Reality is that Liverpool could have done that to any team in Europe (Opinion)

Liverpool were resounding winners when they hosted Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday evening, but we shouldn’t be overly harsh on ourselves.

After any defeat, there is always time for reflection, analysis, and self-deprecation, especially when there was so little to be happy about the performance, but we mustn’t allow this one result to undermine our recent form completely.

We went to one of the toughest stadiums to play in, and lost to one of the favourites to lift not only the Premier League, but win the Champions League also. The most painful thing about the defeat is that we came into it with confidence, and believed this was our chance to get an unlikely scalp, but truth be told, they remained favourites for a reason.

It still hurts a little, as any defeat would, knowing that we were made to look inferior to our rivals, in taking a 4-0 drubbing, whilst knowing that had it not been for a number of top saves by Aaron Ramsdale that the result would have been much worse, but this Liverpool team was in top form, backed by one of the best atmospheres in world football, and what is most important now is our reaction to the loss.

There IS still so much to be positive about. That IS just one loss since September. WE ARE still in the race for the top four/six, and we do not have to go to Anfield in the league again this season.


Tags Liverpool


    1. @PJ-SA
      We lack “fight back”. And have for some time now. We are also found wanting in the ability to adjust our play and focus on how our opponents are getting at us, counter that and turn the tables on them…
      It’s all fine and good that we’re moving the ball forward in attack, but we also must learn to thwart their attack as well. Not just sit back and expect to absorb it…

      1. Spot-on NY_Gunner. The thing that worries me the most is the lack of tactical adjustment within the game. The manager, it seems, has only one way of doing things despite the obvious fact that our opponents’ set up has a great impact on the effectiveness of our own tactics.

        It is sad that Arteta assumes that what worked in the past few weeks will work automatically against Liverpool. The lack of adjustment even when it’s clear things are not working reflects very poorly on him.

        Throughout his tenure, Arteta has been stumbling upon solutions; from his discovery of Emile Smith-Rowe down to the current 4-4-2 set up. Nothing proactive and deliberate.

        This does not inspire confidence!

        In fact, it makes it very hard to argue that he is special (like Tuchel, Guardiola, Kloop and other top-tier managers).

        Personally, I had given him up to the end of December to prove himself. So, I hold my worst criticisms in reserve.

    2. If Brighton could go to Anfield and score 2 goals then there is no excuse on earth for a 4-0 rout. Hope sense previals in the minds of those “realists” who believe that Mikel Arteta is worth the appointment in the long term.

  1. I have seen Liverpool play a lot better, yet they won comfortably because they controlled the middle of the park with Firminho a rock as DM.Playing as they did, I very much doubt if they would roll over Man City who would match their 4-3-3 set up and give their back four real problems.I am amazed and disappointed with Arteta’s decision to play four attacking players in the knowledge that we would be outnumbered and overrun in midfield.If you cannot get a decent share of the ball you will create precious little.Klopp is not a tactical genius.Liverpool stick to the same tried and tested tactics virtually every week and it is up to the opposition to flood the midfield to take the right to them.Apart from the talents of Mane and Salah, the main danger from Liverpool stems from Alexander Arnold who I consider to be in the top three attacking full backs on the Planet.Not particularly great defensively, but going forward I have rarely seen better.To me the logical way to play him out of the game is to allocate someone to man mark him, and Tavares is a guy who could have done that job.He is fast and physical and with Tierney at LB I am confident we would not have been outplayed and would have at least competed in areas where Liverpool are strong.To play Lacca and the spent force that is Auba, is to concede possession in the hope we can catch them on the break.Well, as others have found out, Liverpool will simply grind you down until errors are made and they cash in.I would have expected Arteta to set up his team with a view to competing, but, regrettably, he chose the easy way out by playing an unchanged side against high quality opposition.Not good Management at all.

    1. It was obvious from the first minute that MA wanted to defend and counter. As a result, we opted to hoof the ball forward uncontrollably giving the ball away because we couldn’t play out from thee back due to Liverpool’s quick high pressing tempo. Yes, any team would suffer against Liverpool without a good game plan. Unfortunately, MA’s game plan was obvious and predictable. Just as Liverpool expected. We would have been better off having more belief in our own attack. What will this squad ever learn if we become passive and predictable?

    2. I watched City make Liverpool look like a Championship side in their premier league match earlier in the season and realize that there was nothing special about them. Pure luck and City’s lack of a recognized striker meant that the match finished 2-2. Not even AFC looked that bad against City. Just accepting defeat against Liverpool is a defeatist mentality to me.

      1. Lols. Man City made Liverpool look like a Championship team? Liverpool team ain’t special lols. You’re clearly a football moron. We lost to a Liverpool team that is so special that the great Pep is always afraid to play them whether in Anfield or Etihad. But Pep ain’t afraid to play Arsenal week in week out. If only Arsenal can be quarter of the team Liverpool are.. lols

    3. Grandad. The way he set up was wrong AUBA might as well not been there he should have parked the bus Liverpool could have scored six or seven. defence went to pieces. What was Arteta thinking?

  2. Yes, they even did it to Atletico Madrid the La Liga champion twice, humiliated Porto in Portugal and trashed Man United at Old Trafford

    The main problem isn’t our loss, but our tactical choice. We knew we would most likely get battered at Anfield and Etihad stadiums, so we shouldn’t have chickened out and should’ve put more effort to press our opposition’s defense

    Our last tactic is something that usually comes from dinosaurs like Mourinho, Nuno, Rodgers and Benitez, not a young manager like Arteta. I guess the football coaching courses in Germany teach different lessons than the rest of the world, if we compare Klopp’s/ Tuchel’s mentalities to those old-school dinosaurs’

  3. I doubt Liverpool would have done the same to Bayern, Man City, Chelsea or PSG. I agree with Grandad, I’ve seen them play a lot better so where does that leave us?

      1. Better? By playing 9man defence. Bruh check the stats of that match. Then you can talk who’s better. Lols
        This defeat is so painful that we now want to reduce the pain by reducing the quality of a team better than us.

        1. Yes, the better team before James was wrongly red carded, they played the whole 2nd half of the match a man short and common sense required change in game plan which they did beautifully in the 2nd half. We capitulate whenever we are a man down even against lesser oppositions.

  4. It’s not the defeat so much, it’s the manner of the defeat that is concern.
    For thirty minutes, we silenced the crowd and their players were getting nowhere… it was a 50/50 situation and, in my opinion, MA had set the team up correctly.
    It was the second half performance, the way our defence fell apart and the fact that MA did nothing to rectify the situation, that I have issue with.
    When we look at the two benches, we were much stronger and, if that game wasn’t calling out for Tierney, then I don’t know what game would be right for him.
    I think it is also time to REALLY question Aubameyang’s performances – not in order to crucify him, but to realize that he has lost the edge that made him so lethal before.
    MA was not to blame for the errors by individual players, but he most certainly was culpable for not being tactically aware of the need to change our play…. especially trying to play out from the back, with opposition players swarming all around the player with the ball.

    1. Ken I think that a very shrewd and accurate summation.

      I agree with all you say. I do not think MA is yet at a level of tactical nous to cope with the three clearly best Prem sides, as all three games against them have shown.

      BUT, unlike some on JA, I will not despair and I can see clear progress and an ability to compete with all the other Prem sides.

      I see no reason – given a fair run with injuries and the fact we have fewer games to play than most of our 4th place rivals – why we cannot seriously challenge for 4th .

      What I find depressing its the unfairness of so many who wilfully refuse to see the clear progress against all but the top three. Two of that three have far more spending capacity than we will ever have under Kroenke, despite this last summer.

      We are, financially speaking, still playing catch up and from a position far in the rear of MANY other clubs, given the long term waste of money over many years on expensive flops and idiotic expensive and long term contracts andleeting them run down to nothing. CRAZY ADMINISTRATION !

      In fact we are still, even now, paying the huge ongoing price for the calamity that was GAZIDIS and also Sanllehi, lest we forget.
      I do not overlook thefact we are still paying lots of wasted money to the several players who will only ever feature in an injury crisis and who we still need out of the club.

    2. I agree this wasn’t Arteta’s finest hour. Wasn’t a fan of his touchline handbags with Klopp and his inability to change things at halftime sets off some alarm bells (Klopp and Conte, for example, both made halftime tactical shifts this weekend that paid off). Maybe I’m dreaming it but I remember in his first season Arteta did seem able to get more out of the team after the break. Still, he’s learning and growing up with his players and as long as the steps forward continue to outnumber the steps backwards then he’s the manager for me.

      1. @steve
        A great post from you mate ,I do not agree one bit what you wrote but this is how a supporter should write ,no agenda ,no pushing your views on others ,just a simple write up from a fan .
        I’m the complete opposite but like you I have no agenda and want what I believe is the best for our club

  5. Sometimes it makes confused nowadays.
    So now we all have to expect bug margin scorelines against us when it comes to the likes of Liverpool, City etc..

    How come that our managers seem to struggle against the likes of City and Liverpool? These unflattering scorelines against us when it comes to the other big clubs are starting to unnerving me.

    Have we got cursed managers at Arsenal?

      1. Brighton has a top manager? Then why are they 9th while we are 5th?
        Lets see how Westham’s top manager gets on at the Etihad this week.

        1. Its not only about being a top manager..
          Its about how one gets good team..
          Our team is much better than Brighton and Westham on paper but still we couldn’t get result but Brighton did..
          And believe me, Graham Potter is very very good manager, pretty underrated..

    1. @Dotash, thanks bro, I don’t understand why we be should accepting defeats whenever M. City, Chelsea & Liverpool are mentioned. Why is it that M. A always gets jittery when it comes to facing them Why, please can the writer of this post and his supporters tell me. Does it mean that Brighton, Breton & Southumpton have better players or Managers? In the last 3 meetings against City Arsenal conceeded 12 goals playing defensively, against Liverpool 10 goals still playing defensively full of fear and showing too much respect to them. I’m yet to see Pep in MA’s tactics. In few days he will complete 2 seasons. Yes I am seeing some signs of progress/improvement but Arteta will never produce the result we are looking for if you like keep him for the next 5 years. Auba’s game has nose dived like Laca, Partey is following suit etc. There’s no justifiable reasons why they should be loosing so scandalously whenever they meets City or Liverpool and loosing home and away to them is dangerously becoming a norm.

  6. It’s a real shame that some fans would look at that performance and still see progress..
    What’s this talk of excuse of Anfield, as if they haven’t lost points there this season…

    A manager who’s tactics and substition are questioned almost every week, beating heavily by our fellow top teams, with odd possession log, how on earth does that signify progress?

    Even the teams we are expected to win, we don’t win them convincingly and people are talking about progress..

    Arteta might be loved maybe due to his calm personality, communication skills or good looks.. but in the football business his not there yet… remember when he came, he said “he was ready” So what’s with the excuse that his still young and learning?

    His early press conferences didn’t suggest that he saw himself as a rookie, so why are the blinded fans trying to justify what the man himself didn’t potray.

    Say what you like about me or my loyalty for Arsenal, all I know is that I love Arsenal more than any player or Manager, even if the team was coached by the great Thiery Henry, If he isn’t performing, I will definitely call for his replacement… Sorry it’s Arsenal I love and seeing us amongst the elite again is all I want.

  7. While that may be true, but, the lack of a plan B, and the courage to play a more attacking game against the top three teams is a cause for concern. These teams are not the invincibles, as, Aston villa and West ham has shown by defeating Liverpool last season and recently respectively. Arteta must be brave and sub players that are not performing. Being 3 goals down in the 65th minute, Arteta needed to sub Aubameyang and Lacazette and replace them with Martinelli and Pepe. The game was already lost, so they should have been given some minutes .

  8. No wonder you like our current manager Pat…you two would be quite a formidable pairing at the No Balls Open

  9. I agree with someone….it should be 5 in midfield and Laca as the striker……we would have done better…….this team is not ready yet neither is the manager…….I’ll give Arteta till the end of the season……3 seasons is enough….!

  10. C’mon, tactically naive. It’s one thing Liverpool winning….but 4-0….not acceptable. Same as always poor tactics. A total balls up. Unacceptable.

    1. Sean Williams What is it with Arteta is he in love with Auba. Auba should not be in the team he has lost his pace and does nothing for the team

  11. Where was this OPINION when we lost at the start of the season to both Chelsea and Man City. Games that Arteta kept White out of so he didn’t get tainted by those expected losses.

    Those losses were laid at the feet of Holding and Mari. Remember, these two were part of the Arsenal team that had the third best defensive record last season.

    White tried some of his marauding runs up the middle against Liverpool but was quite often dispossessed, putting us under pressure again. I do not think his defensive play has been at the highest level, which it must be if we are ever to get back into the top four!!!

    I really think Arteta needs to show a bit more pragmatism in these type of games, and a little less idealism, at least until we strengthen the squad by buying a strong DM to complement Partey, and a top class goal scorer to replace AUBA/Lacazette.

    Unfortunately, I do not think the club can run to this in January, but we definitely need to replace Odegaard as the number 10.

  12. I really do appreciate the writer’s effort in trying to make us feel better, following the liverpool loss but Arsenal ought to have done more than they did.

  13. Might as well have copied/pasted the comments from the last however many years as clearly nothing has changed; spanked again!!! Groundhog day…

    1. 💯 nothing has changed Sue, still get hammered although you could argue the football we watch now is worse.

  14. We don’t have to play at Anfield in the league again this season but they come to us and it probably will be the exact same.. they hammered us 3-0 without breaking sweat at the Emirates last season too and just like Anfield we created little to nothing in that game. What Liverpool might do to other teams at Anfield is just an excuse for a poor performance, yeah it’s our first defeat since Man city but let’s be honest apart from 1 or 2 games we were not convincing at all, it even took Ramsdale to make countless top saves to win at Leicester who have been very poor this season. Emery went on an even longer run and got a credible 1-1 draw with Liverpool, but to most fans it was papering over cracks because the performances was poor but yet in Arteta it’s progress. Arteta seems to be getting so many passes, he’s young he’s learning, his squad is young, it’s Emery and Wenger’s fault, he walked into a mess, you can’t judge him against the better teams, it’s just a long list of excuses.

    1. I remember a headline during Emery’s long undefeated streak – The INconVINCIBLES. That summed up my feelings perfectly at the time and Kev82 I think you’ve asked a legitimate question on why Arteta is getting a longer leash from some of us.

      I can only answer for myself. Part of it is because I simply like Arteta more than I liked Emery, but that’s a small part. The larger part is that the squad under Emery never excited me in terms of potential – for me it was full of overpriced primadonna’s and journeyman. Arteta has cleaned house and the squad is young and laden with potential. They are still the INconVINCIBLES but I see a path to them becoming very good very soon, whereas I never saw that with Emery’s Arsenal.

      1. Voyageur the thing is I wasn’t a fan of Emery either, I was glad when the club pulled the trigger but I never wanted Arteta! I know he got high praise from Pep but there has been many assistants who have been given great references from other top coaches, Buvac, Klopps assistant was called the brain at Anfield where is he now ? Rui Faria was another one mourinho spoke highly of, where is he ? I get that Arteta is a likeable character but you need a lot more than the likeable factor to be a top coach! Honestly I’ve seen nothing from Arteta that makes me think he will be a top top manager… We do have potential in the squad but then again we’ve had that before and look at how that turned out? With a squad so young we really should have an experienced management team.. I remember Leeds back in the late 90s early 2000s and they were joy to watch they even reached the latter stages of the champions League playing some great football with a really young squad, David O’Leary got the very best from his team but I honestly can’t say that about Arteta… A few good moments here and there like first half against Tottenham and Aston villa game but it will take more than that to convince me.

  15. Weren’t Liverpool beaten by West Ham, after a 2-2 draw against Brighton? You are making excuses that don’t wash. Arsenal underperformed, our manager was a no show, that’s the simple reality.

  16. The same Liverpool was defeated by WestHam and held by Brenford. Are WestHam and Brenford world class teams not forgetting Brighton. The reality is that Arsenal did not play well, were outplayed and outrun in every part of the pitch and had no plan B. There was no pressing and no intent to force the ball off. Had it not been for Ramsdales heroics, the defeat would have been larger. There has to be some urgent soul searching by Arteta, he should realise that each opposition is different and the tactics employed against Watford will simply not work against Liverpool.

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