18 settembre 2013

If Liverpool can win the league, why can’t the Gunners?

After what has been the best start of a campaign in decades for the Reds, pundits and experts agreed that Brendan Rodgers’ men have all ingredients to mount a serious challenge for the title.
Three wins and a draw in the first four games ensured the first place for Liverpool, while Arsenal and Tottenham both lost one game and fell one point behind the Reds.

In-form striker Daniel Sturridge has scored four of the five goals Liverpool registered in their first four matches and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet kept three consecutive clean-sheets before conceding twice at Swansea, courtesy of former Liverpool man Jonjo Shelvey and Spanish forward Michu.
The arrivals of Kolo Touré, Mahmadou Sakho, Simon Mignolet, Iago Aspas, Aly Cissokho, Victor Moses and youngster Luis Alberto sparkled enthusiasm towards Liverpool fans, even if cult hero Pepe Reina left and Club legend Jamie Carragher retired, and the great performances shown by Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard gave an extra lift to the Kop.

Add to that the fact that Luis Suarez is yet to feature this season and you can understand why there’s so much hype around Liverpool.

Personally, I can understand the current optimism around Anfield.
What I don’t understand is why Liverpool can be considered genuine contenders while Arsenal can’t.

This Liverpool team is basically the same which finished 7th last season, 12 points away from the 4th spot and 28 behind Manchester United, the champions.
Brendan Rodgers still has Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva as first-choice midfielders, still has José Enrique at left-back and replaced an excellent goalkeeper with a very good one, but not at the same level of Spain national team’s 3rd shot-stopper.
Bar Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool wingers are far from being reliable sources of goals and assists: Raheem Sterling is inconsistent and still plays for the U21 team from times to times; Victor Moses has been loaned out by Chelsea after a string of unimpressive performances while Luis Alberto looks a bit inexperienced to be an instant hit.
I agree, up front Liverpool have a couple of great strikers but what will happen when Luis Suarez is back from suspension?
With both him and Daniel Sturridge proving to be great finishers who love to play thru the middle, who will be moved to the flank in Brendan Rodgers’ preferred 4-2-3-1 formation?

Will any of them be as effective once asked to play as a winger?

If this Liverpool team is genuine title contender, shouldn’t a team with plenty of excellent options in midfield, the best defensive record of the league last term and a striker who scored in each of the first four games of the season this year being considered as challengers too?
The Gunners have the most gifted midfield contingent in the league, probably the best two playmakers in England and three outstanding centre-backs, plus are in a better run compared to Liverpool - having lost only one of the last 14 matches played in the league and having won the last 7 matches played away from home, conceding only 3 goals and scoring 13 times.

The main reason why the Arsenal has been overlooked in the race for the Premier League is the lack of depth within the squad, which sounds reasonable to me.
However, the same can be said about Liverpool but this doesn’t seem to bother neutral observers: why?

The Gunners have only one proven striker, which is too much of a gamble, but have plenty of full internationals fighting for their place in the team, something which can’t be said about Liverpool, for example.
Arsène Wenger has Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna being challenged by Nacho Monreal and Carl Jenkinson; he has Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky battling for two places in central midfield and has Mesut Özil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski fighting to be among the 3 men supporting Olivier Giroud in the final third.
Not bad at all if you think that Arsenal are supposed to be short in numbers and options.

On the other side, Brendan Rodgers can rotate his centre-backs for fun picking any of Kolo Touré, Martin Skrtel, Mahmadou Sakho and Daniel Agger but he can only dream of having the same choice in midfield and attack, with Iago Aspas as back-up striker and a handful of inexperienced players supposed to challenge the regulars on the wings.
Are the likes of Raheem Sterling, Luis Alberto and Victor Moses good enough to step-up when needed?
Apparently, they are.
Apparently, they are more reliable, talented and proven than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski, for example.

You know what? You are right.
Liverpool are far better than Arsenal as Tottenham have always been ready to overtake the Gunners in the past sixteen years.

Let’s the pitch do the talk.


COMMON ARSENAL!

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