Mikel Arteta is gathering his Arsenal players together for Saturday’s daunting trip to Anfield, which will not be easy no matter how bad Liverpool’s form has been lately.
We are currently only 4 points behind the current champions, who are in 7th and in danger of missing out on Europe themselves and if they lose to the Gunners and continue their bad League form then they may have to win the Champions League to stay in it.
Of course Arsenal could qualify for the Big One too by winning the Europa, so Arteta should have an eye on Thursday’s game aainst Slavia Prague, but the coach has not yet given up on qualifying via the League table. Arteta said in his pre-game conference: “The immediate priority is Liverpool. We know that if we want to climb the table and have a chance to be in Europe next season through the Premier League, we need some consistency now in the last nine games. We need to get on a run of winning matches and the only way to do it is to start against Liverpool. We don’t have any margin and we have to win that game.”
Of course Arsenal have to cut out our awful record of giving away soft goals to our opponents, like we did yet again against West Ham in our last outing, to have any chance, and he knows we certainly can’t do that again at Liverpool. “Absolutely.” he agreed. “Against these types of teams, with the quality that they have, they are going to punish you for every error that you do. Even when you don’t make errors and you do everything perfectly, they are still able to break your lines, to create an individual action and to score a goal. Obviously, it is a team where nothing has to be given to them.”
Arsenal do have a relatively easy run after the Liverpool game, so it is possible that things could go our way and we can rise up the table, but I personally think that we must make the Europa League the top priority right now which means reserving some of our est playrs for Thursday…
What do you think?