Play Fantasy Arséne Wenger – how do we prolong Rafa’s misery?

By Avenell Dave

I was abroad last season when we played the Scousers at Anfield.

My various Addict colleagues updated me throughout the first half, explaining how humbling our first half performance had been and worrying how we were going to come home with anything other than a shameful defeat.

Then Andrey Arshavin took the game by the scruff of the neck and I could barely keep up with the updates.

If we’d have been half decent defenders, we’d have come home with three points and a massive psychological boost.

Sunday is a different prospect in some respects.

Liverpool have just been beaten at home, they’re having their worst start to a season under Rafa Benitez and their two best players have been injured for much of the campaign.

The bad news for us is that Fernando Torres came through his return on Wednesday so I expect him to start again and he will be vital – the sort of player we’re lacking even with a fully fit squad.

Steven Gerrard is another who has been an inspiration, although to recall his early nickname, Aaron Ramsey could well find himself as celebrated as Gerrard in years to come if his performance against Olympiakos is anything to go by.

And Ramsey has certainly staked his claim for Sunday after Wednesday night’s performance.

Will he start? I doubt it. Arséne Wenger will get go with who he trusts and that means Denilson coming back into the side and Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song making up the midfield trio.

The key for me is if Eduardo is fit – even if he has been off form lately, he is the best finisher we have and would provide some serious support for Andrey Arshavin.

That leaves one place upfront and the question is probably whether Carlos Vela or Theo Walcott will start.

My money is on Theo because of his pace, but he has to start getting his first touch right and forget about bringing out children’s books unless he wants to be known as an author who once showed a bit of promise as a footballer. You couldn’t make it up.

The defence sorts itself out but after his showing on Wednesday, I’m more convinced than ever that Lukazs Fabianski should play.

Manuel Almunia continues to look like a rabbit in headlights and with more games and experience, Fabianski could be the main man. Won’t happen, of course.

Can we win this?

The reassuring thing is that Alberto Aquilani is hardly up to the pace of the Premier League yet and Liverpool are hardly in good form.

It’s always a massive game and if we can keep it tight (!), who knows, Addicts?

Addict XI


Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore

     Fabregas Song Ramsey

    Walcott Eduardo Arshavin

What do you think? Who should play against Liverpool on Sunday?