Liverpool Preview & From The Vaults: November 1952

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The final matchday before Christmas arrives as Arsenal travel to Anfield for a chance to put themselves in contention for a return to the top four as 2015 beckons. Liverpool need the points to lift themselves into the top half and the goals that turn their goal difference positive.

That opening paragraph underlines the depth to which both clubs have underachieved this season. Liverpool’s is perhaps less of a surprise given their summer but Arsenal? Most of us hoped – expected – better than to be sitting sixth behind West Ham and Southampton.

Thank God Fat Sam’s boys are playing better than normal; chasing West Ham in the table normally means you are involved in a relegation battle.

Predicting the outcome this afternoon is a tricky proposition. Despite only conceding two goals in their last two games, Arsenal’s defensive frailties remain, lurking in the darkest recesses waiting to be exposed as they were at Stoke last month. Arsène was quick to point out the attack was far from misfiring from the interval and has continued to work well since.

Liverpool by contrast are struggling for goals. They didn’t replace Suarez effectively and Brendan Rodgers freely admits Daniel Sturridge’s injury has hit the squad hard, scoring just seven in their eight home games so far this season.

Maybe it isn’t that hard to predict after all; 0-0.

Given how horribly the afternoon turned out the last time the two sides met at Anfield, that would represent some improvement but there would definitely be a sense of disappointment. Liverpool are misfiring and victory today is not beyond Arsenal at all but then again I thought the same about the recent visit of Manchester United to The Emirates; it didn’t end well, did it?

Reports this morning suggest that both Ox and Theo Walcott have passed fitness tests and will travel to Anfield. Make do and mend? It’s not a bad solution to have but could be better. It’s hard to see anything other fifteen or so minutes for the latter but the former means the only change to the side which comprehensively beat Newcastle will be the return of Calum Chambers for Hector Bellerin.

Some suggest that it might be a straight swap rather than Debuchy dropping into the right back slot. I can’t see that personally and we have to move away from ‘square pegs into round holes’ solutions when players are fit. Chambers is raw but represents less of a risk than an experienced full back being played out of position.

Wenger spoke at his press conference about his plans this winter; if the right deal for the right price can be found, he will buy. If not, we go through the second half of the season with the same weaknesses in the squad, praying that the injury gods have finished with their hilarity for five months. Frankly, it’s not much of a plan.

Which is why I don’t think Arsène will run with it. Previous talk had been about completing deals this month, ready to be announced early next month and I hope that is still the case. Laurent Koscielny is at least a fortnight away from playing which takes us to the final Premier League game before the FA Cup Third Round tie at home to Hull City.

Despite needing reinforcements in midfield and for me, a specialist defensive midfielder, it would be of little surprise if a fourth centre back is the only signing. Where that player sits in the scheme is hard to determine with injuries but it would free Chambers to develop into a central midfielder.

The talk of that happening is reminiscent of Thomas Vermaelen. Many felt he could fulfil that role but Arsène disagreed. Whether it was something he tried in training and saw it didn’t work is unknown. Perhaps it was nothing more than the manager not having faith or confidence in the Belgian’s ability to fulfil the role.

This afternoon’s line-up picks itself, mainly because there are few alternatives. Podolski for Welbeck? It won’t be Campbell, that’s for sure but beyond that, options are severely limited. Perhaps Monreal for Gibbs? It’s nothing more than tinkering around the edges with the core players in the XI facing little competition thanks to injury.

It’s important to take three points this afternoon. The fixtures this week for others around Arsenal are tough with United meeting Tottenham, Southampton Chelsea and West Ham face both Chelsea and Arsenal. The top four is a realistic target by the time we face Southampton in 2015.

Wenger touched on this,

I think we are getting better but that’s what’s at stake. We have to show that in the final part of the season because we go now in the Premier League where we need to win the games. After we have the FA Cup and the Champions League and without defensive solidity we have no future.

Capitalising on the failings of others has been the ruthless touch we have not seen on a consistent basis this season. There are hints of it at the moment but we’ve been here before. At some point, a run has to be put together to climb the table and stay there.

FROM THE VAULTS

Today’s dip into the archives comes from November 1952. Arsenal arrived at Anfield in seventh place following an inconsistent start. Including the previous week’s victory over Middlesbrough at Highbury, Arsenal only lost 5 of the remaining 26 games to the end of the season and ended as champions.

Enjoy today’s match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.15111952 Liverpool 5-1

253 thoughts on “Liverpool Preview & From The Vaults: November 1952

  1. C says:

    The most troubling thing about this match is that we are again allowing a “top side” in shit form to outplay us and make us look shit.

  2. Wavey says:

    C

    Bellerin and LeCoq on, Welbeck and Flamini off. Chambers to the middle with LeCoq and Bellerin as RB. Ox goes to RW giving us more width than we have now.
    There’s no perfect solution, but we have to change something and get a bit more width in our play.

  3. Moe says:

    C

    Always been this way, everytime we play a top side, we make them look World class even if they are in shit form.

  4. Wavey says:

    Fantastic support from the away fans. Given what they have seen on the pitch in front of them, it is great that they can keep their spiritis up and support the team so well. Fighting amongst away fans in recent games just shows the division over Wenger.

  5. spy says:

    Why don’t players go off for treatment?

  6. C says:

    @Wavey

    I was thinking Bellerin and Theo on for Flamini and Giroud. Chambers moves to DM amd we play with more width upfront and more goal threats, pace and allows us to play and get behing their defenders.

  7. consolsbob says:

    Definitely mandatory for any Arsenal player to not miss the first man on any set piece.

  8. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Urgh, always the same isn’t it. He can never get his tactics right but it’s spreading into playing normal teams now as well. Liverpool don’t cope with pressure so let’s get them have the ball as much as possible and sit back and let them attack. It’s pitiful.

  9. C says:

    @Moe

    Its a fucking shame, first Shitty then Manure and now Liverpool. Mental strength and lack of direction and tactical change by Manager.

    Liverpool are doing anything they fucking want now.

  10. viceologist says:

    I am really not a fan of Chambers at right back… he seems like much more of a cb to me. He can’t seem to sort his feet or quickly enough and lacks recovery pace on the wing.

  11. Moe says:

    C

    It’s all tactical mate, Liverpool have prepared and made a tactic specially for us. We don’t adapt ad keep playing the same tactic regardless.

  12. viceologist says:

    Finally a nice passage of play that leads to a nice goal!

  13. C says:

    Womderful fucking goal! I thought Giroud fucked it up with his pass to Santi but great quick counter.

  14. consolsbob says:

    The one bit of good football we have played. Proper job.

  15. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Lol, you’re a Giroud hater C:)

  16. C says:

    @Moe

    Dgetting the tactics wrong and not adjusting, i may have heard that a time or 2 recently,

  17. C says:

    @CA

    I’ll keep talking shit if he scores everytime i do 😉

  18. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Lol. I cannot see us holding them,from scoring again so we need more goals

  19. Wavey says:

    Gibbs eventually loses the ball when we were looking good in attack with Liverpool possibly going to catch us on the break. What was amazing was how far Flamini was up the pitch in that play. He doesn’t need to be there he needs to be helping his CBs cover when the FB is up the field. No discipline at all and that is the kind of play that will cost us when we don’t need to all be chasing another goal.

    Sometimes you watch Chambers in a game and think he is out of his depth. Swansea was one of those games and he is having similar problems here. Amazed Rodgers can’t play someone else through the middle and push Sterling to LW. If he does we are in deep shit.

  20. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Alexi has been sloppy

  21. Bill says:

    C

    I am not a Giroud fan either but at least he is a threat to score. All the other stuff about width and pace etc etc does not matter if your striker can actually score.

  22. Moe says:

    MA

    They are triple marking him, he literally can’t breathe without being shut down.

  23. Bill says:

    I think we will hold them and get one more goal late just for good measure.

  24. Wavey says:

    Bugger. And our CDM was where? Neville giving him praise, I would refer he was in front of the defence trying to stop those plays rather than in the middle of our defence.

  25. viceologist says:

    Chambers stands no chance one on one against Sterling

  26. Moe says:

    vice

    It’s like Montero vs Chambers all over again.

  27. viceologist says:

    How many times is Alexis going to hit the first man today?

  28. C says:

    @CA

    They are basically gettimg a shot whenever they want. A substituion would be a good idea rigut now.

  29. Wavey says:

    Need to play completely on the counterattack now. Lambert is the kind of striker our CBs seem to struggle against and with Sterling on the wing we need to be tight and then use some pace.

  30. C says:

    @Vice & Moe

    It is bfut it didnt have to be especially since Bellerin was brilliant last match and pace for pace with Sterling isnt a problem and Bellerin might actually beat him for pace.

  31. Wavey says:

    Don’t need Danny playing an inaccurate chest pass there. He needs to be taking the ball down and holding play up.

  32. consolsbob says:

    I don’t think we have a clue today.

    Shambolic.

  33. Moe says:

    We play one touch passing in our own half when we are surrounded by Liverpool players.

  34. C says:

    Can somebody explain to me how with the defensive minded Le Coq and Flamini that Countinho seems to find acres of space in our midfield?

  35. consolsbob says:

    It’s mandatory, vice.

    Didn’t you get the memo?

  36. Wavey says:

    Cutting through us every time. What is going on?

  37. Moe says:

    Chambers being taken to the cleaners.

  38. C says:

    Commentator just said Sterling v Chambers looks like Montero v Chambers and the main problem is that Ox is offering no support at all similar to what he did against Swansea.

    Sczny making another save.

  39. C says:

    Campell on for Ox. He does li,e to track back ajd help his FB’s.

    9 mins.

  40. Wavey says:

    Welbeck has been disappointing today

  41. C says:

    Thank you Borini for being a complete head case,

  42. Wavey says:

    Crazy. He actually looked like their most dangerous threat.

  43. Wavey says:

    Was it a straight red or a second yellow? From the look of the cut on Cazorla it should have been a straight red. A very dangerous tackle.

  44. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Santi Caz’s is scarred

  45. C says:

    2 yellow.

    I dint think I have ever seem 2 more shit sides at taking corners and their inability to beat the first man.

  46. Moe says:

    Schezney the only thing keeping us in this game.

  47. C says:

    Mert has played well in the 2nd half.

    Hahahahahahahahaha what a fucking joke, Chamber beaten in the air.

  48. Wavey says:

    Set piece and Skirtel. Priceless. We just don’t learn.

  49. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    These substitutions have us playing deeper and deeper! And we concede.

  50. consolsbob says:

    Absolutely static there.

    No less than we deserved.

    Bloody clueless.

  51. viceologist says:

    Well its no more than we have deserved I suppose

  52. Moe says:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it’s gone…

    2-2

  53. Wavey says:

    Against 10 men and we are the ones hanging on. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

  54. C says:

    Even with 10 men, Liverpool still look more dangerous.

  55. Wavey says:

    Oh well, a point. I suppose you can’t really complain considering how bad we were. Needed three points given the results around us, but we don’t play with any urgency in these games. Totally outclassed by a team with a makeshift defence, again.

  56. C says:

    Funny how with 10 men Liverpool still looked more likely to score and we looked shit.

  57. JonJon says:

    great result
    now we are only 4 points behind west ham. were gonna win the cup..

  58. C says:

    Liverpool had 27 shots and something like 15 on target.

  59. consolsbob says:

    We are now 6 points behind Utd. (Remember how we laughed at their start?) and 4 points behind West Ham.

    I think we have found our level this season.

  60. consolsbob says:

    Ha! Beat me to it JJ.

    Liverpool first set piece goal of the season, by the way.

  61. Hoksilato says:

    Against 10 men….with LFC having played midweek….plus plenty defensive substitutions…and we still cannot keep the score…
    Well it gets us where we deserve….

  62. The Arse in The Gamb says:

    Better performance 2nd half, Szhcezzer our best player. Awful stats. We can nearly beat anyone though.

  63. Wavey says:

    A season on and we have learnt nothing. They should have inflicted the same score line on us as last season. Their poor finishing and some good saves from Chezzer are what made the difference from last season. AW will argue that he have improved from last season because we got a point. That arguement is rubbish. We have managed to scrap draws at both Liverpool and Everton this season when last season we were given a good spanking. Those results do nothing to change the fact that we were still as bad as last season in both of those games.

  64. Moe says:

    Santi or Schezney MOM. Brilliant from both of them.

  65. SV says:

    I would have taken 2:2 before the game.

    But to concede in extra time is too typical.

    Arsene is uncapable of winning an important game.

  66. Moe says:

    Wavey

    It will be swept under the carpet and then we will move on.

  67. JonJon says:

    shit teams always raise their games against us.
    utd, liverpool…they can be at the bottom of a pit in tonnes of trouble playing like crap and getting beat by everybody….
    except us…
    we got battered today…..
    35% possession against jordan fucking henderson…
    great result…we deserved fuck all…

  68. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Cant even hold on with 10 men and a terrible 1st half performance,

    Wenger out!

  69. Wavey says:

    The stats show the real picture. Only seven shots on goal and possession of only 35%, that result was down to how poor Liverpool were in front of goal.

  70. JonJon says:

    but we’ll win the cup..
    i cant wait im so excited…

  71. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Come on , hands up …who expected us to hang on ?

    Not a chance.

    Two poor sides (despite what Jamie Redknob says) who sum up the mediocrity of the best league in the world.

  72. jlsgooner says:

    Like a bleeding limbo bar, we can always manage to play lower than the opposition.
    Still a draw should be considered a good result after such a shambolic team performance.

  73. Bill says:

    Ball possession and shots on goal and performance in general is irrelevant. We were ahead in the 96th minute. You can’t give up a set piece goal in the 97th minute to a team down to 10 men.

  74. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Arsenal’s 36% share of possession is their lowest Premier League figure since statisticians Opta started gathering their data in August 2003.

  75. SV says:

    The last minute equalizer probabl< saved Roger's career and kick started the Pool's season.

    Great.

    Bt really. Can Arsene for a change prepare his team well for a big game? Just once? Or is it too much to ask for?

  76. JonJon says:

    if liverpool had a striker on the pitch it would have been 5-0 at half time..

  77. Wavey says:

    I don’t agree Bill. You can’t compete if you haven’t got the ball and are not shooting. We had enough firepower up front in theory, but had no delivery to them. Losing the ball constantly is not conducive to winning games. Possession for the sake of it isn’t going to win games, but being that far off the pace is going to mean that we are going to give too many chances away. Conceding that late is a nightmare, but giving a team that much possession and that many chances is going to make it almost impossible to hang on. The travesty was that we didn’t improve when they were down to 10 men, they had at least the same possession stats. Defending deep is one thing, but inviting a team to attacking you time after time without any way to stop them is beyond a joke.

  78. Wavey says:

    A player on the post would have been nice.

  79. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Why was there no one on the post?

  80. Bill says:

    We are out of the title race and we are reasonably close to 4th with more then 1/2 of the season still to play. This game was not really critical and we played like it didn’t matter. The effort level and the performances and the results will go up if and when 4th place ever really looks like it’s in danger. Despite the fact that we couldn’t be bother to play worth a darn, we had the better team and still should have won. That is all part of the negative culture and 4th place is our trophy mentality that has developed around the club.

  81. Wavey says:

    Ignore that, Redknapp is agreeing with me so I must be talking bollox.

  82. JonJon says:

    im just glad they sold suarez and sturridge is injured…
    or that would have been messy..

  83. SV says:

    So, Dame Fortune decided to help us giving us an undeserved lead and a one man advantage,

    But we said no and threw away the points.

    Pathetic.

    .

  84. Moe says:

    jj

    If they had any of those two, we would have been royally effed.

  85. consolsbob says:

    4th? I don’t much care.

    We won’t make it anyway.

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