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1 hour ago, The Fox said:

Shame we sold the superior keeper really. Like I get why it happened, because we needed money and Leno is worth about £6.50, but it’s a pity.

 

He probably should have come for that cross that led to the third goal as well. 

 

They were better than us all over the pitch but that was still frustrating. Better finishing from Laca or bringing on Cebalos earlier and there could have been a point there. Midfield were invisible though. 

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That was a shame as Liverpool didn't look any great shakes. As soon as anyone got their head up and played a ball in behind they were all over the show. Aubemayang buries both of those chances if he's playing down the centre rather that chasing down howitzers into the channels all game. Chalk off the last goal for the only handball all season that hasn't been given and then we have a different result. Plenty to take from it.

 

I think Arteta is doing a great job with what he has, but there's problems in the make-up of the squad from front to back that coaching won't ever fix. Huge, frustrating gaps in personnel and skill sets and a £70-off million pound (plus bungs) winger who can't get a kick or beat the first man in over 7,000 corners sat on his back pockets on the bench. It's not that we haven't spent, it's that we've squandered nearly all of it. Spanking £60m on two callow defenders we expect to maybe be good in a few years time seems like a luxury really good, rich teams indulge in. Seems a mental decision to me.

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I didn't expect us to win and plain to see where the shortcomings in that team are at present.

 

Really highlights how clinical you have to be to make that rope-a-dope tactic work, you'll pick a few results up against better teams with it but can't win games regularly with 3 shots whilst giving up over 20.

 

It wasn't embarrassing as games at Anfield have been in recent years, but the gulf in class was clear to see and the way Liverpool pressed with 5-6 against us playing out from the back was like a boxer wading forward with their chin up when they don't respect the other guys punching power.

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I think we have a blueprint for how to beat Liverpool, but it wasn't executed particularly well and there were way too many individual mistakes. It's better than most I guess. The reality is that they have better players and are miles ahead, so it's frustrating to hear Arteta getting some flack. If you go there and try an expansive game you'll get shellacked nine times out of ten, but being compact and taking your chances you might nick a result one in three. He played the odds and it didn't work. Trick is to write it off and win at the weekend.

 

It is funny to watch Liverpool go from magnanimous champions to that tetchy period where they don't feel like they're getting their due credit. Amazing how it happens to pretty much everyone who wins the league, us included if we can remember that far back. Think the league will be a cake walk though so I guess they can console themselves with that.

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For all the talk about Arsenal being in the game last night - which, whilst it was 2-1 was technically true - you were battered over the course of the game and Liverpool definitely eased-off a bit in the second half. As has been mentioned, there is a massive gulf in class and you can talk about if only Lacazette could finish and all that, but the reality is I think Liverpool could've stepped back up a couple of gears if really needed.

 

With that said, I think Arteta is doing a really good job there. He's at least starting to get an identity back into the team, rather than the directionless, weak and confused mess you've had over the past 4-5 years (perhaps longer). You do need better players though, that's for sure. Your midfield is still very lightweight and every team knows you can get at your defence far too easily.

 

If the board are able to find some money for Arteta - and you get rid of some of your dead wood - then perhaps there's an outside chance of CL football, but at the moment I still think there are 4 or 5 better clubs above you.

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I think that's fair. I know I harp on about the midfield, but it's upper end of the bottom half of the league standard at best in terms of quality. Just lots of water carriers who can't tackle and can't create. We also huff and puff to beat a press to feed the ball to Xhaka who moves across the turf like a Victorian traction engine and can't then drive us forward. He's very much a quarterback, and frankly we have Luiz to spray aimless balls down the channels. He's not a bad player, but there's no tangibles. We expel so much energy into these passages it's maddening. Like spending all day cooking a roast dinner and then scraping it directly into the bin. 

 

I feel for Arteta as the team he put out last night was what we had at the start of last season, save for a fading Willian and Elneny who was deemed important enough to be exiled to the glamour of the Turkish leagues. He's doing his bit but needs some help. Top four would be an incredible achievement with what he has.

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Xhaka seems OK/most impactful when he is limited in his role due to being surrounded by more creative players. Back to his own goal, lying deep. Elneny should be his replacement, not playing alongside him. 

 

What the hell is happening with Ozil? Is Ceballos coming back an admission that Ozil won't play again? Those wages D:

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Not unexpected result last night, frustrating for sure though. Liverpool had the ball a lot (especially in the first half), but we defended well and had a decent game plan. We were in it until the very end when Liverpool's 3rd goal went in. Losing away to the Champions is not the end of the world though.

 

It's gonna take a few more transfer windows for Arteta to get the players he needs in I think. Midfield is poor and I still cannot believe we paid a club record fee for Pepe. I don't think it's true that teams can get at our defense anymore though. We've made some sensible buys in that area and Arteta has them pretty well drilled. This is the best the defense has looked in years.

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This could work out well, Torreira would be a perfect fit for Simeone and doesn't seem to fit into the prem.

 

Just hope we manage to work an agreement for Partey into this and don't get shafted with Torreira going on loan only and us stumping up the full release clause for Partey.

 

It's like part exchanging cars at this point, the only thing that matters is the differential not the actual fee - if Athleti are holding out for the inflated €52m for Partey then I think we should be looking for €25-30m for Torreira.

 

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Was it my imagination, or did they do ABBA style penalties last season? Maybe it doesn't matter as much without a crowd but I thought they were a good idea.

 

Anyway, looks like Sailba is off back to France. You can't help but feel like that's another signing we ludicrously overpaid for. Definitely adds weight to the claim that Raul Sanllehi was trousering some cash or making sure his mates were at least. £100m quid on him and Pepe and neither are deemed ready to start ahead of some pretty average players. 

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Definitely something odd going on with Saliba, looks like Arteta doesn't fancy him or he's not fancying living in London - all the pro Arsenal media were writing pieces about his amazing stats and how he was the best young CB in France and Man Utd wanted him etc, sending him off to Rennes for a year wouldn't appear to back that up.

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It’s doing the rounds that he lost a close relative (potentially his mum) to COVID around May, and that’s part of why he’s struggling to settle/he might be sent “home”.

 

Arteta was asked about it during his presser earlier, with someone very specifically (and tactlessly) addressing the rumours, and he looked quite a lot like he wanted to do some very bad things to said journalist.

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I guess we’ll not being bringing anyone else in, Monday is the deadline isn’t it? 
 

Had such high hopes for Saliba, hopefully some time away will be good for him and he can come back stronger.

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With both Real & Juve stepping back from Aouar it looks like a blinking contest with Lyon, guess we'll see how much they need the money or not. 

 

Read last couple of days a loan for Jorginho is the fallback option to pursue.

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1 hour ago, g wings said:

I just can’t believe Aouar isn’t happening. All the twitter experts said it was a done deal ;)

 

I'd only ever read the clubs were miles apart but terms and willingness on his part were not an issue.

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I know nothing about Aouar other than the fact he looked really good in Lyon’s Champions League run last season (but so did Moussa Dembele). We do need a creative midfielder (if Ozil is no longer an option), but I can see why the club is being cautious after overpaying for Pepe.

 

Im just surprised Draxler hasn’t been mentioned...

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