The Kop & The Gunners – Birds of a feather

Post By : KingHenryTheFif

As Peter Drury – the commentator of last night’s game stated at full-time, “make of that what you will”, the multiple conclusions of the game have not only left much to be desired in mid-season terms, but also equally revealed that the recent affiliations between Arsenal and Liverpool continue to provide high stakes in absolute relevance to the realities of the past, present and future; perhaps three high scoring reasons why we witnessed such a thrilling 3-3 stalemate.

It all started with Liverpool in August, 2016 didn’t it?! The debut league defeat, the false start, the true preference for pace upfront, the complete capitulation, the incomplete comebacks and dashed hopes, the inexplicable defensive switch offs, but most importantly, the defeat that should have been avoided. Last season’s curtain raiser was the kind of game that could (and should) have at worst, produced last night’s scoreline, or perhaps a 4-4 cracker, for many mental reasons.

This desired rhetoric especially stems from the fact that we ended up one point short of a Uefa Champions League spot that the Reds gladly occupied when the curtains closed, back in May. Seven months on, It still remains a personal (and perhaps a mutual) feeling that the three points dropped to Klopp’s men albeit on the first game of the 2016/2017 season went a long way to costing Arsenal the Elite continental spot they’ve always shared alongside fellow European heavyweights.

However It must also be emphasized that the team mustered a proud response to such an early big game defeat and soon started to strut their stuff, gained ground in leaps with Ozil and Sanchez at the fore of flourishing moves. In no time, became just as envious as the stylish Red’s, in title “whispering” fashion, but that’s how far it only got. It was crazy to think we would be gulped in so much negativity and uncertainty only few months later.

Since then, we’ve provided extremely jittery displays against the Klopp, albeit both being away from home, performances which have guaranteed a defeat before halftime; and so at half past nine O’clock last night, a collective sense of deja vu seemed well and truly on the cards, as the negative nostalgia of an Anfield capitulation appeared to have sneaked into the Emirates.

This year alone, that embarrassing manner of defeat at Anfield has been a recurring theme in the last few games against the big guns. Concede badly, go two goals down, get one back, muster a real fight back, concede again and draw the curtains on another miserable defeat. Such has already been witnessed twice in decisive games this season – at the Etihad, and against United at the Emirates.

Baring all these in mind, the chance to bring everything to an end in the last home fixture of an overlapping calendar year (2017) finally presented, and Arsenal had to go into this the only way they know how to win – by regarding the game as a Cup Final. Ironically, we were served with the worst possible scenario in such massive “knockout” (theoretically) contest, almost similar to 2014’s F. A. Cup nightmare against Hull City at Wembley. Then we showed up with familiar guts and we began to recognize the team in front of the Friday Night glitz; the side who have relished Cup finals since the arrival of the club’s significant symbol in Mesut Ozil.

It hardly appears like a coincidence with the added fact that Arsenal have bossed the F.A. Cup since the significant investments began with Mesut Ozil ushering in the new exciting Era of big money transfers back in September 2013.

Such rich milestones of three (3) trophies from the last four (4) editions signifies a strength that can be tapped into, as attention gradually turned from getting back to the game, to salvaging something out of it, to eventually taking a mental lead, and then trying to seal a magnificent recovery that unfortunately metamorphosed into a missed opportunity, having failed to hold on to the little margins that translate into a remarkable applaud of Cup success, via the aid of a clinical knockout instinct of epic proportions.

As we know, the last time we engaged an opponent in a Friday night debacle, we were served a Topsy-Turvy spectacle, thanks in no small part to Leicester City’s bravery on pitch perfect terms, contributing three goals in a seven-goal thriller on Week 1. Another degree of familiarity on another unusual Friday Night EPL sat pretty with Jurgen Klopp, who might still prefer to take positives out of a game he must have thought they had sewn up before the hour mark.

The German has been sure to build a satisfying identity not just against the Elite managers in the Premier League, but particularly against Arsene, in terms of the German/Bundesliga affiliations shared between both.

In recent years, the duo have seemed a little more insistent on building a side who’ve got an identity that originates from the home of the World Champions, focusing on technical combinations and prime link up play, particularly built around the likes of Mesut Ozil and Roberto Firmino respectively. The latter additions of the likes of Mustafi, Xhaka, Kolasinac indicate such emphasis on presence and technique of an ever increasing die mannschaft origin.

There’s a similar atmosphere brewing ion Merseyside, with Klopp’s use of the aforementioned Bundesliga schooled Firmino – who’s involved in most things deemed pretty in attack, Joel Matip, Loris Karius, well as the incoming Naby Keita next season which assures the continuity of the all action approach regardless of what the future holds for Klopps’ current German Soldier, Emre Can.

Once again there’s a growing likelihood that only one of Arsenal or Liverpool will nick a top four spot, and while yesterday’s draw means the Kop boss has taken 4 points from his French Counterpart this season, Arsene will as always rely on his wealth of experience and this season’s Emirates fortress as a refreshing tool to serve Klopp a dose of last season’s bitter pill to swallow.

Interact with Henry on Twitter @KingHenryThefif or with us @CanonCrested. If you are in Nigeria, support the site by shopping from our store by clicking here 
 



Support Us: Shop From Our Arsenal Store