It was a bad day for Arsenal yesterday but some perspective is required

Following the loss yesterday against Liverpool I have ripped into the players, especially David Luiz and even the new signings have felt my ire but now I feel some balance is required.

The first thing that must be recognised is that Liverpool are no normal team, they are literally one of the best club sides on the planet, they are European Champions, they amassed 97 points last season in the Premier League losing just the one game, and smashed Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield in the Champions League second leg, and have now gone over 40 Premier League games unbeaten at home.

The second thing that must also be recognised is that Arsenal is a team in transition, they have significant absentees in defence and their new signings have yet to fully integrate.

Liverpool did dominate, but that has to be expected and two of their goals did come from poor defending by one single player, it is not as if they ran over Arsenal through their own creativity and superiority, they were aided in the win.

The game could have been different if Nicolas Pepe had been more clinical, but that happens, and at another time I am sure he would have put the ball away with comfortable ease.

Unai Emery’s selection did not help and he will learn from that, well, one has to hope he does and I doubt very much he will repeat the same mistakes against Tottenham next week.

In fact, this game will soon be forgotten if Arsenal beat Spurs and there is a very good chance they will do that when you consider the recent record between the North London rivals at the Emirates.

And if Arsenal does collect all three points against their bitter local rivals that will mean they will have collected nine points from their opening four games and at the start of the transfer window if we were offered that I am positive most fans would have said, yes please.

So, yes, it was a bad defeat and there were numerous mistakes, but it is not the end of the world, things can and will probably get a lot better.

Now, if we lose against Tottenham then that will be a cause for concern but right now a little perspective is required.

Updated: August 25, 2019 — 11:19 am

48 Comments

  1. I think Emery needs to get a sense of perspective, and think like a manager that knows his team and the game.

  2. The problem is not losing to Liverpool away. The problem is reading all the alarming signs of poor team selection even poorer tactics and no substitutions or adjustments to our failing tactics during the games.

    That is the pattern that should worry us not the results.

    1. This is absolutely correct.If Emery thinks his tactics work-They Don’t.If he believes his team selections are correct-They Are Not.If he feels his team have an identity-He Is Wrong.
      This Manager had enough chances last season to learn what the Premier League was about.It was his own ridiculous line-ups and tactics that allowed him to single handedly blow our Champions League chances when at times it was easier to qualify than not.
      Last season was his honeymoon period.This season is his reality.He needs to wake up to where he is and sortvout this team.Otherwise he will not be in a job at Xmas.We must not accept his failings any longer.

      1. Phil, I hope the management doesn’t allow him to over stay if he doesn’t perform this season. I hope they are ruthless enough to sack him.

        1. Can’t see that happening unless we drop mid table by half way point of the season I’m happy for him to see out his contract but not a fan of his ,i wasn’t last season and I can’t see that changing this time round .

          1. @Arsenal Why- I’m with you on this.We have a lot of good players at the Club and a few exceptional ones.Why some of these were not playing yesterday is still bewildering to me and the very vast majority so it seems.Emery must be put under pressure from the Management.It wasn’t the loss that upsets me so much as the performance.We went toe to toe with those scousers at the Emirates last season and were not outclassed at all.But we set up offensively that day and we didn’t yesterday.Why?Emery could get away with his tinkering at Seville as it’s pretty much a 2/3 team league over there.And he even somehow managed PSG to second place behind Monaco (I believe but correct me if I’m wrong) when it was deemed impossible for ANY team to finish above them.Emery should be on a warning that last seasons capitulation will not be acceptable this season.We have a decent team.We have a better team than last season.I have a feeling we will be playing under a better Manager next season.

      2. And way the fck is Ozil Phil ?
        Are we going to have a repeat of last season where he magically seems to disappear from squad day line ups .
        I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but fck me he couldn’t have done any worse yesterday .
        Bring back iwobi in January maybe .?

        1. Yes, where was Ozil? He wasn’t even on the bench, so something nasty is happening which is not told to us

    2. Well said ?
      Will also say top teams play their best players if fit ,why does it take so long to get our players upto speed and how long for Emery to play all the players once they are .
      He seems hellbent on trying to prove something which quite clearly does not work ,I think probably most fans could tell after 2 mins what was going to happen and what does he do ,absolutely bugger all .
      2 of the best fullbacks in Europe and plays some kind of formation our players looked confused playing ,and the David luiz penalty resulted in Trent given so much space down the right for him to easy pass to salah.
      Honestly I’m so confused about that whole episode yesterday .

      1. @Dan-can you guess who would have taken the blame for the defeat if MO had played?Im with you mate-put your best players out on the pitch and at least have a go at them.So we worked hard.Where did that get us?Nowhere again that’s where.No team pattern.No service through to Auba and Pepe.And will someone please explain to me whyLacazette was not playing.
        If Emery thinks he has got away with this one he is wrong.Even beating the Dustbin Lids next week will not excuse him for this performance.
        Torreira MUST start next week.Xhaka should be benched at best.Why spend all this money on a strike force as good as most in Europe and not play them?
        Emery needs to have a long hard look at himself and start listening to Freddie about what it means to this Club to be a Manager.He has “yes man” Bould last season.Freddis has the support of the entire fan base which is something Emery certainly does not have ( unless you are some drunken old codger who must surely have booked himself into The Priory after lady nights comments ).

        1. Apologies-last nights comments

  3. Emery cost us the game before it started with his selection.
    Torreira and Laca needed to start.
    Xhaka is so bad its not funny, he offers nothing!

    The line up should have been.

    Leno
    AMN Luiz Sokratis Monreal
    Toreira Willock Cellabos
    Pepe Laca Auba

    1. You are chosing willock over Xhaka?
      May i remind you why we were outplayed yesterday- because we feeded u23 lightweights. For me, willock and Gued need to seat against Spur

      1. Adjam I would choose williocks mum over xhaka have you even watched him over the last three seasons

        He should be our 5/6 th option

        1. I agree with u…football is not about names but result. Against L’pool;u need quick and energetic players which Xhaka is not.Players who don’t fear and mentally ready-xhaka is not….seems to be intimidated against tough. and big name teams. Slow to think amd low to act.

        2. So would i John but it’s Emery who picks the team and unfortunately he obviously hasn’t been to spec savers recently….

  4. You would think we just lost at home to palace the way some of you are going on. Had Pepe put us 1 up when he was one on one in the first half the game could have been ours. We came to play on the counter against the best team in the world joint with City and would it not been for individual errors from Pepe and Luiz we may have cone away with something.We are missing 3 out of 4 of our back line we have implemented new players so please give the team time to settle.

    1. It Does not matter what he set up and came to do we lost pure and simple ,not just lost but got bent over and pummelled .
      Play to your strengths and that is something we did not do .
      That score line could have been 5- or 6 to them .

  5. What has Emery brought to Arsenal other than tinkering? A small club mad scientist that creates conflict with top players (his words), tinkers in an effort to prove his “tactical genius”

    He set up defensively with our weak defenders while also missing 3 starters on our back line.

    Why not show faith in our £200 million attack? Auba and Laca been scoring goals, and Pepe skinned VVD and Robertson couple times.

    No changes at halftime with players or tactics, Laca comes on at 80 min mark down 3-0 to do what exactly? Ruin their clean sheet?

    Be ruthless with our coach like club has been with players. Letter to Josh regarding Emery needed.

    #Emerydigginghisowngrave

  6. It is worrying how Emery sets the team up to counter the other team but it’s just all wrong, it stifles the rhythm as the team gets used to playing a certain way and shape.

    The game plan was clear to see, sit back and absorb the pressure and counter. As Martin said it could have been different if Pepe/Auba scored.

    I do think we could have pushed them back if we played the three up top.

    I hope the team matures small changes in formation play comes naturally because I know Emery will keep doing what he is doing.

  7. Yes, where was Ozil? He wasn’t even on the bench, so something nasty is happening which is not told to us

  8. That Arsenal did not qualify for Champions League last season was Emery’s selection and tactics-that jamboree is over. How on earth can a manager play diamond formation against Liverpool to the strengths of Arnold and Robertson? How did Emery selected his player without a top 9 like Lacazette? Why start Willock and leave an international like Torreira? No physical player, no pace and no tough tackling midfielder. The game was already dead on arrival. The board did their best in the transfer window.A manager looks up to experience players in big games. Emery is to take full responsibility for the loss. There’s no more room for any shambolic display.

  9. I’m sorry but it’s not going to be straight forward win next week as you’re saying. WTH is wrong with emery? What’s up with confusing your opponents with some useless lineups? This was not the first time. Remember those useless lineups toward the end of last season? I’m sorry I don’t think emery is the man to take this wonderful club forward. The Epl is very tough and any team can punish you with the slightest mistake and emery doesn’t seems like he has learn from last season. Watch him push Ceballos to the wings again to accommodate that statue called Xhaka in the middle next weekend. Emery has had three windows to address our problems and has not done enough in my opinion. I mean we still have players like Xhaka, mustafi, Elneny and he went and bought another error prone defender in Luiz. I’m sorry emery is clueless and don’t think he’s the guy to take this team forward. If arsenal gives emery another season after this then I see players like Lacazette, Aubameyang and co trying to jump ship. You think Laca will be happy being dropped for the first big match of the season? Remember it was like that in this fixture last year, I don’t see any leaders in this team. I mean how can the team switch off after the first goal? Thought they said Luiz was that guy who was going to bring that mentality to the team? Putting your hopes on mustafi 2.0 is never going to work.

  10. Can someone predict Emery’s next formation for next week…

  11. If a manager try something new and he win then he is a genius. If he lose, he is an idiot. I guess that is the nature of the job.
    Come on, at least he tried something new, not 4-2-3-1 all season that many called naive approach.
    That said, my criticism is he didn’t introduce Laca after the break. We were a goal behind, why continue to sit back and play counter? We should tried to dictate the game at that point.

  12. I believe we all need to look at things with some perspective as this article suggests.

    I mentioned in one of the comments before yesterday, that Liverpool beating us is not really a big deal. At the risk of sounding like one was ‘giving an excuse for failure’ as some will quickly say, I think Liverpool is a settled team. They are probably not going to cover much more ground to improve than they have. In other words, they have peaked or close to that.

    Arsenal on the other hand is a work-in-progress. All the facts are there for all to see. Why would anyone expect us to play against them and not battle against the windmill? Especially when our coach got the selection wrong front the get go? How do you leave your best legs (especially in attack) on the bench and expect to score against a team that is better than you defensively?

  13. Let’s get over it. And quickly too. Tottenham is looming.

    It is only 3 points lost, not 30. We still have so many more games (35) to play to redress the situation. Liverpool might lose to a lesser team and then we will all realise quickly that football is like that. Especially the EPL. This is not La Liga.

    Our boys will get used to themselves and our coach will hopefully learn not to be so naive(!!!).

    Early days to make any sledge hammer statements.

  14. I understand our team is ‘a work in progress’, however, i think UE gave liverpool too much respect, in one of his prematch comment he said he didnt like playing them. But if he (UE) is a video analyst as the report suggest,how could he miss liverpool vs chelsea game?, for me chelsea team isnt better than ours, if he had adopted chelsea aproach , we might have lost or drew, so i blame him. If he treat lpool as God, how will he treat city match

  15. If we had of set up to win that game like it was a home game then it would’ve played into Liv hands most likely. Everything you said up there is true about pool, you/we can’t just throw a team together and expect them to beat Liv at their own game, not at Anfield. It’s easy to say otherwise when you don’t have to see it, even though past encounters should tell you otherwise. How many times was Wenger slaughtered for not thinking more negative and trying to stop other sides who are more equipped than us and having home advantage.

    I was not keen on the formation and lineup neither, but I did want to see something different because we can’t be the team to give Liv a shot of adrenaline each season with them then going on run while we go from bad to worse at the back. This has been a horrible fixture over a number of seasons now, I feel it is a bit less horrible this time because we could’ve sucker punched them like those teams that used to do it to us when having one or two shots on target all game, or a Jose M. sucker punch.

    Faces arrived last season, more new faces this season, and we have academy players in the squad also still waiting on some crucial injury news. The article is right guys, Liv are a different level we all know it but we want to listen to our hearts. Emery might not be the right guy to bridge the City Pool gap but right now who would be, he’d have to make this team his own and buy his own players except maybe forwards. Emery has a good shot at putting us back into the CL mix, then when on more solid footing, then think about who could compete or get us competing for 1st

    Sorry for the long post to anyone who has the patience.

    1. i dont disagree, but his strategy was letting RObertson and TAA put in a ton of crosses. They had 23 assists between them last season. Lacazzette is our best big game striker. Left on the bench. And put in far too late. He had an opportunity to change shape at HT. I didn’t expect to beat Liverpool but I expect us to look like a decent threat and challenge. This game was no different from the other bottom teams that come to Anfield and for a club like Arsenal, that is far from good enough. Emery needs to show signs he is progressing. But yes, I agree that many people are getting carried away saying we should just attack and try to beat Liverpool at their own game. Because very likely we’d just destroyed and then ppl would be calling him stupid for playing so open.

  16. As disappointed as i am, i want to look ahead to next week now… forget that we lost to that lot AGAIN! Not sure everyone around me will let that happen just yet though!!
    The way i felt last night/this morning will be 10x worse next week, if we lose.. and i have to admit, it wasn’t nice! I’m gutted i wasn’t able to get tickets for next week.. although if it does go pear shaped, then i guess it’ll save my son being totally embarrassed, having to drag his quivering, inconsolable wreck of a Mother out of the Emirates ?

    Come on City ?

    1. Oh Sue, we cannot lose next week, especially not to spuds. I’d rather have Guenduozi, Luiz and Sokratis take turns kicking them and get 3 red cards if it makes us avoid defeat LOL
      Feel sorry you didn’t get the ticket.

      1. Thanks 350oz… haha that’d be brilliant (as long as it was Kane, Dier & Alli… they make me sick!!) ?
        Lets hope we play as well as we did against them last December ?

  17. No sign of progress and bad team selection is the real letdown. Emery can’t just say Liverpool are better and he tried. We spent a lot of money and he needs to start showing why we should keep him as our manager. Arsenal does not even have a style of play and we are into Emery’s 2nd season now. Time to step it up Mr. Emery.

  18. the perspective is that even eddie howe’s team tries to play football against a better ball playing team than lpool … emery’s brand of nihilist football will take us nowhere … sooner we realise it the sooner we can move forward

  19. Emery make arsenal look ordinary middle table team even out play us please someone need to help us since last season till now we can’t play attractive football or dominate games I don’t even know our style of football….emery is confusing our players.

  20. Ederson looks even more of a thug now!! Sergio ?

    1. True sue but he’s a better outfielder than xhaka!!

  21. Perspective my foot! If we truly believed Liverpool was such a super team we should have forfeited the game and not wasted people’s time with that nonsense. The truth is, we have spent just about the same amount of money, if not more, on our squad as Liverpool has. We should be getting at the very least a competitive match for all this investment. This rubbish coach is no better than the clueless dinosaur who was fired before him.

    1. QD, I look forward to you applying for the job at the end of the season.

  22. so ozil is missing yesterday and everyone is asking why he didnt play, had it been he played yesterday ,he will probably be the scape goat.

    1. if he played we would’ve only complained more about how bad the lineup was.

  23. I understand what Emery was trying to do playing against a superior opponent in their “house”. But, if he was going to take that approach, he needed to have a better understanding of the opponents’ strengths and his own players’ capabilities. Insisting on playing out of the back against one of the best pressing teams in the world is suicide if you don’t have a couple of midfielders who can link the defense with the counter-attack. Xhaka was the Arsenal starter best able to do this (which is a statement in itself) and Liverpool rightly negated him, leaving it to Willock and Guendouzi to get the ball to Ceballos, Auba, or Pepe. Willock tried, but lacks the size and experience to know where the outlet passes are and make them. Which left it up to Guendouzi to get the ball out of the back for Arsenal…bad choice.

    I know Guendouzi is popular because of his energy, effort, marauding spirit and potential. But anyone who has watched him closely can see that he lacks positional awareness and composure, has lapses in focus, and can still be relatively easily dispossessed. These are not the qualities that you want in the critical link between your defense and counter-attack against a superior opponent’s press on their home pitch!

    So, predictably, Guendouzi couldn’t get the ball out of the Arsenal end, balls were being blindly and aimlessly launched downfield to no one, Liverpool routinely retained possession, and, at times, the Arsenal starters looked like they had just met 5 minutes earlier and hadn’t been properly introduced. Arsenal was lucky it got the few chances it got with Guendouzi on the pitch.

    There are matches and situations where Guendouzi can be quite effective, but this was not one of those. Emery should have known this and started the more composed Torierra. I know that Emery is playing for the long haul with an injury-limited squad, but he has to do a better job of matching up his choice of tactics and personnel given the opponent.

    1. Guz. from d stats was one of arsenal stand out players.Did Xhaka lift his game,did u c any meaningful contribution from a player clamouring to be made captain? I tot our coach and his team shld have watched L’pool vs cheisea and vs Southampton too.UE shld be showing knowledge of his team(selection and sub’s timing) and his opponents in d league by now to show he is competent. We do have great potentials in the team now.Its still early days if we workharder we will be able to compete.

  24. I actually didn’t expect us to win & I didn’t criticize any player, but I expected the coach to do his homework. If Klopp puts his strongest team at home, why would Emery not put his strongest team at Anfield? What’s the point of spending all that money if we can’t field a strong team & give ourselves a winning chance? Emery may be a good coach but not good enough for Arsenal. I supported him last season but he needs to up his game & remember this is Arsenal.

  25. can anbody please tell to me if harry kane ever closes the ugly mouth of his. he reminds me of a trout gasping for oxygen in a river. is he able to close it ?, or is there an obstruction in the way , in particular, the ego .i have not ever seen anybody who can keep a mouth open all match long. no, i do not hate the man, but he does make me want to hurl.

    1. No.. never! He just tripped on his bottom lip & wanted a penalty!!

  26. We need a manager like Fredi , the problem with Emery is he concentrates to much on the opposition rather than are own sreths. That is what happened to PSG in the champions league he won at home 4 -0 and set up his team to nagativly away from home

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