Ian Rush has predicted that his former club, Liverpool, will put Arsenal away comfortably today [Saturday] at Anfield but gives huge credit to Mikel Arteta for turning Arsenal’s season around.
Arsenal have overcome a lethargic start to the 2021/2022 season and are now competing for the top four. Going into today’s Premier League matchday-12, the Gunners are in the fifth position in the table on 20 points, just two points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
Ian Rush told Gambling.com in an exclusive interview that the recent international break was favourable to Liverpool, affording the floundering Jurgen Klopp’s side a respite to regroup well. Conversely, in Rush’s opinion, the break probably came at the wrong time when Mike Arteta’s Gunners were gathering momentum following a poor start to the campaign.
“Liverpool host Arsenal at Anfield this Saturday [today ]and I think this has the potential to be a great game but with Liverpool being at home I’d
expect them to take all three points,” Wales and LiLiverpool legend, Rush, told Gambling.com.
“Liverpool lost their last game before the international break but, to
be honest, it had been coming for four of five games before that and
West Ham got them at just the right moment, ending their unbeaten run.”
Rush added: “The international break was actually good timing for Liverpool, in my opinion, and I think they’ll come back and have adjusted and should be strong favourites to beat Arsenal at home.
“In contrast, the break probably came at a bad time for Arsenal who
have been building real momentum over the past few months and had come into some really good form.
“Arsenal have a really good young team and I really like some of their
players like Bukayo Saka and they have a really good young manager
“I actually got to know Mikel Arteta when he was doing his coaching
badges in Wales and I have a lot of belief in him as a manager. In
fact, I’ve thought from day one of this season that he can get Arsenal
into the top four this year.
“I’m predicting Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal will
make up the top four – not necessarily in that order. I think Arsenal are only missing one thing and that’s experience. They have a very talented, youthful side.
“Arteta just needed some time to implement what he wanted but anyone would have needed time in that job – there’s a lot of pressure – but to be fair to Arsenal they gave him time and a chance to prove himself and I think we’re seeing the rewards from that.
“It’s refreshing to see a club give a manager a chance. We’ve seen the
likes of Norwich and Aston Villa give up on their managers recently
and although it creates a great opportunity for someone else, it can
sometimes happen too soon for me.
“But that’s football as it is today. It wasn’t always like that – as we
know, Sir Alex Ferguson was given a lot of time to get it right at
Manchester United and after he survived by the skin of his teeth he
went on to become the most successful manager in the club’s history.
“I appreciate it when clubs give managers time so I have a lot of
respect for what Arsenal and Mikel Arteta are doing right now,” Rush concluded.