You all need to calm down. Seriously.
Remember when I asked how we stacked up against the top 4? So Liverpool and Manchester City have had a team consisting of almost the same players for nearly two years straight. Arsenal, on the other hand, have roughly half of the squad as newcomers – Luiz, Pepe, Willock (yes, I said so), and Ceballos.
So, give the team a break.
My position, however, doesn’t excuse the fact that Unai Emery’s picks were a little weird. I’d have thought we’d have Ceballos, Torreira and Guendouzi OR Ceballos, Torreira and Xhaka.
I would have had Mkhi step in for Pepe and bring the latter in as a second-half sub. No use crying over spilt milk though, what’s done is done.
I’d also say our forwards need to take more chances and convert them more. For instance, Liverpool had 25 shots (even though only 5 of them were on target) as opposed to our 9 shots.
As for Luiz, we knew what we were getting into when we bought him so; there’s no need to call for his head just yet.
“The Brazilian, at 32, is not going to change and so it proved as he delivered a moment of crass stupidity that killed stone dead Arsenal’s hopes of taking anything away from Anfield…”-BBC
Let Unai find a way of managing him; an old dog can indeed learn new tricks. What he lacks in thick-headed tackles, he makes up for in pass accuracy, leadership and the drive to win. He’ll need to be cautioned though; it’s necessary.
On a positive note, Nicolas Pepe has become the first player to successfully dribble past Virgil van Dijk in the player’s last 50 appearances in the Premier League, since Mikel Merino in March 2018 for Newcastle. We’ve got a gem Gunners, a gem.
We meet RottenSp*rs next; again, we’ll see how well we stack up against the strong teams. Have a great week.