Podolski Scores In Arsenal Win
|Allen performed well in midfield...|
Arsenal on the other hand had plenty of attacking options and the big man Podolski was up front. Unlike ourselves, Arsenal still had options after losing one of their strikers and van Persie was a hell of a lot more influential for them.
The first half for Liverpool began very unsteadily. For a side that is apparently aiming to be so possession focused we only had Joe Allen to show for it. Steven Gerrard as noticed by a few people has been a bit sloppy with his passing a few times already this season and unfortunately Sunday was no different.
A couple of half chances for the Reds were nothing really to shout about and soon enough Arsenal took their opportunity to break. Steven Gerrard's misplaced pass led to the goal but it was a very fast break from Wenger's boys. Podolski ended up slipping the ball past Reina with a good finish and Liverpool were deservedly on the back foot.
Raheem Sterling offered Liverpool's best chance of the first half and was arguably the most lively in the game. His effort after forcing his way into the box hit the post.
In the second half Liverpool's attacking problems were brought even more to light when Fabio Borini was replaced with Stewart Downing. This is the Stewart Downing that made no assists and scored no goals last season, not to mention the fact he was apparently being moulded into a left back...
The point was, we looked very thin on the ground, we'd already ran out of ideas and the bench didn't bring any confidence when you realise that Downing was the most attacking option. Jonjo Shelvey who entered the fray later was actually more effective.
Things went from bad to worse for Liverpool just before the 70 minute mark after Cazorla found the back of the net. He'd had a very good game to be fair but the nature of the goal was very annoying. I'm not quite sure how Pepe Reina allowed that ball to go underneath him and I'm pretty sure he doesn't know either but both his and Steven Gerrard's slip ups lately are a slight concern.
For me though Reina and Gerrard can sort themselves out, the real problem is where the hell we're going to get our goals from. Arsenal held on to their lead with ease as Liverpool struggled to threaten for the last part of the game.
I said after the City match, despite the fact we'd played very, very well, that game still proved how much we needed a clinical finisher. We can't rely on set pieces and the odd goal here and there.
John Henry today has issued an open letter to the fans and to be honest it's what I expected. I personally haven't reached the stage where I'm going to start effing and blinding at the board but Friday was a disgrace. I understand they don't want to splash the cash and they have more interest in signing youth and I'm fine with that but it still is not acceptable for the board to wait until the last possible moment when clubs are going to try and drive a hard deal to sign a striker.
For me, Brendan partly too should have targeted a striker immediately before he signed anyone else, I know he has Borini but I can't see him getting double figures. It's quite clear though that despite Brendan and the board perhaps leaving things too late, Brendan was led to believe he would at least have Dempsey in the bag and that's why he shifted out Carroll. The board have to hold their hands up and accept that the deadline day was embarrassing and Brendan wasn't given enough information to ensure he had the best possible squad going forward into January.
Next up for Liverpool is Sunderland away but first is that pesky international break.