92 Comments

Arsenal vs Chelsea – A Bridge Too Far?

ozilwinking
The last time Arsenal beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was over 5 years
ago. That was a looong time ago.
So it’s no surprise that this, along with Arsenal rather dismal record
vs top 6 opposition last season, is the leading narrative used in the
media space building up to the game, while adding a bit of a twist to
the David and Goliath story, where David, who ran out of gummyberry
juice, is now left in total  “shambles”… at Goliath’s mercy.
Fair enough! Going to the Bridge, or rather, leaving the Bridge hasn’t
exactly been a joyous exercise these last few years, not even with the
world-class talents of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez in our ranks. But
then again, the Chelsea teams of then have been bus parkers
extraordinaire, their primary form of attack being the counter, and
with great success compared to the low-budget forces from elsewhere.
This Antonio Conte outfit however is different, he wants his team
playing the good stuff, and that suits our style better.
So last season vs top 6 opposition aside and looking at Chelsea in
isolation; the last 12 months we played them 4 times, beating them on
3 of those occasions. Granted none of those games won were at
Chelsea’s spiritual home, but it was recent and it should tell us that
there’s no need to be apprehensive about these pricks.
Arsenal players know they can beat Chelsea, Chelsea players are aware
our players know they can beat them. Stamford Bridge? Meh! We just
need to play to our potential.
We now also have Saed Kolašinac, an absolute beast that just wanna run
through players and with a left boot Podolski would be proud of, and
Alexandre Lacazette that looks extremely calm in front of goal.
With me touching on the last 5 years, and a little bit on the last 12
months, what does the last month tell me leading up to today’s
fixture:
Chelsea started their PL campaign in embarrassing fashion vs Burnley,
since then it look like they have pulled themselves together. Our
moment of embarrassment came at Anfield, so hopefully that was when
our lightbulb went on.
Following the international break Chelsea beat Leicester 2-1 in a
close contest, of cause with the help of a ref and lino, allowing a
Morata off-side goal, then their first team (scared much) wiped out
Azerbaijani giants, Qarabag. We beat Bournemouth pretty convincingly,
with a wonderful display of Wenger-ball, then comfortably in the end
dispose of Köln with an experimental team short of match fitness. So
we go into this game fairly even, the one advantage Chelsea could have
though is that they, well, have home advantage. But as I said; meh!
Make no mistake though, Chelsea might be suffering a fall from grace
in punditry circles as they are now only seen as the team-elect to
“put pressure on” – ahem, Spurs busy with some voodoo or whatever –
after they sold Matic to a rival to finance a replacement for a player
that is still part of their squad… they can be very destructive on
their day.
Team selection: I think with Oxlade now gone, and hopefully putting a
curse on Liverpool, selecting a matchday 11 became a bit easier for
Arsène Wenger, as it’s one less of those pamper type players. Leaving
Bellerín and Kolašinac first choice wing backs on their respective
sides and the rest pretty much selecting themselves if available.
A spot of bother could be Mesut Özil. Unconfirmed news going around is
that he could sit out today due to injury. I would like to think that
the manager will leave the decision up the last minutes with fixture
difficulty easing a bit over the next 4 weeks. If he can’t play, Mo
Elneny look very sharp on Thursday and had a near perfect successful
pass rate. He’s not a flamboyant player, but he does do the basics
right, even in games we seem to struggle. So he could have dibs coming
in for the German, with either Ramsey or Xhaka possibly making a
positional switch to compensate.
Here’s the selection conundrum…
Arsène’s one headache though could be whether to Alexis Sánchez or not
to Alexis Sánchez.
Welbeck might not be everybody’s cup of tea but he is a team player
first and thus vital in the application of the manager’s tactics. This
is the one area I feel a tough decision need to be made, because
Chelsea will exploit a not fully match fit yet Alexis Sánchez’s
weakness. It’s one thing carelessly giving away possession when we are
on the front foot vs sub-standard opposition, another doing so vs a
team filled with truly world-class attacking players.
In media circles they say Arsenal is only one defeat away from a
“crisis”, I say Arsenal is always one big victory away from going on
good run. Playing as “a team” today will be key.
“Alles van die beste” to all going to the Bridge and those watching
the game at home/pub today.
Let’s keep hope alive, because it’s the hope man, it’s the hope…
A guest post form @Labo_Goon

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92 comments on “Arsenal vs Chelsea – A Bridge Too Far?

  1. Elneny struggling to get up to the pace of the game

    Like

  2. luiz with a straight red for a high tackle on kolasinac

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FT: 0-0

    a game we could easily have won, we had several good chances, were the better team for long spells.

    3rd away game without a goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After all the extra delays Oliver blowing on 94.04 is the final clincher on top of his protection of the home team.

    Just another lame crow in Riley’s flock, transparent and predictable. No defence can be offered for these fixers.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Brilliant performance. MOTM RAMBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We could easily have won that game. And on balance, perhaps we should have.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. < the tackle by Luiz right in front of the anagers on 87 minutes. Not credit there I'm afraid, he was always going to give it hehe ("transparent and predictable")

    0-0 Away to a rival is the kind of result that Maureen built his career upon.
    AFC will be critiqued for not winning?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Henry is an absolute cunt. I can’t stand the bloke now.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Really unlucky not to win that
    I enjoyed the game
    Lots of positives but I am really happy for Iwobi
    To play with such maturity in such a big game shows what a player he is
    And Saed signing of the season by far

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Nowt wrong with the home team getting some protection. Used to be the norm, Away goals rule etc.
    Shame we never see it in N5 lols

    Like

  10. Great spirited display by our team.
    A good draw. Shame we didn’t win.
    Everyone was focused and on it.
    Only low point was Welbz coming off with what looks like a groin injury.
    Hope and pray it’s not too bad.
    Hope Kolasinac’s foot is fine.
    Well done boys.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. George,
    You still watching/ listening to these chumps?
    i ran off to do some washing up at the final whistle, anything but listen to that shite!

    Like

  12. for those that have faith reward. while the world and his wife “could see nothing past a chelski win” Positivetas knew we are a class side and are capable of that performance.
    After the dicussions on here about the importance of the team that was a great team performance.
    Onwards and upwards now COYG

    Liked by 2 people

  13. george what did Tit Henry say now

    Like

  14. who got man of the match, if anyone other than ramsey got it then its an injustice, he was immense

    Liked by 2 people

  15. It’s Sounes the genius who brought down the dynasties at Liverpool and the club once known as Rangers who I can’t stand.

    When Barton gets pimped out by Aunty Bleeb and the other broadcasters we understand how he still gets a gig.

    Swerve and ignore.

    Like

  16. seems barton and linekar say luiz should not have been sent off, madness, does a guy have to have his leg hanging off for it to be a red for these muppets. english football still in the stone ages

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Did not watch
    Proud of d lads
    We will build on this
    Onwards and upwards
    A draw or Everton win will round up a great weekend.
    it’s after all 5 games in. We will only get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. afcstuff‏ @afcstuff 32m32 minutes ago

    Arsenal’s next 6 fixtures:

    Doncaster H
    West Brom H
    BATE Borisov A
    Brighton H
    Watford A
    Red Star Belgrade A

    Like

  19. We missed welbeck when he went off injured. Hope he is not out for long.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That was very good. Perfect team selection too.

    If Ozil does end up leaving then it only makes sense to blood Iwobi as often as possible. Unreal potential.

    A bit worried about Welbeck. This is his Arsenal career in a nutshell. He’ll be out for weeks, come back rusty and people will start talking bullshit about him again.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. So many can’t understand why Alexis didn’t start. They would point to Arsenal’s poor record vs top 6 opposition.

    Alexis played in those fixtures vs top opposition and they punished us for him losing possession. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this tough love the boss.

    Good result away from home.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Koeman is a complete fraud. Southampton are such a well-run outfit that they made him look good. His career has been very undistinguished all told.

    Well, as a manager…

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Henry saying” Ramsey still goes forward too soon, we still haven’t scored away from home and still not won away” He is a fucking prick .

    Liked by 5 people

  24. Star players have always had their egos looked after by the /any good manager, now that Sanchez is in his final year there’s no need to play him when not fully fit/100%! Win win!!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Henry was another egomaniac who was always mollycoddled (as it should be).
    Plenty of people did not like his character even in his pomp.

    Meh.

    Swerve and ignore!

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Great result for AFC, a win would have been even better but a point at a ground where we’ve historically struggled is a good start. Henry can go choke himself on his 30 pieces of silver.

    Liked by 7 people

  27. Wenger’s after game comments

    On the game itself
    It was a game of high intensity with two teams who really went for it. It was a battle all over the pitch – we responded well.
    I like when the team shows that kind of response. Overall I feel it was a deserved point.
    With a bit more freedom. Maybe less inhibition we could have won this goal with one or two goals difference.
    Overall it was important not to lose today – you could feel that in the last 20 minutes. We played with that in our mind.

    On the manner of the performance given recent criticisms
    People forget that two months ago we beat Chelsea in a cup final.
    You have to accept when you deliver the type of performance we did at Liverpool you will be criticised.
    You only have one way to respond and that’s on the pitch. We responded today. Of course it was a question about what would happen today, at least with the attitude, the response and determination.
    It was vital for us, even above the result, to come out with a solid performance on that front.

    On performing well at Stamford Bridge
    The challenge was higher (than the cup final) because we played on a neutral ground then, today we played at their home where they are traditionally very strong.
    But we did exactly what I expected the team to do.

    When you go for trophies, everyone gives absolutely 100 per cent.
    In the championship it can be different in the way you play at home and people expect you to win the games.

    On Danny Welbeck’s injury
    Danny Welbeck has a groin problem, I don’t know how serious it is.
    It looks like a good groin problem, not an easy one.

    On Lacazette’s performance
    I felt Lacazette had a very good first half, he worked hard for the team and was very disciplined.
    It takes him some time to maintain that intensity for 90 minutes.
    But don’t forget I have Walcott, Giroud and Sanchez on the bench. After 65 minutes in a game of that intensity it’s normal that you bring fresh legs on.
    I never ask any striker to understand that he has to make room for someone else. You never can do that.

    On the difference between this performance and the one at Stoke and Liverpool
    I believe that at Stoke we had a good performance, purely on the football front. We had 77 per cent possession, we had three penalties (not given) and we were unlucky with the disallowed goal.

    The result was very disappointing but the performance was not.
    What changed after the Liverpool game is that there is only one thing that matters – the next game and how you respond. That’s what we did today.

    On Luiz’s red card
    It was excessive force yes. I think Kolasinac was not completely on his feet and eased a bit off.
    Even Luis will accept he went in too strong. After that, it’s a decision of the referee that we have to accept.
    If you watch it again. It looked to me like excessive force.

    Like

  28. one of the most mature game i’ve seen of arsenal. not a mistake by anyone including the manager. the selsection was spot on and the subs was perfect. the only negative is we didnt win.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. If Conte is upset he needs to ask his players to stop diving & clogging!

    Liked by 3 people

  30. i can see many saying ramsey was immense. he has alway been in big games. but i’m so excited about kolasinac. pep paid 100m on left-back but we got this guy for free. unbelievable!

    Liked by 2 people

  31. what was that the ASB were saying about Everton and Koeman showing Arsenal how to build a team/squad, it seems it is only in spending money that they are ahead of us. I hope we soon see that nasty cunty Koeman sacked.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Really pleased with performance and happy with a point.

    Looking forward to next game and weeks ahead

    Liked by 2 people

  33. many candidates for motm. ramsey obviously, but monreal, kolasinac and cech for stopping that goal bound shot by hazard. bellerin for keeping alonso busy all game.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. it is true that welbeck havent had the luck of extended run withour injuries in the team. but another player who also need a good long run in the team is ramsey. anytime he gets anything close to a long run, he has always been the best in the league in his position. the more games he has the better the team play. he might be the most important player in the team.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. i’ve always said iwobi is the player who can best replace ozil in the team. he is the future, and the more time he play with ozil the better he’ll become. i have to also say that he contributed in no small measure to how well bellerin played today. he worked so hard that he never left him open. wenger subbed him at the right time.
    i like how bellerin kicked the ball out for a throw to chelsea when it was apparent he will lose the ball if he tried to find a team mate. it showed this team is really mature.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I can’t believe Henry these days. What a horrible arrogant snide bastard he is now.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. he chose sky over arsenal… he does not surprise me that much really based on that type of choice

    Liked by 2 people

  38. maybe arsenal should never contemplate giving anyone still living a statue ever again because henry and adams are a disgrace to the club with their public alterrances against the club. henry was just a gifted footballer but he is not intelligent and the two managers that worked with him as a player clearly didnt rate him as a tactician. pep chose arteta over him and wenger prefer even per to him.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. The shame is George I don’t think he means the things he says nasty like the jealous wright and the ignorant chelski fan merson.
    The problem is their paid to make insightful comments when just being realistic isn’t enough. You only have to see the amount of ex footballers who don’t know the rules of the game it’s embarrassing.
    Also embarrassing was suggesting that was a normal performance and not a good or even great one.
    Strange that everyone expected a chelski win and yet when they don’t were still not given any credit mind-blowing.
    I would suggest a long career for Mr Henry in punditry and to steer away from management.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. No Ian, he is full blown cunt.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. george he always was, it was just we ignored it cos he was banging in the goals, the way he treated Reyes was a disgrace, but us football fans forgive anything as long as the cunt is doing it for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. New post up

    Like

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