Arsenal 0 -2 Liverpool: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

It was inevitable.

A lot of heart shown by all the players, the crowd – fair play to most of them – rose to the occasion, young guns despite their obvious inexperience performed admirably, those in a limbo showed their professionalism, but in the end it all came to nought.

Another once-in-a-lifetime freak goal conceded by Arsenal gave Liverpool the edge in the final quarter-hour of the game when it looked like the ten men might just hold on. And the visitors garnished the result with a neat little second as the Gunners went in search of the equalizer.

Arsene started with Nasri in the midfield with Jenkinson on the right and Sagna as left-back. The line-up looked fairly strong albeit not the kind one would wish to see as the first team.

The opening exchanges were even but there were signs of things to come. In the 6th minute Arshavin found himself unmarked on the edge of the box when a corner was deflected to him. His touch was disappointing and the opportunity was lost. The awkward height of the ball cannot be an excuse at this level. That extra bit of quality in moments that could have been decisive was to lack throughout the game.

A couple of minutes later Frimpong went into the Referees book for a strange offence. He squared up to Kuyt who was about to take a throw-in. Seemed needless and was perhaps the result of his youthful over exuberance. Even that early on, there were genuine fears a red card was coming.

Soon after, Koscielny hobbled off with a back spasm leading to the introduction of Ignasi Miquel. He was the only defender on the bench!

Szczesny’s first big save came in the 20th minute when a cross from the Liverpool left found Carroll in the middle. His header was powerful but not well-directed.

For the rest of the first half, Liverpool pushed Arsenal back and created a number of half chances. Thomas Vermaelen stood tall and virtually owned the penalty box. Other defenders did their bit in helping the Belgian. The visitors appeared to dominate without providing a genuine threat.

Arsenal had precious few chances in attack and on occasions when they did get a chance the final ball was missing. Starting with Van Persie very early in the game when he almost put Walcott through from deep in Arsenal’s half, too many Gunners either put too much or too little weight on their final ball/cross.

Frimpong tested Reina and Nasri went close with long range shots after powering runs down the middle.

That was it for the first half. Liverpool didn’t look great for a side with so many additions. Arsenal didn’t look that far away even with three youngsters in defensive positions.

The second half was played at a slower pace. It appeared to me that the visitors were sitting back a lot more. This provided Arsenal more time on the ball but once again there was no cohesion or incision to the attack.

The ball was moved wide after too many touches and the wingers were always crowded out. When they did get a cross in there was hardly anybody in the box. Not only that, it was far too easy for Liverpool to move from defending a cross to putting one in of their own.

On one such occasion, in the 55th minute an over-hit cross from Jenkinson led to a counter-attack with his Liverpool counterpart Kelly hitting the post.

There were one or two attempts at playing down the middle but the players were not on the same wavelength and their one-touch lay-offs were easily intercepted.

The game had fizzled out when Arshavin created an opportunity after a physical battle, which appeared to be a foul by the Russian, but Van Persie’s attempt was saved by Reina.

Moments later the match roared into life as Frimpong went into another needless tackle which brought him a predictable and avoidable second booking. From that point on it was all Liverpool.

Wenger introduced another youngster as Lansbury came on for Arshavin. Arsenal were working hard but Liverpool created a couple of chances within minutes of gaining the numerical advantage. The introduction of the wily Suarez made the difference as he first forced save from Szczesny and then set Downing up for another strike on target.

The first goal came in the 78th minute. Meireles played in Suarez who was off-side but only just. Miquel came back to intercept the ball but his attempted clearance bounced from the chest of Ramsey and over Szczesny.

How often have you seen the assist and goal both coming from the defending team that too from an off-side situation? It was really harsh on the players but one cannot deny Arsenal make themselves susceptible to such disasters more often than any other side. Therein lies the real problem.

Wenger introduced Bendtner for Theo but where 11 men failed 10 just had no chance.

Liverpool got the second in the final minute of normal time. The midfielders were tired and had given up on tracking back by then which made it easy for the visitors to pass the ball around a couple of defenders to open up the goal for a tap-in. It usually happens when ten men are chasing a game.

Individual Performances

Szczesny: Made some good saves, collection and distribution was spot-on, had a couple of lapses in judgement but those were minor ones.

Jenkinson: Struggled to prevent crosses coming in from his side but it wasn’t all his fault. He didn’t get as much support as he should have. Went up and down quite often at pace and that might have led to cramps in the 84th minute. Crossing could have been better and he could have read Suarez’s position earlier to prevent the second goal, but for a young player, having to deal with this kind of pressure is a tough ask.

Koscielny: Wasn’t around long enough to make a big contribution.

Vermaelen: Phenomenal. Won almost everything in the box, read the game well, even went forward when the opportunity arose, MotM in my book.

Miquel: Much better than his debut game against Ipswich. Seems to have matured well and looks stronger. His positioning was good, won the ball back on a number of occasions when the opponent had a loose touch, unfortunate part in the own goal but was caught out by Suarez due to his inexperience which forced him into a suicidal clearance.

Sagna: A fair fighting display in an unfamiliar position. Wasn’t able to contribute to the attack on his weaker side but that is to be expected. Positioning was good even though he struggled against Carroll’s height on a couple of occasions.

I thought the defence was shaky through the game but the defenders were not at fault. One just has to see how Liverpool blocked off Arshavin and Walcott whenever they got on the ball to understand how easy it is to attack down Arsenal’s flanks. The shape of the team is not good enough and the players are invariably chasing the ball rather than forcing opponents into a corner with their positioning.

Liverpool took very little time in getting organized when they lost the ball. Arsenal were indecisive and confused. Some players were pressing up the pitch while others were falling back. It was much easier for the visitors to play between the lines and that led to more chances for them. That they lacked the quality to make it count earlier in the game is a different matter altogether.

Frimpong: Powerful, energetic, dominant, and tenacious. But also inexperienced, over enthusiastic, and a touch out of control. The red card marred what was looking like a MotM performance. He will also miss the United game. Would like to know if someone told him to mind his tackling or not. With experience he will also improve his off the ball movement and won’t scuff the kicks as often.

Ramsey: Again can’t fault him for hard work but he was off the pace on critical moments like the time when Nasri found him in space in the middle of the Liverpool half, but Kuyt nicked the ball as Ramsey wasn’t aware. There were a number of such small details that prevented him from getting the best out of his technical abilities. It also minimized the chances Arsenal could create down the middle or the speed at which the ball could be moved.

Nasri: Have to appreciate his professionalism. He worked hard and looked like the only one who could create something. Went close after a brilliant box-to-box run. Could have done a lot more if his midfield partners moved the ball better and faster.

It was a make-shift midfield and they performed as such. Liverpool were able to force the back-five into kicking long far too often as the midfield wasn’t able to overcome the pressing. This in turn caught them in a no man’s land when the ball came back. Ultimately, there was a lot of ball chasing and not enough opportunities to move it forward in a manner that brought Arshavin or Walcott into play on their strengths.

In the second half, when the visitors sat back, the midfield wasn’t incisive enough but a lack of understanding and movement up front also contributed to that.

Walcott: Never got an early ball to use his pace. Was double-teamed every time he got the ball. Crossing wasn’t great but there were never enough targets. Should have been moved to a central position when the visitors were playing a high line.

RvP: Incredible work rate. I lost count of the runs he made without ever getting a good ball to match their quality. Put in some good corners.

Arshavin: His touch was disappointing on more occasions than one. Work rate was better and he was really trying to contribute in defence. Never got a chance to run at the defenders in a one-v-one.

I thought the system forced the wide players into a defensive position far too often. Van Persie could never win a ball in the air and hold it up. Given the struggles of the midfield, this meant the attacking opportunities were really limited. When the ball did get forward in wide areas there just weren’t enough bodies in support.

Subs: Lansbury and Bendtner could not make a big impact but it’s hardly their fault.

Wenger: He has to find a better system where the whole defence (not just the defenders) is more co-ordinated and there are clear opportunities to transition to attack. The current players just don’t suit this system which is still unproven anyway. Has also taken way too many risks and the future looks bleak when so many things go wrong at the same time. Deserves credit for picking Nasri and for motivating the players to give their all.

84 Responses to Arsenal 0 -2 Liverpool: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. Chris M says:

    I cant fault your analysis of the game, pretty much spot on. I thought the Defense did great today under the circumstance. The attitude of Nasri today was Faultless but overall the rest were poor. Wenger has 10 days to fix this team or we will not make 4TH this year.

    • chris from Cambridge says:

      Well I can fault the analysis.

      > Arshavin gave the ball away more times than I can count which is what he has done over and over for the last 18 months.

      > Walcott knows he can’t beat Enrique which he learned last season. He again played like a boy with nil football brain.

      > RVP tried very very hard but is isolated all on his own down the middle in Wenger’s one only game plan. RVP is a number ten player, needing a front runner to work off.

      • davi says:

        Completely agree. Sums up the attack.
        I do think we are playing a more defensive style at the moment, which I hope is indicative of a permanent change, and not one that’s just been enforced due to injury. I did get the feeling that we could have held them and maybe sneaked a win today were it not for the sending off. Exactly the same as the newcastle game.

      • santori says:

        Would have preferred Arsharvin down the middle just behind RVP. he has a kack for releasing the ball quicker.

        Out wide, he tends to struggle these days because of his lack of speed.

        But Nasri prob got first preferance.

        TBH, not much the manager could do with the players at his disposal currently.

        But it begs the question, how did we get to this state in the first place without adequete back up?

        where is the big squad he keeps mentioning? Oh yes, they’re making a new bench to sit on.:D

      • richie says:

        Couldn’t agree more, RvP is more naturally a 2nd attack (where he plays for Holland) he links attack with mid very well. Our problem is 433 (at the momement) it doesn’t work for us because we don’t have the personel. If Jack boy had been fit then a mid of JW Frimpong and Ramsey might work, with an attack of Theo RvP and Shava (Although neither Shava or Theo didn’t stepped up yesterday).

        I think 442 would’ve suited what we had available to us yesterday. Our Mid would’ve been Theo Nasri Frimpong and either Shava or Ramsey. With double quick Theo playing on the defenders shoulder and RvP in the hole behind. For me 433 only works when the mid consists of a destructive, defensive mid and the other two can hold on to the ball comfortably and pick out passes for the attack.

        Jack has vision Nasri (for however long he’s with us) has vision and both have the technique to hold on to the ball comfortably. Even Frimpong has vision. But thus far although Ramsey has a great engine he shows no signs of being a play maker, and Shava at the moment looks a full metre off pace and 15 seconds behind the play.

  2. james zico says:

    i,m so sorry 4 wenger if him did buy a play who can play central back and midfied arsenal is not going to top ten this season

  3. james zico says:

    i watch this game today is making me heart broke, wenger buy play or sack pls

  4. RmanGoon says:

    That result doesn’t make me feel so bad now :l

  5. Ash says:

    An even game was turned on it’s head by the sending off. It was obvious he was going to get sent off so why he wasn’t subbed is beyond me. Ramsey could have switched to holding player and we could have changed formation to 4-1-3-1-1 with Nasri in the middle with Walcott and Arshavin and van Persie off Chamakh. But as usual Wenger shows that tactically he is MILES behind ferguson and mourinho as he always seems to adopt a reactionary managerial style rather than a proactive approach. We have an enormous game on weds and I’m crapping my pants as I can’t see how we are going to win given that udinese gave us a real test at the emirates. All of this could have been avoided if Wenger had bought and sold early rather than letting this drag and we could be in danger of not competing in champions league. How has he let this happen? My faith is completely lost and I am dreading each game. Today I expected us to lose and I have never felt like that for a home game. I hate to say it but we need a new manager next season.

  6. True gunner says:

    Ramsey is absolute rubbish, just a hype.

  7. james zico says:

    this is a ham to all arsenal fan and plays, how can a man who call himseif a world best manager and u sell a world best play u can not buy ur buying a one milion pound play, how can u face a play that cost 20milion pound, howu can u see a play of 1 milion pound u want to face a play of 20milion pound i ,m so sorry 4 arsene wenger this season will are not top 10 sorry to say that.ham 2 arsene wenger i,m not going to watch aresnal match again coz wenger make me heartbroke.

    • santori says:

      here is the danger.

      Call him fickle but we are in danger of losing fans like zico james.

      It is a direct impact on revenue if this trend continues and will undo the ticket hike and Asia tour.

      The board will have to take a hard look and wonder if being extra frugal really makes financial sense at this stage.

      I don’t think the fans are asking for Wenger to spend ludicrous amounts like Liverpool but clearly, the squad is thread bare 2 games in!

  8. craig says:

    Vermaelen was awesome. The game was lost in midfield. Frimpong looked the best of the bunch, but was a guaranteed red card. He looked like a crazy man out there.

  9. aditya says:

    VERMAELEN!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the caps, but he was brilliant today, so was chezzer.
    As for the game, i don’t think we can blame anyone but the medics for it. Our training methods seem off. Anyone else noticed that the only 2 non-keepers in the reserve game vs man u who are part of the first team squad(traore and afobe) went off injured, Also, our fittest player(according to vermaelen), jenkinson was also struggling today.

    • santori says:

      Fantastic display but he’s now left with young Miguel.

      What is going on?

      Partticularly what is going on with our team prep pre-season and our physical conditioning?

      5 Cbacks and 3 are out injured 2 games in!

      Wenger says we have enough at Cback….

      Forget Cahill, Samba, Jagielka. What price an Alex(Chelsea) to sit next to Vermaelen right now? I’ll tell you now, 7.5m quid.

      • richie says:

        Whats going on with with our pre-season was our board wanted a money making Asia tour? That normally previously Arsene has managed to resists. So we didn’t end up having a full proper pre season.

  10. Raavan says:

    My first ever post….never ever thought i vil b writin…but i dont think i’ve missed any of ur article desi…
    I’m young gunner fan(young in sense its only d 4th yr i’ve bn supportin d ARSENAL/watchin epl)
    i’m really proud 2 say i’m a gunner…cant say i was never frustuated nd felt let down but never gave up on arsenal either…always thought v ver highly unlucky…
    Just vot prompted or pushed me 2 write dis is d reaction of SIR A.Wenger(SAW)…just wanted 2 giv my unwavering support to d Arsenal nd SAW in dis difficultest of tyms…nd pls dont term dis emotional bulls**t…i’m proud of dis team nd vil keep on supportin any 11 fielded…vil always b cheering 4 d guns…
    gunner 4 lyf…

    • Zgunner says:

      I was proud to be a Gunner for more than just 90 minutes today. We have a great squad, with the most bad luck ever.

      We have a great defense. That’s all I need to take from the game tonight. Keep your head up high… The sending off and a GIFT goal was the only brilliant thing that related to Liverpool on the pitch today. The second goal is a consequence of the next.

      I’m not saying that Arsene doesn’t have to buy….

      What I am saying is that EVEN if he doesn’t NO Arsenal fan should be one of their own players!

      I swear this same squad of “kids”… with a little bit of faith… and string of good results…. is a really good team. The way the players performed considering the number of injuries and terrible circumstances of the match (kosc injury, red card, own goal)…

      I believe the lads have every right to keep their heads up high…

      Amazing FRIMPONG? Jenkison (had a great game)?


      Sagna? Scezney? Nasri? (demands respect- he is class).

      Even Miquel had a good show discount the bad clearance OG deflection.

      That’s more than 50% of the team had a great game today to make up for the not so happy time on the pitch tonight (WALCOTT, Ramsey)

      I honestly thought we were the better side today… WE NEED TO BUILD SOME FAN FAITH IN THE TEAM SOMEHOW. BASED ON WHAT WE SAW ITS REALLY NOT A BAD TEAM.
      (Really Sorry for Caps)

      Depth however is an issue.

      Personally, I don’t find it hard to believe that Wenger knows what he’s doing.

      • santori says:

        No point being defensive and I am saying this as one of the more optimistic Gooners.

        We could have avoided this situation somewhat.

        As it is, it may still be rectifiable but Wenger will have to move very quickly and make some inspired signings.

        It’s not that there is little value out there.

        eg. Alex is being scouted by Juventus for 7.5m. I say get him (even if we have to over pay1-2m). There is value in paying high for younger players but sometimes, there is equal value paying a bit more for an experienced head, particularly someone who has won a title or two and has more talent than Squillaci.

      • Zgunner says:

        I completely disagree Santori that the situation Wenger saw himself in was a predictable or avoidable one. You could never predict injuries, or that your top starts will just leave now.

        On the other hand, it is only naturla for me to get defensive when I have seen nothing short of abuse towards the manager and the players for the past 3 years at least.

        I often feel the valuation of the talent Arsenal possess is inaccurate.

      • richie says:

        To everyone who’s wondering why no buys so far? Refer you all to Liam Brady’s comments while being interviewed for RTE while commentating on the Newcastle game.
        He said several of Arsenals transfers have fallen through, because even though transfer fee’s have been agreed, the board won’t agree the personal terms. Apparently the board insist the wages come only from the ticket sales budget with no top ups made from elsewhere (especially not the board members pockets). Which means we need to sell players not for the transfer money but to clear players on big money contracts before we can sort out personal terms for incoming players. Which might explain the 6% ticket price rise in the middle of hard times. I don’t like it but the UK govenment would no doubt appove of the book ballancing attempt.

  11. Raavan says:

    Nd by d way its seems dat every1 is forgetting v ver missin d vital elements of dis team….nd stil v wer weathering d storm vitout much fuss…true v cant b called d clear champions material but beliv v can b d dark horses nd vit spirit commitment nd luck could go all d way…YES ALL D BLOODY WAY….!!!

  12. DOU KNOW says:


    • santori says:

      Not a bad idea.:D

      It may afford Wenger a better chance at dealing with team chemistry/tactics whilst dein does the tough negotiating.

      Trouble is, we don’t know the ‘dynamics’ within the establishment. Clearly Dein is opinionanted as he should be and clearly some may not share his opinions.

    • richie says:

      Rediculous statement David Dien sold his shares in Arsenal to The ManU supporting Usmanov in revenge for the board removing him after his “coup de etat” attempt to install himself as chairman failed. DD may be an Arsenal supporting friend of Arsene Wenger’s but his way of showing his support is bizarre in the extreme. If DD had sold his shares to an Arsenal supporter who was prepare to invest his own money buying us players like an Abromovich type, fair enough, but he made sure he gave us the worst person the board would ever want. Usmanov wanted to underwrite our debt in exchange for more of a say in the clubs affairs, we are lucky the club resisted or we might’ve found ourselves up to our eye balls in debt “a la Manu’er at the moment”.

  13. ballaballa says:

    This is excactly tue game we could have used chamakhs abilities, hes very good at keeping the ball wzen hes alone up front so the midfield can get into attack dunno why wenger didnt use him

    • davi says:

      An on-form chamakh would be useful against anyone, but he has lost his edge from last season. Hope he get’s it back soon because we need it.
      Same goes for arshavin, but when is wenger going to lose patience? He does very little for the attack, and he gives the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas. If he were a youngster this might be acceptable, although we would all question his place in the side, but for someone of his experience, this is getting ridiculous. We need our older players to be leading the way, like RVP does. Arsh not only doesn’t do his main job, making and scoring goals, but he actually creates problems for the defence. I appreciate his work rate and desire to do well, but it’s just not enough.

      • santori says:

        No problem with Wenger’s selection…not that there was much choice.

        It’s the bench that’s an issue, or shall I say a further issue.

        I thought RVP, Vermaelen and even Arsharvin (Nasri too) did a good job trying to get the team going. It just wasn’t quite there albeit we were at least competitive until the Red Card.

  14. Excellent analysis Desi………again! This has to be the worst start to a season in terms of injuries and red cards. How can AFC compete against opponents who have full sides when we need to play 8 neophytes as starters? This is a make or break period, as our kids will really have to step up and our veterans really show their stuff if we aren’t to end up out of the CL and behind in the EPL. Had our team shown the courage and drive in last season’s run-in as these kids have shown now, we would have won the EPL.

  15. davi says:

    Arshavin and walcott were quite poor, and ramsey didn’t do much, but apart from that I thought all played well.
    Have to say – the first goal should have been disallowed for offside, although it did expose the inexperienced miquel, who did have a surprisingly good game overall.
    It again leaves a bad taste to me because we might have got a draw were it not for a mistake by an official, I didn’t think liverpool were that dangerous too be honest.
    So disappointed with/for frimpong. He looks like a fantastic player, but he should have calmed down a bit. His red card was probably the only “inevitable” occurrence today. Were it not for that, we could easily have won, and even after it, I felt we could have held on.
    Overall very impressed with the young players, but it looks as though we need another experienced defender, and someone like hazard would really help – assuming the reports in the press are true, I hope wenger has someone else lined up in case he decides not to sign for us this season –the udinese game is even more daunting now!

    • santori says:

      Are you dissapointed?

      I’m not.

      Like Desi, I think it felt like an inevitable thing waiting to happen.

      Wenger is flirting with fire at this point and to not reinforce robustly within the next 10 days will be tempting disaster.

    • santori says:

      I can’t see Hazard coming. Lille just sold us Gervinho and they are in CL this eason (no qualifying round I might add). Why would he want to come?

  16. alex says:

    I dont know what game u where watching to praise Ramsey.Be honest with yourself first and foremost.On this lad and Walcot there is to much hype.
    See every step of that Ramsey today and you will notice that his passes are not of Arsenal caliber at all.Ramsey in my opinion is just The kind of substitutes that they appear at the last 10 min. We have seen enough football my friend and please do not try to blind people with this articles.I believe we all love arsenal and to say the truth to ourself make arsenal better.
    THEO is always like that.Here and there some goals will not make me believe as the english media make it a prolific striker.He got plenty of pace yesssssssssss and then whaaaaaaaaaat ?

    • davi says:

      Ramsey does have great talent, but he’s still pretty inconsistent. He made mistakes with the ball, but he does at least put in a shift.

      • FoolishgooNer says:

        You are right! He only made few of the biggest mistakes in defense and midfield. Scoring for the wrong team, losing the ball in the final third, and jogging back ala Denilson for the second goal. All highlight lack of awareness and fitness. And that is a big problem if you want to be a ninethy minute Midfielder for club like Arsenal. Unfortunately we seem to have few players like him in the squad and that kills the confidense of higher quality players! Ramsey is a wonderful talented player but he is not ready certainly not ready to play every week and full matches. Hope ge doesn’t start at Udinese. Theo was lost can’t drible and can’t hold on to the ball for 2 seconds! TV was awesome others did ok. Inexperience, unfimiliar possitions, and a manager who has a gambling problems! There we have it. First of many defeats to come at the EmRfs this season.

      • santori says:

        Ramsey…had it been Diaby, the knives would have been out and sharpened.

        Fact is that Ramsey has not yet even reached the level of ability of Diaby to change the complexion of a game.

        Granted the Frenchman is still erratic (not to mention injury prone), his strong forward runs in our arsenal provides us with a different dimension (amatched only by Jack) and he has since tidied his defensive game a little (not least with counselling from the Captain)

        I think Ramsey is still on his learning curve and for Wenger to expect that he will deliver like Jack is a bit wishful currently.

        We need another creative mid even if jack comes back in shortly.

        Again, I like someone like Montolivo who might bring good balance in the middle for us.

  17. Jerry says:

    personally, i wud take Jerk-in-sin, the purposelessly ever running walcott and the never do well arshavin as the flops of the match

    • davi says:

      What was so bad about jenkinson? He tackled well and did his job I though?

      • Jerry says:

        He was scared of marking Stewart Downing and often times back peddling, thereby causing havoc for the defence. I think he was scared of being dribbled rather than getting the job done. He reminds me of Clichy.

  18. nicky says:

    Chris from Cambridge,
    Agree entirely with your comments. I thought our defence continued to improve (compared to last season). Liked Frimpong and Vermaelen was MOTM. This coming week is a make or break for us IMO. We have to buy and we have to qualify for the CL.

  19. Finnish Hit says:

    I think the kids were great today. Frimpong is a beast, let’s hope he gets his temper under control. I think it was an exciting game to watch… well, until the very very strange own goal at least! And of course it had to come from an offside.

    I read that Jagielka was the cause of Everton’s loss. Everyone makes mistakes.

    • santori says:

      He was always going to be somewhat rough round the edges. This is not the sort of game you would want to have to trust defensive mdifield responsiblity entirely on to him.

      I really feel Wenger is in essence actually doing the younger players a disservice at this point and udnermining their confidence. Ditto Miguel

      Wenger puts a premium rightly so, on youth and is willing to pay more.

      But he has got to also learn from today that sometimes, a couple of older players are well worth the extra premium just not the sort of low quality seniors he has been getting for some seasons now in Silvestre and Squillaci. Those are poor band-aids at best.

      @LB, we have a problem with Gibbs constantly out and Traore also unavailable.

      Clearly playing your best Cback is not desirable nor is it an option now. Nor is playing your RB out of position and (again) entrusting a young LB to a big game so early on.

      Wenger could easily move for the likes of Bastos at Lyon.@27, plenty of experience and if/when Gibbs is fit or Traore is promoted, the Brasilian can easily be switched to either forward wing positions where he plays for Lyon.

      I believe the asking price is 15m euros. That’s not terribly much (certainly not Leigton Baines) and is price quoted before hard haggling in French.;)

  20. Tim says:

    Vermaelen was outstanding, and Frimpong will be a great stand-in for Song once he learns to curb his enthusiasm a bit. Today’s loss hurt, but elimination on Wednesday will hurt both hearts and pockets much more. At least we have Gervinho, Song and Frimpong available for that.

    • santori says:

      Frimpong…trouble is, could we afford to entrust him with sole responsibility in marshalling ahead of the defense given these crucial matches at the start of season?

      Granted he is extremely promising and a solid unit but we ought to have another back up.

      We definately need one now and urgently god forbid we play Lansbury and Ramsey against United! (or even Jack/ Ramsey)

      My suggestion would be to look into someone like MOntolivo who is wantaway at Fiorentina (who need money)…therefore price extremely negotiable.

      @26, he is just entering prime years and he can function both as playmaker and as a DM. It’ll be a perfect solution for our needs in 2 slots but for one price. When Song and Frimpong serve the suspension, MOntolivo could move toward the more creative end of things.

      It may also afford us an option of going 4-4-1-1 thus utilising some of our less experience set up better.

  21. Wenger is no longer fit to be arsenal manager. He lives in a fact free zone. Why was Frimpong not substituted when it was clear he was going to get a second yellow? Why is Vermalean not the captain, why has the club not purchased the centreback we all know is required, why was clichy not replaced, we are now playing Sagna out of position. Why is he not selling squillach and Chamakh instead of Bendtner, why has the club not signed replacements for Nasir and Fabregas when it was clear the two would be leaving. Why did the club spent 15 million on a young player who is not ready when the club is so depleted. For all these reasons and more, Wenger should leave tonight, not after the defeat to Udinese on Wednesday or the loss to ManU next weekend. Lastly, Ramsey,Frimpong, Jenkinson, Miguel, Chamberlain, Joe Campbell are all decent young players who may be good in the future, BUT they are not ready for the first team. At best they are good substitutes. Theo and Asharvin are clearly failures- best used as substitutes. If Arsenal had a football loving owner and not a silent investor, Wenger would be gone by now. I am also beginning to think that Wenger is compensated based on the club’s profitabilty and not footballing results. The club should prove me wrong by releasing details of the incentive/bonus part of his contract. Arsenal fans everywhere should demand that the ownership, board and coaching set-up of the team be changed immediately. This is a daylight fraud which should be stoped!

    • santori says:

      …there won’t be any ‘profitability’ if the fans start to vote with their feet and if we slip out of CL contention.

  22. Londongooner says:

    Lets start with the positives. The defence and goalkeeper played really well with TV5 in total control. Ignasi stepped up to the mark – fair play to him. Frimpong and Nasri were excellent, the former’s youthful exuberance getting the better of him…but he will learn. If AW had the bench strength, I am sure Frimpong would have been substituted to protect him….now we are faced with a trip to Old Trafford without either Song or Frimpong!

    Arshavin and Walcott were awful. Arshavin just looks like he is not bothered and his inconsistency is so frustrating…surely the time is near when he needs to be let go. Walcott just didn’t want to take on any Liverpool defenders. He also failed to track back to support young Jenkinson in defence which was poor. I get the feeling that Walcott will be sulking every time he is played on the wing as opposed to his preferred position of striker.

    Lets hope some new players are brought in to support the youngsters at Arsenal, otherwise there will be far too much pressure for these young players.

    • Jerry says:

      Ya man I totally agree with you. Also if Walcott if feed up playing on the wings he shuld tender his transfer request, it would be a relief

    • Jerry says:

      Ya man I totally agree with you. Also if Walcott if fed up playing on the wings he shuld tender his transfer request, it would be a relief

  23. winston says:

    Arshavin and Walcott were woeful.Arshavin has shown no commitment for the last 18 m0nths and WALCOTT IS A ONE TRICK PONY who still seems to think he can he can tap the ball and run around the defender every time.i dont think he niether has the brains nor the skill to do anything else.given thier contribution was negligable I cannot believe they stayed on so long before beieng subbed.Some one like Ferguson would have subbed them regardless of who the player was if he was not performing.sad to think that for a team which was the envy of football teams world over we are teetering on the brink of mediocrity.


    • santori says:

      Walcott was completely ineffectual.

      Arsharvin was clumsy. I don’t think he his as suited for the wide berth as much these days as he may have lost some speed. It would certainly have been interesting to play him in the middle (in the hole behind Rosicky) in a more disciplined 4-4-1-1.

      However I would presume Nasri got first pickings for the central role for good reason and may have been the better with industry in supporting the fledgling Ramsey/Frimpong arrangement.

  24. ArtVandeley says:

    I feel lile I was watching a completely different game. The majority of the team played really well, and if anything makes me feel more confident with using the younger players now that Cesc is gone and Nasri is likely to follow. I think that it was more just bad luck that we lost this game, and you can’t fault the manager for that. We must support Arsene, otherwise who knows how bad it will get.

  25. santori says:

    Good analysis as usual Desi.

    I tend to agree with you that perhaps Wenger isn’t getting the best out of what is at his disposal at the moment with regards team shape.

    Having said, that we cannot fault the team (including Nasri) for their effort today. Nor the supporters for their voice.

    Winterburn urged the team to stand up for Wenger. I think it’s time Wenger stands up for the team.

    It is absolutely ludicrous that we have let ourselves into the situation which we are at with regards depth,

    We have 5 Cbacks and 3 are injured, one young and inexperienced.

    We have zero DMs, both nominal ones on suspension for the next2-3 weeks.

    What’s going on?

    Granted the market is tough and prices will understandably be inflated (particularly now as Dixon says since the sellers know Wenger has a healthy war chest), but surely bearing current circumstance, we simply need to buy instructively and NOW.

    Wenger is all praise for Nasri’s commitment. I don’t think the same can be said for Nasri with the current state of the team. It certainly won’t help convincing him would it?

    IF Wenger does not bring in a Cback, a DM/mid minimal in the next 10 days, I expect some of the more nimble supporters will vote with their feet.

    The board must surely be cognisant that this will put a dent in the recent tickert price hike and the good work put in with the recent Asia tour.

    Someone MUST push Wenger to buy. There is value out there so long as Wenger is willing to pay slightly above his treshold and put some value added with regards experience.

    We have another massive game at Udinese shortly and despite the huge effort today, uncertainty will begin to creep into the team’s mindset with regards our current ability (Bearing in mind we weren’t even able to assert our nominal possession superiority at home)

    If things persist like this, we will go flat very very quickly and things will not look good s pressure piles on.

    Wenger has to make some decisions now and buy quickly.

    • richie says:

      Refer you to the above post Liam Brady commentating for RTE.
      RTE has an iplayer or find it on youtube it explains much about whats going on at the club transfer wise. I can think of no reason for Liam Brady to lie about such matters.

  26. Aussie Jack says:

    Wasn`t impressed by either wingers. Thought Wenger might replace Asharvin with Ryo. I was concerned about Nasri`s commitment before the game. I was wrong.

    • santori says:

      Nasri really deserves some respect.

      The way the team are set up at the moment, you can fault him for being a little disillusioned.

      It’s just not convincing at all.

  27. Phil23 says:

    Good game lads. I’m still a proud Gooner. As I expected, an almost full strength Liverpool side with all their transfers completed only just edged out a make shift team with 8 injuries and signings to come. If there is a god out there, please don’t let Koscielny be out for a long time. Whoever says Arsene should have subbed Frimpong are thick. We had no replacement for him, would they prefer we just handed to points to Liverpool by taking off our outstanding performer (As well as Vermaelen of course)? Don’t forget that it was Arshavin who came off and we kept a 3 man midfield, yet we were cut through like butter once Frimpong was gone. Will gladly take this loss if we make it into the CL. From what I’ve heard Hazard will be coming soon if we get through. Not to mention Arsene will be SMASHING our transfer record for him. I stand in the same position over Nasri. The only way he should be allowed to stay is by signing a contract, brilliant player or not. If he resigns all will be forgiven. (They are saying Man City deal has fallen through which is terrible news if he doesn’t resign).

  28. el bizarron says:

    it looks like I got my wish of Wenger trotting out all the young guns at once. d’oh!

  29. apanama says:

    I’m start to prepare myself mentally for the worst yet to come…

    Getting kick out of CL by Udinese….

    And getiing trashed by Manure…

    By the way, could Ryo and AOC make any different?

  30. Arsenal4 says:

    I thought we’re doing quite decent up to the red card. The challenge was 50:50, so I can blame Frimpong, which I thought had a fantastic game. The first yellow card though was stupid.

    Our Defence were fantastic. Szescny, Vermaelen, Sagna, Frimpong, gave me a sense of confidence. Funnily enough, last year we struggle wit defense, no struggle with our offense, well mainly due to lack of creativity in the middle.
    Samir, huge respect to him, as usual not great for playmaker. Ramsey needs to work (a lot) on his decision making, with the seat up of Arsenal he needs to be the boss, demand the ball and become the architect of the game. I am asking a huge Cesc’s boot to fill, given the circumstance we have too.

    Our luck is horrendous, with this rate we’ll have to play the entire U20 by 2 weeks from now.

    I really hope Arsene and the board come quick to sort this out. We need reinforcement. For the good spirit for our game, our players and last but need least the fan. Any positive news, we’ll do Arsenal a favor.

    I really hope next week we can build our season around a win in Udinese and some great additions to the squad.

  31. Yang says:

    No need to blame both wing-forwards, Arsenal attacking have been based on quality wide forwards and supplemented with Csec.

    Liverpool pretty much know what they only need to mark out wing-forwards then that’s it.

    Team need CM who can provide creativity and one CB. This is must and I don’t think Liverpool and Chelsea are that strong so there is still a good chance for Arsenal.

  32. Raavan says:

    Agree vit phil23….i hear a lot of critics at wenger 4 playin frmpng in d 2nd half…pray tel me hu els he needed 2 play dr….??ramsey…another player out f position…ven he was already havin a bad game…or should wengr hav bought another DM…pls…its not dat v vil b missin des many players…
    I’m not sayin v r a bit short of quality but callin 4 signin every single player out dr is *@%[§….
    But callin 4 signin Alex out dr is a good shout….i’m sure v vil b seein 1 r 2 signin…hope aoc,ryo nd cambl take off…here’s hopin v beat manu at OC by a diff. of atleast 2 goals…really lifted by d +ve posts frm my gunner bro’s….

  33. lolololol says:

    we need creativity, someone who can dictate the team’s play.

  34. Ajinkya says:

    I think Miquel was great. I started watching the game after Koscielny went off, and did not realize it. And I think we have a great defensive player in Frimpong. He must control his impulses.
    It is not correct to fault the players, as most of the regular team was out of action. Vermaelen and Sagna did their bit, they are the beasts of our defense. I saw Carroll going down a bit too easily, perhaps to win fouls or bookings, shame on him.
    Any one can say, the red card changed the game. It looked like another goalless draw to me without it.

  35. Hadley says:

    Calling True Arsenal Supporters!

    Sign the Petition, ‘Back Wenger, Support Arsenal’

    We need to stand together behind our manager and our club and stop these vicious and unwaranted attacks.
    If you’re a true SUPPORTER stand up and be counted and make your voice heard. The club is suffering and needs our support more than ever now in this difficult time. Sign and show your true support.

  36. Claver says:


    I’m sorry I lost it in my previous post. I would like to bring this to your attention

    @Hadley, I have signed the petition. Thanks.

  37. Pedram Toronto says:

    Apart from those in the doom and gloom mode, I think your article pretty much sums up what most fans saw in the game. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere (and by “anywhere” I mean only those places I’ve checked!) is that after the performance of the past 2-3 seasons, and especially this past week, I’m coming to the conclusion that Arsenal’s #1 priority should be to address the medical/physio team’s poor performance in getting players to fitness and keeping them fit. The number and types of injuries sustained by players in this short time span is unheard of in any other major club in Europe.
    I know that statistically you can run into a rough patch, but our current situation does not seem to be simply unlucky confluence of events. Cesc was out half of each of the two past seasons. Rosicky, Diaby, Walcott, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Djourou, and of course RvP have all been sidelined for very long periods of time (and some have never gained back their full match sharpness). Which other major European club do you know with such predicament? Even if you argue that these players are injury-prone themselves, this shows a flaw in the medical tests each player has to go through before finally signing.
    That said, on the player front, and after seeing the performance of the defense over the past week (from keeper to holding midfielders), I think left back is the main area of concern these days (unless the centre backs fall prey to major injury again). One thing you could notice is that on set pieces the team as a whole was very dominant defensively with Vermaelen simply majestic (and RvP putting some good shift in). Bodes well for the season.

  38. Jose Marti says:

    I am sorry to say that last year, some of us started sounding the alarm bells and we were firmly rebuked on this site by none other than Desi himself.

    It was very clear, by the end of last season, that Wenger’s project had failed. This project is quite simple, if not simplistic. It consists in buying cheap and selling high – Vieira, Anelka, Petit, Overmars, Henry, Hleb, Fabregas, and now Nasri. This can work as long as you find real young talents who learn and grow fast. But most importantly, it can work as long as the other clubs play more or less according to the same rules.

    But this has changed since Abramovicth took over Chelsea. The bar has been raised very high financially. Right now, only three clubs can really compete – Man U, Chelsea and Man City. They can buy expensive players and pay expensive salaries while developing a global brand with expanding markets in the USA and most importantly in Asia.

    Our dear Wengher with his protestant ethic and his frugal ethos thinks this is demonic. SO he wants to play by rules he alone is adhering to. Call it wise? I call it delusion. Meanwhile, the price of tickets is being hiked and revenues from the sale of players are nor reinvested in the team – Henry, Fabregas, Adebayor, Toure, Clichy, Eboue and the others.

    But the project has failed in another, even more dramatic way, that is provoking the ire of the fans.

    Wenger and everybody else knew since last year that Fabregas was going to leave. Ferguson or Mourinho would have aligned a replacement long before Fabregas saw the door of the Emirates. The same crowd knew that Nasri was not going to sign an extension. Why did they spend the entire time not making sure there was any replacement?

    I could go on and on, highlighting the extraordinary callousness with which this season has been botched. No forward planning. None whatsoever. That is one of the reasons we find ourselves in this mess.

    Meanwhile, Wenger keeps talking non-sense after non-sense. He keeps contradicting himself and each time, he loses more credibility. He is being more and more forced to peddle lies.

    He is clearly exhausted. Just look at his mannierisms on the bench. He looks like a tortured man. He is totally painful to watch and no other manager exhibits the same kind of idiosyncracies. He has completely lost the plot.

    How is it that so many players are injured after only 2 games? Is it simply because they are more fragile than all the others? Could it be that we might look into our physio department and change our methods of training and keeping them in a better state of fitness?

    But Arsene won’t admit none of this and he won’t go. Result? Arsenal will have an abysmal season and the whole thing will end in a terrible tragedy.

    • Zgunner says:

      Wenger will silence his doubters on the pitch… this season. This season is about winning the fans and uniting the front. Arsenal despite all the problems we had still fields a great team only a blind person won’t see it.

  39. Berard says:

    Here we go.Wenger has just been handed a two-match ban by UEFA!
    It is getting more and more ridiculous!

  40. Berard says:

    Sorry. I meant it is getting more and more farcical.
    Before it gets tragic.

  41. Arsenal says:

    Most Arsenal fans are mostly ignorant to all matters behind the scene. Stop scolding or venting your anger towards our beloved Arsene Wenger…….read this article

    • Pedram Toronto says:

      If this report is true, then it’s the end of Wenger’s reign one way or another. If the board, virtually representing Kroenke alone, is so set in its position despite Wenger’s supposed insistence and the fans’ clear and vocal frustration with the state of affairs, then even if they back down for now, they will have done so under the gun and will seek to return to the old ways quickly (remember the evil duo at Liverpool?)

  42. JP says:

    Get Adebayor back. He was crucified for much less than what Cesc and Nasri are doing. We could use him.

  43. Freddy Amato says:

    I am wondering whether Desi read the piece in “Arsenal Times”. It would be useful to get his comments on this.

    The piece basically alleges that Wenger and Board are at loggerheads. Wenger would like to change the parameters of recruiting top players, which means changing the wage structure so that Arsenal might become a bit more competitive. The team would then be able to retain some of its top players, add new ones, while investing in youth as it did before.

    Apparently the Board is not with him on this and would basically just like to placate the mounting anger by the fans by pushing Wenger to buy whoever. Thus Wenger’s insistence that he would like to buy, but only players who are better than what he already has at hands.

    If inded this is true, then this poor man is really in trouble and it is all the more painful and excruciating to witness live his torturous demise.

    I for instance can hardly bear looking again at this picture of his during the game against Liverpool, holding his headwith both hands with his hair completely wet and disheveled. There is no other manager in the premier league who puts such an atrocious spectacle every weekend.

    So if it is true that The Board is making Wenger’s life impossible, then the fans’ anger has to be directed against the Board and not only at Wenger.

    I myself was venting my fury at him and since I read that piece, I have come to realize how difficult his situation must be.

    But this would not entirely absolve him from the mistakes he has made and God knows there are so many of them. Some of these are purely tactical. He is not the best tactician on the scene. He seems to have stopped innovating. Of course one can only innovate to the extent one has quality players. But for God’s sake, Arsene should teach his players some of the basics such as defending set pieces.

    That at least 1/3 of the players are on injury list shows that he should get a proper physio.

    That he is willing to entrust the left back to the injury prone Gibbs and the hopeless Traore is callous. Jose Enrique from Newcastle, he could have bought for less than the price of the departing Clichy.

    How on Earth could he miss on Juan Mata when it was clear that he wanted to join Arsenal at the current wage structure?

    Overall, I still think that Wenger now needs a sabbatical. He should leave and refreshen his ideas. I am sure he will come back if that’s what he wants to do. But clearly he is at the end of a cycle and this whole thing can only end in a disaster.

  44. Zerin says:

    There seems to be a lot of gloom and doom currently among the more fickle Arsenal fans.

    I am an LFC supporter and I know Desi for long time and couldnt help posting. I am attaching a few snippets from the Liverpool boards where there is a lot of neutral support for Arsenal. All of you in doubt need to ask yourself why does the neutral support Arsenal? A lot of what people like about Arsenal is something Wenger has instilled in the club.

    Currently with Fabregas , Nasri , the injuries, the unlucky own goal things don’t look too great but with a passage of time and better fixtures and maybe some of the money being spent -things will look a lot better.

    Wengers unfinished project will be a grave loss to a football fan and I really hope a few outspoken Arsenal fans dont drive him to the brink

    View First Unread
    Search this Thread Rate Thread
    Today, 16:45
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Posts: 35,347

    Who would you least want us to replace in the top 4 this season?
    Of course I don’t really care who we replace as long as we are a top 4 club, and obviously IF we could pick what team I would want us to replace most, it would Man U, but out off Man U, City, Chelsea and Arsenal, which one would you want to maintain their top 4 status most when we break into it?

    Although its most likely going to be them if we do make top 4, i would rather Arsenal stayed in the CL than any of the other 3

    Today, 16:47
    Join Date: Jan 2008
    Posts: 1,711

    Originally Posted by smokintony
    Of course I don’t really care who we replace as long as we are a top 4 club, and obviously IF we could pick what team I would want us to replace most, it would Man U, but out off Man U, City, Chelsea and Arsenal, which one would you want to maintain their top 4 status most when we break into it?

    Although its most likely going to be them if we do make top 4, i would rather Arsenal stayed in the CL than any of the other 3
    Arsenal for me
    Last edited by Suaroll; Today at 16:49.. Reason: misread OP

    Today, 16:47
    Bandwagon jumper of the year
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Posts: 9,477

    Arsenal, but they are the ones in danger.

    Today, 16:47
    Join Date: Apr 2005
    Posts: 5,176

    Originally Posted by smokintony
    Of course I don’t really care who we replace as long as we are a top 4 club, and obviously IF we could pick what team I would want us to replace most, it would Man U, but out off Man U, City, Chelsea and Arsenal, which one would you want to maintain their top 4 status most when we break into it?

    Although its most likely going to be them if we do make top 4, i would rather Arsenal stayed in the CL than any of the other 3
    Yeah, of those I dislike Arsenal the least so them. Plus I really don’t think they’re in danger of winning it anyway

    Today, 16:51
    Join Date: Aug 2011
    Posts: 1

    Arsenal for me…..

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