Our squad, rocked as it was, would have crumbled without his influence that season. Our best player, some guy called Ronald I think, had the best year of his career - he could not have done any more. That extra 5-10% - the difference between gasping our last breath as the turbulent current pulled us under and grasping the life preserver with our outstretched hand - would have to come from someone else. In a team with an equally moderate smattering of talent and brain cells we desperately needed another leader – on the pitch and off it - to help shepherd the masses
I think if we all looked at the game objectively perhaps. This was a team we trounced 3-0 and 5-0 before the exit of Paul Lambert and while Tim Sherwood has gotten them to this point and with huge improvement in the form of Christian Benteke, they have still been capable of getting shelled due to their desire to be an attacking side. With that in mind we should have been a lot more confident, but you can't blame Arsenal fans for being a nervous wreck. Last year's final was several heart attacks in 120
Wenger is loath to sign players in order to keep them from the clutches of other teams; Fabregas was the most recent example, opting not to sign the player due to Ozil’s status at the club despite knowledge that Chelsea would follow up with a bid. Similarly, Wenger recommended Antonio Valencia to Wigan back in 2008; having scouted the player for quite a while, Wenger recommended him to Steve Bruce as we were well stocked for wide players at the time. It is one of the attributes that makes him such a fantastic man to work with, his compassion and respect for his players is well known and is one of the reasons he is spoken of so highly of by former players. But with the financial arsenal at his disposal, it may now be the time to become rather more cold-blooded.
Theo is the obvious candidate for MOTM. I didn't see any particularly bad performances today, but one thing needs to be said about our number 1(3). One of the main complaints about Szczesny was often that he is prone to zone-out during matches we have total control of, and lose his focus for the one or two chances he needs to do well in - which might result in conceding a counterattack goal or being sent off. Ospina had nothing to do most afternoon but push out some goal kicks and take a back pass from Gabriel every ten minutes or so. But for the two real chances WBA produced, he did comically bad - one corner he went out of his line to collect to but clearly could never reach, and another long shot he nearly Fabianski
The truth is, loyalty doesn’t exist in football and Sterling owes Liverpool nothing. The argument that Liverpool allowed Sterling to play on the biggest stage, to start in their starting line-up whilst other, more experienced players sat on the bench, holds no weight. For if it wasn’t for Sterling’s own ability then Liverpool would not have given him the opportunity. Sterling earned his right to play at that level due to Liverpool’s lack of an alternative and the player’s own progress. His ability and importance to the team should not be used as a tactic against him to stay at the club; this train of thought can only be viewed as a form of emotional blackmail. You could argue that the young Englishman may not have made the progress he did without the help of Rodgers and his backroom staff
Yeah, I'm still very confident that we'll win. Perhaps some players would benefit from being rested on Sunday and that time off will help them freshen up. Plus we've already put 8 past Villa this season and last weekend showed that even with their new manager they're still capable of being worse than dreadful
There were quite a few things wrong with our performance for the first two thirds of the game. Going forward, our build up play was slow, labored, and predictable as it has become over the last few weeks with this lineup. Along with that, our skillful players were giving the ball away too often, specifically Santi and Alexis, or they couldn’t get into the game in the first place, specifically Ozil and Ramsey
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