4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 2-0 Loss To Borussia Dortmund

By on September 17, 2014

Arsenal slumped to a disappointing 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 talking points from the game.

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For the second consecutive year, Arsenal were paired in the same Champions League group as Borussia Dortmund and headed to Germany for the opening game of their European campaign on Tuesday night.

Wenger started with Danny Welbeck up-top, whilst young Spanish full-back Hector Bellerin was handed his debut. Meanwhile, the hosts utilised Summer signing Ciro Immobile’s services, starting the Italian as a lone-forward, as fellow additions Ramos and Mathias Ginter were benched.

As always, the Signal Iduna Park was ignited by a rich roar of the Dortmund faithful and it seemed to contribute to Arsenal starting on the back-foot. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and, first, Sokratis Papastathopolous both sparked chances, but neither to avail.

Englishman Welbeck was found after some sublime work from Aaron Ramsey, only for the ex-United product to drag the opportunity wide of the Dortmund goal-mouth.

Then, amid a rather flat period of first half action, Dortmund broke the deadlock. Arsenal merging forwards, before possession was regained for Dortmund, the ball unleashed forwards to the feet of former Torino-man Ciro Immobile, who was on call to dispatch the opener on the edge of half-time.

Heading into the second half, the Gunners faced an immense up-hill battle given the increasingly difficult atmosphere and goal deficit.

Second period three-minutes old and a fleet of black-and-yellow shirts peppered the Arsenal goal once more, with Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang striking home a sweet second for the home side. A costly miscommunication between Szczesny and Mertesacker gifting the forward the opportunity to skip past the Pole and devour the glaring chance.

Three shots mustered up by the Londoners come the full-time whistle, which leaves them bottom, with the other Group D outfits Galatasaray and Anderlecht playing out a 1-1 draw.

In general, a very poor result, which I shall now analyse what needs to be done to amend the frailties exposed by this defeat.

Talking Points

1) Wenger Not Learning

Arsene Wenger has been at the held for 17 years and has enjoyed domestic success. howdver, since the surprising success of the 2006 team, Arsenal have not even come close to competing with Europe’s big guns and the buck has to stop with the boss.

Simple errors portray his stubborn attitude, such as  the need to stick Mesut Özil out wide when he clearly is not having an impact there, or the glaring need to add a defensive midfielder in the summer. Whatever it may be, Wenger keeps the same layout for ALL competitions and his frustrating decision not to alter his formations for tough away games is becoming laughable.

2) Forget Keep-Ball, Play like Liverpool!

As an Arsenal fan myself, regardless of the success of the team, I can always gain pride in the way we play. Short, incisive passes coupled with exceptional movement going forward, we are without doubt an attractive side to watch. Sometimes though, results must outway aesthetics and Tuesday night was an example of when this should happen.

Dortmund especially thrive on teams that like to hold the ball, as they can close down quickly, outnumbering their opponent and then push forwards directly with power and pace. It also doesn’t help that our pressing game was non-existent, such was our sluggish approach in this tie.

In the bigger games this season, we may be better off utilising the available pace we have, paraded by the likes of Sanchez, Welbeck or Oxlade-Chamberlain, to catch teams on the counter. This seems a common tactic across the continent and even at home, look at Liverpool for example.

3) Correcting Chemistry

Every football team has a blunder in them somewhere. The problem with Arsenal however, is that these mistakes are repeating and easily fixed. Mertesacker and Szczesny both showed their lack of communication and understanding when gifting Dortmund a second goal. A simple shout or just an initially refined piece of positioning could have solved this and we may have grown in the game, as oppose to fizzling out further.

I would expect confidence played a great part and the unfortunate thing about this result is it seemed greatly at fault of psychological issues. A good team-bonding exercise would not go a miss, but overall I feel we must be far more aggressive in our approach.

4) Dull. Boring. Plain.

Inventive, expert and deserved. Three words associated with Dortmund after this performance but our display couldn’t have been further from that of the home side. From back-to-front, we were sucker punched by some divine German moves. We lacked direction in our approach, with the focal point of each move coming in the despairing form of Mikel Arteta- a player seeming reluctant to track back, considering he was supposed ‘protection’ for the back-four.

We approached the game with great naively. Özil looks lost on the flank and he is not getting the ball in the final third enough. Hopefully, we can see a bit more of a need for victory by Wenger, with a little more urgency and flair in future games. Especially with a stubborn Galatasaray eagerly laying in wait…

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. nafiu

    September 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Wenger was arsenal problem

  2. waiyuen leong

    September 18, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Since the new season started on EPL, Arsenal played the best game against Manchester City to win the charity shield. They had mam to man marked on players with pace. As a matter fact,Arsenal should not change playing different positions on players as they can play better in their own positions. It was obviously shown in the champion league game against Dortmund without clicking among players in attack. Dortmund played well against Arsenal by moving around like ants without much room for Arsenal players to move out. They should have played wide with pace in attack. They defended more than attack and it could be tactical playing position did not adapt well in that game.

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