Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal: Gunners Missing Midfield, By the Numbers


First 20 Minutes

114 – Liverpool outpassed Arsenal 114-81 in the first 20 minutes
81 – Liverpool completed more passes as a percentage than Arsenal 81-74 in the first 20 minutes
6 – Liverpool outdribbled Arsenal 6-1 in the first 20 minutes
4 – Liverpool outshot Arsenal 4-1 in the first 20 minutes
1 – Number of errors Theo Walcott made in the first 20 minutes, doing his best impression of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against West Ham and producing the exact same result, a turnover and a goal for the opponent

Between 20th minute and 55th

182 – Between the 20th and 55th minute Arsenal and Liverpool attempted the same number of passes
18 – However, Arsenal lost possession 18 times while Liverpool lost possession just 7 times between 20-55th minutes
6 – Giroud lost possession 6 times in that period, Walcott 3,
10 – But Arsenal outshot Liverpool 10-4 in that period and went ahead off a Giroud goal which came when he finally turned his man and didn’t lose the ball

56th minute to 93rd

238 – From the 56th minute to the 93rd minute Liverpool outpassed Arsenal 238-122
14 – Liverpool also took 14 shots to Arsenal just 3
11 – Arsenal lost possession 11 times in that period, Liverpool (who had 107 more touches than Arsenal) lost possession 9 times
6 – Ramsey and Ozil combined to lose the ball 6 times in that period
2 – Ox lost the ball twice and also had that failed dribble when he probably should have passed the ball to Ozil
9 – Despite having most of the ball, Liverpool won more interceptions than Arsenal in that period
9 – Liverpool also won 9 tackles against Arsenal who only won 10 in that period

Full time

534 – Despite Klopp saying Liverpool couldn’t play possession football they outpassed Arsenal 534-380
22 – Liverpool also outshot Arsenal 22-14
12 – Though the shots that mattered, those in the box, were closer with 12-9
24 – Liverpool won more tackles than Arsenal 24-22
18 – Liverpool won more interceptions than Arsenal 18-17
12 – Liverpool outdribbled Arsenal 12-8
14 – Liverpool also lost a lot more dribbles than Arsenal 14-7
32 – Arsenal lost possession more than Liverpool 32-21
70 – Ramsey only completed 70% of his passes, Özil was worse with 67%
69 – Flamini only made 69% of his passes
7 – Ramsey and Giroud attempted the most tackles, Ramsey only won 3 and Giroud 4
5 – Campbell won the most tackles, 5/6
2 – Campbell didn’t win the most interceptions, but he was tied for second with 2
2 – Campbell also didn’t lead Arsenal with the most through balls but he was just 1 behind Ozil with 2
8 – Giroud led all players losing possession 8 times (Giroud won both of his dribbles)
6 – Özil was second with 6, he also had 2 failed dribbles bringing his total to 8!
5 – Ramsey was third with 5! He didn’t even try a dribble

Rasmey-Flamini Not Up to Par with Cazorla-Coquelin

I suspect Arsenal could have suffered one injury to the main axis of Arsenal’s midfield, but losing both Cazorla and Coquelin has broken Arsenal. Arsenal’s passing has fallen off a cliff, Arsenal’s dribbling has fallen off a cliff, Arsenal’s shots taken has fallen off a cliff, and Arsenal are now allowing the opposition a crazy number of shots per game, while not tackling as much and not intercepting the ball as much. Why?

Per game With Cazorla Without Cazorla Difference
Passes 542 489 -53
Completed passes 464 409 -55
Shots 17 12 -5
Shots allowed 11 16 5
Goals 1.71 1.86 0.14
Goals allowed 0.86 1.29 0.43
Shot Ratio 2 1.44 -0.56

Arsenal are not able to pass the ball as well without Cazorla and Coquelin. Cazorla is the kind of player who likes to drop and collect the pass so that he can recycle possession. This frustrates some fans but helps give the team better balance because he’s there to collect any errant clearances and there isn’t a huge hole for Coquelin to cover.

I suspect that Cazorla and Flamini partnership would have worked just fine because the distance between Cazorla, who mainly stays in the actual box-to-box role, and Coquelin is smaller than between Ramsey and Flamini because Ramsey plays like a forward and gets into the 18 yard box a lot more than Santi does.

Thus, Flamini, who isn’t the best player in the world already is made to look and be a lot worse than he already is as he is constantly caught out of position basically covering two CM roles.

The problem is that Ramsey plays like a forward and not like a box-to-box midfielder. He doesn’t pass as well as Cazorla and he doesn’t dribble as well. He doesn’t create for teammates and instead needs teammates to create for him. He also turns the ball over like a forward, shoots like a forward, and while he does tackle a lot he can’t make up for the loss of Coquelin in that regard because he doesn’t win significantly more tackles than Cazorla did.

Per game Ramsey Santi
Shots 2.8 1.6
Key passes 1.5 2.6
Successful Dribbles 1.2 2.6
Failed Dribbles 0.7 0.6
Dispossessed 2.6 1.4
Bad touch 2.1 0.9
Tackles 2.3 1.8
Was dribbled 2.3 1.9
Interceptions 1.8 1.8
Passes 67.6 82.1
Pass % 86.2 90.3
Long balls 1.8 3.5

I know that most fans say that Coquelin’s injury is the real problem but for me, Cazorla was the heart of Arsenal’s midfield. As you saw today against Liverpool, Arsenal are easily overrun in midfield without a player like Cazorla who can dribble out of tight situations (2nd on the team in dribbles) and find the right teammate with a well weighted ball (led Arsenal in passing). Cazorla’s technical superiority also allowed him to retain possession more than Ramsey (Ramsey is the 7th most profligate player in the League as far as turnovers are concerned, all the players above him are all forwards) and his keen eye for creating shots (2nd on the team in KP) meant that teams couldn’t just double up on Özil.

More than any other player Arsenal miss Cazorla. Cazorla and Flamini would have worked yards better than Ramsey and Flamini.

The question, then, is whether Coquelin is missed as well and there is no doubt. Arsenal’s defensive numbers are a shambles without Coquelin:

Per game With Coquelin Without Coquelin Difference
Tackles 38 32 -6
Successful tackles 17 13 -4
Interceptions 21 17 -4
Clearances 24 26 4
Blocks 3 4 1
Goals allowed 0.64 1.40 0.76

Again, this is difficult to separate Cazorla from Coquelin, they both went down at the same time. Also, Flamini is basically playing in the midfield by himself because Ramsey doesn’t sit with him. But when you compare Flamini to Coquelin straight up you can see why so many miss Coquelin:

Per game Flamini Coquelin
Shots 0.3 0.4
Key passes 0.3 0.2
Successful Dribbles 0.1 1.8
Failed Dribbles 0.1 0.3
Dispossessed 0.4 0.9
Bad touch 0.4 0.3
Tackles 2.1 3.2
Was dribbled 0.8 1.1
Interceptions 1.7 2.7
Passes 41.5 46.9
Pass % 87.7 91.5
Long balls 1.2 2.6

Just like Cazorla v. Ramsey, Coquelin is a better dribbler, better passer, and all around better defender than his replacement.

What remains to be seen is whether Elneny can fill in for Coquelin. Many think he’s got the engine and technical ability to do it but very few of us have seen him play and he has never played a single minute of Premier League football. How he would have fared with Liverpool pressing him today is a huge unknown. It’s also a huge unknown as to whether Wenger can or wants to make Ramsey play a little more conservatively. Unless he does, we could see this new guy thrown to the wolves and left covering giant gaps in midfield.


Sources: Squawka, Whoscored



  1. It was disappointing to lose the three points at that last minute, but all things considered, that was a good away point in spite of all the hullabaloo about Liverpool having only broken legs. City drew at home to Everton so we are still in a good position. #COYG

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    • On another note this article also concludes that Arteta was massive for us in keeping the defensive balance in the 13/14 season when Arteta-Ramsey was the 1st midfield pairing, Ramsey’s best season to date (as most has pointed out Ramsey seems obsessed to replicate that season). Sure Arteta’s getting on with age but some fans are quick to dismiss the tremendous work he did, and still can possibly do against lesser teams.

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    • Isn’t the answer to swap Ramsey and Ozil? – Ozil to be Santi, and Ramsey to be Ozil? Would keep the balance of the team far better. I’m sure Oziol could trusted to play a bit deeper.

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  2. Don’t mean to bash Ramsey, but unless he gets disciplined he will cost us the title. I think without coming out loud, AW prefers him outwide because he is so undisciplined. it also doesn’t help that he’s a glory, all action player, which is fine if you are not exposing a team mate.

    I had lost count on how many times Flamini was left exposed with all other players taking their defensive positions with Ramsey nowhere to be found. there was a point in the second half when Campbell ran past him to cover for him. He makes Flamini look all too bad.

    not a bad point though.

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    • If Ramsey doesn’t score there we are probably in big shit and liverpool proly would have run away with it.

      So on such a day maybe it wasn’t a bad thing Ramsey was too far up the pitch…atleast it paid dividends.

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      • yep that’s a sensible comment. Let’s leave the defence completely exposed time and time again in the hope that we might score. Who said supporters are not intelligent!!!

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    • This! Infact after he scored his goal, instead of celebrating with him, Flamini ran up and gave him an earful. Clearly telling him off for constantly leaving him exposed..

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    • Maybe the problem is more the fact that the one person who is left covering the defence is Flamini, I can’t imagine Coq would have struggled on his own as much as he has the legs to cover for others. It’s funny hearing all the Ramsey bashing because back in 13/14 season when he was playing the exact same way in the same position, leaving Arteta on his own, but scoring wonder goal after wonder goal nobody had any complaints. He’s a box to box midfielder not a DM so if Wenger plays him there he knows the risks and considering how much of an influence Ramsey has had since Santi & Coq have been out, I wouldn’t want him to change

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        • He did sit back for most of the game (simpyl check his heat map). Its lazy incorrect criticism. Does he get forward, yes – but he’s there to also support the attack, and Arsenal are much better for it. The difference in performance level when Ramsey started at CM after the absolute dross of November was stark. Forgotten already?

          Sure, he’s not faultless,and probably should show more restraint from time to time. But he’s a true b2b player, and his runs from deep make a world of difference to the team for the better.

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      • Ramsey goes AWOL at times but I found him better yesterday. However Flamini positioning is awful! Standing on the same line as defenders, not reading the game as well as our Coq. Also technically he is poor, not contributing in the building up of play ( just get rid of the ball!). As some suggested ( and it is only my opinion) I would have love to see Chambers in is place as he is far superior technically.
        Well we’re still in it, despite missing key players and important squad players. Future looks bright! COYG

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        • Flamini has stood in admirably in the absence of Le Coq but I do agree with your point of him standing in the same line as defenders, I have yelled so many times to the screen for him to get out and press!

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    • Reading this makes me think that *IF* Elneny is to be brought into the side I’d be inclined to drop Ramsey rather than Flam. With Alexis returning and Campbell in fine form I think the attacking can be left to them. I’d not be surprised to see Giroud get a rest when Sanchez is back so midfield Flam (or Artetta I guess), Elneny, Alexis, Ozil, Campbell, and Walcott up top would be my preference I think. The latter 4 names have more than enough about them to not need Ramsey’s attacking instincts.
      Indeed Elneny Artetta combo may be a good one, Legohead is getting on but he knows his stuff and could be a good, calm influence… not to take anything away from Flamini’s ability to point and shout of course!!

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    • His stats are basically the stats of a forward or winger because he was playing wide right for most of the season. How is that not caught by everyone here?
      Only forwards are ahead of him in turnovers..OK well he was a forward so why is that surprising.
      The other important thing to realize is that Wenger obviously allows Ramsey the creativity and freedom that so many people are upset about. Why not criticize Wenger instead?
      Ramsey is an amazing player and can be one of the best in the world on his day. Let him do his thing, his confidence is almost fully back and it will be nice to see what he and Ozil can do together.

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        • It’s a mark of how positive opinion of Wenger is because people often leave his name out of the
          Ramsey/Midfield discussion. Rambo also had to “replace” Cesc after he defected to Spain (it was painful for us to watch but Wenger said it was necessary for his development). and Ramsey played quite conservatively that season. He’s become the player we have now because of his ability and the coaching of our staff – he makes forward runs/combines with Ozil because HE CAN, not because of selfish gloryhunting character flaws.

          With Cazorla, Wenger (who loves an internal solution) gave Cazorla the chance as a CM when playing him further forward wasn’t working for us. And we complain about Ramsey, but let’s remember – Santi is not the long-term solution there and can get taken advantage of physically. But Wenger has to weigh that with the positives Santi’s masterful technique gives us, and it’s the same with Ramsey – his offensive potential is too important, even it unbalances the team. Cazorla has the Hleb problem, incredible technique but underachieves in goals/assists, and Ramsey it’s the other way around.

          Despite our league position, we have CM issues that go back 3 or 4 seasons. Too much of the Ramsey criticism doesn’t take this, or Wenger’s role, into account.

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      • I find your point to criticize Wenger a little perplexing! Cazorla, by trade was an equally offensive/creative player but for the last couple of years, Wenger tasked him with defensive responsibility along Le Coq and things worked out pretty well! Why wouldn’t Wenger ask Ramsey of the same?

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  3. There was a day 2 center halves was the key to winning PL, now days with the all the 433s n 451s its changed, the consistrncy comes from somewhere else. The base of midfield, flamini n ramsey lack legs discipline chemistry aware positioning commitment tracking back n passing, between themselves. You’ll never find consistency in these two. They’ll of course have lots of good days but to win the league you cant afford to be like that in such positions.

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  4. Am I the only one who thinks Czech was below his own usual standards for all the goals or was he injured having played an extra game over the last week.
    I thought he could have saved the 2nd one but did not manage to jump and on the 3rd one he got his hand but his wrists were not string enough..
    But if this is his off day I will take it.
    Good point for us.

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  5. Still can’t get over when Ozil was knocked to the ground and no freekick was given. BPL ref are becoming serially inconsistent pricks.

    I wouldn’t swap Monreal for 2 Marcelos. Countless number of times i thought he was gonna give away a penalty only for him to confidently emerge with the ball. He is genuinely phenomenal.

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    • Hmmm, I was thinking the same thing. Reckon Giroud gets clattered a lot for little (comparable) reward either. Reminds me of when pundits used to say we didn’t like the rough stuff and, on the back of that, it seemed every time we tried to fight fire with fire refs figured we were just clumsily fouling while the other orcish teams got away with everything. Probably some rose-tinted stuff there, but that’s what it felt like.

      So, yeah, that non-call on Ozil was grade-A fucking bullshit. 😀

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  6. Agree with all of the above but for the equaliser, Arteta was at fault (or Wenger, the lawyers or the home office – which has left us with only one mobile def mid for the season and he’s injured) for the equaliser. Rambo was marking a pool player and arteta went and marked the same player, rather than closing the pool defender who hoofed it into the box.

    For me when you bring on fresh legs they should be used to defend from the front to stop supply. Ox closed down the first player who just passed it to an unmarked team mate, with Rambo struggling to cover the ground to close him down, when Arteta is standing there not picking up anyone (he also losses his man).

    It is hard to judge Rambo when playing with flamini, who is simply not up to 90 mins of prem football.

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  7. I said it so many times that Ramsey in our midfield will only make us second in virtually all aaspect whenever faced with teams with technicality. I watched Southampton game, I discovered that the Saint were all over us. Some said we ceded poseession to them,no! The problem we can control the midfield. If Cazorla plyed that day,we could have won though…

    Pro-Ramsey came up with patronising words that,Ramsey offers more balance and goal threat. Fine! But it opens us for the opponent. The case now becomes who will outscore the other. I really missed Cazorla more than anyone else;we could have won it.

    I said it that ceding possession to teams is more of pre-medidated plan rather than rather than ceding as a result of inability to contol midfield. Man City game at away last season and this season against Man Utd after we they had been destroyed and Bayern when we attack counters. Pressing teams might probably beat us if Ramsey can’t contol midfield and Arteta came up to tidy thing up. Flamini is not as bad as some fans portray him.

    A fair result considering how shit we played,we could have lost all the points there but thatk God we got a point. If you can’t win,don’t lose it.

    Let’s beat Stoke and get ovet this shit!

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  8. I think Elneny-Flamini partneship might give the right kind of security we need with ramsey on the wings again..given elneny’s passing & dribbling are good..and unlike ramsey he won’t be pushing forward too much leaving gaps behind as a proper box-to-box midfielder would do..ramsey on the wing might give a better balance too with either walcott or giroud to be provided with a breather..but let’s see what arsene has in mind..usually when he signs a player the reason can be seen on the pitch right let’s hope it is one of those usual ones #coyg

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  9. If we’re being honest, campbell is putting the ox and theo to shame, yes, the ox might have all the potential in the world but he really is far behind now in terms of being in the first team.

    As for theo, he is very limited, decent finishing on his day but he really is a very frustration and similarly limited footballer. Can’t wait for alexis to come back.

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    • I have Seen Oxl play brilliantly against sides in the CL and thought wow and in central Mid. But lately he seems to be modelling his game on a certain spud winger, and it’s not good.

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    • Maybe if Wenger had acted way earlier before Zizou became RM manager, we could have perhaps got Isco. A player imo, very much in the Cazorla mould (i.e. the early days of Cazorla at very least with matching distinctive dribbling).

      But now it is too late and knowing Wenger, the Jan window boat has already sailed. Arsenal have been in deep shit in MF ever since Cazorla injury with worsening control of the game – let us hope Elneny is our new Reyes..

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  10. Ramsey is too selfish to play in midfield. He gets goals but doesn’t do his actual job.

    I’d like to see one of them team average position maps because I’ve a feeling he spent a lot of time ahead of Ozil and even Giroud.

    The problem isn’t losing cazorla, its replacing him with a guy who thinks he’s a number 9. I think Flamini and Arteta or Flamini and Coq would do a better job. Ok we probably wouldn’t score as many but we wouldn’t be conceding as many.

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  11. It was a great game to watch even if I would have loved us to win it though…

    Same point as against Southampton, when there is a plan from our foe on the day to nullify Özil, Ramsey becomes, IMHO, a issue more than a solution.
    As mentioned by many, his drive and run are exceptional but often they lead to nothing bar leaving Flamini exposed.
    I think Wilshere would be a better 2nd DM than Ramsey.
    To compare it to some I would say, Wilshere could be PSG Verratti and Ramsey their Matuidi…. and Matuidi does not really play DM anymore, that’s left for Motta and Verratti.
    I would drop him when Alexis is back and try Campbell there, which is probably very absurd, but Campbell impresses me in his defensive duty even more than the creativity he has shown recently.

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  12. i suspect Wenger will put elnenny next to flamini and put ramsey on the left in place of Walcott. this would shore up the middle, and keep the fluid attack

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    • Interesting thought, and it could work, but personally I expect Elneny to be on the bench at most on Sunday.

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  13. A big opportunity wasted. But a good point nonetheless. We were out numbered in the midfield and our players just couldn’t use the ball well. Another big test waiting on Sunday. If we can come out with 3 points from Stoke, we will have a good chance for the Title. COYG!

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  14. I have to agree Ramsey leaving flamini exposed Time again he’s a goal threat for sure but I really got annoyed at how many time s he gave the ball away specially in second half but we still top and another tricky away day Sunday and when’s Leicester s bubble gonna burst ??

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  15. Ramsey isnt that terrible. In fact he’s very good when he isn’t trying to be an attacking midfielder.

    But he can be very very frustrating. We’ve already got a no.10. For me he’s stepping on ozil’s toes. He needs to protect his defenders and dm first and foremost. Late runs into the box need to be curtailed. Shore up midfield.

    Also He’s better alongside a good distributor and flamini is bringing out the worst in him just as he exposes flamini’s weaknesses.

    But I think Wenger is aware of this. We have a stop-gap midfield that’s obvious and when you consider we’ve also had no Wilshire, no Rosicky, and our star player Alexis out for so long and no rotation for Giroud with Wellbeck out, I think we’ve done incredibly well to still be top of the league.

    I honestly think we can be champions this year and I haven’t genuinely thought that for over a decade.

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  16. For me Ramsey needs to look at how he played last quarter of 12/13. Disciplined, sat deep alongside arteta. It makes us less dynamic but no harm in becoming more pragmatic away from home while santi us out… Right now Ramsey can’t play in a 2 man cental midfield, wonder if we’ll go 4 3 3 in bigger games? Arteta needs to start, able to control the midfield with his passing

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    • Agree. A simplified, disciplined approach was the key to Ramsey’s good form in 12/13 and 13/14 – he was scoring goals in the natural course of play rather than trying to play center forward on every single attack. Unfortunately it seems that Ramsey fell in love with himself a bit during those 3 months of 13/14 when he was scoring goals and has forgotten about everything else.

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  17. With all his energy and goal scoring attributes Ramsey in central midfield affects the the balance of the team…we are not as efficient.He’s all over the pitch and exposes the defense quite badly esp when we under pressure.

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  18. I completely agree. Love Rambo. But he needs to calm the fuck down and stop trying to be Superman! We’re too exposed and I hate it. It brings back memories of the last few years when we could concede at any time.

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  19. theos half arsed high elbow jogging really annoys me, a token effort to look like he is defending. the ox is having theos old problem of running into tackles and both of them give the ball away too often in dangerous areas. i cant wait for alexis to get back in the team.

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  20. I’m as disappointed as the next that we couldn’t see the game out in the final minutes, but consider the view through my rose-tinted glasses; in the not so distant past, this level of pressing and endeavor from an opponent in a stadium with that kind of atmosphere would have seen us capitulate and lose the match within the first half. Yet last night we rolled up our sleeves, played rope-a-dope and kept our chin up to come back twice against the run of play, which to me is a mark of the fabled “mental strength” and maturity that champions must show. We keep this up and more often than not it’ll be 3 points not 1.

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  21. Well said about missing santi in midfield also alexis pace coyg as them stats of liverpools in first 20 mins shows.

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  22. We kept searching for the 4th goal when ideally the players should’ve formed two lines of four each in front of goal.

    Now I know conditions were tough and it was a high intensity game, but I just wish that players show a bit more presence of mind while closing out games. Sprinters like the Ox and Ramsey should be told to hold on to the ball and retain possession in those dying minutes to kill the opposition’s momentum.

    We don’t do ourselves any favours trying to dribble past defenders, turning over possession whereas all that was needed was to waste time taking the ball to the corner flag. We play beautiful football, yes; but sometimes it is equally important to make sure we win after the team has given so much.

    P.S.: A lot of people don’t give credit to the improvement of players, but folks like Coquelin and Campbell provide proof on the good work being done by the club staff.

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    • Ramsey doesn’t listen to anyone, Flamini was trying to tell him to help out in midfield and he didn’t give a shit. He’s the most selfish, selfish player. Theo was so feeble it was pathetic and Ox had a seriously bad game. It seems to me that it’s the British players who are incapable of learning, is it because it’s too easy for them, because we need the quota, or because they’ve never been sent away to a strange country with a foreign language and had to grow up? Whatever it is they need to wake up, because their teammates who are giving everything deserve better. Ollie was gutted at the result of that game, Ramsey basically says shit happens, so what. Who has the passion and pride in the shirt?

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  23. I’d like to see Ramsey play Left forward, in the Alexis position. Ofcourse this is only when Cazorla is back or Elneny/Arteta play in midfield. This would also allow us to try Alexis once again in the CF role. Probably worth an experiment?

    “The problem is that Ramsey plays like a forward and not like a box-to-box midfielder. He doesn’t pass as well as Cazorla and he doesn’t dribble as well. He doesn’t create for teammates and instead needs teammates to create for him. He also turns the ball over like a forward, shoots like a forward, and while he does tackle a lot he can’t make up for the loss of Coquelin in that regard because he doesn’t win significantly more tackles than Cazorla did.”

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  24. Right now, Cambell plays when Alexis is back. (and I admit, I didnt rave about him 6 weeks ago)
    When Coq is back Rambo can stay central, ahead of him. Santi doesnt have the box to box element of Rambo (much as I love the man).
    Think of it:
    In front of the back four
    Coq Ramsey
    Cambell Ozil Alexis
    and plenty of quality on the bench

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  25. Carzola was so key to our possession game and Coquelin had dramatically improved as well since he started playing last year, especially dribbling out of pressure and fending off contact (Carzola too with his low center of gravity). It seems now that we having far more turnovers in the middle third, especially from Ramsey and not able to possess the ball as we could before. That always had been one of Ramsey’s strengths so not sure what the difference is, whether he is trying to do too much or is now in a position on the field (vs wing) where turnovers are far more costly. Hopefully when Elneny gets in he can add something back to our possession game.

    For all the things Giroud can do well, helping our possession game (in my opinion and I know others have different opinions) is not one of them. As strong as he is and as well as he wins flighted balls from the GK or GK’s, he seems to turn the ball over often when played into him on the ground in the possession game. I think he stands too upright when receiving it and is knocked over often (and then lies there to complain about it for a while instead of getting up to win it back). Another issue is his movement (or lack of it) in the middle third to create space. He likes to post up the center defenders which works in the attacking third, but is not as effective in the middle third. It’s not only about creating space for him, but for his teammates by drawing those CDs out of position to create the runs from the wings where Ozil can hit those balls through the defense. He also tries to do too many one touch give and gos in the middle third which are not always the best choice (sometimes holding the ball up and letting the runs happen or turning and dribbling a few touches to allow time for the runs is better).

    We also really miss Sanchez in possession. I’d be interested to see the number of touches he gets in a game at left mid vs what Walcott gets, probably a 4-1 ratio. Not only does he make himself available for the ball, but he also fights to win it back immediately.

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    • Disagree about OG moving around. When he comes out wide our attack sputters. He’s the fulcrum as well as our scorer, occupying the opposition CBs and combining well. He is where he should be almost all the time.

      Walcott needs to sit for a while. He is killing us. Alexis and Campbell are our best wing options. Agree that FlamRam is not working, but I think Flamini is the bigger problem and Elneny should replace him immediately. Cazorla should play ahead of Ramsey when he is fit, and rotate in whenever either CM sits out. His energy is valuable even with his errors in judgment.

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  26. The numbers comparing Santi to Ramsey are skewed big time. Ramsey has spent a good deal of the season on the right hand side. How about only comparing the stats from when Ramsey is playing in the centre.

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  27. Arsenal have the most fickle minded fans in the world. So all because Ramsey went to their box a couple of times, he cost us the points? So we haven’t conceded 3 goals when Cazorla was playing or what? I just don’t get why Ramsey is all Arsenal’s problem whenever we drop points

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  28. ‘Flamini’s positioning is awful, standing on the same line as the defenders’ God bless u @alexis pacino. people fail to see that Ramsey is doing a fantastic box-to-box job (not without blemish though), he offers a serious goal threat aside Olivier’s to the opposition with his ‘ghost-like’ movement, and all he needs is a serious defensive cover in a DM that has good positioning, high rate tackling, and functioning lega, all this that Flamini seriously lacks.

    . Ramsey gets sticks for doing a wonderful, fantastic job because Flamini is doing bplaying below par. . We have been managing this for a while but teams with technical ability exploits us example was the southampton game and liverpool’s.

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  29. to listen to some of you its amazing that we manage to win a game at all with Ramsey and to a lesser extent Flamini in our central midfield, how with such inept CM’s we have only lost one game I will never know, and I find it extraordinary that with Coquelin and the general like Cazorla in central midfield we lost any games this season, but on checking it seems we lost six, now how did that happen, I bet it was still Ramsey’s fault

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