All I want for Xmas.

Where were you in February? We were on a “holiday of a lifetime” sailing around the Caribbean. I was avoiding football in an attempt to appease Mrs. Raddy, however as we sailed to a supermarket to buy a boatload of food and booze for six people; much to my delight they were showing the Liverpool/ AFC game. By the time the heaving trolley had got to the breakfast cereal aisle we were three down.

So what makes everyone so positive about a win today?

Liverpool: Even without Suárez, Sturridge and the Loony, L’pool are capable of beating anyone at Anfield yet they are struggling as this season quickly becomes a disappointment to the Scousers

How could this happen to a team who were so exciting last season? Could it be the loss of just two players? Rodgers made what appeared to be some good signings in summer. He strengthened a dodgy defence, bought quality MF’s and Lambert and Balotelli. It should have improved the squad, instead they look a shadow of last season’s team. Bedding in time, the slow demise of Stevie Me, the loss of Agger, discovering Suarez is irreplaceable all have contributed to Rodger’s problems.

One thing for certain is that Sturridge is becoming a better player each week he is missing with injury. In my opinion he is a poor-man’s Welbeck and when fit the pressure upon him will tell.

Balotell: A bullet avoided or a player we should have signed? No doubt in my mind – the bloke has been awful for Rodgers. Given Liverpool’s use of the T-shirt messages to support a racist, what will they wear to validate another player banned for racist comments?

Unknown-1

And then there is Suarez/Alexis. L’pool wouldn’t sell us Suarez and went to the media to joke about how we only offered £40m +a quid, and then we sign the bloke they desperately want to replace him for 5mill less. It’s Karma, man.

Arsenal: Positives – we are getting players back from injury. Negatives – we are losing players to injury again.

The team almost picks itself with Chambers working alongside BFG. It didn’t work at Stoke but a week’s practice and the return of Debuchy could make the difference.

It will be interesting to see whether Mr Wenger continues with the OG/Welbz combo. I hope so as they look potent.

Food. What do they eat in Liverpool? Well, according to the terrace chant it is dead rat (in your Liverpool slums), but what else? Quite a lot – Lancashire hotpot, Clog and Billycot’s fish pie, Malkin pie, Lancashire cheese, black pudding, Liverpool toffee but as we have been talking about Piebury Corner, let’s have a look at the famous Lancashire Foot.

images

Lancashire Foot is a pie made from puff pastry, cheese and onions. Easy and cheap to make and a tasty dish if you are going down a mine or working in the docks.

What to expect this afternoon? Who knows? Look at the difference between our play against Stoke and Newcastle. Play like last weekend and we will blow them away but the Scousers will not let our midfield run the game and in the (hard to say this) excellent Sterling they have a player who will undoubtedly cause problems.

A strong referee will be needed today as Ox and Alexis will torment their defence and Henderson and Gerrard will look to hurt them – just checked, it is Michael Oliver 😦  😦

Given the thrashing we got on our last trip to Anfield (also reffed by Oliver) I will be happy with a point but much happier with three 😀

COYRRG

 

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235 Responses to All I want for Xmas.

  1. Had to be reposted:

    Eddie @9:36am

    “sorry micky, the days of red boots with high heels are truly over and stockings have been replaced with sensible wooly tights. My underwear now stretches on the knees”

    ha ha ha what an image 🙂

  2. Big Raddy says:

    NB. Won’t happen in my home. If it does there will be a new Mrs Raddy

  3. ha ha Raddy

    Nice post…. what to expect today? I reckon we can get a result, but the ghost of last season could be on the minds of our boys. But Liverpool don’t have the players or the tactics to do the same today. We’ll hurt them on the break… perhaps Sanchez, Welbeck and Giroud up front.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great post Raddy and some quality food research.
    Will Wenger continues with the OG/Welbz combo? I’d say definitely, at least until Theo and Mesut return.
    Is Ox better? Really hope so.
    Who is playing Left Back?

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    “Won’t happen in my home. If it does there will be a new Mrs Raddy”
    Ha ha. Quite right. Rules are rules 🙂

  6. Big Raddy says:

    It could well be another outing for Bellerin at LB unless Monreal has recovered.

  7. Ah! Match day! and a proper game too, Liverpool away, the chance we have all been waiting for. Yep time to make amends for last season’s debacle.

    Excellent pre-match BR, as always.

    Is Gibbs injured? I didn’t think so.

    ————————-TPIG

    Debuchy——-Merts——Chambers——Gibbs

    ————-Flamini——Cazorla——The Ox

    Alexis————–Giroud————Welbeck

    Could we field a much better side than that if everyone was fit? OK, Kos would probably come in for Chambers, but anyone else?

  8. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Nice one Raddy, Yes of course your right about last season’s result, the Arsenal boy’s will still be wincing over that result and it will still be on some of their minds.

    This season, both teams have had their problems , Where Brenda last season thought he was the new Messiah, reality this season has come to bite his arse. He felt that he had made it, and was a good enough manager that he could dispense with his talisman Suarez. Now Brenda got a good price for him and went headlong into the market, to replace a player who had brought Liverpool back as a major player. Brenda of course was brought back to earth very quickly, and now i would think he rues the day, but he made his bed and now has to deal as best he can with what he has.

    On the other hand, The Arsenal had a little spring clean, some in and some out, some loanee’s in, and some out. Has the changes been better for us than last season, i suppose that cannot really be answered, seeing how we have yet to field our first team, even if we knew who it was.

    Arsenal sit in seventh place in the league, out of the CC cup, but still in FA cup and through to the next stage of CL. We have had a nice draw, where some may say we have been lucky, and just lately we have had a few better performances.

    Liverpool today, and it could go either way, Wenger wants revenge after being humiliated, while Brenda i am sure would settle for a point . This game has been built up to be a must win game for both teams, but in reality, both teams are far from what they should be.

    Depending on who is available for both sides, i would hazard a guess and say a draw, will it be a spectacle, i very much doubt it.

  9. Just a reminder that the Monaco away tickets go on sale to the general public today on the AS Monaco website…. the AFC site however, still has no information available on tickets.

  10. Eddie says:

    what a yummy post, thank you Raddy !!
    You are right about Balotteli – Rogers doesn’t know how to use him, but would Wenger? He is still a dickhead with overrated talent. I am glad we didn’t buy him

    We will win today.

  11. Phew! For a minute there, Eddie, I thought you were calling our manager a dickhead. Perish the thought 😀

  12. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, we have to ditch the ‘mentality’ that led us to concede 4 goals in quick succession against pool last term (and dare I say to concede 3 goals at home to Anderlecht). I’m sure the manager and the team will know that they will come out of the blocks at breakneck speed because they know that if we concede a couple early, it could be a similar outcome to last year.

    We have much better quality attacking options than them so we only need to match them in midfield and defence. Their defence isn’t great so I think the game will be won or lost in the midfield.

    Incidentally, are we sure Chambers is available today? – I though he had a 2 match ban (or has he served that already?)

  13. He only got a one match ban Rasp.

  14. stevepalmer1 says:

    Theo will come on at some time, a year out at a hundred grand a week, time to show if he was worth the wait. Theo has a lot to prove to me. Injured for best part of his career he has to come out firing if he wants to stay at Arsenal. He reminds me of that enigma Diaby just 2 seasons out injured so far, and we still lack a holding midfielder. Flamoney gets flack every game but here we have a player worth his money.

  15. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha matchday. lovely stuff Raddy. 🙂

    away to Pool as well. Revenge is in the air! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    the food theme is lovely. what with the Piebury offerings! however, mind is on revenge.

    Nervous? Yes, a little bit. 😛 COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. arnie says:

    off topic, but worth a read.

  17. arnie says:

    SOS. In moderation! 😦

  18. Rasp, After that I have only one thing to say…Ban Christmas!!!

  19. Rasp says:

    You not a fan of the fuller figured lady then Norfolk? 😆

    I’ve let you out arnie 🙂

  20. poigmothoin says:

    Rasp, that video, words I have none. 🙂

  21. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks Raddish !.

    Must win game !. 😀

    I know we all hate The Spuds, but I cant stand Scousers either, fcuking robbing bastards !…….I know coming from an East End geezer that sounds a bit rich, but them bastards train `em from young !…we had a little Scouser come around and I offered the git to open an advent calendar door for a choccy !….NO !, this little fcuker insisted on breaking through the back of the calendar to pinch one !.

    A Scouse baby pacifier !.

  22. The Cockie Monster says:

    Scouse toddler getting ready to break into a crèche !.

  23. The Cockie Monster says:

    Scouse kid looking after your car !.

  24. The Cockie Monster says:

    Liverpool Football Club Membership ID card !.

  25. The Cockie Monster says:

    Scouse Police Identification Parade !.

  26. The Cockie Monster says:

    Scouse Key Ring !.

  27. The Cockie Monster says:

    Scouse Low Cost accommodation !.

  28. The Cockie Monster says:

    Na na na na na naa !

  29. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nervous……yes…..hope the players aren’t.

    Does Areene bring it up in the week that’s what is like to know.

    Obviously the players won’t have forgotten it but the question is so you go over it or try to keep it out of their minds, pyscholgical minefield this one. And beyond any of us to know what would be best to do asi assume we all have different theories.

    I think I would side on the part that keeps it out of their minds the most, and perhaps reiterate that losing a goal early means diddly squat or at least doesn’t mean you have to go tear arsong up the pitch to try and get it back immediately.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Terrific vid 😀

  31. Eddie says:

    I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone’s Sunday so I went to buy more shoes

    feck that, I would break my neck wearing those

  32. The Cockie Monster says:

    Here you go Eddie !…..my Christmas Present to you !……A Knuckle Duster hand bag made from my own hair !.

  33. arnie says:

    nice stuff, Cockie. 🙂 But Rasp still takes away the prize with that vid! 😛

  34. arnie says:

    Liverpool XI: Jones, Toure, Skrtel, Sakho, Lucas, Henderson, Markovic, Coutinho, Gerrard, Lallana, Sterling.

    Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Gibbs, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud, Welbeck.

  35. Rasp says:

    Hmmm, they’re physically stronger than us in midfield (not more skillful), but when you look at the bench you see we don’t have any meatier options, so we have to play with our heads and win freekicks if their challenges are OTT.

  36. arnie says:

    Sunderland score. 🙂

  37. chas mobile says:

    Excellent, BR.

    Cmon you yellows.

  38. Gööner In Exile says:

    So match up will be what?

    Flamini vs Coutinho
    Gerard vs Ox
    Santi vs Lucas

    Having looked at their starting line up again I can’t quite work out whether it’s 3-4-3 or 3-5-2.

    I guess the 3 at the back suits us as we have Welly and Alexis to stretch them out and then dive in field or leave Ollie 1 on 1 in the air.

    The biggest fear will be fullbacks leaving their posts, I’d like to see us in a very compact and defensive 5 and Ox just in front feeding Santi and Alexis.

    The problem will come if they press us high and we can’t find an out ball.

  39. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, do you think we have it in us to go into lockdown mode (but definitely not by defending deep) if we are 2 up with 20 minutes to go?

    I think we often invite teams to come on to us when we try to protect a lead rather than try to control possession when their legs are tiring.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nearly ready for the off
    Very excited by this one
    Plugging in now which means over onto the dodgy laptop for commenting

  41. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp agreed, one of our problems is when trying to close out games, we seem to go in to this ultra defensive mode, whereas what we really need to do is get the ball go up the pitch but just keep it without trying anything ambitious.

  42. Rasp says:

    I have a feeling that Welby may well make his mark on this game – he seems to love a physical challenge and he probably feels he should have had one or two more goals recently ……. here’s hoping … no red cards (for Arsenal) and no injuries.

  43. Rasp says:

    Agree 100% GiE, I’m hoping that will happen as we grow in confidence.

  44. So who’s on the sofa…. I’ll reek the place out smelling of booze and I may nod off 🙂

  45. Eddie says:

    I love when they sing the ‘you’ll never walk alone, awesome’

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    Not settled yet then? Need to get hold of the ball, and not really got the personnel to do it at the moment.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    We have been under the cosh in the first 15 mins.

    Flamini gets his customary booking for his first tackle.

  48. I’m not impressed with Debooshys mohican… ffs he’s 29

  49. Rasp says:

    I don’t mind them having t possession at this stage as long as we are tight and not conceding. Dominating without scoring often plays against a team later in the game.

  50. Gööner In Exile says:

    Have a feeling the problem may be that our defence are not squeezing the play because they are worried about the threat of pace in behind, could see Flamster urging those behind him to come up the pitch.

  51. Gööner In Exile says:

    NB you wouldn’t like to see my brother at the moment, he has just gone all premier league with his hair…….aged 40

  52. Eddie says:

    Admittedly not the most exciting game of the season

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Unpleasant watching one of The Invincibles playing against us

  54. Gööner In Exile says:

    Welly is really putting a shift in across the top but unfortunately its wasted work, no shape to the midfield at all.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    So much space in our midfield which is hardly surprising

  56. Rasp says:

    The BBC site says we’ve only had 28% possession!

  57. 30 minutes gone and still 0-0 …. that’s a result

  58. Gööner In Exile says:

    Giroud shocking pass to Gibbs but you have to ask why he is needed in there to start building the possession.

  59. Rasp says:

    Sounds like our midfield isn’t functioning again – what is the answer?

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    Top save Szczesny

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Arteta, Ozil and Ramsey are the answer

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp squeeze the play a bit more, bypass it with the ball and give it time to get up the pitch, i think our defence is too deep. Stems back to our earlier discussion

  63. Rasp says:

    I’m at work so following text commentary, do we look like we are biding our time or clinging on?

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chambers is looking shakier each week, could do with a rest.

  65. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, is there any sign that the players are being urged to push up?

  66. Rasp says:

    I have thought that Chambers has been looking a bit flaky recently. Can’t blame him he’s only 19 but maybe Debuchy at CB would have been a safer bet. Bellerin is not on the bench – is he injured?

  67. Rasp says:

    We have that extra bit of quality up front with Alexis, he is a match winner, we just need him to be given half a chance. Are they marking him out of the game?

  68. Eddie says:

    Pool may not look good on paper, but they are the better team

  69. Big Raddy says:

    What a cheat Lallana is. Wasn’t even a foul by Flamini

  70. Rasp says:

    0 – 0 at half time is perfectly acceptable – concentrate guys and see the half out.

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well that was coming

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Bugger. Lovely finish though. No chance for TPIG.

  73. Gööner In Exile says:

    We are simply not playing, maybe that’ll give the players a kick up the backside

  74. Gööner In Exile says:

    Deboooooooooooooooosh!

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Get IN.

    Our first attempt on target!!

  76. Eddie says:

    I love debs mohican !!!!

  77. whar a response… that will take the wind out of pool

  78. Eddie

    It’s looking a bit better to me now ha ha ha

  79. Rasp says:

    Hahaaa … reprieve 😛

  80. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for the pm raddy. We are lucky to be on level terms at half time. Other than that i think we were absolutely dire in that half. How many times do you give a sloppy pass and surrender posession in dangerous areas before you wake up and sharpen up?

  81. One shot on target and one goal……….. is that a first for us 🙂

  82. LB says:

    Oh for crying out loud, just swap Sanchez and Oxlaide-Chamberlain.

  83. Eddie says:

    Sanchez cannot play, they just about let him breath

  84. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m thinking the same thing GoonerB.

    Game is passing Flamini by and he is in danger of a second yellow as they will continue to target him, and as they’re normally running at pace when he fouls them he is walking a tightrope which I don’t think he can stay on.

    Thing is what are the other options?

    Firstly I’d probably replace Flamini with Coq.

    The front three are isolated so I’d also drop Alexis into the hole and let Ox, Santi and Coq sort the defensive midfield out.

    Then I’d hook one of Ollie or Welly, Ollie looks heavy legged today, and put Theo up.

  85. stevepalmer1 says:

    When were chased down we panic, giving the ball away nearly all the time. When we try to clear a ball, they never have an idea where the balls going.

    This referee is doing the job the FA appointed him to do, book as many Arsenal players as you can for anything and let Liverpool get away with everything.

    Perhaps he couldn’t get his whistle to his mouth quick enough for Debuchy’s goal he could get a telling off for that

  86. Gööner In Exile says:

    Or the other more simple alternative is remove one of Ox or Santi and put Coq on, then we have 5 defenders and 5 attackers.

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    lucky to be 1-1
    hopefully we can change things
    I’d olly off and get coquelin on

  88. Big Raddy says:

    We have to stop giving cheap free kicks away around our area.

    Better from Cazorla

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    ……welbeck
    santi sanchez ox
    …..flam coq

    anyway..come on you mighty gunners

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    How can the ref wave play on and when advantage lost only a second later not call it back for the initial offence?

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    5 attackers, exile. genius 🙂

  92. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m not even sure thats a foul, surely you can’t just stop running and take a free kick, its not basketball?

  93. GoonerB says:

    Agree gie. The ref is dishing out cards too easily. Flam is likely to get a 2nd yellow. What about bellerin to rb debuchy to cb and chambers into flams role? Also agree about theo for ollie.

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Only thing OG has done in the game is injure Skertl

  95. GoonerB

    I think Deboosh is playing CB already and chambers is atRB

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Why was Debuchy booked and not Skertl for a similar foul?

  97. GoonerB says:

    Sanchez is having a bad day at the office so far. His deliveries have been woeful.

  98. Big Raddy says:

    What is wrong with the linesman? I can understand the ref not seeing Sterling’s handball but not the assistant who is 5 yards away

  99. Gööner In Exile says:

    Get in!

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Bllody hell.

    Two shots on target two goals. Lovely finish from OG

  101. GoonerB says:

    Gie, what are you on about, swapping ollie for theo? Never heard anything so ridiculous 🙂

  102. Big Raddy says:

    anyone know who is on the bench?

  103. GoonerB says:

    I cant shake the feeling we need a third to win it.

  104. Game is really opening up now, with Pool pushing forward we could easily nick another

  105. Eddie says:

    Maybe all our players should get a mohican

  106. GoonerB says:

    Wenger needs to freshen it up. Dont wait too long arsene

  107. ha ha ha Eddie……… if they did I would do the same 🙂

  108. Sanchez’s corners today are pitiful

  109. GoonerB says:

    I think now i woukd swap sanchez for theo.

  110. Why take Giroud off?????

  111. There’s gonna be a lot of added time…… bum squeeks

  112. Rasp says:

    Why have we stopped pressing, we’re defending too deep

  113. Gööner In Exile says:

    Coqs impresed me since he has been on.

    Bye bye Borini! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  114. Rasp says:

    This is jusr what I didnt want to see, defending deep and inviting them on to us. Borini sent off

  115. Gööner In Exile says:

    Cazorla has his rack out!

  116. Gööner In Exile says:

    Jesse look at the scrape under his nipple, Eddie you’re in for the salt bath

  117. Rasp says:

    Come on boys, show your mettle

  118. GoonerB says:

    Which team is down to 10 men?

  119. Rasp says:

    They know how to take a corner, this team just doesnt have what it takes, paper thin confidence 😦

  120. Gööner In Exile says:

    To be fair we haven’t deserved anything

    Szczesny has been our best player

  121. GoonerB says:

    There most dangerous player at set pieces not marked and allowed a free run.

  122. Big Raddy says:

    How stupid is that???

    Why can’t we hold an effing lead.

  123. Rasp says:

    Very poor defending again

  124. Gööner In Exile says:

    Last chance saloon!

  125. Rasp says:

    Why did Cazorla shoot from there?

  126. Big Raddy says:

    I said I would take a point so I should be satisfied but it feels like two points thrown away.

    That said, Liverpool certainly deserved a point and were the better team on the night

  127. Gööner In Exile says:

    Seconds running out i guess Rasp, don’t know when you’ll hear the whistle, get the shot off, and to be honest he was probably the only finisher left on the pitch if Welly couldn’t break through of his man.

  128. Gööner In Exile says:

    I really don’t have the feeling that we threw away 2 points, yes they got a goal, but i don’t think i felt at any time during the second half that we were anywhere near composed enough to get away with it.

    Too many players not on form today. Probably only Santi (when he got the ball) Gibbs, Debuchy and my man off the match Szczesny can really walk off knowing they left it on the pitch.

  129. Rasp says:

    Yes true GiE, had it been earlier in the game no doubt he’d have kept going. Still, 2:2 is a better result than last season

  130. GoonerB says:

    Even worse raddy. Why cant we hold an effing lead against 10 men?

  131. fatgingergooner says:

    Another big game we haven’t turned up for. Lucky for us that Liverpool are awful.

    Still, a draw’s not a bad result.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh massive bollocks
    I was about to start believing in that luck stuff, what with getting a win playing so badly.
    Given the performance, the result is a bonus I suppose, but still feels like a loss

  133. Rasp says:

    I still maintain the midfield is the problem

  134. Gööner In Exile says:

    Look I don’t think we played well….but in reality that’s the kind of performance away from home most fans have asked for…not committing too many men forward, not bothering with possession just trying to score on the break etc etc etc.

    I judge it as a bad performance because we did the above.

    We looked best when Gibbs was higher when the whole team were further up the pitch, when players were making risky attempts at interceptions. But because of the whole mindset to the game those moments were few and far between.

    We need reinforcements in the middle of the park. But if be keen to give Coquelim the next two games. If we are in need of another holding midfielder and a centre back, I’d rather go all out for the defender and keep Coquelim todo the job in there. You never know he might surprise us. He is good on the ball and most importantly quicker than Flamini, with a proper centre back pair behind him rather than youth or a right back we may do ok.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    The defending for their equalizer was not exactly top notch, but over the course of the game, you’re right, we were comepletely overrun in the middle and did nothing about it. With that kind of midfield supremacy, it was only time before our defence would be breached.
    Very poor from Arsene not to change things after about 20 mins of the first half I thought.

  136. arnie says:

    hmmm. a point away at Anfield is a point gained, I guess. 🙂

    Szcz my MOTM, despite the two goals. Says something, I guess.

    Feels like robbery, though. 😦

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, I’ve had some fresh air, and revised my opinion.
    We were very, very lucky. Should have been down at the break, so given all that, a draw is a great result.

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    Defo on the MOMT, and hopefully our next GK will have an easier name to spell

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eddie
    If those are your ankles then you, and we, can all relax. There is absolutely no chance you are a lezzo 🙂

  140. RockyLives says:

    Pretty poor performance. We were outplayed in midfield all game (even though Santi was arguably MOTM). Just shows how we can cope without Arteta, or Ramsey, or Ozil, or Rosicky, or Wilshere… but not all at once.

    My main beef is that we gave away possession for too stupidly for the entire 99 minutes. OG’s sloppy pass led to their first goal and the amount of times he, Sanchez, Welbz and Oxo in particular gave the ball away by trying lazy flicks or over-ambitious passes when not under pressure was pretty shocking.

    GiE
    “that’s the kind of performance away from home most fans have asked for…not committing too many men forward, not bothering with possession” – I think we’ve been asking for the first half of that sentence, I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone (on AA at least) say we shouldn’t bother with possession. People have been calling for to not commit too many men forward precisely so we can control possession more. Today we didn’t over commit, but our inability to string three passes together cost us.

  141. RockyLives says:

    I thought Szcz had a terrific game.

  142. stevepalmer1 says:

    Martinez let 3 in Czezesney let 2 in i suppose we have to suffer Ospina now.

    6’7” Mertsacker ducked, well would you believe it. What a plank oh how i love zonal

  143. Aaron says:

    NO midfield continuity at all! Could not string 3+ passes together the whole game.
    Disgraceful defending on last corner. What is the hell is the BFG ducking for? The hole in all the yellow shirts was like 2 meters of space. Seriously???
    Just goes to show how much we need Mesut, Rambo and Arteta to make our team go purrrrrrr.
    Please let the team be healthy after break, and the means Kos too, then we might see something of a comeback…Every year the same crap in Dec…

  144. VCC says:

    Rocky6:36…….some one else is starting to smell the roses.

    When Oh, When, will you guys see what’s glaringly in front of your eyes.

    I think Rasp has got his head out of the sand.

  145. GoonerB says:

    Personally I have seen more positives in games we have lost than that one. Old problems again resurface with defending set pieces and being a threat at corners ourselves. These are such old problems that one really has to conclude that Arsene will never address them, or at best sees no need to.

    We were lucky to get the draw but I take very little solice in that. Barring a couple of decent wins this season the fact remains IMO that we look a completely disjointed bunch of individuals. We look like an unbalanced squad that is top heavy with many similar players. I really feel we have regressed from last year. I think the squad needs a sizeable overhaul to get the balance right again but that does require a ruthless manager who will get rid of certain players, possibly even some of the bigger names, and I am not sure arsene has that ruthless streak.

    There are games when Ollie and the BFG look good but I remain convinced that their lack of pace costs us in many games. I think in defence it completely alters how we set up in terms of how deep or high we pitch the defensive line and that then has a knock on effect through the team. The players in front of the defence end up coming deep themselves and then there is no-one near Ollie to work off him when the ball is played to him. His lack of pace means he can never go it alone and will rarely move from the centre to receive the ball in wider channels.

    A lot needs to be addressed IMO and I hope Arsene has the ruthless edge to do it.

  146. RockyLives says:

    Hiya Vics
    To be honest I out our poor performance mostly down to the discontinuity caused by having so many first choice MFs missing…

  147. VCC says:

    Unstable. Hi Ya.

    I think that’s a cop out buddy. We are lacking leadership that is glaringly obvious.

    That can only be put down to our Manager.

  148. GoonerB says:

    Under normal circumstances a draw at anfield would be an acceptable result but this really is a struggling Liverpool that lost their truly world class player in the summer and played with no recognised striker. We cannot look at this in the traditional way we would for Anfield away and we, who haven’t had any major upheavel in the summer, should have been putting them to the sword.

    The same goes for the Utd game IMO as well, and if we can’t beat these teams at this time when we entered the season far more settled and with less upheavel then it suggests we are no-where near where we would all like to believe we are. These clubs, Utd in particular, will address there weaknesses and get stronger again. Where does that leave us then?

  149. Eddie says:

    The game had all the hallmarks of 2 mid table teams duel, hardly anything to write home about

  150. Eddie says:

    No micky, not mine. I went to a shop and asked strangers to let me take photos of their legs so I can show them them on an arsenal blog to some guys who were upset about me wearing doc martens. Of course anyone would understand that and pose for a photo 🙂

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GB and Ankles Eddie

    We can definitely look at the injury list and hope for better things, but as for assembling them in the right order, and adapting to changing patterns during a game, well, that’s another matter.

    I cannot understand why Arsene did nothing. Pool should have been out of sight given their overwhelming superiority and dominance of the midfield.

    I believe it will be down to luck more than judgement, and maybe that’s now on our side, because it certainly was today.

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ha ha Eddie

    Well who knows. I reckon there are one or two on here who would do exactly that 🙂

    Anyway, congratulations on having splendid ankles 🙂

  153. Gööner In Exile says:

    GoonerB we did to United what Liverpool did to us today and to be fair to United last week, they came out with a point today and 0 last week as we did against United.

    In games like today I find it hard to blame anyone but the players. As they didn’t create, and didn’t respect possession.

    Rocky in my view asking our players to stay back and hit teams on the break means we will give up possession more often than keep it.

    I asked before the game how would I have coached the team this week, focus on it forget it, whatever we did it would seem the players couldn’t get last season out of their heads and played as such.

    Alexis had a bad day at the office as did Ollie and Welly but in reality they had very few options all game because we were scared by Sterlings pace and didn’t want to get caught high, and whilst they often were picking up the ball and running it was rarely beyond us they were normally running at us. That’s amarked change from last season.

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fair points Exile, but if you were the manager, would you have changed things around at say 30 mins because we were getting totally overrun?

  155. Eddie says:

    What upset me today was the whole team defending and as a result few good chances to counter attack were wasted. Before they were all charging attacking and leaving too few defenders and now they do the exact opposite. They really need a leader

  156. Big Raddy says:

    We may have been outplayed but nonetheless should have won. The defending for a very late corner was abysmal-

    Alexis had his worst game in the Arsenal shirt on a day when we needed him. Apart from the goal OG was pisspoor.

    I thought Flamini played well under difficult circumstances.

    QPR at home then WHA & S’ton away. Could get nasty if we play like we did today.

  157. GoonerB says:

    GIE I do get the similarities but those 2 teams are traditional rivals but who are not on form. We are not on form either but I feel they maybe have more justifiable reasons for this. One team lost its world class striker and the other has had major management upheavel.

    I felt that we had a big opportunity to really move on this year and establish ourselves as title contenders. I really don’t feel that we should be comparing ourselves with a struggling Utd and Liverpool but should be comparing ourselves with Chelsea and City but we aren’t. I agree with Eddie that the playing side of things all feels very mid-tablish at the moment but with a squad that looks more top of the table or thereabouts.

    Ignoring the back 4 today we had a team that boasted Welbeck, Sanchez, Giroud, AOC, Cazorla. All top internationals that most of us highly rate. How is it that they are playing collectively so poorly and why is it that our teams have done this so often this season despite looking strong on paper?

    Yes I blame the players for poor performances but it is the manager that selects who plays with who and instructs them how he wants them to play and ensures they are psychologically ready. Should we consistently blame the players and not the manager? If so then what actually is the managers job if he has very little responsibility for matchday performances?

    The majority of us on here have a great deal of personal attachment to AW which is built on the fantastic job he has overseen through the years and the success he has achieved in the past. This possibly builds a sentimental outlook where past achievements somehow make up for any current negative aspects, almost like a collection of get out of jail free cards.

    If you step back and look at our summer transfer window and how we have playing this season and then imagine that it has not been Arsene Wenger in charge but say david Moyes, how would you feel about it then? Would your view on where the responsibility lies be different?

  158. stevepalmer1 says:

    Before anybody falls out of their chairs, I believe that we should take a look at the whole picture, Granted we produced another lack lustre performance, not our first this season, and probably not our last.

    We are in the Champions league still and we have a relatively good draw, we seem to lift our performances in this competition and law of averages swings to a win at some time. This season could be just that time.

    I like to think that the premier much like eufa and fifa is run by corrupt organisations, but somebody has to come out winning in the end, Maybe our turn has come on their list.

    As we all know, by watching the amount of games we do, decisions which we cannot believe still come every week, with all the technology that’s available today and the only modern aid we have is touchline technology which hasn’t been used for an age,

    Technology is not being used to aid the right decisions, because they wont be able to control who wins and who loses. Dont think for one moment that the best team wins because its perfectly clear that they don’t.

    Big money sports are never as simple as winner takes all, so a helping hand here or there by officials that have purpously been assigned, make sure that the leagues are run in the ways they want them too.

    Sep Blatter is under scrutiny as he is adjudged to be on the take, If the top man in FIFA is under a watchful eye, and his right hand man who has resigned after being accused of taking bribes, shows that other organisations also could be corrupt,

    Watching the performances of Arsenal this season and witnessing some of the worst play i have watched in years , and we are still in touching distance of one of the top 4 places, only convinces me that we are being played.

  159. Gööner In Exile says:

    GoonerB I will always judge the manager on whatever squad he has available on any given day. I will also look at the performance of the players.

    Uniteds injury crisis is much mentioned in national media, as is Liverpools present state, and what about ours? Are you really judging this seasons results fairly if you don’t take them into account.

    I would ask three questions:

    1) have we played the same 11 in any two consecutive PL matches
    2) have any decisions to rotate been solely down to the manager (ie dropping someone)?
    3) how many players would we need in our squad to get over the issue without weakening the team?

    I have no idea what budget Arsene works on within any given transfer window but his comments today suggest he is annoyed by the Scrooge tag.

  160. GoonerB says:

    You are right GIE that injuries will of course have some bearing but many of our poor showings have been when we have had a good side out. Also I find it difficult to deflect blame in performances due to injuries as this is a problem we have had for some time, so it could be argued that there has been some level of negligence in addressing this issue that constantly seems to undermine us. Or is it that we are really just that repetitively unlucky? Some of the areas of the team where the injuries have hit hardest are also areas where most people expected us to recruit further in and didn’t, so again possibly another self inflicted wound rather than just pure bad luck.

    Don’t get me wrong GIE I still think AW does a lot right but after years of feeling he had us punch above our weight I currently feel we are performing well below the level that we should with the players we have.

    Off to bed now but will catch up tomorrow if you put any more thoughts up GIE.

  161. gabe says:

    I have to agree with gie. GoonerB as far the Wenger moyes comparison are you serious? did moyes win the fa cup last year? did moyes coach for 1 , 000 games like arsene did. Wenger coached the invincibles he helped built a global brand who else did certainly not moyes Wenger 4 life! Remember we got 2 trophies already more than any other epl team! We did the fa cup community shield double.

  162. GoonerB says:

    Gabe I wasn’t making a direct comparison of Wenger and Moyes in that way. My point was if it was another manager overseeing these performances, one that we are not as emotionally and sentimentally attached to as we are with Wenger, would your perception of how much blame lies with the manager for these performances be different? Do you give AW more leeway than you would if another manager had been in charge since June?

    Moyes just happened to be one that popped into my head but take your pick from any, even more celebrated managers like Ancelotti or Simeone. If they had been in charge with Anderlecht and some of the other bad performances would you be blaming them more for these performances than you do with Wenger? Would you be thinking more that they are underperforming as a manager? Does Arsene get more leeway with many fans than another would purely because of the past?

  163. Gööner In Exile says:

    I get where you’re coming from GoonerB, I just think I’m waiting for a fully fit squad. And hey maybe I’ll be waiting forever for that. We have appointed a fitness/physio guru to move us forward in that area.

    Of our injuries this year we have
    Ozil chipped bone in knee
    Debuchy ankle ligaments done by the turf
    Giroud breaking a leg blocking a ball
    Jack another ankle knock from a mistimed tackle
    Koscielny Tendonitis
    Szczesny collision

    Only Arteta and Rambo off the top of my head have suffered from longish term muscle
    strains.

    Is that bad luck? I think it probably is.

    And as I say the numbers we would realistically need in the squad to cope without noticing would have us paying far more in wages.

    Recently I did a comparison of Chelsea and us, up to the point of done it Arsenal had used close to 20 players with only Szczesny and BFG over 10 games. Chelsea had used about 15 with most starting all games.

    That’s a huge difference and has stalled our start to the season. We have had to incorporate 3 new signings into the team without any consistency around them, I’d say to still be in with a shout of 4th is the best we could have hoped for given the injury toll.

  164. Gööner In Exile says:

    Phil Neville does a better job of explaining why our midfield didn’t work today. I tried above but heres what someine with far greater knowledge of the game thought:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30571842

  165. arnie says:

    dear, oh dear! 😦 I agree with most of the views expressed above.

    why were we so poor today? I dont know, does anyone?

    if we have to wait for a fully fit first team, we may have to wait another 3 years. at any point one should expect two first choice to be unfit. Two other good guys have to step up to the job. that is the nature of the job. hence, injuries are a poor excuse.

    not being able to string together 3 passes is unpardonable. giving away possession in dangerous areas is piss poor.

    CL is our best bet this year. The LUCK factor appears to have turned in our favour, which is the only piece of good news

  166. chas says:

  167. chas says:

  168. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning to anybody who is up,
    Having slept on it overnight, i find myself still annoyed as i was watching the game, I have to say on mornings like this i look for reasons where i can blame what has happened.

    Now no body likes to pick out certain players and make them the scape goats, as football is about teamwork tactics and enthusiasm. Skill also has to come into it as well, and of course Managing as well.

    I find this morning with a clear head and my passion subdued that i find it difficult to actually blame our performance on any one person, Unlike the Liverpool Pundits after the match.

    Watching and Listening to the Liverpool show with supporters Belamy and Redknapp who found their get out of jail card in Liverpool defender Skrtle. These Pundits blamed Skrtle for allowing Arsenal defender Debuchey to get his head on the final ball to draw level before half time.

    While Arsenals token pundit, ex Player Alan Smith was almost silent, the Liverpool supporters took over and pointed out how well Liverpool had played and how their team had dominated play.

    I think its fair to say that Arsenal was second best on the day, outplayed and outfought and out managed. Arsene Wenger although looking frustrated was out of idea’s on the touchline,

    The Arsenal team found it impossible to string passes together, talented players who right through the game gave the ball away in fact the stat men would probably be able to say that we gifted them more passes than we made to ourselves.

    Before the game the talk was about how we managed to secure Alexis Sanchez signature who Liverpool actually wanted, but on the day Sanchez was a shadow of the player he has been, Sanchez of course wasn’t on his own as many Arsenal men were absolutely woeful.

    Of course we could blame our injury list as being the reason, but of course as this has been Ongoing for a few seasons now, and that some of our players have been injured continuously for over a season and in one players case two seasons, That cannot be put down as a reason because time was there to replace these absentee’s.

    Arsenal was a pathetic example of an overrun team. Liverpool was better on the day but they still were a long way off of top form, The same fixture last season they absolutely hammered us, and still we turn up a season later, and although the score was better our play wasn’t.

    Arsenal have problems a lot of problems and Arsene cannot for the life of him find the solution, He seems unable to keep his players fit, and also seems to pick players who give the ball away. Liverpool wasn’t at their best, but they didn’t need to be to subdue us, Points shared on the day but it has to be said i don’t know how,

  169. chas says:

  170. chas says:

  171. chas says:

  172. chas says:

  173. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Head in Sand 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Bukowski. Have all his books. Top Man. Real Man. “Cat’s Have Style” is one of his, which is one I’ve mentioned here a few times.

    Bloody hell, that non view

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just read Gary Neville’s analysis from Exile at 2:15

    This is the most telling line

    “Arsenal’s midfield was overrun at times in their 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday but you cannot blame any of the Gunners players for that – credit has to go to Reds manager Brendan Rodgers for the way he set his side up.”

    He also says “It took Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger until half-time but he did eventually stop Liverpool from dominating quite as much” and

    “Liverpool could have had the game won by half-time”

    Exactly my points from yesterday. Why oh why was nothing done?

  175. Good morning campers

    I’m not sure about there not being luck involved in football. Liverpool were lucky yesterday to come away with a point. Lucky that Skrtel was injured, lucky that the injury added six minutes to the game, lucky that it was then Skrtel who got the goal in the 6th minute of added time and lucky that because of Skrtels head bandaging he was able to make such a powerful header.

  176. Eddie says:

    Phil Neville actually, the bro of Gorgeous Gary 🙂

    I have a plan and aim for the rest of the season. Spurs or ManU win 4th spot, but we win the CL, happy days 🙂

  177. Eddie says:

    micky – nothing was done because Wenger knows as much about footy as I, and didn’t see the Flamini’s struggles at all. I could see Pool players up-our-bums but I was sure it was to stop Sanchez from playing.

    nb – Pool lucky to get a point??? I think not, I think we were lucky to draw

  178. Eddie says:

    that’s an awful statue, hardly looks like CR at atll

  179. arnie says:

    motning all.

    wake up to the disappointment that everyone other than Chas is discussing footie in the motning batner. Even Micky. How vry disappointing! 😛

    I have nothing to say. So, let me be quietly contemplative.

  180. ha ha ha Eddie, that statue is bad in so many ways, the hands are too large and his legs are too short. Spanish artists aren’t very good… just look at this restoration of a painting of Christ:

  181. Eddie says:

    OMG, Jeez looks like an ape! I’d say it was an act of terrorism

  182. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ha ha ha that restoration 🙂

  183. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, that restoration looks like my Uncle Felix 69.

    Quite amusing really, coz when people first see him they automaticaly gasp “oh christ”

  184. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Lucky you Transplant, looks like my mother in law

  185. ha ha ha Micky

    My dad always told me to look at the personality and looks of any prospective mother in law before marrying the daughter, unfortunately I often forgot about the advice 🙂

  186. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha Micky

    Are you sure your not suffering from translucent wretchidness Micky. The wife declares “My mothers coming over darling”, instant response “oh christ”

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    NB
    I know this will sound like I married a Lezzo, but ‘er indoors takes after her father, who is a manly 6′ 5″, and yet she got away with looking very feminine albeit 6’ 1″.
    To coin a phrase of Transplant’s, he mother looks like Mick McManus. Transplant jokes. I do not. It is a very unpleasant site, and she sits nowhere near me while I’m eating.

  188. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Does she like naked hairy middle aged men Micky? I quickly found that mine found my excuse for feeling hot exhasuting so no longer visits.

    Nobody else does either

  189. Micky

    Does she wear DM’s and blue tracksuit bottoms together?

  190. The new Lesbo look for 2015

  191. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Still unhappy about yesterday. We took an undeserved lead and yet again couldn’t hold it.

    It could be said that had Kos been playing we would have won but he wasn’t. The lack of CB cover is AW’s responsibility.

    And it was AW’s team set up which allowed a very good Arsenal team get battered in the first half. The personnel was good enough, the tactics weren’t.

  192. oh Raddy

    Stop moaning 🙂

    Don’t we always wish that we can play badly and still get a result

  193. Big Raddy says:

    NB. 😀

    You young chaps will miss your in-laws when they “move on”.

    I have had a number of in-laws and been very lucky to have liked them all. The Welsh ones were a little strange but what can one expect of the Welsh?

    Thinking of weird and Welsh …. where is Sheepshagger?

  194. Big Raddy says:

    NB. It has been raining here non-stop for 72 hours – I have every right to bitch

  195. My ex-French wifes mother is Spanish………. she hated me when I was married to her daughter, but since the divorce and now several new boyfriends, she treats me like royalty. Hindsight is a wonderful thing 🙂

  196. Big Raddy says:

    Where’s Kelsey the post match king?

  197. Sorry to hear that Raddy…….. perhaps that’s why I’m being so positive, glorious sunshine here, blue sky and warm, very unseasonal for Provence 🙂
    I’m getting loadsa Vitamin D

  198. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Holy Crap Raddy
    You married a Walesian? That’s where the Druidery comes from then.

  199. Rasp says:

    Morning all, any offers of a few feelings / a rant / some tactical bollix …. or something different for today?

    If you want a topic, how about …… ‘Midfield Vacuum’ …or ….. why we need a Mr Arsenal on the pitch 😦

  200. MickyDidIt89 says:

    sp Druidry ? Don’t know or care 🙂

  201. MickyDidIt89 says:

    On the pitch? Rasp
    How about one next to it 🙂

  202. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m not penning one, because none of GN5, Exile or LB would ever speak to me again 🙂

  203. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky, we all know that the guy next to it is not going to change – My epiphany post looks a bit stooopid now 😦

  204. Big Raddy says:

    Neither am I. I hog the posts as it is

    Druidry runs in my family. No idea why – possibly it is the clothes and the sacrificial virgins which attracts (though finding a virgin over 18 has become a challenge).

  205. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    I have many beefs, but the biggest is this.
    I was really enjoying watching Danny love his football for both Arsenal and England. Finally through the middle. Then Olly came back, and he’s shunted out left.
    The left side slot is reserved specifically for players who Arsene does not know what to do with.

  206. Rasp says:

    Here’s your title then Micky … Arsenal left out in the cold …..

    I guess you could say that having TH14 and Bobby operating principally from the left was an impossible act to follow. If I could reincarnate any player from the past to pull this team together it would be PV4

  207. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    None of those things matter to me. It is simply that if something is wrong, at least effing try, and do something about it.

  208. Rasp says:

    Maybe ‘Mind the gaps’ would be appropriate today since we seemed to have gaps all over the pitch at times yesterday. Nothing linking the defence to the midfield and nothing linking the midfield to the attack. Someone said we would have won that game with kozzer yesterday … maybe so, but you could also say the same about Arteta.

  209. Rasp

    You seem to have written the post already…. go for it 🙂

  210. stevepalmer1 says:

    It has to be said, that i find that this seasons performances, has been a pressure re leaving experience that i have not felt for many years.

    For many years at Christmas time, i usually still expect Arsenal FC to mount a challenge and push their way into the top 4 by the end of the season. This season has been different, from the start of the season till now has been disappointing to say the least.

    Although our managing team did buy 5 players which exceeded most supporters dreams, the way the team has performed has been very disappointing.

    Our injury list for all of this season is embarrassing, never to have had a chance of picking a team with all players available is pathetic enough but to have players who have played half a game in 2 seasons is mind boggling.

    Now of course players cannot be held responsible for their injuries, but it also has to be said that they must be able to see that they are not actually footballers why they are injured.

    That being said, its not as if Arsenal has not seen that this injury problem is getting worse and did take steps to improve numbers, but of course all it has done is actually to make it worse.

    Arsenal are in sixth position, how they are that high i honestly don’t know, but as said my hopes of a top 4 position has diminished much like Arsenals play.

    Seeing clubs like West Ham and Southampton above us, and seeing how hard they have worked, has convinced me that we are in a position in the league that we could well finish in.

    Management must take responsibility for that as they Knew from years of football knowledge that Diaby was never a player to rely on, but still they left this position with slender cover.

    Our centre back position has also been compromised , selling our Captain to Barcelona also left the position vulnerable so only they can be to blame.

    Arsenal have been a shadow of their former selves, with many performances that have shown very little desire, yes many talk a good game but where it matters on the field of play they have not showered themselves in glory.

    Supporters have mixed feelings about our manager when we win he is the right man, but when we lose maybe its time for him to go. They don’t know what to expect from one week to another as the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome seems to take over.

    This season with injuries seems written off in my mind, can we recover i suspect not, even when we have players fit our manager lets them sit the pine while watching us take a battering, is he worried that these fragile players will not come out of a battle unscathed i don’t know , all i do know is that in my mind we are no longer a top 4 team.

  211. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s have a day of smut and Christmas cheer 🙂

  212. Rasp says:

    I really don’t think we had the personnel available to do much different yesterday although I agree with GiE that we should have worked with Coquelin to play alongside Flamini to add pace to our defending.

  213. Rasp says:

    I’m sorry NB, I’m not the person to write a post today 😦

  214. VCC says:

    Rasp 09:21….Tony Adams wouldn’t let them stroll about either.

  215. Rasp says:

    Maybe countering the Sterling effect by bringing on Theo would have had the same effect on pools defensive strategy and evened things up a bit.

    I said before the game yesterday that the outcome would be decided by the midfield battle and that was won comprehensively by pool 😦

  216. Rasp says:

    Hi VCC, I’m not sure they were strolling about, just not cohesive, but absolutely a ‘Tony Adams’ type figure would not have allowed it to happen. Great leaders lead from the front and by example.

    What I don’t understand is why we suddenly lose our ability to pass the ball to one another. These guys do it every day in training and yet yesterday so many passes went astray.

  217. Rasp says:

    Can one of the other administrators come in and cobble some of the post match comments into a post for today please.

  218. The Arsenal defence at a corner

  219. ‘morning all, I was intending to add this to the comments on the match report but I’m just going outside and maybe some time, so here it is.

    Once again the defence let us down, two points thrown away by a total lack of cohesion and understanding between our defenders. I’m not blaming any individual players, they are actually quite good at what they do and didn’t do too badly yesterday….individually.

    It’s playing as a unit, or rather not playing as a unit, where the problem lies. George Graham’s famous back four knew their job, they knew their position, they knew what to do under certain circumstances, they stuck to the script. They played as a unit.

    Our current mix-and-match defence look like a bunch of strangers making it up as they go along.

    The reason is obvious, Too many changes, too many players out of position. Why put an international right-back at centre-back? Why move a centre-back, comfortable on the right, to the left side? Why replace the international right-back with a rookie who looks better at centre-back?

    In the words of our manager recently “there’s not a massive difference between full-back and centre-back”, OH YES THERE IS!! (It is the panto season after all).

    The problems were exacerbated late on yesterday when Coquelin came on, how could he possibly know where to fit in? he’s only been back a the club for a couple of days, and then another full-back/centre-back came on, Monreal, what was his role to be? There was absolute confusion, nobody seemed to be directing operations on the pitch and we retreated deeper and deeper until the inevitable happened.

  220. GoonerB says:

    Excellent comment norfolk. It explains a lot about how i have felt not just yesterday but for 2-3 years about our attention to tactics formation and shape.

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