Chelsea’s Champions League victory in May was a travesty of justice, a victory for anti-football and the luckiest run of games ever witnessed in the annals of football history. I have rarely been so disheartened by the result of a game because it appeared the ends justified the means. The only positive of the evening was the laugh JT gave the country as the cup was raised.
But, and here is the rub, the shame of winning with such an appalling display of negativity has had a remarkable effect upon the Southern Oilers footballing ambitions; the signing of Hazard , Moses and Oscar indicates a shift from the pragmatic to the artistic; I hate to say this but I have enjoyed watching them this season. It is early days of course and the cold winter light may alter their footballing ethos but the signs are that Chelsea could once again be called “The Entertainers.” Who would have thought it?
Is it Abramovich or RdM who is directing this change? Either way it is good for those of us who love attacking imaginative football.
However, before I run away with the idea that Chelsea have turned from bottom feeders into shining lights, it must be recalled who remains their club captain. Can you imagine such a reptilian character keeping the armband at Arsenal after his history of awfulness? Tony Adams went through some difficult times but found redemption, Mr Terry has neither the will nor the gumption to follow suit. Let us hope for a repeat of last season’s comedy performance.
Then there is the odious fool Cashley. Brilliant footballer and possibly the best left back of the last 10 years but what a plum.
if a picture paints a thousand words…
I must admit to having a grudging admiration for Fat Frank – it must be pointed out that at no time has he publicly supported his “mate”. If anyone has made the most of his talent it is him and FF seems have grown up. Thankfully his star is finally waning because I cannot forget his fist pumping in front of my face at the end of the CL game at Highbury.
Rarely can a player have cost as much to club as Torres. Not the record signing fee but the need to tailor a whole team around him to prove his signing wasn’t an act of folly. One often reads that if he was playing at Arsenal then Torres would become the lethal striker he once was. Poppycock, the man is shadow of his former self. Occasional glimpses of quality and a few tap-ins are not the mark of a first class striker. Would you swap him for Giroud? I wouldn’t (at least not yet :-) )
So, the Blues have an array of talent only equalled by Barca and ourselves, but where are their weakness?. All over the park! They have yet to really gel as a team, they are dependent upon the midfield to score goals, the defence is aging and if Crazy Luiz (he reminds me of Crazy Ramon in Fistful of Dollars) is as “creative”as usual there are gaps to exploit. Cech is a shadow of the keeper he was 3 years ago. They have no defensive midfield cover as Mata etc are no help, plus an over-reiance upon ObiOne Mikel will prove costly – he doesn’t have the discipline of Essien (why sell him?).
Enough of them. Let’s talk Arsenal. Early season report:. Very good but could do better. We have seen the potential of this team which allowing for good fortune with injuries, refereeing and the bounce of the ball is good enough to go all the way. If we can continue to build upon the teamwork and hard work we will win today. Why? Because we are better than Chelsea, who let us not forget should be playing on Thursday nights. Teamwork is the key word. The triangles we have been gob-smacked by in recent weeks is entirely due to hard, hard work and of course, considerable skill.
Mr Wenger’s selection dilemma’s are in central defence and on the wings. The return of our captain to fitness does not automatically mean a return to the starting eleven. How can you drop Koscielny after his game at the Northern Oilers? The man was superb. Mertesacker has been imperious and hardly put a foot wrong, his awareness has been vital to our defensive improvement, which is why AW bought him. Conversely, Chelsea will not be lumping long balls into the box but will rely on pace and trickery, so perhaps BFG is the man to get a rest.
The Corporal will get the biggest test of his short career. He will rarely come up against the talents of the man he will face today, Hazard is one of Europe’s finest players and regularly switches wings. How Jenkinson copes could be key to the game. Gibbs has really improved defensively and as has been pointed out tends to sit closer to his centre back. This allows for more crosses into our box but denies the runner space to cut inside (hope my poor attempt at tactics is understandable).
In midfield, can Ramsey be dropped after such an impressive outing last Sunday? Should we play 4-4-3 or the 4-4-2 which worked so well? Would you start Asharvin who looks in top form?
On the wings, Theo played midweek which indicates he will not start today, but then so did Giroud. Will they both be on the bench with The Mekon continuing centrally? Will we see O-C start on the right? It is great to have so many alternatives and that is without the return of Wilshire, Sagna and Rosicky!
The bench will be as powerful as we have seen for many seasons, though like Kelsey I worry about the lack of experienced cover between the sticks, Friedel has shown the value of such a signing – I understand the chap below hasn’t got a club.
I would like to see us start fast and attack through the flanks. Some accurate long shots to challenge the visibly impaired Cech (hopefully the midday sun will be in his eyes). Whatever happens this afternoon we should be in for a feast of football and I am deeply envious of those attending.
Written by Big Raddy