Ninety plus minutes of really poor attacking play would have been given a creaming if the defense had held on. Liverpool may have not shown enough to Alexis to convince him to Merseyside but they surely have that script which contains what is now a published rule: go aerial, beat Arsenal.
We did not learn that today, but there were other lessons to be gained.
- Zonal Marring
It cannot be expected that games must always be won by the best attacking team as defence is always the rock and foundation. And without no cover from midfield, we were bound to be exposed big time, never mind the make-shift center half partnership of Mertesacker and Debuchy. You cannot fault Szczesny for conceding the corners as they would have become goals if he hadn’t done his job but how do you not stay with the man whom you know will be the prime target for every Liverpool corner?
- Drop Welbeck?
Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, Wenger is facing a decision to fight an urge – perhaps, a necessity – to drop Danny Welbeck, but cannot quite bring himself to do that. Banished from Old Trafford for not being “good enough”, chance after chance has come to prove there is something in him that is worth more than just graft and work rate. There is no comparing him to Giroud as the Frenchman seems to have his way of delivering, even if not according to everyone’s taste. Perhaps, Podolski will have more punchlines to demand a starting place in place of the young Englishman.
- Where can we Borrow a Midfielder?
Less than 200 passes were strung by the whole team in that descript first half and you are not surprised if you see how awful Flamini and Chamberlain were. It would be unfair on the Ox to lay a sledgehammer on him as he has really helped out massively in the previous games but whatever inspired him to always attempt a run whenever he got the ball was surely not from The Midfielders’ Manual. Even Coquelin won’t do while we remain without Ramsey and company. Get a midfielder is giving Get a Defender a run for Priority One on the January shopping list.
- Monreal vs Debuchy?
Another difficult decision awaits Wenger, and it will be which make-shift full back to partner Mertesacker. At the end, all three were on the pitch even while we were still in the lead but could not prevent the inevitable. Judging by Chambers weakness with pacy players, it’s safe to assume Debuchy should still be in the squad, whatever the back four set up Wenger chooses.
- Alexis will have more bad days
Three games without a League goal has not happened this season for the Chilean and perhaps it’s testament to the tiredness that may have begin to creep in. He did not get a single shot on goal today, and it would not be shocking if this persists over the festivities. He’s not quite experienced it before, has he?
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