This season of the Premier League was eagerly anticipated. With world-class players, this time, we could also be able to witness world-class managers battling it out with each other. The likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, and even Conte – to some extent – have brought in sturdy reinforcements, and engaged in playing around with the strategy and formations to see what suits the team best. So far, it has yielded positive results for them.
However, what happens to Arsenal and Liverpool – more importantly, have Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp something to worry about?
Arsenal are in desperate need of new players, and it seems like the deficiencies are more apparent in this season. Wenger’s transfer policy is rather detrimental to the needs of his team at this point. They were linked with so many good players who could do wonders for them, but like always, no deal materialised as such. In fact, the first two games itself showcased many areas where the Gunners need to work on.
There is just something missing from the side. Despite their best efforts last season, they dipped towards the end and finished second, when they could’ve potentially finished first.
Before anything else, they are in dire need of a central defender. Their defence this season, has been anything but convincing. They’re not doing too good in the strikers department either, and what Wenger needs to understand is that deadline day is not far away, and he needs to cut a deal before that.
Arsenal conceded 4 times in their opening match against Liverpool at the Emirates stadium. Not the best of sights for their fans, even more so because they eventually went on to lose the game, and fell short by one goal. They were terrible against Leicester City and their attack was very weak. Out of the 90 minutes they played, they had only 4 shots on target. Once Ozil returns, their situation might improve. Honestly though, there’s not any drastic changes that can happen as long as Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott keep underperforming.
The Gunners have obtained only one point from their two games, and sit 13th at the table. This is not something the Arsenal faithful want to see, as this is what they’ve seen over the years.
With the transfer window closing in a week more or less, Wenger needs to figure a way out. They will also compete in the Champions League this season, which will only make his job more difficult. Balancing Premier League and Champions League commitments has never been easy for any manager, and unless he makes any changes to his team, this is going to be another trophy-less season for Arsenal.
Honestly, when compared to Arsene Wenger, Klopp is in a better situation by leaps and bounds. However, consistency is proving to be a problem for him so far. Their 2-0 loss to Burnley was an indication of how they need to work on being more consistent, in terms of their performance as a team.
The Reds do put up their best against the big teams – for example, they were good against their opener against Arsenal – but they seem to struggle against teams that generally sit deep and counter-attack suddenly.
They were inconsistent last season as well, and this can’t be the story this time as well. Winning against big teams and losing to comparatively smaller teams will not help them in any way, as ultimately their points will still remain average. They need to make changes immediately if they wish to finish in the top 4.
It could be said that Liverpool became a bit too complacent against Burnley, and the newly-promoted club did not fail to take advantage of that. Although the Reds attempted 26 shots, they just couldn’t convert it to a goal. Burnley have a gem of a goalkeeper in Tom Heaton, and he will truly be a test for the best of strikers this time.
Klopp’s standing issue remains the left-back position. Against Burnely, James Milner was put to the task and he was clearly uncomfortable. Alberto Moreno has been a major disappointment and Klopp would do well to keep him out of the team for now, as the Reds do not have the luxury to take a risk of that kind now.
Sadio Mane proved to be lethal for Liverpool, and his return from injury will be a boost for them.
Klopp faces a challenging task of making Liverpool more consistent now, because Liverpool have been known to follow up emphatic wins with weak losses.