Liverpool (5) – (1) Arsenal
Arteta 69′ (Pen)
Barclays Premier League
Well what a disgrace.
Arsenal have been playing well over the last 24 games except for when it comes to the big games. We lost 6-3 against Manchester City and 1-0 to Manchester United in performances which were below par, and today we got absolutely battered by Liverpool.
Only this week I wrote an article asking why Arsenal fans are so negative?
One of the main reasons was the lack of striker options, and the state of our squad.
Today we were well off the pace and I’ve never seen Arsenal get dominated so much in an opening 20 minute period. Liverpool were quicker, more determined and wanted it more. Arsenal on the other hand were slow, sloppy and were never in the game.
Liverpool were 3-0 up in the first 16 minutes but the game was over well before then. By 20 minutes Liverpool could (and probably should) have been 5-0 up and there wouldn’t have been any complaints.
Arsene Wenger got it completely wrong today, the same way he did against Manchester City, and a lesser extent Manchester United.
The stupid thing is, and this is something I can’t comprehend, is Arsene’s approach to the “big games”. Arsenal’s record against the “lesser” teams is fantastic, and over the last 24 games our position at the summit of the Premier League table has been completely deserved. But when it comes to the big games, his attitude makes absolutely no idea whatsoever.
Why is it that when the other big sides “struggle” against teams lower in the league are we so open in big games. Why not use a Chelsea approach and keep it tight, and try and nick a win? And if it’s a draw then it’s not a disaster is it? We’ve been top of the league for the majority of the season so we don’t need to desperately win these top of the table games.
Against Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, we should have played conservatively and not so open. It is self-defeating, pointless and completely unnecessary. And look what’s happened – we’ve ended up humiliated.
We got taught a football lesson today and would a draw have been so bad? Arsene has shown he can play conservatively in games already this season, like we did against Borussia Dortmund.
We’ve got some massive games coming up and Arsene Wenger really needs to think long and hard about how he sets up his Arsenal team.
Today, it was criminal that he didn’t start Lukas Podolski and Tomas Rosicky. In the big games, Rosicky has always been the one that sets the tempo for the side and without him we were lethargic. Podolski is one of the few midfielders who actually shoots and scored against Liverpool last season. And Monreal has shown for me he is not good enough for Arsenal and is a liability.
Wenger needs to grow some balls and bring on Gibbs, Podolski and Rosicky on at half time.
— Mike (@afc4life_uk) February 8, 2014
Mesut Özil has not performed for a long time and it makes it more depressing that Arsenal probably could have secured the signature for Luis Suarez, the stand out player this season, for about £50 million in the summer. It would have certainly been better value than the German playmaker who was £42.3 million.
The January transfer window was a massive chance to strengthen our position at the top of the table and even the most optimistic Arsenal fan will have feelings that February and March could be a disastrous period in our season.