Mozart shows his metal – BFG-Koz solid – Rambo’s knock-out – great team performance

Another Rambo Knock-Out by our Welsh Wolf :)
Another Rambo Knock-Out by our Welsh Wolf 🙂

Dortmund – Arsenal analysis and afterthoughts

After lacking a bit of luck a fortnight ago at the Home of Football, last night we definitely had it back on our side. As expected, both teams played chessball in the first half in which all players moved along like chess pieces to deny the other pieces space, and at the same time desperately trying to gain some themselves.

We defended really well as a team, give or take a moment or two. If you watched the simple demolition by Dortmund of Stuttgart on Friday, you will agree with me that our team did really well to deny die Gelb-Schwarzen space and time on the ball in the area where it could hurt us. To see our team play with such discipline and maturity, AND with such sacrifice to ‘our style’, was very satisfying. They still managed to create a few very good chances, but mainly from set-pieces, and it is fair to say we rode our luck at times.

I felt our weakest area was our left side of defence. BD are very dangerous from their right side of attack and they put a lot of pressure on Gibbs, Koz and our ‘DM’s from that area. Cazorla did his best to help out, but defending is not his strongest point and a fit Jack Wilshere would have been the better option last night.

The first part of the second half was more of the same. As in the first half, our attackers did not seem able to hold on to the ball for long in the areas where they could hurt Dortmund. We were not able to play close enough together to play our triangles and move forward with possession and sharp passing, and this tells us all about how good Dortmund are: they forced this on to us with their chasing and excellent positioning, which not many teams are able to do.


However, gradually the game opened up and the chess-positioning lessened, and we started to play some better midfield/attacking football. Arsenal’s first, and directly deadly, chance of the game came out of nothing. Ozil floated in a ball towards Giroud; the Frenchman won the aerial battle and laid the ball off to Rambo – who scores when he wants – and he wanted it badly: 1-0 to the good guys and game on!

And boy did it take the bounce out of Germans – Scheiße! hahaha 🙂

But Dortmund were not allowed back into the game by the collective ‘concordia’ of Arsenal. They did manage to produce a few half-decent chances but so did we, and it could as easily have been 2-0 as 1-1 at that stage of the game. Ramsey had a good opportunity to score a brace, after a perfect cross from our multi-functional CF; and the BFG launched himself in the air towards the ball like a B52 Bomber from an Ozil cross from the sidelines, but just could not reach far enough for what would have been a certain goal.

The team battled on and everyone gave what they had left in them to secure the win. Every single player deserves praise, but I would like to bring to light our CB-pairing and Rosicky’s performances.

No team will ever win something meaningful without a solid CB partnership, and the Koz-BFG partnership is developing into something special with now three clean sheets in a row. They are not fully there yet, and there will be a new test for them at Old Toilet, but boy are we lucky to have them playing together right now.

And then there was Rosicky, of whom I said he seldom performs well two games in a row. Yesterday, he proved me wrong with a MoTM performance against his former club after having played against the Chavs and Pool in an eight day period. TR7 was absolutely brilliant in all areas of the pitch and his defensive play and ‘professional meanness’ were outstanding. He put his body on the line for Arsenal and gave his all, and it is this hunger, passion for the club, talent and experience that make him such a valuable player for Arsenal. I hope he’ll stay fit and at Arsenal for a long time, and develop into our very own Ryan Giggs.

All in all a fantastic, and much needed, win in Europe and TOTT. These boys are making us SO PROUD. Same eleven against the Mancs…

Written by: TotalArsenal.

30 thoughts on “Mozart shows his metal – BFG-Koz solid – Rambo’s knock-out – great team performance

  • TA,

    Great report. What a fantastic game and result in favour of the Good Guys.
    The team played with a maturity that seems to improve as each game goes by. It was a game of chess early on as you described, not many opportunities and we held our own. Arteta did make me a little nervous as he was really pumped for this one but as we know eagerness can lead to erratic challenges and a lack of focus. However, he seemed to settle enough not to get sent off.

    What can be said about Per and Kos? Absolutely fabulous. I find it hard to see TV making his way back in.
    Rosa was on fire, never stopping and chasing every ball. I somewhat feel cheated by missing out for so many seasons what could have been if he had stayed injury free. What a player, Mozart indeed.

    The beauty of this game was that we got a result against an European powerhouse, last years losing finalists. We were unlucky at home but we fought as a unit and got what we needed and deserved.

    Last year Bayern, this year Dortmund. Only Arsenal have stopped Bayern from scoring in more than 75 odd games, Only Arsenal have defeated Dortmund at home (no other English team has managed that). Two clean sheets in Germany Against last years winners and runners up. We cannot get carried away, rather lets build on this and take it to the Mancs, and the Chavs. One step at a time (OGAAT), lets win the PL, let’s challenge for the FA. Let’s shake up the CL.

    We are not perfect but we are THE ARSENAL.


  • Fabulous comment, Alex, and could only have come from a man who is about to become farther! 🙂

    The gif file was posted by KG and I nicked it off him!

  • TA – I would love to be able to say this and that about the game, but I think you have captured the essence of what I gleaned from others, so I am glad you manage to fit it in with your busy schedule. I will await until Sunday to see how all the heroes have done.

    However, you my like to put a violin on your Christmas wish list, so you can play a sad lament over your absent Jack?

    You say that a ‘fit’ Wilshere would have done better at tackling back than Santi Cazorla, which is probably true. But it is not only his fitness that, I think, keeps him out of the starting 11, but his confidence. Confident enough to not try too hard proving he is worth a start? In any event, he would more than likely have taken Rosicky’s place, not Cazorla?

    For the moment at least, I think you should resign yourself to the reality of current line up, and that his best position is probably being held by Ramsey? So his opportunity may have to wait a while?

    I am sure you will disagree, but it is the only thing I can comment at the moment. Sorry 🙂

    I too, want Rosicky around for as long as possible, as he is an ideal player for his successor to learn from. He is a year older than Sagna, and we have not sorted that one out yet, so the signs are not good?.

    Regarding filling in the posts between now and Sunday, I am sure there are enough people to put their reflections on match to take us through until Friday. OG will probably lining up his preview for Saturday, so a post for Friday looks the one to fill, if you care to air a subject? Not necessarily a formal post, just something that keeps it ticking over, without pre-empting – guilty already – the Oz special?

  • Great post TA

    Yap..10 out of 10 to the team for a TEAM was like a game of porker with each time waiting for the other to make their move so as to the manager and players have said since BVB’s smash and grab win at the Home of Football, the CL and other big matches is all about slip-up and BANG!! is lost..from the off, it was evident that we were ensuring that we do not make THAT mistake hence the slow start..we maintained our shape, offensive players dropped back and denied the ‘metal-lovers’ any space to work through

    Rozy seemed to be playing the b2b for me and as you said, he was REALLY vital in our mature and composed defensive performance yesterday..hustled all round the pitch and tried moving the ball quickly when in possession..BUT my MOTM has to go to the BFG..composed as ever and made some really crucial last ditch clearances as well as dealing with ALL aerial threats coming in..truly our leader at the back

    We might run of superlatives to describe Rambo..chipping in with SUCH crucial goals points to a man at the top of his trade..long may it continue!!

    Credit to Oooozil for occupying the wide role in an attempt to provide some width and holding onto the ball to run down the clock..this man has truly lifted us!!

    Giroud had one to forget by his own submission but provided the assist for our only goal..not to mention the set up was not really meant for him to shine as we were playing quite deep..still a comfortable performance from our French giant

    Excellent attitude by the lads and now time to concentrate on the coming trip to the old toilet which will be more of a mental game as we haven’t had our luck playing there but conjure a performance like this with a bit of flair then i believe the broody woman and his shit team won’t know what hit them

  • nice one @ TA

    you managed to cover everything on the game and your article reflects it, indeed the gif is pricess, cheers at KG but i think it was from the Wembley game (Final vs BM) but who cares, ha

    look for the guy in the dark sun glasses behind the front row ahahahahahahhahaahhaha

    anyhow, back to business

    The Visionary mode on :

    we need a replacement for Arteta in January more so than Rosicky – as much as i like Arteta , i don’t think he would be lasting an entire season on aging legs from next year onwards , hence it’s imperative that we get in a Pogba, Bender or a Gundogan nice and early, so Arteta can be rotated and the new arrival can learn from him and off him – there is only so much so you can do with intelligence and lack of pace which he seems to be losing even more and more.

    we will be ok for this season, but ideally we need a technician in the DM role like Arteta/Flamini with younger legs and good pace + a striker = sorted

    and i’m confident that in the next 2 transfer windows, we will be addressing this issue.

    other than that, Rosicky what a player ehh

    i know it’s harsh on Ramsey when i say this but for me, the first name that i put in MF is Rosicky every time.

    what a great performance by the BFG

    the way Ozil celebrated with Ramsey and the whole team – Priceless

    this is the same team that demolished RM 4-1, didn’t they ?

    the real positive for me from last night was – NO INJURIES !

    i suspect that Roy Hodgson has take it upon himself to have a one on one with Arsene Wenger … he’s going to be making this a club vs country thing, even if he hasn’t done so openly yet but i reckon he will be doing everything possible to make sure that JW is on the bench for the internationals.

  • Cheers guys 🙂

    Gerry, Jack would have played LM if fully fit, as he has done in previous games. And do you really think Wenger would have left him home if he was anywhere near fit? But that is all I am going to say about it as I know you have your theories and so do I. 😆

  • question for you TA,

    do you think it’s a coincidence that we won against BM and Dortmund both away without JW ?

    i suspect he was left at home because Wenger didn’t want Roy to select him for the friendlies , however, that seems not to have worked by the looks and sounds of it.

    i do expect JW to be in the squad for Sunday though.

  • The one big problem with Rosicky is he never scores, Jambon. Ramsey goals are making such a difference right now.

    I can see where you coming from with Arteta. Great PL player but struggles a bit against bigger European teams. I guess that’s why we got the Flame now. Would love another DM though.

  • Why would he leave him at home, when his bench is wafer thin? It does not add up and I don’t believe the Hodgson theory. You can never pull a conclusion from two games, JB; there are so many variables any way.

  • but without Rosicky, there be no fireworks and goals scoring opportunities as such – there is plenty of passing and quick passing in this team but with Rosicky, there is slick and decisive passing + PRESSING

    note how he loses the ball, wins it back like mad and then sends a crisp pass at the perfect pace for Ozil to deliver his chip into the box ?

    sometimes, it’s not all about scoring and assists, not every player is about that for me it’s about PRESENCE and Rosicky brings that presence to the entire team, he is such a treat to watch

    if i were Dick Law or IA (which i’m not by the way, ha ) – i would be tying down Sagna for another 2 years plus 1 (optional) and Rosicky for another 1 year and i be doing this ASAP.

    he just doesn’t have the legs to recover quick enough or back track, not even for the PL – i am not having a go at him but the writing is on the wall – he’s a great player and one who deserves to end his career at Arsenal and win many many trophies with us as i don’t think he’s ever won anything with any club in England – but yesterday at times, i was feeling sorry for him, there could have been a few disastrous moments last evening and the blame would have entirely fallen to Arteta

    we don’t need to replace Flamini, he’s ok for another 2/3 years if he stays healthy, just a replacement now for Arteta or grooming of young Hayden will suffice.

  • Im with you on Rosicky TA. Also, i think our defense since last season should be getting more credit. Team defense, plus our super solid back 5 or 6.

  • ah , and all the best and good luck with Baby Bella @ Alex

    hope it all goes well !

    best wishes.

  • Hodgson on Jack Wilshere, who is nursing an ankle injury: “We are in constant discussion with Arsenal. At the moment we know Jack is in a period where his ankle is constantly assessed. We are going to monitor the situation and with any luck he will be fit at the weekend and fit to play.

    “Arsene [Wenger] is not averse to him playing one of the games, it is whether he is fit or not.”

    so, reading between the lines then both JW and Gibbs might play against Chile, is what i’m making out of this – provided if AW takes JW to old toilet ?

    also, i think this break has come at the right time (i know, the wait is a killer without no quality footy) but this is a very very welcome break for a change ! minus the french contingent though

  • for those of you wondering, what happens if all 3 teams finish on 12 points in the UCL :

    Champions League Group F permutations
    What would happen if Arsenal, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund all finish Champions League Group F tied on 12 points?

    This rare scenario remains a possibility following the fourth round of matches, which saw Arsenal beat Dortmund in Germany, and Napoli edge past fourth-placed Marseille.
    According to Uefa’s rules, if three teams end the group on the same number of points, the following ‘tiebreakers’ will be used (in order) to decide who progresses to the knockout stages:

    (a) highest number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question (Arsenal, Napoli and Dortmund – not Marseille)

    (b) superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question (ie. Arsenal, Napoli and Dortmund – not Marseille)

    (c) higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question (ie. Arsenal, Napoli and Dortmund – not Marseille)

    (d) higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question (ie. Arsenal, Napoli and Dortmund – not Marseille)

    If, after applying criteria (a) to (d) to all three teams, two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria (a) to (b) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine their final rankings.

    If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria (e) to (g) apply;

    (e) superior goal difference from all group matches played;

    (f) higher number of goals scored from all group matches played;

    (g) higher number of coefficient points accumulated by the club in question, as well as its association, over the previous five seasons.

    credit :

  • yep, a draw in the Dortmund vs Naples one would be perfecto and a win against Marseille, almost ensure our safe passage as group leaders ?

    otherwise, it’s very complicated and i fear the 2 goals that Dortmund scored against us may come back to haunt us.

    why am i even worrying about such petty things when we are group leaders, ehhh ? 😀

  • thankyou Total, and great post

    I agree with you Rosicky and BFG were stars, and saw off the Dortmunds. Rambo is a true beast, and it is unbelievable that he ran about 13Kms or so. Well deserved goal and all the best to him. Also unbelievable that Ozil is not having the influential performances but still involved with the goals. Isn’t that what a quality team is all about?
    anyway, Theo, Poldi,, Flames, Sanogo seems ready to go, and its good for the squad.

  • Evening Erectionesque Erupters 😆

    Like my friend from the Darkside of the Tamar ( Gerry ), I haven`t seen the game yet and can only go by my listening of talkSPORT and reading The Sun today ! ( What a win double ! ). So thanks Total van Load for taking the time out from the drug dealing and writing a fine report, but after weighing up the 3 different media accounts, I have come up with a simple conclusion that we have now found a new weapon in our armoury…….The Parked Bus !. Although we have used it twice before to my knowledge with great success……beating Parma to win the CWC and beating Manscum on penalties to win the FA Cup !. So when needs be, use it !.
    As for Sunday, anything other than a loss will be a good result. Those who have sneered at my radical logic for prioritising just the EPL just remember, if we do lose on Sunday, do not come crying to Cockie about….Fatigue !. You have been warned, I have my hybrid Cockazer on charge, much more deadly than Stretches hybrid Cockapult ! ( it`s the only way he can get little love notes over to the lady across the road without his wife finding out whilst locked up in the loft, yes, I know, the image of him lying naked on his bed with a large elastic band strapped to his boner is disturbing, but the use of the pigeons as carriers is no longer, as he clipped their wings so they cant escape the sexual roastings ! )….. don’t make me use it !. hahaha

  • TA. Excellent and well balanced report. We deserved the result, but were not without good fortune. An outstanding team performance, and real discipline that, to be honest, has surprised (and delighted) me. We continue to perform despite being on the edge in terms of squad depth (of the fit variety), and the confidence and cohesion the team is showing is a joy to behold.

    I’m glad you gave credit to Rosicky – I thought you might not, when you didn’t mention his key interception and swift, pin-point pass to Ozil in our goal yesterday. You are right that he is not consistent in his performances, and that he should score more goals; but he is often the spark that makes the team really fire. I expect Ozil to take this on, and then some, but Ros is worth his weight in gold in our squad as a top quality technician as well as a model of the committed pro on the field.

    The debate about whether Jack would have played, and instead of which player is academic. I am certain that, where reasonably fit, Wenger will give him more regular playing time than his form absolutely demands – because his potential is so great. But I am also sure that for critical games Wenger will still apply his master tactician perspective – he will choose the best team for the opposition. And that won’t always mean Jack, any more than Ramsey is guaranteed a CM spot. Sunday’s selection will be very interesting in this respect.

    People are writing Arteta off far too soon – even after the recent Liverpool game! Was he too rash yesterday? No, he judged it just right – no red card. And Wenger trusted him to do so. He brings calmness and quality and I would expect, even with Ramsey and Flamini fully fit, that he would start as many games as either of them. Arteta’s presence and control were key to us grinding out results at the end of last season, and at 31 (I think) he has not lost that, and should have several years to play in his current position. For those looking for a replacement, my concern would be we end up with a Cabaye rather than a Gundogan; I don’t think we need the former in our squad, and I am entirely dependant on reports for the view that the latter would strengthen us. If we buy a DM they should either be young potential, or someone clearly a class above Arteta and Flamini. hmmm

    And finally, what of the coming Sunday? A week ago if I could have had 2 wins out the 3 games we are in the midst of I would have taken it like a shot. Now, I find myself pondering the possibility of a clean sweep. We will be full of confidence on Sunday – and I think they will actually fear us. I predict some rough treatment from them early on and a few cards. On player form we should feel confident. Our record there however looks less promising, and I do fear the effects of 2 gruelling games on our small squad. We need early goals I suspect – time for Giroud to show RVJ how little he is missed, and perhaps Cazorla to carry on his recovery. It will be interesting to see what the book-makers make of our odds come the day, as for the first time in a long time, there is the sense that we ought to go there and get a result. Whatever it is, we will be TOTL and top of our CL group, with an inter lull to freshen up and bring back folk from injuries. The boys have done us proud!

  • AB,

    no one is writing Arteta off.

    we have to both keep the present and future in mind, and sadly, i don’t see Arteta being able to play high tempo games @ 30-35 per year from here on now at such intensity and so on due to his age and lack of pace as well.

    we have to buy a decent and younger DM, in January or the summer , so Arteta’s work load can ease and he can give us 20-25 games per season at high tempo

    sure, he didn’t get a red card yesterday, sure we didn’t get punished twice after his lapses but i would be a fool to turn a blind eye to what i was seeing and pretending all was well, when it’s not and we need to plan it accordingly

    flamini comes back for sunday and that will help Arteta, but i reckon playing 2 games of high intensity for Arteta is a bit too much .

  • JB. Agree, we are looking at managing Arteta’s input, the more so as he gets older. But he’s not over the hill yet. He has his less good moments – but I can immediately think of cock ups that Kos, Ramsey, and Giroud have made this season too. It doesn’t mean too much. Wenger’s view of the man was clear when he brought him straight back from injury and moved an on-fire Ramsey out to the right to accommodate him.

    Buying in a young player is fine, so long as we accept a) that this might mean Jack has fewer opportunities, and b) we don’t have someone (Zelalem?) up and coming who we want to give opportunities to.

    At present, with all our players fit, we have 4 players who can comfortably play in the double pivot (Flam, Art, Ram and Jack) – and who knows, maybe one day Diaby? This gives us fantastic range of potential combinations, depending on the opposition, as well as the scope to manage players to avoid over-playing. The ‘if fit’ is a big caveat of course, but do we buy cheap cover for when there is an injury crisis, or quality, knowing that they will probably be on the bench for most of the season?

    The strength of this team comes, in part, from a small core group of players who clearly love playing with and for each other – look at some teams (Spuds anyone) where they barely know each other, and the manager is clueless over his best 11.

    If Wenger decides that he can buy real top quality DM talent then fantastic – I won’t be complaining for sure! But I would be wary of diluting the cohesion and quality of our squad simply for numbers – as I think we have the numbers in midfield already.

    Striker and CB are different matters mind…….

  • that is it @ AB

    we do have Hayden and Diaby (i know i know) , if diaby was fully fit then it would be a nice rotation process for the trio.

    i just want us to find someone who can be groomed and learn off Arteta and from him, he’s a great leader on the pitch , as he still has another 18 months in the tank left .

    look at Rosicky, the guy seems to defy his age because he still has legs and hasn’t lost pace as such – and he’s older than Arteta

    saying that, i hope Rosicky can maintain the same intensity for Sunday as that will be his 3rd game in a week after coming back from injury and TA often says that Rosicky seldom plays 2 good games in a row or he hardly ever has 2 good games, maybe it will be a first and we will see Rosicky not only creating but scoring a goal against the Mancs ?;)

  • JB 🙂

    Don’t get me wrong, I am like you a big fan of Rosicky and love it that he is playing well for us right now. But you stated he would be your first midfielder on the team sheet, and that would not be my choice. On current form it is Ramsey for me.

  • yes, he be the first name i jot down in the midfield because i know there are 4 other midfielders to follow and ramsey be the next one on the team, ha

    jokes aside, i love it when he plays this well for a contract extension every year 😉 reminds me of Theo walcott, ah wait !

    Ramsey is having the season of his life and we all so wanted a 15 goal a season midfielder, i remember you were crying out for one @ TA

    by the way he is going, he may end up scoring 20 goals by xmas !!! (i hope i don’t jinx him)

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