A Look at Lewandowski

“When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now”

M. Wenger is 64 years old today and as a gift UEFA have given him a mouth watering challenge at THOF; our Professor must be hopping with anticipation at the prospect of pitting his wits against a team and manager who represent the finest in football.

Our season has started (apart from a ref-affected first game) brilliantly. Reflected not only in the points tally but also the possibilities of the team’s future – we are already very good and we are going to be the “couilles de chien”.

Dortmund: Not much to tell you that you don’t know already. They are very good, they are in form, they have a superb defence, a better midfield and a lethal attack ! Klopp will be in the stands following an ill-advised impression of the Ferguson rant  – how was it SAF was never sent off for abusing a 4th official?

I am looking forward to watching Mkhitaryan, the man signed to replace the treacherous, Goetze. And of course the performance of Lewandowski will be under the spotlight, what with the media speculation of a transfer to The Emirates. Cannot see it myself but he is a top striker and we could squeeze him in somewhere!

Last time BD came to THOF we won 2-1 with goals from some fellow whose name I forget. BD beat us in 2002 with a goal from Rosicky, it would only be right for the Little Mozart to score for the righteous tonight (70th mins sub?)

I wrote recently of my admiration for both Subotic and Hummels and how they cope with the wingless Arsenal attack will be one of the keys to the game.

Then there is their fans. It must be wonderful to have such support – our away boys are brilliant but these loonies are on another level completely!

Arsenal: Once again the absence of Walcott’s pace could be costly. I love our tiki-taka but some unadulterated searing speed undoes defences, if nothing else it forces the defenders to sit further of the player.

However, the addition of Özil has brought an added dimension. His headed goal on Saturday came as a result of a lung-busting late run  –  a part of his game which has surprised me. Not only is Mesut brilliant with the ball at his feet and a master of space, he is also an extremely hard worker.

The recent run of success allied to the two CL wins must give the entire squad huge confidence. It is this rather than the personnel which will inspire the team tonight. The return of Cazorla and Arteta brings wizardry, calm and authority to an already fine side.

The development of the understanding between Santi and Mesut will be one of the highlights of the coming seasons. Both hugely intelligent, both two footed (as are we all – no disrespect to uni-peds) and both team players.

I have been wracking my brain to find fault in out attacking play and have decided that we do not score enough goals from outside the area. Can someone remind me of the last time?

The defence remains a concern. We have to start getting some clean sheets or the season may unravel. It is all well and good relying upon the attack to score more than we concede but eventually we will get caught out. Thankfully, it seems that the problem lies in lapses of concentration rather than a deeper lying malaise.

My Team:

a v bd

An attacking team. The bench is getting stronger and amazingly Bendtner is looking threatening. If we are winning on 75 mins expect to see Monreal

Tonight is one of the highlights of this (or any) season. Two teams who are committed to attacking football on a warm autumn evening in a packed, noisy stadium. Given a decent referee it will be a great game. I wish I could categorically state that we will take the points, what I can state without fear of contradiction is that every Arsenal fan watching on television would love to be there.

Win this and we are almost through to the next round.

Written by Big Raddy


118 Responses to A Look at Lewandowski

  1. LB says:

    I can sense your excitement in this one BR.

    Top read.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Rapidly written by a recently returned BR.

    Sorry about truncated writing style – a result of too much rich food and excessive holiday drinking!

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Anyone else getting a WordPress advert in the post?

  4. Norfolk Gooner says:

    All together now!

    Happy birthday to you:
    Happy birthday to you:
    Happy birthday dear Arsene:
    Happy birthday to you.

  5. Gööner In Exile says:

    Good Morning Raddy, you are correct I want to be there!

    The midfield quandary tonight as debated a while yesterday is do we partner Arteta with AN Other, or do we leave Arteta to sit and find some other combination?

    Without doubt Arteta has to become the midfield lynchpin in place of Flamini.

    Norwich’s goal on Saturday highlighted that neither Jack or Aaron are really defensive minded enough to play in DM. Howson ran away from Wilshere who appeared to think no threat, and Aaron could have moved across to help Gibbs but didn’t recognise the danger.

    So neither of those should really be asked to do it, you wouldn’t waste Santi or Ozil there why waste either of those two?

    So perhaps tonight we need to find another system, one that allows the back four to remain well set and Arteta to break up in front.

    I would go for:


    The width provided by Santi and Ozil should mean Gibbs and Sagna don’t have to expose the flanks. If Rambo and Jack can react to each other going/staying, the attacking four (with Jack or Rambo) should have enough about them to find holes to feed Oli.

    Actually think Girouds hold up and work rate will be key tonight, Dortmund like to press high, so the ball needs to stick to Giroud when it will on occasion be played long to relieve pressure.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Top report, and never a truer sentence than “every Arsenal fan watching on television would love to be there”

    This one of those mouth watering encounters. Atmosphere guaranteed. Great football, a certainty. Goals, surely. A win, naturellement 🙂

    Big question remains. Will AW go for the two deeper midfielders, and if so, Jack or Aaron snuggled up next to Arteta?

    I know we discussed this yesterday, so now we shall wait and see.

    Hope you had a great time in Budapest.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GiE

    Just seen your comment. My problem with that is that at some point both Jack and Aaron would be caught out too high, leaving Arteta exposed.

    I’d rather one of the two were given strict orders and maybe even an anchor attached to their ankle 🙂

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done BR, truncated or elongated, elegant as ever.

    I can’t argue with your starting line-up, isn’t it boring when everyone is playing well and the side virtually picks itself, no calls to drop a mid-fielder for passing sideways, no shouts of “just buy us a ‘keeper”. Now the fans are getting worried that the manager WON’T sign a new contract.

    OH! Happy days!

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. What a town! Had a fine time thanks.

    GIE. Your front 6 is how I expect us to line up but knowing our lads it is highly unlikely they will stick to said positions 🙂



  12. Danny says:

    Jack’s goal against WBA was from outside the area……

  13. chas says:

    couilles de chien. 🙂

  14. 26may1989 says:

    Incoherent Nonsense Part I: Harry Redknapp

    “Arsenal are in good form but we may need a reality check. A win [against Dortmund] would have them down in my eyes as a realistic contender to actually win the Champions League. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing an English winner in Europe’s main competition, sadly. I would bet on them reaching the quarter-finals, but it’s hard to see beyond Munich and the two Spanish teams to win it, as well as Dortmund themselves.”

    So, we win tonight and we’re realistic contenders for winning the CL. Except there won’t be an English winner. Hmmmm….

    Incoherent Nonsense Part II: Jose Mourinho re being sent off for losing his rag

    “If I was [at the Cardiff v Chelsea] game and I was paying for my ticket, I would be worried by the fact every time the ball was out or stopped and our opponent had to put the ball back in the game, it took a median of 21.5 seconds. That is a waste of money. You pay your ticket and every time the game stops you have to wait about half a minute? When you multiply that by the number of times the game was stopped … you pay for 90 minutes but you see 55 or 60. For me, that’s breaking the rules. Scoring a goal with a hand, that breaks the rules. Score a goal that was not a goal, as happened in Germany last week [in the game between Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen], that’s not funny. That is a rule. But [on Saturday] someone did an intelligent action.”

    So, it is now English referees’ fault that a referee in the Budesliga awarded a ghost goal? And that has what to do with time-wasting?

    Incoherent Nonsense Part III: Jose Mourinho re Eto’o cheating

    “When I arrived home the first thing I told my kid, who likes to play goalkeeper, was: ‘See the goal and don’t do that, eh?’ And he’s 12. But if, in this moment, Fifa says that it’s a foul, it’s a foul. But I think Samuel did well. Maybe the referee did wrong; I don’t know, to be fair. But in my opinion, that should be allowed as it was for years. No contact with the goalkeeper, nothing to stop the goalkeeper to make a quick kick … even with space he took 30 seconds. The goalkeeper has six seconds to have the ball, correct? They had almost half a minute. That’s breaking the rules. So Samuel didn’t break the rules.”

    So, it’s a foul for a player to nick the ball away from the keeper when he’s bouncing it. Except it wasn’t on Saturday, because Cardiff had been wasting time? OK…………

    We all know that Redknapp lost his marbles a long time ago, but perhaps the Special One is headed off down that path as well.

  15. LB says:


    I like that subtle change to your line up.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks for usual quality pre-match, BR.

    I must say I’m quite looking forward to the game.

  17. 26may1989 says:

    Nice write-up, Raddy.

    Am looking forward to the match of course (even if I do have to go with clients as part of a corporate do…..), but it’s very tough to predict the outcome. We’ve been stellar in the CL so far, but we all know Dortmund deserve complete respect.

    They seem to have adapted to life without Goetze in much the way they adapted to life without Kagawa and Sahin (before his on loan return), and before that to lif without Rosicky. a 7-1-1 record in the Bundesliga isn’t to be sniffed at

    I’m especially looking forward to seeing Gündogan, Lewandowski and Reus, and also Subotic and Hummels – in the Bundesliga highlights programme, the CBs haven’t looked as impervious this season as before, but they remain a great pairing.

    The increasingly German profile of Arsenal makes this fixture even more interesting than in previous years, and I think it will help to keep our team fully motivated.

  18. chas says:

    I was just having a look at some ‘player influence’ diagrams from
    Four Four Two for our last few games and I’m not sure where some of our players play!


    West Brom

  19. chas says:

    Happy Birthday, Monsieur Couilles de Chien


  20. 26may1989 says:

    Indeed, Happy Birthday, Le Prof.

    But perhaps it’s time to buy a suit from somewhere other than M&S.

  21. RA says:

    Very good Post Radish. 🙂

    If that is your cut down or truncated style, I like it just as much as your more usual style!!

    Can I take the opportunity to join in with the previously expressed felicitations and wish Monsieur Wenger;
    ‘joyeux anniversaire, au Chef D’equipe!!’ 🙂

  22. JM says:

    Dortmund will be missing Sebastien Kehl(captain, DM), Lukasz Piszczek (RB) and Ilkay Guendogan (CM). All three are recovering from surgery and injury.

    Which team/who controls the midfield engine room will be crucial to victory in this match.

    Arteta, Ramsey, Oezil vs Sven Bender, Nuri Sahin and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

    The side shows shall be the battle along the flanks:

    Sagna vs Marco Reus,
    Gibbs vs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang(PEA)/ Jakub Blaszczykowski(Kuba)

    Cazorla/ Rosicky vs Kevin Grosskreutz(stand-in RB, a winger by trade)
    Wilshere vs Marcel Schmelzer

  23. RA says:

    It is a slightly unnerving feeling but often reading comments sometime after the event, so to speak, because of the time difference, an odd euphoria has occasionally descended upon me to the extent that I do not feel that I am eavesdropping on a personal and somewhat intimate conversation betwixt Chas and the Lobster Man as it seems to already have been consigned to history.

    On the other hand, and I suppose it is just a case of heavenly balance, it is unsettling to read the comments of 26M and find that I am in almost total agreement with the views he expresses and also share his incredulity about the ludicrous items he brings to our attention, not least the ‘Arry and Maureen interviews.

    I shall have to put a stop to that!! 🙂

  24. chas says:

    What’s our DM doing on the wing?

  25. chas says:

    What’re you on about, RA? 🙂

  26. kelsey says:

    A rare visit from me.

    CL nights are always something special and yet again we should witness an open game, something which has become more prevelant this season in most of our games, as opposed to the Pullis approach.

    IMO we couldn’t be playing Dortmund at a better time. The team are confident, playing with a swagger most of the time and despite the loss of Flamini I fully expect an exciting game with us just edging it.

    To those going I am extremely jealous.

    Raddy I have to take issue with you 🙂 if anything we have had more efforts from just outside the box or thereabouts than for a number of seasons. That comes from confidence,Ramsey and Cazorla are good examples, even Sagna and the new Nicci had an awesome shot on Saturday.

    My only concern would be on the counter attack as Mertesacker and Arteta are not the quickest so Kos may need eyes in the back of his head.

  27. ärnie says:

    Great work, Raddy. As always! 😀 😀

    Promises to be a great experience. Off to Emirates now. Very excited.

    See you soon, chas, peaches, rasp, et al.

  28. chas says:

    See you later arnie and everyone else going.

  29. GoonerB says:

    Great PM Raddy. I actually agree with your starting 11 but I also feel we are morphing into a 4-2-3-1 system, purely because of the types of players we have, and it is actually the system I would prefer to see us to play.

    I feel it is quite similar to the system Bayern adopt where the 2 deeper midfielders both have defensive duties but with one of them playing more a disciplined holding role and one having a bit more box to box licence, a bit like the Schweinsteiger role. I would have Jack for this role with Arteta in the disciplined holding role.

    I feel Jack is adaptable to a more attacking role as well but he is also excellent receiving the ball deeper and driving forwards and doesn’t mind a tackle either, and with all of Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla and Rosicky available it would make more sense to me to play Jack slightly deeper tonight. I would then have the attacking 3 behind Giroud, with Ramsey to the right and Cazorla to the left respectively and look for them to play the fluid interchange of positions that we saw against Napoli.

    I feel this system gives us defensive stability and attacking intent in equal measure and is also more suited to our current crop of AM’s where we don’t really seem to have natural wide AM’s. Look to those 3 to get wide at times but to come inside and interchange with each other also and allow for the FB’s to overlap. The FB’s for us need to get on the overlap tonight IMO if we are to cause them problems and when they do both Arteta and Jack will need to be disciplined and switched on for the counter-attack if our attack breaks down.

    On more thing Raddy:

    “Coilles de chien”? Eh, “The cats earlobe”?

    Toute de mer I say (in my best Del Boy accent)

  30. jnyc says:

    All agreed Raddy. I really have faith in our squad, because Arsene has them confident, not over confident. I believe we can handle setbacks and adversity, but our players expect to win and they play very hard, Ramsey being a leader. Champions mentality.

  31. RA says:

    Hi Chas, 🙂

    I averted my eyes this morning (US Time) when I read you and Micky had had a detailed discussion regarding piles and the application of cream to the afflicted area.

    As I said, I cast my eyes down so as not to intrude on a private moment, so I am not quite sure who had the piles and who was applying the medication!! 🙂

    I have often wondered why GIE, the third member of the Breakfast Club triumvirate, liked to stand at the Emirates! 🙂

    Of course you could have been talking about Evonne …….

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Hello everybody.

    It’s great to see Kelsey back on the blog I’ve missed his sage comments, I don’t always agree with his point of view but he is polite and consistent in his beliefs. Welcome back my friend.

    I also worry about the counter attack as we always appear vulnerable to fast breakaways down the wings. Not having Flamini in the side is a huge loss, he is a non stop dynamo and is as, if not more, commanding/demanding than our Captain.

    I hope for a home win as that would, all but, seal our entry into the last sixteen but I would settle for a draw as that would keep us three points ahead of Dortmund, and if Marseille (at home) beat Napoli we will be four points ahead of both of them them.

  33. LB says:

    Is there Turkish food involved tonight or is it just alcoholic beverages in the Tavern?

  34. Gööner In Exile says:

    Good afternoon all, just about to set off home for MK and was thinking about our defensive middle.

    Flamini will leave a rather large hole tonight I fear. What I think he has given us is the desire to win the ball back earlier (further up the pitch). When Arteta plays as the DM he almost plays as a midfield sweeper, dropping back and trying to read the game. Flamster is far more proactive (see where he picks up his injury on Saturday).

    Before he reappeared our defensive tactic was falling back into our own half and allowing teams territorial advantage. What Flamini has managed to do is target the ball as high up the pitch as possible, this then means we haven’t got to work through 100 odd yards to get in a goal scoring position. It has also encouraged others to mdi the sane.

    So tonight we need the four ahead of Arteta to be going for tackles in their half of the pitch, even if Flamini is not there to show how.

  35. Räsp says:

    Hi LB, yes, we’re planning to be at Yildiz just before 6, do join us

  36. Räsp says:

    Top notch PM Raddy. We’re sure to see some great football this evening. If we’re both on our game I predict a narrow 1 goal win to the good guys. If either side underperforms, the other has the ability to punish them.

    I’m quite happy that no-one sees us as serious contenders of the EPL or CL, a few more wins though and before we know it we’ll be certs for both and that is a pressure we can do without.

    The game will be won or lost in the midfield and we have the better 5, so we just need to concentrate and keep it tight and keep patiently probing until an opportunity arises.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Getting over-excited. Need a Tuborg and a lie-down.

    p.s. Best line in the post was the uni-ped 🙂 )

  38. California Gooner says:

    Hi Raddy, keep calm! I wish I were watching this one with you… but I’ll be in the cafeteria at work, checking it out on a laptop instead. It looks like I might be able to catch a game or two in Copenhagen next spring. Fingers crossed.

  39. dhakka09 says:

    Excellent post, BR. All that’s left is for our boys to go and have a cracking game (honestly, I’d have rather preferred this to have been the CL Final, hopefully it will eventually be the case) COYG 🙂

  40. dhakka09 says:

    BR: I used to watch Tuborg commercials in my childhood and I remember thinking that ‘it must be the biggest beer in the whole world’ haha

  41. Big Raddy says:

    D09 🙂

    Lie down and Tuborg done. Now to cook a lucky asparagus risotto and then kick off.

    CG. Great to hear from you. Looking forward to your visit.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    You heartless bastards :@

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. You stuck on a train, gameless, and those bastards tucking into excellent food, convivial company and then an autumnal evening at The Ems.

    Doesn’t seem right

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:


  45. Big Raddy says:

    Looks like I am on my own some tonight.

    Could be stressful …

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Doesn’t seem right!!!!!
    That’s the understatement of the bloody century
    They’re sitting in Our chairs, eating our food, drinking our beer then watching our team
    Opera House?

  47. Gööner In Exile says:

    Home in time to watch Ian Wright cracking up at Keanes response to Fergies book….”Ferguson wouldn’t know the meaning of the word loyalty”

    Ian finding it all very ROLFsome.

    Pre match ciggy so missing Klopp/Wenger piece. Will have to catch up on that later. Can’t dislike Klopp at all.

    Really looking forward to the game….I’ll take a point right now.

    It’s always said win your three home games to qualify, we’re ahead of the curve with the away win at Marseille under the belt. A defeat wouldn’t be a disaster tonight but a win will be fantastic.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Ah great, some company.

    No-one predicted a starting return for TR.

    We haven’t got going yet and BD looking strong.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Bolleux. Unlike AR.

  50. dhakka09 says:

    Oh Ramsey; what’s done is done 😦 Now keep your head up and atone for that error like we know you can 🙂

  51. dhakka09 says:

    Like commentator said “and just like that, Arsenal are back in business” 😀

  52. Gööner In Exile says:

    45 minutes with no injury time….tells it’s own story.

    Rambo should have just cleared lines but it’s not how Wenger asks a team to play. So he was looking for a red shirt which he couldn’t find.

    Other than that Dortmund have been reduced to long range hits.

    Good spirit shown to find our way back into the game….something not ticking quite right through the middle of the park.

    Giroud did well to pressure Sagna’s cross…seem to remember their keeper was a bit susceptible last season too. Keep playing those kind of balls.

  53. Gonna need a volunteer for a match report please

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Well, I would take going in level after a half where we wre outplayed for 35 mins.

    It took time for the midfiled to cope but TR and Arteta have shown the way.

    I love the way OG pressurizes defenders and he deserved his goal.

    Should be a very exciting second half and right now I would definitely take the point.

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    Gibbs having a good game.

    Dortmund will come out for another 15 minutes of press but they already tired towards the end of that half allowing us space. Weather the first 15 minutes and then have areal go.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry lads
    I’m bad company due to 3rd world mobile coverage
    Three points coming up 😉

  57. TT says:

    Good start

  58. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. You know your football!

    They are all over us but even Germans cannot maintain this level of effort.

  59. TT says:

    Cazorla magic time. Wilshere was a bit off, but then the whole midfield is a bit off tonight

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Theyre not that much better than Norwich
    So two quick goals should do it 🙂

  61. Big Raddy says:

    This referee is giving us notHing. Definite red card for elbow on Kos and nothing wrong with the Merts header.

    Probably a Porsche waiting outside the stadium

  62. TT says:

    Hope your compatriot can pull it back, BR

  63. Big Raddy says:

    BD mamy have shaded the game but this ref is a total tool.

    To be fair, BD have been the better side and took both their chances in a game where chances were at a premium.

    Arteta was my MoM.

    Disappointed but it was a very interesting match.

  64. TT says:

    The telegraph lines were down today

  65. Big Raddy says:

    TT did he touch the ball?

  66. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well that’s a bit of a kicker.

    Just when it looked like we could nick a winner ourselves we over commit and it ends up in our net.

    Can’t really be too disappointed in the performance. I thought we did well especially once Santi was on the pitch and TR7 dropped that bit deeper. We were creating and if Santi’s effort had found top corner we would have had the win. That’s football at the highest level I guess.

  67. TT says:

    Agreed Captain Lego Hair did a fine job, BR

  68. TT says:

    Don’t think he did, BR.

  69. Shard says:

    So frustrating!! We were the better team in the second half and were looking likelier to win. Gibbs spent just that split second extra tracking the wrong player and so their impossibly named RB got time to put in the cross for Lewandowski, who in his frustration had deliberately elbowed Koscielny, and probably should have been sent off.

    Such a shame. 3 points, or even a draw today would have left us feeling much more comfortable in the group, especially with such a tough run of fixtures coming up. We’ll see our squad strength tested in the next few weeks. Hopefully Poldi, Ox and Walcott will be back soon.

    Plus, although it’s good natured and respectful at this stage, I sense an undercurrent of genuine rivalry growing with Dortmund. They’ve beaten us at our home today, and we should look to get revenge. Trouble is it’s going to be tough to beat Liverpool, them, and then beat ManU. Ugh. I’m feeling frustrated right now.

  70. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    It’s a real shame that Gibbs took the wrong option at that single moment.

    Overall I think that is a test we have passed.

    ITV in their post game analysis have not bothered to show Rosickys shot cleared off the line, cos it simply doesn’t fit their ‘Arsenal didn’t do enough’ storyboard.

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard I think there has to be a mutual respect between the teams, I thought we were evenly matched we approach the game slightly differently, in terms of in and out of possession. Their way nicked it tonight, but this was a even contest the stats (I know!?!) agree.

    They edged us on goals (I know the most important one) and shots on target, and territorially. We won pretty much every other major stat. And I think the territory is because the difference in approach without the ball.

    It also seemed we were better when TR7 went deeper….we made better use of the ball from centre backs. Something Wenger should keep in mind when we face the Dippers.

  72. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    No apology required for that PM, Randy.

  73. Shard says:


    I would have started Rosicky deeper anyway. And Ramsey seemed a little tired. Just missing that little bit of speed of movement. No, I get that, and I think we did quite well today, except for a couple of errors. I also think we were unlucky with the referee a few times. And I respect Dortmund as a club, as well as their style of play. Maybe it was Lewandowski’s cheapshot, but I get the feeling that there is some nastiness lurking behind all the niceties that Dortmund show us. Sahin also had a slight dig pre-match, and I don’t know. I just want us to not let our respect stop us from being ruthless and even a bit scruffy, if needed. Arteta was fantastic today, but In that respect, maybe we did miss Flamini after all.

  74. Hi all

    Home from the game now, got absolutely soaked to the skin, feeling a bit sad about the result, I thought we were a bit naive at the end and let them control the last minutes of the game too easily.

    Who fancies writing a small something for tomorrow’s post?

  75. RockyLives says:

    Only saw the second half, but I’m surprised people are slating Gibbs for the BD winner.

    My culprit would be Sagna.

    Anyway, over (and based purely on the second half) BD were the better team and deserved the win.

    I have absolutely no doubt that we will thrash them in Dortmund.

  76. arnie says:

    Absolutely gutted with the way we were bossed on the field and lost the game. But also delighted to see a very good game played by two fantastic teams. And in the fantastic company of Chas and Ant. Met Peaches, Rasp and co only briefly, but it was great to put names to faces. Thanks a lot. The atmosphere in the ground was very good, if somewhat deflated in the face of a great Dortmund show on the field, and the start-to-end continuous show by the supporters.

    Back to the game. Just two brief points. First, credit where it is due. Fantastic zonal marking by BD. Our attacking performance was slightly jaded as well. But the big miss yesterday was Flamster. Gibbs and Sagna gave their wingers too much space. Mert and Kos were good, Arteta was brilliant, but we still gave away too much space.

    Second, we have to do it the hard way now. We always make it diffiucult for us. Remember the recovery in the second half of last season? Remember the fight we showed in Munich? We have to do the same again, and we will see what steel the team is made of. At least there was some reality check. We did not expect a cakewalk against the CL runners-up, did we? We have to wind in Dortmund, and I am sure we will. That way we will have 3 points from the two games. We did it in Munich, and we will do it again in Dortmund.

    And, just to remind ourselves, we are still top of the League. Yes, strange it may sound, but we are top of our CL Group as well, and a tough group at that!!!!

    On with the show! Go on the Arsenal!!!!

  77. arnie says:

    I meant, faces to names!!!! 😀 😀

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Glad you enjoyed the whole evening. So upset I wasn’t there myself.
    Cannot wait to go to the return game with Raddy. I genuinely think we can win.

    I watched the game on a very very broken stream on a train, so it’s hard to comment, but with a more controlled centre of Flamini and Arteta, wouldn’t we have won? 🙂

    As to the debate we had as to who should sit deeper with Arteta, Jack or Aaron, the answer is neither in my book.

    I think we over-estimated them. Let’s go to their gaff and do our ‘ting 🙂

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The big question is: who ate MY kebab?

  80. Shard says:

    Good morning,

    I feel a little better about the result although I am frustrated by people who will inevitably say that Arsenal failed their FIRST real test.

    The more I think of it, the more I think we were playing with many of our players fatigued. Ramsey was the most obvious one (Flamini’s injury meant he couldn’t be rested against Norwich) Cazorla was considered not fit enough to start the game. Rosicky apparently let Lewandowski run past him for the goal. We just struggled to get going in the first half and I think as much as Dortmund pressed well, it is indicative of our lack of sharpness that we couldn’t play around it.

    I’m not too disappointed by our performance, and if Santi’s shot is 6 inches to the left, we would likely have won the game. After they scored their second goal, we didn’t play like we believed we could score. That is understandable, but we should have been giving everything to fight back. But maybe we really were that fatigued. It’ll be a test now as to how we bounce back from this. Sometimes teams forget how to respond to a loss. Luckily Crystal Palace might be an ideal game to do that in, just before some tough matches to come. When are our injured players coming back?

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Shard

    I think we know from the Villa game how we’ll react to a defeat, so I’m not worried about that.

    My biggest concern is coming third in our group, and having our season plagued by Thursday night football.

    Let’s face it, a win against Marseille and a point away to Naples could be enough.

    So the away win in Dortmund would seal it 🙂

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Okedoke, the reason I had to charge back from London was that I now have to hurtle down into darkest Cornwall.

    Back this evening. Chins up Fellas 🙂

  83. Shard says:


    Would you advocate playing the youths and reserves against Chelsea in the league cup to try and maintain some freshness in the squad for the Liverpool, Dortmund and ManU games?

  84. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    It appears this is one of those games where we all saw it differently.

    Personally I don’t feel Dortmund bossed us at all. I feel like it was an even match. Munich bossed us last season, if Szczesny had made 5 or more saves theni might agree fact ishe didn’t. Neither team were dominant for the whole game, or even a half.

    We gave away one by trying to pass out of defence. We lost the second trying to get a win ourselves. What a different story it would have been if Cazorla’s shot had found the net.

    But my only bone of contention is going for the win. A draw would have kept Dortmund on 4 points and us on 7 with 3 to play, the group would have looked far better this morning. I still think a draw and a win will see us qualify.

  85. Shard says:


    I think we’ll get through, but my hope was that we would get to rest some players in the CL, having done the job early. As it is, we’re probably not going to be able to do that.

    As for the reading of the game, I agree with you. There’s no way I feel we were bossed by Dortmund at all. Which is actually why I’m feeling so frustrated. If anything, I felt we shaded it on performance. Except for the defensive errors. If we’d been bossed it would be just a question of saying we lost to a better team. Don’t think that was the case yesterday.

    Oh and Micky,

    The difference between responding to a loss against Villa is that it was a loss against a team we should be beating (who also had the referee playing for them), as opposed to a loss against a high caliber team. The latter can lead to more doubts in the team as to how good they really are. They know the are better than Villa. Do they believe they are better than Dortmund?

  86. Morning all

    Has anyone got time to put together a few words about the game for a post this morning? It doesn’t have to be a thesis just cover enough points to start the chat off for the day.

  87. Germany’s top two have come to the Emirates and won, and Dortmund won with the type of goal we have seen so many times it’s tiring. If Cazorla’s shot had gone in, if Ramsey hadn’t tried to dribble his way out of defence, if only Hummels hadn’t been on the line, if only we’d kept our defensive discipline… Whenever Arsenal play a side of any real quality, we’re always left with the same line…if only. Let’s face it, it is more fundamental than just being forever unlucky. No, Arsenal weren’t bossed off the park last night, but Dortmund knew exactly when to strike, and that is more concerning than the result because it happens far too frequently.
    When did we last beat any quality opposition when it mattered?
    Cue a million and one excuses and passive acceptance from the usual suspects.

  88. chas says:

    Great to meet arnie last night, a real gent.
    I think we could have quite easily won 2-1 rather than lost 2-1, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I. 🙂

    peaches, why don’t you use WaTA’s comment as the post?

  89. Räsp says:

    Morning all,

    I’m not too disappointed, I do think the best team won on the night (just) but if we’d had Walcott and Flamini in the side we would have won. Gibbs is obviously under orders to defend first as he didn’t get behind their FB as often as I’d like to see. I agree we looked tired and Ramsey was a bit behind the pace of the game. We have to get a draw at least away at BD now or be faced with the prospect of having to beat Napoli away to qualify. We should have shut up shop with 15 to go and settled for the draw, that would have left us in a much better position.

  90. chas says:

  91. Gööner In Exile says:

    In drafts peaches.

  92. Räsp says:

    Dortmund pressed higher up the pitch than us in the first half and won more of the 50/50 battles, we came out with more fight in the second half and definitely looked the better side for long spells. There were signs they were tiring, but there is always the chance you’ll fall for the sucker punch. That is why Lewandowski is so highly rated, he made the difference.

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    As I said at half-time I would have happily taken the draw.

    I believe it was part of our tactics to sit back in the first half and then go hell for leather in the final 30. Sometimes t works and sometimes it doesn’t.

    The fact that we were the equal to one of the best sides in the world bodes well.

  94. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas 442 stats are very interesting.

    Arsenal 24/24 Dortmund 39/39

    That’s clearances.

  95. It works against lesser opposition, BR, hardly ever against a side with a bit of quality. If it worked sometimes against quality sides, we’d have more to show for the last eight years efforts.
    It’s not as though Arsenal fielded a youthful inexperienced side last night, they should all know how to get the job done by now.

  96. Shard says:

    “Whenever Arsenal play a side of any real quality, …… When did we last beat any quality opposition when it mattered?”


    Define ‘real quality’, and let me know when you think it matters and when it doesn’t?

    Results are the most important thing, but an analysis that doesn’t berate Arsenal for losing doesn’t equate to ‘a million and one excuses and passive acceptance’ There’s a lot of nuance you miss in the stuff said from ‘the usual suspects’, and not surprisingly, in the game too.

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard save your forehead.

  98. Shard says:


    So Arsenal should never ever lose another match because they aren’t an inexperienced side anymore? And because they lost to a team of ‘real quality’ that is even worse because it shows them up as being not good enough. But when they lose to less quality teams then that is also bad as it shows them as being ‘mentally weak’ or whatever epithet you want to attach to them.

    If every loss evokes memories of your 8 years of despair, maybe the one making excuses are not the usual suspects but the man in your mirror?

  99. Shard says:

    I’m off soon enough GIE, but it’s ridiculous to bring up 8 years blah blah after every result that isn’t perfect, and to pan any analysis that looks beyond the ‘We suck’ argument. It needs to be said.

  100. There’s a New Post ………….

  101. Räsp says:

    Bayern are a better side than BD and we beat them away last year. I think BD played around their best yesterday and sadly a few of our players underperformed, I’d still back our best side to beat theirs if we’re on our game.

  102. Shard, when was the last time we beat a true European giant when it counted? MU? Bayern Munich (apart from the ‘dead-rubber’ return)? Same for Milan the year before. Chelsea took six points off us last year, and even when we beat them 5-3 at the Bridge they trumped us by winning the CL. We’ve been knocked-out of CL by three of our PL rivals – all winners of the competition, that’s how you measure quality. Clubs that seize the momentum to go on and win major prizes.
    The size and stature of Arsenal (who according to Deloitte’s and Forbes dwarfs clubs such as Dortmund), doesn’t correlate with the lack of on-field success. Arsenal have been good for a long time, but they’re not great. If for example UEFA initiated a ‘Super League’ of Europe’s top 20 club’s, we’d be invited in terms of our size, but I’m not sure we’d be there if we were relying purely on the merits of our football success.
    When it matters? An 83rd minute winner which completely took the wind out of our sails, and undid all that had gone on in the 82 minutes before, is when it matters. We never seem to see Arsenal reversing that trend, do we.

  103. Shard says:


    Well, not if you keep discounting our victories by calling them dead rubbers or as immaterial because they won against someone else sometime in the future. You do remember that there was a time in those 8 years that we were winning against the likes of ManU in the league, doing well against the big sides in the league but not the rest, and beating Milan away, Real away, beating Barcelona in the CL?

    If in every game you want to see a reflection of the past 8 years or whatever arbitrary number that suits your agenda, that’s fine. But don’t pretend your ‘analysis’ is better than the ‘usual suspects’ who don’t look to portray Arsenal as inferior.

    Yes, we haven’t won the CL. Say we had won the CL in 2006, or the league in 2008, or the league cup in 2011, but the game yesterday had gone exactly like it did. Would your analysis be the same? I doubt it. Because you don’t analyse a game. You seek evidence of your reading of history in every game, and you simply discount everything that doesn’t fit into that. Every win (and there have been a lot of those recently, including against sides who were considered ‘real quality’ before the game, only to not be considered so later because we dispatched them easily) doesn’t reflect us becoming the Invincibles again, just like every loss is not a cause for going ‘woe is us and our lack of trophies’. At least it shouldn’t be.

  104. Historically, Shard, for the size of club Arsenal are, they are massive under-achievers, and last night’s result endorses that further.
    Winning the odd league game against MU doesn’t change that. Did it lead to anything significant?
    The last time we did anything of real significance was when we mugged MU of the FA Cup on penalties in 2005. Since then? Gooner In Exile’s headline Post could sum up Arsenal’s last eight years… always being ‘edged out’.

  105. Shard says:

    Ok last message to you WATA

    Firstly, you’re doing it again. One match, does not show anything about 8 years, 20 years, or anything else you might have to say historically. But even if only trophies are significant, this match doesn’t take away our chance at a trophy any more than winning it would have made it more likely. Why is it ok to say winning is insignificant but losing isn’t? That’s double standards.

    Secondly, why would you say we are underachievers? What determines our ‘size’? Deloitte? Do you know on what basis they rank us where they do? I would guess not because if that is your basis of our ‘size’ and hence your measure of what we can achieve, you most definitely have to reconsider whether we’ve done anything significant in the last 8 years. Our size in the Deloitte rankings comes from what we have done in the past 10 years. We’ve not underachieved. We’ve achieved that ‘size’ precisely BECAUSE of what we’ve done.

    And if what you mean by size is our historical trophies. Then either we are a big club or we’re not. If we are a big club, then we’ve achieved plenty. So how can you say underachievement unless you’re acting like you’re entitled to everything? If we’re not achieved enough then we can’t be a big club and you can’t say we’ve underachieved.

    And if by size you mean the size of our following. If we’re constantly underachieving in terms of winning trophies, then why do we still have an associated following? Maybe because trophies are not the only significant thing in football?

    See any of the contradictions in your logic? There are at least 4.

    That you hold a view is perfectly fine. But that you hold a view based on faulty logic, and then sanctimoniously come on and put down others for not sharing it, is not.

    Show me how in dissecting your logic, my logic is wrong, and I might reconsider my stance, as well as the futility of engaging in any debate with you. For now, I’m done. I have other things to worry about.

  106. You’ve missed the point I was trying to make, Shard, no surprise there.
    To explain what I mean, it’s like there are two separate Arsenal’s.
    There’s the Financial Arsenal, which Deloittes says is the fourth richest football club in the world. Only MU, Real Madrid and Barcelona are above Arsenal, and of the top ten in that list, only Arsenal have failed to win the CL. Then there’s the footballing Arsenal. Do you see the correlation? MU have 20 titles and three European Cups/CL, Real Madrid have 9 EC/CL, Barcelona have 4 EC/CL. Bayern Munich have 5 European Cups/CL. Do you see how the overall wealth of a football club manifests into on-field success, or do you not get that?
    Being an Arsenal fan, you must know that Arsenal are the original ‘Bank of England’ club? In other words, we’ve always had plenty of money. Success has become somewhat skewed, because finishing fourth has now become vastly more important than winning either an FA Cup or League Cup, though Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City even Tottenham have won those cups since Arsenal last won anything.
    So if we’re getting the financial side of things right, our lack of genuine football success must be down to people making the wrong decisions at crucial moments. We’ve had the same manager for the last 17 years, and whilst most of his decisions worked in Arsenal’s favour prior to leaving Highbury, since moving to The Emirates, a lot of his judgements have been exposed as being poor. History would have absolutely no relevance whatsoever IF we had changed manager’s recently, but we’re stuck in a loop, with the same manager making the same error-prone decisions. We don’t cut it at the top level and in the big matches when there’s something riding on the outcome, we always come up short. Any theories on why that continually happens?

  107. Shard says:

    You said it yourself. We had an inexperienced team. (I presume what you meant by always was the past few years) In yesterday’s case, there is nothing riding on it, using your terminology of only trophies being significant..The likes of Bayern Munich lose a game now and then too you know. Like they lost to Dortmund in the league and cup finals a few years ago. Like they lost to Chelsea or Inter. It doesn’t change that they are doing the right things. As are we.You could say they are chokers on the basis of that (selective) evidence.

    If you want a comparison of wealth and its correspondence with results and trophies won, you are not wrong. In fact, you are correct. But you need to understand that our wealth is extremely new found. The shirt deal isn’t even paying yet. The teams around us all have more money through the increased tv money (like us) and over the past few years have had more money than us because we were paying our debts and stuck with long term commercial deals which were lower than market value. And yet because we’ve this year gotten some money from the Emirates deal, we were able to keep all our important players and sign Mesut Ozil. That and more, is the increase in capability you will see from Arsenal in the future and that’s what the past 10 years have been about. Being able to buy the likes of Ozil, and build a team capable of consistently competing with the likes of Bayern.

    So yes, money will absolutely have an effect on what we can win. It’s just that we’ve only just entered that stage. Which is why you should look more closely at how the Deloitte rankings are done. It’s ‘wealth’. not ‘disposable income’. The two are not the same thing. Wealth is what you think you can earn from say, selling your house. (As long as you can find a buyer willing to pay you that much)

    Disposable income is the cash you carry in your pocket. You could have a house potentially worth lots of money, but have no money in your pocket to buy stuff to put in it.

    That’s the position Arsenal were in. Worth hundreds of millions, but subsisting year to year. Now, Arsenal have got a promotion and are earning lots of big bucks, so they can set about filling their house with world class furniture and silverware. But we’ve just started, so obviously Mr.Abramovich’s house looks more shiny right now. If you fire your decorator on the basis of that comparison, you might live to regret it because he is a world class decorator. He’s the reason your house didn’t fall apart at the seams, and why Ozil was even willing to step through the front door into it. Now you can give him your financial backing too. Imagine what he can do.

    Ok so I carried that metaphor too long, but it’s true enough.The money wasn’t always there. It is now, and it is going to increase, and with it, we can enter the true elite that you crave us to be a part of. Arsenal were just building a base to do that. Nothing else. We’re not in the same cycle of the past 10 years. We’re now, finally, at the start of a new stage in our evolution.

  108. I’m not talking about recent acquisition of wealth, Shard, long before that Arsenal were known as the ‘Bank of England’ club because of our links with royalty and our BoD being made up of Old Etonians. Our wealth isn’t a new thing, our prestige and dynamic began under Henry Norris and Herbert Chapman. Their legacy ensured that Arsenal were one of the biggest names in world football, it is subsequent decisions made by various people connected to the club since then that has seen Arsenal fail to reach their full potential.
    So ‘always’ means from the 1930’s onwards. In the summer of 1976, our trophy count was higher than Liverpool’s, just as in the summer of 1996, the only thing MU had over us was one European Cup. We allowed Liverpool to leave us behind just as we have done MU, without putting up any sort of major response, unlike what most ambitious big clubs would do. That wasn’t through a lack of money, that’s neglect, and not having an intelligent enough strategy.

  109. Shard says:

    Wenger had nothing to do with that. In fact we changed managers throughout, and that doesn’t seem to have satisfied you.

    It’s just the cyclical nature of sport. No club dominates across all eras. In any case, it’s irrelevant to carry that burden of history. We are where we are now. And doing well on a path we started over a decade ago, which should begin to pay off soon. Even in terms that you’ll understand. ie. trophies.

  110. Ask any football fans what they want most for their club – trophies.
    The MU thing is relevant in 1996, because that’s when Arsene Wenger became manager. He couldn’t do anything about Liverpool’s period of dominance, granted, but he was no match for Ferguson. As I’ve said in the past, AW is a thoroughly decent, principled man, but his football coaching/management is quite limited, as all of us have witnessed but very few on here will publicly acknowledge. That’s why he’s never won a major European trophy, and is unlikely to any time in the future.

  111. Shard says:

    ManU’s commercial income alone was higher than our entire income in 2001. Despite that Wenger won trophies. You want to diss that achievement? Fine. I hear self flagellation is a thing some people enjoy.

    And you seriously need to learn to stay on point. I’m done exploring down the rabbit hole. Any more and it would amount to self-flagellation too. It’s goodnight from Alice.

  112. I remember Red Arse saying you always like to have the last word, Shard, so it’s all yours. You seem obsessed with trying to convince me that Arsenal were virtually on their knees, skint, when I and many others know different. I merely referred to Arsenal’s status in regards to Deloittes, or Forbes (whichever you prefer), but the main point – which you avoided addressing – was based around footballing ability. For instance, I asked you for theories about why Arsenal always come up short in the really big games, I didn’t ask you about the finances of Arsenal, or any other clubs, just a simple football-related reply would have sufficed. It’s not just the winning of trophies, but showing intent and being serial challengers, which Arsenal, under Arsene Wenger, haven’t done since moving to The Emirates. Football is a sport, if you’re not in it to win, find something less competitive.
    And btw, I didn’t say we had an inexperienced side if you read my comment properly, quite the contrary. We fielded a very experienced side last night, full of internationals, so that excuse is chucked out too.

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