Arsenal was not beaten by Liverpool, that would be an understatement, Arsenal was thumped, pulled apart and outplayed in every department.
While not taking anything away from Liverpool, as they put in an impressive performance, the Arsenal display was particularly shocking and a total disrespect to the traveling fans.
Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger should take the credit and blame respectively, they picked the team and set them up to play in a particular way, unfortunately for Wenger, he failed woefully tactically today and it is made worse because it is happening for the umpteenth time.
Over the years, different players, two things are common, first similar result and second the manager.
ARSENAL and LIVERPOOL TEAM SET UP
Wenger wedded to the same idea and game plan, playing the same formation against every opposition, disregarding the specific set of threats posed by a different team is an indication of lack of the basic skill required for any type of management more so the modern game of football called adaptation.
ARSENAL TEAM THAT PLAYED LEICESTER
THE SAME FORMATION AGAINST EVERY OPPOSITION:
The 3-4-3 formation brought in by Conte last season and adopted by Wenger, worked at the beginning but now has run its course because oppositions are well aware of how to counter it, however, the manager is still wedded to this formation that regardless of the threat, Arsenal will be set up the same way, a bit like running on auto-pilot but this time without the safe option of a human pilot if and when it goes wrong.
The team was set up using the same formation in the three games played so far in this season, although personnel may change, like when Mustafi came in for Holding against Stoke or when Sanchez replaced Lacazette against Liverpool in the starting lineup even though Leicester, Stoke, and Liverpool all posed different threats.
To further underline the inflexibility of the manager in his management style, during the post match press briefing of the two previous games, he noted the problem of defense, stating we conceded position and goals that we should not have but yet, did nothing about it.
THE LIVERPOOL SHOW OF SHAME BY THE PLAYERS:
The manager is at fault up until the time he set the team up and they walk on to the pitch, from that point on, the players are responsible, at the very least to execute the role or duty bestowed on them by the manager.
The lack of will by the players was glaringly and shamefully exposed.
For the first time since October 2014, Arsenal failed to register an attempted shot on target and conceded the third goal only 12 seconds after Arsenal’s corner.
Once again, as it is now customary, Arsenal midfield that boasts of Mesut Ozil, the supposed one of the most gifted midfielders went AWOL, leaving the space for the Liverpool players to run riot.
Yes, the manager, should take most of the blame, he bought the players, he picked the team and set them up this way, but the players should look themselves in the mirror for their performance.
ARSENE WENGER REACTION: The manager fell short of taking full responsibilities for the abject show of shame by himself and his team but expect the fans to continue to support the team regardless:
“The result is a consequence of the performance. It was not good enough, we were beaten everywhere physically and in the end we made it easier for them, we made unneeded mistakes.
Mentally it was difficult. A very disappointing performance, it was disastrous. But it is not good to become too emotional after the game. There are some reasons behind it that we have to analyse but the players now go on an international break. We have done recently well in the big games. That is why today is even more disappointing.
The consequences are that the confidence drops, we need everyone to keep belief and focus. If some people feel as if I am the problem then I am sorry that I am the problem but we want our fans to be with us even in a losing performance like that. The only thing we can do is come back and give them a better performance” Arsene Wenger
That is Wenger speaking to the press after the game, Arsenal fans will be certain to have heard this same line time and time again.
IT WAS A PREDICTABLE RESULT THAT FOLLOWED THE SAME SCRIPT:
The weaknesses that were known to everyone before the game was further exposed by a vibrant, lively and energetic Liverpool side.
The threat posed by Sadio Mane who has scored in all the three matches played against Arsenal in a Liverpool shirt was well documented.
There was no player on the field capable of leading by example, there was no tactics design to counter the known threats, as a result, Liverpool did not have to do much, they just need to do what they normally do against Arsenal which is to increase the tempo and pressure them high up the pitch.
The result leaves Arsenal in the 16th position with minus four goals, above newly promoted Brighton only on goals difference.