Liverpool beckons

by .

Happy Fri-emery? Or just Friyay? Or just Friday? Whatever you fancy. There’s a big game this weekend and I am PUMPED.

Liverpool come to town. Emery has a chance to fire up the troops and take his first ever top 6 scalp. Liverpool are favourites, and I think that’s a positive for us. I’m not sure any of us expect to come out of this alive, even at home. That puts us in a good position of being grateful for anything more than zero points.

There are many things for us to be looking out for.

Selection:

There are a lot of questions ahead of this game. Firstly, I think he should stick with Leno, Cech didn’t look great against Blackpool and Leno has been pretty good.

The big fear is Lichtsteiner and Xhaka as fullbacks. We’re going get absolute spanked if that’s the case. Might as well pack up and go him, give Xhaka his red card already. Trouble is, we’ll likely have to risk a players recovery to get anyone back into the mixer, and Liverpool doesn’t feel like the right game to be taking punts like that.

Midfield kind of picks itself… dependent on Xhaka. Will Ramsey come in next to LT? Will Ozil occupy a central role?

Up front is also interesting. VVD is a monster, and he’ll eat Lacazette alive. So do we opt for someone like WELBZ to bully? Or do we just have a blended front three and see what happens?

Tactics:

If this were Arsene, we’d be going toe-to-toe in a ‘who has the biggest toe’ competition. I’m not sure Emery will be so reckless. The challenge he has is the team aren’t exactly reliable when it comes to defence. Are we equipped to absorb pressure? Do we have the discipline to run a deep block. Do we have the intelligence to stop Liverpool from playing at high pace?

The real worry is if we go into this game playing a high line. Especially if we have two slow full-backs in play.

The last time Emery played Klopp was the Europa League final. From what I remember, he let Liverpool exhaust themselves in the first 60, then picked them off when their legs were gone. I think the Liverpool team is a touch more sophisticated in 2018, but at least our man has the winning record here.

Psychology:

I always felt an Arsene Wenger side was beaten 3 days before the game. How is Emery going to change that? Are we going to be in the fight? Will we see a difference in the way we approach the game? Will the team look like they believe they can win?

These games are acceptable to lose if the team looked like they were in it. I don’t want to come out of this weekend thinking we were bullied. I don’t want the game plan to be out the window after 6 minutes. I want to see 100% agression for the whole game, Liverpool need to feel like they’re in a game.

Right, that’s me done. See you in the comments! x

733 Responses to “Liverpool beckons”

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  1. mysticleaves

    Absolutely brilliant today. Everyone turned up. Emery showed he actually has a plan and is bent on executing it. I am not sure he has the kind of players he needs atm. Imagine how we would be if he gets in his own players.

    Leno was fantastic. Mustafa was a leader and continues to show what a good player he can be. Holding started a bit shaky but absolutely improved in the 2nd half (Emirates Stroller continues to think he doesn’t have the level to play for us. lol) Kola held his own against and underwhelming Salah.

    Xhaka was the boss. The best game I have seen him play since the 0-0 against Chelsea. Torr is better than Kante and will be the best DF in the EPL by season end.

    Ozil turned up and worked his ass off. Laca was laca. quality.

    I also called this season the #Wobiseason. The boy is coming on in leaps and bounds.

    I am actually gutted we didn’t win, we deserved to

  2. Emiratesstroller

    This was unquestionably Arsenal’s best performance of the season. Every player
    played his part both offensively and defensively.

    Okay there are still one or two weaknesses in our team, but that applies to most other teams. No-one is perfect.

    However, I think that we have now sorted out our midfield. Since Torreira has been playing Xhaka looks a better player in the team. Forget last week’s performance at left back. That is not his position.

    The two Centre Backs played surprisingly well today. I have still my doubts about these positions, but they showed total commitment today and frankly
    some of the comments about Leno being at fault for the goal are ridiculous.
    Most other goalkeepers would have done exactly the same. It was just bad luck
    how the goal was scored.

    We do need to find a top class left back. It has been obvious in several games this season that we are targeted in that position. Also I don’t think that Mkhitaryan is good enough for starting eleven. We need an upgrade in the right
    wing position.

    Nevertheless considering that all the so called media pundits thought we would get a pasting we showed that this team is no longer a soft touch. Paul
    Merson who is a complete idiot said we would be slaughtered!

  3. Josip Skoblar

    Super atmosphere at the Emirates tonight. I hadn’t seen that in years! I lost my voice! Bar Oezil, the team played really well. We didn’t give up when we conceded. Laca’sgoal was just superb.

  4. Henry Root

    I note some of the regular posters on this site no longer comment!
    Why is that ? Could it be they only enjoy it when Arsenal play badly or lose?
    Today was a watershed moment where you could see the difference Emery and Mislintat have made. Torreira was awesome but so were Holding, Xhaka , Lacazette and even Mustafi played well. We are making real progress

  5. Receding Hairline

    Xhaka and Bellerin just played their best game in an Arsenal shirt. I don’t think Xhaka put a foot wrong all game.

    Leno’s overconfidence led to the goal, he wanted to catch when he should have punched. But boy is he good with his feet.

  6. Ben D

    What a game and what an atmosphere! A draw seems a fair result only because we allowed them to create too many chances. We played the better football overall.

    We are clearly a different team now. Biggest difference is the believe even when we go behind.

    Amazing times. Long may it continue.

  7. GunnerDNA

    Its always good to watch games and make your own assessments than going off what every journalist wants you to believe. Liverpool are a team that is still work in progress. If VD, MS, or SM gets injured they’re in trouble. No more Arteta talk, UE certainly earned his stripes

  8. Marko

    Are we happy with today’s result? Still a work in progress but you can see there’s potential there. Paul Merson don’t know shit.

  9. Leftsidesanch

    We lost to City and wasn’t thrashed. Lost to the Blues in a close game but some pundits were acting like we hadn’t faced decent sides and would be thrashed as soon as we faced Liverpool. Merson is a twat, most fans are in agreement across the country on this.

  10. Ddkingz

    Best arsenal game in two years…..
    I couldn’t believe I was watching my arsenal….
    We went toe to toe with Liverpool….
    They were totally man marked…
    The fluidity from defence to attack was spot on..
    It was eleven players vs eleven players… Each player had an opponent to man marked and the executed it perfectly..

    Liverpool players, were holding back to fully go forward…

  11. mysticleaves

    Funny how Bellerin went from an irredeemable player in the eyes of le grovers to an indispensable member of the team.

    Also wouldn’t look for a replacement for Xhaka just for the sake of it, going by his performances this season

  12. mcdon

    for the first time this season, I saw a Liverpool team scared to attack, hell even frimino and Maine where playing as midfielders today.

  13. Goona

    That was the best i have seen us play for years, players getting stuck in, no fear end to end football…..the ground was rocking…a real atmosphere.. the team got stuck in, and took the game the them….COYG…

  14. Tippitappi

    good game, decent result ,better side I thought, just still need to get a bit tighter to avoid goals like tonight.

  15. mysticleaves

    Salah though. He’s no longer the player he used to be. Goals can really change players for the worse. All he does now is goal-hang and always trying a shot even if teammates are in better position.

  16. vickingz

    Globalgunner

    I have problem with folks who just jump into conclusion or assume without doing a thing in ascertaining the situation. Before the match started at all, I was here asking for the line up cos I knew I could always get it here. When we were a goal down and I asked how it was going, it’s because we had a black out temporarily and I needed to know what’s going on before electricity was restored. Just bury your head in shame already

  17. Ddkingz

    Someone just said….

    Van dijk was been a dijk to us….. But arsenal had some HOLDING his own!
    Best defender in the game today… Go ROB!

    And I totally agree with his statement….

    Holding held and bullied Salah… Along with kolasinac

  18. vickingz

    I was scared kola would be a weak link against us but he held his ground, surprised to see that. Micki kinda surprised me, same did ozil

  19. Marko

    Seems everyone is in agreement he’s a good appointment. Back him and trust him and we’ll likely be in a good place.

  20. Rainman

    Good game, we got a result against one of the best teams as far as this season is concerned.
    I hope the ” I-dont-rate-Emery-he-is-a-bit-Meh” brigade start to give him a bit more credit, (looking at you Pedro).
    Emery got his tactics spot on, Liverpool were nowhere near their usual dominating self. We actually outplayed them in the first half, showed the world that they do bleed like the rest of us. Hopefully teams will smell blood now and go at them with a bit more tactical intelligence. Cant have them equaling our unbeaten run,

  21. Bamford10

    Just finished watching the first half, which was definitely one of the most enjoyable halves of Arsenal football I have seen in some time. As much as I criticize Xhaka, he was excellent. Maybe the best half I’ve ever seen him play for Arsenal. Torreira was good as well, although he had a couple of misplayed passes.

    Great to see the team play with so much energy, desire, confidence and unity. Good work, Unai Emery.

  22. Freddylekgunner

    I watched the match with a couple of decent Liverpool friends, they were worried it’s just a matter of time before we’ll level after scoring first. I still think if Auba was left on and the useless Ramsey not coming on, we may have won the game
    Iwobi, Kola, Xhaka, Tor, Ozil, Holding perfect.

  23. China1

    Well done to the team and manager. Not only a very reasonable point but a good performance.

    Before the game that lineup had about 3 major question marks about it, but emery has shown time and again that his judgment is good far more often than not. Next time I see a dubious looking lineup I’ll be more likely to give it the benefit of the doubt

    The only concern I have right now is *if* we maintained our current points/games ration until the end of the season we’d finish on 74. That’s usually just enough for top 4, but not enough to be sure of it. Liverpool got 75 last year. Obviously I hope we continue to improve and can do better than that, but it would certainly nice of spurs and Man U would donus a favour and fade away a bit this season. Would help me sleep better at night lol

  24. Ddkingz

    @b10
    Fuck off you twat… and the Paul merson of le-fucking-grove….

    The guy had just one misplaced pass in the whole match…. And you’ve already seen a couple of misplaced/misplayed passes by HT, in your fucking 2min 34sec highlight reel…

    You dumb cunt….
    Go hide yourself, you irrelevant prick!!!

  25. Cesc Appeal

    Really good performance.

    We got a draw, sure, but the performance standard, the organisation, the pressing, the limiting Liverpool, the standing toe to toe with them.

    Klopp has had 3 years and a £300 Million spend.

    Emery has had 3 months and a £70 Million spend.

    Arsenal fans should be very excited I think.

    As the papers are saying ‘Arsenal are back’.

  26. Joe

    Fuck Ransey

    Emery showing how much in tune he is compared to wenger.

    Ramsey would have been signed to 300k a week and allowed to keep going playing bang average and played game in/game out

    Emery said pull the deal.

    Bravo Emery. Bravo.

  27. Georgio

    Wow! I read Le grove everyday for over 6yrs and maybe only even commented once or twice. I lost the passion in watching or talking anything Arsenal.

    I have not gotten so emotional and vocal watching an Arsenal game for so many years now as I did tonight. Thanks Unai. We have got a real manager finally! and damn we’ve gotten our Arsenal back!!!

    And all the Iwobi haters on here..@Bamford…once again for the nth time this season..each your words and humble pie desert!

  28. Leedsgunner

    As great as this euphoria is, we need to remember that this is only one game. Our next EPL is worth three points just like this one. Drawing too many games is just as damaging to our top 4 aspirations as losing games.

    We’ve had two drawn games back to back. We need to start stringing wins together again. Wolves must not be underestimated, and a win is a must.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    I loved how uncomfortable we made Liverpool.

    You could almost see them looking like ‘hold on, this is Arsenal, what the fuck is all this pressing off the ball shit?’

  30. Cesc Appeal

    I’m hoping this is a watershed, if we can play with that level tenacity off the ball and directness and incision on it, we can sweep aside a lot of teams with far more ease.

    Had a lot of reservations about that team before kick off, worked well though.

    Need some transfer for sure, but we’re on the way.

    Torriera was excellent again, and so was Xhaka. Have to say, he was great, on and off the ball.

    When he sprinted back to tackle Salah in the box I love that Emery fist pumped as if we had scored a goal.

  31. Joe

    Loved Emery’s energy and passion on the sidelines. Not some wanker having a nap in a sleeping bag he can’t do up.

    We now have a real footballing manager.

    We’ve got our Arsenal back

  32. Marko

    Credit to Xhaka he looked good today and as good as Holding’s been which is nothing short of extraordinary considering he is supposed to be our 4th choice CB BUT we need to improve on the defence we need our own Van Dijk an obvious defensive stalwart. We can’t afford to skimp on that area anymore we can get by with 20 odd million midfielders or 19 million keepers or whatever but we need to properly address the defence. There is improvements being made but it’s clear where we’re lacking.

  33. Joe

    A little bit of coaching by a proper
    Manager. and Xhaka has improved so much already.

    So has Bellerin. Iwobi. Mustafi. Holding. Laca. Ozil is showing more heart.

  34. Marko

    Yeah he was good today on both sides of the game but for me the impressive thing about Granit today was it was a big game and he didn’t shy away from responsibility and performance. It’s a sign of the manager and the work he’s doing

  35. Leedsgunner

    I need to say Emery’s man management has been outstanding. Every player that has played a number of games under him has looked improved and impressive.

    Plus he has not been afraid to use all his squad to gain results in the EPL, Europa league and cups as needed. The right youth are being promoted and there is no difference between a squad player and a starter anymore. There are genuine competition for places. Everyone seems motivated and are fighting for the team.

    He has used forgotten players like Kolasinac and Jenkinson to get results. Hopefully we can sell people like Jenkinson, Elneny and Ramsey to strengthen the squad in January.

    I don’t want flashy signings, just solid signings in key areas to keep this good form up.

    Players like Declan Rice (who plays a very similar role to Torreira) and another “under the new radar” centre back would be welcome. A winger would be just great but one must be patient.

    We are definitely moving the same direction.

  36. Cesc Appeal

    We were supposedly looking at Havertz, that is a potentially next level signing and he is still going under the radar a little.

    Could we actually have landed a real midfield pairing in Xhaka, Torreira?

  37. Graham62

    Very very impressive. What more can you say?

    Ok, may have had a wee bit of luck on occasions but overall I thought Arsenal were the better side.

    The work rate of all the players and the improvement in our tactical and positional play was there for all to see. Great goal from Lacazette.

    Emery has got us pointing in the right direction and, based on this performance, top 4 is a distinct possibility.

    Arsenal are competing once again and I can honestly say the future looks rosey.

  38. Marko

    Leverkusen are struggling this season. But Havertz is just getting started so I can’t see him happening anytime soon which is a shame.

    Reiss Nelson scored again I see. Holy shit

  39. UTarse

    Very good game, great atmosphere inside the stadium, the fans really lifted the team in the second half. All things considered a draw was a fair result, but more importantly we went toe to toe with a very good team…. Emery has transformed the stale brittle players in this squad.

    Just one thing I don’t get is the praise for ozil, he was average at best.

  40. China1

    Cracking goal by laca. Totally made up for the balls up before palace’s second goal last week. A proper goal. Extremely satisfying. Lovely stuff

    Xhaka has been one of our best performers so far this season. It’s like something out of the twilight zone. Even at LB he has been good lol. What the hell is going on

    Long may this continue. Right now we have 3 good players for the two DM/CM spots. In the past few years cazorla was probably our only one and he was always injured…

    What a difference. Well done xhaka and we’ll done emery for turning this car crash player into someone very useful

  41. Ben D

    @Leeds: You are right, this is only one match and each one is worth 3 points. However, most people were saying our unbeaten run was because we hadn’t played any team of note, and that this would be the marker. So I think we are entitled to enjoy the performance

    But sure, another winning run is now a must. The Mancs are getting too close for comfort and f@&king spurs have overtaken us!

  42. China1

    As someone else said. Good result but now we need to return to winning

    Beat sporting at home and wolves and that momentum will be absolutely fantastic. Sporting at home shouldn’t be the biggest test (tho not easy) but wolves will be a battle. I think after wolves we have a solid week off before our next game so that’s a key recovery window. Get through these two games in one piece and we can recover before the following game against I think Bournemouth. COME ON ARSENAL

  43. China1

    Have you guys noticed we have a shitty away trip in Eastern Europe just 3 days before spurs

    That game will be unimportant mathematically if we beat sporting first, but I hope emery can handle those two games and get us a win against spurs without throwing that EL game

    This unbeaten record is important imo – but we must beat spurs

  44. TonyD

    Great game for the neutrals an even greater game for us and the squad.

    We rode our luck with the disallowed goal, but pretty much went toe to toe with the bin dippers for most of the match.

    LT – BT Sports MOM was deserved of the accolade, but VVD was also Pool’s stand out player.

    Even Xhaka was deserving praise and is showing that he could be a decent player for us, which is something I thought I’d never say.

    If that was Ozil stepping up, then He still has a long way to go to doing what’s expected of him physically and off the ball.

    Mikhi was dire and inconsistent a lot of the time where he hasn’t won me over from what I thought of him when we did the Sanchez deal. Mikhi switches off too many times in a game and only plays a bit part in our pressing game.

    Ramsey did nothing to improve us yet again; His head and heart are gone and we should be using ESR and others in place of him.

    Holding and Mustafi had good games where Holding is looking more and more like a regular starter for us. If we can find a VVD level CB to lead and marshal our back line, we will have all the CBs we need.

    Sead needs to be sold; He’s a mid table or lower player – not a top 6 defender.

    Auba was excellent early on, especially when switching flanks, and Laca deserved his goal with a decent performance. Both did well against an excellent Pool defense.

    All in all, there can be no bad press for Emery: 14 unbeaten is something we could only have dreamed of last season. He is slowly and surely bringing out the best of players named above, which also includes Bellerin and Iwobi.

    I’m sure there is much more to come from Emery, especially after the next 2 TWs.

    We should have at least drawn against Chelsea and we shouldn’t fear Spuds or United. If we continue to consistently play like that, we can qualify for CL next season.

    What we witnessed yesterday was the beginning of the Top 6 hoodoo beginning to be eroded; we should fear no one any more.

    We just need a winger and LB this January.

    I have never seen my 10 years old son so animated watching us play even though the game didn’t start until 12:30am.

    As Graham62 says ‘Onwards & Upwards’ and we really have got our Arsenal back where it is such a good feeling to be counting the days before the next game.

  45. Leedsgunner

    To think we’ve achieved an eleven game winning run, and a 13 game unbeaten run without Koscielny is another feather in Emery’s cap.

    Key injuries were a source of excuses for Wenger, and he continually moaned about them. Emery doesn’t complain or make excuses. He just adapts and gets on with the job.

    I really hope we can strengthen the squad in January, if we do, the sky is the limit.

  46. China1

    Around the same time arsenal changed management, my foreigners’ 8 a side team has also turned a corner majorly and we play every Monday night. So I have so many football things to look forward to each week now – it’s awesome!

  47. gonsterous

    did Ramsey play ? guy hardly touched the ball. I guess this result was another slap at the AKBs and their “be careful what you wish for ” logic.

  48. useroz

    The City and chelski games came too soon for Emery. We are down more points than we should at this point. But the ‘big 6’ will lose 3 or 4 points per game playing each others as well. Hopefully that helps our run rate on points.

    Going forward, Emery must find ways to…

    * get rid of the 1H syndrome, like how we did playing Pool

    * sustain similar performance level playing ‘lesser’ teams

    * tune up Ozil and Mikki, mentality and physically by at least 20.5%

    * further improve Holding and Mustafi, noting Papa isn’t able to play every game

    * coach shooting (other than Auba and Laca). Imagine wot 10 extra goals from LT, Guendouzi, Xhara, Iwobi Kolac, and arguably Ozil would add to the points / GD!!

    Well, Ramsey sadly added nothing after he came on. This and the Blackpool games vindicate the ‘collective’ pull of his contract. He appeared ‘taking’ the ball from teammates ffs…

    Play Smith Rowe for the odd 20, 30 min. Worse case, SR plays like Ramsey!

    This season anyway, shape up Kolac and we’d have a capable LB from whom we’d make some money next we buy better.

    Still don’t know wot we should do with Welbeck. Handy but usually adds little. Like yesterday, a great take down of a cross but the ball had to hit his hand! Massive coordination of his limbs, feet and head…

    #14 unbeaten going for 20.

    Well done.

  49. China1

    There’s a long way for us to go and we need to improve in lots of ways. But the current trajectory is very positive. For that we should be very pleased

  50. Thorough

    What a game!
    Glad Kolasinac expectedly played well despite the despair pregame.
    It is very important that we get our next signings right.
    And we absolutely cannot afford to wait till summer, when Chelsea, ManU and Man city will drop hundreds of millions, to do it.
    Two absolutely important January signings for me would be:
    1. Someone who can play with Torreira and as well can play in his place. I can’t see beyond Thomas Partey.
    2. I think the effect Iwobi has had on the team, simply for being our only winger that can take people on, has absolutely shown how much we need a tricky winger who can score regularly. I love what I’ve read about Pepe and Sarr.
    Again I repeat we must do this in January when the big boys are not too interested in spending money because we’ve been left behind for so long.
    We’ve got our Arsenal back.

    JUST HAD TO REPOST THIS.

  51. China1

    The media keeps moaning that mane was onside for his goal and it was the wrong decision

    Totally false imo. He didn’t touch the ball from an offside position but was clearly interfering with play. He was right next to the player who did receive the pass and he even ran next to him for about a second, not only clearly in the keeper’s line of sight but as a keeper in this situation you would be focusing on trying to close down the shot but seeing mane there and his movement would definitely impact on your movement as you want to be ready for a likely lay-off to him for a tap in

    I know the media loves Liverpool and all but there’s no way that Leno is not impacted by mane’s involvement in that goal. He was offside

  52. Un na naai

    I’ve been saying for some time now that holding and xakha are much more talented and capable than the negatives of Le grove realise. Now you are seeing what they can do

    Thought Leno was our weak link yesterday. Still prefer Cech in big games. Sorry but he’s a safer pair of hands

    Ozil surprised the hell out of me. He turned up!!! Great stuff from him. Credit to emery for pulling that out of him.

    Mkhitaryan was great too but I’ve always liked him. Not so sure pulling Aubameyang off was a great idea but iwobi…..wow……he really did well and I think we are starting to see him relax more in the final third and picking his passes with clarity and calm.

    I don’t think we should over celebrate a draw as we drew with them last year too but we looked good and we didn’t lose so that’s something.

    It’s nice to see the time fight. That was the big takeaway for me. It’s coming together

  53. Un na naai

    China

    I thought that about the mane “goal”.

    Just because some pompous spirts writer has spewed something out, doesn’t make it factually correct.

    As I always say though….football is a game of opinions.

  54. Pierre

    VAR would have allowed the goal so we got away with one there..

    I said before the game that it was a brave team selection from Emery ..he Could easily have taken the safe option and packed the team full of workers in iwobi,welbeck and Ramsey so he deserves full credit for picking such an adventurous and creative line up….it puts the myth to bed that those 4 can’t play together.

    I hope he continues with this philosophy .

  55. Un na naai

    Pierre
    It was a brave selection to play ozil and Mkhitaryan in the same side but with a firm midfield two and Holding in defence now it does make it easier for him to explore his attacking options

  56. Receding Hairline

    Mane ran towards the ball from an offside position.. He went for the pass from an offside position. I am tired of all this if was a wrongly disallowed goal bit. He didn’t stand and let Firmino go for the ball he also went for it. You can tell from his own reaction he knew he shouldn’t have gone for the pass, he didn’t wait for the second phase, he got involved in the first phase by going for the pass hence offside

    Give it a rest

  57. gonsterous

    I felt emery should have kept laca on and sent iwobi in for mhiki. But I’m guessing he wants Auba fresh for Thursday.
    Ramsey should not have been on the pitch. Anyway it’s all water under the bridge now

  58. Pierre

    Un
    I could never understand why holding wasn’t used last season after his superb performance against Chelsea/Costa in the FA cup final…

    To have 2 holding midfielders gives the strikers more freedom to play knowing they have protection….xhaka and Torriera were quality yesterday .

  59. WrightIsGod

    China

    Agree with your take on the offside, Mane runs towards the ball in the first phase and that would make it impossible for Leno to decide what his next step was.

  60. Akilan

    Hello everyone. Hope y’all enjoyed the performance last night. It’s been an absolute joy to see The Arsenal over these few months.

    When Unai was first appointed, I felt a bit underwhelmed. I wasn’t blindly supporting Arteta either but I was ready to give him a chance. But when we signed him it felt as if it was a cowardly step. It turned out I couldn’t be more wrong.

    Unai absolutely convinced me the very day he gave THAT first press conference.

    The fact that we were still discussing about Arsene after the defeats against Chelsea & City drove me away from le grove. Anyway it doesn’t matter as the divide is firmly in the past I hope.

    I do think Arsenal are back. Enjoy the ride fellas, that’s all we always wanted.

  61. Leedsgunner

    I wonder if Klopp had a chuckle to himself when he saw our line up yesterday with both Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan in the starting XI. Was it like deja vu?

    After all, if there was a manager who would know how to shut them down it would have been him!

    Having said that, Mkhitaryan almost got on the scoresheet so Emery almost pulled it off!

  62. James wood

    Just managed to catch up on my recording of the game.
    I thought we looked a lot more compact from a game that
    I expected not to much from.
    Holding was very good.
    But if you equate in the offside goal and the woodwork we
    again rode our luck but that,s football.
    It,s coming together nicely.

  63. SUGA3

    Turns out Xhaka and Mustafi were not such bad buys. They are probably just both a bit thick and only perform when coached properly.

    Like I said yesterday, we seem to be approaching games with a plan drawn up for each of them. Plus, there is more discipline and desire thanks to no one being undroppable anymore.

    Proper coaching, preparing for games, use of the squad. All basics.

  64. vickingz

    Unai, you don’t appear to know what you are saying. Cech over leno? Honestly, tell me which of the saves made by leno yesterday would cech have saved? The first shot at close range would have gone in in between cech’s legs. Would he have saved vd’s attempt which mustafi later cleared? Thank goodness you ain’t the real emery and before you mention the goal scored, cech has done worse and would have also parried the ball into danger zone.

  65. useroz

    I felt Emery orchestrated something different.

    We didn’t religiously play out from the back yesterday. Transition up the field was much quicker and Xhara, LT and Mustafi regularly went ‘route 1’ and sprayed long balls to our forwards. That’s was refreshing.

    For large parts of the game, we went forward, not side/ backward! It’s almost (the old) manure-like in the way we attacked, especially after we went behind, and kept squeezing Pool. Deep down, I felt we’d get a goal, or two!

    Did you notice Emery was waving for his boys to pour forward eg after a Iwobi cross met with Ozil only in the box. The camera panned to show Emery was livid, urging whoever to moved forward… the same continued after we got one back and lasted into added time!

    Such big contrast…Wenger would have been busy talking to the 4th official and his hands tied up with the zip rather than waving players on…

    Mane was defo offside when he continued his run toward the ball so Leno would have to cover both.

    Btw, printed the Foxes on the black armbands was so very thoughtful and classy. Don’t know if other clubs did that too but it’s so fitting it felt at the time.

    Vichar had to have done something great for Leicester and not just LFC for such visible outpouring of griefs and support to be seen. Jasper S. was reportedly amongst first people on the scene. God forbids what he saw. He had tears running during the minute silence.

  66. EdTheRed

    I only wish Emery substituted Mkhitaryan earlier, as he just wasn’t sharp enough and often seemed to take that extra unnecessary touch. If he was 10% sharper we could have won that game.

    Also, lay off Ramsey you lot. Whatever’s his current situation at the club, you’ll have to be a complete cnut to dismiss all the good stuff he did for Arsenal over the years. And there was plenty of it.

  67. Wenker-wanger

    I keep pinching myself to believe the outstanding management of unai emery. Everything he does is with intelligence, courage and belief in his approach and tactics. Every aspect of his man-management is strong, fair and motivational.
    Iwobi is the ultimate example of a complete transformation of a players application and skill. At the other end you’ve seen the tough but fair attitude to Ramsey’s gamble of extorting money out of the club. “Take it or leave it” is the sentiment emery showed to Ramsey, before he obviously lost patience. That sends a positive message out…”players either want to play for this great club or if not, there’s the door”… Wenger buckled in this situations, making the club weaker.
    The players believe in emery, and that’s a massive platform to grow the success.
    Emery is looking like the real “special one” already.

  68. G8

    Great performance by the Arsenal.
    and good result considering the circumstances.
    Mane goal was rightfully disallowed, he was offside interfering with play, don’t care what those twats on BT says.
    Xhaka was my MOM, close 2nd Holding,Mustafi and Lucas.
    Ozil, & mikhi could’ve and should’ve done more IMO.
    I don’t blame Leno for the goal, he had to go for the ball, shame it went straight to Milner who is usually composed and accurate in his shooting.
    I don’t see what Ramsey brings to this team after his contract fiasco , might as well play one of the youth.
    Could have been better wkend if Manure and spurs dropped some points.
    Gonna be dog fight for those CL places.

  69. grooveydaddy

    G8

    It didn’t go straight to Milner though.

    Leno’s parry would have fallen harmlessly to Kolasinac if Holding hadn’t gotten an unnecessary touch on it.

  70. Ddkingz

    #redtruth…
    Nice rating… But whoa, you were been biased on that one…. I would only have dreamt of such performance from xhaka.. but against Liverpool, he just made everything tick… He was more mobile than usual….
    Did you see the distance, he covered to make that last ditch tackle/clearance on Salah in the first half… I would bet you missed that…

  71. Dissenter

    I really don’t get the Ramsey selections.
    It’s clear that his head isn’t right and his current firm is dismal. I’m also tired of the narrative the media is driving about him.
    Emery needs to just keep him for Europa league games only.

  72. Ddkingz

    Kolasinac 6
    Leno5….

    Kolasinac:::: whoa… Played the game of his arsenal career against Liverpool… Constantly battled with salah… Never gave him space, bar the xhaka clearance on Salah when kola was no where near him…

    Leno:::: a 5 point rating, is just for making the match, as a starter… Totally superb with his foot, nice save from, VVD twice, ROBERTSON, Should have done well with the Liverpool goal… But it wasn’t Leno to blame… Miller was at the right place at the right time….

  73. Dissenter

    “Also, lay off Ramsey you lot. Whatever’s his current situation at the club, you’ll have to be a complete cnut to dismiss all the good stuff he did for Arsenal over the years. And there was plenty of”

    You’re a bleeding sentimentalist
    He doesn’t deserve the minutes he’s getting because he’s just going through the motions.
    We ought to bring in his replacement in January and relegate him farther down the squad.
    Don’t you think at some point self preservation kicks in. He has to preserve himself for that free transfer in the summer surely.

  74. Marko

    He didn’t stand and let Firmino go for the ball he also went for it.

    Exactly. I would have felt hard done by if it happened to us but he was offside from the initial ball. He half expected it too I think

  75. Marko

    Yeah Ramsey is finished. Got no fight and he barely celebrated the goal with his teammates. You’d swear he just joined and didn’t know anyone. Selfish player really and when he gets replaced we’ll be the better for it

  76. Dissenter

    DdKings

    Agreed about the Liverpool goal.
    The ball fell kindly to Milner who didn’t even have to break a stride to fire his shot. There was a fortuitous element to the goal.
    Someone even blamed Xhaka (out of habit) because he let Miler “through”

    Sometimes Lady Luck presents gifts to players; the Milner goals and the Mane disallowed goals were prime example – The ball just comes back right at the feet of the player.

  77. SUGA3

    Ramsey is the walking epitome of Wenger era, clearly struggling with going from being the gaffer’s pet project (started from the famous jet-set courting to join) to just another player in the squad.

    He really is nothing special. He is not good enough to be given a free role, slows down our counterattacks with his annoying turn routine, etc. Not like he has much of a commercial pull either. There is space for just one Welsh boy wonder in the market and it’s Bale. Good job Arsenal for pulling the deal.

  78. shaun ellis

    agree with most of the obvious stuff as in Mkhitaryan was shite all game , would have started with Welbeck instead lol……………………lol can’t believe I am saying that.
    and defo would not swap Auba for Ramsey that was a big mistake in my mind and the manager really needs to stop that as Auba would probably have another couple of goals by now and possibly we could have won that game.Not slating Ramsey at all but he is done at Arsenal so why is he playing ? HE IS NOT GONNA GIVE A HUNDRED % after the way he has been treated and he seems to have real problems being useful when asked to play a disciplined position

  79. Dissenter

    Mane certainly “interfered with play” when he created a “two vs one” situation which made it harder for the goalie in the initial offside sequence.
    Sure.y he can’t be allowed to profit from the fruit of that action.

    There was some ambiguity regarding the deserved goal, it.could have been disallowed in many levels and allowed to count without a fuss.
    Many in the media are dying to see Liverpool win the league because it will make great reporting and articles.

  80. Marko

    According to the BBC, only one other foreign teenager has scored more goals in the Bundesliga in a single season; that was Ousmane Dembele who netted six times for Borussia Dortmund in 2016/17 before he sealed a mega move to Barcelona.

    Reiss Nelson already has 5. Gambon was right he is something special

  81. Cesc Appeal

    Karim

    Thank you very much, mate!

    Arsenal have given me something to smile about today, maybe not the result, but the context and the direction!

    Hope you are well.

  82. EdTheRed

    @Dissenter

    Im not disputing any of that, nor am I sentimentalist…just pointing out he has been great servant to the club over the years. i am praying that Ramsey/ Mata swap roumour is true….but all this talk of Fcuk Ramsey, he’s shit etc, reeks of shallowness and shows lack of class amongst some supporters. After all, Premiership goal of the season had been scored by Ramsey, for Arsenal.

  83. Un na naai

    Leno was at afusot for the goal and was in no man’s land for the corner from which they very nearly scored
    I’d have started Cech. He was our best player this season up until he was injured
    I know some of you muppets just love your shiny new toys on display but it’s horses for courses. Cech is more assured in there behind our first choice defence and I’d start him for certain games 100%. Leno is still learning his trade (he’s not the finished article) and he’s learning the league and culture.

    That’s my view and although he’s made some very neat saves I don’t feel he commands his area as well as Cech. He’s risky with crosses for me. Like Dracula 🧛‍♂️

  84. Cesc Appeal

    Marko Raptora

    Thank you guys!

    We’re heading in the right direction, some more transfers and I can see big trophies in the future!

  85. Emiratesstroller

    The most important conclusions coming out of yesterday’s game is that Arsenal have closed the gap between ourselves and the other clubs competing for League Title and top four finish.

    Liverpool are considered the main title Challengers to Man City so on the evidence of our performance we are not a million miles behind them. Clearly there are still weaknesses in our game,team and squad, but there is also significant improvement as well.

    We are not going to win the title this year, but I do think that we have a realistic chance to finish in top four.

    The main issues which we do need to resolve is our “game” priorities. Arsenal
    have just completed five games in 12 days and that impacted on some performances not least because of the injury situation in defence.

    In my view the club is still short of resources in its back division most noticeably in left back position.

    On the goalkeeping front I am still convinced that Leno should be first choice.
    Yes he made a silly error before half time when he rushed out of goal and missed taking the ball. However, he was not at fault for the goal. He acted as
    most other goalkeepers would have done and was unfortunate that the ball
    deflected off Holding into path of Liverpool player who scored.

  86. raptora

    What Emery did when he subbed Auba for Ramsey is that he moved Iwobi, who subbed Mikki and was not doing well on the right flank, to the left flank. Ozil went on the right and Ramsey went in the middle. After Welbeck’s introduction we had two CFs and three CBs in defence in Bellerin, Mustafi and Holding.

    Mindblowing how many internal changes happened in the space of 20 to 30 mins when we had to chase the game. But the impressive part was that the players were tactically sound and they reacted to Emery’s constant changing of our shape and personnel so fast and well. That’s a huge thing if we manage to achieve it.

    Emery is proving that he can influence games with his decisions – always thinking, analyzing, never scared to change things. If he and the players manage to get on the same page very fast and precise like yesterday, sky will be the limit.

  87. Marko

    Don Cech really? Pretty sure he’s conceded more pretty sure he’s wasn’t our best player before his injury and he’s not the most dominant on crosses either. He’s as error prone as Leno only Leno is more likely to get better and he is the long term solution in that area. Has nothing to do with shiny new toys. Considering your opinions on Cech Wilshere and cazorla perhaps you can do with some new toys to help you get over the basic shite ones you seem to still like.

  88. G8

    Uni
    Cech gifited liverpool two goals last time they came to the Emirates.
    And his almost howler in the league cup game against Blackpool.
    He is bag of nerves, especially playing with his feet.
    Leno had to dive for the ball as their attacker was lurking behind,
    His decision making will improve as he plays more games
    He is the way forward for now

  89. raptora

    Leno’s shown that he is not comfortable when he has to deal with crosses. He should get better with it in time. I remember De Gea had huge troubles with that part of the game as well. His error, when VVD almost scored before half time, was a big one. And not the only one. But I’ve seen enough good things in him that make me feel that there is a bug keeper in there. Hopefully he’ll improve with time along with his experience in the league.

  90. vickingz

    Un na naii

    Some of you can’t just express yourselves without being insulting. Does that make you feel better or what? It only shows how old you lots are, your upbringing and your paradigm.

    Cech commands his area? Really? I bet he offers you an assured play out from the back option pretty well. I’m sure every of our players have their hearts in mouths whenever a back pass is made to cech. Cech offers nothing leno hasn’t, cech doesn’t even appear as an experienced gk allowing silly goals here and there

  91. Marko

    Leno’s shown that he is not comfortable when he has to deal with crosses. He should get better with it in time. I remember De Gea had huge troubles with that part of the game as well

    This is true and also true of Kepa but these players will eventually adapt to it because they’re young and talented enough to get through it

  92. Northbanker

    Very rare that I’m buzzing after a draw but there was a huge feeling that massive progress was on display yesterday and we’ve earned our right to be at the top table.
    Raptora- spot on that Emery changed tactics several times and players adapted almost seamlessly
    Good times ahead

  93. Wenker-wanger

    We have some of the best young players around…Reis’s nelson , smith Rowe,AMN,, and I believe Eddie nketiah has some clinical ian wright finishing in his locker.
    Judging by iwobis progress, these players and others coming through can flourish under emery.
    I am so “chuffed” at what’s in store for our great club. Its all the morecsweeter following a decade of underperforming Mr Magoo management shambles .

  94. Un na naai

    Stroller

    I disagree there pal. I do like Leno but he’s not as assured as Cech with crosses and he doesn’t command his area as well yet. I’d have gone for Cech yesterday myself

  95. Marko

    Yeah you get the feeling that if you know who was still manager a lot of these young players wouldn’t be in with a genuine shot of becoming legitimate Arsenal players in the near future. Certainly Reiss Nelson wouldn’t be on course to make history in the bundesliga this season. He probably would still be playing under 23 football or getting the ankles kicked off him in the championship instead of lighting up the German league and playing in the champions league

  96. Northbanker

    Re left back – this MAY be a transfer priority but we do need to bear in mind that we have effectively had 3 players for that role – Monreal Kolasinac and AMN. It is just very unfortunate that all 3 have been injured at the same time
    I for one am happy to see what Emery can do here with existing resources esp the development of AMN
    The acquisition of a top level CB to play alongside and help develop Rob Holding is a bigger wish list for using our modest resources
    As an aside to this imagine if we d had a proper transfer team back a few years ago – maybe we could have bought VVD for £13m from Celtic rather than Southampton

  97. Wenker-wanger

    If you could combine Czech and Leno you would have a great keeper. One that’s good on crosses and experience with decisions, and the other good at playing the ball out from his penalty area.

  98. Marko

    Left back is a worrying position. Monreal is 32 Kolasinac isn’t ever going to be first choice LB and AMN isn’t a LB. Long term wise sooner rather than later we’ll have to address the issue. I agree that CB is probably the priority of the summer but LB shouldn’t be put to one side. Luckily the new management team don’t sit on their laurels and are aware of this. Links to Ricardo Rodriguez last summer and recently Tagliafico of Ajax suggest that

  99. Nothbanker

    Marko – agree but let’s see. If we do manage to get both I guarantee I won’t be moaning about it but still nevertheless looking at what we have now and Emery’s ability to develop players
    AMN impressed under Wenger at LB in certain games so imagine how he could develop under a proper coach

  100. Wenker-wanger

    Recently started noticing ajax….the young players they have are exceptional. They won’t keep them, which is a shame for their fans. However I hope our scouts are taking an interest in them. They were quicker and sharper than Bayern Munich in a recent match. They have a centre back captain that’s about 20.

  101. Un na naai

    Vikingzzzzz

    Stop whining. It’s called banter. It’s a football blog. Furthermore it’s Le grove. Insults fly round this place all day every day.
    Yes it makes me feel better. I can now carry on with my day safe in the knowledge that some sissy got triggered by an impersonal throwaway comment.

    My OPINION is that Cech is safer in certain games
    Yes he’s cost us points……under wenger and the sorry excuse of a “defence” in front of him. Under emery it’s been a different story. Leno cost us points yesterday. I’m sorry but not only did he fail to deal with the cross, he slapped it perfectly into the path of their oncoming midfielder. Then he let the shit slip through his arms.

    I rate him but Cech is still the better goalkeeper for certain games right now and a wonderful example for him to learn from.
    That’s my view. So suck it up buttercup

  102. Marko

    They have a centre back captain that’s about 20.

    De Ligt he’s an outstanding talent. Ever present in defence at 18 captain at 20 and first choice for the national team alongside Van Dijk keeping out DeVrij in the process. The lad is going to be huge. We should be all over him imo and soon before the big boys come knocking for him. Bayern might be looking for a replacement for Hummel’s in a couple years Real too with Ramos getting on so we might have a small window of opportunity to get him. Him or that Skriniar lad at inter is who I’d go all out to properly address the CB issue

  103. Marko

    That’s my view. So suck it up buttercup

    I get it’s your opinion but you can still be wrong buttercup and Cech isn’t better and has cost us points

  104. Dissenter

    Un na
    You’re wrong as usual 😊😊😊

    There’s no going back to Cech now. Leno is the future and fits in with the manager’s playing out from the back approach.
    We no longer have out hearts in our mouths when we are playing out from the back. Leno’s passing is exquisite.
    Cech is relegated to back-up goalie unless Leno gets injured

  105. G8

    Uni, completely disagree with you regading chech, for starter, you can’t change your goal keeper in certain big games in the league , that would be ameturish management…it’s ok to do that in different competions though.
    Did you also say that we should’ve kept wilshere and cazorla? Well that explains things then.

  106. Dissenter

    Un na in still anguishing that we let Wilshere go. He’s shifted his new fanatical love-in to Cech.
    Cech will get his chances soon after Leno consistently fu*ks up or gets injured.

  107. Receding Hairline

    Leno is actually better with his feet than the more applauded Allison.

    With Leno its not something he does to impress, its just natural.

    Cech is a cup keeper now if we are honest, don’t get the poster calling for him this afternoon.

  108. Dissenter

    Happy birthday Cesc
    Can’t believe I’m wishing an attorney happy birthday. I usually tell you lot to go smoke a grenade.

  109. Bamford10

    I don’t think I would go back to Cech, but Leno did have a couple of really bad moments yesterday. He had a number of excellent moments as well, though. I think you stick with him but work on his decision-making, especially on crosses / high balls into the box.

  110. TR7

    Leno has got great potential. His ability on the ball is second only to Ederson and he is far more agile than Cech. Even against Liverpool he made a couple of very good saves. Granted he was caught in no man’s land a few times coming off his line but when you are dealing with a trio as mobile as Mane, Salah and Firmino, that can happen to any keeper. Besides playing out from the back is essential to Emery’s style which kind of makes Leno the undisputed no 1.

  111. Pierre

    The decision not to utilise VAR this season is already showing the stupidity of the situation.
    They could easily have brought it in just for offside decisions this season and it would have already had possible game changing consequences.

    This weekend we have seen at least 2 decisions that could have a massive difference to where teams finish at the end of the season and the financial aspect of it could be massive.

    Tottenham finished 2 points better and wolves one point worse off due to a linesman error in the first half after a perfectly good wolves goal was ruled out .
    Wolves could be relegated due to an error that would take 20 seconds to rectify with VAR.

    We all know where the other lineman error was yesterday and despite what some think ,VAR would have reversed the decision and the 2 points Liverpool potentially lost may cost them the league title as the point.

    Of course no one knows what impact those decisions would have had in those games …Wolves may have gone on to win as they would have had the momentum of a goal to lift their confidence .

  112. up 4 grabs now

    Afternoon fellas.
    great performance yesterday and I’m actually more pleased with the performance than getting the point. if that make sense?
    Everybody turned up and it was 11 against 11, without carrying anyone.

    We pressed, we pushed, and everyone was fully committed.
    it wasn’t perfect, there were a few errors including the goal, But haven’t seen a performance like that against another rival for a long time.

    Leno, now first choice, he needs to sort out crosses. To miss as many as he did brought back memories of flappy handski. he has age on his side and hopefully will improve with a decent keeper coach. (maybe Cech next year) but you cant fault his stops and point blank saves.

    Kolasinac did well considering he’s missed nearly all the season and that was his first game in a long time. Next summer a left back to replace Monreal is a must. unless emery can work some magic with him.

    Holding looked shaky and a few risky passes early on, but really grew into the game. looks more settled alongside nick the greek than mustafi really through himself into blocking shots, and was a bit unlucky with the deflection coming off him and going to Milner.

    Mustafi also looked shaky but like holding grew into the game. he’s not the answer though, and a top draw centre back is the big buy next summer.

    Bellerin was brilliant getting forward but also knew to hold back sometimes, looks twice the player he was last season.

    Xhaka don’t be fooled, probably his best game in an arsenal shirt, and credit where its due he played really well, but if he returns to type next week then whats the point. he needs to play like that week in week out, time will tell.

    Torriera apart from one stray pass, didn’t put a foot wrong and I’m nailing my colours to the mast now, bargain buy of the season. absolute quality
    Arsenals missing player since Gilberto left

    Mkhitaryan was a bit hit and miss, he faded in and out of the game but when he was in it he did well. always looked to get forwards with the ball and no tippy tappy crap.

    0zil so you can play against the big teams, needs the consistency to do it all the time against the big teams. maybe emery giving him the captaincy has given him the kick up the arse he needed.

    Lacazette fantastic finish but had a relatively quiet game, a lot of running and pressing but lacked chances. has 20 league goals in his locker and we haven’t had that in awhile, above that depends on him. cant believe there was some posters trying to move him on.

    Aubameyang like laca had a quiet game, I cant put my finger on it with him?
    he can be out of the game for long periods then bang he’s got a brace.
    need to try and get him in the game more but linked well with kola and xhaka.

    Iwobi, like Bellerin has stepped up, and looks twice the player, still not perfect but learning and will have plenty of opportunity to cement a place before Reiss Nelson returns ( what a player he looks)
    great assist for laca yesterday, the pace took the Bindippers defence out completely.
    welbz was welbz, plenty of running and will nick the odd goal, still a useful squad player, would resign him up.

    Ramsey looks lost, he knows he’s blown it and wouldn’t surprise me if he gets rid of his agent and is begging at Emerys door before the transfer window opens, unless he fancy’s linking up with Ivan and Arsene at Ac Milan. cant see who else would need him, even on a free.

    sorry for the long post but haven’t been this excited about an arsenal performance for so long.

    Bring on sporting!!!!