Dortmund defeat could be Arsenal’s turning point – like Villa last year

Is Dortmund an ‘Aston Villa’ Awakening for Arsenal? by NikkoGunners

Borrusia Dortmund did not just score two goals against Arsenal. They out-played, out-thought, out-shot, out-possesed and out-everything Arsenal on that Tuesday night. The only consolation that night was that there was no winner in the other match between Monaco and Galatasaray. That gives Arsenal an opportunity to recover from being at the bottom of the table.

But, we all remember last seasons opener, Aston Villa, beat Arsenal 3-1. It was with such an eerie feeling as Tuesday Night. It was after that bad start that we went for big money signing, Mesut Ozil and he arrived at the Emirates with aplomb despite later we know his form dropped. But his arrival was enough motivation to uplift Arsenal’s squad who went on to the top of the table and only lost out after losing key players (Ozil, Ramsey and Walcott) to injury.

Well the difference this time around is that Last season’s Aston Villa awakening arrived early. This time it arrives when we have shopped and we will not have to shop some more until January 2012.

So what does Arsene Wenger have in store to rejuvenate the low spirits in the changing room? First I have a bad feeling that Mesut Ozil and even Ramsey may be on a go slow…God Forbid. A go slow is the worst when AW is the employer as he will make all manner of excuses to protect his players. Certainly we have heard him come to Ozil’s defense.

Nett effect, it will take time for him to realize what is happening just like he takes too long to read a game and make substitutions. Tuesday night half time was the point he needed to act to chase the game. The first half had seen Arsenal out-played in a way we rarely see.

Why would Ramsey be on a go slow, you may ask? Well last season with Ozil playing his favourite position, it was Ramsey who benefitted the most and latched on to lots of loose balls that he scored repeatedly and had a solid game. Opponents must have had a hard time to remove Ozil from a game that they may have committed too many men to ensure he has a bad day and that allowed Ramsey to roam free. Ozil statements that he is the best Number 10 in the world must have been a warning to AW after being in training and reading AWs intentions to play him in the wings by switching to

Wenger has things he can do in order to inject the ‘Aston Villa Aftermath’ this season, at this moment in time.

Change the System
Fans have been calling for it and AW has been deaf eared about it and maybe it is time to start a campaign – Free Mesut Ozil. We remember Arshavin, the Liverpool tamer who scored four for Liverpool’s four and then Wenger played him in the wings. He never ever recovered that sharpness consistently. I would have gone for 3 CBs but that’s too bold and it may take too long to get the team adapted – and in the EPL you may find yourself in last season’s Man United predicament where you are too gone outside the top four that you just can’t recover. So I will call for a generic 4.4.2. You put a diamond in the Midfield and Ozil gets back his best role.

Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs

When Walcott is available he takes the place of Sanchez and Sanchez takes Wilshere’s place and Wilshere move to the Bench. Now when you have the Ox, Podolski, Cazorla, Campbell, Sanogo on the bench, you can give then gametime in their favourite roles in the diamond. The Forwards will be wing-forwards. They can use their pace in the wings every time the opportunity arises. Ramsey and Wilshere too can explore the wings to expand the game.

Rotate more
Unlike last season when we seemed not to have enough players, this season the problem is how can we play 14 or 15 of our best players? We have the likes of Walcott and Diaby coming back from injury and we have a bench of Rosicky, Podolski, Carzola, Ox, Campbell, Sanogo, and soon we will have Giroud back from recovery. I wonder if it would be the right statement to say that Wenger seems afraid of the team selection headaches and perhaps the reason he can pass up a player like Fabregas. He has seemed to buy only when circumstances force him – and the circumstances have forced him to buy Welbeck. Imagine Ozil’s troubles would now have a simple solution for the team- play Fabregas for the time being if we had let him come back to Emirates. Other coaches seem to love this particular problem and will still buy more even when there are players in the squad that can cover the positions. Not rotating creates players that are overused who are susceptible to injuries, one of Arsenal worst nightmares.

Opponent Analysis and Strategy
One of the biggest criticisms of AW is his stance that ‘we will play our game’. Well while we try so hard against a team that exposes us, upcoming opponents are watching and cracking their heads on how to stop us in the next match. Soon, we find even average teams are so upbeat to stand their ground against Arsenal and we end up throwing away vital points. If we were so unpredictable to a point that even players who were expected to start suddenly are not started – and the opponents coach will have to rework last night’s lecture on how to stop so and so, we could not be losing so many points needlessly

If the above are implemented, Aston Villa aftermath could begin being implemented on the bearers of this phenomenon, Aston Villa this weekend.



Tags Ozil Ramsey


    1. I recall a quote from einstein after seeing ozil played on the wings..
      “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will consider itself whole life stupid”..

    2. Off topic: Am beginning to enjoy the negativity of you Hafiz, it seems he’s more realistic than we are.

      ON topic: never try to play wilshere and Ramsey in the same XI, everyone knows that its NOT walking at all. At least for now. Put chamberlain or the forgotten Rosicky in place of one of them and then you have a high chance of a good chemistry in there!

  1. Wilshere used to have 1 good moment (like goal in manchester city match) and that is enough to have him start in every match (although his stats(like key passes, assists etc) prove he is still playing very poorly and looses the ball in key position and breaking aresnal attack).
    To accommodate him and make him look good by playing him in key central position , Wenger has practically destroyed the whole structure of team. Wenger now moved the best playmaker in the world, Ozil, to practically ineffective left wing and don’t select cazarola and Rosicky (who are much better player than wilshere) and don’t play podolski on left wing.
    This team is done if Wenger don’t leave his stubbornness of promoting his favorite player at the expense of team.
    Ozil best position is in the middle of the pitch…….Just consider fabregas playing on wings and accused of less effective.
    People who are praising fabregas now forgot that ozil has more assist and key passes than him when they both played in two best teams in spain (although fabregas got less chances but still ozil has highest assists in europe).
    Just give him his best position and you will see what ozil can do. But I think wenger now has habit of playing players out of position so to accommodate his favorite player.

    1. Also by analyzing past two season, it can be seen that Arsenal good moments come in his absence. Whether it’s Comprehensive win against Borrusia Dortmund at their home ground or Napoli at home (2-0) or win against Liverpool, where we totally outclassed our opponents and played some beautiful football. Where he was absent in 2012-2013 during final phase of PL, arsenal won 9 and drawn 1 match out of last 10 matches.

      He never leaves most important center of pitch and hence relegate more technical payers on the wings.

    2. have you not been watching the games? this is the best ive seen wilshere play since the england game v brazil. He seems that hes finally regaining fitness, confidence, and most importantly his 5 yard burst. Against dortmund, i thought kosc and wilshere were the best players (behind szcz but i want ospina to start at the weekend) so im not sure why your slamming wilshere.

      If anything ramsey should be the one getting a rest with wilshere as the b2b and ozil as the cam.

      1. You yourself are saying you are seeing the best of wilshere………at what expense?????????? What are the key passes, assists he has by playing at the most important central midfield position?????
        Wenger has practically make a joke of ozil (the best playmaker in the world, having highest assists and key passes) by playing him on left wings. Not to mention, he never select podolski or campbell who would be more effective on left wing. And never select cazarola and Rosicky, the most technical player in arsenal team.

        1. The fact that Ózil was the best 10 in the world while playing for Madrid, doesn’t mean he will still be the best as an Arsenal player. Madrid have the best players in the world at almost every position and that alone makes any player look good. Ózil have not improved us as a team since his arrival and the issue of him being played on the wings is pure bullshit. Fact is, PL seems to be too physical for him. He needs to work on his fitness and learn to be physical.

          1. Even ozil can’t play as cam, by pecking order, carzola or rosicky are a head of him. To me wenger start concentrate on wilshere cos suddenly he want to have a core of England players so next time when England get world cup(but don’t know when) ppl will praise that he is one build it.

    3. Can we please stop calling him “the best playmaker in the world”. We saw him in CAM last year and I don’t think his performances warrant that title. I am not saying, he is a bad player. He had some very good matches last year, but all of them were against low quality opposition. He always went into hide mode in the big matches. For me, Cazorla’s performances in the 2012-13 season as CAM was better than Ozil’s last year. Everyone blames Giroud whenever Ozil had a bad game, but forget that Cazorla played with the same Giroud the season before. Fabregas played with Chamakh as CF, yet still lead the assist charts. If Ozil has bad games after this, then everyone will be blaming Welbeck for it. If Ozil can’t give assists to anyone other than Ronaldo, then that’s his problem, nobody else’s.
      And let’s not forget that Madrid wanted Ozil to leave, not the other way around. His old manager Mourinho didn’t even make an enquiry for him. Meanwhile when Fabregas became available, he didn’t hesitate to sign him.

    4. Agree with most of it except 2 things

      1. Fabregas did not play the free roaming play maker role in Barcelona, which he is best at, so comparison does not make sense. in fact that is what hurt his performances

      2. A world class player when played out of position cannot be suddenly shit..right? at the least his performances in the wings should be decent if not world class.

  2. Hopefully it will wake the players up and wenger too. We need to revert back to the 4-2-3-1 BUT wenger NEEDS to tell ramsey not to bomb forward every damn opportunity. Hes been making me mad cause not only does he get forward but hes in the 18 yard box everytime leaving arteta on an island. We have plenty of offensive players capable of creating and scoring (ozil, sanchez, welbeck, cazorla, ox, podolski etc) while ramsey sits back.

    Also he needs to have a word with the full backs and tell them not to bomb forward every chance they get too cause our dm doesnt have the athleticism to cover the full backs.
    So if one full back gets forward, then one needs to stay, or if both are providing the width then ramsey NEEDS to stay with arteta and be his legs while arteta reads and uses his positioning to stop counters (which might happen more often if ramsey stays cause hed only have half the ground to cover.)

  3. The ONLY thing we need to change – the manager. He just turns on the deaf ear or blind eye on pressing issues. We’re becoming laughing stock by sticking with such a lousy manager. We sure can do better even giving David Moyes in charge these days.

  4. Villa, Southampton
    Spurs Galatasaray Chelsea.
    By the end of these 16 days
    we should have a decent line
    on how good this Arsenal squad is.
    On paper the squad looks strong
    albeit a bit thin in defense.
    But we need to turn these strengths
    into points on the board.
    A win at Villa is a must.

  5. I’m not sure it’s just changing system which will help I just wish Wenger would change systems and times just to not make us so predictable it’s like everyone knows we will play 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 whatever way you look at it.
    We have very few leaders on the pitch and we lack power at times in the middle of the park.
    The spine needs sorting in our side Wenger needs to bring in a Centre half a DM and 1 striker even if it costs us £80 million for all 3.
    Realistically is our squad stronger then Chelsea or City answer a resounding NO!
    So why do we expect to win the league we might sneak a domestic cup again but no way are we good enough to win the champions league or league.
    Ultimately Wenger is bigger problem I see us moving forward.

  6. It’s a disgrace that Arsenal which is in the first 10 teams in the world doesn’t have a striker who’s in the first 50 in the world.

  7. Am I the only one that feels a fit diaby and walcot will change the outcome of our season?
    Diaby will simply improve a defensive mid situation as he is a tremendous footballer. Walcot will make our attack deadlier. But knowing our luck with injuries, we’ll never reach the true potential of our team

    1. diaby is b2b and has never been a dm idk why people keep calling him a DM. but who knows he might sit a lot more and create from deep which would help us tremendously. and i agree i cant wait for walcott to get back, sanchez and ozil will have a field day with welbeck and walcott running in behind

    2. Walcott yes, quality player and will improve our squad with his movement, positioning and finishing.

      As for Diaby he has the quality but the guy cannot be considered as an Arsenal player. He can’t manage 3 games a season let alone in a row.

      It’s quite simple what we need to do. We need to play with two central midfielders in front of defence. We don’t have a natural defensive midfielder so we need to double up in that area to compensate. Chambers and Ramsey/Wilshere /Flamini would be my preference.

      As for Ozil get him off the wing and give him runners. All our players want the ball to feet; doesn’t suit his game and too easy for other teams in the premiership to defend against. We have plenty of pace in the team now so shouldn’t be any excuses.

      If the Dortmund defeat and only one win in premiership makes Wenger realise this then we will progress. But if we keep playing Farteta as our single defensive midfielder then we are doomed.

  8. @Muda, Sorry about Monaco , its Anderlecht, my bad, my bad…@ArsenalGenes – That Einstein Quote – “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will consider itself whole life stupid”.. Would be a great placard if AW insists to field his ridiculous @Ergs and @Goonsquad8, I think we can also vary 4.3.3 and have That has Sanchez and Welbeck ahead, Ozil behind them then we have Wilshere, Arteta and Ramsey and the Back four…Davidnz – looking at that list we should win 4 and have a go at Chelsea matchup…and if we don’t win we draw…

  9. Our turning point always comes when the fans voice their displeasure at the manager and players. Use right players in the rifht positions. It’s not rocket science. Players thrive in the position they play because of their physique and abilities. Like wingers are mostly fast and skillful. CMs on the other hand don’t necessarily have to be fast, but their ability to thread deadly passes and rip open defences is crucial, take Pirlo for an example. Basically use the right tools for the job and the results will be good.
    Mesut Ozil has warned he is wasted on the left because he is “one of the best players in the world” in the No.10 position.
    The Arsenal midfielder told the Telegraph he believes the criticism he attracted during the World Cup – where Joachim Loew often deployed him on the left for Germany – was unfair and upsetting.
    “I’m one of the best players in the world in that No.10 position,” Özil told the newspaper. “Fans, coaches, players and everyone knows that my best position is playmaker.
    “It’s different playing on the left. When I was in Madrid, I often played on the right. I enjoyed that because I’m left-footed and I was able to cut inside to give assists and get shots on target.
    “On the left, it’s more difficult. If I do get past someone I’m still away from the danger zone, still on the flank, and it’s harder for me to find the final ball with my right foot than with my left.
    “Joachim Loew needed me on the left. It’s not about the individual, it’s about the team. It’s not my favourite position but I was willing to play there for the team.
    “It was difficult just before the tournament started that I was suddenly playing on the left and had a different role. I needed to get my bearings, which I did.
    “I think I did my job well there. The boss saw me as being able to play on the right and we ended up as world champions.”

  10. Watch the game tomorrow and see Wenger make the same mistakes he always makes.

    Wenger is a manager who has far more negative qualities than positive.

    He clearly is not the manager he used to be and should do the decent thing and step down if he cannot recognise where things are going wrong.

    Ozil a left winger ?

    Arteta a defensive midfielder ?

    Wellbeck the 25 goal a season striker we are crying out for ?

    And a lack of defensive training and extremely questionable research on opponents leads me to believe that very little is done in terms of tactics.

    All for £8 million a year.

    Its a joke that is not very funny…

  11. I play that formation on Fifa14 and win many games…but realistically I don’t think it will work, especially in the BPL because it’s too one dimensional. To be effective in this league, we need width. Playing a 4 4 2 with the current crop of players won’t work as we have the time old problem of having a bottleneck up front with no penetration on the flanks. The best formation for us right now, would be a 4 1 2 3, willing Wenger would actually buy a decent DM capable of covering our back four whilst stringing play with our AM’s and forwards. I’d say if we had a player like Cavarlo it could work, but right now neither Arteta nor Flamini are capable of playing solo in that position.

    I would actually like to see Chambers in that role, I think he would be a great DM. He is quick enough, can tackle, has height and good control. Wenger would then obviously have to sign another two CB’s, but it would be worth it as we need another CB anyway.


    1. disagree 4-2-3-1 is our best formation.
      your gonna tell me a front 4 of
      wouldnt wreak havoc

      1. Currently it is yes, because we need someone like Ramsey to help Arteta defend, where he is best suited going forward. If we had a more typical DM instead of Arteta, we would be able to have more bodies going forward in attack and more chance of scoring, especially on the counter. Right now, players are having to run back and defend because both Flamini and Arteta cannot cope alone. I am not saying Ramsey does not have the engine for it, but he cannot be in two places on the pitch at the same time.

        Having a stronger DM would allow our team to be more flexible, where someone like Ramsey or Wilshere would be able to drop back if necessary to defend in the situation we are in the lead and want to go more turtle, or have the luxury of staying up front if we need a quick goal on the counter.

    2. @Big Gun – strangely I submitted an article on these lines early this morning. According to admin it’s due to be posted at around 3pm so please let me know what you think. Warning! My lineup is a bit experimental!

  12. I know we haven’t achieved many wins thus far-

    But I think we have played well in most games. The good news is we will get lots better Welbeck has only just joined, Giroud, Walcott are out, and at the moment Ozil and Ramsey aren’t at top of their game. So the future is bright, and this is more potential to come

    4 points from 2 games against City is a great result – damn RealMadrid, Barcelona etc would be happy with that!

    Dortmond were superb- they will beat many teams. Whilst the loss is disappointing, it only shows there is one better club in the world. We might like to hear that- but we fight on

    The only EPL team Im scared of is Chelsea- we have the ability to beat anyone!

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