Liverpool v Arsenal: how the world has changed for Liverpool in recent years

By Bulldog Drummond

There is an article in the Daily Telegraph today by Chris Bascombe headlined “The inconvenient truth for Liverpool: world class players no longer want to move to Anfield.”

It represents a remarkable shift in media attitudes, for although it is not replicated in every media outlet by any means, it does in itself symbolise a seismic shift in media attitude, suggesting as it does that rather than one simple change being needed at Liverpool (or indeed any of the clubs that form part of the standard media love in which irrespective of results get the unending adulation of journalists) some serious work is needed.

Certainly most of the time a quick glance through the media would make one believe that year on year Liverpool! are indeed “Liverpool!” complete with exclamation mark, and are odds on to win the league, up, other cup, Euro cup that they are not in, the little Euro cup that they were in, and the fair play league.

The notion that in the last 25 years – during quite a few of which Arsenal have been boringly reaching the Champions League, and actually winning the League three times, Liverpool have a set of positions that is somewhat worse than Arsenal’s, is rarely encountered.   Here’s the Liverpool! 25 year receord…

  • 2nd: 3 times
  • 3rd: 5 times
  • 4th: 5 times
  • 5th: 3 times
  • 6th: 3 times
  • 7th: 3 times
  • 8th: 3 times

I suppose on Merseyside they are now starting to say that “8th is not a trophy”.  But they did win the Champions League in 2007, (which of course we haven’t ever done), although then if we take their figures since,  they come in as

  • 2nd: 2 times
  • 3rd: 3 times
  • 4th: once
  • 6th: 2 times
  • 7th: 2 times
  • 8th: 2 times

It was, of course, a remarkable achievement to win the Champs League, and yes of course I wish Arsenal had done it, but if the price had been six seasons in which we came sixth or lower, well, it puts a bit of a strain on being a supporter.   However, that, it seems, would satisfy the aaa.

So the media has stayed with them much of the time, faithfully refusing to print details of their owner’s boastful speech about how he conned the media over the £40m transfer affair.  But now as shown above, we have a headline a bit like that and it is a change.  The article continues…

“They need a proven goalkeeper. They need a proven centre-back. They need a proven striker. They need bigger squad. And they needed it in January.”   It reads as if an editor had taken the regular media reportage concerning Arsenal, and placed it in the Liverpool pile by mistake.   The piece continues…

“Instead of paying £80 million for an established midfielder, Liverpool have been searching for those players who can be developed and whose value will soar to such a level with top class coaching.   This approach has been the subject of repeated appraisal and re-appraisal during the course of seven years.”  (Only seven – after 25 years without a title?  It seems a bit late to me, but I am sure they know best).

But, the article continues, there is a bigger problem.  “The most sought after stars are showing no desire to move to Anfield. That, more than any pre-meditated decision not to target such individuals, is the hindrance facing Klopp this summer.”

Now we know (‘cos they often tell us) that the Liverpool! “financial package” on offer was often better than anything Chelsea, Man City, Man U and Arsenal would offer – it is one of those awkward things that the club owner tends to say (like the boasts in a public meeting about conning Arsenal over the Suarez affair).  As it raises the question, “if it was so good, why don’t players want to go to Liverpool?”

It is an interesting question because during Mr Wenger’s reign it has rarely been the case with Arsenal, although because of the uprising of the two AAA’s (the Anti-Arsenal-Arsenal and the Arrogance, amnesia and assumptions of the journalists) it can feel as if it might have been.

So Liverpool need to buy smarter, and we might think in this regard of people like Ospina (£3m), Koscielny (as a complete unknown in the French lower leagues), Holding (£3m), Mustafi (not on anyone’s radar at all despite 110 transfer rumours last summer), Bellerin (nicked from Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (picked up cheap in a fire sale), Le Jeff (not quite there but showing extraordinary ability), Iwobi, (a stunning development), Coquelin (signed at 16 for nothing). And that is just for starters from the current squad.

Anyway, moving on,

This is Mr Wenger’s 50th game against the exclamation mark but as the BBC commentary says, “A win here, a big display against Bayern and a cup victory against Lincoln won’t silence Wenger’s critics. They should be wary of what they wish for.”  It was the problem with Herbert Chapman’s teams, with George Allison’s teams and it is the problem with Mr Wenger’s teams.  The assumption that anyone else could do better is simplistic and untrue.

But… and this is the big “but”,  Liverpool have been doing far better against other teams in the upper reaches of the league than against little teams.  However this clearly gives us hope since according to the aaa (the Anti-Wengerian version) Arsenal play like a little team.  On that basis we ought to win.

Besides Giroud has scored five goals in his last seven games against the exclamations.

On the other hand Liverpool’s only league win in their last nine home games against Arsenal was in February 2014; the rest have been five draws and three defeats.  And the “5th (or lower) is not a trophy” team have managed to let in no goals in just two of the last 22 games in the league between the two – and none in the last ten played at Greater Anfield.

Here’s another.   There have been 16 goals in the 90th minute or later in this PL fixture, which is a record.  Or, if you prefer to be miserable, Liverpool could become the first team to do five Premier League doubles against Arsenal.

I could go on, but I shall save the rest for the regular (or invariably wrong) team prediction, which will appear shortly.

Liverpool v Arsenal – all the bits you didn’t want to know


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38 Replies to “Liverpool v Arsenal: how the world has changed for Liverpool in recent years”

  1. “Where are all the Ranters”

    Still in bed?
    Down the pub?
    Reading Le Grove?
    Not interested?

  2. They’re still reading todays newspapers before they come here on to moan about what they’ve read.

  3. Too early!

    Keeping an eye on the manu game, hoping(doing a lot of hoping these days) for a Bournemouth performance.

    Anyone hear anything of the “secret weapon” in Arsenal’s arsenal? 🙂

  4. Watching Bournemouth, you can see why we allowed Afobe to leave. He’s just not good enough, but I like Charlie Daniels as a left sided defender where we are apparently looking to strengthen

  5. What injustice? They scored a perfectly good goal & had a penalty awarded against them. Seems fair to me.

  6. Leon – never mind how good or bad the Bournemouth players are. Don’t you think Friend is awesome? He has allowed several sloping fouls & then sends a Bournemouth player off but the Darling Ibrahimovic is not shown a straight red for a deliberate elbow. No one saw it apart from the TV camera – now isn’t that unusual. The FA will do nothing as the referee ‘spoke’ to him.

  7. Menace, yeah true, but Mings should have got a red for a deliberate stamp on Ibras head, and the red card at the end of the half was right too

  8. Mass hysteria once again about to break out.

    I don’t think watching football is a good for the blood pressure for some.

  9. Mings is going to get himself sent off if he keeps this up. Bournemouth should already be down to nine & United ten

  10. Ref had to do something to redeem himself in the eyes of his masters for awarding a penalty agsinst Man Utd. We didn’t have to wait long for it!

  11. With this referee bollocks…. Soon we might have to start a campaign for a robot to referee the games….

  12. Leon – how do you work out deliberate stamp? If it was deliberate then he should get 10 years for missing such a big ugly arrogant head!

  13. Menace suffers from a rare disorder called “therefsarealwayscallingitagainsttheteamimrootingforlitus”
    There is no known cure.

  14. Menace
    Ha! He did get him though didn’t he? And made no attempt to jump over him. Effing disgraceful. We were supposed to be on the verge of buying Mings before he got injured and then joined Bournemouth. Good to see ibra miss that penalty which was a bit lucky to be awarded

  15. Tom – you are special. Perhaps PGMOL will suit you too. Select nincompoop.

  16. That shoulder barge should be a straight red. It is dangerous play on the edge of this pitch.

  17. They ‘ve brought the toilet brush on. Another special case that PGMOL consider as care in the community.

  18. Watching the “Special one” and his shoe string assembled United squad struggle against the mighty Bournemouth ten men billionaires is almost as entertaining as Menace explaining football rules. Almost.

  19. Menace
    Do you mean the one by Rachford that Mourinho applauded? If so it looked more like a deliberate push to me and the player was knocked clean off the pitch and rolled almost out of the ground

  20. Sweet FA over to you. Are there going to be some examples for the kids or are you going to put your hands in a normal position (Shoot is an expert).

  21. Menace
    Btw, the ref blew the whistle two seconds before the minimum amount of five minutes of extra time has elapsed – a clear cut example of the league anti- Man U conspiracy.

  22. Will Ibrahimovic get a few games ban for that elbow???…

    @Leon, We were in for Ming’s.!!!!!…

    Hahahahahahahaha hahaha Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

    Oh dear…..
    Where did you get this???…

  23. The red card for the Bournemouth player is unwarranted. The push was on a player who tried to knock his team mates head off. If Friend can talk to Man U players, he can do the same for their opponents. The pundits are full of their northern bollocks as usual. Phil ‘two foot’ Neville talking about officiating? Prize winning.

    One push – 2nd yellow; United push – sweet FA.

  24. If there had been a video ref, Mings would have been sent off before Ibrahimovic could have retaliated.

    Friend made three poor red card decisions (Mings, Ibrahimovic and Arter should have seen a red card) and we could discuss if Surman’s first yellow card was a good call.

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