Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal: they took, we didn't.

October 4, 2010 11 Comments by Sian

Cast your minds back to 29th November 2009, say around 6pm-ish. If you’re reading this blog as an Arsenal fan there’s a very high probability you were suicidal/homicidal/drunk at this time. We had just lost 3-0 at home to Chelsea in a match that did nothing but highlight the tundra-like divide between our strongest team and their strongest team. We played some lovely football – but of course - yet were still utterly out-muscled from the minute their first goal went in.

Fast forward today and here we are beaten again, yet in a very different fashion. The simple difference between us and them on this occasion was that when they had their chances, they took them. When we had our chances, we put them in the crowd. Our finishing was pretty dire today, playing really with one man up front in the form of Marouane Chamakh. Both Carlos Vela and JET were brought on late on but it was too little, too late.

(By the way, let’s start a petition to get this song as JET’s entering-the-pitch song:

A very clever or very lucky (dependent on your school of thought… I’m keeping out of it) goal from Drogba put the home side up on 40 minutes and proved a bit of a sucker punch to Arsenal. If Arsenal were not playing better than Chelsea at that point, it was very close. We went into the break a little grim-faced but with more confidence than we’d started the match with- I’m talking the fans here, by the way. In the studios obviously all we heard were the usual choruses of “Arsenal haven’t won anything in five years… Arsenal haven’t won anything in 15 years… Arsenal haven’t won anything in 17 thousand years… Arsenal put out a team of pterodactyls the last time they won anything” etc, only this time with an extended version of “Very rarely do Arsenal make anything of a match once they’ve gone down 1-0 in the first half”.

Well, I have the memory of a very holey sieve and I seem to remember three occasions, versus Standard Liege, Liverpool and Barcelona last season when we managed just that, and that’s with my very holey sieve brain so it just goes to show you how often it’s worth simply switching over at half time.

In the second half it was more of the same, except with extra offside calls against Drogba. He was clearly getting a little pissed off by the end of it (so was Cash) but you know… mow your grass with no lines in it and the linesman will be looking doubly hard to spot you offside.  In all seriousness though, they attacked a lot more than us and we were lucky Fabianski proved himself Fabulanski for most of it. Chelsea’s second goal came from a belter of a free-kick from Alex. And that was that.

There weren’t really too many talking points in the game, except that we missed a couple of sitters, the first coming from a corner that bounced off the top of Koscielny’s head in the opening minutes. Abou Diaby’s ankle was nearly snapped in half by Essien and Koscielny made a tackle Jonny Wilko would have been proud of to land Chelsea their goal-producing free-kick. End of story. Lots of nice football was showcased but there were no real highlights except lots of nice passing. In games like these, stupid and obvious and ridiculous as it sounds, he who scores wins.

From reaction after the match you’d have thought we were back on 29th November 2009 that and it was hangy/stabby/drinky time. This performance from the Arsenal was a damn good one. Was it an easy win for Chelsea? No. Did we roll over every time they attacked? No. Did we look stronger and more organised in each area of the game? Yes. Is our season and our title dream now over? No, you massive drainer!

Like I said, our finishing killed us. With RvP and Bendtner out, this was never going to be our strongest attacking team and probably with Cesc still out injured we had less of the ball than we would have had, but this is a better team than last year. I’ve pretty much given up on trying to change the mind of the really miserable gits out there because there’s no telling them and it’s only wasted energy but I think anyone could see that this performance was far, far better than last year. And wasn’t our aim at the beginning of the season to improve on last season? A 2-0 loss is still shit in the grand scheme of things, but unlike last year it doesn’t feel as though the team has fallen apart. We just need to score when we’re given the opportunity.

Had lots of people telling me to get a reality check on Twitter. If you think this is living in a bubble, which I know lots of people do, maybe you shouldn’t read this blog any more. I mean, read the URL, you know what I mean? You can see from the West Brom blog that when criticism is deserved, it’s given. This time I don’t think criticism was deserved EXCEPT that wasted chances will cost us games and the sooner the boys realise that the sooner they’ll, er, not waste chances any more.

Let’s be objective here: in three games, we’ve won one point. That’s pretty arse really. But if we can drop points, so can and so WILL other teams.

To end, let’s throw a question out there: We love Cesc, obviously. We, unfortunately, seem to have to be OK with assuming that we’ll be losing him by the end of the season. When you see Jack Wilshere playing as well as he is playing and knowing he’s never likely to have Juan Mata going “This boy, he has a Valencia vena cava, he must join us at the Mestalla immediately and end this imprisonment by Arsenal”… does a little voice in the back of your head go “Cesc, you’ve been great. But if you really want to go, we’ll be just fine here with Jack”…?


  1. Daniel
    2576 days ago

    Great blog and great to see an Arsenal fan with faith – I have it too!

    One thing that I want to get off my chest



    Totally agree with you. Would also point out how much we missed Theo’s burst of speed and his ability to finish. We fell short because of injuries but full credit to Chelsea for the way they defended and frustrated us.

    As for the Wilshere thing. He will be great for us next season but I’m not going to compare his quality to Cesc’s any time in the near future… Bring back Cesc, we need him so badly out there.


  2. Treez
    2576 days ago

    I agree we didn’t play badly and I think we had more of the possession. Jack played brilliantly but had we had Cesc in the middle, our movement would have been better. Glad for Fabianski that he had a good game and I agree it was no humiliation.
    Good blog again, Sianny!


  3. larubia
    2576 days ago

    What a great blog entry! (I do remember the 3-0 from last year, took the day off to watch the match and felt so powerless watching it)
    I missed the match yesterday, but reading your review is like seeing it through your eyes, and I love your positivity.


  4. shegunner
    2576 days ago

    Great blog, as always. Excellent to compare the 2009 result with yesterday’s. We were two different teams on these occasions. Chelsea away has to be our toughest fixture of the term and now it’s out of the way.

    I know I’m in the minority, but I would be quite happy to see Jack taking over Cesc’s role when the captain departs. Are the same level? Certainly not. But only a complete optimist would think we’ll keep Fabregas beyond this term.


  5. Tim
    2576 days ago

    Super blog, and good to see somebody else with faith. Everybody says about Cesc leaving next season and Jack taking over, well we still have a lot of this season to go, and with Jack playing in the same side as Cesc for the remaining games is mouthwatering


  6. Binha
    2576 days ago

    Excellent, I was looking forward to your post already :) People mistake looking at the positives as being deluded. Just because some of us can notice the improvement in the team, doesn’t mean we can’t see the flaws as well.

    As for yesterday, I think it was more a matter of us being unlucky than of Chelsea being the better team. We outplayed them for many minutes in the match, just couldn’t turn our chances into goals. It happens every now and then, unfortunately. I believe that if we had Cesc/Robin/Vermaelen/Theo we wold have won it.

    I’m proud of the performance the team put out yesterday, especially proud of Fabianski, I hope it’s indeed a new phase in his career. The boys have shown that they are maturing and I choose to believe in this team. They can do it.

    Great blog as always :)


  7. Alan
    2575 days ago

    Really good positivity, Siany. I’m just as deluded as you are as I can see some positives. Our defence had some horror moments, but since when did newcomers to the Premiership have a divine right to be up to speed against the monster that is Drogba. Looking forward to meeting the Chavs at our place.


  8. Yinka
    2575 days ago

    Never commented on here, but I thought you should know this is as calming as expected, you dont get too many positive blogs after yesterday’s match..


  9. lulu
    2575 days ago

    Loved the blog as usual. I miss Vermi, and hate the fact that AW has no idea when he will be back. The team miss that winning edge being without Vermi, RVP and Cesc.

    We are asking too much of the new boys and some of the older players need to step up. Arshavin, I mean you. Samir, Gael, Andrey – when you cannot find space in the box, put the bloody ball up in the air for Chamakh you plonkers.



  10. Mooney
    2570 days ago

    With regards to the Chelsea game, I was never once worried whenever Fabianski came out for the ball. I’ve gone through footage of him playing for Legia Warsaw, and his greatest strength was his ball handling. As I’ve been telling many people, including the army of armchair generals in the Arsenal blogosphere, his blunders are purely psychological. Making the transition from a relatively unknown Slavic team somewhere in Eastern Europe to a world renowned English team which consistently finishes in the top 8 in the Champions League is – suprisingly as it sounds – a big ask.

    What are the negatives to take from the Bridge? We lost the three points because we had a handful of chances, and we put none of them away. Simples. Arshavin is clearly going through a rough patch and Chamakh has yet to adapt to the pace of the English game (it took a certain Robert Pires almost a full season to accomplish the same thing).

    What other positives are there to take from a game away to the Premier League champions who have still yet to concede at home? Plenty. A plethora.

    Our midfield trio of Wilshere, Diaby and Song – 19, 24 and 23 respectively, contained a midfield trio of Mikel, Ramires and Essien – 23, 23 and 27 respectively, 23 year old Samir Nasri is well and truly emerging as the world class player that Wenger saw when he bought him to replace Hleb, and our fantastic performance was achieved without the spine of our team – Cesc, RvP and TV5 – our most influential three players.

    I think what some are comparing this game to, is the same fixture last season – not the one where Chelsea swallowed us whole at home. And I can see the similarities. We dominated the midfield, Drogba scored, and we came away with nothing. So what is different from last season’s corresponding fixture? That we’re inching closer and closer to Chelsea, both on the field and our superior club management ability and stability.

    It amazes me that some of our supporters expect us to go out gung-ho like Billy the Kid at the Bridge and come away with three points every time. Quite simply, we don’t have the financial muscle to compete with Chelsea and Man City, and we won’t any time soon. It’s the reality, and we as Arsenal fans need to adapt to this paradigm. The only way we can subvert this is by getting behind our manager and the players 100%.

    If Cesc does leave at the end of this season, it will be a huge shame because he is the heartbeat of our young side, but we have the players who can fill his footsteps. And you should be ashamed of yourself Sian for forgetting to mention one Aaron Ramsey!


  11. ArrveePee
    2569 days ago

    Oh lawd she did forget Aaron Ramsey. I hope Wenger doesn’t have a similar aversion to Welshmen!


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