Aldridge: Arsenal are vulnerable now

Former Liverpool player John Aldridge has urged the team to seize the opportunity to strike down Arsenal while the Gunners are "vulnerable".

Football News: Liverpool vs Arsenal

By FOX SPORTS staff

Brendan Rodgers' team were anything but impressive when they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Oldham over the weekend.

With Arsenal next on the agenda, not many are optimistic for Liverpool to pick up three points.

However, Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo that the visit to the Emirates Stadium could prove to be a much needed morale boost for the Reds.

"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," he stated.

"Victory would transform the mood and help us forget about what we witnessed against Oldham. We have to see a response against Arsenal tomorrow [Wednesday]. With a trip to Manchester City coming up on Sunday it's a huge week. If we can come out of those two games unscathed then the mood will have changed dramatically."

Rodgers confessed to the club's official website that he was looking for his players to prove that they have got what it takes mentally to compete.

"There are certainly question marks about the mental strength and not just in this period," Rodgers revealed.

"They have to step up to the demands and do it week in, week out. If they don't they won't be here and that goes for both youth and senior players. This is a great season of learning for me in terms of what we have here."

Since his appointment at Anfield, the former Swansea boss has been a staunch supporter of youth talent by blooding in the likes of Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom. Nonetheless, Rodgers confessed that such players still have a long way to go before they could consider themselves up to the mark.

"The young players know they have a manager here who is 150 per cent behind them. They have had great support since the first day I walked in here, but you can't be too nice to young players, especially the modern player. The modern player has been brought up differently to the likes of the Carraghers and the Gerrards. Being young doesn't exempt you from criticism," he noted.

"But they know they have a manager who will be up in the room going through their mistakes with them individually. We never leave them hanging out to dry. We will look at where they need to improve. But they have to understand the responsibility to play for such a club. You need resilience and steel. When you go to places like Oldham, you know what you're getting. It's not a Premier League game. You need to roll your sleeves up and fight. It was too soft."



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