A game of two halves – Did Arsenal stay in the dressing room? (Opinion)

Arsenal took a beating in the second-half against Liverpool, but there was at least hope during the initial 45 minutes. Guest post by Sarah Rohan

Well, where do I start? The first half started promising. Arteta set the team out to defend, which worked well. Playing out from the back. We really looked like we was in the game. Then Liverpool started upping the pace which we couldn’t handle. A great cross into the box which was cleared by Chamberlain, then after that it was just an onslaught by the Scousers.

The two managers had a minor squabble regarding a challenge on Tomiyasu with Arteta receiving a yellow card, then thanks to Ramsdale once again, who produced some super saves to keep us in the game. Unfortunately it was short-lived as Liverpool scored with a Mane goal right before half time. The Senegalese star loves scoring against us with that being his eighth in fifteen Premier League games.

So the second half came, and you’d think we were still in the game. Well, unfortunately that’s where our game proved to be far inferior. Our defence and midfield just crumbled, the wheels came off and we made so many unforced errors. It was inevitable that Liverpool were going to get more goals.

Silly mistakes that gave Chamberlain a chance and an error by Tavares to set Jota up. Then it just got worse for us when Liverpool’s Men of the match Mane and Salah combined to finish us off completely.

Our lack of goal scoring in the league has proved to be our Achilles’ heel, we are fourteenth worst in the league. I’m not sure why Lacazette was taken off when we needed goals, after the cross to put Aubameyang in he was replaced, but Arteta chose to keep the worst player Tavares on for the whole match. I think we could’ve done with Tierney in as we really needed someone to cross the ball.

So who was my Man of the match? I will go with two. First Ramsdale. His super saves kept us in the game in the first half and stopped it being a cricket score throughout. My second is Tomiyasu. He’s up and down the wing, does his job, gets forward when he has to and soon as the opposition gain the ball he’s right back in his position.

I can’t help but feel it’s time for a different captain. We need either one of the midfield or defenders to take control of the team. Setting them in their positions throughout the games. Where the leader is amongst them and motivates the team to get forward and defend properly. Where as Aubameyang is 20 yards away, how can he communicate when Arsenal are under the cosh and he’s further up goal hanging?

Let’s not be too down-hearted, I still don’t think we gave up like we used to in the past, but I think this game has just proved we are not a top six team yet and have a long way to go. We do have time to fix things.

Let’s get back to winning ways next week against Newcastle, who are under new manager Eddie Howe, and put this all behind us.

Until next time Arsenal family. COYG!

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  1. I did not see anything special in the first half ,yes we was well organised for 35 mins but always on the back foot ,lost every second ball and we had no plan B .
    That’s not progress ,even a manager like big Sam could do what Arteta as done and how much he as been backed .
    The Sooner he’s gone the better and that’s not just from last nights game that’s from watching the same old football for the last 12 months ,great managers have that little something about them ,Arteta as shown nothing of note over 24 months and I feel we are just wasting our time ,but I suppose that’s my opinion and he will be here till the end of the season .

    1. And its my opinion, dismal DAN, that MA will be here very much longer than just this season. I’ll gladly bet you on that too!

      1. The question is, will that be because of his ability as a manager or just because the board want it so?

        1. HH NOT A BRIGHT QUESTION. IF THE BOARD DO NOT WANT HIM HE WILL BE SACKED! They will not keep a manager who they think has failed. That is why I think he will be here for some considerable time to come.



  2. Wait until we can replace all our senior CFs. If we can sign a younger and faster attacker with better work ethic, maybe we won’t be afraid to do high pressing anymore

      1. Wasn’t Auba pretty much top scorer in the league the 2 seasons prior to Arteta coming here ,so what’s changed .

    1. I am with you. Let’s wait until until all 25 players are his signings. After that we will wait a little longer for him to get his own stadium. The Emirates is a previous regime stadium we can’t expect to progress with it.

        1. Compared to how we started I am very happy with the progress so far and I give credit to MA but these ridiculous defense of MA has to stop.

          I ask you, GAI and others with the same thinking. If you are so confident of MA ability why not let results and his work speak for him?

          Don’t you think the need to make such ridiculous excuses is because you are not confident of his ability? I certainly think so.


            HH, you are a genius at contradicting yourself. I HAD TO LAUGH AT THIS POST!

      1. There are only eleven players in the starting line-up. As long as Arteta can sign the last piece of the puzzle, I bet we’ll be a better presser

        1. I would like to read your views on what Paul35mm has said below. A well written post with convincing argument and the opposite of what you are saying.

          1. He is one of the fans who always think a creative midfielder, a CAM or a no 10 is the game changer or a must in a team

            Klopp has said that no playmaker or creative midfielder can be as good as a good counter-pressing and Liverpool became stronger after Coutinho left

        2. How many players has MA signed and for how much GAI?
          What position is the missing part, considering he awarded Aubameyang a three year £300,000 plus weekly contract?

            1. I just wish they put to rest that argument. A player ability is all that matters and not who signed him. Aubameyang has been our top scorer for a number of seasons and he our top scorer now.

              And as you have said above, if Arteta did not have confidence in his ability he wouldn’t have given him such a huge contract.

          1. Arteta has signed some players. But he still hasn’t signed the most important one yet, a new CF

            Aubameyang had to be rewarded with a new contract, because he was one of the biggest factors of our FA Cup win and he was our most expensive asset

            If we didn’t offer him a new contract, it would send a bad message to his teammates and we’d lose 50+ M worth of investment

            1. GAI, let’s say he did deserve a new contract, do you believe he was worth the reported £300,000 plus a week on a three year deal?

              As a 31 year and ten month old player (OK JON?) who’s game is reliant on speed, do you think it was a good deal for the club and what message did that send out to the players?

              A very good point was made, regarding the service our forwards are receiving, so what is it GAI, bad tactics, bad selection, bad contract negotiations or a player now past his best?

              1. It seemed worth it, because of his abilities and his popularity at that time. Little did we know that he changed drastically after signing the new contract, similar to Tierney

                If we didn’t extend his contract, his teammates could’ve thought about the lack of good reward. If Aubameyang, the major factor of our EL ticket, didn’t get a lucrative contract extension, let alone the other players

                About the service for our forwards, we can’t expect it too much since our pressing is horrible when playing a difficult away game. I don’t think you understand the connection between chance creation and high pressing, so I suggest you watch Klopp’s explanation about counter-pressing on YouTube

  3. Our good run was littered with poor performances and a lot of fortune. Reality is that we’ve had about 3 or 4 decent halves this season, that’s it.

    We’ve picked up a lot of points recently and many fans were thrilled with that, but you need to look further ahead to build something sustainable….full 90 minute complete performances.

    Theres no excuse to end below 5ththis season.

  4. Arteta has been given control over player decisions, had over £200 million in investment, and safe from the sack for 2 years.

    In that time we’ve finished 8th twice, lost European football, and get predictably hammered by top clubs.

    Tactics and substitutions remain suspect after 2 years, and he still needs more players? 12 isn’t enough in 2 years?

    How Wenger and even Emery finished higher in PL with worse squads is commendable to say the least.

    We need an experienced manager to mold and guide this young squad, not an over-hyped assistant coach who has shown little to any progress.

    2 managers were sacked for no CL, yet now mediocrity is excusable. Where have the standards gone?

    We used to compete with top teams at least, now we get predictably hammered on the regular.

    The “process” still has no identifiable milestones to gage progress, except tread water and be patient.

    2 years and I see little change in our results. Struggle to score, struggle with the press, repeated mistakes, naive tactics, lack halftime adjustments to tactics.

    All the above were apparent in what many said was a match to judge Arteta and his progression

    1. He should have been let go at the end of last season but I think based on the results so far he has bought himself more time.

      Less than top 4 he should go. I wouldn’t mind those who expect top 6 is good enough to save his job as I suspect they think so just because they like the man. There is no football reasons behind that logic.

  5. First half was papered over by Ramsdale stopping every shot under the sun. Nobody can really say we played WELL first 30 mins, we just got by with eyeballs out defending and goalkeeping. Yesterday was an embarrassment from start to finish but after half time we just couldn’t stop them any longer. Our set up and tactics are lower class.

  6. The PROBLEM with Arsenal’s attack is not the forwards. It has never been the forwards. The problem with the attack is the midfield. It is maddening to listen to people point fingers at the strikers when they never get the ball.

    Arsenal’s midfielders have few if any assists and not enough goals to make up for it. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang had one decent chance. One. Alison Becker, possibly the best keeper in the league, made a toe-touch save to deny him. Lacazette, playing as a #10, because Arsenal do not actually have a player capable of playing the role, provided the pass to get Auba his chance.

    Arsenal’s midfielders; Partey, Lokonga, Smith-Rowe, Odegaard, Elneny, and even Xhaka when he’s fit, just do not provide service to the forwards. Arsenal had one critical need going into the summer; an attacking midfielder that could provide goals and assists. They signed a defender (Ben White), a right back (Tomeiyasu), left back (Tavares), a goal keeper (Ramsdale), and a holding midfielder (Lokonga). Some of those players show promise, others are being hyped after good starts against bad teams, but none address the team’s critical need.

    All of Arsenal’s forwards have gone into a scoring drought since Arteta took over. Lacazette, Aubameyang, Nketiah, Maritnelli, and even Bolgun all scored goals at far higher rates before Mikel Arteta took over.

    One reason was the team had Ramsey and Ozil; both of whom provided key passes, assists, and goals. The other is; Arteta is trying to make the Gunners hard to beat, but typical of his style, he has refused to take responsibility for his tactical approach, saying nothing as pundits savage his strikers for lack of production when it is his tactics and personnel decisions that are the cause.

    1. preaching to the choir P35…it’s baffling that more don’t seem to understand these very well-reasoned sentiments

      1. Yes some of us, the problems stick out like a beacon. Others cant see the real reason we are not scoring BAD TACTICS. We have been sterile basically under the Arteta Era. Very good players who score for other teams have dried up for us.

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