Tomorrow’s CL Final is promising to be a great battle between two German clubs who thoroughly deserve to be at Wembley this year. Arsenal have beaten both teams in the last two years, but Dortmund have made big progress in Europe since we won against them at the Emirates, and although we beat Bayern at the Allianz stadium, it is fair to say that over the two games they were the stronger team.
It is a really bizarre thing that we beat so many of the European top teams in previous years – Barcelona, Milan, Bayern, Dortmund – but always only in one leg, whilst losing out over both legs. There is no doubt that our unexpected victory over Bayern – albeit not enough to go through – gave our team an incredible shot up our arms. We needed a victory like that and it proved to be the catalyst of our impressive finish to the season.
I am a romantic and love what has been happening at Dortmund over the last few years. I have written in previous posts how it is so much harder to build success on a philosophy of football in which the system is king and the players are an integral part of it, rather than simply buying the best, most expensive, players in the league and overpower the opposition. Klopp, just like Wenger, is a manager who makes his players better within the system of his football and through his coaching; he is also able to replace players who leave or get injured with relative ease – a characteristic that reminds me more of van Gaal than Wenger.
Bayern are wealthy and very powerful, on and off the field, but the wily young fox, Jurgen Klopp, has been able to out-smart his opponents during the previous two seasons, winning the title twice and the German Cup once. This season, Bayern have stepped up a gear and won the league with ease. They are still in the German Cup final, and of course in the CL-final, and can make it three out of three pieces of silverware this season. At times they have looked unbeatable, and the 7-0 aggregate trashing of Barcelona was an incredible achievement!
They are the pundits’ favourite on Saturday night, and Dortmund are the underdogs.
What I love about Bayern is they play with proper wingers and I hope other teams, including Arsenal, will be encouraged to reinstate some proper wing-play. Other than this part of their football, I must admit I do not enjoy watching Bayern anywhere near as much as Dortmund’s intricate, and yet deadly sharp, passing and possession football. This is the main reason I want Die Schwarzgelben to win tomorrow.
Another reason is the incredible insensitive and unsportsmanlike behaviour surrounding the aggressive capture of Dortmund’s most promising talent, Gotze, by their arch-rivals. Now Gotze appears to be injured, but even if he wasn’t – and who says he is anyway – Dortmund would probably not have gotten the full value out of him. On top of that, there are strong rumours Lewandowski will be joining Bayern as well.
These sorts of developments can easily destabilise the Dortmund team, but I reckon Klopp is a very special manager who seems to thrive under adversity. He possesses that rare combination of qualities: visionary, very strong tactically, a great motivator and truly passionate about his football, and a humble human being.
Spinoza wrote: ‘All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare’, and I reckon it will be Klopp’s excellence of team management skills – in all facets – that will see him and his team defy the odds tomorrow.
Call me a romantic, but I believe justice will be done tomorrow, and renewed hope will go out to all those clubs who try to win something the proper way, and that includes Arsenal.
Written by: TotalArsenal.