Why Liverpool Will Beat Arsenal Tomorrow Afternoon

The Arsenal v Liverpool game tomorrow is something I am looking forward to. As with all the big games, you can only be excited about them and the rivalry between Arsenal and Liverpool is still one of the great encounters. Sure, games against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are special but I would put the game against Liverpool right up there in the footballing calendar.

Maybe it’s because one of my earliest childhood memories was watching the Liverpool v Arsenal game with my father and seeing that amazing goal from Michael Thomas in the final seconds. I was fortunate enough to briefly meet Michael Thomas a long time afterwards and remember how much of a nice guy he was. He signed an autograph for me and really couldn’t have been a nicer bloke. Along with watching Thomas the Tank Engine episodes and playing football in the park, that goal is one of the most memorable childhood recollections I have.

You can’t deny that Arsenal v Liverpool games aren’t special.

In recent times, our fortunes at Anfield have been very mixed. Last season we travelled to Liverpool and got absolutely slaughtered 5-1. The season before we won 2-0 with goals from Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, and the season before that we won 2-1 when Robin Van Persie scored a dramatic winner with only minutes remaining.

In the last 6 encounters at Anfield, Arsenal have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1 – which all in all isn’t bad at all.

And one of the games we drew we completely threw away, which was the game Andrei Arshavin scored a phenomenal 4 goals – after only having 4 shots all game.

So onto tomorrow, and if you go on current performances then Arsenal are seemingly clear favourites.

But if you look at the last 10 Premier League games, this is how Arsenal and Liverpool have actually fared:

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As you can see from my very hi-tech and fancy graphic, both Arsenal and Liverpool have had mixed fortunes in the Premier League. I think the reason why people seem to think Arsenal are in better form is because of the last couple of weeks – we’ve managed to beat Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray in the Champions League as well as beat Newcastle United convincingly at the weekend. Liverpool on the other hand drew to European minnows FC Basel and Ludo Razgd in the Champions League, and lost heavily to Manchester United in their last league game.

But if you just put domestic form into account, there’s hardly and real difference there.

So don’t think Liverpool will be a push over.

Another problem Arsenal have is Brendan Rodgers is under fire from the media and Liverpool supporters, and will be desperate to turn things around as soon as possible. Unfortunately for us, he would have learnt a harsh lesson from the Manchester United game and will be looking to get the fans back onside with a big win over Arsenal.

With our defensive problems, players like Sterling will be a big threat.

Liverpool’s players will still be hurting from the criticism that has been thrown their way and if anything you will probably see a very defensive Liverpool (even at Anfield) who will be looking to catch us on the break – and unfortunately that is probably our biggest weakness, conceding goals on the counter attack.

For Brendan Rodgers this would be a low risk tactic and something he will be looking favourably upon.

If Arsenal want to get anything from this game, they are going to have to be patient, controlled and make sure they don’t go throwing men forward.

I can see goals in this game but Arsenal need to ensure they don’t buckle under the pressure – especially as they have a record of conceding late goals and letting leads slip, like they did against Anderlecht and Swansea.

My heart says Arsenal will win 3-1, but my head says Liverpool will beat us 2-1.

My Bittersweet FA Cup Final Day

As Arsenal embark on looking to break the 9 year trophy hoodoo and as Arsene looks to bring in the first major trophy since moving to The Emirates, today is a bittersweet day for me.

We all know how massive today is, and while Arsenal are major favourites we still have the shock that was Wigan beating Manchester City to win last seasons FA Cup fresh in our minds.

Make no doubt about it, Arsenal will need to be on top of their game to bring home the cup tonight.

But while usually I’d be checking all the latest news and build up and obviously watching the match itself, I have to go to a wedding today…

Which means missing the whole thing entirely!

I’m not looking for sympathy, but being an Arsenal fan for over 27 years now I realise that today is a significant day in Arsenal’s history, a day much bigger than potentially winning a major trophy. If Arsenal can overcome Hull City, then it would represent something of a new era. After 8 seasons without a trophy, today could be the catalyst for bigger and greater things.

Of course, if Hull City pull off a shock then it could still be a significant day in our history, but for different reasons.

Obviously I’m clutching at straws here, but if you’re watching the game and fancy updating me on the latest scores and incidents during the match, then you can tweet me here:

Arsenal 4 Life Twitter

Bet this is the first time an Arsenal blog has asked for match updates isn’t it!

Anyway, I hope every Arsenal fan who is watching the game has a fantastic day and we all get what we want from the final.

All the best and COYG!

5 Reasons Why Wigan Will Beat Arsenal 2-1 In The FA Cup Semi Final

For Wigan to win today against Arsenal you can get around 20/1, and for me they are killer odds worth taking advantage of. You can even get Wigan to win 1-0 at 19/1 – so the bookies think there’s no chance of that happening but we know that with Arsenal, anything is possible.

I will tell you exactly why Wigan will win 2-1 today and give us the 9th season in a row without silverware.

1. We Bottle It Under Pressure In Spectacular Fashion

Every single big test we’ve had away from home this season we have failed spectacularly. Against Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea we had season-defining games to prove we were genuine title contenders. What happened? We collapsed in sensational fashion.

Against Everton, it was our chance to prove that we were good enough to be in the Top Four. What happened? We got thrashed and were lucky to walk away with a 3-0 defeat.

Today represents another massive test in our season, and whenever we’ve had one we’ve failed.

2. The Players Have Stopped Playing For The Manager

We see training photographs before every “big” game of the players laughing, joking and generally being relaxed. That’s what Arsenal Football Club is now – a big joke.

The players have stopped playing for Arsene Wenger, that much is evident over the last 2 months. You can moan all you like about injuries but this is Arsenal. Our players are good enough to beat anyone on our day, but we haven’t because we haven’t turned up in important games. How on earth can you explain limp performances against Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton? Those are exactly the game footballers get out of bed in the morning to fight in and show the world how good they are. Instead, they stroll around as if they don’t give a shit.

And it’s all because the players don’t care anymore.

3. We Have Olivier Giroud

You all know how I feel about Olivier Giroud. He’s one of the worst Arsenal strikers ever to play for the club. One dimensional, limited and generally ineffective, the Frenchman is not a striker you can win any major honours with. If he put as much effort into missing chances and posing when he doesn’t score into actually getting a shot on target he’d be a decent player.

4. Arsene’s Tactical Knowledge Is Dated And Limited

There’s one thing being outplayed in the first 15 minutes of the football match (City, Liverpool, Chelsea & Everton) but it shows tactical ineptitude not to actually address those glaring problems. Any decent manager that was seeing his team get overrun, outplayed and generally playing poorly would step up and make some changes to at least stem the flow.

But Arsene? He’d rather “let his team play” and “express themselves”. The problem is, if Wigan go 1-0 up what will Arsene do? He’ll wait until Wigan go 2-0 before making any changes.

5. Wigan Are A Very Good Team

The bottom line is Wigan turn up for the big games, and today have nothing to lose. As it stands in the last 2 seasons they have won the FA Cup and reached the semi-final – the best record anyone has over the last 2 years. And today, they are relishing the underdog status.

They have the belief, the knowhow and the ability to pull off a game plan. They’ve beaten Manchester City twice in the FA Cup and know how to beat the big teams – and our record at the JJB Stadium wasn’t the best when they were in the Premier League.

So do yourself a favour, put a few quid on Wigan to win 2-1 and at least make a bit of money.

Why Everton Will Demolish Arsenal Based On This Season Alone

So here we are, another massive game for Arsenal.

As it stands, Arsenal are in 4th position in the Premier League after having played 32 games with 64 points. Everton sit in 5th after 31 games, and have 60 points.

So the situation is clear.

If Arsenal win, they are well on the way to finishing in a Champions League spot come the end of the season. A draw gives us a theoretical 1 point buffer over Everton (if they win their game in hand) and a defeat… Well that’s not worth thinking about.

The problem is that we’ve been in this exact same situation 3 times before this season and every time, spectacularly failed.

Regular readers will know that I have repeatedly made the same old point over and over again. When Arsenal are ahead of a team in the league, and only need a point to keep a nice distance between them, they collapse is unbelievable fashion.

Against Manchester City, we were several points clear and should have kept it tight and played for a draw. What happened? We played an extremely naive and open game and lost 6-3.

Against Manchester United, we were well ahead of them but somehow managed to lose against the worst Manchester United side in the last 20 years. And a Manchester United side with the worst home record over the last 2 decades.

Against Liverpool, we were 7 points ahead of them and what happened? We lost 5-1. Before Anfield we were 7 points ahead and now we are 8 points behind. That is a massive 15 point swing in the matter of less than two months.

And then we have Chelsea. You would think Arsene would have learned his lesson but no. Once again we play a ridiculous system and end up losing 6-0. In a game where a draw would have kept us in the race, we spectacularly lose.

So why is there any hope against Everton?

Every time we’ve faced a top opponent, and every time that has been away, we’ve lost the plot. We’ve collapsed, we’ve capitulated, call it whatever you want. For whatever reason, we haven’t turned up and had a hiding.

Is it because Arsene Wenger has lost the dressing room? Is it because we need Ramsey and Walcott?

Whatever the reason is, Arsene needs to sort it out because once again we face a top Premier League side in their own back yard. And in the 4 times that’s happened already this season, we’ve completely collapsed and given that side a massive boost in the process.

Predictions For The Manchester City Game? Will Arsenal Lose 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0?

Arsenal go into today’s game on the back of a disappointing draw at home against Swansea, and a disastrous defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The level of opposition doesn’t let up as Manchester City come to town. The blue side of Manchester completely outplayed Manchester United (something we failed to do at two attempts), beating them 3-0 at Old Trafford.

So it’s going to be a big ask today.

If we can’t keep a clean sheet against Swansea, then what hope do you have against Edin Dzeko who is on form, Yaya Toure who is a beast and David Silva and Samir Nasri, who are pulling the strings.

If Manchester City turn up, then it could be another embarrassment.

The small consolation is that it is away from home Arsenal have been a shambles. At home, we’ve drawn against Chelsea, Manchester United but also managed to beat Tottenham and Liverpool.

So all hope is not lost.

But Arsenal are well out of the title race while Manchester City are in a fantastic position to win the league.

If Arsenal do manage to win, then they still have a slight chance to making a late charge for the title. It’s a small chance but it would still be possible to nick it if the other teams slip up – but it would take a near impeccable rest of the season, which on recent weeks looks hugely unlikely.

So predictions for the score this afternoon?

My heart says 1-1, but my head says 4-1 to Manchester City.