Good morning all. So tonight we face a real test away in Dortmund. Pedro will be there the lucky git, it looks like such an exciting ground to watch football in. Amazing atmosphere, amazing fans and apparently you can get a chateaubriand with a glass of verve clicquot at half time for 3 euros. Yet another damning indictment of the disgraceful way in which us hard working fans are proper mugged off #FAout
In many ways Dortmund and Arsenal are kindred spirits. The Germans have lost two of their best players, Gotze and Lewandoski, to their bitterest rivals and their other best player, Reus, is injured. They also look to play attractive, exciting football, except at the moment they are slightly better at it than us.
We got one of our best results (though not performances) when we beat them in Dortmund last year. Despite this, and the absence of the three aforementioned names, this will be a very stern test. However there was an indication against City that we are starting to find our form. We had the champions pinned back for long periods on Saturday. If we can come out of the blocks like that tonight and get an early goal, it might make the bitter pill of conceding from an own goal in the last minute a little easier to swallow.
The only concern is that our back line are dropping like flies and so blooding ballerina (ipad speak for Bellerin), if it comes to that, is going to be a huge risk but we covered that yesterday.
Lots of interesting comments about the change in formation, my understanding is that 4-1-4-1 gives us two box-to-box midfielders at the expense of a traditional number 10. Maybe why Ozil is struggling but also why Arsene is more confident of not getting spanked in big away games.
The other interesting tactical discussion from Saturday is zonal marking. I have to admit I always balk when an absolute clown like Andy Townsend berates the system but I am starting to wonder if it is right for us. We don’t have the height or the discipline to make it work effectively, so you wonder if it is time we went back to man marking. That being said I seem to recall a stat floating round that we concede very goals from set pieces.
A bigger bug bear for me and everyone I sit near in the stadium is our own set pieces, particularly our amazing awfulness to clear the first man on a corner. I wonder if arsenal do any set piece practice in training because it seems like such a wasted opportunity.
Anyway that’s all I’ve got for you today. Fingers crossed for a good performance and result tonight and keep an eye out for Pedro, he’ll be the one with the shit Marco Reus haircut.
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