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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Injury News: Arteta OK, Wilshere Might Be Back

Arsene Wenger has delivered his customary pre-match injury news update ahead of the critical clash against Liverpool tomorrow.

Arsenal`s well documented injury list has always been a great source of scrutiny before each match as we wait with baited breath for news of who is, and isn`t, alright to play.

Jack Wilshere was missing from the 2-0 over Crystal Palace last week but Wenger says he should be ok for tomorrow`s massive game. He also gave Mikel Arteta the all clear after the Spaniard was seen limping towards the end of the Palace match.

The team news is basically similar to the squad that was available in our last game against Crystal Palace. We might have Wilshere back and that's basically it." Said Wenger in his pre-match presser.

"It's important to have as many players back as possible in the squad. In the big games it is always decided by having the complete squad available. As many top players as possible because most of the time these games are decided by players who come on or strong players who have a big statement in a big game."

On Mikel Arteta "He`s alright."



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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 7 2014

Time: 5:15PM

Your Comments

Jack would be a great inclusion against Liverpool but I suspect. Would only be coming on from the bench since he hasn't played much in the last few weeks. So the team shape should be pretty much as it was in our last game with the possible inclusion of Rosicky for Poldi and Jack to come on late on for some game time.
Naijagunner
Don't be surprised if wilshere starts ahead of rosicky as arteta's partner cos the boss seems to like playing him despite the added threat of jack losing possesion in our half and costing us a goal. I don't think jack should be starting the big games yet as he still has the occasional brain farts.
nna
I hope Wilshere starts, I think we need his runs from deep to help open up Liverpool. His energy is also needed to close down Liverpool players and help us control the midfield. He was awful against Citeh earlier this season and definitely still has some maturing to do as a player but the only way he will learn is by playing in big games like this. Wilshere and Areta playing the central midfield roles with the Ox and Cazorla on the wings. We need to play our usual game of being patient and keeping it tight at the back and then nicking a goal on the counter. The liverpool defence might be weak but they are the best attacking team after Citeh in the league so we can't be too gung ho or we'll get punished.
bowiecokemirror
Bowiecokemirror, it looks like you've got your wish as wilshere takes poldi's place in the starting line up. Hope he doesn't go on his superman runs that see him running into two or three players and losing the ball.
nna
I don't think he will let us down, he's an intelligent player and will have learned a lot from the game against City where he put in a very poor undisciplined performance.
bowiecokemirror
Careless play by marts. And we've conceded inside the ist minute.
nna
Its safe to concede defeat now. Our defence in shambles.2-0 in 10mins. Very poor.
nna
We are being mauled out there, could be 4nil in 15mins if not for the post and poor finishing by liverpool.
nna
And its 3-0, messiah ozil losing the ball and we concede yet again . So much for title aspirations.
nna
Disgusting. Unprofessional.
Will-i-am10
Traditional collapse on the cards? lololol .. Arsenal blow the title race wide open...
Blue_Mel
I spoke too soon its 4nil. I think i'll just enjoy liverpool thrashing arsenal, so much for not playing rosicky. Its clear to see which coach did his homework.
nna
Well I'm shocked so far. Safe to say if we win the league it will be a miracle. Champions dont lose like this. Well my expectations were always higher then reality due to our league position. We have been punching above our weight. I jusy hope we can maintain some form and keep it close to push on for next season. I just hope they go for it in the second half as its not like we have much to lose in this game.
gunnerman76
Next up for Arsenal - Manchester United then Liverpool again in the Cup lmao ..can we have an encore?
Blue_Mel
Wenger needs to come up with the needed tactical changes no matter how early. we are being denied space, which is to be expected, but we are making that easy at times by not making space for the quick passes ourselves. They close us down quickly and we look awed, with the CB not getting enough protection. I say we need to stem the tide, get a goal and see where that takes us.
Naijagunner
The high line we are playing may not work with the fast-paced attackers Liverpool have; maybe, late on when bodies get tired. We need the right attitude and need to apply ourselves well.
Naijagunner
I'm sorry but thats your season over yet again but you did last longer than normal. The fixture list over the next months looks like to much for your team. I'll be shocked to see you in top 4 at the end of season. Its between Chelsea and Man U now. COME ON YOU BLUES
BIG_R
Nevermind lads, it's only 3 points (",)... seriously tho you have to consider Liverpool as title challengers after their performance today and against Everton. i have a feeling they can beat Chavski and Citeh too after this.
bowiecokemirror
@Big_R .I think you mean Chelsea and City
Blue_Mel
Hardly the end of our season. If you would have told me we would be top in feb and still in the two good cups I would snap your arm off. We were just not meant to be contenders this season, but we have been. As for man utd winning the league? You must know something the rest of the world doesn't :)
gunnerman76
@bowie , do me a favour , go to your window , and watch that pig flying past
Blue_Mel
Not even the Liverpool faithfuls would have expected us to look so vulnerable, so this is all down to us. It was all about the 1st goal which, to be fair, had a hint of offside.
Naijagunner
Blue_Mel, your win against Liverpool at home wasn't that convincing so i'm not sure why you think you're sure to beat them away. City also got a few lucky decisions against Liverpool when they beat them at Emptihad.
bowiecokemirror
Arteta has now lost the little pace he used to have. He now offers very little other than some sideways passing in the centre circle. Get rosicky on.
Will-i-am10
There are still 3 teams in the title race and they are ; mancity, chelsea, and liverpool . We have just shown a glipse of what awaits in the coming weeks. Can someone pls tell me how ozil's key passes are helping us today or how giroud's hold up play is helping us build attacks, or maybe how these bunch of defenders are the best defence in the league. Maybe amos can tell me how arteta is great as a holding midefielder with jack 'great hope' wilshere beside him.
nna
5-0 ? can we have 6 of the best ..or go into 7th heaven??? lol
Blue_Mel
Id like to make a suggestion... I think a change of tactics is in order...
Blue_Mel
Blue mel, be sure to come over here and give us your thought's when were winning. I would take your comments more seriously then :) I see the spuds are waiting until their fixture is over, which is unusual for them. in all seriousness Liverpool deserve the win. Well played. Unfortunately we will have to regroup as it doesn't get any easier. But then that's what you get if youwant to be in with a shout of a trophy.
gunnerman76
@ gunnerman76. Sorry I ment city, suppose just used to it being man u lol but if you really think this isn't the end of your season your a numpty. Have a look at your fixtures for the next two months mate. As for two cups, do you really believe you have a hope in hell of getting past those germans??? You will be fighting for 4th place yet again. Your best hope for anything this season is the FA cup but its been so long winning nothing that losing is becoming the norm for you, gone are the days of arse glory days mate.
BIG_R
Well, the excuses will be predictable but to capitulate in the manner we have today isn't just a matter of bad luck.
Wyn Mills
A sorry day for arsenal fans. Deep down we knew a result like this was possible, but I still feel sick.
Will-i-am10
*shadow of his former self
bowiecokemirror
We were completely overrun in midfield. Arteta seems a former shadow himself and Wilshere and Ox only recently back from injury didn't seem sharp enough either. Thankfully we've got Flamini back for the next game, hopefully this match will help Wilshere and the Ox sharpen up a bit. We are really missing Ramsey at the moment but that's no excuse as all teams have to cope with injuries. I'm sure Arsene will be looking to bring a DM in over the summer, someone like Lars Bender. We still need another striker of course and probably cover at CB also. We can't let one awful result ruin our season so I hope people don't overreact too much. We are still much improved from last season and we're still top of the league for the time being.
bowiecokemirror
They say only a fool does the same thing over and over and expects a different result. Arsene has refused to adjust his tactics to vary with the opposition hence we get trounced when we play the big sides. Secondly we the players think all they have to do to win is turn up, hence they don't get off the blocks in the 1st half, unfortunately big teams will hurt you in the 1st half.
nna
Well what an abysmal first 20 minutes! I'm wandering if the fellas underestimated the pool as it was such a stroll beating them at home. Either way, they have to stand up and be counted. Brendan rogers obviously took something from the defeat earlier in the season and fair play to him. Arsene, you were out maneuvered.
gunnerman76
Wenger doesn't know how to prepare his team for big games
49ers
Well said bowie. It's hard not to make a knee jerk reaction. Did any of us think we would be where we are now after the villa game? Unfortunately we have been a victim of our own success (over achieving). Like I said earlier, now we have been brought back down to earth, I just hope the team can hold on to city's coat tails and have a respectable finish (top 3). And build on the ozil signing this summer.
gunnerman76
We don't look hungry enough. We've never looked hungry enough under Wenger. We've come through countless games on skill and talent. But in games like these it's simply not enough.
Wyn Mills
what a fantastic performance Arses, especially in the opening 20 mins of the game. Keep it up lol
HGH Magic
We seem too lightweight in midfield against the top teams away from home. This is omething I'ms sure Arsene will address in the summer. Rome wasn't built in a dayso the fans need to be patient. We have made a big improvement from last season but we don't have the funds City or Chelsea have and can't spend 100 million in one season without blinking. Ozil was our big buy last summer and we need to build around him with more top quality signings. We are still top of the league and the other top 4 teams will also drop points before the season is over so all is not lost. Let's stay positive and ignore the substandard trolling (",).
bowiecokemirror
Well it was always going to be tough when only Szcz bothered to turn up.
Sajit
Well that didn't go well! Hopefully it goes as poorly for Chelsea and City when they go there. Unfortunate with the first goal but once they had their tails up it all went their way. Wilshere's reluctance to take the ball on his right side lost us possession and made some passes into him poorer than they were. Ozil needed to have been a bit more resilient when not getting the foul that led to another goal even if the contact Mertesacker made with Suarez for their first goal wasn't any stronger but he was in the opposition half and we should have been able to deal with it much better than we did. Shame really but the game was over before it started.
Amos.
Well, what a poor outing. Like a few here I feel our boys weren't well prepared for what to expect which is down to the coaching staff (and the big players, I would agree). The moment there is a media hype about "a horrendous run of games", we seem to catch cold. The boys need to stand up to be counted now. It is not all lost. Hey, maybe we would be better coming from behind if we are too tender to hold on to the top spot.
Naijagunner
Bowie, Flamini won't be back till after the next game. We needed a battling midfield performance today but didn't get it.

nna, if you are certain about the 3 teams still in the title race, then you are in a good place and I envy you. At least, you don't have any expectations and, really, shouldn't sound so hurt......you can't be surprised by the bad results if you knew it all along.
Naijagunner
Ozil had a poor game but the movement of players around him was quite poor. To play Cazorla and Ozil against top teams I think you need two strong holding midfielders as neither do a lot defensively. Chelsea have Matic, Ramires and Luiz and Oscar tracks back quite a lot also. Man City have Toure and Fernandinho but we saw what happens when they have one of those missing as against Chelsea. Chelsea seem to have the most balanced team overall and I think they will go on to win the league. I can see why Arsene bought Kallstrom now, shame he's injured for quite a while. We need Ramsey back soon as possible to have a chance against the top teams.
bowiecokemirror
You're right Naija, I've just checked and realised Flamini won't be back until next weekend. I would maybe start with Rosicky then and sacrifice one of Arteta or Wilshere against Man Utd.
bowiecokemirror
rotfpmsl!
jerkinmahjurgen
Look at the run of games you've got as well? You'll be back where you should be soon enough, battling it out with Spurs for 4th. lolol.
jerkinmahjurgen
I see you've thrown in the towel already nna! Plenty have been doing so after every set back since the beginning of the season so why not. We've never been favourites to take the title this season and we still aren't but we are still competing. I'm not sure quite why you're so exercised about our defensive midfield in this game. The first two goals conceded had little to do with them and once you're a couple of goals down and chasing the game they become less relevant anyway. I don't think Arteta had a poor game, won a few tackles, made some interceptions passed accurately and frequently and though Wilshere wasn't great the game was over rather quickly so maybe not the best game on which to judge a defensive midfield pairing. Giroud didn't get much of a sniff of anything and our midfield were struggling to find anyone forward enough to pass to. In truth any game plans we might have had went out of the window after 15 minutes.
Amos.
Big r. Sorry to inform you that there has been many non glory days at the arsenal just as there has been many glory days. I remember us languishing mid table during the mid nineties, not forgetting the dreary 80s pre graham. Football works in peaks and troughs mate. Remember Chelsea pre 2005? Thought not. I certainly wont lose any sleep this season mate. There has been plenty worse for me as an arsenal fan.
gunnerman76
Amos and naijaG, take the blinkers off and get off my back for stating the obvious. Its not loss that I'm reacting to, its the manner of it! There was no leadership on the field and curiously from the bench, just a resigned feeling from the players and the coaching staff as soon as the 1st goal went in. We've been here before cue hard fixtures in late November- early december. Drew everton, lost to napoli, lost to manU, lost to mancity, drew chelsea. If/when we lose to Manchester united, we will be back in the mix for 4th, cos you have to think that the exertions in championsleague will adversly affect league form as well. The buck stops at wenger for this one, if we had man marked instead of zonal marking, we wouldn't have conceded the 2 set piece goals. In the 2nd half skertel was man marked durring set plays.
nna
Spuddie trolls know their hopes of getting fourth has completely disappeared with the Liverpool win today so they their only chance of gloating is at our occasional bad results. They never had a hope to begin with but they are the most deluded set of supporters on the planet, I think they were talking of winning the title with their 100 million spend at the beginning of the season ROFLPMSL
bowiecokemirror
Truly shocking performance as they all looked like they were still in bed! I think its clear now that Arteta is not the player he was, Ozil is woefully out of form and the defence was just all over the place. HOWEVER, having said that it is just ONE game which some of our fans need to remember. A reaction is needed against United where I would be tempted to start Rosicky in there.
itsup4grabsnow
Impossible to rationalise a pitiful performance like that, would prefer groundhog day happens now as opposed to April. Chelsea will win up there cos of Mourinho, ***** i mean Pulis! Tactics
shewore
We need to bring in Gibbs for Monreal and Rosicky for Arteta for the game against Man Utd. Hopefully it will be enough to get us 3 points in that game. We have chance for revenge against the bin dippers next weekend. It's up to Arsene and the team to respond in the right way and correct our mistakes from today's dreadful performance. City have dropped 2 points today against Norwich. Chelsea are clear favourites it seems but they may still slip up so we have to keep winning our games.
bowiecokemirror
Chelsea are only a little horse .. a bit of a pony ..hehehehehe
Blue_Mel
At least they're tactics Shewore. There is nothing tactical about the way we are set up to play. And time after time Wenger is found out if his players have an off day.
Wyn Mills
CHELSEA TOP OF THE LEAGUE CHELSEA CHELSEA TOP OF THE LEAGUE !!!!!!!!!!
BIG_R
Pulis has managed a team of journeymen at CP to more positive results playing the percentages. I'm sure he'd do a decent job if you gave him an extravagantly expensive squad like the Chavs playing the same way too. If you're saying that Chelsea and Man City are stronger favourites to win the title is stating the obvious then I'd have to agree with you nna. I don't know of any point this season when they haven't been. I don't think there was any resignation after the first goal went in. In fact we had a decent(ish) spell until the 2nd went in! Got a bit deflated when the 3rd went in though. You're right we have been here before in November/December but we came through that still competing. I'm up for encouraging them to compete until the end of the season however it ultimately ends up.
Amos.
It's one game and you'd feel we can afford only one more loss for the rest of the season, if we have ambitions to win it. The players just have to buckle up and take the games (the proverbial) one at a time. Liverpool would do this to any team, if they get to go one up. It is that simple. We could use a top striker with a bit more guile and skill today; Giroud wasn't effective because he thrives when the midfield is mobile and come into the play. Liverpool didn't allow us do that today.
Naijagunner
@ gunnerman I started going to chelsea back in 75-76 season so yes I do remember before 2005, for years and years I had to but up with gloating ARSE fans mate. You lot can give it but when it comes to taking it, well I suppose you must be getting used to it by now.
BIG_R
I think that Giroud is suffering from isolation. When Walcott wasn't playing close to him Ramsey was. In theory Poldi, Cazorla, Ozil or Ox should be able to but so far it hasn't worked as effectively as when either of those two have been able to get into the box with him.
Amos.
I thought of same, Amos, while watching the game. It became very easy for the opposition whenever he received a pass. A disappointing day but let's cheer on the team especially for the consistency thus far. Hopefully, the trend of bouncing back after a loss this will continue.
NYArse
"This term"
NYArse
The problem as I see itis that we have nothing up front to pushthe opposition defence back. So when we play the bigg teams they have no fear in comingat us without any worries of getting exposed on the counter attack. This is why the loss of Walcott will be a fatal blow to any title hopes. The tactical move of keeping it tight for thefirst half works against lesser oppostion but the better teams have the firepower to make holes in this tactic. We have to offer more in front of the midfield.
grouvillegooner
Jebus you'd swear we were in a relegation struggle.

One point off top, heads up lads. Some poor performances here today but we've responded well to setbacks so far this season. Lets see how we are come Wednesday!

Galway Gooner
I'm hoping the shock of such a heavy defeat gives the players a wake up call. You get the impression they weren't prepared for the intensity of the game. They were far too casual and the concentration was very poor. They need to make it up to the fans now for the rest of the season. Not just on wednesday but for every game they need to be completely focused and ready for battle. I hope the anger Arsene and players are feeling is channeled in a positive way through working hard and staying focused. We're only one point off top and nearly every team will be fighting for a CL place or survival. We saw City trip up against Norwich. I can see Chelsea dropping points against WBA as they are in the bottom 3 and need to fight for every point. We need to keep winning our games and hopefully we can set the record straight against the bin dippers next saturday.
bowiecokemirror
I don't share your optimism that we will bounce back against a man u side with their backs against the wall. Wenger and his players have a psychologic defeatest mentality against man u as you will see on wednessday. They only begin to play when the result is beyond them. In his press conference wenger said the players were nave against liverpool but I think the nave one is himself. The only match he showed respect to the opposition was the chelsea match. We lost heavily against city because he was tactically inept. He is great at assembling a great team but he is absolute pants at changing tactics to suit the different opposition.
nna
Amos, you must have been watching a different game cos we didn't have a decent passage of play after their 1st goal. We conceded 2 clear opportunities to liverpool to increase the lead which was missed before they went 2 up in the 1st 10 nins and 4 up in 18mins where they could have been 6nil up. Our 1st shot on target was from the ox late in the 2nd half. Pls don't defend the players cos one of the worst culprits was Mr reliable himself mertasackar. Even jack wishere was seen berating him for his poor concentration and play.
nna
They players all had a bad day but we can't write off our season because of one embarrassing result. We are one point of the top with everything still to play for. Remember last season after the defeat away to the Spuds when we were so far off fourth nobody thought we could get a CL place. We managed to show some real mental toughness and rescued our season by going on a run no one thought we were capable off. We have been defensively strong and well organized for most of the season and one game doesn't suddenly change that. Yes we are missing two of our key players in Ramsey and Walcott but there is still a lot of quality in the team. If fans throw in the towel after one setback then it's not going to help the team. Hopefully the players got an important reminder yesterday of how easily things can go wrong if they are not fully focused and make basic errors. They deserve a chance to get things right before we completely write them off at least.
bowiecokemirror
In order to rectify weaknesses you have to first acknowledge them. We've done that this season with our defence. What hasnt changed is our tendancy of not raising our game against our closest rivals. Its a repeating theme and Wenger has to accept that he often sends his teams out unprepared for these battles. These are defining games that lay down markers not only for opponents , but the players too. Its all very well to say forget this one, we'll bounce back. But if we dont learn from games like this we'll get tanked again.
Wyn Mills
Looked at the game again and indeed, Mertesacker must be taking a good look at himself feeling the pressure this morning too. I hope his focus wasn't affected by that black eye he was, reportedly, carrying;-)
Naijagunner
LOL.. metro.co.uk/2014/02/08/wojciech-szczesny-left-fking-embarrassed-by-arsenal-defeat-against-liverpool-4296001/
HGH Magic
The fact is our team didn't turn up yesterday and that is something the manager would have to address. Except for Koscielny, Jack and Szczesny, who seemed to care, the rest of the team looked like rabbits caught in the headlights. Ozil lost the ball quite a few times, a couple of them to telling effect. I don't know how Wenger prepares the team for the big games but they lack fire in their bellies and get easily awed at the big occasions. They need to regroup and focus. It is not all lost.
Naijagunner
Win Mills, you took the words right out of my mouth (keyboards?).
Naijagunner
Do we learn the same lessons from this 5-1 that we learnt from the 8-2? Or the 6-3? What are these questions and answers we're after, exactly? I personally think we'll do alright on Weds, there's not a massive amount of pressure on us. Bowie this 'mental toughness' only applies when hunting down the 4th place trophy unfortunately, not applicable to actual trophies.
shewore
I wasn't watching a different game to you nna I just didn't see it in the same way. I didn't see our first shot on target as late in the second half for example - in fact we had three shots on target in the first 15 minutes of the second half - and one attempt blocked. We did start to get our game going briefly after their first set piece goal but I did only describe it as decent(ish). Monreal had a good break down the left as I recall and if we had managed to keep the game within our grip for another 20 minutes or so we might have been able to alter the pattern of the game. Their second set piece goal rather put paid to that and we were all at sea for 15 minutes or so after by which time the game was over. Ozil didn't lose the ball quite a few times at all. He was as accurate and precise as ever but the need for patient controlled build up play had rather disappeared by the 15 minute mark and he was no more effective or ineffective than anyone else. I'm not defending the players at all. It was a poor performance by the standards we have set this season but I don't think we need let this one result take anything away from the progress we have made as a team this season either. At the same time, although Jack grew into the game more late on I'm not sure that, if he was to have been one of the sitting midfielders, he should be berating Mertesacker for not executing his tasks perfectly. His reluctance to take the ball on his right side made some passes into him look poorer than they were as he was caught on his heels trying to adjust his body position to take the pass. He's young enough to improve those aspects but it didn't help us early on in yesterday's game. The disappointment of the result is understandable but we're having a good season. If anyone had told you at the beginning of the season that with two thirds of the season gone we'd be one point behind the leaders having played one home game less, 5 points ahead of 4th and 15 ahead of ManU you might not have seen that as an altogether negative position. I'm not sure that we need see it as negative now either.
Amos.
You can be as precise as ever all you like, if you give the ball away and pathetically moan at the ref for a totally non existent foul - that they subsequently score from, you're gonna get slagged, and rightly so. We're still one point off the lead etc etc, why can't we put in a good away performance vs direct rivals, why? It has to be psychological, it just has to be, man for man we're better than Liverpool, Utd etc, but we just can't get our heads round that, that has to come from Wenger. It can't come from anywhere else.
shewore
I said that Ozil should have shown more resilience when fouled but if Mertesackers contact with Suarez conceding the free kick for the first goal was a foul then Hendersons contact with Ozil was. Having said that if he's to be held responsible for giving a ball away that led to a goal it's probably worth pointing out that he 'gave' it away in the Liverpool half. Why don't we put in a good away performance against the top teams? Most teams don't put in good performances against the top teams which is kind of what makes them top teams I guess. Perhaps psychologically the top teams feel stronger at home usually?
Amos.
Ozil did misplace a pass which resulted in (I think it was the 3rd) a goal as well as the one in which he was 'fouled'. That's 2 goals from his failure to be strong on the ball. Had to state that because you appeared to have forgotten, not because Ozil was the problem. We do have a psychological barrier when we come against teams that have players whose qualities are heralded. For instance, we never considered Liverpool in that category. Did it take the big money offer for Suarez in the summer for that hex to come to play? Or is it all the media SAS hype? We need to overcome whatever it is so as to get our groove back.
Naijagunner
The 3rd goal was the 'foul', which at the risk of being repetitive was conceded in the Liverpool half. The 4th goal wasn't misplaced it was intercepted, by Coutinho I think, and he then went past Wilshere rather easily. Blame Ozil for making a pass that could be intercepted by all means but maybe also acknowledge that it was right on the edge of the Liverpool defensive third. I don't really buy into this psychological hokum. At least no more than it always exists in the minds of teams playing at home or away. Why would we have had a psychological barrier playing at Anfield when our recent history has been good there? Then again why wouldn't Liverpool have felt some psychological superiority given their excellent record at Anfield this season? This is just one of the prosaic fall back explanations along the lines of lack of fighting spirit, mental strength, complacency et c., et c., that are always trotted out when struggling to rationalise an unanticipated result.
Amos.
Not sure many people are trying to rationalise it, they're just givinf examples as to how crap we were. What was the last good result we got away against a top four, by the way? It has to be in their heads, psychology clearly plays a massive part in top level sport, to infer that it doesn'f effect us is naive. Just like our players always seem to be in big away days!
shewore
I think it's more in the fact that the top four teams tend to be strong at home than any psychological factor. It would be nice to think that all you need to win away against the top teams is for our team psychologist to be better than theirs but it probably has more to do with the quality of the opposition. If it weren't then presumably there would be something lacking in the home teams psychological make-up? Of course confidence plays a big part in any sporting activity. That's probably why teams with a positive atmosphere around them tend to do better than those with a negative and/or hostile one.
Amos.
So how many players would you have over ours, from Liverpool or Utd? Man for man.
shewore
I'm not sure what point such games make, or even if there is one, but you'd probably take at least RvP, Rooney, Mata and maybe Carrick from ManU Coutinho, Sturridge, Suarez would probably also strengthen the squad but then again our team is stronger on current form with Walcott, Ramsey and Flamini available. But any team really has to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Amos.
i guess the evolution of wenger's tactic may shed some light on the general results we are achieving in recent years. during the vieira & co. era, our tactic was based on interceptions and direct counter attacks, not dissimilar to those employed by liverpool yesterday & saf in recent years whenever mu played us. such tactic allowed us to score with minimal passes from end to end but it was only applicable if teams opened up. some years later, some lowly teams had figured out that if they allowed us to control possession, park the bus, rough us up a little, hit us with long balls and try their luck with well drilled set pieces, they would stand a chance on upsetting us. thus during the fabregas era, we were often frustrated by lesser teams. fast forward to last season, wenger had finally found the answer to penentrate teams that refused to come out by playing with a big striker to battle the opponent's defense and allow smaller skilful players to work their wonders in the final third. such game plan proved to work well consistently against lesser teams. nevertheless, it doesnt work against teams that have players who are good enough to intercept us before we get to their final third. in short, it doesnt work against teams that play our tactic of intercepting + counter attack about a decade ago. evidently, we are consistent in getting results againts teams we were expected to beat and at the same time consistent in being out played by better teams. maybe wenger should start tailoring his game plan against better teams like mourinho for a change
Joe_@**
Man for man - not squad depth... The point is our players are better than theirs, why do they not perform against them?
shewore
Why couldn't Chelsea beat Everton, Newcastle or Stoke away this season? Their players are better than those aren't they? Why couldn't Liverpool beat Hull away? Why couldn't City beat Cardiff, Sunderland or Villa away? Maybe football isn't quite as simple as you might wish it to be. It's a pound to a penny that with more or less the same squad of players last season you would have been asking how many of our players would make it into ManU's team. Perception of players worth is based on the results of the team. As Real's Galactico policy showed having the best individual players doesn't give you the best collective team. It's about a blend of different and complimentary qualities. Even with that there're many variables in a game - and a season.
Amos.
There are some positives about yesterdays result. It might be the difference between the bin dippers getting CL football ahead of the spuddies (would be even funnier if it was decided on goal difference). Also we might have got our brain dead performance of the season out of the way early. The shame of the result should fire them up also and make sure they don't start another game like that for a long while. I can see the Chavs slipping up against WBA so we could be back on top by wednesday.
bowiecokemirror
Actually no chance of it being decided on goal difference, just checked out the spuddies goal difference ;D
bowiecokemirror
I would take a 1-0 or 2-0 defeat as an abberation or even understandable. But for a group of players of this quality to get smashed 5-1, 6-3 and 8-2? That points to a team with a fragile veneer of confidence and an inability to change tack when things go catastrophically wrong. Wenger didn't know how to react yesterday. He watched his team being torn apart and was tactically impotent. He didn't change things until it was impossible to salvage a result or any pride. The performance was dire yesterday, but there's really one man who should be looking closely at himself.
Wyn Mills
Given that we were 4-0 down after 20 minutes then the opportunity to change things when it was possible to salvage a result would have had to have been in a very narrow window! Confidence in Arsenal is pretty fragile. You can see that most clearly among pundits, in the media and, it appears, a great many supporters. Fragile or otherwise such confidence as exists is mainly to be found among the team and its manager.
Amos.
Although history would remind us of 5-1, 6-3, and 8-2, it is also fair to admit that each of these lopsided defeats has a story of its own. I think our collective reactions are becoming all to familiar which are to ignore contexts entirely. Needless to say these heavy defeats are very painful but their effects are seldom catastrophic in the scheme of things.
NYArse
20 minutes is a long time in a game. Matches have been won, lost and won again in significantly less time than that. Each match has its own context, that's true. But there's an insistent and nagging familiarity in the way this team swerve from the sublime to the ridiculous. While I used the word catastrophic only in the context of the match we'll just have have to wait and see how damaging this defeat has been in the context of this season. This, as we are all aware, is only the start of a very testing period for this team.
Wyn Mills
I wouldn't confuse the level of confidence in the team with debate or criticism. There is debate amongst fans, and there will always be debate, even amongst those who would prefer there was none. There will be criticism even when we're winning, and however much confidence each of us has at any particular moment. No need to be surprised by it. It's the nature of fandom.
Wyn Mills
Matches have indeed been lost inside 20 minutes. This one certainly was. Have we swerved from the sublime to the ridiculous that frequently? A 3 or 4 goal losing margin is pretty unusual for us while the 8-2 defeat was almost 3 years ago. Less of a swerve more of stumble really. The only PL teams that have been able to avoid occasional defeats on that sort of scale though have been those able to afford greater depths of experienced players in their squads.
Amos.
I'm not sure that you can confuse confidence with debate or criticism. It depends on the nature of the debate or criticism I suppose but it usually becomes clear in the discourse. It's not unreasonable though to expect those that are most critical most frequently are less confident that their objectives or aspirations will be met.
Amos.
Perhaps some that are most critical have higher aspirations for the team. Its a thought.
Wyn Mills
Most supporters will have the same aspirations for the team. They're readily identifiable and ultimately the same for all supporters. Those most critical won't have higher aspirations but may have different expectations as to whether and when they should be satisfied irrespective of the competitive environment and conditions at any given time.
Amos.
You do make expectation sound like an unreasonable trait sometimes. All fans will have expectations of their teams, regardless of whether they're funded by an oil state or the local chippy. And they will all be different, from one game to the next depending on a personal view. The competitive environment and conditions at any given time will be a factor, but it won't be the only one. Most fans have longer attention spans and memories than that.
Wyn Mills
I'm sure expectations can be unreasonable. Many often are - but not always of course. There're many factors which may confound expectations whether reasonable or not. The greater the sense of entitlement the fewer will be taken into account.
Amos.
I feel entitled to see the players work just as hard in big games and not completely bottle it as they continually do. I feel entitled for them to get basic things right like picking up your man at set pieces. We've got utd weds, we've got tottenham away in the not too distant future and our recent record against them at whl is appallingly bad, we need to somehow smash this psychological glass ceiling we have or the lingering doubts will remain, and remain
shewore
I just feel from a realistic perspective, there has been a covering up going on of certain results. There have been consistently poor results against "threat teams" Chelsea, Man U , Man City, Napoli , Borussia , Liverpool, Everton, with two decent performances sandwiched in between. Even the away win at Borussia was heroic but not really convincing. If you view it from a position of targeting the PL and threatening in the CL the lack of squad strengthening in the striker area in the summer will cost. If you view it from coming third or fourth in the PL then we are still on target , although plenty still to do.
grouvillegooner
Of course you're entitled to think that all defeats are simply a failure to work hard enough or whether a goal is conceded at set pieces is a matter of choice shewore - even if it does seem a little simplistic. :)
Amos.
 

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