Bergkampesque Live Blog, Liverpool-Arsenal. Emery Goes 4-2-3-1 with Two Changes; Pepe and Xhaka In

…Nelson and Lacazette out from the group that beat Burnley.

Record signing Nicolas Pepe joins youngsters Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock and Matteo Guendouzi in midfield with Captain Granit Xhaka tasked with organizing the lads against a far more experienced and very strong Liverpool group.

Here are the line-ups:

Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Papastathopoulos, Monreal, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Willock, Pepe, Aubameyang, Ceballos.

Subs: Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Torreira, Chambers, Nelson, Martinez, Kolasinac.

Liverpool: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Subs: Milner, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Kelleher

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

A final note: Mesut Ozil, training all week, doesn’t even make the bench.  Has Arsenal management found a way to off-load the mercurial midfielder–and his massive salary?

What do YOU think of the line-ups and Arsenal’s chances at Anfield?

To me, though this is our first real challenge, it is also a bit of a “can’t lose” proposition for Arsenal manager Unai Emery.  Those early results plus big spending in the transfer window–and attendant noise from a new generation of ownership–has brought a feeling of renewed hope in the Goonersphere.  (Is it enough to allow the dumping of a player like Ozil–alongside the likes of Skhodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny?)  We shall see.  As long as we improve on the result from last season’s fixture (a brutal 5-1 loss–after we got the opener) surely our “Summer of Love” ought to continue.  And then there’s the hope that we might even do a bit better than that…

I’ll be hitting the espresso machine one last time and then I’ll do my best to describe the action.  I can ALWAYS use help, however, even if today’s game–here in California–will be in 4K.  Everybody sees things differently and your view is no worse than mine.  (We’ll see how I feel about the commentary team: Arlo White always wants to stoke controversy, while Lee Dixon does his best to not be seen as favoring Arsenal.  Graeme Le Saux rounds out the group and generally seems fairly insightful–to me.  Often, I find I need to shut off the sound…)

So, who will join me?  What will the match bring?  Share it here (in the comments)…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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126 Responses to Bergkampesque Live Blog, Liverpool-Arsenal. Emery Goes 4-2-3-1 with Two Changes; Pepe and Xhaka In

  1. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    I’m looking for a good result today. Worst case is a narrow and spirited loss, but I’m honestly hoping we exploit Pools high line

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa… Exciting finish up at Old Trafford… Missed pen (by millimeters) then a good winner (I thought) from some kid (Daniel James?)… But then Van Aarnholdt beats De Gea from an extreme angle…

  3. Pony Eye says:

    HT, that’s 100% my prediction.

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Sharkey… Please keep me honest as the game moves on…. I’ll watch for highness in Pool’s back line… Already I’ve noticed that VVD’s roster picture makes him look like Snoop Dogg… 😉

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, well done, PE… More predictions?… 😀

  6. jw1 says:

    Fifty-two years on from the Summer of Love. History does repeat. 🙂
    Gut feel. Arsenal plays well today.

    Every first blush is to look historically at previous scorelines.
    They just don’t matter. Particularly comparing the last one– when the squad is so, so different.

    Gentlemen, start your engines! :checkered_flag: :soccer:

    jw1

  7. Pony Eye says:

    All I can say is it’ll be nothing like last time.

  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s not exactly the line-up that our fearless leader (TA) thought would be for the best…the two German guys not even making the bench…even if he liked PEA-Pepe too…

    https://bergkampesque.com/2019/08/19/how-arsenal-can-beat-liverpool-auba-pepe-attack-ceballos-and-mesut-mustafi-rb/

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m gonna agree with PE…Nothing like last time… (But my view is grimmer…I don’t see us getting the first goal… 😦 …)

  10. Pony Eye says:

    We should brace up for the first 20 minutes of bombardment. Psychological warfare. If we can get through that we have a chance.

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    I like this 4K stuff… No ads… though that means I’ll miss something if I need to hit the espresso set-up…

  12. goonereris says:

    Thumbs up to PE for a perfect 11 starters prediction. All the way down to the Diamond in midfield.

    Now, to hope we play a strong tactical game.

    COYG!

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    I don’t think it’s gonna be quite like that PE. Pool will want to protect Adrian, and be defensively solid, ideally collecting their first clean sheet… We’re hyped up because it’s early season but the managers will (hopefully…) be taking a longer view…

    An early goal could get things going, however…

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    YNWA sung and we have kicked off…

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Robertson almost puts in Firmino but it’s a (Luiz) hair too long…

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Xhaka stomps Fabinho… FK to be lofted in?…

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    It bounces dangerously but no red shirts on it…

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    A lofted ball in makes a half chance for Pool…and playing it out of the back…

    The less said the better… Game’s all in our half these first 5 mins…

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pepe…retains possession, but soon enough it is lost…

    Alexander Arnold shapes to shoot but loses it… Same as Pepe does down there end, but at least he got it down there…

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    Their, not there, I meant…

    A nice cross but to no one by Alexander-Arnold…

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    And another, but Luiz heads behind… Pool corner…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    From which Wijnaldum fluffs a shot wide and high with his left foot…

    Luiz from the wide set “play out of the back” boots it…so at least we have it in their half for a few seconds…

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, PE, you were right (again) Arsenal are under the kosh in the (first half) of your first 20 mins…

    MISTAKE from Adrian… but PEA can’t loft one into their empty goal… That was a real chance… Auba had the line but needed the wedge instead of the 6 iron…

  24. jw1 says:

    Got no objection to relieving pressure– via Luiz’s clearing it.
    Pool lofts it right back in.

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pool backing off our “PIOOTB” (playing it out of the back), but nothing comes from Nacho’s boot forward… It’s a good time-wasting technique, however…

    Pepe brings down another booted ball and turns and gets a shot off (blocked) but he used a hand to control it…

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    We string a few passes in their half but PEA is rebuffed trying to dribble in on the left…

    Pepe brings down a long one and we string together a few more… First bit of possession but the next long one to Pepe finds him not quite onside…

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    I see Guendouzi (the hair, of course) but I wonder if he’s had a touch…

    Arsenal have almost survived this (PE’s) first twenty and they look more comfortable…and even break with Ceballos getting it to Willock who rides a challenge and finds Pepe… His shot is too weak and too straight at Adrian even if it bounced in a good spot…

  28. jw1 says:

    Think we’re starting to make Pools back 4 realize they can’t play so high up the pitch.
    Arsenal will go over the top.

  29. jw1 says:

    Matteo a touch? At least half a dozen.

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ceballos trying to play out gifts the ball to Mane but HIS shot is too close to Leno who hangs onto it well… Both teams have made mistakes but been let off…

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks, JW, sometimes I’m looking at what (crap?) I’ve written… Half a dozen, however, seems more than any Arsenal player…except Pepe…

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pool make too many half-chances or at least put in danger balls to count. Our shape and calmness look OK thus far…

  33. jw1 says:

    Whoscored sez 8 to this point.

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    I had a frozen screen there for a bit…And by the way, I’ve got a different pair on commentary…Frozen again, so switching to the “regular” HD…

  35. jw1 says:

    Wasn’t just your screen HT

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alright then, JW, I stand corrected… Whoa, the NBC cameras are at a completely different angle.

    Willock takes a ball nicely in MFand we have more possession including several Guendo touches… We work it backwards then forwards but Pool’s high line catches Pepe offsides…

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think I prefer the lower angle of the 4K camera but I definitely see more of the game from up high with the 1080 camera…

  38. jw1 says:

    Matter of fact– looks like one camera has gone offline– as my feed is the top-of-stadium view only.

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    More excellent work from Willock and Pepe is just wide after setting up his shot nicely…

  40. jw1 says:

    I don’t have a 4k TV– and had the same feed you did. Sky/NBC are experiencing– technical difficulties

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    They just mentioned “technical issues,” J-Dub…

    Corner for Pool…

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    VAR is checking a Red Card, the frozen screen says on the 4K channel…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Did Sok do something naughty?… No red card, so play on…

    Xhaka clears the corner and Pepe is off…but the shot is too straight…Needed to use the right foot, not the left…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    That was gilt-edged but just getting into a shooting position wasn’t easy at all…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, the lower angle cameras seem back on line…

    More crossing from Pool but no worries for Leno… a FK from 40, however is given…

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Luiz heads behind calmly… It was a decent FK routine…

    From the corner, a teammate blocks VVD’s header…

  47. jw1 says:

    Might seem one-sided in possession– but shots are 7/1 for Pool vs 5/2 for the good guys.

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    Salah on the turn from a throw-in almost finds the far post… Impressive but no cigar…

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Firmino blocked at the Point…

    And another Pool corner leads to breakthrough…Matip…

    Pool 1-nil…

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, that’s a shame…

    Firmino almost slips one to Salah but Luiz is there…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Firmino almost runs, touches and turns but Leno does well to get off his line and pounce on it…

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’re replaying the goal (kinda awesome in 4K) and Guendo and VVD tussling allowed Matip to get the spot on Sok for the bullet header…

    Got to get to half-time here, with Pool winning a corner and almost recreating their goal…

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    And we get the whistle… A re-jig (for something other than pure counter attack football) is what is needed… Bring on Ozil?…

    Not available… LT11 maybe, Laca for sure at some point…

  54. jw1 says:

    Hardly blame Matteo for grappling with VVD though. Papa isn’t going to win an aerial battle when Matip has a 2-step leap– like going up for a layup.

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Looking forward to other comments…while I reboot with the final coffee… 😀

  56. jw1 says:

    From the juncture when I listed the shot for both– Pool outshot Arsenal 8-0.

  57. Pony Eye says:

    I’d wish Torreira comes in for Guendozi or Willock at resumption.

  58. jw1 says:

    Probably a good call PE.
    Ceballos looks lost without someone to exchange passes with.

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    Willock did some nice things…In fact, that Pepe chance that he set up (dancing down the left), I think, was a good as the one Pepe fashioned (more or less) on his own…

  60. jw1 says:

    Think both fullbacks are playing too compact.
    Allowing both Robertson and Arnold far too much time to loft crosses.

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, guys… Ozil not on the bench?… Kicked his last ball for Arsenal? I can’t say I’m thrilled, but I’m only one Gooner…

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, has AMN had a touch? J-Dub, check the stats… Please…

    Any of Emery’s (famous) half-time changes?…

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    Willock gets the ball taken and Pool force a save…Not the start we wanted…

  64. jw1 says:

    Yeah. Mkhi on the bench but not Ozil? Doesn’t make sense.

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    There’s AMN trying to find (offside) Auba in space…

    I guess a team like Pool will want more so we can keep playing on the break…

    Ooops, maybe not, Penalty and Yellow Card against Sideshow… Poor choice to grab at Salah…

  66. jw1 says:

    AMN 9 of 17 passes 53%

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Salah converts the pen… Long way back now…

    Unfortunately, JW, No-zil makes perfect $en$e…

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ooh, not a good stat for AMN…

    Ball’s in their half but Auba’s better shooting than passing…

  69. jw1 says:

    Well, crap.

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pool looking rampant in MF versus our guys who want the ball only on the bounce… PEA was in but the linesman was deferring to VAR…

    Not a good corner routine on our first attempt… Leno stops the Pool counter from it, however…

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pool keep coming and we have to Sok-rifice bodies to stop shots…

  72. Pony Eye says:

    Time to go for it. Laca and Torreira should come in for Douzi and Willock

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good turn by Ceballos and we work it into their half…but Pool regroup and have to play back to Leno and try again.

    Not this time and Pool let us off with Salah not expecting Luiz to (completely) miss the defensive header…

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    We have a throw in their half…but, again, no way through and we get nothing as AMN gets tackled not too far from the corner of the box…

    Salah turns Sideshow and scores his 2nd…

    Done and dusted, we are…

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Less than an hour played and this one’s over… Luiz goes from hero to zero, I fear, but I believe our problems run a bit deeper than that…

    Pepe loops a diagonal for PEA….but a bit too strong…

    LT11 for DC8…

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    So… I’m gonna use this half hour to say a few things which some of y’all might not want to hear…even though I tend to look for positives when results go against us…

    First off, I think both of these new signings, David Luiz and Dani Ceballos, will help us…against lesser teams… At this level, I don’t see it…

    Hey, we’ve gotten a couple of corners… And the first one is a good one… LT takes it and Nacho heads to the far post but PEA isn’t quite there to score it…

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pepe looks good too…Maybe still a bit leggy (or working too hard to regain fitness after a short summer break) and obviously very one-footed. Still, a great addition when we can play on the break…

    Not playing Laca in this one, however, seems wrong (to me). We need forwards who can drop deeper AND hold the ball up a bit to help get others forward…

    And then there’s the Ozil question… DC United or back to Germany?…

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    Milner coming in for Wijnaldum…

    Guendo wins a call…

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    PEA with less than Laca hold up play and Pool are off… Sok intervenes and blushes are spared…

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    20 mins of clean-sheet play and then regroup for the NLD?…

  81. jw1 says:

    Predicting Ozil to DC. They need a name to replace Rooney (to Derby County as player-coach)– and Ozil needs an audience to expand his brand. That place isn’t– Germany.

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everybody gone?… Am I all by myself here?… Anybody seeing anything they like…

    Willock tries a throughball but it’s short (and/or overspun)… He’s a bright spot too, IMO…

    A bit of possession but we’re rebuffed on a Guendo extra touch and then a tired Nacho near the corner…

    Pool hold it for awhile…

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    DC is (Nazi) Germany, at least in some of the corridors (of power), I fear, J-Dub… 😦

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    “We love you Arsenal, we do”… Is something we sang for 20+ minutes in a 3-nil loss I attended…at Hillsborough?…

    Final insult, here comes the Ox…

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ox won’t go in on a tackle and Pepe is off… Too many step-overs but he didn’t fall over (at least)…

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    If this were a boxing match…

  87. jw1 says:

    MLS players have been standing up– and more publicly– than most other US sports pros (NBAers the most vocal)– to the clinical insanity.

  88. jw1 says:

    Really? Bringing Laca on at 80′.
    Tactically inept.

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    Decent cross in from Nacho but PEA doesn’t seem too keen to risk the hair…

    Willock out, Laca in…

    Time for a couple of LAPs?…

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Standing up?… I thought it was about taking a knee… 😉 😦 (Still talking politics here, right?…)

    Good work by Firmino but Xhaka intervenes with nobody looking too keen to do anything that might lead to injury…

  91. jw1 says:

    Woohoo.

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    CONSOLATION GOAL!!!!

    PEA gets the assist and LT, the former forward, gets the goal…

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mkhi on for Guendouzi… Better never than late say the accountants…

    Wow… The comment guys have resurrected the Arshavin 4-4…

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    AMN crosses and Laca brings it down and wants handball, VAR (like Amy Winehouse, maybe…) says No, no, no…

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    Salah outpaces Nacho but our guy holds the position and the Egyptian is too busy looking for a pass to keep it in…

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    Torriera as the 10 and Laca as the 9… Almost like a formation you would play if you thought you had a chance for the (full) points…

  97. 17highburyterrace says:

    3-1 and a chance or two when it was still scoreless… Improvement from last season…or a sad statement about our aspirations? You tell me…

    I hear crickets…

  98. 17highburyterrace says:

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    Finally…

    Shovels please…as we bury this one…

    Or…

    Dig (deeeeep) looking for positives…

  100. jw1 says:

    At half 1-0, changes were begging to be made. None were.
    A much better team than last season’s. Pains me to think Emery might actually have gotten more from that team than he’ll get from this one.

  101. njk84sg says:

    We should sign Johnnie Walker as our sponsor next season. They kept walking.

    And too many mistakes on the ball led to missed chances.

  102. njk84sg says:

    17ht, we had a good gameplan which is counter attack but too many individual errors cost us. We needed to be better in dynamic play, if not, we will just be a mid table team. Too static, relied too much on positioning and way too many back passes.

    Positives are, we can only get better.

  103. LE GALL says:

    baku in may, anfiield in august … the exact same feeling of shame. gudebening”lll never play pépé-mesut-auba + laca together, for fear … for fear of what, exactly ??? unai’s the wrong man at the wrong place, a sub-par josé, he doesn’t deserve the squad he has at his disposal: let’s give the keys to freddie, or bring dennis home

  104. Pony Eye says:

    We’ll take it on the chin.

  105. Pony Eye says:

    I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been like if it was Mustafi that gave away 2 goals.

  106. jw1 says:

    Goals? Ha. Haha. Hahahaha. If only.
    Gifting seven POINTS (to Palace and Spurs) meant not playing CL this season– and lost revenue of at least £40M (possibly £60M).

    Manager and executives of the club seem to share this perspective.
    Apparently so do every other club in top-flight Euro leagues.


    Seems an odd choice for exercise. But– carry on.

    jw1

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m not quite getting the point here… Are we blaming today’s loss on Mustafi?…

    Or are you saying that as long as he doesn’t play we’re in with a chance at the top 4?…

    Certainly, like Josh (and his name is a synonym for lying, let’s not forget) said, we’re not quite ready to challenge for top prizes…

    J-Dub, I’d like to hear more about “tactical ineptitude.” Frankly, I believe that consolation goal was a good thing and Emery just wanted to wait to get Laca and LT onto the pitch (key players in our promotion campaign) when things had slowed down to “friendly” (i.e., far less chance of injury) style…

    Sorry for the spaces, but I need(ed) to get that stick-thing off my screen…

    Looking forward to TA’s observations…Or at least a chime in on this post…

  108. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha… The extra spaces were removed… Call me Word-im-pressed, or something…

  109. Pony Eye says:

    VVD dribbled for the first time in 50 games by …. who else but Pepe!

  110. 17highburyterrace says:

    The big question, I think, remains… Can you play Coward-attack football in all your matches and still get up for forth? Lampard seems keen to go for open play with his squad, while they won’t miss every pen they take up at OT. Both teams are WELL behind Emery’s at closing up shop AND we’ve got some good attacking talent in our squad BUT, what’s the price of having to watch us play in this manner?…

    On the other comments… I like the idea of a liquor sponsorship, JK…though I thought we ran at them pretty well at nil-nil, when we got the chance…

    Le Gall, it’s a long season, but yes, we should have some fun with our toys…

    It’s not quite time to replay the Wynonna song re: the whole (loooonnnng) season, but soon enough, I fear… (Who needs attacking talent when you’ve got a strong voice, piano and strings?…)

    OK, enough from me… Laters…

  111. Admir says:

    Firstly, let’s try to find positives.

    It looked for almost whole first half that we had a gameplan. Despite our weird XI (Xhaka and Guendouzi together? Laca on the bench?), it looked well. We restricted Liverpool and had a few chances of our own. If Auba hadn’t been the most expensive flat track bully and Pepe had the right foot, we’d have scored first.

    40 minutes into the game, we conceded a stupid corner and a stupid goal from it. After that, our game plan no longer existed. Half-time talk didn’t get easier and our approach had to change.

    Then Luiz had a brain fart as usual and before you know it, we were three goals behind. Late introducing of Torreira and Lacazette just added salt to the wound.

    As for individual performances, I’d say there might be a player out of Willock one day if he gets managed properly. I still don’t get Guendouzi’s unlimited credit at Emery (except as a human shield after bad results: “Yeah, we lost but I played Matteo and he is still young!”) and Xhaka should have been sent with Mustafi and Elneny on a first human expedition to Pluto. He is too slow for this level of opponents and every time he turns the opponents have a chance for a counter-attack. Ceballos was awful and made a risky pass that most old guard coaches would punish with a slap after the game.

    Auba has a small-game mentality at the age of 30. He had an open goal but failed to make a clinical shot to give us the lead. Pepe’s “one-footedness” wasted our best chance to do Liverpool from the counter-attack. All this makes Emery’s decision to leave Lacazette on the bench even weirder.

    All-in-all, we lost the game we would have struggled in even if Bellerin, Holding, Tierney and Özil had been fit to play. We don’t have best full-backs fit, we don’t have a manager with cojones and, most worryingly, nobody can say which XI are our best.

    As for Liverpool, they have reasons to be worried as well. Better rounded teams than ours will take points off them.

  112. goonereris says:

    It was a very frustrating watch from an Arsenal perspective, to be honest. As fans, it’s easy to ignore the possibility that the manager may have other ideas and assume the players will be as fired up as we feel before these games. The game plan seemed to be working till we conceded
    from an avoidable corner kick. After that, it seemed a good thing we had the half time coming so clearer heads will come out after the resumption, but we had to concede early into the 2nd half, and it felt like it was “game up”. It proved to be after Sallah added a third and Torreira’s effort just a consolation.

    While I expected us to play a compact style at the back, I really thought we would give it a right go in terms of playing our normal flair-based game. That to me was the only way to keep the hosts worried. I also didn’t see why Laca didn’t start this game, unless he was unfit. I would keep Auba on the bench to bring him on last twenty minutes. Laca should have started alongside Pepe or Auba. He is a big game player and would give the ‘Pool defence a more physical battle. Lastly, the changes came rather late; a departure from last season when the Gaffer was always lauded for making early changes, “much unlike Wenger’s known timing for subs- usually by the 70th minute. Just shows the man is starting to know his team and their capabilities over a 90min game. A few have wondered why we haven’t started with the three subs who came on late and began to put some pressure on the host’s defence. Well hindsight is always 20-20; no assurance it won’t have been worse, had we done so.

    I just have this feeling we’ve been down this road before…like some déjà vu about the season.

  113. LE GALL says:

    i sympathize with admir about guendouzi. he’s obviously a nice lad, but …
    he can’t run faster than my dear old granny, he can’t tackle, he can’t shoot, he couldn’ head a ball if his life depended on it, i’ll give it to unai that he must be the king of rondos, but then he should be made to play for the harlem globe trotters of football if there was such an outfit, not for a premier league title contender (?!?).
    as for running fast, it looks like this is the only quality deemed worthy of something by unai, when he picks his forwards for away games – reason why, in my opinion, he benches laca so often outside the emirates – even though his hold-up play is world class (maybe the best in the league), and boys, did we miss it today. on the other hand, the matteo/granit partnership must be the slowest in the midfield galaxy, what’s the logic in that??
    now, i can’t say i agree with admir’s “nobody can say which XI are our best”
    i can, actually:
    leno
    bellerin-holding-luiz-tierney
    torreira-ceballos (willock)
    pépé-özil-aubameyang
    lacazette
    (today, pépé-auba on the wings constantly would have kept robertson-a.arnold defensively busy)
    so, it would appear that 3/5 of our best defence are missing, and that’s an actual setback, an excuse which is worth mentioning when we talk about a defeat at anfield, but under those circumstances, benching lucas/laca (not to mention mesut) to make it six of our best players absent, was nothing short of a dereliction of duty, on unai’s part.
    now, on for a worrying week in anticipation of the NLD, gudebening could pick:
    leno
    chambers-sokratis-luiz-kolasinac
    torreira
    pépé-willock-özil-aubameyang
    lacazette
    and we would stand a very decent chance …

  114. henrychan says:

    Can’t comment a lot.. I didn’t get the streaming.. All I see in youtube we were bombarded by Pool..

    But, I think.. Emery picked the wrong scheme and players.
    Did Ceballos good as winger?
    Did Xhaka did well as CDM?
    Why Torierra replaced Ceballos not Willock?
    Did Guendozi did well also..??
    And why replaced so late..??

  115. njk84sg says:

    17ht, yes, we had chances at 0-0 but did not take them. Auba could have done better, Pepe is brilliant all game long but there was no one in midfield to really stay close to him and get the ball going. After the first goal we became less mobile and more holes appeared in midfield, which is not what we expect from the team. More walking and less chances.

    However, we were defeated by our own defensive and midfield errors and Pepe needs more time to be on the same level as Salah (his name means wrong in Malay/Indonesian). He gave us glimpses of what do we expect from him, and Pepe will become a good signing with the whole team gel-ing more and more.

  116. Lucas says:

    Our tactics were way too passive and reactive for this game imo, but it almost worked. Almost.

    We stood strong for 40minutes, showed clear tactics to counter Liverpool, we wonder what might have been if Pepe took his chance.

    But again, the game plan was wayyyy to passive. Laca was needed to occupy the CBs. Every time Pepe/Auba was running at the defense, they had to go through at least 2/3 players,which would’ve otherwise been occupied by our favorite Frenchman.

    The idea to dominate the midfield was there, but I’m afraid Unai didn’t implement it correctly this time. The narrow system killed all our midfielders, it showed when 2 Pool midfielders could shut down all 4 of ours. Poor.

    But against the champions of Europe, I can’t say too much. The boys put in a hard shift and worked their asses off. Now we move on to Spurs. I won’t stand a passive tactic against our neighbors

  117. Pony Eye says:

    1) Leno’s goal kick routine is so monotonous. Somebody should tell him that variety is the spice of life. He seems to only understand inviting pressure even when there could be other good options. It’s good to keep the opponent guessing.

    2). M-Niles is adept at getting out of trouble. What that says is that he is hugely talented. Unfortunately he is unable to use his huge talent proactively. The game is not just about getting out of trouble but also creating trouble for the opposition. He’s possibly faster than anybody on the field, but he only uses his pace chasing people down never being chased himself. Younger Willock is already playing with authority. M-Niles, com’on, you can be the best.

    3). Sokratis is an average Joe. Full stop.

    4). Without the ball Luiz is Mustafi out Mustafi in but much better when with the ball.

    5). Moreal is gone. Interprete it whichever way you like.

    6). Guendouzi and Xhaka are too similar to start together. Slow coach, both. Defensively no tuned on. Both are never ahead of the ball so they never cause attacking overload. Both gravitate to the left side of the field. I repeat both should not be on the field at the same time. Can’t understand why Emery is so fond of the two.

    7). Willock is making good progress. He works hard. Puts himself behind the ball and ahead of the ball. A pity that so young a player is being looked upon to shoulder the leadership of the midfield.

    8). Ceballos. How can he be the best yesterday and the worst today. I believe he was too isolated in the Pool match, no body to combine with. Not Douzi or Xhaka who lack vertical movement not Auba or Pepe who want to just run with the ball. Spanish football education is based on pass and show for the ball.

    9) Auba and Pepe are too similar. Pepe has more guile though. Against stronger opponents where we can’t play the PALs together the combo should be LACA and Auba or Pepe.

    10) Torreira. I like players who get angry when their team is trailing, like Torreira, Laca, Sokratis. Thanks Torreira for consoling me with that goal. Against the Tots who like to attack from the centre with short passing game, Torreira should be the 1st name on the list.

    11) Emery. Why did he bring Laca on with only 10 minutes left? The only smart answer: Maybe he recognized that the problem was with the supply line (midfield). To weaken the supply line in order to strengthen our under supported attackers was senseless and might have led to a 6-1 walloping which could completely destabilize our season. Not trying to hold any brief for hin though. I love winners and I must say it again, Douzi and Xhaka together don’t make any sense.

    12) Emery set off in a 4:4:2 diamond but Liverpool distorted them into a low narrow block. Could Ozil have done better than Ceballos in manipulating the spaces so the low narrow block can fan out when we have the ball? I think so but Ozil was not even in the squad. I wonder if Ozil/Emery drama is still on.

    3-1 at Anfield is no disgrace except it was boring-boring Arsenal.

  118. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Liverpool are European Champions, and pretty good at home. Can we all not lose total sight of that small detail

  119. goonereris says:

    Fine summary (and more) and take on what transpired in that game yesterday. Hopefully, Emery and a few of the lads have learnt a bit more about what the season holds and how we need to acquit ourselves better. Certainly not a disgrace to lose at Anfield; the manner of the loss, though…

  120. goonereris says:

    With Spurs and United losing this weekend, perhaps the pain of our loss has become easier to cope with.

    Now, that sets things up nicely for a well contested NLD.

  121. Erik the Red says:

    Sharkey (good to see you again) says it all. Liverpool at home are ruthless. Did anyone really expect us to get a point. Really?

    We did OK. Our hope was for a better performance than the last few at Anfield and we got it.

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    Checking in on a Monday morning…

    TA, where are you? Are you (and your father) OK?…

    I hope so…and I hope you were able to watch the match together (as planned)… There are things far more important than football, but, to the extent it brings people together and they (we) can share it, it’s a good thing. Give us a thumbs up, OK…

    My (additional) hope is that you’re just taking a break now that the transfer season/early matches–and attendant but largely undeserved (IMO) enthusiasm–are behind us, and the prospect of the close of the window (Ozil, Nacho, Mustafi, Elneny out…anybody else?…) and long slog of the promotion campaign are staring us in the face.

    Let us (or me, by e-mail) know your blogging plans in light of these “new” revelations…

    I’m sure we’ll get some dribs and drabs of rumor (rumours?…) and even, maybe, some (real) news ahead of next weekend. Next Monday is a bank holiday (here in the States) and I’ll be on the move (over the weekend) so I can’t say for sure if I’ll be in a spot to see the NLD live, or try another (not very successful/well-attended) live-blog. Suddenly, up the road (7 Sisters…) things seem awfully grim. I was thinking that maybe if Eriksen is off, Spurs can buy Ozil. (Think about it: we’d save ALL that money AND still get to see the maestro at work–perhaps in a spot where he’s appreciated)… Both guys (classic #10s, IMO) came to England at the same time (as best as I can recall)… A comparison/goodbye to them (both?) could be a good blog topic.

    I, however, have too much on my plate–and it’s also too sad a topic (considering I’m not a Spurs supporter)…

  123. jw1 says:

    Still busy with moving aspects– now in the new place.
    So my ability to comment on the match except directly afterward– has been limited.

    Regarding any comments from Mustafi-apologists going forward?
    F^ck– any comparison of Luiz– to the most enigmatic failure in my time as an Arsenal fan.
    This opinion? Formed over many seasons. Point being? That the club seem to finally agree.

    Luiz has a long way to go before he even moves the needle on the ‘Mustafi-Dropped-Points Meter’.
    If I need to remind? Pool were European Champions– and lost the PL by a single point– with just one loss. Had they converted that loss? We be talking about ‘The New Invincibles’ winning the biggest of doubles.

    That’s the team that David Luiz made an error against.
    Not dropping effing points to effing Palace twice.
    (Inclined to ask anyone else wishing to make this type of comparison– to ‘put-a-sock-in-it’. That’s as polite as I can muster.)

    There were opportunities. Not inclined to think we deserved them. Of the errors littered throughout the match on-pitch? The more egregious ones were those formed in Emery’s mind. He chose tactics allowing Pool to attack relentlessly. At half– decided more of the same was just fine. Laca and Torriera on at 46′? I might have applauded. On at 80′? I threw my arms up and pirouetted. Can’t say I was fooled being down 1-nil at half. Yet we sallied-forth– for a further 35-minutes– until the much-too-late changes. (And you thought AWs 70′ subs were infuriating?)

    To reprise– I didn’t expect 3pts.
    But did expect Arsenal might play more evenly– than the effort produced.

    jw1

  124. njk84sg says:

    17ht, seems that the spuddies are not in a good run of form and seeing that we are at home, but i am also wary that they might bite us. We now have better structure and personnel to play better and it seems that we are getting better game by game so we should feel comfortable for this one.

    Jw1, the effort Pepe and the team produced is massive against the Liv, until the first goal and the penalty killed us. Lots of bad calls from the ref too. In the end we were undone by the mistakes and the sloppy passes. Xhaka was simply too slow but the effort that the team put in is something good and it will get much better.

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