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:
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…
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.