So its fair to say that judging by yesterday’s result, most fans would agree that Arsenal are back to their usual winning ways. However, I still approach with caution when I say that not all our problems are immediately sorted with a victory against Liverpool. Our next trio of games will include Southampton, City and Chelsea. Not the easiest run of games, to say the least.
Sometimes we have to step back and look at reality for a second before we get caught up on just how great our current squad really is. Southampton have already tested City and Man Utd defensively and have broken through twice on each occasion. More than that though, both City and United were pulled from the fire by quality strikers. Giroud has what it takes but the team must learn to deliver the ball into the box to make use of his height advantage. How often against Liverpool did we watch the ball sail over Giroud? Effective deliveries into the box against Southampton will be the key to the match.
Liverpool didn’t have any depth when it came to attacking options. Suarez and Borini weren’t effective against Arsenal and whilst Sterling troubled Jenkinson, he didn’t have the support to finish his runs. When Borini was substituted, it looked like the whole team slotted themselves into neutral and played to run down the clock. Not once did Arsenal really come under threat. I think its safe to say, Liverpool aren’t the attacking force we all make them out to be, certainly not without at least the intimidation of Carroll.
So before we go on supplying endless amounts of praise to Arsenal let’s be weary of City and Chelsea who have two or three back ups if their attacking force looks dull. Those will be our true measure of success this season. Jenkinson and Mertesacker had average games against Liverpool. They performed well but were not perfect. For the first 20 or so minutes, our defense looked nervous before settling in. Gibbs still makes these attacking runs forward leaving Vermaelen to cover at the back and left us exposed during a counter attack. They are great when they work, but terrible when they don’t (as with most things in football). City and Chelsea won’t miss too many chances if we leave ourselves exposed. Steve Bould has his work cut out if he still wants to retain that “no goals conceded” stat after these next three games but if there’s one guy I believe will do it, its got to be him.