FIGHTING TALK

by .

An away day at Liverpool is always huge. More so over the past half-decade. Liverpool is an institution, Anfield is a legendary stadium, and Klopp is a top 3 manager in the world.

The stage is set.

Mikel Arteta usually underplays our chances, but the talk was a little different in his press conference.

He’s talking about confidence in the camp, he’s pumping his players, and he’s making no excuses about the expectations that are being put on Arsenal.

We are going to Anfield to win because that’s what Arsenal Football Club is all about.

This game isn’t a litmus test, people need to move away from that sort of chat… it’s a chance to land a blow on a club that has standards we want to reach.

Since boxing day, we’ve accrued more points than Liverpool. What does that tell you? That they are beatable. Klopp’s side has lost a bit of that invincibility force-field this season. They aren’t quite hitting the heights as consistently as they were a couple of seasons ago. There are vulnerabilities in their system.

The main difference? Huge experience and a 5th gear that we don’t have yet. Both teams at 100% and we’re on the back foot.

So what do we need to see?

A smart game plan executed with maximum focus

Our problem against Chelsea and City was that we conceded inside 15 minutes both times. We can’t afford to do that against a Liverpool side we know will come flying out the traps.

I’d love a fast start, but it’s questionable whether that’s the right approach against Liverpool. A game right after the break might take some time to feel our way into. It might be sharp to just be in the match after 20 minutes and work our way into the game by growing with time.

There needs to be a plan for Mo Salah, the best player in the world right now. We need to have ideas for Liverpool’s wide players. We should be set up to counter-attack at speed, because Liverpool have been leaving openings. We have to play a high line and confidently play around their brutal press when it comes.

Arteta said the weakness in the side was that as a team, we don’t have enough collective experience yet. Let’s be clear, this new group of players hasn’t felt pain together yet. We are unbeaten since our new defence was formed. There’s no record of how we’ll react to a battering from Liverpool. That makes this game interesting for a whole host of reasons.

This is a big moment for the project. Lose, well, we expected it and we’ll have to hope the team can bounce back quickly. Come away with a point or more and we’ll really start to believe something might be brewing early.

I’m very excited. I feel confident we can compete. This is a test we could pass, I haven’t felt that way about a Liverpool game in a while. So let’s see where it goes.

See you in the comments. Join for an OTW podcast right after the game!

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924 Responses to “FIGHTING TALK”

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  1. Mb

    For the spat, nothing was wrong in my opinion. May be next time, Laca and Auba and Partey show us why they need to wear that shirt.

    Ramsdale – take a bow son.

    Gabriel / White – Massive.

    Nuno, Sambi gonna learn over time – no problem.

    Where the fuck were our 3 senior players? Ffs. Bench em all. Make that average age of 24, 21 I’m okay with that. We are losing 4-0 ffs, with a negative goal difference after 12 matches.

  2. Cheney10

    No one should be blaming this on Arteta tonight… All the teams we are competing with lost; it was a free hit so to speak… come on chins up… let’s have Newcastle next week!

  3. Habesha Gooner

    We aren’t nearly as good as them. Until we are we need to protect ourselves at all times. That is what we didn’t do right. 343 to join their fullbacks and match their strikers with our CBs would have helped keep the scoreline down. Hoping tavarez handles Salah was suicide. Because he is not at that level yet. Even experienced pros would have needed help. We can play a formation that we like at Anfield when we are good enough. That was the mistake.

  4. Crabregas

    Looking at the table we are still 5th and have got a game at Anfield out the way.
    Positives that the Hammers and United both lost.

    We only have to be the best of the rest and we will be forth

  5. Rich

    Liverpool are a top team, one of the best in Europe, they’re an established team that’s been together a while.

    They started with 2 players under 25, we started with 3 players over 25, 7 who were 23 and under.

    Such is the nature of football, we’ll have to put up with a barrage of OTT negativity over the next week, hopefully the young team keep it together, don’t drop their heads, and take the 3 points at home to Newcastle

    The game wasn’t enjoyable, but there’s currently 3 teams in this league who can do that to anyone on their day

  6. china1

    Can live with a defeat but the manner was dreadful. We’ll hav to see if that causes lasting damage to our confidence and we screw up at Newcastle or if we can pick it back up with 3 points next week

    I don’t disagree with many of the tactical ideas and selections we went into the game with but artetas in game management was overall shocking today. He doesn’t know when or how to change things when things don’t go our way.

    1-0 down at first half was acceptable. But apart from bringing on AMN for lokonga who was looking increasingly a liability, there was zero proactive thinking or ideas to fix our mess as it got worse in the second half.

    Tavares went off a cliff and stayed on all match. Our attack was absolutely non-existent and it took until around 65 mins and 3 goals down to even bring on an offensive sub (who incidentally contributed zero as well). Waiting until the 85th minute for the last sub was also bizarre and pointless as well and the player chosen also defied any logic. If we need to protect partey’s fitness then waiting until the 85th minute is pretty pointless he might as well have come off early if so or stayed on for the 90 and sub someone else who was performing worse like Auba, Saka, Tavares etc instead.

    Just no particular intelligence, rhyme or reason in terms of in game management.

    So like I said I can live with a defeat and I don’t disagree with his thinking on much going into the game but arteta has again demonstrated a major weakness he has shown repeatedly since he joined which is that when matches are in flight and going against us he really hasn’t the foggiest how or when to make changes let alone which ones to make.

  7. FB

    Mb

    Very well, and thank you for asking. I’m a lifelong Arsenal supporter, and ancient to go with it. I’ve seen everything, and we will be ok as a Club.

    Horrible to lose by such a margin, but we will recover.

  8. TheLegendaryDB10

    Yep, this game was crying for a Martinelli to harass pool and allow the team to push forward.

    Auba just doesn’t do that.

    It’s pretty clear that we need an upgrade upfront. We really need someone who can create for himself.

    I also think we need to get shot of Laca. He is not a long term solution.

  9. izzo

    Another reason we will never get into CL or win the league with this overrated novice. This so called project is going nowhere. Keep telling how how young the squad is and how they will “grow” together. Go on tell me. Football waits for no one. I don’t want to be Dortmund 2.0 or Man City Lite. I want to win the damn league and at least get to a CL final. Anything less is rubbish and just kicking the can down the road.

  10. G8

    We are toothless upfront
    Auba is just not good enough
    Laca and Saka are too lightweight and fall down with the slightest touch
    Midfield can’t hold a decent press
    Stupid negative tactics didn’t save our faces, if it wasn’t for Ramsda heroics could have been double figures
    Eddie and Martinelle can’t do worse than them old pair we have upfront!
    We only managed to score 13 goals FFS
    Another night to forget at scouseland!

  11. Habesha Gooner

    Midwest
    That was what I feared when I suggested the 343. Now we will have to work hard to get our confidence back. It is hard to switch on your form. A 2 nil loss would have been easier to forget. We are young and we will learn. 25 and 26 year olds if this same team will do much better than today. We just have to water our plants.

  12. Dream10

    Over 100 matches in and team still struggles to attack
    Awful display from Tommy Partey.and Lokonga. No Xhaka red to use as a crutch.

    If we can’t trust Ødegaard to step in when Smith Rowe and Saka drop 2/10 performances, what’s the point of shelling out 35m?

  13. CG

    Arsenal were garbage last time out against Watford- so you can’t seriously expect them to do what Brighton and West Ham have recently done…….score 2 or 3 goals respectively against them.

    Utter bloody shambles, the whole bloody lot of it.

    And don’ t even get me started on the cheating English rugby team.

  14. Goonerboy

    Utterly pathetic.Not just predictable which it was or poor. Arteta is clueless. Pathetic and not competitive.
    The players and the team we had were capable of doing far more. Arteta is only able to beat poor sides. Brighton did far better than we did.
    Sack Arteta.

  15. china1

    It’s now 3:30am. My wife told me not to be an idiot and stay up for the game.

    Every damned time I stay up for a late game they let me down.

    Thanks.

  16. Nelson

    Unfortunately, there is no timeout in football. The team needed to calm down after they scored. We were not the same team after that. I prefer to have the GK or a defender as captain. He would be there to talk to the players when the game is getting out of hand. Auba was high up the pitch when the defense was collapsing.

  17. MidwestGun

    Disagree, Habesha formation would have made no differnce. for me. Might have made it worse. It was our players arent as good not the formation 3-4-3 is bascially a 5-2-3.. we were bad enough in the midfield. we didn’t get beat on the wings..so much. We got beat by mistakes and lack of quality. But anyhow.. Usually I agree with you mostly when you suggest tactics. I usually just say yep.. when I read you posts. Differnce of opinion this time around is all. I guess.

  18. JJ

    Playing with Auber is like playing with 10 men. His combination of not showing for the ball and terrible ball retention puts so much pressure on the rest of the team. Especially the central midfield today. Auber needs to be replaced.

  19. Cape Maker

    I would rather lose in that fashion with 90% of kids that to lose with grown men that play like kids. Lots of work to do and its not the Apocalypse in footballing terms. Tavares and Sambi had a bad game but they will learn.

    I Love Arsenal and thats all that Fucking Matters.
    We will rise Again.

  20. bacaryisgod

    Very disappointing result and we were clearly outclassed. Not going to jump back on the Arteta out train though. Let’s see if we can regain our confidence and form in our next 3. Everton and Man U away will be real tests of this squad.

    Main concern is that there seems to be a leadership vacuum. Partey is not vocal enough. His personality doesn’t suit a leadership role. Shockingly, Xhaka might have helped today although this should probably go down as just another annual trouncing at Anfield.

  21. Br0wnie

    I don’t think even a fully fit Partey or Tierney would have made a difference today. Liverpool just miles better at his point. Maybe the addition of a Bissouma and more dynamic players up front like Martinelli and Ollie Watkins would make a difference. Leadership also big question with such a young squad. Auba not up to the task IMHO. The team is moving in the right direction but some holes need to be filled

  22. china1

    If auba if will contribute so so little to the team the very least he must do is take most of his chances

    His game shot getting saved at 2-0 down could’ve been pivotal. That goes in and who knows what happens next

  23. bacaryisgod

    Rich

    Can’t buy into the age argument. That was the choice of the club to go in this direction. So far it has worked out. This was a step back. No excuses for age when we are a massive club who can compete financially with most of our rivals.

  24. china1

    Bacary xhaka has been present for 90% of all the spankings we’ve taken in the last 5 years. His ‘leadership’ didn’t help then. Didn’t help in the other two spankings we took this season either.

    Leadership myth.

  25. gnarleygeorge9

    The City of Liverpool. A classic example of the saying “You can’t polish a turd”. Even The Beatles had to leave 🙂

  26. Habesha Gooner

    Midwest
    Sure we didn’t win the midfield but the goals we conceded came from mistakes in wide areas. Pining them was the way to go. We still would have lost but it would have been with a better scoreline.

    Tomi on mane, white on Jota, Gabriel on Salah, Tavarez on Tsimikas on the right, Tierney pinning TAA would have been better for us. We only had to deal with Thiago and Ox at CM after that. We still would have lost but our fullbacks wouldn’t have been as exposed and pressured too much.

  27. GunnerWomble

    Like what China1 said. Also, young players under pressure will make mistakes but Arteta’s in game management is almost non-existent. There are ways to lose without taking a beatdown. It’s not just the players that are learning their trade at Arsenal unfortunately.

  28. Crabregas

    @china1 so what I took from your post was that the defeat was your fault. Next time listen to your wife and head to bed early and let us have 3 points at Anfield please

  29. Leedsgunner

    Time to throw the baby out with the bath water?
    Nope.

    Plenty of good things to be pleased about in the past 10 games.

    One loss doesn’t change that for me.

    We move on and support the team.

  30. Nigel Tufnel

    Now all the cretins come out.
    Yes, we lost, and badly. I know. It does not negate all the positives from the previous 8 matches.

    People blaming Arteta of course we all expect that. I don’t blame him much. He didn’t make those errors by Sambi and Nuno… but he did pick them.

    Attacking Saka and ESR shows that you are no kind of fans.

    Next week is big. 3 points or a major hit in confidence going forward.

    I wonder how the coach handles Tavares and Lokonga. I’m finding it hard to trust Sambi and he needs to correct himself I think. I have a feeling he can, but maybe Ainsley can give him a rest to think about it.

    Tavares… I don’t know if this is the real him or not. Could be an athlete with no brain or needs a lot more experience?

  31. china1

    Crab well we all know certain people won’t lay the blame at the managers feet so yes I’ll probably have to own this one

  32. Batistuta

    At what point of the project though are we expected to at least turn up for these games without looking so scared of the opposition, I mean wasn’t expecting anything out of the game but Liverpool will always be here and so will Chelsea and City so are we just going to keep saying they’re the best team so we expected to lose like that every year and focus on the other games?

    We obviously can’t go toe to toe with them in terms of personnel and our young squad but a real sign of progress will always be how you turn up against the very best really.

    We’re going to see far inferior sides turn up at Anfield and give them a tough game and yet somehow we still can’t, shame really

    Anyway, onto the next game and for a more convincing performance and result

  33. china1

    If we beat Newcastle next week this damage can be quickly undone (especially if the performance is good to boot). But if we don’t beat Newcastle we go into the Utd game with it being much more problematic.

    Beat Newcastle and Utd on the other hand and today gets written off

  34. Graham62

    A rude awakening for Tavares.

    “It only takes a minute” seems quite appropriate.

    Aubameyang is becoming more and more a liability.

    Would have loved to have seen Martinelli or Eddie up top.

    The slow and predictable play from the back was evident once again.

    Arteta’s antics went against us big time.

  35. MidwestGun

    Habesha-
    Maybe.. big maybe. I feel like we matched up pretty well first half.. But for Me LOko and Tavares ended up showing why young players are risky. Second half they both looked overwhelmed and crumbled. So not sure thats a formation thing. Anyhow … really doesnt matter. Guess we will find out how we pick up the peices.

    Just hate Pool so much.. have to listen to Carraghers bullshit now for months.

  36. CG

    13 goals in 12 games! ( and we have 1 game a week!)

    Ranieri has got Watford scoring 9 in 4 games with that pack of excrement. ( 5 v Everton /4 v Man Utd)

    (And how can Vieria get a 2 zero at Man City and this Arteta gets done 5 zero there?)

    Granted Wenger got spanked at Anfield time to time- but he also served up some 6-3, 4-4. 1-2. 3-3, 2- 0 classics.

    Utter shambles.

  37. Batistuta

    Also the name calling thing is pathetic and childish and stupid too. Bedwetters e.t.c. is probably one of the reasons why most have just about stayed away from this space for a bit now.

  38. Goonerboy

    Agree G8. Why were were we so poor upfront? 4-0 better no way at all. Not of this Liverpool defence.
    They would love to play us every week.
    Whet a pathetic poor display.

  39. china1

    Bacary I read the whole thing – what did I miss

    You mentioned shockingly xhaka might have helped today. How? He didn’t help vs Chelsea and he actively fucked our own asses against city. Same story as in every other fisting we’ve taken in the last 5 years for which he was basically always present.

  40. Dolomite

    The main problem today was an out ball.

    Add to that a poor lack of application from our final third we basically played defence v attack

    As Samesong said, no one showed for the misplaced pass that Tavares made, but worse still was playing Aubameyang for 90 mins.

    I’m no fan of Odegaard either, looks busy but actually does VERY little.

    ESR and Saka had poor games today but I cant blame them when players like Partey cant step up and lift the team

    MOTM -Aaron Ramsdale.

    Could easily have been a rout ….

  41. James wood.

    Tavares clearly not ready at this level.
    So slack at the back and nothing up front to take
    the constant pressure of us.
    Tierney definitely back in next game.
    The gulf is extreme.
    Top 4 NO.

  42. Majesticgooner

    I think we still have a psychological problem to overcome against the big teams, the players go into the games expecting to lose, the best the hope to get is a draw. It was obvious in the first half, we sat back, hardly creating any chances, our midfielders and ben white weren’t doing the things they were doing in previous matches like carrying the ball into the opponents half, we looked and played scared. Aubameyang seems to show van dyke too much respect, I expect him to put in a few rough challenges, you saw mane doing it to tomyasu, sometimes you have as a striker to make the defender know he is in for a tough battle, I don’t get that with.auba, even laca does that .more.

  43. The BFB

    When our glorious leader thinks the powder-puff lightweight Odegaard and the negative back-passing Elneny are going to improve the team then he needs certifying.

  44. Spanishdave

    We are not really going anywhere with this set up.
    We have too many average players overpaid and really below what we need.
    It’s not the loss but the repeated same old errors.
    We gifted goals and are toothless upfront, nothing has changed

  45. Graham62

    Nigel

    How do you mean “cretins”?

    So criticism can’t be made when there are visible flaws.

    Are you one of those fans that gloated when Arshavin scored 4 and yet defensively we played like the Keystone Cops?

    Tavares needs to learn to keep his mouth shut and let his football do the talking.

    Once Arteta got the crowd going, we were always on the back foot.

    Were we brave today? Did we go out looking to get something from the game?

    I’m not so sure.

  46. Dolomite

    Majestic that’s where our more experienced players need to step up

    Partey Aubameyang and Lacazette didn’t show any experienced leadership on the pitch with their poor performances

  47. bacaryisgod

    china1

    I said he MIGHT have helped today vs. an inexperienced and intimidated Lokonga and could have provided some support on the left to Nuno too.

    Then I said it should probably just go down as another annual spanking at Anfield.

    I’m not a Xhaka fan but in this game I think he would have been an improvement over a very poor Lokonga.

  48. Rich

    Bacaryisgod

    We’re in the process on building a new team, we’re at the beginning of that process

    If you don’t think experience + cohesion is important, then you haven’t got a clue, the vast majority of successful teams/squads have an average aged of 27-28

    We’ve an average age of under 25, we need to keep this core together, add well, and we’ll be fine

    Days like today will happen with a young team against superior opposition, we’ll still finish the weekend in 5th, it’s not enjoyable, but it’s not the end of the world either, we need cooler + calmer heads

    We had all this nonsense after the first 3 games, just mass bedwetting + hysteria

    We need to get minimum Europa League this season, and we’ll be in with a good chance of that, and there’s an outside chance of 4th

    We need to look at the bigger picture, we’ll lose our fair share of games, but we’ll get plenty of results as well

    We need 15 points from our next 7, that’s a realistic target , and will put us in good stead for the second half of the season

    Everyone of the starters for Liverpool had been there for a while, Jota was their newest player, they’re a top team that’s got plenty of experience winning big prizes, most of our lads are just starting out, and that’s the project the club have decided to put together

    Get behind it, or whinge….

  49. china1

    Most of our goals conceded today were caused by players making errors under pressured as they were pressed

    Xhaka is realistically one of the least press resistant midfielders we have. He’s also the least mobile. What would’ve he have offered when getting swarmed?

    As for leadership – well he’s a world class pointer, that much is true. No other discernible positive leadership type impacts on the pitch have ever been noticed during the absolutely countless trouncing we’ve taken with him on the pitch over the years tho

  50. Leftside

    My hope is to show up to these tough venues and give these sides a game. Its the same spankings every year. Brighton came to Liverpool and got a point. Chelsea are a very good outfit but still came away with a point at Anfield with 10 men. Viera’s Palace took full points from City.

    We should be able to go to these places and make more of a game of it.

  51. china1

    Bacary true he might have had a great game

    So too might have el neny like he did against Man Utd at the start of last season.

    Highly unlikely tho

  52. Dolomite

    Worryingly for me, is Aubameyangs lack of desire to be a game changer unlike say Salah who made sure he finally got on the scoresheet and even attempted to cheat and win himself a penalty.

  53. bacaryisgod

    Whoever is going after Ben White is a complete idiot too.

    Liverpool conceded 8 against Villa last season with a back four of TAA, Gomez, Van Dijk and Robertson and ‘shielded’ by Fabinho and Keita. Does that make Van Dijk shit? This was a team defeat. White wasn’t even one of the weaker performers today.

  54. TR7

    Some of you deride Elneny but I bet he would have done a better job than Sambi today. The guy is technically limited but he keeps things tight and doesn’t let the occasion get to him. Still remember how he and Partey owned United when we beat them 3-0. Sambi looked totally lost today.

  55. Graham62

    I tell you the difference between a real leader and winner and someone who thinks he’s a leader and a winner.

    If PV4 had been in charge of that squad of players for 48 hrs, prior to the game, we’d have done far better.

    Jesus, I wish we had Paddy V.

  56. gnarleygeorge9

    It’s got nothing to do with the players this morning, well maybe PEA needs to be put out to pasture, but the contest unravelled for The Arsenal once Arteta lost his rag. It was a piss poor example for the young players.

  57. china1

    TR7 sambi is much more talented than el neny but you’re right that sambi had an absolute mare today whereas el neny can’t win you games but is less likely to cost you one. He provides a predictable 6.5/10 most of the time – not good enough really but that would’ve been better in hindsight than Sambi today who was terrible.

    But who of us would’ve chosen el neny to start today? I certainly wouldn’t have. Hindsight is 20:20 as they say tho

  58. china1

    For me the question is whether AMN with partey would’ve been the best choice. AMN also made some mistakes today so perhaps not, but he’s shown several times he can step up in big games. Probably would’ve been the best option in hindsight

  59. bacaryisgod

    Rich

    You’re totally missing the point.

    You can’t excuse a defeat because of the age of our players. A better excuse is that the new players are still getting to know each other and it was too soon for Anfield.

    I actually think Arsenal made the right decision to focus on youth in the transfer market even if they should have done it last summer instead of the Willian/Mari/Luiz/Cedric transfers and extensions.

    At the end of the day, I don’t want Arteta and Edu to hide behind the transfer policy to buy themselves more time. The club needs to be back in the Europa League at a minimum and if the young players are showing improvement then that’s a bonus.

    Management is still a performance-based job and we’re a mssiave club. Anything less than 6th should mean we bring in another manager to work with the young squad.

  60. Ben D

    We go into these games giving these teams too much respect. Silly errors don’t help as well .. first goal was very soft, and then we gifted them too many chances at the start of the second half.

    Not what we expected, but upwards and onwards. Come on you Gunners!!!

  61. Nigel Tufnel

    Midwest is a man with perspective and agree about Sambi and Nuno.

    Leedsgunner always is on point.

    I think pool deserved the respect of a formation change in the starting lineup,, and it probably would have had a better outcome to have Tierney at left of back 3, with Nuno wing back helping with Salah.

    No complaints from me about White or Gabriel.

    That’s the Ramsdale I remember from past seasons.
    That’s why those teams voted him player of the year. Great shot stopper. Plenty strong owning the box.

    Of course we never watched his distribution for bad clubs.

    Credit to whoever scouted him.

  62. bacaryisgod

    By the way Rich, it’s really dense of you to pop off at me for whingeing when my first comment after the match was the exact opposite of that.

    Here it is as you must have skipped it:

    ‘Very disappointing result and we were clearly outclassed. Not going to jump back on the Arteta out train though. Let’s see if we can regain our confidence and form in our next 3. Everton and Man U away will be real tests of this squad’.

  63. TR7

    China

    I would not have started Sambi for sure. If not El neny then at least AMN. Sambi is good at keep the ball moving but he really lacks defensive nous. He is also very casual at times. AMN very good in one on one situation whereas Elneny is calm and composed if not spectacular.

  64. Northbanker

    A lot of bad performances out there and difficult to single anyone out

    But……

    Artetas tactics still remain hugely naive
    He lost his rag which seems to have lifted them

    And….
    How bad does Auba need to get before MA wakes up and realises he is not capable of leading the line at Prem level

    Why is Martinelli not getting game time?

    Think it also emphasises that players over 30 should only have 1 year contracts. Laca is still at times an important cog but he loses energy quickly

    I’m not sure he should be renewed next year

  65. Rich

    Games like today will happen for Tavares + Sambi, we didn’t buy anywhere near the finished articles

    Sambi was £15 Mill, Tavares £7mill, they’ve played 150 games between them, the majority of those games in Belgium + Portugal

    We signed rough diamonds to polish, polishing them is going to take a bit of time

    The idea both these players were going to come into our team and perform consistently at the highest level, straight off the bat, was completely detached from reality

    Confidence is a big thing with players, particularly youngsters, we need to get behind our young players in difficult times, not join in with others club fans kicking them

  66. salparadisenyc

    Stinger of a result after very solid run Could see the danger signals in first 45, our mid looked too tentative but we battled and stayed in it. Completely caved after Tavares assisting Jota, damage control from there on out.

    Wasn’t bothered with the loss if the full performance was there, had we continued the first half form it would of been so much more encouraging. In the end it was modern Liverpool vs Arsneal which has been a typical beasting, names have changed from Suarez to Salah results the same.

    Lets hope Partey and Auba awake from their slumbers vs Newcastle, must win mentally more than anything else.

  67. china1

    I think age and experience is being over played as an excuse here

    We went in at half time very very much in the game. What cost us more imo was very poor in game management when the game started to slip away.

    Conceding goals is a slippery slope. Keeping on going when you’re still within a goal or something is one thing but when you’re playing badly and the game is very clearly slipping through your fingers in terms of both performances getting worse and goals getting conceded you have to start being proactive.

    We started the second half with disasters from sambi and lokonga. We only addressed one of the two.

    The attack was really really poor from start to finish and it was clear by the 50th minute there was nothing in this game for our attack. Yet we only made one offensive sub. Why?

    What is the point of the 85th minute partey sub? It’s too late to save his fitness. He only saved 5 mins… also el neny wasn’t going to add anything to the game.

    It was these mistakes which matter more than individual mistakes from the players. The manager has to evaluate what’s happening and be the catalyst for improvement during the match. If the performance starts ok then gets gradually worse and worse with zero improvements then you have to ask why the manager has not done better in game management

  68. gnarleygeorge9

    Credit? Once interest rates go up, Millennials & alike won’t have time to discuss 343, 442, climate change, Covid or stamp out racism. They’ll be too busy digging themselves out of a financial black hole 🙂

  69. Majesticgooner

    Dolmite, these experienced players are the problem, they have never won ar anfield, they are the ones who bring the fear factor to the matches against the big teams. Have we won a match against Liverpool and Man City in the league with auba and laca in the team?

  70. TR7

    “By the way, if it was Artetas call mainly, to bring in Aaron…. anybody here going to give him credit? Of course not”

    Arteta is the manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world despite being a rookie. You want people to cheer him for getting it right on Aaron ? Is it not what he is paid for ?

  71. Rich

    Bacaryisgod

    Nice bit of spin, but the only one who’s dense is you

    You said I can’t use age as an excuse, if you don’t think experience + cohesion is important, then you don’t understand how teams + success are built, particularly in a league as competitive as this

    I’d go as far to say as you’re absolutely clueless as Pierre, if you don’t think experience + cohesion is important, because every bit of evidence points to the contrary

  72. china1

    Rich Auba was one of our worst players today (and has consistently been that for 18 months). Laca was also very poor. Partey didn’t have a great game.

    Our best players were Ramsdale (inexperienced) and probably Gabriel (inexperienced)

    Pretty much all our best players this season are the young ones.

    Let’s stop with the excuses

  73. china1

    Before Christmas last season we were rocking with the golden oldies and absolutely tanking. Arteta is only in the job because the kids saved his ass after Christmas.

    You think we’ve done reasonably well this calendar year? Well thank the inexperienced kids because our experienced players have absolutely not been the major reason

  74. Pedro

    Rough day today, we are not great against top 2 teams. The reaction to the Nuno error was a big heard drop, we’ll learn from it, but there were positives from the game.

    Have to agree with most, Auba really doesn’t offer much these days. Think his replacement is going to be so, so important.

  75. china1

    We could’ve been rocking a starting lineup with more experience today

    So rich let’s play this game. Since experience is such a critical factor in today’s result, do you think we’d have been better off with the lineup below instead?

    Leno
    cedric, holding, mari, Tierney
    el neny, partey, AMN
    Pepe, Auba
    Laca

    Lots more experience in that lineup. Leno concedes some of the goals Ramsdale saves today and his distribution puts more pressure on the defense.
    Mari would be torn to shreds under pressure. Rob would struggle in all likelihood. Cedric is worse than Tomi by far. Tierney would’ve been an upgrade on tavares.
    El neny may have provided better stability in midfield but he’s also average as hell so hard to say it would’ve given us a hope of winning the midfield. Pepe is inconsistent as hell so hard to say if he’d have offered a positive or negative. AMN might have been better than Sambi – probably a little. Auba and laca already played

    Long story short we can blame inexperience but if we’d put our most experienced players out the score line would’ve probably been similar. Let’s stop falling back on this as the default go to excuse every time we have a bad game and analyze what really went wrong – which was a lack of in game management to stabilize the ship and reignite our chances when the game was slipping away from us.

  76. Rich

    China1

    They’re not excuses, they’re legitimate reasons

    How long have that Liverpool team been together? How many more games at the top level have they played?

    Alisson 29 300+ games for club + country
    Trent 23, 160 games for club + country
    Tsimikas 25, 130+ games for club + country
    Van Dijk 30, 350+ games for club + country
    Matip 30, 350+ games for club + country
    Fabiano 28, 280+ games for club + country
    Thiago 30, 450+ games for club + country
    Ox 28, 380+ games fir club + country
    Salah 29, 590+ games for club + country
    Mane 29, 400+ games for club + country
    Jota 24, 270+ games for club + country

    Then look at how long this team has been together, most of them have been together years, the newest players are into the second season

    Their squad is littered with players who’ve played and won at the top level

    Now compare the experience + tactical nous + level of cohesion with their team to ours

    Then try and make a cohesive argument that experience + cohesion didn’t play a big part in today’s game

  77. LoveSausage

    This doesn’t mean that everything we’ve seen since those first three games was a blip. But it does show plenty of the weaknesses that have been drowned out by the hype.

    Auba is awful and yet he keeps getting minutes. It’s starting to resemble the Willian situation. What’s it going to take for him to get benched? Newcastle have scored two goals more than we have. It’s clear that we lack a philosophy in attack, beyond “Give it to ESR”. This is not good enough.

    And the in-game management was again questionable. I have no idea what was said in the dressing room. But we went in after a decent first half and came out looking like an Emery team.

  78. china1

    Yeah Pedro I’m really not sure who the right player is to be our long term CF I just hope the club gets it right

    You want someone who has a bit of everything but I don’t know who that player is who can be had at a price point we can afford and will want to come. I hope there’s some left field bargain out there like these players we keep getting linked to in Belgium or whatever but I am not following closely enough to know if those players linked to us are the real deal.

    Auba is not the guy tho. And tbh laca isn’t either even tho he does have something valuable to offer for now

  79. Pedro

    SpanishDave, baby steps. Not sure dropping your captain on an unbeaten run like the one we were on was a sharp idea against Liverpool. Suspect he’ll get more game time soon though.

  80. Pedro

    China,

    Even a lesser talent in front of goal that offers us hold up player and an aerial threat would suffice. Ivan Toney in this side would give us more.

  81. Pedro

    Left, not sure Brentford and Chelsea in your list is making the point you think they are.

    Chelsea European Champions, Brentford with a covid outbreak away from home.

  82. china1

    Rich the most important factor is their team is clearly better than ours.

    Experience is great but it’s only meaningful comparing like for like players.

    We can compare sambi’s experience with Thiago’s. Sure. But let’s compare them on quality too. It’s one sided.

    Look at that list of liverpool players and see how many you think are inferior to the arsenal equivalents. And I’m not shutting on the arsenal team here as we have some good players – but their squad is comprehensively better.

    The best players in our squad are probably Saka and ESR. Salah and Mane are arguably the most dominant wide pairing of the last 4 years in world football. We can compare our best CB Gabriel with Van Dyke – VVD is the best defender in the world. We can do this in most positions.

    Experience only adds serious value when comparing like for like players. We are behind them in every single position five or take.

    The nearest like for likes we have are probably keeper and Gabriel and those two both were our best players anyway and not part of the problem.

    Auba and laca are more experienced than Jota. Counted for absolutely nothing – because they’re inferior players playing in an inferior setup.

  83. Pedro

    China,

    Quality comes from experience. What a weird angle to take. Writing off Sambi three months into his Arsenal career is a shocking take.

  84. Northbanker

    I’m not convinced Toney has enough of an all round game to be the dream CF

    Martinelli must be used even if phased in

  85. LoveSausage

    I don’t think experience was the reason we lost. We didn’t ask a single question of their defenders. You give a good team 90 minutes to find their groove without having to worry about defending and this is what happens.

  86. china1

    It’s like I said Rich you can field our most experienced 11 and the score line would’ve probably been worse because that 11 would actually be worse

  87. china1

    I said his inexperience isn’t the main problem it’s that he’s not as good as his counterparts in the liverpool team

    Ability and experience are separate points

    You can be world class and inexperienced (child cesc) and you can be highly experienced and average as hell (el neny).

  88. BacaryisGod

    China

    Ignore Pedro’s blatantly false accusation. You obviously didn’t write Lokonga off.

    Where I agree with Pedro is that the key signing will be that of Auba’s replacement.

  89. Rich

    China1

    Liverpool’s squad is currently better, more experienced, it’s an established team that’s been together a long time

    We’ve got a decent young team, that lacks experience and hasn’t been together very long , we’re not a great team, we’re not terrible either

    Laca + Auba aren’t my cup of tea, but they’re decent enough players, put them in Liverpool’s team, and they’d do a lot more than they will in ours

    Liverpool are better than us, there was always a chance we could pull a ugly smash + grab, but it was a long shot

    The best players in our squad being a 20 + 21yr old, should give you a clue why we’ve just been smashed 4-0 at Anfield

    Brilliant young players, but neither are anywhere near their prime

  90. china1

    You guys have been dodging the point that if we field an experienced 11 the score line could’ve been even worse because all that experience wouldn’t have likely translated into a better performance for the team

    We already saw that quite conclusively last season before Christmas.

  91. china1

    No we got smashed because the manager stood by when things needed changing up more heavily.

    With or without an experienced team, if your car starts veering towards a cliff you try to take preventive measures. Arteta didn’t do that proactively enough.

    If experience and ability is all that counts why are Utd tanking so hard considering they have a really good squad and more than enough experience? Because their manager hasn’t got things right most of the time.

    Artetas done well this season but today when his plan started to fail he had no idea how to fix it.

  92. MD-Gunner

    After a massive PC hardware failure finally after waiting for the Intel NUC to arrive finally got the data restored and PC setup is finished after weeks. So did I miss much from the comment sections as I don’t feel like scrolling through a month of postings.

    Watched the Pool game today and noticed not too much has changed since the start:
    AFC still can’t play out of the back and still giving the ball away too many times.
    GK man of the match.
    AFC still can’t score goals from open play.
    Arteta still get game plans wrong. Knew Pool have a high pressing line and had no answer for it.
    AFC can’t win against European football contenders.
    AFC deceiving to flatter by wins against lower or mid table teams.
    Partey not looking like a £45 mill player.
    Can’t score therefore still high deficit in Goals Difference.

    So looks like nothing really changed since my PC failure, glad I didn’t miss much. No emergency board meeting scheduled, yet?

  93. BacaryisGod

    Exactly China-whether it’s a young or experienced team, the manager of a big club is to deliver results. Arteta has been doing that recently but I wrote to Pedro that the real test will be the 3 away games vs Liverpool, Man U and Everton. Off to a bad but recoverable start.

  94. Rich

    China

    You obviously need quality, but 9 times out of 10, an experienced + cohesive team full of quality players

    Will beat an inexperienced team who haven’t been together very long, full of quality young players

    It’s really not a difficult concept to understand

  95. Samesong

    Liverpool are an elite team compared to this Arsenal.

    Most of the teams in the league have way more experience than our team but we are still able to beat these team as we have younger stronger skillful and quality players.

    Good managers can get the balance right in terms of experience and youth. I always had a feeling Auba would be a let down for this game.

    The young players that come into the Liverpool team are usually exceptional and very talented and fit in straight away with the experience ones.

    Antonio is someone we should look to for a replacement for Laca.

  96. china1

    Were we not bragging that we got the same number of points as Klopp in this calendar year?

    So our talented kids and dubious experienced players can match liverpool from Jan 1st until Nov 20th or whatever but put the two teams against each other and we lost 4-0 because we’re inexperienced. Seems that inexperience didn’t cost us over the rest of the calendar year tho…

  97. china1

    Even really good teams can get smashed if the game starts to slip away and the manager doesn’t address it

    Happens semi frequently when top teams play each other that one of them batters the other.

    Liverpool smashed Utd just a few weeks back. Ability and experience was there for Utd but their manager didn’t address what was going wrong during the match successfully and the game got away from them. Same thing happened to us today

    We had an outside chance of winning. We are on better form than they are in the league. Our team is pretty good. We were totally in the game until the second goal went in and still had a shout at a draw until the third goal went in. But the issues we were seeing were largely allowed to go unchanged and we got punished.

    I hope at Newcastle we see a good performance and a win so we go into Utd with our heads back up.

  98. Pedro

    China1,

    Reductive argument again.

    Liverpool are better than us. We are better than fans have given us credit for. The youngest team in the league will have days like this, but they will get better.

    Top 4 is the target for us and a stretch one this season.

    Liverpool are targeting the league and Champions League.

    We don’t need to be better than them. We need to be better than United, Spurs, and Leicester

  99. Rich

    MD-Gunner, you massive bedwetter, how’s it going?

    Must be piss everywhere in your house tonight, no surprise you’ve popped up again to kick the club when it’s down….

    You predicted Arteta would be out by Brighton, then we’d only get a maximum of 4 points from our next 4 games, which we took 10 from Palace, Villa, Leicester + Watford

    You said 5th, spitting distance of 4th was a fantasy after our first 3 games

    Nice to have the No1 bedwetter back to kick the club like clockwork, with some ridiculous story about a broken computer….

    Welcome back pal, look forward to your whinging until your “computer breaks” again conveniently, after our next 3 points…

  100. Pedro

    MD noticeably absent for the entire unbeaten run. Same with CG. Pure troll behavior to come on and kick the club after a loss. People more in love with their agenda than the club.

  101. Tom

    “Were we not bragging that we got the same number of points as Klopp in this calendar year?“

    That was Pedro just trolling his own blog.
    Every 12 year old PL observer knows why Liverpool have had that record.
    1477 days missed by Liverpool players with injuries last season.
    18 different CB pairings.
    VVD hasn’t lost a Liverpool game at Anfield yet I heard the match commentator say, which if true, is incredible, and he was gone all of last season.