They keep saying that we haven’t played any big teams yet. The same people who talk about the strength of the league and how there are no easy games are suggesting that the points we get are somehow easier gained than those of our rivals. What is a big team? Should we win today, it would be hard to imagine our old friend Alan Hansen saying that Liverpool are not a big team but some will. There will be those who move the goal posts and say that we must beat Chelsea and/or the Manchester clubs before we’re “real contenders”. The fact is it doesn’t matter how highly any outsider rates our chances. What does matter is that we’re top of the league after this weekend – and every weekend.
I believe that it’s up to Arsenal who wins this game and Liverpool will prove a good yardstick for how far we’ve come. They have won three out of their last four games with the most recent being an impressive win against West Brom. With every second pundit being an ex-Scouser, their strike-force and three-at-the-back shape have been analysed to death so there really isn’t much left to say. They’re dangerous in attack but 2-2 away draws against Swansea and Newcastle suggest that there are gaps to be exploited. If Arsenal go out and play at close to 100%, we’ll see Szczesny enjoy a comfortable afternoon. Our midfield is more than capable of controlling the game and creating chances for Giroud to finish. It’s up to The Arsenal.
The Arsenal back five will more than likely be the usuals upon whom we’ve come to rely. I suggested that Vermaelen should start ahead of Mertesacker during the week but I’m putting that down as a moment of weakness. Per will start and rightly so. Arteta, Ramsey, Santi and Özil are also likely starters so the big question is over the right wing. Jack has played well there, in my opinion, and I think he might start ahead of Rosicky — complete guesswork, of course.
Whatever has been said about the atmosphere in the stadium recently, I have no doubt that it will be electric today. Every player and fan is desperate for this win so let’s hope our boys can do it.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the game.
Up the Arsenal!