Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool. Bad start continues.

So. 2-0 to Liverpool. With the tweets flying about yesterday, some knew it was coming. I for one was confident we would win, but losing that match, unfortunately, was not surprising.

The starting XI was: Szczesny, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Sagna, Frimpong, Ramsey, Nasri, Arshavin, Walcott, van Persie, with a bench of Fabianski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Miyaichi, Lansbury, Miquel, Bendtner.

Not a bad starting XI, but have a look at that bench! Lots of talent, no doubt, but not a lot of experience.

The big news was that Nasri was starting, and everyone wanted to know the sort of reception he’d get from the crowd, what with the whole twitter and Man City brouhaha. Also, with Cesc gone, it was also a chance to see how we’d cope, and which of the players are ready to step into his shoes.

We started off nervously, misplacing passes here and there, but so did Liverpool. But after a few minutes spent settling in, the chances came. Mainly for Liverpool in the beginning, with Szczesny literally being a beast, and dare I say it, we kinda defended alright to start with. Then Koscielny went down. Back spasms apparently. Couldn’t continue, so had to come off. He even had to be assisted down the tunnel, as he could not walk unaided. Coming on in his place was Miguel Ignasi. Making his Premier League debut. Not the most ideal of circumstances to be making your Premier League debut, but you have to take it as it comes, and I thought he did well!

I still thought we’d be fine at the stage. Hell, it was only 15 minutes in, and we’d largely restricted Liverpool. No real signs of danger. Except from card-happy referee, Mark Clattenburg, who ensured that Frimpong’s over-energetic self earned him a booking, with only about 7/8 minutes on the clock. Yes, Frimpong should not have squared up to the Liverpool player, but it shouldn’t have been a yellow. I remember tweeting at the time that if he wasn’t careful, he’s pick up a Red. He started off a bit rubbishly, but as the match went on, he got better and better.

Chances here and there in the first half, but neither team could find the back of the net. There was the mega-save from a Carroll header by Szczesny, and the odd save here and there. Raina wasn’t tested as much, as out moves seemed to break down in the final third. There was a fabulous effort from long range from Frimpong, but it was saved by Reina! Not too long afterwards, there was a brilliant run by Nasri, all the way from our half, but his effort was wide! Really good to see that the crowd were pretty much behind Nasri today, applauding him and willing him on. And he put a shift in, so good play by all concerned. But I really cannot remember any other chances. So honours even at half time. No complaints.

No changes from either side at half time, but Liverpool started the second half brighter. Robin did have a chance, after Arshavin bullied his way in the 6-yard box, but Robin’s effort was saved. Back and forth, back and forth. No goals. And then the signs of danger became full-blown danger, as Frimpong finally picked up his red. With 20 minutes to go. He had it coming, unfortunately. After his shaky start, he got more and more in the game, and he was almost faultless! The fault, ofcourse, being his umm, over-enthusiasm! He picked up his second yellow for a late challenge, and he was lucky it wasn’t a straight red. He definitely one of the bright spots of this season, even though the season hasn’t really got going! But he needs to watch it, though. I worry it won’t be his only Red card of the season. But he’s a bright kid, I’m sure he’ll learn from it. He’s DEEEEENCH, afterall! (Gosh, CANNOT believe I just did that…)

But seeing as things were pretty much even at that stage, the Red card naturally tipped the scales in Liverpool’s direction. They could have had a field day! But King Szczesny, the guy we could have ‘killed’, had Arsene bitten the bullet last season, came to our rescue! He made some top saves today, that you couldn’t help but feel especially bad for him, that we didn’t end up with a clean sheet. I bet if we weren’t down to 10, we probably would have. Szczesny is going to be our No. 1 (or 13) for a long long time! Have I mentioned that he’s brilliant?

Despite it all, he could not nothing about their first goal. *Sigh*. It was an own goal. Shouldn’t have counted though, as one of the Liverpool players was offside before Ignasi’s clearance bounced in off of Ramsey’s chest. But as they say with these things, it was “marginal”. That goal came about 12 minutes from time. We’d made our second substitution not long before, Lansbury coming on for Arshavin, who was unfortunately ineffective, with misplaced passes, and mistimed kicks! Would the real Andrei Arshavin please stand up? We need the real you back, Andrei. Honestly. Our final substitution came after the goal, with Bendtner replacing Theo, who’d had an anonymous game. Jose Enrique handled him quite well.  I hoped and prayed we’d get the equaliser, but we just couldn’t. Couldn’t find the right pass, the ball was falling right for us, nothing was working. The second goal wasn’t far off, and it even had an air of inevitability about it. Who scored, again? Oh yeah, Suarez. *sigh*. Definitely game over then, if it wasn’t already after the first goal. Then full-time. Our awful start to the season just got worse.

It was a bit of a strange match, this. Strange in the sense that it wasn’t your typical Arsenal home game. Liverpool actually had more of the possession! Our passing game was not on point. I don’t know the stats, but I bet Liverpool had more completed passes than us. I guess it was generally a tentative match, with a lot of unsure performances (apart from Frimpong who was all guns blazing, and Vermaelen who was his usual impeccable self).

The question has got to be how long can it last? It partly depends on what happens the rest of the window, but honestly,  I’m not holding my breath. We NEED to strengthen, but I’ve got to be prepared for the fact that it might not happen. And I’m not liking what might happen if we don’t. Things aren’t great right now, we all can see that. I bet (hope) Arsene sees it too. So I’ll try not to dwell on them, as there are actually positives we can focus on. Like how good a player Frimpong is going to be this season. Like how brilfantastamazing Vermaelen is! Yes, I had to create a new word! Excuse the cliche, but he totally had Carroll in his back pocket! I’ve got so much confidence seeing his name on the team sheet, and I’m sure the team do too. Miguel did quite well on his debut, I’d say. Apart from the own goal cock-up, which was just one of those things, he handled the ocassion well. He’s got good composure on the ball, but I’d rather he didn’t get thrown in the deep end like that too often. But well done, Iggy. Well done. I could be totally wide off the mark, but I think generally (at least while we still had 11 on the pitch!), we defended fairly well today. Yes, there were scary moments when we let Liverpool through, but I don’t remember being worried when Liverpool were in a dangerous position, that we’d sudddenly lay an egg and gift them a goal. I felt more confident in the defence, more than usual. Maybe that’s the Vermaelen effect, I don’t know, but I certainly felt so today. Our attack was a bit blunt today, unfortunately. Half chances here and there, but we didn’t quite have enough today.

It’s hard to tell how damaging today’s loss was/is, because it’s way too early. But it is proof that we need to strengthen. Also with the three players we’ll be missing next game, against United- Gervinho, Song and Frimpong, it’ll be an even weaker team playing, so we really should not expect any miracles. But Arsene could surprise us (haha) and sign two world-class non-teenage players during the week, and we’ll all of a sudden have a much better outlook! But don’t hold your breath! It’s Arsenal, we don’t do easy, especially when it comes to transfers.

Just to wrap up, I hope Koscielny gets better soon, as he really looked bad when he came off. And we’re travelling to Udinese mid-week. There’s no way we’re getting knocked out of the Champions League, is there? I’ll give up on football if it happens! Also, there’s no need to despair. Yet. We’re only 2 games into the season, and whatever happens against United next weekend won’t change much. We are struggling at the moment, but the good thing about struggles, is they don’t last forever! It’ll end soon, I promise. The window is still open. van Persie is still fit. BacMan is still world-class. Tommy V is still a beast. We don’t need a goalkeeper. Youngsters are stepping up. There’s still hope. We’ll be fine, just wait and see.

  • Bonathan

    Well, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. there was a lot of positives. but were some very worrying things as well.

    It all comes back to the signings, or lack of. probably liverpool’s best player, Jose enrique. looks as though he might go on to be the best LB in the premiership for seasons to come. You have to ask the question, should we have signed him?? 5.5m pound wouldn’t have broken the bank would it. we didn’t and he went to our biggest rivals for 4th place. I can understand wenger not wanting to put too many obstacles in front of the youngsters, but at the same time, you can’t make it too easy for them to get in the team. And at the end of the day, if they’re good enough, they will force their way in. Gibbs hasn’t done enough for me to be handed the 1st choice LB role on a silver plate. 2 weeks into the season and he is injured and jose enrique is on the winning side against us.

    And to the CB situation…..it is now obvious to me that the reason we are not interested in CB’s any more is because he wants to give miquel the chance. Now, i realise that this guy is promising, and who knows, maybe he is ready. But how many times have we been down this road?? He hasn’t even spent a season out on loan. surely that would benefit him more at the moment. I just feel, if things were going well, then ok, let’s roll with it, but they haven’t been have they? they haven’t been for a while now in the CB area because we’ve been gambling on youngsters and players new to the prem and have been left regretting it time and time again. If ever there was a time to just make sure, and sign someone tried and tested, surely to god it is now. I hope wenger is right, and i hope he is ready to play a big part this season, but it’s another big gamble at a time where we really shouldn’t be trying to gamble.

    Just like poker, there is a time to gamble, and a time when it really isn’t appropriate, and I can’t help but think this ain’t the time. People say about clubs like spurs gambling by spending lots of money and then maybe struggling if the gamble doesn’t pay off. I can’t help but think we are just as bad at the moment for not spending. We are high risk takers because of what we are risking losing by not spending when we have it. Taking risks when they aren’t needed ain’t big and it certainly isn’t clever.

  • sam

    yet still no one is addressing the real issue at arsenal fc.
    with vermaelen back we really don’t need to splash out the really problem arsene are still suffering is lack of strong strikers, the front 3 were all rubbish and arshavin was worse. yes we conceded 2 goals and didn’t manage to score even one, if we scored 3 or more we would have taken all 3 points. as long as we are still failing to break down opposition defence it comes back to haunt us. a goalless first half already had me worried.
    van persie and walcott could be forgiven but i think its time we say goodbye to our russian friend. its not working for him maybe he should be rested till the russian league starts. we pay 12 millions for alex chamberlain, if we are not buying someone mature maybe he should be given chance.

  • Berth

    “The window is still open. van Persie is still fit. BacMan is still world-class. Tommy V is still a beast. We don’t need a goalkeeper. Youngsters are stepping up. There’s still hope. We’ll be fine, just wait and see.” hmmm.

  • Bonathan

    As for the game,

    We actually looked ok when we had 11 men on the field. frimpong looked good. and yes, TV is a beast, but you have to wonder what we’d be like back there if we lost him through injury. If we had kept 11 men on the field then maybe we’d have won. Frimpong was silly to commit himself so much when already on a yellow card and he paid the price. The excuse of being young and inexperienced shouldn’t be an issue here i’m afraid. He should have knew better. Hopefully it’s lesson learned.

    I agree we definately do need another quality option going forward. But the thing our team is lacking mainly, and has been for a few seasons now, is experience. It’s a problem that wenger identified himself but hasn’t been addressed. In fact, we have a squad with even less experience among them than we had last year! With the players that left, and are likely to leave, we have lost a load.

    No one is doubting the quality of these youngsters. But everyone is doubting the experience they can bring to the team. Wenger seems to have got lost in thinking he can’t find players as good as these youngsters will be but seems to forget about the experience factor every time.

  • Berth

    Rodellega, Edison and Scott Dann will be welcomed by me. We need to make this man see meaning in our demands.

  • bhalu

    A side under the cosh with a number of young guys being bloodied today, put up a decent show, fought for the badge and ran a club who have spent 100mill damn close. And all they got at the end of the game was the sound of booing. What a disgrace. they should have been cheered off for the effort. Emirates season ticket holders,sSupport the club or sod off to Chelseas or QPR. If the Emirates had 30 thousand genuine supporters there, it would be better than many of the plastics moaning today. i know the prices are high, but if you are going to go, support the damn team and stop acting like spoilt children. How do you think those young lads, many of whom look real quality for the future, feel tonight after hearing the booing. if you want to have a go at the board or Wenger, have a demonstration, but don’t boo at the game.

  • venky

    No chance of quitting the job at Arsenal, No chance of bringing decent players, No chance of stopping repetitive embarrassing painful defeats, No chance of accepting blame but rather the ref, the linesman or the system, No chance of stopping the rot, No chance of winning and No chance of being a force to be reckoned with in arsenal we trust?

  • vj

    I’ve just heard rumours about a failed bid for Yann M’vila who is a DM, though doubt Wenger will sign him since we have Song and Frimpong (albeit both are suspended) and that eden hazard will come to Arsenal, if we get Champions League qualification. Also, Kaka wants out of Real and we have apparently asked to loan him to us. Again all comes down to the match against Udinesse. If we beat them then, maybe reinforcements will arrive and nasri may stay! (though I doubt that, the way City are playing and the way we are playing….) But still, Hazard, Kaka, Wilshere back from injury. We would still need a striker and a CB but, things may just work. Imagine a team like this at HOME

    ____________________Szczsney_________________________________

    _____Sagna_______Vermaelen____Koscielny__________Gibbs_______

    _____Hazard_______Wilshere_____Kaka____________Gervinho/Nasri

    ____________________Van Persie_____Walcott/Gervinho__________

    Throw in Miyaichi as the suprise youth for the season (like Wilshere last season, and we got a team to conted with. Away from home Put song in there for Walcott or Gervinho and we got a great team

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I have read a few places that Wenger wants to up our salary cap to be able to buy the so called “super quality” players to around £150k a week but the board are saying no. Raising the cap would make sense, it would certainly help retain our best players and also help purchase some of the big guns to our club. If this is true then Hopefully Wenger will win this battle. In a weird way it would appease the fans as they will know their money is going back into the squad.

  • mikeyb

    ive been having a go at wenger for a while now,but the sight of him on the bench was totally shocking.for all wengers failings and stubborness over the last few seasons i wouldnt want him to get ill or have a breakdown because of the pressure hes under,afterall the guy has a wife and daughter to care for.as fans we cant do much for him as only arsene can ease the pressure hes under by signing better players thus improving results.arsenal means a lot to me but wengers physical and mental health are also important.someone needs to step and get arsene to take a look at himself and the team before its to late.god bless arsene.

    i am feeling gutted and angry at thesame time.see what wenger is turning our beloved team to.see what his quality players were playing today.it was very painful but maybe the positive there is that wenger can’t bore us now with his quality song.he his enriching the board at our expense so they won’t do anything so we the fans must mount pressure until they succumb if not this might just be the begining of our end

  • Bonathan

    I think the guy needs a holiday, i really do.

    He needs to switch off for a few week at least. Not sure if that would be possible!! But that’s what he needs. Like you say, he needs to put his health first. I don’t think he’s well at all.