Was Leno at Fault for Liverpool’s Goal?

November 7, 2018

Following on from a thread about  whether Leno was at fault for the Liverpool goal, this is taken from a comment by our resident Keeper, GIE:

Now on to the goal plus Leno’s general command of the box and I am not so impressed. That said, I think Cech is also not the greatest in this area and we have seen examples on several occasions (one being his debut). Always thought at Chelsea he was well protected by Terry and co in front of him and could stay on his goal line. So yes, Leno is currently our no 1 but I do think he needs to improve that area of his game and he can, given time.

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What would I liked to have seen different on their goal?  Well you only have to watch their keeper in a similar situation in the first half. A similar cross, a similar dive except he fisted it away therefore adding power and it came at Mikhi really quickly, meaning he needed to kill it dead, which he didn’t, and the chance was gone. Compare that to the nicely settled ball Milner had to strike.

This was because Leno tried to catch it, which was not necessarily the worse decision if it had stuck, but I would rather see him either adjust his hands and flick the ball up over onrushing defenders and attackers without deviating the ball’s path or use two strong fists to punch away at speed. What happened was probably a result of indecision; all keeping errors in cross situations are nearly always a result of that. So he needs to work on decision making and he will be fine.

And decisions need to be made later even when the ball is in flight. Now I know I didn’t play at this level but whatever level you play at, you should have the necessary skill/mental capacity to achieve the same result against players of equivalent standard. (One team I used to play against (Haringey Boro) are in the first round of FA Cup this week, they’ve gone up a couple of leagues since I played them).

Take a free kick situation (like the one that led to Van Ducks header) and a high line (I was fond of that too as it gave me the 18 yard box unimpeded). If they put the ball between penalty spot and goal line and in centre of goal, I was coming for it, anywhere else it was the defenders’ and attackers’. Not many players were going to beat me with a header from further out. The only time I’d have to worry about bodies around me is if they floated it up high but even then I’ve got height advantage with arms so as long as I watched the flight and attacked at the highest point it was never going to be an issue.

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Corners are trickier balls that can be whipped in flatter and therefore take height advantage out of the equation. That said, I think as a team we need to change it slightly: if they put a man on the keeper you have to leave him on his own – we tend to put a second man in there, so not only is Leno blocked by one attacker he is also impeded by a defender too. If the opposition, as Watford do, put a second player on the keeper and the defence does likewise,  the GK now has two attackers and two defenders to navigate around.

My view was if they put a man on me, tell the defender to F off and make sure one of the men on the posts pick him up in second phase (if necessary) then I could ignore him, play my normal game. If he blocked my run to the ball, it was easy for officials to see the foul. Also if I ignored him, he wasn’t in my mind when I went to attack ball

written by Gooner In Exile

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Pleased with a point from Saturday? Really?

November 6, 2018

So the dust is starting to settle after the Liverpool game and minds are starting to turn to future fixtures which is understandable, but the thing is, I find myself troubled and not quite ready to move on just yet. Apparently, if I believe what I read, we passed a stern test and for that we should all be grateful. Or that seems to be the thrust of the view pushed upon us throughout the “non partisan” media and even more by many of the faithful in Arsenal Blog World.

Well you know what, I don’t feel grateful, I don’t think we passed a “stern test” and I was not happy that we drew. We could have won, we should have won and here is the bit that all the media have been afraid to say and that is – We were the better team.

Klopp mockingly said after the game that Arsenal sent on so many attackers that he was half expecting Bergkamp and Van Persie to make an appearance. The thing is again that we had the option to do that; Emery was able to send on Welbeck and Iwobi and even Ramsey is one of the most attacking midfielders in the league. But what has Klopp got? … ok, it can be argued that Shakiri is on a par with Ramsey but then what? They have no more strikers.

If you go through the teams, player for player, I think that you take far more Arsenal players than Liverpool.

Keepers: I am quite happy with Leno; there certainly was not a huge difference between them. The back line, bear in mind when you think about this, Liverpool had no injuries and were able to field their best 11. I wouldn’t swap our wing backs: Bellerin and Monreal for theirs, would you? I don’t think that Gomez is better than Koscielny and when the media take Van Dyke’s appendage out of their mouths they might see that Holding was every bit as good as the Dutchman on the day.

I don’t believe that anyone would swap any part of our midfield, (Torreira and Xhaka) for theirs, so that is over quickly and then we get to the attack. Mane for Ozil, err no, as good as Mane is, that is not a good swap. Firmino for Lacazette? No. And so we get to what is the one change anyone would make: Salah for Mkhitaryan. So that is just one change and we should remember that one blow to Salah at the wrong time and they could find themselves losing a very important game, oh wait, that already happened last season, shame.

So where did this idea come from that we were the underdogs at the start of that game and we should be grateful for our draw? I suppose fools like Merson fuelled this idea by predicting that Arsenal could get whooped 3-0 if Liverpool were on their game. The thing is, Paul, some of us had been watching Arsenal’s recent games and had seen with our own eyes how we have steadily improved and just how far we have risen since our unlucky loss against Chelsea.

Liverpool have been lauded by so many as the only true rivals to Man City and by that count above they only have one better player than we do and it is that fact which finds me taking issue with the idea that we should be both grateful for and content with the draw. Well, I am not grateful and I am not content, I am damn right furious that we, The Arsenal, the better team, did not win.

COYRRG

LB


Liverpool. A stern test.

November 3, 2018

Stevie Me, Small Head Carragher, Thicko Rush, Dirty Souness, Thunderbird Hansen, Biter Suarez, Steve One Minute, Fatboy Molby, Idiot Lawrenson, Big Nose Thompson, Steve Boring Macnanaman. What unites them? Yes, they are all Liverpool greats but they are also media darlings and Complete Lemons to a man.

Since the 80’s  Liverpool F.C’s is a history littered with broken dreams allied to the occasional banana skin, and the odd phenomenally lucky Cup victory. However, prior to “The Fall”, the Dippers were the best there was and I think we can date their demise back to May 26 1989.

No-one expected us to win that day and no pundits expect us to win this evening. Can Arsenal prove them wrong?

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Under  Klopp (who really should be managing AFC) they are playing lovely football and sans City, would be likely title winners. But we aren’t sans City and Liverpool, having spent an absolute fortune, will (IMO) remain also-rans.

I know a number of Danish chaps (saddos) who have YNWA tattooed somewhere on their body, such is their devotion. Liverpool have probably the largest foreign support of any team apart from MU and Barca. They are a massive club and finally appear to be matching performance to promise.

Klopp has created a wonderful team with quality in every area of the pitch. He has spent a fortune on defence, midfield and attack but without Klopp’s coaching genius L’pool would be another MU. And the massive difference between those two Northern giants is the demeanor of their managers which sums up the current state of both MU and L’pool.

Can our weakened and out-of-form defence stop the “best front three in the PL”? I doubt it. We have conceded 13 goals in the PL and are likely to ship more. this afternoon.

Can we score against a defence who have conceded just 4 PL goals this season? Yes we can.

If we start as we have been the game will be lost by half time, yet Emery cannot PTB and hope to score on the break …. actually he can, and that would be my tactics for the first 20 minutes!

My Team.

Bent

Hector   Greek Bloke   Holding    Kolasinac/Monreal

Ramsey  Terrier   Xhaka   Iwobi

Ozil

Lacazette

Yes, PEA on the bench. Unleash the Gabonese Goalgetter on 60 minutes. The team doesn’t, as yet, function with him out on the left and Mr Emery doesn’t seem to want him leading the line with Laca anywhere but central.

Iwobi will be important, he will need to cover his full back and be in place to attack down the wings.

Ozil??? If he turns up we have a chance, if not …

Mustafi has to be rested and instructed in the art of defending. His mistake at Palace was that of a player lacking in common sense; who dives into a tackle in the penalty area with a referee as whistle- happy as that comedian?

If we see Xhaka walk out to play at Left Back then we are screwed, Salah and Mane are much more dangerous than Zaha. I would prefer us to play Holding and go 3 at the back.

Bent has done enough to take Helmet’s first choice place as GK.

Are you confident we can win or even draw today? If so, you are a better man than I. If we continue our unbeaten run my confidence in the team and especially Mr Emery will soar.

That’s enough from me. Enjoy the game

COYRRG


Arsenal FC – Our home record against the mickey mousers

November 2, 2018

Our first game against Liverpool (October 28, 1893) was a Division 2 home game at Manor Road before 7,000 fans – they gave us a rude awakening and beat us 0-5.

The Arsenal team on the day –

1 Billy McOwen, 2 Andrew Hannah (c), 3 Duncan McLean, 4 John McCartney, 5 Douglas Dick, 6 Jim McBride, 7 Matt McQueen, 8 Malcolm McVean, 9 Harry Bradshaw, 10 Jimmy Stott, 11 Hugh McQueen.

Game Notes – Harry Bradshaw makes his LFC debut – Douglas Dick makes his LFC debut – Liverpool league position after match: 1st – Woolwich Arsenal league position after match: 13th

– The Liverpool Echo report is rather vague on the scorers of the 1st and 3rd goal, but Lloyds Weekly Newspaper and Yorkshire Herald both credit those goals to McCartney (1st) and Hugh McQueen (3rd). Later statisticians credit the 1st to McLean but Echo clearly says he should be credited with an assist. The fourth goal has also been credited by them to Bradshaw but Echo says he “headed well in from a long kick from his defence,”, but McQueen had the pleasure of putting on a fourth so clearly McQueen the scorer.

– The Pall Mall Gazette wasn’t impressed with the referee, reporting on 30th October : “The referee was the same gentleman who ordered two players off the field in the Arsenal v Walsall match. Many people considered that he acted in an extremely harsh fashion on that occasion. On Saturday he went to the other extreme and was too lenient. Hence the rough play.”

So AAer’s it’s now a proven fact that we have always been the victims of poor refereeing – how many other teams have suffered for 125 years?

 

Notable home fixtures

1st September 1934 – Arsenal 8 Liverpool 1

This was the season Arsenal claimed our 4th title in 5 years and the third on the bounce. Ray Bowden and Ted Drake scored hattricks as Arsenal sent the Scousers back up to the North West with their tails between their legs. Still annoyed about losing the clean sheet though. 🙂

4th April 1953 – Arsenal 5 Liverpool 3

Another title-winning season, Arsenal had already won 5-1 at Anfield before this entertaining victory became part of a run of 5 straight wins that eventually proved vital.

9th April 2004 – Arsenal 4 Liverpool 2

Perhaps the most famous of recent victories, Arsenal came back from being behind twice to hold on to our unbeaten status thanks to a rampant Thierry Henry.

4th April 2015 – Arsenal 4 Liverpool 1

Our biggest win of the last decade back when Liverpool were a Europa team along with the spuds. A left footed curler from Hector, a superb free kick from Mesut and an edge of the area banger from Sanchez, all in the first half, decided the result.

Our games against Liverpool have always been difficult with our last home win being on April 4th 2015 – I expect a fired up Arsenal team and hope we get a result for us fans and the new boss.

GunnerN5


Can VAR stop Spurs Cheating?

February 5, 2018

An exciting game at Anfield left Mr. Klopp fuming and a few million viewers shaking their heads at another example of the lack of moral fibre in the Spurs Miscreants. Which , to be candid, comes as no real surprise.What is surprising is that following at least a dozen slo-mo replays there was disagreement about both penalty decisions.

So how will VAR improve matters?

Let us look at both decisions.

Penalty 1. Kane is offside when the ball is played. It hits Lovren and thus Kane is adjudged onside (according to the TV referee Dermot Gallagher who has, at best, a loose knowledge of the game). Kane then sees the GK come towards him and dives, trailing his leg which brushes the GK’s arm. It is a clear dive. The man was falling before being minimally touched.

Much discussion followed. Penalty given.

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Penalty 2. Lamela gets into front of Van Dijk. Backs into him as Van Dijk attempts to clear the ball and hits the deck mortally wounded. No way a penalty – it was another example of crafty cheating.

Yet … penalty given and despite replays many would agree that it was a penalty.

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Would VAR have corrected either decision?

Alli got booked for an obvious dive earlier in the game, Lamela and Kane were simply better cheats.

We saw a similar act in our game vs Everton, when some no-mark got in front of the defender running at speed into the penalty area  -I think it was Calvert-Lewin – then halted abruptly causing the defender to run into him. The inevitable dive followed but the Everton miscreant was not booked, hence his cheating went unpunished.

Many say VAR would slow the game down whilst the decision is being made and that the fans would see less football. Given that the ball is in play for less than 45 of the 90 minutes, something could be done to correct this i.e. stop the clock when the ball is out of play at throw-ins, free-kicks and goal-kicks. It is an easy solution. What isn’t easy is finding a unbiased panel of referees to act as VAR officials.

In my opinion anything which stops a player cheating is beneficial, whether it is 100% accurate or not. There are players and managers who use diving and foul play as a tactic, VAR can help with this.

It is not perfect but IF, the replays are shown to the fans it can add to the excitement, as it has in rugby; unfortunately I doubt very much whether the replays will be shown to the attending fans. Which raises another point – VAR is for the home viewer, the billions who watch the PL around the world, not the tens of thousands who attend the game. And it is their dollar which counts.

Do you think VAR will make professional players stop cheating?

p.s. If you did not see the Anfield game, you will just have to take my  judgement as fact – after all, I am completely unbiased 😀 😀


Merry Christmas, Sanity is Over – Arsenal v Liverpool player ratings

December 23, 2017

Woo, that turned out better than I expected a good way into proceedings.

Slightly disappointed that we didn’t come away with all three points just to be able to rub their noses in it but hey ho, we could be feeling a whole lot worse over Christmas.

Cech must love playing for Arsenal there is always so much for him to do.

Bellerin: the great excitement was not knowing how far Hector could go, there was a moment when in the heady days of his upward trajectory that people thought if he added goals to his game he could be one of the all time greats — never gonna happen. Hector is what he is, a perfectly ok right wing back.

Koscielny, pre Sanchez goal, all over the place, post Sanchez goal a commited determined CB

Nacho, defensive player of the year, was replaced by Mustafi who was back from extreme bought of embarrassment which he suffered during the man u game.

Maitland-Niles pre Sanchez goal post Sanchez goal the young Tory was a joy to watch all game long.

What happened to Wilshere? He was bog standard average at two down, then Sanchez scored and then he turned into a super hero.

Xhaka’s game was something akin to a Wild West performance if there were such a thing, talk about the good the bad and the ugly.

Iwobi was a bit sub standard, I found myself actually wanting Walcott to come on and replace him; I never thought I would ever prefer Walcott over anyone ever again. Theeeo, Theeeo, Theeeo.

Sanchez, went from needing to be throttled to wanting to be carried around the ground on everyone’s shoulders in the space of ten minutes, but he is one of a small few who can change a game in a moment and that I suppose is the reason that he is always picked.

Ozil, there is television Ozil and live Ozil, the former is slow and not committed the latter is a regular genius, we had both today in that order.

Lacazette, got to say he was the only one who looked like it mattered to him that we were getting played off the park; it really was set up for him to grab a winner and all three points but as we know that was not to be. Maybe next time?

Written by LB


About time we turned over the Mickey Mousers

December 22, 2017

The first team will be back on show at the Emirates this evening after Tuesday’s exhilarating performance from the second stringers.

This game could set the tone for a very happy festive period. The players owe us a special win after their dismal away performance at Anfield.

Maybe Sanchez will realise he can boost his number of potential January suitors by putting in a decent show with some goals.

Will we revert to a back three now that Shkodran’s bruises have faded? Iwobi’s Mum will be disappointed if he doesn’t play as he adds much needed creativity and link play.

Presumably Lacazette will be back in the starting line up. Unless Sanchez is shoe-horned into the striker’s role.

Perhaps Xhaka needs a break to recapture (?) some form. Maybe Maitland-Niles (Con) could play DM as Micky saw him play there once against Reading.

Let’s hope we can start creating chances again and even better, take some of them.

My team

………..Petr

Kos …. Shkod… Nacho

Hector…Jack…Ainsley….The Beast

Mesut….Laca…..Sanchez

Up The Arsenal.