Liverpool Preview: In The Middle Of Difficulty Lies Opportunity

Liverpool arrive at The Emirates possibly in their best form of the season having taken 17 out of 21 possible points from their last seven games. Arsenal meanwhile are licking their wounds; the manager lambasted by sections of the ‘support’, chastised by the media for not buying, the players told that a team which is third in the division might well be relegation fodder come the end of May. OK, the last one is an exaggeration but not much of one.

Little joy could be gleaned from the injury bulletin posted by Arsene with Eduardo not making tonight, instead only likely to take the field again in Portugal next week. At least he has no fresh worries furrowing his already well-ploughed brow in this area.

Not so elsewhere and the signs are that, at long last, the straw on the media camel’s back is close to breaking point as far Wenger is concerned. Other managers have routinely banned the media, refusing to give interviews for perceived slights substantially less than those barbs aimed at the Frenchman.

Daily Telegraph hacks invented the story that Thomas Sorensen was a transfer window target, emphatically denied by the Wenger

Back to tonight. Eduardo’s absence hampers Wenger’s choices; Bendtner is apparently obviously not fit, the injury situation such that the Dane seems to have returned too quickly, unable to run freely. It is reminiscent of many who return to fitness at Arsenal although one can only hope that the gentle easing back in will not cause any recurrence, ruling Bendtner out for another period.

Defensively, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown both highlighted the failings of the performances against Manchester United and Chelsea, rather more ratonally than Ian Wright who is apparently fearful that the second leg of the Champions League clash with Porto will spell the end of Arsenal’s season. I do not think I am wrong but the away trip has yet to take place which does rather make it seem that Wright’s glass is indeed half-empty. In pieces. On the floor. Contents strewn everywhere causing others to slip on the misery.

Much is being made that Liverpool can be two points behind Arsenal if they win this evening. A small point, overlooked, is that so will Manchester City be if they win their games in hand, no matter how unimpressive their performances. Liverpool travel to Eastlands this weekend which may well be more decisive in the race for fourth place.

Third should not be the target for the remainder of the season nor should we believe the pundits opinions. The players know the hole they have dug themselves into; tantalisingly, some kind soul left a ladder close to the edge so that they can reach it if they have the necessary belief in themselves and an ample smattering of good fortune from teams facing those above. Arsenal has always talked a good game under Wenger. Arshavin and Clichy continue that vein but both are realistic in their appraisal of the current situation.

The left back is not having the easiest of returns to the side, a tough run in which he has not yet shaken the cobwebs free to the extent that there are calls for him to be replaced. No doubt they will be wanting him reinstated if Traore has a poor match; some people want their cake, to eat it and go back for seconds. I suspect that Wenger is going to be fielding the side, more or less, which started at Stamford Bridge; his options for change are limited which is why I would expect him to go with, essentially the choice is whether Eboue comes in for Sagna and who to choose from Walcott, Rosicky and Nasri.

Personally, I like all three of the midfield choices but Rosicky has more unpredictability than the other two whilst Walcott has the pace to unsettle Liverpool, provided he gets the service:

Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy; Fabregas, Song, Diaby; Walcott, Arshavin, Rosicky

Liverpool are obdurate in defence and did well against Everton last weekend although they were not pushed hard in that respect. No doubt that they will have the idea that beating Arsenal is entirely feasible using the tactics employed by United and Chelsea; whether they have the personnel capable of doing so is another matter.

It has been a while since we beat them at home, a betting man would not be far from placing a wager on a 1 – 1 draw which has been the outcome in recent years. A win for Arsenal is essential to keep pressure on the top two, ensuring that they know the race is not over. It will not be if there is a draw or even defeat tonight, provided the gap to first does not widen. A win will see a surge of confidence through the side and ease the pressure from below.

Enjoy the match wherever you watch it. ’til Tomorrow.

555 thoughts on “Liverpool Preview: In The Middle Of Difficulty Lies Opportunity

  1. Finsburyparker says:







  2. Finsburyparker says:










  3. Jimmyd says:

    What I am saying Strings, is that because you come on here and slag Americans off for jokes many perceive you to be a less than positve influence on the topic of Arsenal regardless of your actual stand point.

  4. Finsburyparker says:

    ‘Enjoy the journey home.’

  5. Matty Boy says:

    Jimmyd – ‘A supporter is a person who from the minute they come to the realisation that The Arsenal way is the only way, bring a positive influence to both the club and the fellow fans’.

    That’s a good point Jimmyd, if only that were the case.

  6. Jimmyd says:

    and therefore are not likely to take you view point seriously.

  7. Stringfellow Hawke says:

    well that would be a another notch on their ignorance bedpost then

    sometime… seeing the wood from the trees… is a very hard task when sitting on a high horse

    big problem for some

  8. Stringfellow Hawke says:

    a blog is not the real world, its a make belief world that is usually full of loners and losers

    who like to think they are important and feel needed and wanted

    when somebody steps in and is the real deal, and upsets the apple cart…. etc etc

  9. Stringfellow Hawke says:

    i’m a straight shooter, i say it how i see it

    fuck feelings.. we are all make belief to some extent

    therefore, wear extra make belive padding if you cannot handle some of the banter.

    to question my loyalty to the manager, considering the content of my blog, beggars belief.. and proves how ignorant and short sighted twisted folk can be.

    glorious, fully evidence example right here right now.

  10. Jimmyd says:

    Oh! the irony, ‘repetitive crap’ this is exactly what many feel about some of the sh*t that you come up with.

    ‘High horse’ says the man with a very obviously superiority complex, I do this, I do that. Meaning look at me I am the uber fan so what? It’s a fact of life that not every supporter can get to the games and have varying levels of dedicaiton to the cause but in my eyes support is support. End of.

  11. Stringfellow Hawke says:

    i see i rattled your cage.

    but lets go back, please explain why you believe i am not pro-wenger

    or admit you fucked up… cos by now i am sure you have gleened my blog and realise just what a right fucking wanker you look 😆

  12. Jimmyd says:

    more tickled actually.

    You launched into a massive tirade about apple carts and the such, I seem to remember some sort of cowboy reference, real world this and are you also applying for the apprentice; ‘real deal’ indeed.

    Your arrogance is palpable.

    ‘Pro-wenger’ was possibly the wrong choice of words but all you seem to do is constantly berated people and do not really ingage with the conversation about the game.

    But hey, each to their own. I am off as I have a real job to go to in the morning.

  13. MDGunner says:

    DAVE is in his cave trying to make some excuse for the Times report below:

    John Terry makes his exit after errors cost Chelsea the match at Everton

    Chelsea jumped to the defence of John Terry last night after the deposed England captain’s blunders had cost his team vital points in the Barclays Premier League title race.

    Louis Saha twice took advantage of errors by Terry to give Manchester United, the French striker’s former club, a huge helping hand as Everton came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 at Goodison Park.

  14. Finsburyparker says:

    Arsenal Fans,
    when they come out of the Stadium at the beginning of their journey home sing:


    (And other, slightly more elaborate songs).

    Especially after a win.

    I’d have thought, that an Arsenal Fan who’d been to a game would know that.

    Night all.

  15. Finsburyparker says:

    Usually, that’s called a ‘set up’.

    : )

  16. lagooner says:

    Stringfellow Hawke

    I’m an English supporter of Arsenal who lives in the United States. Didn’t you realize that bashing people from another country is dated by now. Most of the world has moved on…maybe you should too.

    On another note, for someone with their own blog, you spend an awful lot of time on this site. I guess those ‘3 comments’ or ‘no comments’ inr response to your postings aren’t taking too much of your time up.

    Please note that I’m not questioning your credentials as Arsenal fan, as it’s clear you’re a firm supporter.

  17. Moda says:

    Big win.We can be on a winning run from now on. The battle has just began.

    ‘The great’ unbrazilian Brazilian has now found his fitting place, the bench. If Diaby is fit he plays. If not, bring in Eastmond instead of the joker.

  18. Nasir Jones-Nasri says:

    Smallfellow Cawke,

    Who’s the sad loner? You’re the one who came back to a blog you said was full of idiots Sunday. F*ck off you already you delusional mong.

  19. ZimPaul says:

    Happy, happy … H-A-P-P-Y …

    If I is not mistaken Me-Lord Chelscum and Manbigot ‘av to play each ‘uver and hence if we is 6 points behind now, one of the top two ‘as to drop at least a couple more points like, an’ are 4 points adrift (if we win that weekend, know wot I mean?).

    Um, I am trying my special cockney accent above for Stringy’s benefit, as he seems to be the complete ‘name-dropping’ arsehole tee hee and he doesn’t like foreigners.

    Anyways, I would say with …. is it 12 games … to go … 4 points is ‘shooting distance’.

    Nana nananana hey hey-ey goodbye Nana

  20. ZimPaul says:

    The battle to come is psychological, I am certain. Can we do it? It’s a head game, and if we know we can, we will. One game at a time now. If we keep winning chelsea and manu will crack.

  21. ZimPaul says:

    Wenger would have made a great cricket coach.

  22. Moda says:


    Agree, its mental but we can do it if Arsene just put away his gentle manner and talk straight. Manu and Chelsea will soon commit suicides. Chelsea still need to go to Anfield, WHL and Old Trafford; definitely, they will drop more than six points.

    We just have to win against Stoke, Hull, Birmingham and at WHL. Not easy but if the players are pushed they can do it. Why not, RvP may come and support at the tail end of the run in. If Diaby continues to stay fit, that will be another bonus. We can still do it.

  23. ZimPaul says:

    Days like this always remind me of Frank, Consols, FunG, Passenal, Pol, Limpar, Ole G, Brady Foot, OOU (oofus), Matty, Maria, Queen, Muppet, Nasri, Ateeb, Paul N, Shotta, Finsbury – hell I can’t remember everyone but you all know who you are. Greetings! A country mile Frank.

  24. chamakh says:

    to top it all,i got my ticket for the stoke game through the post yesterday.come on you goonerrrrs

  25. OneOfUs says:

    What does this Stringfellow Hawke guy have to do to get moderated, YW?

  26. Firstlady says:

    Could fairy tales be made of sweeter stuff!!!We won and the two twat teams lost /drew. I am in seventh heaven. The gods were on our side, we even got away with a blatant handball, babel’s woodwork shot. Almunia was on his A-game tonight, so was Gallas(phew!that tackle in our box), Clichy is picking himself up again. Diaby oh diaby. Bendter was great despite him being alittle “short”. he assisted the assist to the goal. Rosicky, I love him, he cld have scored. Hope Arsh and Nasri arent too badly injured. We started alittle slower and played with patience despite the boring boring Liverpool.

    I love this team!!!!

  27. Maria says:

    How many goals has Diaby scored now?????

  28. perrygroves says:


    Stringvest is a complete moron. Ignore him and he’ll go away. He writes his own blog too. Hahahahaha.

  29. perrygroves says:

    Cesc was outside the box and there wouldn’t have been time to take another free-kick. We got away with nothing.

  30. Maria says:

    The Chavs don’t like it up nouf no?? loooool

  31. goonerandy says:

    I control aside from a short spell after we scored. We seemed much more solid. Diaby/Song/Cesc is such a good midfield combination.

  32. Arseman says:

    DIABBBBY…….really is in the form of his life…gotta love the guy…he looks like a gentle giant….untill he gets the ball…then its game on…

  33. no7 says:

    did ancelotti really not show up for the press conference???

  34. Firstlady says:

    Arseman and the way he stretches his legs to get to balls first thought to be out of his reach!!!!

  35. Firstlady says:

    I wonder how le groan is fairing today.I am guessing they have jumped ship again?

  36. lagooner says:

    Almunia’s getting credit for the save, but where the hell did he find the punched clearance to nearly the halfway line? I think Reina did it in the last match against us, so maybe we’ll see more of these from Al in weeks to come.

  37. no7 says:

    what is crucial that we focus on one game on at a time.

    our remaining fixtures are not as tricky as chelsea and man u’s.

    they have to play one another, they have to play 4 out of these 5: liverpool, villa and everton, spurs and man city.

    we still have to play spurs and man city.

    of course any game would be tough but when i look at the fixtures, i know the teams i can rely on to hurt them are liverpool, villa, everton, spurs and man city.

    results against the rare of the big 4 rarely matter. this season, we have 6 points from that.

    is it a sign?

  38. Arseman says:

    @firstlady….a couple of our first team seem like androids….TV and diaby…..

  39. Poliziano says:

    I’m glad to see the funereal atmosphere has dissipated on here. One more day like yesterday, and we’ll be in touching distance of the top of the table. Chelsea and man utd will drop plenty of points, no doubt about that. Weekends when they both pick up three points will be the exception rather than the rule for the rest of the season. It’s up to us to ensure we don’t drop by chance what they will drop by necessity. Everything is in our hands.

    We wanted to be in peak form for the last four games. That would have guaranteed us twelve points. Instead, we have suffered our worst run of form this season, and we had to be content with four. The best reaction to the games against Chelsea and man utd is to forget about them. They tell us nothing about the relative ability of Arsenal and the assorted scum. We are now at least back to doing what we do best: winning. Let’s keep it up.

  40. Aman says:

    We just wanted it more.
    A bit scrappy but the boys did it.
    Diaby was immense.
    Put me in a nice, chilled mood afterwards.

    Doomers & Gloomers are like petulant farts…they eventually blow away.

    Next up: Porto (away)


  41. Firstlady says:

    “nothing plus nothing equals to NOTHING.” Wenger is the man

  42. ZimPaul says:

    C’mon you DOOMERS!!! You can do it!!!

    Poor little fellas, gotta feel sorry for them, give them some encouragement.

  43. ZimPaul says:

    OK, that’s enough encouragement.

    Back to sewer for you lot, off you go now, be good lads.

  44. ZimPaul says:

    And take Dave with to keep you company, he’s a LAUGH A MINUTE

  45. ZimPaul says:

    an act of kindness … I propose that the board build a home for doomers, preferably under the Emirates. It might resemble an 18th century asylum but should have prams with toys for them to throw out.

  46. Luke says:

    Walcott could have kept the ball at the corner flag in the last min of stoppage time. Instead, he hit a meaningless ball towards goal and from there, Liverpool set off on a last ditch attack. Costed us 1 yellow card for Fabregas, nearly another yellow card for Fabregas handball (=red card) and nearly a penalty equaliser for Liverpool with last kick of the game if Howard Webb had seen Fab’s handball and judge it to be inside the penalty area.

    I really wish Walcott could grow up faster. We need him badly to regain his confidence and contribute to our run in to the title.

  47. FunGunner says:

    @ Matty Boy at 12:34am
    Absolutely right! So good to see those guys coming good.

    @ Firstlady
    Could fairy tales be made of sweeter stuff!!!We won and the two twat teams lost /drew.

    Ha ha ha – I couldn’t have put it better myself!

    we even got away with a blatant handball
    I’m going to disagree with you there, though – I think Cesc was wiping his forehead with his sleeve – the hand goes up before the ball is struck.

    Great post at 9:32am, Pz!


    I agree with Perry Groves. DNFTT

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