Two matches into the season, Liverpool have yet to win, although last week’s 2-2 draw with the champions left many optimistic about what the club can do this season. Arsenal haven’t won, and haven’t scored, with Arsene Wenger settling for the offensive crew he has at the moment, which might not be enough to meet his own high expectations.
Sometimes managers speak before thinking, or simply thinks everyone listening and reading are utter fools. Here’s what Wenger had to say about the transfer window ending without another signing from Arsenal, at least a major one, and the prospects of the club this season:
You never expect much from us, but we always have a good potential to surprise you. If I listened to the predictions on the same day last year, it was predicted we would finish between 10th and 15th. We finished third.
Wenger knows he didn’t do enough during the summer, be it by his decision or the board’s, to make Arsenal better and competitive enough the challenge for the title with Manchester City and Manchester United, maybe even Chelsea and Tottenham. He let go of his best player, Robin van Persie and another one of his more important players, Alex Song. The additions of Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski might not be enough to fill those gaps. They haven’t been enough so far.
For Liverpool, it was a disappointing transfer deadline as well, but not for lack of trying. They sold Charlie Adam to Stoke and sent Andy Carroll on loan to West Ham, but couldn’t sign Clint Dempsey or any other attacking option Brendan Rodgers was looking for. He plays in a three forwards formation, or at least has up until now, but that leaves no one to cover for Borini, Luis Suarez or even Raheem Sterling, suddenly finding himself as a starting lineup member.
For Liverpool, I think they key isn’t necessarily adding another striker. A duo of Suarez – Borini or the trio that did so well against Manchester City is going to be very productive this Premier League season. They key is going to be the midfield, and how the Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Steven Gerrard trio combine and manage to push forward while also not leaving a less-than-impressive defensive unit with a goalkeeper not at the best form of his life too exposed.
For Arsenal, for a chance, defense hasn’t been a problem so far. Creating chances, getting a flowing attacking game and actually someone good enough to finish has been. Santi Cazorla has taken over the midfield, but that makes Mikel Arteta useless for plenty of minutes on the pitch. Podoloski is still not exactly completely here, and Olivier Giroud looks lost, while Theo Walcott has yet to turn in an impressive performance. They key might be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who opens up a lot of things for Arsenal when he’s on the pitch, but Wenger is reluctant to start with him at the moment.
Liverpool, if panic and frustration don’t get to them first, are in the right kind of direction, although with a bit of a shortened bench. Arsenal need to find someone they can trust up front, or this season will be a long and frustrating one in the Premier League and the Champions League as well.