So here we are again contemplating turning another corner that will kick start the season. Said Steven Gerrard….
“We’ll be right up for the Arsenal game on Sunday. If we can get three points there and take that into the Wigan game, we can turn a corner.”
This is the same corner we thought we’d turned when we beat The Mancs and the same one after the Everton game. Like Thatcher in the eighties it seems Rafa and his team aren’t for turning?
Arguably today’s match against Arsenal gives us greater grounds for optimism. Strip out Wednesday’s dead rubber and it’s six unbeaten and three consecutive clean sheets. A sign of recovery or just clutching at straws? We also have Aquilani finally playing and Torres nearly back. However, one should never second guess Rafa Aquilani is just as likely to end up back in the shoe box wrapped up in cotton wool just as he is to start. Torres may feature but would anyone be surprised if he started on the bench?
Both sides can feel confident about wining this fixture. Arsenal never seem overawed when they visit Anfield even they don’t get the victory Mr Wenger always seems to think he deserves! No doubt they will be keen to emulate their last league visit to Liverpool which saw them give Everton a good seeming to? For us we can take heart from Arsenal’s defeats to Sunderland and Chelsea and the two recent cup defeats albeit they were with weakened sides. After a good start Arsenal for all their pretty, easy on the eye football still lack the steel to grind out results when perhaps things aren’t going as well as it should. Equally we should be aware of the clinical play that was personified by Arshavin’s finishing in last seasons game.
Yesterdays results went our way with Spurs and Manchester City slipping up. I’m tempted to add The Mancs and Chelsea to that however, we are not in a position to really be worried about their results. The immediate priority is not, as many suggest, to secure the top four place but just to get everyone fit, get some confidence and string a few results together if we can do that the rest will come.
Prediction? If we play with the pace and commitment we showed against The Mancs then there will be no problem however, if we sit back and let Arsenal have the ball and start to weave their pretty patterns then we are playing a dangerous game especially since our defence has been brutally carved open on more than one occasion this season. I suspect we will see elements of both tomorrow and as such I’ll go for a 1-1 draw. Turning the corner may have to wait for another day?