Unai Emery admits Arsenal face a ‘big challenge’ when they travel to Liverpool to face the Premier League’s greatest ever side.
The Gunners more than held their own against Jurgen Klopp’s men when the two clubs drew 1-1 at the Emirates in November, however, since then the now league leaders have won a shiny medal for conceding the fewest goals after 19 Premier League matches in the year 2018 and an Oscar for best dive that won a penalty and didn’t earn a retrospective ban.
The Reds are also still unbeaten in the league; a fact that has moistened the festive loins of Fleet Street’s finest. Faced with such well-endowed opponents, many men might flip out, field the reserves and take a 15-0 beating on the chin, but Unai is eager to see how his chaps will fare.
“It is a very big match for us, and for them,” he judiciously noted in his pre-game press conference.
“They are unbeaten this season, with a very big confidence and big performance from their players.
“I look at their progress over the last year and they are maybe in the best moment now.
“But for us it is a big challenge and a good test to know who we are, the difference between them and us in the table is clear and also I want to look at the pitch.
“We have one test against them at the Emirates, we drew but it was a good match. In Liverpool is going to be a different match to what we played here.”
Asked if Liverpool can emulate Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles – an overrated lot that secured the league title at a canter, becoming in the process the first team to do so without losing a game since 1889 – Emery added: “At the moment, they are doing it and they can do. They can do that because they are doing it at the moment.”
The Spaniard also suggested that Klopp’s carefully assembled band of demi-gods (plus Dejan Lovren) could be an example for his mere mortals.
Reflecting on a previous experience facing the Scousers with Sevilla, he went on, “We played against Liverpool three years ago with Sevilla in the final of the Europa League and I look then, at this progress, in this process and they are a very good example.
“I am also looking, with the coaches also, at how we are now and with the difference in the table before those years and with us and with other teams. The progression with Liverpool is clear.
“Three years ago, they were out of the Champions League through the Premier League and through the Europa League, because they lost against us [at Sevilla]. This progress is also one example for us, now, in our moment.
“But we need to be very, very demanding of ourselves to do this step quickly in our way. But we need also time, and sometimes the patience is very important for us.”
Arseblog News is happy to be patient so long as it brings us the same level of success as that experienced on Merseyside in recent years.
“Arseblog News is happy to be patient so long as it brings us the same level of success as that experienced on Merseyside in recent years”
I’m assuming this is sarcasm???
They’ve won precisely nothing!
I couldn’t disagree more. Apart from their keeper, fullbacks, centerbacks, strong core in midfield and a well established forward line, I think we’re right there with them.
You may joke, but the fact remains that we are halfway through the season and Liverpool are still unbeaten. What’s worse is that their home form, especially in defence has been excellent. If you look at their fixtures the only two formidable opponents left for them to play away are City in a week’s time (in awful form right now, so pretty much the perfect time for Liverpool to play them) and then United (trash this year) later on in the season. If Liverpool manage to get through their next two games without taking a loss there’s a very real… Read more »
Champion League, FA cup and league games 3 times a week will take a toll on them, that’s how it usually goes.
As for Saturday, I’m expecting one of those embarassing away defeats, that became all too familiar, recently. 4 nil woukdn’t surprise me.
Have they played Sp*rs away?
Yep. They beat the Sp*ds 2-1 in September at Wembley.
We drew them and you think Sp*rs can beat them?? No chance.
Those games aren’t where the unbeaten runs are usually lost. It’s usually against a scrapping, battling, relegation threatened side who come at the end of a particularly gruelling run. I think Liverpool are a million miles from being capable of going unbeaten- we have this chatter every year and come and of January there will be a nice ‘1’ in their loss column, at least.
I hope so, mate, I really hope so. Maybe I’m just being too pessimistic.
Case in point: Man Utd’s long unbeaten run several years back was ended by Wolves.
Call me a sadist but i like the sound of other team’s unbeaten run being ended by wolves.
I see what you did there and I like it
They will remain unbeaten until somebody beats them. That’s how it works.
No mate, they will be unbeaten until the end of the match before they are beaten. That’s how it works.
Surely it will be at the end of the match in which they are being beaten, not the one before. That’s the way it works.
Wait till the Champions League restart in February, and whether they have the squad depth to go all season unbeaten.
“But we need also time, and sometimes the patience is very important for us.”
Good luck with that. Have you seen the recent comments on this page? Because it’s clear fans aren’t as patient as they said they would at the beginning of the season.
You’ve still got my support, Emery. I remember the grief Klopp and Pep got on their first years at their respective clubs.
For all the great Arsenal fans, there are just as many idiots. Not nice to say, but it is true. We’ve lost once in 7 and went undefeated for 22 games and I’ve seen at least 20 comments stating we need to get rid of Emery on the last few articles. Plus that’s just Arseblog – which usually attracts a decent bunch of folk.. So I can’t imagine what the Daily Mail comments section looks like.
The big concern is that some have now taken this narrative of Ozil v Emery, and have backed their side regardless. It’s so bizarre and utterly divisive.
I would guess that the Daily Mail comments section looks like Twitter for knuckle – dragging morons….. Oh…..hang on….
Ahem. I would guess that it looks like Twitter.
I’ve missed this have people actually been saying we need to get rid of Emery?? (Genuine question) So ridiculous if true
Well said ?
Exactly!! In the beginning of the season there were a lot of comments like ‘This season will be full of ups and downs and we need to be prepared for that etc etc etc”. Come December we lose and draw a game away after an unbeaten run of 23 games, people are starting to jump on the manager and his decisions. Not considering the fact that we have a bunch of injuries with Holding, Monreal, Bellerin, Mustafi, Welbeck, Mkhitaryan out. All of these are first team players. You take that out of any team, any team whatsoever and they will… Read more »
Best comment ever!
I have upvoted this comment 7 times now.
God bless you. Very well said. We fans can be too impatient and even insensitive at times. Managerial changes usually come with trying times and require gradual adaptation; and under Emery I think we aren’t doing so bad! Just a rough patch plagued by injuries and congested fixtures. COYG
People are allowed to be critical, whilst also still supporting the club/manager.
You can’t really say anything about Brighton considering the subs, nobody telling Iwobi the formation and the toothless performance.
But Klopp and Pep are football revolutionaries who have won everywhere they’ve managed.
Unai is more of a dinosaur IMO. 1-1 away to a mediocre team you don’t take out two of your best attacking players to play 3 CDM’s and nick a draw.
Please don’t mention him in the same breath as Klopp and Pep. He’s a top 4/Europa League winner at best.
I’m sure if we turn up we can beat any team in the world. We outplayed them at the Emirates. It’s upto Emery. If he puts up the right squad and formation, I’m sure we can beat them.. Good luck
A few returned healthy players would certainly be helpful.
“It’s upto Emery” – After all, coaches don’t play football. So all our Lichtsteiners and Özils have to run out there as wild tigers, as was it the world cup final. And they need a tiny bit of luck. But so do Liverpool, and they might have ran their’s far enough. This is winnable.
“run around”, oh, yes, i forgot we’re the first running team. And we’re 5th. The importance of running.
It’s taken Pool and Klopp a few years, and the right financial backing, to get where they are now. With time, and the right backing from our higher ups, no reason we cannot get there either. If we can get it right this January and summer, may not take as long, but patience is a must. Getting back in CL is the goal, whether that be getting in top 4 or winning EL, I don’t care. We as fans have to be patient and back the team/manager. COYG
I agree with you Ace.. I’m confident we’re on the right track with Unai on the wheel. And luckily we have Mislintat and Sanlehi who can spot talent and finalise deals. And they got Stan’s backing. This is the beginning of a new Arsenal FC… PATIENCE guys
Winning the Europa League is the best for us at the moment. Emery is a pro here. CL next season plus trophy – a European one at that! We may struggle to remain in the top 4 unless sth drastic happens. Spurs are getting out of reach, Man U under OGS looking good already and Chelsea rediscovering form. Plus the latter two being big spenders. Let’s keep aiming for top 4 but Europa is Arsenal’s best shot for now.
I think we might go up there and surprise them. I seem to remember a few weeks ago the experts all predicting that Spuds would thrash us in that PL game. Look how that turned out. The players have shown that they can lift themselves for the big games. Emery should pick a defensive side and try to battle out a draw. BTW: hasn’t this season’s events finally shown up Wenger and his “financial doping” BS? Spuds and Liverpool are above City even though they are, like us, run as a business. Liverpool’s recent resurgence is due to the fact… Read more »
A bit harsh tbh don’t you think? They’ve JUST jumped above them, City have slipped a bit but are every bit the powerhouse and will still challenge. As much as I hate to admit it Poch and Spuds have done well, but likely will faulter due to injuries, lack of incoming players, etc. Le Prof is still highly respected and I’d venture to guess he’ll have a job soon. He’s not necessarily out of a job because no one wants him either. Do agree that we can certainly surprise Pool if the squad is up for it but don’t think… Read more »
We took it to Liverpool in the reverse fixture by having a go. With our current defense I’m not so confident in that approach this time around. But I’m hardly confident we can sit back and absorb either. But Virgil or no, you have to go at their defense, it can be done.
Ozil and Auba on form on the counter and getting Xhaka and Torreira back together in midfield are the keys imo.
I really wish supporters would stop rubbishing our greatest manager who even at the end still won 3 Fa Cups in 4 years which Is still more than Liverpool or Spurs have achieved. Please concentrate on thepr present and the future.
I’ve never rubbished Herbert Chapman.
I’m not looking forward to this match,but for different reason compared with late AW era. Then we would take a beating with our best team, now we’ll get it because our disasterous injury situation in the defence. Playing with the same team as we did at Emirates we would have a decent chance. They got all the glory for now, but with a couple of injuries to their best players they’ll would also struggle. That said, if we by any chance could grab a butt ugly win by a clear offside goal or a wrong penalty I would spend the… Read more »
Poetry, pure poetry and the main reason I visit this site everyday. Such a joy to read and even some of the comments have a substance – yes I know – hard to believe
John Terry is a cunt! Oh…
Liverpool went out and spent the money to get the players to get them to the next level (Van Dijk & Becker). Arsenal just won’t spend the money. We need to take a deep breath and dive in to the pool in the deep end.
Liverpool spent that money by making 200+M on the sale of 2 players alone, let alone all the other sales they’ve made and astute purchases.
We’re trying to do the same thing. They are self-sustainable as well.
That’s not true , they have spent WAY more than what they have gotten from sale.
Yes, and we could have raised lots of money by selling Sanchez, Ozil & Ramsey etc if we had some common sense & nous. But no, the club or whoever f……ed up big time.
…….. “the premier league’s greatest side ever”
Not sure if this is taken out of context but I know this is not correct ?
I think few people gave CP any chance of eating MC. That was despite the Blues taking the lead. CP did that by getting at least 2/3 players tracking Sane/Sterling /etc and bodies were put in the way of shots. If the gunners play ahdl,they will be asking for trouble. I am no coach but have common sense which the former fm doesnt seem to have. Flood the md and hit on the break which CP did. Every team in the epl including Pool are beatable. You must be organized and every player must row the boat . The defence… Read more »
Oh now I’m even more worried! Everything you’ve said there that Palace did seems beyond us at the moment.
With some of our 8 injured players back I’d feel happier. Looking at Scousers results no-one has got within 2 goals of them in PL in any game since the Emirates match other than their derby match v Everton. They’ve scored 22 goals in those games to our 14, conceding 2 to our 10.
Ever-hopeful but worried.
I nearly puked when I read – greatest ever side, without any quotation marks. Thought the Mugsmasher has infiltrated Blogs HQ.
Now I get it.
I remember not too long ago when I’d see Liverpool on the schedule and count 3points for us. The Steve Gerard days. The good old days
Good Emery that you noticed the difference in the present league positions. I hope you also can see the other differences such as playing to your players strengths, using your best players, not tickering every half times, defending and supporting your players…. All these is called MAN MANGEMENT!! and Emery you are way off Liverpool in this regards!!
Jesus wept. Who is to say that demanding more from Ozil isn’t excellent man management? Especially with regard to every other member of the squad who now feels like they are treated equally?
You should read what the other players say about Özil instead of speaking for them.
You don’t know Ozil. You don’t know any of the other players. You’re not around the team. You’re not in the changing room nor at training. Yet, you know Ozil wasn’t treated equally?
I give it until this time next season, Nordin. All these Emery apologists will finally get it. I’m not sold on his approach at all. The fact that he keeps making changes at half time is not a plus. It’s a minus. It means he got it wrong at the start of the game. It means he didn’t pick the right players or the right tactics. A lot of you will see him for who he is by this time next season
I just hope that we go there and don’t just fold at the first setback. Otherwise for all their form, I think they are beatable..
Folded at first setback. On to the next folding.
Dont play ozil we will stand a chance. Guve ramsey a start
Ah, yes, it’s true that with Özil, we play at 10. Ah, yes…
Happening as it doesin the month of December, which is traditionally the month when Arsenal fall to pieces, a decisive win for Liverpool is easy to predict
Predicted 5 or 6. Just too obvious.
If we beat them, we bring the gap down to 10 points.
AND we want to beat them to prevent them from getting any ideas about going Invincible.
We will need to press as a unit
Take our chances.
not make any silly mistakes.
Easier said than done but not impossible if we believe we can and keep our heads together.
Unai translation “buy me some defenders”
Reading further inbetween the lines…
“I can still score goals without Ozil and match Liverpool in attack, we need more quality defenders even at the expense of our two attack minded midfielders, don’t buy me an attacker without sorting my defence first”
I like Emery, he can skillfully show by example and outcomes on the pitch what he needs whilst still grinding some results out. i.e. he knows how to deal with this type of management structure we have
Obvious statement is obvious.
You said it, Boss.
and today’s performance made it abundantly clear.
Think we broke the Shite-o-Meter today.