Unai Emery criticised for ‘naive’ tactics against Liverpool as Arsenal boss told he ‘can’t play a back four with David Luiz’

Tony Cascarino believes Unai Emery ‘got his tactics all wrong’ against Liverpool and claims Arsenal are still a long way off challenging for the Premier League title.

After winning their opening two games of the season, the Gunners slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Anfield with Mohamed Salah producing a sparkling display for the hosts.

GettyImages 1169965005 - Unai Emery criticised for ‘naive’ tactics against Liverpool as Arsenal boss told he ‘can’t play a back four with David Luiz’
Mo Salah scored twice as Liverpool eased to victory over Arsenal on Saturday
Getty Images – Getty

Despite the scoreline, Emery insisted his side had ‘reduced the distance to Liverpool’ but Cascarino insists Arsenal still have lots of work to do if they are to threaten Jurgen Klopp’s men and Manchester City at the top of the table.

“Arsenal have improved under Unai Emery but tactically he got it all wrong against Liverpool on Saturday,” wrote Cascarino in his Times column.

“Firstly, if you don’t know that Liverpool’s full backs are a threat then you’ve been living on the moon for the past year.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson had so much time on the ball. Secondly, Roberto Firmino must have dropped into midfield 20 or 30 times and there was no one taking responsibility for picking him up.

“He’s so vital for Liverpool, he must be shackled to stop them. And finally I don’t think you can play a back four with David Luiz — watching him one-on-one with Mohamed Salah was laughable.

“Emery spent £135 million this summer and they may be better but still looked naive and limited in terms of shape and system. They are still a long way off the top two.”

David Luiz, however, is confident Arsenal will soon challenge for the title.

The defender, who gave away a penalty and was run ragged by Salah, said there were plenty of positives to take away from Anfield.

“There is frustration always but I think you also have to be intelligent and mature to understand we did a lot of good things and we could have scored two or three goals before they did,” he said.

“It is always difficult to play there. Not many teams will go there and get points. I think you have to be clever to take the positive things and think about the future.

“This club has the potential to shine like it has shone in the past. We have a lot of talent, we have players with a lot of quality.

“Football is about the end not the beginning and we are going to have to try to fight to the end.”

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