Robin secures Arsenal qualification | Our shaky defence needs addressing fast | Ratings & Review

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Robin sinks Dortmund with his second

I had a disastrous start to the evening, the Underground was beyond ridiculous and the tickets I’d secured for my American friends fell through. I eventually headed in with a German pal who had to put up with the muppets behind me making Nazi references all game. Luckily, my pal took it for what it was… ‘I can’t imagine it would happen outside the ground, it’s part of the spirit’… hmmm, I’d like to think so. Honestly, Nazi comments in this day in age?

The first half was nothing to write home about. A cagey affair played out mostly in midfield. Theo nearly beat the keeper to a through ball and Robin shot just wide. The only other Arsenal highlight I can think of was a dangerous whipped cross from Walcott. Slim pickings eh?

Dortmund didn’t fair much better. Firstly their two star players went off. Bender to a Vermaelen induced jaw break and Gotze to a Song collision. This severely affected their shape and confidence. Attack wise they managed a speculative long range shot that blazed just past the post and Chesney easily dealt with the half volley fired at him.

The second half started with a bit more attacking authority. Dortmund had the first chance, Chesney did well to save a low shot.

We were the team to open the scoring. Songinho had the ball out wide with three players surrounding him, he cut inside on man then shimmied his way between two more, raced into the box, chipped a pass to the back post where Robin was on hand to head home.

A great bit of skill from Song.

Robin momentarily dropped with an ankle complaint after a poor challenge. You could hear the gasps. He jumped back up. He’d learnt the art of manning up this summer. That drew the biggest cheer of the night.

We searched for the second knowing full well one is never enough. Gervinho went close after taking the ball round the keeper only to miss out on the shot because two Dortmund defenders caught him.

Here’s an idea Gervinho, shoot early!

It came late on when an Arteta corner was nodded on by Vermaelen to a waiting Robin Van Persie. 2 goals from the man who just can’t stop scoring!

The Germans sang, ‘you only sing when you’re winning’, how right they were!

A game wouldn’t be complete without us conceding a sloppy goal. Song lost possession in a dangerous area, Dortmund took advantage, everyone conspired to balls up and Kagawa smashed past Chezzer. Embarrassing stuff. Vermaelen was furious.

Arsenal managed to see out the game and celebrated qualification into the last 16. No stumbling this year. 1st in the group was ours!

A solid performance from Arsenal, slightly overshadowed by some very sloppy play late on. We need to tighten up, because there will come a point when we’ll have to rely on winning games 1-0. At the moment, we look incapable of doing that. Sure the defence has greatly improved, but since September, in all competitions, we’ve only managed 5 clean sheets in 16. That’s not good enough and it needs to improve if we have aspirations of achieving a trophy this year.

There were some great performances out there last night… I’ll list them below!

P.S. The Dortmund fans were immense last night. They have a conductor who leads the way with their choreographed clapping and stamping. Amazing to watch, amazing to hear!

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Chezzer – Didn’t really have much to do all night. 6

Santos – Leaves us exposed at times, but overall, he’s feeling his way into the Arsenal way quite nicely. 6.5

Kozzer – Another solid game at right back. JD had a part to play in the goal we conceded, I think it’s the right decision to keep the Frenchman where he is at the moment. 7

Vermaelen – Snuffed out everything that came his way, another imposing game. 8

Mertesacker – More calmness from the German today. Doesn’t get enough credit for the thing he does well. 7

Song – A superb game until he gave up posession at the end for the Dortmund goal. ‘We’ve only got one Song’ was the fan song of choice last night, and truly deserved in the main. He bossed the midfield last night and served a great assist to Robin 7.5

Arteta – Controlled the pace well, continuing his great partnership with Song. I think that’s the telling difference this year, Arteta really sacrifices some of his attacking game to give us solidity. 7.5

Ramsey – Showcased some excellent passing last night. Has the engine of an ox and the extra time spent in the gym last season is starting to tell in games. He doesn’t get bullied by anyone. 7.5

Robin – It does get boring churning out superlatives for a player who is clearly the best striker in the world at the moment. His movement, creativity and deadly finishing is an absolute joy to watch. One thing I will say is that while people rightly report most of the goals are coming through him, what they’re failing to mention is the quality of final ball he’s receiving. Both goals last night were teed up so well, Chamakh could have finished them. The supply line is gradually improving . 9

Gervinho – He’s turning into a bit of a marmite amongst fans. He was sloppy with his passing last night and he lost the ball a few too many times. He’s adapting though, you can see he’s a proper wide man and he has a natural ability. Once he channels that into finishing, he’ll be a force for us. 6

Theo – Had an off night yesterday. Whipped in some dangerous balls but his touch deserted  him at times and he wasn’t particularly effective. 6.5

P.S. I’ll be at the AST meeting listening to Tom Fox talk marketing later. Hopefully we’ll get an explanation from him about his thoughts on our waiting list and why he thinks that means we’re not paying enough.

333 Responses to “Robin secures Arsenal qualification | Our shaky defence needs addressing fast | Ratings & Review”

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  1. Lurch

    HK>KL richard, hands down.

    can’t suggest things to do because i’ve only been to each on biz but of the two HK is the most impressive.

  2. Bade

    Few hot obstacles still ahead of us to deal with:

    1) Will Arsene be adding in January. Make no mistake, we need additions. you cant count on Gibbs, JD, Squillaci, Chamakh and Park to deliver….

    2) How will we deal with our next dip in form? Will we keep the same spirit, or we’ll be shattered to pieces mentally, yet again?

    3) Will we be ready when Robin’s legs get the inevitable hibernation for a couple of weeks?

  3. Thomas, It's up for grabs now

    Goon from BD, (Keyser).

    I’d be very happy to see Aguero or Cavani or Gomez arrive. Firstly for football reasons because we need another top striker.. each has their own qualities and attraction and they have to fit into our style or we adapt slightly to accomodate them. I just fancy Gomez personally because he’s producing the numbers in the ‘goals for’ column. But I’d be thrilled to see Cavani pull on the shirt too.

    But also because any of the above would cost a bucket of cash and the arrival of a player of that pedigree would signal a number of things.. We are prepared to buy. Wenger would send out a message that he is continuing to build. The rest of the team would see the ‘intent’ to build a strong squad and for those considering leaving.. RVP for example, such signings and a decent salary increase might be the combination that would make him stay! along with the continued prospect of CL football, possibility to win trophies etc…

    i think it’s important that the next 1-2 signings are somewhat approaching ready made ‘star quality’ as we’ve a bundle of good young prospects at this stage.

  4. Marcus

    I don’t get all the fuss about Song last night. I thought he was a security threat the first 30 minutes, invisible until the goal (which I admit was a great piece of skill), and the he gave away the ball at their goal.. for me, he was our worst player of the night… no question about it.

    During the first 30 minutes he was always found out of position exposing a massive hole in front of our back 4… lucky us that Bender and Goetze were taken off.. if they were allowed to bully song all night, it would probably been a different result..

    Still think that the action plan for the summer should be to get rid of Song and buy someone who actually appreciates playing for the Arsenal…

  5. DialSquare

    Kapslock i turn the Ginger cunt off as soon as he comes on,don’t even bother to listen to him he ruins the station

  6. Keyser

    Mayank – Since I usually don’t listen to other people’s opinions and points, wanting to massage my own ego, totally forgot about something I heard on Dortmunds performance at the weekend tied into your point about them running out of gas.

    They ran an extra 11km compared to Bayern’s total distance ran, that’s like having another person on the pitch almost.

    Dunno whether teams can force that sort of disaprity, like Barcelona against us last year, we must’ve run a hell of a lot more, but I’m guessing it means something.

  7. IvoryGoonz

    @goony: it’s all semantics but I’m with Gambon on this one.
    VP is a 1 goal per game striker, but he’s not a 30 goals per season YET (and that’s EPL without CL, and Internationals).
    If he keeps his fitness this season, he might well become a 40 goal a season striker but we are not there yet…

  8. frenchie

    wow, lg is now a dating advice site.

    goon, you are fucked if you think any of the advice you receive on here is worth taking. but then, given you came to lg with a “guys, i need advice…” moment suggests you need to get out a bit more.

  9. Goon from BD

    Thomas- I can’t disagree. We do need another striker. Don’t know who. If we are to find someone to fit into our system then its going to be difficult. There aren’t many no.10s playing striker out there. Just Messi and Totti(impossible) I can think of atm. Therefore we should look for a striker who scores goals and adabt to him.

  10. Tinyspuds

    Pedro: “Tiny, it was hardly an onslaught by Dortmund, they were terrible. I think that’s more a credit to two injuries and the work of the midfield.”

    Well, I’m not saying they were Barca offensively, and the 2 subs undoubtedly hurt them, but calling them terrible is OTT IMO.
    However, I’d agree about the work of the midfield making a big difference. But I think that’s what it’s all about. The best defences are the ones that are protected by the guys in front of them. So maybe we’re arguing semantics here, as when I think that our defence is pretty good, I’m talking about everyone that defends not just the back 4

  11. Tinyspuds

    Bade: “3) Will we be ready when Robin’s legs get the inevitable hibernation for a couple of weeks?”

    Aren’t you being rather optimistic with just 2 weeks ?

  12. benji

    how the hell can you give song a 7.5. he was mental last night sorry have to disagree with that rating it should have been a 9

  13. Thomas, It's up for grabs now

    Goon from BD.. I think it’s going to be an interesting transfer window in Jan, and a long one!

    Firstly, I think he’ll continue to try to get rid of the players he couldn’t sell in the summer and then buy. And of course we won’t know who until the deal is done!

    Just hope RVP stays fully fit until then. He’s on fire. Don’t think we’ll see him start against Olympiakos or in the CC next Tuesday.

    One thing for sure, we are going to be linked with 50 players between now and then! 😉

  14. Rohan

    Marcus says:
    November 24, 2011 at 17:50
    I don’t get all the fuss about Song last night. I thought he was a security threat the first 30 minutes, invisible until the goal (which I admit was a great piece of skill), and the he gave away the ball at their goal.. for me, he was our worst player of the night… no question about it.

    Oh Le Grove…Never cease to amaze.
    gambon, way to side step your argument there! Surely when someone talks about RvP being a 30 goal a striker, they are referring to his quality and ability to do that regardless of him being injured.
    You were of the opinion of him simply not being good enough for us. Admit that you were just a tiny bit wrong about that, will you?

  15. Rohan

    Surely we’re going to have a proper go at the CC next Tuesday! Honestly think we can give them a run for their money. They’re not as good as you’d think and it’s about time we put in a real statement of intent. The game is vital as far as I’m concerned.

    I expect us to rest RvP, and Arteta on Saturday against Fulham and go full strength against City. If we win, can’t ask for a better boost.

  16. zeus

    Would be good tolay down a marker in that CC game.
    Show the rest of the league that the Citech aura of invincibility is a fraud.

    We could motivate the rest of the league to not just roll over and play dead.

  17. Goon from BD

    Thomas- I hope that turns out to be true :D. AW mentioned our new project to be short term so hopefully we will see some good things happening.

  18. Goon in 60 Seconds

    Actually Frenchie , where you could you receive a load of different perspectives from all round the world at a touch of a button?. I was interested to see what people thought about what is a difficult situation. It was on my mind so I posted it, anyway makes a change!, maybe they should start a football based agony aunt service on LG! “ASK GAMBON”! I’m sure that would result in many happy and balanced grovers! 😉

  19. Big Dave

    Gerv needs to work on his finishing, lacks confidence that miss could had been costly a proper striker would had put that chance away