Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Expelling the myths and finding the truths

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Expelling the myths and finding the truths

As I’m a little later than the usual bunch of blogs with the match report from yesterday’s game and also covered a fans’ angle for Fanhouse UK earlier today (read it here soon!), I will look at Arsenal’s loss to Chelsea from a different perspective than usual. Specifically, investigating the myths and truths about the conclusions made about why we lost yesterday and what they mean for the season.

We lost because we didn’t take our chances

It seems obvious but this was a huge factor in the result of yesterday’s game. In the opening minute Chamakh and Koscielny had two superb opportunities to silence the Stamford Bridge crowd and put Chelsea on the back foot and failed to take them. It wasn’t through a lack of opportunities that we didn’t score. Nasri also had good chances and Chamakh was uncharacteristically wayward with his head – a result of more intense defensive pressure perhaps? In contrast, Chelsea buried two half-chances and created more shots on target despite having less pressure. They were more clinical, a trait which is usually possessed by the current league champions.

We lost because we made defensive mistakes

Both of Chelsea’s goals were a result of clear defensive mistakes. For the first goal Squillaci rather oddly passed the ball back to the opposition after a conceding a foul, allowing Chelsea to take a quick free-kick that eventually led to the goal. There was little that could be done about the Ramires-Cole-Drogba combination that followed but it should never have been allowed in the first place.

Likewise, Nasri’s wayward pass in midfield forced Koscielny to bring down Drogba for a clear foul and Alex punished us. At the top level the game is decided by fine margins – a missed pass here, a opportunity taken there – but at the moment Chelsea not Arsenal are the team with the mental fortitude and winning mentality to apply the fine details.

Chamakh's aerial prowess is reaping rewards

We lost because we were not incisive in the final third and did not have a Plan B

There is a school of thought going around that all we did yesterday, and indeed on other days, is pass-pass-pass without being incisive in the final third. Although this happens at times, as it does for every team, I disagree that we are a team that do this and I strongly disagree that we were a team that did that against Chelsea.

The myths are that we don’t shoot enough or have a ‘Plan B’ that can be turned to when our passing game isn’t working, but the evidence is contradictory. Last season we scored more goals from outside the box than any team in the Premier League and yesterday most of our best opportunities were created via aerial assault. We are a team that likes possession and likes to dictate the tempo of the game but we are also a team that scores all types of goals and at no point in the game did we look like a team that had run out of offensive ideas to trouble Chelsea.

We lost because we were not mentally strong

I touched on this already but I don’t think anyone would argue that Arsenal are mentally stronger than Chelsea. We’re not, in part due to having a younger, more inexperienced squad and another due to the fact that Chelsea are a team that have won silverware. In saying that, it doesn’t mean we’re not getting there.

Mentality and the ability to be the team that turns the fine details in their favour is a trait that doesn’t change overnight. It is a gradual process that often starts with a shock win that injects the confidence and belief to go and do it again. Like ‘The Invincibles’ from six years ago Chelsea are a team that absolutely believe they will win every game at home and until something changes – which inevitably, it has to – they will continue to win games there.

Our boys on the other hand have struggled in the big games over the past two seasons. That will have to change at some point if we are to win trophies but the feeling I get is that if we can nab just one tough victory, more will quickly follow.

Final conclusions

Taking all this into account my final conclusion would be that we lost to Chelsea because they are a slightly better and more experienced team, at the height of a wave of invincibility that comes with winning the league and were playing at home. In games like this you have to take your chances and avoid making mistakes at the back and not for the first time, we were guilty of falling down in both areas.

Unfair criticism has been made about our ‘pretty football’ or lack of incisiveness in the final third while Chamakh’s aerial ability has given us more offensive diversity. Few teams will come to Stamford Bridge and boss the game like we did and while we did not have the mentality to turn our possession into the right result, our ability to dictate the pace of the game will become a powerful weapon once this group of players wins their first big game.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal v Chelsea by leaving a comment.

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49 Responses to “Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Expelling the myths and finding the truths”

  1. Simon
    October 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    You make some very good points and most i agree with… however, i have a couple points…
    1) the invisibles were efficient, like Chelsea now they only need two/three players and a couple of top passes to score, they caught teams on the break, against the top teams arsenal cant do that, to many passes cause the counter to fail and then the hole team wants to get in on the act leaving the goal exposed.. Sounds harsh but if we had decent forwards we would be able to counter efficiently…

    2) We are missing the world class player which has the magic to turn a game around.. all top teams have one or two however arsenal don’t at the moment, at least not on the pitch…been a while since we had a top striker .. Bergkamp, henry.. Chamach, Bendtner.. different class entirely..

    3) I have to agree with what Souness said after the game, that arsenal are way better then most but not good enough to beat the top teams.. and you need to beat the top teams to win trophy.

    4) Wenger doesn’t have a plan B and his bench brings nothing new to the game..

  2. SGN
    October 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    @ Simon, point is so sooo true it hurts!!
    2 things that are still haunting me are Drogba scoring and we not scoring a since goal, since whenever it was we last did against them, I dint mind the loss though!!

  3. SGN
    October 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Sorry, meant point 1…..

  4. aung myin
    October 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    We have to search a good scorer to take a revenge on Drogba who is still scoring cheap goal into Arsenal Goal-net.But not French Footballers,please.Mr Wenger’s Youth-Project is not blooming yet.His project may be useful in Spain Laliga but not in English Premiere League.

  5. Andrew Weber
    October 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    @ Simon – Thanks for reading and replying to the article. You make some really good points.

    The only one I disagree with is Point 4 – I believe we have a Plan B. I think I covered this in the article though. Hard to argue about your points about the bench though, while we have so many injuries.

  6. Simon
    October 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    aung myin “But not French Footballers”.. most the the top arsenal players have been french..

    Henry, Pires, Anelka, Viera..

    Nasri never stops for arsenal at times his the best player on the pitch he never stops trying..

    as for youth project i have to agree, however Wilshire looks a class act he has a great future, gutted Ramsey got injured..

  7. MTY
    October 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Good analysis but you failed to assess the impact of the long list of injuries we are carrying at the moment.

  8. Simon
    October 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Chelsea had Lampard, Benayoun, Bosingwa & Kalou injured..

  9. MTY
    October 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Bosingwa has been out for almost a year. Kalou & Benayoun are regular subs. They missed only Lampard.
    As for Arsenal, we had 9 players out and for me at least 4 of them in Cesc, TV5, RvP & Walcott would have been in the starting XI (even Gibbs and Almunia could have made it into the team though the latter one isn’t any better than Fabianski).
    This is of course considering B52 as sub.

  10. Andrew Weber
    October 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    @ MTY – I agree, these obviously had an impact on the game. But I like to look at the things we can control, not the things we can’t.

  11. Darragh
    October 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Sorry Andy, I believe Koscielny brought down Anelka, not Drogba.

    I’m no tactically genius, but I think one of the real weaknesses of our side is the inability for our fullbacks to put in dangerous crosses, or find our forwards with good balls into the box. Clichy seems particularly bad at this.

    You only have to look at the likes of Ashley Cole, who while I despise for his treatment of Arsenal, is really a class above Clichy in his attacking play. Clichy is fast, but Cole gets a bucketload of assists and even goals. Our fullbacks seem to rarely do this. Thats why I’m convinced it is Gibbs turn for a run in the team (once he is back from injury).

    Perhaps I’m wrong. You tell me.

  12. Darragh
    October 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Also, in reference to Simon’s comments about the bench. I often am puzzled with Wenger use of subs. Often I think he makes them far too late and makes reactive changes rather than proactive changes (case in point, he brought on Rosicky far too late against west brom last week).

    Continued use of Diaby is annoying. Sure he is tall, but he doesn’t seem to use that advantage all too much. Loses the ball way too easily.

    Good to see Jay Thomas get a few minutes. Man, that guy is MASSIVE.

  13. Andrew Weber
    October 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    @ Darragh – I hate to contradict you old buddy but Diaby’s statistics before going off read; Attempted passes: 32; Completed passes: 32. I thought he was good in this game.

    On a lighter note JET’s crazy dribbling where he kicked the ball like ten metres twice in front was so funny.

  14. Andrew Weber
    October 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Re: the other stuff, it’s hard not to argue. As frustrating as it is to admit Cole is a better player than Clichy but that’s what we have at the moment. It may well be Gibbs’ time though, as I suggested after the Spurs Carling Cup win.

  15. Darragh
    October 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Oh Andy, I know you love Diaby!

    Actually, I can’t argue with the stats, as I don’t have any to hand.

    I’m sure I witnessed him lose the ball on one or two occasions. I know it would have been from tackles, but am I wrong in saying that Diaby’s retention is not as good as his team-mates?

    Though I don’t particularly like Diaby as a footballer, he’d be one mean pimp. Diaby, leopard skin hat = pimp tastic.

  16. Simon
    October 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    @ Darragh

    Fully agree Cole is a different class, only wished Wenger would have realised that.. As for Jay Thomas, he is very big lets hope he learns to score frequently…

    So any thought on Vela ??? personnel I cant see what Wenger sees in him..

  17. simon
    October 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Maybe the fact that Diaby was supposed to be the new Viera our expectations are possibly a little high !! just a though…

  18. Darragh
    October 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I note a few other Arsenal blogs going on about Koscielny miss as ‘unbelievable’.

    Looking back on it, I can fully see why he wasn’t on target. It was flicked on by a Chelsea defender, he wasn’t expecting and was too far forward to get behind the ball. Sure, a good opportunity, but not unexpected that he didn’t get it – his body was in the wrong position. Not sure if I can fully blame his miss on bad play – just not lucky enough.

  19. Andrew Weber
    October 4, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    @ Simon – Wenger did see it in Cole. It’s just that he got way ahead of himself. Surely you know the story?

  20. Essexpieboy
    October 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    I think we lack pace both up front and in our ability to shift the ball to the front men. Chamakh is a useful addition in that he is bigger and stronger than we have had which gives us an aerial threat, but when we look to break I don’t think we are either quick enough or direct enough.

    I remember when an opponent having a corner against us was almost an attacking opportunity to Arsenal because if we intercepted it, then two / three passes and Henry was away. For some reason now, we get the fours on four and the ball seems to get snagged up in midfield or someone lacks the courage of their convictions to drive into the box and we lose the initiative.

    I don’t know enough about the game to understand why this is, but Diaby is one in particular who seems to dwell too long on the ball, and I think the same can be levelled at Song, Nasri and Chamakh.

    Similarly I think that although we take shots, we don’t take them quick enough and at the right time. Clichy shooting from 35 yards is not the answer, but I remember Chamakh having the ball at his feet in the area and with quicker thought processes he could have got the shot away but hesitated and nothing came of it (apart from the penalty appeal).

    I have to say that I think we have improved when set against the Stamford Bridge performance of last season, but to me it was dropping 5 points against Sunderland and West Brom that have cost us. Win those games and yesterday was irrelevant.

  21. Ianinja
    October 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    I believe the players aren’t so fragile when facing the top tier teams this season as opposed to last. However I don’t really agree we have a plan b, as long as Clichy/Sagna dosen’t improve their crossing, we’re as 1 dimensional as it gets.

    I thought the defeat to WBA exposed how one dimensional Arsenal are. Diaby is still holding the ball too long after 4 seasons, Arsenal need precise plans, not variations of long or short passes.

    Aerial balls to Chamakh isn’t a plan b, Bendtner did it previous seasons. The only difference is Chamakh is positionally aware and much quicker to react than Bendtner.

    Despite all my ramblings I am glad we lost to Chelsea, it should put the boys back in place and trigger them to work harder, maybe instill some rage. Maybe everyone in the team should use Rosicky’s playlist before games.

    If the team don’t realize now how difficult it is to win the EPL let alone defeat ManU or Chelsea, then they really need to be tortured in training.

  22. rehan siddiqui
    October 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    It was same old story against chelsea that hurts every arsenal supporter like me. A leaking defence, lacking steel in midfield and no goal poachers like henry, pires and berkamp and to take chances. With two mediocre goalkeepers, two full-backs who can only run, cant defend and cross makes it easier for counter attacks and chelsea took advantage. From the results of past three league encounters i am certain this team with donkeys like diaby, denilson and song is never going to win any trophy in future. Time for the professor to go and let new manager to reorganise the team that could win trophies for such a great club with great traditions. AW please no more execuses of young and inexperienced team.

  23. Darragh
    October 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Not sure if I’d call Henry, Bergkamp or Pires ‘goal-poachers’. Example, Bergkamp v Given (Newcastle)….not exactly a poached goal. More of a goal executioner in my book.

    In other news, Bergkamp is god.

  24. Danish Gooner
    October 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Fact is, as a team Arsenal have regressed since we came very closing to winning the league 3 seasons ago and a team that makes mistakes like the one against Chavski and WBA wont come close to winning it.

  25. Simon
    October 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Wenger is good for business, he fills the stadium and keeps the money rolling in so the debts can be paid off… until the fans stops turning up Wenger wont be going anywhere..

  26. BrenGunner
    October 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Hi fellow gunners,I’m shouting out live from South Africa,and bout the game,i don’t know where is that warrior mentality,we need that ruthless attitude,one or two players that are willing to sometimes break away from “the game plan” and try something spectacular,and visible leadership on the field when things go bad,that’s all,if I’m wrong guys feel free to correct me

  27. TrueGooner
    October 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    What I realized on Sunday is that we are a very good team that lacks confident, courage, and the conviction to win. Believe me we don’t lost games because others are better than us, but because of the three things I mentioned above. Yes, I meant that no team in the EPL is better than us, not even Chelsea. We lost because Wenger does’t substitute to prevent the obvious as someone mentioned above. We lack movement. for example when Nasri holds up the ball no one moves in space thus causing him to dribble a lot to create space. This happened a lot yesterday. The team lacks urgency when the chips are down and the game is on the line. They don’t track back to help when they lost the ball, making our defense and keepers look bad. Another thing that kept my attention was the size difference. Chelsea looks like they were on steroids as compare to a malnourished arsenal squad. Arshavin hits a brick wall everytime he tried some skill move. Drogba knocks down squallichi and Kosciencly with a flick of the finger. In conclusion, we as Arsenal fans needs to pray that no one else gets injured for the rest of the season and everyone that’s on the treatment table recoverys very fast and dont get injured for the rest of the season. We need to hope that something is done in January. If these two things doesn’t happened, we will not win the league or a single cup this season.

  28. Aman
    October 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Great article dude very nicely done. and now to the point,
    You ppl dont get we cannot keep crying abt our injury list because thats how the team is, RVP gets his first start gets injured, Fabregas hmastring injury goes on repeating, walcott well he was in form before he got injured, but thats it he is over. TV5 is a miss yes, if it was him he would have burried that Header… Chelsea were the better team because they took thier chances its that simple. Chamakh tried and tried but we cant keep saying he was under pressure,well thats what seperates the odinary from the quality strikers, drogba gets one chance and he converts.. Chelsea always looked more dangerous whenever they tried to be offensive, inspite of us having a large fair of possesion.. Fabianski had more saves to make than Cech.. that says it all…

  29. billi
    October 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    I don’t think that making mistakes was the point in this game, ’cause in every game there are mistakes, every player loses a ball one time, so I can’t agree totally with this point, every goal is resulting from a mistake, for me it was not so obvious at least which mistake it was, maybe I have to review the situations, the only admission concerning the goals which I could make spontaneously is that the ball shouldn’t go through the wall, there were comments which said one have to back the chelseaplayer in the wall, but nevertheless the goals itself were really class 😎

  30. voley_gun
    October 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Clearly teams are winning against us by being sharp for a moment or two in front of the goal.But we lack that ,else it would have been a different story altogether.I should praise Fabianski for his performance yesterday .He did a great job otherwise the scoreline would have looked different.
    Sorry for cursing Diaby and Arshavin.They both tend to loose balls often trying to show their skill every game.I expected Rosicky to start more than Diaby .Anyhow Wilshere proved his class and the final sub thomas looked like a great prospect .Chamakh needs this season or two to be our target man.Clearly our LB and RB lacks the crossing or goal scoring skill .For big games i would like to see Eboue because he is extremely unpredictable on his run and can add defensive protection more than diaby.

  31. TBI
    October 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Guys,

    I m a Chelsea Fan.

    Interesting game yesterday. I dont think you guys should be too disappointed. You guys played well, but failed in areas where it really mattered. We didnt boss the game, but hit you when it really mattered and that gave us the 3 points.

    I was reading the various comments about you guys needing a new Striker.I would like to disagree. You guys have good strikers already.I personally Feel Chamakh is a Great signing for Arsenal and will do pretty well in the EPL. What you guys really need is a player in the mould of Patrick Viera to add much needed steel to your midfield.A good Central Defender to play alongside Vermalen would also be a great addition. A goalkeeper like Shay Given would also go a long away towards giving you guys a genuine shot at the EPL.

    Cheers Guys

  32. Bluemoon
    October 4, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    If you sit back and allow them (Chelsea) to attack, they will punish you. Why does your players esp Alex Song forget your word ,someone should explain to anyone in the incident? The real thing,I see is the team try to prove more than enough to respect Chelsea try to passing and dribbling around Chelsea players to show I’m someone for what and lose the ball in the middle field Abu ,Nasri and Alex Song show be back to the basically how to pass the ball and dribble the ball 70-50-30 %area. I saw the recent games and Mr song try to show the stupid killer pass that always make the defense was threaten and him out of position to protect the team ( the real job of defensive midfield) that Jacko try to cover. The important thing is Arsenal never be reach to the Chelsea if this team not accept their mistakes and respect Chelsea enough. Respect to Chelsea is closed their mistake by DM and Back4, control the game and use the fantatista Arshawin in the right time by holding midfield that is not Abu Diaby or Nasri and finallyArsene Wenger should have the magnificent trick to change the game by setplay in every spot in the pitch that Mourinho showed. If this year, no trophy that big enough, I guest Cesc will go. The Gunners only know how to play one way – fast-paced attacking football. Chelsea, by contrast, were prepared to compromise on their own forward instincts, putting men behind the ball and hitting Arsenal on the counter, to great effect. It’s this kind of tactical maturity that wins Chelsea trophies and Arsenal passing and dribbling in bully brain that ‘s show useless . Arsene Wenger’s men should watch and learn.

  33. kel
    October 4, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    first of all am gutted and totally disappointed with the result but then this has been the trend YES!
    I asked the question on friday that wenger boast that this team has matured and is more experienced i said this game will tell me if that is true football is a results oriented game so you no the answer.
    To say that we have defensive problems is far from the point i think our problems go far deeper than that. I think the team played ok and that’s about it chls never looked in any serious trouble if you take out the first minute we had a lot of possession AS ALWAYS but it was never really penetrative.
    Am reading all over the net and hear as well that people are blaming the players fabianski for not getting his angles right, he had an ok game but a top class keeper would not be beaten at his near post, song who out of nowhere has become an attacking midfielder, chamaka for missing two easy headers, diaby for taking too long on the ball, Squillaci, Koscielny i know they new but they are making some mistakes that school boys would not basic mistakes
    rosciky for blasting a penalty over the bar when a cool head was needed , deneilson your team leading 1 nill late in a game and you shoot rather than take or pass the ball to the corner i can go on almunia whose technique is horrible and you say this team has improved .
    I’v stopped blaming the players cause they don’t pick themselves, the manager who ever he is must must take most of the blame cause he buys the players and coaches them. I know we had players out cesc we miss and maybe walcott and vermarlyn but not vanpercy he is always injured how we put up with him for so long i don’t know.
    It’s early days yet to recover chls will drop points but something will have to give we can’t go on like this the top four this season seems to be very interesting we may well have to fight really hard than past season to stay hear but something will give i can bet you.
    I read somewhere that some said we’re not clinical enough that is a culture at wenger has become too friendly with the players at Arsenal the players position are seldom under treat you play poorly for two weeks and you still make the team you missed a look at almunia retrospectively don’t understand that hey if i get a chance to score i must take it the first time cause i may not get a next one and you want the players to be clinical it must start from the top good work or none
    As was said on a website to day Arsenal should parade through the streets of london in an open top Bus at the end of the season the accountants of the club and i will through wenger in there too cause to most of you he can do no wrong
    I love this club with all my heart and i can support no other club in football but to see for 5 seasons we can’t show any vast improvement and keep making the same mistakes every year is hard to swallow it makes me sick but as wenger says judge me at the end i wonder what end he meant the end of the season or the end of his contract
    GO ARSENAL………………….
    The fan as far as am concerned are the losers

  34. ArsenalTheWengerWay
    October 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    This is not sour grapes but if van persie was here….. Lethal. Van persie is a very aggresive forward and thats whats missing in arsnal, arshavin was key today, i really liked he’s play and he’s not afraid to shoot. Cech brilliantly saved most of the shots. Without fabregas Arsenal overplay, too many fancy touches, it irritates me that only arshavin seems to have that killer edge. I’m slowly getting fed up of supporting arsenal, i will always support them but in my heart i know that we won’t win anything without a consistently healthy lethal striker. WE need a bit of individuality, a player who doesn’t just blend into the arsenal pass and move system. A player who can step up and do his own thing. Sometimes i thing arsenal’s system seems to kill individual talent. Thus this is why van persie arshavin and fabregas are the most important players for arsenal. They are different, players that play the arsenal way but impose their own game in matches

    It’s painful but life’s tough and arsenal isn’t

    Conclusion: 1, We have a medical team no better than my youngest brother playin doctor, 2, we are light weight in terms of individual threat and 3 i have unfortunately given up any hope of winning anything this year. I love arsenal to bits and i’ll keep supporting but i’ll watch the invincibles on youtube. Mark my words, we will win nothing this year, it’s not out of spite but reality hits home in matches like this, even arsene wenger looked absolutely crest fallen.

    Carry on gooners but our kind of football isn’t made to be champions.

  35. Terry Comer
    October 4, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    I may be in the minority but I would rather see us playing wonderful Wenger-ball all season long and not win a thing than go back to days of George Graham’s “put it in the channels” and win a hatfull of titles. I must say, too, that even on this best-of Arsenal blog sites there seems to be a lot of negativity, especially about Abou Diaby – stats don’t lie and the work he does off the ball is immense, somethning which is more evident when you are at the game than when you see it on TV. Finally, I don’t think being a young is an excuse, it’s a fact. Again, I would rather support Wenger’s youth policy that has seen players such as Fabregas, Song, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere, Walcott, Gibbs, even Bendtner come up through the ranks and blossom in to major players than follow the alternative of going out and buying players who have no connection to either the club or its philosophy. Mind you, gutted we lost.

  36. Arsesession
    October 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    I am disappointed for the loss, but knew we would need breaks to take 3 points. WE HAD TOO MANY KEY PLAYERS MISSING. Imagine, Chelsea not able to start Anelka, Drogba, Essien, and Alex (Terry is sh*t).

    I would not say that Drogba’s goal was clinical, good players create their luck.

    How great a match did Malouda, Essien, Anelka, and Mikel have?

    For me, Nasri and Arshavin were just mediocre, the balance of the team played well and tough! Contrary to other commentary, Alex Song should be attacking with the ball. He, along with Diaby are our only midfielders that have the strength to win the tackle, or beat opponents with the dribble and forge forward. Most Arsenal players try and make a low percentage/high risk pass – its what sets Arsenal apart.

    So many sound like this is the end of the world. There are 30 matches left and many surprises in store for our competition. Parity has settled into the EPL. The bigger clubs have not gone wild in the transfer market over the past 2 years and you can see unpredictable results every week. Pool (Black) beating Pool (Liver) at Anfield. ManU has yet to win an away match!

    This month we have returning some great options to the line up…….all well rested.

  37. shambogunner
    October 4, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    1. Why was Squillachi cpt? he was at Seville years and never got that honour, if he were any good in the first place im sure they would have put up some sort of a fight when we put in a bid but theybit our hand off….another mediocre french player.
    2. Why was our best player by a mile and the best player on the field taken off yesterday when the game was still in the balance at 1-0….Jack Wishere won more tackles yesterday than the rest of our team put together, Song has become a foul merchant who looks like he doesnt know how to tackle and will continue to pick up yellows by the lorryload….while Arshavin gave away the ball for fun and Nasri once again flattered to deceive….running to take setpieces was the only time he looked urgent….how many did he hit at the first defender…easily 10 out of the 13 or 14 we had.
    3. Why did Diaby start???only back from injury havin been useless against West Brom and he gets the nod, as usual….I mean no wonder hes so lacklustre hes never had to fight for his place. Not only that but he gets picked in a more forward role than ever against the champions, thats not a gamble its stupid. I dont care if he had 1000 passes out of 1000 he had no impact on the game at all.
    4. Why was JET brought on? I mean I like him and would love to see him get game time….but against Chelsea away with no other PL experience, I mean c’mon Wenger are you losing it??? He wasnt good enough to give match time to against Blackpool at the emirates or spurs away in the Carling cup but you throw him on at Stamford Bridge…..stupid and hardly great for his confidence.
    5. How can nobody see that we were played by Chelsea again yesterday….they let us have the ball because they were confident we couldnt hurt them and they were proven right, Wenger saying the result wasnt fair and we owned the ball is mere fodder for the ignorant and those who want to feel better….cech made one good save all game from Arshavin. the Kosielny miss WAS a shocker he saw the flight of the ball and it was a poor execution, he barely left the ground and never got over the ball, shocking miss and not only that but the guy wasnt even angry with himself and just jogged back up the pitch….mad stuff.
    6. Sagna and Clichy have been poor so far this season and if their defensive deficiencies are been overlooked in favour of their crossing or attacking then Im sorry but its not good enough.
    7. We simply arent single minded enough goin forward, that is the big difference between us and the teams that will contest the PL this year, Chelsea go straight for goal, they dont tie themselves up in knots or pass the responsibility on to someone else when in front of goal, this in turn leads to scrambles, or they win a corner or get a lucky deflection and score but what doesnt happen is their attack breaks down meekly with 7 men committed forward and wide open for counter attacks, I thought we could have been beat 3 or 4 yesterday and thats not being unfair.
    You cant talk about who wasnt there, its irrelevant we know by now you wont geta full season out of any of our players, not one will remain fit all year,, thats why you buy quality……or dont in buy in Mr. Wengers case……if anyone had said last

  38. VCC
    October 5, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    For the good of the team, club and more importantly the fans the Cheap Lager Cup is a must win trophy. Then all concerned will have a taste of success and want more.

    @Terry Comer. I hope to god you are in the minority also the teams that won the league under Graham played some great football. Are you telling me Rocky, Paul Davis, Merse, Mickey T, Super Swede, couldn’t play football.

    The club went downhill in my view when Arsenal changed the club badge on the grounds they couldn’t copyright it. They threw away the history of the club for the sake of a few quid.

    Victoria Concordia Crescit ” victory comes from harmony”

    Maybe just as well they dropped the motto from the badge. How long more will, if any, harmony exist within the club without real victories.

    .

  39. shambogunner
    October 5, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    If anyone had said last May in the last game at the Emirates that your centre halves vs Chelsea would be Koscielny and Squillachi (fucking squillachi) then there would have been a riot…can Wenger not look past French players or what

  40. Darragh
    October 5, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    Shambo, to address your questions with counters..

    1. Obviously chosen for his age and experience. Rosicky would have been captain if he had started. Who else would have been captain?

    2. Agree with you there!

    3. As above.

    4. Probably chosen in order to try bully the Chelsea defence with his presence. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because we rarely threatened in the time he came on.

    5. Completely disagree with you on that one. He missed it, yes, but don’t think it was a shocker. As it was flick on by a Chelsea defender, he was already too far forward to get power behind it.

    6. I agree. In particular, Clichy has been poor.

  41. Fatema
    October 5, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Carpe Diem – is all I thought.. We did not seize the day, the opportunities or the chances. Winning at Stamford Bridge is a big ask. I thought we lacked a bit of pace and conviction. and although we had chances go begging, Chelsea knew how to exploit our defensive weaknesses, in that composed and efficient manner.
    Points matter.. We dropped them last week and home, and could not make up any ground this week. It’s early in the season but deflated is how I feel. As a fan it’s fustrating when the same issues arise every season. You can’t control injuries, but there must be something in the Arsenal water because our players are made of glass. It’s great we make all this profit and the future looks bright..
    But sometimes I want to live in the present with my football team and not have to worry about what happens 5yrs later. I’ll deal with that when it comes around.

  42. MXN
    October 5, 2010 at 4:38 am #

    I like your article, seems more thoughtful and less rash than what I’ve read in several blogs. I think people are overly critical. It was hard to see Arsenal come out second best, because well, it will likely be indicative of the season. But, I still think a crippled Arsenal has made significant improvement over the first team of last year. And at least I felt like they could win on Sunday. I would say, the season is also still early, and a sqaud with many injuries has shown itself to be quite deep. This is a good sign for the end of the season and also for tournament competitions.

    I think Aresnal’s new found depth is a big talking point. Due to both signings, the emergence of youngster’s, and return from the grave, Rosicky namely, Arsenal has a much, much deeper side these days. This was in particular evidence Sunday where Arsenal was able to compete and in someways outplay Chelsea with their three top performers from last season, Cesc, RvP, Vermaelen, all out injured. I find this important because in my opinion the plague of injuries to Arsenal in recent seasons comes from rushing players back into action.

    Fabregas, Van Persie, Gallas, Diaby, and other players have all been rushed back into action over the past two years, because well, without them Arsenal just couldn’t compete. From my experience, bringing players back from injury early makes them way more likely to aggravate their old injury or to injure something else due to overcompensation. I’ve also read that once players start to worry about getting injured (and I’m sure RvP and Diaby think about their injuries all the time) they become much more likely to become injured chronically. Seems like a vicious cycle. . .

    It seems as though Arsenal is taking more time to bring players back this season. I’d be willing to bet that if Sylvestre was the backup center back we would have seen Vermaelen yesterday. And if there was not the choice of Nasri and Rosicky, then Cesc would likely have been risked as well. This is pure conjecture of course, but think about how both Cesc, Diaby, and Gallas were all brought back for big games last season only to re-injure themselves straight away. Anyways, hopefully these players will be given the recovery that’s needed and will be able to have lengthy spells of health because the likes of Fabregas and Van Persie deserve it.

    And on a closing note. To the guy who criticized Diaby. I thought not only did he have a good game yesterday, but he was coming into it more-and-more towards the end. It seemed that Chelsea went on the ascent as soon as he came off.

  43. Wan
    October 5, 2010 at 6:06 am #

    Please Mr. Wenger. We cannot give any more lame excuses. Please face the fact that we need experience player. We cannot totally depending on youth alone. Arsenal need to spend in order to regain the title. For all the fan who might read this. Please do wake up call to our manager and the board. We need something moving now.

  44. Shrek
    October 5, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    Hi , I am an Arsenal fan from India. I do agree with your points though one thing I want to highlight is that the major difference between Chelsea and Arsenal is Chelsea often play the EPL the way English football is hailed/derided – fast,physical and direct although with much more quality of course . Its the same thing that Wenger’s Invincibles used to do . Thats one of the major reasons why against teams like Sunderland and West Brom will never win against Chelsea. Arsenal has the best passing game in the country but what we lack is the directness required often to seal games or even come back from a goal down. We try to play a skillful game in a skill-less league . During the Invincibles era , if we were ever a goal down ,we would not take time tippy tappying the ball , we would quickly be direct on goal as much a possible and with player like Thierry ,Pires and Ljungberg ,this was always possible. The game was also much much faster during a counterattack. When we counterattacked at that time , if one player had taken the ball and gone ahead ,there would be at least 2 players alongside on the flanks running besides him to make the killer finish if necessary. This is what Chelsea managed to do more than once against us but thankfully were ruled offside or were prevented from scoring by our valiant Polish keeper.
    Our fullbacks have to work on their crossing though.Personally I would rather prefer instead of going for high balls, they go for low quick balls across the face of goal where hopefully someone like Chamakh or Arshavin could attack the near post.
    Regarding Alex Song , if Wenger is trying to make him like Essien ,he better change his plans fast. Song is not that quick ,energetic or powerful to be a good box to box midfielder like him. Let him be just a defensive midfielder ,that ‘d serve us well. .
    The other major letdown is Arsenal’s setpieces . We don’t have a good free kick taker apart from RVP. Even Fabregas doesn’t have this in his armour and we don’t focus on them too much.
    We have to practice them more.

  45. theicehammer
    October 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Shambogunner, my man, hows ‘tricks’. I can see that Mr Wenger is still pulling them, the wool over fans eyes that is, which is the main reason why i stopped blogging. Oh that and my hair going grey because of that man. Can see that your still telling it as it is. Some good points made by others, but it all boils down to the same thing as the past 4-5 years.
    1/ Team not physically big and strong enough.
    2/ Purchased (on the cheap) to play slick fast passing exciting football (bums on seats) but let down because the team is too slight and thin on average.
    3/I think you still need a powerful out and out striker who is hungry to do nothing but put the ball in the bag. For some reason Wenger always buys a striker who would not look out of place in midfield. You also need a bigger and far stronger CH.
    4/ Is it me or are your current CH’s slow. Was Gallas quicker and Sol stronger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In the long run the team has gone slightly backwards.
    Shambo do you think that the Lord will Grant my wish that we stay up. Keep kicking it mate.
    Up de ammers.

  46. theicehammer
    October 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    By the way lads, JET will turn out to be far better than Jack, just as i said over two seasons ago.
    Also look out for Jack Jebb now under 15’s big strong creative CMF. I know it’s a long time away.

  47. pradyumna
    October 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    I personally feel that rosicky must have started in place of diaby. Rosicky is a far better player than Diaby…. No two words about it. Don’t tell me Diaby defends better because we had alex song as a defensive midfielder. Song , by the way, was totally out of place and was playing like a lone striker. He does this week in and week out. Someone has to remind him that he is not messi, he cannot score goals, cannot pass the ball like Cesc Fabregas and his job is to provide a defensive cover.

  48. The Black Panther
    October 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    1. Song had a great game. He can’t do everything all the time.

    2. I nearly choked on my tea with the first Fabianski flap…ok beer. Sorry Alan Goat.

    3.Chamakh is fine. Lay off him everyone, he’s going well so far and needs good delivery if he is to achieve the optimum for the team. In terms of too slow, I think there are players that look laconic and he is one of them. Don’t forget he’s tall, good on the ball and strong. Not everyone can be everything. I just hope to the clouds that he gets to show himself with Van Persie around as well. They compliment each other very well.

    4. In following from point 3…Chamakh and Bendtner. No shit, not everyone likes the Dane, but imagine the unpredictable, random power of those two on at once. Let’s hope that Wenger has the balls to do it every once in a while. You can always take one of them off or change things if it doesn’t work out.

    5. Diaby always looks stronger with Fabregas on the field.

    6. Why the fuck do referees never pick up on those terrible challenges against Arsenal that almost seem weekly now??? Do we put ourselves in to the ball at the wrong times?

    7. I’d rather Fabianski (flaps or no flaps (tee hee btw)) than Almunia in the team.

    8. Number 41. Behemoth. Trouble. Awesome. Never heard of him. I think I saw him in defense, midfield and attack all in ten milliseconds. Two strides and he’d taken the pitch.

    9. Our corners are always, always, always, always too relaxed and embellished. Same with our attacking throw-ins. With such heading power and creative flair as we have, it’s a shame.

    10. Chelsea were always going to be powerful, counter attacking or no. They held their nerve well and played to their strengths. Arsenal need to learn how to adapt to a game where they are not in control, which inevitably will happen, even not against the best teams. It was strange to look at the stats at the end of the game and find that Chelsea were equal in everything, if not more dominant. How did that happen?

    Adios and RRRAOOOOOWWWWW!!!!

  49. Adam Sommer
    October 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    I agree, I think this team is shaping up well. It feels to me that this year will end the silverware drought.

    Party On!

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