Ceballos and Luiz are Key to Beating Liverpool

Ceballos has changed my mind regarding the Pool away game. He goes straight on to the team sheet. I believe we can beat Pool away.

They are an excellent team. They press, have pace, energy, physical presence, technical ability, a formidable front 3, and have counter attacking ability – whilst we press, have pace, energy, physical presence, technical ability, a formidable front 3, and have counter attacking ability………. ooh ditto.

Our key is to get our combinations right. I buck the trend in feeling that Willock is slightly ahead of Gouzi for a game like this during to being slightly quicker and more dynamic, and Liverpool play at a very fast pace. Also he is probably ahead of Torreira fitness wise at the moment.

I dont think we can get away with 2 box-to-box type midfielders working out who goes and who covers with Pool at Anfield. Surely this is a game to play Luiz in front of the back 4 at the base of our midfield.

I see it as 2 triangles or pyramids in a mirror image sharing an apex point, that being Luiz. It is a variation on the 4-3-3 but is more a 4-1-2-3:



I believe we can topple the mighty Pool at Anfield with that. It has everything covered in shape, defence, pace and high energy, ball distribution, and goals.



37 Responses to Ceballos and Luiz are Key to Beating Liverpool

  1. Sue says:

    Spot on, GB!
    Ahh, the dreaded Anfield fixture, I get myself in such a 2 and 8 over this game!! Isn’t it about bloody time we got a result up there?! The last time being when Podolski/Cazorla scored (?)
    If the game doesn’t go our way & we come away with nothing, I’m in for such a torrid time.. I may just end up throttling someone! 😄
    Good that we’re going in to this fixture on the back of 2 wins & that great performance on Saturday though… come on Arsenal! 🙏🙏

    Happy Birthday Willock 👍

  2. RC78 says:

    I like the team but I d play with 5 defenders.

    Leno – AMN, Sok, Chambers, Monreal, Kola – Ceballos, Luiz, Willock – Laca, Auba

    It s a 532 or 352 basically. I don’t like LFC pace up front nor their full backs. So happy to play counter attack vs them

  3. LBG says:

    As I said when your comments first hit the blog, difficult to fault your selection in my eyes with, following consideration, one difference.
    I would not start Nicolas and instead play Ouzi to the left and Willock to the right of Dani, as a way of reducing the danger of those fullbacks when we dont have the ball. Let them stretch those same fullbacks when we have the ball. This means also Aubang and Laca are required to play closer to each other than normal and pressure Matip. Pepe then becomes an exocet sub after 60mins.

  4. Gunner D says:

    I agree Willock is more effective than Gundouze who unfortunately a great passer going forward simply has no positional sense when it comes to defending. I am afraid Chambers would be to easily turned against pools speedsters. Holding when fit is a much better fit until then maybe Tor’er. Liverpool defence struggled against a pacey attacker at the weekend hence we should be able to give them something to think about. January a keeper cable of dealing with crosses will give the defence so much more confidence, Leno good shot stopper but less than average on crosses.

  5. fred1266 says:

    Instead of luiz in midfield why not chambers, he has played there more recently

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post GB…

    Your team makes a lot of sense .. I doubt whether UE intends to play Luiz as DM, I think he wants him to marshal the defence as he did on Saturday.

    We should not underestimate the value of personality in a player. Luiz showed a huge amount of character and self confidence to come in as he did and take command at the back. He seems to have won over his teammates very quickly too as proved by the goal celebrations.

  7. LB says:

    Like the teams don’t think either of the are going to happen.

    GB of the comparisons you make with Willock you do not compare defensive capabilities and this as I am sure you can appreciate will be hot damn important on Saturday; don’t get me wrong Willock is not bad but surely Guendouzi is more advanced in his defensive development?

    My punt at the team for the weekend and I am assuming that Xhaka is fit:


    —-AMN—–Socratis—–Luiz——Monreal—–Big Kol



    Please note this is what I expect not what I want.

  8. fred1266 says:

    Sue mustafi gone yet

  9. Sue says:

    No, Fred! Loads of articles, reporting it, doing the rounds, but it isn’t even in the top 10 whispers on Sky…. watch this space, hey?!

  10. Mkhitaryan???…i really want to see him very far from anfield on 24th August,2019…very inconsistent..did u see that clear chance he wasted and hurt the spectators against newscastle…..jus like trying to score in rugby???

  11. GoonerB says:

    Thanks guys for replying to my post that I’ve only just realised I did from far flung shores 😀

    LB, I agree that the line up you suggest is probably more likely but also wouldn’t be my favourite. I feel Pool away shouldn’t see us go too gung ho but at the same time going too defensive will likely invite them onto us and let them largely dictate the game for most of the match.

    I think we likely lose in that situation and I would rather be slightly braver and lose than go for containment and lose. Also thwarting Pools attack isn’t as simple as just throwing more defenders out there. Sometimes, due to the quality of player we have compared to many other EPL teams, we can give them something to think about that may stifle how they normally like to play.

    A prime example would be in telling Auba and Pepe to exploit the space behind Alexander Arnold and Robertson when they push up, which is a big part of Pools play. A couple of dangerous counter attacks from those areas (who knows, maybe even with a goal or 2) and they may start to worry and play with less natural freedom.

    That could be an important mini psychological battle won that nullifies some of their natural attacking play without even putting another defender on.

    I like a lot of the suggestions for alternate teams but have not changed my mind yet about the line up. Maybe LB’s Gouzi for Willock because I am less certain between these 2. Willock was just a personal preference as I think he suits a game that is transitioning through the midfield at a frantic pace. Pool seem to play at a very high pace.

  12. fred1266 says:

    Ambrose I agree I would take Nelson over mkhitarian anytime

  13. Mike M says:

    Morning all. I think it might be a little early to figure out Dick’s selections since there’s a full week of training to come. And of course he has the “injury”/ “illness” cards to play. But the post leads me to an interesting point. What is Dick’s M.O going to be this season? I thought the team selection against Nouveau Stoke was interesting because he picked Ceballos, Guendouzi and Willock over Torreria and Xhaka and Luiz over Chambers. Now I know Xhaka was “injured” and Torreria is “not match fit” but CC didn’t really put a foot wrong yet was dropped. Are we seeing a shift from the AW days when we could reasonably guess what the team was, to wondering what tactics and the prior week’s training tell the manager? LB’s team selection is horrendous imo and as he point outs, it’s not his preference but what he thinks it will be. I would agree and traditional logic says it’s possible if we’re still stuck out trotting out the old “reliable tried and tested” players for a trip to Anfield. If so, it’s going to break my heart. Ceballos HAS TO START !!!!! There’s no room for Kolasinac, Xhaka or Mkhitaryan. Willock and Guendouzi have earned their places. Luiz and Chambers should be a coin flip which Luiz wins because of big game experience.
    I hope this is the mentality Unai will engender because we’ve been missing it. If you play well, give everything for the shirt and do your job, you play next week. That builds winning teams. Squad players train and play harder to try and get picked, or go into a strop, quit and leave (anyone heard of Koscielny??).
    Please Unai, pick your best players. Tactically we maybe play Torreria ahead of Pepe in a 4-4-2 at least to start, but I think this team should almost pick itself based on our first 2 games. Hope Unai agrees.

  14. LB says:

    Mkhitaryan isn’t picked because of his stand out performances; he is picked because, he above all, knows how to find Aubamayang.

    It’s only a question of time before Pepe does the same and some but I would be very surprised if UE starts with him on Saturday.

    I can see Willock coming in for Lacazette and therefore playing just Auba upfront.

  15. LB says:

    And another thing, picking Nelson over Mkhitaryan just because he is a better prospect isn’t the way things work.

    Nelson looked out of his depth for the first 45 on Saturday, UE will want experience on the weekend and that is why I think he will pump for HM

  16. LB says:

    Off course, if we win UE is a genius but if we loose he should have followed other advice as to team selection.

  17. fred1266 says:

    Actually think pepe starts this week

  18. fred1266 says:

    Mkhitaryan looks out of his depth whom pre season hope emery realize it

  19. JM says:

    We should have a go at Liverpool since their 1st choice GK Alisson is out injured.

    Pépé would be ready to start against them as he has got a full 45 minutes in the 2nd half against Burnley and should be competitively match fit. An attacking trio of Pépé, Aubameyang and Lacazette should give van Djik and his partners in defence something to think about.

    Ceballos is a class player and in good form now so he must start in midfield. Personally, I would start with Torreira, the dynamo player, beside him and together with Luiz in the volante postiion. This makes a communicative Latin-American (+Spanish) midfield with both defensive and offensive nous (plus a little shithousery if required).

    This would also mean Chambers being reinstated in defence alongside Sokratis.

    Given a more or less balanced out defence and offence between both sides, the match could be won in midfield, by the respective personnel (Liverpool’s Henderson+Fabinho+Wijnaldum/Milner/Oxlade-Chamberlain/Keita vs Arsenal’s Ceballos+Luiz+Torreira/Guendouzi/Willock/Mkhitaryan)

  20. LB says:

    I would not be unhappy to see Pepe start but if he does it will mean that we will have three strikers out there and that lessons the likelihood in my opinion.

    I also say that is it unlikely that Pepe will start because Auba and Pepe are never going to be the starting two upfront. (Yet)

  21. RockyLives says:

    Thanks GB – I like your line-ups.

    LB – I suspect your suggested 11 could be the closest to what we’ll actually see, except that I keep thinking that surely – surely! – Ceballos has to have played himself into a starting berth with that performance on Saturday.

    I also have a sneaking suspicion UE may end up plumping for a back four, notwithstanding the dangers of Liverpool’s strike force and their attacking fullbacks (as some here have mentioned).

    He’s had two wins from two with a back four and must have been fairly encouraged by Luiz’s debut.

    This line-up is a combination of what I hope UE will go for (back four, Guendouzi) and what I think he’ll go for (Mikhi):

  22. RockyLives says:

    If I was betting on it, I would guess UE will go with a MF three of Gwen, Xhaka and Ceballos.

  23. RA says:

    Good Afternoon, People,

    I have some strong words of advice for Embers;

    “You will not be a genius if you select a side, known only to you, which then goes on to win.

    If Arsenal are beaten by a better team, or because they are harshly treated by officialdom, you are not incompetent, it’s just football.
    Come out fighting next time.”

    It’s your job.”

    A further aside for you is;
    “if in the entirely unlikely event that you pick a team based on the advice of any one of the 1m Gooner fans with an opinion, then win or lose, you should hang your head and resign — it is not their job to select the team —- it is your responsibility, and only yours.

    Failing that, the other 999,999 Gooner fans whose advice you ignored will run you out of town — and rightly so.

    Pick the team and live the dream!”

  24. RockyLives says:

    Hard to argue with that Redders 🙂

  25. Mike M says:

    @ Rocky – so it looks like you, along with LB and I all agree if Xhaka is fit he will start. And that Miki also has a good chance of starting. So the question is why? It seems unfeasible that he’d revert to that line up yet we’re all agreed it could happen. I think RA also sounds like he’s leaning that way too. I for one am willing to wait and see but if he picks Xhaka and OR Miki, I will be very unhappy. .

  26. RA says:

    Mike M,

    Good comment.

    There is something of a mismatch between the Arsenal fans — some, like me, (I won’t put words in the mouths of yourself and others) think that my delight when we bought Xhaka, and thought we had at last got a strong physical player who would fill the Holding Midfielder (hard nut) role, were sadly mistaken.

    He was tooo slow. How did the scouts not see that before we bought him?

    He had a very skilful cross field pass, and a great shot on him, and was tall enough to help out with headers — but that was it. And that was fine in the yes of some.

    For others, when bypassed by speedy opposition forwards he could not turn and catch them …. too slow — he could not get near them to tackle …. too slow — he liked to dribble in our penalty, and got caught trying short passes …… too slow, and also did not have the necessary balance so got pushed off the ball too easily.

    But ….. instead of being shown the door, the simple truth is that he was picked by AW and now Emery whenever he was fit.

    It does not give me any pleasure in saying that, but neither can I bring myself to say I would ever have him in the Arsenal team, if I had any choice in the matter.

    But, I don’t —– and he is! 😒

  27. fred1266 says:

    LB can u please clarify what you mean they wouldn’t be the startling front 2

  28. LB says:


    Someone, Someone, Someone, Someone

    Someone, Someone, Someone, Someone


    Aint going to happen.

  29. LB says:

    ——-Aubamayang, Lacazette, Pepe

    ——Someone, Someone, Someone

    Someone, Someone, Someone, Someone


    Not as unlikely as the one above but unlikely nevertheless.

    I suppose it depends on whether you think that UE will try and go for their throats or be defensive, I suspect he will be defensive.

  30. fred1266 says:

    Of climate it isn’t cause it would be

    PEA lacazette Pepe

    Or do u think aubameyang shouldn’t play on the wings

  31. LB says:

    I think your line up is too attacking and UE will be more defensive, I don’t have any issue with PEA on either wing but the more I think about it the more I think that he will be playing the loan striker with Willock coming in for Lacazette. Still think that Mkhitaryan will start.

  32. RockyLives says:

    Big interview in the US magazine Sports Illustrated with Josh Kroenke talking about how the club decided to be really aggressive in the summer transfer window after the humiliation in Baku in the EL Final.

    I’ll pop a quick Post in drafts – this would be a good topic to discuss tomorrow (and have a little break from Liverpool preamble before that resumes later in the week).

  33. Rasp says:

    Great … thanks Rocky

  34. RockyLives says:

    Done Rasp.

  35. LBG says:

    Pepe ” Emery is helping me with my English”
    Eh, Nicolas, that might not be the best decision! Try Ray Parlour!

  36. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post …

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