MAKE no mistake, Arsenal away tomorrow night is Liverpool’s biggest game of the season.
It was going to be really important even before what happened at Boundary Park on Sunday but now it’s absolutely massive.
After our dismal FA Cup defeat to Oldham, our eggs are in one basket.
I know we’ve still got the Europa League, but I honestly can’t see us winning that. There are a lot of good teams left in and I don’t think we’ve got the squad to do it.
We have to concentrate on the league and try to launch a real push for fourth place.
To have any hope of achieving that we have to get a positive result at the Emirates. Lose and we can say goodbye to any chance of getting a Champions League spot as Arsenal will have got away from us.
Brendan Rodgers has to pick his players up and ensure there is no hangover from Sunday. We can’t afford to feel sorry for ourselves.
We won at the Emirates last season and we know this isn’t the Arsenal of old. They are vulnerable but we have to defend properly ourselves.
Victory would transform the mood and help us forget about what we witnessed against Oldham.
The FA Cup always throws up a few shocks but I honestly couldn’t see one happening at Boundary Park.
I know Rodgers made half a dozen changes but it was still a strong team.
Okay, we had a couple of young lads at full-back but we should have had more than enough quality to win the game.
We showed a lot of naivety and we couldn’t blame the pitch or the conditions. What was so frustrating was that we knew what Oldham were going to do. They got in our faces, closed us down and worked their socks off. They pumped high balls into the box for their players to attack. It wasn’t rocket science but we just couldn’t handle it. Defensively, we were awful.
We didn’t do enough to stop crosses coming in and the two centre-halves got out-fought. Oldham won everything in the air and caused us a lot of problems. We conceded three goals against a team battling against relegation from League One – they have only managed to score that many in one league game all season.
If your centre-halves can’t win headers then you’re going to struggle against teams like that. Behind them, Brad Jones made a bad mistake for their second goal and we just didn’t do well enough all over the park.
Centre midfield was also a problem as Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson couldn’t get any kind of control.
The reality is that Oldham simply wanted it more and our best chance of winning a trophy this season is gone.
We have to see a response against Arsenal tomorrow. With a trip to Manchester City coming up on Sunday it’s a huge week.
Two draws would be acceptable, but ideally, if we’re serious about pushing for the top four, we need to be picking up three or four points.
If we can come out of those two games unscathed then the mood will have changed dramatically.