So, more of the same from Arsenal with a different result this weekend.
With a makeshift midfield and defense, we started this game very positively but then went into a nut shell. If was Liverpool who created the better ‘half chances’ as we drifted from one end to another, hardly having a shot on goal. Nasri did have a go at goal near the half hour mark, so did Frimpong. Otherwise both the teams lacked creativity. The second half was where things started happening. Kelly rattled the cross bar, Van Persie had a shot saved, Frimpong was then sent off, Suarez came on and tested Szczesny followed by Downing and then the unfortunate own goal, involving Miquel and Ramsey. From there it was always us chasing the game and Liverpool ended it with another goal, the final nail in our already full coffin.
There is nothing much to talk from the game so I will come straight to what I feel.
First off, this is type a result one is going to end up with by putting youngsters on the field, who hardly have any Premier League experience against a squad that surely means business. The youngster’s fighting spirits will give you hard earned draws and at times an odd win but you will never be sure.
What we saw today is prove enough that our young players have all the talent in the word but they need experienced players to guide them. They cannot on their own make us challenge for the title, they need support.
And this is where I fear Wenger is wrong. To put so many burdens on players who have hardly played a full game in the League is asking too much and at one point it surely is going to spill over. Look what happened in the case of Fabregas.
And on top of that to come out and say that we need to keep patience is not going to go down well.
Result and obvious lack of investment aside, the players out there deserve plaudits for giving their all from the first ball to the last. The defense was solid and to have kept the scores level till the last quarter of the game against a fully fit Liverpool squad is proof that we are improving, at least in one area of the field.
As for the result, weren’t we expected to lose this one? Yet, we lost only after going a man down and that too by gifting a freak own goal and through some bad refereeing by the lines man. I know these will sound like excuses but it is the reality. Liverpool were ordinary. We had eight first team players missing against a squad that has spent a fortune on players since January, yet, they couldn’t do us any damage with 11 on 11. (There is sure hope!) And looking back, I have a regret that we could have even won this game had our first team played.
Yet, this is no reason for where we are or why we don’t have to buy. We had a whole summer to solve our problems and buy the players required. What we have been doing can only be answered by Arsene and company. To play Miquel and not Squillaci, to bring on Bendtner and not Chamakh shows indecisiveness on our manager’s part. With the season two games old, we haven’t decided who will we keep and who we won’t. I don’t mind though, because late is better than never and this show that Arsene has lost his confidence with Squillaci and Chamakh (or am I seeing too much into it?)
I don’t even want to go over the players that are out injured or suspended. The Udinese and Manchester game just got a lot tougher for us. Qualification for the Champions League must be, however, the priority. If we fail to qualify, I am afraid, we will have to find another coffin. More on the Udinese game when the time comes.
The bottom line is we still need to strengthen despite having many players out injured or suspended because we won’t survive the season playing like this.
Before I conclude, apologies are also in line for Nasri who showed he truly is a professional and his commitment is spot on. He was on fire and looked like he cared for the team.
Coming to player ratings
Szczesny: (8) He again was commanding and covered his area well. Made some great saves, one each from Carroll, Downing and Suarez. Not at fault for both the goals.
Sagna: (7) Shifted from right to left and didn’t put a foot wrong. Offensively didn’t contribute as he was not on his preferred side.
Vermaelen: (8.5) Well he surely is a beast. Got his head onto every ball and never gave Carroll or any Liverpool forward space. Led by example and later on tried to revive the team by some forward runs. Caught out of position on the second goal but we were already losing then.
Koscielny: (no rating) Unlucky, looked decent before he went off injured.
Jenkinson: (7) He looked solid on his preferred flank and he sure is the right cover for Sagna. His crossing was better but as always we had no one attacking them.
Frimpong: (7) He really impressed me bar his second tackle that earned him the second yellow. Not afraid to put a foot in and was extremely quick on his feet. Had Liverpool in check till the time he was on. Even had a go at goal from range. As for his temperament and discipline, he needs to keep that in check. Will learn with time surely but I liked what I saw from him today.
Ramsey: (4.5) He really disappointed me today. He was slow and didn’t have things going his way. Lost the ball on countless occasions and didn’t give the support I expected from him.
Nasri: (6.5) As mentioned above, he deserves some slack after his performance today. Sure he did fade away at the end but we were already stretched to the limits. Made a great run in the first half that ended in shot going just wide. Moved the ball around and even dropped down deep to get it.
Arshavin: (4.5) One word, unacceptable! He did try to change things around but nothing was going his way. Ironically, he created the only chance for us. Should have been substituted early in the second half.
Van Persie: (5.5) Was isolated and never got any support. Only got one chance and he hit it straight at Reina in the second half just before things started going from bad to worse for us.
Walcott: (4) He too was anonymous and below par. He was always surrounded whenever he got the ball though. Lost the ball on countless occasions and made runs that ended in nothing.
Miquel: (7) He justified his picking ahead of Squillaci. Comfortable and calm on the ball and read the game well. His positioning was also good. Being involved in the own goal was unfortunate.
Lansbury and Bendtner: (no rating) Didn’t have much time to make impact and by that time we had faded. Lansbury had the time to get booked though but liked his attitude.Follow @Rgunners