Spyin' Kop - Liverpool vs Arsenal - 15/08/10

Posted by Frank. on August 12, 2010, 07:30:40 PM



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So it is upon us. The first game of the season: Liverpool vs Arsenal at Anfield. Can Roy get us back into the top 4? Can we get back to our old winning ways? We'll get a hint on Sunday, but for now here is the first Spyin' Kop of the season.

I would like to thank Joe, Mark and MagicHat for taking their time for some great answers.

After a pretty poor world cup, the transfer market hasn’t thrown up much so far. What do you think of your signings to date?

Joe: Our signings to date have been promising. I know neither are really proven but I generally believe both will contribute a great deal to our team.

Mark: Our signings are as expected, Chamakh has effectively been an Arsenal play for over a year now and a center back from France was always on the cards. Chamakh will give us the aerial ability and hold up play that we have missed since Adebayor, Koscienly reads the game to a decent level. The rest of his game is unkown to me.

MagicHat: Chamakh looks like he will offer us something different, a target man who works the flanks and stays up top since our only other tall striker likes to drop deep, should get more goals then the departing Eduardo provided last season but I don't think he is going to become top scorer in the league, fairly pleased. Koscielny is a fairly big fee for a man of his record but he is a player in a position we needed upgrading, be intresting to see how he does, may need time to adjust but hoping he will be a good addition. The problem isn't who we have brought, it is the positions (GK, another CB, DM) that still need filling that is the concern


Do you expect anymore singings?

Joe: Yes, without a doubt. Arsene has already confirmed he'll sign a new defender (though I cant see it being anyone exciting, just someone to fill the gap and provide cover when needed), Possibly two new signings if Arsene comes to terms with the fact everyone of our goalkeepers we currently have is useless at this moment in time.

Mark: Wenger is an extremely philosophical man. If reading him was an art I would have mastered it by now, unfortunately that is not the case. Predicting our signings is an impossible task. I’m absolutely certain that we’ll sign a center back, Saphic being the obvious pick. However, I was just as certain we would sign a Defensive midfielder last season, so don’t hold your breath.

MagicHat: A CB certainly and possibly a keeper. No DM, think Wenger is going for Song/Diaby/Denilson/Frimpong/Eastmond to fill that hole.


Obviously most Arsenal fans are sick of the Barcelona – Cesc stories, not to mention all other fans. What do you make of this saga?

Joe: They've been totally classless (the players, most noticeably Xavi the little prick) , and for me, damaged Barcelona's reputation dramatically, and I know we (the Arsenal fans) are not alone in sharing that opinion. I could wright loads on the saga but I've already done too much of that over the last couple of months, and because now it's officially ended for at least 6 months, I'd just like to leave it at that.

Mark: Ha, this is an interesting one as I’ve pretty much stayed away from the whole ordeal. When the window opened I made it clear that Cesc would be staying, unless Barcelona offered us an extremely high amount, far above Cesc’s market value. Considering I believe Cesc’s vaule to be of £30million, Barcelona simply did not have the funds to purchase Cesc. I mentioned Barcelona’s debt several times in the past, now it is finally coming to light. Besides, Arsenal fans are used to their players being coveted: Henry and Vieira for a combined 5 seasons. Barcelona courting Cesc for one is nothing.

MagicHat: I'm fine with Cesc wanting to leave, I would have waited another season in his shoes, but he has served us well and wants to play for his home club which happens to be one of the biggest clubs in the world. We didn't win anything last season, Barca could win pretty much anything yet again, how can I begrudge him. I do have issues with the way Barcelona have handeled it, all talk yet putting in a low offer while their players spout how Cesc is their personal saviour and Wenger eats puppies. Had Barcelona done it properly, they may have had a deal already but instead ended up with the Arsenal board determined not to bullied into a deal so next summer, please do it properly Barcelona.
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What do you make of Wenger’s decision to release William Gallas & Mikel Silvestre on a free, leaving the club with only three senior center backs before the start of the season?

Joe: I would have liked to keep Gallas but he's a greedy twerp and wants a bigger salary, and that was never going to happen, not at Arsenal. Silvestre could have been kept for experience and back-up just in case, but let's be honest, he's totally useless and the fans have never really taken to him despite scoring against Spuds.

Mark: Gallas leaving was not Wenger’s decision, we made him a good offer and he turned it down. The fact that he is still a free agent hints at the lunacy of his demands. It is a shame as last season was arguably his best, but at 33 it is time to move on. Silvestre? Not worth talking about. Nordtveit has recently been promoted to the first team, so that is now 4 center backs. Despite this, an other certain back is essential.

MagicHat: I feel Silvestre became a scapegoat, if he was on the pitch then he was to blame for everything, but he served his purpose as a 5/6th choice cb. His loss is pretty minor and have no problem if his place was to go to a youngster like Nordtveit who might benefit from the experience. Gallas loss is a blow and I'll miss him but it is  tempered by his wage demands and his increasing frailty, I'm ok if he is replaced by Koscielny. The concern is that we also lost Senderos and Sol Campbell, so we gained two and lost four, with one of the three remaining prone to injury. If we fail to get another cb then we will pay dearly for it in the season ahead, injuries will hit and all teams require four cb's, with versatility and youth providing cover in 5th and 6th place cb. So, as of now, I fear the decision will prove to be disastrous.


What do you think Wengers’ realistic targets for this season?

Joe: Winning a trophy is a very realistic target for us this season, and I'd like to think we'll be able to push United and Chelsea even harder in the PL as well, especially towards the end of the season where we tend to fall apart.

Mark: Wenger will target success, he wants to win the league. This season is crucial as his contract is up in the summer, if he is not pleased with his results he may leave. Do not be thrown by his “Champions League qualification is a trophy” spin. Wenger is a winner, whether that is realistic or not should be debated with him.

MagicHat: It's Wenger, he will think we can win it all! He will certainly look for a run in the CL and at least a place in the top four, he probably will demand his team at least challenge for one of the two trophies.


Where do you think Arsenal will finish in the EPL; CL; FA Cup & League Cup this season?

Joe: PL - 1st / 2nd

CL - Last 8

FA Cup - 1st (I'm targeting this as our best chance of silverware)

Carling Cup - I have no idea. We'll play our kids and hammer a few teams, but then we'll come up against Chelsea and get whooped as usual.

Mark: I believe we will finish 2nd in the league, with Chelsea as winners. However, United have had “poor” teams more times than I can remember, so they’ll more than likely prove me wrong! The Champions League depends a lot on the later draws and the state of your team at the time. Realistically the Quarter final is a given, Semi-final a target. I won’t comment on the FA cup and the Carling cup as I can’t give a serious prediction for competitions we don’t take seriously.

MagicHat: In top four, probably clinging onto 4th; Out of group stage but defensive naivety/weakness exploited against one of the giants at some point; Last 16 seems about where we usually end up with the other two.


If you could have one or two players from the Liverpool squad bar Torres & Gerrard, who would they be?

Joe: Mascherano & Reina. Both of them are fantastic players, and both of them cover the positions Arsenal have been struggling with over the last few seasons.

Mark: 1st: Pepe Reina, I think he is over rated but our need for a goal keeper is unparalleled.
2nd: Ryan Babel. Could you imagine Emmanuel Eboue and Ryan Babel on the same team? Our entertainment value would sky rocket.

MagicHat:
If we talking a dream world: Reina, we desperately need a keeper so why not the best in the league?  Mascherano, if he suddenly settled in England, we could then return to 4-3-3 or copy everyone else in a 4-2-3-1 with Song and Masch holding the midfield together


What do you think the Arsenal team will be on Sunday?

Joe: Whoa, I have no idea, really. Cesc and Van Persie are doubtful and we have players like Bendtner, Song and Arshavin who all have little injuries, and then there's 13 of our players pissing off for that stupid International friendly, no doubt one of them will come back with their legs snapped in half.

Mark:I can only answer that on Friday. But right now I’ll have to go with:


Fabianski

Sagna Koscienly Vermaelen Clichy

Diaby Cesc

Nasri

Rosicky Chamakh Arshavin


That team is very poor. Song, Diaby, Denilson, Cesc and Van Persie, Djourou are all major doubts. But I think Diaby will play and Cescs 45mins against Mexico put him in contention for me..

MagicHat:


Fabianski

Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Clichy

Nasri Song Cesc Rosicky

Arshavin Chamakh

Finally, Care to predict the score?

Joe: Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

Mark: Entirely depends on the team, but if my predicted one starts. Liverpool will win.

MagicHat: 3-2 to somebody, probably whoever has the fittest star player near the end. I certainly can't see us keeping a cleansheet with our preseason form so think both sides will score at least.


Thank you for reading and please refer to the sticky at the top of the Liverpool FC Main Board If you wish to Volunteer to do a Spyin' Kop this season!

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