Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Mikel Arteta singles out ‘special’ Liverpool superstar ahead of Arsenal clash

Mikel Arteta singles out ‘special’ Liverpool superstar ahead of Arsenal clash

Mikel Arteta has praised Trent Alexander-Arnold as Arsenal prepares for Liverpool’s visit, while Jurgen Klopp has addressed Mohamed Salah’s slow start to the season.

Title-challenging Arsenal will look to reclaim first place in the Premier League when mid-table Liverpool visits the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners have had a fantastic start to the season, winning seven of their first eight league games, and if they can continue to pile misery on Liverpool, they will reclaim first place from defending champions Manchester City.

Klopp’s side has been one of Europe’s most formidable teams in recent seasons, but a poor start to the season – they have won just two of their seven league matches – has dropped them to 10th, closer to the relegation zone than the top four.

A win at home would put Arsenal 14 points clear of last season’s runners-up, but a win away would close the gap on their top-four rivals and send a message to the division.

Following a turbulent start to the season, England right-back Alexander-Arnold will be the focus at the Emirates. 

While the 24-year-old has scored both at home and in Europe, critics have largely panned his defending.

When asked about the Liverpool star ahead of the match on Sunday, Arsenal manager Arteta said, “Well, he is a very special talent.”

“What he adds offensively to the team every year is difficult to find in that position.”

Former Premier League defender William Gallas identified Alexander-Arnold as a weak link and urged Arsenal to target him.

“Trent is struggling. The problem with Liverpool is that almost every goal is coming from Alexander-Arnold’s side of the pitch,” Gallas said earlier this week.

“He is playing far too high. From an attacking perspective, we all know that he has great quality and he can deliver plenty of crosses and create chances for his team-mates to score from, but when he has to defend he is not strong enough.

“I’m not surprised by his performances. I think over the last few years, because of what he can do going forward, creating so many assists, people failed to see the weaknesses in his game as a defender.

“His first job is to defend very well. How many goals have Liverpool conceded from his mistakes? Nobody talks about this when you’re winning games.

“Liverpool were on fire, winning games, winning trophies and the number of assists he registered was magnificent, but these errors were always in his game.

“For Arsenal, this is the right time to play Liverpool.”

Mikel Arteta singles out ‘special’ Liverpool superstar ahead of Arsenal clash