Mikel Arteta has changed the aspirations of most Gooners during the last year as we approach a pivotal week.
What would be acceptable to you regarding this week’s games against the Dippers, and how can it be achieved?
Well for me, I would be more than happy to go to a silent Anfield and take away a draw tonight ( monies on 2-2!), and then a crushing ( dreamland) win on Thursday!!
How? …….Now that is more problematic!
But stick with the tried and tested, pray hard to the God of good football fortune, and whatever you do keep your hands in your pockets!! COYG.
Thanks LBG for the post ………… a good conversation starter.
I’m with you, a draw tonight wouldn’t be hard to accept and a good win on Thursday would be quite fun.
Yesterday was a bit of a laugh at totts day wasn’t it ………… oh the fury!!!!!! 😆
I’ve been in a positive gooner place since the FA Cup semi-final, believing that we’re capable of winning any match.
Need to be disciplined when without the ball, but this Liverpool side look a bit more vulnerable on the break and VVD looks a different animal to last season. A lot on the shoulders of our wide men in terms of creating, and Xhaka needs to keep his head and stay in that pocket of space that Firmino likes to occupy and hurt us from.
So…expecting a win, but will take the draw. It’ll obviously be tough.
There have been some crazy results this season so really nobody knows what will happen. We’ll draw confidence from the fact MA has 2 wins out of 2 against them already and if we beat them again then the top two teams won’t have an invincible season, which is always a nice point to get to, especially this early on!
Will be happy with a draw considering Liverpool will beat most other teams and we’ll still be right up there going into a very difficult run of fixtures.
I fear Liv will be out for revenge but it will be an open game and I think it will come down to fitness and concentration in those last 20mins.
I think Liverpool will be looking for revenge too so if we manage a draw, I d be more than satisfied. A good draw for me would be a low scoring draw like a 1-1.
Team for tonight:
Leno – Holding, Luiz, Gabriel – Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, AMN – Willian, Auba, Saka
If Tierney is fit, maybe Holding will be out…I think Arteta will play Saka ahead of Laca today.
In any case, this a game where Willian, Xhaka, Ceba and Saka can be the difference.
Thanks for the post LBG! COYG!
You capture the mood perfectly: What do we expect from tonight? Its been a long time since many of us thought — We can win this, I am almost afraid to say it but that is the way it is.
Liverpool are capable of making mistakes at the back where as our discipline is much improved. So many questions will be answered tonight and if we win we will be hailed as title contenders.
—-Holding, Luiz, Tierney
Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, AMN
Willian, Lacazette, Aubamayang
It’s been a long time since the team was so easy to predict.
Interesting that you put Saka ahead of Laca, hmmmm, I can see the logic.
Perhaps it is not so easy to predict.
Thanks LBG, as others have said, apart from Everton, all the top teams seem vulnerable defensively so a draw or a win is what I’m expecting as our defensive shape has looked really good. I pray Tierney is fit, he was missed last game. If they press us high up they will be stretched and in Willian we have a player who can spray long diagonal passes and that will make pool vulnerable to being hit on the break. I’d be quite happy if they have 65% possession as long as we maintain our defensive discipline.
Sooner or later we will fall foul of this latest car crash of a handball law … I hope our defenders have been practising jumping without raising their arms.
PSG got knocked out of CL 2 years ago by Man Utd when the ball struck into Kimpembe’s hand while he was jumping with his back to the shot…At that time ,Carragher was not saying it was a disgrace despite being a scouser! I think the refs do not apply the rules consistently across the UEFA and this is the main issue. Either you call hand ball at all times or you never do. The room for interpretation of the rule and situation is too big…
Interested in your assessment of handball and “width of interpretation”! What I want answered is has the position of the arms/where the ball strikes superceded the “intention/deliberate requirement” of decades of refereeing?
“superseded”…..sorry, pride myself on spelling. Neither looked right, and predictive text got it wrong!!!
You are not alone in spelling the verb ‘supersede’ incorrectly;
Its meaning is ‘to replace something with something else : such as a new law replacing an old law’ to which you refer.
In English, there are many words that do correctly use a ‘c’ in spelling, for example ‘precede’ is the correct spelling for a word meaning ‘to go before’ or a derivation thereof.
I suspect the problem occurs because the sound of the ‘c’ and the ‘s’ are indistinguishable In these circumstances, so the spelling, using ‘c’ has become common and widespread for donkeys years.
On the other hand, I blame the French because ‘supersede’ is latin in origin, and has become an ‘English’ verb via the French language, because they knew the spelling would confuse the Anglo-Saxons.
[I have digressed from your question as to what would be an agreeable result against Pool tonite – and how such a result could be achieved, simply because I find such hypothetical questions beyond my ken. 😉
I have always found the ‘old’ law regarding ‘handball’ perfectly reasonable.
There has always been a question of interpretation, of course, as the word ‘deliberate’ has always been a matter of argument.
How can one individual ever know whether what another person did was deliberate or simply accidental.
Mind reading is not stipulated as a requirement for achieving a refereeing qualification, but it does allow us bloggers to spend fruitless hours arguing the toss, altho as a rule of thumb, if the ‘culprit’ is an Arsenal player – he is innocent. If not – he’s guilty.
Works well for me.
Two wins on the trot of course!
Half serious, win the league game and exit the other cup or draw today and win the dang cup match and take that piece of silverware next!
Tierney is fit, but who at the back?
And believe we beat pool with Mustafi at right back correct?
Mikel has his challenges for this set up for this match for sure.
RA, agree with you totally, and my lousy opinion is vaR is $h*te until the ghouls in the booth, far far away figure out a fair way to interpret the game, so it does not become the game.
Feel the points are there for the taking for AFC today.
Anyone got team news?
You were right RA
Arteta sees things the way you do: use Elneny in certain games (I guess when extra defence is needed) and CeballIos when we are facing defendants who sit back.
Its no bad thing that Eleney is starting, its our turn to sit back and try and do a Leicester against City.
1-1 so far
AMN and Holding so far are doing well
Leno made few good saves and Laca scored the goal for us
Xhaka-El Neny not doing great
Auba and WIllian anonymous
Tierney and Luiz are not having a good game especially Tierney
Bellerin also not doing great
And again…our defending at the back post is terrible…this is a goal for Bellerin..terrible positioning. He was not having a good game anyways…I hope he makes up for his mistake like Roberton by scoring a goal!
Tierney, Bellerin need to shore things up
Willian need to come into the game and so does Auba
El Neny will be replaced at half time and Ceba will come in
I can also see Saka come in…maybe for Tierney?
IMHO Holding is a weak link. He was nowhere near to the ball in both times. We need a stronger midfield, as we know 😦
Willian not tracking back for second goal ( and doing so then).
Liverpool performance must be applauded before major criticism of us surely.
Holding is not great indeed but the second goal is clearly Bellerin’s responsibility.
@LBG – indeed, Liverpool playing well as always. Their full backs are amazing
Liverpool are back to their commanding selves unfortunately. We need to do something drastically different if this result is going to change. But then you risk even more.
I fear we need to rely on another mistake to get back on level terms (and a lot of good fortune to prevent them adding to their tally). I don’t think it’s us playing badly, just this Liverpool are a step above what we played against the last two times
You are right RC. It was Bellerin.
The good thing is, we are not panicking, the bad… not playing well at all.
I don’t know, how we will improve.
The whole team seems pedestrian somehow…
Of course, L’pool is bloody good
Not a poor nor a good half from our team. Liverpool dominating and we re trying to take advantage of mistakes and counter-attacks.
AMN is having a good game to be honest and Arteta could potentially move him up as part of a 433 with Xhaka and Ceba.
I think Ceba needs to come in and I think Saka would also help our cause.
Other than that, let us hope that we do not conceded in the first 20 mins of the second half to give ourselves a chance to snatch an unlikely draw. COYG!
Dont accept that analysis. Robertson is an extra, extra man. Willian saw him coming ( as he did the second time) and didnt track back.
Error was header from cross glanced rather than cleared.
I felt that Bellerin should have covered the second post as Holding was already covering the right central back area…Of course, Willian should definitely have been there…
I think Saka would offer more on the right, not really a criticism of Willian just think with the use of hindsight that Saka would have been better.
Willian had 8 touches, Laca 11 and Auba 13 in the first half.
Dont agree either with criticism of Tierney or Holding. Noone, esp Saka, would have held Salah in that half. Holding is a worry only in terms of pace. ” The only stat that matters is the score”.
LBG – Tierney really struggled after 20 mins. He does not look his usual self to be honest. I think AMN, Luiz and Xhaka should have helped him more as well. Holding, except for a few passes, is having a good game imho.
LBG Pool players are running like hell, always on the move. It is hard to track them. They are very good to great players who know each other capability, position and movement. When they are running full throttle it is really hard to stop them. Willian just joined, defence and midfield only halfbaked…
But we are improving, no panicking at all, trying to find a through-ball
Our midfield has all the creativity of a paper bag.
LB well-phrased 🙂
If I could take 4 players from Liverpool: Alisson, Trent-Arnold, Van Dijk and Mane without a doubt
Alisson – T-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gabriel, Tierney – Willan, Xhaka, Ceba – Mane, Laca, Auba
Not bad, no?
Ceba in for Xhaka
I think Laca will soon come off as well. He is looking spent.
Saka for the left Auba in the middle
WTF Laca! Gotta score
Mane is really another level…
Pepe in for Willian…
Another f****** joker of a blind referee!
I think our MoTM may be AMN…so far
Come on Nketiah
It’s all too easy for Pool…
We are just not there yet
Second best tonight – not a bad match but still a big gap to close down to reach Liverpool’s level
Leno – 5
Bellerin – 5
Holding – 6
Luiz – 6
Tierney – 5
AMN – 7
El Neny – 6
Xhaka – 6
Willian – 5
Laca – 5, should have scored the second
Auba – 5
Pepe – 4, two poor corners and nothing else
Nketiah – N/A
Ceba – 6, made a big difference
Not a bad performance to be honest – we contested well but ultimately, LFC was too good. Ceba gave us another creative dimension when he came in and AMN is growing into this LWB role. Liverpool has too much quality around the pitch and ultimately, it showed. 3-1 is a bit harsh I feel and I am convinced we could have snatched a draw but I am not disheartened by this defeat. Team is still growing under Arteta. On to Thursday for our Cup Game vs LFC, again
Elneny in 90mins, Ceballos in 15mins.
No team would have beaten Liverpool tonight. Disappointing for us and Lacazette, but I believe we would still have been swamped by the end. The good luck God of football is saving things for Thursday.
No team, except the Invincibles, is excellent throughout a season. COYG
Shape, effort, closing down, understanding of the game. We’ve come a long way under Arteta so far, but the reason he keeps saying it’s a process is because there is still a long way to go before we can really head to Anfield with belief. It’s not just work on the field that is required, its also making sure we sign players with the right attitude who can improve us (Pepe…!? 🤦🏼♂️) over a couple of windows. We lack a bit of authority on the ball and a bit of creativity. The fact is our players are not as good as those of the top, top sides. It feels like Arteta is getting a lot from this group so the improvement will have to come from the youth ranks and from recruitment.
We were certainly competitive tonight though, and that was probably our best performance at Anfield for quite some time.
Fellow gunners’ fan, just used some of your comments and put together a post
Klopp’s analysis spot on.
Almost Klopp like. Spot on, sir!
Very interested in you views on attitude, Pepe and authority.
I hope we get Partey who I believe has attitude and authority and I hope, in a different more “delicate” way, Aouar has the same.
Two managers comment and immediately it is easy to see why Mikel is the answer. Like Klopp and Liverpool four years ago, the future’s bright……and Keane is a w*****!!
Hey chaps, long time no see.
An interesting game tonight which highlights a few things. Firstly I think that Liverpools dominant style is more about both their supreme confidence in how they play and how well drilled they are with it.
They undoubtedly have some excellent players but they have very few that have come in as major established stars. Most of them were decent to very good players with potential that arrived from smaller clubs. It is good coaching, and having a clear identity as a team, with each of the players believing in that identity as a team and in themselves.
In essence good players from a more humble standing have become world class at Liverpool under Klopp. This should provide us with that belief that we can emulate this with our dynamic young coach.
However we are still a work in process and our young manager is still learning and is not yet the finished article despite his great progress with us.
Liverpools style of play has become inbred into them with time and with an escalating confidence in themselves as they became increasingly successful in their style of play.
They had the confidence to push players forward more than we did. We are becoming more confident in what we can do but still play with certain reservations especially against a side as well established and drilled as Liverpool.
There will come a time soon when we are happy that we are harder to break down and are much more organised, and in order to move to the next level we will have to become less risk averse.
One thing I have noted with Liverpool is how often they hit Sakah or Mane high and wide with a long diagonal ball often from the back who then put it under instant control and get support forward quickly.
They mix that directness, to get instantly into attack, very well with quick play on the ground and a more patient build up at other times. They can vary their style of play effectively and have the right players in position to make it work.
We couldn’t find that quick ball out as well as they did, with how we were tactically set up and, if we did manage the out ball, more often than not it wasn’t held up well enough and we didn’t get the support in quick enough leaving advanced players a tad isolated.
I am still far from certain that the 3-4-3 is the answer to every game. It has its place but I still feel we ultimately need to move towards a 4-3-3 in the long run.
What we could have done better in the 3-4-3 would be to instruct Willian and Aubamayeng to drift inside when we have possession in deeper areas and at the same time instruct Bellerin and AMN to push high and wide a bit quicker so that we could hit them with the diagonal football like Liverpool did with Mane and Salah.
That would have meant the support of the front 3 was already there when they received the ball while still having 5 players covering behind.
In essence we needed to be a bit braver in our commitment to getting the ball forward and to getting the players in support, but that is easier said than done against a team that is as well drilled, confident, and ruthless as Liverpool.
I think there is a reasonable amount of psychological fear involved in playing Liverpool right now, just like the fear we used to induce in the opposition in the early 2000’s.
Liverpool have developed their way to this without buying in big established stars and we will need to move onto that next psychological tier soon as well. I hope that as this season moves on we show a greater belief and bravery against the likes of Liverpool and Ciry.
There is a risk in committing more to attack against sides like that but accepting that risk is the only way we can develop to the next level and join them more as equals.