A Cup of Cheer for Ailing Arsenal?

What a ten days it’s been.

It started with a woeful defeat at Sheffield United. A couple of days later we laboured against a poor Vitoria side until Pepe played two wonderful get-out-of-jail-free cards. Then we blew a two goal lead against Crystal Palace. During that game we made ourselves laughing stocks by booing our captain. He had an on-field tantrum the ramifications of which continue to rumble. And to cap it all we discovered that all is not fair in love and VAR.

We go into tonight’s fourth round Carabao Cup tie against Liverpool at Anfield looking as wobbly as a jelly on a vibration plate.

So let’s hope that Unai Emery takes to heart the words of the French First World War general Marshal Ferdinand Foch. During the First Battle of the Marne (September 1914) things were not going well for his forces against the Germans, so he sent the following dispatch: “My centre is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent: I shall attack.”

The philosophy is simple: one way to react to adversity is to ignore it and to galvanise your forces by taking the fight to the enemy.

If we put out an attack minded cup side tonight comprised of eager young players with a smattering of experience, there is every reason to be hopeful of a good result.

Notwithstanding the questionable display against Vitoria, the cup competitions have given us easily our most enjoyable moments so far this season.

There was the 5-0 thrashing of Notts Forest in the Carabao Cup, and the excellent wins away at Eintracht Frankfurt and home to Standard Liege in the Europa League. In those games it wasn’t just that we got the results, but that we played with a sense of purpose, swagger and, above all, fearlessness.

More of that tonight and Liverpool might be in for a shock.

For a start, there is no way our opponents will play a full strength team. The Scousers need a league title like a drowning man needs a lifebelt and they’re not going to let anything get in the way of that single-minded pursuit.

It’s not that they’ll want to lose tonight – far from it. It’s just that this trophy is a long way down their priority list and you suspect that their toothy German coach wouldn’t be too broken hearted to see them drop out of the competition.

In the last round, against MK Dons, their line-up was:


Milner Lovren Gomez Hoever

Lallana Oxlade-Chamberlain Keita

Brewster Jones Elliott

It doesn’t exactly have you quaking in your boots, does it? They may strengthen a little given that, on paper at least, we are a tougher opponent than MK Dons but I don’t expect their team to be anything like their Premier League starting eleven.

What about us?

I would go with the majority of the players who have performed well already this season in the cup competitions:

You’ll have noticed I snuck Mesut Ozil in there. I have no idea whether or not Emery will play him but with all that’s been going on around the club lately I’m backing my hunch that he will.

I would add some experience on the bench with the likes of Lacazette, Sokratis and Pepe in case we’re pushing for a late goal or trying to cling on to a lead.

If that eleven goes up against a similar Liverpool team to the one that turned out in the last round I fancy us to win.

A final word about Marshal Foch. His brave words wouldn’t mean much if the French were subsequently defeated. But in fact his army, from a losing position, turned the tide in the First Battle of Marne and although they didn’t exactly rout their German opponents they did grind them to a sort-of stalemate.

Which makes me think we might have to win in extra time or on penalties…



124 Responses to A Cup of Cheer for Ailing Arsenal?

  1. Brilliant Rocky, thank you for the post.

    I hate how much I look forward to the games in this competition (and the Europa league) for a chance to see some much loved Arsenal football.

    Unless we draw spuds I have never seen the point of attaching too much emotion to this cup but now we have the making of some very good players in the youngsters I want to see them do well.

    I just hope they’re all in a good place mentally after the last few days ……… and Mesut had better play after being taken to Liverpool

  2. Rasp says:

    Superb Rocky … ‘all is not fair in love and Var’ .. brilliant another gem to add to your catalogue.

    It’s a tough game to call. I think you’re right, they’re likely to field a weaker (on paper) team than us …. but, the pool players will have the same fight in them as the first team .. wouldn’t it be nice if we could at least match them in that department.

    There’s not a lot of pressure on us in this game so I’m not too concerned if we win or draw as long as we give a good account of ourselves.

  3. RA says:

    I somehow got slightly confused at the “New Post” announcement by Peaches, having just finished reading the very interesting updates by John Matthews (Legend), and whizzed up to have a read of the no doubt delectable essay emanating from the cranium of the RL master.

    After about 20 minutes reading the new Post, and feeling a certain familiarity with the written word, which seemed eerily like Rocky had become the alter ego of GB, I suddenly came to realise I actually was again reading yesterday’s Post by GB extolling/flagellating Emery, and immediately pulled out of what was possibly a Kami Kaze dive from 50m into a 2 gallon pail of literate water, and simultaneously experienced a lifting of my spirits that I would not now offend my two bosom buddies, GB and RL, by having to admit I had confused the authorship of the pair of them – even if I now write like GB myself and might require intense sessions of therapy.

    So, let me say, I enjoyed the New post, as much as I did GB’s Post, (and altho I realise that could be taken two ways, I can assure you that your first instincts were probably correct) although I did wonder what the Foch the Battle of Marmite had to do with the price of eggs. 😁

    [Trudges off whistling Dixie and looking for somewhere to lie down. It’s hard work this blogging lark!!]

  4. RockyLives says:

    What happened to Stan Boardman?

    Are you on the naughty step?

    (I thought it was funny)

  5. GoonerB says:

    Brilliant Rocky, I like your team and your ethos for this game.

    It is kind of a nothing to lose game for both sides really. As you mentioned Liverpool will be solely focused on the EPL and the defence of the ECL. We should be focused on league position (top 4) via the development of our playing style and performances, and also the EL……basically the same as last year for us. We can afford to go for this with an attacking, albeit altered, line up.

    I hope Ozil plays. There is no doubt we made a pigs ear of the wages we put him on, but he still remains technically our best player. To marginalise him and freeze him out just seems like managerial madness, as we are still paying all that money but without any return. If we have to pay that, which we do, then at least try and maximise him as an asset.

    There is another thought I have always had on Ozil, in that we have never put the right system and players in place to bring the best out of him. I actually include the AW later years in that assessment as well. He was Arsene Wenger’s man, and Arsene loved that kind of sublimely technical player, but even he didn’t get the right players and system around Ozil.

    He is a player that I feel you build a team around to maximise his strengths and to remove the effects on the team of the weaker parts of his game, rather than just moaning about what he doesn’t do.

    Ozil has defensive weaknesses in his game that are maybe exploited in the EPL more, but the strengths in his game are amazing. Like Xhaka, he is what he is and I don’t think he was ever going to be that player that suddenly became something else and added chasing back and tough tackling into his game, but was that ever really necessary anyway.

    The modern top sides seem to have gone to a 4-3-3 system with 2 defensive type midfielders (with slightly different strengths), a quick goal-scoring rotating front 3 (number 9 and 2 wing forwards) and overlapping full-backs. In that system you can have a free roaming play maker, safe that there are 2 CM’s covering behind, and plenty of fast paced mobile players between the front 3 and the overlapping FB’s to play those defence splitting passes to.

    We never really had the right 2 combination CM’s to play behind him and never had that proper pacey front 3. Funnily enough this year more than any other in the last 6-7 years we have the players to play this system that could possibly see the absolute best of Mesut, but have chosen this time to marginalise him. This seams really strange and feels like the old cutting off your nose……and really another reason I question Emery’s credentials.

  6. GoonerB says:

    RA, good morning to you sir, but can I just revisit this:

    After about 20 minutes reading the new Post, and feeling a certain familiarity with the written word, which seemed eerily like Rocky had become the alter ego of GB, I suddenly came to realise I actually was again reading yesterday’s Post by GB extolling/flagellating Emery, and immediately pulled out of what was possibly a Kami Kaze dive from 50m into a 2 gallon pail of literate water, and simultaneously experienced a lifting of my spirits that I would not now offend my two bosom buddies, GB and RL, by having to admit I had confused the authorship of the pair of them – even if I now write like GB myself and might require intense sessions of therapy.

    Well I never knew I had that kind of effect on you. It makes me feel very honoured and gives me a kind off warm fuzzy feeling inside. Having said that never mention to life insurance companies that you read anything I write. It is apparently a standard question now before approving the life insurance. If you answer yes to reading my stuff they will refuse to insure you on the basis that too many people who do so keep turning up dead next to buckets of water.

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, I thought we should concentrate on your post. I might put it back on later if the game isn’t going well 😂

  8. RockyLives says:

    Fair play Rasp 😀

  9. RockyLives says:

    Did it really end Des O’Connor’s prime time career?

  10. RC78 says:

    I like the line up but would play Laca ahead of Nelson and ideally our coach would favor a 3 at the back formation

    Martinez – Mustafi, Holding, Luiz – Bellerin, Torreira, Willock, Kola – Ozil – Martinelli, Laca

    Knowing that Ozil will be benched at best, the front three could be Laca – Martinelli, Saka

  11. Rasp says:

    Pretty much … it certainly put an end to Stan Boardman’s TV appearances 🙂

  12. RA says:

    Afternoon, GB,

    It is rather worse – or perhaps better – depending on one’s outlook.

    You see, if you go back and look at my 10:15 am, it may become clear that it was not just a matter of reading your comments, I have started to write like you — it is a bit scary that I seem to be morphing into you — just without your skill/knowledge of strategies, and also team set ups and post game analyses.

    Darn it –I’m doing it again!! woe, woe, woe is me …..

  13. seedeee says:

    My head says don’t watch this game – we know how it will turn out, and another loss to these scousers, albeit a ‘meaningless cup game’, will not improve my health or my ability not to snap at anyone who talks to me for the next 3days.

    My heart disagrees, obviously (when do they ever agree) and can’t wait to see an exciting, quick, one touch passing mastershow of yaw intertwined with banners in the stadium reading “Xhaka it’s not personal and we think you’re a great guy but do try harder to run off when subbed and we’re chasing a victory next time – much love”.

    Head or heart?

  14. John Mathews legend says:

    Sorry to disappoint…..
    My real name is Jean Mathieux Légendaire.
    Anglicized it to make out I was a dude from hip Islington N7 (works with les femmes ici)
    That other chap who got double unclassified in his French ‘O’ level…Sean MacHugh Leg End, Know him well, his French has improved.
    The other guy who claimed he got stick from the fans in the late ’70s….never heard of him, but I can’t believe that the Highbury fans ever booed or jeered one of our players.


  15. LBG says:

    Dont think Nelson is fit!

  16. RA says:


    I am not sure, but I heard and laughed at another one of Stan Boardman’s jokes (I think it was him).

    A lovely young lady went to a tattooist and said she wanted to give her husband a surprise, and asked if she could have two beautiful butterflies tattooed on her buttocks./

    “No can do” said the tattooist, “I just cannot do butterflies’ — and despite her pleas he would not change his mind.

    “Can you do Bees?” she asked in desperation.

    “Yep, that is OK, I am good at doing them” the tattooist said – so she had one put on each cheek.

    When her husband came home that night, she came out of the bathroom wrapped only in a towel, and said, “I have a little surprise for you” – and turned around and dropped the towel.

    Her very surprised husband then asked “Who the Foch is B O B ???? 😳

  17. Rasp says:

    🙂 JML … you’re a wind-up merchant … very good .. keep ’em coming!

  18. Ritchie Powling Forever says:

    Don’t take the p*ss out of my friend John! He was so traumatised by the treatment he got at Highbury, and is still suffering from split personality sydrome after all these years…He told me that on FB last night.

  19. Aaron says:

    So, looking at pools team, they have some tough guys in there- it will not be a cakewalk.
    If Emery does not build some momentum, he could be facing quicksand in the next two league games. 2 losses and a few more draws and I say off with his head!

    Will try and catch this game, that it is a cup game does not matter, just want to see how our players respond to all this nonsense.

  20. LBG says:

    Just when we thought someone who might actually know something about our National game could be reading our rubbish you shatter the dream JML. Wonder if anyone knows the actual John Matthews. Should be 64 years old and born in Camden.
    We had an actual referee on last year. Bet he was a fake too……unless you are still reading us occasionally?
    COYG splatter the Scouse tonight. When was the last time someone scored four against the Dippers? No prizes.

  21. RockyLives says:

    I used to help my Mum serve sandwiches to the directors at Millwall FC in the early ‘70s.

    Does that make me a football insider?

  22. John Mathews legend says:

    I can’t believe that anyone thought I was anywhere near even trying to pretend to be the real John Mathews…..!! I apologise to anyone who took it that way, it was not at all the intention, and I would have thought that was clear in the writing and the comments I had already made on the same post.
    Or am I the one being wind up merchanted? (one of those smiley things that I don’t know how to do)
    Surely someone is pulling my leg end!

  23. RockyLives says:

    Don’t come the old double bluff with us John.

    We know you’re kosher.

  24. Sue says:

    Nice one, Rocky.
    I’m a little nervous about tonight!
    Just hope someone channels their inner ‘Julio Baptista’ 😜
    We need something positive, all the doom and gloom surrounding our club has to lift at some point. Although, I just saw an article saying Mourinho is in the running to succeed Unai 😩 That would be my worst nightmare….

    I also saw there’s some disruptions with network rail. So hope all gooners have a safe journey there & back… and for once, have something to cheer about on the journey home.
    COYG!!!!! 🤞🙏

  25. John Mathews legend says:

    ok Rocky…you rumbled me.

  26. LBG says:

    Rocky, were they prawn sandwiches?
    Always thought you were an insider……inside right.

  27. GoonerB says:

    Prawn Sandwiches at Millwall LBG? More likely Mrs Lovett’s pies

  28. RA says:

    John Matthews Thingy

    It is true to say that you have been seen around blogs before with never a twitch of your past.

    If you wanted to pretend to be an ex-player, I suppose a quick look at Wiki Thingy and Bob the right back’s your uncle.

    If I were you, I’d stick with it — every bugger on here is going with a phony name, except for Rocky Roll — so you’d be right at home. 🤪

  29. RA says:

    Who’s Mrs Lovett, GB?

  30. RA says:

    Anyways — what is a Carabao — and why does it sponsor a Cup.

    Something from the Philippines – a form of grass – related to the Caribou – I need to know – or is it just a sweet?

  31. RA says:

    And by the way — a character reference from Richie Powling, my ass. 🥺

    Sammy Nelson, David O’Leary, John Devine, maybe but not good old Richie, tho the impertination imperonalashun pretending was good! 👀 🤠

  32. Sue says:

    Bloody hell, RA… first Mrs Lovett, now carabao… whatever next?!! You’ve not seen Sweeney Todd and you don’t drink energy drinks?? Haha, how today has gone, so far, maybe I should zip it, as you’re probably on the wind up!! And I’m very gullible….

  33. GoonerB says:

    A Caribou is a big bloody Dear RA….which you would rather have in your pie than Mrs Lovett’s normal ingredients.

  34. LB says:

    Thanks for another superb read Rocky.

    As for the headless cockerels, that was a general rant, I have far too much respect for you and your contribution to this site to be so personal, please accept my apologies if you were offended.

    Further, you are right that I should have referred to people as headless chickens for wanting Emery sacked this early rather than headless cockerels, again apologies 🙂

    Like your team up there although I feel that we will see AMN start tonight.

  35. John Mathews legend says:

    Sorry RA, haven’t got a clue what yer onnabout!

  36. RockyLives says:

    No offence ever taken LB. I actually thought it was quite a clever use of words!

  37. RockyLives says:

    Any team news yet?

  38. RA says:

    I haven’t got a clue either, John. 😁

    By the way, keep your eye on Sue — she’s really Tony Adams — and he looks very good in a bikini. 🥺

  39. RockyLives says:

    What’s your secret identity Redders? I’m guessing Willie Young…

  40. LBG says:

    Nigel Winterburn suggesting Patrick V might be ready if Dick gets dumped.

  41. RA says:


    Just for you,

    The 2006/07 Squad.

    1 Jens Lehmann GER
    2 Abou Diaby FRA
    4 Cesc Fabregas ESP
    5 Kolo Toure CIV
    6 Philippe Senderos SUI
    7 Tomas Rosicky CZE
    8 Freddie Ljungberg SWE
    9 Julio Baptista BRA
    10 William Gallas FRA
    11 Robin van Persie NED
    12 Lauren CMR
    13 Alexander Hleb BLR
    14 Thierry Henry FRA
    15 Denilson BRA
    16 Mathieu Flamini FRA
    17 Alex Song CMR
    19 Gilberto BRA
    20 Johan Djourou SUI
    21 Mart Poom EST
    22 Gael Clichy FRA
    24 Manuel Almunia ESP
    25 Emmanuel Adebayor TOG
    27 Emmanuel Eboue CIV
    30 Jeremie Aliadiere FRA
    31 Justin Hoyte ENG
    32 Theo Walcott ENG
    33 Matthew Connolly ENG
    43 Mark Randall ENG
    45 Armand Traore SEN

    You could be Alex Song next.

  42. RA says:

    My other AA ID is ‘Sue from Lanzarote’, Rocky. 😵

  43. John Mathews legend says:

    RA, when I first commented here about 2 years back, I wanted to be Granit Xhaka Brain Fart. GXBF didn’t quite roll of the tongue as well JML, so I took the Leg End option.
    Imagine the abuse I’d be getting now if I stuck with GXBF!?

  44. Rasp says:

    Team news out on A.com … Ozil is playing

  45. Rasp says:

  46. LB says:

    You just could not make that up………..

  47. Aaron says:

    Well, who would have guessed that start?

  48. RC78 says:

    Mustafi doing great

    Best player so far for us is Torreira

  49. Rasp says:

    Amazing support from our away fans

  50. Aaron says:

    A goal from behind- wipe thy eyes.
    Much better.

  51. RockyLives says:

    I thought it was on Sky but they’re showing bloody Chavs and Mancs .

  52. Aaron says:

    Another moment of sheer brilliance.

  53. Sue says:

    Holy cow! We’ve scored all 3!!!

  54. Rasp says:

    I hope Unai is taking note. Torreira is an AM not a DM and Maitland Nyles is a wide midfielder not a central midfielder … let’s play these round pegs in round holes in the future.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Got it now (will hopefully see the goals at HT)

  56. Oh what!!!!!!! 😁😁😁

  57. Rasp says:

    All 4 now Sue

  58. Rasp says:

    Martinelli … proper striker

  59. RockyLives says:

    This is fun

  60. RockyLives says:

    I’d forgotten how much I like seeing Ozil stroke the ball around

  61. Sue says:

    I wish I’d stayed at the bar now and given it large to all those cocky Liverpool fans!! Been surrounded by them all day… not a gooner in sight ☹
    Come on Arsenal!!!! More goals please!!

  62. Rasp says:

    I know we’re ahead, but we’re giving them far too much space to attack us down the flanks … and then not closing them down to prevent the cross

  63. Sue says:

    Oh what a surprise, Liverpool being given a penalty 🙄

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    Should be 6-3 up! Great watch.

    How do refs still give pens for shit like that!? Blatant dive. Awful refereeing. Would’ve still been given by VAR though which makes it even worse.

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s also much more fun watching when I don’t really care about the result. It’s a free hit and so far it’s fun to watch

  66. RockyLives says:

    At least the team seem to be playing without fear.

    I’m afraid I thought it was a pen. Even if there was no contact Martinelli put his boot in an area where the attacker had to either hit it or radically alter his stride. He made the most of it but the decision was probably correct. Unlike the Zaha one at the weekend.

  67. LB says:

    Torreira and Willock are both equally playing in front of the back four, when needs must, which sends one further forward, the other stays back and visa versa.

    I am guessing that Emery is aware of this as it was he who put them there.

  68. LB says:

    How refreshing to watch a game without VAR

  69. GoonerB says:

    Well so far Martinelli reminds me of a young Ronaldo…we can but dream. Torreira has more to his game than being the deepest midfielder, and Ozil looks like the class maestro he is supposed to be with all that pace and movement around him.

  70. RockyLives says:

    Poor old Saka. I think he realizes he’s been overtaken by Martinelli and is desperate to get on the score sheet.

    He had a couple of great opportunities to set team mates up but opted for low percentage shots.

    Can’t blame the lad but someone should have a word.

  71. RockyLives says:

    On VAR, you’re so right. I would never have imagined I’d feel that way but that’s the way it is.

  72. Rasp says:

    Brilliant by Ozil and M-N

  73. RockyLives says:

    Ozil is a feckin genius.

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    Oh Özil. Why can’t you do this in the first team!!!??? That was sublime

  75. RockyLives says:

    Away fans are out of this world.

  76. Sue says:

    Mesut – how may I assist you 😜
    Boy, I’ve missed him!!

  77. Rasp says:

    That’s the first goal pool have scored by their own endeavour out of the 7 so far

  78. RockyLives says:

    Naturally Oxo scores against us.

  79. Rasp says:

    That’s what happens when our midfield backs off

  80. RockyLives says:

    And again for their 4th

  81. fatgingergooner says:

    Has anybody seen our midfield? Seems to have gone missing….😂

  82. RockyLives says:

    They’re all trying to be strikers.

  83. Sue says:

    4-4… 😳 Any chance of some defending???

  84. RockyLives says:

    Good to bring Gwen on, but I’m not sure I would have taken Ozil off. Unless it’s a match fitness issue.

  85. RockyLives says:

    Crazy game – both teams opening each other up at will.

  86. Joe Willock!!!!! What a goal 😁😁😁😁

  87. Rasp says:

    Oxlade who??? Outdone by Willock

  88. RockyLives says:

    Oh Mr Willock!

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    I imagine this is the sort of game Emery hates, whereas Wenger would’ve been loving it! 😂

  90. GoonerB says:

    It’s a freebie for me Fgg as Rocky mentioned earlier……other more important matters. Would love to see us progress though as we get to play and see our future stars

  91. Sue says:

    Bloody hell.. was it too much to ask to hang on, with like a minute left?!! Arghhh!!!!!! 🤬🤬🤬

  92. fatgingergooner says:

    Good to know it’s not just our defence that’s awful! 😂

  93. Aaron says:

    Entertainment at it’s best, unless of course you like 0-0 to the Arsenal.

  94. RA says:

    Wonderful game — mistakes and all. 😀

  95. RockyLives says:

    It’s a game that has no real bearing on our overall situation.

    But I’ve watched it with a smile on my face, which makes a change.

  96. Come on Unai, lighten up!!!

  97. RC78 says:

    Can we now agree that Emery doesn’t help us after 15 months in charge? He was supposed to help up tody things up….same story.. Over and over again

  98. Sue says:

    Urgh…I bloody hate Liverpool!!

  99. fatgingergooner says:

    Great advert for the kids playing in this cup. Well, apart from the defenders! 😂 we should’ve won really but it’s no surprise that we can’t hold leads. It seems our most exciting performances are going to be in the EL this season as it’s only when the youngsters are involved that we are worth a watch.

    Loved it. Worse bit was Klopp smiling.

  100. LB says:

    I am not in the mood for the Unal bashing tonight, I will be back in the next few days.

  101. fatgingergooner says:


    Same defence as last season though, so what are we to expect? We are only as good as our weakest link, and we still have the same ones as the last couple of seasons.

  102. John Mathews legend says:

    Pure entertainment!

  103. seedeee says:

    Oh ffs. Was actually really needing a gritty win, and to have won 5-4 at Anfield in front of their own fans, even against their second string team would have been just what the doctor ordered. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

  104. A fantastic game of football as both teams went for it. Shame we couldn’t hold on but it’s a silly competition anyway 😉

  105. Was anyone paying attention enough to write a few words and player ratings for a post for tomorrow?

  106. Sue says:

    Not me, Peaches… mine would probably have too many obscenities in it 😂😂😂 I’m going to have nightmares about those teeth tonight ☹

  107. GoonerB says:

    Having led twice by a 2 goal margin and winning with 1 minute remaining I am a bit gutted but not too upset. This was never the most important thing for us this year.

    Many positives but also pointers towards where we need to improve. We have a lot of potential. Just need to harness it and work out the right combinations in the squad. Over to you Unai.

  108. RockyLives says:

    Perhaps because it’s not that important a competition, I really enjoyed that despite the result.

    Feel sad for Emery though – he could have done with that win.

  109. RC78 says:

    Martinez – 4
    Bellerin – 5
    Mustafi – 4
    Holding – 4
    Kola – 5
    AMN – 6
    Torreira – 7
    Willock – 6
    Ozil – 7
    Saka – 5
    Martinelli – 8

    Douzi – 5
    Ceba – 4
    Tierney – 4

  110. RC78 says:

    Martinelli is a real gem.

  111. RockyLives says:


    I can cobble together something from the above comments…

  112. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, combination of eldest football training and car trouble on way home meant I switched tv on at 4-2, so only got to see Pools comeback Willocks strike and the penalties.

    Have watched all the goals on Arsenalist since, bbc report suggests Ozil involved in two goals, I say 3

    1-1 2 passes in build up that kept attack alive and positive, first to AMN who gave it back to him second to Saka shot saved Torreira finished

    1-3 intercepts pass and in one touch releases Saka to play in Martinelli

    2-4 very few could play that flick or even attempt it.

    Yes he will never have Emery’s desired work rate off ball but I’ve always said he works when necessary, for example that interception and pass for our 3rd, he sees the opportunity and comes to life to nick the ball.

    That’s a football brain in motion, seeing a football pitch clearly, playing the pass you see from way up in the stands when in amongst the action at pitch level. Very few possess that speed of thought and ability to play the pass.

  113. RA says:

    I hope that the fans leave Embers alone today. It was a brilliant game and let’s face it there were many good things coming from the game.

    It was more needed experience for the youngsters, and those recovering from injuries and it was fantastically entertaining, even with a few calamitous defensive errors.

    So how about Embers? Well, Oxo was gifted a free shot at goal by AMN, and a very good one it was, and in the final 30 seconds Gwen, who is building a very good reputation, inexplicably misjudged a simple header to defend a floated cross, leaving a poked shot/goal from Origi, enabling the Pool to equalise at the death.

    Ember’s fault? Oh, please — he does have his problems, but the result last night, like the unlucky draw with Palace was just not his fault.

    The fickle finger will point his way this season, but he gets a pass from me for the game last night.

    Just saying.

  114. RockyLives says:

    Morning Redders

    When I look at the young talent emerging in our squad I feel very optimistic about the future.

    I just hope UE (or his successor) can hold the whole thing together this season so that our superstars don’t seek greener pastures before the young ‘uns have matured enough to take their places.

  115. RockyLives says:


    I have been critical of Ozil at times, particularly in certain big games where his impact was less than we’d hope for.

    But I even enjoyed watching him doing the simple stuff last night – the way he moves on and off the ball, the complete mastery of the ball…

    He is something special and we must find a way of using him in the EPL team.

  116. Gööner In Exile says:

    I didn’t watch whole game and I don’t want to criticise UE this morning as the result as others has said does not lay at his door for a 5-5 at Anfield.

    However at 5-4 Kolasniac had ball on left flank, everyone was ahead of the ball, the ball had come back to him after an attack down the left lost momentum, UE pointed back/across and all of a sudden the attacking momentum was gone and ball was at Holding then Martinez’s feet. Martinez doesn’t seem to believe in the dilly dallying at the back so hoofed its up pitch Liverpool got ball and we were scurrying back to defend. I think FGG said the other day possession play (with no forward intent) doesn’t cut the mustard in English football teams will not let you pass from side to side especially when losing. It is not a game of chess as perhaps it is in Spain.

  117. Morning all

    I feel like I have a hangover 😉 New Post ……………

  118. Gööner In Exile says:

    Agreed Rocky, unfortunately simplicity is underrated in English football, if you are not running round and putting yourself about you are not cutting it.

    Having said that I fully appreciate I also want to see some of that fire from time to time, AMN looks so unfussed and serious on the pitch. But the way he delivered his penalty at such a crucial stage was a bit special and when that calmness pays dividends.

  119. Sorry GiE, I had a feeling I may have cut someone off ……..

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