Ahead of Sunday’s match versus Liverpool at The Emirates Stadium in the Premier League, which will be refereed by Simon Hooper, we have done a Q&A with one of their supporters. Thank you to John from The Anfield Wrap for answering the questions!
How long have you supported Liverpool?
I can’t remember ever not! I don’t think I was given much choice in the matter. But the first game I can remember watching was the 1988 FA Cup Final when I was 6 (Liverpool lost unfortunately) and 2 years later I went to my first game at Anfield.
What were and now are your hopes and expectations for the 2023/24 season?
I think we expected to get back in the top 4 and felt we were favourites to win the Europa League. Now things have changed of course as the new team has gelled much quicker than anyone could have anticipated and we are right in there challenging for the title. If we don’t get over the line we probably need to remember what the expectations were in the summer but as you will know it is difficult once you are top of the league and riding high!
What are your views on your manager?
We obviously love him and can’t believe it is coming to an end this summer. He’s going to be almost impossible to replace but it makes everyone even more determined to enjoy the season and try everything we all can do to make sure it is as successful a season as we can. We idolise managers a lot at Liverpool but he is obviously a very special one and supporters will always be grateful to him for putting Liverpool back at the top table of world football and for so many incredible nights we’ve had supporting the team.
Style of play and tactics – direct/passing/hybrid?
We are still very direct, but maybe not quite as direct as what we used to be. The new midfielders have added a slightly different dimension with the likes of MacAllister and Szoboszlai and we are sometimes a bit happier to be patient and keep the ball and probe for an opening. But in this game you will certainly see us look to move the ball from back to front very quickly and also look to press and force chances that way. After a drab 12 months we are close to back to our intense best, bit mayne not quite as heavy metal as before!
One(s) to watch now and in the future?
We’ve obviously played each other a few times recently so you will have few surprises, but Conor Bradley has burst on to the scene in the last few weeks at right back and, despite Trent coming back from injury, Bradley has played so well he might keep his place. MacAllister and Jota are in great form too.
Random fact about your Club?
The fact that Liverpool FC only exists because Everton didn’t want to pay a rent increase at Anfield is quite random and also very very funny considering our relative levels of success over the last 30 years. They must wish every day that they’d just paid.
Which were your favourite and least favourite matches involving Liverpool?
My Favourite has to be Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0 in 2019. I went to the ground with no expectations and then saw the most remarkable game Anfield has ever seen. That team were capable of anything.
My least favourite was Liverpool v Leicester City in April 1999. Liverpool had nothing to play for by then, as was the case in most seasons by April in the 90s, so loads of the fans were more concerned with the fact that Manchester United were losing to Juventus in the Champions League, cheering goals as they came through. Then Manchester United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and qualify for the Champions League final (which they won) whilst Liverpool got beat by a last minute goal by Ian Marshall in front of The Kop.
Which sides do you think will finish in the top four and which do you think will finish in the bottom three?
Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal all look guaranteed from here and I hope Aston Villa join them, but it’s probably more likely to be Spurs. Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United will go down. We’ll never get rid of Everton, unfortunately.
What are your thoughts on Arsenal?
I really like Arsenal as a club and a fanbase. I always remember when we won the 2001 FA Cup Final after being battered for most of the games and your fans were so gracious in Cardiff afterwards, considering. It feels like a good footballing rivalry without most of the nonsense and a lot of mutual respect. I’ll be down for the game on Sunday and will look forward to having a pint with a few Arsenal lads we have met over the years who always look after us.
If you could steal one Arsenal player for your team, who would it be and why?
It is probable that Mo Salah will move on either this summer or next so Saka is probably the best replacement out there. It’s unlikely we could get him, but you did say steal!
What is your prediction for this match?
2-1 Liverpool. We feel like we are on a roll.