Mikel Arteta has told his Arsenal players that they will need to bring their best when they travel to take on Liverpool this weekend.
The Gunners will take on the Reds at Anfield in tomorrow’s evening kick-off, and while you could argue that we have our best chance of claiming a victory there in years, there will be nothing easy about finding one.
Liverpool haven’t been beaten at home by us since our manager was amongst the playing staff in 2012, but with injuries stacking up, they could potentially go into this weekend’s fixture as second-favourites.
Arteta insists that his players will need to bring their best to get a result however, with their famous stadium and atmosphere bringing an fascinating challenge of it’s own.
“It is always a test, it is a fascinating stadium to play football in,” the Spaniard told Arsenal Media. “You have to be at your best, and raise the level to your maximum standards, emotionally, physically, tactically, because if you don’t you will be exposed.
“Going to Anfield is always a test, but if you are able to do that, there are not many grounds as good as there to feel that you are a proper footballer.
“You really feel as a footballer you are in a place where you really have to give your best and when you do, it’s an incredible feeling, because you have overcome a really difficult and challenging situation.
“When you don’t, like it has happened other times, after you feel regrets for things that you haven’t done or you should have done differently, or you haven’t approached the game in the right way. I think it’s one of those places where you have to go there and believe on the day and show why you want to play football.
“I don’t know [why we haven’t won there more], obviously the quality of the opponent has a big say. It’s not a coincidence that last year as well before we went to Old Trafford, it was I don’t know how many years before we won at Stamford Bridge the same, but first of all you have to believe that you go there and that you can beat them, that’s the first thing.
“If somebody is not with that mindset, they should not put the shirt on and go to Anfield tomorrow and then as I said you have to raise individually your game to your best, emotionally, physically, technically and tactically you have to be able to suffer in the right moments, because there’s going to be moments where you’re going to have to do that and then as a team you have to have very clear ideas of what you’re going to do on that pitch to beat that side.”
Their stadium is famous for bringing an amazing atmosphere, and our players will need to overcome that challenge in their heads, while a really strong performance could well silence them somewhat.
It should be a tense encounter, and it would be crazy to believe that we could get an easy ride in Liverpool, but I still get the feeling that we can get at least a draw this weekend.
Am I alone in feeling confident of getting at least a draw this weekend?