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. Pedro

    Tom, you always have 50 excuses ready for everyone else. Be nice if you had that passion for Arsenal. You certainly didn’t write with that sort of context after our season opener. Injuries only matter for the best team in England apparently.

  2. GunnerWomble

    Strange that people are putting this on Auba & Laca. They hardly got a sniff near goal. We tried playing out from the back too many times against the best pressing team in the business. Anyway – eyes on the prize – West Ham lost and Man U (thanks again Olly) lost today.. 4th, though improbable, is still possible…

  3. china1

    No it’s not reductive at all. It’s reductive to whitewash a game that should be analyzed for what went wrong and leave with the only tangible conclusion as ‘inexperienced’. That is reductive. It’s completely ignoring the issues that might have been addressed during the game if the manager had done things differently in the second half

    I’m not treating the game as the end of our season. I’ve said several times a good win against Newcastle could pick us right back up and we expected reasonably to lose today anyway. The points are disappointing but fine.

    What I don’t accept is every time this team has a bad day at the office we just go BUT INEXPERIENCE and walk away as if that is useful analysis. *that* is reductive and totally (and willfully) ignores the issues we saw which were not all experience related. Our attack was dreadful from start to finish even tho our CFs had a combined age of over 60. ‘But inexperienced!!!’. We only made one offensive substitution despite the attack being rubbish from minute 1 and us needing to chase goals in the second half. What’s that got to do with experience? Tavares had a mare in the second half ‘see he’s inexperienced!!!’ Ok but Tierney was on the bench… what stopped us bringing him on? Nothing much. We then subbed off our best and most experience midfielder on 85 mins for another experienced midfielder. What experience gap did that address? And please don’t say it was to save Parteys fitness because he’d already run for 85 mins and the game was already long since over. If you want to save his legs he comes off when the third goal goes in. Meanwhile we had attackers on the bench chomping at the bit to come on.

    What we saw today was an ok first half performance and a poor second half performance where the team was left to crash and burn due to poor in game management.

    ‘But inexperience’ is the most reductive and least insightful thing that can be added to this.

  4. Pedro

    China, you are a teacher… and don’t understand how ability shifts with age.

    Of all the people on this blog, you should understand why Sambi can’t control a midfield like Thiago right now.

    ‘Experience doesn’t count’ despite all the best teams being loaded with experience.

    Just a weird angle to take because it’s not a point of debate. You are just wrong.

  5. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Men. Against boys second half…
    We still got a long be way to go.
    Up front major worry now..

    Blood more yoots

  6. china1

    I hope when the team is doing a post Morten of the game to analyze what happened in the second half they have something more to add than ‘bad luck guys. You’re all young so this was basically inevitable’

  7. Tom

    Pedro, ha ha, I thought I was very reserved actually for not throwing that in your face while you were posting your exaggerated Partey’s injury absences in the same article that ignored the actual train wreck of Liverpool injuries.

    I thought I’d be getting some credit for that.

    “50 excuses for other clubs “….you say, well , Liverpool probably did have 50 different injuries last season but can’t be sure.

    Notice …not a single negative comment from me after today’s debacle though……yet I still get no love lol.

  8. salparadisenyc

    Up front wasn’t the issue today, that loss was born in the midfield and fully blossomed into a pasting because of it. We lacked any sort willingness to test them and once that was sniffed out Liverpool fully exposed the weakness like the great truly methodical sides are able to do. Had we gone more front foot towards end of first half, think we’d of scored first and with that who knows where game goes.

  9. china1

    Pedro I’m not a teacher and haven’t been for years.

    You are assuming Sambi becomes a Thiago level player with experience as tho the correlation between experience and quality is direct. That’s not how it works. He might be the next yaya toure like Kompany thinks or he might be the next Alex Song instead. There’s one heck of a difference between the two and that wasn’t determined by experience – otherwise all players would just keep getting better and better as they get more and more experienced which is patently not the case.

    For every talented young player who could become the next big thing you can find the huge majority do not kick on to achieve that level. We really have no way of knowing with Sambi so far because he’s shown impressive talent but he hasn’t looked like a world beater so far. Who knows quite what his level will look like when he’s older except that we can confidently say he will be at least ‘good’

  10. Rich

    China1

    You haven’t got a clue, our strikers worked hard against quality and well organised opposition, including the best centre back in the world

    Strikers need service, Aubameyang had that 1 v 1, where he was put through by Lacazette

    Lacazette had a goal disallowed, where Aubameyang had strayed a couple of yards offside

    They were working off scraps, not sure we can blame our strikers when we hardly create anything, and struggled to create sustained pressure in their half

    Liverpool’s experience, quality, and cohesion, was at a higher level than ours

    Here’s something that might surprise you, experienced players know how to manage games much better than inexperienced ones, they find solutions to problems they face, because they’ve been there and done it

    Most of the team we faced tonight won the title 2 seasons back, they won the CL the season before, finishing second on 97 points, and got to a CL final the season before that

    7 of our starting 11 were 23 or under, 5 of them have been at the club for 12 PL games, now compare that with how long the Liverpool players have been together

    If you don’t see that s a problem against one of the best teams in the world, then I don’t know what to tell you

    If we keep this young team together, they’ll likely improve, we’ve gone the route of youth, tine will tell if we were right to do that

    But since we have gone with such a young team, we’ll likely come unstuck playing experienced + established teams of very high quality

  11. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    It’s not an over reaction … But I ain’t been impressed with party since he joined.

    He has bad concentration lapses..
    Plus we need to start with a creative person in the middle..

  12. Tom

    Chelsea, City, and Liverpool ( if they can stay fit) are levels above but Arsenal can definitely compete with the rest for the remaining 4-6 spots.
    The team is young but that’s no excuse for letting the whole season go by.
    Plenty of bright spots but the biggest worry is lack of scoring. Seven goals from open play in 12 is an absolutely pathetic return. Only Norwich are worse.

  13. MD-Gunner

    @Rich
    My bad forgot that on LG the season ends or starts to put the best spin on the AFC performance and wishful table results.

    To go and restore 12 years of data and programs from a Win 7 box to a Win 10 box after hardware failure plus having to wait weeks for a NUC because of none being available in the entire US, I wish not on my worst enemies but maybe on the AKBs 😆

    Kind of missed the hurling of bedwetting insults, because it means you are having a bad hair day, enjoy it.

  14. Terraloon

    There is nothing wrong with having young players or indeed older players the trick is to get the mix right. Writing off experience is naive in the extreme

    Seeking any sort of satisfaction because you have x players under the age of 23 or whatever is all well and good when looking for excuses but the reality is football is about the here and now tomorrow can be influenced by so many factors. The reality is you don’t get any concessions because you are playing youngsters

    There are absolutely no guarantees that in a blink of an eye the form, confidence and development of the under 23s won’t come to a juddering halt.

    I said before the season depending on youngsters was a folly. Of course you need young blood but you need a mixture of ages and experience to have too many aged players is folly, to have too many youngsters is folly.

    Of course the youngsters will have good days but they simply don’t have the experience to deal with difficult days

    It seems to me that people are almost expecting Chelsea, City and Liverpool to standstill?. Do people not see others are developing top notch youngsters who are already rated and performing to a comparable level?

  15. china1

    Rich our experienced players DID NOT do what you just described for us last season. Our YOUNG players did.

    Auba was feeding off scraps but he didn’t get involved in the match at all. He also did not take the one good chance that fell to him with a pretty tame shot. Likewise as CAPTAIN there was no sign of him rallying the troops when the chips were down.

    You are living in dreamland if you think auba comes out of *another* anonymous performance blameless.

  16. MD-Gunner

    Liverpool wasn’t elite and hadn’t won the title in 30 years, what changed in the past years, a competent manager arrived and turned those players into what that team is today. If Arsenal had done the same they would be a vastly improved team and would be challenging for top table positions. But as it is we will see after 38 games where this manager will finish with this team.

    As already mentioned next games are massively important and after the next 6 games it will be indicative of where this manager will take this team.

  17. Rich

    MD-Gunner

    So your computer breaks after we drop 2 points at Palace, and parts arrive to fix it on a Sat night, after we’ve just lost 4-0 at Anfield….

    Sounds legit….

    The fact that I’m having a bad night after we’ve lost, but your not having a bad hair day after we’ve lost

    Should tell us everything we need to know….

  18. Rich

    China1

    Aubameyang is never involved in games, he’s an impact players, he’s always been about nothing much but goals

    For those reasons I’ve never been his biggest fan, but he was feeding off scraps tonight, his movement was ok, but it’s a stretch to blame our strikers after a performance like that

  19. salparadisenyc

    MD

    Whats elite about Liverpool was ability to target who they targeted from Rodgers on out, Klopp included.

    Salah, VVD, Robertson, Mane, Allison, Fabinho thats some god damn spine with some spice around it. Curious to see where Edwards ends up after painting that masterpiece.

  20. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    MD they may have waited 30 years but they won the big cup twice plus fa cups Europa cups…

    They are elite the calm down mob.

  21. izzo

    Saka needs to be rested. take a month off playing. He’s a kid and a human being. Hope he doesn’t get a career threatening injury. From the Euros to the club and also playing for England in useless games. ESR will also need a rest at some point soon. Arteta is not even using his full squad and reserves. If the team can’t win without those two whats the point of having a football club ffs. Excuses after excuses.

  22. SWG

    Well said @Rich at 21.41..

    I genuinely don’t know what half of the people on here expect.. Liverpool on their day/night will beat anyone. This side pulled back a 3 goal deficit at Anfield against prime Messi’s Barca side. They are a completely different kettle of fish at Anfield when the pressure is on (which it was after their last 2 results).

    Anyone who can’t see how much Auba is hindering the side has absolutely no place here posting their opinions. He’s fucking useless and picks and chooses when he wants to put a shift in.. I’m well aware a striker doesn’t score every week but when you’re a senior player and club captain you DO have to lead by example and put a fucking shift in! We may as well be playing with 10 men most weeks and he’s captain.. not to mention he singe handedly deprived us of 2 goals against Watford.

    Tonight was pretty inevitable in my opinion, nothing gained and nothing lost really. Just hoping we bounce back against Newcastle and then a must win at Old Trafford.. that’ll put us back on track and put an eye back on that 4th place spot which is 100% there for the the taking – which would actually be a huge achievement given the young side we have and our top 4 rivals superior squads on paper!

  23. Tom

    “Sadio Mane 8

    Wasn’t overly perturbed by being clearly targeted by Arsenal, and produced fine header for the opener before assisting Salah’s goal. Booked.”

    This above from Liverpool ECHO’s player ratings, which I thought was funny considering most Arsenal fans had the opposite reaction as to who targeted who.

    That’s one reason refs get away with murder out there.

  24. izzo

    I told ya’ll Auba is finished. You don’t build for whatever future with past it players. Same with Laca. We know them inside out and they’re not good enough or a part of our future.

  25. Sly

    I don’t think one can chalk this loss down to anything other than being out classed and inexperience on the part of some of the players
    I’m not gonna be too hard on arteta on this loss.
    Hoping to see results in our next couple of games

  26. Rich

    izzoNovember 20, 2021 22:05:44

    “If the team can’t win without those two whats the point of having a football club ffs”

    Let’s fold the club because we lost a game of football, is right up there with the worst of the OTT reactions to tonight loss….

  27. Ustyno

    I said it earlier that if they win the battle in the middle,their fullbacks will have much of the ball

    In the first half that wasn’t much of the case because Lacazette was helping Partey(not looking fit) and Sambi out but in the second half he was a bit tired and so Liverpool starting dominating that area

    Klopp told his boys to go a bit long instead of playing around their goal to by pass our pressing but we insisted on playing from the back and it cost us the second goal

    Arteta is still learning and so is the team,I’m not a fan of Arteta but for standing up against Klopp thereby showing the boys not to be bullied albeit in a very short spell, I will spare them this game and see how they respond in the next game

    One thing is certain Arsenal needs a different kind of striker,if we had the type who can hold up play,most of the balls Ramsdale was playing around his post would have been sent forward but knowing Auba can’t do that kept him trying to play out from the back which was disastrous

  28. izzo

    @RICH
    Nice one making it up as you go.

    I’m merely pointing out those two are over played and over relied on to carry us. If Martinelli and Pepe arent good enough to sub in for them and start why not sell and buy better players to supplement those two. NOOOOOOO lets keep playing them until they break.

  29. Pierre

    Anyone wbo has watched our pre season and subsequent premier league and league cup games would know that our best striker by a country mile has been Eddie , and yet he hasn’t played one second of premier league football and has only been in ONE premier league squad.
    And that is despite the fact that we have only scored 7 goals from open play in the league…

  30. MD-Gunner

    @Rich
    “The fact that I’m having a bad night after we’ve lost, but your not having a bad hair day after we’ve lost”
    I lived through hell for over a month with the PC blow out. With the chip shortage I couldn’t even get what I wanted and wasn’t willing to pay yesterday’s technology. The loss of points on a few games are insignificant when it comes to endangering your livelihood and memorabilia, never mind the hours that I will never get back.

    But since you are such an Arteta optimist I am sure his failures will not be as impactful as the failures of your IT setup. Look at it from the positive angle, Arsenal will rise again just not under Arteta.

  31. Northbanker

    Gutted but we move on. Young players have another notch on a huge learning curve. More importantly Arteta needs to learn – his tactics against top teams needs to improve drastically

    Now let’s recover and smash Newcastle next week

  32. Pierre

    The worrying aspect of todays game us how liverpool’s older team looked fitter , faster and hungrier on and off the ball than our much younger side ..

  33. Northbanker

    Pierre

    Noted but he hasn’t committed to staying so why would we give him game time The bigger question is Martinelli not Nketiah

  34. Leedsgunner

    The thing is if we win against West Ham this loss will become meaningless because Liverpool lost to them…

    We just need to learn from our mistakes and build another run.

  35. Pierre

    I’d imagine that Arteta wasn’t happy that the players didn’t stick to the game plan.

    Arteta does need to look at himself and the way his behaviour on the touchline made his players job more difficult

    For me, the game plan was to contain liverpool by staying disciplined in their positional play.
    It was to allow the liverpool keeper to have the ball withiut pressure and to close all the passing channels, and it worked up to a point until we conceded the first goal.

    I thought lakonga struggled in the first half with the pace of the game and AMN needed to come on.
    Lakonga after half time had a bit of a nightmare which culminated in Tavares giving the ball away leading to the 2nd goal .
    From then on our game plan dissipated and the players positionally were all over the place.
    As soon as one of our player’s closed down the liverpool keeper, they found gaps all over the pitch and liverpool destroyed us with some superb football.

  36. Pedro

    Amen Leeds, West Ham were rattled by Wolves today. We can certainly take them down if we press like we did against Liverpool for the first half

  37. Pierre

    Northbanker
    “Noted but he hasn’t committed to staying so why would we give him game time ”

    Simple, Eddie is an Arsenal player and he has shown in his limited game time that he deserves his chance. .

    If we pay him then play him , Arsenal 7 goals from open play is a big enough reason to play him….it should always be about doing what is best for the team

  38. Pedro

    MD, coming out of your hole to confidently claim Arteta is done after a 3 month unbeaten run ends at Anfield is as amusing as your IT story.

  39. Mr Serge

    Bad result but I expected. a Loss to one of the top teams in Europe

    We need to pick ourselves up and get back on track next Saturday
    We all know that city Chelsea and pool are miles ahead of the pack
    Good thing is everyone around us lost
    Come on Leeds tomorrow

  40. gnarleygeorge9

    The best way to get the most out of Martin Ødegaard is to sign Erling ‘Brute’ Haaland. The Arse is advanced enough in its development to be able to convince him to sign. Do it Josh, make it happen 🙂

  41. Mr Serge

    PierreNovember 20, 2021 22:40:26
    The worrying aspect of todays game us how liverpool’s older team looked fitter , faster and hungrier on and off the ball than our much younger side

    No they looked far more experienced and add world class mane Salah and VVD and the rest of the team playing together for a number of years
    Not a number of games like us

  42. Leedsgunner

    I know people love to build up Liverpool here but I still maintain that the score line flattered them today.

    We made mistakes. They made most of it and punished us.

    Solution: Cut out our mistakes… and remember the good things we did in our wins against Norwich, Burnley, Tottenham, Leicester, Aston Villa, Watford… and put them into practice in the next game.

    So we lost badly today. It’s only three points not thirty.

    We move on.

    When we win don’t overhype. When we lose don’t over panic.

    We remember who we are and prepare for the next game.

  43. Mr Serge

    We made at least 3 huge mistakes today 2 leading to goals we will learn from this the next 3 league games are winnable

  44. Zacharse

    Nice pod guys. Lookin for that January window cf cm combo
    Was rough seeing lokonga lose it today out there, same w nuno-those two hold it together maybe goes 1-1. Same w tomi who put in a very tough shift. war takes its toll and liverpool got away w a lot. Something tells me we’ll be back for blood.
    Sad to see the re emerging lack of ruthlessness in our attack. Watkins in that villa game grabbed it by the throat and took the win. We dont have anyone stepping up into that role if ESR is off. Ode will get it together but he aint there yet. Laca and auba are not the solution sadly- we forget last year so soon

  45. Pierre

    Mr serge
    “No they looked far more experienced and add world class mane Salah and VVD and the rest of the team playing together for a number of years”

    I’m not sure that being more experienced makes you fitter , faster and hungrier on and off the ball.

  46. Mr Serge

    I felt for lokonga today and tavares should have been removed from the fire earlier
    I was surprised KT never started we are still lacking a cm and a striker that can hold up play and finish as well

    Someone like Calvert lewin or osihmen from Napoli

  47. Rich

    MD-Gunners chip shortage story is the best….

    That’s exactly what I needed after a heavy loss

    Arsenal win 3 games, and his computer breaks down, Arsenal get tanked 4-0, and the chip he’s been waiting for, finally gets delivered on a Saturday night, just after the final whistle 😂

    The level of detail to his story is brilliant, can’t wait for the next instalment

  48. Mr Serge

    Pierre it helps with game management plus they have better players end of we are a class below them at the moment
    Reckon is will take at least 2 years to get close to them

  49. Nigel Tufnel

    TR7,
    you are the exact type of sod I was writing about. If you don’t like someone, Arteta for example then you find any excuse to make sure there is nothing positive to let them have credit for. It shows a lack of fairness and grace, and I only blame your parents, or more likely some disinterested legal guardians for that.

    Arteta gets plenty wrong and I’ve been pointing it out all day, even before the game. That’s me being honest. You are too insecure to give the manager (if it was indeed his call mainly) to go get Ramsdale. Especially considering every genius football manager in this big blog, was saying he was a sh1t keeper. Also no other club was looking to bring him in either, so that’s lots of professional scouts and coaches. So I give him lots of credit. He was motm again today.

    This is your quote:

    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 ?

    TR, by your miserable logic,

    A police officer gets injured protecting your husband from a criminal.. I guess it’s no big deal worth giving them credit for.
    Because hey, isn’t that what he was being paid for.

    He didn’t just get it right, he got it very right. Your poor upbringing prevents you from admitting something simple and obvious.

  50. Zacharse

    Serge
    I dont care so much for any specific profile of CF at the moment, just needs to be someone like luis suarez who would rather die on the pitch than lose. We need to start collecting players like this

  51. MD-Gunner

    Excellent reasoning on ESPN-FC, Klopp took over a mid-table Liverpool and shaped them into one of the world’s top clubs. Also a few months ago Arsenal was the laughing stock of the club football world, now it is Man United. Bad news if OSG goes, Man Utnitedmay no longer be the laughing stock of club football.

    Now let’s see the take that MOTD has on the Saturday games.

  52. MD-Gunner

    @Rich
    “The level of detail to his story is brilliant, can’t wait for the next instalment”

    Since you need divergence after this loss let me humor you with some more detail of this disaster. Intel released the 11th generation i-7 NUC (NUC11TNHi7) in March. Was able to obtain one for a job in May. Tried to place an order but didn’t want my CC charged when the product is months away. Didn’t get a notification until mid of October when one would be available. Search for NUC11TNHi7 and you will they are backordered at all the reputable sites. The reason for the detail, I lived through this ordeal.

    An Arsenal loss is much easier to take as I am used to it for years now and cheer up the optimist in me says it can only get better now, but the realist in me says NAH, Arteta is still running this club and full potential of the youthful players will be unlocked by the next manager.

  53. Guns of SF

    I think we need a striker who can dribble the ball deftly. Ala Suarez etc…
    Both Laca and Auba (<— him especially) are not very good at this art.

    A second striker who is tall and can header and hold up, ala Giroud is also needed

  54. Zacharse

    “We showed for 45 minutes we could compete with them. We crashed for 15-20 minutes, we threw the game away and that is the learning from today.”

    At least we don’t have to hear about the fucking handbrake anymore. Everyone seeing the same thing except for tv pundits presumably who are paid to pretend

  55. Cheffy

    I was hoping for a draw, expecting a loss. But the manner of the loss was unexpected, hard to watch. We have some very talented players, I was really looking forward to watching the team give it a fair fight.

  56. Champagne Charlie

    Bit of a reality check in the end at Anfield after an excellent period for Arteta and the club. Perils of youth undoubtedly, but also a perfect illustration of the missed steps of the summer as far as this squad is concerned imo.

    Will admit that I was underwhelmed by the eventual totality of signings, but I am thrilled to see everyone come in and show plenty of promise from day 1……..Big LOL to the Ramsdale chatter coming full circle for many oh so eager to ‘relegate’ that to history – you know who you are. Nevertheless, my fears from the summer vividly remain.

    We aren’t close to the ticket in the final third and we rely almost entirely on the promising trio of ESR/Ode/Saka to determine the fortunes this season – not good. That’s 13 league goals in 12 games, and only 7 from open play which is 2nd worst in the league. This on the back of two full seasons returning circa 55 goals total in each. Just nowhere near the 75-odd needed to hang in the proper big boy section of the playground.

    My patience for Auba ran out last year. I may have mentioned, but Tammy was a massive miss for all the traits he brings outside goal scoring, physicality, running power, link-up, actual pace, aerial ability. Being super clinical alone isn’t good enough for this team, we need the trimmings even more than the golden touch. Imperative we go big for a CF in Jan if there’s half a chance to, it’s just too critical a role in this team to have Auba wet noodle his way about centre halves all day long begging for a finish to apply. Makes the job of ESR and Saka all the more difficult as they get isolated wide with no striker disrupting or offering an outlet. Pain.

    Same goes for CM as far as offensive quality is concerned. Ruben Neves another type of player sorely lacking as we see minutes from the axis of average in Elneny and Ainsley, two players that are next to no influence moving the ball forward or creating actions from deep. Xhaka helps here, but Neves takes us to a different level entirely. Another name scoffed at in the summer, do watch his highlight reel vs West Ham. He’s excellent to anyone with a pair of eyes.

    Won’t even bother opening up the Pepe files. Half this blog can kiss my ring on that, get him gone. Proper CF and Sterling in Pepe’s place this summer would make us credible again going forward.

    But anyway… nice to watch Arsenal these days at least, clear foundations have been laid and we’re a few very good buys from moving up several gears. Great thing about youth is that they’re always liable to have spurts of improvement, so I look forward hopefully to a 2022 Arsenal team that’s a bit wiser and meaner than the one we saw second half today.

    Still… could be Banford the poor deranged bastard. His idol has finally been put down after months of him beating the “excellent manager” drum. There’s an aspect of his personality out the window, he’s going to have to reconcile with that over the comings days bless him.

    Finally, get the Ads on here Pedro, I vote for the ‘lonely singles in your area’ sort to help a few of these boring cunts out, should help thin the basement dwellers obsessed with tearing the club down.

  57. Pedro

    CC, Neves was excellent today against West Ham. He’d be a big signing for us this summer.

    Suspect we’ll be going hard on a striker. Arteta adament there will be no Lacazette talk until the end of the season… which means he’s done.

    Know they wanted Tammy this summer but they couldn’t move anyone off the books.

  58. Pedro

    Sid, back out of hiding after a loss? Shame.

    MD-Gunner, 85% of traffic comes through mobile. No smartphone? I doubt it.

  59. Pedro

    I don’t mean ‘shame’ as in I don’t want you here. More that it’s disappointing that you only want to be the website smart arse when you are revelling in a loss.

  60. Spudnik

    Arteta really shat the bed today. Starting a faux row over a nothing challenge and the then hiding behind others as he said ‘hold me back lads, hold me back’ was utterly shameful, crass and immature.
    If anyone knows about the emotion of a merseyside crowd it’s him. Instead of using his experience of that, he chose to act the bollocks and wind up the Kop who then, un-fucking-suprisingly, injected passion into an otherwise bore draw which resulted in a no complaints-lucky-we-weren’t-beaten-by-more rinsing.
    When this young Arsenal side looked to the sideline for guidance under the Liverpool onslaught, they saw their manager had already lost his shit. This was not the character building side we have seen over the last couple of months. This was egotistical throw your toys out of the pram BS performance.

  61. Pedro

    Spudnik, for shame on Arteta for sticking up for his players.

    Never seen Wenger, Ferguson, Mourinho, or Pep fight for their players.

    Agree, an incredibly egotistical performance from the youngest side in the Premier League against one of the best teams in the world away from home.

    Hold on? Egotistical? What?

  62. Bergkamp#10

    Liverpool – Chelsea 1-1 (With Chelsea playing 10 against 11 the entire 2nd half)

    Liverpool – Brighton 2-2

    Liverpool – Arsenal 4-0

    Arteta out now!

  63. Bergkamp#10

    @Perdro

    “Spudnik, for shame on Arteta for sticking up for his players.”

    Are you refering to that embarrassing thing by Arteta on the sideline?

  64. Pedro

    Bergkamp,

    You’re a bit of a weirdo if you don’t like to see your manager stick up for his players.

    Let’s be honest, anyone crying Arteta out right now probably doesn’t get the game, so not shocked you want decorum on the touchlines.

  65. raptora

    I like Sambi. Time is on his side and he could become a great football player one day.

    But I still wish we had made a move for Anguissa. He’s played 881 out of possible 900 mins for a Napoli team that has recorded 8 wins and 2 losses in 10 games leading Serie A. 3rd highest score on whoscored behind Osimhen and Fabian Ruiz with fantastic stats in midfield. He’s in Napoli on loan with an option to buy for £12.5m, in addition to a £500k loan fee. Absolute piss low money for a 26 yo player entering his absolute prime and looking like a star for a team that is competing for the title in Italy.

    He was on the market for less than what we paid for a player we’ll be waiting to progress for years from now – Sambi. Anguissa might as well become the bargain of the season if Napoli go on and win Serie A. We desperately needed someone ready for the now in midfield and Anguissa absolutely tick all the boxes including being cheap af, prime age, dominant and potentially working really well with Partey.

    We will pay the price for being too young again and again. I wished we also bought some players ready to lead from the get go. We don’t have many of them leaders in midfield and in attack and the ones that don’t have it from the very beginning like Cesc for example, the rest develop it with age. And we can’t expect of Sambi to rise to the occasion yet. And I’m not talking only for today.

  66. Spudnik

    Pedro, I’ve absolutely no problem with managers sticking up for their players. They should. But Arteta started a nothing scrap over a nothing challenge. It did nothing except excite the Kop and it achieved nothing for Arsenal. It was utter arse boxing. It stank of showboating.
    By egotistical performance, I mean’t Arteta, not the players. Collectively, all the players had poor games and were out played by the opponents and I had, like you had predicted, expected a much better performance.

  67. Pedro

    Spudnik, nonsense. He stuck up for his players which is what all our greatest managers have done over the years. It’s such a petty bullshit analysis from someone searching in the wrong place for answers. It had no impact on the result.

  68. Pedro

    Raptora, for all your concern, we’ll be 5th at the end of the weekend, 5 points off 2nd and 3 points off top 4. We’re in fine shape without having to sign journeymen or experienced players with low ceilings.

  69. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    Cheers mate, kept up with things but took a seat at the back of the class for a bit.

    Like Neves a lot, 24 and think he’s exactly the type of player needing introduced to the CM options. Such a cutting edge from central areas, Wolves are a different animal with him pulling strings. Same ‘standout at a lower ebb club’ profile our recent incomings have had in common..

    Agree on the ST situation. Auba extension was a bad choice, be so dumb to put money into Laca at 31. Save it, move on, go hard at a young breed like Vlahovic, Isak, Osimhen, or even breathe life into a guy like Jovic who has went a bit dull at Real. Just recognise what’s needed at CF and bring in the right profile, it’s game-changer stuff for this group as far as I’m concerned.

    Promising aspect is our talent ID looks sharp at long last, I expect the next attacking signing to bring a lot to the party. Drop an Adebayor in there and we’re suddenly faves for top 4 amongst the dregs behind City, Pool, and Chelsea.

    Think if we go again after this loss and reach Jan with good momentum you’ll see Josh open to a splurge. Heard our interest in Raheem is genuine and welcomed, he’s seen as an ideal replacement of experience as we look to phase out Pepe and Auba – who I’m told will be sold this summer – and lose Laca.

    It’s getting this rebrand right that’ll make us go bang imo, the second we become consistently dangerous again we’re right back on track.

  70. Spudnik

    Pedro, The only Arsenal manager I can think of ‘faux brawling’ on the sideline is Arsene Wenger at Chelsea. Every manager should stick up for their players, not just the great ones, but if the manager is gonna have a go, have a real go and don’t hide behind others pointing the finger. It’s vulgar.
    While i accept that you find my analysis ‘bullshit’ , I don’t get why you call it petty. I suspect you think I’m part of the ‘Arteta out’ brigade. I’m not. I’ve admired the turn around that he has led since the calamitous start to the season. There’s a real discipline and grind that I admire that you have likened to George Graham.
    I’m excited to be a fan with this growing team, but that doesn’t mean I don’t call out bs when I see it.

  71. Gonsterous

    Not too bothered by the defeat, games against city, pool and chelsea are mostly throw away games.

    We can’t afford to drop points against the lower teams, that’s when it will hurt our league standing.

    What we did learn is that, our midfield is still very weak and needs another world class player to play alongside partey.

    Our forwards need to go. Auba and laca are not the solution. I fear, due to fan pressure, we will give laca a new contract, which will be a terrible decision.

    We have a poacher, now we need to get a striker that has other skill sets. Namely, physicality, and dominance in the air.

  72. Gonsterous

    I hope this defeat will stop this nonsense of arteta has a great track record against the big teams BS.

    He beat chelsea and city in the FA cup, every time we face them in the league, we get a pounding. Same with pool.

  73. gnarleygeorge9

    I agree with Spudnik. Arteta’s ‘handbags @ 10 paces’ was embarrassing. But he in manager terms is a junior so he will learn. Everyone makes mistakes, the important thing is don’t make the same mistake twice.

  74. Pedro

    Spudnik, read your comment.

    ‘The only manager I can think of that brawled was… our greatest ever’

    Now think about Fergie
    Jose Mourinho
    Jurgen Klopp

    Nothing embarrassing about it. The embarrassing part is the people complaining about it, because I know they’ve all questioned the character and desire of this club.

  75. Pedro

    ‘He beat chelsea and city in the FA cup, every time we face them in the league, we get a pounding. Same with pool.’

    Honestly man, pay attention Gober.

    We beat Chelsea twice last season in the league and won the FA Cup the season before against them.

  76. Gonsterous

    Pedro

    That was with lampard at the wheels.
    Haven’t beaten pep, nor will we beat utd when they get a decent manager, because they have better squads than us.

    Isn’t on arteta, it’s just how it is.

  77. Pedro

    Feel like the crowd that moans about Arteta sticking up for his players is the same crowd complaining about not giving the ball back

  78. Spudnik

    Pedro, I said Faux brawling and Wenger is the only other Arsenal manager I can recall doing that.
    He and Herbert Chapman and George Graham are our greatest managers. There’s no shame in saying that.
    As for Mourninho, that scumbag eye gouged the barca manager at an El Classico while hiding behind his bodyguard.
    Listen Klopp today was just as handbaggy as tets. Utter Arse Boxing from the pair of them, but tets started it over a nothing challenge.
    I hate Fergie, but he was the best in the EPL.

  79. Pedro

    Gonsterous, sorry, so Chelsea weren’t a top 4 side last season and they didn’t win the Champions League?

    United didn’t finish 2nd last season?

    Pick it up man. You just want to throw shit at the club. So, so boring.

  80. Pedro

    Spudnik, having a pop at a manager for defending his player is poor form. All the greats do it. You want decorum, it’s another sport.

  81. Spudnik

    Pedro, I’m having a go at his behaviour, not his desire to defend a player. To me, it was a fake row and in fairness Klopp gave his fair share at the panto antics and all. As I said it was arse boxing, unnecessary and certainly unhelpful. It was all ‘please hold me back before I kill him’ shite.

  82. LoveSausage

    This whining about Arteta exchanging words with Klopp is so f-ing boring. There are things to criticise about today but this one is ridiculous. What do you want him to do? Play into the stereotype of the nice Arsenal boy? Mane was an absolute piece of shit today (would love a few of those on our team) and it needed to be said.

  83. S Asoa

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

    This is a carrot and stick argument.
    The ” PROCESS ” is clearly a con.
    Amen

  84. Spudnik

    Pedro, last week you gave me the courtesy of telling me to ‘put my Peroni down’ when I was acting the bollocks on your site. May I give you the courtesy of wishing you a very good evening as I head to bed on my birthday. Safe home mate and we’ll chat next week.

  85. China1

    I hope we can flog both strikers and Pepe and replace with quality in both positions, and also we are still very much in need of a top quality CM.

    Sambi was a really clever signing imo but I suspect it may take at least 18 months for him to kick on (if he can) as he’s quite raw. I also don’t think any of our other CMs besides partey are the level we need in the starting 11

    AMN and Lokonga should be the backups to Partey and another top quality CM. They’re more than ready for that but I’m not sure either is ready to lead the midfield out each week next to Partey when facing top end opposition

  86. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    Also, all the theories on how Arteta being upset led to our players losing the plot and getting overrun. You get to read a lot of shitty hobby psychology online but this is next level. You’d think we have a team full of 7 year olds with daddy issues.

  87. Pedro

    LoveSausage, if my manager is fighting to me, I get motivated.

    Can you imagine a group of young men being like… ‘damn, this ruined the game, I’m done’

  88. MD-Gunner

    Liverpool’s pressing caused 17 turnovers from Arsenal the most Pool has done this season, they did 16 against Chelsea so Arteta should have known that and therefore as others already mentioned the in game management was poor by Arteta. That is training ground stuff by Pool and how to handle that, should have been practiced by AFC on the training ground.

  89. LoveSausage

    China,

    Today definitely showed why we need someone like Bissouma. That said, I still think our midfield is good enough for a top 4 finish. The top 3 are next level. Our attack though is hardly top 6-7 material right now. If I have to choose I’d invest in a CF first.

  90. China1

    We do very much need to replace Pepe with genuine quality

    As it stands we are overly dependent on ESR and Saka. ESR has risen to it this season but honestly Saka just looks like he need a break. He carried this team by himself for large chunks of last season. Add in the Euros efforts too. Then to come back and have such high expectations on him is not fair. I’d very much like for him to be on the bench for the next couple of games and let someone else be in the firing line. He can come on against tired legs and do his thing. Then ease him back into the starting 11. As well I don’t think he should start more than 80% of our games even if fit. He’s still a kid and the burden on him is too high

  91. MD-Gunner

    @Pedro
    “85% of traffic comes through mobile. No smartphone? I doubt it.”
    Can’t be arsed to follow any blog on minute screen, barely do Stocks on it because it has large numbers.

    By Arteta starting a fight with Klopp, Arteta had a brain fart, if you do that at Anfield you will have vocal capacity crowd get behind manager and players booing the opposition and you will loose the game because of the 12th man. Shows how much thinking he puts into getting a result from the top 4 teams.

    So, 3 points away fro 4th and with the fantastic goal difference it has to be 4 points but only 3points away from 9th. Newcastle is not a pushover after watching them against Brentford. St. Maximin will be a threat to AFC’s back line.

  92. China1

    Love sausage yeah we absolutely do have a squad capable of coming 4th. No excuses for finishing behind west ham, Spurs or Leicester. Utd with a new manager will be the ones who have a better squad who you need to watch.

    But yeah to be a team that does thing in the top 3 and CL we absolutely do need an elite CM. Sambi is a really good prospect and was a great deal. Very happy with the lad. But would much rather him be our go to rotation option / CM sub right now and have some already banging at CM next to partey

  93. Pedro

    MD, I reckon Arteta knew about Liverpool’s pressing mate.

    Also… just do a check for me. Are we 5th? 3 points from 3rd? 5 points from 2nd? I don’t need the other numbers.

  94. Guns of SF

    CC

    Hit the nail…

    The lack of goals that has been dropping every season will be our undoing.
    Forget getting hammered today.

    We created zilch. Nothing.
    A big problem when we face the big dogs… this will need to be fixed with new strikers…

    But when??? We needed them like last season

  95. Sid

    “””PedroNovember 21, 2021 01:06:44
    Sid, back out of hiding after a loss? Shame.”””””

    This kind of toxicity keeps real fans away. Shame.
    Im here to console and give emotional support to the Diet Pep fanboys.

  96. MD-Gunner

    Pedro, City have a game in hand and even if we gain 3 points on West Ham we still be 5th because of the fantastic goal difference. This would be the ultimate reason to get rid of Arteta if loose out on European football because of an inferior goal difference. Has been one of the blogs main discussion point a CAM as well as CF that can score goals.

    I assumed he knew about Pool’s playing style all the more so a head scratcher why we turned over the ball 17 times on presses. We are in good company in the top part of the table only Wolves, Spuds and BHA have scored less.

  97. Pedro

    Sid, I’d be bothered about that comment if you weren’t here lapping up a loss after hiding for the last 10 or so games.

  98. Pedro

    MD, again, I didn’t ask about what City might do tomorrow. Are we 5th, 3 points from 3rd, 5 from second, in mid-November?

    The answer is yes. So really, as a man who demands results, you should be happy that you were so badly wrong about this Arsenal team.

  99. Leedsgunner

    Just like the 5-6 signings this past summer have transformed our defence and goal keeping we will need to spend the same if not more to transform our attack and midfield.

    This is a blip… as our defence gains more experience we will learn to last the distance but for them to do that they need help from their colleagues in the midfield and attack to help take the pressure off.

    If we had taken our chances in the game the contest is completely different.

    Hate to say it because I’m a PEA fan but he needs to be benched. He faded fast in the second half.

    Personally I would have substituted Lacazette and Auba at the same time with someone like Martinelli and tested the Liverpool defence – we didn’t question them enough.

  100. Nelson

    The mentality of the team is not strong enough against a strong team. Both Tavares and Lokonga didn’t make any error before we gave up the first goal. The player’s confidence dropped once we were behind. We also lost the game shape. There is a lot to improve in this area.

  101. Guns of SF

    Yea I agree
    a game like this called for a spark plug, the only one we really have is Martinelli
    Poor fella is just in a world of obscurity. He probably thinks he lives on Mars… such as his reality now as a player.
    Auba did not get service. The service he did get was from our other striker.
    There is a gap between the attacking third and the strikers… we simply cannot make those passes happen. We also need strikers who can dribble and beat their man off the dribble. We are so reliant on perfect passes timed for Auba to latch on to score. Its readable and with some good marking, he is gone.
    I also have not seen this blazing speed he was once known for…. like at all at Arsenal.
    Heck TH was faster than he was, Theo as well…

    TP was not having a great game today. He seemed slow and out of it. I hope next game he is sharper.

    Still think that Tavares blunder was the turning point… just took the fight out.

    However, the concerning part is that we hung our heads for a good part of the game. At 2 nil, you either wither or stand up… I want to see us stand up and fight

  102. Leedsgunner

    If it is true that Haaland’s release clause is something like €62m coming this summer why don’t we test Dortmund’s resolve by offering €70m this winter?

    Apparently BvB are expecting Haaland to go and preparing for his departure by trying to offer €30m plus Donyell Malen for Vlahović.

    Think that’s crazy and Haaland won’t come here? Why not? Odegaard his best mate and international team mate did!

    We are a club on the up.

    We need to believe and back ourselves… because frankly if we don’t why should anyone else?

  103. Pedro

    Sid, if you didn’t run to the hills when we started winning, I’d have hugs for you.

    Leeds, no way Haaland joins us… he can literally pick any club he wants. Isak, Oshimen, DCL and Tammy are out max outs I reckon.

  104. MD-Gunner

    Haaland’s release clause is meaningless since there will be a bidding war for his signature from Europe’s top teams and all of them will have CL to offer.

    The problem with attracting such talent is, will set incoming player be given the playing time or be treated like Eddie, Martinelly or Saliba before even the question about European football is raised. Arsenal just doesn’t have a manager which would attract talent since all players want to get to improve their skills, which will not be the case at AFC.

  105. China1

    Guns yeah Auba is much vaunted for his blistering pace yet you can probably count on one hand how many times each season we actually see it. It’s because he’s not good at playing hit and run with his man which is kinda odd with someone with that pace

    Henry and Walcott used to do it time and again. Stand up their man, push it far beyond them down the line and skin them with pace

    I think it’s because Auba avoids challenges and confrontation so he doesn’t like that feeling of committing himself at full speed whilst going shoulder to shoulder with the defender as he’s scared he might get hurt. This is also why he wins fuck all headers and physical 50/50s despite being of a decent height and stature.

    It’s pretty silly that someone with his frame and pace is basically only good at tap ins and well placed finishes from the edge of the box.

  106. Leedsgunner

    Pedro

    I know it’s a long shot but if the release clause is as low as it is… we should at least trigger it and be in the fight… and sell him on the project, especially if we are in Europe next year.

    We can sell it him as being the BvB of the EPL and get Odegaard on the case.

    On that note, I want Arteta to start using Odegaard more… perhaps revert to using Odegaard as the starter… he’s the future Lacazette is the past.

  107. Pedro

    MD, again, you have to live in reality when you talk about what Arteta can and cannot do.

    Is there a single player, bar Eddie, he’s not tied down to a new deal?

    No.

    ESR
    Saka
    Martinelli
    Kido
    Balogun
    Patino (I think)

    What makes you think he can’t attract top talent to Arsenal, he already has unless you think all the signings we’ve made so far aren’t really good?

    Leeds, ignoring what MD said, because he’s wrong… it’d basically be us vs all the biggest clubs in England. Fee is the same for everyone. Not sure we can offer that much unless we make top 4. Even then, I think he’ll be in CL winner mode. City or United I suspect.

    Find it odd Chelsea didn’t wait an extra year.

    He really is the next Ronaldo imo.

  108. DivineSherlock

    The worrying part for me was the errors and mistakes we made , god help us if we let that creep in our game . It took us 5yrs to get rid of Error prone defenders and 1 midfield player is still here . I really hope that was just a one off.

  109. TR7

    Nigel

    How old are you ? I never thought someone could rake up my upbringing and parents to argue a footballing point. You need to grow up.

  110. Guns of SF

    If we get top 4 then I can see players coming to us. Even with EL these days, and Covid fall out, I dont see as many joining…
    Its top 4 or bust. Always said that.
    Come end of season, that is our key

  111. Pedro

    Guns, how is it bust? We just spent 150m on players this summer and we’re doing pretty well considering how young the squad is.

    Arsenal will always attract top talent. If we have a good season, there won’t be many young players we can’t attract.

  112. Leedsgunner

    Pedro

    Another interesting prospect I would think about approaching is Donyell Malen. He’s struggling at BvB but he was an absolute sharpshooter when he was at PSV ironically after he left us.

    Right age, excellent technique, two footed, reminded me of Sterling with his awareness and finish. If we could help him rediscover his scoring mojo it could be a smart purchase.

    So far Malen is their version of Pepe, a big money buy that hasn’t produced – since their financial model depends on their marquee players producing the goods right away they might want to cut their losses sooner rather than later. I reckon £20m would do it.

    A risk to be sure but it could be a smart buy with a huge upside. Plus as a former Arsenal player Malen wouldn’t need long to settle in.

  113. Muppetman

    For me I can write these kind of results off away from home against Chelsea, City and Liverpool but anyone else we should be giving a good game. It’s just the level we are at for the moment. As usual it’s all about the next result where nothing less than a win against Newcastle will do……

  114. TR7

    Nigel

    By the way Arteta did get many things wrong. Let me point them out yet again :

    1. Most of us thought Odegard was a meh signing who didn’t have enough in his locker to help us win games. We spunked 35M for him merely because he was a nice guy and worked hard in training.

    2. We sold Emi and bought Aaron a year later – so not much of an improvement in goalkeeping department.

    3. Ben White still doesn’t justify his price tag. I continue to believe we would have been better served signing a central midfielder of top quality which were available in plenty during summer.

    I never raised questions about signing of Sambi and Tavares.

    So overall Arteta gets 4/10 for his summer business and I am being generous. You may tomtom every signing made by Arteta to your heart’s content but I don’t think my and many others’ perception about signings was off the mark.

  115. Leedsgunner

    Yes I agree Muppetman.

    4-0 to 5-0 win to settle the nerves… probably a good game to bring KT back in the side – in retrospect it was probably asking too much from Tavares. Salah mauled him… should have brought on KT at half time… oh well.

    Hope the boy isn’t scarred for life!

  116. TR7

    We are 5th in the table but those who understand the game know that it is a false position we are in. We have scored only 13 goals in the league and against Liverpool we failed to create good chances. So not signing a CM and a good attacking player is going to haunt us. Ben White is not going to score screamers and win us matches.

  117. Guns of SF

    Tavares is a physical specimen, but needs the brain power to go with his talent. Dribbling like a mad man into no mans and with your head down and passing without looking was something I see during my sons games …. This cannot be happening at the pro level

  118. Janky

    So there’s an argument there about why buying into a rookie manager and project youth and just pushing through all the growing pains hurts your chances. Haaland. How many years till we can hope to procure elite talent like that?

    I don’t think there’s all that much to say about losing to ‘pool at Anfield. Would have liked to see more out of the team, would have liked to see some signs of tactical life from the sidelines in the second half, but no surprises and no realities have been changed. We are where we are.

    We’re still in pretty good shape on the table and that’s no small thing. If we pull out a place in Europe this year we’re one step closer to solving the above issue. If not, then we’re also probably one step closer to solving some issues. As far as it goes, I’m of the opinion that we didn’t learn anything new. Arteta’s not a master tactician yet, we’re not as good a team as Liverpool, and we need to work on our attack. Nothing changed today, that’s neither a complement nor a condemnation, just a fact.

    We ought to beat Newcastle, after which you could say pretty much the same.