Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool: Too Early for Panic in North London?

Frank WagnerCorrespondent IAugust 20, 2011

Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Liverpool at the Emirates was obviously not the optimal result for the Gunners, but is it bad enough to be a legitimate cause for panic?

On the one hand, Liverpool is probably one of two clubs that will compete with Arsenal for the fourth and final Champions League spot in the Premier League.  Hence, losing a home game to the Reds is a blow to the Gunners' European hopes for next year, no matter how early in the season.

In addition, the loss of centre back Laurent Koscielny weakens an already hurting position for Arsenal and the sending off of Emmanuel Frimpong makes the midfield even weaker for the next few Premier League games.

On the brighter side, the news of Samir Nasri's transfer to Manchester City falling through is great for Arsenal as it means they will probably have the French playmaker's services for the season.

Also, Thomas Vermaelen played exceptionally for the second straight week, marking Andy Carroll to perfection.

Finally, Arsenal can still afford to add a few more players with the money picked up in the Fabregas deal.  With injuries abounding, this could be crucial for the short-term and add depth to the squad when players return from injury.

I think there are good enough reasons not to hit the panic button just yet, but if Arsenal are unable to hold off Udinese in the second leg of their tie in the Champions League playoffs, the money the Gunners would lose for not being in the group stage of the UCL could hinder any buying the club could do.

With the loss of Koscielny and no new transfers coming in on time for Wednesday, the prospect of losing to the Italians becomes much more feasible.

Maybe the panic button shouldn't be hit just yet, but a loss to Udinese would be very worrying for Arsenal's prospects for the season.

Wednesday's match will almost certainly be the most crucial match for Arsenal this season.