Dortmund await new-look Arsenal

If Swansea was the start of a new era, then (with due respect to the Welsh side) this is our first test.  Victory on Saturday was essential, but also expected.  The outcome of tonight’s game is much harder to call.

Dortmund are the Champions of Germany, and a fine footballing side.  Arsene paid them the compliment of saying they have a “similar style” to his own team, and the talents of Kagawa, Goetze and Lewandowski make them a very real attacking threat.  They can defend too – Neven Subotic, a one-time Arsenal target, is the key figure in a back-line that conceded a meagre 22 league goals last season.

Dortmund’s impressive coach Jurgen Klopp is excited about a clash between two attacking teams:

“I think it is good for us that Arsenal play attacking football. The problem is that they have so much quality that we have to be very careful. But we are prepared. We are capable of defending against this kind of team and have to work to make space and impose our own game.”

He even sounds rather like our own manager there.  Rather than being a reactive tactician, he imposes a philosophy on to his team and asks them to abide by it in every game – no matter who the opposition.

It promises to be an exciting encounter, and a betting man would predict goals – at least at one end.  Arsenal haven’t kept a clean-sheet away from home in the Champions League since the victory over AC Milan in the San Siro.  That was in 2008, three years and 16 games ago.

Those games, of course, were without Per Mertesacker.  The giant centre-half returns to his native Germany today to face former domestic rivals, and will hopefully be able to pass on his knowledge of our opposition to messrs Szczesny, Koscielny, Sagna and Gibbs.

In midfield we’re without the injured Rosicky and Ramsey, so Alex Song and Emmanuel Frimpong will most likely be charged with shacking Goetze and Kagawa, with Mikel Arteta pulling the strings ahead of them.  After an eight year absence the Spaniard returns to the Champions League, and the competition and occasion ought to suit his fluid passing game.

Gervinho returns to flank skipper Van Persie, with one of Theo Walcott or Andrey Arshavin on the other side.  Ordinarily you’d expect Walcott to start, but I wonder if Arshavin’s early withdrawal on Saturday was partly with tonight in mind.

We go in to the game as something of an unknown quantity.  As well as the clutch of new signings, the likes of Gibbs and Frimpong barely figured last season.  Even Szczesny emerged quite late in the campaign.  Arsene says:

“For us, it’s a new start because we are a new squad. What is at stake during the Group Stages is for us to show that we can go through.”

Victory tonight would be a huge step in that direction.

In other news, Henri Lansbury has extended his existing Arsenal deal.  It’s great news, as he has started the season in fine form, scoring goals for both the England U-21s and loan club West Ham.  An impressive campaign in the Championship could see him finally afforded the chance in the first-team I believe he richly deserves.  Perhaps, after all, Arsene does still see him as an Arsenal player of the future.

Back to the present.  Dortmund fans made the following video to ‘welcome’ Arsenal fans to the intimidating Westfalenstadion.

So that, it seems, is what Dortmund are about.

It’s time for this new-look Arsenal to show them, and indeed us, just what they’re about.

Come On You Gunners.

Gunnerblog is the brainchild of childbrained football writer James McNicholas. Aside from Gunnerblog, James currently contributes to Bleacher Report, The Mirror and ESPN.

38 Comments

  1. Wahaj   •  

    Top Gun!! :D

  2. Happy Gooner   •  

    well am afraid of 1 thing – Gotze vs Gibbs.

    • DeeBrown   •  

      Gibbs is a fine player his only problem is staying fit … TRUST ME in time your opinion of him will change!!!

      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      If he can stay fit that is!!!!!!!!

  3. NOT-A-DELUDED-GUNNER!   •  

    a draw would be fantastic – and thats the most we can ask for, bearing in mind that we definatley don’t know what we are in for whoever we walk out on the pitch to face!

  4. Temitope johnson.   •  

    What’ll be an excited to me if A W can start santos instead of gibbs. I dont say gibbs is not a good defender but in time of expirience santos have the quality so i’ll be happy if wenger can start him.

  5. wordlife96   •  

    Nice video, that should earns our respects for Dortmund.

  6. Shandyman   •  

    “Dortmund are the Champions of Germany, and A FINE FOOTBALLING SIDE. Arsene PAID THEM THE COMPLIMENT of saying they have a “similar style” to his own team, and the talents of Kagawa, Goetze and Lewandowski make them a very real attacking threat. They CAN DEFEND TOO – Neven Subotic, a one-time Arsenal target, is the key figure in a back-line that conceded a meagre 22 league goals last season.”

    Dortmund’s IMPRESSIVE coach Jurgen Klopp is excited about a clash between two attacking teams:

    “I think it is good for us that Arsenal play attacking football. The problem is that they have so much quality that we have to be very careful. But we are prepared. We are capable of defending against this kind of team and have to work to make space and impose our own game.”

    He EVEN SOUNDS RATHER LIKE OUR OWN MANAGER THERE. Rather than being a reactive tactician, he imposes a philosophy on to his team and asks them to abide by it in every game – no matter who the opposition.”

    Still some false bravado from people like you? Still think that Germans are inferior to the almighty patriots of England? What disrespect and how patronising of you to insinuate that Dortmund are mere copycats of us. ‘Arsene Paid them a compliment’?? ‘A fine footballing side’?? ‘Impressive coach’??

    I’ll like to see your demigod Wenger taking over one of the biggest sleeping giants and underachievers in the Bundesliga last season and lead them to the title without even relinquishing top spot from one-third into the season right till the end. Oh, but wait, that 6.5 million is just too precious to give up. And there’s the matter of job security too.

    Stagnation is more like it.

    ‘They can defend too’ – It should be more like ‘UNLIKE US, they CAN actually defend’. Ridiculous.

  7. GP   •  

    Dortmund have battered us from pillar to post in the first half. That Goteze is pulling the strings for them bigtime. I have to say that that kid is some player. Usually these young players are hyped up so much that when you see them you are underwhelmed. Won’t be surprised to see him at Barcelona next year as they groom him to replace Iniesta.

    Also everyone was banging on about Subotic but in my opinion i’d say Hummels is infinitely better than him. He’s fucking huge and is deceptively quick. The way he’s bossing Theo and Gervais that is a testament to his pace.

    Having said all that we are 1-0 up and it’s nice to see us spawn a goal after being outplayed. Speaking of the goal, kudos to RvP. If ever he scored a captains goal then that was it. Let’s just hope he stays fit as we are royally fucked without him.

    P. S. Nice to see Song at his usual sub par self. What a cunt. Get him off and get Frimpong on.

    • DeeBrown   •  

      Song has worked for 90 minutes and played very well in the second half .. Come on support the lads!

    • Peyps   •  

      Shows how little you know.. Get Song off and Frimpong off?

      Lost your marbles there, clearly!

      Song was our best player on the park while we were under pressure, fights for every balls, is calm and experienced.. Not even a comparison to Frimpong..

      Clueless comment, absolutely clueless..

  8. GP   •  

    Handshandyman – we did. Watch the 2004 season.

  9. Makanaky   •  

    Benayoun is the new Rosicky.

    Song is an utter CUNT.

    Gibbs is the new liability.

    Koscielny is playing decently.

    Walcott and Arteta should be on ‘missing’ posters.

    Gervinho is overhyped.

    • Enjoy   •  

      Song had a strong game numb nuts. Pull your head out.

      • Makanaky Mobile   •  

        Song had a strong game – like getting gimped by Goetze and Kagawa (two REAL youth talents)and gave away the free kick that led to the equalizer…..hate to see him have a weak game then!!!!!!!

        • Enjoy   •  

          Please. His tackle that gave the free kick was hardly reckless – he had a great game – as was acknowledged by RVP when handing him the Captains arm band. You clearly looked the other way during many of his successful tackles, blocks and passes.

  10. GP   •  

    Maka – was thinking the same thing re: Benayoun. Fucking cunt has done absolutely fuck all so far.

  11. GP   •  

    Nice to see Arteta take one for the team. We need that in games like this.

  12. Makanaky   •  

    As you were AKB’s.

  13. Makanaky   •  

    Benayoun bottling it and not putting his body on the line.

  14. Makanaky   •  

    Gibbs – poor stupid header back into the danger area

    Song – unnecessary stupid reckless challenge for the free kick.

    Imbeciles.

    • Enjoy   •  

      You poor NNP. Despite the fact were under the pump for the first 30 minutes… we defended desperately and did well to survive the storm.

      I thought we were going to be murdered… and you are right to suggest that if they had a decent striker we may have suffered – just as we did at Man U. But football is like that – chances are worth fck all if you can’t finish them. We were the ‘clinical’ side in the first half making the most of our chances and deserved our lead.

      I thought it was a fair result in the end and if you think about it, it took a sublime finish to truly penetrate our defence.

      Arsenal have a long way to go this season – and I suspect there will be many disappointing performances but for mine, this one showed promise.

      If we can hold on for the next 2 months without Wilshere – we might just shake things up when he returns and be one of those teams that is still surprisingly standing.

  15. Atlgunner   •  

    Damn I wish we took 3points,but a point is good enough considering that they bossed most of the game. But i have to give it to our boys they fought and defended with heart all in all good job

  16. Makanaky   •  

    They defended like pussies. I don’t know what game you were watching but if Dortmund had a decent striker they would have been out of sight by half time.

    • DeeBrown   •  

      Pat Rice roused the troops 2nd half we defended better than i have seen us defend for a long time .. old cliche “GAME OF TWO HALVES” ha ha ha!!!

  17. Atlgunner   •  

    Dortmund didn’t create shit chance,yea they dominated the game but couldn’t penetrate the defence so what game were u watching?did u hear the crowd in that stadium, i mean that place is intimidating but of course u can never satisfy an arsenal fan. Before the game I would have taken a tie are u kidding me?

    • Makanaky Mobile   •  

      No surprise Yanks know fuck all about football wtf is a ‘tie’….again they created chance upon chance and our defence was split by a 60 yard ball from their defence learn some basic footy ‘dude’……

  18. Wegs Wegregas rides again!   •  

    Makka Pakka, can’t we stop complaining while we’re winning?

    1-0 to the Arsenal!
    1-0 to the Arsenal!
    1-0 to the Arsenal!
    1-0 to the Arsenal!

    • Enjoy   •  

      Complete NNP mentality.

    • Makanaky Mobile   •  

      Ah Enjoy – the super duper woolly head AKB dunce that thinks the return of ONE 19 year old is enough to save a team in terminal decline ….that needs a major overhaul from Board to Manager to medical staff to players….a team that cannot hold on to a lead or consolidate one….dream on muppet.

      • NOT-A-DELUDED-GUNNER!   •  

        makaanaky

        now please tell me what you thought of the match

        cos i’m sorry too many pundits n fans are being too soft on us!

        yesterdays match was POOR – not one arsenal player looked fit to wear the shirt

        -no fight
        -no determination
        -no linking up
        -half-hearted attempts at everything
        -team is totally disjointed
        -pat rice is a simpleton, who doesn’t have a clue

        poor poor poor performance and like swansea, udinese, and all other matches so far – we desreve NOTHING from the match, and deserved to lose by a big margin

        and those that talk about the “excuses”…atmosphere, away, team bedding in, recovering from 8-2,

        fuck off…not good enough

        team was just poor…

        wenger out ..really really can’t wait for life after wenger…and take the players that are completely deluded by their own ability…e.g. gibbs…passed the ball to mertesacker..or szcenzy all match ..no creativity..no confidence…

        almost expected the equaliser

        we are getting poorer and poorer

        and i hope the fucking muppets had a good view up there

        fucking fat cats!

        so shite

        • Peyps   •  

          Getting poorer and poorer?

          Hope you still have you season tickets at White Hart Lane..

          Go support them rather than spew rubbish on here.

      • Enjoy   •  

        Firstly – I’ve don’t disagree that Wenger needs to go, and that the board need to go. I am in full agreement there. So get your facts right charlie.

        Secondly – I’m purely arguing that I think Song played well. You don’t agree – fine – but for the record you are wrong.

  19. Well-endowed gooner   •  

    That was a brave draw against the German champions. Let’s see how they fare against the might of the Arsenal at home!

    C’mon gooners! Let’s make sure to get behind the boys for the next home game! Let them know that we support them!

  20. NOT-A-DELUDED-GUNNER!   •  

    the result covers up the fact that we were poor.

    we were just sooo poor i can’t believe nobody is raising this…

    we were poor against swansea and the rest and we are getting poorer

    the team is being excused AGAIN because its away…80,000 fans

    so poor i can’t believe it…again i just can’t wait til we have a manager and board who have a pair of fucking grown manly balls

    EVERY arsenalplayer on that pitch was poor – you have to be dumb thick or stupid or jus ignorant like wenger to not see that the players weren’t on any “off” day they are just poor – now i see why cesc and nasri left

    i was disgusted by the lack of …everything

  21. gunner?   •  

    Agreed.

  22. Mechelle Gumina   •  

    Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find
    out more details.

  23. Classie Wormley   •  

    Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world everything is existing on net?

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