Arsenal absences prove costly as Liverpool reach EFL final

Liverpool have earned their place in the EFL Cup final with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates this evening.-

The Gunners hard work from the first-leg turned out to be for nothing after coming off second-best this evening.

We looked positive early on. We appeared to be retaining possession well despite not enjoying too much luck in the final third, but unfortunately our fortunes were short-lived.

The Reds had the ball in the back of the net after Joel Matip had strayed offside to knock in from his team-mates header inside the opening 15 minutes, but our relief at VAR confirming the linesman’s decision was soon dispelled when Diogo Jota punished us just inside 20 minutes of play.

The Portuguese picked up the ball on the far left, before cutting inside through the legs of Takehiro Tomiyasu, before running central to place his effort beyond both centre-backs and Ramsdale.

There was a penalty shout shortly after when Gabriel Martinelli was brought down inside the box but our calls fell on deaf ears, and things didn’t get much better at all throughout the match.

Despite throwing in a number of crosses, Ramsdale was managing to meet most, and there was very few clearcut chances at either end.

In the second-half, our team appeared to tire, possibly growing frustrated with our lack of success in penetrating their backline, but there was one man who never gave up, but unfortunately Martinelli was forced to try and do something special with little other options available to him.

We knew the result was put to bed when Trent Alexander-Arnold put the ball over our defence into the path of Jota to complete his brace, and the writing was on the wall from that point, with around 10 minutes of normal time to play after that point.

There was little to be happy about this evening, although we knew it would be tough with just Lokonga as our only real central midfielder fit to start the match, and our 4-3-3 formation was found wanting once again this term.

I wish I could tell you that we were unlucky, or that the team showed some level of fight like in the first-leg, but personally, only Martinelli deserves any credit for his effort and performance today.

Did you notice any others who can still hold their head high today? Was the game lost before the game started due to our CM issues?


Tags Arsenal v Liverpool EFL Cup Liverpool


    1. As I correctly predicted after the FA Cup loss this game also will be forgotten in 24 hours. Liverpool are better than us and were fired up after taking us lightly and not beating ten man Arsenal in the first leg. But we were at home and at near full strength so no scoring is a concern. The fact is though top 6 is our goal this season and right now we are on track to achieve that goal. This game is a good work out for the rest of the season. If we sign Vlahovic 5th may be possible. All in all no real surprise. Lets concentrate on what is important which is the League. Burnley is the only match of any consequence this month. Nothing else matters. All looking good. COYG

      1. fairfan, I just can’t believe the garbage you keep coming out with – all looking good?!?!?!
        Did you watch the match at all?
        What was looking good about that performance that you think we will make top six?
        We’re trying to buy a player who doesn’t even rate the club enough to want to play for us and that might give us 6th place instead of 8th and
        what “deadwood” are you going to blame for this performance?
        It seems Lacazette, White, Logonka, Tomi, Ramsdale and Partey (for his booking) are getting the blame = I’ll leave you to work out who signed five of the six.

        Are the knives going to come out for Partey after that ridiculous challenge as it so quickly did for Xhaka?

        You might WANT to forget this in 24 hours, but the realists amongst us won’t and, judging by Klopp and his merry men, this win certainly meant something to them… perhaps they have bigger ambitions than finishing 6th?? LOL

        1. Oh please. We need to be realistic. Pool are levels above us. Accept it or not, Arsenal are no where near them. The key thing this season is that we know our team is capable of putting up a good fight against the best. We saw it with city and pool last week.
          Focus has to be getting into Europe so we can attract some stellar players. Hopefully with the right additions we can step up our levels and get closer to pool, city and the likes.

          It socks to lose, but sentiments don’t work in sports. You are either good or not good enough. There are signs we are on the right track. How long though, No one knows. Hopefully soon enough. I have a bottle of Scotch I got in 2006 hoping to celebrate our UCL win. Still holding on to it that I can pop it open before it becomes full vintage.

        2. Who is talking about the FA Cup loss now? Yep everyone will have forgotten this loss after we beat Burnley on Monday morning. Liverpool are a class above and were just too casual in the first leg and they came to atone. This was always the most likely outcome. No surprise at all. Turn the page and move on .Top six was always the goal. And we are on track COYG 🙂

            1. We’ll all remember it come round 4, 5, 6, semi and final along with watching the chelsea /liverpool final…. while WE MIGHT reach the incredible height of sixth in the PL… YIPPEE.

      2. @fairfan. You must be a sage. I think you would make the greatest manager arsenal have ever seen. you keep getting everything right. Arsenal need you dude.

    2. The season is not over. When you look at the pressure we put on Liverpool not many teams outside a few would be able to cope. Our defence was strong for most part of the match and got caught slacking twice in which Liverpool scored their two goals. There was not much to pick apart from both sides. We were beaten by the better team but there is hope for top 4.

      1. Spot on Kev…infact the difference between the two teams was one had a clinical finisher while the other didn’t reasons why vlahovic is a must buy…as we can’t afford to depend on goals from ESR all season…

        or we train Pepe into a lethal CF like RVP…..Pepe scoring some good goals at afcon …

        1. The difference was the way the two teams played, one knew how too the other didn’t. Our play is sub standard to the teams in the top 6. We have the players but they are bogged down and run down blind alleys because we are so naive in our tactics. Arteta is out of his depth and the truth is he is NOT a top 4 manager and it shows when we play one.

          1. The main difference is that Liverpool are a settled side with a set way of playing. They also have better or more experienced players in several positions.
            Arsenal’s tactical approach is not substandard to any in the top 6.

      2. Is the same thing keep happening. We put pressure we lose. We play well, we lose. We defend well l, we lose. We play pathetic, we lose. This team needs a better balance and midfield plain and simple. And our inferior complex is a major factor on us losing to all the big boys. It’s not that pretty for us.

      1. Guy, im on about not getting into Europe. The squad is good enough, the guidance isnt. That is so obvious.

        1. Liverpool developed their playing style and their squad over several seasons. They are established in the spine of their team, and their manager has managed for 20 years.
          Half of our first team arrived last summer, which is when Arteta started seriously being able to coach these tactics. We have a servicable squad of maybe 14-15 players and it’s the youngest in the EPL. Young players, whilst they learn quickly, are normally neither fully developed physically (eg Lokonga), or skillwise (eg GM). They can also be inconsistent (eg Tavares) and not yet “streetwise” (eg Gabriel).
          Developing a pressing side is one of the most difficult jobs in football. It requires every player to know and carry out their role, as one weakness and it fails, and the highest possible level of fitness. It does not happen overnight.
          Watch Man Utd and see how long it takes Rangnick (a much more respected manager than MA to teach a squad of much higher valued and experienced players to achieve success at the press.
          When it works it’s amazing, but when less than 95% it can look awful, and that’s where we are now – usually about 80% but those great days were when it clicked. With the wrong players it collapses, so that’s why the buy-in profiles are precise and why injuries hurt us so much. 14-15 players doesn’t give us any room for manoeuvre. Practice playing it, fill the midfield and striker gaps and we are there.
          I have confidence that this Arsenal team is now the fourth best in England, and 4th or 5h will happen this season.

          1. Guy, you used Utd as a yardstick, they are by their standards and others, having an awful season. They are 1 point behind us? The point you make about Klopp, is exactly the point i make about Arteta and it shows, in spades.

            1. Lol Reggie. Yes I get that Arteta is way behind Klopp and quite a few other top guys – many of whom are already in the EPL. I also agree that it was a crazy decision to recruit him in the first place – not least because of the total mess behind the scenes, much of which has only come to light since, that would have been difficult enough for a gnarled old pro to navigate, let alone a naiive young rookie.
              But that’s not Arteta’s fault, it’s the Board’s.
              It’s taken longer than we all expected, but (and this is my opinion only), we now have:
              1) The spine of a good, ambitious young team
              2) Evidence that we are at least close to a consistent, successful playing style
              3) A slowly improving EPL status
              No excuses about the timing of player disposals. Good theory, bad timing. I’m not one who care’s about domestic cups. A day in the sun, but I only look at EPL and Europe as important, so Liverpool didn’t really bother me. If we don’t beat Burnley I WILL be furious!
              Maybe MA will not be up to the next step – breaking into the top 3 and succeeding in Europe, in which case he must go, agreed, but he’s a rookie so we don’t know.
              Happy to judge him on achieving 4th for now, which I class as progress. I don’t see the point in sacking him mid-stream en route to 4th. Nobody else in the short term will exceed that, so why tear it all up now?

  1. Ramsdale’s reflex was awful and Tomiyasu was beaten several times in the first half

    Lacazette wasn’t quick enough to do the high press. He will only get slower and less energetic as he ages, so we’d better let him go at the end of this season and find his replacement ASAP

    Liverpool’s passing variations were much better than our monotonous short passes and slow tempo. Arteta had better hire a more creative passing coach

    1. Yeah we also lost the ball more times in midfield than they did.

      This always led to a chance against us. We need to address this.

    2. Some of these players are not match fit because we need to rush them back, Wenger wouldn’t have played the likes of Tomi, Saka , ESR and Partey no matter what. He’ll rather use fit academy players.
      Our lack on cover(still we sell off players), is understandable, most of the players we keep on the bench are good enough to start in other clubs while we do not have enough competition to keep everyone happy.
      Am not defending anyone today nevertheless, I’ll access MA at the end of the season, if we fail to make top 4 he needs to go

      1. Anybody would assess the same… unfortunately we have a dick of a manager and just shot any confidence we had as a team.

    3. Gai
      Pathey’s red card now makes matter worse considering we have a must win match on Sunday. Tottenham, ManU are fast picking up points. I guess we really need a real CF and additional DM. The season is gradually heating up. And I am begining to feel Top6 may be a great achievements for Arteta. Expectedly, our youthful team gradually having their “ups and down” moments

      1. Ten days left before the transfer window closes. I guess Vlahovic’s entourage are waiting till the last moment, to find a better deal

  2. dont worry everyone. the team will perform again in late april/early may after there is no more pressure to compete for anything. Then we’ll again swear that we are just a few players away from competing again…. enjoy the chaos until then!

  3. We were simply beaten by the better team on the day and we never looked like scoring. I was not impressed with our attacking tactics as we could not properly build up from the back and hoofed several hopeless long ball to our attackers. Ramsdale was really annoying in the first half on that front. The wings which were supposed to be our main creative front were predictable and stifled for most. The defence of both teams was good for most part and it was clear it would take individual brilliance for either to win the match. Liverpool had that in Jota who’s movement we struggled to cope with when he got going and he eventually scored two goals. Liverpool have seen and won these kind of games many times and we know that their strength is released after recoveries so we should’ve done better on both goals. It’s a disappointing showing but I was impressed with Odegaard’s play as a CM though.

      1. It’s so obvious it’s the quality of our manager .
        Our best 11 minus partey against a sub par Liverpool team .
        Embarrassed by Forrest in the FA Cup and now sit 6th in the league .
        Sooner this clown goes the better .
        I feel bad for the players because no doubt he will deflect his short comings on to them .

          1. Well, I disagree that it is so obvious. The Liverpool team out today was quite strong and would give any team in world football a hard game.

      2. Apart from the two goals scored by Liverpool there was not much to separate both teams. Liverpool did not dominate us and vice versa. It was more of a give and take affair where we lost but with the way the match panned out it was close and was going to come down to something special. If Arsenal scored first in this match I do believe we would’ve won just like Liverpool but to admit they were just better today. Both this match and the 1st leg were close encounters.

        1. that doesnt tell the true story though…the difference is that Arsenal never actually looked liked scoring for the whole game bar a half chance for lacazette, liverpool did…thats the major difference

        2. Kev that’s what great teams do. Score goals even when the opposition might look good and play wellm to may arsenal play well, but it is of no use. We lost 2 nil. Check the stats we will see it’s Liverpool in the final and not arsenal. We won’t hear that arsenal play well. The only stats that really matter is the winner of the game.

          1. As you can see I admitted it was a disappointing result. I’m only calling the game how I saw it but unlike other performances this was actually a close match and most neutrals will tell you it looked like Arsenal could get back into the game before the 2nd goal came. All the Liverpool goals were against the run of play. Its not excuses but just the truth. Its not like my explanations can change the result but it don’t’ mean I can’t talk about the performance and what truly happened.

    1. I agree that we were beaten by the better team. I also think that for all the cr*p that the club have faced over postponing the previous game there was a sense that one or two looked slightly off the pace. Tomi wasn’t so hot and he has been ill. Not everyone recovers from Covid as well or as quickly as others.
      I also thought that Odegaard is really coming on, but rue the decision to bring on Partey whose challenge when the game had gone, was not the best. Costly, in fact.

      1. To be honest the match was really close but Arsenal were edged out. I have watched Partey in the AFCON and he’s had an average tournament. I was happy we didn’t start him as that would make us seem so desperate and small but I didn’t see the need to bring him on and I would’ve given a youngster a chance.

          1. We never looked like scoring because we didn’t have anyone who would finish and that was clear from how we played when presented with a a chance from the start that it was going to be one of those games. It’s not because we couldn’t create chances. Up until Liverpool scored they were being dominated and the match was 50-50 until their 2nd goal and Partey’s red. It’s not a nice showing and I’m not making excuses but I’m calling a spade a spade and judging from the eye test. Surely the stats must even back me.

              1. Both the coach and the players. I don’t get your point. I’m not giving excuses but simply calling what happened on the field and not sugar coating it or spreading a false narrative.

                1. That for me is ever so slighty, heavily biased. You have to hit the target to score, we didnt really manage that.

          2. exactly, that was the major difference, Arsenal never actually did anything with their position bar the laca half chance.

          3. We had as many chances as Liverpool:
            Laca hits crossbar on free kick
            Last ditch tackle on Martinelli by Fabinho
            Lacazette fires over the bar after an lovely ball from Lokonga
            Martinelli fires over the bar

            They took some of their chances. We didnt. Think of Jota’s goal versus Laca’s miss in second half. That’s the difference.

            To be honest, neither team played that great.

            1. Dont be disparaging to Liverpool, they were without their two best players and were infinitely better than us and only one result looked likely after they scored.

        1. Agree Kev – I wasn’t happy when he came on. But we had no other quality subs – it was desperation and we both know Arteta would be taking even more flack now if he hadn’t tried it, or bought a debutant on to potentially be humiliated.

    2. Agree Kev. Tomi, ESR and Partey, who’d just got off a plane, should not have played, but that shows how thin we are. Odegaard was good but helping out in c midfield meant we lost him up front. With ESR poor and Laca playing like a pensioner we had no threat through the middle at all, and all they did was double team our wide men and game over.

      1. They were without their two best players (strikers) we probably put out our strongest team bar Partey. Its the direction that is the problem and lack of top class guidance. Bringing on Partey was a terrible decision, just for starters.

        1. Strongest on paper yes Reggie – but we saw how off the pace both Tomi and ESR were – honestly they weren’t ready. Partey shouldn’t have come on straight from the plane, but we had no bench – look at the subs…
          Liverpool, as are Chelsea and Man C, are still streets in front, but everybody knew that already. For now it’s the rest we need to beat.

          1. I take the view that Tomi is not that great. He is a tryer but not much quality. He White and Ramsdale (who has loads of talent) all look at this moment, just below requirement. I do believe they need help to nurture them from the coach.

  4. Most people will probably see improvement in this sh!t performance and will always find a reason why we deserve to lose

  5. My hopes for the season disappeared tonight and I can see us losing to Burnley and being humiliated by spurs. I’m so pissed off by the team I’ve supported for decades that I can’t see where we go from here, apart from mid table mediocrity.

    1. Better have an alcoholic beverage, Declan, to numb the pain! I would say it’ll get better but…..
      If it’s any consolation I’m pissed off also!

    2. I am more pissed than you. Arteta’s subs are always too late, how do you delay in making a sub when you are a goal down, trying to qualify for a cup final. I think he is amateur. Klopp outclassed him again. How did we spend 50million on a defender like Ben White? Did you see how Burn marshalled Lukaku when they played Brighton, none of our defenders can do that. Lastly, Lokonga should just be a squad player, not a second team player, he is not good enough. I am still so angry…

      1. What subs we don’t a anyone on the Bench that can change a game put thomas In for Sammy and that’s our best team what we need is a new forward and a few impact subs and we will be alright

    3. Cmon Declan – I get days like that. We knew before Liverpool are still way in front of both us and 16 other teams in the EPL, so it’s no big surprise. Not difficult to become the fourth best team, but we will have a serious amount of work and a few seasons to become top 3 again.

  6. So how mugged off do you MA lovers feel?

    Our first team bar xhaka and partey and we looked amateur and lost to a team without their best players. Ducking embarrassing.

    That is all I have to say.

    1. As the only consistent Arteta supporter on this site I feel great. Top six is our goal this season and we are on track to achieve this. As soon as we go on a winning run all the changelings will come slinking back home home saying how they never doubted the gaffer 🙂 Lets see where we stand after we play Burnley, Chelsea play Spurs and United play Westham

      1. @fairfan. its a good thing my standard are not as low as you are. And it’s great that am a superficial arsenal fan. Top 6. That’s what our standard are on a yearly basis. Pathetic. It’s a darn shame. Your standard is low fairfan. So it is possible your prediction will through and we will dance and all be merry about it. Cheers to top 6 guys.

      2. As I am new to this site, i am on your side and think as fans we should give Mr Artea a chance and support the club the manager and the team.

    2. Leave it out, NB. Back on that agenda, are you? We didn’t look amateur, we looked exhausted. Ideally Tomi ESR and Partey wouldn’t have played at all today but our squad is paper thin. Ode played too deep to get us another body in CM and Laca was invisible so we had no central attack at all.
      If a manager was sacked every time a team lost in a semi-final there would be no managers left.
      Be disappointed, but give it some perspective, please…

      1. Lmfao…

        Are you serious GUY?

        There is no agenda from me but all the arguments you have so eloquently detailed… who’s fault is that?

        My dear sir, you have just highlighted the naivety of the Arsenal manager.

        May I thank you😘

    1. I agree trust the process. Look at the team arteta inherited. Ageing slow slow players. Players that wouldn’t get on for Burnley. Since then we have signed some excellent young players that will only get better with age and experience. We have had a few excellent performances this season. Mainly the city game. If we can get the team to believe in theirself and get that consistency of performance more and more often. We can get into the top four this year. That would be a great achievement. We are Inconsistent at the minute with 1 excellent game. Then 2 or 3 bad games, But the team is young the pressing is getting better we have done a great clear out of useless players. There is more passion from the fans in the stadium. There is more passion and fight from the players. Our defence is strong and will be stronger with saliba next year. We are still a bit light in midfield and upfront. But if we get vaholivic, another striker and two midfielders in the summer, we can challenge for the title next year. It’s a slow process BUT it is getting there. Don’t forget it took klopp 2 or 3 years to get going. He was getting close to being sacked. Look where they are now.

      1. Wouldn’t get in Burnleys side Kevin?
        Have a look where Burnley have finished these last five seasons and compare it to where we have finished.
        You have been brainwashed my friend and the table NEVER lies at the end of every season.

      2. Hang in there Kevin – I’m with you on every point. I’m disappointed but I saw it coming, even when the 50% fit ESR and Tomi were named, and Partey was taxied from the airport to come on as sub.
        But the doom-merchants are out again in force tonight!

      3. Another budding writer aiming to rewrite history…. I’d put my money on the supposedly poor team inherited by Artera to beat the current first 11. If that seems pointless as it cannot be proved, then how about the vast majority of this team were assembled at great cost by Artera? Yet we still have no identify in our play, and not likely to win anything anytime soon. He’s now been at club for two years. I suggest that half decent manager would have at least got a consistent style of play during that time. I am not sure what the process that we are suppose to trust is, but whatever it is, it had better start to work soon, or are we talking of a process that takes decades?

  7. Jota is class. He was the difference tonight.

    I thought Martinelli started strong but fell into old habits after about 15 minutes. Lots of effort but trying to do too much on his own. He’ll learn.

    Lokonga getting a lot of stick but I thought he did alright. The lack of a ball winner in midfield hurt. I also liked a lot of Odegaard’s play but again, needed a ball winner so he could push further forward.

    Disappointing to go out with a whimper. Hopefully the boys bring it on Sunday.

    1. Odegaard was really good today. He was a calm presence in midfield because a lot of the balls which came to him were in positions and scenarios which could’ve caused problems for us. As you said Jota was the real difference today. The match was down to individual brilliance. The defence of both teams were strong for most part. Apart from the two goals we defended well for most part of the game.

      1. I thought Odergaard was shown up tonight, didn’t influence anything and like a ghost. It was the Martinelli show, the rest were not in the same class and Odergaard is a worry because he just strolls.

        1. I disagree. If anything our worst players on the pitch were Smith-Rowe and Tomiyasu. Odegaard was deep for most part of the match and helped alleviate pressure in the central area. He was also better than Lokonga and one of our best players on the pitch. He kept the ball well and did well to find other players. A shame he wasn’t further front as I believe his strengths are shown but he was good today. Martinelli started well but got predictable as the game went on and easily handled.

          1. That’s how I saw it Kev. All of us love Martinelli’s energy but, for me, this game was a step back for him as he wasnt picking his spots and was trying too hard to do things on his own. He looked gassed after 15 minutes. But as long as he keeps taking two steps forward for every one back it’s all good.

            1. Agree K & V. ESR and Tomi were obviously unfit and Ode had to play deep to help in CM and give ESR the forward berth. Result – Ode couldn’t influence and we had no central thrust at all.
              GM is an amazing talent but his awareness and decision making are still way too naiive.

  8. We have a lot of players leaving. And if we ontinue our rebuild with the right players then we should be good to go. We are still far from the finished product. And our youngsters will learn and mature with time. Still Trust the Process!!!

    1. How is he talking shite Perry???

      These are youngsters..true
      Not a finished product…true
      Mature with time….true
      Rebuild with right players and be good to go….true

      We are all angry but reality is reality
      We are two to three players from competing with the top 3, we are better than the rest..fact

      1. Been hearing this “we are 2-3 players away from being a top team ” for the past 10 seasons or so, when are we going to get them…..

    2. Thats the way son. All the cry babies will come running back soon enough. We have the least fixture congestion of any of the top teams now. It’s really going to tell in the end. This is therefor a good loss when the league is the focus. Unfortunately many can not see the bigger picture. Our season is not decided in January. Judge me in May

  9. I said it earlier that Playing a strong squad against Liverpool is not the issue, Turning Up for the game is.
    We have been here before, we are never gonna make Top 4.
    The difference between Klopp and Arteta is tactical genius.
    You can’t be playing at home and play that kind of shitty football. Everyone could see Lokongo is shit, yet he played Full-time and Liverpool who are playing way better and already scored a goal made 2 substitution before Arteta could think of one; This simply shows the zeal and urgency to win the game.
    Our Defenders are scared to pass the ball to Lokonga cos he’s Error-prone, yet Arteta doesn’t see anything bad in that and get him off the game.
    I am so gutted right now, the U23 wouldn’t have done worse than this.

    1. Liverpool have a more seasoned and settled team and generally better players. So the team simply needs to gradually evolve.
      Arsenal are trying to build a new team. Both teams are at different stages of development.
      The performances and result was nothing to do with tactical genius.

    2. And who should he have brought on, Qutie? Lokonga was ok. He was limited in his ability to progress play today because both Laca and ESR were too static so all he had was the wingers. And he was almost alone in CM because Ode is definitely not a DM. But tell us what Arteta should have done differently? Perhaps put Partey, who just came from the airport, on earlier? Or played Patino as the sole CM?

      1. Perhaps kept AMN or bought a DM before letting him go?
        If Partey was not fit enough to start, what changed in the seventy odd minutes that made MA think he would /could change the game?

        1. Desperation, Ken. It was always a bad decision. Must admit I was fearing a penalty or an injury, but not a red!

  10. It is beyond obvious to fair minded fans that our team lacked match fitness and vigour in a number of positions tonight as the lack of matchplay cost us tonight.

    Disappointing of course but the right result, as we were second best for all but the first 15 minutes. Several players were rushed back too soon out for necessity, as our bench was packed with real kids with virtually no experience.

    Naturally, the MA out brigade will shout that we should not have loaned out the many “world beating talents” and had we not done so, those “supermen” would undoubtedly have changed the result. That is the sort of mentality that fair minded fans have to put up with.

    I say it was mostly bad luck to be in that situation and though the ODDBALL MA out brigade will vent their spleen and shout obscenities at MA(and at me too for penning the truth), I have no doubt at all that MA will be here for ages to come and his clear sense of progressive improvement, clearing out of the rest of the remaining deadwood, and importing better class replacements is BEYOND OBVIOUS, at least to non wilfully blind Gooners.
    Tonight we were, collectively speaking, tired but we will soon regain our normal spark and I make us favourites to get fourth place.

    1. Jon, what “deadwood” are you referring to with the team that MA put out tonight?
      The keeper and back four?
      The midfield?
      The forwards?

      Who EXACTLY?
      When you’ve named those players, can you then tell me when and who signed or gave them their current contracts?

        1. That doesn’t make sense guy – we lost tonight without any of the so-called deadwood playing (apart, I assume Lacazette and MA had Partey on the bench).

          So what on earth has any deadwood got to do with tonight’s result… unless it’s to cover up and find excuses for those players who performed in this game?

          1. Can’t argue Ken – no affect whatsoever. We lost because the first 11 on this one – Jon can’t even put Xhaka in the frame!

    2. I really really hope you are right jon but i think you are very wrong. We were favourites for 4th but not now, never in a month of Sundays.

      1. I’m hopeful of 4th too Reggie, but very confident of 5th at worst. If we don’t, I promise I’ll send you a very grovelling “I was wrong” message at season’s end… (;-))

    3. I thought the dead wood had gone?

      Feck me who else is there to get rid off if we have to drag Partey of a plane to make the numbers up?

      1. ‘dead wood’ is any player that our grat manager no longer fancies, or can be blamed for failing to execute his cunning plan/s At this rate, it will be most of team soon.

        I thought the first job of a highly paid football manager is to get the best his players….not to use them as scapegoats, but hey, what do I know?

        Its hard to comprehend the number of former superstars and promising players all have become ‘dead woods’ under this manager. Maybe, just maybe, the reason is that our current manager is not as good as he, or some here, think?

        1. Let’s wait and see who Jon considers was the deadwood that influenced the game tonight.
          The keeper and back four?
          Longest serving player there? Tierney.. deadwood Jon?
          Midfield? All signed in the last two seasons… deadwood Jon?
          Forwards? It must be Lacazette then Jon, as the others have only been first team players in the last two seasons.
          Substitutes? Partey? Signed last season and got a red card for a stupid challenge… deadwood Jon?

          So where were the “better class improvements” and where were the “deadwood” players tonight that need clearing out Jon?

          As for saying they lacked match fitness… what these dross, overpaid prima donnas that you are always calling out for not earning the exorbitant salaries?

          Please note Jon, I haven’t mentioned the manager once.

          1. I will @Ken1635. There are some that are Realists. And then there is Jon Fox. It’s like a death sentence for any manager having his support. And as regards waiting for an answer to your perfectly worded question then as we all know you will not get one. He will just hide behind a few curtains and come out when the coast is clear and hope everyone has forgotten. It’s what he does. We all know it. He knows it. And he knows that we all know that he knows it. All big gob dies I’m afraid Ken.

  11. The whole team looked tired. ESR and Tomi in particular where nowhere near optimum fitness. The reason the midfield was a mess was because it had only one proper midfielder in it. Partey was not brought on earler because he had just stepped off a plane from Africa – it was an act of desperation but it didn’t work. Odegaard had to play deeper to help out Lokonga – with ESR so poor and Laca off the pace we had almost no attack.
    And we had no bench.
    We had a decent team on the teamsheet but quite honestly it was full of walking wounded. I don’t blame Partey he even came on exhausted and missing the Burnley game gives him the rest he needs. Nor do I blame the team – just too many weaknesses – we need that midfielder and a proper striker urgently as there are a lot of engines out there running on fumes.

      1. People always want to blame someone. You want to blame Arteta? ok – he shouldn’t have brought on a player who just got off a plane. He shouldn’t have loaned to buy AMN even though he’s not got a future here and we pay him £2.7m a year. He should have somehow prevented Xhaka from being red-carded. He should have paid whatever it takes and on whatever salary and terms necessary any midfielder in the first 2 weeks in January. And of course he should have rehabiltated the lovely Guendouzi last season. There you go.
        But I’m not blaming the players or the tactics today.

    1. We didn’t look tired, we looked lost and ran out of ideas once the energy levels dropped after a gung ho start!!!!!

  12. Well on the bright side, Partey gets more time to rest.
    He could have strained a muscle against Burnley.

  13. Arsenal can’t compete!!! We are definitely like Athletic Bilbao of Spain, Nice of France, Frankfurt of Germany….. So average in all ramifications. I just keep imagining if Salah and Mane had played? Total Massacre!!

    Trust the process is what they say, I just hope Arteta is not part of the Process, cos He is not gonna take us anywhere. Arsenal deserve better than

  14. What our problem is we don’t a anyone on the Bench that can change a game put thomas In for Sammy and that’s our best team what we need is a new forward and a few impact subs and we will be alright

  15. Get a grip AdPat, are you so delusional that you actually think we were the more short-handed squad??? Enjoy that Kool-Aid, while you can!!

    1. Tonight, yes RVL. We had 5 subs with first team experience, including Patino, who has had 1 full game, and Partey, who had just got off a plane from Africa. Liverpool had nine.

      1. Well, if we hadn’t loaned out so many players without having replacements guy, perhaps we would have had a stronger bench… but they were part of the deadwood out players were they not?

        1. For me Ken – not just now but thoughout his tenure, a major issue has been Arteta never stepping back and seeing the bigger picture – instead he gets obsessed with certan details to the detriment of the team as a whole. I first suspected it when he got hung up on buying and playing only a left sided centre back (eg Mari) whilst ignoring better right footed defenders we already had.
          Now he seems preoccupied with shipping out players excess to future requirement without even considering if he has cover and if not where he will get it. I think his ability to think logically goes out of the window when he gets these obsessions.

      2. more Apologist banter Guy…look at the starting lineups and stop looking at ways to cherry-pick “facts” that best suit the excuse-laden narrative you’re trying to sell to the already highly-receptive choir

  16. No one will mention it but man Saka was terrible today. How many touches did he have? No help whatsoever from him to tomiyasu. Arteta rushed Tomiyasu, he’s unfit. Ramsdale, Gabriel and white annoyed me today because they where hooping the ball. We have no midfielder, Arteta should have subbed ESR earlier, he also should have changed lacazette whom for some reason was so ordinary today. My worry is, why is Arsenal not acting fast in the market? I never realized how bad lokonga was until today. He’s too lightweight. And he’s not a cdm. He’s more guendozi ,elneny type of player. They never scores, he has no fight or aggression in him also. I’m sorry but he’s not the answer. Take a bow odegaard, from minute 1 you could see he really want to make a difference. Build this team around odegaard. Martinelli will soon find himself out of the team if his old self start creeping back. He was guilty of over playing it so many times. Their second goal was consequence of that. I’m angry not because we lost but because we didn’t put up a fight. We seriously need quality squad dept otherwise it’ll be a Miracle to make top4. Coyg

  17. Gutless, lame, no leadership on and off the pitch. Can’t keep coming up with the same old excuses. Burnley must be licking their lips waiting for the weekend to come. Plan A didn’t work and Arteta obviously doesn’t have a plan B. Arsenal will never attract half decent midfielders/strikers with the current set-up at Arsenal. Throw a blanket over Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham for top four. Leicester City, Wolves and Brighton will be pushing for top six. We will be lucky to beat Burnley and Wolves. The process seems to be a real yo yo. I really can’t see player recruitment happening in the near future. This morning was absolute shit on all sides. London is definitely RED. We have a real FETISH for red cards

  18. I’ve supported Arteta because he is our manager but some of his decisions are becoming a little strange. Bringing on Kolasinac when we were losing and now tonight, apart from having Partey on the bench, bringing him on when we are 2- nil down is absolutely baffling!

  19. We can’t beat a top team. This team ain’t ready to play with the big boys. Too many issues. When we meet any of the top team we fail to impress one way or the other. Season already done. Who loves 4th can keep watching to get their paper trophy.

  20. I have to say that I sympathise with team a lot and I don’t usually make excuses for Arteta as everybody knows, but….the team did not look fit due to illnesses etc. Where I can criticise Arteta, is we should have had a new midfielder much earlier, as Arteta knew players were leaving for AFCON and loans. We were so lightweight and outplayed in midfield it was embarrassing. Toothless tigers.

    1. Sue, incredible stats and thanks for that.
      These are the kind of things (along with league positions) that we need to measure where we are today versus three decades ago…. and the dross deadwood that we had then compared to today!!

    2. Soul destroying isn’t it @sue?

      But I’m sure we will extend the frauds contract.

      Let’s look forward to season 3 of the same old sh!te. 🙃

  21. What absences proved costly?

    We basically played our best x1, except Partey for Lokonga, which didn’t exactly work out anyway.

    Fact is we are still way behind City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

    So many players proved once again they are either, not ready, not good enough or not interested.

    When you come up against the top 3 it sorts the men from the boys. Even Ramsdale looks fairly ordinary, he panicks starts long balling it, because he knows their players are just mentally, physically and professionally quicker to react to a pass from the keeper. Everyone of our young players, suddenly realised that they are up against a proper team. Once the 10 minute excited surge was over (mainly from Martinelli and a bit of Odegaard) they simply folded against superior opposition. There is no shame in that, it’s just where we are and where they are.

    1. I think some fans were too quick to proclaim Ramsdale as the next big thing based on a few very good performances, in order to portray Artera in a positive light for signing a relatively inexperienced keeper for that amount of money.

      Young keepers can sometimes flutter to deceive, and this is not a criticism of Ramsdale, as I hope he will kick on to become a top class keeper for us. But let’s not put him on a pedestal just yet. The younger to fans may not know who Alex Manninger is, but he was instrumental for our 97/98 double winning season with some great heroics between the sticks when standing in for the injured Seaman. Sadly, he failed to develop.

  22. Martinelli was playing alone against Liverpool and Arteta & it was too much for the young gunner. I don’t know if the players were still suffering after covid or what, but poor management was just too obvious on and off field. Tierney and others were in panic mode from the very first second and I just don’t get it. Lokomba is just too inexperienced and should be loaned out, but I know, we don’t have anybody anyway. We have no midfield especially after Partey’s red card. Arteta is too rigid in his tactics and I can’t see any hope, sorry. We’re very predictable and there is no imagination what so ever. It’s very similar to Wenger’s last years of inflexibility, except that Wenger was a brilliant prof in his prime time. Sorry for all the negativity, it was a painful game to watch.

  23. Pressure Pressure Pressure. The last three games against city and Liverpool x2 we have had a red card and showed a total lack of knowhow. Coaching is about tactics and steely eyed application, we are lacking in all 3, cruelly highlighted when we play against top teams with focus from top coaching.

    1. What has mystified me Reggie is this:
      Arteta is very quick to bench, ostracise, loan or transfer players for breaking rules or even challenging club values.
      But he seems incapable of teaching players on-field discipline.
      Another contradiction:
      On arrival Arsenal had a relatively high count for yellows and reds, and he immediately stated that would change, and he coached players to walk away, don’t argue, stand off tackles etc. With the obvious Xhaka exception, this worked quite well and cards decreased. But we lost more games and were seen as a team that never tackled. This new aggressive pressing this season and passion to win has seen better results, and by and large our defenders still stand off and don’t collect cards – but our midfield and attack are running up a cricket score of cards through tackles and dissent.

  24. Come Sunday, Burnley’s midfield will bully ours. And I don’t think Arsenal have the mentality to take advantage of a Burnley side that has no match fitness. That Arsenal side lacks leadership on and off the pitch. I can’t see any new recruitment coming in this January Window. Seems to be just talk and innuendo as usual. There are X amount of players out there on loan, especially a young central defender somewhere in France. Should be bringing in another central defender, and at least two midfielders that have be loaned. Better than nothing. If nothing is coming in, at least recall some loan players back. It’s not rocket science. Surely Mikel Arteta is not that foolish or blind or even pig headed. This can be a very slow death to 8th/9th place on the ladder come May

    1. Even im confident of beating Burnley, we have better players, even with a weakened midfield. No excuses needed against Burnley and i dont under estimate them.

  25. I’d just like to add to comments made by journos and so say expect pundits over yhw last few days about Chelsea being tired v Brighton and us tonight.

    Oundits were saying how can Chelsea players be tired?!

    Well I say this about us tonight and at other times in the season. In 2012 whilst overseas in China for work I contracted sars and was hospitalised and was seriously ill at the time.
    Short story is to this day I am not the person I used to be before this illness I easily fatigue, get out of breath more easily and take longer to recover.
    What the heck has this got to do with anything I hear you cry? Well sars is a covid disease.
    We are talking about whether a player is available to 0lay or not, never mind whether he’s been able to train or is much weaker and slower than usual.

    Pushing the limits early on to get to the next game can sometimes have a long time effect on general fitness abd immune response, similarly to coming back to soon from a physical injury.

    My point basically is during covid player performance and fitness etc shouldn’t be overly analysed or criticised as we’ve no idea what complex issues are in play.

    This is doubly worse at the.moment following on from another crazy busy Christmas match schedule.

    I heard that Chelsea had played 15 games since the start of Decemeber that’d mad! Wonder how many we’ve played?

  26. I refuse to read what is surely loads of negativity or sadness above. The reality is our team is punching way above the weight we thought we were a few months ago. That’s attributable to key summer signings and youngens growing up fast. The reality of expectations of a big club that is rebuilding isn’t, “oh we HAVE to win a trophy at least!” That’s small club mentality in my opinion. More importantly, it’s an understanding that we grow each game and each window, and each year, the youth gets experience.

    Personally, this season has always been about finishing as high as we can in the table. I know it hurts getting knocked out in both cups in short order, but let’s keep our eye on the prize boys. Top 4 is the aim, and always has been.

  27. The title of this piece is “Arsenal absences prove costly”.

    Who were we missing?

    Xhaka was not there (so nobody was sent off). Partey came on as a sub, and Auba didn’t play AGAIN.

    Really, Is this our excuse?

    We were beaten by the BETTER TEAM!!!!

      1. Declan,
        Partey was on the fired, but his contribution was minimal. hence my comment NOBODY was sent off.

        It was a tongue in cheek comment about Partey’s lack of an impact when he came on.

  28. We are getting absolutely slated on every single global sight because of our postponements and then this performance….and rightfully so. It will be even worse if we lose the NLD.

    We had our starting team minus Partey so no excuses….we are the laughing stock of the football world today, not because we lost to Liverpool but because of our shenanigans/clueless tactics and yellow belly! Zero BMT

  29. We need a top level goal scoring machine this month or it will probably be another 8th place finish.. Liverpool were missing a range of players including the formidable Mane and Salah and still beat us easily. If we don’t sign anyone this month or just Melo we are definitely not getting top 4.

  30. Two years plus massive spending and we are hoping for a top 6 finish with no trophies or European football possible … that is the record of a bog standard manager at best … a proper manager would have instilled a sense of forward direction by now … if boom and bust is the process then arteta is the right man for the job … Spurs did what we should have done and will reap the benefits … another wasted January window chasing a player who doesn’t want to come to a second tier European team … but at the end of the day ownership matters and ours will never rekindle the glory days

    1. I agree with you barring the ownership, Stan has actually spent a fortune on players.

      Yes he’s partly responsible for hiring the manager I guess but it’s management and asset management that has let us down the most.

      For me 5th place finish is absolute minimum other MA must get out of our club, he can go manage Everton!

      1. Strangely PJSA, whilst our comments on this thread have been almost diametrically opposed(!) your bottom line criteria above and mine are identical – who would have guessed it! (;-))

  31. Auwful performance!

    I hope MA will be able to to pull the palyers from this mood and make them understand that they need to play from their hearts to be in the top 4!

    I think MA did everything right except for pushing Partey which I don’t think was necessary today.

  32. Why play Laca if can’t score in any matches apart from some penalties ? Liverpools defence was not that great but Arsenal didn’t have right people to test it. If they had someone like Giroud to hold teh ball upfront or provide areal threat it could be have been slightly different. Plus the players need to show confidence and desire to take on big teams. They play for Arsenal .

    1. Vithalvant – we will ignore your overlooking the fact that Laca’s goal vs Saints was December Goal of the Month shall we?
      Yes Laca was extremely poor yesterday, as were many others. But Laca is no longer played as an out and out striker – he is this season a “false 9”. His prime responsibility is to pull central defenders out of position, often by dropping deep, thus making space for other team members to score. The same system is used by Man City.
      It is therefore not reasonable to judge him solely on his personal goal tally, as his importance to the team, unlike Aubameyang, is far greater than this.

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