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Rodgers Has Become Allardyce vs Mourinho
Before the game I definitely would’ve taken a draw. Afterwards I think it is a good result for us even though we probably had more big chances than Arsenal did. When you think they legitimately put the ball in the net it makes the result seem better too. I was also so tense in the second half that I have about 50% less nail than I did at the start of the day.
It was a strange Liverpool team in terms of how they actually played. We congested the space, were hard to break down and I thought our stand out defender was probably Gomez. In the first half I thought Can was wasteful in possession but in the second half he started to run ahead of Benteke now and again which made us look a bit more dangerous in the rare moments we did break forward. I think Henderson doing that would’ve been far more threatening but we would’ve have gained that at the cost of our defensive solidity because Lucas in the defensive midfield was immense tonight too. I will miss him hugely if he does actually move on.
Was that the worst Arsenal will look this season? I thought Ozil was pretty poor except for a 15 minute window in the second half and Giroud and Ramsey didn’t influence the game a great deal. As good as a point at the Emirates is I do think they might’ve been there for the taking.
I wondered at the start of the season if a Brendan was going to sacrifice his principles in favour of results, now I am starting to wonder just how far he Will go down this road. Time wasting at goal keeps, long balls and knock downs…it’s like an evil combination of Allardyce and Mourinho. I don’t hate it so far I won’t lie.
Liverpool ‘More Than The Equal’ Of United Now
Well, that was greatly encouraging. If not for Cech, Coquelin, the crossbar, and let’s face it, the linesman, that would’ve been three points. Not since Suarez have Liverpool looked so dangerous and unpredictable in attack, and even under some intense Arsenal pressure in the second half the defense held up pretty well.
Clearly, Brendan, or whomever is in charge of such things, has bought well this summer. Hopefully now all talk of Lucas being sold will prove to be nonsense. As rosters stand today we may not quite match up with City and Chelsea, but we more than look the equal of United and the Gooners.
Worrying For Arsenal
Two points lost. A first half of flimsy chaos, a second half of half chances we didn’t take. Not so much what if the linesman kept his flag in the correct position and gave Arsenal a goal when in the ascendancy. More worrying that we capitulated, rather than gritted our teeth, after the official error.
In reality a point gained though. We could and should have been a couple of goals down in the first half, the counter factual post-defeat knives out on social media is daunting to the imagination. We really shouldn’t spent half an hour at home getting pummeled, we won’t often get away with that.
We need a tweak to the system involving more breaks from centre mid and more surges down the wing. Seeing more of Ox and allowing Rambo back to the middle seems logical. A new striker would be nice, more coherence and strategy from the current squad the priority though. Maybe we can rely on Cech to save our bacon, anything less than six points against Newcastle and Stoke then our pre-season optimism looks very silly indeed.
Everyone Seems To Have Done Their Own 16 Conclusions
* Arsene must have given a hell of a team talk at halftime because Arsenal looked a different side.
* Since their descent into the wilderness, 2013-2014 aside, Liverpool have suffered from extraordinary profligacy and this match could have been won in a fairly dominant first half (though the Arsenal goal should have stood).
* Interesting to see Liverpool sit deep and counter under Rodgers. Arsenal had the vast majority of possession in the first half but Liverpool looked the better side. Their fans will rue another performance where they dominated possession for naught. It is nice to see Rodgers tactical flexibility (when he gets it right).
* Am I the only one deeply disappointed by James Milner? I feel like the moments of quality you need from a center mid end up scuffed wide or otherwise squandered. Center mid is his preferred position, he’s never been a big scorer and despite *THAT* season at Villa, I just don’t know if he has the quality to control the middle of the park for a Champions League side (which we aspire to be).
* A draw away at the Emirates is a good result for Liverpool but it should be very disappointing for Arsenal. They have earned their (albeit impressive) streak of Champions League qualification by being flat track bullies but that will never win them the Title which would surely secure Arsene’s statue out front. They need 4 points against the likes of Liverpool and two of their other top 4 rivals (and Spurs).
* A really nice performance from Bellerin. I like him.
* Chambers was pretty shocking at the back and Arsenal could have suffered an undeserved loss had Liverpool been sharper.
* Giroud had that wonderful bicycle kick, but if Arsenal want to win a Title they need to dig into their pockets because they could have won this with a more clinical striker. They were tough chances and he’s a fantastic all-around player, but I feel like his skill set screams “2nd striker” and Arsenal would benefit greatly from the presence of a more limited player with good movement and finishing, even if he didn’t track back and do all the things Wenger demands of his frontmen.
* Jordan Ibe is very raw and the comparisons with Sterling are a bit of a stretch. Ibe needs to improve significantly to ever be worth “up to” GBP 49 mil.
* The Benteke who showed up was the Benteke I was worried about, not at all clinical and his touch made me wonder if he had cement tipped boots.
* Am I the only Liverpool fan impressed with the early form of Simon Mignolet? David De Gea was pretty well maligned at first, too.
* The 2nd half was a huge letdown from a Liverpool perspective. If someone showed me a possession breakdown of 80-20 to Arsenal I might have shrugged and believed them. It is nice to know that we do own a working bus, though. Hopefully a Liverpool fan can build a time machine and loan it out to the ’14 LFC side for their last few matches.
* It was a fun 0-0 draw but both of these teams exposed each others flaws. Neither are or should be seen as, serious Title challengers.
Ian, LFC, Hartford, CT USA
…* How does the Ox not start these games? Brilliant when he came on. I’d take him at United in a heartbeat but it’ll never happen sadly.
* Cech is now just at minus 2 points won for Arsenal. That save from Benteke was a blinder.
* Coutinho, Skrtel, Gomes and Can looked good for Pool. Lovren resembled a footballer so that’s positive.
* Sanchez isn’t fit but didn’t hold the team back. Watch and learn Wayne.
* Coutinho can count himself very unlucky today. As can Ramsey.
* Fifteen minutes into the second half I was hoping LVG was watching. The way Arsenal played through the lines is how you (would normally) beat a team built to counter attack.
* Arsenal desperately need a striker. They were one top class striker away from winning that in the second half.
* Taking Giroud off for Walcott allowed Liverpool back into the game. He isn’t a centre forward to play against a team defending deep and playing on the counter and that decision from Wenger was just bizarre.
* The number of times Özil looked like he didn’t have the ball under control but still manage to save the situation amazed me.
* Chambers looked very poor in the first half. Seems to be going backwards at Arsenal. Hope he turns it around before he gets well and truly usurped by other talents.
* Speaking of which, Liverpool have a bargain in Gomes. Lots to learn but what a raw talent. I really hope Brendan doesn’t ruin him.
* Benteke was exactly what I expected. A massive handful, great physical presence and good skill but lacking composure in his finishing. I hope he’ll improve but for me he’ll never be more than a reserve for a top 4 team. Liverpool will need Sturridge fit if they want to become one.
* Cliché time to end it all. That was the epitomy of an entertaining 0-0.
…- Any new interpretation of the offside law means f**k all when you see dodgy decisions like that. Liverpool benefiting from a poor offside call yet again. Surely their luck is bound to run out. Video technology really can’t come soon enough.
– Ibe looks overawed by the level of the game and is clearly not as ready to take the step up as Sterling was.
– Skrtel is a calamity waiting to happen.
– That bloke who mentioned Lucas would improve on Coquelin must surely be having a laugh. Coquelin was phenomenal, as always. Lucas would barely be an improvement on Arteta.
– Henderson was not missed at all, which is a testament to how good a game Milner had in the middle.
– Benteke was good, though he really should have put that chance to bed. His movement certainly adds more fluidity to the Liverpool front line compared to last year.
– Coutinho was good, though he needs to learn how to be patient and wait for the right pass before he’s ready to take the next level up.
– Arsenal need a better striker up front. I love Giroud but a better striker would have seen them nick the game.
– Cazorla is a lovely Spanish magician but this game showed why he will not win Arsenal the title at CM. He is great at defending when the play is in front of him (Man City game) but does not track runners and routinely let Chambers exposed.
– In fact, Wenger himself alluded to this when he explained why he pushed Santi up the field against West Ham. Wenger also mentioned a lack of physicality in the midfield being a concern. If that really is so, why on earth did he not go for Schneiderlin?
– In games like these where Arsenal’s passing game is off, it’s easy to see what Wilshere could add to this midfield. Wilshere’s tendency to carry the ball through the lines relieves pressure on the defense and helps take the game to the other half of the field.
– The Ox added so much to the game when he came on. This really is the season he should kick on. It’s time Wenger took the decision to bring Ramsey back into CM and Chamberlain on the right.
– Alexis is still getting up to speed but his work rate was phenomenal as always.
– Good to see Cech finally showing up for the season. That save on Benteke alone justified every penny spent on him. Woof.
– Overall not a bad result for the Arsenal team with both of their first choice defenders out. It was important that they not concede when they were being battered in the first half. The way they came back in the second half and dominated the game bodes well for the season.
– Liverpool will not feel too bad about the point. They cannot continue to fluff their chances as they did in the first half however.
Falooda in NY
…What a game that was. Had me on the edge of my seat throughout, for all the right (and wrong) reasons. Here are some conclusions on Arsenal’s performance:
– So that’s what it’s like to have a World Class keeper again. A couple of amazing saves from Cech. One of them could easily be a contender for save of the season. I am almost willing to forgive him for his open day mishaps. Almost. (MOTM)
– Calum Chambers was hilariously bad at Centre Back in the first half. I have no idea how Liverpool did not capitalise on one of his mistakes. We were lucky to have Le Coq who was sweeping up after him most of the time, but he recovered well in the second…
– Speaking of Coquelin. What a beast he is. Such a precise tackler and was quick to cover up for some mistakes. That was one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt and he looks to be a great player for the season to come.
– Ozil was fantastic yet again. He demanded the ball all the time and was always willing to create something. He has to get into better shooting positions but otherwise brilliant performance.
– Theo Walcott was once again almost invisible playing in the central striking role. Certainly does not look like he is worth the 140k a week pay cheque. Barely got a sniff of the ball.
– We cannot win the league with Olivier Giroud. He is a good player but is not clinical enough in front of goal. He had plenty of opportunities to score. Deserved a penalty but was a bit unlucky as he was pulled down while he took his shot.
– Alexis Sanchez also had a great game. He does tend to lose the ball often but will sprint the entire length of the pitch to get it back. Beast.
Arsenal could have lost this game but they also so easily could have won it. Much better performance overall in the second half but Liverpool also did a great job. Draw felt like a fair result.
Hi, my name’s Bill Murray and welcome to another edition of North London Groundhog Day. This year’s highlights include:
* The recurring injury farce
* The habitual inept defending from full internationals
* Another disappearing act in a big game from a so-called £42m player
* Another deluded “title race” virtually over before the Xmas lights come on
* More comical excuses
* A so-called “title winning striker” walking about like a carthorse in a big game
* A mediocre transfer window, with millions sitting in a bank account.
Still, thankfully, there’s no other class managers sitting about and available.
Gomez Is A Joy To Behold
Before the match I’d have been happy with a stolen point for us, so I’m enthused by Liverpool’s performance tonight. Both teams looked well matched, dominating a half each, which is a big compliment to Liverpool as I feel this Arsenal team will do well this season.
I’m very pleased with Can, Clyne, Milner and most especially Gomez, who is a joy to behold. His composure is astonishing for his age and I’m delighted that he has stepped up to the mark so well.
I’ll also add a special mention for Lucas who showed all his understated quality tonight. I hope he stays as I love the option of starting with such an imposing and combative midfield as we did tonight.
My only gripe is with Ibe, who I feel needs a little time out of the limelight. He’s been ineffectual so far, which is totally fine given his age. But I think a spell out of the first team, and thus away from some of the pressure might do him well. I feel as though he’s forcing everything too much at the minute and could do with a little bit of time to refocus and relax.
Moreno looks like a better player than last season when pushed forward so we have options in that area. All in all though quite happy with the new more gritty Liverpool, especially since I espoused the virtues of winning (and achieving credible draws by proxy) ugly last season.
Paul, LFC, Cavan.
Stoppage Time Is Unclear
What actually constitutes stoppage time in the Premier League these days?
I’m no mathematician but if Simon Mignolet takes six first half goal kicks with a 40 second pause before each of them, surely that equals more than one minute of injury time?
It seems Mike Riley and his merry band of muppets have given up applying the correct amount of stoppage time in favour of arbitrary measurements.
Provided there isn’t a serious injury or stretcher, first half stoppage time is always 2 minutes.
Yet in the second half, it seems if there is only 1 goal separating the teams, as a rule thumb it is always 4 minutes of added time, yet if the score at 90 minutes indicates a clear winner there will always be 2 or 3 minutes of stoppage time played.
What happened to substitutions equalling 30 seconds of additional time?
Like everything at the top of football, stoppage time seems very unclear and needs far greater transparency.
Solving Offsides Once And For All
Having a goal wrongly given or ruled out for offside is one of my pet hates in football and after witnessing yet another team robbed off precious points due to a wrong offside call (Ramsey’s against Liverpool, for those who didn’t watch the match) I’ve come up with a way to solve the problem once and for all.
To start with, we’ll need four linesmen instead of the current two to cover the entire length of the pitch on both sides. Next, we’ll also need a ‘7th’ official (similar to the third umpire in Cricket) who will be seated somewhere convenient in the stadium with the equipment to instantaneously review the live feed.
Now, whenever a contentious offside situation arises, either of the following three events can occur:
1. Both flags go up – The referee stops play and awards a free kick to the defending side
2. Both flags stay down – play is allowed to continue
3. One flag goes up while the other stays down – in such cases, the ref allows the game to proceed, however, the 7th official then immediately reviews the event and relays his verdict to the ref, based on which the passage of play is stopped/continued, or a goal is allowed/disallowed.
This approach will eliminate almost any chance of an error like yesterday’s happening again. It’ll also have a negligible effect on the tempo of the match. A win-win for all concerned.
Good lord how poor was Calum Chambers last night? I know we all hear the ‘give him time, he’s young’ line whenever a young player has an under par performance but, frankly, that cannot be an excuse every time he has a poor game.
A team’s passing fluency is set by the defenders and Arsenal basically lost a half of football in game time because of his errors. It was visibly painful to see how his error strewn play rippled throughout the rest of the team.
Compounded by his defensive cluelessness that was a seriously dire (and worrying) performance. He is young and inexperienced but that performance was simply not fit for a premiership team, let alone a top four club.
It’s probably just me but I get the impression that he feels like he’s made it already just by signing for a top club. You haven’t, Calum.
Olivier Giroud is the French Emile Heskey.
I really can’t think of a better way to describe him.
Greg Benham, AFC
F**king hell he looks about 12.
God I’m old.
Toby “CTFC” Hudson
…Dunno if it was my dodgy stream or not but Jordan Rossiter looks a bit like Sinead O’Connor.