When we were in primary school, we read tales about Ali, Ah Kau and Muthu who lived harmoniously with nary a mention about race, creed or religion.
We are seeing less and less of such friendships today although by and large, we are united – with the notable exception of several people (you know who you are!).
That’s why it was interesting on the eve of Liverpool hosting Arsenal at Anfield tomorrow (12.30am Sunday in Malaysia), I received messages from three friends – an Indian, a Malay and a Chinese – with the same content: ‘Arsenal won’t lose this one’.
Why this optimism?
Well, after two matches of the new season, Liverpool and Arsenal are the only teams with 100 per cent win records.
For the long-suffering Gunners supporters, this comes as a welcome relief as they have not won their opening two matches in a season for the past 10 years!
The first person to message was sports journalist Muhammad Aiman Aminul. His message read: “Arsenal will smack down Liverpool this Saturday and jadi (be the) bogey team forever for the Reds 😄 😄.”
He later added: “As an Arsenal fan I’m optimistic but I do know how difficult it is to beat Liverpool away.”
Aiman has reason to worry as Arsenal’s last three trips to Liverpool ended in defeats – 3-1, 4-0 and 5-1.
Next to send a message was Shekhinah PR chief executive officer Christopher Raj.
After sharing a joke, his reply was: “But Arsenal whacking LFC will be better 😂 😂 😂” followed by “It’s coming, bro.”
The more conservative of the trio – Kon Wai Luen – editor at Aurizn Malaysia wrote: “I am just enjoying the fact Arsenal are in a top of the table clash again!
“The (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang-( Alexandre) Lacazette partnership will be Arsenal’s main danger. Nicolas Pepe will be called upon to supply pace and trickery from the flanks.
“Crucially, Dani Ceballos must supply the front men with the necessary ammo to hurt Liverpool’s well-drilled backline.
“I’ll settle for a draw.”
Pepe, a £72 million signing, is seen by many Arsenal fans as the missing link to end the club’s title drought of 15 seasons.
He came off the bench in the first two games, but is expected to be given his first start at Anfield.
Born in Mantes-la-Jolie, France, Pepe plays internationally for the Ivory Coast.
Originally a goalkeeper, he has since blossomed into a fine attacking player who is adept on both wings.
He is Arsenal’s record signing and will look to make his mark at the home of the European champions.
EPL fixtures (Malaysian time)
Aston Villa vs Everton (3am)
Norwich vs Chelsea (7.30pm)
Brighton vs Southampton (10pm)
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace (10pm)
Watford vs West Ham (10pm)
Sheffield United vs Leicester (10pm)
Liverpool vs Arsenal (12.30am)
Bournemouth vs Manchester City (9pm)
Tottenham vs Newcastle United (11.30pm)
Wolves vs Burnley (11.30pm)