TOP OF THE TABLE CLASHES ARE BACK

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It’s BIG game eve. Are you nervous?  Yeah, me too. But good nervous. These consequential games at the top of the table are the type I never thought we’d be around again.

Arsenal vs Liverpool. Home advantage to us. No one has any idea how the game is going to shake out because we’re both world-class sides.

There was a little bit of disappointment pre-game. Thomas Partey’s issue he picked up in training has extended out to him missing the game. It’s not serious, so he’ll be about for the run-in. You just have to remind yourself you can NEVER rely on Thomas Partey for anything. The man is Abou Diaby part II. It’s a sad way for a professional to go, especially one with no injuries during his time at Atleti. There is no doubt that we need to find a player who can do the things he can PLUS stay fit all season. I really hope we’re plucking from the Premier League this summer.

Still, that doesn’t stop us doing bad things to Liverpool. One of the most productive teams in the league has been largely controlled by Arsenal in the last two games despite the big W not coming out way. The luck has to change at some point, so if we go out tomorrow and play like we did in the cup, anything is possible.

We had Jorginho in the side and we battered them for an house. We also had Kai Havertz as a number 9 and he played really well. I’d be shocked if we don’t see Kai in the starting 11, his power, speed, and aggression could be really additive to the game. He should also be in great shape because he had a little rest last week.

This is a game that we’ll get big chances, Liverpool will offer us space at times, the only thing we have to deal with is their exceptional keeper.

Big games need heroes, they need magic, and they need a bit of luck. Our front three needs to deliver some xG monstering.  I can’t be watching Gabriel Jesus falling over chances, Bukayo and Martinelli to play at their peak, and the whole team needs to take more responsibility for being killers.

The consequences are massive for the league. Lose, it’s over. Win, it’s on. Draw, it’s back to doubt. I think the mathematicians in the fan base would disagree, but from a feelings perspective, and a general narrative, it’ll be really hard to bounce back from a loss.

I’m still maintaining that Manchester City are the big dogs in this race, I think Liverpool will run out of steam, and at some point, doing it for the boss will wear thin. We just need to keep pace.

I want Arsenal to be in that mixer because I want Arteta to show the world the rebuild people thought was OTT was necessary and that it’ll work. I want the underlying performance metrics to be recognized by real world results. I want to see Arsenal have the first breakout performance of 2024.

I am fine with a Manchester City-like slow start… but we have to finish with a bang. Win this game, we have a lovely run of matches up until the Manchester City away day at the end of the month.

Winning here makes everything better.

Let’s see what the boys have.

There are TWO podcasts waiting for our Patreon listeners. Johnny went solo for a Before the Whistle and I dropped an interview with one of the most interesting people one Arsenal: Tim Payton of The AST. Take a listen, it’s excellent content, and I learned a lot.

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Chris

Saliba should done a Peter Kay, AVE IT!

So frustrating. Barely put a foot wrong and we go in level.

Matt

Only Arsenal could do that, only fucking Arsenal

LoveSausage

Gommit,

Really hoped I’d be wrong this time but it happens every time against this lot. It’s depressingly predictable.

Dissenter

Saliba has made too many mistakes this season

Far too many mistakes

That was a his fault

David

Zero shots on target and they score.

Davedale

Dominated the entire half.and then manged to score for them……pool will be better second half that’s for sure….

Vickingz

This is the team that wants to win the league? The team that can’t even play confidently without having school boy errors

Matt

Saliba too fucking casual.

Wardo

Never make it easy for ourselves ffs

Habesha Gooner

Why do we always concede of stupid shit. Why can’t the opposition be brilliant. We are conceding the lowest XG of all teams. But we are conceding so many stupid goals.

Bilbo

So many errors leading to goals. So annoying.

Madhu

Really good first half performance that was blighted by that pool goal. Otherwise a perfect half.played by Arsenal. Same performance in the second half and we should win the game.

Paulie

Fucking hell this team just never hold it together. Another mistake to let Liverpool back into it. It happens too often to just write it off as unlucky, a bunch of chokers bottling it again

andy1886

That was Raya’s to collect, sorry but you expect your keeper to be brave there and he was indecisive.

TallestTiz

What a shit show at the of the first half

Rich

It’s a poor mistake.. But need to keep our heads up and keep playing.

Rice has been quietly magnificent, his reading of the game, and ability to sniff out danger, is different level.

Mistakes are just part of the game, no time to feel sorry for ourselves, just need to get out and win the 2nd half.

Players will need to stand up and show some character, can’t see a repeat of the 4 recent FA Cup fixture.

rollen

lol ghat what is happening when you don’t go for a kill.
Swapamanagers and it’s Arsenal 3 9 up half time and game over.

No shots on target an it’s 1 1.
Self-inflicted again

Luteo Guenreira

Disaster.

Aaron

We just give away goals, no matter how flukey, just damn give them away!

pool 1 shot 3 goals…

Marko

Should be killing off the game we’ve been that dominant but when you don’t there’s always a chance to fuck up

London gunner

Doesn’t really matter about the football when we are a bunch of bottling cunts.

This is classic both the defender and goal keepers looked indecisive.

As I said last season we wouldn’t win the league because we would bottle it and it’s clear as day we won’t win the league.

We can keep winning the trophy of wel we played better but that means fuck all when we constantly cave to pressure

TT

We do it to ourselves every single time. Opposition not registering a shot on goal? Here let us gift you one.

Marky Mark

Still should have been dealt with by the keeper . Occasionally shit happens but even give away a penalty jump in face first

Guns of SF

I dont think we dominated the first half at all, they were beginning to win the midfield, Thank God for Rice other than that, its been ping pong in the midfield. Saka aside the goal has been invisible. Need more from him

Useroz

This is just bullshit. Seconds to HT and Saliba didn’t fuxking put the boot through it??? WTF

Thats what killed some of Arsenal’s games. Stupidity.

Odegarrd should have laid it first time to Martinelli instead of taking 3 touches and had his shot blocked.

Dissenter

Rich
The other day I said Konate has been the better defender than Saliba this season
You came right back with friendly stats

Raya too is too fucking nice and timid to ever be a top club goalie

Marko

Saliba has made too many mistakes this seasonFar too many mistakes

He really hasn’t but he’s not faultless for sure

TR7

Typical Arsenal in big games. City would have been out of sight had they dominated Liverpool the way we did for 45 minutes.

bendabrah

@Rollen, if you swap managers, we have 0 shots on target. Your logic is clearly faulty lol

Marky Mark

Rich / Andy1886 – > i agree on both comments

rollen

It’s all comes to Arteta, everyone aew it coming when we backed of and Raya was playing from the back while totally dominating weak Liverpool team.
No attackers why don’t we push harder?
Noob manager that’s all.

Dissenter

We basically gifted them a goal

So now Liverpool can be like, we can be so bad but this lot can’t win

David Smith

Is there another team on the planet so adept at shooting itself in the foot .

Useroz

Raya should come out faster too having seen Saliba didn’t boot the ball …

Why? Why trying to hold the guy when you can just boot it all the way up field. Calamity tbh…

Goona

Non of our players are greedy enough in front of goal numerous chances to shoot in that half, but always opt for yet another pass

LeMassiveCoq

I am fucking seething. We should be 3-0 up. And it’s 1-1. They are going to have to show some extreme mental strengsth now.

Liverpool have rode their luck and we as usual are the masters of our own downfall. We cannot lose this game, but… we need to go about our business same again. Cmon ffs

rollen

Bend, lol no, after first goal Klopp would push hard heavy metal style and opposing team would crack. We saw that 1000 times.

bendabrah

Poor mistake at the end there, but any suggestion that this has been anything but am excellent display by Arsenal is absolute rubbish

Gommit

I know LS, I was counting down the seconds from the 45 minute mark… Pedro can call it bad luck (which it was in a way) but this was on Saliba trying to be smart and follow instructions to the letter rather than clearing the ball with less than 10 seconds to halftime.

Vickingz

Again today as it was highlighted in our last game, we scored when we played one touch free football. Romanticising the ball with three touches and all that nonsense have gotten us nothing

Dolomite

Saliba should have cleared the ball, however we should still have been ahead but for more dillydallying in front of goal from Odegaard

Havertz should have buried Sakas goal beforehand as well

To win this game we MUST take every chance with more SHOTS

Habesha Gooner

No point in feeling sorry for ourselves. Pool have been shit today. We just need to expose them again a few times. And not give them a poor goal.

Goona

@vickingz totally agree

Little Mozart

The ball was rolling so slowly for Raya to reach it quickly. Saliba should have cleared it and he had enough time to do that

Luteo Guenreira

There’s loads of space behind Martinelli. They’re triple teaming Saka. Chances will come, just need some end product. Unfortunately having tons of chances while not scoring and drawing big matches we outplay the opposition are both our forte.

Marky Mark

Raya has had its nose badly broken by a crack in football. Sad for him but sadder for us. Psychological impact ?
I even as a big lump would take a risk of a kick in the face or give away penalty to be on the floor trying to gather it. His hands are nearly 2ft off the ground.

Habesha Gooner

Watching the goal again. Raya is extremely poor too. FFS. As soon as Saliba covers it you should come and take everything. He is equally to blame.

raptora

Arsenal (1.94) 1 – 1 (0.10) Liverpool

How fucking naive are we…..

Useroz

At least ttwice in around their box instead of looking to shoot the guys fucking pinged the ball 2, 3 yards with each other and ended up losing it. WTF??!

Players didn’t learn or Arteta demands how it should be done before you shoot, per process??

Paulie

Liverpool are poor but they have a genius manager whereas we have Arteta and a bunch of millionaire bottlers so expect the worst second half once klopp gives his instructions at half time

karim

Depressing

Matt

How in any way was that bad luck? We absolutely shot ourselves in the foot. Luck was not involved at all. And just like that, all the good work in the first half is undone and we’ve just saved Klopp a half time team talk! We are the most generous team in the football league.

Aaron

The AFC way, we are coached to control the ball, when common sense says kick the ball to the heavens, and the opposition can’t score from the throw of a throw in.

Could have used Partey and Jesus, but they can’t stay fit, and has Partey even played a game for AFC this year ffs.

AFC needs to score.
Mikel better get them set up and ready to have a go at them again!

Guns of SF

Yup, more one touch stuff

Dolomite

Well said @Goona

We need shots, not perfect passes
Our goal came from a saved shot not pass pass pass….

Ernest Reed

Put that mistake to the past and keep progressing.

TR7

Saliba obviously at fault but Raya could have handled the situation much better. I am not sure he communicates well with the back line…always a bit iffy in such situations.

Thierry Martinelli

I’m worried about the 2nd half

Guns of SF

These rats are going to go for the win, we need to be smart in possession and move the ball through their midfield. in the final third we look good but need to finish and not heistate

Useroz


Watching the goal again. Raya is extremely poor too. FFS. As soon as Saliba covers it you should come and take everything. He is equally to blame

Absolutely also on Raya… fucking poor judgment and slow to the ball as a result. Didn’t read Saliba’s intention??

Dissenter

Where we were dominating that first half, my feelings were that Liverpool will have their own period of dominating in the second half
I was hoping we would have the 1-0 cushion until them

Now it’s up for grabs
This game isn’t going to end in a draw, so one is taking all three points

Dolomite

Never on the keeper, Saliba had control of the ball and SHOULD have dealt with it.

Guns of SF

Own goal on Gabriel that one. offical

S23

Great half,usual shooting ourselves in the foot.
The boys should take heart from that performance,but I have that usual sinking feeling.
Raya should have come out for that goal,as well.

Vickingz

My heart wants us to win, my head is saying no oooo, we have lost already

Useroz

Btw, that’s not bad luck. It’s self inflicted…a farewell gift for Klopp..

The guys must do one touch , we have speed and younger, no?

Marky Mark

Liverpool started perky

Aaron

Raya is not going to smash people in his box, the operative word his box.
Sometimes you just have to go and get the ball and determine your own outcome.

Oh, and let’s shoot the ball, actually shoot it with some power or redirect on the fly.

COYG

Vickingz

It’s all Liverpool now, stupid stupid stupid game from Arsenal

TallestTiz

Liverpool gonna test Raya more now

They see he’s suspect

G8

Dippers already in cruise control !
We look beaten already!

Matt

Liverpool owning us down whites side of the pitch already this half

Guns of SF

Yup Pool just shooting freely, I think the half time yelling show from Mike messes our players heads too much. Now we are playing too rigid

Marky Mark

Need an Aaron Ramsdale right now as a second captain on the pitch

Davedale

Fucking shoot you cunts……

Useroz

Odegarrd too slow releasing the ball.

C’mon

raptora

Jorginho’s passing between the lines has been a joy to watch. We don’t need Zinchenko with Jorgi on the pitch. He does the same thing.

G8

Kiwor doesn’t fill me with any confidence!
Him and Benny Blanco
Team lost momentum
We need a miracle to get something out of this game

LoveSausage

Marky Mark,

The guy who’s on the record having a hard time concentrating during games? I’d rather pass.

Aaron

Jorg with a great pass and could shoot from there, shoot the damn ball..

Guns of SF

The lack of a right foot on Ode always hurts us. Shoot with the fucking right once

Dissenter

The home crowd should be roaring
That the players have to periodically rev them up isn’t great

goona

that’s a fucking red

raptora

Kai is having a good game.

London gunner

That’s red konate was just about the last man

Dissenter

Havertz did well there

Bilbo

Kai must so be so awkward to play against.

rollen

All mementum is lost all good work from 1st half is gone

Goona

He was last man and it was 2 on 1, the refs as useless as the rest…

rollen

Big Gab would get red for that 100%

Goona

Now we do the usual and sit back and invite the pressure on ourselves….every week

Aaron

pool bringing in some fresh legs, hmmmm what does Mikel do in game to counter this? Wait until 75-80th minute when it is too late or make something happen?

Let’s go!

raptora

Theo and Giroud on the stands is good.

Guns of SF

need Reiss in

Marky Mark

Think Kai is a poor man’s Alan Smith

Guns of SF

You know Giroud wants to get in. He is thinking it

Matt

What is the point of Havertz

Goona

Smith was in a different league…

Rich

Games become too stretched, we’ve lost control both with and without the ball.

LoveSausage

I love Saka but one thing I’ll never understand about him. Every time his fullback picks up an early booking, he always relaxes the pressure. He never targets a player.