5 Things Learned From The Dortmund Game
1 - The media still hasn`t forgiven Arsenal.
Maybe it`s because they feel guilty after all those years of drooling over our brand of football, but for the last 12 months the Media remit on Arsenal seems to be 'find the bad, ignore the good.` They`ve turned out some spin that Graeme Swann would be proud of.
Last night the BBC reported that 'all English teams in the Champion`s League are staring into the abyss.` They included Arsenal in that. An Arsenal team that were a home win / away win against cluless Olympiakos (take your pick) from winning their group and qualifying. Do we have to go into 'I have a dream` territory before we get some equality?
2 - Alex Song shows Arsene still knows
£1 million for Alex Song looks more of a bargain with every game he plays, and not just because of inflation. Song has a strong claim to be the best holding midfielder in the Premiership right now. Whilst Parker has undoubtedly added steel to Tottenham`s silk, it`s unlikely he could ever produce the subtleness of touch that saw Song beat 4 players and provide the 1st goal for RVP last night.
3 - 'You need asbestos to put Robin Van Persie out`
That was Ian Wright`s assessment of the Van Persie`s 12 month long hot streak.
He`s hit 31 Premiership goals in the last 12 months, yet still Van Persie is only picked by 25.1% of all Fantasy Football managers. Fact. Friends of mine still go with the argument 'you just can`t tell when he`ll be fit though.` The things about facts is they don`t lie, and it`s a statistical fact that RVP has been fitter than most for over a year now, and the result is goals by the record full.
If Alex Song is a maybe for best holding midfielder in the Premiership, then RVP is a stone cold guarantee for best striker in the world right now.
4 - We can always learn from Germany
The Dortmund fans last night just never shut up. When we took the lead, they sang back, in perfect English 'you only sing when you`re winning.` They showed what football is all about, as have so many of the German clubs, genuine fans going to watch games of football because they enjoy it.
Whilst the Premiership certainly has the best product in terms of the quality of player on show, when it comes to how to treat fans, The Bundesliga leaves all others trailing. Cheap tickets, sell outs for nearly all clubs, carnival atmosphere, cheap beer, high proportion of local players and zero tolerance for hatred.
Here`s hoping some club CEOs are reading.
5 - Gervinho still has further to go
This isn`t to read too harshly; his start has been impressive. His willingness to run at defenders in spots tight enough that even Kanu would have winced at, has certainly added a new dimension to our play.
Last night he showed perfect timing to break the offside trap, just as he did against Norwich, and wonderful body shape to swerve past the keeper, just as he did against Norwich, but with all that hard work done he dawdled (ditto marks) and saw a clear chance disappear.
In fairness it must be hard to stay balanced with a head so big on a body so small, but if he can add a clinical touch after all the build up play, he`ll be something really special.
Now where've we heard that before?