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A few thoughts on the Dortmund match and Jack

November 28, 2014

Arsenal played well against Dortmund and fully deserved their 2-0 victory.

They say you can only beat what is put in front of you. Currently in the German Bundesliga Dortmund are not having the best of starts to their season.  In fact over the nights of Tuesday and Wednesday in an English v German battle in Europe Man City Beat Bayern, Chelsea walloped Schalke and Everton beat Wolfsberg, making it a four-out-of-four clean sweep. Like Arsenal – Dortmund have had a string of injuries which has not helped their poor start, yet before the match so far in this years Champions League Dortmund had won four-out-of-four and topped the group.

This meant playing Arsenal on Wednesday Dortmund had already qualified for the knock-out stages and unless something drastic happened they would go through to the knock-out stages as group winners.

So when Arsenal lined up with Nacho once again at centre half, Sanogo up front , Martinez in-goal, Jack and Welbeck missing through injury after the United match and Giroud apparently not being signed on due to club not expecting him back from injury until January there was some concern amongst many supporters.

Me! I’d rather wait till after the match/result to make have a view of the team chosen, because you never know what might happen.

Seventy-eight seconds after the referee had blown his whistle for kick-off, a back heel by Sanago to Santi – Santi puts the back nicely into Sanago’s path – the big lanky forward controls the ball and slides it nicely under the approaching Dortmund keeper 1-0 Arsenal. BANTER!!!

Make no mistake Arsenal played some good football in the first half and Dortmund had their share of the match and chances too with Martinez making a fine save to keep it a 1-0. Sonago should have done better when released on goal one-on-one but the lad was to slow, in speed and mind and the chance went begging.

Arsenal had a series of corners that as usual came to nothing. You/me/them/everybody really don’t understand why Arsenal are so ineffective with corners or free kicks from either flank with most kicks simply unable to beat the first man defending. They say, so I’m led to believe the players work on corners in training, Why do I find that hard to believe? Though I’m sure they do. Chamberlain hit a screamer from all of twenty-five yards which had the keeper beat all ends up, but smashed against the woodwork. Then Santi fed Sanchez, who controls the ball, comes inside his man and hits a superb curler that this time, unlike Chamberlain beats the keeper – all end up and nestles in the bottom right hand corner 2-0.

Now this is Arsenal 2014, so being 2-0 up after fifty-seven minutes does not inspire a safety net for the supporters, oh no! Far from it.There are still nails to be bitten, rituals to be gone through, nerves to be wrecked and lives to be shortened.

In this game though, the players kept their discipline (Arsenal taking a tip from our opponents where Orders should be obeyed at all times) and played the game out. Only Ramsey whose games often see’s him wandering and the odd foray by Chambers and Gibbs apart saw the team looking to see the game out, stick with what they had and if goals came then so be it, but the result here was important. If Gibbs went forward, Chambers didn’t and vice-versa. Could this be Arsenal learning actually looking to be more professional in seeing games out.

Martinez made another fine stop from Ramos towards the end of the game, to cap a fine night for the lad. Gibbs, Chamberlain and Chambers can also all be rightly pleased with their performances, along with Santi, the stand out for me.

No Arsenal game nowadays can go by without the obligatory injury or two, so we lost Arteta first to a calf strain and then Sanago to a Hamstring. Arsenal should get the initials NHS added to their name.

The result means Arsenal qualified for the knock out stage of the Champions League for the fifteenth season in a row. As yet though we don’t know if Arsenal will finish as winners or second in the group, but the smarts is on Dortmund finishing top. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m more than pleased for Arsenal to be in the mix, but I really do wish Arsenal could actually make a better fist of it when we get our knock out stage opponents. It’s just gets boring getting through the group stage, one round of knock out stage, knocked out, pick up the money, then look to go on run to cement fourth place, so we can then do the Bill Murray thing all over again.

So anyway Arsenal got a win after a run of poor results. Where does this result leave us? Well who knows! Dortmund were hardly going to go hell for leather last night being in the cat bird seat, so the answer to that question for me will be better judged after the remaining fixtures Arsenal have between West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and the start of the New year.


On Thursday we found out that Jack Wilshere was another in the line of long-term Arsenal injuries after the tackle from McNair which for me was well worth a red card. However, Mike Dean in his wisdom decided it would be only a corner for Arsenal and not even a yellow card for McNair.

I see it as a footballers game to, at some stage, have the ball at his feet. Now a player like Jack, will of course have more of the ball at his feet than some other players in the team, same goes for same type of player, like Jack in ALL teams.

Players like Jack are play makers, they get the ball, spread the ball around, make the passes we all hope will set up team mates. Now sometimes Jack’s type of player can release the ball quickly, when he team-mate has made room to receive the pass, whereas other times Jack may have to hold the ball for a fraction or two longer to find the pass. Other times it’s not uncommon for a player like Jack to do what he was doing against United, running with the ball at his feet towards the United goal. On this occasion as Jack was just getting to the United area in came that thug from the side and took him out, awful tackle and now Jack is out injured for four months.

Every footballer that plays invites tackles when they have the ball at their feet, that’s the nature of the game, to tackle, however, NO player every invites those kind of tackles.

So for me the blame lies firmly with the United player, not Jack, not Ramsey, Not Eduardo, Not Diaby, Not any footballer who are simply doing their job and end up out of the game for long periods because other teams defenders cannot tackle fairly.

Under the laws of the game tackles are allowed and God forbid they ever rid they game of them, yet, there are tackles and there are tackles and that one Saturday was a shocker and the guy got away with it.

How football can allow a system where a player can faintly put his head into another’s chest, raise his hand and no more than tickle an opponents face and yet get a red card and a three match ban and yet a player can be put out of a game for four months and the player that committed the tackle gets away scott free is a joke.



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