How Bad Really Was Anfield?

Hello all.

The dust has settled and emotions are not running so high now following our sober spanking at Anfield.

That we lost up there is no surprise and certainly nothing new. We have gone up their with better teams, better managers and in better form and come away with our tails between our legs. Liverpool are a great team and Anfield is the most intimidating of gounds, even for battle hardened teams, let alone a young inexperienced team. But, and you knew there was a “but” coming, the manner of the defeat was gross.

People say we were in the game until the 37th minute, I strongly disagree. We were never “in the game”! We just managed to hold them off until then. There was nothing about our game in that 37 minutes that suggested we could hold out for 90+ minutes, let alone somehow fluke a win. We were comprehensively outclassed and the underlying stats (the ones I wont stop papping on about) came home to roost. 93 minutes and and xG of 0.3 with just 5 touches in their box, suggest we were exactly what the stats suggest, a bunt powder puff force.

Apart from Ramsdale and perhaps Gabriel, every player looked below par for even an average PL side, never mind a top side hoping to be in the race for top 4. so let me pose a question, what is more likely, a failure of our system, or a coincidence that 10 players( plus subs) all have a bad day at the same time? The 4411 system that Arteta stumbled across was exposed. Our mid-field was non-existent, our defence overrun and our attack toothless. It was horrible to watch.

What surprises me is that this performance surprised a lot of fans. If they had been watching all season, looking even slightly beyone the results, they would have seen that it was almost inevitable.

We have somehow managed to find ourselves in 5th place, a great platform from which to build an assault on the European places, but an improvement , way beyond any improvement we have so far seen, will be needed for this assault to become a reality.

Anywho, here is the latest Youtube ramblings if you want to delve a little deeper into my analysis of the game and where we might go from here.

Have a nice week,

Pedantic George.

37 comments on “How Bad Really Was Anfield?

  1. Arteta was a moron to rile up Klopp at Anfield. They crushed us after that


  2. Thanks George and to you and Shotta for the podcast.

    I thought that sometimesTomi was getting it on the wrong side of Olivers liberal”let it be” reffing, especially towards the end when the Livercrutches youngster (or whoever it was)seem to give him a bit of gip-and no replay to examine whether the kid needed a yellow.
    Goodness knows what happened at HT for the lads to come out and just play terrible football, it was like they wanted to lose their mind seem to be collectively thinking of other things. Either boobs or Artetas game plan or something else like how pencils are made?
    The mighty Toon next, bottom of the league, so we will have to donate three or four points to them in the name of sporting gestures,like?

    Thanks again and for the humour in the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mills you turd, you cant get four points for a win!

    Fk u Mills, u can in my football world, anything can happen,sometimes even five points for a draw and things like great Arsenal football and everyone gets on with each other and pigs can fly and flys can pig!

    Oh shut up Mills you tool of a fook!

    Shut up yourself cod piece face!

    Exeunt (left)all those called Mills, the fool, cod piece and four points, like.


  4. I am pleased that someone else saw what I saw.

    The wishful thinking disease is affecting so many people that they are incapable of seeing the wood for the trees and they feed each other’s blindness so that they actually believe what they are saying.

    Optimism has taken over reality, so they see what they want to see, not what is there.

    And Partey will still be the first name on the team list. Not because he merits it, or even to be on the list at all, but because that is what so many people want, ignoring what they see with their eyes.


  5. Chris Wheatley
    Xhaka on possible return to Borussia Monchengladbach:

    “I’ve just renewed my contract, which will continue for two and a half years [By] then I’ll be 32. And if Max Eberl is ready to take me back at 32, my door will be open too.” @MitGedacht1900


  6. Like

  7. Like

  8. Like

  9. ‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
    And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.’

    For me it is not so much wishful thinking as the willing suspension of disbelief. I choose to believe I see progress and a positive direction because I want the team to do well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Xhaka has said that he will be back in 3 to 4 weeks

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Arteta suggested today that he has held talks with Arsene Wenger over taking up a role at the club.


  12. Jack Wilshere also suggested Wenger might be returning to AFC in some capacity, also said its possible that he(wilshere) might play for our U23’s shortly, and he wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he could earn a short term contract with AFC, when we lose some midfielders for the ACN.
    Wilshere trains with both the U23’s and our first team squad. He said he came in to gain fitness, and that he has done that now, and might take the next step of playing a game for the U23’s.


  13. Jeorge Bird
    Julian Gray is the assistant coach for Arsenal U18s this season (via Arsenal handbook). Gray was previously a youth player at Arsenal himself and made one first-team appearance v Newcastle in 2000. He also played in the Premiership for Birmingham.

    Mehmet Ali to join Arsenal U23s coaching staff from Reading in January

    Ali will provide assistance to coach Kevin Betsy following the recent departures of Greg Lincoln and Ryan Garry, who both took up positions as part of the England youth setup.

    Having previously been at Tottenham Hotspur as coach of the U16s, Ali initially joined Reading as their assistant manager at U23 level in 2019, where he worked alongside former Arsenal player Scott Marshall.

    Ali then took charge of the team himself at the start of last season. Reading finished 8th out of 13 teams last campaign, while they are currently 13th out of 14 teams.

    Today Ali informed the Reading U23 squad that he will be departing on December 17th.


  14. We’ve often have read over the years the Wenger critics stating that he was finished after the CL final and the game had moved on etc. Of course we all looked at the contexts and saw what was going on while they all wailed for a change of manager to re-create the 97-2006 period.
    But Ive often wondered which manger could have come into the club, knowing that they must stay in the CL for the money( meaning at least top four quality football) as the cost of the new stadium was going over 400 million, a manager that didnt have the open cheque book to have a supermarket sweep which meant shopping on the lower shelves or developing players or going off the beaten track to see the hidden gems in shops ignored by loud voices and simple adverts. Who could have done it? Who could have guided us out of such a tough catch 22 we created for ourselves in order to cope with the way some clubs were backed financially?

    I cant think of anyone. You?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. the u23’s game v derby is live now on arsenal.com


  16. Jeorge Bird
    Arsenal U23 v Derby: Ejeheri; Olayinka, Alebiosu, Foran, Ogungbo, Taylor-Hart; Patino, Salah-Eddine; Hutchinson, Biereth, Balogun.

    Subs: Hillson, Jeffcott, Akinola, Butler-Oyedeji, Ideho.

    Former Arsenal striker Luke Plange starts for Derby.


  17. the u23 game was 2-2 at half time but ten minutes into the second half and bottom side Derby are leading 5-2


  18. 72 minutes 3-5, Balogun completes his hattrick


  19. FT: Arsenal u23’s 3-5 Derby County u23’s

    a very poor result for the gooners


  20. Ed, the game definitely has to be taken in context.
    Arsenal had a few players out whereas Derby were. Playing several players who had dropped down from the first team.
    After Baloguns third we seem to settle down for the remaining part of the game. I think the biggest thing the team needs to learn is when the other team is bigger, stronger and more physical than you it is a priority to move the ball quickly, reduce the time any single player has on the ball to stop getting muscled off the ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Should the game go less than well today, please don’t blame the players or manager. In a moment of disappointing senility I made my morning cuppa in my away mug and no fear retribution from the sporting gods.


  22. A slow and ponderous game for most of the half.
    A horrendous miss by Auba. The kind that knocks your confidence.
    Nuno has played well after his Anfield nightmare.
    Had a flurry at the end of the half but we need to up the tempo big time as Newcastle happy to sit back all day.
    Second subs maybe Laca for some physicality inside the box.
    Maybe Pepe for Sambi and drop Odegaard in the middle to partner Partey.


  23. That’s more like it
    A sumptuous goal by Martinelli, I had forgotten about him. Auba to be benched a little perhaps, he’s certainly not been in the game today.
    Nuno is just a beast of a player.
    Saka was heading for man of the match until he has to come off. Let’s hope it’s not serious.
    Odegaard did well but he needs to bulk up seriously, gets knocked off the ball far too easily.
    Willock would have done really well alongside Partey. He really has grown as a player.


  24. Good win and important to get points on the board again after last week. Interesting to see the range of opinions about players’ performances on Twitter so look forward to hearing from those who saw the game


  25. Ah. I think I understand. We win the game and nobody has any thing to say. Never thought I would see the day when Postively Arsenal became pound-shop AFTV.


  26. Good to get the win, and two very easy on the eye goals. Was impressed with Tavares to come back with that performance after Anfield, takes a bit of character . Was expecting to see KT but Tavares certainly let nobody down.
    A bit disheartening to see the club with the richest owner trying to replicate some of Watfords performance, and the ref indulging them at times, but pleased that we overcame the rotational fouling, injury feigning, time wasting etc, ok maybe harsh , perhaps they weren’t in Watfords league , and they haven’t had a chance to spend all that money that may, or may not come their way but.
    Bit of a slow start and some looked like they were maybe missing Captn Xhakas qualities


  27. I watched the game. We were a bit flat in the first half, while seeing most of the ball, carving out a couple of great chances and restricting NUFC to long shots. Second half dominant and coasting for the last 15 minutes. Full-backs excellent, although Nuno Tavares was probably advised at HT to stop shooting from the byline. Sambi and Saka the other standouts. The CBs were untroubled, and Partey and Odegaard grew into the game after sloppy starts. Aubameyang had another of those days. That’s about it.

    Interesting choice to go with Sambi and Tavares after LFC. Looks like it paid off, and could help to…compartmentalise (?) that pounding we took last week.


  28. No one commented before or during the game Tim, I suspect it might be because there wasn’t a preview to start the ball rolling?

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This was a game we were going to win whatever,
    We have never lost to a team at the bottom of the league on any PL season. We have also beaten Newcastle in 16 of our 17 meetings previous to this and it was Eddie Howes first game on charge with Covid meaning he had virtually no time with his new team.
    Nuno had a poor game and the assist was his only meaningful contribution all game.
    Auba proved again he is no longer a world class striker and both Eddie and Gabriel are better potions than him up front, actually Harry Redknapps mother would have scored today.
    Most players were reasonable today but once again our triumphant threesome of Aaron, ESR and Saka are the only things to write home about game after game.
    Like the Norwich game we got very lucky with officials getting a decision very wrong and actually saving our blushes at home.
    We scored two lovely goals from open play today and yet over the full 90 minutes did we show much improvement from that Norwich game, well we did but not much.


  30. missed the game completely, was playing Pickleball


  31. Ian – Nuno had a poor game and the assist was his only meaningful contribution all game.

    You gotta be kidding. Nuno was hands down the man of the match. The kid was excellent across the pitch and often the only one who looked like making something happen in a dire first half. The only poor part of his game is shooting – I mean he is becoming a row z specialist.
    But no I can’t agree with this one – Nuno was man of the match by a country mile!


  32. First half we saw the midfield squeezed out (again) and plenty of creativity and wayward shots from r +l back. Is that a good thing? I like watching Tomi though, sure some mistakes, but no more than anyone else on the field. ESR was missing for most of the first half, a few runs late in the game. But no10s big shoes to fill?I felt sorry for Auba but who cares, the world is unforgiving and doesnt care? Somethings still missing; less fear, more intelligence, more confidence on the ball, more intuitive movement?
    26-30 mins in the Toon should have had a penalty and Ramsbottom kept us in the game with that excellent but desperate save. And Newcastle made it a bit sweaty betty for us at the end. On another day we could have gone in trialing and then frustration would have grown.
    Newcastle gifted us the game in the second half by not pressing? As soon as there was some space, chances opened up for us, but more also for Newcastle too. 2-0 is a weird score line to hang on to, and they still had chances that could have turned the game.And the Wilson pen shout sometimes gets given. I thought we were ok, but not outstanding.
    ManUre will be up for it for sure, and I hope we track back more in that game than we did in the second half.



  33. Saka perhaps for the first time in the game after HT forgot his instructions and overloaded the opposite flank, it was possible for the Arsenal footballers to knock some quick triangles together like all good footballers love to play, like Liverpool’s midfield running circles round the Gunners last week & that’s how Newcastle were broken down. Passing and movement. Football.

    The flaw in Arteta’s system yesterday hinted at by some of the better plundits was that the two players who need to combine in the attack were on opposite flanks & whilst this was OK against the 20th team this can also help explain why the Gunners are yet to win a game against an opponent higher then 10th in the league. Odegaard will get better he’s also still adapting to the league imo. We’ve seen enough combos this season to understand Arteta needs to find a way to get ESR, Saka and Martinelli when he’s playing to combine more often during games. Partey? Looks ok against teams lower then tenth…


  34. Correction Arsenal beat the spuds (Saka & ESR combining to open them up and finish them off!) and they’ve begun a climb back up the table and are above 10th so that’s one victory against a top ten team.

    The next NLD will be another huge contest.
    Partey & Auba will be missing I think and for quite a few that will be seen as a bonus!

    We might see some rotation this week, a game for Tierney and a chance for others auditioning for covering roles during the AFCON, Xhaka will be back but he won’t be fully fit for a few weeks after his return.


  35. Like

  36. Nuno goes past a few players and everyone thinks he’s amazing but watch his whole game.
    He is greedy, not just in this game but generally he shoots or tries to go on his own when passes are on. He never looks up when crossing and as we see in the Liverpool game sometimes doesn’t look with normal passes as well. His defending is not great and very naive at times. He gave away a definite penalty on Saturday and was saved by some very poor officiating.
    I’m not saying he hasn’t got potential, I think he could turn out to be a very good player but he is a long way off that and if anyone thought he had a good game Saturday must be getting sucked in to the bad play we have been watching for such a long while now.
    I challenge anyone to go back to watch Arsene or Georges sides and then suggest we are playing well and anymore than Aaron, ESR and Saka are doing well.


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