Spyin' Kop - Liverpool v Arsenal, FA Cup 3rd Round.

Posted by Terry de Niro on January 2, 2007, 06:12:46 PM

Liverpool v Arsenal
FA Cup 3rd Round
Anfield, Liverpool
Saturday, 06 Jan 2007
Kick off: 5-15 pm

On the back of two nice wins in the league, the FA cup which we won in dramatic circumstances last May starts in earnest, and pairs us with Arsenal in what is most definitely the tie of the round.

Both of our clubs have had a bit of a strange league campaign so far, and would have expected to have given Man United and Chelsea more of a challenge than they have, but all of that will be forgotten when we step over the white line for this intriguing encounter that will be our first of two cup meetings within three days.
I expect both managers to pick their strongest possible sides available.

Full name Arsenal Football Club
Nickname(s) The Gunners
Founded 1886 as Dial Square
Ground Emirates Stadium Holloway London
Capacity 60,432
Chairman Peter Hill-Wood
Manager Arsène Wenger
League FA Premier League

Club History
Arsenal Football Club began life when a group of workers at the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory decided to form a football team in late 1886. The Club played under the name of Dial Square. Their first match was a 6-0 victory over Eastern Wanderers, on December 11, 1886. Soon after, the name Royal Arsenal was adopted and the Club continued playing in friendlies and local cup competitions for the next few years.
In 1891 the Club turned professional and changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal, finally joining the Football League in 1893. The Gunners moved to their current home at Highbury in 1913, as a Second Division side. Following the First World War Arsenal were voted into the newly expanded First Division, where they have remained ever since.
Club Honours
1930/31, 1932/33, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1937/38, 1947/48, 1952/53, 1970/71, 1988/89, 1990/91, 1997/98, 2001/02, 2003/04
1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004
1930 Beat Huddersfield Town 2-0
1936 Beat Sheffield United 1-0
1950 Beat Liverpool 2-0
1971 Beat Liverpool 2-1
1979 Beat Manchester United 3-2
1993 Beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
1998 Beat Newcastle United 2-0
2002 Beat Chelsea 2-0
2003 Beat Southampton 1-0
2005 Beat Manchester Utd 5-4 on penalties (after 0-0 draw)
1987 Beat Liverpool 2-1
1993 Beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
1970 European Fairs Cup winners beating Anderlecht of Belgium 4-3 on aggregate.
1980 Cup Winners’ Cup finalists losing on penalties to Valencia of Spain in Brussels.
1994 Cup Winners’ Cup winners beating Parma of Italy 1-0 in the final in Copenhagen.
1995 Cup Winners’ Cup finalists losing 2-1 to Real Zaragoza of Spain after extra time in Paris.
2000 UEFA Cup finalists losing 4-1 on penalties to Galatasaray after a 0-0 draw and extra time in Copenhagen.
2006 UEFA Champions League finalists losing 2-1 to Barcelona in Paris.

I visited (www.arsenal-mania.com) where I spoke to, Lev and RC8.

Sk  What was your reaction to the draw, considering we have some unfinished business in the Carling cup?

Lev. Couldve been easier, but if you want to be the best, you got to beat the top teams, so neutral feelings really

RC8. I thought that it was definitely unfair that 2 teams that should meet in a semi-final or even the final, were drawn together. It was also angering that it was at Anfield, as it is a very difficult place to go, and to have both domestic cups depending on a victory there is not a very comfortable position to be in.

Sk  What do you think of your season so far?

Lev. s***e.....gone behind in too many games and had to fight for a draw.....at home
Lost to many away games to average/below average sides (e.g. fulham, bolton, west ham, man city)

RC8. Some great football, but poor first half results, and inconsistency in our away fixtures has costed us big time. This team is very young and still maturing, and the injuries we've had have hampered our success. For the game against Sheffield United, for instance, we had 10 first team players out, and 3 players had a cold. Had it not been for injuries and inconsistency, we would have cemented third place by now.

Sk  What do you expect for the rest of the season?

Lev. To take 3rd.....hopefully, get far in FA and Champs league....at the minimun

RC8. With some of our players coming back, and the end of the winter, which means pitch conditions and our clogged schedule will improve, I expect this team to start gaining some consistency, and finishing the season on a high at either 3rd or 4th place depending on Liverpool's form.

Sk   Who has been your best player/players so far this term?

Lev. Gilberto + Cesc

RC8. I'd have to say that Gilberto Silva and Kolo Toure have been the best so far. Toure is suffering from a slump in form, but he has held the defence together during this season. Gilberto is an awesome captain, and has put order in midfield, and scored crucial goals for us. Fabregas and Adebayor deserve a mention though, as they have played a very important role in all of our important victories this term. Robin van Persie, although tremendously inconsistent, is our leading goalscorer, and has made sure that we have a goalscorer during Henry's absence, and has been great at taking set pieces, with 2 assists from corners, and 2 free-kicks scored.

  Do you expect to sign any players in the January transfer merry go round?

Lev. Not really, but wouldnt be surprised if a teenager is bought for the future

RC8. Nope, not at all. When our injured players come back from their respective injuries, it's going to feel like we've acquired some new players. Specially with Henry and Gallas.

Sk   Do you think Arsène Wenger has taken you as high as he can regarding European success?

Lev. No one better. He can do it, we have full faith in him

RC8. No. In order to win the CL you need luck, and twice we've lacked that luck. That's not Wenger's fault. We were the best team in the competition in 2004, and last year we had every chance to take the trophy, we were just unlucky.

Sk  What are your best and worst memories of our previous meetings?

Lev. Best - for me 4-2 at highbury a few seasons back when we were 2-1 down.
Worst - THAT FA cup final, and watching you dismantle us last season, where Lehmann single handedly kept you out for 80minutes.....while the rest of the Arsenal players chilled out and watched

RC8. It's up for grabs now!" Pipping you the title at Anfield in the dying minutes of the game in 89 has to be up there. Henry's hat trick was also great. We've had some discouraging defeats, and last year's defeat, right before going against Real Madrid, really made me think we had no chance against the Spaniards. I'm glad the Liverpool result had no influence in the Madrid game, but it had me worried as hell. The FA cup final where you beat us was terrible as well.

Sk Which of your players should Liverpool be on guard for?

Lev. Hopefully Henry will be back for that, and he might be looking to prove something.....otherwise Theo when he comes on

RC8. If Henry comes back as he said he would, then he will want to prove what he's made of, and you'll have some difficulty keeping him quiet. Adebayor, if fit, is also going to be very dangerous in Arsenal's attack. Fabregas could always provide a killer ball, and, as he did at Old Trafford, he will fight until he gets the ball through.

Sk Who out of Liverpool do you think will offer you the biggest threat?

Lev. Xabi Alonso, Kuyt and Gerrard

RC8. I've always considered Kuyt to be a dangerous player. And if he has a good game, he could always pick upon a defensive error and capitalise. Alonso, with his long shots, is a threat as well, and could give Gilberto some work to do. Gerrard has a very powerful shot as well.

Sk Care to give us a prediction for the score?

Lev. Tight one, 2-1 Arsenal

RC8. 1-0 to the Arsenal!

Once again a big thanks to Lev and RC8..

© Terry De Niro 2007

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