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 Post subject: Arsenal v Liverpool
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:23 pm 
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Well. Not bad.

Thought we played quite very well in general, up to the goal at least. That really changed dynamics and made everything tougher. Feels like such a waste not to win after doing so well to minimise the Liverpool attack.

Mkhitaryan hugely disappointing for me. Walked around losing the ball with every touch for the first little while, got better, but what did he offer? We talk about how Iwobi lacks end product, but Mkhitaryan shares too much of Ozil's soft underbelly and nowhere near enough of the quality right now. Floats around doing not a whole lot. Iwobi was far better in fewer minutes - and as it was changed the game with that fantastic assist.

Big error from Leno to throw away the goal, the most significant action by anybody in the entire game. Not that Liverpool didn't have chances before, but that's what happens when you play a good team.

Ozil and others caught offside far too often, Liverpool were doing really well to keep their line and pull and push it at the right moments. And a couple of Kolasinac's crosses on another day would have met a striker.

In many ways, still, a typical game as we might have seen under Wenger. Plays well but goes behind to a silly moment, equalises but in doing so plays recklessly in some sort of 2-2-6 risking going behind a second time.

Worth mentioning that was another good game against tough opposition by Holding. Coming along nicely.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal v Liverpool
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:37 pm 
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It had a very different feel to me; Wenger's latter big games were characterised by glorious failure, abject failure, avoidable errors, the feeling of never quite being in the game. None of that tonight. I thought we pressed well, were aggressive without being dangerous, did not over commit and produced enough quality to create numerous moments within the game that could have led to a chance or a goal. We also kept the Liverpool front three relatively quiet; bar a few long balls over to Salah and some late counters, they were contained. Mane and Firmino were largely anonymous.

Sure, there were errors; but they were what I'd largely class as 'game' errors, where an opponent putting us under duress led to a wrong decision or an enforced mistake, rather than 'sloppy' errors (i.e. Holding's ludicrous ball out of defence just before the half at Craven Cottage, followed by Monreal's). Some of the set-piece defending was poor though. I thought Leno was on a hiding to nothing with Mane's cross; Salah was unlikely to reach it, but in the moment the German can't leave it to chance. Even if he didn't see Salah's run, I think he'd be expecting someone to be steaming in at the far post. Not the best moment of goalkeeping, but also quite unfortunate that it fell straight to a Liverpool shirt (unlike the rush out for Van Dijk's header, which was poor decision making).

Is it just me disagreeing with the call that the Mane goal should have stood? Unless the ruiles have changed again, an offside player making a significant movement and run to the ball is interfering, no? Mane was offside and the only thing that stopped him getting onto the pass was Firmino nipping in first! If that's not interfering....

Another frustrating display from Mkhitaryan, 'ethereal' to be charitable. Would have went with Iwobi, but perhaps Emery was looking at Mkhitaryan being able to exploit the space left by the raiding Robertson. Or even psyching Mkhi up to get one over his old manager. Either way, he isn't doing enough in the shirt to be any more than a useful squad player. Emery brave with subs again; taking off Aubameyang at 0-1 was risky, though he'd been increasingly quiet. Equally, the decision to go with Iwobi at left back this time, and it made a difference.

All in all, I thought it was a fascinating encounter between two teams and managers both angling for the win, but also both doing just enough to play tactically-aware and not over-committing. The ongoing development of the side is interesting; we are definitely more balanced, in terms of Emery's tactical outlook, with Leno and Holding, rather than Cech and Sokratis. And after a slow opening few weeks, Lacazette seems to be gradually developing into Emery's preferred centre forward. The resting/benching of Aubameyang against Fulham, that the Gabonese is more often taken off, that he is the one recruited for Europa duty.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal v Liverpool
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:23 am 
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I agree, under Wenger Liverpool would have had far more freedom without pressure on the ball. It's not that our pressure is intense pressure, more reasonable pressure, not letting the opposition time to scan the field and forcing a slightly quicker decision. Small things that make us better defensively overall and limited how well they could build play.

I thought Ozil was quite good at times with several nice flicks and dummies. Some good forward balls that others failed to anticipate or inexplicably slowed their runs. I applaud the effort though little came to fruition for him. His pressing while not intense was consistent, not that he is going to win the ball nor should we expect it, but forcing a sideways pass is perfectly acceptable. Xhaka and Torriea were quite solid reunited in the center of midfield. I would very much like to see Holding paired with Greek when he returns.

Both sides could have scored more goals so a draw is a reasonable result though I felt we were the better side. Our unbeaten run continues at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal v Liverpool
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:14 am 
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Really pleased, especially as I expected a defeat, albeit not the caning we have suffered in similar matches recently. Listened to the match on talkSPORT (had to laugh at Stuart Pearce describing Torreira as being 2ft 1) and it was obvious that the team were up for it, the crowd were totally behind them and there was no torpid first half performance.

Enjoyed the highlights on MOTD and I think Leno has been given a bit of a rough deal over the goal, in that he parried quite strongly but was unlucky in the ball clipping off Holding's heel.
No surprise in that the offside Liverpool 'goal' is being debated much more than the fact that Fabinho managed to avoid a red card while Guendouzi was suspended.

Loving Torreira more and more with each game. Glad Unai had a happy birthday.

With funds probably scarce, is there any measure in quietly finding out what we can get for Mhiki and using that (or a swap) to strengthen further in January?


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal v Liverpool
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:42 am 
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I believe with Mane, the trick was that he was offside when the ball was first played, and then his status is 'reset' after that play is over. But I think that's pretty iffy.

What I mean by Wengerlike is - well, we should remember that not all big games were spectacular implosions. With those, at least we get exactly what we deserve. We also had plenty of big games where we would actually play well, and it was so frustrating because individual errors or a lack of efficiency would rob us of a result that we deserved. In the end, with three 'big games' played and one point gained, I think the media hype about how things are different is way overblown and we need to continue to be patient with Emery.

That said, yes, I think it's very encouraging the way we played today, and the way we muted Liverpool's attacking force. LG you are correct that our 'errors' today weren't unforced calamities, either. It was exciting a game to watch and I don't feel too bad about its result all things considered.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal v Liverpool
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Emperor wrote:
With funds probably scarce, is there any measure in quietly finding out what we can get for Mhiki and using that (or a swap) to strengthen further in January?


I am not averse to the idea in general, but one problem could be which team would stump up a significant amount of cash for a near-30-year-old? The Prem is where the money is, but I don't see a viable option there, or a return to a top side in Germany.

He deserves more time and we are also in a position where we may need to limit personnel changes if there is a chance Ramsey may move on in January; Mkhitaryan may prove invaluable as the season progresses, injuries, various comps etc. That said, realistically he gives us 2 to 3 seasons maximum and as we have a couple of able young players in his position, there may be scope to revisit this at the end of the season if he is still underperforming, and see if Emery can instead acquire someone that may bring more to the overall skill set of the squad and the way he wishes to play.


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