Posted on December 22, 2014 by ADMIN

Detailed game review shows Arsenal criticism as crazy!!

Was this a reaction to the result or an agenda against Arsene and Arsenal? By Tinashe Shamuyashe, Zimbabwean Arsenal Fan.

Following Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool I feared that the result had triggered another wave of negativity against the club and manager. I only had to visit Justarsenal and watch the PL Fanzone program to confirm my fears. What was striking about the crescendo of criticism was its contradictory nature, from fans and so called analysts. Taken separately it would seem the team did nothing right and they lost by a 10 goal margin. However when one places the criticisms close to one another contradictions become so glaring that one wonders whether the makers of the comments ever use their grey matter or whether they are on a mission which is “bash the club and Wenger out”.

As a trained lawyer I will first lay out undisputed facts before making my opinion. It is common knowlege that Liverpool has been poor all season, struggling in the Capital One cup but scraping through nonetheless. Losing 3-0 and 3-1 against Manchester clubs, losing 1-2 at home to Chelsea, and so on. Be that as it may there is no denying that Liverpool has very good players in the mould of Sterling, Coutinho, and Lallana on their day. They have average talent in the form of Gerrard (because of age), Henderson, and Lucas in the midfield. These players compensate for lack of flair with hard work. Added to that list is Markovic who blows hot and cold in a single match. Their back three can be regarded as average to below average; however, we need not forget that Sakho was getting first team action ahead of Laurent Koscielny in the French team.

Added to that was the fact that they were playing at home with a home crowd which reminds anyone of games in Germany and Turkey. A vociferous crowd that counts as 12th man. At the start of every game an Anfield anthem is sang to get the crowd and players fired up, I am not sure whether that is the case at many other clubs stadia. As an aside I think Arsenal fans must learn something from Liverpool supporters especially at home. The Liverpool players had a psychological advantage over our players because of the magnitude of their win last season. Added to that the media were making reference to that result all week long, omitting the fact that we beat Liverpool 2-1 the following week on our way to the FA cup glory.

From the Arsenal side, we had a team that has had a bumpy ride to the season. We had a right back playing his second game at centre back, a predominantly wing player helping with defensive duties in the midfield. We had an on fire Cazorla and a highly effective front three of Alexis, Danny, and Olivier. We also had a team that was going to be reminded throughout the match of the 5-1 loss by the home fans.

With those facts in mind Liverpool were going to start more aggressively while Arsenal were to be more conservative. This is what happened from the first minute till halftime. Liverpool’s passing in the middle of the pack was swift and accurate and there was good link up play with their front three. They closed Arsenal quickly once they lost the ball, thus Arsenal did not have enough time on the ball. The strategy for Arsenal was therefore to soak up pressure as long as they could. Every time Arsenal won possession very few players came out of the defensive shape to try to start an attack of their own. Was this a wrong strategy? I do not think so, in the circumstances of last season and the energy shown by Liverpool in the early minutes, it was the right strategy in my view. Last season 2 goals came from Arsenal trying to create something going forward against a highly charged team. This led to loss of possession and counter attack at lightening pace by Liverpool.

This time the team maintained their defensive shape, such that despite Liverpool’s dominance and intricate passing in the middle of the pack, they offered virtually nothing in the final third. Until the 44th minute the majority of their attempts at goal were fortuitous and can never be regarded as real goal scoring chances. At the same time it cannot be said Liverpool was wasteful in front of goal. So if Arsenal were so awful in defence with Liverpool superb in attack, how come Szczesny, just like Jones, was a spectator for the greater part of the first half? Either Liverpool was wasteful in the final third or the claim that Arsenal was poor defensively is completely wrong. After watching the game for the second time my view is that Arsenal defended well against a rampant Liverpool.

There are others who believe that Arsenal should have fought fire with fire. Surprisingly these people accused the team and manager for failing to adjust tactics against a rampant Liverpool and Chelsea last season resulting in heavy losses. You cannot have your cake and eat it so they say. The team adjusted accordingly and did well to contain Liverpool until the 44th minute. Watching that game live and for the second time it was apparent to me that if Arsenal had tried to put pressure on Liverpool once in possession and without possession, we would have conceded three or more goals in the 1st half. Liverpool was very mobile in the middle and their passes were very accurate. Taking numbers forward would have left our defence overly exposed. This would have spelt disaster considering that Debuchy was not in his favoured position, Per was playing left side CB, while Chambers does not have the pace of a right back.

At this stage let me address a complaint raised as to why Debuchy played CB while Chambers played wide. The answer lies in an article published here about aggressive and sweeping CBs. Chambers like Per does not have the pace of an aggressive CB who must be paired with a sweeper CB (Per). In addition Liverpool were playing their pacey Sterling as centre forward, therefore there was need for a fast CB to partner Per. Debuchy was the right player considering that Nacho was coming from injury and is not as pacey as Sterling anyway. That partnership kept Sterling in shape, and the only time he threatened in the first half was when he went to fetch the ball up field and Per went with him. As expected he beat Per on pace but he had no end product because of the numbers we had in defence.

Liverpool’s goal came when Arsenal wanted to retain possession under pressure, which was an antithesis of what they had done in the first 43 minutes. Liverpool started an attack from a free kick awarded on their right side of attack. Arsenal as before defended well leading to a throw in for Liverpool, and a clearance that fell on Giroud who was not under pressure. Instead of kicking the ball out for a throw in or just kicking it up field, he decided to lay the ball back to Gibbs who was surrounded by three Liverpool players. Gibbs was never favourite to win the ball, and that put the team under extreme pressure. Without the right defensive shape and numbers at the back Coutinho was able to capitalize. Had Arsenal played defensive/negative football on that occasion that goal would not have been conceded, because it would have been a throw in or ball pushed into Liverpool half for them to start another wave of attack.

My analysis therefore is that while Liverpool moved the ball very well in the first half, won back possession extremely well, and had 80% possession, our team defended well, as such Szczesny had little to do except to pick the ball from the net in the 44th minute. While Arsenal did nothing going forward in the first half, they made the most of the sole chance that came their way. The team got a set piece which they put to good use, with Flamini setting up Debuchy. It is therefore utterly disrespectful to claim that Arsenal were lucky to go to half time level. The team defended well, limiting Liverpool chances, and made the most of the chance that came their way going forward. How many times has Mourinho been applauded for playing this type of football and getting results? Why should the same not go to Arsenal?

Football games are decided by goals and if a team manages to limit the opposition’s clear chances why should that be labelled as dreadful/awful performance etc. How many times did Arsenal dominate possession like Liverpool did without an end product? The Manchester games at the Emirates come to mind this season. What has been our reaction to such performances? Wenger has no plan B, he just plays pass, pass without end product. Today the shoe was on another foot, it was us under pressure from a determined home side. We had to give an appropriate response defensively, and that we did until Giroud decided the best form of defence was to be positive under pressure. The team paid for that change in attitude.

Second half was much better in terms of our midfield play as Liverpool had dropped a bit. Every time we won possession we tried to exploit their defensive frailties, but we were not naive to commit bodies forward. Our defensive work was made difficult because by the 50th minute Flamini and Debuchy had yellow cards. It would have been suicidal to expose them to one on one situations; therefore our midfield had to put an extra shift to shield our back four. Liverpool were restricted to attempts outside the box, which attempts were not life threatening.

While Liverpool was showing signs of disorganization, their determination never faded away. Arsenal was gifted possession in its own half by legendary Gerrard. Gibbs did well to utilize space in front of him before making a very good long range pass that found Giroud whose first touch pass to Carzola was top class. Thinking Carzola would pass across goal the Liverpool defence rushed to close the space in front of their goalkeeper leaving Giroud unmarked. Gibbs cut back the ball to Giroud whose first touch finish was superb. So called pundits and those that are sworn never to give credit to the team have been attributing the goal to poor defending by Liverpool. What they fail to understand is that poor defending and good attack are two sides of the same coin. You concede because you are relatively poor at defending while the opposition is relatively good in utilizing its chances. You can never talk in absolute terms in a competition. Arsenal thus utilized their chance, hence they deserved the goal. That Liverpool was relatively poor at defending is none of Arsenal’s business.

After the goal Liverpool went for broke withdrawing a defender for a striker. Sterling went to the flank where he caused lots of problems but Arsenal defended for dear life not allowing Liverpool to go behind our defenders. Liverpool threw on yet another striker to add pressure up front. It was logical that Arsenal had to bring in a defensive player in the mould of Francis Coquelin. There are some who have criticized the manager for substituting Giroud arguing that he offers a lot on defending set pieces, but football is not all about defending set pieces but also defending in field, winning balls, and putting opposition under pressure in possession. It also includes not being reckless with the ball in dangerous areas as Giroud did in the first half. Of the three attacking players, Giroud is the one with less work rate without the ball. It was for this reason that some of you labelled him donkey, etc. So that substitution could not be faulted because we needed numbers in defence. When the second substitution came in for us it was Nacho coming in for Alexis. Alexis’ ball retention was not good today. He was losing dribbles for fun. It was thus necessary to bring in a defence minded person in the form of Nacho for Alexis.

Despite their dominance around the box Liverpool were restricted to long range efforts the most dangerous of which was a Gerrard strike, which Szczesny did well to stop. The Borini header was never going to trouble the keeper, while Lucas was not making use of Arsenal’s half clearances. The major criticism that could be levelled at Arsenal at that stage of the game was the mindset of players. At the 90th minute mark it became apparent that they wanted to protect the lead. Maybe they did not realize that it was 9 minutes of added time due to Skrtel’s injury. Even when Liverpool was reduced to 10 men in the 5th minute of injury time it was apparent that the players’ mental state was never going to shift because of numerical advantage. Liverpool continued to pile up pressure winning corner after corner.

In the 7th minute of injury time Liverpool scored. Many have criticised zonal marking because of the conceded goal, however they forget the corners that were well defended with that system. Zonal or man marking is a matter of choice as each system has its own weaknesses. Teams that do men marking on corners and other set pieces also concede goals. So should they blame men marking? On this occasion one can argue that the zonal setting was not perfect. Jermaine Jenas who was one of the analysts on match day appeared to have given a correct analysis. He stated that the zonal setting was wrong for an out swinger corner. Arsenal players needed to move a bit out of their goal because the ball was going to flying away from goal. For me this analysis was spot on, Per did not organize his zone well on that occasion, unless the players were now thinking about the final whistle. That was the blemish I can put on the team defensively, because the corner was a poor one and could have been easily defended if the players had occupied the correct zones as observed by Jenas.

On the overall view, Liverpool put an exceptional attacking performance while Arsenal did well to cope with the offensive play of Liverpool. As I was writing this article I was watching the Sky Sports panel of Redknapp, Bellamy, and two other fellows, agreeing that this was Liverpool’s best performance this season. They even tipped Liverpool to be on fire going forward. Sky also showed Sterling statistics indicating that he only had three touches in Arsenal box and one shot on target the whole game. He however made three key passes after he was pushed to the wing. This tells you how the team performed defensively for the greater part of the game. They denied Liverpool opportunities to go behind the defence throughout the match.

We cannot spend the whole day being negative about how we defended the last corner that gave the equalizer as if the team did nothing defensively in the 99 minutes of play. Should Chelsea be lamenting the way they defended the Man U free kick in the last minute, which gave the latter an equalizer? At the end of the day that is how matches pan out. You attack brilliantly and tear apart the opposition’s defence or the opposition defends well leaving you with every other statistics in your favour except the scoreline. The latter is what happened today.

Had it not been for Giroud’s recklessness in possession in the 44th minute the scoreline would have been 0-0 or 0-1 at halftime depending on whether you think Gerrard would have fouled Alexis had they not scored. From what I saw Liverpool always dropped a bit after scoring and this is why Alexis was able to move forward with the ball. For me the scoreline would have been 0-0. Our mindset should have quickly changed after the Liverpool red card but I have seen 10 men pressurizing opponents especially when they are at home. Our defending of the last corner could have been better yes but that is football. Show me a team that has not conceded on set pieces in circumstances in which commentators accuse the defence of being poor. In the final analysis Arsenal did well defensively today while Liverpool’s energy made it difficult for the team to dominate possession as has been the norm in the past. But to deride the team in the manner in which fans here and pundits did at PL fanzone was despicable to say the least. The team deserved its two goals while it restricted Liverpool opportunities despite their dominance.

So if the team did well to restrict Liverpool chances why are we having this negativity? Being a person living in a country which is very polarized politically, I can proffer an explanation. In my country there are people who are opposed to the current government and another group that is pro government. In the eyes of one group the other group can do no good. A commuter omnibus crashes into a train because it did not stop at a rail level crossing; the group opposed to the government blames government, because the booms that close when a train is passing were not working. But the rule of the road requires the commuter omnibus driver to stop at a rail level crossing, which he did not do. The opposition’s agenda is clear, whatever the facts say blame the government.

This is the dilemma which Arsenal fans here find themselves in. They are obsessed with Wenger out, board out, and majority shareholder out mentality such that they do not miss the slightest of opportunities to demonize the manager, club and the majority shareholder. That is why most of the criticisms levelled against the team following the Liverpool game were contradictory. For them the objective is to find something to blame the manager for.
The following are the contradictions in the criticisms:

(1) The team should not have set back in the face of Liverpool marauding attacks. But when they did that Liverpool did not have clear cut goal scoring opportunities, when Olivier decided to retain possession by passing to a heavily marked Gibbs possession was lost resulting in a Liverpool goal.
(2) Team did not have counter tactics to deal with Liverpool offensive play. But despite Liverpool dominance the team maintained shape defensively resulting in Liverpool having few chances, is that not a sufficient counter strategy?
(3) Wenger did not have tactics to deal with Lallana, Coutinho, and Sterling. Why is it that Coutinho had to score because of Giroud’s reckless play rather than Liverpool’s superb build up play with the dominance they had?
(4) Wenger made wrong subs in removing Giroud for Francis. So we should have kept an offence player when we needed to defend our lead? Between Olivier, and Danny and Alexis who puts least shift defensively? The same story goes for the replacement of Alexis with Nacho. The club needed to defend what it had. The offensive players had not offered much going forward anyway.
(5) Wenger should have put Walcott in. Really? What is Walcott’s defensive record apart from his pace going forward? Are you not the same people who have been complaining that Campbell was not getting game time? Why complain when he has been given one?
(6) Flamini should have been subbed. Really? The team is defending for dear life and you want your defensive players subbed.
(7) Szczesny was rash to come out when the ball was lobbed behind the defenders. Are you serious? If he had stayed back Sterling would have controlled the ball with no pressure and scored. As it turned out Sterling had to scoop away the ball from Szczesny with his hand because of pressure.

I can go on and on about the contradictions in the criticisms. This clearly shows that it’s more about the agenda than team performance which brings all these reactions. Unfortunately organizations are not run on the basis of irrational reactions by stakeholders but facts. As long as you continue to shun facts for these self serving agendas you will forever remain hurt by decisions that are made by the club. You can go on social media to denigrate the club, and become resident callers and writers to PL fanzone as one Mcbernard (or something like that) from South Africa has been ranting on today’s program, claiming that if he sits on the Arsenal bench the team will do wonders, but that will not change anything. At the end of the day you will become a perennial moaner not only in matters football but in other aspects of your life. Here in Zimbabwe we say an empty vessel makes the most noise so once I start seeing and hearing all those hate filled rants I make my conclusion.

Digest that.

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78 thoughts on “Detailed game review shows Arsenal criticism as crazy!!

  1. dima

    Good Grief Bob! Looks like you have a lot of time on your hands! Good article. But as I said on Friday about all the post we had here about that we have adventage becasue liverpool this and that and blah blah blah, so what is responce now???? “Fans” need to stop whinning about our opponents problems and hope that we will beat them because of their problems, they need to stop whinning about “Wenger out” and just relax and ejnoy the game. Do I enjoy Arsenal loosing(playing terrible)? No!!!! But sitting and complaining about Arsenal will make no difference. And the ones that want to give advice to Arsene or our players, I have a question: If you have so much talent and skill that you advise professional how to play on highest level possible, then why are you here and not on one of those teams? If you have so much wisdom and knowledge to manage the team like Arsenal, then why are you here?

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 18

    1. Budd

      Everyone is an ace in football coaching and politics. You should know that by now.

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 18

      1. muffdiver

        condescending much?

        ur like my grandad only younger an probably with better bladder control

        Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4

    2. SoOpa AeoN

      Boy! That was one helluva textbook!……. Had to scroll down so fast to the comment section….. Long texts sucks!…… The current arsenal and Wenger are mediocres… End of story!

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 37 Thumb down 38

    3. atid

      Sorry, couldn’t read the post as I didnt want to miss Xmas day. Seedings you are a trained lawyer, I will wait for the summing up, before reading it.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 6

    1. muffdiver

      you read the whole article?

      take your IQ where it would be appreciated…..nasa

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 15

      1. AYZAY

        I actually slept reading that textbook, woke up and dived to the comments section, does that make me COMMENT DIVER?, is that how u got your name muff?

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

        1. Sacrificial_Pizza

          The amount of complaints saying that they cannot read this entire article backs up my suspicions about the intelligence of 90% of the posters here, or the lack thereof.

          It’s less than a chapter in a book guys, seriously haha.

          Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 7

          1. muffdiver

            we are too busy to read all that son.

            i literally watch fillms, bid on ebay and work on my site while poppin on here at the same time

            Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 18

  2. bomber

    Well written. Unfortunately the inmates here won’t take time to read it. Not enough CAPS used, to much thought provoking debate. There is a clear agenda. It’s ‘we know best and we want Arsene out’. If you suggest Arsene wasn’t at fault for everything done on and off the pitch then you’re pro Arsene, anti Arsenal.

    I want balance back. I want my Arsenal back, back from the Arsene Out Brigade who have somehow isolated fans into two camps.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 14

    1. SoOpa AeoN

      @bomber…….. You isolated urself buddy, u chose to Live in mediocrity, we choose to Live in reality

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 32

      1. SoOpa AeoN

        plus u don’t have a badge, u have something else with wenger’s smiley face on it

        Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 21

        1. ArseneIsYourDaddy

          You are long on opinion and short on analysis. I suspect like any other couch genius you watch the game, at halftime you scream at Mummy to bring you a sammich then at the end of the game scream Wenger out.

          Brendan came with a plan with an extra man in the midfield; they bossed it for 45 minutes. Wenger adjusted, took the game away from them and Giroud scored.

          Now tell me SOpa “Pep Guardiola” Aeon when did you become a football expert?
          Like Tinashe I watched the game a 2nd time. For Liverpool’s goal watch carefully you will see Monreal tell Chambers to cover Skrtel and Chambers did not move.

          You, like me have an opinion, everyone has one. Some are not worth expressing.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      2. bomber

        You’ve deemed yourself more important than the club with your agenda to uproot Wenger during the course of a season. You use every opportunity and mistake made as an opportunity to make your agenda relevant. You’ve labelled me as a Wenger fan, simply because I won’t throw him under the bus every chance I get. You’ve distorted reality to legitimize your agenda.

        Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 11

        1. SoOpa AeoN

          @bomber….. there’s no gain in MEDIOCRITY, keep pretending u can’t see what’s right infront of u… U’ll hit boiling point soon

          Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 14

          1. Sacrificial_Pizza

            ^^ Something tells me soopa was an Invincibles bandwagon jumper haha. He doesn’t seem to remember true mediocrity. Worst type of fans, and I completely agree, they are what is ruining this club

            Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

            1. SoOpa AeoN

              um! Pizzas are usually not my favourites especially the sacrificiaL ones……. U do not need to know my history with arsenal, i do not need to tell….. But i have a very very Low threshold for Nonsense and i’m not a fan of shambles …..(there are thers like me ere)

              Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

                1. arsenal207

                  i usually think of fans like SoOpa as women type fans. They never talk about football, always moaning like a little bitch no matter when we win or loose. No where else other than bulletin board accepts this kind of person.

                  Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            2. ArseneIsYourDaddy

              Yep, you can tell the fans who became “fans” in the Henry era.

              Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

          2. bomber

            I don’t pretend. I don’t accept mediocrity. That is why I don’t accept everything the AOB purpose. ‘Anything’ isn’t better then Wenger. It’s because I don’t accept mediocrity that I believe your agenda is hurting the club. I want better for the club, and in order to do better we need balance and objectivity when looking at certain situations.

            You and your lot would have had David Moyes installed a few seasons ago, you would have had us sign ‘big name players’ that the Spurs signed two seasons ago. Paulinho, Super Mario…anything. Because you have no spine. You spew off with your agenda because you don’t have to worry about reactions to actions. You want change for the sake of change, but more importantly you distort objectivity in order to further your agenda – ‘of being right’.

            Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  3. GOONSTER

    Damn man.. I was put off by how long the article is.. I read the first part and then scrolled to see how much have I got left to read, Mama mia, never ending..

    Phewww…

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 13

  4. Brendan

    “I feared that the result had triggered another wave of negativity against the club and manager”..Not the result, the performance.
    “As a trained lawyer I will”..Totally irrelevant thing to say, it’s football.
    “Every time Arsenal won possession very few players came out of the defensive shape to try to start an attack of their own. Was this a wrong strategy? I do not think so”..This wasn’t strategy, more just being outplayed and not being able to hold onto the ball
    “Either Liverpool was wasteful in the final third or the claim that Arsenal was poor defensively is completely wrong”..They were wasteful and we were poor defensively, Ox and Flamini stayed deep and yet never closed anyone down, they didn’t defend or bridge the gap from defence to attack.
    “There are others who believe that Arsenal should have fought fire with fire.”..If by that you mean we should have passed well and not thrown the ball every 5 seconds then yes we should have.
    “How come Szczesny, just like Jones, was a spectator for the greater part of the first half?”..They had 27 shots and 10 on target mate

    I’m about two paragraphs in and not arsed with this crap anymore, if you don’t see how that was a sh!t performance then good luck to you. Lowest possession and shots stats since 2003 or something like that, pathetic.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 17

    1. SoOpa AeoN

      whoever this trained Lawyer is, she should understand this is football zone and not a Law court ….. Wenger sucks

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 29

    2. Usmanov

      Did not want to comment at first, but I couldn’t help but show appreciation for the way you countered the writer’s argument like you was a lawyer too. Or are you?
      Anyways what’s this thing about “agenda against Arsene and Arsenal, mission which is “bash the club and Wenger”?
      This useless conspiracies drives me crazy. You’ve got to be a bad loser to believe this conspiracy.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    3. RSH

      finally somebody with some perspective. This person acts like we defended well, but quite the opposite. The amount of times Liverpool couldve finished us off was probably even 5 minutes at some points in the match. And sitting back was fine for this game I think. But nobody has a strategy of giving the ball away every two seconds with horrible passes. Liverpool outplayed us the whole game and we rode our luck.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  5. sevenitti

    We should not blame the players for this. We should blame wenger for not being the tactician required to win these games. Wenger is a tactical retard, well proved by yesterdays use of substitutes.

    When we’re being dominated as we were during the whole game, the second liverpool goal was inevitable.

    Again, we went up to 80 minutes without making any substitutes. I really don’t know what to make of it…

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 15

    1. Budd

      Give it a rest already. If anything it was Bould who lost the game as the attack did scored all the chances we had. Defense on the other hand …
      Makes you think, Bould in team and defense is having a bad rap every game . Not saying he’s not up to it but if we are at roasting Wenger here then why not look at all coaches?

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      1. sevenitti

        We defended good, after all, they scored on exploiting our system of zonal marking – and that with Chambers on RB and a RB (debuchy) on CB. Bould cant take the blame for wenger insisting on playing ZM. The inability to take control of the match destroyed us, not our defending.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. medvet

    more and more excuses… you can eat all the sh*t that you want, but we deserve better… Next article

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 13

    1. Budd

      I agree. If I would be the coach I would put my resignation already with the team we have. But this is because I am a fu cking weakling, I am not Wenger. I don’t know the game as he does and I haven’t stayed more than 100 milliseconds in a premier team dressing room.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      1. ArseneIsYourDaddy

        Budd, there Arsenal experts who have never played the game even as children, who have not accomplished anything, adults who live with Mummy yet scream that they know more football than Wenger, Bould and all the coaches at Arsenal.
        They also know more medicine than the Arsenal medical staff, and can defend better than Per.

        Bow down to the internet geniuses, I am baked by the heat of their expertise in all things football.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  7. davi

    What do you mean by “aggressive” and “sweeping” CBs? To my mind, a sweeping CB would be a pacey player who can cover for other defenders, because he has the pace to do so. Campbell used to do this for Arsenal, Gallas used to do it (often from LB) for Chelsea and Koscielny does it consistently for us now – which is why he’s so missed. Mertesacker tends to play higher up and tries to stop the ball going past him so that he doesn’t have to turn and get back, because that’s where he’s less effective.
    I guess an aggressive CB is one who plays close to the forward he’s marking and tries to intercept before the forward can get the ball. Both Mertesacker and Koscielny do this, as does Chambers and as did Vermaelen. And to say Chambers doesn’t have the pace to do this is wrong imo, he’s got plenty of pace, just needs experience in the position, to learn when to be aggressive and when to stand off a bit so he doesn’t get caught out as Vermaelen often did and as Mertesacker does from time to time. It’s more about reading the play than about raw pace imo. Pace becomes important when the interception attempt fails so the forward can turn or get a quick pass away, and the pace is needed to recover position.
    Sorry, I just picked up on this early on when reading the article – completely agree with the content overall. Chelsea often play a very defensive game against these sorts of sides and Mourinho is praised for his “pragmatism”. Shame we didn’t quite hold on at the end but that’s just how it goes sometimes, and you’re right about the equaliser as well.
    I do think there was another issue defensively, and that was that Flamini just didn’t have an impact on the game in his general play, and they won the midfield battle because of it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  8. Mick The Gooner

    The assumption that we didn’t perform badly because we didn’t lose is ridiculous. Since records began we have never given the opposition so many shots on goal, nor have we had so little possession. Not when we lost 8-2 to Man United, nor 6-0 to Chelsea. It simply hasn’t happened. We’ve never been dominated so badly and its nothing short of luck that Liverpool didn’t finish their chances or it could have been a cricket score by halftime.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

    1. jaweant

      I’m not sure how you can have such little possession. We weren’t playing defensively, we were playing defense. We had no answer for liverpool. I think as a fan I get frustrated because I know how good we are and can be especially possessing the ball. You never want to see your team play like that. As a player, I played in those games. They are exhausting and we typically lost. Not sure how Arsenal almost won, speaks to how poor liverpool has been this year.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. GOONSTER

    To this day I don’t know why we did not sign Luiz Gustavo.. The guy is a bull dog.. We had a chance to sign him for £8 million but as always wenger hates defensive players..

    Schneiderlin is the one closer to him in play, he can sit in there if asked, he can pass, he can start attacks, comfortable on the ball etc..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    1. juhislihis

      Wasn’t it something related to the owners of Wolfsburg who are close with Bayern or something like that? Anyway when the transfer happened I got the picture no one else even had the chance to sign Gustavo than Wolfsburg. Fixed transfers I tell ya. Wolfsburg now is oozing talent: Rodriguez, Knoche, Gustavo, Bendtner (lol)..

      Krychowiak lad looks solid, impressive stats too. But if I remember correctly Sevilla is still in the Europa League and top 4 in Liga so don’t think he’ll move.

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  10. Big Gun

    Bottom line is without Koss, we are frail at the back. We might as well put a totem poll in Mertesackers position, because for his so called ‘experience’ he looks like one of those abnormally tall teenagers void of any confidence. I bet in a wheelchair I could outpace him. As for his height, he never uses it and rarely do we see him win air balls! We need a Kompany or a Cahill at the back. Wenger should never have played Chamberlain in the midfield, the guy is a winger and it just didn’t work out between him, Santi and Flamini. We basically had no midfield yesterday that is why we got dominated. Flamini’s positioning is attrocious, for a holding mid, he was pressing too far up the pitch and left us vulnerable. Both the players and manager are too blame. Szczesny only one who had a good game and saved some sitters, hats off to him. Wenger absolutely must buy another pacey CB and top DM in Jan. Let Flamini and Diaby go and next year sell Mertesacker and bring in a better CB.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    1. atid

      Check the results. We have been frail at the back even with kos. I would actually say our best two centre backs this season have been debuchy and monreal.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    2. phil-thompsons-nose

      Big G
      As the saying ‘apparently goes’….’He’s 6’5 and jumps 5’8″!

      Useless is an understatement!!!
      He’s weak, frail, un combative,slow.. Sorry slow is fast compared to his lethargic gangly way- milk turns quicker..!
      Listen, the guys a World Cup winner so everyone keeps banging on about, so f.u.kin what..! He’s still shite!
      Get him out he’s a liability .. Along with a few others .. I’ll mention another time!!

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

    3. SoOpa AeoN

      we have a snail for a defender, actually its a mixed breed of snaiL and giraffe, plus its speaks english and german……haha! Great attributes

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  11. cheeterspotter

    I’ll be a bit shorter with my comment than the above article.
    This Arsenal side is crap.Step forward and take a bow monsieur Wenger.

    I

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

    1. almostawinner

      thats what happens when u sell or let go ur best players (rvp,cesc,..)
      and get colostrum , flam, sanogo (cheap is not good and good is not cheap)

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  12. phil-thompsons-nose

    Too long winded article…
    Bottom line is – we AREN’T good enough and we haven’t been for a very long time now irrespective of one performance like yesterday’s!!
    One win here one loss there a few games drawn etc no consistency from a very inconsistent stubborn manager…
    Something isn’t right and it’s about time change happened!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

    1. mr lean

      Phil,in fortunately the only thing that will change at the Emirates in January are the calendars on the walls.
      We are stuck with that 8m a year fraud of a manager and his new band of deadwood players.
      My prediction for May is a European spot but in the Europa league !
      #Wengerout

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

      1. phil-thompsons-nose

        Evening mate

        Yeah spot on..

        Funny thing is the people that defend Arsene fail to see that he hasn’t become bad overnight.. He’s been dragging us to mediocrity for almost a decade…
        Kroenke to blame for allowing this..
        So for me, Kroenke and Wenger out!

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

        1. mr lean

          As long as Wenger makes money for that greedy yank we are stuck with the chuckle brothers !

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

          1. almostawinner

            yeah, actually kroenke is even more a bad root than wenger has become. note whenever anyone criticises wenger, all his response are about long-gone history (180 CL matches, …) : all about longevity. he’s not in the present. he’s best days are behind him. i’d LOVE to get rid of kroenke, but thats even more unlikely than monsieur deluded-wenger giving up his yearly 8M (while refusing to pay market price for world class players)

            Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

      2. valleygooner

        Couldn’t agree more. But watch out even if we drop out of the top four Wenger will still not go. Instead he will stay, flog our best players to balance the books, and we will slip further down the table. Let’s be brutally honest, Wenger should have gone two years ago, he is out of his depth. But of course even if we fail to make the top four there will still be Wenger lovers who will scream he has to be given time to get us back into the top four. His time is up we all know it.

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  13. muffdiver

    wenger said we are on the verge of something brilliant …..he means christmas 🙂

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  14. RSH

    I can agree with parts of this article. I do think sitting back against Liverpool was a good strategy, but lets put things into perspective for a minute. Wenger hasn’t created a team that is capable of sitting back! Even when Chelsea park the bus, they dont let opponents get away with 27 shots on their goal, 13 on target. Was the scoreline due to the fact we defended well, or Liverpool missed some very very good chances? Flamini did nothing for much of the match, Mertesacker and Chambers got twisted and turned by runners every second of the game. We rode our luck for about the whole game. So no, the only reason we remained in this match more due to Liverpool’s poor finishing rather than good defending. Maybe if Wenger actually bought another defender/CDM we wouldnt have to ride our luck in these games. This team is not complete and not good enough.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    1. Wonder

      Of the 10 shots on target , how many were dangerous? Defending is making sure no clear cut chances are created!

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. mr lean

    For me now BFG stands for big f#cking girl !
    Maybe Tony Adams can show our German centre half what it means to be an Arsenal captain and how to put your body on the line for our club.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

    1. muffdiver

      doubt it tonys managing in azerbaijan or mungo bongo or gwala gwala.

      wenger turned down bergkamp viera an adams to help out .

      literally one of our best spines ever, told to do one

      sling yer hook u bunch of winners

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

      1. almostawinner

        wenger has become a dictator and despot. slowly and slowly. he doesnt want/need help from anyone else that knows what they are doing. sorry to see.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. MIA GUNNER FAN

    WENGER once again was outmaneuvered, it’s pitiful how his game has become so predictable…proof is that even lesser teams are now learning how to outplay ARSENAL thus the poor results this season. Darn sure no one is telling MAUREEN how to coach his team.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  17. Rockylegendliveson

    You clearly are a lawyer! What a load of hyperbole and unable to make a point. A draw flattered our performance no real Gooner would argue that. It’s like ground hog day with the issues and its been like that for 9 years, again I don’t think any real Gooner would argue that either. If your Wenger in or Wenger out I don’t care this season has been woeful. The season is practically over and I hope Wenger can get us into 4th place. That’s as good as it gets, right or wrong. I’m off to join Bill Murray to watch Arsenal.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  18. DANDY GUNNER

    Bottom line Wenger has to go. The man sat there shell shocked he just didn’t know what to do as Liverpool ran rings around Arsenal. Wenger said we could not get our FLOW going what he meant to say was we could not get the ball from Liverpool.Mertesacker was turned so easy for the first Liverpool goal the guy is crap and should be sold. To be honest Arsenal did not deserve the point Liverpool were by far the better Team. A top 4 spot is up for grabs this year on present form Arsenal might not make it this time and then WHAT.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    1. ArseneIsYourDaddy

      Is your name Kronke? Are you on the board?
      Do you own stock? Are you a player, an ex player?

      You are pissing into the wind. None of the moron “Wenger out” can get him moved.

      So have another crisp, and watch the next game.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      1. DANDY GUNNER

        You seem to think you and you alone are the only Arsenal Fan, my post is my opinion so give it up you are not the only gay in the village. Other Arsenal fans have the right to say how they feel with the way things are going at Arsenal.

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  19. ras911

    Great article! As we can all see most people here didn’t read it and kept moaning about Wenger and the board! The saddest part is that they forget that this is football in the end. Even if we’d won the game 2-1 people would still be moaning about how lucky we were to win and such. We defended well in the end with what we had and scored 2 great goals. 2-2 away at a more confident Liverpool isn’t half bad. Stop moaning and onto the next game. Seeing Liverpool fans singing YNWA after a disastrous spell of games saddened me because if we were in their shoes, idiots and hooligans fans would have raided the Emirates Stadium by now.

    OT: Even if by some miracle Wenger got kicked out and we brought in Simeone or Klopp that most of us moan about and pray we get, whoever becomes our new manager will struggle and we’ll be hearing Simeone out or Klopp out withing weeks.. We just have too many fans filled with hatred who forget that this is football and anything can happen in football. When Newcastle beat Chelsea 2-1 and we destroyed them 4-1, the same AOB’s were still saying Wenger out instead of praising the team’s good play. None of us here would be 1/90th the manager Wenger is. He is a proven and well respected manager in the world of football, stop shaming the man’s name and support your club because that is our job as fans. We have to do so through thin and thick.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  20. GoonAR

    There are some good points in the article but we didn’t play very well.. period. We were tactically clueless (WENGER). We are fools to not get the three points only due to the scoreline after the 90th minute, but mediocre Liverpool were by far the better team and in the end a point for that dreadful performance is acceptable by my standards. If those type of performances continue… be ready for 5th, 6th, or 7th place. Heads up! 3 pts. vs. QPR! COYG!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. YingYang69

    The article was right in about everything that was said on the defending which was a mouthful. Our forwards on the other hand wouldnt have looked out of place within a relegation scrap club and considering there were five of them half of our out field well it was truly awful.

    My god that hurt watching our tallest most experienced player duck out of a bread and butter challenge… and on the day captain of our club none the less. I am one of the fans who thinks that per and kos make a good pairing despite pers deficiencies. Though i must admit seeing the big man duck for cover tells a tale of why we dont beat the biggest sides. Hes supposed to be someone the younger lads look to with his word cup medal for proof.

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  22. rick

    Bottom line is we was utter sh1t from opening minute. We didnt deserve anything at all out of the game. Liverpool worked harder, kept the ball better and looked in complete control throughout the game, apart from real crap defending for our goals. And to all the idiots who keep saying its the ref he played 9 or 10 mins extra, learn to count…. Each sub adds 30 secs and the head injury was 6 mins.

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  23. nickw

    How bad do we have to play and how often before people see that we are getting worse under Wenger, not better. All the long winded denials in the world cant change what I can plainly see with my own eyes. If only Mr Wenger would open his.

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  24. SDD

    If only Wenger puts half of the time you put in writing this article into game preparation, analysis and tactics, we will be alright!

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  25. MacPap

    Wverybody and their dog know how to upset Asenals game!! We allow it to happen all the time. How long will it be B4 they sus it? Keep playing like that, and you can forget 4th,5th,how about 6th or 7th? Think BFG is getting worse, needs dropping so get some cover Arsene.

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