The message is clear from the top down: football is about the next match. Jürgen Klopp has his Liverpool players well-prepared to meet the mental difficulties that can arise when reaching for a league title. Too much awareness of the Premier League table only serves as a distraction from the training at hand. Any focus on the Manchester City match on January 3rd only clouds the team’s focus against Arsenal on Saturday.
Andy Robertson preached the good word to the club’s official website when asked to ruminate on whether Liverpool’s six-point lead was likely to change the team’s approach to their competition.
“No, it changes nothing,” said Robertson. “I don’t think we’re a squad or a whole department as such that look at the table a lot.
“I think we very much concentrate on the next game and we know if we look after ourselves and get the results we need then the table will look after itself.”
Pep Guardiola’s Citizens looked to be unsurpassable through most of the first half of the season but that all changed pretty recently. The Premier League is wildly competitive these days and an upset is always lurking no matter which team you come up against.
“Nobody would’ve imagined that Man City would’ve dropped six points in the last two games,” Robertson said, “but that’s what can happen in the Premier League and we’re no fools to think that it can’t happen to us.
“We have to be at our best in every game to win them or get what we deserve, and we know how hard this game’s going to be against Arsenal, who are a fantastic team that have had a great season under a new manager and are just finding their feet.
“We know how tough it’ll be. We’ll be looking to get all three points, but we know we have to be at 100 per cent to get them.”
Klopp can field a very strong side against Arsenal despite the injuries his team has suffered. Liverpool will be set up to overwhelm Unai Emery’s players at the start of the match. But if the Gunners are given a chance to play football, the evening could be a real struggle for the Reds.
Every match is a test, but a comprehensive win against Arsenal would be further proof of the real power of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool.