A tale of the ‘big guns’… Lewandowski, The Flame and reasons to be cheerful

Arsenal 1-2 Dortmund: Football is one of those games…

Morning folks.

I’ve just finished watching the game. It’s actually 10.00pm of last night. As my already weary bones must surface at an ungodly hour tomorrow (today) I’ve decided that the sensible thing to do is write before bed time.

We lost. Sometimes these things happen. We are not an infallible unit of footballing cyborgs programmed to perform at levels higher than mere mortals, unfortunately. We lost a game we deserved something from against a very good team. They hit us with a sucker punch on the counter attack at the perfect time to demoralise.

And that is about all I intend to take from the game. Calls for this, that and the other are simply ridiculous bleats from souls who ought know better. I’d like to think we’d seen the back of all the petulant wannabe tacticians and the egregious doom mongers of the Arsenal fanbase. But they’ve started to show their hideous faces once again, as if they wait patiently in the darkness hoping for any excuse to pour drivel across the Internet.

Credit our opponents. Dortmund are a very, very good side with an excellent manager. They set up perfectly to stifle our creativity and without Arsenal’s usual outlet in wide positions, they kept the play narrow enough to deny our twinkle-toed wizards in midfield any space.

The only real area of debate is Robert Lewandowski’s continued presence on the pitch. Did he deserve a red card for the elbow on Koscielny? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not sure, to tell you the truth. Having watched the incident a few times, I can’t make up my mind. He certainly elbows Laurent directly in the chops, without question. However, it doesn’t strike me as being comprehensively an intentional act. He doesn’t swing his full elbow behind him, nor does he look at his target before doing so. That said, clever players know how to make clever fouls.

Whether he deserved to go or not is irrelevant. He didn’t, and with an air of inevitability he popped up to score the winner. A excellent goal on the break from Dortmund, but, very much like the first, one we didn’t help our selves with particularly – most notably Sagna curious casual saunter back towards goal as Lewandowski was in acres of space.

Arsenal’s players as a whole didn’t perform badly. Although Mikel Arteta had a very good game, I still felt we missed the nasty, bone crunching contributions of The Flame. He may lack the technical ability of Arteta, but he’s got an engine on him and he’s constantly harassing and causing the opponent to think twice about trying to dance through our midfield as he’ll probably send them into the orbit around Nicklas Bendtner’s ego. Ramsey, Ozil and Wilshere didn’t have the best of games and seemed oddly subdued for long parts. We can’t expect them to be destroying teams every single game they play.

When you get past a few mistakes and a few dubious descions, it’s correct to state Arsenal deserved at least a point from a game we dominated for long periods. We didn’t get even that, and now the group is wide open. How wide? This wide:

Tighter that a tight thing’s tight bits…

There is plenty of football left to be played with the group games only at the half way point. Defeats are part of football. We have to accept it and realise that these are the moments it is important to stay together. The mettle of the team, it’s true credentials, will be tested now, and we have to show a strength to get ourselves back on track.

Bickering and childish disputes plastered across social media sites doesn’t exactly present a unified front. Not to me, anyway. The whole things has become silly and frustrating. There’s better ways to vent your frustrations; go for a walk, punch a pillow, obliterate a cheese sandwich with a hammer and scream, ” I am an all powerful being, die repugnant bread and dairy combination!!”.

Do any of those things. And if you’re confronted with a keyboard warrior, maybe give this guy a call…

Half man. Half machine. All @BergkampFlick.

If you don’t quite get that, I quietly but forcibly recommend you have a listen to my efforts alongside Daniel Cowan on the Goonersphere Podcast.

That’s all for today, folks. What were your thoughts on the game? Let me know in the comments section below. I’ll look forward to hearing what you think.

As always; thanks for listening, you beautiful bastards.

10 thoughts on “A tale of the ‘big guns’… Lewandowski, The Flame and reasons to be cheerful”

  1. dortmund are not on the same level as they were last season. no goetze and gundogan injured , they were there to be beaten.
    wilthsire looks lost in the position he played last night. it seems as though arsene is still finding his starting 11 and what formation to play. this is a good wake up call for the gooners they came into the came with no urgency and paid for it. we were the favourites should have come out pumped up and ran them over. but we sat back and allowed them to find their stride. we need to bounce back in the return leg because last night we did not look like champions league contenders.

  2. I still very much blv in this team and I’m sure they’ve learnt something from the defeat. One thing I’m sure is that we’ll dortmund away and that’s where we’ll know the mental strength and potentials of this squad. We are to stop silly mistakes happening cuz wen u make mistakes like that with big teams u’ll get punished. Now we have to look ahead of Palace and show the haters and doubters that we have everything in place to start winning again and play our style of football. Infact I can write next decade abt this squad. I have a very strong feelings about this squad and I’m sure with everybody back from injuries we’ll become unbeatable. Arsene knows best he’ll talk to the boys and they’ll show that @Palace on saturday. In fact if its possible I want to keep watching Arsenal playing everyday of my life. Keep the good work going, I really appreciate your sense of reasoning. Gunner 4life!!!!

  3. As an ardent Gunners’ fan, I believe this is a very nice piece of write up. We should not give up. Though there were lapses we must continue to give our best at all times.

  4. poor showing last night. having no width is starting to hurt us and against the ‘better’ sides it could cost us. im still confident for rest of the season to be a success though and hopefully the boys learn a lesson from last night. its a good feeling that finally after all these years arsenal can lose without me thinking that some monumental fuck up is gonna happen! ATID

  5. Interesting comments from Arsene about the team being jaded. It was our midfield that was jaded, and that’s the area we’re best stocked. Not great going into our big run.

    Cazorla’s return however could barely have been better timed. He certainly lifted our game.

    Let’s relegate Palace this weekend.

  6. Is was a hard game against good opposition, we were unlucky in certain areas. The midfield was very very quite, the Dortmund team pressured very well high up the pitch breaking up our ability to build play effectively from the back. We need to focus on bringing a good balance between defensive stability and attacking effectiveness as I think we are found wanting often at the back through our push to go forward.

  7. Another great post. And between you and Mr Cowan I get all the commentary I need being so far away (NZ) from the action. But believe me I am no less a completely committed supporter of the Arsenal and have been since i was a tyke.. 3 or 4am wake ups most weekends are the norm for me, but I very rarely miss a game live (albeit sometimes I might still be out), and not to mention always very late for work for midweek games…
    I am, also dumbfounded at the state of the doomsayers after this one game of football. You cannot expect to win every game, the so called ‘Invincibles’ lost to much, much lesser opposition than Dortmund, yet they are still regarded in the realm they are. The season is still young and everything cannot be judged on one rainy night in London. If those complaining are really fans, Gooners, then you need to support your team properly and show these boys that we ARE loyal. Win or lose. Look at those Dortmund fans last night! We’ve had two losses in last 25 games and that is something to be cheering about. There cannot be too many top 20 European teams that can boast that…
    We’ve had a great start to the season lets not let those doomsayers have a voice!

  8. Sagna lack of pace paid off last nite, that’s why we have to look for his replacement this January. We also missed Flamini that much. Lookslike our need of another “real DMF” is still in the air.
    Mou is also an expert in this kind of tactic (remember when inter wins CL), so we have to make betterment on how to deal counter attack. I think we’ve loss some pace in the flank, in offense and defense, the only available room to attack last nite.

  9. i was really impressed by dortmund’s pressing. they were hunting like packs of hyenas everytime an arsenal player had the ball.

    besides, the off game that ramsey and ozil had, i was a bit disappointed by the crossing from the flanks. yes, sagna made the cross for giroud’s goal, but he and gibbs wasted a few crosses from promising positions.

    this is the phase when the critical vultures are swirling around arsenal to swoop as soon as the first signs of the so called ‘crisis’ starts to grip the club. difficult games amid hectic schedules are underway. but this time, i’m pretty confident that the guys will really get through this difficult phase with success.

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