What a crazy weekend of football it was on Merseyside and around the rest of the country. A great win, even if we didn’t look that impressive – we won uglyish – and also won against a top four team, which should restore some sort of confidence to our team and based on the amazing pro-Arsenal results this weekend – should kind of put us back in the title race. Well, of course it should, if we win our game in hand, then we’re only 3 points behind the current league leaders.
It was a game of two halves up at Anfield on Sunday and I was shocked at our first half display… but in a more shocking but pleasant way, I am very intrigued to know what happened at half time – apparently Arsene went nuts at the players. Cesc revealed some of what Arsene said:
“The boss screamed. He was really disappointed with us in the first half. I’ve never seen him like that before. He said we didn’t deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt and he was right because we really weren’t good, we weren’t up for it. And I think he was right. In the second half we turned it around. But that gave us a boost and the second half was one of the best second halves we have played this season. There is still a long way to go. The Premier League is more open than ever, you can beat any team and I like it that way.
So, Arsene had to have a go at the players, but rightly so and it worked. Most people, including myself, would have been a little surprised about the tirade as Arsene is known for keeping his cool and never raising his voice. But sometimes it is necessary and for the team, it’s good to have this expressed in unusual manner because it says in your mind and makes a difference.
Ray Parlour was on Sky Sports news yesterday and remembers when Arsene last “had a go”, which was when we lost 5-1 to United, saying:
“It’s not really his style but sometimes you have to (get angry). It’s all about the reaction you get. That day we had no chance of coming back from 5-1 down, but on Sunday they were 1-0 down and still had every chance of getting back into the game.
He continued to talk about how valuable the 3 points were to us and how it’s changed our season – and it certainly has – the biggest test now is obviously the next game and winning against Burnley is a key thing for us this Wednesday – it’s also not exactly an easy task either. They have some incredible home form and we really need to be on form to make sure we leave Turf Moor with all three points – if we don’t, all our hard work will be undone.
Arsene summarised the game well, outlining the need for consistency, but of course that comes with a settled team, something we’ve not had all season!
“I believe that Liverpool are a good side who when they find their confidence they can beat anybody in the league. For us with the results of yesterday, mathematically it gets us into a good position with a game in hand. Mentally for us it was a massive game today. We knew that with what happened yesterday it was needed to win the game. We knew that before the game started and we did it so that’s something positive. Now it’s down to consistency. I have said for a long time now the team to win this League will be the team capable of being really consistent. Nobody has been yet. There is a long way to go.”
Looking at the rest of the league, I thought Chelsea would have a blip but I thought it would be in January when the likes of Mikel, Essien and Drogba were off on International duty, but seeing them lose against Man City and draw at home to Everton and then see United lose at home to Aston Villa has really given us an opportunity to get back into the race. With Sp*rs also looking, at home to lowly Stoke (who’ve actually lost less games than Liverpool now), it turned out to be a virtually perfect weekend for us. It goes to show how quickly this league can and has changed this season. Something we can also take hide from and ensure we focus on every match…
We’ve got Burnley tomorrow and it’s another big test for us… Til then…