Four reasons to be happy about Arsenal’s draw with Dortmund

There was a lot to be happy about in last night’s 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund.

First, the result. A point against arguably the strongest German champions in the last five years in front of their ferocious home support. Absolutely satisfactory in my book.

Second, the determination shown. We were on the back foot for most of the game and defended reasonably well, particularly in the second half. But what mattered was the work-rate and energy put in by our back four and midfield three to preserve the lead for as long as they did.

Third, the goalkeeper. He’s confident, he’s charismatic, he’s realistic and he inspires calm in the players in front of him. If great teams are built from the back (and they are, which is why Manchester City’s attack is now looking so spectacular) then there is no other goalkeeper I would want in the world between the sticks. And I REALLY mean that.

Fourth, the rut is over. We’re not playing great football by any means but in the two games since the Manchester United pasting we have achieved good results. We’ve also integrated four of the five new players (with three of them starting games) and looked a cohesive unit in patches.

There’s still a long way to go for this team to look anything like title contenders but with new players on the books and a renewed energy around the club there is a lot to be excited about.

A quick note to the lads on Twitter who helped me find a stream last night at extremely short notice: @MorningPint, @danrose24, @tomneilson, @Dr_Isaksson, @PFBSuperDave, @Luxinho77 and @GoonerOz. It shows again how powerful Twitter is for that sort of thing and how great the @AFCBlog community is on there. Get involved!


Spread the Arsenal love by leaving a comment.



  1. fantastic result and great performance – some forget that our club is starting a new chapter and need time to become a “team”. well done to our lads!! the typical brit hacks clearly underestimate the qulaity of the “german” opposition due to their typically arrogant brit belief in the superiority of the brit league but that stadium was buzzing last night and that team was good.

  2. A more than decent result, but more encouragingly, signs of some kind of rhythm developing between some the Arsenal players. The first half was shaky, even though we got the goal (hurrah RVP!!) but we consolidated well in the second, and seemed more comfortable. Yes we still gave the ball away at times, and relied on Song’s excellence a few times, but even Koscielny did well after his shaky start. Benayoun was running all over the pitch, and Gervinho was very unlucky to slip/trip when clean through on goal. The only worry is if Arteta can last 90 minutes. In both matches so far he has looked tired towards the end and has given the ball away.

    You could tell that this Dortmund team is good, and full of belief. Plus they have an understanding among their players, something we lack at this point. Rebuilding a team will always be a slow process. I think we’re still lacking some creativity but perhaps that will come with more game time. All in all a good, committed performance, largely a good defensive display (after a shaky start), and a fair result. A draw away to the German Champions is not a bad result at all. Something to keep building on. I’m feeling content with the draw and look forward to the next match. Hopefully some injured players will return as well.

  3. Its not easy playing against a Bourdosliga Champiom. To me Arsenal did a wonderful job. Am seeing a great inprovement. But Wenger should lean how to play Chu Park. His old experience is needed

  4. Although I am pleased at the result, a point is good I cannot help but think if we had REAL talent would we have done better! Mertesacker for me is not brilliant. Pace problems but he is an exceptional defender. Cahil or Samba would have been Better. I look at Juan Mata and wish WE had him. He is on fire for Chelsea…The IF’s and Could’ve’s really could make us title contenders. I think again we’ll be settling for 4th Place. 🙁

  5. I stil could not believe that nobdy talk or say anytin about barca draw infront of their home fan but heavily critsise an arsenal team whn went 2 germany n get draw.Leave arsenal alone

  6. As Wenger has always said …”If you win your games at home you only need to draw away” This was a crucial but well earned point against a very good team.

    I still find it strange to watch this Arsenal team with so many new faces…Its like starting a new job..I need some time to acclimatise but I do think we are a lot stronger now than a few weeks ago and results/games like yesterday will only help us grow more.

  7. Dude.. Need some more work in the defensive area and a little in the midfield.. Hope they will work it out. May be the new signings need some more time to build up a chemistry.

  8. That was the first game in a long time that I didn’t get nervous in the dying minutes! We started shaky because of the Dortmund pressure and their midfield dominance but grew after we scored the goal. With Song protecting the back four instead of going forward, we looked really strong. It took an amazing goal to beat us! That goal also took the shine out of our impressive performance in defence.

    We just need to sort out our midfield. We haven’t found our creator yet. Arteta had moments with Van Persie at Swansea but not so much today. I think we missed Ramsey.

  9. @Brivegas Gooner
    Good God man, you have ice water in your veins! My knees were knocking so hard I had to put a towel between them. Good result all in all perhaps the slightest bit of let-down because at the 88th minute one thinks “we’re going to get all 3” But credit to Dortmund they battled hard. Still, had Gervinho not slipped. Oh, I have to stop torturing myself and be content with a well earned away point.
    Now on to Bolton.
    Come On You Gunners!!!!!

  10. @Gruggy
    Dude, the surf is going OFF here. effin fetch-O-rama.
    I am definately calling in sick tommorow. I’ll know I’ll be sorry when I’ll have to miss a CL or FA cup tie some future mid-week but man the curl is throwing totally sick-O right now.

  11. Last chirp and I’ll leave the place alone.
    It seems funny to me that after a totally hellacious scrap where we held our own for a very important point there are but a handful of comments a day later.
    Had we lost the blog would have been jammed packed with gloom and doomers with the usual denunciations of our players, coaches and/or tactics.
    That emmanuel guy among others readily comes to mind.
    It kinda makes me wonder what makes us tick as a lot and if maybe,just maybe we been so spoiled by our teams past successes that we can’t appreciate the struggling times.
    Thanks Drew and Shard and Kel and Terry and 1nil and ALL you guys that are sticking with it even though it is by no means a sure thing.
    That’s what it’s really all about. sic-em gooners.

  12. @leftcoast

    I hate to be pedantic, especially after your kind words, but we play Blackburn, and Shrewsbury, before we face Bolton 🙂

  13. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding us at the moment, and in most of the comments I read through this blog, through twitter, through facebook et al, everyone has a bad word to say about the board, the manager, the team or the youth. In a year when we’ve lost two of our best players to injuries (Wilshere & Verm) and lost two to ongoing transfer sagas (Nasri & Cesc) and brought in 8 new players – 5 first teamers – surely, we have to give the team some time to settle, to gel, to get to know each other and get some games under their belt before we pass judgement.

    As we saw last night, Premier League high flyers, City and ManU both drew to their European opposition 1-1. The same scoreline as we did. Europe is a different kettle of fish and everyone who you play at this level is of a certain quality. Dortmund, Napoli and Benefica are all quality opposition. “Draw your away games and win your home ones” is the motto of the Champions League group stage and the scorelines around Europe yesterday, including a home defeat for Inter Milan against Trabzonspor, show the quality of the competition.

    What I’ve found funny about the negativity is the bad publicity for Per Mertersacker. He’s played two games and he’s played very well in them. He is an experienced player, was captain of his previous club, has 70+ International caps and has been pretty damn good since he’s joined. There is so much bad fan press about him, you’d think we’d re-signed Pascal Cygan!

    The main thing for us at the moment is to put a run of games together. We need to climb the table – something that will happen slowly but surely if we just get our heads down

  14. I agree with Brisvegas – I actually felt more calm watching us close out the game than I have felt for a long time.No panic at the back. The goal was a corker and you can’t really complain about it. For me the turning point was Gervinho’s miss in that second half. If he scored then we would have been home and hosed.

    Still a bit worried we aren’t creating enough chances but there are a lot of positives to take from that performance.

    Song was excellent and MOM for me.

  15. it’s a bit funny, the comments in Germany by bvb and the press are very self-confident and nearly a bit ironically or arrogant. like: we haven’t seen much from the Arsenal (Kehl), or: we were the better team (i think this was götze), and: they should have won the match (press), i can understand the comments from both sides, it’s funny how different things are out of different perspectives, of course it’s the fact that bvb is in the cl since a long time ago and the Arsenal is in cl regularly for the last years, of course they are proud, and the respect for the bvb is a bit surprising, it’s a young team and it wasn’t for granted that they had the nerves in such a manner, of course, Arsenal is in a special situation, but who cares on paper?
    on the other hand, Arsenal was leading until the final minutes, there you go, chances here chances there, you have to take them, allthough, it wasn’t typical Arsenl play, wasn’t it? it’s a long time ago I think with the typical Arsenal play . . . 😉 I mean creating excellent chances and an excellent passing game .. . well, you know, you have to score in addition, there’s no other way
    summarizing I like the dortmund team and I was happy about the draw, frankly, I didn’t want them to win, a draw was my wish and I hope both teams will go into the next round …. 😎 😀

  16. Despite differing opinions on tactics, strategy, etc. many of us are seemingly birds of a feather here, at least in our particular style of support, i.e. bitch and complain (that’s what blog are for in part), but ALWAYS support the team and the manager who has become synonymous with the club.

    This support should be even more intense NOW, during the rougher times. This is an excellent venue to do so. I prefer to associate myself with positive rather than negative energy (that must sound a bit flakey), and that is one of the things I value about this site and its contributors.

    To echo Left Coast – keep up the good work all! Look forward to reading thoughts on our trip to Lancashire. “I read the news today, oh boy…”:
    – RvP is to Blackburn what Drogba once was to us. He has 10 goals in 10 starts against Rovers.
    – Rovers are winless in their last 7 matches.
    – 4000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire” refers to road potholes reported by Blackburn Council in the newspaper John Lennon was reading. Prosaic, but somehow wonderful. But that was John. And that is our Arsenal.


  17. This was a good result for the team,no matter how you look at it,and i sense we are gonna get better with each game,the creativity will come later,you´ll see,for me i´m happy we are concentrating on defending more than anything at the moment,jack for sure will fill fabs shoes when he returns,for that, i have no doubt! Might not get as many goals,but he´ll make so many assist it´ll make your jaw drop,when you see the figures,come seasons end,give per a chance,new league,faster pace,but i think he´ll eventually adapt,cause for me frankly,he´s better than djourou,and i think he´s positioning sense has made kos a better defender IMO,i take nothing away from our draw against dortumnd,i mean this was team that was smashing every team in the german bundesliga, including bayern munich,home and away i seem to recall,and they have lost only nuri dahin,and we have lost how many players?

  18. @Gary, “Arteta, Fabs with Balls” how fucking dare you. It makes me sick how people like you spout such shit because you feel someone has let you down. You ave such a short memory. From reading some of the comments i assume you all consider the good times are back or the troubles are behind you. @Amar i think your assessment is about right.
    The way the game turned on Arsenal made them appy wid da point. I think Pat Rice did a remarkable job on the bench better even that Arsene imself. The club has plenty of hard work to do in order to finish in the top five but with the following games have the opportunity to secure a few points. But i say again dont be surprised with a few shocks along the way for i still remain unconvinced with the signings.

  19. @icehammer
    Hey dude it’s just an opinion and one person’s at that.Let it go. It’s a free country and he may be wrong but he’s got the right. I don’t always agree 100% with you but I know you know what your about so I give you RESPECT.
    Cesc is back home now doing what he loves where he loves to do it and I’m sure he gives a rat’s ass about the digs.
    Besides, Sky sports spouts ten times the nonsense on an hourly basis and nobody checks them.

  20. I think wenger has started smoking POT!!!! nobody new cesc would leave or nasri’s contract had 1 year left????

    Wenger every time you open your mouth i get sick, your mouth is full of lies and dishonesty. keep your mouth shut and concentrate on Arsenal by trying to finish 4
    You recked the whole summer with your cheap skate ways. After you run Arsenal into the ground then you’ll leave??????

  21. 04:45 start here on the coast. Evil rules the footballing universe, My coffee won’t wake up.
    @kel Le Boss lying is regrettably believable enough. Le Boss stoking the gnarl???
    THAT I’m not so sure. It makes a funny picture though.

  22. AAARRRRRRRRRRRRGH. i still love this team, but at times hate them. 2 leads lost and now a goal down the f’ing blackburn? kos misses a header, arteta leaves his man and yakubu scores with no offsides flagged. this sucks. please pull it out gunners.

  23. Apart from that one assist to arteta,Ramsey´s been terrible thus far,seems to remind me of denilson,poor passes,short pass to sagna,got him messed up,hence djourou.anyways,arsene got it wrong today, benayoun should have started in place of him,and coquelin should have replaced sanga, ala flamini cole back in the days,or better still,put coqeulin in place of song and song would move to right back,i think he would easily play there,but djourou? Hmmmm.three points dropped.

  24. @leftcostgooner, your right, but i cant stand it when people speak without thinking because of their own personal pain. Just wish the man well and send im on his way.
    On today s game, need i say any more. The team has a lot of hard work to do in order to have a side that can challenge for the cups a Prem and as i said some people are so blinkered that they dont think before they speak about what is actually happening.
    Pat Rice needs to have more say about the running of this side.
    A shame de ammers could not grab all 3 points but i was expecting a point at Millwall.

  25. Fucking pathetic, now I want to see the asshole who put up the sign up in wenger we trust,it’s not that the manager to see go,its haven the manager to change his tactics,if he does not change his tactics then we can forget about the trophies,guys stop been blinded about wenger plans zero marking,mertesacker not marking samba,defenders not attacking the wenger we rust,so start facing the facts

  26. Ramsey was not effective today and kos had a terrible game, not sure about Song today either. On the slightly encouraging side, chamak scored. I was quite positive about 3 points, well, next game then.

  27. @flyindutchman
    before serious failure? 8-2 to manUre and 4-3 the blackburn? i think the failure is there… but i’m not ready to see off wenger yet. i think he’s beginning to walk on thinner ice but a side with so many players deserves a few games. that’s not to say they shouldn’t have steamrolled rovers today though. a new manager at this point would not help matters at all.

  28. @icehammer
    Geez hammer i dunno. To be honest I’m bumming so hard right now my head is all gibberish. Because of the 0445 start I have hours to go before I can drown my sorrow in the flowing bowl. You were right we are too arrogant still I’m afraid.
    Well gang where do we go from here? No ad hominems against the manager he’s a decent enough guy and has done much for the success and stature of the team but perhaps his time is gone by.
    @flyingdutcman I see your point and agree in principle but as a Navy man I have to ask. How many times can the boat run aground before the skipper and/or XO get court martialed?

  29. Jet,its not my aim to get rid of him but just to put him under pressure to perform,experimenting is over,believe me fans don’t want another manager, just a manager that is change,out with zero marking,start trying to play the basics,why must the fans beg for something to happen

  30. Icehammer,probably until the captain has seen there is no way out and tell to abandon ship and to destroy the ship,e.g graf spee,no u see the situation is still good for wenger but u need the players to have a set plan which I neva seen,no1 change steve bould needs to come in and teach the defenders about keeping the ball outside the box. Simple things done right can have a huge impact.

  31. Hi guys, so much has been shared, debated and discussed. But I’ve come to the conclusion that only 2 words are necessary: WENGER OUT

  32. @flyingdutchman
    There are many teams in the PL who do not have players as good as ours and not to say that it will stay this way because the season is still new but if you look at the last six months or so (since Carling Cup final) many of them are getting better results why?

  33. @shand, @shambo, where are you man, what do you both think went wrong this time. Do you think Wenger knows whats going wrong and why. Do you think he can rectify it. In the interview on Talk Sport Wenger says the players have lost confidence and are making to many mistakes, who do you think is to blame? Andrew what say you.

  34. People speak without thinking on this blog???
    Yeh??? “He who is without guilt cast the first stone”

    Arsenal have become a den for excuses even the fans have adopted this approach, and if someone disagrees then they don’t think before they speak. Great conclusion!!!

    After the summer that wenger and the board screwed up!!!!
    If anyone can justify that then they need help.

    As i said last season and the season before as long as ARSENE WENGER stays in charge were in serious trouble, wenger has lost the plot totally (look @ his substitution today ) and will pretty soon openly lose the dressing room, if he hasn’t already.

    On today’s game: If a male child hits girls at school 7 times out of 10 maybe more his father hits his mother.
    Its simple, complacency and carelessness can evolve to epic proportions if it starts in the right place. Arsene wenger and the board have been most guilty of this in the last few seasons so when the teams performances seem careless and lackluster why blame them look at what the board and wenger have been doing, they have been most guilty.
    Am not blaming the players all the blame lay squarely on the shoulders of the board 30% and Arsene wenger 70%

    BUT complacency is a nasty disease

  35. @kel what are you implying, please look at my last few contributions to this teams performance and tell me what you see, what message am i giving. “Arteta, Fabs with BALLS”

  36. @kel
    Seems you’re asking the same question everyone else is.
    God knows the answer certainly I don’t.
    One thing for sure, to continue to do the same things and expect different results is insane.

  37. @ice,
    Iv nothing really to add my friend. At least nothing I havnt said before.
    You and I have been keen fans of this blog for years now and had many a debate. On my end Iv spent hours and hours going back through our recent history into areas such as our sales to purchases and the associated profit, the likes of Anelka/ Overmars/ Petit, etc etc, the Emirates move and the financial plan and situation there, weve spoke about lack of re-investment in international and PL quality, investment and promotion of the same type of built player over and over, lack of plan b- weve adopted the lone front man for years now and it doesnt work because RvP isnt a hold up player, weve been in a state of permanent mental fragility for 5/6 years now, weve had teams like Hull beat us at home, weve been knocked out of fa cups by sheff utd and brought to replays by Leeds and Leyton Orient, the one cup final we got to last season we were beaten by a team who went on to win only one game the rest of the season and be relegated, we havnt won back to back PL games since last February……..
    I could go on and on but whats the point, I could write a post on here with forty facts on it about how the club has failed and some fella will pull me up on on part of the piece where I may have let my emotions get the better of me and just label me a doom monger, totally overlooking the validity of the rest of the questions I have posed. You have some dude up above here asking where the doom and gloomers were after the result in Germany the other night as if they were hiding after a draw away from home suddenly proved them all wrong and that everything was and is, in fact, as it should be, the past few years of mediocrity, littered with the comedic, have just been bad luck and bad refereeing.
    The fact is if you operate like a mid table club, you become one. We now shop for the same type of player as the Villas and Stokes, Arteta moved for the CL football, if we dont have that then who will want to join us?
    Im not angry because Iv long ago resigned myself to what our realistic aims are and it is this. CL qualification. Thats the best we can hope for and its thanks to a manager and board who dont care about what you, I or any other person who loves Arsenal FC think about it.

  38. @shambo
    I’m that fella and my question was where are you when we don’t fail?
    Yes i’m aware of the teams failings but as a supporter I have about as much power as you do to change things, none.
    So I try to be supportive and look where we make progress (like mid-week in Germany)
    as well as where we still suck (like defending against Blackburn,ManU, and Liverpool)
    I just don’t show up and wail when we fail. But I assure you it hurts me just as much.
    Almost noon here time to hit,hit,hit the sauce.
    Perhaps our team may let us down from time to time but Jack Daniels always rises (or lowers as the case may be) to the occaission.

  39. @leftcoast

    You’re wrong, fans have power. Substantial power in fact. Look how Roy Hodgson was hounded out of Liverpool. Even the Blackburn fans protesting elicited a positive response from their team today. Question is how many fans actually see the real problem with the club, and whether they’re ambitious enough to do anything about it. Or whether they’re happy with fourth place, consistent choking, bad tactics, comedy defending, inept players and the team being in a perpetual state of ‘transition’ year after year. Seems like most gooners are happy with the latter.

  40. Leftcoastgooner #squllaci -pure weakly player suited to laliga open play. Alumnia -well no words can describe his goalkeeping experience. Carlos vela- can’t even come close to hernandez. Chamakh went on a goal drought for months. Eboue,bendtner,denilson good riddens. Randall,thomas can’t even come within a meter of welbeck. Bentley drop from been known at spurs to unknown elsewhere. I hate comparing but it the truth,whatever wenger try to do ferguson did it in style 2 carling cup last five years,arsenal none,so how much further do u want me to go? Leftcoastgooner

  41. Okay,Okay,
    @ the flyingdutchman Squidiki sucks there can be no doubt, Denilson I personally defended for three seasons on this blog but even I saw the light eventually. Bendtner does possess some talent but in no degree in keeping with his yap and that put him in a bad box with the crowd. Almunia once upon a time saved our asses in the 2005 FA cup the last thing we won.
    Has he outstayed his usefulness? Perhaps.The others are just that,others.
    I saw the post game interview. Wenger talks of “the team” as if he’s not connected to it and it is doing stuff out of his control, Hmmm is that how it is? Pulis is a horses ass with no talent hacks for a squad but they damn well do what he says.
    Is it the players, the coaches the tactics or the culture or E) all of the above?
    Now @ realistic_gooner I’d like Arsene to stay around and perhaps get kicked upstairs.
    Get him off the line and behind a desk. He also has some good attrtibutes but as a leader of men in a dire scrap? nope, don’t think so. Fair weather sailing? OK.
    Roaring forties with mizzinmast high swell? forget it. So what should we as fans do? Demand his head? Don’t be silly the people who are paying him seem happy enough or else he would be off the touch line by now. He’s not going anywhere and anyway I’m not a mutineer. I’m on my 3rd Jack now and if we go down mid-week to the Shropshire slashers by God I’ll have four. If Ivan and the boys in charge don’t know it’s his time yet they’re certainly not going to take it at MY word.
    Bottoms up mates, since that’ where we lay. You know, I think we should get the lads a case of this grog. Pre- not post game.

  42. Beyond a joke now. We should just forget about defence and play ten strikers and a keeper. At least you can’t argue about the entertainment levels…

    Is Djorou the new Squillaci? Is Koscielny the new Djourou? Useless the pair of them. Can’t say Mertesacker inspires muchconfidence either am afraid to say.

    Thought Gervinho looked good first half and we played some good football going forward.

  43. @Terry: agree completely about Djourou. Yes, he was playing out of position, but he’s been on a downward spiral since the end of last season, including his awful performance against England.

    Definitely won’t conclude that Wenger should go, but the tactics and coaching absolutely have to change. Moreover, the team still isn’t deep enough. Mertesacker, Song, Koscielny and others played a grueling match midweek. Then again, I can’t even ay that today’s loss was the result of fatigue. They were just bonehead mistakes.

    Finally, I’m not convinced that an additional CB is the answer. I’m not sure a Samba or Cahill could do any better given how we play team defense.

  44. Told you all before it started that Djourou lost his mojo last season; thru the preseason and the england game; i saw he was not the same player,that had that outstanding game against barca at home,something is going on in his mind,don´t know what,but he´s been way off his game.Whats so hard about making a clearance ?Packing both player and ball out of play? He missed everything completely,ball,player,the works.This wont do wenger,i love you to death men,but i love arsenal more than life itself and it hurts me that you still can´t see the light,Ramsey is just another denilson in disguise,giving the ball away time and time again,djourou can t cut it at arsenal,the squid is still the squid,and we were scrambling to conclude deal at the end of the transfer window;WHY WAS THAT THE CASE? We knew we needed defenders,the fans knew,but the board ,and the manager pretended that was not the case,untill the last day of the transfer, think of it,if these players had been here at the same time as gervinho,could it not have been better for the team? At least a little bit of cohesion and knowledge about each other? Personally,i think,all the scouts at arsenal should be fired,terrible job the´ve done in the past five season,especially the last three years,couldn´t locate any good young players of decent quality.even when they knew fab,and nasri were stalling,should have gone back to the drawing board,and identified some adequate replacements,but no,nobody want to take responsibility for anything,and now wenger is throwing it at the players,fiasco,that´s what it is!

  45. And when man united wins it think its the ref giving them special treatment? So far i aint heard that,cause they are busy destroying any opposition with as many goals as they like,that you couldn´t help but admire their efficiency.why is that? Early to bed,early to rise,makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise! Simple old school logic,United concluded their deals way back,very early,took em out on tour,they got the feeling for each other,and now they are the team to beat,can you understand that? After five games they are the team to beat? Sir alex aint doing nothing special,just old school logic.Why can´t we do the same?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.