It has been a rather bumpy ride for any Arsenal or Liverpool fan this season; the phrase ‘inconsistent’ has been overused from the two clubs’ point of view as points have been harder to grasp than usual.
However, Arsenal have managed to revive their season to at least look like they will be playing Champions League football next campaign. It’s no frustratingly awaited trophy, yet Arsene Wenger has been given a fair bit more breathing space from his own fans.
The London club had a terrible opening to the current campaign: the peak of which was an 8-2 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Key players like Fabregas and Nasri’s sales deflated fans who now support a team that greatly contrasts to the ‘Invincibles’ of many seasons ago.
Even if The Arsenal seemed to pick up the pace, they were soon brought back down to reality with defeats away to the incredible Swansea and a humiliating 4-0 thrashing at the hands of A.C Milan. Poor results were often down to defensive issues: Wenger has been playing a makeshift back four for significant parts of this season. At one stage, all five full-backs were injured.
An inspirational return from Thierry Henry was enough to scrape a few league points (most notably a last minute winner against Sunderland), however it could not save them from being pulled apart at the San Siro.
Statistics may reveal that Arsenal would be in the bottom half of the table without talisman Robin van Persie’s timely and pivotal goals, but that undoubtedly means that, whilst the inspirational van Persie remains an injury-free Arsenal player, goals are almost guaranteed and invaluable points are earned as a result. Skipper van Persie has been the shining light in the darkness at times this season; he has played the leading role in turning his team’s season around.
Liverpool’s issues fit in nicely here; as their explosive left-back, José Enrique describes. Speaking to ESPN recently, the Spaniard identified how a relatively new Liverpool team ‘are like that’-when comparing Arsenal’s inconsistencies to their own. Not only are they similar however, they appear to be much worse.
So if Arsenal’s season has been bumpy, then Liverpool’s has surely been bone-rattling.
Problems are appearing thick and fast for the Reds: their home (and away) form is unconvincing, their signings unproductive, their conversion rate confusing and their defence has seemed incapable of dealing with various situations of late (take the 3-2 QPR defeat for example). ‘King Kenny’ is accumulating much criticism as 1 win in 7 in the league is driving Liverpool fans over the edge-a 2-1 defeat at home on Saturday to Wigan seemed to signify a turn in the usual faith from the fans that is instilled in Dalglish.
When added together, it is far from a productive formula-In fact, if the League had started on January 1st the Reds would be bottom. Dalglish is putting emphasis on cup competitions-winning the Carling Cup was great for fans-however Liverpool will not regain a Champions League place through domestic trophies, and big players are only usually attracted to clubs playing in the competition. Is concentrating on the league next season’s plan for Dalglish? Or are Liverpool just incapable of becoming the team they were in seasons gone by whilst under Dalglish? Only time will tell…
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