Matthew Sinton discusses Liverpool’s top-four showdown with Arsenal and also discusses the Reds transfer dealings.
Liverpool will host Arsenal in this evening’s kickoff. After our terribly disappointing form since the turn of the year, this is yet another vital fixture in keeping our dwindling top four hopes alive.
The nature of our recent results has left most fans more confident going into this game than they would be against a relegation side. While it is true that games against the bigger teams suit our playing style so much more – and our record against the top six proves that – it could be dangerous for us fans to go into this game with any complacency. We can’t just expect a repeat of the first half against Spurs and the players will need to be at 100% all game.
Our clash with Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day of the season really summed up the current state of our team, more than capable in attack, vulnerable in defence. We came from 1-0 down and equalised just before half time through a brilliant free-kick from Coutinho. We started the second half with three quick goals which was too much for Arsenal in the end, although they did manage to pull it back to 4-3.
After our poor results against the lesser sides, some are calling for Moreno to come back into the starting eleven because of his link up with Coutinho. He does appear to be better with a bit pace on his side, but I wouldn’t do this just yet. I’d keep it safe and stick with Milner for tonight, then bring Moreno in against Burnley next weekend. Dejan Lovren is said to have returned to training recently, so I’d bring him back in next to Matip if he’s available – we saw Lucas struggle with the pace of Jamie Vardy on Monday night, so the same may happen with the likes of Sanchez and Walcott.
Jürgen Klopp has made it absolutely clear that there will be departures and that he is certainly looking to make big transfers this summer, saying, “We have to improve the squad, that is clear. If we perform at the highest level, nobody asks for new players, if you don’t, everybody asks for them. That is the situation we are in.”
“We want to make this club as big and successful as possible. We will spend money.”
However, contrary to what a large group of fans believe, Klopp also said that he has never been denied a transfer because of the price by the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group.
Klopp continued, “If the club comes to me and says ‘That is too expensive’ — it didn’t happen until now and I don’t expect it to happen — I have to accept it. But we have all the same plan.”
It’s become clear that we will need to make improvements to the squad and these comments are encouraging, but for now we have to work with the group of players we have, and a top four finish would be a huge boost for our transfer prospects. Let’s hope for a good result tonight to get closer to that.