by Bulldog Drummond
Liverpool’s away form this season is (given that like Manchester City they have powered away at the top of the league) iobviously very good. They have won four and drawn one. Eight goals scored and three conceded.
Arsenal’s home form thus far is won four lost one. Ten goals scored, four conceded. So looking at Liverpool away and Arsenal at home the two sides are fairly evenly balanced. We have a goal difference of +5 at home and they have the same away from home.
Liverpool’s drive for honours was based fairly and squarely on spending money last summer: a net spend of £156.3m with five players coming in…
- Fabinho; Midfielder — from Monaco. £40m
Naby Keïta; Midfielder — from RB Leipzig. £52.8m
Xherdan Shaqiri; Winger — from Stoke City. £13m
Alisson; Goalkeeper — from Roma. £65m
Bobby Duncan; Forward — from Manchester City. Free
But that wasn’t the start of it because Last January they spent £75m on Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
And it goes back still further for in the 2017 summer window they bought
- Mohamed Salah – from Roma; £36.9m
- Andrew Robertson- from Hull City; £8m
- Naby Keïta – from RB Leipzig; undisclosed
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – from Arsenal. £35m
The plan is simple and clear – keep spending either until they win things or the money runs out or someone from the middle east offers insane amounts of money to buy the club and then they can go on and spend more and more and more.
So how has it been going for Liverpool these past ten years?
What is interesting that twice they’ve achieved the great leap forwards (2014 and 2017) but neither time has that been the platform for actually winning stuff. Thus the trophy total is one league cup, and the league positions over ten years are
- 2nd – twice
- 4th – twice
- 6th – twice
- 7th – twice
- 8th – twice
Arsenal’s trophy list during the same period is three trophies – all the FA Cup. And yet, it seems to me, that Liverpool is always written about in terms of a champion team. A team of winners. And I don’t just mean this season but every season. That is why for a while we used to write the club name as Liverpool! because that is how the media treated them.
But let’s be fair, they are looking strong this season – as you would expect from a club that has spent £311,200,000 across two summer and one winter transfer windows. Whether they can go on spending that sort of money without winning major trophies, I have no idea. Maybe they will beat Manchester City (who of course spend even more money) to the League title, but I have my doubts.
That is not to say that they won’t beat us; I don’t know if they will, but I am edgy about our chances, not least because we have only had three months under the new manager to get the new approach together.
If you have been following Untold on this topic you will know that we prophesised that Arsenal could get back into the top four, simply by turning around the club’s league form away from home and take it back to the “Fourth is not a trophy” era.
In 2014/15 (when we actually finished 3rd) we got 10 wins, four draws and five defeats away from home, while at home we got ten wins, five draws and two defeats. We’ve already had one defeat at home this season, and it would be difficult if we lost another game at home so early – people would start talking about Bournemouth getting into the Champions League and then they’d start saying we wouldn’t even qualify for the Europa.
So we do need to hold onto the home form, and personally I’d be quite happy with a draw tomorrow.
Last season Liverpool had nine away wins, five draws and five defeats. That is probably what they are looking to improve on slightly while retaining their powerful home form. Yes, at this stage in our evolution I would be quite happy with a draw.
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