Wenger: No room for slow start at Anfield

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Arsene Wenger admits he’s wary of the time off Arsenal have had since their last game against Sutton on 20 February urging his players to be ready for a quick start when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had been tipped to make the most of their own extended break prior to Monday’s game with Leicester only to be beaten 3-1 by the stuttering reigning champions.

Looking ahead to Saturday evening’s clash, a game that so often throws up last-gasp goals, the boss called on the Gunners to focus on achieving a morale-boosting victory.

“It’s always high intensity, very competitive,” said Wenger.

“Anfield is a special place where the fans are behind their team, where their team plays at a good pace. For us, after a little break, it’s important to switch on quickly. We have seen that’s not easy – Liverpool showed that against Leicester.

“After a break, it’s important that you are ready from the start again. You lose a little bit the rhythm of the competition and for us it’s vital to start strongly at Liverpool.

He added: “It is even more important because we have not done well recently in these kind of games. For us, this kind of game at Liverpool is of course an opportunity that we want to take.

“We have to go and take it and not wait for the result. The result comes with a ‘taking attitude’ and that for me is the most important, that we go to just start on a positive attitude. As for the consequences for the rest of the season, of course it will have vital consequences.”

Wenger also made clear that his players can’t dwell on the 5-1 defeat sustained in Munich last month.

“When you have a bad result like that, of course it plays on your mind. But I just think you have to focus on the way we want to play and on the desire to win, to fight and to take the opportunity you have to show your quality. After that, the recent history being negative, that doesn’t help. But you have to be strong enough to deal with that.”

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Mein Bergkampf

Please, just once, can we have a game plan for the inevitable high pressing and not just look like we’ve been caught totally unawares. Giroud up top so we have an escape route in my opinion.

Futsboller

I’d rather have a pacy forward line (Welbeck-Sanchez-Walcott/Perez) to take advantage of Liverpool playing high up the pitch when they attack, and/or to pin their defense back deep (wary of our speed) and create gaps between their lines for our players to drop into; that gives us the space we need to ply our trade. The biggest question in our lineup will be central midfield, but the most important part of our game will be closing down their attackers quickly and not gifting them easy attempts on target. Both teams are heading into this game with very fragile egos (despite… Read more »

Mein Bergkampf

In all honesty, I don’t care who gets picked. Just as long as 25 mins in, the lads aren’t all staring at each other hands on hips, Sanchez wildly barking frustrated orders and Mesut looking like someone just stole his ice cream.

Lars

I agree with the pacy forward line, so if Özil is ill I’d love to see Iwobi moved to a central position. His form has been dipping a bit, so not quite the spark as earlier in the season but for this match it could be the right position for him and a chance to impress.

IamaGoober

I cant wait to get to Anfield on Saturday, but I cant help but think I will see more of the same from Arsenal. Even though Liverpool have been on a serious run of bad form, they still buried Tottenham inside 20 minutes, and as much as I hate to admit it, Spurs are much more solid defensively then we are. Also Liverpool under Klopp have a really good record in the big games, especially this season, and our record this season in the big games, has been so poor: (in no particular order) Liverpool at home: L Chelsea at… Read more »

Campbell's forehead

We need to somehow recreate that Man City performance a couple seasons ago. Though we don’t have Santi to get us out of those tight situations – I can live in hope! Liverpool are in poor form at the moment and are struggling defensively so I really can’t predict how this game is going to go.

David C

no, we need a fast front 3 so we can bypass the mid when LiverPOOP press too high 🙂

Campbell's forehead

You need a confident midfielder with a good pass who can get it into those front 3 first. Hopefully Xhaka steps up for this game

Arsensarmy

Maybe play xhaka with coquelin and play chamberlain in front of them. If Ozil isn’t 100%. Chamberlain is more direct especially off the dribble. Hopefully he can do his defensive duties as well.

tadumtss

Aaaaand we slow-start.

Shkodran Goals

Every single time! We need to start planning to start slowly. Might work better for us than always saying this aaaaaaaaand….

Liam Bradys left peg

As hugely overpaid professionals they surely must be able to be 100% focused and committed to do their jobs to the best of their abilities from the 1st min untill the final whistle, no matter how long the break, whatever the competion, whoever the opposition or whatever time is k.o for 90 or 180 minutes a week !?!?

Dapper dan's feelin sad

So… after our handbrakes been on for about 25minutes and we have given Lfc a couple of free goals we will have something to fall back on in the post game interview.

“We did mention that we should not start slow. We did it this time, but it won’t happen again. Pinky promise!”

Stuck on repeat...

Can’t wait to have football back! But, I must also admit I have no expectations from this game. There’s just too much malaise from the team this season. A win would be great & help at least short term fight off against the issues we face as a club, but a loss will do nothing but heap on more pressure…So I’m guessing we’ll do it the Arsenal way & get a draw that both answers & solves nothing. I’m not AW out, but nor am I AW in. My beef has always & consistently been with that mustached muppet Stan.… Read more »

Liam Bradys left peg

#kroenkeoutnow

Al Gilmore

Im all for a fast start or a committed start. But those are words. We could start fast by pressing high and pushing on only to be caught in a counter attack. Chelsea have started a lot of matches slow but have still been in them after half an hour and then took advantage of the other teams frustration. No matter what kind of start you make, people have to do their jobs properly with the ball and also without the ball. And positiionall certain players must be spot on. Too often both our (so-called) holding midfielders get ahead of… Read more »

Alex

Against Bournemouth, with Iwobi as n°10:
Bournemouth 3-0 Arsenal.
Iwobi leaves.
End result: Bournemouth 3 – 3 Arsenal.

But we all know Liverpool is worse than Bournemouth, so let’s have a go!

BromleyGooner

In theory you have a fantastic point. Just such a shame its plainly not true. Ramsey was mainly playing no 10. Iwobi was mainly playing out wide

Herewegoagain

It was when Coq went off, Ramsey played deeper and we pushed forward with pace from Perez that the game turned. Both Iwobi and Ramsey had been awful up to then (and Bellerin, Mustafi………)

Roger Ramjet

If you applied that to logic to the season it would seem we’ve had a lot of extended breaks.

ClockEndRider

Fast forward to the post match interviews..
Blah blah didn’t show ze mental strength..blah blah played a with a Lee til bit ze handbrake….blah blah started slow.

vicksonthechest

Mods, can I say this guy above me is a fucking disgrace or is it against the comment policy?

HigiHaga

Post Match Interview….. “we had a little bit of slow start and they made us pay for it”….

Some guy

My god are you people miserable. The game hasn’t even started yet and you’re already in defeatist mode.

Liverpool are on pretty terrible run so lets not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

We have a good chance of getting three points so lets stay positive.

Alexstratz

Everybody is in a terrible run until they meet Arsenal. Then we revive their season because we are so generous.

Higihaga

Defeatist mode? It’s not like we both don’t know how this usually ends…Isn’t it so arsenal to get a team on a terrible run firing again. “worst bayern side in ages” they said before we got spanked

vicksonthechest

Arsenal might not have the greatest players but it does have some of the worst fans.

Herewegoagain

Distressingly, this is probably just the game Scousers would have picked to recover from Foxes defeat. A top team in Arsenal who have their own frailties. Leicester won by reverting to last season’s ploy of defending and hitting ball towards a running Vardy. Can we defend?

Zach Mathew

We need to play a slick counter 4 3 3… 4231 just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. Xhaka, Ox Ozil as CMs. With Welbeck Sanchez Perez as rotating attackers. Xhaka needs to connect with Ozil…He was bought for Ozil. Last season he was one of the best “pass into the gaps and start an attack” players out there..and Ozil was one of the best “slink around in the gaps and create a chance” players in Europe…Ox needs to start at CM..make the occasional surge forward and do the dirty b2b work. Elneny, Coq , Giru, Walcott, Monreal, Iwobi can… Read more »

Holyviper

I’m not asking for much. I just want a coupla goals in the first 20 minutes. And maybe… yeah… a smooth 70 minutes after that. Not much.

vicksonthechest

Coq and Xhaka taking turns tripping Coutinho immediately after his first touch. And like true gentlemen, offering a hand to him every time. Monreal gets confused by Mane’s pace, ending up hugging him again and again. Giroud heading Lovren/Matip along with the ball into the net.

soffen

Ars – Liv 3-4
Paris – Ars 1-1
Ars – Che 3-0
sp*- Ars 1-1
mu – Ars 1-1
Ars – Paris 2-2
Mc – Ars 2-1
Che-Ars 3-1
Bay – Ars 5-1

And we know we where very lucky in some of these draws… Hopefully before Liverpool away????

santori

….yet it keeps happening.Quite obviously there’s plenty of room.

Sort it out Wenger.

Matt

Does it really matter? Can t wait for this sorry season to be over. A new, fresh start is needed next season

RedBaron

Cue – A scoreline of 2-0 for Liverpool within first 15 minutes

Dan Hunter

Perez Sanchez Welbeck
Coq Ox Xhaka
Monreal Kosc Mustafi Bellerin
Cech