Be calm and be positive – Liverpool defeat will not define Arsenal’s season…

REFLECTIONS (LIVERPOOL 4-0 ARSENAL) by Rafi

Mikel Arteta’s side saw their 10 game unbeaten run end in a 4-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield. In simple words, Liverpool are a better team than Arsenal and it was more than evident. It was a matchup between one of the best teams in the league and the youngest team in the league.

Arteta’s starting 11 had no surprises, with the team starting in a familiar 4-4-1-1 shape, with both Aubameyang and Partey starting, despite fitness concerns. Possibly the biggest call was starting Nuno Tavares over Kieran Tierney, despite the Scottish fullback returning from injury over the course of the international break (glad we’re done with those for a while).

Contrary to what the scoreline suggests, Arsenal were not so poor. The team completed a solid performance in the first half. Although they didn’t muster much going forward, they defended well. And on the handful of occasions they did get forward, the team was let down by Bukayo Saka’s indecisiveness. It was not his best game today.

Going into the tunnel at halftime being a goal down, both Arteta and the players must’ve been of the belief that a positive result in the 2nd half was achievable. But, what followed was a disappointing collapse, which was mostly down to a flurry of individual mistakes by the young players, namely Nuno Tavares and Sambi Lokonga, both of whom made shocking giveaways.

Credit where it’s due, Liverpool were quite magnificent. Arteta’s decision to constantly play short against Liverpool’s high press caused Arsenal problems, with the home team winning 2nd balls throughout the game, and eventually scored their 3rd and 4th goals in the game.

Arteta perhaps could have instructed the team to feed the ball wide on more occasions, or play the ball directly to the front 2 to evade congestion in the middle as a result of incessant pressing by Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and the Liverpool front line, but he had no control over the unfortunate individual mistakes.

Getting to the positives (Yes, there were indeed some positives for our side in a 4-0 loss), Benjamin White and Gabriel both had decent games, and Aaron Ramsdale was sensational once again.

To conclude, I’d suggest our fanbase to not read into this loss too much. This result is not going to define our season by any means, and our young players will definitely learn from their mistakes. This loss will be an easy one to forget if we can get the job done against Newcastle next week with the same hunger and desire we have seen from the squad in recent weeks.

COYG!

Rafi

Tags liverpool v arsenal

74 Comments

  1. the big dog says:

    I’m sorry to say this but i fear the worse for arsenal with the tough games coming up they might end this year on the bottom half of the table…

    1. Declan says:

      Oh please stop it you are cracking me up with your really stupid comment!

  2. kev says:

    It was about the whack performance and not the result. I was rooting for us to pull of a hard fought draw or a scrappy win because I believed Liverpool were suspect at the back. The football Arsenal play is really poor. We don’t have a dominant stance even against the small teams and we play in too many phases. We’ll expectedly bounce back against Newcastle but watching us is so annoying at times. I saw Brentford and Brighton give them a better go and not just accept their fate.

    1. Kenya 001 says:

      It’s never a close margin score at that ground kev, we just but always make it toooo easy for them.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Maybe. I’m just afraid it speaks volumes about our tactical choices when playing against the best three EPL teams

    1. kev says:

      The unbeaten run never looked good performance wise. It was full of scrappy play. It reminds me of Emery’s time. Last season I defended Arteta strongly when people wanted to use the Europa league as leverage to claim Emery was better. That guy was the chop and change master

      1. gotanidea says:

        Our initial movements in the unbeaten run were great, but we always reverted to zero-pressing mode after scoring

        If Arsenal sack Arteta in the end of this season, we need a braver manager

        1. kev says:

          Our pressing has been poor since chop and change master Emery. It has improved but its no good. Sometimes I see small teams dominating the ball over us and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Our attacking tactics are really poor. We struggle to consistently create non-scrappy clear cut chances. I’m no agenda guy and Arteta I can see has got potential imo but right now he’s not ready. I still maintain hope that as long as he’s here things will change.

          1. gotanidea says:

            I believe in his potential and talent too. He has six months to get his shit together

          2. Gitau says:

            What impresses me is the determination of the young players. There’s a bright tomorrow.
            All said we need to overhaul the front line and put younger and creative players.Auba to get back to the with wings.

          3. gitau says:

            We need to be patient.
            Wenger got it and did wonders with the team those years.
            Arsenal can get back there if the board can be more concerned.

        2. Kenya 001 says:

          We really need to be more brave, yes Gai I have actually quoted in the previous article of how we drop the intensity after scoring. We are basically training a whole week ( No Europe ) sometimes I wonder how and what we really work on in our training ground!

    2. Sylva says:

      Yes I agree with you Gai.
      It speaks volume and teams can easily find out how to play and win Arsenal. My fear is that Arteta tactics is sometimes predictable and top managers can find a way around it. Arsenal conceded 11 goals against top teams Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool without scoring. I think it should be a concern. If Arteta can not beat big teams with a genius tactic then, he can’t take Arsenal far. Westham have beaten Liverpool with all their stars, Brighton picked a draw at Anfield so why can’t Arsenal do same.

  4. PJ-SA says:

    It’s not difficult to understand….it’s not that we lost, it’s how we lost. Brings to light all the real issues

  5. Liam says:

    You should be, bet you been waiting for our first defeat to get behind you’re keyboard. A realist would say 5 points from the next 3 but I feel we could sneak a win at either old Trafford or Godison Park. Arteta has improved the defence and keeper drastically and I feel we should give him time with the attack. Lacazette, Pepe and Abameyang have been massive burdens due to a whole host of reasons. By the end of the summer I expect Lacazette and Pepe to be gone and replaced with younger hungier players. The performances of Ramsdale, White and Tomiyasu give me confidence that the current regime will get them transfers correct. The links to Vlahovic suggest we are in the market for a tall target man striker which will massively suit our current tactical approach. If we can add a class winger to replace pepe, a cm with the ability to bench xhaka and we are ready to really challenge for the top 4.

  6. James says:

    Liverpool showed us what experience and top players can do. I’m not saying anything negative about Arsenal because I expected a loss, but we have a vision of how we should be playing. When your playing against 2 world class strikers and a team that’s been together and winning for the last 5 years it’s going to be hard. Especially with a team so yound and who have only had 10 games together.

    My biggest concern is up top, I think Auba and Laca are not what we need going forward after this season. We need new younger more powerful strikers in the Haaland or Vlahovic mould. Sambi who has showed how good he is so far.

    Also being so youthful we make some silly decisions in possession like against Brighton Watford and Palace. Sambi in particularseems a little wasteful, he needs to be alot neater and move the ball quicker, but he’s young and that will come.

    But very pleased with how difficult we a becoming to beat. Liverpool had to work very hard for those 3 pts. I’m glad we tried to get something, there’s nothing worse than losing 1 nil and not trying to get something. 1 nil 10 nil it’s still 3 pts so onwards to next week

  7. Skills1000 says:

    I believe in this team. from 20th position to 5th position was not an easy one.

    we will make top4 this season. It is a gradual process. What is important is picking points from supposedly small teams.

    The defeat to Liverpool was painful. But i believe the team will bounce back.

    We must sign Raheem Sterling and Bissouma in January.

  8. Reggie says:

    How on earth can anyone try and defend yesterday’s performance and say it wont define our season, that is rediculous. It was a performance of embarrassing proportions, the first 30 mins we couldn’t string 3 decent passes together and Ramsdale saved our bacon more times than he should have. My problem was the manner of the defeat, it was a shambles in truth, just because it was 35 minutes until Liverpool scored, we cant make out we were good upto then, when in truth we were not. So far from what we have seen this season and the results we have had so far, we are heading for a lower than satisfactory position in the league. We capitulate when we come up against a half decent team and just look lost. What have we achieved with spending 200 mil since Arteta arrived 23 months ago?

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      @Reggie
      RealTalk…
      Many here coming with the excuse that we lost to teams better than us, ie Chelsea, Liverpool an Man C.
      When it was newly promoted Brentford who laid the blueprint on how to beat us. Every loss after that was done in the same way, high hard pressing, with next to zero attempts at fighting back…

  9. Reggie says:

    On a point of note, Below the top 4 only one team (palace +1) are on a positive GD. Shows how far behind the rest of the division is to the present top 4. That is shameful in my view of the league.

    1. SueP says:

      So clearly a 3 horse race Reggie and I’d a free, shameful that the rest are so far removed from the best

  10. Atangana says:

    Very objective analysis of what took place. both the players and manager were in experienced. Indeed, playing the balls ahead instead of letting them win back second balls as they always did would certainly have placed them in difficulties. They studied Arteta’s system and understood how to get around it but a more experienced manager would have immediately altered it to make things hard for them.
    The only real goals they scored were the 1st and 4th. The second and third could have been avoided.

    1. Joe. S says:

      Point is the manager should not have been so inexperienced or rather, naive. He’s come up against Klopp before but doesn’t seem to have learner a thing.

  11. JW says:

    I read somewhere above that White and Gabriel played well.

    How well could they have played, we lost 4-0, albeit to a top 4 team, but it could have been a lot more.

    These comments seem to infer that these two are the “anointed” ones!!

    Remember, when we lost to Man City and Chelsea, also top 4 teams, Holding and Mari were castigated.

    White and Gabriel started with a series of relatively easier games, and they became the de facto middle of the defense.

    I think they have been brought down to earth!!!

    If they are to be the number one central defensive pair, then they will need another DM in front of them. One who is more experienced than Lokonga. I think he will develop, but at the moment Edu needs to bite the bullet and buy one in January

    In retrospect: Were everybody just a little too harsh on Holding and Mari?

    Realism check: Did this result show Arteta that the top 4 is beyond the current Arsenal squad?

    1. Rashid80 says:

      Buy buy buy buy, can’t you see that the problem is mainly the manager not the players!

  12. jon fox says:

    I appaud this sensible and considered article Unlike some on here – yes you Reggie and Dan kit, who call for MA to be sacked almost every day -I retain great faith in a young and hungry manager, who is clearly building a far better squad then the one we had a year or so ago.

    I say do not throw the baby out with the bathwater and do not panic and overreact over one comprehensive defeat to one of the two or three best teams in Europe.

    In short, stop thinking short term and being so impatient and fickle. Act as SUPPORTERS should act!

    1. Dan kit says:

      ILL GLADLY PAY FOR XHAKAS TICKET TO ROMA, provided he goes before he ever again wears our shirt!

      Ihave craved this statuesque, hotheaded tortoises exit since the very first full month of suffering his extreme slow play and immobility!

      What any of our last three managers have ever seen in this “player” is way beyond my comprehension.

      A baffling mystery how he could possible have stayed so long.
      ALL HIS WHOLE TIME HERE HAS BEEN TOO LONG. FAR TOO LONG.
      HE MUST GO! HIS RECENT ABSENCE HAS BEEN A JOY, TBH!

      JONNY BOY FOX ,is that how supporters should act?

      Like I said the other night stop talking B0llcks .

      1. kev says:

        For a club that has witnessed some top CM’s play for us you’d think we’d be great at judging CM’s good enough for us but no. I thought our fanbase was bad at identifying good defenders but I’m beginning to wonder if we know good midfielders when we see one. The mediocrity is serious

      2. David Rusa says:

        Did Xhaka play today? Was he the cause of our loss in absentia? Why do some of us become so hateful of innocent players? Where was Xhaka’s fault today? If we do not stop hate as fans we shall always destabilise our team. Xhaka is one of our better players in big games and I believe if he was around he would have done a lot to halt Liverpool’s adventure through the mid field.

        1. Sue says:

          You’d better ask Jon Fox.. as that was his comment Dan Kit copied/pasted

      3. jon fox says:

        Thanks for re- producing my article once again, sonny. You have a habit of doing this I notice.

        Seems you wish you had the wit to have written my words yourself originally, instead of simply copying them.

        As for the actual subject, Xhaka, it seems you like this so called player!

        Given all you other views, I am not at all surprised. I would only ever worry if you agreed with me.

        But you have rarely, if ever, done so far, so that’s a relief!

    2. NY_Gunner says:

      @jon fox
      As I stated before, it was newly promoted Brentford who laid out the blueprint on how to beat us. The other teams who beat us, did so in the very same fashion.
      Arteta should have addressed this after the first loss, but failed to do so after 3 similar losses…IJS

    3. ken1945 says:

      I’m sure Arsene Wenger will have a chuckle reading your last paragraph Jon… I certainly did😏

      Isn’t it strange that we are asked not to react in a negative way, when getting hammered by the top sides now, but what a different story under AW /UE?

      Also interesting that, suddenly, we have to take into account the money being spent by these clubs and their owners, show patience and support the manager.

      I’m not disputing the above, but the double standards being applied are quite breathtaking.

    4. kev says:

      You should stop accepting mediocrity. Its one thing for someone to be pushing their “Arteta out” agenda and for another to say it how it is. People should forget about the quality of our players for a moment and ask if Arteta is maximising the potential of our squad from a tactical point of view. I don’t know how anyone who’s watched football for many years can accept such poor attacking tactics thus making Arsenal’s play look not pretty and in phases. Oh how I wish Emery had the same excuses. I even think in context Arteta is better than Emery at Arsenal but the excuses and comments I’ve read here are pathetic. Its clear that your liking of the coach doesn’t make you say it how it is.

    5. ken1945 says:

      Jon, is my memory failing me, or did you not tell everyone that MA needed to go?
      What, exactly, has changed your mind after the city, pool and chelsea games?

      1. Reggie says:

        Jon, i have stopped taking any notice of you and your bigoted remarks. You are rude, disrespectful and cant respect opinion. You are a nobody to me your posts are just so disrespectful. If all you can do is get personal, like a good keyboard warrior does, then your are a low form of a human being. You are spiteful and resprt to personal abuse because people dont think the same as you. All i can say its a good job most on hear dont.

        1. jon fox says:

          Meow Reggie!

      2. Kev82 says:

        Ken it’s definitely not failing you I brought this up ages ago he did in fact say he has to go lol

        1. Reggie says:

          Ken jon did say MA had to go and then changed his mind and slags everyone off, who didn’t. Stinks to me.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Yet Jon remains silent.
            How can someone writ what Dan k reproduced and then have a go at those who feel the same about MA?

            OPINIONS JON OPINIONS!!

            1. jon fox says:

              Ken I’ll promise you this; when you cease taking my comments out of context and use my precIse quotes with ALL context included, instead of misdescribing what I posted, I will answer your questions .

              But not UNTIL you do so. CHERRY PICKING OLD POSTS IS NOT HONEST, and I think the less of you for continually doing so
              I WOULD HAVE HOPED A MAN OF YOUR YEARS, INTELLIGENCE AND INTEGRITY WOULD HAVE NATURALLY DONE AS I WOULD EXPECT. But clearly not!

              I would not ever expect fans such as Reggie and Kev82 to do as I ask you to do, which is why I do not waste my time answering them directly.
              For clarification, I did express doubts about MA and once say I wanted him to leave but also said in that same post that I still hoped he would prove me wrong. I never , unlike many, actively called for his sacking and there is a huge difference betwen harbouring doubts (which in SOME respects I still do) AND actively and constantly calling, sometimes daily , for his sacking, as Reggie and his ilk have done.

              If you cannot see the important difference between those very different positions , then I am bound to conclude that you do NOT WANT to see that difference, as it does not suit your agenda KEN!
              Care to answer THAT one in, detail eh Ken?

              I believe he has proved me wrong and, unlike some who stubbornly cling to their original thoughts, even when all the evidence shows them to be wrong(Ozil and his legendary laziness is a prime example, in YOUR case), I change my opinion when the evidence, in whichever direction, changes accordingLy.

              That is a wise and mature thing to do; not that you would ever do the same though! Perish the thought eh KEN??!!

              Finally KEN, I have of course long known that wilful misinterpretationof anothers comment is rife on social media but in YOUR case I WOULD TRULY HAVE EXPECTED MORE NUANCED THINKING AND HONESTY . Clearly, I was wrong to do so!

  13. Peterhos says:

    If we all accept Jon Fox’s advice to be patient and less fickle then presumably we would all have pretty much the same attitude to the fact that we are far off the level of the top 3, have only scored 13 goals so far and have not been at all convincing, although well done to the team for a good run that brings us to 5th position. Without a range of opinions from the patient to the frustrated this site would not be worth logging on to. Anyone remember the good old thumbs up or down button? Good fun disagreeing with other Gunners wasn’t it.

    1. Durand says:

      Really miss those thumb options,

  14. Peterhos says:

    On a different note, Dan Kit is right about Xhaka. He may be the best we have in that position, but that says more about the management’s failure to address the midfield weaknesses over many years now. He is indeed slow, ponderous, uncreative and a liability. I put him on a par with Gareth Barry or Fellaini. Reliable, always fit and available, but unlikely to excite the crowd or lead the team to great things.

    1. Dan kit says:

      That wasn’t my post mate
      I copied it off the Xhaka article
      This was jonny boys posts .

  15. Chris says:

    The only “top 4” teams Arteta is to beat,at some point home or away are Manchester City and Liverpool.
    And despite the “calamitous” start to the league, Arsenal are no.5 in the “world’s toughest” league!
    For the life of me,how can this not be a move in the right direction?
    Bear in mind that we’re not even halfway the season!

    Which other manager could’ve achieved this?

    1. ken1945 says:

      Unia Emery, Arsene Wenger, without spending over £200,000,000 on 12 new players.

  16. Peterhos says:

    David Rusa – nobody blamed Xhaka for today’s result. Some of us just think that he is not the player we need to lead us to the highest level. What a player Gilberto was. Completely different class of player. When France won the World Cup we had, I think, Henry, Pires, Wilford, Petit and Viera in the team. Who do we have now of that class?

  17. Kev82 says:

    A solid performance because we parked the bus while Liverpool were in cruise control in the first half 😂 the new standards of today’s Arsenal fans as long as we aren’t blown away in the first 20 mins and its progress lol. So anyway we rank 14th for goals scored and only 7 coming from open play which is 19th in the League, we’re also 19th for big chances created with just 7.. our shot conversion rate is at 8.4% ranking in at 16th and possession wise we sit 13th in the table… all positive though 💪

    1. Sue says:

      Dire, Kev! Have we ever been this poor before? Not that I can remember…
      Massive game against Newcastle now.. Will we see a response?!

      Dare I say the darts is going well 😉

      1. kev says:

        We will beat Newcastle. They are hopeless

      2. Kev82 says:

        5th position is just papering over cracks it’s clouding people’s judgement. The football is awful Sue and I’m not very confident in our next game although we should win narrowly. Who is winning Sue 😳

        1. Sue says:

          Gerwyn Price!! Grand Slam Champion!
          Happy days…

          I know the result was expected yesterday, but the performance wasn’t. I’m afraid the doubts are creeping in! I’ll be alright in a couple of days though when I’ve come to terms with it 😄

          1. Kev82 says:

            What happened to sherrock ? 🤪 You should be careful Sue a lot of people will tell you we were fantastic for 30 mins 😂 haha we have United next game away with a new manager I guess that will be a free hit for some Arsenal fans 😜

            1. Sue says:

              Er she lost 😄. Yes, yet another free hit – imagine if we lose while Carrick’s still in charge!!
              There is more of a togetherness in the squad now though, so I’m hoping we bounce back sharpish – can’t handle another bad run…

              1. Kev82 says:

                I’ve replied twice to this Sue and didn’t post it’s the 3rd time it’s happened today 🙄

    2. kev says:

      Arteta is more likable than chop and change master Emery. Emery with the same results would leave many angered. I remember over here how angry people used to be that we adapted to the opposition than playing our own game. That style won us games including a flawed unbeaten run that had many impressed. Arteta for me has potential but he’s all over the place with his tactics.

      1. Kev82 says:

        He certainly is all over the place with his tactics 👍 2 years into his tenure and I have no idea what his football philosophy is 🙄

        1. Sue says:

          Get it right, Kev, it’s 23 months!! 😜

          1. Kev82 says:

            Hahaha yeah silly me Sue 23 months I don’t want to offend anyone 🤪

            1. ken1945 says:

              And don’t forget Aubemeyang was 31 years and ten months old when he signed his contract, not 32.
              I did upset someone with that horrendous error!!!!

              1. Sue says:

                Ken, tut tut!! 🤣

                1. Kev82 says:

                  You can’t be making those kind of errors this day and age Ken… GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT 😂😂

  18. Peterhos says:

    Dan Kit – What a tease you are then!

  19. RW1 says:

    I am still waiting 2 years in to work out artetas football philosophy … there is no sign of one yet he has failed to develop the kind of pressing game you’d think he’d have learnt from pep and certainly he doesn’t have the understanding or bottle to make changes when initial team selection is not working … as was obvious yday after 45 mins … fortunately other second tier teams have also been struggling as top 3 pull away buying him time .. but sadly we will do what man utd have done retain a manager clearly out of his depth til the inevitable happens and it’s back to square one

    1. Kev82 says:

      Rw1 exactly although we’ll keep Arteta longer than Solskjaer as a lot of our supporters are bought into the process unfortunately.

    2. Chris says:

      Then maybe it is a high time you acknowledge the man is a “tactical genius”!
      If every “Tom,Dick and Harry” could have “figured out” Arteta’s “footballing philosophy”(whatever you mean by this), there would be no element of surprise!
      This is better for the team-in particular-and the entire game-in general.
      “Armchair” coaches have no business trying to “coach” a top fooball team like AFC!
      Though I have to give it to them,”Armchair” coaches all ALWAYS good at what they do-criticizing

      1. RW1 says:

        What an utterly infantile comment … every fan is an armchair coach of some kind .. you have some opinion of the team it’s performance it’s prospects … even if of the Panglossian variety … fortunately football has yet to become part of an Orwellian world .. but you certainly have the right to choose to be an armchair prole .. just not my thing

  20. Olukunlejohn says:

    Hello to all those that use to criticize arteta should not stop because all what he achieve till yesterday was because Many people don’t want him so it keep him work hard through that he became one of top 5 team from 20th. So I want them to start again in big form they may even put him to trophy at the end of season, yesterday game was a must lean lesson for both the young team and the young coach know one get experience without a hard test I remember when guadiola face his own test as a young coach then when he was at Barcelona they match against Bayern which end 8: 2 against Barcelona . The response of guadiola after the game was the best solution which I want arteta to Also emulate and never allow such to happen again in any big match, any big match need to prepare big for it and ready the mind of the players as if it will be there last match on earth.

  21. Tomorrow says:

    Reason for being positive is plenty but in truth yesterday’s result and chunks of the performance meant the club was in for a battering from critics.

    I’m the kinda guy who is determined in my convictions. So I would look to the facts.
    We have show our team is good yet learning, however our squad still needs addressing. I appluad the work done to get players out of the club and players in but more is needed.
    Arteta himself is 39 years old. He too is learning to be a manager in the EPL, he will be expecting from himself, like when he was a player, to.improve and be better.
    He knows the summit which needs to be climb, he knows the talent of conte, tuchel, klopp, pep… compete now with them, when his time comes, he will be best prepare to win more and be more.

    In big games.like this.you need to be brave. Unfortunately we were not. I hope the youngest are reminded again that to be top players in the game, you need to want to demand the ball.
    Too many forward players were passive and half hearted in their attempts, whether to press or whether to want to be on the ball.

    I know ESR gets a lot of headlines right now, but for me Saka is still the talent of the century.

  22. CFArsenal#10 says:

    WHY CAN PEP TAKE SOMEONE LIKE STERLING AND IMPROVE THEM MASSIVELY AND WE BUY A 72 M WINGER LIKE PEPE AND TURN HIM INTO A SUAD PLAYER?

  23. Prof.Wenger says:

    As I always say,, it’s not only about losing, it’s about what we did .. and the answer is “NOTHING”!!

    I hope we can survive this one as I saw some progress and I hope MA can get the players back to how they were playing before!

    Auba?!

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