Why Liverpool Are a Better Side Than Arsenal at the Moment
With the 2013/14 Premier League season having kicked off, Liverpool fans can look back on the opening day with optimism.
Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal are all contending for the final champions league spot, assuming the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea finish in the highest three spots.
For so long Arsenal have been considered a stronger side than Liverpool, but I feel those days are over. Here is why.
For the first time in a while, Liverpool boast an attacking force that screams quality. Not taking into account any further summer business (and in any case, the addition of Willian would strengthen Liverpool even further, while Arsenal haven't been linked with anyone as strongly), Liverpool have attacking options, and Arsenal don't.
Daniel Sturridge is a striker on top of his game and would walk into the Arsenal side, beating off competition from the inconsistent Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski. The same can be said of Luis Suarez. It seems that this season, Liverpool have a better bunch of players who are able to score goals.
If Podolski or Giroud were to be injured, Arsenal would have no real striker to play, whereas Liverpool have Iago Aspas, an exciting prospect who has impressed consistently in every game he has played, as well as Fabio Borini (though listing him as a better player than any Arsenal striker wouldn't be fair).
But in any case, Liverpool have much better attacking depth.
Jack Wilshere is a fantastic playmaker, but Philippe Coutinho is an all-round better player, and at the same young stage of their careers their potential is equal.
Liverpool are just the better side offensively, and with Brendan Rodgers looking for another world-class attacking addition (and with Wenger saying nothing), it looks likely to stay that way.
Whilst Arsenal fans may state that they had the best defensive record in the League last year, the fact is they look shaky and are prone to individual mistakes. With Bacary Sagna's and Thomas Vermaelen's injuries exposing a huge lack of depth, Arsenal have huge defensive worries.
Liverpool, however, aren't in the same situation. Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure and Andre Wisdom are all proven centre-backs and are all available for selection. Glen Johnson is continuing his form, with the added insurance of Martin Kelly, who is fit again and will be looking to impress once more after an injury-plagued season.
Jose Enrique is a solid left-back defensively, and with Aly Cissokho's transfer only pending a medical, per Football Espana, cover in the position isn't an issue at all.
It's an incredibly strong Liverpool defence, rich in depth and ability.
The same can't be said for Arsenal, who, due to injuries, are having to play players out of position just to field four defenders.
A slight exaggeration, maybe, but the gap in defensive ability is hardly marginal.
The Lack of a Holding Midfielder
One of Arsenal's main requirements in the days that remain in the transfer window is a holding midfielder, as proven by Aston Villa on Saturday, who scored after running through the heart of the Arsenal side.
Liverpool have defensive cover in the shape of Lucas, who though not always glamorous blocks shots, tackles well and generally gets his body in the way, disrupting the opposition's attacks.
In the modern game, this kind of figure is crucial, and Liverpool again have the edge over the Arsenal squad, who have no natural, proven defensive midfielder.
There is no doubt that Arsenal fans have grown tired of their side's inability to sign quality players, and defeat against Aston Villa only intensified the agitation.
Fans are growing tired of Wenger and his tactics, and many feel their side is on the decline. Indeed, many fear an early exit in the Champions League playoff stage, something that you once would have thought unthinkable.
It couldn't be much more of an opposite feeling at Anfield. Rodgers has finally assembled a squad that is his, and given last season's run from January, things seem to be on the up. The owners have supported the side, players such as Jordan Henderson have improved beyond belief and proven talent such as Suarez look set to stay and provide Liverpool with another spark once again.
Liverpool have only strengthened where Arsenal have stayed the same (or have even been weakened by departures), and thus Liverpool are the side with momentum.
In a League where experience can be key, Liverpool again hold an advantage over Arsenal. In the absence of Vermaelen, Arsenal have perhaps one vocal leader in Jack Wilshere.
Liverpool, however, boast Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger, Luis Suarez (yes he still counts) as well as Kolo Toure—all proven leaders of men.
Overall, Liverpool look to be the stronger side in all aspects. Feel free to disagree (I'm sure some will), and thanks for reading.