Gooner Reaction: Liverpool vs Arsenal

By Karl M. Tinsley

Welcome back for this season’s ‘Gooner Reaction’. Hope we all enjoy this one! 3 STARS

#1. TOMAS ROSICKY: Not often a player who is subbed in with only 30 minutes left and who doesn’t score, ends up as first star, but in this case “Helmet-Hair” deserves such an honour. His introduction 1/3 of the way through the 2nd half served to jumpstart our enemic and sputtering offence.

Tomas did a great job of spraying the ball around the pitch with some lovely and incisive passing And showed a nice nose for goal with the lovely 1-2 he worked with Robin van Persie that sprung him clear into the 18 yard box. Tomas elected to go for placement over power with a high curled effort that Reina was able to get a finger nail on and push just over the crossbar.

Finally with the game in its death-throes…Tomas delivered the teasing cross that Chamakh was able to harry Reina on and with a large dollop of good fortune…found its way into the back of the Scousers net. Me thinks Tomas will be getting a start next match.

#2. MAROUANE CHAMAKH: While he wasn’t spectacular, the effort was there all match from the new Moroccan signing. He wasn’t helped by the decision of Wenger to start him alone up top in his first Premier League match NOR did he receive much in the way of decent aerial service into the box.

But…like a true winner…he didn’t hang his head and kept plugging away and was rewarded late in the match for his commitment to trying to get on the end of every ball pumped into the Liverpool 18 yard box.

His on-rushing presence and the incidental contact with Reina flustered the Spanish ‘keeper enough for him to bundle into his own net and gift the Gunners a point at the death. Hopefully with a fully fit and conditioned Robin for next week, we will see Chamakh partnered up top in attack and better service will come his way. Solid if unspectacular start for our new striker.

#3. THOMAS VERMAELEN: The Belgian “Super-Stella” had himself a wonderful all-around match. Early on he dropped a serious bomb on the Liverpool net (coming off the F.K.) that Reina did a great job of punching wide. Thomas’ defence was stout all match long and coupled with his hustle and positioning, made him a rock at the back of our defence.

Vermaelen had a lot to do in the match as he needed to also keep an eye on the new CB signing Koscielny who was also making his Premier League debut. I can’t really fault him on the Liverpool goal due to the fact the ball was gifted to Liverpool by Wilshire and caught the squad flat-footed.

He attacked the aerial balls well in the Liverpool 18 yard box and with the addition of Chamakh you just know these two are going to come good with some set-piece goals via the head. While he is still new to The Arsenal…you get the feeling HE is the real leader of this squad when Cesc is not playing. No way should Almunia be wearing the arm band over “Super-Stella”.


SAMIR NASRI: Was everywhere on the ball, doing his best Cesc Fabregas impersonation. Bossed the ball effectively from the middle of the pitch and repeatedly demonstrated his prodigious ball handling skills.

However, like i’ve said a hundred times before…when Samir is dropping 2-3 bombs on net during the match it makes him a much more dangerous playmaker because defenders are then forced to step out and try and close down his shot and this opens up his dribble and makes him VASTLY more effective penetrating and dishing the ball.
His F.K.’s were dismal however…both hit into the wall…not good enough.


Jack Wilshire: Yes I know he is only 18 years of age and it was his first start for The Arsenal…BUT…what I saw from the lad left a lot to be desired. He looked exceedingly nervous on the ball and bereft of attacking imagination. Looked like he’d done his best to conjure up the Denilson in him with his useless 5-10 yard sideway passes on the pitch. I hate to think he’s already been infected with the “crab-walking” ball movement of elder and previous Gunner midfielders.

Needs to use his quickness and lower body strength and be a lot more direct in his attack/dribble. Fell asleep at the beginning of the 2nd half when he inexplicably let Clichy’s pass run through him and onto the waiting feet of Mascherano who calmly fed Ngog and well you know the rest. Rough start for the lad…BUT…I am most confident he will learn from this match and be all the better for it next time he features.


Call me optimistic but prior to kick-off, even with several of our starters out and featuring a brand new CB at the back…I felt we had a serious chance to jump Liverpool for 3 points in this match.

But the squad looked flat and disjointed, add to that the fact our formation 4-1-4-1 seemed to handcuff some of our players (Chamakh and Arshavin) and limit our offensive capabilities…we were fortunate to snatch a point on the road at Anfield against a team that was debuting a new Manager and whose players were desperate to impress. Hopefully with a new formation and the return of Cesc, Song and Robin (for a full 90 minutes) we can get this sorted out and put several past Blackpool next weekend.

The suspension of Koscielny might just be the final push in the back for Wenger to go out and get more cover at CB. Almunia again showed his shakiness on the aerial balls so with fingers crossed I hope and pray the Schwarzer rumours come to fruition because I think the Shay Given scenario is an extreme long shot. See you next week.



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16 thoughts on “Gooner Reaction: Liverpool vs Arsenal

  1. A few things we learned on sunday

    1 – We still need a new keeper
    2 – Jack isnt any where near ready
    3 – We still need another CB
    4 – Koschielny – Looks to be a good player
    5 – Arshavin – Is due to play well anytime soon
    6 – Nasri – Growing on the pitch more and more
    7 – Another tough tackling midfielder needed(absolutely no chance) but needed.

    A really poor performance as a team in general, lucky to come away with a draw. Lets hope its a slow start, and a blistering finish.

    1. Not sure why you say it was a really poor performance? Becasue we didn’t win, fashion enough chances or becasue we had to get an equalizer at the death at Anfield against a rejuvinated Liverpool. Sure we can play better but I am really interested to know why you think we were so poor?

      1. I believe we were poor also. We did not create enough. They were better with 10 men for most of the game and they went in hard with a tackle at every opportunity. I hope we buy Given or get him on loan as he is a better keeper than schwarzer, but anyone over Almunia for me. Come on gunners fire on all guns next week.

    2. Another tough tackling midfielder needed ? I did not really see any stretch of play were Liverpool had possession. Unless you need that tough tackling midfielder is to be there because everybody says so.

  2. Did you realy think that Liverpool would lie down and gift us the points.

    1-1 away from home on the first day of the season at liverpool is a good result.

  3. a point is not bad because anfield is never an easy place to go to espicially on the first day. almunia is still shocking so i think now we know that hart is citys no 1 we should buy given 4 years younger than scharzer and 10 times better than scharzer,almunia and flapianski. plus now he has been dropped he cost less so tight a#se wenger will be more tempted

  4. This is by far the most accurate review of the game I’ve read so far. I also agree completely with wags comments.

  5. For a team we beat home and away last season they will be looking to make it up. and was it not for the early in the 2nd half arsenal would have won to me its a good result. think what u wanna think. u had 2 debutantes who impressed. And thumbs up for Rocisky.

  6. Great article,
    I agree with everything you said except; Though Nasri was everywhere he like you suggested passed when he should have shot. I also felt he was guilty of hanging on to the ball too long, making the extra touch before the pass or turning inside to dribble.

    Wilshire actually did ok, yes he was nervous,misplaced a couple of passes and it was his mistake that led to the goal but he’ll learn, I remember Ramsey being cute near our penalty area and losing the ball. In terms of his Denilsonesque passing I think that was his role, the same as it’s Denilson’s, keep the ball moving and keep it simple. Don’t get ahead of the ball. He’s a little over eager in some of his challenges but again he’ll learn. If he develops as Ramsey did last year he’ll be well on his way.


    I too was quitely confident like I always am when we take the field, I also thought we were flat but was more annoyed we didn’t move the ball quicker. With the skill of our players surely we can move the ball quicker?, it was annoying to see all this possesion without penetration. I’d prefer to see Nasri, Arshavin or Chamakh take it on and have the shot than make another pass and keep possestion. We’d probably end up with less possestion stats but more ‘shots’ on goal which usually means more goals.
    Overall I thought the defence did ok, our fullbacks need to improve threre crossing and Clichy needs to also improve his defending. The 4-2-3-1 worked we just didn’t move the ball quick enough in the final third. Obviously Cesc, van Persie and Song will be welcomed back with open arms and hopefully they’ll show how it’s done.

    I think Wenger was always going to buy a new CB anyway but this it’ll probably make him act a little quicker than planed.

    Hopefully it’s over for at Arsenal for Almunia, I’d like Fabianski to stay becuase I think he’ll improve in, he’s a great shot shopper and atheletic he just needs to learn to command his area and take some high balls improving his confidece. Qualities that Almunia should have learnt by now. Yeah I think Shay is a long shot but I’d be happy with Schwarzer

    Keep up the good work


  7. We were poor in the second half b/c we are bereft of our offensive leaders – Cesc and RvP. Even Song knows to get aggressive when chasing the game. Nasri isn’t mature enough yet, and Arshavin and Chamakh don’t feel right yet, and Walcott can’t dribble. So there is no point thinking we are weak b/c of the first 35 minutes of the second half.

    Diaby played really well in the first half, really seemed a physical presence that intimidated Pool. Eboue, too, was tough, but a bit disconnected from Chamakh. (Learning curve I guess. Given our over-intricate play in the final third it will take Chamakh a while to work out when and where to make his runs into the box.) If Clichy and Sagna put in a few tough tackles every now and then I might get excited about a new found toughness. Imagine that first half with a fit Song and Diaby alongside Cesc and Rvp leading the line? With the possession they couldn’t stop us from having the game would have been in the bag by half time. We look to have frightening potential, but still not going to win the league b/c our maturity still lags behind Manure and Chelski.

  8. no, not a gift from the Reds, but they were handed a gift via red card and the Gunners did much to re-gift back to Liverpool.
    it was a formless, uninspired, even confused-looking effort

  9. Playing the first and away match of the season is never easy especially at Anfield. I know things can be better on that match day but overall, I am fine with our team bringing back a point from Anfield. I believe our team can only get better. Have faith and keep the faith..Go Arsenal Go…!

  10. no doubts we need a goalie and centre back how about clichy to juve and melo(who we were evidently after last year)to us he’s certainly got a bit of steel about him!

  11. @batty the gooner – Thats not a bad idea at all mate. Gibbs seem to be better in whipping those balls across the face of the goal. Clichy and Sagna can not cross the ball if the their life depended on it. I really like the idea of Clichy for Melo

  12. For me although we have recenly done well at Anfield at this stage ofthe season with late returners and injuries and new players to get a point here however lucky wasn,t that bad. They will play worse than they did yesterday and win!!1 Mr Wenger get your finger out and get that goal keeper we so desparatly need and the CD PLEASE!!!! Howeverglad you are staying with us.

  13. Any points at Anfield are good..yes and you think Chelsea and Manure think that? No they want and need those 3 points when they go there.

    You do have to take into consideration we didn’t have the big three down the middle of the pitch.

    I think with the likes of Gail and Gibbs you switch them every other game, keep them fresh. Gibbs is to good to ride the pine and Gail the same.

    Diaby dribbles with his head down to much and should be replaced with Cesc, or TR7 next week. I would say TR7 and keep Cesc fresh as long as you can.

    Jacky boy will come out of his shell. Can’t imagine it was easy to go up against Mash at Anfield on your first start. Give him some credit, he stuck in there with some good tackles and him and Rambo will be the next great pair to control the Arsneal Middle.

    Cham, what can you say? The guy is a hustler and will pair nicely with any forward we put him there with.

    I like the fire in Theo, he finally realizes he needs to prove something and is becoming a little more confident.

    I know I say this every year and every game but they look good. We support a very likable team and a good team. I think FA Cup for sure this year doubled with a Carling CUp and two good runs in Europe and the Leauge. Still think they need something a little more to take over Manure or Chels but FA..for sure all the way.

    Up the Guns and it’s good to be back!!

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