Aouar noise moves forward + Liverpool pregame thoughts

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Well, the Premier League really is turning out some batshit crazy results.

I’m currently watching a very lost Manchester City lose 5-2 to Jamie Vardy’s Leicester AT HOME. West Brom went 3 up against Chelsea before bottling it and drawing the game, Frank Lampard is no longer the plucky upstart, he’s a greedy chequebook manager getting called a fraud after 3 games. Jose Mourinho was joy suckered by Newcastle United, cancelling out the ‘will Spurs actually be amazing this season’ vibe I had after they turned over the Saints last week. Son also picked up an injury.

United were bang average, having to earn a penalty AFTER the game finished to beat the ever-improving Brighton (told you Potter was good). The OGS miracle of spending a shit ton of money last season to give United the lowest points 3rd place in EPL history might be landing for some now as, you know, not a miracle. Still, I’ll take the MSM propping him up like the only thing stopping his genius flowering is the wicked United board that won’t sanction another £150m worth of talent on his ‘vision.’

Everton also won again, keeping them top of the league. Carlo has some saucy players, I’m not sure he’ll have enough all season, but they’ll certainly be better.

So what have we learned? Well, the Premier League is going to very tough this season. The top 6 is probably going to look like more of a top 8 for quite a bit. I think Liverpool, as things stand, look like the most obvious standout (only the hottest takes here). But 2nd to 8th looks like it will be very unpredictable. Hey, who knows, we might see a SHOCK winner like in 2016 this season? Could it… no… but?

Arsenal really needs to add to their squad if we’re to play in the upper echelons of that top 8 scenario. We’re well-coached, young players are improving, and the senior players left are a lot more accountable. We still need to add a bit of depth if we’re going to be a force for the full season.

The wheels of speculation have gone into overdrive over the past few days. We’ve bid for Houssem Aouar. The Lyon top dog, Aulas, is telling the world the player will stay (standard practice from him), and the top french pubs are saying we’re about to go back in with a bigger bid. Creativity is the absolute #1 requirement from this window. Even Auba agrees.

“Of course we are in favor, I will not hide it. Even if he is a Lyonnais”

I appreciate a lot of people are worried that Houssem doesn’t have 19 assists to his name, but I think his play is about more than hardcore assists (and Lyon were shite last season). He’s a vertical mover of the ball, something we only really have with Xhaka and Ozil. More than that, he can move with the ball at his feet, and he’s great in tight areas. We don’t have many tricky fast players that can open up the field in a split second. Aouar can do that. Add to that we’ve seen him put in dominant performances against dominant teams in the Champions League… well, he just makes a lot of sense. Also worth noting that he’s only 22. The perfect signing as we move to a model that supports resale value and the circle of transfers in and out. Player was also non-committal on his future after the game today.

“We’ll see what will happen in the future”

EXCITING NONCHALANCE.

I think we’ll also continue to pursue Thomas Partey until the death. I suspect he’s more of a ‘if these 4 things happen’ type reach, but he’s another one that gives us elements we don’t have currently. Firstly, the biggest thing Partey gives us is elite level experience at the very highest level. He’s played in huge games and come out on top. He’s an ultimate competitor playing for a monster of a manager. He also gives us the mobility we desperately lack in midfield. He’s aggressive and rapid over short distances. His height, weight and overall frame also makes us more imposing. We’ve been weak from setpieces, he adds something. We’ve had to build out a very body heavy structure when out of possession, he gives us options to change that. Partey also comes from one of the most rigidly defensive systems in football, firstly, give me some of that, secondly, he might have more attacking inclinations that could come to bear fruit in a more progressive system.

Sign those two, we are being more than realistic when we hope for top 4 this season.

We still might see some other signings. If Lacazette leaves, we might be a little short in attack. I still worry that we’re a bit light in the keeping area. But overall, we have created a pretty decent squad without going too crazy. Elneny looks like he could be a really decent squad player this year. Reiss is doing his best to make a statement that he’s ready for us this season. We have a whole group of young players that are really hungry.

Still, as Mike Tyson says, everyone has a plan until that get smacked in the mouth. Liverpool, tomorrow night, is Mike Tyson. They are a team of brutal warriors. We’ve had two really decent games against them. Last season, we turned them over in the league, despite being totally mauled by them. We then used that confidence to win the FA Cup. This season, we were much more structured against them and we were more than equal to the 1-1 draw.

We’re now into the season. Liverpool will be fitter, sharper, and they have buried a couple of teams. The game to look at from a tactical perspective might be the Leeds opener where they were run very close. Leeds kept on getting in behind their defenders with quick counter attacks and long balls in behind their defence. Arsenal has to work out a way of dealing with their waves of pressure and there can be no West Ham like lapses.

My hope, as always in these games, is that we’re at least competitive. That means everyone showing up to execute a good game plan. The interesting thing to watch out for this season is how coaches approach us now they know we’re not going to be the same old Arsenal. There’s a body of Arteta work to look at. I don’t for a minute think we’ll ever be predictable, but I also think there will be more answers to what we’re doing. Everyone knows about the overload to Auba switch. They all know that we play out of the back like demons. They’ll know we are pressuring for turnovers in their area. It’s all very exciting knowing that we have these clever ways of playing in different parts of the game.

I am very much looking forward to this game. Let’s see what Arteta has planned! See you in the comments. x

1,571 Responses to “Aouar noise moves forward + Liverpool pregame thoughts”

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  1. Sid

    The 10 men behind the ball tactics diet Pep and his fanboys have been bleating about will only work 1 out of 10 attempts.
    Tony Pulis and bottom half teams are evidence of this.

    Im telling you for free!

  2. Tee

    “The 10 men behind the ball tactics diet Pep and his fanboys have been bleating about will only work 1 out of 10 attempts.
    Tony Pulis and bottom half teams are evidence of this”

    “1 out of 10” shows your struggles with numbers.

    Hope your vision was clear enough to see that we had our own chances to kill the game but we messed them up?

    If you have issued with the manager, then it’s your problem but no one would take those your substandard takes even for free.

  3. Tee

    The formation and tactics will remain the same untill the midfield is revamped.

    We need midfielder that is comfortable in receiving the ball and progressing it forward -Ian Wright

  4. Tony

    Tee
    Syd is a bit slow and is why he gives his thoughts for free because who would buy second-hand info?

    A bit slow is probably being kind to Syd in all honesty.

  5. Receding Hairline

    Tee if you are judging the game on chances missed then Liverpool should have scored more themselves too. I know it creates the illusion we were in with a chance to draw the game but we were not really in yesterday’s game. The fact we got three points out of the west ham game doesn’t mean letting opponents lose on your goal hoping they miss is a tactic worth repeating

  6. Kaz

    What sucks is we had a great goalie and we all genuinely thought we were progressing forward as a team and unit.

    3 games back with Leno and we’re sliding back fast, the stat guys would never be able to record that. They’ll just see good shot stopper.

    Which is why it is a bad thing we sacked off so many scouts. We should be using data with scouts.

    The defence will look frail because they absolutely do not trust him. This lack of confidence effects our game. His inability to catch or communicate is devastating us.

    Only Arsenal could keep Mustafi and Xhaka this long AND sell the better keeper.

    I was excited about Willian but this is very poor.

    I actually think a 442 would suit us best right now.

    Saka, El Neny, Cebellos and Reis as our starters until Willian can motivate himself.

    Auba and Eddie up front.

    Laca scoring like Bendtner now.

  7. Habesha Gooner

    https://arseblog.news/2020/09/liverpool-3-1-arsenal-by-the-numbers/

    Well this confirms what we saw last night. Almost no progressive ball from Elneny and Xhaka. Xhaka always needs space to bring out his supposed qualities, which isn’t a lot. Elneny will always be a safe pass merchant. Both would be okay as squad players but not a starting double pivot away at Anfield. Even a Ceballos-Guendouzi partnership would have done a lot better. Anyway all teams won’t press this much but we still need a creative player in Midfield along with Ceballos. We will get Aouar I think. But If we get partey along with him, I can see a lot of players improving. Auba, Lacazette, Pepe, Willian all had crap games because they didn’t have anyone passing it to them.

  8. Tony

    Kaz
    “Only Arsenal could keep Mustafi and Xhaka this long AND sell the better keeper. I was excited about Willian but this is very poor.”

    Nail on head!

    What really annoyed me yesterday was seeing Willian’s head drop and exasperation in his face.

    Willian is supposed to be an older and wiser influence on younger players.

    No wonder Chelsea were happy to offload Willian.

    On yesterday’s performance Willain is lost to opponents who suffocate teams though collective pressing.

    His usefulness is more for us against teams that afford him more time as with Xhaka.

    Willian was woeful yesterday in all aspects of his game bar one track back where he possibly saved us a goal.

    I’m not a fan of Willock but Willock’s youthful energy would have offered more against the Dippers.

    Willock would have contested more second ball chances than Willian. Something we were 2nd best at all over the park.

  9. Kaz

    A great Tony, his lack of belief was really telling and so clearly visible. I genuinely believed he would have a stronger mentality though I will admit to not observing him much beforehand.

    I’m not ready to write Pepe off yet (may he be banned from all corner taking) but he really needs to start pushing himself this season.

    A winners mentality is missing from too many players.

  10. Thorough

    Receding.
    You remember the goalline save Leno had against West Ham I think? That was from the edge of 6 yard box. Nobody’s getting close to a cross inside Martinez area. If I claim 10 balls around the 6 yard box and the other keeper claims two and make 8 saves from those he didn’t clear, does it make him better?

    One of the most underrated goalkeepers in the history of football was Tony Sylva of Senegal, you’ll hardly catch him diving to save his life. Why? He doesn’t freaking need to do it, he has amazing positioning, arranges his defence and commands his area.

    So if the improved defensive performance was because of the improved coaching does it mean with the departure of Martinez the coach got worse? No sir, Leno hardly talks to his defenders, doesn’t even make up his mind which ball to come for or when to stay on his line, for the third goal for example if he was on his line it would have been a piece of cake. In two years time we’ll be looking for a 50 million goalkeeper to replace him.

  11. China1

    Cool it guys, we will never be great again?

    Liverpool were worse than us for 30 years and in the space of just a few became the best team in the world.

    Leicester have been worse than us for 100 years but have achieved more in the last 5 with no major financial backing etc

    We can’t be sure what arsenal will be like in 3 years let alone 20!

  12. Dark Hei

    “According to Forbes, Mathieu Flamin’s net worth is $14b. Let him buy Stan out!”

    Holy Macaroni! Bet he could even buy Messi.

  13. TT

    Some positives and some negatives from last night. But for fucks sake the end of the world is not upon us!

    If I would have been given 3- 1 loss before the game I would not have been overly disappointed. Its like some people here expected and demanded we spank the champions on their own home turf and only then, reluctantly would have given the thumps up.

    We will have more of these nights during the season. The rebuild has only started. It took Klopp few years to offload the dross and bring in the winner. No reason not to forward the same curtesy to Arteta.

  14. Valentin

    Thorough,

    I made exactly the same points before, but for some they only the save columns and keep arguing that “Leno saved us”. The reality is that if you carefully watch the game, his superman impression should not hide the fact that he is a panic inducing goalkeeper. He makes routines saves look impressive whilst his poor distribution invite our opponents to shoot on goals.

  15. Graham62

    Just because I’m being hyper critical of Leno, some posters on here still think I’m yearning for the return of Martinez. I’m not.

    What I am highlighting though, and it has been pretty obvious in our last two games, is that your GK will be exposed when he lacks the skill set and personality to lead from the back.

    Whatever anyone says we are far better without the ball than we were under Emery( oh yeh, and Wenger).Far more compact, hunting in packs and better organised. The days of playing as a dysfunctional and disorganised unit are long gone.

    Leno was called upon to make far too many saves under Emery, we all know that and yes, he pulled off some stunners, but that doesn’t make him a top keeper.

    Yesterday, once again, highlighted his numerous limitations. You can even see it in the players body language. They are not relaxed with Leno in goal and because of this, errors occur,

    Yes we need to sort out our midfield, we all know that, but it doesn’t hide the fact that there is zero chance we’ll compete for top 4 with Leno between the sticks.

  16. Ishola70

    I understand that the formation could stay the same because of the weakness of the central midfield and some may be understanding of that.

    But if there is some sympathy for Arteta regarding the tools he has at his disposal for the midfield this is tempered by the fact that he could have gone about revamping this midfield when Xhaka wanted to leave but instead put an arm around him and persuaded him to stay.

    Does Arteta want to take the stabilisers of this bicycle? Or being a novice/new manager does he want to continue to play it safe with this three at the back formation?

    He only gets the football he promised and what the fans want to see when he puts out four at the back and three in midfield.

  17. andy1886

    @Dark, apparently that’s based on the potential future value of his business interests, he’s stated that he’s not actually worth even a small fraction of that right now.

    As he’s clearly not stupid I can’t see him investing in a football club though.

  18. Valentin

    I think that what we saw is an accident, but a predictable car crash because Arteta is learning on the job. He is a great coach, but what we needed was a great manager. And right now Arteta is not a great manager.

    He should have realised that Liverpool had sussed his tactic and should have adapted them. He should have been braver in his personnel selection.

    I am not ready to give up on Willian, but it is now clear that Willian is only effective in open games. On Pepe , maybe it is time on admit that he was a mistake, bite the bullet and resell him at a loss in order to buy a proper midfield. Both Willock and Nelson would have been more willing runner and would have brought more energy than both Pepe and Willian.

    For all his flaws, Guendouzi was never hiding on the pitch and was willing to make risky forward passes. The combination Xhaka, Elneny is an insurance blanket that scream to the opposition no forward penetration.

  19. Receding Hairline

    Valentin absolutely jizzing himself on this Leno thing, one can actually see the smile on your face as you punch away on the keyboard. All posts since last night from you has been about Leno.

    One would be forgiven to conclude the right first Eleven was picked, tactics spot on and Leno messed it up by dropping three balls into his own net

  20. Steveyg87

    We had no answer to pool’s suffocating press yesterday. This is where you need a midfielder that can unlock teams. The game changed when we brought on Cebellos, who I thought was excellent. Liverpool would not have pressed the way they did if they thought we could play from the back. Yesterday we should’ve gone there and played over the top all day.Besides the fact that Liverpool are a better team, Klopp had Artetas number yesterday tactically. Having said that, all hope is not lost and our toughest fixture of the season is now behind us. The big question is, what did Arteta learn from last nights game?

  21. andy1886

    Stevey – I hope he learned that playing the ball out from the back 99% of the time with players not suited to it against an energetic high press is stupid.

  22. Valentin

    RH,

    Did you read my previous post, no mention of Leno.

    Just prove my point, some of you are so obsessed on being right and attacking other posters that when reality hit you in the face you would rather criticise other posters than face reality.

    I did criticise Arteta on his personnel selection and on the fact that he did not alter his tactic when it was clear that it was not working.

  23. Ishola70

    On the other hand how much were Hertha Berlin willing to pay for Xhaka?

    I think it was just over 20 million.

    Arteta is probably thinking what am I going to do with just over 20m. This amount is not going to be enough to revamp and really improve the midfield. So he thinks he may as well keep what he has. Also the Xhaka to Berlin episode came very early in Arteta’s tenure.

    So perhaps we can have some sympathy for Teets.

  24. Steveyg87

    With Leno back in goal, things are looking pretty suspect again. Why do we feel the need to pass the ball among ourselves with the best front line in Europe breathing down our necks? Surely that could not have been discussed in the tactics meeting? Elneny also proved that he is worth nothing against strong oppostion? How many times does this cunt pass the ball back when we were closing in on the opposition box? I’m done with him in this team, he is no fucking good. wake up Mikel!!!!

  25. Ishola70

    RH

    Your continual rebuttals regarding Leno are loyal and nice and all but surely you see as well some worrying weaknesses in Leno.

    They are clearly evident.

  26. Steveyg87

    “I hope he learned that playing the ball out from the back 99% of the time with players not suited to it against an energetic high press is stupid.”

    It was criminal how many times we got exposed trying to pass out the back. How does Arteta not see this??

  27. Thorough

    Ishola.
    On the other hand how much were Hertha Berlin willing to pay for Xhaka?I think it was just over 20 million.Arteta is probably thinking what am I going to do with just over 20m. This amount is not going to be enough to revamp and really improve the midfield. So he thinks he may as well keep what he has. Also the Xhaka to Berlin episode came very early in Arteta’s tenure.

    But he thinks 17 million for Martinez can revamp the midfield, right?

  28. Receding Hairline

    Ishola and Valentin what exactly is the end game on the Leno thing? What are you hoping to achieve?

    A press conference from Arteta saying he sold the wrong keeper?

    A 45 million pound bid from Arsenal to buy him back?

    Valentin you want him replaced with one of your picks from France?

    Ishola how do we fix that midfield you keep going on about if we keep two keepers worth good money?

    Its a pointless argument and achieves nothing. Leno is the least of this club’s troubles and deep down all of you know it. You are all just obsessed on being right (I can write that nonsense too Valentin)

  29. Ishola70

    Thorough

    “But he thinks 17 million for Martinez can revamp the midfield, right?”

    I think Martinez forced the move to Villa himself and the club didn’t stand in his way.

    Martinez is wanting the No.1 position, was told he wasn’t getting it and then says ok I’m off.

  30. Fire

    Leno is an idiot. He’s at fault for every goal we concede and the one’s we fail to score. I’m sure we did not concede any goals when he was injured because his replacement commands the box
    I’m in agreement, we have zero chance of competing for the top four while he’s in goal.

    I wonder what Almunia is doing these days. We ended up regularly in the top four while he dazzled us with his brilliance game after game.
    Bring back Almunia…
    Of course I’ll only charge a nickel.

  31. Samesong

    Yesterday we should’ve gone there and played over the top all day

    Yes in hindsight but we had something like 34% possession. Liverpool outclassed us in every department.

    Conceding after we scored straight away didn’t help.

    Was AMN offside with that ball over the top in the first half?

  32. Ishola70

    17 million isn’t good money Receding if you want to revamp and really improve a whole central midfield.

    It’s pittance

  33. Thorough

    Valentine.
    People are just in denial. We played this same Liverpool with almost the same personnel, Xhaka and ELNENY midfield, and I could count the number of chances they created.
    Maybe because he wasn’t playing kickabout with his defenders when it was obvious he needed to boot it out. Leno’s most annoying trait is this ‘playing out of the back nonsense’. I see Martinez doing that on very few occasions, Leno does it till it gets tiring, we kept giving them chances upon chances, there was even a time he passed right across the face of our goal and Mane nearly had a tap in. This keeper is fucking dim and dimness is infectious. And when we fix the midfield he’ll still cost us games that we have no business losing a la Southamptob.

  34. Habesha Gooner

    Man I don’t understand some fans. How can you see that game and conclude that Leno and Pepe are our biggest problems? See the statistics, Xhaka and Elneny had ONE progressive pass between them all game. We couldn’t get out of a liverpool press because Liverpool know our Midfielders can only pass it back. They won’t open up space with a body fient or an exceptional pass. Do you think Liverpool would press that high up the pitch if this was Man city? Only Ceballos scared them a bit when he came on. Imagine having three Midfielders that can beat that press. All our forwards had terrible games because the ball didn’t reach them. I can’t at this point criticize any of Auba, Lacazette (may be for that miss), Willian and Pepe because they didn’t get the ball at all. All they had to feed off all game was from a long David Luiz ball. Drop your Agendas and you might actually see the main problems.

  35. Ishola70

    Receding

    The central midfield is of the greatest concern no doubt.

    But because there is such a glaring weakness there doesn’t mean you stick your head in the sand about Leno.

    If that midfield was sorted out any time soon the next focus would be on Leno I”m afraid the way things stand atm.

  36. Thorough

    Ishola.
    Thorough“But he thinks 17 million for Martinez can revamp the midfield, right?”I think Martinez forced the move to Villa himself and the club didn’t stand in his way.Martinez is wanting the No.1 position, was told he wasn’t getting it and then says ok I’m off.

    No, he didn’t. He had earned it. He just needed reassurance. If Arteta had been a better manager he would have fired a rocket up his ass ‘The position is yours until you throw it away’. We did the exact same thing with Saka, played him till it got tiresome just for his to sign, now he’s signed and the coach picks him only when he thinks it’s right.
    What else do I expect anyways from a man who destroyed Guendozi and crashed his value. Arteta is getting too many things wrong ffs. He said he dropped Gabriel because ‘Luiz has given us solidity in games like this’ or something along those lines, when the exact opposite is the case, Luiz is always pants in the big games, it was entirely the reason he shouldn’t have started.
    So Gabriel posts back-to-back Mom performances and gets relegated to Carling Cup? Who in their right mind would have thunk that? What’s next? Aubameyang has scored so many goals we want to see what Reiss Nelson can do?

  37. Dark Hei

    “As he’s clearly not stupid I can’t see him investing in a football club though.”

    Awww…..if only he is flush with cash. If you are rich, stupid is not an excuse for not investing.

  38. Ishola70

    Thorough

    I am not saying Martinez didn’t earn the right to stay as No,1.

    I think most agree that he should have stayed on as No.1.

    But he obviously wasn’t given the nod to stay as No.1

    So yes it looks like the wrong decision was made by Arteta.

  39. Thorough

    Fire
    Thorough
    Martinez almost let Firmino in at the Emirates… Does that make him dim too.

    Those mistakes are few and far between for Martinez, they are a routine for Leno, that’s the difference. Sincerely tell me how many ‘hearts in mouth moment’ did we have yesterday because of Leno’s insistence to pass out from the back? We probably had as many in that one game than we did in all of Martinez’s 14 or so appearances.

    I watched it at a pub, everybody was sick to their teeth with Leno’s insistence on passing out from the back. It’s sad to watch.

  40. Fire

    Gabriel misread many headers are n his first two games as he is still adapting to the pace of the Pl.
    It made sense to drop him against the best crossing full backs. One mistake leading to a goal and he gets tarred with the Leno brush. Confidence is a fragile thing
    There will be many games for him and Saliba to play when they fully acclimatize.

  41. Thorough

    Ishola.
    Exactly my point. I’ll rather we get rid of Holding and AMN than Martinez. Leno is bag of nerves, Martinez is the opposite, how can our coach not fucking see that?

  42. Fire

    Thorough
    Liverpool’s press was so good. If Leno booted the ball out it was coming straight back in nanoseconds. We don’t hav Giroud or Sagna anymore.
    Our playing out from the back has been better recently but sometimes you just have to admit that the opponents are so good

  43. Ishola70

    And when people say that this focus on Leno now is only because of the sale of Martinez of course this is the case.

    Martinez showed us when he was deputising what can be lacking in Leno.

  44. Steveyg87

    “Man I don’t understand some fans. How can you see that game and conclude that Leno and Pepe are our biggest problems? See the statistics, Xhaka and Elneny had ONE progressive pass between them all game. We couldn’t get out of a liverpool press because Liverpool know our Midfielders can only pass it back. They won’t open up space with a body fient or an exceptional pass. Do you think Liverpool would press that high up the pitch if this was Man city? Only Ceballos scared them a bit when he came on. Imagine having three Midfielders that can beat that press. All our forwards had terrible games because the ball didn’t reach them. I can’t at this point criticize any of Auba, Lacazette (may be for that miss), Willian and Pepe because they didn’t get the ball at all. All they had to feed off all game was from a long David Luiz ball. Drop your Agendas and you might actually see the main problems.”

    Spot on mate

  45. CG

    Arteta and Scott Parker are without question the worst 2 managers in the prem.When I see Parker ,I see Arteta- when I see Arteta, I see Parker.Two
    babies trying their best – in the mans world of pro soccer management.

    (Although to be fair- Arteta is a conservative organsiser,great communicator and excellent counter attacking coach.)

    Arsenal have had only x12 attempts on the opposostion goal this season..

    Excrement.

  46. Steveyg87

    “Liverpool’s press was so good. If Leno booted the ball out it was coming straight back in nanoseconds. We don’t hav Giroud or Sagna anymore.
    Our playing out from the back has been better recently but sometimes you just have to admit that the opponents are so good”

    While the oppostion is good, you are at least giving yourself a chance putting it over the top, the bounce could go our way and fall in auba or Pepe’s path. We couldn’t even get the ball out our own half passing it around our own box thinking we peak Barcelona

  47. Habesha Gooner

    Yeah, Martinez showed more in those games than Leno. But it was still a small sample size. And he has been here 10 years. Honestly for a team aiming for top 4, Leno is definitely enough. For a title challenge, I don’t know if both are.

    But I would have definitely Sold AMN and Holding before him because Martinez’s purple patch was absolutely great. We could have kept him and tried to see if that was his true form. Anyway It’s spilt milk now, let’s move on.

  48. DigitalBob

    Mane should have been sent off, clear elbow, at the very least it should have gone to VAR.

    Sad performance but not as bad as some would have you think, I would have preferred Gabriel to play regardless of the confidence risk as we know what Holding and Luiz bring to the table against teams with a high press.

    The midfield was incredibly static and ponderous, against a proper press Xhaka showed his limitations once again and deservedly hooked for Ceballos who played well simply because he’s our only midfielder with a high level of mobility and eye for a precise pass.

  49. InsideRight

    I’m clearly an out of touch old git because I remember my earliest training sessions at school where the PE teacher went absolutely tonto if we played the ball across goal. Leno did it twice last night and was within inches of having it poked in the net by a pressing Liverpool attacker.

    I had hoped for better last night. I wasn’t expecting a win. But I was expecting a more positive approach. Even Leeds had a go and showed how Liverpool can be undone. Arteta tried to fiddle about with the approach to undermine Klopp’s plans, and it failed. Fair enough. I get why we tried to play out from the goal line, however against the best pressing team we were always going to trip up and lose possession just outside our box.

    But even without that, Leno scares me shitless. Martinez is definitely a better keeper. We sold the wrong man. Bellerin can’t take a throw in and isn’t the player he was. We should have cashed in.. Holding is a back up at best. Xhaka is still Xhaka and we won’t make top 4 with him in the middle. I adore Laca, but he doesn’t give us what we need, his day is done at Arsenal and we should be ruthless and cash in. Elneny… against a title challenger? Purrrlease. Sell him or roll him out for the lower mid table games.

    Money is a huge problem. We can’t do what we need to in the transfer market. Silent Stan isn’t short of cash and in these circumstances he should get his hand in his pocket to steady the ship and give Arteta the backing he deserves.

  50. DivineSherlock

    one loss and people are jumping the gun. All the usual suspects on with knives baying for Blood. Since there is no Ozil now its Leno . Arsenal fans smh.

  51. Habesha Gooner

    Is hola
    I don’t know about you but Valentin has been driving this agenda that Pepe and Leno aren’t good enough. What makes an opinion an agenda is the constant “I told you so” speech that is delivered even if it isn’t the biggest problem we saw over a game. Willian, Auba and Lacazette weren’t visible at all but he comes on and says pepe isn’t good enough right of the bat. If you see pepe and Leno as the first weaknesses before that Midfield, that’s an AGENDA!!!

  52. Danny

    Leno’s insistence to pass out from the back
    ————————-
    Not Leno’s fault, it’s what Arteta orders him to do.
    Leno couldn’t do it under Emery and can’t do it now.

  53. Ishola70

    I thought David Luiz had a good overall game tbh.

    Yes his header at the end resulted in their third goal but overall I thought he did ok.

    And that third goal highlighted that Luiz bosses Leno rather than the other way around. Leno should be bossing the six yard box not Luiz.

  54. shaun

    “Ishola how do we fix that midfield you keep going on about if we keep two keepers worth good money?” hillarious incredible intellect on hear today

  55. China1

    This is the difference between midfielders who have some strengths (xhaka with his nice long passing, good long shot, solid frame, professional attitude, el neny who is just a very tidy passer, reasonable frame etc) compared with top quality players

    I always give the example of cesc but he was such a dream boat CM because he was so rounded. If you pressed him he’d turn you inside out and break forwards behind you, which was a huge avenue to get out of our own defense and create openings moving forwards – which he too was adept at exploiting with his amazing vision and passing. And if you stood off him then it takes all the intensity out of any pressing game and let’s him calmly turn look up and play an excellent pass anyway.

    Players like that are unplayable because it’s always a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario which imo is the basic definition of what makes a player world class in their position.

    Vieira was also obviously this level or even better tho obviously a very different style. All elite players fall into this basic kind of ‘damned if you do damned if you don’t’ description one way or another which makes them by definition unplayable. I don’t have the energy to shit on the players we have but the truth is to be a top class team we need at least one if not two such unplayable players in midfield. Here’s to hoping.

    Kante is another such wow player when used properly. I remember arsenal vs Chelsea a few years back when he was individually worth more on the pitch than our entire fucking midfield. One of the most dominant performances I’ve seen from a DM. If he wasn’t winning the ball he was intercepting it. If he wasn’t intercepting it he was blocking off every useful avenue to progress up the pitch. You could literally see it impacting our players as he was just so superior they confidence was taking a hit

  56. Thorough

    Fire.
    Nope, that’s I correct. He was giving it to Liverpool because he only kicked out as a last resort,when he’s backed to the wall. Compared to Martinez who’s actually deliberate with passing forward and o ly kicks sideways when the other options aren’t available.

  57. China1

    Man thinking back to that dominant kante performance I remember saying to a Chelsea fan mate after the game I won’t even take the time to get angry to criticize arsenal or wenger for being shit because we’ve just seen one of the most dominant DM performances you’ll get and it was pure footballing artistry from kante. If we can’t get partey on deadline day I’d be sorely tempted to go in for kante. My only concern is neither kante nor Ceballos are big and I’d like at least one of our CMs to be physically quite big. Not a fan of little + little combinations in the middle

  58. Valentin

    Habesha,

    No I am not blind to our midfield problem.
    In fact last summer when I criticised Raul, that was exactly my point that we had 3 main weaknesses and that we did not address any of them.
    I can refer you to our comments about it.
    1) central midfield
    2) left side CB
    3) goalkeeper

    I also stated that a Winger should not have been our priority. But most were so giddy at the idea of Pepe that one they refused to realise that we still had a black hole in the middle of the pitch and two Pepe was not as good as they thought.

    Our central midfield is poor, I have advocated for a physically dominant, agile central midfielder. The fact that you ignored those comments because they did not fit your narrative that Raul was doing a very good job.

    I am not going to talk about midfield, because at least Arteta and Edu are trying to fix it. I’ll wait to see who they bring before commenting. Personally I like Aouar, but unless Arteta changes system his impact may be limited. Regarding Partey, I don’t rate him as much as many do here. I see a player who look good in a defensive setup, but will need to curb his aggressivity and therefore his impact if he does not want to be sent off every other games. Also for the money his club request, we could get a better player. Partey will be battle ready and improve us, but I doubt that he will help us fill the gap with those above us.

    There is a reason why Xhaka was the first substituted, he was scared and did not attempt risky forward passes, which is exactly why he was starting with Elneny. But he was not helped by the fact that neither Lacazette, nor Willian were making the right moves.

  59. Habesha Gooner

    Valentin
    Raul did a good Job in my eyes. I haven’t changed my opinion on that. The year before pepe we had zero width. But we had two players, eventhough they are poor who could actually see a Pass. Our creative numbers took a dive when Iwobi, and Miki both left at the same time. Pepe was needed. But we also needed to replace both miki and Iwobi because they were the only creative players we had along with ozil, no matter how poor.

    And the emergence of Saka, Martinelli and Nelson in one season didn’t make the logic behind signing a wide player void. I too preferred ziyech to pepe because he was better but It was still right to sign a wide player.

    Now we are lacking midfield penetration and you are sighting pepe and Leno as bigger problems. We know you think they aren’t up to standard. But to cite that every time when there are bigger problems is full of agenda to me.

    For example I don’t like Xhaka but I say he had a poor game whenever he has one. I don’t lambast him every chance I get eventhough on the whole I don’t think he isn’t adequate just like you don’t think Leno and pepe both are. Anyway the Liverpool game showed more about our midfield problems than Leno’s and pepe’s. Cite that before your quota of criticism of pepe and Leno.

  60. China1

    I think the logic behind Pepe was good, though there’s a difference between good in theory and good in practice. I haven’t written him off yet but he needs to improve sharpish if he wants to go down as a quality player at this level

    We’ve given him a year to settle. Emery is gone. The car crash is gone. There are less and less reasons why we shouldn’t see his major talent on the regular, so if he doesn’t step up clearly by November or December I suspect he is going to have to be written off as a disappointment