Good morning my positive friends.
When Andy Nic. and I arranged a job swap for this game, I have to admit I thought I might have gotten the shitty end of the stick. But no, not at all. I sit here in my bed in Blackburn (I’ll get up soon, I promise), with a smile on my face and an easy task.
We sent out the same team as we did vs Palace. No doubt hoping for a similar early display, champagne football , but no, Chelsea were all over us, pushing us back, forcing errors and rushed clearances, controlling the game and frankly making us look distinctly ordinary. They quickly worked a great goal, and i feared the worst.
Then we went to plan B. Dig in. Refuses to panic , roll up the sleeves and work harder on being solid. Monreal attacked the ball and fired a header goalward , It took two ricochets and ended up in the net . 1-1 . Better. For the rest of the first half it was more of an even game, but a fair man would still say Chelsea were shading it.
Then half time ,and the chance for Arsene to reorganise, plan C emerged . It appeared to me (I say “appeared” because I am far for a tactical expert) that we went to some sort hybrid system between 5 2 3 , 3 4 3 and 4 3 3 . The player dictating the changes was ElNeny.
He seemed to be playing as a CDM when we had the ball and a CB when they had the ball. Our wingbacks were more fullbacks off the ball than usual too.
There were odd moments of free flowing football,as you would expect, but this was a more grit,determination and sheer force of will performance . The winning goal was all about effort over excellence from both Lacazette and Xhaka, fortunate, but earned.
Monreal was exceptional, ElNeny outstanding and young Iwobi worked harder to contain them than we could have expected, and of course Mesut was glorious.
It was a fantastic effort from everyone involved. Working together as a team, fighting tooth and nail, just what the “experts” constantly suggest we cant do.
So we find ourselves looking for a 10th consecutive Wembley win against The UAE FC . I cant wait.
We can all enjoy this for a few days. and then a few days more.
Pedantic George ( @Arseblagger ) @arseblagger