xx

  96. RockyLives says:

    Interesting stats comparing Fabregas and Arteta…


  97. Gooner In Exile says:

    Post in drafts Peaches/Rasp

  98. gunnern5 says:

    Here’s a nice easy start to your day.


    Arsenal 2-1 Dortmund

    Gunners soar with expectation lowered

    November 23, 2011

    By Kevin Palmer

    The prospect of Arsene Wenger’s team becoming the first Premier League side to qualify for the last-16 of the Champions League seemed inconceivable as they stumbled through the first six weeks of this season, yet that is what they managed to achieve with this fine win against the reigning German champions.

    In fact, such was the depth of their despair that those who had cheekily tipped Arsenal to end their seven-year trophy drought by finishing third in Group F and going on to lift the Europa League may have wondered whether they had been a little ambitious in backing a team apparently in terminal decline to reach such ‘heady’ heights so soon.

    Now, after the agony of that horrible 8-2 defeat at Manchester United and what was arguably an even more desperate afternoon that ended in a 4-3 loss against lowly Blackburn at Ewood Park, Arsenal find themselves delighting in a run of form that is being celebrated by supporters whose optimism is slowly edging upwards once again.

    In many ways, the slump in expectations inspired by that early season misery has removed all the pressure from Arsenal, with supporters who had written off this campaign as one that would produce little more than agony daring to believe anything and everything is possible once again.

    Skipper Robin van Persie was their matchwinner once more, with the Dutchman’s two goals taking his tally to a remarkable 38 goals in his last 41 games. A one-man team maybe, but if that man is RVP then throwing all your eggs into his basket is a wise move.

    Still, Arsenal took their time to click into gear against a Dortmund side who threatened to offer a potent threat to their hopes in a closely contested and somewhat dour first half. The Germans may well have edged them in the early exchanges, even though they lost Mario Gotze after half an hour with a knee injury, with their magnificent travelling supporters chanting their way through what proved to be a final night on their Champions League travels. Bouncing and clapping in impressive unison, the yellow-shirted travelling hordes were the stars of the first half.

    Kicking towards their fanatical followers in the second, Shinji Kagawa had a chance to hand Dortmund a flying start when he sliced through the Arsenal defence and was denied by a smart save from Wojciech Szczesny, yet it was to be their final chance to claim the win they needed to keep their qualification hopes on track.

    Uncharacteristic skill saw Alex Song burst past four players to free himself brilliantly on the left flank and stand up a cross that picked out Van Persie at the back post. Inevitably, the form striker in European football made the most of his first chance of the evening as his head was placed perfectly to find a way past Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller.

    Van Persie’s second in the closing stages added icing to the Arsenal cake and Kagawa’s last-gasp consolation counted for little on a night when finding flaws in the Arsenal make up were not necessary. This was a moment for Wenger to gloat in his achievement of sparking a comeback from the brink of his previously unthinkable demise and he did just that as he met the media.

    “We were drawn in a difficult group and when you consider the place we were in at the start of this journey, it’s remarkable that we find ourselves qualified with a game to spare,” said a perfectly-groomed Wenger. “You would not have been wise to bet too much money on us being in this position when we were struggling against Udinese in a play-off a few weeks ago, but we have worked hard to be here.”

    His praise of talisman Van Persie was typically fulsome; he believes the burden of the captaincy has helped rather than hindered his mental approach to the game. “Robin is a guy who focuses completely on football in his life,” he suggested. “He thinks about it night and day and I always believed he could help to turn our season around. He is on an amazing scoring run at this moment and the goals are coming for him without even needing to think.”

    Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp spoke of his side’s ‘lack of application in the final third’ and lamented the early loss through injury of Sven Bender and Mario Gotze, but the truth was his side had not fought hard enough to maintain their Champions League hopes for this season. ‘Must do better’ would be the epitaph of their return to Europe’s biggest stage.

    As for the new-look Arsenal, well they may be relying a little too heavily on Van Persie and it is impossible to ascertain at this point whether this brief run of success can be converted into genuine success in the next few months, but at least Wenger and his troops have navigated a way out of the dark hole they fell into at the start of this season.

    All involved are relieved to be glimpsing some shafts of light once again.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex Song. Song deserved to claim this honour thanks to his moment of magic on the flank that set up Van Persie for his opener. The dribble that preceded his pinpoint cross was delightful.

    ARSENAL VERDICT: Their steady progress shows no sign of waning and with their Champions League commitments all but complete for the next three months, they can focus on their pursuit of a top-four finish in the Premier League. They could just be about to defy their critics and achieve that feat.

    DORTMUND VERDICT: A decent first half fizzled out for the visitors who failed to make the most of the half chances that came their way. Their heads seemed to drop after Van Persie’s first goal and they will have to beat Marseille 4-0 and hope Arsenal beat Olympiakos to secure progress.

    THOMAS THE TANK: The return to fitness of Thomas Vermaelen has given an quick fix to an Arsenal defensive line that looked incapable of keeping out a balloon coming in their direction at half a mile an hour a few weeks ago. They will face sterner tests than Dortmund provided, but even the accident-prone Per Mertesacker looks more secure alongside the impressive Vermaelen.

  99. gunnern5 says:

    More easy reading.


    Gunners on Song again – Alex

    Thursday 24th November 2011 15:36
    Song: Gunners beat Dortmund

    Alex Song feels Arsenal are finally starting to gel into an effective unit – and is sure the squad will continue to push themselves forwards.

    The Gunners beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night with a brace from in-form captain Robin van Persie to become the first English side to secure qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League at the top of Group F with a match to spare.

    Arsene Wenger’s men, fired by the 17 goals of their skipper, are a team transformed from earlier in the season, now having won eight from nine games in all competitions, with the 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford now a distant memory.

    Song – whose powerful run and cross set up Van Persie’s opener at the start of the second half – firmly believes there is more to come.

    “Maybe some people are very hard on Arsenal, I don’t know why,” the Cameroon midfielder said.

    “We want to show everyone is wrong about us and we did very well – but we don’t want to stay in the same situation now and just say, ‘everything is working and we will just keep on like this’.

    “We want to push ourselves to try to look forward.”

    Song, 24, added: “We started really badly, but it is not easy when you have new players – you need to give them time.

    “Everyone tries to help each other and we have very good cohesion, which is important.

    “When you play for a team like Arsenal you just want to finish all the time at the top of the league. That is what we try to do.

    “We know we have the Carling Cup [quarter-final against Manchester City] coming soon and we just have to try to win every single game.”

    Arsenal can now head to Athens for next month’s final group game against Olympiacos safe in the knowledge they will be among the seeds for the last 16, regardless of the result.

    Given how costly failure to do the same last season proved when being drawn against Barcelona, Song revealed: “We didn’t want to make the same mistakes as last time.

    “We needed to finish the job because we know to finish top of the group is very important.”

    The complexities of Arsenal’s potential opponents in the last 16 are still to be played out, while none of their Premier League rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are yet assured of progression.

    However, topping the group does at least provide Wenger with the comfort Arsenal cannot now face Barcelona again. Elsewhere, Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are also through as group winners, along with traditional European heavyweights Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

    Despite eventually being outmanoeuvred by Lionel Messi in the Nou Camp last season, the Gunners produced a memorable display to beat the Spaniards in north London.

    Midfielder Aaron Ramsey sees no reason why Arsenal should not be confident of coming through against any opposition with the form they are in.

    “At home we have done really well and this is the place we want to make our fortress,” Ramsey said.

    “Hopefully that can be the case and I am sure we have given ourselves a good opportunity now.”

    Wales captain Ramsey, 20, added: “We feel like we can beat anybody at the moment with the form we are in, so hopefully we get a good team and we can progress to the next round.”

  100. Gooner In Exile says:

    GN5 nice pleasant reading 🙂

    I spent most of yesterday listening to TalkShite it was great as in the main it was Chelsea fans calling to sack AVB and insisting on the clear out of Terry, Drogba, Lampard, Bosingwa, Malouda and even Cole. Love that they now realise what most of us could see. Enjoy more that the constant change of managers has meant none of them have planned for the future with players instead choosing to get the best of what they have at their disposal.

    The presenters were attempting to get Arsenal fans on to gloat but not many did, I can only assume like some of our favourite blogs that the Arsenal fans that call in prefer to delight in defeat rather than celebrate success.

  101. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    i have had no Internet or land line or mobile connection for 8 days and also no water for 2 ays.I get interner connection early in the morning for a few minutes.

    I wish you all well and Arsenal are on the way up. See you all soon most probably next week.

    The song momement for the first goal will live long in the memory yet the media only talk about Chelsea’s demise.

  102. dandan says:

    Morning all from todays Times:

    Tony Barrett

    Last updated November 25 2011 12:01AM

    Alexandre Song believes that the patience shown by Arsène Wenger and the commitment he maintained to longstanding ideals are the key factors behind Arsenal’s virtually trouble-free progression to the knockout phase of the Champions League.

    In contrast to the travails of the three other English clubs in the competition, Arsenal have made light work of the group stage, with their 2-1 win at home to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night ensuring that they qualified for the last 16 with one game to spare.

    Considering that the season began with Arsenal in apparent crisis after the departures of Samir Nasri, Cesc Fàbregas and Gaël Clichy, and that their poor early-season form did anything but dispel concern that Wenger had lost his way, their exploits in the Champions League and recent resurgence in the Barclays Premier League indicate that such fears were unfounded.

    While it may be difficult for an outsider to equate Arsenal’s present state of tranquillity with the anxiety that surrounded the club just weeks ago, Song, who was one of their most impressive performers against Dortmund, believes that it was always going to be a matter of time before Wenger’s trademark patience was again rewarded.

    “Maybe some people are very hard on Arsenal — I don’t know why,” the midfield player said. “We are just trying to do the job and we are happy to have won and shown everyone that said [Arsenal were finished] that they are wrong. Everything is working and we don’t want just to keep it like this, we want to look forward.

    “We started [the season] very badly and it is not easy when you have new players coming in. You need to give them time and we see that we are not like three or four months ago. We manage very well and we play very well, and we try to help each other out.”

    Song admitted that the loss of some of Arsenal’s key players at the start of the season set the team back, but the Cameroonian now believes that they can build on their upturn in fortune, especially with Abou Diaby making his first appearance of the season against Dortmund and Jack Wilshere still to return.

    “When the season started we lost two big players and it was not easy to have players like Cesc and Nasri missing,” he said. “They were very important, but in football it happens all the time.

    “You need to forget about it and give confidence to the players we have got. Today we are happy about it. We have some players missing, like Jack, and Abou has come back. When everyone comes back, we will be very good and even stronger.

    “Jack is a very good player and we need everyone. When we have everyone fit, we are more strong and confident. We need every player because we have a lot of games. That is why it is important Jack comes back soon because when everyone comes back, we will see another Arsenal play.”

    Arsenal’s Champions League ambitions were derailed last season when they were knocked out by Barcelona, the eventual champions, a fate that they would have avoided had they finished top of their group.

    The three points they earned against Dortmund on Wednesday night means Arsenal are guaranteed to win group F and have thereby eradicated any chance of being drawn against Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, three of the tournament favourites, in the round of 16.

    Given what happened last season, Song is delighted that Arsenal have not repeated the same mistake.

    “We know that it was very important for us to finish the job because to win the group is very important,” he said. “Last season we dropped some points and this season we didn’t want to make the same mistake. Everyone is happy.”

  103. evonne says:

    Hi Kelsey, I didn’t realise the recession has hit Marbella as well. Come back home!!

  104. evonne says:

    Morning Dandan, nice article. Trademark patience with accent of the last syllable 🙂

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey: kekekekeke.

    After all those times of gloating about the weather in your sunny land …….. My Young Friend, I have no sympathy whatsoever, though you are much missed on the site 🙂

  106. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, Kelsey good to hear from you was starting to think you and RA had disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.

  107. chas says:

    Dortmund fans bouncing. Upper tier, too!

    Synchronised clapping. Awesome.


  108. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    ….. New post …….

  109. Just Browsing…

    While I was surfing yesterday I noticed a excellent article about…

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