Ian Wright claims that Liverpool currently have the upper-hand on Arsenal ahead of this weekend’s clash because the fans are all on manager Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Ahead of Sunday’s meeting between the Gunners and Liverpool at Anfield, Wright was talking to Sky Sports via Daily Star about the chances each club has to finish ahead of the other. He said: “It’s hard to judge until the window finishes, but as it stands, Liverpool [are in a better place] for me.
“One of the main reasons is this: playing football at a big club is hard enough, and when the crowd is with you, loving the manager, Jurgen Klopp, like they do at Liverpool, you get the spring in your step when you go out onto the pitch.
“[Arsenal fans are] waiting, and now they’ve lost at Stoke, if they go to Liverpool and get turned over, does it all start again (the pressure) at the next home game?”
It’s an issue that is probably worrying a lot of people in and around the club. Any fanbase expects a loss every once in a while, but unfortunately the majority of Arsenal fans at the moment are probably the only ones in the big six that could really turn on the team after two in a row.
Social media reaction is almost always a bit over the top, so that isn’t so much of an issue. But if it then transfers into the crowds at the next Arsenal home game, suddenly it becomes a problem. As Wrighty points out, the danger is that you get players thinking: ‘If we’re not winning after 20 minutes, they’re going to be on us!’
Most players who are busy focusing on not upsetting the fans, rather than on their game, won’t perform to the same standard as they would otherwise. A win at Liverpool would probably reduce the problem, at least for the time being, so Sunday’s match already looks like a crucial one, even so early on.