It's Round One for Roy Hodgson, then. After a summer of bountiful optimism, what with the new managerial appointment, Gerrard and Torres pledging their futures, Joe Cole and Jovanovic coming on board for free, and new ownership on the horizon, no doubt that us Liverpool fans are pretty chuffed.
So while Roy Hodgson's present record can boast of a couple of victories home and away in the Europa League, his first real test will come with Arsenal, when we welcome the Londoners to our lovely home on Sunday.
Arsenal have been a hard nut to crack over the last few years. Damn that gobby little Russian. And the fact that the Gunners have acquired a tallish Moroccan chap means that their aerial presence up front will be damning. Aerial threat, might I add, was a real pain in our hindsides the last time around.
So while Fabregas and Van Persie might miss the game, the upside for Arsenal is the fact that even their lesser gifted players can simply lob the ball up thoughtlessly and vaguely towards the head of Chamakh and watch Jamie Carragher comically try to outsmart him. But we can trust Arsenal to do better than just that, can't we?
The Gunners seem to have hit on England's latest prodigy—a phrase which loses its importance after every World Cup, because the England fans after a shambolic performance simply sniff and sneer about that phrase anyway. Jack Wilshere might start the first and one of the biggest matches of their season, because, well, Wenger's mind works slightly differently than that of most people.
It remains to be seen which half-baked goalkeeper Arsenal field because their attempts to lure Mark Schwarzer have more or less been canned. We can expect their defense to be tight, their midfield fast, and Chamakh to be tall. And if nothing else, there's Arshavin too.
And now to the Liverpool side of the match. Well, Gerrard just banged in a couple of lovely goals yesterday—one of them took me back a few years—so we can expect him to be in top form.
Cole and Jovanovic must have an itch on their backsides to back up their great love for the club! There is Glen Johnson of course, dodgy as ever in the defense. Jamie Carragher will partner either of Agger or Skrtel in the heart of the defense, something which hinges on whom Roy Hodgson places his trust for occupying our traditionally weak left back spot.
Arsene Knows—so in all probability will send some really tough chap on their right wing to make our life miserable. One wonders if Mascherano will start at all or if he's already built his imaginary castle in the Utopian Barcelona/Inter Milan/Juventus. Lucas will play. Aqua will play some part at some point of time.
Torres' fitness is a question which needs answering—and fast—lest we be left with the poverty of playing N'Gog as the lone man in front.
Since the aforementioned optimism has got the better of me, I'm going to put my head between the guillotine, tongue between my teeth and go for a 3-2 in favor of Liverpool.