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Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2

Upon viewing the roster of available players for the game yesterday, you couldn`t help but wonder how the manager has allowed our squad to enter the season in this shape. The pre match tittle tattle revolved around the prospective involvement of Samir Nasri. That we had to start a player who has one foot out of the door is a quite farcical situation. Fair play to Nasri, he put a shift in. But had he broken his leg in the game, a farcical situation could have become a catastrophe. One has to ask why we are at a stage where the cusp of catastrophe is a necessary default position. The dithering and indecisiveness in a make or break summer has left the beginning of our season in maelstrom.

Nasri was indeed named in the starting line up; there was a murmuring of boos as his name was announced. Why I can`t quite fathom. There will be plenty of time to boo him when he`s left. However, Nasri won the crowd round simply by visibly applying himself. All 14 players that were used did. None more so than Emmanuel Frimpong; but he learned a valuable lesson in channelling that enthusiasm. He picked up an early booking for trying to wrestle the ball off of Jordan Henderson for a throw in. I thought the referee lacked a little common sense here. I don`t think Frimpong was being petulant, I think he genuinely thought it was his throw in. Around twenty minutes later, Stewart Downing punched the ball away on the touchline and was not punished. The referee was swift with the card when I think a quiet word would have sufficed.

Arsenal`s list of available players depleted further when Laurent Koscielny pulled up fifteen minutes into the game with what appeared, to my amateur eye, to be a slipped disc. Sebastien Squillaci has not yet been on the bench this season, which probably tells you the extent to which he figures in the manager`s plans. 19 year old Ignasi Miquel entered the fray. With Sagna out at left back and Carl Jenkinson looking considerably out of his depth at right back, Vermaelen was left with a big job in holding the back line together. It was an undertaking he performed admirably. The Gunners were indebted to their goalkeeper too when Jose Enrique was given time and space to swing a left wing cross into the area. Which Andy Carroll towered above Sagna to head goalwards. Szczesny was alert to the danger and tipped the effort around the post.

Arsenal were once again carved open on their right hand side. Like a lot of the young lads on display, Jenkinson was put in the rather unfair position of making a full debut in a Premiership match, six months after he last played. As an 18 year old. In League One. Jose Enrique found the pass down the line to Dirk Kuyt, Kuyt hooked a cross back into the box for a free header for Jordan Henderson. But he couldn`t generate enough power to trouble Szczesny. Charlie Adam had a cheeky attempt from the halfway line which just whistled over the bar as Liverpool`s footing in the game became more assured. But the Gunners did briefly give cause for excitement when Emmanuel Frimpong motored past Stewart Downing on the edge of Liverpool`s area and his fulminating drive was tipped just wide by Reina. The opportunity appeared to lift Frimpong`s confidence and he began to take a hold of the midfield for the remainder of the half.

Want-away Samir Nasri was the next to cause a flurry when he dribbled past Lucas on the edge of his own area and tore forward unchallenged until he side stepped Agger`s tackle on the cusp of Liverpool`s area, but the Frenchman dragged his shot just wide. The effort was enough for the home fans to re indulge the Nasri ditty. But at half time, you were still left with the impression that the Gunners are going to struggle to score goals in lieu of van Persie pulling off something special. Of course, we sold the best creative midfielder in the world this week. It apparently didn`t occur to anyone at the club to go about filling that gap. Liverpool sold Torres and already had a deal for Suarez lined up. Arsenal`s dithering means they`ve already played three games and are no closer to making amends.

Liverpool looked only the slightly more likely of two quite ordinary sides. Henderson found Charlie Adam in midfield, Adam`s pass to Carroll inside the Arsenal area was over hit, but Carroll touched back to Martin Kelly whose rasping drive hit the outside of the post. Arsenal`s best opportunity came via some poor officiating. Van Persie`s pass to Arshavin in Liverpool`s area left the little Russian with a great deal to do. Arshavin hauled Martin Kelly to the ground, but the referee waved play on. Arshavin cut back to van Persie, but his close range shot was beaten out by the legs of Pepe Reina. But Liverpool were to get the ultimate advantage as the Gunners were reduced to ten men. Frimpong did very well to intercept a pass from Lucas, but as the ball broke loose he went in high and late on Jordan Henderson. The referee was left with little choice but to award a second yellow. It could easily have been a straight red. Frimpong`s inexperience proved costly, despite an encouraging performance.

Liverpool scented blood and brought Suarez off the bench to make the difference with his movement. Jose Enrique played a simple ball into the channel for Suarez, who tried to steer the ball past Szczesny with his right foot, only for the Pole to block him. Charlie Adam then found Stewart Downing marauding into the same area, with Jenkinson seriously lagging. Downing`s shot was brilliantly tipped around the post by Szczesny again. But the ultimate punishment was hanging over Arsenal like the sword of Damocles. It would be inexperience again that would lead to the hammer blow. Suarez found Meireles, who in turn found Suarez again, clearly in an offside position. Miquel came across to cover. But not wanting to clear the ball with his weaker right foot, he took a sloppy touch and tried to clear the ball with the outside of his left, succeeding only in striking it against Ramsey and into the net. Ramsey for his part failed to track the run of Meireles. 19 year old boys making understandable errors, only to find they`re being covered by other 19 year old boys.

Thomas Vermaelen strode forward with a 30 yard effort to try and rescue the game. But Arsenal were put out of their misery in injury time. Liverpool cut a tiring Arsenal to ribbons as a one touch passing exchange between Lucas and Meireles found Suarez inside the area to stroke into an unguarded net. Chants of "spend some f****g money" were nipped in the bud and drowned out by the Red Action section. After an initial flurry of boos, the players were applauded off by the support, who continued to sing. I think we all recognised that the players on the pitch but their all into the game. But most of them are more accustomed to Monday nights at Underhill. They were put in an unfair position by a manager who gave them too much to do too soon. That we are in this situation three games in is negligible. If it`s not sorted quickly, it could be fatal. LD.

13.SZCZESNY, 25.JENKINSON, 6.KOSCIELNY (49.Miquel '17), 5.VERMAELEN, 3.SAGNA, 26.FRIMPONG, 16.RAMSEY, 8.NASRI, 14.WALCOTT (52.Bendtner '77), 23.ARSHAVIN (46.Lansbury '69), 10.v.PERSIE(c). Unused; 15.Chamberlain, 21.Fabianski, 29.Chamakh, 31.Ryo.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 21 2011

Time: 12:01PM

Your Comments

Let's not be too harsh on the state of the squad eh, there's clearly no super quality out there at something that can only be described as "value". I love Wmger and as a bloke I'm sure he's a cracking chap, but this summer has been a shocking one I'm sorry to say.
*Wenger. And I also have real, real fears about this season. The board hate the fans, the fans hate each other, we pay the most in the world. We're in trouble and it's not all Abramovich's fault.
5th position finish for ur lot.
I don't think booing at the games helps anybody. I think if fans want to demonstrate they should vote with their feet and don't go to the games. Arsene and the board would soon change their ideas if they saw a half empty stadium every week. To be fair, i thought the defence were outstanding yesterday and were beaten eventually by an offside fluke. I thought Vermaelen and Szczesny looked superb and was impressed by Jenkinson and Frimpong considering it was their first full games (hopefully the sending off will be the best thing that happens to Frimpong long term). Our trouble now is creativity without Cesc. Please please please Arsene, just a centre back and a couple of creative, experienced midfielders to replace Cesc and inevitably Nasri and with all those injuries and suspensions back we might not do as badly as we think. Also, Walcott MUST move into the strikers role. Completely wasted on the wing.
For LD to say this you know that there really is going to be some ill feeling amongst wot i would describe as LESSER fans! I also feel he has got this article spot on, i do not know what the odds were for the game but liverpool should have been odds on to beat us in our own back yard. Something that should only ever be witnessed in the carling cup with the kids playing. This is the PL with the kids playing and no forseable change in the future! It also looks like mata is now on his way to chelsea, wenger wont spend the money teams are demanding for their players, and we can not compete with the likes of chelski and city in the wage department. The only saviour for us in the near future as it seems is the finacial fair play rules. But as we all know all the D I C K S that run the game off football are corrupt as hell anyway so it looks as though we have got 3 choices as a club 1) we stay how we are and risk not making the CL year in yr out costing us money there and loosing fans and season ticket holders. Again costing the club money as fans WILL NOT pay the summs of money the club commands now as a mid table has been club. 2) we break our transfer and pay structure and take a risk with our finances and do not know where we will be finacially in the next 10 yrs and risk huge price hikes in future for fans but make the CL yr in yr out. 3) we do nothing and pray that the financial fair play rules are enforced stopping the likes of city, chelsea, qpr, man u who ever flaunts the cash they have not earned, from pushing us into midd table obscurity! But then after saying point 3 it does take me back to the point in time that sky came in with all the money and it shows how different things could have been for so many clubs had they been lucky enough to be up there with us and united at that point in time. To be honest i have no idea wot the answer is in the long term but in the iterim, we need to garuntee we do keep making the CL yr in yr out and that is looking less and less likely with the shape of our squad. 3 of the first team has or is on the brink of leaving the club and NONE have been replaced or positions strengthened, this is not acceptable and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgencey. 10 days left till transfer deadline and the squad is on its last legs before we have even really started the season, not good, not good at all. Good luck arsene and arsenal we are gonna need it!!
I don't think you can pick only on the youngsters as the principle reason for failure to win this game. Defensively we were where we have wanted to be for some time. We were short in midfield for sure but Jenkinson did his job well and, in this game at any rate, Sagna wasn't a weakness at LB. Any success Enrique had down the left was for much the same reason that we weren't successful down the flanks going forward. Walcott and Arshavin failed to step up to the mark. You can say justifiably that there wasn't enough going on in midfield to help them and while Nasri played well enough it's all still a bit too early for Ramsey. As a consequence Walcott didn't see enough of the ball and can't make things happen for himself while Arshavin saw quite a bit of it and simply doesn't seem able to make it happen anyway.
It's certainly very true that those players didn't perform, Walcott in particular. I'm amazed he stayed on as long as he did. But ultimately we were still in the game. But the fact is, the game was changed by two peices of, quite understandable, inexperience. Frimpong's red card and Miquel's refusal to clear with his weaker foot cost us the game. You can have one or two players making their Premiership debut, we shouldn't be in a position where the guts of our team are more used to Underhill than the Emirates.
Little Dutch
Walcott was awful, he recieved the ball plenty of time but did absolutely nothing with it. I can't see him ever being a top class winger, he doesn't have the dribbling skills or crossing ability. Arshavin was just as bad, just ran in to liverpool players and got dispossesed countless times. Neither of them made much of an attempt to get in to the box when the other was crossing meaning we only had RVP competing against 2 or 3 Liverpool players. Miquel should have belted it clear with his left foot but at the same time I didn't see why Ramsey had to go towards the ball at that time. Ramsey had a poor game and again it's hard to fault him when he has been thrown in at the deep end with a bunch of other young inexperienced players for support. On the plus side Frimpong looked strong and dynamic, the opposite of Denilson. Jenkinson looked solid and reliable with good crossing ability. I can only assume there are certain factors beyond our understanding as to why AW has failed to sign more experienced players yet. I'm not against signing young players for the future so the arrival of Chamberlain, Campbell, Jenkinson is definitely a positive. I'm sure there will be a few signings in the next 10 days but still can't understand why it's being done so late.
after 3 games, it is very obvious that rvp was left too isolated from the midfield. i reckon that if we were to play 4-5-1 with song & frimpong, we would be quite strong defensively. alternatively, we can play ramsey & wilshere with either song or frimpong. the only worry is the creative outlet. none of them has the type of vision that fabregas has. given that we bought gervinho, oxlade-chamberlain & campbell along with miyachi, all who can operate as speedy wingers, i think we are going for a tactical change this season. our offensive will be initiated more from these wingers attacking the opponent's fullbacks rather than through the middle when we had 2 of the best through ball maestros in the modern game, bergkamp & fabregas one after another. i think we just need a creative spark in the middle to pull the string, maybe nasri, if he stays or someone like hazard - someone to play the "messi" role in front of 2 solid holding midfielders. all is not lost, i hope. if we look at the the 4 options we have now, song, wilshere, ramsey & frimpong, they are much better defensively compared to fabregas, denilson & diaby. i think we would concede much less goals this season. of course, scoring as much goals like we used to is a different question
just finished watching the bolton city game on sky, what a refreshing change to watch the home team dig in, score twice and actually look like they knew what commitment means but i digress, if wenger does not put in a bid for cahill and another club gets him ie liverpool then the mans mentallity will surely be questioned never mind the money, weve got stacks of it or so the board keep telling us or were going to end up as a mid table club with no chance of winning anything for a lot more years the next 10 days are going to define the aspirations of arsenal
cornish gooner
Cornish gooner, I dont think its about targetting Cahill in particular that is going to define the next 10 days, it is any decent centre back who can add significantly to our squad. A defender has to be bought, whether its Cahill or not does not matter. Creativity is what we miss most in our game now, we are playing ordinary football. Last season wasn't a success but when we had our first choice team available we were absolutely superb at times - our front line was near unplayable. The playmaker role is essential to our side and I hope we find our playmaker soon.
Its now confirmed that Juan Mata will join Chelsea. From the moment the Valencia management revealed to the world that Arsenal were interested in Mata, the chances of us signing him very slim. In an age where information travels the world in seconds and is widely available, our edge in identifying a player through extensive research and scouting is blunted. Selling clubs just have to casually mention Arsenal interest in a player for us to be outbid. Its happened now with Mata and with ex Chelsea player Deschamps revealing our interest in Lucho Gonzalez, no doubt we will lose out on him as well.
I agree that our play maker, or a lack of, is our biggest problem. but we wont find a play maker in the youth squads or on a bargain sales and that's the only places Wenger will look for them. Prepare for an announcement from him that they cant find the quality they want (bulls*it there is plenty out there he just has to pay for it) and that he is happy with the squad he has. If a signing/signings are made before the close of the window I am resigned to them not being what we need, just more bargain purchases in the Squid and Sylvester mold.
A playmaker? A striker who shoots? Or a leader on the pitch? A proper defence? Someone who will grab hold of the game by the scruff of the neck? A proven goalkeeper? A proper team of coaches, set-plays, players leaving....let's face it, you are so, so F>U>C>K>E>D. Maybe R Sole will come back and help you? Pffft!!! LOL!!
Tony Rocky Horror
well said Armory this saga isnt anything new, wenger knew at the end of last season that we had to strengthen our midfield and defence and he has done stuff all about it, and now were in the last 10 days of the transfer windw, and he is still trotting out the same old cliches ie money is not an issue, but the right kind of players arent available but allardyce said on sky today, that they hadnt had any enquiries regarding cahill there are centre backs available and good ones at that i for one am getting very very aprehensive about this season, and thats the first time in over 60 years
cornish gooner
Tony Rocky Horror why do insist on infecting our site with your childish attempts at trying to string a coherrant phrase together get a life you sad git no wonder you support the 7th ranked team in london, think about it
cornish gooner
A bit like the spuds so Rocky horror....bereft of creativity..well you are about to loose you play maker to Chelsky no leader ship and our worst striker from last year was not far off your best..and Gomes lmfao.
This team is going backwards. Barca are the leading club in the world over the past 3 years and look at their recruitment. they won La Liga and the CL last season and what do they do? They buy Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez. We are not going to beat them with this team. Wenger is failing his players as he failed Cesc. I dont think RvP and TV will be in a rush to sign contract extensions...
Would you blame them Gael-Force? I honestly cant get angry with Nasri because I think he, like Cesc, has been let down by the manager and STILL there are people here that think he still is the right man to lead us back to the top.
The game was close to being a source of renewed spirit in the players, had it ended with a clean sheet; the kind of game a true team develops courage from. It turned out we lost so, naturally, the jury is out on the club management. Honestly, if Wenger doesn't seal some deals before the window closes, I'll have to say he has misjudged things and should be prepared for the consequences. It has been a very sad weekend for many gooners.
I just can not believe some of the comments here tonight. Where have you people been for the last few years?
Does anyone know what the story is with Kolscielny....and Wilshere? Boy, do we need those two back in a hurry. In fairness, we do still have quite a few to return and make us stronger: Djourou, Diaby, Giervinho and Song are players who will make a difference to our prospects, along with Wilshere and Kos. We just need to add some creative force to complement van Persie's movement.
Good, honest report LD. And didn't Wenger and Rice look their ages yesterday? Totally helpless as this young team were gradually worn down and the lack of experience exposed. Wenger had his head in his hands as early as the first half. If the rumours are true that he's fighting the board about player wages then we have little to no chance of signing real 'super top quality' in this window, especially if we crash out of the CL on Wednesday.
Wyn Mills
mid table finish by the looks, and Avram Grant seen having lunch with Peter Hill Wood.
no one has been listening and I have been trying to help you dudes seriously Wenger is your problem has lost is edge you need someone new.
Expectations for the squad as at September 1 are what we have now, plus one more good not great CB and an unproven CM. That is all. Wenger will declare: "We have the quality to win trophies, we just have to believe."
Uskok, help yourself first, you have always seemed pretty messed up.
I am not at the point yet where i think Wenger is no longer the man for the job. I think he should just give himself and his team a chance to compete. Right now, this team can't compete even unless it's consistently at full strength. It feels as if he's running out of ideas. He does not have the supreme aura of before and his body language on the touchline betrays that.
Can we all calm down just a little bit? Please? The team that were eventually borken down by Liverpool and the hundreds of millions they're spent in the last few years was TEN PLAYERS away from our full squad. Eight were missing before the game and then Kos and Frim, leaving us down to a reserve side - which then only lost to a fluk AND offside goal. This Arsenal squad was in the running for every competition last year, has lost a centre-mid, and everyone's talking like we're Leeds United or something. Calm yourselves; we're lucky enough to still have one of the premier league's very best managers ever at the club, and he knows what he's doing. Do you all really assume he's not trying to buy good players? Do you all assume that spending money on a name will help? Maybe if we spent 40mil on Torres that'd.. oh, wait, he's been shocking. Or Shevchenko, because he... oh, no, that didn't work out either, did it. Spending money doesn't guarantee anything, it just placates people who think that being one of the very best sides in the EPL and Europe for 15 years 'isn't good enough' Some of you lot don't deserve the Arsenal...
cornish gooner, if you didn't see effort from the players that played on Saturday, I just can't imagine you were watching very closely. I know we all like to spit our dummies out and lash out when we lose about how much the players care, but seriously. Lansbury? Frimpong? Miquel? Vermaelen? Szczesny? They looked like they didn't care? Really? Liverpool beat us because they were able to put 11 better players on the pitch than we were. That's not the fault of the players that played, but the manager.
Little Dutch
little dutch i dont mind you having a pop at me, after all the web site is there to provoke discussion among like minded people, what i would ask you to do before having a go , is to read what i posted . not once have i used the phrase " didnt care " i have never and will never blame the players they dont buy and sell players, or control the purse strings what i am very concerned about is the lack of any meaningfull movement in the transfer market and the fact that we havent strengthened our sqad when it was blatently obvious to even thhe most fanatical diehard arsenal supporter that we needed to, and now there are only 9 days left to do something about it i pray that i am mistaken , and that arsene will surprise every one by announcing some major signings in midfield and defence because if we go out of the champions league at the first hurdle then it will be to little to late i have great faith inthe players, espessially the youngsters but you could see that they were way out of their depth on saturday its the old cliche that va mature 28 year old proven player will always run rings around a young inexperienced one you may be to young to have been there, but i remember an aging stanley mathews leaving young internationals on their backsides week after week well into his forties
cornish gooner
ps just heard that wenger has been given yet another 2 match ban by those corrupt *****s at uefa, what next, a complete ban of arsenal having any coaching staff within 100 miles of a european match perhaps if we said that vwe would only allow 100 spectators in, and no staff then that would be acceptable to uefa, or if we all learnt spanish and renamed the emirates the nou emirates
cornish gooner
Hi Cornish. In farienss, I don't think LD was having a pop at you, but I'm sure he'll respond personally. I don't think the youngsters were 'out of their depth' - as a matter of fact, the only players that seemd to play poorly were Walcott and Arshavin; the first a player who seems to get away with murder because he's a fans' favourite, and the second a player that everyone - fans and media - was screaming at Wenger to go and buy. Thought Jenkinson did well, TV was IMMENSE, Miquel was very good, and the three in the middle of midfield were quality. Weakened side, reduced to ten, conceding an incredibly unlucky (and offside) goal after 70-80 minutes - hardly the end of the world, is it.
"what a refreshing change to watch the home team dig in, score twice and actually look like they knew what commitment means." It's strongly implied you thought the team lacked commitment, that's what I was responding to. They clearly didn't. Fact was, they just weren't good enough, largely because too many of them were pitched in together in rather unfair circumstances.
Little Dutch
Little Dutch i dont want to get into a who said what or who meant what discussion, were both on the same side, and both want the best for arsenal surely after the last few seasons, its plain that we should have been a bit more vigorous in the transfer market and not be in the position we are in now, with only 9 days left to do something about it ive just read that both arsenal and liverpool are both showing interest in Pers Mertsacker a world class defender, the money being talked about is 8- 9 million, it will be interesting to see how that pans out i enjoy our discussions, and hope to meet up with a few of you at the emirates some time
cornish gooner
In the match report that's exactly what I've said. I just strongly dispute your contention that the players didn't try on Saturday, They clearly did.
Little Dutch
We are becoming increasingly like a rudderless ship.A.Wenger now banned for 2 games in Europe for breach of the rules concerning his 1 game ban. Do they not read the conditions or did UEFA **** up there?
Armory, I think a rudderless ship means something other than what you think. From the quotes of the Arsenal staff it sounds like UEFA don't have a leg to stand on; so I expect a successful appeal.
damiano rudderless means Lacking in direction, control, or coherence. More or less what we look like today. And as I asked above, was it us OR UEFA that *****ed up. Regardless who's fault it is though, if the appeal is not successful we will indeed be rudderless in Italy, unless you think Rice will do any better.
I apologise Armory, your understanding of the word is 100% correct. It's just that you've used it at the wrong time. What's lacking in direction, control or coherence about Arsenal Football Club? We're at rock bottom at the moment, suffering with injuries, suspecions and poor decisions - but a bad run doesn't mean the club is doomed. Let's not let a bad run of injuries remove our sense of perspective. 36 league games to go, fella.
LD ifn i gave you the impression that i didnt think the players tried hard enough, then i appologise that was not how it was meant to come out my frustration is obviously getting in the way of my grasp of the english language i will try harder to phrase my comments more succinctly in future its just so hard to comprehend what is happening at the club at the moment but as damiano quite rightly said there are 36 games to go, and were still in the champions league so i for one will be a bit more positive and trust that the prof will come good before the window closes
cornish gooner
I don't for one second think that the club is doomed damiano and can't see where in my previous post I mentioned that. As for bad decisions I do agree but every club suffers them and injuries. 36 games to go with the current squad does not fill me with confidence because the lack of direction and control has allowed our manager to sell some of our top players and others to run down their contracts without securing replacements. If that is not a lack of control and direction then I don't know what is.
"If a signing/signings are made before the close of the window I am resigned to them not being what we need", "let down by the manager and STILL there are people here that think he still is the right man to lead us back to the top", "We are becoming increasingly like a rudderless ship", "Lacking in direction, control, or coherence. More or less what we look like today"... so... doomed unless we replace the manager and a newer, better man comes in and signs the players 'that we need' within the next week? With 98% of the season to go, I have some faith in the squad that's there. We just need to get our first 11 out there consistently. A lack of control and direction would be those in charge running around like headless chickens and not being able to take the action that they think is best; seems to me Wenger is doing exactly what he thinks is best and controlling the situations as much as he can (ie playing hardball with barca for about three years, and City for two months). Let's not assume that because there isn't some half-arsed information coming out of the press (like "the BBC understands that...") that nothing is happening. For all we know, Wenger's on the phone to Kaka right now. Asking him to take a pay cut.!
I never used the word doomed damiano, you did.
Okay, you didn't use the word 'doomed', so obviously you win the argument hands-down.
Liverpool is no better than you guys. They just have Suarez.

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