BOOM! Wenger Klopp’s Dortmund’s Heavy Metal

aaron-ramsey_2726120bThrough The Never – Metallica’s groundbreaking, rip-roaring, 3-D thrash metal of a movie following a roadie’s adventures during their live show. A colleague of mine had recently regaled me about how much his mind was unexpectedly blown on such a trip to the IMAX to see this surreal concert film.
The litany of pyrotechnics, lasers, props and the like serve to give the movie a suitable OTT feel to its larger than life artists.

Jurgen Klopp interviewed prior to tonight’s return leg against Arsenal had said something along the lines of admiring Wenger and his charges orchestral interpretation of football but, preferred Dortmund’s own loud, brash combative style of football, “I have to have it loud! I want it: BOOM!”

Certainly their energetic, non-stop, all action, vibrant (I could go on with the superlatives but you get the gist…) style of the beautiful game has drawn many an admirer. And even more swooned under their banner when they steadfastly denied Lewandowski’s procession to Bavaria, for one more season in the Yellow & Black.
They’d left North London having been cannier than the Gunners by first taking advantage of defensive sloppiness then flooring us with the classic counter as we naively tried to find a winner.
Questions came thick n fast as our mental strength was again called to account. Another loss to Chelsea & Mourinho in the Credit Card Cup only served to reinforce the notion Arsenal always fail to deliver in the big matches.
Forget Liverpool and the SAS, once we’d dispatched them the Scousers were viewed with the same disdain as Totteringum and Napoli before them; yeah, they’re decent but they weren’t a BIG TEAM…

In a recent podcast I’d deemed the Westfalenstadion “one of football’s great wonders of the world” and even with UEFA reducing the capacity from the usual 80,000 to 65,000 it still made for an amazing site to behold. The Great Yellow Wall was in full voice. And despite that we could still hear 3,500 official (wouldn’t be surprised if there were more) Arsenal traveling support from deep in the bowels of Signal Iduna.

The experts had said Dortmund were the favourites, they’d trumped our dazzling display against Liverpool by completely destroying sorry Stuttgart 6-1, having given their hapless visitors a goal start.
We began on the back foot, BVB dominating play with their BOOM BOOM BOOM style of footy, pinning us on our own 18 yard line and constantly laying seige to our goal.
We rocked, we creaked but somehow we refused to be breached.
Szcz once again showed he’s maturing as a goalkeeper by throwing himself low to his right to deny one goal bound header.
The half time whistle blows and we’re still in there on level terms. I wondered whether Wenger would be playing Orinoco Flow as the players returned to the tranquility of the dressing room. Maybe Bouldy would show the Rumble in the Jungle on DVD too? Absorb the blows, roll with the punches but, keep tight and compact. Wear them out. Our moment will come.
Okay. Maybe not. But it sounds plausible. Specially now, right?

‘Right’ I thought, ‘we’ve taken their best, let’s take the game to them from the restart’
Uhuh, yeah right. Whistle blew. The musical arrangement continued where they’d paused it.
More and more the pressure grew. Arteta, already booked in the first stanza was walking a tightrope only the likes of Marc Van Bommel knew how to navigate. Nothing was sticking to Giroud. Ozil was once again made to look a peripheral figure, and on top of that he’d started to show worrying signs of frustration akin to that we’d witnessed against Chelsea.

I tweeted “we need someone else to step up tonight”.
Just when we began to scour the subs bench for who we could use to somehow change events, BOOM! The unlikely happened.
Ozil benefiting from a fortuitous passage of play had managed to find a yard of space on the right. Schmelzer, who until that moment had snuffed him out over the 2 games had made a fatal error. Ozil took advantage of the iota of freedom and stood the ball up for Giroud to fight for. Knowing he had no chance of scoring himself Olivier either saw Rambo from the corner of his eye or, gambled someone would see him and raise him, throwing all their chips on the table and make a run. Ramsey anticipated it, surged ahead and met the knockdown with his head bravely ignoring the flailing boot trying to deny him glory.
BOOM! The gamble paid off! The Great Yellow Wall was stunned into silence.
Our first effort on goal & we scored. “Vorsprung Durch Technik as they say in Germany”

Now Klopp’s thrash metal outfit looked flustered. The all action, high energy, rapier attacks looked nothing more than disorganised confusion. Blunt. Unimaginative. Noise.
Klopp now showing increasing signs of desperation threw on the lightning quick PEA. He withdrew the previously effervescent & dynamic Reus.
But now Wenger’s silent symphony was playing the loudest tune. That’s Sir Arsene Wenger, Jurgen…
The final whistle blew. The defence yet again denied and defied a star studded attack. Mikel Van Bommel Arteta had somehow trapezed his way to the end of the game. Rambo had once again shown why he is the best midfielder in the Premier League AND one of the best in Europe (form is form).
And we’d managed to stop Dortmund from scoring for only the 2nd time in 61 games at their ground.

Not so long ago Wenger was under the most severe pressure of his reign at Arsenal. Nothing he did was good enough. If we lost it was because of him. If we won it was despite him.
But this Arsenal team is showing signs of delivering on those infamous Wenger catchphrases from the dark days “mental strength”, “spirit and quality of the team”, and “desire to do well”, words many among us had viewed with increasing scorn and contempt. These words that some fans and meeeja had formed to use as a rod to beat him with.
These words now seem to carry a renewed sustenance. A substance. Something we can actually hang our hats on.

Arsenal are passing Through The Never.
Next stop Old Trafford: RvP, Moyes and Januzaj.
Bring it.

Gooner Ramble

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