Arsenal surrendered their top of the league position to bitter London rivals, Chelsea after the north Londoners were humiliated by a great Liverpool side. Many gooners entered into this fixture in confident mood especially after Arsenal completely dominated Liverpool at the Emirates but after 20 minutes, even the most ardent of gooners must have given up any form of hope. Gooner of Steel analyses the FIVE TRUTHS ABOUT THIS GAME.
CARZOLA, OZIL AND OTHER BIG PLAYERS MUST STAND AND BE COUNTED.
When Ozil made his switch to the Emirates, one appetizing stuff was his combination with Carzola. While injury and loss of form from Santi has not helped that combination, it might still be early days to judge them. Liverpool was a big game and when you play big games of this magnitude, you would need your big players to do the job for you. Carzola and Ozil are two of the most creative midfielders not only in Arsenal but in the league and see them so subdued was quite depressing.
Carzola had no shot on target and was largely anonymous. Ozil was worse of, made no attempts at goal, made 4 unsuccessful crosses and made no through ball. For a creative player of Ozil’s caliber, that was quite poor. He was also guilty of losing the ball for the 3rd and 4th goal and when you compare both (Carzola and Ozil) performances against other big games this season, it is not quite good.
Carzola, Ozil, Giroud and other big players must step up especially in the big games, because the situation we have put ourselves in, we have to win one of the big teams away from home this season if we are to win the league.
DID WE MISS FLAMINI ?
In Wenger’s post match conference, Wenger stated that the team did not miss Flamini but I beg to differ Monsieur Wenger. Flamini might have had a terrible game against City or was very silly in making that unnecessary double footed lounge in the Southampton game but he still has something that no other Arsenal midfielder has. Matthieu is a combative midfielder, covers a lot of space in midfield, full of energy, running. At least, I am not the only one to concur on this point; the stats also share my view.
Liverpool had a midfield trio of Gerrard, Henderson and Coutinho, they had a combined number of 15 tackles and 5 clearances. While the gooner’s midfield trio of Ozil, Wilshere and Arteta had a combined 5 tackles and 4 clearances.
The Liverpool had a fun filled day in midfield as Arsenal missed that competitive edge, Coutinho made 5 through balls, Suarez had 4, same with Gerrard. I would bet that with Flamini’s presence, it would not have been so easy. It is quite painful that the Frenchman had to miss these games, when we need him most.
OUR FIRST HALF WOES CONTINUE.
Before the win over Palace, it was shown that if the league was to be decided on first half performances, Arsenal would be 5th, 10 points off leaders, Liverpool and with first half scores of 0-0 and 4-0 in the Palace and Liverpool games, it has not improved.
Similarly, if the league was decided on second half showing, ( before the Palace game) Arsenal would be 1st on 50 points 5 points clear off City and when you see that Arsenal had 2-0 and 1-1 second half scores afterwards, the trend is not wrong.
Some days ago, I wrote that our first half performances could kill us when we face the big teams and how I wish I was wrong. We were completely annihilated in the first half, we had our first attempt in the 38 minute and while Liverpool had 10 shots in the first half, we only had 1!
Many gooners thought I was pessimistic when I wrote that article, but the truth I that unless wenger addresses this poor first half form, expect more big teams to come out smoking and looking to punish Arsenal especially in the first half.
GIBBS OR MONREAL
I am a fan of the qualities that Nacho Monreal has. You cannot be a member of the awesome Spanish team and not be quality. However, the truth is that Monreal has not been in great form recently especially in big games, in the loss to City, he was off the pace and same story on Saturday. I was personally surprised that Wenger did not remove him at half time. In the 61 minutes, he spent on the field; he made zero number of tackles and made just 22 passes, meaning that the ball touched him once every 3 minutes. Suarez and co tormented him repeatedly.
However, in the 30 minutes, Gibbs had on the pitch; he made 2 successful tackles and completed 15 passes. Gibbs seems more industrious that Monreal and I really think Wenger should reinstate Gibbs to the starting eleven starting with the visit of Manchester United.
WE MUST PICK OURSELVES UP AGAIN
Arsene’s team always have a habit of picking themselves up from the ashes of humiliation and we hope as gooners that it happens again. after the loss to City, we got 16 points from the next 18 and didn’t relinquish our top of the table status until yesterday.
The team has little or no time to recover as we welcome David Moyes and his men to the Emirates as soon as Wednesday, we must show our mental strength and prove to all our critics that are patiently waiting for us to explode that we are the Arsenal.
As fans, it was painful to lose like that but we must stand beside our heroes and motivate them to improve, give them our support and prayers and try to be as optimistic as possible.
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