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