Liverpool will head into Friday’s match against Arsenal a changed side—a more defensively capable side. So says goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who talks of a change in mindset following the club’s October struggles that peaked with an embarrassing 4-1 loss at the hands of Tottenham.
"Ever since the Tottenham game we had to change something because we were not happy,” Mignolet told the club’s official website this week. "After that we looked at certain things to try and change them and then it’s all about the togetherness in the squad. Everybody wants to help out and defend.
“That’s the way we play, it’s not about the back four or any individual who can change these kinds of things, it’s more about the unity of the team and the way we press up high. We make sure that we don’t give any counter-attacks away. So far that has been working very well.”
In an unusual scheduling quirk, this Friday’s match against Arsenal will be the second time Liverpool have faced the London side in the first half of the current season—with their next game, the first of the second half of the campaign, also the first of two times they take on Swansea.
And unlike some of the club’s other big games so far—heavy losses to Spurs and Manchester City to go along with disappointing draws against Chelsea and Manchester United—that first game against Arsenal makes one of the high points of the season for the Reds, a 4-0 August thrashing.
It will be interesting to see, then, what this new, improved, and perhaps more defensive version of the Liverpool side can do in their 19th league game of the season. But Arsenal will be looking to show they’ve changed things too, and the Gunners today sit just one point back of Liverpool in the table.
"We’re defending really well at the moment, we’ve been solid,” Mignolet added. "The three points is the most important thing and the boys up front are scoring. We know now we’ve got a big game ahead of us at Arsenal, so let’s go there and try to get the three points as well."