It remains far too early to reach conclusion on the nature of a club’s progress based on the first game or two. No firm judgements should be made on players and clubs just yet. However, it is reasonable to share on observations made in the light of current events.
I watched the match and it came across afain like one of those games where players were still getting used to each other. The Liverpool side have a number of players getting to know each other and getting to know the management and coaching system of the club. Arsenal are going through a transitional phase with the departure of Fabregas and ongoing conjecture over the future of Nasri. They have key players injured and also have some suspended already, so their team likewise suffered in rhythm.
Kenny Dalglish called this a good advert for the Premier League. I don’t usually disagree with Kenny but this was hardly a game to excite for quite some time. The first half was bitty. Arsenal had no rhythm and rarely troubled Reina. Liverpool were sloppy a lot of the time and did not seem able to convert posession into testing situations for their opponents. Of course I appreciate that this is an away fixture against the main rival to the fourth place, and the record at Emirates had shown no wins. Yet I was not impressed by many Liverpool performances, although the goalkeeper and defence were solid and Enrique in particular was fully deserving of his man of the match award.
Goal-less in the first half and it was clear that Liverpool could sense an opportunity to get more than a point from this game. What they needed was more guile and creative force to add to what was already a fairly controlled situation. Arsenal shot themselves in the foot again with their suspect disciplinary record as frimpong deservedly took an early bath. Not long after that we made the necessary changes and Suarez and Meireles made the difference. Their injection of more purpose caused the own goal. Then just to put the icing on the cake Meirerles created a chance that Suarez could not miss. Whatever excuses Wenger wishes to make, his side deserved to lose that match.
This does not cover up the fact that Liverpool has some development work still to go. Henderson needs time to fit in and work out what his best role is. Adam needs time as well. Enrique is a joy to watch both defensively and going forward. Even Carroll has not got into his groove as yet. It is a good result, however, and that is the main thing.
As for Arsenal, it is somewhat bemusing noting the anxious, concerned vibes emanating from the fans. In the context of a league that has seen City, Chelsea and United surpass them especially financially and Spurs and Liverpool improving, Arsenal do well to still be in the Champions League. It is not as simple as ‘spending money’ as various factors has to bbe considered like the wage structure, player valuation, if they can fit into the Wenger way. Yet there can be no denying changes are necessary and need to happen before the deadline. They run the risk of getting left behind. For all that, i would not be all that concerned about their progress this season. The bigger problem is being in a system where the manager is so important to your set up that there is no easy way for a new manager to come in and do something different.