Thursday, October 31, 2013

Almost 25 years, and it's worth watching Arsenal v Liverpool again!


Is it really almost 25 years since Michael Thomas lifted the ball over Bruce Grobbelaar to give Arsenal a 2-0 win and the league title at Liverpool? It doesn't seem like yesterday, but I can't believe it's from the 1988-89 season.

Those two meet again this weekend with far more at stake! Just kidding, but it is the game in the Premier League this weekend. Arsenal are at home and are two points clear of Liverpool (and Chelsea), although some people are already questioning if Arsenal can maintain their strong start after losses to Dortmund and Chelsea - neither of which was in the league.

Arsene Wenger wants to win the league again, make no mistake. I think he knows the Champions League is out of their reach unless they sign another striker, a 'keeper and another centre-back. So the league it is, and they have looked good so far. Aaron Ramsey has been immense, making Jack Wilshire look a shell of the player he was expected to be this year - Wilshire's struggles to get a starting place will help him in the longer term, but there's no doubt it's Ramsey and Mesut Ozil's team right now.

Liverpool are humming, Suarez and Sturridge are the league's two top scorers, they create a load of chances and have good support players competing for places. They look stronger at the back, although I still fancy an error or two from Skrtel or Kolo Toure.

Liverpool don't need to dominate the ball like Arsenal and will try and hit the Gunners on the break at the Emirates, but Arsenal have been a little more ruthless with their chances this season. As long as Giroud stays on, they have the upper hand in my opinion, but Liverpool will score - they just pose too many attacking threats right now, and are brimming with confidence.

It's by far the most interesting game of the weekend in the Premier League, although Everton v Spurs on the Sunday should be good viewing too.

***

Roma play tonight and Sunday, and will be hoping to go 11 for 11. They are fun to watch and aren't conceding goals. It's what you want your team to be, but then who doesn't want to watch Totti win games - apart from fans of Lazio, Inter, Juve, Sampdoria, oh wait, only neutrals and Roma fans love Frank.

***

Gareth Bale scored in midweek, twice. He's worth the money. He's not, he's still a very good player, but I reckon I'd have 5 or 6 in La Liga by now. Barcelona are averaging 3 goals a game and are still unbeaten - don't expect either of the big two to lose anytime soon.... Zlatan is out injured, so no need to watch Ligue Un! Just kidding, Falcao and Cavani are mustard too... Go to a Bundesliga game, don't watch it on TV. If you can't, search for a video of teh Dortmund fans at the Emirates last week - it'll give you goosebumps.