Archive for October 3rd, 2010

Arsenal v Chelsea: A Chelsea Fan’s Perspective

144 comments October 3rd, 2010

Hello all.  Given the lack of time to write a proper preview, I fired a few questions at my Chelsea-supporting brother to see what they’re saying on the other side of the fence.

Give it a read, and enjoy the game.  Come On You Gunners.

Does Chelsea’s defeat at Man City suggest that up until that point they’d had easy fixtures?

I don’t think so. Against City we were poor, they were tactically astute and that is why we lost. It had nothing to do with the preceding league games. Our start to the season has been easy on paper, but the manner in which we’ve performed has been impressive all the same. We’ve not been grinding out wins, but winning in style. You only need to look at Real Madrid’s form in La Liga to see that an apparently easy start does not always result in a 100% record and goals.

What have you made of Arsenal’s start to the season?

I’ve been very impressed. The performances at Blackburn and Sunderland were steely, perhaps grittier than what we’ve come to expect of Arsenal in recent years. The draw with the latter looks a far better result after United’s performance there on Saturday. At home I expect the goals to fly in, with the W.B.A result being an anomaly in a good home record come the end of the season. Chamakh was a massive signing. He enables the team to play in different ways. The only other forward capable of scoring with his head for Arsenal in the last 10 years was Adebayor. Wilshere is like a new signing. Rosicky was great at Ewood Park and will be handy if he stays fit. People often expect Arsenal to fall away around March-time, but there are long-term absentees yet to return: Ramsey, Bendtner, van Persie… I don’t think Arsenal should settle for 3rd this year. They need to mount a proper challenge with a view to winning the league next season.

Who are Chelsea’s men in form?

Sagna will have his work cut out today. Cole and Malouda fly up that left wing all day and their confidence is sky-high. Mikel is playing his best football since Scolari but still has a way to go. Essien looks like he’s never been away and has got a real hunger about him. He’s getting forward more and looking dangerous.

Anyone out of form?

Our defence has not really been tested this season. Ivanovic and Alex have both missed games and you never really know how fit John Terry is. We defended very well in this respective fixture last year – narrow and deep – and we’ll have to do the same today.

Who will miss their injured players more?

There’s no doubt that Arsenal have the worse injury problems. Almunia, Vermaelen, Fabregas, Walcott and van Persie constitute the heart of the Arsenal team. If you take that into account, you’ve coped very well without them. I think you’ve grown accustomed to Walcott and van Persie’s absences, but the loss of Cesc is a real blow. Squillaci and Koscielny will have to play like they did at Sunderland if you’re to have a chance. For our part, no-one seems willing to step up and stake a claim for the spot usually reserved for Frank Lampard. Ramires’ form has been patchy and he looked out of sorts at Man City, whereas Zhirkov was poor against Newcastle but better on Tuesday. I anticipate the Russian being included today, giving us a nice balance of three left-sided players on that flank.

Who do you expect to be the key players on each side?

Nasri is getting better and better. The onus on him to pull the strings is massive when Cesc is away but he’s playing well. Wilshere has looked brilliant but I’ve a sneaky feeling he’ll be left out today, with Diaby’s height edging him out for the first hour at least. Arshavin’s been amongst the goals, and Chamakh is a different proposition who does not offer defences any respite. However, it’s pretty much a given that the result will hinge on the Arsenal defence’s handling of Drogba. You feel that if Drogba scores, Chelsea will win.


I have to say I fancy us. I’ll go for 1-0, though with United taking 2 points from 6 I don’t think either side should be too disappointed with a draw.

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