Preview & Line-up: Diaby, Arteta or Chambers for Flamini | Bellerin & Welbeck starts?


Dortmund are without Reus, Gundogan, Hummels, Kirch, Sahin and Blaszczykowski, so we could be thinking we are in with a decent chance to put the Germans to the sword tonight. But Klopp does not rely too much on the quality of his players as he drills all of his squad players into one or more positions, all based around a well-defined system and style of play. That is what I like about madman Klopp, and why he remains a strong candidate to replace AW one day in the future.

Regardless of who will play for Dortmund, they will give us a game all right. The passionate Schwarzgelben supporters – the Signal Iduna Park holds over 81000 spectators – will fire their team on; and despite the injuries they will be up for this, building further on the confidence gained during their recent successes in the CL (reaching the final only two seasons ago).

We will need to be at our very best to get a result tonight, and with injuries ourselves, especially in defence, we are vulnerable. Monreal did not travel, Debuchy is a long term injury worry (today we shall find out more, apparently), Gibbs has only just returned (always a risk of getting injured again straight away) and our multi-functional replacement defender Chambers is only fifty-fifty, as he is suffering from tonsillitis.

Young Hector Bellerin smells an opportunity here, and it would be great for him if he gets a start. We all know he has phenomenal speed and close ball control and is great going forward: the question is whether he can defend well enough at this level. The BFG will mentor him and together they can profit and compensate from each others strengths and weaknesses…. but it is a big game to try this out. If Chambers is fit, I reckon he will get the green light for the RW position, but with the potential of fatigue or injury (knock on wood) of our defenders during the game, there is a big chance we will see Bellerin taking part at some point in tonight’s encounter.

The rest of the defence picks itself, and it is no time to experiment with a new goalie, I reckon. So back-five of: Szczesny – Chambers – BFG – Koz – Gibbs.

In midfield, we probably see Arteta being played behind the ‘four horsemen’: Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Alexis. I reckon, Arsene will be keen to let these four ferocious midfielders play together again, after they were able to dominate play so well for long spells against the Northern Oilers on Saturday. There is a chance Wenger will spring a surprise with giving Diaby a start in this one, and if he is fit enough to do so, who would complain about that? The 4-1-4-1 would suit him very well (as Scottishgunner pointed out as well in the last post).

I am also quiet sure Welbeck will get another start. He had a promising game on Saturday, and away from the home crowd and the sky-high immediate expectations, he can ease a bit and add real value to the team – which isn’t just about goals and assists…

So, my predicted line up for tonight is:

Ars v Dort Sept 2014

My preferred line up is not very different. I want to see more of 4-1-4-1 now I have seen its potential against MC, but would love us to play either Diaby (if fit) or Chambers in the DM role, with Bellerin at RB.

Really looking forward to tonight’s game: two proper clubs, with fabulous managers, playing proper football at the highest level. This is why we love football. Let the battle commence!

Written by: TotalArsenal.


137 thoughts on “Preview & Line-up: Diaby, Arteta or Chambers for Flamini | Bellerin & Welbeck starts?

  • Great post TA, I agree that’s probably whats its going to end up looking like tonight but want pretty much the exact same changes as you:



    Sanchez—Wilshere—Diaby—The OX


    Diaby subbed for Ramsey at about the 60th min, and actually make some substitutions for that matter lol
    I don’t think this is the best game to bring Arteta back into, especially on his own as the DM, and i’m in the Ozil in the middle or nowhere camp atm so OX on the wing 🙂

    Ive got the Jenko signal ready on the top of my roof, i think i’ll turn it on if we get any more injuries at the back. He said it was only for emergencies but just so tempted to see that huge red cannon with a “J” on it lit up in the sky lol.

  • Alternatively, I can see Le Coq being played at RB. He knows German football well, and it would be a typical Wenger ‘vote of confidence’ surprise to spring on us. 🙂

  • TA – My worst fears will be realised if that is indeed the line up?

    Not so much the personnel, more the way you have them lined up. Dortmund have some serious talent in their midfield, and they would love to be taking on Arteta one on one?

    We could win this tie, but not by going out with a full frontal attack. We have the pace, use it sensibly. Defend first. Control possession. Cut out the dodgy passes. Counter quickly.
    To do that you need that midfield trio to be a solid wall against any counter attack they may launch with our full backs up field, particularly if Bellerin and Gibbs are the starters?
    Both Arsene and I share your reservations about Bellerin’s defensive abilities. Going forward on the counter though, he will shine. hence the need for a back 5: two CB’s and 3 defending midfielders, albeit JW would be the one to initiate the counters . That will give both FB’s licence to go forwards, without compromising the defence.
    From your line up, I would rest Ramsey for the weekend and play Flamini here. He may have to drop into the LB if anything happens to Gibbs, although he has had 4 week or so to recover from being played too quickly last time. With less than half the pitch to cover, Flamini will be fine. Had for too much area to cover last time.
    I am not sure Diaby travelled, and at this stage of his return he is not the answer to save this ‘doomed’ 4-1-4-1. In fact, take Ramsey out, and insert Flamini and you have the more natural 4-3-3, or the variation of it;:4-2-1-3-1?

  • Cheers Gerry 🙂

    Fear is for the feeble! 🙂

    Flamini could be an option but he gave a lot on Saturday and I cannot see him have the legs. The trio of Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere can all defend reasonably well, so I don’t see a big problem there, like you do. Flamini is also our defensive cover if required (in any position).

  • SG – Two points from the last post.

    The reference to Zelalem was not meant quite so literally. only that his qualities are the same as Ozil’s He is playing at his appropriate level, in fact stepping up as he qualifies for the Under 18’s, and Ozil is playing in his appropriate level. Remember Zelalem was ‘absent’ durng the first half of that game, but the switch to a slightly deeper position enabled him to operate to his full potential. The same could be true of Ozil, given the opportunity, and others not clogging the middle of the park?

    Akpom, still only 18, will be spearheading the Under 19’s as they start their UAFA Competition that mirrors the opposition in the CL. They play in Dortmund tomorrow night – It might be ‘live’ on the ‘Player too.
    The Under 21’s have a league match next Monday, so some may be kept back for the COC on the Wednesday, or indeed the Villa match before it?

  • Just a reminder of the team that won away last season, does our set-up and player choice look stronger or weaker now?


    I don’t see why we just couldn’t stick to the old system but include the new additions:
    Wilshere in that creative/B2b CM area to give Ramsey a rest and give Ozil a chance at CAM, Chambers over Arteta is a definite defensive improvement and Sanchez and OX in for the more senior pair of Cazorla and Rosicky, Welbeck obviously in for the injured Giroud.

    Sanchez———–Ozil————The OX

    Job done lol, never that simple with AW though lol

  • Great post Totalinho

    Really looking forward to tonight’s game, Dortmund are always interesting opponents.
    Rosicky to start tonight, against his old club?

  • Good post TA,
    A few comments have surprised me a little though mostly the questioning of Ramsey Flemini fitness, when i consider them as great athletes. Why are they being questioned over anyone else? It was a hard game though to be fair but at this early stage of the season, they should be able to handle the amount of games in a short amount of time.
    Also i ses no one seems to fancy Podolski or Cazorla or Campbell for this game. Podolski must be feeling like the club lapoar at this stage lol. I still think he adds a lot going forward. With Sanogo injured :/ again him and Campbell must be next in line. I think playing Podolski may also take a bit of pressure of Welbeck if he was to play. Il leave to to Wenger to pick the right team, its just my 1 pence worth lol
    COYG , With there injuries i think we should be favourites tonight, though a very tough match as TA said.

  • Good points PG. 🙂

    Flamini is getting on a bit and Dortmund are a very fit, dynamic team that did not have to play two CL qualifying games recently. Hence my doubts about playing him in this one.

    Ramsey has a great engine, just not sure whether the ankle issue is totally gone….

  • Where are the American and Ozzie Gooners? And what about Alcide, AFC, AB, RA, HenryChan, Jozefos, Terry, Cockie, Nik, etc etc….. Do you only blog when we are winning? Hey?! 😛

  • PG – I said yesterday that Campbell will get to play tonight, but most likely of the bench.

    Re Ramsey – There is a possibility he hasn’t quite got over his Wales injury? Personally, I think he need a break to sharpen up his mind. No doubt he will be on the bench tonight, if he doesn’t start..

  • TA& Gerry,
    I see.
    Only thing is is we take out Aaron , we lose a big goal threat. I to hope that Jack can go on a great goal scoring Run like Aaron but it will take time to find out.
    Correct me if I am wrong but I think outif our current fit squad , Podolski if our highest goal scorer followed by Rambo and Cazorla … ?

  • TA,
    Add JB to that list, long time no talk .
    Hope your ok mate, drop us a few words if your reading

  • TA,
    I know your going to pull me up onPodolski again lol.
    But I do have a place for him, I was there at the CL game v Montpellier when he scored that screamer of a volley, still the best goal I have seen live.
    He has goals in him , add to that he has not played all season so is fresh!
    Plus it’s in Germany.

  • Great minds Total… 😉

    Personally I don’t have a problem with Bellerin starting tonight.
    He may lack experience, but he has quality and pace.
    Also Dortmund won’t know too much about him, so it goes both ways…

  • I’m here Total…and I’ve been reading all posts and comments…Maybe I’ll even try for a little GDC (game day chat) during the match…

    I’ve been enjoying your more positive take on things even though we’ve yet to really get the results or the fluidity of performance we’re all craving. Some promising stuff from the TW, I think, but we’re cutting it a little close at the back (big moments for the young fellow with the tonsils)… Overall, I’m a little sad so many oldsters have “taken a break” and/or quit the site. I thought Alcide’s comment after the City match the other day said it all… 😦

    Tonight’s match is all about the rotation–who will be doing the Iron-man bit, who will get a break given that we need a win against stingy Villa at the weekend and who will come in and add that depth to the squad. (Likewise, I’m also very curious how Pellegrini and City will deal with similar issues with their even tougher matches…)

    Unfortunately defense (defence?) picks itself. Bellerin and Flamini on the bench, but ready to go. Like AW says, we cannot afford any more injuries at the back (I’m looking at you, Gibbsy…) Arteta, despite the fact that nobody likes him (except the man who made him Captain…), can do a job and is first choice as our deepest lying MF.

    The other Spaniard nobody favors, Santi Cazorla, also comes in. The Debuchy injury hurt on many levels, but one was that the forced sub (who was then caught ball watching for City’s 2nd goal…) prevented Santi from adding his offensive threat plus his sneaky defense and ball retention over the final 10 minutes. From a winning position we were very fortunate to come away with a draw and Santi, I think, would’ve helped preserve things. Losing the Taxi Driver hurt (hurts…) in all sorts of ways…

    The question then becomes who among(st?) our great athletes and technical attackers can play three matches in a row? Luckily the two upcoming matches are away from the home crowd (and the relentless English pundits/bloggers…) who believe showing effort IS quality. As such, I expect silky (or is it sulky?…) Ozil to get his chance to shine. It’s also possible that Rosicky (the Czech Kagawa?…) gets an outing in front of his old supporters. This might mean that BOTH Ramsey and Wilshere rest. In truth, I think it will be Jack who sits as Rambo should be allowed to reprise his important role from the two group matches with the Germans from a year ago. Will he nick the away goal as he did in this same fixture last autumn or overplay at the defensive end and allow them to sneak in for one as he did against them in London? Jack, despite his excellent outing vs City isn’t quite there for matches every three days… Good off the bench, if we need a late goal, however… I always like the Ox (and his direct approach) in those situations, too…

    Up front, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alexi given the start with Welbeck on at 65 minutes. Like others, I’d love to see Joel Campbell get some minutes too. Could Poldolski play or must he wait until he’s back with Dortmund’s local rivals (Cologne)? Suddenly we have a lot of forwards and I didn’t even mention Akpom or (Weng-jured again) Yaya…

    We have to remember a couple of things…Any result in Germany would be a bonus but we need to start getting points back home. Squad depth is key and it’s more about who will be able to play matches every few days in March and April than who can do it now. As fans, we get to live in the moment. If we want to play at manager we have to think a little longer term…

    Now let’s move on to formations… 🙂

  • Yeah 17, it has been quiet recently but they will all come back again over time, I hope. 🙂 I did not get Alcide’s comment: what did it mean?

    I have my reservations re Wenger’s approach this season, including another no show for the DM vacancy, but it’s a new season and he should be given time to show us how he is going to play and make us ultra competitive. The glass is half full, and I have always respect for him. And I like his TW buys a lot.

    I love your support for Santi and Arteta. And good point re the former’s ability to retain the ball when it is most needed. Let’s hope Arteta has a great game tonight and Santi too. For me they are not first team players, but they still add a lot of value to the team. Don’t think we can afford to rest Jack. His break comes during the Coc game next week. 🙂

  • I actually tend to post more at length when we lose TA – attempting to hold the fort with Gerry 🙂

    Just busy at work, browsing the blog often but not much energy to write these last few days. Very nice posts lately btw!

    17ht, I will indulge in some GDC tonight if you’re up for it.

  • Good to hear that, Alcide. The blog needs comments to fuel my enthusiasm to keep writing, and good times or bad, we need to keep talking about our beloved Arsenal, 🙂

    Will be watching in pub so no live chatting from me.

    Gerry, are you up for a review?

  • 17ht, i shouldn’t have made my *sigh* comment the other day – I actually missed the game (work) and was disappointed reading about the late equalizer, and then further disappointed by some negative comments as I didn’t feel a draw and encouraging performance did not deserve bringing about global and definitive negative statements. And I shouldn’t have sighed because I actually had no time at all to expand! So sorry about that, and rest assured I’m still 100% here 🙂

  • Sorry for the double negative and poor grammar… I’ll balme it on the iPod – although I’m on my work desktop 😦

  • Everybody responds different to games, Alcide. I have learned to accept that, but I know what you mean. As per my post yesterday, the game was an emotional roller coaster and it was hard to accept the last ten minutes after the euphoria of the stunning goals and great come back.

    Also, the English TV media is riddled with ex-footballers who are stupid and cannot let their hobby horses go…. They infuriate the fans with their statements and make us often feel down or angry. 😦

  • Hey Alcide… Apologies for putting you on the spot there… 😉

    I realize that the “fun” of blogging is sharing (indulging in?) whatever is on your mind at the moment. What bothers me are pundits (including blog comment writers…) who want it both ways–feeling free to vent AND coming up with (untestable) ideas which ALWAYS are correct (as they cannot be tested). Well, not always…If the manager’s ideas are working then the alternate ideas have to be held off until the next unsatisfying result. Additionally, again, I find the short perspective (each result telling the whole story) most unsatisfying… Ah well, so it goes…

    In general, on this site, folks stay above parroting the media pundits and we get a slightly different set over here in the states, so it’s actually a bit hard to tell. In truth, to make this a healthy spot for discussion (for me at least) we have to keep abreast of all the comments and from whom the came. Tough work at the rate we’re getting paid… 🙂

    Anyhow, Cheers Totes… I really do believe that the technical qualities of Santi and Arteta will be key for us this season (along with those of Ozil). They may not play with the verve or thrust or bite (a term of yours I like…) of the British boys (or Flams or Alexi) but there’s a reason AW didn’t let the former go back to Spain and made the latter Captain. Obviously, I agree we’re light in defense and a younger up and comer in the DM spot seems important. I think your picks of De Jong (too old, trouble staying fit) and Wanyama (trouble staying fit) aren’t quite the answer. Could it be a sly strategy going soooooo light on bodies back there to show off young CC’s (Calum Chambers) outstanding ball skills? The French fellow at his old club (Schneiderlin) is doing well early days… Our guy is just a kid (so I feel it in my bowels when he has to work in the penalty box) but what an under-the-radar find he has proven to be… Another big night for him

    Anyhow, time to check how the teams are rotating as the tournament gets underway…

    Oops! Wrong! You’ve got it right… Hector starts and Wellbeck too… (Jack stays, Santi still on the bench…) Arteta in for Flams…Well done!

    Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Subotić, Papastathopoulos, Schmelzer, Durm, Kehl, Bender, Grosskreutz, Immobile, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang. Subs: Langerak, Ginter, Bandowski, Kagawa, Jojic, Amini, Ramos
    Arsenal: Szczesny, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck. Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Campbell

  • Arsenal
    01 Szczesny
    03 Gibbs
    06 Koscielny
    39 Bellerín
    04 Mertesacker
    17 Sánchez
    11 Özil
    16 Ramsey
    10 Wilshere
    08 Arteta
    23 Welbeck
    07 Rosicky
    09 Podolski
    13 Ospina
    15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
    19 Cazorla
    21 Chambers
    28 Campbell

    Strong bench for us, they is some real talent on that bench.

  • Evening BKers! I’m only following on the radio sadly; but will be staying with it through the game. I feel strangely confident tonight; play like we did at the weekend and I think we should be in business. COYG!!!!!

  • Hey AB… Blue kit tonight and we’re off to a slow start… Hector under a LOT of pressure…

    Finally after 4 mins the ball is out of our half…

  • Ooooh…Yellow for diving!! That’s a game changing moment…

    Arsenal corner denied by the same ref…Ramsey passed behind Ozil when we had the break on…A situation which might repeat given the men Dortmund are pushing forward… Game’s wide open and the ref is letting them play…

  • Hi there 17. Good to ‘hear’ from you again. Its all a bit anxious at the moment; time for us to score on the break, as city did against us at the weekend!

  • Are we trying to bomb forward a bit too fast? Or is it because of the BM gegenpress? We need to calm the ball down a bit.

  • Agreed Alcide… we’re very confident playing it out of our own half…for better or worse… Ozil on the right working hard to help out young Hector…

  • Giving away a ton of corners…Reports suggested we were working on them, so fingers crossed…Sok had a good chance there but puts it wide…

    Looking a bit nervous with our passing…and maybe out of sorts with who should be where. Dortmund look fast (very fast) but aren’t getting their touches right either….

    Whoa, inneresting play there on the Kos handball…

  • Miki and the ref are really getting into it… Wenger giving the “diving” sign… lol

    Ozil doing some brilliant stuff with his left and Alexi flagged off (again, this time correctly)…Game is so open the refs/linesmen will be tested… Immobile reduced to potshots from 30 yds…

  • Good tackle from Arteta but Miki gets the whistle this time…Hopefully the ref checks the replay at HT…

    We need a little possession…Where’s Rambo?…

  • Oomph Bellerin got caught here, Szczesny just spred himself wide enough for PEA to shoot on him… Close

  • Wow…How did they not score there…Sir Chez in the right spot and no rebound… Bullet dodged…

    Hector was rounded a bit too easily, I fear…

  • Ramsey 1st touch off tonight…

    Ooh good chance after great work from Gibbs but Danny whiffs it! End to end action tonight…

  • Alexis “hold up” play almost punished… The longer this stays nil-nil the more I like our chances…

    They’re sooooo aggressive that a bit of the ball could work wonders as we can let them press themselves out of shape…As maybe we did a year ago…

  • OK, Ozil has moved out left…Alexi all action but not playing with his mates…

    Wow…Great intervention by Kos at one end and what a ball from Rambo for Danny but pulled wide…

    Deserved better…maybe?

  • Haha, alicide, I thought the pass was a left footer too…but Ozil not jack…Caviar indeed…

  • BVB making the right passes in the right tempo, but agreed 17ht, we’re slowly getting back in.

  • How often do we concede at the last minute! I thought we had made it to half time – riding our luck, but still. All to do now.

  • It’s probably 15 attempts for them, a couple for us, so can’t complain. It’s going to take a lot to come backs funny how last year we kept being ahead and win, but couldn’t get back when we conceded first.mso far this year, we always managed to tie or win after conceding… Crossing my fingers, but we’re currently overrun in the middle and can’t get our feet on free balls.

  • lol you gotta laugh, this is terrible lol
    Nevermind, its nice to see some high intensity, fast paced attacking from at least one team on the pitch – well done Dortmund.

  • Our midfield not getting a look in by the sound of things. Rosicky or Ox perhaps to come on if we can’t get more into the game soon in the second half? I don’t get why we are being so over-run by this team.

  • Not a good time for a goal to go in…

    My guess is that they’ll keep pressing for a 2nd rather than alter their basic tactics. As such, we’ve gotta just stay firm at the back and keep pressing when we’ve got the ball. Would it be cynical to say that Falcao would’ve buried that chance Danny had? 😉

    IMO, we struggle in matches where the opponent dictates the tempo…Too much desire to show off our calmness and technical skills even at the back?

    Replay to me suggests Sir Chez might’ve stayed a little bouncier on his feet and reacted to make the save. I guess earlier efforts might’ve made him cocky?

  • AB, because they are running there nuts off to close down and get the pace going up the pitch.
    We look like me in the morning – dazed and confused and not interested lol

  • No luck involved here AB 🙂 they were clearly the better team. We’re aggressive, but they’re even more aggressive, and more organized in their full terrain pressing. They’re finding runs, and passes into space, we’re getting cornered 2-3 vs 4 in small perimeters. Can they keep up physically? Can we run after the game without conceding in a blistering fast counter attack?

  • 17ht, Falcao is overrated… Take out his penalties and his goal ratio is just good, not outstanding, I have seen him miss similar chances for Monaco, and he certainly wouldn’t work as much as Danny.mbut Damn! He should have scored that one, it would have been a perfect steal.

  • On why we’re overrun… I thin we’re over-eager and commit to much in our pressing – look at the way BVB does it – they corner, force a tough dribble, a tough pass, we tend to win the ball at their feet, and when we miss, free space opens. They’re world masters at this in Dortmund, we’re just starting (Jack said in an interview that now, we want to get the ball back in the first five seconds)

  • PG, we need to get the ball before anybody can score – 15 chances to 1 doesn’t point to a goalscorer as a priority… Let’s see how it starts

  • I don’t see it quite that way, AB… Too many quick strikes from deep positions which have been intercepted…BFG and Arteta particularly guilty. Additionally, some of these hot balls have failed to be controlled by our guys (Alexis and Ramsey, esp.)… Playing at this tempo isn’t so comfortable for our guys. A little possession might work a charm. Gotta take those chances when they come, too…

    Chambers in, but so too Ginter. Inneresting

    Game on…close control from Ozil then a 40 yarder from Alexis… Rolly eyes on that choice…

  • 2 nil… BFG and Szcz looking a mess on a simple Dortmund counter…

    OK, points gone…and Szcz prevents a 3rd…

    Just kidding about Falcao, alcide…

  • I know ht, I’ve been meaning to say that bit for a while, that was an occasion for me to say so 🙂

  • Ozil no contact but sees yellow anyhow… Good times… Does that (at least…) prove that he cares?…

  • We have to start beating the press and get the ball wide (other side wide), plenty of space there if we manage to get the bloody ball out of close quarters

  • Wow…Rambo wide open at the far post but Gibbs goes Danny at the front… PEA almost gets another on the counter…

    Welbeck, in space, can’t get past the last man.

    Should we shut up shop or keep pressing a risk a big tally?…

    Cheers alcide…I guess Chambers didn’t come on…

  • No whistle despite the shove on Jack?…

    Ox and Santi for Messy and Rambo… Just gotta get one to make the yellow folks nervous… We look better already…Corner won…

  • Alcide, something from this match would’ve been nice but we need three at Villa–who have yet to lose–on Saturday…Still hoping we can get one and put a scare into them…

    I dunno (and I’m sure I’ll go back into hiding shortly) but we just don’t seem to have a good balance between the one-touch fellas (Ozil, Santi, Jack) and the head down guys (Alexis, Rambo) who want to carry the ball so I worry about being able to make the chances let alone finish them… So thin at the back doesn’t help either…

    Chambo, is an interesting case in that (I think) he can play both ways but sometimes makes the wrong choices… A little Sicky running (maybe in place of one of the head down players) might be a thought…

    Ooh not so far off on the set piece to the BFG…

    More trouble at the back… Sir Chez almost gifts a 3rd…

  • Wow…they’re missing a bunch of chances… Arteta trying a dummy just cos Santi had a nice one?….

  • Welbeck over…despite being hauled back by the shirt…Just because we’re being outplayed doesn’t mean the ref should never call fouls on the Dortmund players…

  • Welbeck seems to do all the preparation right, but can’t get a shot off on the target. He needs a goal to get his confidence going.

  • Szczesny sends a message to PEA. I must say I was disappointed we didn’t sign him, he was fabulous in St Etienne.

  • That looked a bit dirty from Szcz… on PEA

    Agreed AB, Danny is in Sa-No-Goal land… They won’t even show that chance but the defender had his shirt and was the last man back…Red card possibility if it’s in an even match…

    Now he’s landed funny so maybe Yaya gets the next attempt at leading the line…

    Miki has played well but bungled a lot of fast break chances tonight. Jack down now… (All part of the rotation plan, surely…)

  • no goals poor performance.
    You don’t score then the best you cab hope for is a draw which we did not deserve.
    Bad bad night for the gunners.

  • That’s a dire evening; we’ve been thumped, and even pool manage to get a late winner…., not much ti smile about this evening

  • Lulu, on the run, cannot round the keeper… but actually keeps the ball for us near MF…

    OK, I know, Wenger out, etc., etc., Personally, I can see some decent stuff here but the result should serve to, er, focus our critics (and maybe strengthen our resolve)… At least we have a match at the weekend…

    Thanks for the chat, fellas…

  • 2-0 it is, well deserved. Initial thoughts and feeling. Very disappointed. I however saw good football tonight. Unfortunately it was BVB producing it, with lots of aggressive defensive closing in on the ball bearer, good one touch passing, nifty one-twos, winning most aerial duels, and fast players outrunning our central axis. I think we fought, but didn’t overcome the gegenpress often enough, and we insisted too much in trying to beat it with triangular small plays, which just feeds the beast. Beaten by a better team tonight, more than having an awful performance?

  • Defence and defensive midfield the familiar problems by the sounds of it. We discussed the merits of having a small, but flexible squad a few days back on BK; its already apparent that we are too light in the squad. Physical DM leaving us wide open. Arteta slow and fresh back from injury simply not adequate where we have a makeshift/unfit defence.

  • Welbeck’s miss at 0:0 made the difference.

    Arteta is over but we should have known that from the moment Arsene announced him as our new captain.

    Movement and passing were terrible. Özil should get a rest to clear his head.

  • I don’t think the makeshift defense was the problem today – our CBs failed (and nothing to do with being unfit). Per’s huge weakness was exposed – can’t blame him, he is what he is. Agreed on Mikel and pace/physical ability for a DM, but unfortunately it’s not new, and we’ve been looking for one for a while (Arsene recently said “we still need a physical presence with prodigious ability like Vieira or Petit”). I think the combined lack of pace in the central defensive axis (Mikel/Flam and Per) may actually be more exposed this year with the football we’re trying to produce (pressing harder and higher). Laters guys – it’s bounce back in Villa now.

  • “Welbeck’s miss at 0:0 made the difference.”

    Can’t agree to that – we missed one chance, when they had 15, including 4-5 clear ones. Yes we could have stolen the game (at this point), but the problem was that we created a tenth of what they did, not that Welbeck missed his shot.

    I can’t agree to singling out Özil when the whole team was overwhelmed either.

  • @alcide – I agree with you, it would have been a robbery if we had beaten Dortmund after their chances but it was turning point of the match.

    About Welbeck – I wrote a text a few days ago about him and mentioned his shooting technique. With all his qualities (and he really, really has a lot of positive sides), Welbeck’s shooting reminds me of Gervinho’s which is not very flattering. He should have scored at least once tonight – he had three or four good promising positions (and he deserves credit for making at least one of those by himself) but failed to score.

    What I don’t want to hear is moaning about our injuries. Dortmund were playing without Marco Reus (you know, their best player and one of the best in the world), Mats Hummels (their best defender), Ilkay Gündogan (key midfielder) and Nuri Sahin and that didn’t stop them from dispatching us with ease.

  • Alcide. Agree with you on Welbeck and the balance of play; its too easy to blame Welbeck for a missed chance, when their strikers missed a hat full. On the defence, yes its not a new problem, but it is still a problem, and only likely to get worse. I think Per is a great CB, but he needs people with pace and anticipation around him – Kos brings this, but he can’t cover DM and CB. The combination of sluggish CB and also DM leaves us very vulnerable when our fullbacks play offensively. Against stronger opposition we need to either restrain the attacking instincts of our fullbacks or else fix the still glaring gap that exists at DM in a transfer window. I don’t see our box to box types being able to rectify this, even when we play the double pivot. Frankly, the only alternative on a day like this would be to have two DMs in a Flamteta pairing.

    I’m not going to despair, as I do think we have not yet a) recovered from the WC lag and lack of a collective pre-season, and b) key new players have yet to properly integrate with the squad and way we play. Unless we are really unlucky with the injuries I feel sure our performances will improve as the season progresses. But we will have lost ground by then, and we still look vulnerable to another heavy beating of the kind we suffered last season – in fact we were fairly luck we didn’t get one tonight. Can we bounce back strongly against Villa? It will take some character now; lets hope we can show it.

  • Agreed AB.

    To me the next reinforcement is indeed a DM, but I am more and more reinforced in my idea that we do not need a 3rd or fourth choice CB, but rather one to actually compete with Per, especially in games against teams with fast attackers like BVB.

    Admir, agreed as well, I was quite impressed with Dortmund – you have to say the names on the sheet were actually impressive – they have great depth; let’s not make mistakes, this is a big team.

  • Well balanced comments tonight FFGs’ 🙂

    We were out-systemed all over the pitch. Seldom have I seen us being dominated so much by a team. We were lucky they did not have their shooting boots on, because it could have been humiliating tonight. I am not going to focus on individual performances now, but I hope Wenger took note. Dortmund are a team we should be equal with but tonight we were second best: out-thought, out-fought, out-run and out-performed.

    Well done Bellerin for fighting for 90 minutes.

  • It is very frustrating to support the team when its so lifeless in all the big matches. To be honest how can we compete at this level with a captain and vice captain who are not good enough for the starting eleven. Ability must be considered over experience and on that note Calum must be ahead of Per with BFG only playing wgen we rest the youngster. Why did we sell Vermaelen? Per is horrible in all the big games and that is reason enough for him to be replaced in the first team. Every time is see Coquelin play I wonder why he is behind Arteta and Flamini. Why didn’t we try to sign Rodwell and Diame. Rosicky is the one who must be giving our midfield shape and pace. OZIL IS JUST A WASTE AT THE MOMENT.

  • Ospina

    Bellerin Chambers Koscielny Gibbs

    Oxlade Coquelin Ramsey Carzola

    Sanchez Campbell

    The team above would have done better

  • Time to make wholesome changes against Villa I think all the players except maybe Sanchez should be dropped n the defence stays cos we dont have any substitutes thanks to Wenger’s superb planning
    I have never doubtef Wenger since I started supporting Arsenal but if he continues being so stubbourn things might get real bad

  • Poor game against Dortmund IMO, considering how well we did against City. The 4141 system did wonders against City, so why didn’t it work against BVB…here’s why.

    Against city, we deployed Flamini as our midfield anchor, and although he didn’t have a wonderful game, his energy in midfield was crucial to how we set up against City. In a 4141, it is crucial to have relentless pressure to win back the ball as having only 1 person as a pivot as opposed to having the 2 midfield players that we would normally have in a 4231 formation.

    In this match however, we deployed Arteta as our pivot. His lack of pace is more exposed as he had to deal with quick players and slick passing.

    Another reason this system didn’t work out is because of our CB pairing. Per should be dropped in a high-paced match like this. Don’t get me wrong, he is an outstanding player. However, he needs to be paired up with a pacey defender( in this case Koz) to cover for his lack of pace. No matter how good Koz is, he can’t cover for a slow DM and a slow CB, he is only human. Don’t you all not think that Chambers has showed us that he deserves to play ahead of Per at the moment?

    At last, we have reached the topic I want to discuss….Mesut Ozil. To be honest, I can’t figure out whether to drop him or not. This team that consists of Welbeck,Alexis,Rambo and soon Walcott, was built specifically for him. Sure, they are all new to each other and probably aren’t on the same wavelength yet, but his performance is woeful at the moment. The only through ball that worked out was the one which he passed to Welbeck, but seriously, that’s the only through ball that I remember him putting through. And he isn’t linking up well enough with the rest in the buildup play. I hope he can quickly form an understanding with the others as they would be hell to defend against, but at the moment, he should probably be dropped.

    We seriously need to step up our game, and what other game would be best than a game against Villa, a game which made us doubt our team last season.

  • Hey fellas, don’t you think our team was really good last night. What is a matter with you all?

    I mean, to play that badly and only lose by 2-0 …. Fantastic!

    That would have been my review if I saw your request earlier TA … I will email you shortly.

  • Not really, Gerry. We were REALLY lucky. Dortmund had 8 or 9 clear cut chances to score but their shooting let them down. We got absolutely picked apart in midfield and defence. Our fellas were all over the place like headless chickens and we simply couldn’t keep up with the fast-paced, energetic BVB style of football.

    Arsenal need to do a LOT better.

  • Hi All and TA, Gerry and Shrillex in particular

    Saw it finally.. Sigh … People know my opinions and I’m huuuugely overloaded at work and home … But fortunately I have found my twin who wrote my post for me.. And no, it’s not Gerry no matter what you all think!

    Anyway, in about the same words but less poncey sounding than me most likely. The unsolvable conundrum to me…

    Oh, and TA, in Liege October 22 – Nov 2 (ish, give take a day) and Nov 24 – Dec 11 I think. Nov 24-Dec 1 ish are with Mrs Jgc … Look in Le Meuse for articles about the wandering American in deepest Belgium seeking arsenal games on TV… :-/

    Gotta fly

    Cheers — jgc

  • Why isn’t Wenger playing my favorite player Tomas Rosicky? He is by far, our best player in terms of URGENCY. A big game player! OUR BIG GAME PLAYER! Yet, our esteemed manager somehow refuses to play him (and Joel Campbell for that matter), when he clearly is what we need at the moment with our lackluster performances so far this young season. Certainly, Rosicky cannot do any worse than some our current “manager’s favorite” starters, can he? He can still run faster, tackle better, move the ball forward quicker, and provides a lot more energy than any of our midfielders. So why persist in playing out of form players (in the hope that they will play themselves out of the funk they are in) when you have real quality on the bench just dying to get a chance…? I would love for Arsene to explain this to me.

    It is also becoming more apparent now that playing Mertesacker at CB and Arteta at DM is a no-no when faced with fast, quick attacking team. It definitely doesn’t help that Wenger made them Vice-Captain and Captain respectively. Would he be brave enough to bench another Captain a second season running? Hummm…. In my opinion, young Calum Chambers should replace one of our two “turtles”. I don’t really care who, but we can’t afford to have these two playing at the same time anymore (unless it is against a weak and boring team). If Wenger does not make a radical change soon, I am afraid we are going to get left behind both in the EPL and in the UCL.

    Time to give some our benchwarmers a real chance, Arsene. Don’t be scared, they can’t play any worse than our regular starters did yesterday. So go for it and be bold Arsene. Let our prima dona starters know that they too can be benched if they don’t want to perform to their full potential and abilities. Time for some tough love!

  • Well said Gino, Rosicky has that energy that just gets it going and Santi tries but without the same buzz they say with age you lose it but the last 12 months Rosicky seems to of found it and needs to come in because last night for sure we needed him.
    As for this DM role we all need to realise Arsene don’t want one however playing leggy players like Arteta is more of a hindrance than help as players up field think we have cover and players just stroll past him without much effort, so play some players with energy IMO the Ox and Jack should be the 2 in the 4-2-3-1 bags of energy and tenacity also the Ox finds it difficult to hold his width these days as he is becoming more and more comfortable centrally.
    Ozil wide needs to STOP!!! Now it’s no good for him the full back behind him and the rest of the team, if he has to play every game due to his contract then rotate the likes of Rambo, Wilshere etc but this can’t keep up he does a job but he could do a better job elsewhere and someone else could do a better job there.
    The defence well the way we play with BFG and Kos split like those 7,10 splits at bowling make it difficult as with bowling to get together and as Gino said especially with the leggy Arteta on the pitch it means poor Kos has to sprint every time as no one else can get back and the rest are way up the pitch as with goals and countless other chances last night I think as much as I am not a fan that 3 at the back would suit our play although you lose a midfielder unless you play with wingers as wing backs as opposed to playing fullbacks but at the moment Chambers or Ox is our best bet as DM. I know Ox is so good running with the ball but he would do that still but I think he’s the one even though he tries to hard a lot of the time he plays with his heart on his sleeve every time not many I can say that for.

  • Hi all..
    Forget about yesterday dissaster.. I only see lastnight game is an advantege.. hehehe..
    First, Wenger will learn that his 4-1-4-1 formula is not working.. Just as Van Gaal change his 3-5-2 form into 4-2-3-1.. I think Wenger must think about that seriuosly.. change his 4-1-4-1 into 4-2-1-3 again..

    Secondly, with Wilshere small injured, Wenger will easily take Ozil back to his best position as #10 or CAM.. And Ox or Cazorla as our LW.. Or as I used to say that Sanchez is also great at LW position, so Ox or Rosicky as our RW..
    No more Ozil at LW.. No more Ramsey and Wilshere doubel pivot.. It just don’t work. period.

    Last, usually our player will have a lot of extra energy after beaten in UCL.. I don’t know why.. I saw it several time, and that’s work.. hehehehehe.. So If Wenger play our firm formation 4-2-1-3.. than we will win against Villa, although Tyson (Benteke) is back.. hahahaha..

  • I agree with gino. Rocky should have started last night. On paper out midfield was superior – the difference being their work rate. Every player they had ran their all. Ok they tired after 70 mins and had we kept a clean sheet until that point it might have been different. The point is we didn’t keep a clean sheet. I think we’re so close to challanging for the top honors. We need to be able to adapt to the situation.

    I’d have played rocky instead of ozil and the ox Instead of Ramsey(the boy needs it fully recover over his injury from the Wales game) when we need to be direct the ox is one of the best we have. Why Wenger doesn’t play him I have no idea.

    We need a big win against villa. Maybe. Welwick to get his first goal and diaby making a cameo?

    It’s great to hear alternative thoughts on lineups and formations. You can tell were the football manager/fifa generation. We all think we know best. If this was football manager sanogo would be scoring for fun :/

  • Great comments: balanced and fresh and fair. I will write a quick post in a bit, and Gerry will be working on a match analysis/report – whichever he chooses – over the next 24 hours or so. 🙂

  • Just to add some context this is the same Dortmund pretty much that spanked real Madrid 2 seasons running when playing at home. They’re a different beast away from home. Let’s hope we can rally together for the return in NL. Also I think it’s partly my fault we lost last night as I forgot to wear my retro arsenal top. We always do well when I wear it.

  • Geoff, I was in that part of Belgium last month. So unfortunately will not be around there when you are visiting. A real shame as it would have been good to watch a game together, however illusive Arsenal showing footie pubs are there!

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