Liverpool vs Arsenal: Why Gunners fans are ‘buzzing, excited, and electrified’ but concerned about Unai Emery

Arsenal travel to Liverpool on Sunday evening – live on talkSPORT – looking to lay down a real marker in the Premier League.

Two wins against Newcastle and Burnley have increased confidence in north London and a victory over the European Champions could really build the hype at the Emirates.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action for Arsenal[/caption]

New loan signing Dani Ceballos is dazzling already, while Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are showing signs their formidable partnership will carry providing goals.

And we’ve not even seen the best of £72million buy Nicolas Pepe and the experienced David Luiz.

But how are Arsenal fans feeling going into the match, which is the third part of talkSPORT’s GameDay line-up at 5:30pm.

We spoke to Le Grove, an Arsenal blogger and podcaster for 14 years, to discuss the season so far and what might be in store against Liverpool. Visit LeGrove from more articles on the Gunners.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Norwich vs Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Derby vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sheffield United vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Liverpool vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Swansea vs Birmingham (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

What’s the mood around the Emirates after the opening two games?

LG: “Arsenal fans are buzzing, excited, electrified… We’re all the things fans are supposed to be at the start of a new season.

“Our summer had a very slow start. We lost key players, it looked like we were dithering. It felt very familiar. Then Edu landed and everything kicked into gear. We signed big names, addressed major squad issues, and even sold a pretty average player for a club record.

“Two wins against two standard teams shouldn’t be overestimated, but it’s been a solid start on all levels regardless.”

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Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have fired Arsenal to wins over Newcastle and Burnley in the Premier League
AFP or licensors

How do the fans feel about the current ownership?

LG: “Sceptical, still. The big shift at the top has been Josh Kroenke becoming the face of Arsenal. His involvement began in 2018. He oversaw the firing of Arsene Wenger and the hiring of Unai Emery.

“This year, he’s started to speak to the fans a little more. His big moment came after the #WeCareDoYou letter. He told us we should be excited, then he delivered.

“He has a long way to go, but the key to Arsenal fans collective heart is to drive the club forward.

“If he keeps his word and does to Arsenal what his dad did for the LA Rams then we’ll put a bust of him on the concourse in the North Bank.”

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Could Kroenke end up with a statue like this at the Emirates?

Are fans right behind Unai Emery?

LG: “The jury is well and truly out on the manager. His end to last season was horrendous, and the football has been terribly bland and one dimensional. He has another chance this season to right the wrongs.

“The squad is his, he’s had a year to embed his ideas, so we really should be seeing peak-Emery by Christmas. He has a year to prove himself, I think he’ll have to deliver top 4 as a minimum, but I suspect the football is going to be under the microscope as well.

“If it’s still dull, don’t be surprised if we see someone else in the hot seat next season.”

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Unai Emery is looking to guide Arsenal to a top-four finish this season
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How do you assess Dani Ceballos’ impact so far?

LG: “We LOVE him. He looked very rusty in the Newcastle game and we feared he’d take time to adapt, but he laid those worries to rest against Burnley. He has the best bits of Aaron Ramsey and some of the elements we love of Mesut Ozil.

“He’s a battler, the way he celebrated an aggressive press that led to the Auba goal at the weekend spoke volumes to me.

“He’s never going to be the star at Madrid, he could be an absolute icon at Arsenal. We love him, hopefully, he loves us and delivers a blistering rebuke to Zizou this season.”

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The Burnley game looked too easy for Ceballos at times
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Are you still worried about the defence, even with David Luiz arriving?

LG: “Unai Emery has zero pedigree for organising defences. His three seasons at Sevilla saw him average 49 goals a season.

“He took over a defence that had conceded 19 goals at PSG, then registered 27 goals against in his first year, followed by 29.

“When he joined he told the press he’d rather win 5-4 than 1-0. I don’t think it matters who he plays, if he doesn’t care about solidity, we’ll never improve.

“The big test is Liverpool at the weekend, that’s where we’ll see if he’s trying anything new this season.”

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Arsenal defender David Luiz might find times hard at the Emirates
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How can Arsenal beat Liverpool?

LG: “We have to make it past the first 20 minutes without conceding and build from there. Our full-backs have to play a smart game and our forwards have to be ready to snap on the counter-attack.

“We’re going there with a forward line of players that are athletes this year, so we’ll at least give Liverpool something to worry about.

“One point is a success this weekend, the reality is we’re a very long way off being at Liverpool’s level.”

What’s your prediction for the Liverpool game?

LG: “I am going to be a misery and say we’ll probably lose this 2-1.”

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Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe for £72million this summer
Getty Images – Getty

Visit LeGrove from more articles on issues on and off the field at Arsenal.

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