Alexis and Koz Back, Rambo-Elneny-Xhaka Midfield, Lacazette CF: Liverpool v Arsenal Match Preview



It is early days but as the saying goes, well begun is half won. A win (barely) and an unlucky loss is the stage set for a battle we cannot afford to lose, as we face one of our expected rivals away from home. For last season, Liverpool sat atop the mini top-six-team table while we sat at the bottom. They beat us home and away and over the season proved adept at raising their game against the top six teams. In our home match, which was the opening match of last season, we lost to them by 3-4 playing with a team missing many of our starters. In the return leg, which took place at the height of our crises of confidence that all but imploded our season, they beat us by 3-1.

Jurgen Klopp, the coach of Liverpool is an exponent of “heavy metal football” in which they use intense pressing all over the field to destabilize the opposition team. Last season they were the hardest working team in the EPL, having covered more ground than any other team. With a new left full back in the impressive Robertson, Milner who is one of the hardest workers in the EPL has moved back into the midfield of their usual 4:3:3 formation. Alongside him is another lung busting performer in Jordan Henderson, while Wijnaldum or Can, both battlers, complete the middle trio. Their forward players would likely be the electrifying Mane, the industrious and gifted Firmino and their new signing, an international team mate of Elneny, Mohamed Salah, dubbed the ‘king of Egypt’.

Liverpool is a tough team to play against. With sky-high spirit from having just qualified for the CL proper with a 6-3 aggregate win over Hoffenheim, we have to be at our best at Anfield. Interestingly, it is Liverpool’s relentlessness, their chief weapon of destruction, that is also their undoing. They have a voracious appetite for attacking football that leaves the defence vulnerable (sounds familiar?). This certainly is a match where there will be goals.

Expect this match to be won and lost in the midfield and that is why I hope we would set out in a 4:3:3 formation. We dare not present a soft centre to Liverpool. In nature, adaptation is the means of survival and football is very much about survival. Many would question the need for a change in formation when the existing is apparently coping well. But this is not change for the sake of change. It is responding intelligently to a different challenge.

By the way, let us evaluate our performance in all competitions since we switched to the 3:4:3. Played 12, won 10, lost 2. That is a brilliant record.  But there is a catch. Two of the matches in our 10 wins (City FA semi final and Leicester EPL 17/18) were matches rescued from losing positions by the grace of our switch mid-game back to the 4:2:3:1, as well as the Leicester EPL 16/17 home match, where the same switch moved us from a draw position to victory. As far as is available to us, the 3:4:3 was losing 2 and drawing 1 out of those our 10 wins. If we then go by the state of things before the mid-match switches, the 3:4:3 overall performance would have been 7 wins, 1 draw, 4 losses which translates to 69 points in a season of 38 games. This stat should bring us back to earth as far as the 3:4:3 formation is concerned, now that it’s assumed robustness has been brought into proper perspective. It has proved not any better than our 4:2:3:1. What this analysis tells us is that allowances should be made for tactical adaptation and against Liverpool I believe we need to adapt.

Using a 4:3:3 for this encounter would be a smart piece of business. For the defensive phase of the game against this Liverpool team that presses so intensely and progresses their play through quick passing and movement, our emphasis for player selection should shift slightly away from the tacklers to the good readers of the game for interceptions and the closing of the passing lanes. Quick movements of the ball and the players by the opposition are difficult to target for the tackle. Also, our ability at beating their press with our own passing should be another important consideration in our selection choices. Elneny who is such a tidy pass and move player thus trumps Coquelin as our third midfielder.

For the same reasons as above, Mertesacker should be preferred to Mustafi as the partner to Koscienly who is back, bang on time in our 2-man central defence.

Liverpool and Arsenal are two sides dedicated to attacking football. That means an open contest. That also should mean that the attacking phase of the game ought to emphasize quick passing, greater verticality and plenty of movement. Lacazette over Giroud should be the tip of the arrow.  Giroud would be missed, though, as Liverpool is especially poor in defending set pieces. With Alexis back on the field we are assured that Ozil will emerge from the tunnel. There would be fireworks come Sunday starting 16: 00 BST.

The line-up I wish to see:





SUBS : Ospina, Oxlade, Mustafi, Monreal, Coquelin, Welbeck, Giroud (football politics might cause Oxlade chosen ahead of Bellerin).

The time is NOW for Gooners to stand by their team as ever before. Meanwhile, what is your take on how we should set up ad out against Liverpool?



By Pony Eye

87 thoughts on “Alexis and Koz Back, Rambo-Elneny-Xhaka Midfield, Lacazette CF: Liverpool v Arsenal Match Preview

  • Very fine Match Preview, PE, and I have very little to argue with you, other than that I think we should not change our shape/formation for this one. However, I would be tempted to play Rambo on a wing-back position which would lead to the same in a way.

    So my preferred line up would be:
    —- Mustafi —– Koz ——- Nacho
    Rambo ——- Xhaka —- Elneny——– Kola

    Surely, this is a fantastic team that can give Pool a beating?!

  • TA ……. Yours is an interesting line up. I just wonder about Rambo’s late runs into the box. I’ve come to accept it as our auxiliary allacking weapon. And I think those his runs are very well accommodated in a 3-man midfield. IMO, the 3-man midfield gives better security to his forward runs than the 3-man central defence.

  • mine is
    we don’t need elneny in this game, giroud can come as a super sub

  • Rambo playing a wing back role could be dangerous, being a guy that like to dribble at any given opportunity. The pressing game that Liverpool play don’t allow player to stay long on the ball. If he eventually missed his dribbling, there will be chaos being wing that Mane operate.

  • Great preview to a victory PE,

    I’m still not sure which is our best formation yet, but my biggest move would be to start Coquelin, maybe rest Xhaka just to emphasize the defensive part of his game.

    And I predict Arsene WILL start Coquelin to try to disrupt the high flying liverpool attack.

    Also think that even though Giroud would help us exploit them in the air, he slows us down too much to make up for it, so i would still keep him for sub later.

    T, your idea about Ramsey is interesting. When others complained about Ramsey on the wing in past years, I actually liked it, because I knew he would help defensively and centrally in build up when needed, helping us overload teams. I didnt mind sacrificing the width as much as others who complained.
    …. But now, i can’t see him getting runs into the middle of the box, and then getting back to defend as a wingback, which calls for more defensive positioning and responsibility than right midfield.
    I think he would leave too much of a gap on his side to make up for, and too much for a dm to cover in general, especially against liverpools blistering pace.

  • Cheers Big Apple J, I reckon Rambo can play that disciplined if he is told to do so. And the beauty of him is he adds real goal and assist threat on the break.

  • Soji,
    Yours is Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil as your midfield. It looks lopsidedly offensive to me. Your Ox and Alexis in the inside forward positions is interesting. Two players who provoke chaos (using Wenger’s terms) with Lacaz feeding off the spoils of the chaos.

  • Peters,
    Ramsey has been used there by Wenger in one or two emergency situations. He acquitted himself well enough. It curbed his forward runs. However I believe his versatility is best utilized in the central areas.

  • Great preview, PE. The idea of a change in formation sits well with me because it should spring a surprise on everyone, including the Liverpool tacticians. Worth a punt; and we can always switch back if things are going well.

    Just because Juergen Klopp complained about how we played the ball long to Giroud in the 3-1 loss last season, and the 3-3 draw the penultimate season, Wenger may be tempted to start with Giroud and do more of the same, but that may be playing into his hands. He has goaded Arsene to “play football” (another way of saying “playing to my strengths”), but we shouldn’t get sucked in and should rather focus on how to get the 3 points.

    I fear that Montreal may be preferred as LB in a 4 at the back; you just feel Wenger doesn’t like to change things much from what he’s used to. In TA’s suggested picks, I won’t play Ramsey at RWB just because he will be skinned every time, by Mane. While Bellerin can match Mane for speed, only Ox can match him for both speed and strength. So, in a back 4, I will go Bellerin- Mustafi- Kos- Monreal. For the 3 in midfield I will go Chambo (to support Bellerin on Mane and generally help stifle their speedy attackers), Xhaka and Ramsey. The forwards will be Ozil-Lacazette-Alexis; we all know Ozil has a free role which means either of Bellerin or Ox can occupy that right side when Ozil vacates it.


    Bellerin – Mustafi. – Kos. – Monreal/Kolasinac

    Ox – Xhaka. – Ramsey

    Ozil. – Lacazette. – Alexis.

    Giroud to certainly come on late on, for one of Xhaka, Ox or Lacazette/Alexis, depending on how it’s going.

  • Some of the line ups chosen here are ridiculous. Ramsey at right back or right wing back?? Are you people crazy? Why over complicate things? If Arsenal play a 3/4/3 formation play the players in their correct positions, my team would be
    Holding/Kocielny Monreal
    Wing backs? Right wing Bellerin left wing back the tank
    The two in midfield?
    Xhaka Elneny I think Arsenal need to show more solidity in the middle of the park, when Ramsey’s in there the team is far too open. The 3 up from? Very controversial choice, I would play Ramsey Sanchez and Lacazett up front. I would drop Oil for this game as I feel he doesn’t do enough in relation to closing down and pressing. I feel Ramsey further up the pitch without defensive responsibility is the best place for him and the team. Ramsey also offers a goal threat with his runs into the box, he might be able to get on the end of crosses from the wing backs during the game.

  • Jnyc,
    Liv (1) is a high press team (2) they are a quick passing team. First, we need good passers in our defensive areas to be able to beat their high press and Coq is not. Secondly, tackling which Coq is very good at is largely negated against tiki-taka-ish teams. Rememember how Coq was substituted at half time against Bayern. He actually played the 2 games we lost to Liv last season. That’s why I prefer Elneny in this encounter as he is a good pass and show player.

  • Here is my thought. Rambo can defend as well as aOC and almost as good as Bel, but you and I know that when there is chance to score a goal from the right flank, Aaron is far more likely to convert. So for me, it is a no brainer against pool tomorrow.

  • Eris,
    Yours is a formidable team. Your arguments for containing the powerful and pacy Mane are unquestionable. Ox in the midfield 3 looks attractive. My only worry there is that he is addicted to “close contact” dribbling which against a high press team like Liv can lead to turn overs at dangerous areas. There seems to be always one big worry to the otherwise excellent Ox who as at the moment is in the eye of the storm.

  • “Ridiculous” is not the right word Panther.
    But I like your courage in yanking off Ozil for Ramsey. It’s food for thought.

  • Panther,
    we’re all either suggesting interesting changes, or predicting what we think Arsene will do. Or a combination of both.
    Wenger is not very predictable on starting lineups as some other managers around.
    But that’s what blogging is all about. Your line up and reasoning were fine with me, even though i wouldn’t do it the same way.

  • Dropping Ozil for Ramsey is tempting but we all know it won’t happen, much as most wish for it. For all the criticisms he receives, Ozil’s stats at the end of games suggest a completely different story. While he’s not expressive in his defensive play, his heat maps show he covers almost every blade of grass and has been known to tackle to retrieve possession, at times; he’s also created the most chances by one player in one game (as at week 2) in the league and that was in a game he was made the scapegoat over.

    He doesn’t hide and always makes himself available for the pass (“pass and show”, as PE so memorably puts it); if only he will quit ducking at headers and get stuck in at times. No one footballer has it all, I guess. Klopp will have instructions to negate Ozil and that can only be a good thing for our game plan, as it should free others to do damage.

  • Hi PE! Very good preview and line-up.😀 Looking at the different line-ups (all with very good rationales) does bring to mind the problem of being Wenger, doesn’t it!?😉 If he wins, yawn…if he loses he is incompetent. But fun stuff for us ✌️😀.
    Given Wenger’s comments on the need for a stable defense in his pre-match presser, I suspect he will go with a back 3 and not the adventurous 4.
    Koz and Monreal are set here. The question is whether Mustafi will play (if the rumors are true). If SM cannot play, it might be a back three of Koz/Nacho/Kola.
    Once we start with the three, I think the rest of the team will be the essentially the same as last week with Alexis in place of Welbz – Ox, Xhaka, Ramsey, Bellerin, Ozil, Laca, Sanchez.

    I thought of Coq in place of Xhaka (like many others have suggested). But, I see Xhaka’s ability to bypass the pool midfield with his over the top passing as being too valuable to give up. Ramsey I am sure will be asked to be little less adventurous moving forward tomorrow. But he gives a great X factor. Those were some great runs he made, just terrible that there was nothing to show for it.
    Regardless of the line-up, here’s to a great win tomorrow! 😀

  • *FORWARDED from previous thread*

    Jnyc says:
    August 26, 2017 at 18:41
    The list of United players is one that United fans wouldn’t lose sleep over, Blind is the most important of the bunch. The rest are not starters, or fringe players, and United can afford to overpay to keep them, or pay high transfer fees to replace them, as Manchester city does. A few on that list, i think the club wouldn’t mind if they just walk away. It really bears no comparison to the doubt (bordering on chaos) surrounding Arsenal…….

    Jnyc, I hear you and get the point. However, Blind played a blinder; Mata controlled the tempo, while Fellaini scored a crucial second goal. Maybe, Herrera loses out from Matic’s purchase and Shaw doesn’t get a look in, but these are very good players.

  • Am so captivated by a third man in the midfield because it is the perfect license for Rambo’s runs. One man left in the vast central area (especially if he is slow Xhaka) is never a cover for the flat back line and it would always leak soft goals aka Stoke City

    The 3:4:3 is perfect with a Matic/Kante CM pairing or a Gilberto/Vieira but not a Xhaka/Rambo unless we have to deny Rambo his exciting runs and that’s taking away the edge in his game.

    St. Henry …. IMO, Coq lacks the passing skills to beat the famed Liv high press. Also the whole world (including Wenger once publicly) have been telling Ramsey to do his runs more conservately all to no avail. Our pre-occupation now should be how to turn that “weakness” into strength. The extra body in the MF does it for me. If we can’t beat him, let’s find a way to join him.

  • Nice preview PE.

    Below are the various starting line ups I would like to see, depending upon the formation we adopt and based on the premise that Arsenal will continue to overcommit players in the offensive third and attempt to monopolise possession in the opposition’s half.

    GK: Cech
    RWB: Debuchy
    RCB: Mustafi
    CB: Koscielny
    LCB: Monreal
    LWB: Kolasinac
    RCM: Ox
    LCM: Xhaka
    RAM: Ramsey
    LAM: Sanchez
    CF: Giroud

    GK: Cech
    RB: Debuchy
    RCB: Mustafi
    LCB: Koscienly
    LB: Kolasinac
    RCM: Ox
    CDM: Coquelin
    LCM: Xhaka
    CAM: Sanchez
    LS: Giroud
    RS: Lacazette

    GK: Cech
    RB: Debuchy
    RCB: Mustafi
    LCB: Koscienly
    LB: Monreal
    RCM: Ox
    LCM: Xhaka
    RAM: Perez
    CAM: Sanchez
    LAM: Iwobi
    CF: Lacazette

  • Funny to see Debuchy on a list. I just think he would be incredible as rwb. Can we just start over Matt?

  • Hi all..
    PE what a great post and great comments also..

    First of all.. like others already said.. even I support you for Ramsey to take over Ozil roles.. but we know that’s won’t happen.. hehehehe.. We old and long enough to know Wenger.. hehehehehe..

    Secondly, I must disagree with your old 4-3-3 formation.. We must stay still with 3-4-3 formation.. our last two games can’t be reason for switching the form again.. It just an accidental games that Wenger used to face and tried to managed it in uncommon way..
    He always give us surprised every season.. hahaha..

    And you know that I wanted to see Mertesacker play.. but if when Kos was absent and he still didn’t play in our last game.. I don’t think he will now with Kos back..
    Our back three will be Kos – Monreal – Mustafi.. We know Wenger won’t write off Mustafi just because one bad game..

    And that’s also my biggest worry.. Wenger seem can’t leave Ox and Bell to rest..
    With Kos and Sanchez back.. We really will be in a big headache if Wenger play them both.. hehehehe.. I choose Bell for tonight game for RWB.. and let’s Kolasinac play his favorite LWB role..

    In the middle.. I still believe in Ramsey-Xhaka.
    And off course Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette ini front.. That’s will be my favorite team..
    Hope Sanchez will fit 100% cause we need his energy and skills.. we can see a better Ozil also tonight.. Can’t wait.. VCC

  • It’s so intriguing that no two opinions are the same. We really all live in our different worlds. This should help us realize and accept that Wenger has all the right to live in his own world viz a viz team selection, tactics, transfer business et cetera, et cetera. My moans would never get across the void between our worlds! If I moan, I moan for myself, just same as moaning about the weather.

  • Some world’s exist close to each other. Others exist some million light years away. Fascinating!

  • Lol @ Waldo’s consistently picking players linked with departures; has he been jinxing it for Wenger, hence we can’t seem to find a new home for the players (Perez and Debuchy)?

    By the way, I have a sneaky feeling Welbeck will start over Lacazette and Giroud, if Alexis starts. If Alexis doesn’t start, then the usual front 3 will start with Alexis to come on later. Something about the final training pictures (I do have a way of second guessing Wenger’s final team by observing the shots, hahaha). Also seeing how he’s bogging him up…. Pat me on the back later. 😀

  • Eris, …. that’s what I’ve never been able to do … second guess Wenger successfully. Welbeck ove Lacaz doesn’t exist in my universe but I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s there in Wenger’s.

  • Hey TA (& others)… Don’t fret about me. I’m alive and up this morning to watch the match.

    Cheers to PE for doing the match preview… I’ve been keeping up with the posts and comments, just choosing to hold my own thoughts back until the end of the window. Mostly, I just don’t want to bring folks down. As per usual, I’m “hopeful” and I like most of the things the club is doing. (For example, I like those two new guys, Kola and Laca, and think we’re an improved team with them. On the other hand, I agree wholeheartedly with TA and wish that I was already watching the Ox in Chelsea blue–on the bench of course, in the early match…) Unfortunately, I also think the atmosphere around the club is complete poison and I just don’t see how the team can perform to its potential in such a situation. Only a (long and uninterrupted) winning run will begin to turn things around. Do I see that starting up at Anfield today? Sorry, but no, I do not…

    So, who needs to hear that sort of stuff? Nobody… I’ll get back into it sooner than later (maybe)… In the meantime, I see one positive… My word count (today, at least) is a good deal lower than usual totals… 😀

  • Seventeenho, good to hear from you! I have a good feeling for this one. 3-1 to the good guys.

    But a draw would Also be ok. We love your comments, positive or negative. ⚽️🙃🌶

  • 17HT I think I am in a similar mindset to you. Other than the Ox who is a very popular player at the Emirates and in my opinion has been one of our top performers this season. It worries me what is going on in his head to come to such a decision. Does he not see Arsenal winning anything? Has he fallen out with Wenger? I just find whole transfer window to be depressing. Now we see Mustafi going maybe? What the hell is going on there? If it involves bringing in a replacement then ok, but how can we justify weakening a n alrady weakened defence. Just watched the team scroll across the tv screen. I don’t think I saw Lacazette? Why do we insist at playing Bellerin at left back. When we clearly have players who. Are better left backs.

    Has the world gone crazy?

  • Team sheets:
    Liverpool: Karius; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane
    Subs: Ward, Klavan, Alexander-Arnold, Grujic, Milner, Solanke, Sturridge

    Arsenal: Cech; Holding, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck
    Subs: Ospina, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Walcott, Lacazette, Giroud

  • Im supporting the boys big time, but welbeck at cf?. Just plain stupid. I don’t care if he ends up with a hattrick. That just means lacazette would’ve had 4. FFS the guy has had a goal in each of the first 2 games (one stolen) How many strikers come to the premier league and start that well.
    Wenger thinking fast breaks.

  • Cech, Bel, Kos, Hold, Nacho, Ox, Xhak, Ramb, Ozl, Sanchz, Welbz.

    Subs : Ops, Kola, Musti, Coq, Theo, Lacaz, Giroud.

  • I think our only hope today is Klopp is just as unpredictable. Karius in goal looks very dodgy and Moreno is also dodgy.

  • On the strange side that Ox is starting, Musti on the bench. Maybe it’s not as the stories have it.

  • Had to double check that when I saw Rob Holding on; that must have caught everyone by surprise (or did anyone predict he will play? Can’t recall). It’s worrisome that despite paying a princely sum for Mustafi last season, it would seem Wenger doesn’t trust him; and he’s starting the same thing with Kolasinac, whom I would have sworn this game was tailor made for. The man is either suicidal, Wenger, or knows things we don’t.

    I have stated before that Mustafi may feel embarrassed that Wenger appears to have promoted Holding over him; but to have him on with Mane running at him today? Then the persistence with Monreal when we have Mertesacker still wrankles. Don’t get me wrong. I trust Monreal on that left side but I would have thought we will be stronger with three specialist CBs there. To think he doesn’t even make the subs bench, Mert. I also hear Iwobi is injured, by the way; so maybe there are injuries there that the manager doesn’t wish to disclose.

    Still, all things being equal, this is a team that can take points at Anfield.

    PS: Like I said earlier, Welbeck starts, to give physicality while Alexis will have responsibility to score or make goals. 😉

  • Hi all..
    I think my guess was right.. just hope Bell and Ox put in the right position.. hehehe..
    But with Sanchez in the left.. maybe we’ll see Bell there as LWB..
    Welbeck start as our CF.. surprise.. just don’t know what really happened to Lacazette and Giroud..

  • Eris.. for your last comment.. better to put Giroud there for Welbeck.. We know Giroud did better in form of physical and assist..

  • The only sense I can make out of the line up is Wenger hoping to win the game in the last 25 minutes when Liv usually begin to tire. Me clutching at the straw?

  • What’s with this lineup? This is far more inferior compared to the one against Stoke.

    Sub out Ox and put in Kola. And do not wait till 65th minute.

  • Liv on top on all depths. They have a great team. However difficult seeing them maintain this pace in the 2nd half.

  • That was pedestrian by our boys, to say the least. I think our problem is having too many players who are uninterested in the side. Watch Ox trotting back when Liverpool win back the ball from us and see how little support he’s been giving Holding. He can do better; he’s refusing to track his man and failing to bomb forward as he is wont to do.

    There’s a problem with the players’ attitude today. Like they came here expecting to be beaten. Take of the Ox, bring on Kolasinac and move Bellerin over to take his chances with Mane. Take off Welbeck, bring on Giroud and then fit in Lacazette someplace; if you ask me, Ozil hasn’t done much than run marking the spaces but we need more.

    We are going through the motions; and this is a side that played in midweek. If this is a sign of things to come, where we can’t even play our usual passing game, then we have a long season with the manager likely to be put under great pressure to leave before the winter window.

  • That knock to Welbeck’s head has developed into a huge bump to the side of his face. I think that’s slowed him down so he needs to come off. We need to get physical a bit. Kolasinac must be wondering why he isn’t playing.

  • Ars should change formation to back 4 and fortify the MF instead. The battle should be fought there. Our 3 man defence is not up to it.

  • PE – agree about your point about the missing man in the MF. Paid a terrible price today… 😦

  • The only man on the pitch is Cech. We were bypassed in midfield, and why was Le Coq so high up the pitch when he was brought on to shore up the defense?

    Lacazette is the only player that really played, and the rest was just walking. No team spirit at all.

  • That was drab from us. It wasn’t a case of a few players not turning up. No one stood out for us today (maybe, Cech, if…) and need I say the old cliche, we didn’t look like a team playing for the manager today!

    I expected more and still believe if there was some application from the players, the right starting 11 and some game plan, we should have won here. We gave them little to worry about.

    Can’t wait for the window to close so we know who is left in this team. The speculations have not helped us. This is the stuff of having a manager sacked, if you ask me.

  • Liverpool were relentless. We came with a soft center. Selection mystery. Kola? Lacaz? Bel LWB? Holding v Musti? and ????????

    Pls with the personnel at our disposal 3:4:3 has to go and Wenger should recognise the value of strength and athleticism in signings.

  • To be honest our team is full of players who do not have the passion for the shirt. Xhaka is plain average, Ozil is useless, and the Ox is not good enough he only suits one formation let him go. At least play Walcott, Wilshire, Elneny, & Coquelin who have the desire. Gibbs must not go. Wenger pampers guys like Ozil and Xhaka when they are playing very average football. Bellerin must be dropped until he gets back to his old form. We need a player like William Calvaho (spelling) to anchor our midfield. Riess Nelson, Maitland Niles must be competing in the first team. Ozil must go, Sanchez must go, Ox must go & why did they play today when they don’t want to renew their contracts. Martinez must be our first choice goalkeeper. Its so sad to see Hayden play so good at Newcastle when he could have been our anchorman. An attack with Welbeck, Lacazette, Giroud, and Walcott will be better than the one with the useless Ozil and Sanchez who keeps on losing the ball in the wrong areas

  • I don’t understand why Wenger enjoys leaving anybody in a state of uncertainty. Sanchez, Ox, Musti, Ozil, Wilshire, any more signings, outgoings???????

  • When you look at the players, easy to tell they are unhappy (or shocked) about some decision. My guess is the players leaving (Ox, Mustafi) and the lack of any rumoured incomings. Or, something else we will never get to know. This has opened up the club for media inquest and speculations. For me, very simple. Start with Kola and Mustafi for Ox (since manager should know his heart isn’t in it) and Holding and suddenly, we are a lot more solid at the back while remaining good offensively. I knew he would start Welbeck; but we needed Lacazette starting and if he needed Welbz’ power, start him from the wings or as support. Unfortunately, that means Ozil on the bench and so be it.

    Wenger needed to grow some today and take some hard decisions, even if some of the players will be offended.

  • “We Need To Adapt Our Game To Liverpool’s Relentlessness” – We didn’t yet again and we’re tactically out-smarted BEFORE a ball had even been kicked. The tactics, formation and players the manager sent out were always going to lose today. Been here before and will be here again a few more times this season. We all just need to accept these random but all too frequent horror performances will never go away with the manager we have and take them with a pinch of salt and move on and accordingly adjust our expectations to reflect a team capable of randomly and frequently losing like that when completely tactically confounded. No amount of transfers will change that. Thought last season was a wake up call but clearly Wenger likes these self-manufactured crisis points and subsequent recoveries. All we can hope is the recovery at least brings some joy and success at the end of the season. Whatever our adjusted and realistic definition of “success” is.

  • My fear is the same or worse than the middle of last season. These players are no longer playing for Arsene. Actually, Not just a fear, it’s true. We can see the evidence in a game like this. Maybe we should sell Alexis, Chamberlain, mustafi and Ozil. And start over. But you know, another thing I’ve feared through this clubs mismanagement…. every week it gets harder to recruit good players, and our players are closer to leaving.
    It’s not just about not having champions league. There seems to be decay. Unhappy players, poor results, Many better options out there now. Teams with equal money to spend, but far more attractive to players. In one year, liverpool, tottenham have jumped ahead of us, and they are competing for the same players.

    Yes, it’s the players fault mostly… BUT if i were an impartial observer, i would totally put the blame on the manager for todays performance. That’s the honest truth.

  • Jync I agree with you, but I would add alexis to the list. The logic of not selling him to a competitor was sound when we we thought we might have a chance of winning something. But after watching that shower today. I don’t think we need worry about that

  • D-Money ….. Spot on!
    Jnyc ….. I’d say it’s the manager’s fault. If he puts 11 of me out there how dare anybody blame the 11 me. Ozil can’t contribute defensively. Xhaka is un-athletic. Ox lacks concentration. Ramsey is addicted to the opposition box. Holding is a rookie. Welbeck lacks the killer instinct completely. Bellerin is played out position. So too the industrious Nacho. Alexis is unsettled. What can the rest ie Cech and Koshielny do?

  • Sell:


    Reconstruct the squad from the money received.

    Buy experienced physically strong players with stamina and basic positional intelligence. No more passers who create more goals for the opponents than for Arsenal, no more spineless players who lose themselves who never perform in big away games, no more brainless players who spend a decade at Arsenal learning to play football.

  • Retsub great point,
    You’re right, not selling to a rival was something i was completely convinced of….. but you have changed my mind. It doesn’t matter. Right now, we are not rivals or competitors of man city.
    But the mismanagement has left us just a couple days even if we are only selling, not even buying.

    Total is going to say that we’re emotional and rash now.

    No, really. This is not the first time we’ve been humiliated recently. 5-1, 1-5 last year in front of europe and the world. No wonder Alexis wanted out. He dragged Chile over the line in important tounaments. He is entitled to consider himself a winner.

    If there is talent, yet no discipline, players not manning their positions properly, even if it’s poor effort, I have to blame the manager. It’s worse that he has controlled all the personnel decisions too.

    So he didn’t think we need a good midfielder like many of us have been screaming for. I know he has more knowledge in his pinky than all of us put together, but on this one, we are right.

    He should have at least tried to get Matuidi to help for a couple years. Great player. 20 mil € i think.. perfect player could have been used to teach Xhaka a lesson occasionally and spell Ramsey too.

    And another thing some people might not like to hear, Lucas Perez is a MUCH better attacking player, certainly striker, than Welbeck. But guess who we chose?

    Why is merit not used in that equation?
    …..English player or not. I’d take the guy that scores goals. Danny works hard on both ends, —- so does Lucas. We own a good player, but we’re getting rid of him but finding 3 starts for Welbeck, one as striker! We’re keeping the wrong one of the two. Who wants to defend that choice?

    Is it a size and strength issue? Well i guess it’s Welbeck over Messi then. Sorry Leo.

    I know Arsene will stand up and take the blame as the gentleman he is. He will protect the organization and his players. But they don’t deserve his loyalty when this is the result. Today or long term.

    And I’ll say it again. Something is very wrong at this club since last season. I hate the Wenger out people, but it’s not their fault for whats been happening.

  • Jnyc, agreed with most of your thoughts.

    Wenger had made some weird choices, but he had the players who can perform left on the bench.

    For the past 2 games the starting lineup was with the very lads that lost at Liv homeground.

    Why not start Lacazette who had a good last game? Why field Ox when we have Kola?

    There were more whys than hows, and we now go to the interlull knowing that we can have done much better with the correct people at the correct positions.

  • I read somewhere, somebody said, Bellerin and welbeck were our 2 worst performers last week
    ( valid opinion ) then why prefer them this week over kolasic and Lacazette?

  • Hi all..
    OMG.. lucky me.. I’m still can sleep after that horrible night.. hiks.. hiks..
    How come all Pool strikers score.. and none of us.. I must said we were lucky not to lost by 6 or 7 goals..

    Still wondering why and why.. again and again.. What happened to the team that forced Wenger to choose Bell in LWB again and Welbeck as our CF.. He almost did nothing in his last two unsuccessful games..
    What happened to our motm CS Cup Xhaka and Kolasinac..?? And why Wenger never rest Ozil after his bad games..??

    Just hope we still get a positive side.. such as another great players coming.. hehehehehe..

  • Our biggest set back is that we did not get our money’s worth for last season’s purchases : Xhaka, Mustafi and Perez. About £85M.

  • I feel rather similar to how I felt after that infamous 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford.
    Where do we go now?

    The major difference is in the quality of the players in those two teams, so to a certain degree yesterday’s capitulation is even worse.

    Do I think that we have the coaching staff able to rectify the obvious issues in our team?

    No I don’t, but I also don’t see any changes in the short term.
    We are where we are, the team and coaching staff have a huge job on their hands, but if anyone thought we were competing for the title this season then I’m not sure how they feel today?

    I don’t think a last minute session in the transfer market will rectify anything as the problems seem to go deeper than just the playing staff.

  • P E

    At certain times last season the three players you mention had really good patches of play. To this day I don’t understand what Perez did wrong. I wonder if he upsets Wenger by speaking his mind. Seems that some of the more aggressive players are not welcome at the Emirates, Gabriel mustafi etc

    Xhaka who I have to admit I didn’t rate to begin with, played pretty well towards the end of last season, but this season he has been awful. I think he has more assists to his name than any other prem player, trouble is they are all scored by the opposition.

    And let’s not forget when Mustafi arrived, everybody thought he was great. Didn’t we go about 20 games without losing.

    I think as Kev has alluded to there is something very wrong much deeper in the club.

  • Kev, Hmmmm. Today is the anniversary of that 8-2 drubbing. It seems some things just don’t / haven’t changed at the club. We seem to have made a habit of starting poorly and usually managed to finish strongly. The problem this time, is that the toxic atmosphere all around the club would make it hard to have a settled team that will compete this season.

    You feel the boys just expect to be beaten once we come up against direct rivals, the reason we were bottom of the top 6 league, last season. It won’t stop now as it has become a mental problem. Change needed!

  • Leicester will apparently sign Krychowiak from PSG for a laughable fee. We will watch that player breaking attacks of the opponents and wonder why we didn’t get him. Wenger will say that he was close to sign him or that he didn’t know Krychowiak was available (despite having a regular contact with PSG owners).

  • retsub … I quickly recognized Xhaha’s strengths and limitations. Strength : good passer. Limitation : very unathletic. If he is given space which he has developed the skill to create he can be devastating with his passes. But intense press, undermines that his one gift. I fear he might have been found out.

    Mustafi is a battler. But he is too excitable. He serms to be all brawn and not much game intelligence which is vital for good defending. However I believe he would be an excellent RFB where decisions are more straightforward.

    As for Perez we possibly didn’t see enough of him to have a well informed opinion of him.

    Bottom line. Our managers decided that they were good enough at £85M which I doubt.

  • Allezkev.. if it’s true.. then I’ll be happy for Wenger won’t put Bellerin in the left again..

  • Why the he’ll did he play him yesterday if he knew it had been sorted out. And why is Wenger so so secretive? Ask him a question now on Ox and he’d still give no clear answer. It only help to build up tensions amongst the fans that then seeks outlet through even the least event.

  • Pony, I’m ready to sell anyone this week. Really anyone, and I don’t really care about the buying, because it’s probably too late to get optimal additions. I’m afraid we’ll just buy to shake things up, to try to change the focus. I hope I’m wrong, of course.

    I think we really should sell Alexis if the offer is good. I’d like to do the same with ozil for a decent offer, mostly because I think the Mustafi thing is a sign that he’s off in a year anyway. But that’s just a feeling.

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