AFC VS LIVERPOOL MATCH DAY BLOG: INJURY PILE-UP CONCERNS

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Arsenal took a huge blow to their FA Cup chances when it was announced by Sami Mokbel and David Ornstein that Gabi Jesus is out with a knee injury. It’s thought to be minor, but that’s never stopped a cheeky three-month stint on the sidelines.

The news is bad because it gives us less options in a less options kind of 11. Zichenko will likely be out for the game as well. Two players that progress the ball forward and create general chaos. The deputies are adequate, but they struggle in big games. Eddie is a very good player, but he doesn’t have the spark of Jesus, and his form in front of goal hasn’t been good for a year. Kiwior has potential, but I worry about his lack of pace, and the reality that he looks very much like a centre-back out of water against teams like Fulham.

The bigger picture that we’re now seeing in full technicolor is this: Buying from big clubs is always a trap. Jesus and Zinchenko moved from City, they took us to top 4, but it’s clear why they were let go. Both struggle with fitness and both have form issues that mean our striker doesn’t deliver goals and our fullback gets exposed defensively on the regular.

When you’re buying from a big club at the fee levels we’re paying – it’s elite damaged goods. Like buying a second hand BMW. We get much better output when we buy players on the rise. More £105m players like Declan Rice, please.

Also, this incident just further cements my narrative this season that the biggest issue that affects Mikel Arteta is squad management and injuries. Every season we’ve missed our stretch goal, it’s been because we can’t keep our best players on the pitch. Part of that is who we try to buy: Zinchenko and Tomi came with injury patterns. Part of it is how Arteta manages the squad. He takes everyone, everywhere. He has his favored 11s. He’s also not very good with giving players time off.

Who had traits like this? Sir Arsene Wenger.

Back to the game today.

Kiwior at left-back will be a test against some of the pace and lightning-fast diagonal balls that’ll be targeting him. At least he’ll have been getting one on one coaching this week.

Eddie up front springs to mind, but his pressing leaves a lot to be desired, and I do wonder if we might spring a Kai Havertz false 9 kind of day? Only issue is you then lose his power in the middle of the park and we don’t really have a suitable deputy.

The main positive is Liverpool doesn’t have the magic of Mo Salah, the main worry is they are an attacking machine without him, they just lack composure in front of goal.

This feels like a backs-against-the-wall kind of afternoon and I’ve got to say – the vibes are far from immaculate.

We lack confidence, we lack leaders on the pitch, and we’ve lost the magic of last season in front of goal.

It feels like we’re hunting out a ‘magic of the cup’ miracle this afternoon – and that is what I’ll pray to the footballing gods for.

The On The Whistle is going behind our Patreon today. If you’d like to join the party, sign up for 7 days and experience the wonders. If not, don’t worry about it and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Ok, that’s me done. Good luck today! x

ON THE WHISTLE PATREON

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Ben D

We are playing well but somehow can’t put the ball in the net. Hopefully the tide turns soon. Fortunately, we are not too far behind in the league and Champions League isn’t back for a few weeks still.

The only really bad performance so far is Fulham. Results tend to mask underlying performances

Samesong

Liverpool has a good record at the Emirates

Un

Muff
Great post

Ernest Reed

“ Hating on Ode for spinning round and round is also lame. He’s clearly giving everything to win games. He’s a hugely talented player that’s being left high and dry by his team mates currently.‘ It’s not hating on Ode Brian, it’s pointing out that Ode is predictable, just like a good many of the others. You have to know almost immediately when any player touches the ball that the outcome is very predictable. You know when it stops being predictable? When they start putting away their chances into the back of the net with greater regularity than the current… Read more »

MG42

@Muffy
“The question is: is Arteta capable of making the necessary changes and bringing the best out of this squad of players?”

What do you think after the last 6 games in all competitions with 1 win, 2 draws and 4 losses? If you think YES, then I got a cruel revelation for you Santa Klaus is not real. Absolutely dense and pathetic.

MG42

make that 7 games

Belfast Gooner

Left Testicle I’ve 90% given up on Le-Grove. Pedro’s narrative is to get maximum comments. It works. Can’t blame him. I could be wrong, but maybe it’s more because Pedro pushed so hard for so long that Arteta was the man who should be the manager. From memory, he wanted Arteta before Emery was hired. He doesn’t want to be seen to have backed a manager who has spent huge but failed to deliver. So it’s better for him to keep backing Arteta in the hope he comes good and wins something. Then Pedro can say “I told you so!”… Read more »

MG42

Looked again at the BBC MOTD highlights so glad no humiliation for the club because of the A.S.S. Arteta Shit Show until 20th of Jan. Arteta’s standard answer after failure this is football an embarrassment and disgrace.

In the meantime glad to have the European Rugby Champions Cup for the next 2 weekends and can’t wait for the Six Nations tournament. Hopefully in the summer we will see the headline the majority here want. A true generational manager was just appointed at Arsenal.

Guns of SF

Belfast I know there was a handful of folks on here clamoring for Arteta. I forget the names. But Pedro was the main one. Before Emery even and he was not too happy when Emery got the nod. Since then, he has not diverted from Arteta. At all. You do bring up good points . Pedro is a great writer and does a ton for LG, which we all follow. However, when Wenger was taking us all down as fans, he was great in pointing out al the flaws of his later reign at the club. I think that was… Read more »

MG42

@Guns
“Now and then Pedro writes a measured piece when Arteta fucks up. I hope we see more of that”

He most certainly did when Don Unai beat Arteta in the EL Semis and I almost believed he could divorce himself but than the next piece was all back to Heil Arteta savior of Arsenal.

Alex James

The sheer turn in emotions. We were so confident after the Brighton and Liverpool away results. How our season has ended in 3 games since then. Shameful.

John T.

Two things I know about the Kroenke’s their teams win. Evidence are The Rams, The Avalanche and the current NBA Champs the Nuggets. Second, they will sack coaches who don’t produce. Mark my word if Arteta doesn’t get this ship righted he will be unemployed & back with a clipboard for Pep.

Guns of SF

fire this clown, hire in Zidane. He would be amazing. Players would be clamoring to play for us. Would make any transfer pretty easy.
Not sure how much Mike makes, but if you really want to win things, you need the top coaches. Not rocket science.

Thorough

Don’t buy Arteta a thing. We’ll merely be papering over the cracks once again. He’s not good enough.

I hope he keeps to his rigid system and keeps tanking till he gets the sack.

I hope the next coach understands our problems and addresses them pragmatically. Get in a Dani Olmo and a striker that scores, stop killing old legs in training, get the players believing in themselves and start a well-oiled machine.

MG42

It will be extremely difficult to get Zizou as he wants the France National team job but Dechamps ain’t leaving yet. PSG offered him a contract with massive money and a clause that any time he wants to leave for the France job he can, but he politely declined. He knows he is top drawer and in demand, he got his choices and I don’t know if he wants to take on the Arsenal job and clean up after Arteta. Wouldn’t be to any WC manager’s liking no matter how much you pay them. We missed the boat on Klopp… Read more »

Canadian Gooner

Not our finest hour. The more I watch us play the more it’s so painfully apparent we miss Partey. The stats Pedro listed a few posts back showing Partey’s progressive passing tells the story. Last year when we regained possession it was off to the races. Partey would usually find Odegaard or one of the wingers. Now the buildup is so slow by the time saka or Martinelli get it out wide the defence is already set. When we aren’t playing free wheeling and with pace our lack of a real proper striker is glaring. Last year we didn’t need… Read more »

MG42

Arteta has nailed his reputation to the Havertz purchase and this will not only be his downfall but it also is upsetting the apple cart as he will force that square peg into the round hole of the team sheet. Clueless.

There is no way that Martinelli’s, Jesus’, Saka’s and Odegard’s forms all dropped at the same time. No way there is but one common denominator, the person who puts the names on the team sheet and sets up the game plan. Get rid of that fly in the ointment

MG42

Pool finished last season 5th, replaced their entire midfield, having a misfiring CF in Nunez, did anyone even remotely anticipate that they would be top of the table? NO! But that is what a WC manager can do in just one season, over performing with the players to the manager’s disposition. And than there is Arsenal with their manager in training. It just hurts so massively after last seasons excellent performance.

Siddeeq

Arsenal are currently 11th in the league based on expected points

Bilbo

MG42 – if I may: you’re being pretty aggressive and, strangely, seem to perversely enjoy our current malaise. Irrespective of your position on Arteta, we should all be Arsenal supporters who favor the team winning even if it goes against our beliefs vs the other way around.

If there’s one thing I can say: nobody was patting the guy on the back who said the captain of the titanic had left it too late to avoid the iceberg. They were running for the lifeboats whilst he was lauding it up to an increasingly thin crowd

raptora

Sid: “Arsenal are currently 11th in the league based on expected points” We’re not. According to understat, we are 2nd, about 1.5 points behind City and 0.5 pts ahead of Pool. City are about a point under their xPTS. We’re about a point over our xPTS. Pool and Villa are about 6 points above their xPTS. Pool have somehow conceded 7 less goals (18) that the expected xG against of 25. We’ve conceded slightly over our 19.7 xGA – 20 goals. 1. Man City 40.81 xPTS (40 pts) 2. Arsenal 39.24 xPTS (40 pts) 3. Liverpool 38.79 xPTS (45 pts)… Read more »

raptora

Omari Hutchinson’s brother on Instagram:

“Some people owe my brother an apology (for) all the abuse and hate comments he received when he left Arsenal.
I hope you guys are all seeing why.

This weekend
Man City debut ✅
Chelsea debut ✅
Liverpool debut ✅
Spurs youth played ✅
Arsenal ✖️

I feel sorry for my Arsenal youth man 💔
Free the guys”

Mr Serge

Raptora from the mouth of Connor mcgregor, who the fuck is that guy? Who’s quote you resharing next ? Perry groves postman’s mum? Ffs

MG42 trolling at its peak
Sid putting in misinformation

Typical morning on le grove

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