While we may only be in the early stages of the summer transfer window, things are already starting to heat up. Arsenal are enquiring for every high-profile player under the sun, Manchester United are stepping up their title challenge in the form of Fred, and Liverpool have already surprised a lot of people by bringing Fabinho to the club.
But if we take a step back and purely look at this from a Liverpool and Arsenal perspective, things get pretty interesting. For years now these two teams have been seen as the ugly ducklings of the top six, with United, City, Chelsea and even Spurs gaining more recognition for what they’ve been able to accomplish. That may seem bizarre given that the Reds and the Gunners have been consistently able to reach cup finals, but the true logic behind it lies in the fans’ mentality.
It’s no secret that both sets of fans from up north and down south are quite arrogant, especially in the way that they laud their respective histories over the rest of the league – and the rest of Europe. Rival fans tend to mock them more often than not because of the high expectations that both sides have, and while we can understand that to an extent, it feels like the tide is turning as we prepare for the 2018/19 campaign.
While these two teams have always felt like they’re pretty on par, that no longer seems to be the case. Arsenal are entering a period of uncertainty with Unai Emery at the helm, whereas Liverpool seem to be building one of the best teams in the league following their phenomenal run to the Champions League final.
While Emery could always lead Arsenal back to the promised land of challenging for the Premier League title, right now, it feels like the realistic expectations of both clubs should be slightly different. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Arsenal, either, because it should serve as motivation for them to keep pushing on in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.
Liverpool aren’t exactly their bitter rivals, but given how similar their trajectories have been in recent years, they serve as a good measuring stick.
Are Liverpool a step above Arsenal?