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Arsenal v Liverpool, and why Koscielny dislikes Suarez (Atkinson please note).

Dominic Sanchez-Cabello

To save time, I’ll condense Liverpool to the one player that really matters. Sturridge has been in fine form, but is still rough and Gerrard is almost so polished that no edge remains whatsoever.

My feelings about Suarez haven’t changed; he would complete our team, whilst irreparably damaging Liverpool’s.

He is the most versatile striker in the modern game. He can play 9, 10, even on the flanks if needed. His defensive game is as good as it can be, without needlessly expending his attacking energies.

I found out a while ago that he was almost 6ft, something you’d never detect from watching him. His style is identical to the classic stocky South American attacker. He uses his strength as adeptly as Aguero, but has the frame of Ronaldo (the real one) in his prime.

In an interview with L’equipe, Koscielny said this of him:

“Who is the forward I hate to face? Suarez… He is tiresome to defend against. He cheats. He pulls your shirt, giving small blows. You always want to give him a kick but you have to be careful not to be red carded.”

Which brings me to today’s game and a significant duel.

I expect if you asked Suarez about “the defender he hates to face” – it might well be Koscielny. I say it every match-preview, but Koz is one of the few centre backs that is consistently faster than the striker he faces. As such he is freely aggressive and will do things a slower defender wouldn’t dream of.

It can be a dangerous game, as we all have seen. When it works though, the opponent becomes nothing more than a minor detail. It also means the striker is constantly on edge and can never relax enough to try stuff. We saw it with Lewandowski, who became so frustrated by Koscielny’s speed, he had to elbow him in the face.

3-5-2/5-3-2 is an admirable formation that if done well can be devastating. It relies heavily on the back five. If the wing-backs aren’t fit enough the whole system collapses. Similarly if the three defenders are undisciplined; not mobile enough or technically uncomfortable everything is compromised – a quick change in possession (something the Premier League is prone to) will leave it hugely vulnerable.

Generally there is a reason no one plays it in the Premier League… incidentally: the exact same reason Mancini antagonised his whole team a season or so ago.

Our team, in as much as 11 people can resemble lines on a page, should probably look like this:

                                                  Wojciech

 

                 Sagna                      Per               Koz           Gibbs

                                                 

                                       Arteta           Ramsey

 

              Cazorla                   Ozil               Rosicky/Wilshere                        

 

                                                  Giroud           

Thank <deity of choice> Sagna is back; I’m finding Jenko profoundly depressing at the moment. Can’t decide whether it’s the constant worried expression or his general game. Either way, he’ll probably be outstanding in a year’s time.

2-1 Arsenal, methinks.

The books…

 

 

 

48 comments to Arsenal v Liverpool, and why Koscielny dislikes Suarez (Atkinson please note).

  • Mandy Dodd

    This game and this ref worries me. All things being equal we have enough to win…but….we could do with our wide players back . why is it injuries seem to hit us hard in one position so often? I really do not like this ref still shocked we faced him home and away to Chelsea last season. The calciopolli in full flow, I really hope Ivan is doing things to stop this. I predict a draw with a dodgy late pen for the to equalise kos, you have been warned

  • Philip Kumwenda(malawi)

    The most incompetent ref. in the E.P.L. Is he not the one who ruined our first game.He doesn’t know which is foul and which is not,bookable offence and even penalties.Believe me this game will have controvesies,either penalties or red cards.

  • Tasos

    This game may well hinge on the formation Brendan Rodger decides upon.

    Rodgers clearly wants Suarez and Sturridge to play together and he has adapted Liverpool’s formation in order to integrate both players but this can leave them open defensively, with too much space available and Arsenal are more than capable of causing Liverpool plenty of problems should Rodgers continue with his approach.

    Dominic I absolutely agree. In Luis Suarez Liverpool have the best player in the League, and by some way. He’s almost unstoppable at present but if there is one player capable of keeping him under control its Laurent Koscielny.

  • AfricaGun

    Near the end of last season I saw a dream Arsenal beating Wigan 4 to 1. The next day Arsenal did exactly that. Last night I saw a dream Arsenal beat Liverpool 2 to 1, Wilsher scoring. Yes, tonight it is Arsenal 2 – 1 Liverpool and Wilsher to score.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Wilshere is out of this game, so it’s Rosicky on the flank.

  • AL

    Philip
    The ref for our first game was Taylor. But yeah I agree with you that there’ll b. Controversial moments, I doubt though they’ll go Arsenal’s way.

  • Rafa the Gaffer

    Both sides can score at will, and couldn’t defend Fort Knox from an attack of paper bags. It’s got 0-0 written all over it ! I think Rodgers needs to change his formation for this game. I think he needs a 4-4-2, playing a diamond in midfield. Lucas holding and Coutinho in behind SAS. Will make us a bit narrow, but any of the front three can play wide so can be fluid. I’m going for a 3-2 to us. Oh, and Mancinson is a truly awful ref.

  • Bored

    Hilarious that a centre back is complaining about shirt pulling!!

  • judge

    Hes not conplaining u mug.
    hes giving respect where its due. Part and parcel of the game.
    you have obviously never kicked a ball competitively in your life otherwise you would understand exactly what koscielny meant.

  • Gord

    I hope Arsenal gets a little (positive) luck today. It looks like we already got a little negative (Wilshere apparently hurt his ankle). Dortmund is going to be a handful next week, after there 6-1 thrashing of Stuttgart and Lewandowski getting a hat trick.

    Former Arsenal goaltender Almunia has had a small nightmare today:
    > 1230: Watford 0-1 Leicester – Chris Wood (10 mins)

    > It isn’t a Troy Deeney late, late winner, but pretty entertaining nevertheless.

    > Leicester have the lead against Watford after Manuel Almunia blasts a goal-kick straight into the face of Chris Wood. The force of the impact looks pretty close to giving the Foxes striker whiplash, but on the plus side the ball balloons back past Almunia and into the unguarded net.

    I wonder if that makes the highlight reels?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    I hope the crowd get behind us tonight, and don’t start the tense atmosphere if things don’t immediately go to plan.
    What with the interesting article here this week, and having a spy on a few Liverpool blogs,plus Arshavins comments, Liverpool are well aware of the AAA, and are keen to exploit the negativity they create.
    I’m sure Mr.Hansen is all ready conjuring up his fabulous insights for MOTW later,explaining to us how Arsenal wont win the league, yet I really feel that midweek wasn’t anything( as Newcastle have already proven, like) and that we can bounce back and win this. COYG!
    Amen.

  • Gord

    McNulty had a useful comment about Wilshere’s ankle injury:
    > Jack Wilshere misses out for Arsenal after taking a knock on his ankle but Arsenal are confident he will be fit for the midweek Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

    Former Arsenal goalkeeper Mannone was brough on to play just before half time, and Sunderland promptly had 2 players red carded just after that. As near as I can tell, Hull didn’t get a shot on target (Mannone’s goal) until about the 82nd minute. For more or less the last kick of the game, Mannone was up for a corner.

    Miquel did not get off the bench in the game where Almunia effectively scored on himself.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Arsenal seem very light on the bench, let’s hope for the best for the starting 11.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Excellent 1st half. This is really promising. Let’s hope it finishes this way.

  • Yassin

    Brilliant first half, but we should concentrate on the beginning of the second half to not give them believe.

    The home fans are brilliant, and see how the team responded, it all starts there in the stands.

  • AL

    Ok, we’re leading but I’m not unhappy with Atkinson. He’s letting Liverpool get away with murder out there. Not happy at all.

  • Jerry

    Robson and the other commentator on NBC in the U.S. has been so negative about Arsenal during the whole game. He’s a sad representative of former Arsenal players. I wonder why some of these older players hate on their former club so much!

    And we’re up 2-0!

  • Matt Clarke

    The Spanish commentors that I am listening to are very positive about Arsenal.

    I don’t speak Spanish but one know these things 😉

  • Russell

    Watching the Spanish stream too. Haha they love it, goooooooaaallll!!!!

  • Matt Clarke

    yup 🙂

    Ramsey! Magnifico !

  • AL

    Was this supposed to be one of the tests? Just checking:)

  • Florian

    Victoryyyyy! What a magnificent team performance!

  • Ben L

    We won so Perez anything to say?

  • Florian

    sp*r*z, Rupert, let me see your hands. Haha!

  • AL

    I ain’t leaving this place until Rupert and sperez post their comments. I’ll be here waiting for as long as it takes!!

  • Gord

    I was surprised by McNulty at the BBC today. He was actually quite reasonable today.

    Congratulations Arsenal!

    Here’s hoping Gibbs isn’t badly injured.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great win. Santi and Aron are absolute gems.
    The SOBs on TV can’t get over talking trash against Arsenal. Until the game, Liverpool had the best striking partners (which we shut up today), after the game they will struggle for top 4… Just trying to undermine our achievements.
    COYG! Let’s celebrate. 🙂

  • Stuart

    Where is Sperez the loser??

  • bjtgooner

    Yes!!!!!!!

    A most enjoyable win with a lot of good football, two good goals and a valuable three points.

    This was especially enjoyable in response (reportedly) to Brenda trying to wind us up.

    Anyway, well done the team! Oh… I think a wee dram of single malt is due tonight!

  • Mick

    Fantastic performance, cracking goals and here’s hoping for a draw for Everton/ spuds tomorrow to put the icing on the cake.
    Arsene got his tactics spot on, just score more than the opposition, simple.
    Unlucky Chelski, hahahahahahaha.
    @Florian
    I doubt we will hear from Sperez till we lose again. Rupert may give some begrudged positive comments, laced of course with a few negatives.

  • Gord

    Could someone talk about the substitutions? They seemed a little unusual to me, but they apparently worked. I would imagine the team shape changed on every one.

  • Florian

    Mick,

    Then may sp*r*z be long lost! And isn’t this a sweet moment when the chavs lose and we’re top by 5 points in 10 games?

  • Stuart

    Mick,
    What are you talking about???? Arsene don’t do tactics.

  • Gord

    MOTD: Arsenal/Liverpool in slot 1.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Even before Tony has left the ground on his way to another dance night the match article is out again on Untold.

    You lot getting spoiled out here.

    YYYYYEEEEEHAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIII!!!!! What a cracking result today and what a great game.

  • AL

    Gord
    That should be but I suspect they’ll go for City – Norwich, and hide behind the 7 goals city scored. But yes, this should be slot number because its the top of the table clash, but we shall see.

  • colario

    There is a nice comment on the BBC page.

    ‘Well that’s 40 million plus £1 saved!’

  • AL

    meant slot number 1

  • WalterBroeckx

    It will be a painful day for Hansen on MOTD 🙂 I love it 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • AL

    Gord,

    My view on the substituions was Liverpool were finding it so hard to go down the middle, and threw coutinho and Moses on to exploiut the wings. And Wenger threw a second left back and second right back to nullify that threat. So yeah, bit of a strange one to have two left backs and two right backs on at the same time, but that’s how I saw it and it worked! AW doesn’t do tactics, really??

  • Shard

    Gord

    The shape didn’t change.. Monreal came on the left of midfield and Cazorla moved to the right.

    Then Vermaelen moved to left back instead of gibbs.. And Jenkinson played in front of Sagna as a right sided midfielder.

  • Shard

    Haha..Guess Al and I see it differently.. the shape didn’t change in my view.. but obviously jenkinson and Nacho weren’t pushing forward

  • AL

    Shard
    I think we’re saying the same thing really; we had two left backs and two right backs on at the same time, and I thought they went in there as reinforcements.

  • Rufusstan

    @ Al. Gord — Wenger has been doing it all season. It seems like in games like today when he thinks we have done enough, he loads up with defenders.

    It means he rests the midfield types, lets us slow the game down a bit to preserve energy and stifle the game.

    I’m not sure I like it as a strategy as we are basically giving up possession and daring the opposition to break us down, but so far it has worked.

    What was telling was the look of frustration on Sturridge’s face in the last few minutes, and maybe less than other sides, but the fact they were shooting from range and hefting crosses in almost in hope of something happening.

    By the way, how good is it to see Rosicky put in 70 minutes at that tempo, and still be pissed off at being substituted. — I never thought I’d get to see that again.

  • Mick

    @Walter
    Hansen will concentrate on Szczesny nearly gifting L’pool a goal with his dodgy clearance near the end.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Florian, I don’t know what you expect. Am I meant to be angry because we won? Quite the opposite, I’m delighted. You seem to think I’ll be happy if we lose. Exceedingly strange.

  • Florian

    Rupert,

    Your posts are usually consistent with the AAA pattern. Most of them are negative, some to the extreme. You do seem to have some sense though, unlike others who shall not be named. You being positive is rare, but it’s all the more welcome. Now, if you could find positives in defeat, rather than wasting time and energy moaning, that would be a great step forward.