AllArsenal’s view on Liverpool: Lack pace, Henderson/Milner aren’t fluid

Ahead of tonight’s match against Arsenal, we got Gunners blogger Mohamuud Jama of AllArsenal to provide us with a North London perspective on our start to the season. 

Interestingly, his thoughts echo many of our own. 

Check them out below. 

By Mohamuud Jama – All Arsenal

After another summer of transition, Liverpool are currently experiencing some serenity which may come as a surprise to many considering what transpired with the sale of Luis Suarez and the subsequent upheaval which followed.

However, despite another busy window for the Reds, Brendan Rodgers has managed to oversee a solid start to the Premier League season with back-to-back wins. To put that into context, Liverpool had to wait until October in order to achieve a similar feat last season.

Not only have Liverpool managed to get six points on the board, but the fact that they’re yet to concede is something we don’t usually associate with a Liverpool team. While it may be early days yet, they have looked very comfortable at the back and gave minimal chances away against both Stoke City and Bournemouth – although they were lucky in their last outing with a goal ruled out for a soft challenge on Dejan Lovren.

Having said that, it’s quite hard to identify how Rodgers wants his team to play given that they’ve looked unconvincing in terms of the brand of football we’ve come to expect from the Reds under the Northern Irishman’s tenure.

The fact that he’s gone for a midfield pairing of James Milner and Jordan Henderson may have contributed to the lack of fluency in their play. While the England duo are both solid players in their own right, neither can be considered as a deep-lying playmaker capable of spraying the passes we’ve witnessed the likes of Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso produce on a number of occasions.

As Monday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium looms, Rodgers has hinted that he may adopt a more conservative approach having stated that the key to defeating Arsenal is dominating “space” rather than “possession”. If that’s the case, the fact that he’s prepared to compromise on the philosophy which has defined him as a manager proves that he may have finally accepted that getting the results sometimes matters more than the performance.

An obvious weakness in the Liverpool side is the lack of pace and if Rodgers is looking to land a knockout punch on the counter-attack, the responsibility of carrying the ball may well fall to the inexperienced Jordan Ibe following the exit of Raheem Sterling this summer.

Arsenal v Liverpool usually provides us with some entertaining encounters and for the Reds, they may well see the birth of a new, match-winning, disciplined approach to games if Rodgers gets his way.

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Source: EOTK