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1) Painful viewing last night, what was your take on what went wrong in Dortmund?

@AFCfreddie8 - Very poor! Seemingly no organisation or plan to deal with what was clearly coming. From the early stages you could see Dortmund had learnt from last season & were keen to impose their pace & pressure on us, something we didnt react to or deal with at any point. we held on for dear life as long as we could, but were always likely to lose the game once we conceded, the scoreline could & shoul;d have been greater.

@arsefc - This was the first real test of the new 4-1-4-1 formation up against a side who specialise in counter-pressing and quick, direct counter-attacks. If anyone is going to expose this setup, it’s Klopp’s Dortmund. BVB’s desire to win the ball back as a unit and exploit the huge gap in-front of the defence at speed was devastating. Arsenal just couldn’t cope with the directness and speed of the attacks.

@gareth_stringer -
I think that was simply an awful performance against a strong and committed Dortmund side. They looked quicker, stronger and sharper than we did, from the very first minute.

@KildareGunner - I don't think it was lack of desire, as we have been guilty of in the past, I just think it was a collection of poor performances that couldn't be carried  by those who were playing up to their ability. Our midfield, despite having 5 in it, was over run, Jack being the only meaningful contributor. Our passing was as bad as I can remember, only partially as a result of pressure from a good Dortmund team.

2) What were we missing tonight?

@AFCfreddie8 - Desire, character, drive & commitment seemingly! The players seemed lethargic & heavy legged, never seemed to have any control of the game whilst it was being played around them. 

@arsefc - Dortmund wanted it more and Arsenal were nowhere near sharp or pragmatic enough to get anywhere near them, by the end Arsenal were mentally shot and even the basics were a struggle. Tactically Arsenal were setup to fail, overwhelmed in the middle of the park and devastated on the counter making the final score look flattering. For such an offensive setup, Arsenal sure didn’t look like creating anything with Wilshere, Ramsey, Özil and to an extent Alexis all competing to be the primary central figure, too many cooks and all that. Welbeck missed three decent chances but it seems immaterial given such an inept performance.

@gareth_stringer - Cohesion, shape, belief and the structure needed to go somewhere like Dortmund and get a result. It never looked like happening tonight, and that was very disappointing.

@KildareGunner - Apart from clinical finishing, we missed a calming experienced midfielder. One who could do the simple thing. If we only had a player like Rosicky on the bench? Oh wait a minute! A pair of Cyborg legs for Arteta wouldn't go amiss either.

3) What did you make of Hector Bellerin this evening?

@AFCfreddie8 - Given the circumstances I felt he gave a good performance, in truth didnt have a lot to do as Dortmund attacked through the middle a lot more than could be expected. He seemed to get over early nerves ok, passing was decent & positionally didnt seem to get dragged out too often, promising.

@arsefc - Bellerín is a young man thrown in at the deep end with hungry yellow and black sharks so it’s hard to criticise his performance in any detail. Given Hector’s experience at senior level amounts to a brief spell on loan at Watford, tonight was certainly a baptism of fire. Unquestionably a very good footballer who needs to work on his positioning and defensive attributes, but we knew that already.

@gareth_stringer - Tough gig for a debut eh?! I think it says a lot that he wasn't our worst player and you can but hope he will take a lot from the experience. He's clearly a talent and hopefully he'll get more chances to develop.

@KildareGunner - Obviously a tough night for him to make his debut, but I think he can hold his head high. He got very little protection from the 5 in front of him. A bit more composure on the ball would have been nice, but that can be said of a lot of his more senior team mates.

4) Who was the best Arsenal player on show?

@AFCfreddie8 - Tough one that! For me Jack Wilshere, still holds the ball too long & has the tendency to drawn out discipline wise on His position, but he is slowly but surely beginning to show the form that excited us seemingly all those years ago. A nod to Szczesny as well, but despite his saves he still looks a car crash at times!

@arsefc - Koscielny was very good considering Arsenal were under the cosh and in damage limitation mode, you really see the individual strengths of Koscielny as a centre-half when he needs to perform on the limit. Arsenal’s inability to deal with Dortmund’s rapid attacks meant Mertesacker wasn’t able to marshal by example so Laurent had to utilise his physical and technical qualities. Can’t fault him for the first goal as Immobile was very lucky the ball fell kindly after mis-controlling, Laurent did everything right

@gareth_stringer - Tricky question after such an abject team performance! I'm not sure it would be right to absolve any of them from blame to be honest, no one had anything approaching a blinder.

@KildareGunner - While Kos & Per were their usual reliable selves, I will opt for Jack. He showed real leadership in so much as he never stopped battling with no help from those around him. Honourable mention to Szczesnys shot stopping between his errors!!! Gibbs was our biggest attacking treat

5) Which player was the most disappointing and why?

@AFCfreddie8 - Tough to choose between Mesut & Arteta, both capable of so much more, Arteta seems to have lost the ability to keep up with the play in the last 6-12months, legs are clearly going & even his passing looks wayward this season, a real worry! Mesut Ozil is clearly a world class talent desperately searching for some kind of momentum & form, he looks tired & cumbersome in possession at times, being played out of position doesn't help, but a world class talent as he is should & can rise above that.

@arsefc - It seems wrong to choose one player, saying the manager would be pretentious, wouldn’t it? There are a few candidates, Ramsey and Özil had very little influence on the game but certainly Arteta stood out, literally at one point. It’s hard to criticise Mikel too much as he was setup to fail. We know he’s not a physical player in his prime gifted with speed, we know he’s not match fit by any means and we know the burden this formation places on the holding midfielder with Wilshere and Ramsey both wanting to go forward; the manager must surely bear the responsibility for his poor performance.

@gareth_stringer - As per my previous answer, I probably shouldn't pick anyone out as being the worst either. It's not his fault, but Arteta was completely overrun tonight, offering no protection to an already stretched back four.

@KildareGunner - So many doosies to pick from! Wasteful Welbeck, Invisible Ramsey, Out of position Ozil, out of his depth Arteta and the anonymous sub Cazorla, but I'm going to opt for Sanchez. While he worked hard, his touch was woeful, for somebody reknowned for it. Caught in possession too many times. I was disappointed with him because I know he is capable of much more.

6) Would you make any changes for Aston Villa on the weekend?

@AFCfreddie8 - Yes, The Ox needs to play, would rest Mesut for sure, I would also move Jack in tot he holding role & bring Rosicky in to the midfield.

@arsefc - I doubt it will happen but it has to be the formation in its current guise. In order to accommodate the wealth of attacking midfielders, Arsène has scrapped pragmatic solidity for a very offensive 4-1-4-1, exposing our centre-halfs and lack of a mobile defensive midfielder on the counter. Arsenal’s inability to create enough chances over the last few years must be part of the reasoning and yet we’re still struggling to get in behind teams and utilising the squad’s suitability for playing on the counter

@gareth_stringer - I'd like to see the Ox given a start and Özil played centrally, but let's see where we are with the inevitable injuries!

@KildareGunner - I would make wholesale changes, but Wenger won't. I would bring in Rosicky, to dictate tempo and offer a steady anchor to Jack. The Ox has to start, and I would give Podolski a run wide on the left. Sure while we are at it why not give Ospina a run for the craic. Let Szcz know he needs to cut out the Grobbelaar-isms. We need to up our tempo and go for it.

7) Any other thoughts?

@AFCfreddie8 - Only to say that despite this result the world is not at an end! We have Villa Saturday, we go again! Despite this defeat tonight we SHOULD & WILL get out of this group with 3-4 win from 5, something this Arsenal side are more than capable of doing.

@arsefc - There is no shame in losing to Dortmund but the manner of the defeat makes me question if Arsène has learnt anything from last season’s away defeats to the top sides. When you concede 5-6 goals three times in one season and become even more irresponsible tactically, it’s not a good sign. Top teams exposing Arsène’s weaknesses as a tactician is becoming an all too regular occurrence.

@gareth_stringer - We know this team can play very well, we saw that in patches on Saturday against the champions. They need to regroup and pick it up at the weekend, as we really do need three points at Villa Park.

@KildareGunner - My main thought this evening was that I wasn't worried about the result. Not an unexpected scoreline, but I was hugely disappointed with the performance, as I have been all season. We had patches v City that were good, but apart from that our form has been dismal. Wenger is now filling his bench with players he obviously doesn't want to use ie. Podolski, Campbell, Rosicky. If squad players can't get a look in when we are not playing too well, what hope have they when we are? Last thought is that Arteta is sadly unable to contribute anymore. A fine servant who has run out of legs. "Oh Captain, my Captain"


Thanks to the guys for great responses to an awful night. Follow them on Twitter.





For further reading on the game, check out my match review.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more