10 Conclusions: Arsenal vs Liverpool

Raul Meireles and Luis Suarez Share a Moment Together After Combining for Liverpool's Second. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images

-by D

1)      Liverpool were disciplined as they held their shape well and cut off Arsenal’s supply from the flanks, thus isolating a frustrated Robin Van Persie. Although Samir Nasri made a few dangerous forays through the middle, Reina was not really tested throughout. It was telling that a moment of ill-discipline cost Arsenal the game.

 

2)      Anyway, if anyone would like to know how M plays football, one does not have to look further than Jose Enrique.

 

Boasting a similarly muscular physique, the former Newcastle left-back put in an solid display- comfortably dealing with the threat of the swift but woeful Theo Walcott and consistently providing an attacking threat down the left flank. Liverpool’s left-back woes appear to be over.

 

You’re welcome M

 

3)      Shameless displays of guy love and back scratching aside, Liverpool were admittedly lucky to come away with the win.

 

Up till Frimpong’s unnecessary challenge, a makeshift Arsenal side matched Liverpool in every department. Whatever they lacked in experience certainly was not evident as Liverpool were restricted to futilely lumping the ball towards the direction of Andy Carroll.

 

If Van Persie had converted from 6 yards out and Balotelli’s twin did not lunge into Lucas (sounds wrong doesn’t it), Arsenal could have very well won the game. Still, discipline counts and pays off.

 

4)      And if they did, Thomas Vermaelen would have been the man-of-the-match. The Belgium international was bloody immense for the Gunners- snuffing out the much bigger Andy Carroll while guiding his makeshift backline that featured two 19-year-olds making their Barclays Premier League debuts.

 

Perhaps they biggest compliment one could pay him for his remarkable performance is that he suddenly made Arsenal ballsy. Who would have known.

 

5)      Speaking of ballsy-ness, Emmanuel Frimpong, Carl Jenkinson and Ignasi Miquel have lots of it. In Frimpong’s case, perhaps a bit too much.

 

Nevertheless the three 19-year-olds acquitted themselves well, putting up solid performances in their virgin Barclays Premier League game ( well frimpong played 30 minutes against Newcastle but let’s just take it as it’s his “first” time for a flowing sentence). Yes, Frimpong was brash. And yes Jenkinson played Suarez onside for the first goal. But we tend to forget how young these players are and their respective displays play testament to their undeniable talent.

 

Most importantly, they make us feel bad about ourselves. What were you doing at 19?

 

6)      And while we are on the topic of youngsters, Martin Kelly did pretty well didn’t he. Replacing the still slightly raw John Flanagan, Kelly carried on where he left off last season, when a hamstring injury curtailed his impressive run.

He kept Andrei Arshavin and Bacary Sagna quiet throughout while giving Liverpool attacking thrust on the right flank with surging runs. More importantly, he appears to be a better defender than Glen Johnson. The England international right-back should be worried for his spot in both the Liverpool and national team.

 

7)       Which is really a testament to Liverpool’s new-found squad depth. Even without Steven Gerrard, Fabio Aurelio and Glen Johnson, Dalglish was still able to put up a strong starting line-up and send on Raul Meireles and Luis Suarez off the bench, who proceeded to set up both goals.

 

Juxtaposed with last season when Liverpool could only muster Joe Cole and David Ngog to turn the tide, it’s a far, far cry in terms of quality. A pity that Alberto Aquilani was not given a chance though.

 

8)      It’s very presumptuous and premature but Andy Carroll doesn’t seem to fit in with Dalglish’s pass and move philosophy, which calls for Liverpool to play a high-tempo game with plenty of quick passes and swift movement.

 

Just like how the more mobile Hernandez and Welbeck are preferred over Berbatov over at Manchester United, Carroll may not be the man for Dalglish’s revolution. However, like I said, it’s very early and as such, I’d love to be proven wrong as the season goes by and Carroll gets fitter.

 

9)      My rage at Carroll stems from his pithy returns for my fantasy football league. No goals and assists and a bloody yellow card in two games for 10million pounds is really costing me. So forgive me if I do sound irrational.

 

10)  Back to the rational stuff. Without Luis Suarez, the Merseyside club appear to lack invention and penetration in the final third. An over-reliance on the Uruguay international to win them games may prove to be an issue.

 

While Steven Gerrard’s return may ease Liverpool’s dependence on Suarez to clinch matches, big money buys such as Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson must alleviate the burden. A two-man team, as we all know, brings you no where.

 

11)And it is not all gloom and doom for Arsenal. The Gunners were unlucky to leave the Emirates without a single point as a patched up side matched an expensively assembled Liverpool side blow for blow throughout. If not for Frimpong’s brashness and Aaron Ramsey’s terribly unfortunate own-goal, the result may have gone Arsenal’s way.

 

If Vermalean, Szczesny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Sagna, Song and Van Persie manage to stay fit while starlets such as Frimpong, Jenkinson and Miquel continue to develop Arsenal still could get something out of this season. It is still early days mind you.

 

12) Which is why Liverpool fans should not start to hail this game as the second coming. Again. Let’s take it one game at a time guys.

 

13) Does anyone else miss Linda Pizzutti?

 

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