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A few thoughts on the Chelsea match

October 6, 2014

I have not blogged since March, I was trying to stay away from it. However, I wanted to have a say, so here goes with a few thoughts on the Chelsea v Arsenal match, thoughts I cannot make in 140 characters or multiple tweets as the meaning often gets lost in the thread.

Even with Arsenal’s best eleven playing Chelsea at the Bridge, it’s a tough ask nowadays to come away with a result there, not many teams do so. There is really no shame in admitting Chelsea have a super squad of players and are currently better than Arsenal as the football cycle decrees.

During the week In the lead up to the game, honestly how many of you thought Arsenal could seriously get a victory? Maybe a draw? How many thought we would lose? I even saw some people hoping Arsenal simply kept the score down.

Another debate was how do Arsenal approach the match after last years heavy defeats away to Liverpool, Chelsea and City? Well not going gun-ho and keepIng it tight for the first twenty minutes or so was one way and I thought the team were doing just that. I also thought Arsenal matched Chelsea during that period, albeit Jose and his tactics might well have been playing the sucker punch game.

So it’s twenty minutes gone playing away to a Chelsea team that very rarely loses at home. The team that could go five points clear at the top after seven games if they beat Arsenal, a team that is most people favourites for the title this season. You need a bit of luck.

Luck! It does help at times. So there is Alexis on the touchline who goes to control the ball when in comes Cahill and goes right through him. It’s a nailed on red card every day of the week and twice on Sunday. However, Mr. Atkinson in his wisdom, no doubt thinking along the lines, I had better not spoil the game as a spectacle only shows Cahill a yellow card. Very lucky boy is Mr Cahill.

Now take the game from here as if Cahill had been sent off, what is José’s next move when down to ten men with a game plan? Arsenal are matching his team punch for punch, yet neither side really creating chances. Does Jose revert to type, park the bus, maybe sacrifice a player for a defender or Mikel? Maybe he removes Hazard from the game? Arsene meanwhile has eleven men. Does he go for it?

It’s not impossible to beat ten men, I mean we Arsenal fans have seen us do it enough.

Now if you take the game from the 20 mark (yes all hypothetical) does, Hazard get the chance to run at our defence? In turn maybe Kos doesn’t Make the challenge and give away the penalty. Does Chambers make the rash tackles?? Questions, fair questions, ones that should be looked at and debated fairly.

It can also be questioned should Kos, Chambers or Welbeck have been sent off? Should, could, should, but that’s as the game actually happened.

The reality though is Cahill didn’t get a red, Chelsea did get a penalty where Arsenal players parted like the red sea and left him waltz past them. Maybe if Chambers had not been booked for his first challenge and been given the benefit of doubt (Aftre all Oscar got away with the ref pointing to three challenges he made while stopping Arsenal taking a quick free kick to boot) he may well have taken a yellow for the team and brought Hazard down outside the area, though Chambers could not afford to due to his earlier booking.

This is not about me blaming the officials for Arsenal’s performance, but neither is it excusing the officials for poor decisions that change games and not only games involving Arsenal. The default with many people is “Referee’s are human”. Well if only we all we’re granted that default privilege in our jobs, however, the likelihood is, if we were allowed that privilege not many of our companies would survive.

Referee’s should be held accountable, they should be made to explain their decisions and why they made them. I for one would want to hear what referee Atkinson had to say about booking Chambers, yet letting off Oscar with a talking to in front of millions on TV, yet could not offer the same talking to for Chambers. Though Oscar did get booked in the end.

The day referee’s are questioned, is the very day I feel you’ll see an improvement. Let’s not have them slip out the back door anymore and get away with poor performance after performance. If my team Arsenal are to lose them let it be against the better side, if that be over a season or simply on the day so be it, but not down to some clown that is basically making it up as he goes along. Then we have the other default, “well it evens itself out over a season”, yeah right, of course it does?

As the game went on I felt Arsenal played some good football, but not the sort of football that was going to hurt Chelsea or the sort of good football that get’s you out of seat. As the commentator mentioned when Mikel came on, Chelsea just got to grips with the game and played it out, saying, Jose looked like he thought Arsenal simply could not hurt Chelsea, which is correct of course as Arsenal simply played the ball to the 18 yard box and once there come back again.

Arsenal get a chance, Wilshere shoots and what at the time would have been our only shot on target was superbly saved by Cesc, yet NO PENALTY!!! How does that work?

Pass, pass, pass, pass, lose the ball, Chelsea player gives ball to Cesc, who looks up, great ball over the top, Costa controls, Szczesny comes out, makes it easy, Costa chips ball over him 2-0, clinical, match over. I feel even had we played till midnight we would not have scored, so it was basically over at 1-0. It’s direct, it causes damage, that’s like power football we used to play and Chelsea can also pass the ball around, they mix it up.

I see so many talk of a defensive midfielder who will change things yet to be fair I’m not sure a DM would have stopped many of the goals Arsenal have conceded so far this season. Our defence last season conceded 41 goals, of which 23 of those were in five games. The remaining 18 in 33 games and Arsenal’s defence kept as many clean sheets as Chelsea. Arsenal have attacking players, goalscorers. Arsenal have players who are very creative to feed the forwards, so why do Arsenal score so few goals nowadays? The four against Galatasaray was the first four in a game since Arsenal beat Everton at home in the FA Cup in January. Score more goals and Arsneal will win more matches.

Now I’m not one for knocking individual players or the manager just for shits & giggles, however, I do feel that Arsene does himself no favours in games v the top clubs. He does have the ability and the  money to get better players that would give himself and the team a better than even chance against the likes of Chelsea.

Arsene maybe could have got Cesc back, if so, Chelsea would have been minus Cesc. Maybe he could have bid for Costa? Yet look at how many Arsenal fans didn’t want Cesc back because he went to a Formula One race, Cesc apparently went on strike, so bloody what! I want the best players at the club and what they did in past means nothing. Had Cesc assisted eight goals for us so far this season and scored I’m sure many Arsenal supporters would be singing his name from the terraces.. On top of that Cesc is a player who already has eight years of Premiership experience.

I also don’t understand how a manager who confesses to being a fan when the game is going on and wants to watch good football, can simply sit on his backside and watch his team show no enterprise going forward. One shot in 90 minutes, how is that enjoyable? I can’t change this, you can’t change this, but Arsene can, so why does Arsene only get up when something goes against his team and run for the fourth official? Maybe it’s time for Arsene to let his players know what he feels when they are not forcing the issue, playing with handbrake on?

Now it was a little bit funny seeing Arsene pushing Jose, but that sort of thing with the English media love-in with Jose, is only going to bite Arsene on the arse and give the media another reason to attack him and the club. It looks poor, like seeing Arsene blaming Chelsea’s money for where they are, yes it’s a massive advantage, but let others question that, not Arsene it just makes it look like “bad loser”

So to sum up Arsenal have only won two games in seven in the league or lost only one in seven depending where you sit. Thirty-one games to go. Will Arsenal win the league? Well I’d imagine the bookies would give good odds, so it’s unlikely. However, many times teams who are there or there about come Christmas time suddenly make a break for it. Look at Liverpool last season, they almost did it from seventh.

To have the chance, or at least make a bloody good challenge Arsenal/Arsene need to make the best of a good run of fixtures up till January. Then get rid or replace the likes of Podolski, get cover for the defence, maybe that DM everybody wants and please either get a goalscoring striker or I hope by January transfer window the strikers we have are integrated into the team and scoring.

Finally I go to watch Arsenal play live or on TV, For around fifty odd games over a season, some are great, some good, some poor, win, lose or draw. If we win a trophy it’s a bonus!!

Cheers

@harlowgooner

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