5 things I learned from Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

1. Arsenal can play poorly but still win

It’s quite a common occurrence for Gooners to whine about how well we played, but failed to put our away our chances. We probably didn’t deserve to draw to Wolves and Bolton, or lose away to Spurs and Blackburn, and yet we did. But finally it has gone the other way – we won a game despite Liverpool dominating for the majority. Dalglish’s side was full of confidence after winning the Carling Cup, and his team played well throughout. From my perspective, they have a very average first team (apart from Suarez). Downing, Henderson, Adam and Spearing is hardly a midfield that would scare most fans, but they ran the show today. Kuyt dropped deep and Suarez’s movement was exceptional. Despite this, Arsenal defended with great enthusiasm and Szczesny’s performance was impressive.

2. Van Persie isn’t just a great player, he is a great man

He wasn’t really in the game for most of the first half but scored a goal. In the second half, he helped keep the ball on the occasions when Arsenal were in control. His second goal was sublime, and it won us two vital points in the race for Champions League football. However, van Persie’s decision to give his MOTM champagne bottle to Szczesny showed great humility. Our keeper was superb today, and our captain highlighted that fact by giving the Pole his award.

3. Suarez is a cheat, but also a bloody good footballer

Suarez has been embroiled in plenty of controversy of late, but it is his diving which keeps cropping up again and again. He is a very skillful footballer, and his dribble past several players before forcing Szczesny into a save is an example of his great close control. But why does he dive? I’m quite sure that he could’ve stayed on his feet for the penalty incident, and perhaps he could’ve gone round the keeper and scored. Until he stops cheating, he will never be put in the ‘world class’ bracket.

4. Comeback kings?

This Arsenal team has once again shown its ability to overcome a deficit and win. We did it against Norwich (A), Chelsea, Spurs (H) and Aston Villa in the cup, to name but a few. The typical view of previous Arsenal teams is that we would drop our heads if we went behind. Not this side. There’s a bit more to this team than there used to be, even if the football isn’t as pretty. But maybe that pretty football will return when Wilshere comes back.

5. Song is an amazing creative midfielder, but is he a DM?

Wenger has to ask himself if Song is the man to do the defensive midfield role for Arsenal. With Frimmy and Coq waiting in the wings, perhaps Wenger should give them a chance in that position. Song isn’t a poor defensive midfielder by any means, but his positioning leaves a lot to be desired. In matches where the opposition dominate, we need someone to track the runs of their midfielders and Song just didn’t do that today. But his creative talent is fantastic. I think his pass for the winner was his 11th assist of the season (feel free to correct me in the comments section). Even Cesc would be proud to have 11 assists to his name at this point in the campaign (in fact, Fabregas has 16 assists at Barca so far). So should Song be pinned to the DM role or allowed to roam free?

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Joel Kariel

Author/Editor at Straight Talking Gooners

9 thoughts on “5 things I learned from Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

  1. piken79

    Nice article except the part about SONG positioning, that my friend is rubbish. Song is an exceptional DM..its Wenger philosophy of players rotating positions that draws him out of his role. he’s only doing what has manager ask him to do

    Reply
    1. Davi

      I tend to agree. It’s definitely a question of where Wenger tells him to play. Very rarely have we actually seen song playing the holding midfielder role. Wilshere was more the pivot in front of the defence last year, and Arteta has been this season. Even Diaby has been played there when song was available (and he’s not bad there either actually). Just because Song is a big guy who makes good tackles does not mean that he is makele.
      That said, when he has sat in front of the defence, he has been very good, and I would like to see him used that way more often. I think Wenger sees him as wasted in that role and likes to give him more freedom to go forward.
      Ultimately I think Coquelin will own that position in front of the defence. He has arteta’s calmness in possession, but is much more dynamic and aggressive in the tackle, and is physically stronger than wilshere, who might be used further forward.

      Reply
  2. boomergooner27

    i’m usually not a fan of these ‘top blank things we learned’-type bits but this one was a fair assessment of the match. glad you acknowledge that while we “shouldn’t have won”, we had plenty of results we deserved not go in our favor as well. to keep this brief, i agree with your other points but you didn’t really shed light on the impact that fatigue seemed to have on a number of the lads who played mid-week. either way it’s an absolutely fantastic result given the circumstances and performance. on my life i knew we had a winner in us. i don’t really care but i wonder why they’ve been so poor this season…

    Reply
  3. Filip

    “Until he stops cheating, he will never be put in the ‘world class’ bracket”
    What about C. Ronaldo, Rooney and half of Barcelona…???
    Oh, and there was contact between Suarez and Szczesny, you can see replay…
    When RVP scored i wasn’t upset cause i knew that something like that would happen if your team miss penalty, hit two posts etc… We didn’t deserve to make CL spot, we don’t know how to score ffs!!!
    I just want to know why always Suarez and Suarez??? He’s not the only player who dives!
    Sorry if my english is bad…

    Reply
    1. Davi

      Contact isn’t the same as fouling someone. It was the same as Bale last week. Suarez was on his way down, knew exactly what he was doing, and conned the ref, who couldn’t see it properly from the angle he had. Like Bale in the spurs game, the dive for the penalty wasn’t the only dive he made in the game. I’ve always liked Suarez as a player, and still do (he is definitely “world class” imo), but what he did was cheating.

      Reply
      1. Davi

        “Contact isn’t the same as fouling someone” – to expand, does that mean that every time someone touches someone in the box, say during a corner situation, it is a foul? Every time players brush past each other or touch hands after an incident? Where do you draw the line? Surely you draw the line when someone is impeded from kicking the ball or running to collect the ball. The fact is that Suarez was not impeded at all by Szczesny from continuing his run, and the only reason he went over was because he wanted to. Therefore it was not a penalty and Suarez should have been booked for diving.

        Reply
        1. Filip

          Ok, but he didn’t invented that. Everyone would do that. You think that somebody would stay on his feet. Players do these kind of stuff now. It’s almost common thing to do now. I don’t say it’s nice, or it’s ok. It’s not, but (unfortunately) that’s football today.
          Chelsea lost, i feel better already. :D

          Reply
    2. kycee

      He wil remain a cheat forever. I wil never forgive him for depriving Ghana world cup semi-final spot, so get that to your skull, he is a CHEAT!

      Reply
  4. rukky

    Just saw a pic of Van persie that say ” I have 99 problems but scoring goals isn’t 1 of them.” Funny. Well, I love the fact that we won and the goals came from our captain. I believe if he continues like this and he stays injury-free. He would surpass his record of 35 goals in a year. As for the game itself., you may not think we deserve the win but I like to think liverfool were purnished for their missed opportunities and more importantly, for Suarez diving. The dude is just an actor. I stared at him in wonderment as he kept tossing and rolling after the penalty incident. He almost fooled me but for the replay. Its a good thing the supposed penalty was saved. Karma!
    I had a problem wth the officiating of the match. Don’t know if it was just me but I felt most of the decisions went their way. Started wondering if it was manure we were playing.. cos they always have it their way especially wth that referee.
    We still won.. Its the end of a matter that matters. Is God really a gunner..??!! lol

    Reply

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