What I learnt from Chelsea v Arsenal

Chelsea Vs Arsenal, 2007 Carling Cup Final, Mi...

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Defending isn’t Chelsea’s or Arsenal’s strong point

Bad defending has been everywhere in the Premier League this season, it’s like some sort of virus. In the first half Chelsea gave Arsenal two guilt edge chances to score, first Gervinho miscued then Van Persie missed from close range and for the Arsenal goal Terry and Ivanovic were so flat footed it was unreal. Even Cech got in on the act moving so slowly for both the 2nd and 3rd Arsenal goals and the backpass and slip by Terry for the 4th was embarrassing.

Not to be outdone Arsenal and Santos in particular (who had a terrible game his goal apart) bent over any time any Chelsea player had the ball. On the other side Djourou was constantly on the back foot in the first half particularly and gave Ashley Cole far too much space and time. As for Per Mertersacker, for someone who is 6’7 he is remarkably poor in the air he was dragged all over the shop for Terry’s goal. I imagine he plays like Peter Crouch would if he was a centre back. Awkwardly. Funny thing is, that come the Euro 2012 tournament you know he’ll have a blinder as Germany trounce England in the Quarter Finals. Again.

If either want to reach their ambitions this season (League for Chelsea, 4th for Arsenal) then they will need to get their defence in order. Quickly.

Robin Van Persie has never been more important to Arsenal

This is an obvious one, without Van Persie Arsenal will not finish in the top four, simple as that really. His hattrick today was helped by defensive mistakes but he took them all fantastically well. He is on the hottest form of his life. How Arsenal keep the man of glass fit I don’t know, but they need to.

Mata is getting on with his business

I wasn’t sure about Mata before he signed, but then I wasn’t sure about David Silva either…

When Mata got on the ball today he was fantastic in the first half especially, he was left one minute and central the next. Comfortable on the ball, smart with his passes and great assist for the first goal (though Santos may as well of lubed up, the way he defended against him). Is he as good as Silva? No, I don’t think so but he is a player than Chelsea needed. He lacked a bit of stamina in the second half it seemed but still when he got on the ball he made things happen. In the second half he drifted and Chelsea didn’t get him on the ball enough, no surprise that this was when Chelsea struggled most. His goal was superb, you knew it was in as soon as he hit it.

Lampard still has something to give but maybe only for 45minutes

He scored a great goal, one that has Lampard written all over it. Running from deep past the forward and getting a goal. But his distribution stood out for me, midway through the first half his first time pass around on the spin for Sturridge to get on to (and miss) was sublime. He may not be everyones cup of tea but with pace of Sturridge, Mata’s class and Rameries legs around him he is still very effective.

Arteta didn’t turn up. Again

2 years ago Arteta was a fantastic player, he stroked the ball around and dominated the midfield for Everton. Injuries have taken their toll on his legs and he’s still not fully fit, add to that the standard in the centre of midfield in the Premier League has risen to new levels and Arteta has been left behind. He was played very deep today perhaps as a deep laying playmaker, but he made 60 successful passes today only 4 of those reached the Chelsea defensive third and none were in the area.

When Arsenal signed Arteta fans and players were crowing that he was the missing piece and a good addition to replace Nasri or Febregas. I was much more skeptical and the way he has played since he arrived hasn’t changed my view at all. Privately Wenger was skeptical himself about Arteta and Mertersacker, seems his gut is still making the right noises, the problem is he isn’t following it anymore.

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11 Comments on “What I learnt from Chelsea v Arsenal

  1. I think you are too hard on Arteta and Santos dude……how many tackles did Santos win? How many sensible passes going forward did he make…and he scored…As for Arteta…Fab has gone mate…..let it go…Arteta is Arteta…he was a sensible, mature head in midfield…

  2. I stopped reading after the “Santos had a terrible game” part. Seems to me that you watched a different game. Geesh.. nowadays, anyone can write blogs.

  3. Totally agree wit david fab is gone n dats it arteta cnt b cesc bt he wil always b arteta,always cool on the ball n neva misplacing passes stupidly

  4. I’m glad that you stopped reading but had the determination to get to the end to write a comment.

    As for Santos, he scored, got bent over for the first Chelsea goal, he had 39 successful passes. 39 out of a total of 49. At full back.

    Constantly out of position, slow to mark and slow to get tight. If you think he had a good game, good luck to you.

    Seems nowadays anyone can comment on blogs…

  5. arteta role @ arsenal is different from his role @ everton. you need to watch closely. his job is to do the simple things and be consistent. he does that very well. you can’t fault HIM for his role in a new team. people keep saying arsenal are worse off than last year…i am not so sure, we have some very good player abait we lost CESC but they have more reliable player though there are fewer superstars. i actually think gervinho will turn out to be better than nasri but there is only one CESC

  6. He may be playing deeper but he’s not having any impact IMO.

    As for Arsenal being worse off than last year, I don’t think there is any doubt that they are in nearly every department. Only silver lining is RvP’s form. Gervinho is a good addition, but no Fabregas, no Nasri, no Clichy no Wilshire for most of this season. Last year the title was a realistic ambition, this year it is 4th.

    • we are worst off for cesc right now. only time will tell if jack can fill his boots. but nasri has been replaced with gervinho. clichy was not the best left back, if only gibbs could stay injury free. i think its a good thing because now we can be better than before but we have to replace cesc. i dont think we are worst off. now we have a confident goal keeper, an injury free van p and an established song theo and a real winger in gervinho. valmelan to come back to a winning team and a respectable koshelni(spelt wrong). so on balance overall we are not worst off. potntial remains. where chelsea need many players we need

  7. You make some valid points.

    You’re slightly too harsh on Santos imo. Yes he had a shocker of a first half (I would have taken him off for TV at half time), but he improved greatly in the second half, making many solid tackles and supportng the attack. Aswell as nabbing a goal.

    I think Arteta’s role in this Arsenal midfield is just to keep things ticking over. Supplying the ball to Ramsey, who is far more creative in his role in the team, and to the RvP/Gervinho when they drop deep. Similar to Modric’s role at Sp*rs.

    I agree though that the best we can hope for this season is 4th.

  8. I have to say that I thought Santos was so bad it was embarrassing. I’m not being negative but we should have been 3 nil down in the first three minutes. I would swap Cole, Terry and Ivanovic at the drop of a hat for Santos, Mertesacker and Djourou. However I’m not sure how it was possible but their back 4 including those three somehow managed to defend worse than our lot on the day. Van Persie is keeping us afloat!

  9. Santos was sluggish. Looks a bit overweight. I’m surprised no-one has commented on Ramsey. He was the best player on the pitch on Saturday. RVP will get the headlines but Ramsey was exceptional. Fabulous ball retention.

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