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"Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0 - Some quick thoughts" by Paul Natton

1. BR has finally learned the lesson Mourinho and Pulis taught him a full season ago. Three clean sheets from three is superb, but it's the fact that we're clearly playing for them that's encouraging. I need to see much more evidence to believe we fully understand how to be obdurate, but there are obvious signs on show. 

2. I'm surprised how cohesive we are with so many new additions and that's down to two factors: the focus of the players involved and their experience in this country (mostly). It bodes well for further development given time together. 

3. James Milner was a great addition. He is so reliable and consistent and at a very high level too. He's the epitome of a proper "senior pro" in my view. 

4. Joe Gomez looks preternaturally composed. This is a right-footed teenage centre half playing in the PL at left back and learning on the job. However he never does anything rash. This was exemplified in about the 70th minute when he broke with the ball from a canny interception and carried it at pace to take off some pressure. So far, so what? He then though picked the right pass to a teammate when so many would have given it away, but more impressive still was the fact that he immediately dropped back to defend having released it, recognising the need for security first. This kid could be something special. We'll see. 

5. Whisper it: Lovren is defending well. I'm saying no more in case I jinx it though. 

6. Coutinho and Benteke are starting to gain an understanding that will be very productive if it develops further. The big man should've laced that chance that Cech saved though. 

7. Firmino looks leggy and off the pace to me and I can see why BR has been holding him back. 

8. Jordan Ibe had a shocker when he came on and he seems to be overawed by his opportunity in the team. He needs to relax, remember his strengths and play to them. 

9. We're in a very encouraging position after three tricky fixtures. However we need to build on it and keep grinding out the results while we develop form and fitness. I'll happily watch the clean sheets rack up though. 

10. Bringing on Rossiter was a very bold move, but it didn't cost us. I'm glad we're still pushing youngsters into the first team - and especially Scouse ones. 

11. Is it farewell Lucas time? If so, I wish him well. I've never been a massive fan of his but he's a very handy player to have around and I hope we don't regret letting him go with three midfielders out. 

12. We need a good win on Saturday to keep the momentum building. Come on you Reds!!! 


Paul Natton



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