Former Liverpool scout and coach Alex Miller talks through the 2001 Arsenal FA Cup final, how The Reds set up, and what they’ll do Saturday.
John Gibbons hosts for The Anfield Wrap.
2001 FA Cup Final – Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1
Firstly the build up and context. Liverpool played 63 games this season. This was number 61
Had played a tough game against Chelsea on the Wednesday which was a 2-2 draw. UEFA Cup final is Wednesday after.
So how do you pick a team for this game? Are you basing it on freshness or are you just asking players to keep going at this stage?
As a rule Gerard would keep the same back four but rotate in midfield (particularly wide areas).
At the back Babbel plays 60 games that season, Hyypia & Carragher 58, Henchoz 53
Midfield in this game was Smicer, Murphy, Gerrard and Hamann (Berger and McAllister were on the bench having started against Chelsea). Can you remember the reasons to go with that midfield?
Up front Heskey is the only striker who starts all three finals. What is he bringing to Liverpool at this stage?
The game. Firstly the heat? Do you talk about that? Can you combat it?
Arsenal the better side. How do you combat that or is it a case of just trying to hang in the game and hope it changes?
Was there ever a temptation to change formation and try and get control?
A word for Patrick Viera who seemed to control everything.
Interesting that all goals come after throwing a 3rd forward on. Fowler for Smicer. How do you set up in that situation and how does it change after you score 1 and 2.
Your view of Michael’s 2nd goal.
The emotions of the day. The feeling after. How that day fits into a special season.
After a tough start Arsenal have gone unbeaten in September and October. 6 wins and 2 draws in the league
Were you always confident they would?
How has Arteta turned it round do you think? Just more favourable fixtures or any changes in style.
Arsenal dominated early away at Leicester. Do they have the quality to do that against Liverpool?
The emergence of Saka and Smith-Rowe and the threat they pose to Liverpool.
The two holding midfielders give them licence to go (maybe similar to the 2001 team?)
Why are Liverpool struggling defensively and do Arsenal have the players who can hurt them?
How do Liverpool win the game?