There’s plenty of stuff on the ‘big baby’, a bit on Xhaka poking the bear and plenty on what a brilliant game of football that was.
Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Xhaka’s ‘bear poke’
The rush to somehow cast Xhaka as the villain and the reason Arsenal didn’t win the game by so many outlets is just bizarre. You hinted at it in your 16 conclusions but still went there anyway. The Xhaka/Trent incident in no way enlivened the crowd or ‘poked the bear’. The crowd were quiet all first half and livened up after Liverpool scored which was a minute or so after the incident. I think that goal had a lot more to do with bringing the crowd in to the game than any little set-to. I think if it was 99% of other players in the league very little would have been made about the incident and zero conclusions drawn from it, but because it is Xhaka people have preconceived bias that they can’t shift from and are waiting for anything to cling on to to try to weave the narrative to their agenda. I’m sure mediawatch can dissect Garth Crooks remarkable team of the week article yet again but reading that only goes to prove the agenda some have with Xhaka. If Casemiro is not under any scrutiny for his 2 reds and 5 yellows this year (leading to 8 games banned) because he’s been a very good player then surely Xhaka deserves to actually be recognised for how good he’s been this year rather than jumping back to create something about nothing.
The good and bad
There a well-known bit where Homer buys a monkey-paw with a curse and a free yogurt. The ancient mystic salesman this through the pros and cons with Homer proclaiming, “That’s good” and “That’s bad” before finally just asking if he can go home.
That is how I feel like going over Arsenal’s performance at Anfield yesterday. We scored two lovely goals. That’s good. We let Liverpool score before halftime. That’s bad. We were still up 2-1 for much of the game. That’s good. We were outplayed in the second half. That’s bad. Ramsdale was immense. That’s good. Liverpool scored the equalizer. That’s bad. We went into Anfield and got a point. That’s good. We dropped two from a two- goal advantage. That’s bad. We still control our own destiny. That’s good. We have no room for dropping points. That’s bad.
Can I go home now?
I’m still mindblown, suffering with anguish and quiet relief of that Liverpool Vs Arsenal game.
How Arsenal failed to win after being so dominant for 40 mins. How Liverpool nearly and should have extinguished our title bid and got there with their experience to make it it all square. They were magnificent for 45 mins. Arteta and his mostly young troops were naive and lacked the know all to put it to bed. This is what is likely to cost us the title. We play great football, don’t have a soft underbelly anymore and can dig in. But that’s not enough on your first go for a title. You need the wherewithal to get the job done and it’s not there at times as very few of the players have the experience of being directly in this position.
We might get lucky and see it through but it grows more challenging with the City juggernaut flowing. Either way I’m absolutely delighted with the turmoil I suffered for 96 mins and after the game. It’s so great to be in this position again rather than dwelling on yet another hammering at Anfield on our way to fight for the Conference League.
Robertson the ‘big baby’
For the first time and probably the only time in my life, I agree with Roy Keane. It wasn’t as bad as it looked. Robertson is a big baby. He approached the lineman and put his hands on him. The lineman reacted with a “take your hands of me” shrug (which many of us have done before). He clearly did not intend to elbow him. If you watch reaction after, he acknowledges the fact that his elbow hit Robertson in the face. Don’t put your hands on the ref, don’t approach the ref. Why is Robertson approaching the ref in that situation? Why do we apply the law correctly in some incidents and don’t apply it at all in some? If people are saying Mitrovic has no reason to be approaching the ref, then Robertson has no reason too. Big baby Robertson!
Yes Dave Tickner, we can all agree that our league cannot be matched. Generally, I’m very sympathetic towards referees so I struggle to use the word incompetence but what else can I call it? Correct me if I’m wrong but Brighton have now received 3 apologies for incorrect calls this season. That’s how it feels. Unmatched in incompetence. For Arsenal, how can the points dropped vs Liverpool feel more important that the points dropped vs Brentford because somebody forgot to do his job. No, I won’t stop talking about it because when you want to take the trophy from the best team to ever in the EPL, you need every point you can get. A team that won the league with 3 digits, a team that still put a 97 point Liverpool in second place.
Even before today’s game, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Arsenal need help. City need to drop points and I can only see that potentially happening vs Brighton or Everton. Let’s hope the rest of the league would rather see this trophy at Arsenal than at City because we need all the help we can get.
READ MORE: 16 Conclusions on Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Our League undefeated as Anfield witnesses Peak Barclays
Having seen the Robertson incident with the linesman in the Liverpool vs Arsenal game, we are probably going to see the referee punished for Robertson getting in his face and saying whatever he said. Truthfully, Liverpool or the FA (If they are bothered to intervene) should make Robertson come and out and say what he said to the referee given he was the one who approached somewhat aggressively towards the linesman in the first place…
If players are allowed to push and intimidate referees, then fair play to the linesman for standing up to himself. From the replay of the incident, it seemed like a defensive elbow to push him away with Robertson reacting as if someone tried to murder him. Yes, the refereeing standards have been poor recently, particularly in the Brighton vs Tottenham game where Brighton should have clearly had a penalty when Mitoma’s foot got stamped on, and sometimes players are in the heat of the moment. However, there is absolutely, NO excuse for some of the recent behavior from some footballers. Mitrovic can’t be pushing a referee and shouting in his face, and Robertson has some bloody nerve to be playing the victim by getting so close to the referee initially. I remember Ronaldo also pushed the referee in a match vs Barcelona in 2017 or 2018 when playing for Madrid and his status is the reason he didn’t receive a proper punishment.
Let’s face it, we love football and its great entertainment, but some footballers nowadays are a complete embarrassment as men compared to previous years and clearly have no respect for anyone but themselves. Great example for younger kids!
No need for a long rant from me here. Simply this! Why’s Andy Robertson holding his chin if (as Geoff Shreeves hears him say going up the tunnel at half-time) he was elbowed in the throat? Embarrassing. Messing with a man’s livelihood because things aren’t going your way. Pathetic.
Were Man City favourites all along?
What a ridiculous game. Arsenal were simply outstanding for the first half. Liverpool couldn’t live with us and were being played off the park. The only thing Liverpool wanted was to turn it in to a fight, make it physical because they couldn’t outplay us. It felt like a typical top team going to a battling mid table side who needed something to get them going. From an Arsenal stand point I think the ref let them do this, I think the crowd and occasion got to him because for about 50-60 minutes he barely gave Arsenal a thing but Liverpool got every decision they wanted. They say at Anfield it is like playing 12 men but they usually mean the crowd. I don’t expect any Liverpool fan to see it that way and thankfully Tierney didn’t make any big decision to decide the match.
In the end, Ramsdale has made 3 terrific saves to get us what could be a valuable point whilst Arsenal missed some great opportunities on the counter attack to add the 3rd. Even in the last seconds there was a simple ball to play Saka in 1v1 to win it.
The interesting thing with the title race to all those who were seeing an 8 point lead and saying it is Arsenal’s to lose it was never that simple. As most people realise now all it took was 1 draw for Arsenal and the title is now completely in Man City’s hands. Win their game in hand and beat us and they can win the title in all likelihood with their GD.
So are City now favourites? Because if they are and all it took was an Arsenal draw away at Anfield, who beat City at Anfield and have only lost once in the league there all season, if that is all it took to make City favourites then perhaps they should have been favourites all along?
It was a fantastic game, hugely proud of the Arsenal team. It has felt for a while like the result at the Etihad will decide the title and this changes nothing.
Spurs and Arsenal fans please be quiet about VAR now, yes you were screwed previously, now you benefit. The utter incompetence means sometimes it will go for you, sometimes it wont. Unless you are Wolves or Brighton in that case yea, you are f**cked.
As a United fan we have had scandalous decisions in our favor and just as scandalous ones against us, it’s ineptitude exposed by technology, nothing sinister. Surely with the level of intelligence our referees show if they were biased they would f**k it up.
Matt NY (MUFC)
Easter weekend thoughts
Some random thoughts, in no particular order, from the Easter weekend:
- Spurs v Brighton. To more adequately reflect the match official’s role in this game, they should’ve been dressed in tricorn hats, with scarves across their faces, whilst pointing flintlock pistols at the Brighton team and shouting “Stand and deliver!” shouldn’t they?
- Congratulations Burnley. Here’s hoping your owners back the manager for next season.
- City are blessed in having a young, world-class striker to call on. His name is Julian Alvarez. What is it with football where you get outstanding talent like his, and who would almost certainly be starting every game for pretty much any other PL team but doesn’t get the same chance at City because he’s behind a player who is only afraid of s*dding kryptonite. (See Gabriel Jesus).
- If anybody thought that Ed QTR’s previous mails might’ve been overly long, the next one is going to make Homer’s Iliad look like a five-line limerick isn’t it?
- How long can Moyes stretch out the torture for West Ham fans?
- Todd Boehly: “Hey guys. I just been talkin’ to that there Jimmy Corden from the Late Late Show? And dang if he didn’t say we should hire some guy called Frankie Lamps. Now you can kiss my ass with the county clerk but I think that’s the rootinest, shootinest….” Yeah. No. OK. Enough with the stereotyping, but you get the idea. Seriously though. WTF?
- Likewise Leicester who, apparently, are perfectly seriously considering hiring Jesse Marsch. On a reported five-year contract, no less! What are the owners aiming for? To have the King power on matchday emptier than Katie Price’s head? I wouldn’t trust the Chelsea and Leicester owners to run a hot f*cking bath at this point.
- Wanting Liverpool to win makes me feel dirtier than Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, but blimey, what a game that was! It had everything. Genuinely great to watch.
- Still think it’s Arsenal’s year. I wrote in a while ago with the view that this would be the case but that it would be remarkably close. Haven’t seen anything yet to suggest otherwise. Squeaky-bum time for both Arsenal and City, nonetheless.
- Oh, and ‘Neil, normally Glasgow.’ For the avoidance of doubt my friend, the Glasgow derby really isn’t ‘one of the world’s biggest.’ It most certainly is, however, for those that think it perfectly normal to wave two types of national flags (neither of which, ironically enough, are Scottish), whilst chanting outdated and pathetic sectarian nonsense at each other. Boring because it’s both a stunningly lop-sided two horse race every single s*dding year without exception, and also because the religious hate from both sides is tedious beyond belief by anybody else watching it.
Mark (Oh dear. Point 10 is going to put me on the naughty step for ages isn’t it? (Sigh)). MCFC.
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