Character, Desire and Strategy: Symphony drowns Heavy Metal!

Notwithstanding the fantastic results that Arsenal have been producing most weeks and in midweek games since the beginning of the year, and the consistency with which the team have been turning whinging disbelievers and useless pundits into muppets, if there was ever a moment when the good guys proudly donning their red and whites on the field had to prove a point, this was it.

Playing away from home at the home of the formidable Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund, having succumbed to the ignominy of an embarrassing loss to the same club at The Home of Football, and knowing that their dreams of progressing from the Group of Death lay in their own hands (erm, feet and heads), this was the moment of destiny.

Would they remain a bunch of kids led by a handful of immature generals trying to play a game meant for men, or would they show the strength of character, desire and strategy that separates the sublime from the ordinary? On a rain-drenched evening in Dortmund, in front of formidable opposition and a vociferous crowd, they fought valiantly with heart and mind to achieve a memorable victory that dreams are made of.

The stage for the show was set up well. The set was immaculately chosen in advance, and the background music was perfect for the occasion – perhaps the tune of the Pomp and Circumstance Marches. At the disappointing loss at home to Dortmund a fortnight earlier, Arsène Wenger, a man known for his economy of words and measured temperament, rather uncharacteristically chose to criticise the team in public for their alleged ‘naivety’. Adding salt to injury, Jurgen Klopp, the respected Dortmund manager tried to take the art of mind games to the level of Symphony Fantastique.

“[Wenger] likes having the ball, playing football, passes” he said,”It’s like an orchestra, but it’s a silent song, yeah? And I like Heavy Metal more. I always want it loud! I want to have this: ‘BOOM!’ “.

It was time for the true mettle to shine through the din of Heavy Metal, and it did! The good guys of Arsenal fought their heart out, played with their minds sharp, and manufactured a fantastic away win!

It was a very tough test against the skill, aggression and hard work put in by a truly fantastic team, Borussia Dortmund, and in front of their home crowd as well. On the night, the entire team was fantastic. In the first half, both teams played a measured game, Arsenal sitting deep in defiant defence, and Dortmund piling on attacks without creating that many chances. Mkhitaryan squandered the best chance curling his shot wide of the post, but that apart, the central defence of Mertesacker and Koscielny nullified every chance that Dortmund created, with the able support of Sagna and Gibbs.

Arteta and Rosicky worked tirelessly to organise the midfield, and together with Ramsey, Santi and Özil maintained the threat of counter attacks. Giroud was left a bit isolated up front, but it was really that kind of a game. For me, our attacking threat in the first half was captured in the one occasion when Özil beautifully controlled a pass at the top of the Dortmund box, made the turn towards goal, but the moment the ball was pushed less than a foot forward, along came two defenders to snatch it away. Such was the tireless industry of the Dortmund defence, it was a treat to watch and admire! Anyway, the half ended a relatively event-less all-square.

There was all to play for in the second 45. But along came Dortmund with renewed vigour, and piled on attack upon attack. Most of these were repelled by the resolute Arsenal defence led by the fantastic Mert-Kos duo. For a nervous few minutes, the relentless pressure appeared to work. The nightmares of the Emirates appeared close. Once, Reus got through unmarked, and just a few minutes later Blaszczykowski had a low shot on goal. On both occasions, Szczęsny brought off fantastic saves. And that was it. No more serious attempts on the Arsenal goal followed.

Aaron Ramsey

Instead, it was a moment of magic at the other end. Rosicky, an ex-Dortmund player, latched on to a ball at the left flank and tried to move towards the centre, lost the ball, won it back and spread it wide to the right. Özil held on to it and sent a cross into the box, Giroud towered above his marker and used all his strength to nod the ball back towards the centre, and Ramsey lurked in with a great heart and headed the ball home almost right from the Subotic’s raised boot.


The goal opened the floodgates somewhat, no not from Dortmund attacks, but Arsenal’s threats on goal. From a Giroud cross, Ramsey forced Weidenfeller into a smart save. From a Santi corner, Giroud saw a shot somehow cleared off the line. Per came along into attack with great vigour and came close to scoring twice, the second time sending a loopy header to the top of the net.

The mighty Dortmund, worthy finalists of last year’s Champions League, undefeated in the Bundesliga so far this season, did not know what hit them. Perhaps they were not used to losing. They were completely rattled and disheveled. Apart from a muffled attempt from Reus, they offered hardly any threat. The 11 brave men of Arsenal defended resolutely and saw the game through.

In the middle of all this, one man stood tall in midfield, led from the front, and for me captured like no other player the spirit that Arsenal stood for. It was Mikel Arteta. He manned the centre of the field like a fighter, defending and winning balls throughout the 90 minutes, earned a yellow card for his troubles, somewhat unfairly, for tugging Blaszczykowski’s shirt, and came disastrously close to a second as well. But he kept fighting. At the other end, Reus tugged back Rosicky but was not booked, and neither was there a penalty for bundling valiant Kos over. Injustices galore. But the brave and good guys stood tall amongst the ruins, and came out valiant winners. What a night of Champions League football! Lucky Micky and Raddy who represented AA in the ground!

How did we manage to win this game against all odds? Hard work, perhaps even more than skill, but what was most important was strategy. The strategy of sitting back and defending resolutely, the strategy of going all out in counter attack, but only when the opposition had got somewhat tired and demoralised, and most importantly the strategy of knowing how to get the best efforts out of the players. Going even to the extreme of publicly criticising the team for naivety. In a game characterised by character, desire and strategy, STRATEGY came out tops for me. In a game between symphony and Heavy Metal, the mettle displayed by the team was beautiful SYMPHONY. In a game of strategy between two great managers, Arsene Wenger came out on top! Arsène Wenger is my Man of the Match!
Every player did his bit on the night. Here are some tentative scores.

Szczesny: 8 Had little to do on the night, except to make two fantastic saves. And they were crucial.

Sagna: 7 Measured performance in defence and attack. 

Mertesacker: Excelled at the heart of defence, went out in counter attack, almost scored as well. What a performance! 

Koscielny: Fantastic in defence, great combination with Mert, played with a big heart.

 Gibbs 7 Measured performance focusing on defence, cricial interventions when Mert and Kos had moved up and Dortmund attacked on the counter.

Arteta: 9 A true leader on the day, leading from the front. Valiently marshalled the midfield all evening. Outstanding.

Ramsey: 9 What can you say! The “Welsh Messi” Aaron Ramsey did what he does best – deliver the sucker punch.

Cazorla: 7 Good, solid, if somewhat underwhelming performance on the night.

Ozil: 8 Good performance, great cross that led to the goal.

Rosicky: 8 Fantastic performance. Together with Arteta, maintained the midfield, fighting for every ball, moving forward on every occasion possible.

Giroud: 7Assist for the goal, tireless performance as the lone striker, holding up, running tirelessly after the ball. Almost scored as well.

Arsene Wenger: 10 Le Manager, what fantastic strategy, what a man, what a team. This performance was surely for him.

Monreal: 7 Came on 75 mins for Santi, reliable as ever.

Vermaelen: No time to make an impact.

Bendtner: No time to make an impact, but ran after the ball continuously for the 5 mins he was on.

Written by arnie

Our on the spot photographers have provided these pics of a view from the away end:




134 Responses to Character, Desire and Strategy: Symphony drowns Heavy Metal!

  1. Sorry all, can’t get the pics to load ……….. I’ll try again.

  2. Nice report Arnie, and sums up how many Gooners feel right now.

    I’d like to take exception to one tiny aspect of it – and I know what you’re thinking and this time you’re right – there’s no need to trash heavy metal.

    HM and classical work very well together and one is an antecedent of the other as the genre of neo-classical metal clearly demonstrates.

    To sum up, I like symphonies AND metal, but nothing in between.

    And, well done the boys last night, the team and the supporters.

  3. Gööner In Exile says:

    You didn’t enjoy writing that did you Arnie? 😀

    Perfect match report of a perfect performance….top work!

    Sunday can’t come soon enough.

  4. JanMan says:

    Nice post Arnie. Thank you. It is a great day to be a gunner! Next up, old toilet and the diving antics of Young. Be afraid United, be very afraid!

  5. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent report, arnie, many thanks. Your point about BvB not being used to losing probably has a lot in it. For all their quality, we were relatively (not absolutely) comfortable after we scored.

    But there were elements of luck in there for us: some referees would have been more officious than last night’s Dutchman. I’m not saying he was perfect (we should have been awarded a penalty for the keeper clearing out Kos without touching the ball) but some referees would have seen enough to have given Arteta a second yellow.

    And Dortmund’s failure to turn many of their chances into attempts on target was key to their failure last night.

    But that shouldn’t take away from an excellent performance, well done the boys. Mertesacker MOTM for me.

    Just one very small point of detail: Borussia Monchengladbach have beaten Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season.

  6. betbuddyuk says:

    Great read that !!! Terrific result for Arsenal last night, they finally look like they have plenty of backbone in the squad last night, thought Arteta was superb and with Flamini playing well (albeit not last night) I think this could finally be the year the gunners end the trophy drought. Wenger is definitely the man to do it.

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done Arnie, thank you for an excellent write-up.

    Would we have got a result like that when we had the prima-donnas in the team? Would the Spaniard, the Dutchman and the money-grubbing Frenchman have worked their socks off in the collective cause? I don’t think so!

    One instance last night summed up the team for me, Giroud lost possession on the edge of the Dortmund box and instead of standing (Dutchman style bemoaning his ill luck) he chased back into his own box and harried the Germans into losing the ball. That’s what I call teamwork!

    One thing to watch out for on Sunday, if Man U need a goal in the last ten minutes expect to see Moist send on “The Diver”, it’s now part of his strategy, Young comes on, dives in the box and cons the ref into awarding a penalty, the Dutchman takes it and Robert is your sisters brother. “The Strategy” almost came off on Tuesday except that the Dutchman hit the woodwork.

  8. mikesteeden says:

    Good post; good read. Only one issue though, to say Ozil, ‘sent a cross into the box,’ doesn’t quite do it justice. Ozil floated the ball with the accuracy of I don’t know what, with perfection both in terms of the weight he put on the ball and the fact it reached Giroud, the intended target! Perhaps I’m being picky. What a bloody good result though! Keep the posts coming.

  9. Shard says:

    Thank you for the report arnie. I’ve been nuzzing since last night. What a victory.

    I too would like to add my voice to Chary’s and say I disagree with the Klopp quote being used as a badge of honour and to diss heavy metal. As chary said, the two styles of music work well together. If anything, yesterday’s football match was the equivalent of the Metallica S&M concert. True harmony. A wonderful game of football with an incredibly high technical level.

    Arteta played very well, but he was also exposed for a lack of pace by Reus and Bender breaking through the middle. As for the referee, I was frustrated initially, especially after the non-booking of Reus (Rosicky outpaced him!), but he did also let Koscielny off without a booking in the build up to the Mkhitaryan shot, and rightly didn’t send off Arteta (the only reason this even is mentioned is because we’re so used to being screwed by refs) . Nor did he award Lewandowski free kicks or a penalty for his flops. I thought he was fair overall.

    I agree with you on Wenger and the strategy. I am not a fan of using the term ‘tactics’ (and you cleverly avoid this as well 🙂 ) because it is often misunderstood, probably due to inane pundits and the video games that reduce tactics to a click of a button. But yesterday, the team played like they had a plan and were determined to carry it out. Sure we needed a bit of luck, but that is always true, especially in a game against such high quality opposition. So proud, and looking forward to Sunday’s meeting with the little boy and his play-dates.

  10. 26may1989 says:

    OK, before all this “heavy metal is good” stuff gets out of hand, I have to put down a marker: Chary may be a great bloke, and Shard seems tremendous too, but heavy metal is and always will be pants.

  11. Shard says:


    Exactly right about Young. It’s also instructive that the media, even while picking on Young as a diver, make it seem as if ManU are the doyens of fairness and have been trying to get him to cut it out, since under Ferguson’s regime. That is complete nonsense of course, but if the media can praise Januzaj for exhibiting ‘mental strength’ for scoring a goal after getting a yellow card for diving, then anything is possible.

    Although this season they don’t seem to be getting as much reward for their theatrics as previously, the match on Sunday just seems to me to be the perfect situation for a repeat of Mike Riley and Game 50. Arsenal flying high, ManU struggling to even get close. Stunt Arsenal’s attacks through brute force, and get a penalty for a dive. I hope I’m wrong, but ManU’s go to weapon of need has always been kicking the opposition with the referee’s complicit, if not explicit, approval, and I doubt they will look to change that.

  12. Ha ha, 26, not the dismissal I was expecting from my learned friend: “…always be pants” ??

    To be honest I don’t even think Klopp is a fellow headbanger, he was probably just trying to think of what was the diametric opposite of classical music and thought HM was it, I would say rap is more like it – it requires no (musical) talent and zero level of technical proficiency.

    Anyway, on to Old Toilet and the chance to shove “the little boy inside” up the Cutch Dunt’s arse.

    Please Arsenal, do it for me.

  13. GiE – if you’re about, can you put the Ramsey scoring gif into a comment on here please

  14. 26may1989 says:

    It still worries me that one of the leading three in our group could fail to get through the group stage despite getting 12 points, but since we can no longer finish lower than third, we do now know that we will be playing European football after Christmas. I wouldn’t slag off the Europa League as much as some would but I’m praying that we’re not the patsies in the Group of Death.

  15. Shard says:


    Rosicky loves heavy metal!! Any wonder he displays such energy? So…pfff to you 🙂

    And not to be chary’s echo again, but rap is probably the most annoying genre..although sometimes they use nice little rock based riffs as the basis of their ‘song’.

  16. Like this Peachy ?

  17. chas says:

    Excellent, arnie, ta.

  18. Oops, it seems to be spilling over the sides.

    Truer Shard, Rosicky is a mean rhythm guitarist and lists Master of Puppets as one of his all time favourite LP’s..

  19. chas says:

    Width 300, chary.

  20. chas says:

    That’s what GIE said anyway.

  21. 26may1989 says:

    Chary, I agree, rap is a better contrast to classical or orchestral music. But then I like rap music!

    I agree that it’s all about OT now. Get one or, even better, three points there and the players will have earned a good rest over the international break. Both teams had away games in the CL, but there are obvious differences in how the two come into the game. In terms of the potential impact on Sunday, I would reduce it to a formula:

    C – E = A


    C = Arsenal’s increased confidence from a great away win as compared with United’s reduced confidence from a poor performance

    E = Energy differential for Arsenal having 24 hours less time to recover

    A = The advantage going into the game

    If A is positive, we have the advantage; if it’s negative, the Salfordites have the advantage.

  22. I just copied and pasted the link in the GIE’s comment Chas, adjusting the width is beyond me.

  23. chas says:


  24. Shard says:

    Not metal, but it’s Rosicky!! (Fake Liverpool shirt alert)

  25. Shard says:

    Of course Rosicky is also known as ‘Little Mozart’

  26. Thanks chary, I seem to be a complete technophobe today, all the pictures are too small and I can’t move any of the fantastic pics from last night post onto this post.

    arnie – brilliantly passionate match report for a brilliantly fabulous team performance last night 🙂

  27. chas says:


    The width and height bit I just had to work out, so I think 300 pixels is a good width, if you know the dimensions of the picture your linking then divide height by width and times by 300 and that’ll be the height you need to use in the code.

  28. chas says:

    .jpg” width=”300″ height=”225″ alt=””

  29. chas says:

    It’s so annoying not being able to put pics and gifs inline. Time to log out of wordpress.

  30. IanRealGunner says:

    I know it was mentioned last night in the comments section, but I found Lewandowski’s antics last night a little tiresome. Would we want him in our team? Probably a good discussion thread in its own right

  31. I tried to tweak the gif Chas, but no joy. 😦

  32. Right things are looking weird about now!!

    Chas became Ch7zzer.

    Not sure why you can’t Chas, i can do it by editing your comments, so not sure why you can’t? My only thinking is that you are using the html rather than the image address? (i.e. should end .gif)

    Problem with that Ramsey clip is it doesn’t have any pixel info, but i’ll give it a go in a minute

  33. Sorted Chary you had too many “””

  34. Peaches do you want me to see if i can get photos bigger?

    Send me Micky’s pics and i’ll see what i can do.

  35. Longfem says:

    Its not mathematically possible for the 3 of us (ARS, BVB N NAP) to secure 12 points apiece.
    Presently, Ars: 9 pts, Nap: 9pts, Bvb: 6pts. Om(d weeping boys in d group): 0 pts. The cracker now is btw Nap vs Bvb. Whoever win in d nxt game will definitely join Ars (baring any upset from OM)

  36. Really Longfem?

    Game 5
    Arsenal bt Marseille
    Dortmund beat Napoli

    Arsenal 12
    Dortmund 9
    Napoli 9

    Game 6
    Napoli beat Arsenal
    Dortmun beat Marseille

    Arsenal 12
    Dorymund 12
    Napoli 12

  37. Thanks GiE – my below par set of peepers probably didn’t pick up the extra “‘s.

  38. 26may1989 says:

    Longfem, just as Exile says, three teams on 12 points is possible. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the more likely scenarios – obviously I hope we avoid defeat at Napoli, but it will be a tough place to go and avoid defeat when both sides need the points. And bear in mind that that game will be sandwiched by our home game against Everton and going away to Man City.

    Goal difference in the games between the three looks like it could be very important – all the results between them have been one-goal victories to one or other, with the exception of our 2-0 win over Napoli. So, if Dortmund were to win by one goal in match 5, we could afford to lose to Napoli by one goal in match 6 and still go through. Dortmund beating Napoli by more than one goal would be bad for us, as would (to state the obvious) us losing by more than one in Italy.

    But hey ho, we’re going to win both matches, so no worries…. 🙂

  39. sean says:

    Most intelligent people know that received or conventional wisdom is the enemy of actual wisdom.

    What Arsenal did against Dortmund last night questioned several conventional football fallacies about Arsenal, and the beautiful game in general:

    1) Arsenal can’t defend: Dortmund had, as the Sky commentators reminded us about 73 times, failed to score at home only once in 60 games. Arsenal were bound to concede, lose. It was a question of how many. Coming off our Liverpool result and the 0-2 against Bayern last season, can this be put to rest now?

    2) Arsenal are bottlers: The Arsenal League Cup final defeat to then relegated Birmingham is oft-quoted as the ultimate example of bottling it, but how many people even remember, never mind talk about, Man City bottling it to then-relegated Wigan LAST season in a bigger stakes cup? The FA Cup. That, and our recent big-game results, surely suggest we can stop talking about that League Cup final now.

    3) Arsenal are a team of foreigners: undoubtedly true at one point. Now we have a plethora of British players, including the Welsh wonderwall, Aaron Ramsey. English, talented players also include Theo, Wilshere, Gibbs, the Ox, even Jenko. Conveniently – despite successful United sides having British players who were great, not so much English players – the narrative has become the paucity of English players in a team, not British players. It was never a problem when Giggs and Hughes were smashing it for United. Now we’re lumped in with City as an example of sides not giving English players a shot. Name another top side who gives this many British or English players a shot.

    And another question for you:

    4) Why is a foul after a player has had an attempt on goal in the penalty area never given while the ball is still in play?

    Ponder on those and then wonder why no-one is giving Arsenal a shot of winning anything.

    All the best to everyone,

  40. sean says:

    had to post this….Ramsey steals the bounce… … 095792.gif

  41. 26may1989 says:

    Actually, I think I should revise my 12.54: the more Dortumnd were to beat Napoli by in match 5, the worse Napoli’s GD would be, so they would have to do even more to catch up when they play us, so we should want Dortmund either to beat Napoli by a few or Napoli to win or draw.

    But the worst situation would be a 1-0 win to Dortmund vs Napoli in match 5, because it would set up the following scenario in the last match:

    1. We would go through with Dortmund if we did no worse than lose to Napoli by one goal;

    2. Napoli and Dortmund would go through if we lost to Napoli by three or more;

    3. 2-0 to Napoli and all three sides would have even GD and goals scored amongst each other…….

    It would then get even more complicated…….

    The good news is that, as things stand today, we are in the best position of the three, because in the matches between the three, we have a GD of +2, whereas the other two have a GD of -1 (plus we have scored the most goals).

  42. GiE – I’ve sent you Micky’s pics and the ones arnie chose for his post.

  43. TT says:

    Wot the… Wenger charging out to retrieve the ball. It must have been so slippery with dress shoes on that wet grass!

    Thanks for the great videos, chas. I’m just in admiration of the two groups of supporters. Can Napoli be a more intimidating place to play than Dortmund? Umm… nevermind. 🙂

  44. Sortayed Peaches 😀 x

  45. Räsp says:

    Terrific match report arnie – thanks.

    I agree with all you say and those who think that Lewandowski goes down nearly as easily as Ashley Young. Per got away with the risky arm on the shoulder for their penalty shout but then we should have got one for the way their keeper smashed through kozzer – he’s made of kryptonite!

    Welcome sean – all good points and things we’ve been banging on about on here a lot recently. I’m happy to that others have low expectations of us -it will maker it much sweeter when we prove them all wrong.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Great report arnie.

    I was on a plane during the game (got through immigration in Toronto in time to see the last 3 minutes plus added time).

    So I watched the whole lot later last night.

    It’s very interesting watching when you are in the relaxed position of knowing that the result went our way: I was able to look at our performance and players in a more dispassionate way.

    Most of this has probably already been mentioned, but my headline thoughts:

    Ollie G was IMMENSE. He competed for everything and won lots, despite being fouled/roughed up every time he battled for a long ball. I really feel he is one of the great undersung heroes of this current team. His assist for the goal was extraordinary. Watch it again and just look at how hard it was to get his head on the ball and guide it in the right direction for Aaron. The ball was slightly behind him and at a difficult height, and he had the CB all over him. A simply stunning display of strength, control and intelligence.

    Rosicky had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt. Along with Ramsey he harried the Germans at every turn and was superb at breaking forward and finding space to relieve the pressure.

    Szczesny: I have been fairly critical of TPIG over the last couple of years, but this season – hat’s off to the boy. You can tell how much confidence the back four have in him. He has grown in stature (metaphorically) this season.

    Defence: I’m not going to bang on about the BFG-Koz partnership because that’s been great for a long time. What I would add is that Sagna had a very fine game last night.

    Ozil: GiE mentioned in comments earlier how good Ozil was in the last half hour. He may have been less involved when we were soaking up the pressure, but when Dortmund started to tire, boy was he a thorn in their side. I also spotted a Dortmund break towards the end of the match where our CBs were upfield and Dortmund got to our box only to be thwarted by – guess who? – Mesut Ozil. He has such a good footballing brain that he foresaw the threat and was there in the CB position to snuff it out.

    Finally – a message for BR and Micky: You lucky, lucky bar stewards! 🙂

    (Micky, was OMC there too?)

  47. jnyc says:

    Great one Arnie.
    i think we can count Rosicky as a secret weapon. Being able to use a guy who does so much all over the pitch is priceless.
    i have to mention that i was noticing that people kind of assumed Arteta was not the man anymore, when they were getting all wet over flamini. Mikels last two performances were unreal.

    we should not forget who was our dm down the stretch last season, and for most of the season, in which we allowed second fewest goals in the league last year.

    now get the boys ready to crush the over rated
    punks at their place, and keep some of our boys out of stupid internationals Arsene.

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    Well first off a very welcome win and an important 3 points.

    If this had been our loss we would have been cursing our lack of a final touch and being distraught over our wasted chances. In the first half and for the first 15/20 minutes of the second half we were outplayed and could not string a series of passes together. Dortmund caused this by hunting us down in packs and not allowing us any time to set up and create chances – hence not a single attempt on goal.

    We most certainly rode on the coattails of Lady Luck.

    Am I being critical or complaining – not in the least – after all how many times has the situation been reversed – far to many to remember. I’m just being realistic, as Dortmund were by far the better team and were desperately unlucky to lose a game which they dominated.

    After our goal the situation reversed and we were unlucky not to have scored another one or two goals.

    Even though Ramsey scored our goal and worked his buns off my Man of the Match award would go to per Mertersacker he gave us a masterful defensive performance and saved our skin on multiple occasions – he was also very unlucky not to score with his incredible attempt at at diving header. If there was ever a case for a perfect ten then he certainly showed us one.

    To finish without a mention of Dotrmund’s home supporters would be criminal – they show the sort of spirit that I simply dream about and put our moaners and groaners to shame.

    I’m still in awe that we actually won the game – it was not silky passes or one touch football that got us though (although Ozil’s pass to Giroud to set up Ramsey was outrageously good) it was hard graft, tenacious tackling and a team resolve not to be beaten that won us the game – oops I almost forgot to thank Lady Luck.

  49. RockyLives says:

    You’re right about how much pressure BD had us under in the first half, but we actually restricted them to very few clear-cut chances.

    I can’t remember the last time I saw an Arsenal defence look so well organized.

    Well, I can actually: it was 2004

  50. Bayonne Jean says:

    ’26 et al.: with all the discussion of the possibilities of three way ties, let’s not overlook the importance of NOT coming in second in the group. Group winners that Arsenal would play if coming in second will almost certainly be: Bayern, Barca, Real, PSG, Atletico Madrid.
    In fact, all second place finishers will be praying to play the one crap first place side — United.

    Solution is the obvious: beat Marseilles, at least a draw at Napoli

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky I agree that we allowed them very few chances but as they proved at The Emirates and we showed yesterday it only takes one chance.

    The two games were a genuine case of role reversal’s.

  52. 26may1989 says:

    Quite right, Bayonne Jean, though perhaps we should say we’ll be ready for anyone after this group…..

    As you say, beat Marseille and avoid losing to Napoli, and we win the group, whatever happens in the other game.

    If we do lose to Napoli but narrowly, we’d in danger of getting second place if Dortmund beat Napoli by two or more.

  53. chas says:

    Having seen Micky’s 3rd photo looking down at the pitch, I was struck by how the angle of the shot was very similar to the fan video I posted at 1.29.
    I stopped the video at 0.18 seconds in.

    Do you think this is the AA reprobates below.
    BR resplendent in red jacket and cap and Micky with club scarf?

  54. 26may1989 says:

    I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting the Big Randy, but that is definitely Mr Didit – excellent spot!

  55. chas says:

    Haha, it helped that BR said he would be wearing his red jacket.

  56. chas says:

    I’ve only met BR once and didn’t really get a chance to speak to him because chary was bending his ear about bloody heavy metal. 😆

  57. Well spotted chas 🙂

  58. I’d only recognise Raddy without a hat 😀

    But that is definitely Micky of DidIt

  59. herman gani says:

    Hi all, i’ll be in london, for the first time, from 11th december till 23rd. can anyone here tell me how to get tickets to the mancity game(away) and home game against chelsea? Appreciate any suggestion. contact me at my email

  60. evönne says:

    GiE – and i would only recognise Micky with his flat cap on 🙂
    I don’t think it is him, he has dark hair

    Anyway, did anybody mention that no other English team beat BD at home, ever?

  61. evönne says:

    herman, you are funny 🙂 🙂 good luck mate 🙂 🙂

  62. GoonerB says:

    Great report Arnie. I enjoyed watching that one. Just me sitting there watching the game while belting out Iron Maiden songs on my violin.

  63. chas says:

  64. chas says:

  65. RA says:

    Hi Peeps,

    Great Post arnie and some very good comments too.

    One comment that stood out for me was the 26er at 1:20 which I found particularly enlightening.

    “we should want Dortmund either to beat Napoli by a few or Napoli to win or draw”

    So that’s a win or a draw then. 🙂

  66. RA says:

    Now that’s the way to make some pocket money,

    == New York Times:

    Twitter’s stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $45.10 a share at midmorning Thursday, up 73 percent from its initial price of $26.

    The $26-a-share price gave the social media service, which began as a side project at a podcasting company in 2006, a market value of $18.1 billion.

  67. LB says:

    Now that is what I call a quality match report.

    Thanks for a great read Arnie

  68. evönne says:

    arnie – read your report – superb! The best part was, 10 for Arsene Wenger, good shout. Where would we be without him?

    I seem to remember a few doughnuts thinking that Moyes should have replaced Wenger a couple of years ago. Really?

    Thanks for the report, would you like a permanent post or job share with LB?

  69. Longfem says:

    Sincerely speaking, i dont see Ars losing to Napoli (worse still by more than 1 goal margin). I guess D cracker is btw Nap n bvb in d nxt match.

  70. arnie says:

    Thanks everyone, and sorry I could not come in at all today. But, I have now gone through the comments. Great discussion all round.

    It was a great match, happy if I could do some justice to it.

    Symphony versus Heavy Metal – it was just to make the point, the jury is still out. But, I am told by my German friends that Klopp is not such a nice person, even if he is a great manager! So, I would take his alleged praise for Arsene with a pinch of salt!!!

    We are Top of the League, not one, but two Leagues. 😀 😀

  71. arnie says:

    Back later again……

  72. chas says:

  73. chas says:

    The Arsenal Germans take a look at Thursday night’s fixtures….
    Per Mertesacker; Mesut Ozil; Oezil; Lukas Podolski

  74. LB says:

    I vote permanent……..he is very good.

  75. chas – every time I click on one of Stuart McFarlane’s photos I end up flicking through loads …….. it’s pretty adictive 😉

  76. Yours are very good too.

  77. kelsey – where are you, hope you’re ok and enjoying our football.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Just back from a truly epic couple of days

    Thank you Chas

    Thank you Did it

    Thank you Arsene

    I love The Arsenal

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. You are a vid wizard. YOu are right that is Didit and I in your 3.09!

    I will write a travelogue of our journey.

    Peaches – if you are around it can be a Saturday post or just an ordinary comment. As I am writing on Sunday, it is your decision. Either way, I will enjoy the re-cap and hope others will enjoy reading it

  80. chas says:

    Yes, peaches, they are pretty amazing.
    I realise you’ll get his tweets with links to photos but I presume non-twitterees won’t, so I always think it’s good to share.

    Did you see that photo GIE said was photoshopped with them really pointing to Germany as the destination when they were doing the flight simulation? 🙂

  81. evönne says:

    aha, the troops are back, victorious!
    Raddy – if there was 1 game every Gunner would want to be at, it was last night. You lucky, lucky so-and-so 🙂

  82. chas says:

    We want a Headline post, we want a Headline post. 🙂

  83. chas says:

    When do we want it? Saturday.

  84. chas says:

    So pleased you were such lucky charms, BR.
    You both brought us great fortune, so the tickets couldn’t have gone anywhere better.

  85. chas says:

    You do realise you have to go to Napoli now? 🙂

  86. frumpy says:

    The permutations on who goes through in Arsenal’s group is irrelevant as Arsenal will get knocked out in the next round.

  87. chas says:

    Did you enjoy the win, Sniffer?

  88. chas says:

    Your mob are about to kick off against Sheriff. Don’t miss it.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. You are too kind

    Just checked with Mrs Raddy. Napoli a step too far which I am very disppointed about.

    If we lose it is her fault

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Sniffer is back hahahaha

  91. Hi Raddy – so pleased you had a good trip. I think Saturday is a good shout. GoonerB has a post in drafts but I think we can use his next week, I’ll have a check.

  92. I just watched the Cazorla goal from Saturday and he definitely anticipated his header hitting the wood and moved to a position to receive the rebound. Brilliant, quite brilliant 🙂

  93. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Top quality match
    Two top quality teams
    Top quality AA representation from from ‘Randy’ and ‘Shaggy’
    Top quality report from Arnie

    Happy days.

    Bring on Sunday

  94. arnie says:

    Raddy and Micky: well done you two…… eagerly look forward to the travelogue(s).

    I just read through everyone’s comments again. Thanks everyone. You are very kind ……

  95. arnie says:

    Shard and Chary: Harmony is a good way to describe the performance yesterday. It was not melody, by which I mean solo performance. It was team effort of the highest order. Once gain, I meant no disrespect to Heavy Metal. But I personally thought, on reading the Klopp interview rather more fully, that the Symphony-Metal thing was a dig at Arsene and Arsenal. Perhaps that feeling came out a bit too strongly in my report. Maybe I am wrong, but Klopp’s interview left a slightly bad taste. This includes the reference to Sir Wenger, which sounds like a typical dig at the English way of life coming from a continental German. Perhaps I am wrong!!!!

  96. chas says:

  97. chas says:

    I think you were right about Klopp’s Symphony-Metal thing.

    To me, he was implying that Wenger prefers grace and elegance which may lack effectiveness.

    But Klopp likes a ‘heavy metal’ approach where his players run 1k more per man than the opposition and his team’s riffs are short, sharp and to the point.

    Thank feck, our very own Highbury Orchestra pished all over the Dortmund headbangers. 🙂

  98. arnie says:

    chas: 😀 😀

    For me, this epitomizes Arsenal’s beautiful game at its best.

    I had retained this for the day when Theo and Poldi would be back at their best, the winged “larks” ….. Some day soon 😀 😀

  99. arnie says:

    Chas: Against Dortmund was like this. Ah, what a thing of beauty!!!

    😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

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  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning all,


    Absolutely spot on report. Thank you very much.
    On the way back from the ground, Raddy and I did our own scoring, and then read yours in the airport. Bang on the same.

    Chas, you sleuth. Brilliant.

    So, BR is planning a full blown, open and honest, account of events in a Travelogue eh.

    Don’t know whether to offer my version of events or not. Could sound like two totally separate trips 🙂

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Raddy and I did discuss aspects of the site, usual shit, graphs, tables, stats, widgits and stuff, and both agreed the best ever was your Rambo at Pool Heatmap 🙂

  103. chas says:

    It would be great if you wrote your version without seeing BR’s and we could compare the two. 🙂

    All that quantum physics stuff about the observer altering the things he observes, multiple universes and oiled lederhosen would be very interesting.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Love the atmosphere vids at 1:26 and 1:29. Them with their Scouse Song, then our end. Arsenal fans really were fantastic.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, will do. Raddy is planning it for Saturday, so I’ll pen my version today.

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha Ha. I love the fact that people employ their time and creative skill to make vids like that 🙂

  107. chas says:

    It looked as though you were just above the Arsenal banner that was held aloft during ‘you’ll never walk alone’?

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Correct. Touching top right corner of it as you look on.

    How many away fans were there?

  109. chas says:

    “27 Sep 2013 – Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal – Tickets. We are due to receive an allocation of 3,300 match tickets for this fixture.”

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks. Certainly felt like more.

    Hoping we draw somewhere nice to go in one of the next rounds 🙂

    I’ll have to continue to be nice to you for a while longer ROLF

    Actually, now I think back, Raddy and I were discussing making it an annual event to go to an away CL game every season, and were discussing nice venues.

    I suggested Lisbon and the Stadium of Light. Just a thought, isn’t that where the Final is this year?

  111. chas says:

    Yep, a Vines boys trip to the Final was mooted.

  112. chas says:

    I haven’t a clue if 3,300 was the final allocation.

    Just imagine if we could multiply that by 17 or so and fill the Emirates!

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Micky. You write yours and I can take it nice *n easy – no need to bore the punters twice!

  114. chas says:


    We want both, We want both.

  115. Big Raddy says:

    OK. Just for you Chas. Should be on Peaches desk by early domani mattina

  116. arnie says:

    Morning all. Two travelogues!!!! Wow!!!! The Micky-Raddy show!!! Even better!!!! Just cannot wait!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  117. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Morning Peaches, post complete and e mailed to arsenallnuts.

  118. Thanks NG, I’ve added it to the rest ……. bit of an exhausting week really 😉

  119. After Sunday there’s another International break 😦 which will give anyone who wants to, the chance to get a post published. We’ll need posts from Wednesday onwards.

    Thanks 😀

  120. There’s a New Post …………………

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