1) 2-0 against Dortmund tonight, were you pleased with the victory? If so what aspect of the teams play stood out for you and why?
@anicoll5 - Was I pleased with victory ? Behave !
It was a confident team performance, with every player showing good concentration, effort and intelligence. New players slotted in seamlessly, when Arteta went of Matty stepped up and there was no obvious disruption.
@BeltransMole23 - After Saturday I would've been pleased with the point sending us through, so to win, play well and keep a clean sheet was all wonderful. Really pleased with our positional play tonight. We pressed far more as a unit, we sat back when we needed to, and after going 2-0 up, it was wonderful to see Arsenal counter attack with 4 or 5 players leaving a good number back. Perhaps lessons have been learned.
@gunner_getcha - Really pleased with the win. Despite the obvious knock to confidence the team settled quickly and controlled the game almost in its entirety. Great to see we didn't try and over reach in the last 10 minutes. Lots of hard work and the fabled defending from the front in action. Has to be said the organisation at the back was a strong point. Against a very good team we didn't get pulled out of position or rattled.
@MrKwekuQ - I must say I am very pleased. Prior to the game I was apprehensive about the game. There was a nagging feeling that we would completely capitulate like in the last Champions League game. The confidence of the team going into the game seemed to be at an all time low in addition to the apparent divide amongst fans with regards to Wenger's reign. Beating Dortmund 2-0 with a clean sheet (regardless of their current League form) is a massive coup for us. I felt our defensive shape and discipline was the underlying factor to our victory today. When were not in possession of the ball there was always two banks of four making it difficult for Dortmund to break us down. I think we showed a discipline not seen all season.
2) It was a terrific team display but what individuals caught your eye tonight and why?
@Anicoll5 - As I said it was a full team performance that pleased me so picking out individuals is more difficult. If you twisted my arm I would say both full backs who after a couple of patchy performances looked very lively gong forward, and solid when the Germans were pressing. Two very improved performances I thought.
@BeltransMole23 - Yaya Sanogo, obviously, for getting his long-awaited first Arsenal goal. Alexis' goal was really well taken, but the stand out player for me was Santi Cazorla. He's been in not great form recently, but he was superb tonight. He kept the ball really well under pressure, and his passing was superb. Lovely quick feet to assist Sanogo's goal, and he won the ball back as well. I think getting him to play well in a creative role and not worry about scoring is important, and takes the pressure off of Alexis.
@gunner_getcha - A few players seemed really up for it but I'd like to single out Gibbs. He's basically become a rock. Everything a modern day fullback should be. He stretched the game when needed and effortlessly got back into position to tidy up. The ox showed some great touches and was unfortunate not to score a rocket he made himself. Arteta once again did his thing clever and sensible play throughout. Didn't deserve his yellow but still managed to be as dependable as ever. Lastly Monreal once again proved that anything Sagna can do he can do also. I'd like to say better but that's not quite true. All hustle and bustle.
@MrKwekuQ - I was particularly impressed with the composure of Martinez. As a third choice Goalkeeper coming into such a pressurised game I think he dealt with everything competently when called upon. Arteta had a fantastic game, his interceptions were well timed and his positioning was exceptional. Losing him again fills me with a sense of dread. The Ox and Alexis were brilliant once again tonight. The movement, work rate and touch of the Ox tonight was up their with Alexis. The Ox ran all night and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. As for Alexis he was as hard working and tenacious as he has been all season. His goal typified the quality of the player.
3) I thought we were unfortunate against Manchester United followed by this performance this evening. Do you think the team have finally clicked?
@Anicoll5 - I would not say we were quite the smooth machine we could be but with players still missing it was still good and if Lady Luck deserted us on Saturday, then she was more generous to Yaya as the match opened.
@BeltransMole23 - It's hard to tell, given that was possibly the worst United side of my lifetime, and Dortmund are both a) qualified and b) in really poor form, but Arsenal seem to be a bit of a better unit right now. What's most pleasing is the limiting of chances to opposing teams. Obviously we got hurt on the counter on Saturday, but I feel most have forgotten how, at a basic level, we kept Rooney, Di Maria and van Persie from getting a shot on target for 84 minutes. With a makeshift back four, we really need to protect our defence, and I feel we have been in the past two games.
@gunner_getcha - I agree that we looked as good against United. Whilst I think there's been steady progress in an attacking sense over the last 4 or 5 games the defensive side of the game still has me worried at times. Let's hope that keeping a clean sheet v Dortmund and doing just enough inspires more of the same from the team toward 'collective defending'.
@MrKwekuQ - I think it's too early to say. A fundamental cog in a productive Arsenal Team is Arteta, now that he faces a long injury lay off I'm not sure whether we can remain as disciplined. Once things start going our way we have a tendency to forget the fundamental aspects of our game. I do hope that I'm wrong though. Going forward I think we'll always be fine we an embarrassment of options.
4) Were there any players you thought could have done better?
@Anicoll5 - Not players but as ever I wish we used our dead ball oppportunities more effectively and accurately
@BeltransMole23 - Don't think I have anything to grouse about tonight, to be honest. It was a solid, professional performance.
@gunner_getcha - Nobody played poorly. We have come to expect fantastic performances from certain members of the team that at times this season have struggled to live up to their own high standards. It wouldn't be cruel to say that Ramsey and Mertersacker both had below par games. Ramsey didn't do anything wrong but he's still not influencing much. You can see he's trying to kick start himself with Hollywood backheals when it's not needed. The BFG was solid mainly but at times his clearances fell way short of where you'd like to see them going.
@MrKwekuQ - I felt Mertsacker today seemed a bit below par I do wonder if he's still battling his fitness or carrying an injury. Something doesn't seem quite right with him.
5) Mikel Arteta has picked up a serious calf injury *sigh* do you think the team will suffer in his absence?
@Anicoll5 - Not really, we have a number of games coming up for which we should be on the front foot and spend the majority of out time attacking. I would hope we can negotiate those hurdles without Mikel.
@BeltransMole23 - Absolutely. Arteta has been fantastic in the past two games, both on the ball, as ever, but defensively, he's really been good. I think we really miss his organising skills; Flamini, for all his pointing, just doesn't glue the side together in the same way, and just isn't very good on the ball. I don't think Arteta can play more than once a week at this point, and I really think getting a defensive midfielder that can pass is the most important thing to do this coming January.
@gunner_getcha - We'll miss Arteta that's for sure. His calming and clever play isn't something anyone else can automatically pitch in with. Perhaps we could get some minutes from TR7. He's not going to sit back though. Flamini will have to step in and perhaps try and take it easy. Distribution is the big difference between the 2 in my eyes though.
@MrKwekuQ - As mentioned above I think we will greatly. I like Flamini when he plays beside a naturally defensive minded player, as his style is very much a terrier like Gattuso was. Perhaps Arsene will try Chambers there once Debuchy returns as he has the stamina and the discipline for the role.
6) Are you optimistic about the weekends trip to West Brom?
@Anicoll5 - I think so – Especially if we show the same defensive concentration as last night.
@BeltransMole23 - Definitely. As long as we don't lose anyone else between now and 12:45 on Saturday, I feel fairly positive. I think the attack has been doing better in the last two games--Oxlade-Chamberlain, in particular, is in fine form--and some of the under performing players this season like Mertesacker and Ramsey have been much better in the past two games. Olivier Giroud is back, and WBA is the type of team he does well against, and it gives us another dimension going forward.
@gunner_getcha - West brom should be worried. I think a big scalp is what the players needed to give them the added belief. As I said above there's good progress, perhaps they're coming to us at a good time. We should be able to get 3 points. Saying that they're no push overs and do have some pace.
@MrKwekuQ - There are no guarantees with this Arsenal Team of ours. Even when we think we've turned a corner our optimism is truncated by a performance that makes you question why you even like football. I'm hoping we can take one game at a time and not take any opposition for granted.
7) Any other thoughts?
@Anicoll5 - An important victory which means the trip to Galatasary is not , thank goodness, the trip to the gates of Hell it might have been.
@BeltransMole23 - Nacho Monreal was very good tonight. He got a lot of stick on the weekend, partially because of some van Gaal self-aggrandising, but I thought that was quite unfair. Monreal's been looking more and more comfortable at centre back, and while I don't think he's a long-term answer there in the way Sagna could've been, I think he's got enough about him to get by as long as, like any centre back, he isn't overly exposed. Plus his passing out of the back is lovely.
@MrKwekuQ - I think January will be the time we say goodbye to Podolski and Joel Campbell which is a big shame. I still think they have a lot to give to this squad.
What injury does Diaby currently have?! Also with regards to Ospina I'm not sure we will see him in an Arsenal shirt much this season.