202 Comments

Arsenal Versus Chelsea : Mentioning No Names

dick-dastasrdly

I was hoping to get through this morning’s epistle without mention of Chelsea’s erstwhile manager. Not the interim incumbent, I don’t mean him, I mean the one in charge when they started their title defence last season. I told myself that he is no longer there and is therefore no longer relevant and is the subject of so much journalistic and blogging hot air that it doesn’t need me to blow any more up his skirt.

There is a problem though. I simply can’t decide if Chelsea with him means the same as it does without him. In terms of rivalry it is of course a London derby between two of the capital’s biggest teams and as such will always carry more weight than a more humdrum fixture. Even without the Graceless One in the dugout or prowling the touchline there are still players likely to pull on the blue jersey for whom we can feel no love. There is one in particular who has built a reputation for scoring goals when many observers wonder how he is still on the pitch to score them such is his otherworldly ingenuity for unpunished foul play.

Despite the presence of such malevolent incarnations of footballing villainy the fixture has, for me, lost a little of its sting. I never hated Chelsea for being another London club. Neither living in nor hailing from the Big Smoke I shan’t add that hypocrisy to my list of faults. I disliked them for their association with the sudden jarring influx of unearned dirty money which so distorted the competitiveness of the league. I disliked many of their players in that pantomime way we fans have of caricaturing certain footballers from other teams. But mainly I didn’t like that oafish, pestilential sore of a man who so utterly epitomises all that is abhorrent in the modern game.

And now he’s gone. From Stamford Bridge at least. And with him a whiff of corruption has been lifted from today’s opponents. I don’t know a great deal about signore Conte except what I saw on the touchline at the recent European championships. His CV is pretty impressive though and we’d all do well to be wary of any side he manages, especially one which, along with the notable scoundrels, contains some extremely talented footballers.

They’ve started in a remarkably similar vein to us this season. Losing to Liverpool, picking up one away draw and winning the rest. Apart from beating Burnley by three their victories and defeat have been decided by the odd goal. What little we can deduce from these early season stats suggests they aren’t scoring by the bucket load but neither are they leaking many at the other end. A gambling man might think a draw the likely result.

I’m not a gambler. I have an inelegant sufficiency of other vices thank you very much, but were I to fancy a flutter I must confess to a certain bullish premonition on this fine autumnal morning. I think we’re due a bit of an upturn in our fortunes against Fulham’s finest. There is something about Arsenal this season which might give other sides pause for thought. A certain irascible refusal to bow to injurious destiny even in the face of such shockingly adverse circumstances as going a goal behind in the first minute in Paris.

Call it the silly superstitions of a foolish old man but I have a good feeling about Arsenal right now, a feeling which extends beyond the usual wishful thinking. The last time I had this positive tingle we went on to win the FA Cup so who knows? Of course come seven thirty this evening my upbeat mood may have taken a dent, sport is anything but an exact science, but win lose or draw today I can’t help thinking this squad has all the necessary elements to achieve something special.

The potential return of our Gallic heartthrob up front will give Arsène the kind of selection headache managers are reputed to enjoy, but we are in such a position of strength right now that he could easily decide to leave his number one striker on the bench rather than risk him from the start. Alexis has shown he is more than capable of playing up front. As the team adjusts to the more fluid style of a central striker who drifts around the line, he looks like an increasingly lethal option. Theo especially dovetails well with him, coming in off the wing when our Chilean dynamo leaves space in the middle. The other option, now his dreaded first goal is out of the way, is our new signing. Alexis, Pérez, Walcott would be a scarily fast front three, if a little on the diminutive side.

Of course which striker we choose won’t matter a hoot if Granit Xhaka gets a game. Just give him the ball anywhere on the pitch and if you’re stood in front of him for goodness sake duck. Should he start though? To my mind Santi hasn’t done anything to get himself dropped but with a European game on the horizon and with his understudy in compelling, goal scoring form maybe he gets a rest today. Maybe not. Whoever starts I’m happy to trust the judgement of those with the plan. As we say every week, second guessing the boss is a mugs game so let’s be content to wait and see.

Andy Nic’s friend with the whistle needs to have a good game today. The result may be unpredictable but what we can know for certain is one Chelsea player will be trying to get someone sent off from the moment the first ball is kicked. It is the kind of childish, odious approach to the game which deserves a disrepute charge, but no matter how unjust and no matter how righteous their cause our players simply cannot afford to react to his sly, niggling provocation. The rules of the game do not allow for self imposed justice, we have no choice but to hope that for once the officials are actually equal to the task and can prevent him from ruining what ought to be an excellent sporting contest.

Right, that’s enough from me, I have hash browns to prepare. If you’re at the game today I hope you’re in good voice, if not I’ll see you here at five thirty. Salut!

 

About steww

bass guitar, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

202 comments on “Arsenal Versus Chelsea : Mentioning No Names

  1. That my friends will do nicely. Told you I had a good feeling about today.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Magic magic magic!!! Stunning first half of attacking football, superb defensive second.
    Wishing the boys of PA a nice evening!
    COYG!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Theo was great today, again.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Yay oh yay as a younger version of myself might say.
    We were (are) special.

    Like

  5. Well then… the table is shaping up nicely.. I always like when it defies the nay sayers…
    the higher we go, the sadder they are.

    Everton no more unbeaten so that leaves city then so we can have peace on that

    Liked by 2 people

  6. could be beer talking but think I’m at least halfway cured of Chelsea sickness. Excellent performance.

    I liked what I’d seen of Mustafi before signing but felt uneasy, as well as pleased we got him, when the price was so high- totally worth it in today’s market if that game is anything to go by.

    Kos…phhhhhh.

    Xhaka’s passing a delight; Coq surely has the better defensive attributes.

    Iwobi incredibly exciting

    Could go on…excellent day.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Shock horror, Arsenal can defend! First half was an attacking master class, but the team defending second half was equally impressive.

    I’m sure Alexis will get MoTM, but my vote would go to Theo – he must have had an extra portion of weetabix this morning as he worked his socks off at both ends of the pitch!

    Very impressive team performance all round. I hope they can keep it going

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Chelsea know they could have been hit for way more than three goals. And what about Hectors tackle in the 72nd min? Sheer class to run so fast and pull of such a tackle. One for Hector in the history books of AFC to be played time and time again.
    Theo on fire today too.In fact everyone was facking superb! Not man of the match but men of the match.All of them!
    COYG!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Ozil would be my MOTM, its all so fucking easy for him.

    Like

  10. I’ve decided to take a couple of days off twitter, just as well , because I would be in full gloat mode

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Well, Steww, thanks for another scintillating preview.

    I kept an eye on your comments during the match too. I think you were wise with your observations re: “the graceless one”, and I was able to avoid venting my spleen about the likely lack of quality from the officials – due to some ‘teasing’? of A5, and a timely post from Rich.

    I’ll have to look up the Berlin Philly Orch to get a better idea of your bottom!, though Shotta’s “data” input wasn’t to be dismissed.

    IW17 got MOTM and it was a good shout to have suggested Theo, who gave his usual “I’m more pleased for the team” interview, whilst iWob “don’t know what to say”. Well done you Arsenal heroes all. (I note PG praising Walcott. Looks like he watches the game(s)).

    Sorry for Coq. My eyes were wetter than his when he realised he had to go off. (Esp. given the crockings he and Diaby had visited upon them from Chelsea’s players, amongst others). The SantiCoq pivot play like a pair of frisky Pirlo’s. They really are the heart of our team. And yes, the Sprout bollockocrasy continuied ‘shitting on our parade’ long after the final whistle. Whadda we expect?

    Lineaker twatted summat about happy 20th to our leader but I know where he’s coming from and I’m sure he feels hurt/let down by our opposition and the ref, who, early doors, done his best to get fulham into the game, by ignoring yellows for those stopping Ars’s attacks and ignoring the push on Kos near when he was defending our penalty area and gave Chelsea a free kick. That sort of crap happened a few times, and I insist on mentioning it particularly as Ars won. The fact is, starting with the league cup final, 07, Ars have perenially been cheated by by the fulham ****ers and their cohorts, and there lies “the inconvienient facts”!

    There’s something of a miracle about todays hammering of the opposition, in that you and I know that there’s a template for celebrating Arsene’s landmarks i.e. **** him and his team up. Let’s not kid ourselves that this won’t happen throughout the season. It’s wonderful that we have Coq/Xhaka and Elneney to cover for each other and for Santi.

    For the time being may I once again congratulate Arsenal on a beautiful performance, and thank all ye here for your fine comments.

    COYG

    Liked by 6 people

  12. well against all the odds mine and Stewws little feeling won the day. Great performance from begining to end even Petre, who had to wait to play apart in the game, was imperious to the end. I was so nervous I was shaking even at 3-0 even though chelski only had one real chance the whole game. But tonight I feel fucking fantastic

    Liked by 6 people

  13. So, hands up all those who foresaw that Arsenal would have a team that Fabregas in his prime would not be good enough to get into. I see a hand at the back there. Tell us all who you are.

    Sorry. Didn’t catch that.

    Arsène who?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. BOSS – THE FIRST HALF WAS NEARLY PERFECT

    Arsène Wenger was a very happy man after Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-0 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening after goals from Alexis, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil.
    He was particularly pleased with the “collective connection” the team demonstrated, and this is what he said to the media afterwards:

    on the performance…
    I feel, especially in the first half, we wanted to play with high pace, put them under pressure, play at a very high collective connection and speed of passing – it worked quite well. It’s one of those moments in your life as a manager where you think ‘today is a great day’. In the first half, I think it was nearly perfect. In the second half it was a bit in-and-out but in the first half, we have shown great quality. We played with style, with pace, with movement – and that’s the kind of football we want to play.

    on reasons behind the performance…
    I felt that in the last three weeks, our team was on the way up. Today was a good test for us to see if that’s real, if we could continue to move upwards. Would Chelsea stop our progression? Overall the quality of our performance today confirmed that we are on the way up. From the goalkeeper to the centre forward, today you cannot fault any performance. Now let’s continue to improve. There’s still room for improvement. Let’s show as well that we can defend together the style of football we want to play.
    on if the first half was as good as anything in the last few years…
    Coming out straight after the game, I’d be tempted to say yes, because it’s one of the games where what we wanted to do worked very well. Yes, it’s one of the best performances in recent years.

    on whether he is as optimistic and hungry as he was 20 years ago…
    I’m hungrier. Because I know I have not 20 years in front of me. As well because I feel more the responsibility, you’re not 20 years somewhere and you don’t care about things. I’m more conscious of what Arsenal is all about, so I think the weight of keeping people happy and making people happy is heavier than when I arrived.

    on the wait for another title…
    It [ending the winless streak against Chelsea] was relevant for us because it helps us to win a big game. Between winning a big game and winning the Premier League is a long way to go. At the moment Man City looks to be well in front, but if we can maintain our performances and the quality of our performances and be consistent we might have a chance.

    Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160924/boss-the-first-half-was-nearly-perfect#56d41yLVsU3qMdaj.99

    Like

  15. ‘IT IS GREAT FUN PLAYING WITH THEO’

    Hector Bellerin delivered another outstanding performance in the 3-0 win against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Saturday – and he wasn’t the only one.
    The Spanish right back’s partnership with Theo Walcott is flourishing, and Bellerin was full of praise for the England international.

    on Walcott’s improvement…
    Sometimes when you’re getting games regularly that helps a player’s confidence as well. We’ve been playing together in the right side for the last few weeks and it’s a partnership that we both enjoy. We understand each other a lot and I think that shows on the pitch. It’s great fun to play with him.

    on Walcott when he is in form…
    I think you can see that he’s been doing it for the past month and I’m glad to see him back to his best.

    on the importance of the win…
    We need to go game-by-game like we’ve always been doing, for us it’s a great confidence boost because Chelsea is always a difficult rival and is a team that puts things really hard so to get this victory and to get the three points is something that is a good boost of confidence.

    on his last-ditch tackle on Pedro…
    It was at the end of the game, so I was a bit tired. But he’s a pretty quick player but I don’t know, I think you always need to try and help the team – it doesn’t matter how tired you are and this time it paid off.

    Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160924/-it-is-great-fun-playing-with-theo-#JMqxWqP114BTseU7.99

    Like

  16. Friday Evening – Chelsea u23’s 1-2 Arsenal u23’s

    Saturday Morning – Arsenal u18’s 5-0 Leicester city u18’s

    Saturday Evening – Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea

    any Arsenal fan whinging tonight is a moron.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. JB™ ‏@gunnerpunner 2h2 hours ago
    Aside from turning Alexis into a false 9 and changing the way we press, shocking tactics again from Wenger 😴😴😴

    Liked by 2 people

  18. joe says mate said

    Robert Beasley ‏@1RobBeasley 9h9 hours ago
    Ok…now I’m going to walk the dog…and watch Chelsea thrash Arsenal as usual. Carefree!!!!!!!

    Like

  19. I’ve look at no media reports about the game, but i’m sure, unlike city’s unbelievable football against the mighty powerhouse that is Bournemouth, Arsenal’s breathtaking football will be dismissed as dire stuff from little old rebuilding chelsea.

    I suppose we can not blame the media for the line being pedaled by the likes of the BT, Sky and BBC, that this was just another false dawn, when a noisy section of our own fan base are happy to cling on to that particular soundbite.

    But I will say, this to me felt different, I really don’t know when we last produced such an almost complete performance, and especially against one of our big rivals. Some will say Man Utd last season, but for me that was not even close to the level we were at today, in it we had about 20-30 minutes of great attacking play, and then went into our shells, and ended up with a battling defensive second half, today we had an almost perfect first half, especially attacking wise, but it was followed by a second half of both fine attacking play and top top defending, cfc as far as i remember did not have a shot on target till the 81st minute. Unlike the man utd game last season, our tempo and work rate did not drop one iota today, yes our attacking play in the second half was a little less eye catching than the first half, but that was due to us not over committing, we held one or two more players back in midfield, yet we still caused their defense way more problems than they did ours.

    of course the “we can even say we play the best football anymore” brigade will still trot out that little soundbite as if its true. But then, without looking, I would willing take the bet that some still will have bad mouthed Theo’s performance today, and others of course too, probably Coquelin, and even Iwobi, and lets not forget Ozil does not turn up in big games.

    Like

  20. @Merlot… LOL

    Cesc really messed up with all those Barcelona DNA stuff… he had so much going for him was on the right track with an 8-year contract, captain and all that yet he allowed himself to lose focus and be carried away!

    Like

  21. Onebarsene Wenger!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I can sense a very happy review gestating and fermenting inside Andy Nic right now. Can’t wait.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Wow! A technical, and tactical masterclass.
    Have a good evening Mr Beasley, your little plan didn’t work too well did it!

    Like

  24. that was a great anniversary gift 20 years on

    Just glad Costa did not succeed in his winding up antics today.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. TS – he picked on the wrong guy. Kos just did not want to know.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. our normal size fucking german was well up for the battle with costa, and he and kos seemed to enjoy annoying the fuck out of the cheating cunt. class stuff.

    so one more panic buy that may actually be top class, oh and as Arsene said in an online question and answer session on arsenal.com, when it was put to him alexis should be wide left, “that is your opinion, but mine is he is a central striker”, and on that view, I think by every passing game, Wenger is being showed to be right again. – oh by the way I seen a stat that said Alexis 47 goals in his first 100 games, Henry 48 goals in his first 100 games.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. so how is Match of the Day going to have edited the highlights of our game so that it appears that it was an even contest, maybe even cfc the better side.

    Like

  28. I think Mustafi is on the same level as The Boss. And that is the very top level.
    Bit soon to say that perhaps? But still, he looks it right now only 4 games in.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. I see exactly what you’re saying about Mustafi, George. Considering that the two are still getting to know one another the partnership will only get better too.

    Like

  30. just a little question for you all, were any of you like me from early in the game today, totally void of nerves or any anxious feelings, did the performance just feel different to you,

    Liked by 1 person

  31. No Eddy, I couldn’t eat my tea at half time

    Like

  32. for fucks sake, ian wright slating ozil for taking a dressing room selfie after today victory, what an idiot.

    Like

  33. Hazard: ‘There’s no excuse, they ate us.’

    Like

  34. Alexander Iwobi ‏@alexiwobi 42m42 minutes ago
    Grateful To Be MOM In Such A Game , However There Could Have Been Other MOM’s As Well , Great Team Performance Today #AFC #BIG17 #3POINTS 💪🏽

    Liked by 3 people

  35. BBC MOTD on the pedro, bellerin moment – “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” – I paraphrased it

    Like

  36. This time the players remembered the advise that they should be cold blooded… not moved by costa…. well played!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. ts its why i love that we have german players in our side, as I’ve always found the gerries produce a lot of cold blooded players

    Like

  38. I feel so proud to support this website,
    Today was a good day.

    Ka’plah!!

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Ian Wright is a prick. A stupid prick.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Mohamed Bouhafsi ‏@mohamedbouhafsi 3h3 hours ago
    Arsenal’s medical staff are worried about Francis #Coquelin, concerns about an internal knee ligament having been potentially damaged.

    Like

  41. 6’2 ‏@Mta_1991 2h2 hours ago
    Ozil has now scored against Chelsea, United, Munich, Spurs and Liverpool.

    Apparently he goes missing in big games though 🤔

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Rocky#7 ‏@AFC_unningham 2m2 minutes ago
    In todays game.Our players are still too honest which I respect.Theo should have got a penalty if he went down &Kos was fouled early by Costa

    Like

  43. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry

    Liked by 3 people

  44. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 2h2 hours ago
    Özil: “If our fans support us on Wednesday [against Basel] like they did today, we’ll be in the best conditions to play.”

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Everyone is buzzing and I’m yet to see it all in full glory, soon though ,when it’s on the website 😛

    Liked by 4 people

  46. Andy, …. come on….. I’m getting excited

    Liked by 1 person

  47. It will be 10 am,Ian, It always is. He keeps us hanging on for dramatic effect.

    Liked by 2 people

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