Monday, September 12, 2011

Arsenal v Dortmund Pre-Game

Arsenal now has a big distraction to overcome starting this week. Our champions league campaign starts tomorrow night with Borussia Dortmund, with our new boy Mertesacker already saying we shouldn't underestimate the quality of the german side.

“It will be difficult for us but I know we have very good players and I’m confident we can get a result.” 

Per said it very clearly. It might prove to be our hardest champions league opening match in awhile, with the team still trying to get into its stride. Per has had around 8 years of experience with German football, with just coming from Werder Bremen and Hannover before that. Wenger has already taken that into consideration, saying, 

"He knows the Dortmund stadium well and knows German football. He talks and communicates with the team and when a German communicates, you listen."  

One thing we certainly have to worry about it the suspension of Wenger for tomorrow night. I don't know much about Pat Rice, but I'm not too worried. He seems to share Arsene's enthusiasm for the club. We beat Dortmund back in the 2002-03 campaign in the group stages, but by a very small margin. Also, we had Henry in his prime back then. If we want to pull through, Rice is going to have to make the right decisions without the helpful ear of Wenger to avoid any further bans for the main man. Thankfully Arsene will be able to lend them words of wisdom at the half in case things are looking sour. 

I feel the need to talk about our man between the posts. He needs to shine once again and keep his house clean of German balls. Even with our defense being shaky at times, the SZCZ has had 3 shutouts in twice as many games. With the last couple seasons we've had, I started to think that a confident goalkeeper was taboo for Arsenal. Anyone who has seen this young guy come into his own will agree that he'll hopefully fill his position completely with the class he seems to have within him, just like the likes of Seaman and Lehmann before him.

Good luck Gooners!

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