Liverpool’s match-after thoughts: And It’s Only The 1st Game!
Written by Chris on August 17, 2010 14:55
You could easily feel the fire coming out of our servers yesterday after Erik described our first game of the season as embarrassing and pathetic. Luckily, I put it out with the help of Fireman Sam, who was so kind to bring his fellow firefighters along. But was our display so bad?
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I agree with Erik’s description but on the other hand I simply cannot ignore the fact that it was like watching a game from last season over and over again.
Let’s just say yesterday’s discussion was nice to read. Some overreacted, others only focused on the insults rather than bringing facts to support their argument, others agreed. It’s the beauty of the game of football after all. Now it’s my turn with my old day-after thoughts which are now rebaptised as match-after thoughts. I’ll try to keep it short and straight to the point as always and of course, you are more than free to provide your own opinion in our comments section.
The Liverpool Defence
Many believe Liverpool did well at the back and I agree, absolutely, but I’m afraid Liverpool will not be the only team to do well defensively against us. Teams have slowly learned how to play and approach Arsenal: park the bus, let them pass, as soon as the ball falls in the feet of someone like Abou Diaby get out in numbers, steal the ball after he tries to dribble his way past your players and start a counter attack, ideally exploiting Gael Clichy’s left wing which has become so weak in recent times.
Maybe it’s because I believe so much in our creative midfielders, in Samir Nasri and Tomas Rosicky, but the pass-pass-pass game is starting to kill me. Though to be fair, the Czech did show how easy it can be to use all your talent to create for the strikers or for yourself, if required. More of that please, Little Mozart.
Now speaking of Abou Diaby, I will for now shelf my thoughts on him since it was his first game of the season having missed pre-season friendlies and also I fully understand that a big 1.90m+ boy needs time to find his best fitness level. I still of course believe he can be a beast in midfield but consistency is the key for him.
I also agree with those who believe Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie are pivotal to the success of our team and how the lack of creativity in the final third which we suffered on Sunday will probably not be an issue when they play. But these two have nothing to do with the back four.
Avoiding to concede as we did against Liverpool – poor defending and poor goalkeeping – is not a solution to be supplied by the two World Cup Finalists. Even the most optimistic of Arsenal fan would right now tell you how much we need a new centre back, if not two, and a new goalkeeper. What worries me is that these signings should have been sealed weeks ago.
Whoever will be our Number 1 this season, new signing or not, will be under an incredible amount of pressure and this comes from the fact that when Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski failed, they were not replaced. Had Vito Mannone featured more last season or had we signed a new goalkeeper in the January transfer window, I’m more than sure that the situation wouldn’t be as critical as it is today. Goalkeeping is all about confidence, if you lose that, you’re toast and both Manuel and Lukasz have lost that a long time ago.
No, it was not a disastrous performance but it still included those minor – major for some – problems which have been haunting us for months and months and months.
We have to finally find a solution to our back problems, we need to be more adventurous in the final third, even if the means trying from long range and hit one of the spectators. Theo Walcott was spot on in an interview I read this morning, we have to learn to win and if that means doing it ugly, so be it. This doesn’t mean we are to completely change of our style of football, it just means adapting to the way the opposition plays.
We solve these problems and we would finally say we are competitive enough to aim for silverware.
Blackpool are next and we will hopefully have the two aforementioned stars back for the game, together with other important elements such as Alex Song and Andrey Arshavin, who let’s face it, it was like he didn’t play at all at Anfield. Laurent Koscielny will be missing of course after the referee thought it was a good idea to level things up but I believe Johan Djourou should be fit to replace him.
Until next time, take care.