Football Expert & Columnist
Jamie Redknapp: Arsenal need to learn how to close a game down without Mathieu Flamini
Jamie Redknapp says that Mathieu Flamini's tactical nous was sorely missed as Arsenal lost to Dortmund.
Last Updated: 23/10/13 9:46am
Arsenal had fought back to level the score 1-1 in their eagerly-anticipated UEFA Champions League clash with last year's beaten finalists.
However instead of closing the game down as their manager Arsene Wenger expected, Arsenal pushed for the winner and left themselves open at the back allowing Kevin Grosskreutz to provide the delivery for Robert Lewandowski to volley home a dramatic clincher. Report
"Wenger said post match that they forgot that if they cannot win it then they don't lose it," said Redknapp on Sky Sports.
"They really missed Flamini in that regard - he is the player that when they lose the ball he would have been organising people, pushing people around him, I don't think they have that mentality in the team anymore.
"Arteta is a lovely footballer but I don't think he looks at the dirty side of the game. Flamini galvanised the team, he is a natural leader."
Fellow pundit Ray Wilkins agreed, saying: "You can close a team like Dortmund down in the last ten minutes. There are times in games when senior players have to get hold of certain players and tell them where to go so that if something does go wrong then they have a stable defensive unit."
Despite the loss, Arsenal still sit top of Group F but with two away games to go, former England manager Glenn Hoddle is concerned that their qualification may still be in jeopardy.
"They now have to go to either Dortmund or Napoli and get a result; they have to get more than a draw to put themselves in pole position at the end," he said.
"Dortmund were the better side over the 90 minutes, they had long spells where they were in control. Arsenal have been wonderful in the league but they came across better opposition than they have faced all season and were left wanting a little bit.
"As the home side you really wanted Arsenal to get on and take the game to Dortmund but it never really happened and it is a concerning result for Arsenal."