Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims Arsenal ‘become a long ball team when it suits them’ – and insists claims they overplay are a “myth”.
The Reds face the Gunners in their Premier League opener at the Emirates on Sunday and Klopp insists the evidence of their long-ball style was there for all to see in last season’s 3-3 draw.
Klopp said: “I think everyone who saw the game saw the difference between this game and all the other Arsenal games.
“But in the last few years Arsenal had a more direct style. They have only good football players but at the end they don’t use all of them in each build up or each offensive movement – it is a myth. It is definitely a plan and they want to win games.”
And Reds boss Klopp warned his side to expect an aerial barrage. He said: “Arsenal is usually a football playing team but last time against us there was a lot of long balls and always to Olivier Giroud.
“The second ball was to Ozil, they caused us a lot of problems in this game. That was a big threat on that day.
“We knew about it because a lot of teams chose this way against us so it we could have defended on this day better.
“It was not about what they did, it was about how they did it because it was highest quality with how Giroud and Mesut Ozil, especially, on this day performed.”
Arsenal’s French striker Giroud scored twice in the thriller at Anfield in January and Ozil was superb, although neither are likely to start because they returned late to pre-season training following Euro 2016.
Klopp on Liverpool expectations
Liverpool finished runners-up last season in both the League Cup and Europa League, but their eighth-place finish in the Premier League was disappointing as they missed out on Europe.
Now boss Klopp is looking for more consistency from his side are he aims to take Liverpool’s form to “another level” in his first full season in charge.
He added: “It is not about wishing being on another level, it is about working on it. I want to look back after the season really satisfied.
“In this moment I have no idea what that would mean, it is clear winning everything maybe we would be too drunk to look back.
“A Champions League place would be great , of course, but I am not sure I would be satisfied.”