Sexy Alexi, Sanogo the Shaper, and Terry Adonis: Match Day Report

Arsenal 2 – 0 Dortmund – a match day report.

Sexy Alexi a joy to watch! :)
Sexy Alexi a joy to watch! 🙂

Blogging, in some ways, is a weird phenomenon. You can be ‘in contact’ with people for years but never actually meet in person. Yet, virtual friendships develop and we get to know each other quite well, even though we often do not even know the real name of the persons we are blogging with on a daily basis.

To then meet two fine Bergkampesque bloggers in person, before and during the match against Dortmund, is special. It makes supporting Arsenal a whole lot more human, if you know what I mean.

Nik, who looks like a mixture of the BFG and Fernando Torres, is based in Germany, not far from Dortmund and has been a Gooner from a very young age. He has written a few posts for the site and has watched the Arse live both in Germany and London. He is in his early twenties and is into sports science, and boy does he know his football.

Terry Mancini Hair Transplant – ‘Terry’ in short – looks like a short-haired, Greek John Travolta, and he has teeth that blind you and could bite through a mahogany table with ease. He has never written a post, but we all know him for both his many very funny anecdotes and his love for Arsenal and Arsene (not just platonic, I fear!). He also really knows his football.

Nik does not know a fellow Gooner in the small town he lives in, whereas Terry, who lives in North-London and has literally split his house in two to live separate from his estranged wife, is totally surrounded by fellow Gooners: two very contrasting ways of supporting Arsenal, whereas I sit somewhere in the middle. However, what unites us all is of course the love for Arsenal.

I drove from Norwich to London wearing the mighty red and white. It was two hours before darkness would set in, but the sun never came out and the sky was deep grey, which made the shirt stand out more. Driving from Norwich – a very small ‘city’ – to the metropolis of London offers the perfect mental preparation for the game. There is nothing between the two places but woods and agricultural land, and about 200km of it. What else can one think about but our beloved team?

Once I got to Cockfosters, I felt ‘at home’ straightaway. The colours of the mighty Arsenal can be seen everywhere, even as early as 5pm. There are smiles on people’s faces and there is a buzz in the air which only an imminent home game can bring about. If you love football, you know what I mean. I was a bit early for meeting Terry and Nik, so walked around Finsbury tube station for a while. All of a sudden I heard a collective, guttural sound and before I know I am confronted by an enormous and very load yellow and black caterpillar. A few thousands of Dortmund fans were making their way to the ground, whilst onlookers were taking pictures of, or filming, the ‘experience’. It was pretty awesome to watch.

Terry, Nik and I met up at the Arsenal shop under the shirt of AR16 and went straight for something to eat and drink. A Turkish restaurant looked clean and tidy enough to suggest we would not end up with an icky belly. There were plenty of fellow Gooners inside and as soon as we entered all the women looked up. For a split second I thought it was me who created those expectant looks, but then I realised it was Terry’s ‘ray of light’ smile that was the babe-magnet.

Terry got spotted!
Terry got spotted!

We had a great chat about footie, Arsenal, life and women and then we walked to the ground. Terry walked with a wobble and made us believe he had a dodgy knee. However, it was clear that he held us back with his rubber-necking and touching up of every woman that walked past us. It was a pleasure to watch the Adonis at work, finding his many Aphrodites in the crowd; and Nik was eagerly making notes of the master’s endeavours.

Thanks to Terry’s dodgy knee, we entered the ground late: too late for both Terry and me to watch the first goal, but young Nik jumped up the stairs, four flights at a time – the BFG would have been proud of him – to just see Sanogo put it away. Good on him.

As soon as we took our seats we realised we were surrounded by both Gooners and BVBers. We sat not far away from the away supporters, and as expected they made a real racket, with a pre-medieval drum and more guttural sounding Dortmund songs. The sound and movement of the away fans were very impressive and it drowned out most Gooners’ singing around us.

The game was good to watch and we played well in the first half. However, it was clear that Dortmund played with their foot off the gas, as it seemed they were not too bothered about the outcome of this game. They hardly pressed as a team and when in possession there was not enough movement in front of the one with the ball to be able to hurt us. The tempo was often low and Cazorla, our playmaker, regularly found himself in space he would normally not get. 

I guess the early goal was a tonic for us and sedated further Die Gelb-Schwarzen and then set the scene for the rest of the game. It was good to see Sanogo giving us structure and his hold-up play and passing was good and reminiscent of Giroud. He also had good positional awareness and passed on the ball quickly and often accurately; and more than once he managed to start an attack from receiving the ball with his back towards the goal. He makes it look simple, but yet it is so effective; and the whole team benefited from his game.

We all laughed a bit when Sanogo wasted a good chance to make it 2-0, as his movement and control of the ball looked comical. He still has a lot to learn but he is a very interesting prospect for us: let there be no doubt about it that he is a great talent.

Both Ox and Alexis were active on the wings and the FBs were a great help in making things happen. We won most of these ‘two or three against two or three’ battles on the flanks this time round – a strong contrast with the return game a couple of months ago. Santi, often with time and space, moved the ball round well and was a joy to watch. This would have been a great game for Rosicky, but his time must be up now (unless he is injured). Arteta and Ramsey had been industrious and effective, but were also given an easy time given the lack of pressing and movement by Dortmund.

Dortmund had just a couple of chances and Martinez – totally in bright orange to have a strong presence, which I liked – made an excellent safe at a crucial moment.

During the break, Terry seduced a few more women, leaving Nik and me to analyse the game in peace – good man! 🙂

The second half was more of the same, with Arsenal controlling the game and Dortmund not giving enough to be able to hurt us. The Ox hit the bar with a fine volley just before THE moment of the game. Alexis received the ball, from a very alert Santi, outside Dortmund’s right side of the box: he looked at the goal and placed a brilliant, diagonal, curling shot to the keeper’s left side, leaving him no chance whatsoever: a moment of supreme skill that finished the game off for good.

With a sex god next to me – attracting gorgeous women all around us 😉 – and sexy Alexi on the pitch, what had started as the dullest of days ended up bright and positive. A two nil win – three out of three wins for my Emirates visits this season! – fine company, lessons in the art of seducing the other sex, and a brilliant goal by Alexis….. days don’t become much better than that.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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22 thoughts on “Sexy Alexi, Sanogo the Shaper, and Terry Adonis: Match Day Report

  • I am amazed I am the first person commenting. Lovely build up TA. But for making you miss the Sanogo first serious goal, I trust you had serious words with Terry. I hope you didn’t believe ‘It’s an old war wound’ guff which he uses on the females?

    I guess us guys who took the positive line after the United game, can hold that wry smile for at least another 24 hours? It is what Per was calling for a couple of weeks back, and if it continues in the same way, a trip to St Mary’s might not look so daunting … if the bodies hold up?

  • That is the problem, Gerry, the bodies are not holding up and as soon as some seem to come back others kick the bucket. It looks like it will be one of those seasons. I am convinced that if we have all main players back – or there about – we would do really well against many a team. We would even show Maureen and his negative kickers what good football looks like…. But I just cannot see us getting to that stage any time soon. However, it is still OGAAT all the way and next up are the Baggies.

  • hahaha, cheers TA

    It was a real pleasure to go to the game with your good self and Nik. Its about time I had some decent conversation at a match.

    As you know, usually I go with my brother, who spends the whole game complaining about lack of money whilst simultanusly abusing the ref, and my mate Obese Pete, whos so fat that I have to sit on his lap.

    Think your been a bit kind to me TA. Theres plenty of women out there who would like to have a party round my grave, and as for the football, ime certainly outclassed by you and young Nik.

    We played well and it was great to see Santi hit some needed form but to be fair all the boys put in a good shift.

    As you say, Dortmund were certainly lacking an edge, lack of form or the fact that they were already through, I dont know? But at end of the day who gives a stuff. Were through and thats all that matters.

    Gerry, I dont tell the women that its an old war injury. What kind of immature lying git do you take me for?

    I tell them i got hurt saving a child from a speeding car. That always does the trick. hahaha

  • after a long day of university, coaching and familiy time I finally get to read and answer to this great post.
    First of all I have to thank Terry and TA for everything, because without them I could not have gone to the match. Big thanks for that.
    And of course I have to thank you for the great time we had. This has been a special visit to the Emirates which I certainly will never forget.
    Concerning the match I think we had a decent performance and one of the most convincing wins all season. This is a win on which we can build confidence and the players should go into the game against West Brom with a good mindset.
    I saw a pic of Jack Wilshere in a hostpital bed today and was gutted. I said it on Wednesday and I say it here today: I think he should take at least 3 months if not longer AFTER he is ready to train again to get himself fully fully fit or otherwise his career will be completely ruined by injuries.

  • Hi Nik

    Good to hear from you again and you are right re Jack. Getting his fitness right is his biggest priority. Big set back this injury, for him and the team… 😦

  • Predicted Team for tomorrow (this will do as match preview as nobody has volunteered as yet):

    Chambers – BFG – Nacho – Gibbs
    ———-Flamini – Ramsey———-

  • Hey fellas… Thanks TA for the great match report and the stories of legging it with the legend that is Terry… Also, it seems good that Terry’s ways are being passed to the next generation with the studious attention paid by young Nik…

    Despite the good result and the clean sheet and the overall professionalism we showed in the match, things still seem awfully glum in the Goonersphere. This post and it’s great story of the internet bringing folks together, for example, should be getting lots of thumbs up… Instead it’s really quiet. I’ve at least got the excuse of the cooking and eating holiday. Where is everybody else?…

    Is it just the injuries or is it something deeper? I can’t say for sure. Would people really be all that reinvigorated if we ditched Wenger and brought in somebody new? I dunno, I still feel excited about the club and the matches and glad we’ve got two per week for the next little bit, but I also agree that it’s one at a time in the extreme and that we’re stretched just about as thin as we can go. What are other folks feeling?

    My current thought is that maybe we (as a culture) have moved beyond the idea of putting our time and energy and emotion into something that doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. It’s ALL entertainment and if we buy a ticket to go and see Coldplay we at least know they’re gonna play “Yellow.” There’s no such guarantee with the Arsenal…

    Nonetheless, without an alarm clock, I know I’ll be up tomorrow morning for the 4:45 am kickoff… If this group (which I think is still working hard for one another) can keep scratching and clawing we can (maybe) build something decent… Get a few more back from injury and it all seems pretty much an upward trajectory. Things ARE tough, but so what? That’s when the tough are supposed to get going…I just wish we could enjoy the better moments (including the match reported on here) rather than dreading the dropping of the other shoe…

  • Total Arsenal,
    That is great here that 1 you guys all meet up for the match, 2 that you all enjoyed it, 3 that is was a fantastic match that we won. It really does sound perfect. Nice one Arsenal;Bredren’s.
    Great post-match write pretty much summed it up mate, but can’t believe you missed Sanogo goal, that must make it in to a 9/10 day lol I take it you guys got to see the reply on the big screen though….?
    I really like the team you have put out above and i am backing you line up. As you so rightly described Sanogo performance of adding structure, well the big man does that better then anyone and is chomping on the bit to play and will be very nice to see his start if indeed he does.
    I am also very pleased you got to see Cazorla play well, i hope he has won you back and i think he has.?
    I would really like to see Podolski play and he is the player i must want to fit in to the side but i think you line up is right
    Ness we go 4-4-2 which i think would work v WBA , we only played 1 DM v Dortmund which makes me wonder do we need 2 holding v WBA but then Rambo will play his game making runs anyway so i think the shape might change but the players won’t.

  • TA,
    Sorry i forgot that Koscielny is fit so the warrior will return surely …?
    Monreal has started doing very well there though and it was interesting to hear Wenger saying taht when all fit he could play Monreal — Koscielny partnership. Or Chambers — Koscielny and so forth etc.
    Monreal has started to become the Sagna role and Wenger should be credited for that???

  • I think Wenger will now use Rosicky in the Arteta role while he is injured so hopefully we will see Rosicky in this match.

  • Hello all! I’ve missed you so very much! I’ve been extremely busy playing soccer myself (my team made it to our state final and finished with a rank of 16th in the country) and with school and college applications I’ve had time to watch the mighty Arsenal, but do scant more than that, including barely reading transfer rumor headlines! 😉 But I’ve done my best to keep up on here from time to time even though I haven’t been commenting. I’d first like to say, Dortmund was a turning point for us. The confidence gained from beating a team who just a few years ago reached the final of this competition is huge. Even if Dortmund have had a hard season in the Bundesliga and may have suffered a bit from laziness due to the fact that they are already through, we beat them comfortably and it will mean a lot to the team. I was extremely delighted to see Yaya grab his first competitive goal and on such a big stage too. And Alexis’ goal was a stunner, but then again, we expect nothing less of him. 😉 Overall a good performance and only the injury to Arteta can put a damper on the result. However, I think we are now on the right track and a good win over the Baggies should help us build momentum towards the top of the table.

  • Yaya Sanogo(1.93m), fitness providing, will be very similar in playing style to Nwankwo Kanu(1.97 m), if he keeps working and improving on his abilities in and around the opposition’s box.

    Santi “Claus” Cazorla shall be relied upon to give our creativity for at least the next 2 months, at least while Özil returns and Wilshere is recovering.

    Alexis Sánchez is our go-to guy to provide the clinical finishing (mostly) and must be supported by our other attacking options available, especially in his first season playing through a winter break (and possibly ending with having to play 50+ matches this season).


    My team this weekend (4-1-3-2/ 4-1-3-1-1):

    (GK)Martínez, (RB)Chambers, (RCB)Mertesacker(c), (LCB)Monreal, (LB)Gibbs, (DM)Flamini, (CM)Ramsey, (RM)Oxlade-Chamberlain, (LM)Cazorla, (AM/2ndS)Alexis, (CF)Giroud

    (GK)Macey, (RB)Bellerin, (R/LCB)Koscielny, (CM/AM)Rosický, (LM/2ndS)Podolski, (RM/2ndS)Campbell, (CF)either Welbeck or Sanogo

    *Permutations e.g.
    If Flamini goes off, Chambers to DM, Bellerin comes in at RB
    If Gibbs goes off, Monreal to LB, and either Koscielny comes in at LCB or Chambers to LCB and Bellerin comes in at RB
    other could be substitutions to be direct positions as applicable etc.


    For the record:
    Payments to Agents – 2013/14

    In accordance with FA regulations, requesting all clubs to announce payments made to agents, Arsenal Football Club plc hereby discloses that the total amount paid to agents by the club in the period October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014 was £4.3million.

    Explanatory Note:
    The amount shown is the aggregate of all payments made to agents during the reporting period for agency activity, including payments made by the club on behalf of players.

  • My starting line up tomorrow:

    GK: Martinez
    RB: Bellerin
    RCB: Mertesacker
    LCB: Monreal
    LB: Gibbs
    CDM: Flamini
    RCM: Ramsey
    LCM: Ox
    RW: Campbell
    ST: Giroud
    LW: Alexis

    However Wenger is unlikely to play this lineup tomorrow so my predicted line up is:

    GK: Martinez
    RB: Chambers
    RCB: Mertesacker
    LCB: Monreal
    LB: Gibbs
    CDM: Flamini
    RCM: Ramsey
    LCM: Santi
    RW: Ox
    ST: Giroud
    LW: Alexis

  • Sorry TA I couldn’t muster an instant review. I’m having brain farts everywhere … not the type where you send great ideas into the ether, rather the wet ones that need a lot of clearing up after …. 😳

    Then, after writing stuff this morning …. Surprise! You will have mail very shortly.

  • wow, sounds like you had a fantastic time – and all that without a dodgy stomach !!!

    was a great read and an accurate reflection and analysis of the game , having just watched the highlights today .

    if we play like that then the 3 of you are in attendance then maybe, we should sponsor you for a season ticket, ha

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