View From The Opponents: Arsenal versus Borussia Dortmund
I’ll tell you something. The players should have a easier task when they face Dortmund tonight than me trying to find a Dortmund fan. You’ll be wondering why, I suppose? Well, none of my pals are Dortmund fans and since Gunners Town is an English blog and so I needed a Dortmund fan who’d write English. Not an easy task, I warn you despite a Google search that produces millions of results.
But I finally got hold of a guy and he’s turned just about perfect. Marty owns a blog called http://derpoehler.com/ and he writes in English. He’s been a Dortmund fan since 1984 and decided to start the blog after countless requests from Dortmund fans around the world, especially the ones like me who can’t get the hang of German (I said that because I attended German classes for a year and despite finishing the course, I actually know nothing about the language!)
He was enthusiastic and I even got to answer a few questions for him as well. He feels Dortmund will nail the game against us and thinks Ozil is a game changer for Arsenal given his quality and experience at the highest level.
1.Do you feel Arsenal’s recent fine form has changed the outlook of this game?
Yes, of course. The success so far has increased their self-confidence and that is always an important factor in football. Although Arsenal have played only once against any of the Premier League’s current top ten, people forget they have won games against Tottenham, Marseille and Napoli, three quality teams.
2. How big an influence will Klopp’s absence on the touchline have on the game despite him being allowed to communicate from the stands?
Klopp always influences our team on the touchline in every single game. He wasn’t there at our home fixture against Marseille and we got through it quite well. So the fans and media have assumed we’ll be fine as its only one more game but I feel his presence will surely be missed by the players at the Emirates.
3. Dortmund’s new signings have got going right from the off. Is Gotze gone from the memory completely now?
Definitely! Unlike with Shinji Kagawa or Nur Sahin, most of the fans and BVB officials are still upset about the circumstances of Götze’s switch to Munich. Shinji had always said that his childhood dream was to play in Premier League but Mario Götze told the media just some weeks before he announced his switch to Munich that he could imagine to stay at Dortmund until the end of his career.
He explained how comfortable he feels with the fans and the club. Everyone including our players were really shocked when he then announced his move quite out of the blue. With the signing of Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang and Sokratis, plus our very young, highly talented players Durm and Hofmann we are a better team than last season. Unfortunately we haven’t had the necessary consistency so far because all these new players will need more time to be fully integrated into our setup.
4. Your take on Bayern Munich. I for one don’t like how they use their financial influence to sign all the best talent from other German clubs. Fair assessment you’d say?
If you don’t like how they use their financial influence to sign all the best talent from other German clubs, than you must hate clubs that are sponsored by sheiks or oligarchs and buy the best players of this planet! To make it very clear – I really, really don’t like Bayern Munich but they have earned all their money as a “normal” club without any sheik, oligarch or some sugar daddy. Therefore they have my respect. So, if some of the best talents sign for Munich, it’s ok. No player is more important than the club.
But our coach Jürgen Klopp keeps talking about his project whenever he is asked why he wants to stay at Dortmund for a long time. He wants to improve BVB in a way that no player decides to switch to any other club in the future. I think he really can make it happen which is what excites me the most.
5. What’s Arsenal’s reputation over there?
Arsenal has a huge reputation because of their history and playing style. There are a lot of Arsenal sympathizers in Germany, I have to say because of their recent history and philosophy to win the right way. Sometimes I compare the current Arsenal team to the times when Henry, Bergkamp and Pires played brilliant football at Highbury.
6. Do you feel Ozil’s signing makes Arsenal a completely different proposition, especially against the best teams in Europe?
Yes, Özil raises the team to a new level without doubt. They have some very talented young players like Walcott, Ramsey and Wilshire and these players could really benefit from the international experience that Özil brings with him.
7. Players to watch out for.
Of course Özil, but I don’t think that would be fair towards the rest of theArsenal team. Football is still a team sport and every single player is important. Unfortunately we surely can’t concentrate on one or two single players in this match and will have to be wary about the entire Arsenal team.
8. Predictions for the game.
We are good enough to beat anyone on our day. We beat Bayern in this year’s Super Cup final, Napoli had no chance until the red card and Olympique Marseille had no chance at our Westfalenstadion. Also, last season we beat Madrid with Özil three times. So why not Arsenal at the Emirates?
You know, as a BVB fan, I can’t help it – we will win 2:1.
By the way – I answered a few questions for Marty on his website. If you’re interested in reading, please click here.