I am not sure what to9 make of the comments about Arsenal made by the Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this week, as he prepares to bring his team to north London for the opening round of Premier League games. Perhaps the German is playing a bit of mind games and maybe trying to get his opposite number Arsene Wenger to change his own approach or even to relax and expect today’s visitors to play a certain way.
What Klopp said about our tactics is not what you expect to hear about Arsenal under Wenger, as the general consensus is that we are too settled on our passing and fluent style of play instead of being pragmatic, but that is what Klopp says we did against his side last season, focusing on long balls to either Mesut Ozil or Olivier Giroud and playing in a much more direct way.
The Liverpool manager said, ‘Arsenal is usually a football playing team but last time against us there was a lot of long balls and always to Olivier Giroud [who scored two goals in the match].
‘The second ball was to [Mesut] Ozil, they caused us a lot of problems in this game. That was a big threat on that day.
‘We knew about it because a lot of teams chose this way against us so it we could have defended on this day better.
‘It was not about what they did, it was about how they did it because it was highest quality with how Giroud and Mesut Ozil, especially, on this day performed.’
Of course there will be no Giroud and Ozil in the Arsenal team today, so if Klopp expects a direct game he may come unstuck. If Theo Walcott starts as the centre forward as many expect, I do not think Wengeer will want to many aerial balls into the box, but he could go for a more solid system and try to use a counter attacking style to exploit the extra pace up front.
How do you think Arsenal will play?