A tale of two clubs - Pakistan Today

A tale of two clubs

An Eden Hazard inspired Chelsea currently sit top of the Premier League pile but with only two weeks into the new season, it would be foolish to look at the table in its present state and make any lasting conclusions. Both Manchester clubs have shown indifferent form so far with United already recording a loss on the opening day, which has left the likes of Swansea, Everton-who by their usual standards have had a cracking start-and West Brom to occupy the remaining Champions League spots at this early stage of the season. The focus however will once again be at Anfield as a revamped Liverpool take on Arsenal in the standout fixture this week.
The fixture, even at this early stage of the season has plenty riding on it with both teams yet to record a win in their opening two games. Liverpool were stuffed at the Hawthorns on the opening day while Martin Skrtel’s brain-fade allowed City to have the share of the spoils last week. Arsenal on the other hand limped to two scoreless draws against Sunderland and Stoke, clearly feeling the absence of Robin Van Persie.
While they may have contrasting aspirations for the season, it is interesting to observe that quite a few similarities exist at both the clubs. There has been a flurry of activity over the summer, especially at Liverpool where FSG ruthlessly removed much of the previous regime and appointed Brendan Rodgers who enjoyed a successful spell at Swansea. Since then much of the old guard-Kuyt, Maxi and Aurelio among others-has been shipped out and replaced by players who are not only young but who Rodgers believes, fit in his style of play. The fact that most of Dalgish’s signings have been deemed surplus to requirements or relegated to a peripheral role at the club has not helped Rodger’s Revolution either. Arsenal have been busy themselves with Wenger uncharacteristically buying relatively established players rather than going for youngsters who are yet to even grow some facial hair. Considering these players were brought in before the club sold RVP and Alex Song, one can expect some new faces to arrive at the club before the transfer deadline. With several new players having to be integrated, it is likely that the respective teams will appear slightly disjointed in the early part of the season.
Speaking of disjointed, the Arsenal attack has looked just that in the absence of Van Persie culminating in 40 shots on goal without a goal being scored over two matches. The trio of Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud is no doubt talented but adapting to a new league and style of play can take some time and Wenger has rightfully asked Gunner fans to be patient. Liverpool are not short of problems in attack either; Suarez’s conversion rate during his time at Anfield has been so poor that you sometimes wonder if he’d score even if there was no goalkeeper while early glimpses of Borini suggest that he’s someone for the future rather than the present. Carroll, at the time of writing has agreed to go on a season long loan at West Ham which leaves Brendan Rodgers with 24 hours to pull a rabbit out of the hat otherwise Liverpool could be in for a long season.
With both attacks misfiring, you would wonder where the goals will come from in this match but the Liverpool defense has struggled right through from pre-season with Brendan’s philosophy of ‘keep ball’ with Skrtel being the most obvious culprit and while Arsenal have looked solid at the back in their first two games, those clean sheets came against teams that are hardly the most enterprising in attack so there is every possibility of comical defending from both sides resulting in goals.
As with most matches, the outcome will depend on who wins the individual battles on the pitch. Allen has been the pivot around which the rest of the Liverpool team functions while Cazorla will shoulder most of the playmaking duties for Arsenal and with Liverpool missing Lucas, the Spaniard could cause some damage in Liverpool’s defensive third. The emergence of youngster Raheem Sterling has excited a lot of Liverpool fans and provided he starts, will pose an interesting challenge to the young Arsenal fullbacks. All things considered, this scribe feels that the match will end in a scored draw.



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One Comment;

  1. ally said:

    Is,nt There any jobs in Pakistan for Rodgers take him off our hands !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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