This morning’s headlines have once again been dominated by the stories of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho stepping on the toes of the media. While our sympathies are with Mourinho for his treatment from certain sections of the media, the news that he was accused of being “a difficult man to work with” hardly seems fair. After all, the same reporters who wrote about Mourinho’s “diva like” behaviour also alleged that his wife had tried to get divorced from him over his management style. Could it be that it’s the coverage of soccer and the potentially more serious story of the event itself that is all wrong here?
The praise for Mourinho’s tactics should perhaps be equalered by the fact that his teams, such as the one on Sunday that demolished West Ham 4-0, have the ability to frustrate opponents and smash teams on the counterattack. And so the only counter to that criticism would be that he is a style over substance coach. Whether you agree with his methods or not, Mourinho has ensured Manchester United have remained a threat on the field.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have needed a whole lot of luck in the last few weeks. A shot from the back post by Aaron Ramsey took a heavy deflection and wrong-footed the Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, to put the Gunners in front in the first half. But sooner or later it seems the luck runs out and that which is bad enough for them is enough to see them lose. Was this time the time?
On paper this is not a typically Arsene Wenger side but they still appear to be capable of challenging Liverpool for the Premier League trophy, even though they haven’t tasted Champions League football since the 2014-15 season. As such, Arsenal still have the potential to upset the odds today.
Liverpool have endured a difficult campaign thus far, losing their first two league games to Newcastle and West Ham, only scoring five goals in their first eight league games of the season. Since then they have looked far more fluid, scoring 12 goals in their last four league matches. Mohamed Salah has scored five goals in the process, bringing his season total to 16. To allow the Egyptian the freedom to play against Arsenal might not be such a bad thing. If the German strikers Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane can keep showing the same form, then Liverpool might just find a way past the Gunners this afternoon.