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Liverpool – Arsenal, We can do better

By Walter Broeckx

I must say that was one of the worst first 45 minutes of Arsenal this season.  I don’t think we got more than 3 passes between Arsenal player in the whole half. Liverpool was pressing as they usually do from the start. And Arsenal clearly was determined to not allow a repeat of last season. Maybe the team was too much focused on their defending duties and as a result our attacking never really got going. Not Liverpool got so many open chances themselves. It was a high tempo match with lots of misplaced passes from both sides.

Liverpool came closest to scoring when Markovic could break away on the left but our man of the match Szczesny made a great block.  I think I can give my man of the match already away as he was the only player really in top form for this match.

The match seemingly going for a nil nil at half time and suddenly when the ref blew the half time whistle the score was 1-1. A completely messing up between Giroud – Welbeck and losing the ball halfway our own half and the ball ended up in the feet of Coutinho who dribbled himself in to a position to shoot and his low shot went in off the post. I couldn’t help but whisper to myself : that is probably deserved.

It was the wake up call we needed. A foul on Alexis and he took the free kick and whipped it in front of the Liverpool goal. Mertesacker headed it, Chambers headed it back and Debuchy nodded it in. Pfew, a lucky break and a goal with our first and only chance of the half.

A better Arsenal in the second half. Finally we got some passing from Arsenal and the game was much more open. But Liverpool was always dangerous as it somehow opened our defence at times. But we also had a good shot from Cazorla that just went over.

Then a long stoppage for Skretl who when falling over had made contact with the studs of Giroud on his head. A nasty looking wound  but he could carry on but we lost a lot of time that we would have to add on later.

Sterling then cheating his way almost to a Liverpool goal when the took the ball with him with his had when Szczesny tried to come out of the penalty area. The ref didn’t spot it and Gerrard headed over. But Arsenal now also looking dangerous a bit more and a shot from Giroud went wide.

And a few minutes later Arsenal got a goal. Gibbs played it in to Giroud in the middle who gave the ball to Cazorla who cut it back and Giroud was on hand to put Arsenal in front.

Liverpool doubled their efforts and it was defending with all and everyone from Arsenal. We didn’t do enough I think with the ball to punish Liverpool. A few players not at their best clearly but they all worked very hard and were good in their defensive duties.

Cazorla blocking a Coutinho effort just after we scored. And all what went past our defenders was stopped by Szczesny. A few shots from Sterling, a short from Gerrard, a header from Borini. Szczesny was there.

Coquelin came on for Giroud with some 10 minutes to go. And a bit later Oxlade-Chamberlain was replaced by Campbell.

And when Borini first lost his temper at the touchline when he wanted a throw for Liverpool but didn’t get it and he was rightfully booked for smashing the ball on to the ground. And seconds later he planted his studs on the chest of Cazorla. Cazorla had his t-shirt ripped to pieces and a nasty cut on his chest was the result. And Borini was sent off with a second yellow. I think a straight red was more appropriate. Monreal came on for Alexis.

I hoped that this would take off the wind out of Liverpool but they fought with renewed spirits.  Liverpool got a few corners but our defence stood well  most of the time. But then after some 96 minutes Skretl headed the ball in from a corner. A man at the first post would have saved it easy but there was nobody there. A goal we shouldn’t have conceded.

What followed was some 4 minutes of nerve wrecking football between two teams who played like chickens without head. And right at the end of the 9 minutes extra time we almost won it when a Cazorla shot was pushed out, Monreal tried to find Welbeckin the middle but a defender could divert it in to a corner that resulted in nothing.

A bad day on the field from our team and our attacking fluency was missing for most of the game. But we fought hard, we defended well most of the time. When you are not in great form to play your game you have to fight harder and that is what we did.

Of course when you are 1-2 in front in extra time you hope for all 3 points but it wasn’t to be. So disappointed because of the final score of course, but it wasn’t a great performance certainly attacking wise. So I will take the 1 point as it is. I know we can do better. 

 

 

111 comments to Liverpool – Arsenal, We can do better

  • dan

    No problem, all this talk of the lfc spirit what a load bullshit, even in 1st gear we had too much for them.

  • gouresh

    this the 1st article I have read that [maybe there were more and I have missed] where we haven’t blamed the ref for our shambolic performance. midfield I mean.

  • dan

    Brendan can talk all he wants, his just thrown money to the wind.

  • Danish Gooner

    Dont critizise our great leader

  • germaine

    That was a rubbish 1st half and we were lucky to be going in at 1-1 = nonetheless I was happy we did go in at level pegging. second half – much better but the defence was all at sea as always – not getting a defender in Jan would be an absolute shocker – can’t complain in the grand scheme of things – but disappointed with so many defenders on the pitch couldn’t defend a proxy corner. Trust skertel to pop up.

  • nicky

    A schoolboy error (not for the first time by the same player) cost Arsenal an undeserved win.
    When the Liverpool corner was taken, Debuchy took up position to Szczesney’s right on the goal line. Gibbs ball-watched instead of similar positioning on the left and the rest is history.

  • dan

    Nicky
    No worries for us, look at lfc top 4 I don’t think so.

  • Tom

    Walter

    I agree with your analysis. A man on the near post would’ve saved it but also yet another example of ineffective zonal marking by Arsenal.

    If there was a pre- game strategy meeting, one thing that should’ve been mentioned to keep an eye on Skrtl from set pieces. Skrtl has been a thorn in our side lately and to let him have a free run up on ball is inexcusable.

    There are mitigating circumstances for our performance today IMO but not for conceding the second goal the way we did.

    Sanchez looks positively tired. He’s lost a step and his short balls are heavy while the long ones are short, which is a usual sign of heavy legs.
    Arsene really needs to give him some time off.

  • Paul "The Gooner"

    I will take that.As Mark Lawrenson said on the beeb,Arsenal have some big players to come back,Liverpool have only Sturridge!.That McNulty who writes for the BBC is a total tosser.So anti AW and Wenger.On a different note, I watched the programme on Sky about T.Henry.Ian Wright said”Arsenal were lucky to get TH.No,I thinke TH was lucky to get AW and Arsenal.

  • jambug

    gouresh

    “This the 1st article I have read that [maybe there were more and I have missed] where we haven’t blamed the ref”

    You obviously not been looking very hard have you as I posted this on the ‘kalm down’ thread that you’ve been on.

    “jambug

    December 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Frustrating but overall it’s hard to say we even deserved a point.

    Certainly better in the 2nd half as we at least looked dangerous but we still looked desperately exposed to the counter attack.

    The ref wasn’t great but I think it would be a bit risky to use him as an excuse today as it would, I believe, seriously undermine the situations when we really do have grounds for serious complaint.

    There are much more important issues to address today such as why, with what I believe was a far better man for man side than Liverpool, we allowed them to dominate the game for long periods?

    Or maybe we should just put it down to a bad day at the office, take the point and move on”

    Perhaps you should look a little closer next time.

  • gouresh

    @Paul, I am sorry, even if we had 15 players on the pitch, we would have struggled. Liverpool were better than us in every department.

  • Nick Lee

    No wonder we struggled against a poor liverpool team, we were playing a little bit with a handbrake in the first half.I would call it tactical d1gsh1te!!But we cant critisise the greatest manager the world has ever seen.

  • gouresh

    Jambug, ok, send me the link to the articles after a lose that we have blamed ourselves and not the ref. I point out again, after a lose.

  • jambug

    Tom

    Agree with most of what you say, especiallyy Alexis.

    As you say, definitely the game of a tired player.

    The only thing I don’t agree is the criticism of ‘zonal marking’

    Yes it was not defended incorrectly.

    Gibbs on the post?

    Mert and Callum marking the same space?

    But that is just bad play and not indicative of Zonal marking not being an effective way to defend as a rule.

    I find it funny that every time a team concedes defending ‘Zonally’ it’s always put down to the system, but when a team concedes when marking ‘man for man’ it’s just put down to the individual, rather than the system. Why is that?

  • jambug

    gouresh

    I thought you was referring to comments today. Sorry my mistake.

    Well, maybe it is the first time it’s not been down, at least in some way, to the ref? Had that occurred to you?

    Maybe not. 🙂

  • Pete

    Have to say how refreshing it is to have read all the comments on the previous thread and all those to date on the current one and I don’t think I have seen one “Wenger out” comment (conceivably missed one that got through after moderation?).

    Instead, we are actually debating the match and the issues around that. Which is how it used to be and how it should be.

    As someone who has coached and managed teams, it is sometimes inexplicable why the same 11 players, more or less, can play well one week and badly the next. Could really have done with the Diaby we had a couple of seasons ago in the equivalent fixture…

  • Pete

    A bit more from me.

    Thought Chambers had another stinker at right back (ref Swansea). Liverpool clearly targeted him and the lad is struggling there. I also don’t think he is the answer at centre back – at least not with Per moving to left centre which seems to destabilise him. Therefore would suggest our centre back options should be Chambers to cover Per, and Monreal to cover Kos. Don’t know enough about Hayden’s strengths and weaknesses – but he could be a viable first choice alternative to either or both of Per and Kos. I don’t think it works well having Per at left centre. Unsure why he is so inflexible?

    At full back I would be inclined to push Bellerin ahead of Chambers as 1st choice alternative to Debuchy.

    Tom – I think you are being harsh. Having seen zonal marking in operation for a couple of years now, I think our defending against corners has improved. Last year we conceded hardly anything from set pieces, despite popular mythology to the contrary. Also, we almost never put a man on the near post from corners. Gibbs is positioned to intercept a near post corner. I do agree that Skrtel is dangerous from set pieces – but then he didn’t do so well for our first goal!

    In midfield thought Flamini didn’t have his best game while Ox struggled too – perhaps because he wasn’t fully fit. Giroud did well at times, but seemed to lack stamina – Wenger noted he had been up sick all night so that is probably explicable. Welbeck was really poor – as was Sanchez (by his standards). Cazorla did his best – hope not too badly hurt by that idiot Borini.

  • jambug

    pete

    Well said, but a bit early to be counting our chickens.

    Like me, Wenger must of been pulling his hair out at the way we where giving the ball away in the first half.

    When I saw the team sheet I was happy with the side. Not confident we would win because I feared a nightmare from the ref but he certainly wasn’t to blame for how we played.

    But the bottom line is, ‘a bad day at the office’ shouldn’t always mean ‘Wenger out’.

    It’s strange, we’ve played much better than today and had really unlucky defeats and Wenger has been slaughtered.

  • Tom

    Jambug

    I’m not against zonal marking per say. There are advantages to each system of defending corners just as disadvantages.

    The main two draw backs of man for man marking are the ease with which defenders can lose their marks in traffic, and also a higher risk of fouling and conceding penalties, especially when we know how trigger happy some PL referees are to call those on us.

    The main draw back of zonal marking is the lack of individual accountability.

    Personally, I don’t mind zonal marking with the exception of leaving the most dangerous headers of the ball unchecked. We have seen this before with Brede Hengeland of CP and now Skrtel having a free run up on goal.

    Ideally,I’d like to have those players marked man for man.

  • gouresh

    Jambug. I always believe that we should look at our performance 1st. Hopefully this article is a trend?

  • omgarsenal

    Gouresh,Nick Lee,and Danish Gooner……as usual cowardly,pseudo-criticism of Wenger hidden in your craven comments. We didn’t have a great game today but you clowns don’t have the courage to say what you are really whining about……typical AAA duplicity!!!

  • jambug

    I doubt you can have a mixture of the 2, so it has to be one or the other I suppose.

    The main disadvantage with ‘man for man’ for me is that it so often ends up with the wrestling matches we see. Can you imaging the pens we’d concede if we had Mert and Kos swinging on players a la Terry and co.

    The bottom line is with either system, if every man does there job you should be okay. Alas somebody didn’t today and okay we are not sure exactly who but you can bet your bottom dollar the team does.

  • porter

    Zonal marking is fine providing that somebody is nominated to attack the ball. Skrtyl scored as our defence stood still . Per is caught flat footed and the run and jump prevents Chambers from getting goal side . If you want to put blame anywhere it’s Mertesacker that ducks low instead of going for it.

  • Tom

    Jambug

    Actually you can have a mixture of the two. Lee Dixon alluded to this some time ago . Arsenal used to employ this system when he played under Wenger.

    Pete

    I don’t think I’m being harsh. If you look at the footage of the goal conceded, the run up to it is a carbon copy of the goal scored by Skrtel last season in the 5:1 game. He hangs around the same area with the closest Arsenal player some eight yards away.

    We all make mistakes but the key is to analyze those mistakes and try to eliminate them from your game. If I’m the captain of Arsenal , my massage to my teammates before the game was ‘ if anyone scores from a set piece for Liverpool, it can’t be Skrtel.

  • Pete

    Jambug – exactly.

    I have written before that judgement on football is so driven by the final results – but this may actually be a really poor reflection of the match. Even if we had held on I would have written the same comments. That is also why Van Gaal is so unhappy at Man U – they are winning but are not playing well.

  • Pete

    Tom – Yes and No. If the focus is just on Skrtel then someone else can score. Something clearly went wrong – I haven’t tried to analyse the goal so won’t opine on what.

    Can you expand a bit on this proposed hybrid system? I am sure the Arsenal coaching staff thought long and hard before switching to a zonal system. As noted, after an initial difficult period they seemed to have got it nailed last season. The frustration today was that we had 4 big lads (Per, Chambers, Danny and Oliver) plus Debuchy also good in the air – so more aerial prowess than usual – but still screwed it up. Liverpool had less height than we did.

    My concern when Wenger takes off someone like Giroud when we are holding on to a lead is that it reduces our aerial power – and we know oppositions will be lumping the ball into the box when they are chasing the game. But if he was sick, he was sick. Maybe needed Sanogo on the bench…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Pete you said: “As someone who has coached and managed teams, it is sometimes inexplicable why the same 11 players, more or less, can play well one week and badly the next.”

    You touch something there. It really is strange. I have also heard that some players have been ill this week (Giroud, Welbeck,) and others were doubtful (Oxlade, Monreal) and it showed I think. Too many players not 100% and in such a match you pay for that. That could have played a part of course

  • Gord

    Arsenal.com is reporting that Bellerin was not available to start because he had a slight ankle injury.

    Question, Coquelin had a reasonable length of time on the pitch, how did he look?

  • Pete

    Walter – It looked like a team that had suffered a bit through the week (I had too! But still refereed my youth game this morning). It is that time of year.

    Gord – I always used to rate Coquelin. Before the return of the original I used to call him the “two footed Flamini – and with passing range”, but he clearly lost his way. Wasn’t really on long enough today – we were in the midst of a rearguard action at the time. Liked the way he stared out Coutinho(?) during their eyeball confrontation. Would be fantastic if he could finally deliver on his promise. Would like to see him start against QPR – need to save players for West Ham and Southampton (and Hull).

    Once again, we can’t get too angry/upset when we are still missing:

    Ospina, Koscielny, Bellerin, Hayden (not match fit?), Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Diaby, Rosicky, Sanogo and Gnabry.

    With Walcott and Monreal only fit enough for the bench. That is 14 first team squad players out.

    FOURTEEN!

    Including 5 starters at least.

  • Va Cong

    now for chelsea to lose

  • Gord

    Thanks Pete.

    The only refereeing news, seems to be Rodgers complaining about Alexis Sanchez. Apparently the Borini spitting incident was caught on film, and maybe the FA will deal with it.

  • Yassin

    I think our problem, of the bad performance, was that our midfield lacked one player (The Ox) who was not fit yet (last injury, f*ck injuries). But then what choice does Wenger have. Still we managed to get 2-1, we should have been more alert. Am afraid those injuries are going to kill us in the upcoming period. Damn what should Arsenal do? Its impossible we are still where we are.

  • Yassin

    @Gord,

    It was an obvious foul, so obvious, while their players kept on diving. You could see our players not touching theirs in the penalty area when they were attacking. And that was how the corner conceeded, which they scored from.

  • dan

    Guys, stop complaining. All week I’ve been getting hell from the lfc lovers, now we’ve walked away with a point from mudflapp looters den, beauty!!!

    Hahaha, we have 14 players to comeback and they think a Sturridge is the answer to their prayers. Jamie Redkap keep polishing that turd.

  • Danish Gooner

    He is getting paid 10 mil a year he should serve us Lobster and Caviar,instead he is serving Haggis and bangers and mash.

  • Pete

    Danish “Gooner” – The rest of us are having an interesting, constructive debate. Suggest you go spout your regurgitations elsewhere.

  • para

    Again 2 mistakes of losing the ball allowed pool to mount an attack and it costed us the goals. Sometimes the player passes the ball too hurried even though he has time, to a player who is surrounded by opposition and he loses it.

    Today the work rate for each another has dipped a little, costing us 3 points, but we played as if we were away, so 1 point is better than none.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not the worst result, but ultimately, a frustrating performance in a frustrating season.
    We will need to do much better in the second half of the season, but until we get to the bottom of the injury/ recovery situation, start getting players back, and address squad depth issues, we are always going to be on an uphill battle. Our injury situation is ridiculous, whatever the cause,or causes.
    But some things need addressing.
    For instance, Wenger is going to have to make a full and frank assessment on Arteta to name but one, Flam has done ok in the last few games, but less so today, but can we really rely on him alone if fighting on three fronts? The Kos situation also needs honest analysis by the club.
    Personally, I expect to see some action in these two positions this Jan, I am not sure either Kos or Arteta can be relied upon to feature fully for the rest of the season….a shame as they are very important players.

  • Gord

    Yassin thanks.

    It is just so darned disappointing that the only news one sees, is Rodgers bitching about Sanchez who didn’t dive, and yet nobody in the news can mention Liverpool diving.

    —-

    A followup on that pub (William IV in Islington, I am guessing a couple of km from Emirates/Wenger Stadium) story. Apparently that pub started advertising (via twitter and word of mouth) that it was going to have a free roast Christmas dinner for the homeless and hungry today (Sunday) from 12-3pm. I gather they managed to feed 183 people at their pub, and then went on to make a number of boxes of dinners, which were sent to local shelters. I think they had food for nearly 400. Some people, including Jamie Oliver, donated food to the pub to help in this. One person (I believe) donated 80 kg of potatoes. Many people tried to donate money, and the pub referred them (forwarded them? I am at a loss for the word, I am not a lawyer like TommyGun 🙂 ) to St Mungo’s, which is probably a local church. In some instances, taxis gave people free rides to the pub, so that they could have a free meal.

    Apparently they are going to try and do something like this on a regular basis. Certainly they want to repeat this as a Christmas activity.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/hundreds-of-homeless-people-receive-free-christmas-lunch-after-thousands-spread-message-of-goodwill-9938697.html

  • Pete

    Gord – St Mungo’s is a well-known charity for homeless people in the UK.

  • Tom

    Pete
    The hybrid system has been around for a while.
    You keep your zonal marking in place but you Identify the main sources of aerial danger eg Drogba, Skrtel,Kompany,Carroll, and you put one of your best and most physical defenders on them for set pieces.

    Of course any player can score from a set piece, but if you are going to let someone a free run up , let it be a player who doesn’t score with his head a lot.

    Much the same as you wouldn’t want to leave Gerard unmarked from a distance, or Sterling one on one with Chambers.

    You take away as many opponent’s strengths as you can.

    Again , not to beat the dead horse but if there’s one player on Liverpool you can’t afford to give eight yards of space at corners, it’s Skrtel.

  • G

    2-2 away at anfield isn’t a bad result at all, it’s just such a shame we keep doing such simple and basic things wrong to concede goals.

  • Gord

    Thanks Pete. Being in western Canada, I had never run across them.

    But, I think it would be nice to get a Food Report from William IV. Heck, people can even blame this dumb Canuck for that. 🙂

  • Doanythingformoney

    Mert- not good enough for the frontline away to a good team- neither is Chambers and Cazorla. We havn’t won away to a top six side, when Cazorla has played, for a long time. He can’t do the work going forwards and backwards. We can’t play the passing game when he is there. Apart from which, he is knackering those who have to do his work. I know he is a crowd pleaser but we only play wengerball in his absence. He should be coming on after 75mins. If there is nobody else we have to play him, I understand that but to expect a midfield three, Cazorla included, to cope at Anfield when there are 3 strikers on as well, is asking far too much of Flamini and the Ox. My heart bled for them today. They will sleep well tonight! A point was a miracle really.

  • bjtgooner

    Walter a detailed and fair write up.

    The Dippers ran around like mad things in the first half re their pressing game and did close us down somewhat, our passing errors also contributed to this. However, Oliver also seemed to play his part in stopping our attacks by awarding a large number of free kicks to the diving Dippers, some frees were from fouls some were probably not.

    The Dippers often start at a high level & eventually run out of steam, this time they didn’t, probably because we did not retain possession & we did not have them chasing shadows – as we do when in top form.

    I was disappointed that Rodgers labelled Sanchez a diver – a bit rich coming from the manager of a team containing many serial divers – and he was wrong about Sanchez.

    Re the second Dipper goal – we had taken Giroud off & they had brought Lambert on – so the ratio of tall players between the two teams had changed – I am not trying to excuse the way we defended, but my view is that we need one of our midfield players tall enough to make a contribution to set pieces.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree bjt, think we did need more support from MF, flam cannot cover every inch of the middle ground on his own, and he lacks height. Think flam is best alongside another MF with defensive capabilities. The Arteta situation , and that of Kos is a real worry so maybe now is the time to bit the bullet and go for such a MF player assuming of course there is one available to us. Such a player is going to come at a premium.
    I am aware of the difficulties of such signings, and the cost, but am expecting a defensive MF, and a versatile cb this jan, the smoke signals certainly indicate something going on.
    We will be fighting on three fronts in the new year, as it stands, we are insufficiently stocked in a couple of positions to do so.
    We were poor but we let a potential top four rival back into the game, and their season in a negligent manner after seven mins if injury time. A win would have killed any Liverpool challenge . Frustrating.
    My own rather silly Arsenal half term report at the moment stands at C to C+ it was A this time last year, there are seriously mitigating circumstances but we need to be much much better in 2015 from top to bottom. I trust Mr Wenger will sort what needs sorting

  • Ernest Reed

    We can do better? Ya think?

  • Ernest Reed

    So let’s go after Coquelin, right Pete? Seriously, many of you would blame your own mother if ihelped. It’s more than time, seriously, that Wenger accepted accountability for performances. You can’t keep putting it on injuries and lesser players. Everyone is to blame, except Wenger?. Really? Really?? Really???

  • Gord

    Ernest Reed OUT

  • Menace

    OK it was a poor performance by Wengers boys.
    I still blame the PGMO midfielder for Liverpool for the loss. He started with a yellow for a foul by Flamini that was nowhere near a bookable. This stopped Flamini from free play. He allowed Liverpool to foul freely. Arsenal passes were poor but many were due to being fouled by the presser. Skirtle got away without a card for a bookable foul. Stirling dived so many times without a card & then handballed to gain advantage. So the midfielder didn’t see the handball neither did his assistants – but the whole printed media didn’t report it!!!

    So many ‘fouls’ given when a Liverpool player goes down, yet on the rare occasion that an Arsenal player is brought down there is nothing. The midfielder in black makes a difference & watching the ball will not show you how much.

    The foul on Alexis was worse than Flamini’s yet no card for Liverpool’s captain. There are many little aspects that pass in a game when PGMO officiate that slope the playing field. So the likes of Gouresh can ‘think’ its a bad performance.

    Wenger knows. He never mentioned the red card; he never mentioned the handball; he never mentioned the diving; he spoke about Arsenal.

  • Ernest Reed

    Out Gord? Is that your solution to everything you don’t like? It’s more than time that One Arsene Wenger started to accept accountability and responsibility for results. It cannot always be on the players and certainly not always on the referees. Going through life blind and oblivious will only work for so long. Please, it reflects so poorly and foolishly. There is no acceptable reason or excuse for dropping two points today, none.

  • Gord

    Ernest Reed OUT

    .

  • Ernest Reed

    Grow up Gord.

  • Sleekwhale

    It was Flamini that headed the ball for Debuchy and it was also Flamini that mis-passed the ball just before the Liverpool goal. But the game was too poor, and I don’t think out game plan seemed to work @ all. I didn’t think Liverpool should have lost coz they played very well – save creating chances but their determination was there for everyone to see. If we had picked maximum points from all the games we’ve drawn this season, we’d be much closer to the top! In all honesty, the ref wasn’t our problem, we were! And I don’t think the subs were right. Maybe we can still pick up the threads but its better we die trying. Poor Game and that’s what sucks about the DRAW.

  • Ernest Reed

    The draw is deflating because we gave up the equalizer in added time and worse, on a set-piece that seems to be our Achilles Heel far too often. Surely by now I’ve would have found a way to be better at those?

  • Gord

    Ernest Reed OUT

    ..

  • ARSENAL 13

    Am I the only one!!!….

    For whatever reason, Mertesacker doesn’t look comfortable when paired with Chambers. So far hez played with Koscielny, Debuchy, Chambers and Monreal. But other than Chambers, hez got along well. May be hez worried about the lack of experience and hez anticipating Chambers to get it wrong and waiting to cover his mistakes ……

  • SA Gunner

    I believe its in these moments, and sadly there are so many of them, where Untold Arsenal is found out and falls short of the magnificent site it can be.

    Lets look at what is in black and white, again we see a poor performance, the “new” worst performance. The question I would ask you all is… have we seen the last of poor performances?

    I will not resort to criticising Wenger, because here its the proverbial swear word that invalidates your viewpoint. I will simply ask the questions which are adjacent. Can someone tell me why we are so poor, why our players are tired, why we see the same problems popping up over and over again?

  • Micheal Ram

    I hope Kos comes back soon. Every team are taking advantage of the poor Chambers. He had a nightmare, especially for the last minute equalizer. For a 19 years old new signing, I think the amount games and pressure has gotten into him. He needs a derserving rest. I think Per plays better with Kos and Monreal beside him. Despite the result, I have high hopes for the future considering the team is not fully ready yet. Cazorla just showed to the world he is guaranteed first eleven, what a performance! Watch and learn, Wilshere and Ramsey. Giroud is still the best forward in Arsenal, the amount of running and pressure he put the GK through was amazing. Debuchy was class act, he actually outjumped the giant Srktel. He had Sterlings in his pocket in 2nd half. Worry not, my fellow gunners, the stage is set after Christmas.

  • blaisehayest

    For everyone that doesn’t want to blame Oliver for anything I’ll do it for you. Re-watch the first five minutes of the second half. Debuchy’s yellow was a blatant dive from Sterling (I’m so sick of the kick the ball away, throw self at defender move), a few minutes later he waves advantage even though Ox loses the ball immediately, then allows Skrtel to be treated on the field for over six minutes. WTF! Our players were afraid of getting carded everytime they made a tackle (what happened to “he got the ball first” re Flamini) and were hearing footsteps every time they had the ball knowing that they would receive little protection from Oliver. I wonder why we keep having the same few ref’s game after game against the “big” teams?

  • Sammy The Snake

    We clearly missed Ramsey last night. I guess the team was in a festive mood and never got going.

    My worry is that AW seemed resigned to such draw & missed points in his post match interview. Has mediocracy sank in so deep in Arsenal? It looks like everyone has already decided top 3 is out of reach, and we will eventually catch up with West Ham & S’hampton to snatch 4th.

    Good news; we still have an entire team coming back from injury.

  • Will

    I lay one thing at the feet of Wenger and we have been like this for a few seasons now. Our starts are atrocious, we pretty much always start at walking pace while the opposition come flying out from the whistle. This seriously needs to be looked at and either the pre-match team talk needs changing or the warm up does.

    I am fed up asking the team to come roaring at the opposition from minute one knowing that in reality, this is not going to happen and we hand the imitative to the opposition every game.

  • Nick Lee

    The reason why we were poor against a poor liverpool team and have been poor most of the season is down to 3 things.
    1.The referee’s- They are killing us being so one sided and being biased beyond belief.
    2.The opposition players-They are constantly fouling all our players and its not fair.We should be allowed to play the butiful game and not be touched.Its not our fault we are 5 foot lightweight midgets.
    3.The pundits-Why are they always telling lies about the way we play football.None of them know anything .None of them have ever played the game,managed teams or have been involved in football so what do they know.What does gary neville know ??Hes only played 700 top flight games and is on the coaching staff with england.He knows nothing.
    Our great manager on the other hand KNOWS EVERYTHING and KNOWS BEST!!!

  • Nick Lee

    This quote to me just sums up Wenger and his refusal to buy the players needed to challenge for honors

    Arsene Wenger sells our only senior back up CB, doesn’t replace him and then tries to convert a 19 year old right back to CB and claims he is enough cover at CB.

    Today he plays his first choice Right Back at centre back because he doesn’t have faith in our 3rd choice CB.

    What does this mean? Well, we essentially only have 2 f***ing centre backs.

  • TommieGun

    Walter thanks for the post, Jambug and Pete for your comments, I don’t have a lot to add.

    Felt like we really didn’t deserve a point; didn’t make me feel any better though, because we have had a few games this year where we played a lot better and didn’t get a result. ManU springs into mind.

    Regarding the way this match felt: if Loserpool had half the striking talent they had last year (either Suzrez or Sturridge) I suspect the scoreline would have been grim. It felt exactly like last year. It felt exactly like Dortmund away. When teams up their tempo and press us, we get nervous. I am very saddned to say but last night, and generally this year (altough I am not drawing any conclusions yet) is one of the least “brainy” Arsenal side I can remember. No sophistication; no utilizing of the opponent’s mistakes; not playing to our strengths. Loserpool’s plan seemed very simple: make short quick passes around our players, advance slowly through the midfield, and in the end get the ball to Coutinho or Sterling in the hope that something will happen.

    We could have let them pass themselves to death, lay back and wait for a counter; OR we could press them hard. We did neither: we chased their triangular passes, which in turn enabled Sterling and Coutinho to dribble with the ball after getting behind our first line of defence. And when we did get the ball – we panicked and couldn’t connect 3 passes (mostly in the first half).

    Stats wise:

    Loserpool had 27 shots on target, with Schez making 10 saves. That’s our worst record since 2003.
    We had 36.5% of the possession. I don’t remember if it’s our worst record since 2003, but it’s certainly a very low figure for a team like ourselves.

    We had 71% pass success, which I think is our lowest since 2005.

    We had 7 shots, 3 on target, 2 of which turned into goals – so ruthlessness-wise, it was good. But that’s not really encouraging as Loserpool is not known for being a successful defensive team.

    Being brutally honest: Flamini looked on drugs. Ox was clearly not physically fit as this was one of his worst peformances (that I can remember). Chambers, playing as CB (Debuchy played RB) was exposed time and again. And the BFG. This actually is what saddness me the most, because this is the 3rd or maybe 4th game this season where I don’t recognize him anymore. This guy is all about heart, soul, and brains. And cowering (instead of towering) out in Skrtel’s last goal (and just in other occassions being totally all over the fucking place) – is what lies in the bottom of our performance. Without Arteta, Per is our leader. Not only defensively – but collectively. And he is just NOT THERE. Not just last night.

    So being Untold and being all about the numbers and facts it is actually a good result. To perform so badly and get a draw away from home is what great teams are all about. But still after a night like that, 97th minute, them with 10 men on the field… it is really hard to take, especially as this is turning out to be the aroma, or feel, of this season: not being brave and not being committed enough.

    To end on a high note: I thought Giroud had a terrific game. I thought Santi (despite starting out quite badly) ended the match with a very good performance. Our full backs had a pretty decent game too. And of course, Schez who is my man of the match, with 10 saves.

    I am really hopeful we get Oz and Rambo back – I think the guys need a little bright and creative spark to get everything back (and of course Kos would be a very welcome return).

  • TommieGun

    Ha ha not a lot to add…

    Sorry about that, forgot myself there.

  • dan

    We’ve played better and walked away with nothing, this is a welcome change.

  • AL

    A disappointing outcome in the end, but if I’d been offered a draw at the start I’d have taken it.

    I get the feeling people are trying not to blame the ref as Liverpool’s equaliser was not ref assisted. But even if we had won I still wouldn’t be happy with his performance. As blaisehayest, Yassin and Menace already pointed out, this ref hardly gave us anything. On the other hand he blew everytime sterling lost the ball, and I mean every single time. He was clearly bent on seeing Liverpool score an early goal as he gave them two free kicks in dangerous areas for nothing in the first two minutes. As has been pointed out, the borini stamp should have been a straight red, ox was fouled and he indicated he was giving advantage which never came our way, Flamini was booked yet he won the ball and the player was guilty of going under him, Lucas took Gibbs out in first few minutes with no card, sterling threw himself at Debuchy to win a freekick and caution for Debuchy, there were so many such decisions. The players were obviously scared to put a foot wrong lest they made it easy for him to punish them. And I think that’s what took the performance out of our team. I’m afraid that each time we face a big side this is what our players will expect, and I don’t think we will boss any of those matches.

    I hear borini spat, who at?

  • Pete

    Tom – Thanks. Unsure what the best defensive formation should be at corners. But would reiterate that I think we started the zonal system in 12/13 and it was a tough adjustment. 13/14 was far better and our stats were quite good. This year has been more mediocre – but some of that has been down to Koscielny’s absence.

    G – Mistakes happen. I am sure the coaches and players will be reviewing to try to improve. An earlier point made re Gibbs covering the post. I can understand why he is off the post for the initial corner but would still wonder why he then doesn’t drop back to cover? Unsure what his instructions were?

    Doanything – I think you are being harsh on Cazorla. Thought he was one of our better outfield players. He also set up Giroud’s goal. Issue was we had Ox playing in the box to box role – he is about our 6th choice there AND was half-fit.

    Mandy – Agree that we need to accurately assess Kos and Arteta’s fitness and take steps if necessary.

    Ernest – I don’t think Coquelin is the long-term answer, but he can help us out short-term in easier games while others are injured. Needs must. Your other points are wrong. Of course we can put the blame on injuries – that is the reality. The only major problem we have as a club are the injuries – and I do hold Wenger accountable for that, at least to an extent (acknowledge we do lose too many players due to lack of protection, but that should be factored in). If/when we get the core of the missing players back and up to speed our results will improve dramatically. Just watch.

    Arsenal 13 – Agree that Mertesacker is having an indifferent season. I put it down to a World Cup hangover and constant changing of his partners and position – see my comments earlier in the thread.

    SA Gunner – I disagree that the players were tired (other than those possibly impacted by a bug). Just didn’t play well. Wenger put it down to bad memories. Who knows? However need to give credit to Liverpool. Playing a sub-optimal system (3 at the back) can work simply because oppositions are not familiar with it. We did not adjust quickly enough to the different challenges Liverpool presented.

    Will – maybe. But, usually, we are very strong in the last 15 of games when most goals are scored – although granted, not yesterday.

    Nick – You take no account of fitness and form. I was really impressed with Hayden in the League Cup where he had Pelle in his pocket. He is just coming back to fitness and I hope he gets a run now, assuming Koscielny is not sufficiently fit.

    Tommie – Yes, it was a really poor performance. But I think you need to give Liverpool some credit!

  • AL

    Ok, just seen a link saying he spat at our bench as he left the pitch. And the Liverpool fans applauded him…. if there’s any place I’ve vowed I’ll never live in in England it’s Liverpool; nasty people, scary crime rates, terrible accent, etc etc. I made this decision more than a decade ago by the way, and this just shows I was right.

  • Pete

    Al – As an away fan, which I once was, I found Liverpool one of the most intimidating places to go. There were usually locals hanging around “looking for trouble” after the game so had to be careful not to speak (in a Southern accent). And the old protection racket amongst the local youngsters “50p to mind your car, sir” was well known. Have been there several times, but I think the last time was the Fowler hat-trick. Which I am shocked to find was 20 years ago! Been to Everton slightly more recently which never seemed as bad.

    In the bad old days of the 70s and early 80s Liverpool fans were well-known for being amongst the most dangerous set of visiting fans around although they never seemed to attract the bad publicity of other clubs (e.g. Leeds, Millwall, West Ham, Chelsea, Man U).

  • AL

    Pete
    Thanks for confirming my fears about the place 🙂 I’ve been to Liverpool once,and even though it was for one day only I found it an intimidating place, and I’ve never been back since. I even ‘missed’ a mate’s stag do in the city for that reason alone.

  • AL

    I think some saying chambers had a stinker are being a little harsh. I commented to a mate who I was watching with, that Rodgers had specifically targeted that wing by deploying sterling there as he had done his homework about chambers’ bookability. It could’ve been anyone down that side and they’d have faced the same (actually I think Debuchys yellow came as a result of his encounter with sterling down that wing).
    Sterling is a decent player, but I’m afraid he’s too much of a cheat to ever really realise his full potential by thinking he’s got the officials in his pocket. I think he’ll go the rooney way -considered great in England but mediocre anywhere else.

  • ARSENAL 13

    This is our worst performance since 2003….

    Yeah now shove that up our arse for a week now. Now that ‘2003’ keeps popping up since one ‘opta’. Well we all know what they do don’t we…

  • Mandy Dodd

    some valid points Tommie. Flam had way too much to do, Ox was clearly either unfit or not sufficiently prepared, and unusually for him, was a weak link they targeted. guess playing unfit players is a result of the injuries/squad depth issues we have in some positions.
    Fear Per is a serious injury waiting to happen, he must be well beyond the red zone, again, you could say this situation is self inflicted. CC looks drained- he has played a lot of games in different positions for one so young and inexperienced, he has been on a massive high pressure learning curve, and looks like he needs a rest, as does Alexis, for different reasons.
    Pete, agree, injuries are the number one issue facing this club, or the playing side at least. I would say defending set pieces and long balls are number two, especially when lacking first choice players. Poor Defending has cost us so many points this season, and in the past. Both of these are long standing problems that have seemingly not been sufficiently dealt with. Some injuries are clearly linked with lack of protection, others due to a lack of rotation and squad depth meaning unfit players are being rushed back- see theo last year, Ox yesterday, Jack and Rambo numerous times. So many come back from injury, only to get injured again. There may be other causes behind the scenes for injuries, but we cannot know this.
    Of course players coming back will help, of course he can and probably will turn things around, but some long standing issues need dealing with if we are truly to move forward. We maybe need more specific defence training for those not yet as adept as Merteschielny. Or maybe just greater depth.
    Finally, 12-14 first team squad members being injured should not be deemed acceptable and just something that happens from time to time.
    Over to you Mr Wenger, this has not been a vintage year so far, lets take on a few of these issues.

  • Freddie Jeeves

    Walter ..

    Are you showing the first glimmers of a AAA ? 🙂

  • Pete

    Freddie – I just think we are trying to be honest and objective. Someone above quote the match stats. A lot of Liverpool’s goal attempts were from outside the box, but can’t ignore the possession, passing and overall chances created stats.

    This was poor! And I think everyone agrees. Some have criticised Oliver and I do think that Liverpool got the lions-share of the 50:50 calls – but he was no worse than we see every week (so still pretty bad). But, nevertheless, we have overcome unfriendly referees previously (and will do again).

    Nevertheless, the injury situation is a major explanatory factor towards the performance. You cannot have half your squad unavailable and expect it to have no impact.

    The issues are around half the squad being unavailable, NOT the inevitable impact. Chelsea and Man City would not play well with half their squads injured. Or Bayern or Real Mad or anyone else. In fact, Arsenal are probably amongst the best at making do and mending. We get plenty of practice!

  • Va Cong

    why was there 10 minuted of extra time? I had to go out yesterday after half time.

  • goonergerry

    OK lets talk stats and not excuses.
    We have not beaten the likes of Chelsea, Man U and Man City in a full competitive match in the EPL in 15 encounters . Don’t think this performance was an aberration- at times Liverpool play with the drive and fluency of a top 4 side- but like us they have a few weaknesses in defence. Fair result.

    The last away game we lost at Stoke following an abject first half. This week we had a full week to prepare and also looked weak in the first half despite a full week to prepare. Yes we rescued a point but the performance was far from convincing.

    At present Arsenal are at the same level as Spurs neither will beat a top side.

  • Kenneth Wimderpool

    beat Man City 2012 at ours.1-0.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Goonergerry, in individual games, our record against them is not the best, but seem to remember us finishing above two of the clubs you have mentioned in recent seasons, in fact since 2012, despite what has been a massive gulf in finances between us and those 3.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Just while its a bit quiet, I would like to wish EVERYONE at UA, a merry Christmas!
    I would also like us to send our thoughts out to Adam’s family this Christmas, and long may his memory last.
    Merry Christmas everyone,may your stockings be full of Aha and ho ho ho.
    COYG! Aha and Amen!
    Let us not forget the traditional Christmas carol: “A cannon is always better than a chicken”…
    Merry Christmas!!!

  • Hemm

    The manager’s suggestion that last season was preying on our minds doesn’t really work because for me Alexis, Welbeck, Debuchy, Chambers weren’t there and the performance wasn’t about what happened last year. It’s because we have an imbalanced squad, racked with injuries and tired players who have a collective psychological brittleness to them regardless of the personnel. A huge chance to beat one of the ‘big’ teams was blown in truly Arsenal style.

  • Mandy Dodd

    If you class Liverpool as a big team, we have a very good recent record against them with the one aberration.

  • Gord

    I think Oliver should be sanctioned for issuing a second yellow to Borini. The second incident was worthy of a straight red.

  • Gord

    Another Halsey article on refereeing errors, Agbonlahor didn’t deserve red card, referee wasn’t in a position to see anything.

    http://www.squawka.com/news/halsey-agbonlahor-sending-off-never-a-red-card-in-a-million-years/253830

  • Gord

    Referee appointments for Boxing Day are out:

    Friday 26 December 2014
    K.O. MATCHES REFEREE ASST. REF. 1 ASST. REF. 2 4TH OFFICIAL
    17:30 Arsenal 0 – 0 QPR Martin Atkinson M Mullarkey P Kirkup P Dowd
    15:00 Burnley 0 – 0 Liverpool Anthony Taylor G Beswick S Ledger C Boyeson
    12:45 Chelsea 0 – 0 West Ham Michael Oliver L Betts S Long K Friend
    15:00 Crystal Palace 0 – 0 Southampton Mike Dean J Brooks H Lennard L Collins
    15:00 Everton 0 – 0 Stoke Lee Mason S Burt E Smart J Moss
    15:00 Leicester 0 – 0 Spurs Neil Swarbrick D Cann R West G Eltringham
    15:00 Man Utd 0 – 0 Newcastle Mike Jones J Collin I Hussin R Madley
    15:00 Sunderland 0 – 0 Hull Andre Marriner A Halliday D Bryan S Stockbridge
    15:00 Swansea 0 – 0 Aston Villa Roger East D Eaton R Ganfield D Sheldrake
    15:00 West Brom 0 – 0 Man City Mark Clattenburg S Beck A Garratt G Sutton

  • Gord

    And for Dec 28,29

    Sunday 28 December 2014
    K.O. MATCHES REFEREE ASST. REF. 1 ASST. REF. 2 4TH OFFICIAL
    15:00 Aston Villa 0 – 0 Sunderland Martin Atkinson S Child H Lennard L Probert
    15:00 Hull 0 – 0 Leicester Phil Dowd P Kirkup M Perry M Dean
    15:00 Man City 0 – 0 Burnley Kevin Friend I Hussin S Burt M Oliver
    16:15 Newcastle 0 – 0 Everton Craig Pawson A Halliday M Salisbury J Adcock
    15:00 QPR 0 – 0 Crystal Palace Mike Jones R West M Scholes P Gibbs
    14:05 Southampton 0 – 0 Chelsea Anthony Taylor G Beswick D Cann A D’Urso
    12:00 Spurs 0 – 0 Man Utd Jonathan Moss S Bennett S Long L Mason
    15:00 Stoke 0 – 0 West Brom Roger East D Bryan R Ganfield C Foy
    15:00 West Ham 0 – 0 Arsenal Neil Swarbrick S Ledger M Wilkes K Stroud

    Monday 29 December 2014
    K.O. MATCHES REFEREE ASST. REF. 1 ASST. REF. 2 4TH OFFICIAL
    20:00 Liverpool 0 – 0 Swansea Andre Marriner M Mullarkey A Nunn M Atkinson

  • seamus

    Liverpool played most of the game without a striker and created a lot of chances. Better teams will punish Arsenal before the season’s out. However, looking at the table, they will probably glean enough points to finish fourth. And if they manage to eliminate Monaco in the Champions League and make the last eight, it will be claimed as a season of progress. If you want to read a more thorough tactical analysis of why Arsenal looked so bad yesterday, there is a good one here. It should also be remembered that, in terms of physical level, most of Liverpool’s players had played two matches since Arsenal’s last game. That might explain the slight drop off after the interval, although the home side should really have been out of sight by half time.

  • Nick Lee

    We are being tactically out thought week after week by managers who are on a fraction of what wenger gets.Hes one of the top 5 paid managers in world football and is being left behind tactically.And who does he answer to??The highest paid CEO on the planet.Its all nice and cosy for wenger and gazidis.

  • Gord

    Referring to my thoughts that Oliver should be sanctioned, I see yet another Halsey note
    http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/39757#comment-824954
    http://www.squawka.com/news/mark-halsey-fabio-borini-lucky-not-to-have-received-straight-red-card-vs-arsenal/253806

    Borini should have gotten a straight red. The FA shgould straighten out that detail, and change the second yellow to a straight red, and PGMO should sanction Oliver.

  • bob mac

    I agree with you opinions Walter.

    Like you I thought the Arsenal performance was way way below the standard our players are capable of producing.

    To win ‘ordinary’ PL games you need 7/8 players to be on the top of their game, when it is really tough you need all 11 plus subs !!!!!

    In this game Arsenal had 1………………a no brainer.

    The performance was very poor, of that there is no doubt.

    The players and the team are better than that;again, of that there is no doubt.

    To all Arsenal supporters>>>>>>>>>>>>>do not lose the belief.

  • bob mac

    @ Nick Lee

    I suppose where you work, if you fail to follow the boss’ instructions, perform poorly on what is an off day for you and your workmates………………it is ALL the bosses fault.

    Get a life.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Was a regular reader of Le grove by Pedro but now got sick of the stuff there.With a single point agenda of bashing Wengerr and Arsenal players.
    Finally come across UNTOLD Arsenal and have find it more balanced towards the club and more realistic.
    Now wud be visiting this site to get a balanced view about the club.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    And also BYE BYE to Le grove

  • Gord

    Bob Mac

    Nick Lee is being paid by someone, to keep producing this drivel.

  • Gord

    Or so I believe.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Why Sanchez was poor yesterday ?
    As per his standards

  • Mandy Dodd

    taking you at face value, welcome Rosicky@Arsenal.
    But you are not fully away from Le Grove, some do come on here to engage in debate…fair enough, but after what they perceived to be poor results, we do get a few copy and pasters from Le Grove as well, and I would also imagine quite a few posts that are moderated out. Of course when things are going well for the team, we dont see the more abusive posters, or copy and pasters for dust.

  • Paul

    what an awful performance once again,and the truth is we were lucky to get a draw let alone a win.liverpool looked far more cohesive unit than we ever looked. wenger makes the excuse that the fear is there in these big games and thats the damn well point why he must go at the end of the season.have to say that chambers was awful for me and now needs a break from the demands of first team football.in fact,i would recall jenks ASAP from west ham where he’s been doing very well.we might very well get top 4 but that can no longer be the trophy it is for some.we need a manager that can build a team thats fit for purpose and one that as a game plan how to beat the big teams and not go into games with the fear wengers team does.granted we are missing some key players but its been no different all season as it.poor,poor performance again and wenger must take the heat and leave come next may.

  • Bit of a problem here Paul… you don’t actually answer the key points like

    a) who would we get instead – and who would want to come here with fans like you in revolt just a few months after winning the FA Cup

    b) do you believe that we can actually sign each player we want just because we want them?

    c) were you a supporter in, for example, 2000 when we lost 4-0 to Liverpool, with Bergkamp, Henry, Vieira etc in the side? Were you calling for Wenger’s head then? If so, and if he had gone, would we really have achieved what we achieved the following season?

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    @Mandy Daddy
    Tks for the welcome gesture.
    Dont worry mate i am not the Le grove type.
    After 2 years of reading Le grove i have finally quit bcos of hatred agenda towards the club and wenger.
    Hope Untold Arsenal will provide me the true perspective of the club.
    Criticizing just for the sake of criticism at Le grove cant take more.
    aAltough there are some posters with a balance view but overall it has become pathetic.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    @Paul
    How was it an awful performance.?
    Picking a draw away from home cannot be termed as awful.
    can be termed below par but not awful IMO.

  • Gord

    The telegraph has a long article about our injury problem. Probably some lazy journalism there, as their justification for not attributing much fault to injuries in games, is due to Wenger and head office not saying as much about game time events in the recent past. And there is also this tendency to attribute ALL soft tissue injuries to training situations.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11308606/Revealed-The-truth-behind-Arsenals-terrible-injury-record-and-how-your-club-shapes-up.html

  • Hemm

    Once Wenger decided to withdraw Sanchez and send on Monreal, a Liverpool equaliser was inevitable.

    Wenger has a habit of making these stupid, self-destructive substitutions when he’s trying to see out a game (Eboue for Walcott at 4-2 in the infamous Newcastle game in 2011, Luzhny for Bergkamp at Anfield in 2003, Flamini for Fabregas in the Champions League final etc).

    He likes to remove an attacker and throw on any old defensive player he can find. It’s all very well when you’ve got a team that can defend competently and as a unit but Arsenal can’t.

    Who was marking Skrtel? Where was the cover on the post? These substitutions basically send out the message that Arsenal have given up trying to score a killer goal and invite the opposition to chase the game. What makes yesterday’s fiasco all the more unforgivable is that
    Liverpool were down to ten men, yet it was Arsenal who allowed themselves to be penned in. It’s amazing how a man as supposedly intelligent as Wenger can be so foolish.

  • Hemm

    Paul…It seems that when Arsene sets out his tactics that he does so without factoring in the psychology of the team and the irremovable impact of previous results or the causes of these results.

    How many times have we seen Arsenal’s defence in panic each time Delap prepared a long throw? Many. Each time the scar of conceding fuelling this panic, typical self-fulfilling prophesy. And how many times did we see Wenger have a tactical response that would held remove this latent anxiety? Never.

    It was understandable that Arsenal would be cautious in the opening half against Liverpool, with players keen to avoid another embarrassment, but the team selection and formation did nothing to make players feel more relaxed and confident in the game. Moreover, the isolation of Flamini and quick route for Liverpool to turn defence into attack would have only compounded the feeling of panic.

    And yet, after each game, he presents his findings on the mental position of the team as an excuse for failure as though they are a surprise to him.

    This isn’t good enough for a manager with so many years in top flight football.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Hemm

    “Once Wenger decided to withdraw Sanchez and send on Monreal, a Liverpool equaliser was inevitable”. Listen to yourself mate. It happened, it wasn’t inevitable, that is pure speculation.

    “Wenger has a habit of making these stupid, self-destructive substitutions when he’s trying to see out a game (Eboue for Walcott at 4-2 in the infamous Newcastle game in 2011, Luzhny for Bergkamp at Anfield in 2003, Flamini for Fabregas in the Champions League final etc)”. Firstly, your qualifications for calling Wenger stupid are what? Secondly, you quote 3 substitutions in 11 years. I’m not sure that constitutes a ‘habit’.

    “It’s amazing how a man as supposedly intelligent as Wenger can be so foolish.” Foolish in your opinion but a man who has a degree in Economics; is fluent in several languages; has won the league and cup in three different countries; won 18 trophies as a manager; and 13 manager of the month awards in England along with three Manager of the season awards. There’s only one person who looks foolish here I’m afraid.

  • Nick Lee

    Gord -Nick Lee is being paid by someone, to keep producing this drivel.

    If you show me what drivel i have posted Gord.Show me where i have posted anything other than facts.Oh and if i did have as many off days as wenger these days i would be sacked and so would every other manager in the league apart from one who is exempt, and he is the highest paid..

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some facts , that may sound stranger than fiction .From…
    http://www.lifeisajoke.com/miscellaneous42_html.htm

    A crocodile can’t stick its tongue out.
    ( But probably could lick its chops !)

    A shrimp’s heart is in their head.
    ( No comment !)

    In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand (or attempted to do so).
    ( Same number as ref reviews done here by Walter et al , but the AAAAA continue to disbelieve them!)

    It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

    A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

    Rats and horses can’t vomit.
    (Am sure the AKBs ,especially bjtgooner ,don’t believe this ,as many a …. have come on here to regurgitate !)

    Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over a million descendants.
    ( Yeah ! That seems about right !)

    A duck’s quack doesn’t echo anywhere, and no one knows why.
    ( Just like an AAAAA’s comments ,and nobody seems to care !)

    Most lipstick contains fish scales.

    Cat’s urine glows under a black light.

    If you keep your eyes open by force, they will pop out.
    ( Apparently keeping it ‘all ‘ in will do the same – that’s why the AAAAA come here to poop !)

  • goonergerry

    Arsenal have settled to be second best or more-going 15 games without beating 3 of the top sides in the EPL and deciding at the beginning of this season that we could make do with only seven defenders this year-clear evidence that, as a team Arsenal are not serious about competing against the best.
    Even Palace have a better record against those 3- which suggests that it is not an impossible task.
    I dont think Arsenal are strong enough to reach 4th this year. Don’t have problem with this-the comments of the chairman at the AGM strongly suggests that the club appears very complacent and over -confident in the capabilities of its coach who does not appear to be judged on results . Do have to ask – how many times do we have to be beaten by Mourinho before we realise that the Wenger approach is not working? 50 times 100 times or more?