Arsenal Fail To Take Their Chances v Liverpool

Online Editorial: Another trip to Anfield, another defeat…

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Pepe – Gilt-edged opportunity at 0-0

In all the online / radio phone-in rage and frustration surrounding yesterday’s 3-1 defeat against Liverpool, it should be remembered that, in theory, this was one of Arsenal’s two toughest assignments this season, and that realistically, nobody actually expected anything but a defeat. Yes, there was hope, but Liverpool won 17 out of 19 at home last season, drawing the other two.

There has been criticism of Emery choosing to field only two attackers, leaving Lacazette on the bench and certainly this allowed the opposition full backs greater freedom than was healthy. However, what cannot be disputed is that Aubameyang and Pepe both had very presentable chances to put their side ahead before Liverpool scored. Their inability to be clinical at those moments cost their team, but it could have been a different story.

Up to the moment of Liverpool’s opening goal shortly before half time, Arsenal’s defending had been better than we saw at times last season, even though Jurgen Klopp’s team did make life hairy more than once. The Gunners went behind due to a set piece. Arguably if Sokratis wasn’t so obsessed with holding Van Dijk’s shirt, he might have been able to challenge scorer Matip for the ball better. The other thing to consider is whether Liverpool might have had a penalty were VAR used, had they not scored.

It changed the pattern of the game, Liverpool could control things from that moment on, and in the second half, started to run riot. Arsenal did not help themselves by constantly trying to build up from the back at goal kicks. In Spanish football, teams drop off so you can do this gradually. In England, to use this tactic against any side that presses, you have to be quick. It’s too ponderous and Ceballos presented the ball to the opposition in the first half with a crazy pass across his own penalty area, when penned into the corner. The Spaniard was far less influential than he had been against Burnley.

Goals two and three for the home side were largely down to David Luiz. Granted, Salah could well have scored had he not tugged him for a penalty, but in the age of VAR it would have been better to see if Bernd Leno could have smothered the original move. Luiz then allowed Salah to just leave him for dust for the third goal, although he was on a booking already, so he had to rely on his footballing ability rather than take him out.

3-0 down, Emery put Torreira on for Ceballos, which was basically damage limitation time. With less than 10 minutes left, Lacazette entered for Willock, although it was too little too late. Arsenal scored a consolation goal to add a little respect to the scoreline through Torreira.

Ultimately, in spite of two excellent first half chances, Emery got his tactics wrong. Given his team were 3-0 down before he made his first sub after an hour, there’s no point debating the wisdom of his switches.

After last season’s 5-1 defeat at the same venue, you could argue this is improvement of sorts. However, Emery’s formation was too narrow, and he should have matched Liverpool man for man, meaning playing a similar formation. That would at least have made life more difficult for them on the wings.

As for the individuals in the team, frustrations continue with Granit Xhaka, and David Luiz did not cover himself in glory. Ceballos had minimal influence - although given how long he’s been in England, avoided a lot of the negativity expressed about the game.

Nevertheless, there were signs that Pepe is going to worry defences, even in matches against the other top six sides, and there was an element of what if… to Arsenal’s performance. The key chances did not go for them when the game was scoreless, and then David Luiz had two moments to forget which killed any chance of a comeback. In mitigation, Salah is obviously a special player, and a lot of defences struggle against him. And we have to recognise the quality Arsenal were facing. I titled it as an acid test in my preview of the game yesterday, and it’s clear the club still have some way to go before they are going to travel to Liverpool and win. Klopp’s team won 97 points last season for a good reason. They create a lot of chances. Arsenal did ok for 40 minutes yesterday – not wonderful – but there were signs of some kind of resilience. And the team is still embedding new arrivals, three of whom started yesterday, two of those new to England.

This was one of the two fixtures this season no-one expected too much from. It's the other 36 that will determine whether or not Emery is the man to continue leading this team out of the latter Wenger era slump. So reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic. We’ll have a better idea after the next match.


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  1. markymark

    Aug 28, 2019, 05:46 #114707

    John F - Chelsea will go for Allegri out of the three. UTD are trying to move to what Arsenal are also trying (shipping out older expensive players ) Chelsea still would go for expensive older players I reckon. Under the Arsenal set up Allegri wouldn’t have enough power so he’d say no to us I reckon. The current model Arsenal are trying to employ is really set up for the young generation of managers as in the model they lose the traditional wheeler dealeing side and become strictly coaches.

  2. John F

    Aug 27, 2019, 15:57 #114706

    I wouldn't have Maureen due to his reluctance to play younger players coming through .I am just wondering if there will be a dash at the end of the season for Allegri between Chelsea,Utd and possibly ourselves if Dick doesn't work out.

  3. itsRonagain2

    Aug 27, 2019, 13:44 #114705

    GR. I d have the devil and his daughter if they gave us a team to be proud of and one that other teams and their fans feared instead of laughed at! All this stuff about he shouldn’t be in the club etc are words cut from the same verbiage as ‘Arsenal’s class’ and so on. Meaningless sentimental piffle that holds the club back. I m no fan of Mourinho the man but reality is that our take on him is shaped by lies and myth.

  4. itsRonagain2

    Aug 27, 2019, 13:37 #114704

    CG. Our 30s team was innovative. WM formation. Chapman believed in a combo of the physical and players with guile and trickery hence James on one hand and Herbie Roberts and Hapgood et al on the other. We had crafty players and we earned the reputation as lucky Arsenal. We weren’t really lucky but our formation of skill and strength tinged with a few black arts got us that reputation. Our 71 team was the same. Our team in the 50 s also had tough characters such as Tommy Doc. Our style has always been muscular and of a type where teams had respect and fear of some of our players. The best teams all over Europe have that make up. In fact, the best teams always do. Leeds. Liverpool. United. Everton in the 80s. All had imposing sides. Not dirty. I’m not saying that but fearsome teams who opponents didn’t fancy a battle with. Different game today but city and Liverpool are both quite muscular. The diet of lightweight touch football Arsenal have tried to use for 13 years now is tedious and won’t ever in my view succeed. In losing our traditional style there’s a big void in the club. We need it back. Emerys tinkering isn’t going to do it. Just my view.

  5. markymark

    Aug 27, 2019, 13:20 #114703

    Radford Kennedy - exactly ! Who agreed the swap? My best guess is Raul’s got his fingers all over that one. It’ll be a feedback thing as well, I’m betting about translating / understanding his vision I expect Raul sets the requirements does the 1-2-1 and then Unai knows what’s happening. In this case get 4th spot or pack your bags.

  6. TonyEvans

    Aug 27, 2019, 12:32 #114702

    What I didn't like, even before the match kicked off was all the defeatist talk coming from Emery, saying how 'we don't want to face Liverpool'. Talk about throwing in the towel before a ball is even kicked. I'm not one for tub-thumping ala Supermac, because you know any boasting will more than likely leave you with egg on your face, but I could do without the manager coming out with comments like that. Let your football do the talking, but with the tactics he employed on Saturday that was always going to be a tall order.

  7. A Cornish Gooner

    Aug 27, 2019, 11:04 #114701

    Ron what do you mean by 'they were built on cynical winning from the 30 s onwards'

  8. GoonerRon

    Aug 27, 2019, 10:31 #114700

    I don’t know for sure but if you include players, coaches and technical staff I’d imagine there has been 40-50 changes since Wenger left to today. That’s some upheaval and represents significant change in a very short space of time. It will take time to settle down and enable us to push on. Emery might not be ‘the guy’ mid to long term but he deserves the chance this season to get the most from this squad whilst we’re in the re-build phase. @ it’s Ron - couldn’t agree with you less re: Mourinho - he’s a divisive, arrogant prick who would throw anyone under the bus to cover his own arse. He might be a good coach but he’s such an odious person I couldn’t bear to have him at our club. Plus, there’s no way our transfer budget is big enough for him.

  9. itsRonagain2

    Aug 27, 2019, 09:52 #114699

    Marky. I hear all that you say. I m not totally sure JM is toxic. Much of that is media speak. It’s been his players as much as him. He’s self obsessed of course but not past it at 55 or whatever age he is. He s has his time out. Whoever gets him now will get a reinvigitated coach I believe. Whatever he is I think sometimes the bitterest pill is needed to cure the worst virus and we at AFC are still gripped by Wengeritis. Emery for me is not a re build coach. He’s not shown the remotest likelihood that he can tighten a team up and any coach will tell us that getting hard to beat is the easiest part of the game and the job. He’s had a year and we re still porous. That’s why I’ve looked at him now after a year and lost any faith in him. Accept tho that he s locked into Kroenkeworld within which any Coach will struggle I feel.


    Aug 27, 2019, 09:40 #114698

    WHY I LIKE UNAI - Part 1. This discussion is going well isn't ?! I will always prefer to appoint a manager who has come up the hard way, a guy who maybe wasn't a top player but who has worked his way up from the school of hard knocks. So no Vierra's or Zindane's for me thank you. By the way Marky, Unai collected 7 domestic trophies at PSG in his 2 year stint at that chaotic Club - but of course that was in a "rubbish" league wasn't it & the thrashing of Liverpool in the Europa doesn't count? However, I really don't know why we all get so bovvered about footie. As Ron is constantly reminding us, it is a pretty corrupt set-up. £££ floating around in the Prem while historically important clubs like Bolton & Bury face extinction & elsewhere in sport R McIlroy can trouser c £10 mill after a few rounds of golf. And now we have a new national hero (knighthood awaiting no doubt) in a talented but thuggish cricketer who in another life would be spending time in one of HMG's prisons. Going for a lie down.

  11. Radfordkennedy

    Aug 27, 2019, 09:02 #114697

    Ron.....My comment regarding Freddie was based on his promotion to number 2, without him being a trusted part of UE's personal entourage. When that happens it always makes me think it's a board appointment just in case of future eventualities shall we say, but not necessarily with any long term plan.

  12. markymark

    Aug 27, 2019, 05:40 #114696

    CG - trouble is Dick had two golden opportunities last season 4th place shoo in and then some sort of messianic belief he was destined for the 4th winning of the Europa. It was blown to pieces. I’ve got the feeling that Raul will say to Emery the same as he said to AISA that it was fine margins. No one is disputing he’s a good coach but he didn’t pull up trees with PSG and I’m sort of thinking peek Emery is 5th in the Prem. let’s hope the issues around UTD , Spuds , Chelsea offer some opportunity to break in to 4th. Ron I think what you wish for is now far far away from achievable. Mourinho is past his 10 year curve of peak delivery and has been toxic at Chelsea and UTD. Often you can be right but deliver the message in such a bad way you’re done for. To me that’s Mourinho’s problem. He’s also lost his number 2 Rui and that appeared to create the negative spiral at UTD. The man needs to get happy again do we really need a brooding presence. As for standing up to people ? Maybe, but all I’d see is a sacking taking place. The likelihood is a manager on the rise. The old generation has gone and it’s pretty obvious the two best of the new guard are in the Prem already and unavailable. Therefore it’s likely to be a Pat , Fred or Arteta along with potentially a German coach or two in the mix.

  13. itsRonagain2

    Aug 26, 2019, 22:19 #114695

    CG. To answer your question. No. Because I don’t see a wengeresque continuation with peripheral changes as anything to be positive about.

  14. itsRonagain2

    Aug 26, 2019, 22:12 #114694

    The club needs firestorm through it. Cleanse it of it’s post Wengo cobwebs and rising damp. Emery isn’t the man to do it. It won’t happen. Why not? Because it costs a lot and this owner doesn’t have the interest desire or the drive. Emery is there because he’s Wengo 2. He ll toe the line and make no waves. My typing finger ought to fester but it needs a hungry Mourinho in there. I’ve detested him for years but he’s what Arsenal need. A man to bully the club into being disciplined and hungry and to recruit physically able and technically good players. It can’t happen as only 2 or 3 of that squad would survive the purge it needs. SK knows this and he couldn’t cope with a dominant personality downstairs or the upsurge in demand from fans that such an appointment would bring. The hell with pretty football. ASL were never built on that, they were built on cynical winning from the 30 s onwards. Wengos aberration needs to be swept away for good. This regime isn’t capable. Llungberg or PV 4 with the reins there? Do me a favour. Neither merits it and both would bring a continuance of the rubbish we see now.

  15. Exiled in Pt

    Aug 26, 2019, 20:41 #114693

    Cornish you make a good point if we are talking about trophies won as a coach, I believe that would make Dick number 2 in the PL! So surely he is a top 3 manager or coach rather than a top 5 man.. Still not convinced myself but we all said it would take 3 or 4 transfer windows to get his own men in and then we can be more critical.. So until then I am just taking it as it comes. Still believe we could of signed a better CB than Luís but I like the idea of him in front of Holding and Chambers and fuck Xhaka off...


    Aug 26, 2019, 19:59 #114692

    So Dick is a mere 5th in the Top Manager League? Legend has it that Pep was waiting for the call before going to City!! Rookie manager but always having unlimited funds at his disposal - would not have worked out well with the Kroenke kiss-penny regime. Ole, no way nor Le Poch - both having won bugger all - but, hey, we have to diss a record of 3 Europas don't we? In Europe neither Tuchel or other vaunted names are exactly tearing up trees. And Freddie? No way for some seasons yet. I think, barring Klopp, we have made the best appointment we could. Last season Dick was the new tinker man, now he is one dimensional ffs! I thought the tactics on Saturday were spot on & we could & should have had 2 goals in the first half. Benching Laca was correct imo & apart from the occasional flusters thought that we are starting to believe in the careful build up from the back. This largely new team looks a lot more confident, is more skilful, has more self-belief & certainly a lot more bottle. Success has to be earned & ambition comes from the drive & dedication at the very top - let's hope we see that, & not just good soundbites, from Kroenke Jnr.

  17. Cyril

    Aug 26, 2019, 19:58 #114691

    MM, I’m glad you’ve drawn me out there. It confirms my thoughts that it is the [or has been the board/owners] who have facilitated and lay in contentment. You know, it’s ok - nobody has died. I am actually looking on feeling happier about Josh and the soundbytes. [sounds like a band and maybe maybe a maybe an old school mod foursome might take the bait]. In the end, it might be as simple as this: They might actually give a damn now!

  18. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 26, 2019, 19:53 #114690

    @Mark totally agree with your last post and the one before about our transfer window/overall position. I think Emery can get third or even fourth place this year given that only Liverpool and City look like teams not at the beginning of major rebuilds. If Eriksen leaves Spurs they will really struggle for creativity. Ndombele and Lo Celso are box-to-box midfielders, not 10s, and Alli has been pretty awful the last few years. Against both Villa and Newcastle they looked completely devoid of creativity, and the City performance speaks for itself. We were only one point behind them last year and since then we've added great signings and have started defending properly. OK Chelsea could reinvest £200m next year, but they look pretty average so far - unless Hudson-Odoi fills in for Hazard I'd say we're comfortably better than them this season. As for United, I really think they could be in the wilderness for years to come (most of the nation thrilled, of course!). They're now at the stage where Ole said they had unspent funds - the subtext being that they know they can't buy their way out of mediocrity. They have to take gambles on players like Maguire and Daniel James as the really established top quality players of Europe view them as a mess.

  19. markymark

    Aug 26, 2019, 18:47 #114689

    Hi Cyril I think you have to look at the teams around us and figure out where we are from there. I’d say the worst result over the weekend was UTD. That is full on Momentum crushing . The Spuds are actually following form I think they’ve won 3 in 15?!? Sounds nuts but I’m sure I read that. Emery is a damn good top 5 manager. He will sadly get shifted I think with either Freddy moving up or potentially Paddy coming across if he doesn’t get top 4. The young lads we have are as good as anyone. We are probably going to be more proactive in January as well so that’s to the good. If we look at Klopp he’s somersaulted Liverpool to new heights after really knocking around as a slightly unconvincing 1st part of his career at Liverpool. The worry about Emery is he doesn’t have another gear. I’d say a manager with that extra bit about him could really get us shifting. Let’s hope Unai can do it. I remain unconvinced.

  20. Cyril

    Aug 26, 2019, 18:30 #114688

    ACG- I think we are all weary from the slow decline post Highbury. I understand where Ron is at. I can’t really remember the last competitive side we had.Boy, do I have fond memories of Patrick Vieira. I wouldn’t be far off if I said the day he left we dropped.

  21. A Cornish Gooner

    Aug 26, 2019, 17:56 #114687

    A disappointing performance, but was there anybody on here, other than ronagain, who really expected us to win 2-0? I agree with Cornish re the overreaction. And Ron, have you got ANYTHING positive to say about Arsenal these days?

  22. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 26, 2019, 17:33 #114686

    You're right Cyril, everything within that awful diamond was destined for disaster most probably. I should just clarify re: 'fine margins' that I meant more that this really could have been the case. If we had gone there with a 4231 and played direct I really don't think there would have been loads between us and Liverpool at that point.

  23. Cyril

    Aug 26, 2019, 17:02 #114685

    If that game was played 10 times, we have been defeated the same. I don’t understand how you can expect to play out from the corner flag into a narrow diamond and support the forwards. In fact, I don’t think I have seen tactics like this ever. Who knows -,there may be a cunning plan but I doubt it.

  24. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 26, 2019, 16:34 #114684

    @Gooner Ron, I didn't say they had load of chances in the first half, I said they had several clear-cut chances asides from the goals, and that our chances were due to Liverpool's unforced errors, which is true. If you look at the great Pepe chance, even he looked a bit surprised that the ball fell to him all of a sudden. That was a low pressure, easy-to-handle situation where Liverpool gave the ball away - that light, individual press when they had half the pitch behind them vs their high, intense, team-based press just isn't legit. You're very much right that this was a fine margins thing and that we could have won the game, it's just our formation/tactics were confused.

  25. GoonerRon

    Aug 26, 2019, 16:10 #114683

    @ Arsenal Magna - in the first half I don’t remember Liverpool having loads of clear chances? And Pepe’s chance was partly caused by him pressing Henderson in possession - if Liverpool get credit for knocking us out of our stride then so should we. Listen, I’m not saying Emery wasn’t without fault but I think there was some merit in the way we set up, and such are the fine margins that we easily could have gone in at HT 0-1, with some thing to protect.

  26. mad max

    Aug 26, 2019, 14:38 #114682

    I think the new regime is trying to genuinely bring success back to the club, but I fear emery is not the right man to take us forward, this playing out from the keeper across our own area is absolutely ridiculous especially against a high pressing team as good as Liverpool, what advantage is there in this tactic?. david luiz was a very poor signing calum chambers and rob holding should be first choice centre backs until saliba arrives, sokratis give's away too many needless fouls. the positive things are pepe who will set the premier league alight once he settles in,tierney and bellerin will improve the defence and dani Ceballos will become a top midfielder, he was played out of position. and why oh why does xhaka keep his place in the side he brings absolutely nothing to this team, torreira looked quality when he came on a far superior player than xhaka. overall it's gonna take time to rid the club of the complacenc that was allowed to creep in under wenger. I just don't think emery is good enough to bring us real success I hope i'm wrong C.O.Y.G

  27. Exiled in Pt

    Aug 26, 2019, 12:23 #114681

    Think we all agree , he set up to try and hit them on the counter ( no actually just hit the long ball over the top for the front two to chase ) , It gave them more of the ball and it was only a matter of time before we would concede . Even if we had taken the 2 chances , we would of still lost as we do not have the defensive ability to hold on for 90 minutes under constant attack! In Sokratis and Luis we are always going to give away penalties more so now with VAR , there is no hiding place for slow CB's any more that like to hang on to shirts in the box. The worry for me is why he took so long to change things , when last season we were all praising him for making early substitutions . Easy for us to all say what he should of done but he is the man with the job and his contract is up at the end of the season , if he gets them in to the top 4 he will get a new contract if he doesn't then we will be in the market for a new coach . Would not expect that to be a big name , i put my money on Silvinho or the promotion of Freddie .....

  28. markymark

    Aug 26, 2019, 10:41 #114680

    ItsRon2 - can’t agree with your assessment of the window. Basically nobody got what they wanted and UTD shipped out a lump, but none the less a guy who could bang then in against the lower end of the Prem. They simply have not replaced. Spuds are having a nervous breakdown over Erickson etc. Raul / Huss and probably Edu have shown more ingenuity in two months than Wengo , Law Gazidis showed in 10 years. The value of a 1-0 loss is you’re not emotionally battered , 1-0 losses can sometimes go 1-1. Mourinho in his pomp still went for negative football against his rivals with the hope of springing a nasty surprise. A narrow defeat at Anfield would have gone down well with the base and put credit in Emerys account. But Unai’s blown it again , just like he did in the 5 game end run disaster and just like he did in the Europa. Sadly he seems to point the pistol at the opposition and then inexplicably blow off his own toes. He’s a top 5 manager , trouble is we need top 4. Don’t be too surprised if there’s a word in Freddie’s ear at some point. However after saying all of the above the worst result of the weekend was at Old Trafford , even worse than the Spuds. So there’s always a Silver lining lol.

  29. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 26, 2019, 10:17 #114679

    Re: the comments about Emery overall, I think he's genuinely better than Wenger, based on pre-season and the first three games, in that he's actually trying to get us to play balanced football. Also, he does demand more from the players and can get it out of them too. We were 7 points better last season than in Wenger's last year, and we reached the EL final beating Valencia and Napoli - Wenger couldn't have achieved that. He's having to overturn a culture of laziness and poor defending, which will take time. LIkely he'll leave if we miss top 4 this year but I can't see what else he could be doing overall, it's just certain match plans/team selections like with at Anfield which can be problematic.

  30. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 26, 2019, 10:08 #114678

    @Gooner Ron, your point ignores the fact that Liverpool had several clear cut chances thanks to our poor system and that our chances emerged almost entirely from Liverpool's unforced errors rather than our own quality play. Also that Emery didn't HAVE to play Luiz at CB - who in their right mind does that vs a top 6 team?

  31. Cyril

    Aug 26, 2019, 09:41 #114677

    In the end you do need a top class Manager. The legacy of all of this is due to the club. We all know that Wenger should have been replaced by the likes of Klopp. We had plenty of opportunities over the past 5 years to get rid of Wenger. Look at the situation with Ozil. Would we be in this situation with Klopp in charge 3 years ago? Ron is right about the lack of insight we hear from Emery. Is he hiding behind the language barrier as I hear the same shallow stuff each week. To watch Leno hold onto the ball and wait for all his players and the oppo to clear off outside the box was embarrassing. And then to watch him roll out to the full back cornering him literally was shameful. Is this really Arsenal or am in a dream. Why have an outlet like Pépé and not release him on the counter attack. I am also not interested in ‘be careful what you wish for’ - excuse after excuse by people who are not running this club to level required sadly.

  32. Paulo75

    Aug 26, 2019, 08:48 #114676

    Agree with a lot of the comments regarding the set up - if ever there is a fixture for a 5 in midfield with Lacazette holding up the play up front then Saturday was it. Also struggling to understand Emery's love for Xhaka, would have had Torreira starting ahead of him all day. Not sure there was ever much chance of a result at Anfield with both full backs being out but we were a poor 2nd best I thought. I like Emery but just dont get many of his decisions. We dodged a bullet on Saturday with the first half penalty call but suspect Sokratis will be rumbled on many occasions this year with VAR in operation.

  33. itsRonagain2

    Aug 26, 2019, 07:42 #114675

    The support for DIck is laudable. Fact - the team is no better than under AW. His first year should have seen great improvement even with the squad he inherited. Fred Llungberg as Coach RK? What s that about? Surprised at that. No credentials there apart from nostalgia for AWs better days guiding yr view? Love the suggestion that City and Liv ‘have only one way of playing’. Quite hilarious. I wish Arse had a definitive style that wins CL s and Titles. Note the favourable views on the new players. Let’s face it, it’s kindness not to say too much. Reality - it was a rubbish transfer window. They bought a couple of punts. A washed up never been who’s club couldn’t get shot of quicker and bought a bit of unknown potential. I like the air of looking for respectable defeats as evidence of improvement. We used to do that in the 60s yet, the team then at least had a style and some definition despite the sieve as a defence unlike today’s charade of a team. Noting the perspective of wecwont have to go Anfield again mentality. Fact - Arsenal shit their pants again there as normal. Pretty much as they’ve done at all the away games to the top clubs for some years. Emery is taking the club nowhere under this owner and on the Emery point, why doesn’t the fool follow Bielsa s eg and use an interpreter ff! Despite the rest of the shambles that is Arsenal, he might at least then explain his thinking occasionally instead of spewing out the same jibberish every time. The fact that Arsenal allow it speaks volumes about the club and proves it’s as bad off the field as on it.

  34. markymark

    Aug 26, 2019, 06:45 #114674

    RadfordKennedy - it’s the major stress isn’t it. Just let em mix it up a bit,? but somewhere, some deep dive stat will prove you shouldn’t do that when your eyes are telling you just boot it. Probably easier in Spain where teams might gently drop off. Not when they are charging at you like a heard of elephants. Now who started that off? Was it Borussia Dortmund,? then you’ve got that Liverpool mob and hasn’t that Klopp fella managed both? So I might say , ere Lads don’t rely on your favourite slow pass out of defence , you know what i’d mix it up s bit! See we could both do a job in management lol! You do wonder sometimes , how a constant cycle of self inflicted harm can be allowed to occur.

  35. markymark

    Aug 26, 2019, 06:30 #114673

    GoonerRon - that’s a reasonable tactical point but I fear he seems binded to his extensive planning leaving little room for other options. It was starting to get massively oppressive at Anfield and surely he knows we don’t currently have the troops to pull it off. So why not switch earlier? to break up Klopp’s plan. I know I’ve gone on about our slowly, slowly pass out of the back . (A bit like leaving your wicket undefended against Dennis Lillee ) but he could give licence to mix up it up. That’s my fear, not quite there against the big boys in the big games a sense of confusion in the team and then a Walloping. However some obvious pointers that form amongst all the top 4 appears to show continuation of last season e,g UTD and Spuds gifting us an early reprieve . If he can’t get top amongst this chaotic group ? I’ve not got a massive beef against Emery, I quite like him but I do feel it’s Bruce Rioja time . Anyway onto the Spuds my prediction 3-1 us

  36. GoonerRon

    Aug 26, 2019, 02:38 #114672

    It’s not uncommon for teams going away in a game they aren’t expected to win to try to be strong down the spine and give up the flanks. Yes, their full backs are good and they had lots of crosses in the first half, but not much came of them and we largely nullified the space for their front three in the really dangerous areas of our defensive third. All the time we looked dangerous on the break. So up until 40 minutes I’d have said the overall game plan was working pretty well. Emery can’t legislate for Auba and Pépé missing their chances, nor brain farts from Sokratis or Luiz to gift them goals either. Annoying, but hardly surprising to lose, its vital we do that lot so our early season optimism doesn’t vanish.

  37. Radfordkennedy

    Aug 25, 2019, 22:14 #114671

    Marky ...brilliant post mate absolutely on the money, lessons not being learned indeed.

  38. markymark

    Aug 25, 2019, 20:48 #114670

    Rob G and CG - my big worry with Emery is after 1 season we can still be hopelessly mauled in defense . The slowly , slowly playing out of defence is suicide against Liverpool , we all know this how comes Dick can’t see it? If we’re going to be clever play short passes out of the back and then do a sudden rotation to long ball from the defence but no it’s a ponderous self defeating Road to no where. I really don’t see how Dick can’t even see the value of a 1-0 defeat. Many of us would see real progress in close defeats at Anfield the Etihad along with draws at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. But for 10 years we’ve often been humiliated . Dick has not learned the lesson and this self inflicted wound will eventually bring him down unless he changes course quick. Let’s hope he goes 4-3-3 against Spurs and puts this result to bed . I think it will be such a shame if his naive ness or just habitual tinkering kills his career.

  39. Dick Dastardly

    Aug 25, 2019, 20:38 #114669

    I just been reading up on Arsenal Tula, a club in the Russian Premier League. Even their nickname loosely equates to "the Gunners" or "Artillerymen". We knew already about Arsenal de Sarandi in Argentina and the other Arsenal in Tserkva Ukraine.. Surely only a matter of time before someone in the marketing department put stogether a pre-season tournament with these clubs Just a thought.


    Aug 25, 2019, 19:05 #114668

    Too much overreaction again imo. Ceballos going from hero to zero in a week, The new team is going to take time to settle but why let that get in the way of a bit of Emery bashing (not just on here by the way) - a 3 time Europa winner for goodness sake. I remain confident! How did Spurs get on against those no-hopers from the North-East by the way?

  41. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 25, 2019, 17:38 #114667

    @RobG, our chances came out of nothing yesterday - courtesy of Liverpool's unforced errors. Also, our full-backs wouldn't have made the difference yesterday as we were defending. I agree that we're making good progress and am delighted to see Unai committed to having us play balanced football, but he got the tactics so horrendously wrong yesterday, that's all.

  42. RobG

    Aug 25, 2019, 16:06 #114666

    OK - so they're better than us ; and I accept that. I still thought we did pretty well and if either of those two very presentable chances had gone in - it might have been different. Don't forget, we are missing both our full back options. So there is still more to come. People are still too quick to denounce Unai if it doesn't go as we want. But this is the beginning of the second year, of a three year job. I think we are making the right progress, although |I accept a lot of others don't.

  43. Radfordkennedy

    Aug 25, 2019, 12:34 #114665

    I'm not sure the old saying of 'horses for courses' translates into Basque, but what in the name of God was UE thinking in trying to play from the back against LFC?. You have to mix it up keep them guessing I think we played so much into their hands , quite apart from what it's costing me in gaviscon it's shredding my nerves watching us trying to play counter football against far better and faster teams . Like many others I cannot understand the selections or tactics,if this continues and no significant improvement on last season is evident come easter, I think young Freddie may well be visiting the club's tailor for a fitting.

  44. Cyril

    Aug 25, 2019, 10:43 #114664

    The tactics used yesterday, I can only compare to an opponent going into the ring with his chin out, with his hands behind his back, standing straight in front of a 1987 version of ‘iron mike’. Nuff sed !

  45. Dick Dastardly

    Aug 25, 2019, 10:33 #114663

    We did alright up to gifting them the first goal and I don't know what they talked about at half time but I'm pretty sure it wasn't on the lines of "don't worry, I'll just pull the blokes shirt to give them a penalty". This pushing up tactic should easily be nullified by just sending everyone up to halfway line and launching one up the park. In my opinion it is slowly killing football. The bin dippers are like Citeh; they have only one way of playing. It might be effective but it sure ain't pretty and teams should play against them knowing Van Dijk is exposed at the back. Well, lets see.

  46. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 25, 2019, 10:32 #114662

    I must say though that I am loving United's demise and Chelsea's struggles. Based on what we've seen so far it's going to be another battle for 4th between us, Chelsea and United, but these two clubs could be in real dire straits long term. OK, Chelsea have Hudson-Odoi and maybe Mount and Abraham, but their other players don't look that impressive to me, and I'm not sure who they can get, even for £200m which they will reinvest, that could make them as good as they were with Hazard (unless Hudson-Odoi steps up, which is feasible). Also, Abramovich's interest may be waning. As for United, what a situation they're in - I'd only take Rashford and Pogba from that team, maybe De Gea if he rediscovers his form. They're in a dire situation where most of the few players who want to play for them don't seem good enough and they're reluctant to pay big money on transfers en masse anymore.

  47. ArsenalMagna

    Aug 25, 2019, 10:20 #114661

    On paper you could say Liverpool are head and shoulders above Arsenal so this was to be expected. There's some truth in that, as Liverpool can blow away the best teams in Europe. On the other hand, they've looked somewhat rusty in all their pre-season, and for the Super Cup and EPL games so far, especially defensively. I'm so glad to see Emery is trying to get us to play balanced football still, and that the players all looked committed. However, he made calamitous errors yesterday in our setup which could be spotted in foresight. As soon as I saw our starting XI and then the formation my heart sank and I knew a thrashing was incoming. Not an expert, but I know from football pundits that your two most important players at home are your full-backs, so playing a diamond at Anfield is reckless beyond belief. You can say they only scored the first two from set-pieces, but they were dominating open play and could easily have scored more. Don't get too worked up over our chances either - OK Pepe looked class in the first half and will be a great talent for us, but our chances mostly came from unforced Liverpool errors. Auba/Pepe didn't come back to help the defence, and they couldn't be outlets for counters as we generally didn't play long balls for them. Luiz got the nod I suspect because of his height (good aerially) but who in their right mind plays him at CB vs a top 6 side!? He'd actually make a great DM vs any side, and would be an upgrade on Xhaka as he can defend and has Xhaka's long range passing and shooting, is far better overall defensively, and his lapses in concentration wouldn't cost us as much at DM position. Also not starting Laca, a supremely talented striker who can hold the ball - total madness. Ceballos out of position, Willock showed flashes of brilliance but clearly out of his depth for now, and Pepe not looking match fit but kept on the whole time.

  48. Pauljames

    Aug 25, 2019, 09:41 #114660

    I think Mark makes some good points.Emery needs to tailor tactics and team selections better to the opponents we are facing. Playing out from the back looked dangerous enough v Burnley, against Liverpool it is suicidal, Leno passing the ball to his full backs when they will be pressed by two opponents just baffles me to be honest, and I don’t see what advantages the team gains from it.As I put on here the other day, and the evidence of the season so far bares it out, Chelsea and Utd are vulnerable this year and if Emery does not get top 4 or win the EL then we need to look elsewhere.

  49. markymark

    Aug 25, 2019, 07:31 #114658

    The diamond formation has absolutely everything to do with Emery and thus allowing Liverpool’s fullbabcks more room to manoeuvre is madness. This is the same Emery who allowed Arsenal to blow the end run and seemed obsessed by the Europa but was bamboozled by Sarri. Emery at home may be good enough to draw against Liverpool and City and beat Spurs and Chelsea . But away we will suffer. The odds for a conversation being had with Freddie will begin to shorten if he doesn’t start playing to Arsenal’s strengths and that includes Lacazette. This game can almost be forgotten about , but it is an indicator which suggests Peak Emery is not god enough to mix it with his rivals. This is a shame as it appears self inflicted.