Liverpool 3 – 1 Arsenal – Unai Emery gets a hammering

Unai Emery completely outplayed by Klopp by Konstantin Mitov

Well, it’s a familiar hammering at Anfield and sadly I am not surprised. The squad looked negative from the start. We conceded a dangerous cross before 90 seconds have passed and we did little to change this. This time though, it’s not the board, it’s down to the manager. The way our players were set up left the Liverpool full backs with all the space in the world and we eventually conceded.

The second half started in the exact same manner, an immediate chance for Liverpool and a second one which led to a penalty and we conceded. And this is just after half time, when the manager should’ve given some instructions, but we were slow again. If we are going to get hammered every time, we might as well go down, trying to play some football.

We waited till it was minute 60 and it was 3:0 to make any substitutions and this is what really disappointed me. I was hoping for Laca to come instead of Willock at the start of the second half, not when the game is dead and buried. Unai used to be brave with the subs, but this game resembled the Wenger days.

I suspect that we might have been saving Laca for Spurs, knowing this game is lost, but we could’ve changed our formation to include some support on the wings. Put on Kolasinac, and move Pepe to the wing to support the defense a bit more, but nothing of that sort happened. I expected us to lose, but I am still disappointed with the lack of passion and desire we showed to fight in the game.

Luiz was suspect for the second and third goal, but before you put it on him, we were exposed even before his mistakes. We should’ve taken some measures to change the way of the game and the manager didn’t, and for me he lost the game with a questionable starting line up, his lack of half time instructions and late subs.

We played 3 central midfielders and they did close to nothing combined. Ceballos served the ball on a plate for Mane who spared us, and Willock, Xhaka and Guendouzi didn’t once manage to drive the ball forward from the back. We could’ve done much better had we got Laca up top to help Auba and Pepe, and try long balls from the keeper as we couldn’t get any seconds balls regardless.

Anyway, when you are an Arsenal fan, you learn there are some grounds where it’s a nightmare every time. But we shouldn’t be mourning too much as Spurs are coming next and I expect an improvement. What I hope is that the ruthlessness shown from the board will continue and Emery will be paying the price if we continue to perform like that. Lack of desire and character should be unacceptable at Arsenal. Unfortunately I cannot predict how much longer will we have to wait until we hire someone who would address the defense and the away character shown by this crop of players.

That is me done. I hope you have something to cheer you up this weekend.



  1. ‘but this game resembled the Wenger days’. Please correct it as Wenger’s final days..because Wenger transformed Arsenal into a team playing very attractive attacking football with Overmars Bergkamp Henry and co…not like this clueless those days Arsenal never panic on LFC and owen …That is why Arsenal have this much fans all over the world….

    1. It’s Wenger’s fault for always playing the same way against any opposition and it’s Emery’s fault for playing a different way against some opposition

  2. There was nothing wrong with the players character and desire. Both were more evident yesterday than for many years before. Liverpool have better players and a better manager than us but It was Emery’s selection and tactics and this playing out from the back all the bloody time that did for us. There were times when Leno was taking goal kicks with three Arsenal and three Liverpool players in the box and instead of kicking upfield he was still passing to these players who were under severe pressure. Willock and Guendouzi were by far our best players yet he plays Xhaka. We were over run on the wings as their fullbacks were given far too much space. For me, our full backs should be there to defend first rather than thinking about getting forward. Ok, we are still second in the table and at worst will be fourth after today but if lose to spurs at our place next week Emery will need to watch his back.

    1. When our previous two results at Anfield for having a go at them was 0-4 and 1-5, I disagree but do not blame UE for trying a different approach.

      He might be wrong with player selection, not making changes at 0-2, but if we concede from a corner and give away a needless penalty, there’s no point talking about tactics. Formation doesn’t clear a corner and stop a shirt pull

      1. One of the reasons why we demanded for change is because we got tired of being beaten badly like 4-0 and 5-1 like in the previous seasons.

        The previous manager experiencesd the same thing towards the end of his career at Arsenal but the same manager beat the European Champion 6-3 with squad full of youth, the likes of ( Song, Walcott, Merida, Gibbs, Simpson) in the year 2006 after they won 2005 Champions League. Those boys didn’t respect the fact that it was European champion they were to play, they just wanted result and the went for it because they were set up correctly.

        The problem was not the fact that he used Willock, Matteo, Xhaka and Nile but the set up of the team. Too much respect for the opponent before the contest makes the opposition more inviting and he will gladly be ready devour you.

        This Liverpool team is not as good as the Pep’s Barca team that won everything. And that didn’t make Arsenal set up cowardly like that when they got beaten 2-1 at the Emirate and even at Camp new Arsenal still stood up to them until RVP got red card.

        So who told you this Liverpool team can’t be handled if they were approached better than that stupid set up yesterday?

        The best way you can neutralise attack is when you attack back but when you keep running from them, they will keep coming and they will eventually shoot you on the leg if you’re lucky not to get one in the head..

        That is so simple.

        1. Yes they can be approached better. Just don’t concede from a corner and give away a needless penalty.

          If you think the best way to neutralize attack is to attack back, you don’t understand Klopp’s Pool. They are a team that relies on counterpressing and catching you on the transition. They are probably the best in the world at catching you out when you are starting an attack. That’s when they are the most dangerous. That’s how they beat some of the European giants with better players than them. That’s how they beat us 0-4 and 1-5 when we had an attacking approach without a plan against their counterpress.

          Your so called stupid setup resulted in the least goal scoring chances against us from open play I have ever seen from Klopp’s pool

    2. @DeclanI agree with all you said. Although we basically got overrun I thought the defence ( yes there were errors ) put in a bit of a gritty roll the sleeves up performance. It’s what I’ve wanted to see for a couple of years now. Liverpool have far superior players to us.
      I have a problem with the team selection….. why o why Xhaka. Why not play Torriera.
      Against lesser teams away from home we will rip through them. Playing away to Liverpool is in my opinion our hardest game of the year. Glad to get it out of the way!

  3. He should know that the honey moon is over. Arsenal is not a team for him to perform experiments. Very soon he will loose the dressing room. I now clearly can see why PSG had issues with him. Give him a mancity, Liverpool, real and Barca players and he will still come up with a bogus lineup with Cr7 playing as a CM and Marcello at no10. So pissed off. 15 months and he still can’t figure out a right formation in EPL, he can’t figure out his first 11, his team can’t defend , can’t attack, can’t hold the ball. So what do we stand for as Arsenal? We can’t go on like this. Enough of Emery. He is taking this too far and maybe he is in a confort zone where he thinks Arsenal board don’t fire managers, the fans are more patient and by trying to please a few players like Xhaka then he is safe to continue with Bellow per performances. It’s unacceptable.

    1. He warns every deadwoods to find a club…why cant he too find one and save Arsenal….Why not give a chance for Freddie?? As a caretaker….Emery is stubborn with his philosophy….Dont expect any miracle this season….Until he is replaced..

    1. We put ourself under pressure playing out from the back our best players didnt start , Liverpool were not better than despite what the result mite say , our coach lost the game for us with his stupid tactics. he shouldve been respectful of liverpool and not play from the back thats what made Mourinho so successful. Tactics ! Tactics ! Tactics! Tactics ! Same old Arsenal

  4. With the players we have, I did not expect a loss. But am suspecting Emery to be a double agent. What if Laca and Lucas had started? This kind of a game was for the best players of a team. We could have gotten something but for the selection and tactics. Why invoke Wenger and wait till late to make substitution?

  5. Liverpool has not lost a league game at Anfield for 2 years.
    None of our rivals (Spurs Chelsea or Utd) will win there.
    If we lose at home to Spurs well that’s reason to moan.
    But Arsenal have not lost a home league game to Spurs since 2009.
    League table in May.
    Man City/Liverpool
    11-12 all relegation candidates.
    I wish we could just opt out of the Carabao cup.
    FA Cup.
    Top 8 in the league the previous season should
    come in at the last 16 stage of the FA Cup.
    Europa league.
    The top 16 seeded teams should qualify directly
    in to the round of 32 i:e first knock out round after new Year
    eliminating the need for Arsenal to play the likes of
    Shakhtyor Soligorsk, Chikhura Sachkhere and DAC Dunajská Streda.
    Like seriously!!!

  6. What do you mean “we played” with 3 CD? We played with 4 at the back 2 CDs and 2 Full backs.

    I agree UE got his tactics wrong again but I don’t agree that the lads showed no effort or fight.

    We were made to look slow because of the way the manager had us play which allowed the Liverpool FB to fly down the wings but this was not a result of players not executing the game plan, this was a result of a dumb game plan which was never adjusted once it was proven not to work.

  7. Actually the game plan is alright and the players executed it brilliantly on the first half. Emery set the team narrow, luring the opposition full backs to advance and played quick counter so Auba and Pepe could go one-on-one against Matip and VVD. Pepe should have scored when he had the chances.
    The main problem is our defence, it is always dificult to play against possesion-based teams, whether we are leading or behind. David Luiz, I was right in my assessment of him. It reminds me when he made a similar mistake against Son Heung Min of spuds.

    1. Agreed. Although I think the second half showed a lack of a plan B. Klopp responded well and Unai looked out of ideas.

      Tactics were well founded, players were either inadequate or not familiar enough with position/instruction.

  8. Gross over reaction from a lot of guys on here.Its as if Emery has years to sort out the mess The ditherer left us with.3 of our starting back four were missing ffs! Get a grip.prior to scoring we had two chances by Aubemayang & pepe to put us in front which the SHOULD have scored.Different game then completely.also you cannot legislate either for the brain fart Louisa had.gifted them their second & game over.incidentally this game prob arrived 4/ 5 was earlier than we’d hoped.sith a full line up I assure you you have a very different has been said the impossible we can do,miracles take a little longer.patience my friends.

    1. Emery, even if you liked his initial tactics (which I didn’t) should have at least adjusted once Pool started to play at will and dominate the midfield and control the flanks.

      This would have been a great game to start the hard-working versatile and strong finisher Laca. But if you don’t start Laca you bring him on at halftime or shortly thereafter when you see your team is in trouble.

      In fact, once your game plan is not working you bring on Laca (for Xhaka)you move Ceballos to the center behind Auba-Laca-Pepe and you try that for at least 15 minutes. If you want to solidify this you bring on (Torreira for Geundouzie).

  9. Emery was a bad choice and he proved it right from the beginning. His presentation to the board during his interview said that he will build the team around Ramsey & Aubameyang, and we all know he pulled out the deal for Ramsey and he didn’t start Auba a lot. That he is prone to get into ego tussles was known with the Neymar issue in PSG, and he promptly repeated that with Ozil which still continues. Pepe was excited to play in front of Ozil and alongside Auba & Laca; Auba and Laca have said enough times they would love to play in front of Ozil, and alongside each other, yet it took Emery 13 games last season to put the pair together on the pitch. In the 5 matches when Auba, Laca, Ramsey and Ozil played together we won them all. We drew 1-1 with Liverpool last season with Ozil playing at #10, yet Emery chose to bench him most times and instead he wanted to make creative players out of Iwobi, Ramsey & Kolasinac, and how daft was that?!?
    He is a small club manager who wants his players to be scurrying around and places a premium on needless hard work.
    With the team that he is given he is not able to mould an authoritative winning combination. He can’t hide behind the excuse that he inherited Wenger’s losers and concentrate on tactics, system and formation. He needs to know his team most of all and stop his bloody tinkering. His team yesterday should have been

    Auba. Laca. Pepe
    Ceballos. Torreira
    Monreal. Chambers. Sokratis. AMN

    The front three would have pegged their defence back in their own half, as we witnessed in the couple of occasions Auba & Pepe ran them ragged,after which their centre halves stayed in their own half. Most of us fans seem to know more than Emery and that’s sad

    1. You are so spot on mate.I can’t agree more.I suggested almost a similar line up prior to the game but with ceballos in Ozils position coz he hasn’t had a match yet&wanted Luiz in midfield alongside Torreira. With the rest of the team as you have stated.

    2. best comment on here, ever!!! cant wait for Bellerin to come back and Tierney to start challenging for lb with monreal.ridiculous he still doesnt start that front four, and add ceballos and torreira and leno..back four is always in the air til we get everyone back..every other team has its front three/four set for the year regardless of who they play, coz thats what most teams do, PLAY THEIR BEST PLAYERS PERIOD!!!!!!!!

  10. Btw why Unai Emery got a lot of stick? I think it’s a bit unfair because for many years fans have been demanding some pragmatism when we played away games against top opponents. If Laca started the game, maybe we would have conceded more goals because most of the time the game was played on our third and we can’t afford to have 3 forwards without defensive responsibility.

    1. many fans dont know what they want. If Unai went too attacking he would’ve been insulted. Too pragmatic, he will be called boring. Emery’s problem is that he has no identity for this Arsenal side though, so I get why our fans are caught in between two minds.

      1. Not really @RSH.We just wanted the quality we have now to be reflected in this game but not with Xhaka from injury to the starting 11,Ceballos on the wing and benching Lacca for 80 minutes of the match.Emery should just get serious with his work.

  11. I think Emery still need to learn how to enhance player’s potential and not play them in a way that makes them look week and unable. Laca, Torreira would have made a lot of difference, and he gave some much room and spaces for Liverpool to express themselves, all of their departments functioned like they were playing a team in the lower league. At least Ozil was not in the team and all our players scored less than 3. Because all the focus would have been on him instead of the manger, his tactics and the whole team generally

  12. Let’s not kid ourselves. It was a great act of cowardice by Unai Emery. I’m sick of seeing second rate sides put out. Xhaka instea of Torreira….is Emery ******* mad. I cannot believe Laca did not play. BIZARRE!!!! Ceballos wide????? Playing out from the back whilst being pressed…..Insanity. Even my mum would know that. Emery gave the game away as a free gift. After the Europa League final I’m wondering if we have hired a Shmuck. And it was not David Luiz’s fault it was Unai Emery’s. If he was honest he would apologise to us.

  13. It’s surprising when you read some analysis on this platform. Ceballos played one match and fans are over the moon,willock lacks intelligent on the ball,movement of the ball isn’t the most crucial but timing intelligently when to release your pass. Nelson would never be a perfect replacement for Iwobi. Chambers did quite well in first match and was benched the second. Emery lacks tactical discipline to place the top teams especially away from home. How many matches was won away from home last season? At his time Seville, he went a whole season without away result,it is no coincidence, it is a just a fact that he is not good away from home.

    1. Yes! 2015/2016 season at Sevilla he went a whole season without an away win. This is why we struggled away from home last season. I hope he won’t be given a contract extension at the end of the season. He’s simply not good enough. Why do you have Laca on the bench ffs? Even a newbie knows that Auba plays better with laca on the pitch. Why was Torreira on the bench while Mr Xhaka played the whole game?
      Why playing Ceballos out wide?
      Why did he leave the wings exposed by playing diamond formation when you know liverpool build attacks mostly with their wingbacks?
      Why delaying substitutions until we were 3:0 down?

      Honestly, I give up.

  14. Emery won’t take us anywhere, I don’t know why on Earth you started willock, xhaka, and guendozi in an away game to Liverpool when you can easily play torriera, ceballos/xhaka and ozil just discovered how clueless Emery is yesterday I don’t see us going anywhere with Emery as our coach

  15. until UE wakes up and gets what everyone else already knows this will not change
    We do not need a tinker man. We have the best trio of forwards and a
    world class playmaker in AUba/Pepe?laca and Ozil
    Let them play and watch the other teams drop and defend because this is fearsome group.
    Solidify you midfield with a couple decent DM like Toreira and buy a world class CB
    Once Bellerin and Tierney come in this should be your 11 no matter what.
    Game over but this will mean UE can’t screw around which may never change. Frankly the guy needs to go.

  16. Nothing to say again I concur to everything said. Unai Emery is to blame for our lose to Liverpool I won’t blame one single player. He brought Lacazet & Torreira and we got a goal. They could have come much earlier. Unai Emery seem to be prone to tactical errors when his team is losing. This was the same errors that costed Arsenal Europa league cup to Chelsea in Baku. Alex Iwobi came into the match late and got Arsenal’s only goal in the match. It’s up to Arsenal boad to Analyse the coach at the end of the season and make a decision in the interest of the supportive fans. But will they?

  17. I think Wenger would have fielded laca; pepe; auba and Ozil in this match. It could have been more adventurous. Unless Emery changes his attitude towards Ozil this team will struggle. It’s 3 games now and creativity has been absent. There is no way that willock is better than both Ozil and torreira. Ceballos and pepe tend to hold on to the ball for too long. Unless they adapt; they will struggle mightily in this league. The opposition already has them figured out.

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