Mr Wenger’s 1000th game in charge – may there be many more.
How do Chelsea and their manager celebrate this astonishing feat? By a typically snide remark which tells the whole story of our two clubs and why Chelsea, however many trophies they buy, will always be the 2nd club in London.
Rarely do two managers so precisely mirror the ethics of their clubs. Mr Wenger is a Gentleman – honest, intelligent, well-mannered, believes in tradition and winning the right way. Me-rinho is a Snake Oil salesman – a man without honour – concrete evidence being the “eye-gouge”. His attitude is to win at all costs as long as He is the centre of attraction. If his team bore, foul or cheat so what – winning is all and it is the High Priest of the Me Generation who will take the plaudits..
And that is why if Arsenal win, lose or draw today Arsene Wenger walks away from Stamford Bridge a winner.
Given the choice of taking 3 points from an away tie against Chelsea or Spurs which would you choose? Yes, I know the answer is both but as pleasant as mashing the Spuds is, it has become an every season event whereas beating Chelsea is proving to be a stumbling block. So, BR’s choice is to win at Stamford Bridge.
Trouble is we haven’t won there since The Ox was in primary school. Can we break the hoodoo? Can Mr Wenger finally get a victory over Me-rinho? Will Arsenal break The Smug One’s incredible home record? Let’s be honest – it would be a shock.
I don’t like Chelsea, I don’t like the way they have changed football hugely for the worse. I don’t like that they win thanks to financial doping (© AW). I don’t like John Terry. Nor do I like the diving antics of Oscar, Hazard, Torres, et al.
I may not like them but I do have respect for them. Me-rinho is unquestionably a superb manager and he has created an efficient winning side. He knows how to get the best out of his players even the decrepit Terry.
The loss at Aston Villa has opened up the title race with 4 teams having a realistic chance of being crowned Champions. Win today and Arsenal are sitting pretty, especially if we can get something from the Man City home game. Trouble is our record at the Bridge in recent years is poor, make that very poor.
I won’t bore you with tactics that I know nothing about nor stats that will depress you. So …. onto our team selection:
Back 5 pick themselves. And so do the rest of the team – especially if Rosicky is out.
The bench looks light and we really would be in trouble were we to lose another midfielder or, heaven forbid, OG. Nonetheless we can count on Vermaelen, Monreal, Fabianski, Gnabry etc
Chelsea: The name originates (apparently) form the ancient English for “place on the river to land limestone or chalk”. Seems a bit dubious to me. A church synod (meeting of church leaders) was held at Chelsea in 787 AD. The Manor of Chelsea appears in the Domesday book.
King Henry VIII bought Chelsea Manor and both Catherine Parr and Anne of Cleeves lived there – Anne was divorced after just 6 months of marriage and Catherine outlived him. Kings Road (Kelsey’s old haunt) was built in the 1690’s for King Charles II and was his private road from St. James to his palace at Fulham. Charles also ordered the building of the Chelsea Royal Hospital at the suggestion of his mistresss, Nell Gwynn.
Enough of that and back to the game ….
We have been stuttering of late, good at home and not so good away. We defended magnificently at Spurs but Lady Luck was with us, so too at Bayern. If we play with so little possession and so close to our own goal we will lose this afternoon.
A last word about Mr Wenger: Whatever his skills as a football manager his greatest talent is that he is a thoroughly decent man.