This game will be Arsenal’s first real test defensively, after Stoke and Sunderland focused mainly upon their defensive duties. Having said that, the introduction of Steve Bould as Arsene’s assisstant and the fact that the first two competitive games with Steve involved resulted in two clean sheets, without conceding even a corner let alone a goal, must speak volumes. Also quite notably we are yet to receive a single card, as the last couple of seasons we have been one of the teams with most cards received. Wenger himself has admitted that it’s been an area that has been worked on, and this comes at a great relief to a lot of us Arsenal fans. But has it compromised the goalscoring finese we have always possessed under Wenger?
A man who prides himself on the technical side of the game, a style of play so beautiful it attracts attention from all over the world and has led to many ‘neutrals’ enjoying watching Arsenal. Would these people enjoy watching Tottenham? No. Because Tottenham don’t have the same technical ability or know-how and are generally worse off than ourselves in every area of the pitch. But this season has seen multiple chances scuffed high or wide, and final balls well out of place if even attempted. Something we’re not too familar with. More than 3/4 of the shots against Stoke were outside the box. I can’t recall a time in recent history that has ever been the case. Usually we be-moan that we try to play our way into the goal, it’s often a critiscm of the way we play. I’m all for taking shots from range, but there’s a line where it becomes sheer desperation. And we crossed that line.
Hopefully today we’ll prodcue a better performance in the final third, and hold on to our status of being the only team in the league to have not conceded. The signings have got the perfect opportunity to become fan favourites here, in fact it’s a chance for everyone to step and take the lead. There’s pressure on the team undoubtedly, but the majority of fans, myself included are well behind the team still. Liverpool aren’t exactly short of pressure themselves down there in 17th and not going anywhere up if we beat them, that’s for sure. Perhaps we can return the favour they gave to us last year at the Emirates early on?
It’s a bit of a make or break game, if we win, a lot of faith will be put back in Wenger and Arsenal if removed. But if we lose, there will be huge question marks, and a lot of Monday morning newspaper attention.