Tsgh kindly wrote his thoughts after the match on Tuesday so here they are….
For a man who started his European football management career so promisingly 30 or so years ago and even made the semi – finals with a moderately assembled team in his second attempt, one would have expected Arsene Wenger to have won the CL trophy by now but we all know it still a pipe dream for both him and Arsenal fans.
Has it just been a question of luck or just a lack of ambition from our ‘esteemed’ manager?
Going into the game in Westfalenstadion against a team who has at times, outplayed us off the pitch on the last four occasions we have faced them away under Klopp, one would have expected Wenger to go in with a battle plan. Maybe Wenger was counting on sheer luck again to come away with a result again as has happened in the last two visits.
When Debuchy was sent off in the second match of the qualifiers against Benfica and Arsene Wenger failed to make the defensive signings during the summer, the likelihood was always going to be that young Hector would be required irrespective of Debuchy’s injury last weekend.
Going into this game, the old Achilles heel of Wenger, which is the lack of squad depth in key areas of the squad showed up again, but on paper this was the weakest BVB 09 team we had faced in the last four or so years in the Champions League.
Nonetheless, with Szczesny, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Sanchez, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil and Welbeck away from home in the first game of this seasons Champions league game against a team whose manager has described his teams style of play as heavy metal, we were bound to have a tough night. This was a game by all accounts that Rosicky should have started but as usual Wenger was hell-bent on implementing a formation from the sidelines’ looks rudderless.
It never fails to surprise me how many times we go into this big games starting with more attacking players than the opposition but still come away with a loss.
To say the first half was a disappointment would be an understatement in my opinion. Last January Ciro was allegedly close to joining us but we in the end decided against him for whatever reason and he ended up being the man who on the 44th minute after a superb individual move opened the scoring for his team after a splendid BVB first half performance.
It must be said that had it not been through poor finishing from one or 2 of the BVB players we could have gone off the pitch at half time at least 3 nil down. The only noticeable effort from us in the first half came in the 40th minute when Ramsey superbly found Welbeck with a clever ball but he failed to make the right connection.
At the start of the second half Kehl was taken off for Ginter (another player who was available last summer and could have given us another defensive/ midfield options but as we all know our manager is now more interested in kamikaze football than making a winning legacy.
Unfortunately for us the second half started off the same way the first half ended with BVB dictating play with their midfield 2 of Ginter and Sven finding the clever movements of their front 4. On the 48th minute Pierre Aubameyang, a player Klopp after signing described as being an Arsenal type of player, put the tie beyond us.
With things looking rather predictable, Arsene took off Ozil and Ramsey and bring on Santi and Oxlade but the damage had already been done.
The only positive for me was Hector Bellerin showing no signs of being an inexperienced defender at this level of professional football. Albeit sections of fans may say he was poor but to me he did the best he could considering the circumstances.
Unfortunately for us and Wenger the pressure is now on after this lose but just maybe us finishing 3rd or even 4th could be a blessing in disguise for us this season because in my view, this squad is completely ill-equipped to sustain even 3 competitions this season irrespective of the number of player e have on our books.
Wenger may point out that this is our first lose in Germany for over 10 years but putting aside the score line, taking a detailed look at the performance of the team put together by one of the longest serving managers in any of the top 5 leagues in Europe paints a worrying picture.
We can only hope the boys can put in a performance we can all be proud out against Villa on Saturday……
Written by Tsgh
Just to add a bit. There are reports doing the rounds on newsnow which suggest Wenger may try and sign two defenders who are available on a free contract, that’s Joseph Yobo and Diego Lugano. There is also talk of Lassana Diarra heading our way. According to the Express, he left Lokomotiv Moscow in the summer and is now a free agent.
Yobo or Monreal in the centre of defence?
Diarra or Arteta in the CDM position?
It smacks of desperation, but we are not far from being desperate are we……
Have a good day all….