I’ve not been the only one to point to Liverpool and reflect on where they were five years ago while hoping Mikel Arteta can do for us what Jurgen Klopp did for them, the only problem is there are quite a few telling differences.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool applauds fans after the Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road on February 15, 2020 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
NORWICH, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 15: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool applauds fans after the Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road on February 15, 2020 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

10th place in the league and no European football. Sound familiar? That was Liverpool five years ago before they hired Jurgen Klopp.

There’s difference number one. Klopp had won titles before he arrived in England. Arteta hadn’t even managed before he took over at Arsenal. That’s not to say he can’t do it, but they are very different things.

Speaking to the press before the game against Liverpool on Wednesday night, Arteta was asked if he saw Liverpool as treading a road Arsenal could follow.

“What they have done is phenomenal,” he said. “Obviously the first two years it took them some time to rebuild the squad and to create a new culture, a new philosophy and a game model that suited the coach.

“Then they started to recruit every single player in relation to what they needed and that’s where I think they were really smart. They bought with specificity for every position that was required.

“Financially they had a big backing and made some big signings which completely changed the club in my opinion.”

It seemed at first that Arteta was telling the club, publicly, what he needed.

Then he brought us crashing back down to earth by reminding us of all the other differences between Liverpool and us…

So can Arsenal ‘do a Liverpool’?

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta gives indications to his players during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Richard Heathcote / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta gives indications to his players during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Richard Heathcote / POOL / AFP)

“If you ask me that question in four years and we’re both sitting here and I can tell you ‘Yes, we’ve done it’, I will be so happy,” he said.

“But I know how many decisions have to be right and how much support you need from the club and the people around, and how much connection you to have to generate from your fans to have the full package, and afterwards it’s football.

“The context right now is different to what it was as well four years ago and the abilities for a club to rebuild something is more limited, but it’s certainly something we have to look at and how they did it because it’s a great example.

“But we have to know that we have to do it our way with our resources and have it in mind that the content right now is different, but we are heading to be the best and this is my only objective with this club. We have to find a way to do it.”

Sigh.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.