ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL: DERISK SELECTION, SPURS IS THE REAL FINAL

by .

Antonio Conte exited another cup, this time a semi-final against Chelsea, his side were utter, utter dross all game. No energy, no idea what they were doing, no real output.

That means they’ll show hard at the weekend and we’ll all be wondering how a team so bad can pull a performance out the bag so good just because it’s Arsenal.

Or… Arteta and the coaching gang might have a plan to take more than a point of a very average team bereft of ideas.

That does take me neatly into the game this evening. I really hope Arteta knows the most important thing for Arsenal fans this season is beating Spurs. I don’t care what happens tonight. It’s Liverpool over two legs and we know they are so desperate to win, they basically cheated to get out of playing us last week when we were in good form.

Arteta is going to have choices to make this evening. Dice to roll. I just hope he doesn’t take risks on players that are important to the season. Emile Smith Rowe is key to what we do, if he breaks, we’re in trouble. Tomi is THE MOST PRECIOUS of players, nothing hurts more than seeing his name of the team sheet, but at the same time, this is a League Cup no one cares about, and I’d rather live to fight another day with our first teamers… because we are not strong enough to make top 4 with the second-stringers. We saw that against Forest.

If there is a chance of losing a big name for Sunday, it’s just not worth it.

Granit Xhaka is different. He had COVID, I’m guessing his 7 days are done. He’ll be in the mixer and we need him next to Lokonga. That man is made of different stuff. So I’m not really that worried with him. But I think people are starting to see the reality with Granit, we’re better with him in the side, he’s very solid bar a few brain farts a season. Sambi needs experience next to him, he’s too young to carry a junior.

The big picture here is taking 4 points from the next two Premier League games. If we can manage that, Top 4 is game on. We have 2 games in February, we’ll have a little midseason break to bed in the new players, then we’ll be fresh and ready to hit the rest of the season VERY hard. 1 game a week is a huge advantage if the luck rides with you.

We could blow that in leg one against Liverpool if we rush players. It happened last season when we brought TP back early. That cost us big time. Let’s hope we’re not thinking similar things this evening.

Liverpool needs a lift. Klopp is under pressure. He needs a trophy, this is the earliest one he can take, but make no mistake… that team is stammering and he doesn’t have VVD to blame this season. It’s on him. Pep is taking him to the cleaners.

I’m saying that because it’s likely he’ll roll with the big guns. This evening might see us shithouse them with a 5 at the back jobby. Arteta needs to realise that Cedric is not very good and if he rolls him out against elite full-backs, we’ll be beaten before we leave the tunnel. Try something different. If we can escape Anfield with a draw, it’s game on in leg two and we can go for it with a fitter group of players.

We have seen a worse group of players at Arsenal beat better teams with 5 at the back. There is no shame in doing that at Anfield. NONE.

The key is not to get hammered like we have been recently. Super basic, but just don’t get railed. We need a resolute performance, everyone focused on the job, and we need to frustrate them. Liverpool were walked through over and over by Spurs a few weeks ago and as we all know, Conte’s Spurs are shite. We have power players who can make runs, we have talent that can find feet from distance… can we piece those bits together and make it count?

We’ll go big tonight with our starting 11, really, we can’t take a chance with Leno in a game like this, he’ll panic. We need to have Gabriel in the mixer because Rob ain’t it, and I suspect we might see Nuno on the bench in a game this big.

But who knows… just don’t break anyone. That’s all we ask. Spurs is all that matters. That’s the real Cup Final.

Ok, have fun in the comments. x

UPDATE: Odegaard, Tomi, Smith Rowe all out. GOOD. Arteta derisked it. I bet they’re all back this Sunday.

764 Responses to “ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL: DERISK SELECTION, SPURS IS THE REAL FINAL”

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  1. Berg10kamp

    Excellent game management by arteta and the boys. Tactical masterclass. Could have nicked it had saka taken his shot first time.

  2. Terraloon

    Unoni

    He took the player out with a high boot it’s debatable if it was because of the last man situation but his action was endangering the Liverpool player

  3. Domi B

    “People are starting to see that we play better with xhaka in the side”… Manipulation/PR spins are not nice Pedro, you used to be authentic, wtf are you talking about here?

  4. David.D

    Fucking brilliant!!!
    What a dogged performance
    Fucking proud of the boys!!!
    What an atmosphere it will be next week and I’ll be there.
    Can’t fucking wait.

  5. BacaryisGod

    What a performance especially after the pathetic capitulation from Spurs yesterday.

    No away goals rule is great for us. Team and fans fully united. Our away fans destroyed the Kop too!

  6. Olumide

    The Arsenal fans at Anfield were unbelievable tonight. To get your chants dominating Anfield is not an easy task.

  7. Left Testicle

    Excellent performance as a collective and individually, especially Lacazette, Martinelli and Saka who, no thanks to Xhaka, are going to be knackered on Sunday.

  8. Gazzap

    Yeah chambers and tierney were also excellent as well as white. Laca and Martinelli did ok taking some pressure off.
    As a team the defensive organisation was really good to see

  9. Terraloon

    ES

    Yep I suspect next The NLD may well get postponed but what would that mean for the return game I’m the EFL?

  10. Time Up

    So proud of the team and just hope to never see Xhaka again, he keeps letting the kids Dow and he supposed to be the experience cunt of the team.

    The best thing happened in the game was Cedric injury and Eddie sub.

  11. Foxy

    That’s exactly what we should have set out to do against Forest blunt them with a strong defensive set up then nick a goal. ARTETA obviously forget how he managed that FA cup win two seasons ago.

  12. Left Testicle

    I’d like to know…

    1) Of all our sending offs since Xhaka has been here what percentage is down to him?

    2) Of all our penalties conceded since Xhaka has been here what percentage is down to him?

    3) What is the IQ of Xhaka?

    4) What has Xhaka got on Arteta?

  13. LoveSausage

    Great result and fighting spirit from the boys despite Xhaka’s playing incredibly predictable act of self-sabotage.

    I have no idea what we’re going to do about the midfield for the NLD and it’s a 6-pointer. Could sending AMN on loan without backup be the biggest galaxy brain moment of Arteta’s tenure?

  14. Ustyno

    That was great performance, I remember someone said playing a back 5 will help and somehow Xhaka did Xhaka and forced Arteta to do so and got a good result

  15. gnarleygeorge9

    Like I said, Karma wanted ‘No more Red’ after Flopp’s cheating COVID antics. Red got cancelled in East Dublin.

    That is the best Arsenal shut out since the 2005 FA Cup Final. The away fans deserved that. I hope they all have a Gr8 trip home. Enjoy 🙂

  16. BacaryisGod

    Btw, as Pedro deleted my posts about the recent YouGov poll that constantly pops up, don’t bother taking it or believe the results Awful polling accuracy based on flawed method.

  17. Unoni

    Great performance
    Back 5 were immense. I expect we will have to play a back 5 v spurs now. Wilshere contract imminent too I’d say. Can’t chance patino on the field for that one. Lakonga looking shakey as is

  18. Pierre

    I said at half time the injury to cedric and the xhaka red did us a favour.
    Was pretty confident our back 5 would see us through although Ramsdale rode his luck in the game..

    Credit to arteta for setting the team up well in the 2nd half

  19. G8

    Well done boys
    Ramsdale had some jitters tonight
    The Anfield cunts noise got into him
    Hope its just a one off night
    Fuck off Xhaka !
    Fuck you PGMOL!
    Fuck you spurs!

  20. salparadisenyc

    Gritty performance from these dudes, LOVE to see it. Hope you enjoyed Mourinho AMN now report back to Colney.

  21. BacaryisGod

    As for Xhaka, it’s basically a version of Jonah and the Whale. He’s not to blame for everything that’s gone wrong in the last 6 years but it’s been a terrible shit storm since he came on board at Arsenal. He might just be that player who has the dark cloud following him. Time to throw him off the boat.

  22. TheLegendaryDB10

    I agree with LT.

    A big FUCKING no to Jacky boy.

    As much as I lived him as a player, my biggest worry is that he will break down shortly after. He us made of glass.

    Unless we somhow get Partey back or buy a stand 8n MF.

    A bit of a conundrum all this for Arteta.

  23. Ustyno

    It becoming obvious that Klopp wasn’t comfortable of winning against us and so they pull that drama,in his mind he wishes everything can stop and wait for Mane and Salah to be back

  24. Left Testicle

    Not an injury prone, slow West Ham and Bournemouth reject. There’s a reason Arteta has offered him a contract.

  25. Left Testicle

    There’s a reason Wilshere can’t find a club. You guys need to think with your heads rather than your hearts.

  26. Pierre

    Lakonga should get a mention as he started very nervous but grew into the game and was our only central midfielder for an hour..

  27. Unoni

    Left

    He may not have a choice. If ESR is out then it’s either lakonga and white in the middle or lakonga and wilshere. Patino ain’t happening

  28. salparadisenyc

    Mid

    Bruno makes so much sense, Lyon toiling mid table and skint. Player wants out, owner knows he has to sell. Either take the Arsenal cash or deal in Juve instalments. Not a tough decision to make.

    Vast improvement for us.

  29. raptora

    We played better with 10. And we defended better with 10 without the wasted of space.

    Great fight from our boys, ran their socks off, great commitment.

    Liverpool were absolutely garbage. It turns out they are a 1-man team – Salah FC.

    Still upset that Bukayo missed our biggest chance.

  30. MidwestGun

    Sal I know.. it does make sense.. Plus Junhinho is retiring from Lyon.. If Bruno G.. wants to stay with his Brasilian roots in the management level. It could happen .. especially now there has to be a pretty big sense of urgency..

  31. Vintage Gun

    Solid defensive display. We did what we could in the 2nd half. I’ll take it.

    Xhaka will have to go this summer. It’s all to predictably blatant. It’s like watching the footballing version of minority report.

    Jack Wilshere? lol yeah right.

  32. TheLegendaryDB10

    Ok I am laying out the logic for those few stragglers humping the Jacky boy hope of finslly seeing him excel.

    The major problem.is that he is not prepared for the tough rigor required for such a game and the EPL in general. He hasn’t played in 2+ years and will be so rusty that he won’t be ready before Partey finally comes back. Couple all that with the high probability that he will breakdown in 2-3 games down the line And you see why he would be a total waste of resources.

    Well, suffice to say, its just a big No to all that.

    I’d rather we loan a MF player who has played recently, ideally in the PL to ensure PL readiness, tjan some (good) guy who has played 0 football in far too long.

  33. Duzie

    Chambers channeled his inner Cafu tonight. He should be ahead of Cedric. Unlucky injury for the Portuguese.

    That was a good defensive effort.

  34. TheLegendaryDB10

    LT

    We should also sign back Sagna to ensure total defensive solidity while we are at it.

    And, to give a nod to a good poster here, may as well get TR7 back in MF as well. I.’d rather have him there all day long over fucking Ramsey.

  35. Dissenter

    Squawkwa sports
    Arsenal are the first side to stop Liverpool scoring in a game at Anfield across all competitions this season.

    And they did it with 10-men for 71 minutes. 💪

  36. Tee

    “Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta talking to Sky Sports: “We revel against the situation. The players showed great fight, determination, brotherhood. You saw the emotion, we never gave up. Credit to the boys.

    “I don’t know if the red card inspired them but it took the fight. You need a certain attitude to play in these games and the boys did that. We played the game we had to play, which is not our game. I have not seen it back, they checked it so probably a red card.

    “To plan with the numbers we have, we don’t have any midfielders, becomes really complicated, because whatever we do is not natural.

    “The extra motivation to play a derby [at Tottenham on Sunday] brings the energy when you don’t have it. No excuses, we have to play it.””

  37. MidwestGun

    I thnk it will be ok… We have a few days to pump Saka and Marti full of fluids… and Like I said earlier I would rather play Spuds now without Son and them just coming off a loss. Only issue is our midfield. … hopefully ESR can play as well. Just need to figure out who to replace xhaka with.. Maybe we do stay with a 3-5-2 and move Chambers in there.. or something.

  38. Pierre

    Guendouzi, Torreira, AMN , all better players than xhaka and all still Arsenal players , and yet we can’t select them ….crazy .

  39. Duzie

    Pedro,

    The poll dialog seems to be rendering errors on the comment form. Could you take up the page a bit, so that it stops interrupting the users?

  40. Pierre

    Arteta
    ““To plan with the numbers we have, we don’t have any midfielders, becomes really complicated, because whatever we do is not natural.”

    And who’s fault is that

  41. Duzie

    Chambers had an amazing piece of defensive display tonight. All the subs really stepped up to preserve the 0-0 advantage.

  42. Milo Burstyn

    Arteta refuses to make excuses, unlike Klopp. No fuss, no whining, he wants to play this Derby on schedule and full fucking credit to him!! Proud of him and the boys today. Fuck Liverpool FC and fuck the Spuds.

  43. Emiratesstroller

    When I posted at half time that we had 11 fit outfield players in first team available for Sunday that was before Saka came off and apparently Chambers has now an injury.

    The only fit first team outfield player who did not play tonight was Mari.

    Odegaard and Tomiyasu have Covid. Smith-Rowe and Kolasinac are unfit. Xhaka is now red carded and we don’t know status of Saka and Chambers.

    So we are potentially missing on Sunday 9-11 players from a squad of 24, which includes 3
    goalkeepers.

    It should not be forgotten that Arsenal have sent out on loan in January both AMN and Balogun who were technically members of our first team squad.

  44. Left Testicle

    Mid,
    We have a few days to pump Saka and Marti full of fluids.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    I know you like to get behind our boys but that’s taking a little to far. 😉

  45. Nelson

    One thing we found out from this game. White is a £50m defender when playing in a 3 at the back formation. I would suggest we plays 5 3 2 formation in the NLD. Our defense really looked solid today.

  46. Habesha Gooner

    We do have a backline. I don’t know if it will be good enough to keep out Tottenham though.

    We can play 4231 or 442.
    Ramsdale
    Chambers/ tavarez Holding Gabriel Tierney
    White Sambi
    Saka ESR ( hopefully)/ Lacazette Martinelli
    Lacazette/ Nketiah

    It’s not ideal but we need to go to spurs and win with whatever players that we have.

  47. TheLegendaryDB10

    Same here LT. Have to press “post comment” twice for it to post.

    This widget is becoming a real waste of space when using a mobile.

    It was tolerable until this stupid pop up keeps trying to let you know that there is a new question to answer.

  48. TheLegendaryDB10

    For me today this game did something we are going to be very happy about in the future: it tightened up the team bonds a little more. It showed them that they can trust each other to achieve something together: namely a clean slate, in this case.

    This games is a huge massive step forward for us.

    It would be great if we could use this new found weapon to beat the living daylights out of the shits down the road.

  49. AFC Forever

    Brilliant attitude and tactical application. We may have some naive players but we can’t knock their heart & desire. Never easy at Anfield, you need real bottle in that cauldron of hate. Good experience for them though..

    However, we’ve had to play with ten men for 70 minutes and have a day less to recover than Spuds. I fear we could be really short Sunday.. Hope Arteta hi as asked for a batch of Klopps PCR kits.

  50. Guns of SF

    Xhaka fart master
    If you are going to get a red, at least put some more umpphhh into it man.
    Good on you that you slowed Jota down…

    Im trying to be positive here lol

  51. Left Testicle

    Maybe we’re all naive. Maybe the Xhaka sending off was part of the backs to the wall Saucy Arteta masterplan.

  52. AFC Forever

    They’ve just confirmed Xhaka was sent off fir denying a goalscoring opportunity. Not sure about that as White was kevel.

    Still, might have done us a favour Jota may have scored. In which case he took one for the team I guess you could say

  53. MidwestGun

    If it is all part of some Teta master plan to leave us with one first team midfielder to force a sanction of a bigger transfer from the owners/board. .. All I can say is I wouldn’t want to play the man in a poker.. tournament. That is some seriously risky maneuver.

  54. S23

    Superb showing from the boys,I feared the worse when the usual idiot got his red.
    Hats off to Arteta,his subs all performed well and to put on Nuno to show there are no bad feelings.
    I hope we havent burny ourselves out for Sunday,although it is the officials I just dont trust.
    Great evening for us all.

  55. Nigel Tufnel

    Habesha GoonerJanuary 13, 2022 22:10:54
    “Ben white, take a bow Son. Yelling out ” That’s what we fucking do” after keeping that clean sheet. 50 mil is looking very good business right now.”

    I was watching this game and kept thinking to myself..White has been immense, always in the right spot, and gets to places in time when needed.
    ….. he’s really switched on…
    Then towards the end, the commentators even saying he had a perfect match.
    Motm even over Saka today.

    The reaction he had after the city match was even better. He was furious and showed it.

    If the haters here had an ounce of integrity, they’d be praising how good he’s been all season. They were so against him, they’ll never admit it.

  56. Jamie

    “I asked what your solution is, not what it isn’t, you pompous rat”

    Maybe start looking at someone who has played at least 1 minute of competitive football in the last 8 months.

  57. Ustyno

    Pedro

    Can you hide this poll thing like it was before,it just keeps popping up almost every minute,beside for a while now no new thing on the poll

    Thank you

  58. bacaryisgod

    Have to say I’m feeling really conflicted about Laca right now. I think some of our better performances have really been helped because of his leadership. We’ve always been told that the younger players look up to him (more than they do Auba).

    Here’s the problem. I’m pretty sure that nearly every Arsenal fan would give him a one year extension. I just can’t see Laca agreeing to it and anything more than one year would be foolish unless it was a much lower salary loaded with performance-based bonuses. Think he’ll end up in the Giroud category of ex-Arsenal players, underappreciated during his stay here but well-liked and with a lot of well wishes on his way out.

  59. Bertie Mee

    Pedro
    You keep cutting Xhaka slack. He’s poison and must be kicked out of the club .
    He lets the team down regularly . The puff piece in the Athletic by Amy Lawrence was designed as a PR exercise by the club. It didn’t work he is way beyond redemption.
    Chambers , White and Gabriel were excellent

  60. TheLegendaryDB10

    Nigel

    If I can add one more thing re Ben, is that he was equally very demonstrative of his appreciation at teams’ excellent defensive showing tonight.

    Can he grow and become even more vocal?

    I really hope he does.

    We sure are missing a Mr Arsenal or PV4 character to drive tbe team.

  61. Nigel Tufnel

    Funny thing, I was laughing at Alisson at the start looking awkward, but for some reason Aaron was sha,Sha, from the beginning too, maybe his worst game so far, ..

    imagine how good he is, if his worst game is a clean sheet.

    I’m very biased of course.