Liverpool v Arsenal: Two teams in transition

With both Arsenal and Liverpool in transition expect a hard-fought, high-energy game with plenty of skill errors.

So the transfer window has closed and football is again the focus as our boys prepare for a tough trip at Anfield.

I was disappointed and a little surprised with Arsenal’s lack of signings. We are a team in transition at the moment and with Song leaving and Sahin heading to Liverpool, I expected a midfield replacement of some sort. When Michael Essien became linked with a loan move I was optimistic, yet there’s little evidence to suggest we were every really interested in the first place.

Plenty of people will be disheartened going into the Liverpool game. They will see Sahin’s place in the opposition’s team as a symbol of our failure to act decisively and strengthen the team. They will see the Theo Walcott contract situation and be reminded of Robin van Persie or Mathieu Flamini.

To those people I would say: maintain your patience, however hard it is. This is a team in transition, with a fresh outlook and fresh ideas. It will take a little while to get right.

Today’s game should be thrilling because both sides are far from the finished product. Liverpool are looking to play possession football under Brendan Rodgers and gave Manchester City a fright last week. It will be interesting to see how they combat our boys, the masters of possession football, on their home turf.

Our difficulties at the moment are obvious. We look solid and pragmatic in defence but badly need a goal, as much to banish the van Persie demon as to kick-start our season. Podolski and Giroud both looked bright last week and with every new day on the training ground together should improve their relationship.

In terms of player availability Laurent Koscielny will be back — although I hardly expect him to start — while Wojciech Szczesny is a decent chance of resuming his place in goals. He faces a late fitness test.

The manager has the option of playing an unchanged line-up from last week. I expect the defensive unit — which has functioned well with guidance from midfield from the irreplaceable Mikel Arteta — to keep their places. Further afield I see no reason why Cazorla and Diaby should be replaced, while I expect Walcott to come in for Gervinho after the Ivorian’s rather chaotic performance at Stoke.

I think it is imperative that Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla all start again. The more minutes they can get on the pitch together the more chance it gives our attack to improve. It’s not rocket science but the sooner this happens the better.

This match will give a good indication of where we are at in this early stage of the season. So far we have completely dominated two of the least offensive sides in the competition but failed to score. Today we will play a team that will ask us more questions at the back. Will it offer us more space to operate in when going forward?

Playing at Anfield is always a test and with both sides still in the process of defining their style I expect a hard-fought, high-energy game with plenty of skill errors. It could be a cracker.

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21 Responses to “Liverpool v Arsenal: Two teams in transition”

  1. Zaidovski
    September 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Patience you ask from the fans?
    Team is in transition you say?

    For 7 years we have been hearing the same excuse from Arsene !
    Youth team. Give them time. And what’s the result?
    Well.
    11 useless bench warmers like alumina, chamakh, jenkinson, Gibbs, Ramsy, Diaby, NB, vela, squilacci, djouru and so on.
    Players no club wants.
    Over rated. Hyped up. Over paid. Useless every week !!

    7 years Arsene promises glory yet buys such rubbish while selling the best every year to other clubs that win things !

    How many more games does Ramsy need to convince the world he is rubbish !

    Patience you ask ?
    Are you blind.
    True arsenal fans have been patient enough dear boy !
    It’s time you wake up and realise Arsene is talented at buying garbage.
    No one dares mention the above names that are all rubbish.

    Which sane manager keeps such garbage players for so many years ???

  2. Andrew Weber
    September 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Hey Zaidovski. Thanks for commenting.

    I’m not sure if you’re a regular reader but the “patience” comment was written very much in consistency to previous posts, particularly The Arsenal Philosophy.

    Have a read if you like and let me know what you think.

  3. BrisVegas Gooner
    September 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    It will be an open match! Definitely some goals to be scored. Hopefully its our boys!

    I do think Gervinho and Walcott should start with Giroud. We should attack Kelly on the right. He will struggle to keep up with with Gervinho me thinks.

  4. Harki
    September 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Well said Andrew. 100% spot on. we are operating within our means and what we have archived is definitely amazing to be where we are even though our trophy cabinet is quite empty at the moment. we will win something this year without a doubt as long as our true Arsenal supporters keeps on believing in the team. I would definitely want Arsene to recruit more quality players, but what we have now is actually good enough to compete with the best. Come On You Gunners!!!!
    Harki

  5. GunnerBoss
    September 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Well, here’s hoping Walcott starts as centre forward against Liverpool. My wish has finally come thru in this area. He and Arshavin are hopeless on the wings with the way we play. Arshavin just captained Russia magnificently during the Euro’s, it is amazing we do not see what he have. Why not play him in front of Arteta and alongside Cazorla in the midfield? The rest of the squad will sort itself out naturally……..

    My ONLY problem right now in the squad is that the only people who can boast to be near Cazorla’s footballing level(Arshavin, Rosicky, Wilshere and Arteta only) are NEVER going to be played in midfield by our coach anytime soon. Let him surprise me so we pick up maximum points against the reds.

    By midfield, I meant attacking midfield. Coquelin is my pick for defensive midfield and not Arteta. But, I would not mind Arteta playing there so that Arshavin, Rosicky or Wilshere could help Cazorla with strike support.

    I rate Wilshere cos he has played for us at the highest level against Barca at home, when we won. But, can we remember the midfield that brought about the Arshavin goal? It was Fabregas as defensive midfield(What a waste of talent), Nasri and Arshavin. This was why we held and won the almighty barca against all odds. Walcott scores good counter attacking goals, we should definitely try him up-front this season.

  6. Sammy Mwandawiro
    September 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Good one, really hope the Ox starts on the right wing to neutralize the burden on Carl. Glen Johnson and sterling won’t make it easy for him.

  7. Terry
    September 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I think you are right Andrew, the team will be pretty much the same as last week but Theo in for Gervinho. I agree with Gunner boss about Walcott being better in a more central position. I am hoping that Arshavin can get some game time and rediscover his form. I suspect that Ox-C will be on the bench but hope he gets a run in midfield. It will be an interesting match up. I still don’t rate Liverpool apart from Suarez. The rest of them look ordinary. Really hope we can finally click today.

  8. Angrygooner
    September 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Hi all.

    REMINDER………….The reason we won here last year now plies his trade for Man Utd.

    Not Happy.

  9. Andrew Weber
    September 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    @ Terry – Suarez is always a danger. It’s annoying because he’s such a knobhead. Fantastic player though.

    I’d love Sahin to start and Diaby and Arteta to absolutely dominate the midfield. It’d be satisfying.

  10. BrisVegas Gooner
    September 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    How is Walcott better in the middle? He hasn’t played in the middle for a long time! He had one game where he did drift in the middle last year where he did score but I seriously think he will get bullied there by Skrtel and Carragher judging by how left backs usually take the ball off him using their strength.

  11. lorenzo
    September 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    do you realize that the very players arsene was asking us to bepatient with are the ones he has tried flogging off to no avail? we couldnt even get squilacci off the books he played 9mins last season, even stoke wouldn’t be that wasteful. i think wenger is getting his revenge on the board by appearing to have arsenals’ best interest at heart while ensuring they never quite get there, if not ,explain to me how a man who went unbeaten in the EPL can not win the carling cup in 7 attempts?
    how you lose your two best players and dont replace them, much less improve your squad? i’ve lost patience with wenger but at the moment the only person who can take his place needs more money than the miserly arsenal board can spare.

  12. Ronnie
    September 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    If we don’t want Jenkinson to be marinated and skewered by Raheem, then we must start with the Ox to help him along the right flank,cos either of Gervinho and Theo will grossly expose him due to their lack of defensive qualities.

  13. darragh
    September 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Walcott on the bench today. The Ox looks like he is starting.

  14. dennis10
    September 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    I hope someone breaks Suarez leg for good. That’ll be justice. Despicable little cunt. Btw, lovely goal from podolski. Diaby looking good too.

  15. dennis10
    September 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Nicely worked goal from cazorla.

  16. Retsub
    September 3, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Well done lads great performance

    Hats off to all of them but a few special mentions
    Mannone
    Diaby
    Arteta

  17. Terry
    September 3, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    Diaby is like a new signing!
    Giroud still not looking up to it. Vermaelen and Arteta were both great and going forward Gibbs was excellent. Of the mark at last.

  18. Andrew Weber
    September 3, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Looks like the image I chose for today’s post was inspired. Diaby was imperious.

    What better way to answer the Robin van Persie questions than with two goals from the new signings. Still yet to concede.

    A perfect result.

  19. voley_gun
    September 3, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    Wow finally goals from the new recruits.What a way to start a goal scoring campaign for the season.Diaby looked too good today ,probably this guy is getting advice from our AFCB Terry it seems.His improvement is drastic in this game.Giroud looks more desperate to get his first, and someone has to tell this guy to be a little patient infront of goal.For me this guy will come really really good. His linkup play is getting better and better.

    Vito Mannone was a little scary when he went up to the balls above his head but did really good on preventing long range strikes.Jenkinson is slowly keeping us away from memories of Sagna .

    Thanks to Arsene for starting OX to kick start the season with goals.His presence is immense.Now he might have figured the winning combination or formation.Sitting up in our own turf after 2 goals looked good but failing to punish them on counter and giving them the ball back looks a bit worried as liverpool would have punished us.Also thanks to referee for not conceding penalties.

  20. voley_gun
    September 3, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Diaby had a midas touch in today’s game.At one stage liverpool players looked uncertain to catch him on tackle and as usual unpredictable on the run.

  21. voley_gun
    September 3, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    Hey Andy , sorry for getting little superstitious . Could you please put up a winning Giroud image for the next match day’s post. Time to turn on giroud now.

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