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 footballâ€™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 itâ€™s not that easy. (Andy Murray, after Wimbledon, has struggled a bit to adjust too).
Maybe Iâ€™m being cruel on the BFG here, but thereâ€™s no denying Ozil has been distinctly off colour. Perhaps itâ€™s a physical thing too – a combination of the mind and the body.
Fitting the signings in
Le Boss has often said itâ€™s a dangerous game to make multiple signings and upset a teamâ€™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. Weâ€™re playing with three new players every week – and maybe we need to make allowances for that.
Or maybe Iâ€™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 canâ€™t help but wonder what weâ€™ve learned. We couldnâ€™t cope with the pace and power and tenacity of a team like Dortmund, and itâ€™s not the first time. I suspect it wonâ€™t be the last. Itâ€™s a competition we fight tooth and nail to get into, but on last nightâ€™s showing, seem remarkably incapable of properly competing in once there.
Dissatisfaction with Wenger is never far from the surface, is it? The FA Cup seems a distant memory at times. I canâ€™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.
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. Theyâ€™re canny and powerful and as a unit, incredibly effective. We didnâ€™t help ourselves but we had no answer to a performance like that.