Hard-fought Watford win sets Arsenal up well for the visit to Anfield

Well lovely Arsenal people, we beat Watford 1-0, but behind that results hides more than just a hard fought win. While many thought we might cruise the game, and the expectations have risen, the game went in a direction that was frustrating.

We had a goal disallowed due to poor control from Auba who should’ve buried it up front. Then the skipper also missed a penalty, which was really poorly taken I must say. We picked up a couple of yellow cards and 0-0 at half time you could see how it suited their plan.

In the second half we scored a goal with a lot of controversy. Firstly they took the ball out, we didn’t give it back and from the resulting throw-in their clearance was intercepted by AMN literally body blocking a Watford player, before Smith Rowe fired the rebound sweetly in the net.

Ranieri complained afterward and it made it all the more sweet. First of all their player was getting up, when Danny Rose was quite visibly telling him to stay down and fake an injury to waste time. There goes the sportsmanship out of the window. Laca saw this and thought “okay, we’re playing then”.

Then there was Ainsley taking out a Watford player. Was it a foul, I think so, do I care though? Not at all. So many times these kinds of decisions have gone against us. I like that we were tough. We were nasty, and sometimes in football you need that. So many of us Arsenal fans wanted a manager like Simeone that would “win at all cost”, so I won’t complain one bit if we opted to try out some of the dark arts to win a football game.

Then came a shaky period, topped by a rare Ramsdale mistake, which could’ve cost us. But what I really liked was Arteta screaming on the touchline to Auba to go press at the end of the game, so we can relieve a little bit of the pressure. He was clearly livid, and I liked that.

So why is this 1-0 win different? Because it was the kind of game where circumstances looked like they weren’t going our way – missed penalties, disallowed goals, excellent goalkeeping from Foster, but guess what, we still won the game. It keeps our run going, puts us 2 points off the top 4, 3 points off second and sets us up for a very, very difficult game at Anfield.

I hope we can go there and show that we can get a result against a real proper team. They showed they have their own problems in recent games, but even so it’ll be incredibly hard to win, so we had to do our job before that and we did.

Besides that, the premier league now is very different from what it was 10 years ago. A lot of teams that wouldn’t bother us in the past, now have big stadiums, more money, good organisation, and it’s harder to win games consistently. If you are off for 5 minutes in a game it can cost you as Burnley showed against Chelsea.

Overall going into the international break the mood is the best it has been all season at Arsenal. Hopefully we can and will transfer that to Anfield and not get swiped away. There are 3 teams in the league that are above the rest and those are Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool. They are the real measures of wether we can be a top 4 team again. Imagine if we beat the ‘Pool next week, and we are in the top 4. It’s a dreamy thought, but at the moment we are playing well, if we can go there and put up a good fight, I’ll be very happy.

Konstantin

Tags Liverpool Watford

14 Comments

  1. Sid says:

    I agree that we have to embrace the dark arts more. I wished Le prof to encourage more performances like City away where we won 0-2 with largely countering. Now I feel the team becoming more strong, resilient, and practical rather than all Flowery which I loved as well…
    Now if someone tries to do a Neville or Shawwcross on us, rather than sulking or complaining, we should do a Ramos on them, embracing the dark arts, crippling their wings, etc…
    Maybe I went a bit off-topic, but we have to be more pragmatic which we are starting to see. Because unless we have the embarrassing combination of luck and riches that Fraudiola has, we can’t see a team only winning with flowery football.

  2. Lancelot Togara says:

    We have been doing it in the yesteryears and I BELIEVE we can do it this time around after years of trying. I hope to see a new Arshavin, Baptista or even Poldi who scored his debut goal at Anfield in a famous win come the 20th. COYG

  3. gotanidea says:

    Yes. EPL is now much harder than it was ten years ago, because of the amount of money invested in the clubs and the world class managers in the league

    Anfield’s atmosphere would likely suffocate our players, but we have physically tougher players now and Arteta has already met Klopp several times

  4. Longbenark says:

    If we have Lacazette, Partey and Tavares in the lineup against Liverpool, I believe we would make a mark.

  5. guy says:

    Good article, Konstantin

  6. John says:

    We will beat Liverpool by 2 goals. Hopefully no injuries. We have a young cohesive team that can breakdown Liverpool. Two nil to arsenal

  7. Tas says:

    No point getting too stressed to beat Liverpool at Anfield its a tall ask of our boys to win would be a little short of a miracle (atm) best we can do is a draw, we will lose a few battles but we must win the war,

    1. Tas says:

      Our only hope is they all come back from international games they might be a little off of their normal concentration

  8. S.J says:

    I am not trying to be negative, but it will be difficult to beat Liverpool at Anfield.
    A draw is more realistic.
    They have superior players than us in every department, that is where they have an edge over us.
    But with strong determination and team cohesion we can give Liverpool a good game.

    1. Longbenark says:

      @S.J, Liverpool at the moment aren’t fantastic, Brighton and west ham held them down, we should be able to do same,

    2. jon fox says:

      SJ, Sorry to have to firmly disagree, but the “realistic”result prediction is not a draw but a win for Liverpool.

      A draw is not out of the question of course but neither is it the “realistic” prediction. Obviously it is not!

  9. Sean Williams says:

    For me the result against Liverpool will be less important than how we go out to play. If we have attitude we are going to give 100% and compete for every ball and match Liverpool for effort and intensity, then if we lose so be it. If it we sit back allowing Liverpool to batter us I will be very disappointed. We have got a good team, give 100% and we will be happy.

  10. Joe. S says:

    I would just like to see the manager take a more positive attitude against the big teams and basically go for it. In previous games against Liverpool he may have settled for Xhaka and Elneny in the midfield but thankfully he won’t have that luxury just yet. A win against Liverpool is expecting a lot from Saka and ESR so it will require a total team performance.

  11. Mrcool says:

    Liverpool are not too special. They are very winnable.

    Everything lies in our midfielders and attackers.

    If Arteta can summon the courage and bench auba and play either pepe or martinelli on the wing, I will also bench Lokonga and play Nile to partner Partey.

    Only seriously committed and consistence players should be allowed to start.

    Arteta should instruct his boys not to respect Liverpool at all.

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