Arsenal finally got a decent and well deserved reward for their efforts in the Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund and while Jurgen Klopp was not happy with the performance of his players, Arsene Wenger suggested that it was the Gunners getting the balance of the side right, as an Arsenal.com report shows.
The manager said, “I felt we had a good combination between our usual passing game and our transition from defence to attack. We were highly focused to defend well together from the first to the last minute and we always looked dangerous. Defensively we were very good as well.
“We were more under pressure because on Saturday we played well but maybe we were victims of our generous attitude going forward. Here we had a bit more urgency to defend, especially when we were 1-0 up.”
We have all seen many times in the past that Arsenal were too focused on the creative side of the game and scoring goals. That was one of the big reasons for our way day woes against the big Premier League teams last season but we have been seeing a much more patient and disciplined Arsenal this season, some of the time at least.
There have still been times this season when we have lost defensive discipline, such as Man United’s second goal and all three of Anderlecht’s, but we have been punished so harshly for those lapses that perhaps it has driven the lesson home. Per Mertesacker seems to think so, according to Arsenal.com, although the big German knows that the team must now keep the same sort of focus and discipline into the rest of the season.
Per said, “We were very convincing [against Dortmund]. We have to show character and that is what makes me really happy for the next few games, because we have to sharpen up in the Premier League as well.
“We were very solid from the start. We scored an early goal, which is quite new for us. Our performance did not drop in the second half and that was the key.
“We really stuck together and tried to find solutions. When we scored the second, we dropped a bit, but we were defensively very solid. Everyone was up for it and that was the difference to all the other games when we suffered and conceded late goals.”
The thing that has impressed me most is the way we have started to press and press as a unit, perhaps having seen how Alexis Sanchez forces mistakes. If we can keep that up as well as not bombing forward and exposing the defence, perhaps we have hit on the right blend that can bring us success. What do you think Gooners?