Shambolic, Mesmerising, Perplexing – take your pick – Chelsea Ratings

Woulda, coulda, shouda, it was always going to be hard to imagine that such missed sitters would not come back to haunt us – and so it proved. We had the opportunities; they even fell to the players who we would most want them to fall to. But alas they were not taken and we are left with two losses in two games and Chelsea are left with the opposite of that statistic.

It was a game of four quarters or maybe two quarters and one half. The first quarter Chelsea dominated and if that wasn’t uncomfortable enough we had to listen to Glen Hoddle bemoaning the frailties of our defence which although he was right his irritating spud voice was making a bad situation worse.

The second quarter Glen had to do a complete u turn and started laying into Chelsea’s defence and its frailties which I have to say made his voice an awful lot more palatable, because, as we know, as easy as it was for Chelsea to slice through our defence and score two goals, we were able to do the same with just about the same amount of ease, all of which brought the score level.

We really didn’t need the break to come because at that point there looked like an epic victory was in the offing but the break came and Sarri was able to reorganise his troops far better that Emery could. Chelsea were dominant and it was hard to see any other winner. Yes we could have nicked it and I for one would not have minded one jot if it went against the run of play but here we are again after another loss ready to dissect the choice of team and how they performed. So I shall start.

Cech: now I thought he did very, very well as I also did after belatedly watching the City game. I see no problem with his part in playing the ball out short in goal kicks — what I do find fault in was the idea itself. In brief, he stopped the score getting embarrassing. 7

Bellerin: as City focused on exploiting our left last week, Chelsea focused on exploiting our right and dearest Hector was shown up for his lack of defensive skills. Chelsea were playing round him with ease; he was, however, very good when he was going forward and although I know it is easy to say after the fact: the priority against our two opening opponents should have been to have the strongest defence we could have had and work forward from that. Ironically, he should obviously start next weekend. 4

Mustafi: as the experienced central defender we should surely expect more, I struggle to say anything good about him. 4

The Greek Bloke: when is Koscielny back, mah, he got a bit better as the game went on. 3

Monreal: shored up the left for us after last week’s mess and put in some good runs forward. Understandably not back to his tip top yet but still good to have him back. 6

Guendouzi: ah, I get to the one bit that I was looking forward to and that is because he is my Man of the Match. Well done young man. You could argue that he should take his share of the blame for the way that Chelsea were going through our defence like a hot knife through butter but that in my opinion would be unfair: Guendouzi is not a DM, our DM was, for some unknown reason to me, on the bench. The young Frenchman is a deep lying playmaker and someone who can link the defence with the attack, all of which he did very well. 7

Xhaka: I jokingly said during the close season that Guendouzi had immediately made Elneny redundant; well, it looks like he has done the same to Xhaka. Why? Neither Xhaka or Guendouzi are natural defenders and so the decision on who is better must surely be based on accuracy of passing, the ability to play between that lines and who can do a bit to help the defence out and on the early evidence Guendouzi is doing all of those things far more effectively than Xhaka. 3

Mkhitaryan: went from someone who looked beyond his sell by date to world class in the space of five minutes after scoring his goal. I can’t think of anyone else who can play out on the right so I can’t see him losing his place in the near future. 5

Ozil: doesn’t still seem to be able to get to grips with the change of things, I say things although I am not quite sure what those things may be because the attack is largely that same as last season but for some reason he is still not clicking as we know he can. 5

Aubameyang: a game of two missed sitters. 3

Iwobi: Alex is at the stage where he gets called a confidence player and the goal he scored certainly lifted that, had he scored the following opportunity we would all I am sure be sitting here feeling a whole lot happier. 5

Emery: to me the man underestimated the opposition in both games. 4

Written by LB


45 Responses to Shambolic, Mesmerising, Perplexing – take your pick – Chelsea Ratings

  1. gunner smith says:

    When the gunners had the ball they were hounded by Chelsea players. In contrast the Blue had it easy and there was no gunners to shadow him .As a result Pedro on the wing had time and space.
    I still believe the gunners are still mired in the passing to eternity game and there is no flexibility.
    Until this changes it could be a struggle to get a win from the top teams of MC/MU/ Chelsea/Spurs and Pool.
    It seems these are the bogey teams for Arsenal.Under Wenger the gunners record is the worst among these teams.
    To me its the Indian sign and until Arsenal can break this it would be difficult to get the cl place let alone win the el.

  2. chas says:

    Nailed it, LB.

    I didn’t really see much of the second half which, in hindsight, was lucky for me.

    I loved the comeback in the second quarter and can’t really understand why we didn’t kick on from there after half time.

    Perhaps the players had too much time at the break to realise they’d managed to come back from 2 down and it freaked them out a bit.

  3. chas says:

    This is what Emery should have been doing for his half time chat. 🙂

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks very much, LB

    I reckon we should stop referring to Sokratis as the Greek Bloke, because the way it’s going for Mustafi, there’ll soon be two GB’s as our CB’s, although I do note you gave the GB less points than Mustafi which is a major yikes!

    Interesting you say Ouzi isn’t a DM. Cante, who is a DM, played an incredibly free role for Sarri, and I have no idea what I mean by this.

  5. Eddie says:

    Thanks LB for the post from the far land, always good to read your views.

    i just hate waking up on the morning after we lost, again. Weekend started really well, all tickety boo and then long awaited game. Bloody shambles.

    yes, our defence was shit, but really, if our strikers delivered we would have won. Chavs were not great and they have their own problems, we could get a point at least. But LB was right giving MotM to Matteo – he was the only one showing desire. I wonder how long before he gives up?

    Where was Stephan?

    Ok, Iwobi scored, but otherwise he managed to feck up every ball that landed at his feet. His performance was just laughable.

    Not happy.

  6. Eddie says:

    call me fickle.

  7. Eddie says:

    ill try to be fickle again

  8. Eddie says:

    what the hell, I cannot change the profile photo

  9. Eddie says:

    i feel like micky, can’t even change Hector to Matteo. I give up, gotta go

  10. Eddie says:

    done it!! 🙂 🙂

  11. Eddie says:

    before I fly, joke of the year:

    ‘Premier League champions Manchester City are a “rich club” but “cannot buy class”, says Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’

  12. alanbstardmp says:

    Gunners went from the ascendency late in first half to near permanent defenders in the second. I suspect this was a tactics by Emery, who is proving to be an idiot as far as I;m concerned

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Superb as always LB. Thank you.

    The defence was rubbish, better, the defence IS rubbish. We need bodies but in their absence we need organisation and an organiser – isn’t this why we bought both Mustafi and TGB?

    I agree with FGG, one cannot blame UE, he inherited this mess from AW.

    Still, two games we expected to lose are out of the way. Onwards and Upwards.

  14. LB says:

    I quite liked the decisive decision to sub Xhaka at half time, he was playing poorly and it was right that he was removed — no sacred cows and all that bodes well for the future.

    I suppose the same is true of replacing Ozil; he was tiring and a change made sense, the only problem with that one is that we hardly ever go on to win once he has left the field.

  15. Eddie says:

    alanbstrdmp – your team won yesterday, why are you so pissed off about?

  16. chas says:

  17. chas says:

    I know the miss is painful but what a pass from Douzi!

  18. LB says:

    That is one hell of a pass, matched only by one hell of a miss.

  19. LB says:

    I had a choice of going out cycling this morning with two different friends: one is a Chelsea supporter and one is a QPR supporter — I chose the latter.

    He was joking that you know things are bad when the score has to be written in letters and put in brackets

    WBA 7 (seven) QPR 1

  20. chas says:

    I don’t know if you ever login to WordPress to have a look at the stats for the day?

    Anyway, your match report has had over 1450 views and attracted 1250 visitors to the site.

    Maybe that makes it slightly more worthwhile putting the effort in to write it in the first place or maybe it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever? 🙂
    I know it can seem as though you’re writing just for a dozen or so regulars who comment.

  21. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the report LB … a lot to agree with.

    I’m going to keep taking positives as I believe that Unai is trying to be fair to the ‘old guard’ … but surely his patience will be wearing thin. How long will it be before Ozil and Xhaka are warming the bench from the start I wonder.

    Although I’m disappointed Auba has temporarily lost his shooting boots, I think his confidence and team confidence will return when we get a couple of wins under our belt.

    We’ve had 2 tough games … one of which we should have won had it not been for our nervous and porous defence re-emerging.

    I was baffled by the loan deal for Chambers. A back 3 with him centrally may have been the way ahead … I am expecting a few players to be moved on in the transfer windows to make way to those who are willing to play the way the manager wants.

    As for Xhaka … apart from the occasional bullet shot, is he really quality? I don’t think he is. Have we ever seen him run the midfield? Has he ever been MotM? No one knows what kind of midfielder he is … as LB says Ouzi has shown him up two games in a row against top quality opposition … I’d be surprised if he is still playing for us next season.

  22. LBG says:

    Spot on LB.Think the underestimation was the crux, but why didnt someone else (Bould) make clear ( before the game) that a high line + slowish defenders in the middle would be potential suicide.
    Would want to give Hector credit for some of his attacking play, although defensive positioning still the problem. Loved Ouzi’s anger at miss. And there is the second crux ( if that is possible). Really believe all of our five missed chances in the first half should have been slotted and as is the unpredictability of our passion, wouldn’t that have left us this morning with a different taste in the mouth!

  23. LB says:


    Thanks for the encouragement, I suspect the majority of those views were attracted by the title — which in my opinion brings the post to life.

    I think one of the reasons I continue to write is that I no longer feel under pressure to do so, I don’t feel I am letting anyone down if I don’t; people like yourself are more than capable of writing about a game.

    The person whose reports I would like read is FGG; he has such a good insight but he runs a mile when writing a match report is mentioned.

    Shame, maybe one day.

  24. chas says:

  25. chas says:

    cryin bolangelo
    ‏ @_ollieford

    got a roll developed today and there’s loads of double exposures of dublin churches and beaches in newquay and it’s fair to say i’m overwhelmed

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    2nd attempt at posting – word press must be hungry………….

    Thank you for the post game summary LB, you have a real skill in the way you keep an even keel even after some very poor performances.

    Unai has a bigger job on his hands then most of us imagined, I remain positive about him and what he can do for the club – but I also think it will take a lot longer than some Arsenal fans will be happy with. I fully expect us to finish between 6th and 10th this season.

    I hope the fans will give Unai the time he needs to work with the players and that the players have both the skill and mindset to take on board his methods. The last thing we need to do is join the rotating manager syndrome.

    Our new ownership structure could well now turn the club into a private company and will be able to hide our financial position and what is happening in the boardroom from the public. I also have deep concerns about new player funding as Kronke has not been generous in his spending so far – and as our earnings reduce he is likely to get even tighter. The best talent is now outrageously expensive and will be vacuumed up by the teams with a bottomless supply of cas

  27. Rasp says:

    Tweet fro Ian Wright ….

    “So many positives to take from yesterday’s loss! Guendouzi, substitutions, I said it will take time, may be quicker than I thought with this guy. Behind you all the way Boss”

    … top man

  28. fatgingergooner says:

    A lie being made of our high line, but if we want a team that presses the ball (most of us do, I think) then you have to squeeze the pitch and play high, otherwise it gives too much space for the opposition to play through the press.

    We either sit back and allow the opposition to have the ball in front of us and hit on the counter from our half, or we press high, with a high line, and try to steal the ball in their half and counter from there. The second option seems to be the modern way and is what Emery is looking to do. I would say though that at the moment we don’t seem to have the personnel or the intelligence to do it correctly. Hopefully it will improve as time goes on but as Rasp has suggested, I think a lot of players will leave (Xhaka, Özil, Mustafi etc) and a lot will come into the side (Torreira, Geundouzi to start with) before we see a successful pressing side.

  29. Eddie says:

    fattie – we are rubbish at counter, how many goals do we ever score from a counter? other teams turn around like a lightning and charge at Cech, we…it doesn’t seem to be an automatic reaction, they need to regroup.

  30. Eddie says:

    mourinho resurrected my weekend, thank you Jose

  31. chas says:

  32. Big Raddy says:

    chas. 1.02 That is a beautiful pic.

  33. Red Arnie says:

    great stuff, LB.

    I think we played well, except for a healthy lack of radar in deep defence and in front of goal. Work in progress.

    Inwards and upwards.

  34. Red Arnie says:

    Chas @6:42pm. wonderful stuff. made my day.

    well, apart from the efficiency of ManUre self destruction squad, which was also brilliant. 🙂

  35. Aaron says:

    Looking at data on other site, Xg was way better in 1st half. Emery’s subs played worse than in the first half.
    When Xhaka and Ozil went out the whole game changed, as much as people want to slag them. Torriera did not make it better, Laca sure as hell made it worse. Chambers Loan was insane. I actually watched Bel walk back at one point on a Chelsea break when he coughed up the ball doing a Walcott. I do not know if he was cramping, but f me, between him and Laca just sauntering around made me want to crawl into the tv and sit there a$$e$ down tell them don’t expect a check this week.
    Litch next wee,k all day every day, Torierra and Guendouzi, but no Miki, Ozil and Ramsey in team all at the same time! Maybe put Mavro in as a CB to shake things up too!

  36. Red Arnie says:

    I welcome the fact that the first change was around the 60th, rather than the 70th. But on the day, I did not see the point on the day because I thought we were playing OK and the result was OK.

    Not impressed with Miki, and Guen has nice hair

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Fact ….. when Iwobi was on the field we scored two goals, after he was sub’d off, none

    “Not impressed with Miki, and Guen has nice hair” or as I say
    “Not impressed with Miki, and Guen has hair”

    Morning other people

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Next fact…..if Emery thinks trying to make Mesut do presses is a good idea, then he’s a moron

  39. chas says:

    NEW (self-indulgent) POST

  40. chas says:

    I like both of your comments this morning.

    Everyone seems to think the subs were good but we played worse after they were made. Why?

    Mesut and the pressing game – hmmm.


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