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Arsenal vs Chelsea: Unai’s rites of passage tour goes on the road

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@LaboGoon initiates the faithful

Maybe all new managers of top Premier League teams going through some sort of initiation ritual wouldn’t be such a bad thing at all:

Big game to the League’s most expensive team – check
Big game away from home – check
Having Tony Adams, Sam Allardyce and Tim Sherwood doing their best impression of the “Britain’s Got Talent” judging panel – check

“Go out into the woods son, go out into the woods”

Good day one and all…

The PL roller-coaster returned with a bang last weekend and has already been a source of despair as we saw our top 6 rivals all won their opening games and we, well, you know – so we can ill afford giving them a 6 point head start at the end of this weekend. While on the flip-side we will have played two of our toughest opponents, it still will not make things less stressful going forward.

Arsenal take the short trip to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea in another of these high profile fixtures that we always have circled on our calendars. With both clubs having new coaches Unai Emery could not have asked for a more difficult start than playing the juggernaut that is Man City, whilst Maurizio Sarri’s side strolled to a 3-0 win in what clearly looked like mismatch vs relegation candidates Huddersfield.

There certainly was a lot to like about us in defeat last Sunday, but what Arsenal also need is for Unai to channel his Sevilla self not just the PSG version, because we are nowhere near being the league’s wealthiest side.

We had 3 shots on target while on the other end of the pitch Man City had 8 out of 17 shots on target, and with Chelsea another of the usually high scoring teams we need a bit more caution, stability and sensibility in defense if we want to answer Unai’s call of putting in an improved performance:

“Our players need to improve in the biggest games.”

With Sarriball in full effect last weekend and Eden Hazard back, the Blues will look to seize control of midfield, but I think we will be better prepared by not taking the quality in their ranks for granted.

Up front I wouldn’t mind seeing Lacazette given the nod as I feel him and Auba partnering up in attack will be fruitful. 🍎 When he came onto the field last Sunday we immediately had the Man City defense on the back foot.

Team news: Nacho Monreal and Lucas Torreira is available for selection so we can expect changes to the line-up.

Good luck to our boys, coach and all Gooners for today. Given the varying fortunes of these two sides last weekend…… I feel we could see a classic here today.

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 60, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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89 comments on “Arsenal vs Chelsea: Unai’s rites of passage tour goes on the road

  1. kante heads over from seven yards out

    Like

  2. fucks sake, ten minutes to go, lacazette for some unknown reason on the half way line passes the ball straight to cfc players twenty yards from our goal and they get in and score, bat shit crazy stuff once again fucks us up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is some crazy game
    Heart attack inducing stuff
    Have a feeling we are going to score

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  4. Spoke to soon now hopefully they prove me right

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  5. 82 minutes in and we get our first corner of the game,

    shouldn’t have bothered

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cech saves from giroud, after no one busted a gut to get out to a cfc player at the corner flag

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  7. poor cross from bellerin

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  8. Ramsey goes close from long range

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  9. laughable only 3 minutes of injury time to be played

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  10. Looks like we are toast
    A ridiculous match and I hope we really shape before the next game.

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  11. Good game. First half was more entertaining. Unfortunate not to get anything for the second game running. 4 missed sitters came back to bite us in the arse.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. That Laca back pass which lead to their winner was awful. Especially when he had runners on either side of him.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Kovacic dive when Laca cleanly took the ball grom his was a joke though.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. FT: Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    bat shit crazy defending and poor finishing cost us the game, also we were second best for much of the second half, after creating loads of great chances in the first half, we created no clear cut chance the second half.
    very poor on all three cfc goals, punished for poor defending and giving away the ball. in games like this we need our attackers to take the good chances made, and we just did not take enough of them

    cech made several fine saves, none of our defense impressed, gundouzi very good again, xhaka off the pace, mkhitaryan and ozil very up and down, iwobi good for the most part, aubameyang left his finishing boots at home.

    we have no pts after two games, 5 goals conceded, and sit in 17th but could go into bottom 3 depending on tomorrow’s results.
    The defending has to improve, midfield needs settling in, and despite making loads of chances, and scoring 2, we have not been lethal enough so far, there were many good signs today, some of the attacking football was eye catching, but we need a win very soon, cos confidence can be very brittle, and as we have seen today on twitter our fan base think they know better than Emery, on everything from team selection, to formation and tactics, just like they thought they knew better than AW, and some are already in meltdown for the clicks.

    Like

  15. Sorry that was Ramsey on Kovacic. Laca took it from Hazard and was judged to have fouled him qhich was ridiculous.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. if Guendouzi keeps this up he will soon be in the France senior team

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What’s up folks!

    Well…4 easy chances missed and the dumbest back pass ever from Lacazette and a downright lazy attempt to defend Hazard. Not that we were perfect but come on! How did we lose this match?!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Just confirms what we knew, emery needs time. Some positive signs, chances created, but shooting, and defending not good enough at times.
    Still, have a gut feeling very soon some unfortunate team is going to be on the end of an absolute tonking, which will build confidence and momentum.
    But, a really shit first two fixtures, the like of which certain teams I could mention never seem to get at the start of the season, very difficult with the change at this club. And as has often happened in the last two of three seasons, we lose, our rivals invariably win.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Is it me or does Ozil seem to be lacking confidence?

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Lacabladclot did us in for their 3rd!
    F****ki’ hell!
    …….oh well, it was entertaining.
    2 Ls in a row to start a season. First since ’92 they say.
    An “homage” to le prof…??
    We need to be more clinical. Bottom line.

    Mkhi, Iwobi & Auba dropped off some after 60 mins.
    Can’t say I don’t feel for our #10 not having another maestro to collabo with.
    Though I see what UE’s attempting to instill in this team, 2nd and 3rd gears are still required. Slow the game down, tamper with opponent’s rhythm, keep the ball, then unleash your killer pass.
    We cannot go all gung-ho against the more athletic, we have to get into their heads.
    This is where Mesut comes in. We need his influence to unbalance the opposition.
    He’s wasted as a harrying, ball chaser…AW understood this.

    Anyhoo…the twats having their way with us ain’t nothing new.
    Le Prof is gone but the record remains the same.
    Stay brave UE, ’tis but growing pains.
    We march on.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I know this is a new thing that needs time but we ought to have won this match.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. First up, today has made me consider this proposition of top 6/8/whatever earning more from foreign tv deals than rest.

    After watching Cardiff Newc and now this, there might be a decent case!

    World’s apart. Basically I’m not sure the earlier standard of football deserves anywhere near the same amount, on merit, as the teams doing the bulk of entertaining in league and securing those deals.

    Argument is that it’s not healthy for rich to get richer, hurts competition, makes it less attractive, best have nothing if they don’t have the rest of the teams to play against…but when the football’s as limited and joyless as the earlier game, despite already having access to incredible riches… more just doesn’t feel deserved, not when survival in order to keep the money coming, pursued pragmatically, is the only game for so many.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. To think I used to lie Owen Hargreaves’ opinions ???
    …”who’s the leader on this team???” – what a simpleton!
    Why am I bothering to waste energy on broken records…sinkholes?
    F**k off Sky sports!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Number of factors in that third one.

    Kovacic won free kick with some abysmal gamesmanship- well into his fall when there was still clear air between him and Ramsey (Luiz was similarly rotten sticking his leg well out to create contact with Aubameyang earlier on). Not easy for refs but very painful to concede soon after that.

    Laca made a stinker of a decision with the pass.

    Bellerin may have had a niggle from way earlier (comm said something about him feeling left) but for the last twenty or so was seriously curtailed by something muscular he felt after a run into their half when he didn’t receive ball.

    It also looked like Torreira, who I believed (and it’s way too early to ditch that belief) was strong in these situations, seemed to read it all wrong.

    Them the breaks. Often more than one factor in the bad moments.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I choose to look at it as progress from last week because at least we scored a couple of goals. We always knew it was going to be a tough start to the league on top of all the on and off pitch changes, but it’s still early days, so no need to panic. Hopefully the team will click soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Not feeling dismayed. It’s early. There has to be a measure of realism based on finances. Some positives. Guendouzi a seriously interesting young player who could be a star. Nice to see Iwobi have good impact.

    Plus, at this stage, setbacks/defeats seem way easier to take knowing they won’t lead to horrendous amount of crap aimed at Wenger.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Went for it. Didn’t work out.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Read every word of Emery’s press conference
    Arsenal Media 18 Aug 2018
    Unai Emery

    We showed character to come back from two goals down, but Unai Emery was left with a sour taste in his mouth after Marcos Alonso’s late winner for Chelsea on Saturday.

    Our head coach discussed our performance, Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in his post-match press conference.

    Read on for a full transcript:

    on two defeats from two and what his assessment is…
    Good evening. We spoke before the match that we needed to improve and to do one process, to be competitive in each match and to know or learn in the match. At the moment, that can happen. I think today, the team already after 2-0, the reaction was very good. In the first half, I think we created more chances to score and I think the 2-2 is a shock for us because we created more chances to score. In the second half, we had less moments in the match and we conceded more chances for Chelsea to score the third goal. For that reason, we need the balance but the result is like that. Our process is to just continue to improve the things, doing more with the balance of the defensive moments and attacking moments and also with the younger players with their passing. At the end of the match, we finished with two midfielders who were Lucas at 22 years old and Matteo at 19 years old. It’s clear, we need to win because we have a big responsibility to win the match and I think for continuing, in the next match in the Emirates against West Ham.

    on how he felt about our second-half performance…
    First, I am calm when I see my team creating chances. Goal or no goal, we need to continue working. For example today with Auba, I know with the attacking players you have maybe one moment not scoring three chances and then maybe they are going to score three less clear chances. With that, I want to do the balance between the attacking and the defensive moments because I think we conceded a lot to Chelsea and in the second half we need to keep control of the match, with the ball and with the positioning. I think maybe in the second half we lost the positioning in the pitch and were too deep in some moments.

    on whether Mesut Ozil can be a central part of his system…
    We need him. He helps us with his quality and also I want to push him to be competitive in every match. I am happy with Mesut because he worked hard. I decided to change it because I think we needed a little more of a push in the middle, so that we couldn’t let Chelsea progress easily with the ball. We were defending too deep and we needed a push, so for that I brought on Aaron to push up more and recover the ball to continue attacking. I am happy with Mesut. With him I am going to do the same work, help him and demand also that he works every day. At the moment he is doing that and I am happy. In the process, he is one player that I am sure is going to have a good season.

    on why he took Granit Xhaka off…
    This is a tactical decision because he also had a yellow card. We didn’t want to take the risk with the yellow card and we wanted to give a chance to other players we have in the middle.

    on why he didn’t shake hands with Sarri after the match…
    No, I waited in the dressing room to give the handshake.

    on how he feels after the first two games…
    Calm. I think we need to keep the players calm and continue working. I know we need to improve things, I know we need to push the players to work with our ideas. But for me, there are many positive things in the first match against Manchester City. It’s clear that at the moment we are at a difference from them. Then today, I think the team have worked and had chances in the match. And then with the young players it is a process. They are playing and they are growing every touch with their quality and our demanding.

    Copyright 2018 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Arsenal twitter and their Damascus moments

    Like

  30. I watch every arsenal with the expectation that we have a divine right to win every game.
    Just like I always believed since I was a kid that every Chinese man or woman had a divine right to win any combat as the they discovered karate and Kung Fu and Bruce Lee

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Ian Wright is ‘enthused’ about Arsenal’s forwards. On todays performance I could have found a more appropriate word.
    As someone who was our leading goal scorer he’s in a perfect position to judge any forward in the world and I just can’t help but admire his enthusiasm.
    Good to hear that from him. (banned smiley)

    Liked by 1 person

  32. The wins are coming, and very soon.
    The defence, that might take a bit longer.
    Some highs and lows today, but if Emery is the hard task master we are told he is, perhaps extra training tomorrow , one or two on the Colney naughty step, before they go again.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Just to remind last year same fixture the result was 0-0. We got a point.
    Possession
    Chelsea. 51. Arsenal. 49
    Shots ontarget
    Chelsea. 4 Arsenal. 2

    Yesterday

    Possession

    Chelsea. 62. ,Arsenal. 38

    Shots on target

    Chlsea 11. Arsenal. 5

    So are we getting better under UE?

    The stats doesn’t say so.

    Anyone Missing Wenger.?

    I am…..

    Like

  34. The new kid with the big hair appears to be one of the best signings in years.He was absolutely infuriated when Auba missed and that’s the sort of passion I like to see. Very disappointed with Bellerin, and the defence in general. That was ignored for too long and going to need a lot of work but hopefully Emery is up to it. Patience is required and maybe in a few years we’ll be real contenders for the league again.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Wenger’s gone! We all miss him.
    Get.Over.It

    Liked by 3 people

  36. I think only fantasists thought Unai would improve on Arsene straight away especially considering the opening fixtures.
    What the stats dont show are the missed clear cut chances and the times of the game they happen, they also dont show the clear cut penalty waved away in the first half.
    Had we gone 3 or 4 up or possibly 6-2 up the second half would have been easier to defend.
    After pounding chelski for those final twenty minutes of the first half I expected them to come out more disciplined but I didn’t expect us to be so poor and so timid.
    Also after seeing we had no out ball ealry in the second half although there were changes in personnel the subtle changes we usually see under Arsene just weren’t there.
    However there won’t be many teams who go to stamford bridge this year and create that many chances so with a little tightening at the back, actually midfield, and a bit more clinical up front we will be looking pretty good.
    The Premier league is upside down onwards and upwards.

    Liked by 5 people

  37. Apologies for the smiley earlier. Forgot myself again.
    Senior moment?

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Hope Xhaka is as tough as his name and as he seems . Criticism of him has now reached ridiculous levels.

    Can’t say I know exactly how it went for him yesterday (action was a bit wild and consuming 1st half). I know there were a couple of hairy moments in possession, he got a deserved booking, but I’ve got a feeling that he’s likely to have been involved somewhere in plenty of the better moves first half and may have been prominent in that ten minutes or so when we had them on the rack.

    Recall that after one very nice pass I wished the commentators, for sake of fairness, decency,accuracy,etc would mention it as they do any error. A familiar feeling from world cup and before.

    Pains me to see the amount of shite talked about him. The pattern is set now with pundits : any error is highlighted and condemned; anything good bar a goal or an assist is extremely unlikely to be mentioned.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. New post up

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