Three big positives Arsenal can take from the Liverpool defeat

It is never nice to lose but if you can take some positives from defeat then it is not a total loss and Arsenal can certainly do that following the 3-1 defeat at Anfield against Liverpool.

It is easy to point out the mistakes when your team loses, we have done that in abundance on here and rightfully so but to just be focussed on the negatives and ignore the positives serves no one and erodes any confidence that things can get better.

Nicolas Pepe

He did not have the best game and should have scored but the fact that he got into that position in the first place and the lightening speed he unleashed showed that he will have a huge impact this season. It is easy to do it against the smaller teams but Arsenal need him to do it against the big teams and the signs were clearly there yesterday that he will do exactly that as the season progresses.

Joe Willock

I made him the man of the match yesterday but reading some of the comments on here you would have thought he had a nightmare game but I just did not see it like that. I saw a player in adverse conditions try his heart out, he attempted to push forward at every opportunity, he was not negative like Xhaka and Guendouzi and he certainly was not anonymous like Ceballos. He is very young but is growing into his role and if Unai Emery continues to show faith in the 20-year-old we will reap the rewards.

Lucas Torreira

When he came on the game was basically over but he did make a difference even though Liverpool took their foot off the gas, he showed energy and ambition but most of all he showed a fighting spirit even though it was a lost cause. He should have been on from the start and it is inconceivable that he does not start against Tottenham next week. If Emery takes anything from the game it must surely be that he needs the Uruguayan in the midfield in the big matches.


  1. I liked Pepe’s tricks and dribbles, but I disliked his finishing. Many of his goals in France are penalties, but I hope he can prove that he is a good finisher as well in England

    Willock and Guendouzi tried their best to fight Liverpool’s big midfielders, despite playing with such negative tactic

    Torreira played well in his cameo, but I’d prefer Emery to start Ceballos, Willock and Guendouzi again in the Spurs game. It’s a home game, hence Emery has to play adventurous and creative midfielders to break Spurs’ defense

    1. Pepe skinned Roberson who is one of the best Lb several times, he even dribbled past van dijk so thats a big positive. Normally foreign wingers who fail to adapt in epl are unable to dribble past more physical defenders thus wreaking their confidence. I think his finishing will improve as he adapts to the epl.

      1. Just 9. And he won 8 of them himself. If it tells you anything it’s that he will cause problem.
        Ps: I’m officially a Newcastle fan.

    2. Pepe does lot of tap ins, and he can do them with Arsenal too. Long range shots are not forte of everyone. Torreira over Xhaka anyday, Guendouzi and Xhaka are too slow to start together. Pepe has played as a right ST before, and he will transition to play in a top 2 or top 3 well.

  2. I am disappointed we lost to Liverpool and even as a supporter of emery I cannot understand the xhaka obsession.

    But we are not competing with Liverpool and man city for the title this season. We are in the top 4 fight and that will be decided by who loses the least amount of pts to non big 6 team. Last season up until the late collapse we were consistent vs non big 6 team that why we were 3rd.

  3. The lauding of Willock is absurd … He might well improve as a player but for sure the idea that he is good enough now to start in a team aspiring for CL football is ridiculous … The best thing to come out of the match yesterday was a greater realization of the limits of Emery as a coach … 15 months in and that he’s still tinkering to find his best team against top team in division does not look good … Will be interesting to see how he responds to the growing criticism … My gut feeling is he will be a two term wonder a bit like van gahl for Man U and who he reminds me of … Unfortunately

    1. Emery needs to prove not only that he can reach UCL, but that he can take the club further in general. Obviously our top 4 goal is still in sight, but I don’t see him as somebody who will take this team to its full potential.

    2. Hi I could not disagree more. If and when we ever have our CB and righr FB playing then add our new left back, Andwe still look crap at the back, then I will whine with you. How many top sides lose as mans top players every season for over a year and Urvieh? Emery will be judged after we have a full team for another 15 games. Still poor and he is out.

    3. Willock did well yesterday and ran Guendouzi close for our man of the match.
      He gives me hope that he will limit the number of games Mhiki and Xhaka play this season.
      The young man is far better than both of them.

  4. Joe Willock has earned my respect.Those forward runs,the energy and the desire he shows when on the ball is commendable.If he works on winning the ball back from opponents and improve on his finishing then we might be seeing another Viera very soon.He surely deserves a place on the arsenal team sheet.I believe he will get better and better.

    1. I agree but I wouldn’t have him as a starter ,not just yet anyway but I would have him start over Matteo all day long ,as much as he can do a good job he’s never goer win you titles being in the middle of the park .unless that’s not what we are trying to achieve .
      Willock as more potential imo and like you said in a couple of years we could have a beast of a player .
      My midfield would be at this stage Torreira ,Ceballos and Ozil (if anyone as seen him ) and willock as back up .
      Can’t even begin to get my head around our midfield yesterday .

      1. I agree Dan.He can be incorporated slowly alongside better experienced players.That’s how he will grow in confidence and get the best out of him

  5. Willock is absolutely great but should not be rushed into the premier league games there are lots of games to be played in the Europa, Fa and Caroba cup.
    Torreira should be a starter if available and should be paired with any other 2 mildfielders. (Captain Xhaka and Ceballos)

    Spurs losing to Newcastle at home the premier league is crazy

    1. Its not Crazy S.J what is crazy is what I witnessed yesterday with a clueless manager selecting a weird team and approaching a match with a negative mindset then taking forever to react even after seeing we were in a mess.Newcastle have just played to their strength something that Unai denied us yesterday.

      1. Cliff

        First clear and obvious truth about the game. Unai Emery showed he hasn’t got a clue. I’m wondering who will take his place next season. He is clueless.

    1. This weekend doesn’t look so terrible now, Utd lost, Spurs lost. It takes the pain out of our loss a Lil…

      1. Yes.. has cheered me up some & i may even watch MOTD2 later.. although will turn over when our highlights come on.. saw more than enough yesterday!

  6. willock is among the better perfomers yeaterday,
    xhaka is so poor, can get a god game in ten matches.
    luiz main undoing is lapse in concentration.

    1. Spot on Harry. The X-Man is so slow to the ball, he cannot dribble to save his soul. My choice would be Toreador. I think Dani looks fragile but I’ll reserve judgment for now.

  7. I’m not happy and what I’ve just seen Newcastle do as only wound me up more. I already want UE gone, he has gotten too much wrong in such a short space of time. His negative approach cost us big time yesterday. Liverpool looked good yesterday because we allowed it. All that attacking potential we have and UE squandered it

  8. So spurs, chelsea, man utd lose pts to small teams while we manage to fight through them without losing pts yet we are supposedly weaker than them lol

    1. The most ridiculous idea peddled by the British media is that we will now have a top 3 and then ManU, Chelsea and us fighting for top 4.

      It’s unbelievable any ‘expert’ can think Spurs are closer to City or Liverpool than to us.

      They had 3 games – poor in the first two, but very lucky, and then very poor today. And the UCL hasn’t even started.

      I just hope we don’t play the first team in the UEL until the semifinal. We can clinch 4th in April already if our first 11 gets rested every European Thrusday.

  9. You can’t win a war if you are tactically naive and worse….lacking in courage. Yesterday Unai Emery was both. That is unforgivable.

  10. Ronche. A crate of champagne to Steve Bruce or Newcastle Brown. A brilliant result. No chance Newcastle being relegated this season

  11. I’m writing this before reading any comments above. The only positive takeaway is that Emery will know he is a mediocre manager and nowhere near the elite that he may fancy himself to be. If he was humbled and if he took some lessons out of this, good for the club. Or else, we will be lower than what we were past season.

  12. It seems everybody has now woken up to the realization that Emery can’t cut it in epl. This was obvious since last season but some fans blamed it on the players. What was his tactics yesterday? He put out a team who can’t mark, tackle and win possession of the ball without Liverpool giving to us to the ball went of the play. With the transfer we had I knew he is going to be our weakness. Fans keep saying we don’t have quality defenders, which qualify defender will function well in that defensive system where every player backs out from marking and ball watching. I watched several times yesterday a single pass beat multiple of players on several occasions. I will like to hear Thirdman and Ozziegunner opinion on Emery game plan yesterday. It is not the losing that is hurt but how we lost

      1. I just look forward to both your applications if Emery fails to meet management/owner expectations at the end of this season and his contract is not extended.

  13. Open letter to Unai Emery

    Dear Emery

    Its sad indeed to watch Arsenal crumble in big matches, your tactics of playing the ball from behind does not suit your current crop of defenders hense the struggle, Ceballos almost assisted Mane with that pass. this tactic of starting play from behind made peter to lose his No. 1 spot as Arsenal shot stopper and sent him into retirement early. Mr. Emery please give the goal keeper freedom to decide weather to start from behind, to kick it forward or just a long throw, as this will give advantage for counter attacks as we have good players who love to run (Pepe, Albameyang). Mr.Emery the boys just cant play from the back and they have become too slow, they dont seem to understand what to do next, i would simply say you’re confusing them Mr. Emery.
    The season has begun and you’re still experimenting. Work up you’re in the Premier League, at Arsenal in London. If playing from behind worked elsewhere i think it has failed to work at Arsenal. Mind you Wenger is still within reach.

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