Arsenal - 5 Things Learned From The Dortmund Game
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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?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Northern Gooner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 24 2011

Time: 5:57PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Lol, Northern Gooner @ your Gervinho assessment. Song did start shakily, as did most of the rest of the team but when he picked up steam, he was a monster in the midfield. The press will keep under-rating the quality in this Arsenal team at their own peril. It is looking good and that is fact.
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24/11/2011 19:11:00

I think we're a bit touchy on what the media reports about Arsenal. The criticism in the 1st 2 months of the season was well deserved (everyone on here was saying the same thing). Even right now, focusing on the BBC not giving enough credit is too sweeping a statement. I've read complimentary reports about Arsenal on other major media outlets.
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24/11/2011 19:29:00

And I thought the Dortmund fans were fantastic. Consistently outsung the home crowd, showed more passion and support to their team. The Arsenal fans could surely take a leaf out of their book.
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24/11/2011 19:31:00

Quite like that the media are underrating the team. Seem to perform better when the pressure is off
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24/11/2011 19:39:00

In all honesty - I rang 606 at the end of last season. I said I was ringing to defend Wenger. They said, again with no exaggeration, 'sorry that doesn't fit with what we're going with tonight.'
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24/11/2011 19:57:00

Our own away fans are just as impressive, though, and regularly outsing the home fans when we travel. If only our home fans were at that level. I think Gervinho has a touch of the Bendtner syndrome. His instinctive play is excellent, but he lacks a bit of composure when he has time and space. He presumably shines at 5-a-side. Don't really buy too far into the media treating us badly at the moment. I think they've been fairly complementary overall - fans of every club can point to harsh treatment. Whilst I think their labeling us a one-man-team is misguided, I must admit that I think RvP is a cog in our machine that we don't have the capability to replace if he ruled out. We've got a huge amount of quality behind him on the field, but I don't see a great deal of goalscoring potential without him, and without goals the good work in defense/ midfield risks being wasted. On a side note, surely Arsene will be looking at buying another wide forward player in January. With Gervinho going to the ACN, and Arshavin, Rosicky, Benayoun all getting on a bit it only seems logical to bring in some younger talent in that position both to freshen up our options this season and for future seasons. Maybe a player who could also cover in RvP's position?
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24/11/2011 20:35:00

prits (everyone on here ....etc) bo23a'r's, the knockers were but they are not everyone. Still the press example are waiting just like some scum fans are ready to find any loopholes to our form at the moment. The boss kept faith in this squad when clowns, (so called Arsenal fans) were yelling for his head; they must be feeling a bit stupid now. Early days yet of course the boss said that when we were having a rough run. Heard a so called expert say they havent met any real top teams yet since they lost to spuds. Chelsea were not much good as they were not doing well and Norwich were just another poor team. Oh well stand by for more egging throwing. When you have time read Amos comments now there is a great supporter of our team who has the knowledge if only people whom read his comments. Me I'm just a stupid following who loves his club.
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24/11/2011 21:24:00

I only saw the second half but can only agree with the Song sentiments,but then I have supported him for the last four seasons. He is the best unloader of the ball from opposition players in the Prem and that includes the time when Makelele was at his best. Last season he did seem to stand still but then he was probably exhausted from continuous football World Cup and the ACN as well as the club football. I believe that he had a rest this summer and it is showing. Santos also looked good and made some important interceptions and physically he is just more solid than Clichy or Gibbs (maybe a little too solid at the moment!) but he seems to be getting fitter. Long way to go though but what a difference from seven or so weeks ago!
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24/11/2011 21:30:00

The only thing id say of Song is that despite being a fine player, a holding midfielder for me shouldnt ever feel the need to be out on the left wing Messi-ing up 2 defenders and whipping in a Beckham esc cross. Sure it was brilliant, but if your holding midfielder is going on thses missions 5 or 6 times a game then especially against the best teams then you will get exposed badly. I believe you have already experienced this with Song.
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25/11/2011 09:31:00

It's no problem where any of our players are on the pitch (with the possible exception of the keeper) provided that team mates recognise that there's a gap to be filled and the shape is maintained. It's difficult to get right but when we do it provides the unpredictability that wins tight games. Song has been caught out upfield in the past which is much the accusation that's been levelled at Santos recently but they're only caught out because their team mates haven't responded as they should. We've also seen Vermaelen breaking forward with some effect against Norwich. It's no problem at all and can be very effective provided everyone else is taking responsibility.
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25/11/2011 10:15:00

Song against Barce at home was brilliant, really disciplined.
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25/11/2011 10:23:00

i agree with prits that the criticism earlier was deserved. at least, we have done something to stop leaking goals from long ball & set pieces, and having proper centre backs rotating (we used to have stepanov, cygan & sanderos in our contingency plan not too long ago). also, we do not see the team chalking up 60 successive passes without a shot at the goal anymore. best of all, our wingers are tracking back to help in defense.
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25/11/2011 13:35:00

A football dribbles past 3, sets up a goal and gets criticised?? It's total football like Amos says. One player moves up field, the other covers. I think the criticism of Arsenal was justified, but from a neutral point of view, the media really don't like it when Arsenal do well - certainly look for the bad. The Guardian are the worst for it by some distance
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25/11/2011 13:55:00

The fact that the dortmund fans outsang you is nothing though is it? Even your ex players moan about the noise levels in your stadium. Your away support is way better than your home support. Your grounds aren't called the Library for nothing now are they.
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25/11/2011 13:56:00

The german fans would outsing any home ground in the UK, not sure who you support, but I'll bet you we've outsang you at your ground.
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25/11/2011 14:18:00

I've recently decided to not read any media write-ups and even turn off the volume when we're playing to avoid having to listen to the commentators (surely by now there should be an option to watch a game without commentary if you so wish). I don't even watch the half-time analysis. It makes such a difference not to listen to the opinion of people in the media who sometimes talk garbage. For instance, when teams create chances against Arsenal, it's a sign of our poor defending; but don't Man Utd, Real, Barca and City have chances created against them?
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25/11/2011 14:37:00

HY, you have never rated Song having previously laughably rated Palacious as a better player! Song can go forward occasionaly because he has the positionally excellent and astute Mikel Arteta covering for him. Song is already on a par with Parker and he is just 24 with his best year still in front of him. You would be lucky to have him in your team.
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25/11/2011 18:43:00

Go back 3 years when i said it, he certainly looked it. Im sure a few on here thought Arshavin was the ressurection of Jesus Christ when he first arrived...Gareth Bale was awful for 2 years for us, no look at him. Just for the record im a massive fan of Song, but id say hes more of a box to box player than a Busquets/Makalele or even Gilberto Silva type sitting holding player. I think the very best offensive sides that you aspire to be need someone like that and Song too often goes walkies. Thats all im saying, i guess we disagree.
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26/11/2011 12:37:00

even my man u friends are saying they want song in their midfield. do u think a bid is imminent?
e dubbz
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26/11/2011 17:06:00


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