Poor in the Ruhr

Borussian Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal

A few observations now that the dust of the Dortmund storm is settling (ha!)

World Cup focus?

I offer this as an olive branch to Messrs Mertesacker and (in particular) Ozil, neither of whom has started the season on fire. Could it be hard to re-adjust and re-focus after winning football’s foremost trophy? Pah, I hear you say, these are privileged and wealthy sportsmen who should be able to switch back on. But humans are humans and maybe it’s not that easy. (Andy Murray, after Wimbledon, has struggled a bit to adjust too).

Maybe I’m being cruel on the BFG here, but there’s no denying Ozil has been distinctly off colour. Perhaps it’s a physical thing too – a combination of the mind and the body.

Fitting the signings in

Le Boss has often said it’s a dangerous game to make multiple signings and upset a team’s rhythm. The Totts signed about ten players last year and struggled to fit them all together. Utd and Liverpool have done the same this year, and are yet to hit full speed. We’re playing with three new players every week – and maybe we need to make allowances for that.

Or maybe I’m being too forgiving.

The Champions League

Is an annual obsession to get into, but for all our seventeen years of experience, on nights like last night you can’t help but wonder what we’ve learned. We couldn’t cope with the pace and power and tenacity of a team like Dortmund, and it’s not the first time. I suspect it won’t be the last. It’s a competition we fight tooth and nail to get into, but on last night’s showing, seem remarkably incapable of properly competing in once there.

Le Boss

Dissatisfaction with Wenger is never far from the surface, is it? The FA Cup seems a distant memory at times. I can’t see this latent anxiety about him ever going away until we cut these kinds of performances out. His almost-but-not-quite transfer strategy has also had its usual effect.

Dortmund

Were absolutely fantastic. This is a team that competes at the top of European competition – it was in the final in 2013 – and is consistently up there. They’re canny and powerful and as a unit, incredibly effective. We didn’t help ourselves but we had no answer to a performance like that.

3 thoughts on “Poor in the Ruhr

  1. Regarding the World Cup, I’m not so sure it is a case of individual players feeling the effects, more a case of the overall disruption it causes. Pre season friendlies were underway before the World Cup ended, in an ideal world all players would get six weeks preparation and a couple of friendlies before starting the season. Many of the squad went straight into competitive action after only a week or two back on the training field. It just seems like we have been flat so far this season, and to be fair – Chelsea excepted – so has everyone else. Man City, Man United and Liverpool have all lost games in the league that they shouldn’t have, and we have been fortunate not to lose at least once ourselves.

  2. I think you’re being way too forgiving. We had two new signings playing last night, both up front. Given we were destroyed in the middle and at the back, it’s hardly a valid excuse. And aren’t Chelsea top of theleague precisely because of their new signings? The difference being Mourinho saw the gaps in their squad and acted on them. Whereas Arsene ploughs on with this fantasy that we can compete without a physical presence in midfield. 9 years since Paddy left – his refusal to address it despite lesson after lesson means he’s simply not fit for the job. How many times does Arteta have to be embarrassed there before he’s out out of his misery ? It’s almost as if the more people point it out to him the less likely he is to do something about it.

    As for Dortmund…..for all the talk of our ‘injury crisis’ Arsene’s team was much closer to his preferred starting 11 than Klopp’s was…

    Finally, it’s not a CL thing,it’s a quality thing. Stamford Bridge in a few weeks will be as bad. Another
    6-0 anyone ?

  3. Paul Scholes in the Independant stating the obvious re:Arsene/his Arteta love-in

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