Liverpool Preview: Compare & Contrast This Summer’s Activity

Before we get started on the blog today, you will have seen much in recent weeks about releasing official documents regarding the Hillsborough Disaster. There is an e-petition to obtain full disclosure of all government documents relating to the tragic events of April 1989. Please sign the e-petition here but make sure that you are eligible to do so. Normally such matters are restricted to British Citizens, Subjects or Residents.

Liverpool arrive at The Emirates today, the first Premier League home fixture of the season. The squad faces its first test of the season. Or was that on Tuesday? What constitutes a test? Arsenal face so many over the course of a season that I struggle to remember the definition.

It has been a different first week of the season to the one expected. Few foresaw consecutive clean sheets or a petrified Theo Walcott meeting a cross – a cross, of all things! – on the edge of the six yard box to score the only goal in two games. And nobody contemplated Matt Lawton concocting an open love letter to Arsène in the Daily Heil

Everyone foresaw UEFA (when did they stop being EUFA?) disciplinary action once Sky showed Arsène talking to Boro talking to Pat. A fine will be his punishment, no doubt, with a warning of worse to come if he transgresses again. The Gnomes could help matters if they stopped employing incompetents as referees but that is another debate.

Today’s opponents offer a compare and contrast scenario. In Liverpool, we see a squad that is being built quickly, decisively. Whether it is efficiently is open to debate but regaining their top four slot was the driver for Dalglish spending heavily this summer. Not all of the new signings were players that Arsenal wanted or needed. We might argue that Enrique was one whom we could have signed but Charlie Adam, as good as his range of passing might be, is too ponderous in movement to fit in with Arsenal’s style.

It is this contrast which has driven some to distraction. Whilst we might claim that Liverpool paid over the odds for the likes of Henderson or Downing, if they finish in the top four that argument is spurious. The value of a player is that which someone is prepared to pay. Crucial to all of this is that Liverpool had fallen from grace, requiring the investment to catch the leading pack. They needed decisive action, they took it. Now they wait for the season to unfurl and for history’s judgement.

Arsenal might have done things differently, been pro-active, but were stalled to some extent by Cesc and Nasri. When speaking earlier in the summer of how busy times will be, Wenger and Gazidis were guilty of misjudging the mood of their audiences. It was not departures demanded as such, arrivals were more important. Tension is building as demands for new signings have not been sated.

It is not as though they have not tried. Valencia informed the world that Wenger had dithered, a week or so before Chelsea turned up with a new bid of £29m for Juan Mata. Cynical I may be but it is hard to believe that they did not know of Chelsea’s interest. Despite this, the clamour’s crescendo will come in the next ten days or so.

So to this lunchtime. Injuries and suspensions have hit the squad hard. The problems are exacerbated by self-inflicted wounds. Whilst not defending Gervinho, you could understand his actions having been mauled and hauled by 1930s throwback, Joey Barton. Alex Song? Malice and retribution are unprofessional. Surely he knows in a TV dominated era, cameras will catch his actions in all their g(l)ory? Even Paul Davis was chastised thirty years ago when grainy images caught his hook to Glenn Cockerill’s jaw, told he was stupid in a TV dominated age.

Song never considered the implications of his actions, Arsenal pay the price for his stupidity.

It earns Emmanuel Frimpong his chance. He had a busy time on the pitch against Udinese, his playing style more akin to the energetic Flamini than the languid Song. Tomas Rosicky’s absence truly underlines the folly of Song’s actions. Arsène’s dilemma is whether to compensate for the inexperience in the centre of the pitch with numbers or in attacking options.

Increasingly, the likelihood is that any deal for Samir Nasri will have to wait until after tomorrow’s match, his ‘sickness’ now cured. Being a professional, you expect him to perform at the height of his powers. It is a perfect match for him to say goodbye (or stick two fingers up), a big name opponent with a chance to show what is being lost. I hope he does, genuinely, as delivering three points for Arsenal would be the perfect parting gift.

Defensively things go from bad to worse. Gibbs, Traore and Djourou are out, limited options come in. It is a stark choice: Jenkinson or Squillaci. The latter transmits a nervousness that surpasses anything Almunia was ever accused of whilst the former, as likeable as he appears, is inexperienced. I would still take the risk on him, slotting him into the left back position.

The trade-off is keeping Vermaelen and Koscielny’s partnership going. They are capable of dealing with Carroll and Suarez, key is going to be cutting off their supply. It might be that Wenger decides that Sagna might be a better substitute left back, leaving Jenkinson on his favoured right side but that depends on the starting XI he anticipates for Liverpool.

It leaves the line-up looking something like:

Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Jenkinson; Ramsey, Frimpong, Nasri; Walcott, van Persie, Arshavin

The bench? Well, what time can you turn up with your shinpads and boots? Miyachi, Miquel, Lansbury and Chamberlain will be waiting, their combined ages less than Squillaci’s. Chamakh supports the forward line which leaves your spot unless when Wenger spoke of working with Cesc again, he has struck a crafty loan deal. Either that or Nicklas Bendtner is going to prove he is worth £52k and a first class ticket to Gard du Nort for PSG’s watching scouts.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ‘til Tomorrow.

843 thoughts on “Liverpool Preview: Compare & Contrast This Summer’s Activity

  1. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Suga

    If you think Usmanov will be a suga-Daddy, you’re off your rocker. He’s a PR merchant, who would not invest the necessary money to give a manager the funds to combat the Mancunian and Chelsea owners. You accuse others of being gullible but anyone who thinks the slug is the saviour is on medication that should be prescribed (and is probably proscribed).

    YW

  2. SUGA3 says:

    YW,

    do you seriously think he needs the dividends from the club? how much would that be again?

    as for the patronising statement about me falling for his spin doctor wizardry, no offence mate, but I have a degree in PR, so let’s just not go there, shall we?

    let me explain: yes, he needs the club as his PR outlet, he would not let it rot as it would make him look bad, plus, given the stuff that he does back in the old country, he would like to upstage RA to look good in Russia, you would need to learn a little bit about the Russian oligarch environment and mentality to know that, once again, no offence, but it’s a different planet for a Westerner, however, it should not be too hard to understand 😉

    peace…

  3. SUGA3 says:

    george,

    something you get when you finish your education at the uni?

    that place you go to after leaving the high school?

    just kidding!

  4. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Suga

    So you complain about being patronised yet do so to everyone else, including the hypocrisy of calling someone a ‘keyboard warrior’ from a ‘million miles away’ despite the fact that you admit to starting supporting Arsenal in another country…

    Emigrating gives you more say than others supporting Arsenal from another country? OK, my 40 years of supporting Arsenal trumps yours in that game.

    YW

  5. ZakariaM says:

    Huge game on wednesday night, of course because we need the 25 million pounds in revenue coming in just from playing in the C.L so badly right!

  6. ZakariaM says:

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not a doomer, I thought we played very bravely, impressed with Jenkinson, I really like him as a person and a player now, and frimpong was immense, but of course I presume this has been mentioned…anyway, it’s not so bad, I’m sure we will make the top 4. I hope..

  7. SUGA3 says:

    YW,

    I think you will find that I had a few spats with the individual in questions in the past, and I don’t suffer calling me a traitor just because I happen to disagree with a few things very gladly…

    funny that you only pick up my wrongdoings, whereas you allow others to call other names and all that shit, but as they say in my old country, it’s your circus and your monkeys 😉

  8. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Suga

    >funny that you only pick up my wrongdoings

    Sheer volume

    >whereas you allow others to call other names and all that shit

    But all you do is come here and pick fights following defeats. What do you think is going to happen?

    YW

  9. SUGA3 says:

    sheer volume? I respectfully disagree…

    and don’t tell me that I never came on here after a win, offered words of praise and was greeted same as always…

  10. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Diaby is not a bully Suga3. He’s a pacisfist and an artist. His outburst against Ben Arfa is the same type of rage that I felt for my little brother, who was a gigantic snitch when we were little. Joey Barton was just the straw that broke the camel’s back as he fits that snitch description to a tee. Other than that he’s nver been violent.

    Diaby, I’ve always felt, has been a bigger worry for premiership managers than Cesc. Call me crazy, but when that bubba looking bastard gets a full head of steam he’s unstoppable. He is almost impossible to dispossess and his dribbling is out of this world.

    Arshavin doesn’t play well in the middle. He didn’t play there for Russia or Zenith. If you’d watch Zenith’s UEFA cup run, like I did, you’d see that he is a second striker. He;d do awesome in a 4-4-2.

  11. SUGA3 says:

    G69,

    and I think we should switch back to 4-4-2 and be done with it…

  12. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Suga3. while I appreciate your degree in PR, you must remember that Usmanov is Uzbek. Uzbekistan is a country within the American sphere of influence. They’re oil rich and Washington has been propping up their little tyrant for years now. It’s actually a point of contention between the Russians and the Americans. Think Georgia not the Ukraine when you think about Uzbekistan. Usmanov could give three fucks what they think of him in Russia. The reason he hasn’t poured money into Arsenal is because Kronke got there first. That’s what the whole stalemate is all about. Kronke won’t spend because the fat bastard is in the way and vice versa. You can thank David Dein for the mess we’re in. he courted them both. Arsene is just in the middle. If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s the highest profile coach they could get he would’ve been out of a job three years ago.

  13. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Uzbekistan is mineral rich, not oil rich. My bad.

  14. SUGA3 says:

    G69,

    ‘Usmanov could give three fucks what they think of him in Russia.’

    then how do you explain his charity donations to the Russian galleries and all that stuff? Uzbekistan may be close to the US, but despite his origins, AU is considered to be a Russian oligarch, but where do you think the Metalloinvest does most of their business?

  15. Gainsbourg69 says:

    The 4-4-2 is on a come back and now that Cesc has gone, I think Wenger can make it work better than Ferguson. I wouldn’t be surprised if all these years he was trainning the kids to play in the same fashion that his first Arsenal squads did.

  16. Remonstrate says:

    Depsite all the head turning talk i will genuinely be sad to see Nasri in another shirt. Owning that sort of silk and skill is hard to share with other monster munch clubs.

    I love the Arsenal for what they are. Call me blinkered but i dont spend my days thinking about where the Arsenal where. The league is tougher than it ever way and seeing those boys bravely battle the 7 media seas and the sheer bad luck is heart warming. Maybe the rewards will come maybe they won’t but like your own child you love’m through thick n thin.
    COYG You have my unwavering support.

  17. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Just because I’m doing business with the US it doesn’t mean that I can’t still be friends with the big dogs in the neighborhood. Come on, bro, I thought you were a realist type. The Uzbek elites are playing both sides of the fence. It was their strategy all along.

  18. SUGA3 says:

    yeah, but like I said, the country is one, his business is another…

    off Wiki, can’t be arsed to dig any deeper:

    He has accrued his wealth from mining, lumber and investment. He is the majority shareholder of Metalloinvest, a Russian industrial conglomerate, which he founded to manage Gazprom’s metals interests.

    put it this way: he is up there in Russia, running the damn show, you don’t get anything bigger than Gazprom, so he needs to look the part in these circles…

  19. SUGA3 says:

    Frank,

    he bought some big fuck off mansion near Guildford…

    by ‘being up there’ I meant being in the top circles over there, not necessarily being physically present there at all times…

    like I said, he must look the part 😉

  20. shotta says:

    This reptilian fucker wants Arsenal FC to become the plaything of that blood-stained Uzbek oligarch. And I should have polite conversation with that Judas cunt.

  21. SUGA3 says:

    oh well…

    we are a plaything of a gash toupee wearing Yank now, what’s the difference, oh, he must be that white knight in the shining armor, do me a fucking favour…

    the club has sold its soul anyway, why not to the more loaded suitor, dare I ask?

    funnily enough, it’s the Russians who have a proverb about losing virginity and not earning the rouble 😆

    polite? you don’t know the meaning of this word, you bumbaclaat…

    I suggest you contribute a few pieces of silver towards the club’s success before you start calling people Judases…

    anyways, I am off, I don’t find the conversation with you particularly interesting, nightie nite, sunshine…

  22. SUGA3 says:

    and by the way, you may want to learn to use the very useful word, which is ‘alleged’…

  23. dupsffokcuf says:

    Seems Suga is the new PR man for Red & White Holdings. Just fuck off Suga. Nobody wants your crap here anyway. You are the slime on the bottom of the Uzbek slug.

  24. mumbaigooner says:

    SUGA3…how much are you paid to spout all that bile

  25. Bernard says:

    I was at the game yesterday and was very disappointed with the result but proud of the team. That was Lverpool’s high point of the season.

    I’ve skimmed the post match comments on ACLF and must say that any weakness seems to bring out the cunts. However was one comment missing from what I view as proper ACLFers

    “Fuck off Howard”.

    Let’s get behind the team for Wednesday. RVP, Alex Song and our new star, Frimpong, will be available. If we score one goal we should go through easily.

    Which reminds me, if that miserable cunt in the family section who booed Nasri’s name before the game is reading this, I meant what I said. He should have left the ground and never returned.

    It was noticeable that the few people shouting “spend the fucking money” all looked like they were schoolboys masquerading as men. Earn a living before insulting the greatest manager we’ve ever had.

  26. Poodle says:

    Jeses suga you got a life at all? Been aclf moaning from 3-3??? That’s a good 12 hours if moaning!!!
    You must really thrive doing that…

  27. dukey says:

    seems we have replaced our skill with grit.

  28. Passenal says:

    I thought you would have been happy with that Dukey @ 8.14? I think it’s just temporary while we adjust to life post-cesc. When our injured players are back and if Arsene adds another midfielder as he hopes to do, we should see our new found grit allied with our usual silky skills.

    Just caught up on the late night postings and I see slug3 has indeed outted himself, PR degree, only comes here after a defeat and tries to portray usmanov as the saviour of AFC? Your under cover activities haven’t worked as most of us sussed you out a long time ago.

  29. SUGA3 says:

    yep, keep telling yourself that, I don’t actually work in the trade, I did the degree in that field out of interest, not out of desire to become a PR professional…

    all I am saying is that we have two filthy rich dudes owning the board, one of which is arrogant enough not to allow the other a seat on the board, whereas the potty-mouthed fossil of a former chairman is still there, disrespecting the fans…

    not one, but two billionaires, yet we are dilly-dallying in the transfer market, not making the signings required to make a proper challenge…

  30. Stanley M says:

    Its not their fault. Arsene Wenger wont buy established superstars because the moment he does, he’s failed in his own eyes.

    Arsenal are his project. As he’s mentioned many many times, he’s given up alot to stay at arsenal, more then we could realise – he says. He feels the club owe him for that loyalty so he will do whatever the hell he likes.

  31. SUGA3 says:

    what has he given up then?

    whatever it was, he has been more than handsomely paid for doing so, isn’t he the highest paid manager in the league?

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