Arsenal Show Improvements But Chelsea Eek Out A Win

When a team creates two fantastic chances in the first minute, away at a place like Stamford Bridge, it tells the fans this will be a good game. And a good game it was. I thought the first half was closely contested with neither team creating many chances.

Apart from the first minute, when Koscielny really should have scored, Arshavin tested Cech twice, and Nasri went close on one occasion for Arsenal. For Chelsea, Essien had a free header from a corner but there weren’t many other clear chances.

The goal came out of nowhere. It started with what looked like a foul by Ramires on Song as he pulled him back from the shoulders before nicking the ball. Chelsea were quick to play it out wide to Cole who dragged it back. Drogba finished with an audacious, and I’d say somewhat fortunate, flick. Credit to the Ivorian for his desire and technique.

I was quite happy with the way Arsenal responded. We were able to control the game from then on till the last fifteen minutes or so. Unfortunately, we lacked width and pace and the impact of injuries to key players was quite clear.

Chelsea, to be fair to them, knew these weaknesses and were comfortable while sitting back. As the time went on we got more and more adventurous leaving vast spaces behind. Given the pace and clinical quality they had, I was surprised the Blues didn’t score a good goal on the counter. Much credit for that goes to the Arsenal defenders and Fabianski did a great job when the defenders failed.

The hosts eventually got their second goal from a rocket by Alex.  I couldn’t quite see who gave the ball away that led to Anelka winning the free kick in the first place. It was a shocking pass deep inside our own half. It’s that kind of lapse that has always been our weakness in the big games and it came to the fore late in the game. I also thought the wall we had wasn’t good enough. It gave Alex a chance to hit straight without any need to curve the ball. In the wall, Song seemed to move away from the line of the ball instead of towards the ball. These are minor details but it all started with a very poor pass in front of our defence.

In contrast, Arsenal rarely threatened from set-pieces or corners. I’ve often discussed this issue and the way we neglect an important aspect of the modern game borders on the criminal. It was obvious we had no real plan on set-pieces. The ball was just lobbed into an area with some hope. Chamakh did get on the end of one or two but he was always under pressure. Not only that, our organization around the box was quite poor and Chelsea were easily able to break on the counter from our corners.

Before the game I’d said there are plenty of questions that need to be answered. After watching this display I feel much more confident about the season despite the loss. It’s a shame we didn’t turn up with such a performance against Sunderland or WBA. With due respect to those sides, we would have earned five extra points without doubt.

I thought we pressed the ball much better in this game. It allowed us to limit Chelsea and this game would have been a lot different if the ref had seen the foul by Ramires. Chelsea only looked comfortable once they were able to sit back on the lead.

On the flip side I was disappointed we gave them so many chances to hit us on the break. We also didn’t spread the ball as fast as we should have. I remember only three occasions when we switched the flank with a good ball. On all three occasions it was Wilshere who did it and the first was in the opening moments that led to the two chances. Another negative was that we didn’t have enough midfield runs into the box. Finally, the old problem of too many players running into the same spaces was still quite evident.

Any title is a distant dream at the moment. I don’t want to dwell on that too much. We showed we can play football in this game and only a brilliantly organized Chelsea defence was able to keep us out. We can be in the hunt come April and May if we turn up week in, week out. This kind of a performance against the smaller teams can see us build a run of wins. Any inconsistency or sloppiness will see us slip further behind.

In a League where an expensively assembled City side is barely winning at home and United haven’t won away from home in any of their four games, a loss away at Stamford Bridge is not a bad result. In order for it to stay that way we need to build on this performance and create a string of wins.

We still have a great deal of room for improvement. You could see that as a positive or a negative depending on your inclination. For instance, our continued wastefulness on set-pieces can be seen as a problem. It can also be seen as a great area for improvement that can make us much stronger. We will definitely benefit in this area when Cesc and RvP return. Similarly, our lack of width is a weakness. But we can improve on that when Walcott comes back into the fold.

There is no doubt we will need out best players fit if we are to challenge. Those who expect Arsenal to dominate the league without the likes of Cesc, RvP, Theo, and Vermaelen really need a dose of reality. Hopefully, we will have better news after the international break, although given our recent record it’s best to keep the fingers crossed for the next two weeks.

Individual Performances

Fabianski: Not bad at all! Made some good saves. Caught some crosses. Came out at the right moments. Can’t really fault him for either goal except a bit for the size of the wall, which to me is a problem with the coaches.

Sagna: Worked hard up and down the wing. Could have done better with his crosses but he didn’t have enough targets in the box. Can’t really fault him for either goal although some might say he could have closed Cole down a bit better.

Squillaci: Looked quite shaky initially and almost gifted a goal when he was caught out by Anelka. Did well to catch Chelsea off-side on a number of occasions. Dealt with the balls into the box fairly well. Closed his man down in a  good way.

Koscielny: Not sure how he missed that chance to score. Won quite a few balls in the box and made a couple of good tackles in dangerous areas. Conceded the free-kick that led to the goal but can’t blame him for that.

Clichy: I thought he played well. Worked really hard, didn’t allow his man a lot of room to cross. Should have done better in attack, especially with his final ball.

Song: I was disappointed with Song. Can’t blame him for a lack of effort but he lost too many physical battles. Wasn’t as close to the defence as he should have been. Was often caught out when Chelsea broke on counter attacks.

Wilshere: Had a good game for a youngster. Wasn’t able to create much but had some good moments. Good work rate and physical strength.

Diaby: He looked great in patches but I thought we made a mistake by playing him higher up. We needed his strength and reach closer to the defence. Didn’t get into the box often enough. On the whole his work rate was not good enough compared to what Cesc or Nasri do in that role. Didn’t have the guile to split the defence. Hopefully his injury is not very serious.

Nasri: Struggled a bit on the flank. Another one with fantastic work rate and some good attacking moments. Should have played in a central role from the start.

Chamakh: His limitations were exposed by the Chelsea defence even if we can’t doubt his effort. In the past I’ve said that he should look to score instead of winning the penalty and he could have done better in this game if he had his mind set on scoring. He also needs to be alert to the loose ball in the box. If the ball doesn’t come to him/his run, he just stops and watches the ball, which is a bad trait for a striker. Missed a good chances when Arshavin found him with a ball over the top.

Arshavin: He was on and off in this one. Gave the ball away quite often. Worked harder than his usual self but still not enough. A couple of good attempts on goal and a fantastic pass for Chamakh.

Subs: no real impact. I was surprised Eboue wasn’t brought on for his pace and directness.

108 Responses to Arsenal Show Improvements But Chelsea Eek Out A Win

  1. LondonGunner says:

    Sorry Desi I have to totally disagree with you about Chamakh, I was in the game if you watched from TV then I
    you would miss how hard working he worked. Arshavin was our worst player by far, so was Song. Lot of positives to take 2-0 flattered Chelsea.

    • desigunner says:

      I did say we can’t doubt his effort. But hard work should not be the primary skill of a striker. That was the point of my summary of Chamakh.

      Arshavin struggles when Cesc or RvP are not there. And with Nasri so far away on the other wing it was difficult for the Russian as there wasn’t anyone on his wavelength.

      Chamakh doesn’t always know how to make the dangerous runs. If you revisit the Tottenham game in the League Cup, when Chamakh won the penalty you could see Arshavin pointing to the space and telling him to make that run just before he put the through ball. But no one can constantly tell his teammates how to move on the pitch. In that sense Arshavin is isolated when our big guns are missing.

      As far as his work rate goes, we know it won’t be exceptional but I don’t think he was much worse than Anelka who could be considered his counterpart.

      Song was quite poor no doubt.

      • SAgooner says:

        Very good article. I totally agree with you. I sometimes feel Chamakh is too much of a team player. It’s called a “striker” for he reason. He needs to STRIKE! I’ve seen Drogba play games where he does virtually nothing except for when he scores. I don’t see him taking on defenders either. He just doesn’t look dangerous enough for me, especially as “target man” type striker.

      • You are right about his instincts. I believe that is why Bendtner is rated highly he has that right instincts and Chamakh is always 2 yards away for a low cross. He does not even anticipate it. As for Song , i dont know what to say. I guess lots of blame goes for Arsene too for his tactical naivety.

    • santori says:

      Case of selective viewing I suppose :

      Can’t agree with you on Arsharvin. I thought he carried the most threat for us and he was very industrious in this game.

      In fact, I’m baffled the gaffer took him off. He’s exactly the sort of player we need to keep on, particularly as :

      1) He creates the chances
      2) He is willing to shoot.

      Wenger had him off to the RW when Ferreira came on when I thought he should have been shifted to the centre to play off Chamakh (with Wilshere supporting just behind)

      • Furovich says:

        I wish I didn’t agree with Desi about Chamakh. He’s physical, fantastic in the air and brings players into the game but he’s not a predator inside the area. He’s not making enough positive runs inside the area or attacking low balls.

        IMO, the worst thing about Arshavin is when he gives the ball away in attack, not his unwillingness to defend. He will never do much defending but when he gives it away so easily, it really hurts Arsenal.

      • santori says:


        Arsharvin. He wasn’t the only one giving the ball away today.

        I thought in general we kept it well and Andrei put in a good shift.

        It’s selective viewing on your part to keep at him because he has been so slated recently.

        Did he not come up with the best shot of the match and did he not work hard and close down early today?

      • Daniel says:

        What’s humerous is Furovich never said ‘only Arshavin lost the ball today’, what’s even funnier is a team like Chelsea ALLOWS you to keep the ball in front of them. They are happy for you to play your sleek passing game in front of them and counter at will. Bottom line is Furovich was correct in everything he’s said. He obviously DIDN’T come up with the best shot of the match cause last time i checked Chelsea won 2-0. Alex’s strike into the top corner from that 25 yard dead ball situation was the best shot of the game for me. Arshavin was definitely out of sorts. He always is without his buddy Fabregas feeding him inch perfect balls. I noticed that about Chamakh to Furovich early on in his tenure. He makes runs alot out wide to allow Arsenal’s wide men to come in central with the ball. It’s a very weird habit for a striker, never know though Arsene may have asked him too.

  2. VR says:

    Champagne Dream on a Beer Budget, Sausages and Caviar, all to predictable all the way down to the manager’s post match comments. All too tiring …..

    • MSL says:

      Not exactly. Our wage bill is second or third highest. Wenger needs to set a deadline for his experiment and start rebuilding, AGAIN.

      • VR says:

        and that’s what we come 2nd and or 3rd. Not so much the wages but the transfer spending MSL. Good players cost money that’s the bottom line. We don’t have world class. VP and Cesc are the only ones. I would give my right arm for a young TH14. Those were the days.

      • desigunner says:

        Good players cost money? How much did RvP and Cesc cost? In contrast, how much did Real pay for Benzema or City for Robinho, or Barca for Ibrahimovic?

      • MSL says:

        @Desigunner: That money is needed for trophies is an old one. Whether you spend it on wages or transfers its upto you. Name one team that hasn’t spent to win something. None in recent history.

        Spending money well is important and quality costs money. The argument that money doesn’t always win is true but without it you NEVER win. Simple.RvP is fantastic but is he ever fit? I have given up on him ever playing beyond 20 games a season.

        Chelsea have no finishers? They have strikers and winger and wingbacks who can all score. Anelka is one who cannot finish but Cole, Drogba, Malouda and Essien can all score and score well.Heck even Kalou can score. Who do we have? A mercurial Arshavin?

      • desigunner says:

        MSL, now I think the discussion has turned into a rant.

        No one ever said spending money is not important. Arsene has signed Vermaelen, Nasri, and Arshavin for good money. They’ve certainly done better than some other bigger money signings. Similarly we’ve signed three players this season who are an improvement over the ones we had plus we’ve promoted someone like Wilshere who would be very expensive in the market.

        If you just make generalized arguments then there is no discussion.

        Has Cole scored more than Vermaelen? Essien more than Nasri? For all their plans A,B,C and even with a full strength team they couldn’t score against Inter or City, could they?

        These things happen but it’s very disappointing when Arsenal fans start creating reasons that are not based in fact.

      • MSL says:

        @Desi: My writing may not have been very coherent but you seem to have a way with words.
        You said,”Good players cost money? How much did RvP and Cesc cost? In contrast, how much did Real pay for Benzema or City for Robinho, or Barca for Ibrahimovic?” . Anecdotal evidence. In any case, RvP is as much a failure because fitness. In sport,ahem, its a vital part of your game.

        “Arsene has signed Vermaelen, Nasri, and Arshavin for good money.They’ve certainly done better than some other bigger money signings. ” Is this enough. Why is this satisfying to you? I can’t point a good number of big money signings who did well and this argument doesn’t hold a drop.

        This is a rant against lack of quality. You can’t have it both ways and my only frustration is with the obvious need of quality and lack o spending. Arsenal want to win a particular way which is very difficult.

        You keep raising the same point about not being able to beat Inter or whatever. We would lose much poorly and hopelessly and would be trembling on the pitch. FACT.

        Arsenal score the crap out of lower teams and succumb to the big ones. Nasri can score all the hattricks he wants against Wigan but you never score in the big CL games. Qtr finals and above.

        I would love to see Arsenal against 3 DMs De Jong, Yaya and Barry and see what they can do.

        Unlike you sir, my feet are on the ground.

        In the end, the team is crying for a CF and GK. Lukasz has not made a mistake in 180 minutes and that seems to make us happy. I thought keepers were supposed to make a few good saves but our ones just needn’t make any blunders.

        Most of the statements above are facts. Please get back to me if you can make an argument without twisting my words. You seem content I am not.

      • desigunner says:

        You saw what I said but failed to see the context. It was said in response to the comment above mine.

        “Good players cost money that’s the bottom line. We don’t have world class. VP and Cesc are the only ones.”

        I just wanted to highlight the contradiction in this and to give a few examples that money does not guarantee good players. You took the comments out of context and went on with your own agenda.

        If you read through my articles it’s pretty clear that I’m not satisfied. However, I don’t believe signing a tom, dick, or harry will make things better just because that player costs money. I’ve discussed these issues in great detail and will not waste further time on that right now.

        The facts you’ve mentioned are just facts in your own mind. That is precisely why I called it a rant. You’ve made up your mind and you want to take that as the starting point while ignoring many aspects. It’s your opinion and you’ve a right to it but please don’t mix up facts and opinions.

  3. MSL says:

    The lack of a striker and a box-box midfielder were painfully obovious. It was again a blind-spot, too many creators none to shoot. Only Rosicky looked like he wanted a go. Didn’t see the first half, second half was okay.

    One dimensional play is very easy to read. Block Gunners out with numbers in front of goal. Works like a charm everytime. Lucky that some of the Chelsea’s finishing was poor.

    We ran them down alright, but we don’t have the points. I still believe we need a solid plan B, a solid finisher and much better use of our physicality if we are to win the league.

    Chamakh kept looking for penalty in the box instead of staying on his feet and scoring. I don’t think he is good finisher anyway.

    Much better performance than usual but still our CD looked brittle in key moments and we lacked hunger except maybe Wilshere and Rosicky. We need not beat Chelsea to win the league.

    Sorry to say this but we have no real finisher except RvP. Bendtner is okay, Vela will never make the grade and will be sold eventually to a mid table La Liga club and RvP is too unreliable. Our sole scoring dependence from a false nine who holds the ball well for MFs to attack is not going to work day in day out. Settling down for one of the cups in a warm comforter might save me pain.

    • santori says:

      I wouldn’t say we lacked hunger. I wouldn’t say we weren’t competitive in central midfield either.

      We dominated the match but as and again, possession which was our virtue was also our curse.

      Yes, we need to take one last touch and shoot more but haven’t we heard that all before.

      De javu.

    • That rule of defend with numbers in front of the goal works against all teams. I do not think one team in the league can break down a team who totally aims at defending, take Chelsea they could not do nothing against Manchester City. Even Barca succumbed to the exact same tactics this season, the Mourinho one. Barca drew their home game yesterday.

    • metalhead says:

      @MSL I agree with most things you said. Arsenal, as you said are very very ‘One Dimensional’. No plan B whatsoever. Arsenal are appalling with long range shooting which adds to their woes. I think Arsene Wenger needs to show a little more faith in Vela especially with RVP injured. I know he’s short and all but his finishing is impeccable. I don’t see him getting any better if the Manager does not show more faith in him.

    • desigunner says:

      Given the way Anelka missed his one-on-one’s one could argue that Chelsea have no real finisher except Drogba!

      The simple fact is that the absolute best players are very rare and difficult to find. Once you get players like RvP and Cesc, if they’re injured the team will suffer. No team has twenty world class players, not even City despite spending insane amounts.

      • MSL says:

        We don’t need twenty world class players. You need a spine(5) and don’t have one. Or if you have one it is never been fit, not in a while.

  4. damien says:

    Where Rosicky?
    Why the hell doesn’t he start?

    • santori says:

      I thought it was the correct line up for once.

      Diaby supporting Song and acting as the link man. I actually thought Song showed much better discipline today and didn’t venture forward quite as much.

      Adding Rosicky (presumably at Diaby’s expense) would have been one similar player too many IMO.

      Rosicky did add some extra bite to the LW but what on earth has happened to his shooting ability?

      • VR says:

        The only change I had was Diaby out and Rosicky in with Nasri in the creative mid role. I don’t know what this blind faith in Diaby is. Maybe because he is French. He has a good game every blue moon and we start believing again.

      • We did not start with Diaby supporting Song, we played with Wilshere supporting Song. And Song really did not support anybody. Total naivety from Arsene’s side.

  5. Tee Song says:

    This game was lost two weeks ago. Anyone who seriously thought we would get a result going to Stamford Bridge without Vermaelen, RvP, Walcott, and Cesc really needs to take off their Arsenal colored glasses. Take away Cech, Terry, Lampard (and yes I know he didn’t play), Malouda and Drogba and play the game at the Emirates and I would fancy our chances of winning. Against that backdrop, I thought we did well. We created a few excellent chances and apart from the last 30 minutes when we really started to push forward, we limited Chelsea’s. They were more clinical, simple as that. And with Cesc, RvP and Theo in the game, there’s a pretty good chance we’d have been more clinical.

    • santori says:

      I don’t think we should be hiding behind injuries as an excuse. I thought we were competitive regardless.

      • santori says:

        …but short. 😛

      • Furovich says:

        True you can’t hide behind injuries but Arsenal’s injury list is ridiculous and that is inevitably going to have a massive impact. What sort of season would United or Chelsea had the last few years if Drogba, Lampard, Malouda and Terry were out for half the year or more? And in United’s case, Rooney, Scholes and others. Now that Ferdinand and Rooney are out United have indeed beeen struggling.

        It was almost an entirely second string Arsenal side and they in many ways deserved to get something out of the game. People will criticize Arsenal defensively and for their finishing but the reality is, no one really knows what they are capable of because their best players are never on the pitch for a consistent part of the season.

        Im quite confident that with RVP, Fabregas, Walcott and Vermaelen in the side Arsenal could of one the game. Thats where the difference was, just in a couple of high quality players at either end of the park.

      • Tee Song says:

        Any rational analysis of this game from an Arsenal standpoint has to account for injuries. With a fully fit squad to choose from, the entire spine of the team would’ve been different. That’s a FACT. I’m not saying we would’ve won this game with Cesc, RvP, Vermaelen, Walcott and Almunia in the team but to say that having multiple injuries to key performers didn’t affect our CHANCE of getting a result is just plain stupid.

        I thought the overall performance of the players we did put out there was encouraging. Considering the chances created a draw would not have been an unfair result. In the end, Chelski’s best available 11 beat our best available 11. I’m unhappy with the result but really not unhappy with performance.

      • Daniel says:

        Basically i have been reading all comments up until here as a favour to a friend because i heard that this is a wonderful blog. He was correct it is. Sadly though SANTORI, your rediculous, and more often then not, unwarranted and uneducated responses are starting to bug me already. Diaby and ‘correct line-up’ should NEVER under any circumstance be put in the same sentence diaby is sub-par on his best day, and thats being nice. His sheer inability to do really anything of value is underwhelming and consistently pathetic. As for the rest of your comments on Arsenal playing well all the time you CLEARLY don’t watch them much, or alternatively have no idea about how good they can play. Without Fabregas and Walcott, Arshavin looks bored and unserviced and Arsenal look weak in midfield and evidently lack class. What’s sad about it all, is this is actually the first comment you’ve made that actually makes sense, Arsenal are always about what ifs, what if we stayed fit, what if Chelsea and UTD had injuries, the simple fact is THEY DON’T. Reason being, they purchase strong well built players. Not diminutive players like Arshavin, Walcott, Nasri, Sagna and Clichy. Basically, Arsenal fans need to ask Wenger to get his players on a strength and conditioning programme and incorporate a higher protein diet to gain lean muscle. In the end, Arsenal’s passing game is unquestionably gifted, sadly their meak physical state is their undoing and it’s sad to see. I love watching arsenals style and it really does pain me to say that because im a Tottenham supporter.

    • Steve D. says:

      Very good comments Tee Song and I agree. I’m actually a lot happier about our prospects after seeing yesterday’s game.

      • santori says:

        Really, I see it as defeatist making it as an excuse that we would settle with a point (from the start) just because we had a lengthy injury list.

        I thought we were in it to win and could have. Even with Drogba’s goal I thought we could have nicked a draw.

        But we got a bit impatient later on in the half and we were like Swiss cheese at the back.

    • desigunner says:

      I’d say the fact that so many Arsenal fans actually expected a win tells us about the depth we have. The fact that many have lost their perspective because of the result is rather disappointing. It reflects more on the fans than on the team.

      I agree this was always going to be a tough game without our key players. And I’m quite happy with the way we played.

  6. T2T says:

    The result wa sbad but it was an evenly contested game. I’m actually happy we play what is now known as the Arsenal way.

    We have 9 players out injured with arguably our best player in each part of the team, the spine, out (Almunia, Vermaelen, Fabregas, van Persie) + impact players such as Walcott and Bendtner. Add to that Ramsey and Frimpong and we did extremely well. I’d say we undoubtably have the best squad.

    Against any other team in the EPL, we would have run out comfortable winners. Chelsea has an excellent team and I IF we’d play like this against Sunderland and WBA, we would have had 5 more points.

  7. Whateva says:

    Another day we would have won. They scored a lucky goal and suddenly they had the advantage.

  8. santori says:

    I think the result (once again) shows up the gulf between the two teams.

    They were simply quite solid and able to soak up the pressure, hit us on the break efficiently (to use the new by word)

    The other thing about Chelsea is their mental strength. We are able to match them both technically and physically but they do have an edge over us mentally.

    We were guilty of too much possession (as per usual) without enough of an edge up front.

    We were guilty of our own failure BUT the margins between our success and failure appear slim. :

    1) I thought he got the line up correct. Song and Diaby were able to hold midfield. Had we gone for a 4-3-3 open line up, we would have been further punished.

    2)High line. Once again we exposed ourselves to some dodgy decisions at the back. BUT for the linesman (Must be an Arsenal fan at heart) we could have slipped a couple more goals from their breaks.

    3)Shoot. There should be a dictum to shoot at every glimpse of the goal. We clearly seem allergic to it. Chamakh in particular took one touch too many in front of goal and was not alert enough (Although he was as usual hardworking and threatening in the air)

    4) Subs. Diaby was on and off. I thought he had a decent game overall but I would have pulled him off come the end of the half. I am also baffled as to why the gaffer would take a potential game winner in Arsharvin off and decide to blood the untested JET (He should have come on against Sunderland and WBA but not against the Big Boys) and Vela (Ineffectual)

    I know we have to gamble for the win but we were like Swiss Cheese at the back!

    5) Agree with our counters. We don’t move the ball fast enough and we take far too long. Again something to be learnt from Chelsea in the way they do it.

    6)Channels. We did not use them far enough. Something to be learnt from United.

    Honestly, I feel we are not that far off. Several tweaks to the way we play/approach a game and we will be capable of beating Chelsea even without some of our main players.

    BUT Wenger has to recognise this first and make those small but necessary changes.

    Until then, we will continue with this frustrating sense of deja vu.

    • What is your obsession with 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 ? We have always played a 4-3-3 and yesterday too we played the same. And if you had seen the game it was Diaby who was the most advanced midfielder not Wilshere. The midfield was not right Song was all over the place and left just Wilshere to defend.

      • santori says:

        We played 4-2-3-1 with Wilshere supporting Song although Wilshire drifted up field more IMO.

        I thought we were more solid because of that.

      • SomeRandomGunner says:

        Hmm We were not solid at all yesterday. Chelsea could have easily scored 5 goals atleast. They were just not clinical enough.
        A good Fabianski display and some wayward finishing by Chelsea made the score board decent.

    • desigunner says:

      I thought the linesman got some tight calls spot on. Hopefully we’ll get more such decisions and less like the one we got with Robbie Keane. The off-side trap is very important for a team like Arsenal and a mistake by the assistant can really screw all our plans.

  9. duttlenheim says:

    Not disappointed at all by the result. What could we expect with Cesc, RVP, Theo out. That’s alot of vision, creativity, pace to be missing from the attack. Arshavin was bad again today. He struggles when he is the focal point.

  10. VR says:

    Really starting to think we are delusional as Arsenal Fans. The writing is very clear for all to see mate. 2nd Class.

  11. gunner says:

    I’m sick and tired of our injuries. Really can’t remember the last time a full strength Arsenal side played against any side.

    Overall, good effort and commitment from our boys. Hope they can pick themselves up and start a good run of matches.

  12. VR says:

    This is like watching the same horror flick over and over again and expecting a different ending. Ashley Cole bombing down the left unmarked for the assist and they score a free kick!!! Lots of great possession and we are not clinical enough!!!! Same old Deja Vu !!

  13. VR says:

    I had this feeling watching us play in the Champions League against Barcelona. Barcelona are like the top of the line expensive model that everyone wants but no one wants to pay for and we are the low budget version expecting our model to run just like the Rolls Royce. In a dream world it may work, in reality it rarely does. We need a Salary Cap (NFL style) and possible Transfer Cap in order gain some parity in football. Otherwise the results will be all to predicable and the same. He who spends the most gets the most success. An direct causal relationship.

    • Hong_gunner says:

      I think you’d like to think about Leeds united after reading what you just wrote.

      • VR says:

        Football/Soccer is based on he who has the most money has the best chance at winning, its proven and blatantly obvious. Dynasties are built on MONEY. I am very proud of the way we handle our business and would not like for us to stretch ourselves and end up like Leeds, Portsmouth or any other team that tried to keep up in the spending race and end up ‘belly up’. But you have to adjust your expectations and face the reality. It is what it is. A Toyota is not a Bentley. The NFL acknowledged this fact (monetary disparity between teams) and put policy in place to achieve a more level playing field. Not sure if England or football in general wants to make any steps toward doing that. The Oligarchy Rules is their attitude.

    • Barcelona 6 4 1 1 10 5

      This is Barca’ record this year, they lost a home game to a newly promoted side and drawn at home. They are currently fourth . So Barca is not supposed to be a better version of “Arsenal”, also Barca plays with full team almost all the matches. I think Messi missed one match i guess , otherwise it is full team in the matches.

    • Hong_gunner says:

      “Football/Soccer is based on he who has the most money has the best chance at winning, its proven and blatantly obvious.”
      well, to start with, it is called football and just football. Soccer is something that doesn’t belong to the sport. secondly, would you care to explain why that is proven? our team during the double winning season and the invincible era was build on around 37.5-40m pounds. thats what is proven. as you bring up too much NFL into discussion, can you please explain to me how two different sports with different philosophies and different salary cap systems can be compared like-for-like? you are too money minded, and have no clue about football.

  14. Tim says:

    A marked improvement on last year’s two awful showings. Chelsea do look head and shoulders above everyone else so far this season – they can score on anyone, and they have conceded only two goals so far.

    For me, the biggest test will come against the two Manchester clubs. That will tell us how much we have improved over last season.

    The result today was a shame, the lack of end product was a shame, but there were also a lot of positives to take out of the performance. Just no points, sadly.

  15. LondonGunner says:

    Too much doom mongers in here, Desi had a great analysis, I just wanna ask all of you how many team go to Chelsea and perform the way we did without their most two top players? we were fearless and second half was one way traffic, the future is bright and we will be fine, there is no delusion here. Chelsea were supposed to trash us today did they? no. I was in the game and they were relieved the game was over.

  16. schlacker says:

    oh shut up.

    if our players are as spineless as you we would have been relegated a long time ago.

  17. schlacker says:

    that was meant for cowards like VR.

  18. mide tha dreamwright says:

    good post desi,though i felt u were tad heavy with the critism but hey, maybe that’s b’cos i were arsenal-tinted glasses.the way lost was a lil bit painful no doubt, but kudos to the boys, they played with a lot of heart. even flappy-anski…sorry…fabianski was solid, making one great save after the other. only our application in the final third did us in. this squad is not so far off from being the finished article, just a few tweaks here and there as mentioned by desi and we are set to be world-beaters again. come on go gooners…

    • desigunner says:

      I’m happy Fabianski is getting some good games under his belt. He needs confidence more than anything else.

  19. Andy says:

    From what I noticed we have too many second rate French players. Eight French players started today…and many are not even considered great French players (bench warmers). And when Wilshere is Arsenal’s man of match then it says a lot about the dross that surrounds him.
    There are so many things wrong with our current squad. Recently at the start of each season Arsenal start the season with a weaker squad. And the current standard of players has definitely dropped. We never strengthen or squad…just replace players. I can’t see us winning EPL and forget the CL. Aim for a top four finish + Carling/FA Cup (in that order)

  20. shottagunna says:

    Completely disagree with you on Song. I was impressed by his efforts as a proactive destroyer rather than sitting back in front of defense playing reactively. He may not have won the ball as often as we wish but he was always available to pressure the ball in midfield and not give the Chelsea midfielders time to look up and pick their passes. The incident with Ramires highlights my point. By fouling Song, Ramires had that extra second to look up and pick out Drogba , eventually leading to the goal. His weakness remains his passing although today he was more conservative and to my eye had a higher completion rate than Partizan.
    The other slight disagreement is your criticism of set plays. With only Chamakh holding a physical advantage in the box, I felt hitting the ball in the box was a bit of a kick and hope. Otherwise from a good summing up.
    Too bad many of your posters have a certain type of Pavlovian response to certain players. I am thinking of Diaby here. FFS he just returned from injury to play the champions of the EPL. Wenger assessed he needed his physicality in midfield. It is the manager’s call. Give the player credit for giving it a good 65 minutes. Jeez.

    • That is what made our back four looked like fools. At some point there were atleast 2 Chelsea players right in front of our CBs. He overall won 4 out 6 tackles and 2 interceptions, Wilshere has won 4 out of 5 tackles and made 3 interceptions. Also Song conceded 4 free kicks inside our half. Overall he is simply fouling players to get the ball. And for the goal he was positionally nowhere, he was always jogging slowly behind and even Chamakh comes back and defends in his place , that says it all. Chamakh did that once today and in our last match too he did that. Something has gone into his head he thinks that he is already the best DM in the world. I would have Denilson for any match than Song.

    • desigunner says:

      I thought Song was chasing the ball more than reading the game.

      With set-pieces when we don’t have enough big players, we need to be more creative. It’s not that we only discovered out size disadvantage after entering the pitch. That’s what frustrates me the most, issues that we know, that have been there for a while but haven’t been worked on, at least in a way that we can see the impact on the pitch.

  21. Furovich says:

    I though what Wilshere achieved in the match was quite phenomenal. He’s gone from the young player that fans wanted to see be given a little playing time for experience to the guy that is almost running the midfield on his own. Although he probably went by int match without been too noticed, he was indeed influential in the build up of most of Arsenal’s great work in the centre of midfield. He was composed and strong on the ball and took up good defensive positions. Although small, he is extremeley well built in the lower half of his body which is no doubt helping to gib=ve him the balance and strength to be such a force in midfield.

    I’m so impressed with Nasri. He has been asked to fill a role out wide ever since he joined Arsenal and even though it’s not his real position, he fights and performs in almost every match. His quality when the ball is at his feet in phenomenal. Again, he is another Arsenal player blighted by injuries in recent seasons and I hope those problems are over. Given a bit of time, I thinnk Nasri could become one of the most dominant midfielders in the world.

    • desigunner says:

      Would be great to see Wilshere and Cesc play together for a run of games. Nasri is doing more in the final third, he seems to be taking an active interest in creating and scoring. Should be great for the long run.

  22. shottagunna says:

    I guessed I posted at the wrong blog. The, racists, xenophobes and lunatics are here in full force.

  23. Andy says:

    Doesn’t matter how much some of you may think it was an improved performance. We lost again. Not able to compete with Chelsea. Chelsea know exactly how to play/win against us. It so simple cos we are so inefficient with the ball. Give Arsenal the ball, let them dance with it up to the final third, win back possession and grab a goal on the break. Works every time.

    • sam says:

      Wenger is mostly right, you are mostly wrong. We stopped ourselves today as much as they stopped us. Chelsea didn’t miss sitters early on, we did.

      Our approach play is stifled when the other team sits back. So is everyone’s. Thankfully very few teams can get a 1-0 lead on us, and even fewer can defend it. Chelsea can but they ride their luck. That’s their maturity. Inter did the same to them last season. Did they say, moan moan, someone always does this to us, we’re pants? The year before: Barca did it to us this year: they ride their luck with penalties and then score in the 179th minute? We’re so tactically naive. The year before, United rode their luck and then beat us on penalties? How the heck did Benitez topple Chelsea so often? Because he found them out tactically? No, his tactics just worked sometimes, and sometimes they didn’t. The same way Mourinho’s Porto put Manute out of the Champion’s League. It’s an approach to the game that’s all. Losing whilst dominating possession happens to all teams at the top. It just seems that it happens more to us because we are still not a top top team. Not because we’ve been found out tactically. Once we mature a bit more (ho hum) we’ll win more top top games and you’ll see it’s not ‘having been found out tactically.’ (Am I ranting?)

      • MSL says:

        @Sam: The fact we created two chances early and almost none after is a tactical mishap. Wenger is obsessed with winning the “right” way.
        Barca have a great team and better wing players too. They pass but also play a wide pitch with Dani Alves,Pedro etc.

        Arsenal are shockingly narrow and our full backs are the lowest quality in top 8 or ten in Europe or whatever.

        Gibbs was sorely missed.

        We need wingers/wing backs who can actually cross. Sadly, Clichy and Sagna don’t cut it.

      • desigunner says:

        Sam – Very well said.

        MSL: Why would Mourinho be interested in Clichy if he was so bad?

        Barca don’t get kicked every week in La Liga. Just see their last game against Mallorca, which they drew, and you’ll see Yellow Cards being given for fouls that would not be called in the Premier League. This makes it easier for Barca in their league and also in the Champions League. I’d love to see Barca play away at the Bridge with 6 first choice players missing.

        It’s extremely unfair to compare the two teams without establishing the full context.

      • MSL says:

        JM has had his moments in signing crap. Ricardo Quaresma.

        I agree that this match might not be a good yardstick and Barca comparison is inevitable because of a plan B. A winger and Messi. There, two solid options. If we miss Walcott we have no one. Wonder why Vela is a striker. He can be a good winger but doesn’t cut it physically for a striker.

        The fact that we still don’t bother keepers enough is making me rage. Still a weak defensive, nervous line. Call Tony Adams someone. Lee Dixon almost exploded in the MOTD show.

  24. drvics (mumbai gooner) says:

    Hi Desi,
    I hate to visit arsenal blogs after a loss, too many extremists (both positive and negative). Its hard to get any logical discussion going.
    My take on the game was thus:
    1. Was really surprised to see Squillaci take the armband, it just made me realize the severe injury crisis at Arsenal. In hindsight, I think it put a lot of pressure on him. I had seen a bit of him at sevilla and also last few games with us, he seems as a calm composed ‘solid’ defender and the mistakes that he made today were certainly uncharacteristic.
    2. We played really well before the first goal, collective defending at its best resulted in a lot a possession and Chelsea barely got their game going. I understand that it could difficult physically to carry closing down from the front, but as soon as we stop doing that, the high line defensively becomes useless. We need to work that out cause the counter attacks in 2nd half became more dangerous as their defense and midfeild were able to aim passes rather than clear balls under pressure.
    3. I think Kos (and even Clichy) dealt with Drogba very well and were able to keep him at bay for a considerable amount of time. He scored a fortuitous goal and wasnt as big an impact as last season. Another observation regarding Kos is that he gets ahead of the forward and intercepts balls played to the forwards. But these interceptions are just prods to the ball and the midfield have to be alert to these as soon as a ball is played in Kos’s direction. We saw Chelsea take several of these interceptions and make seriously dangerous attacks as Kos was out of position making the interceptions.
    4. I dont know whats going on with the set pieces training issue. We hardly ever try something different. Just because we finally have someone who can head the ball doesnt mean we aim for him all the time even when he is outnumbered 4 to 1.
    5. The Song issue is baffling. I can see the logic of asking him to get further forward as and when gaps appear, but neither he nor his midfield partners have got a hang of this tactic yet. There were too many times he was either caught in possession or gave the ball up high up the field and the midfield cover was non existent.
    6. I think the day we beat Chelsea our players will really start believing that we deserve to be Champions. In earlier seasons though we beat Chelsea and other top 4 teams but we werent consistent enough against lower opposition. Last season we were great against lower opposition but messed up the big games.

    Inspite of those short comings, we could have drawn or even won it today, which is a tribute to the hard work ans effort we put into the match. I tougt the fullbacks were outstanding, Arshavin worked hard (harder than usual) and Chamakh worked his ass off. We are almost there, just need a few adjustment and some luck (please dear God) with injuries.
    Now to that dreaded lull off the international break. Oh well, the commonwealth games will help pass the time, I guess.

    • desigunner says:

      You’re right. After the games most people respond in a strong emotional state. It tends to bring out a little extremism. I’ve learned to accept it because a year or two ago I had similar tendencies, still do at times.

      Interesting point about Squillaci. I thought both our defenders were a little nervous. Could be that the occasion got to them a little.

      Our pressing was quite good till the first goal went in. Even for the first half hour of the second half we weren’t that bad, except one or two individual mistakes. We did struggle in the final fifteen minutes after the substitutions. I thought it was a problem of losing our shape and leaving large gaps down the middle.

      Good observation on interceptions. I was thinking of the same and of doing an article on those. I’ve covered it in the past, especially last year, when it was too easy for the opposition forward to receive the ball and hold it. That’s an area where we have to improve on both ends.

      Belief is an interesting issue. Do we need belief to beat Chelsea or do we get belief after defeating them?

  25. mide tha dreamwright says:

    Fabianski did a good job today.I was particularly pleased with the confident way he handled the high balls from corners and the likes. he was good in the one-on-ones too,managing to prevent a couple of chelsea players from scoring. i’m pleased that he’s at least showing glimpses of why AW rates him so highly. like JW said ”fair play to him”.

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah I was quite pleased with the way he claimed the high balls. That was very reassuring. Even his saves will be good for the confidence.

  26. Hong_gunner says:

    right, I’m just back from the bridge and I had a good day out. today’s game gave me optimism as well as some worries. but on the overall, I’m taking more positives out of this game. to start with, we had a decent start to the game. we should have taken some of our earlier chances, but thats life and football. such big games are decided on fine lines. I won’t dwell on the early chances we missed. what bothered me was the fact that we were happy to play into their hands for most parts of the game. even more so after the Drogba goal, they sat deep and invited us to play our game. either we were forced to our weakness, i.e to put in crosses, or were invited to play infront of their rear guard so they had the chance to hit us on the break. Chelsea are arguably the best side who can defend their lead, and we were just not incisive enough to cut them open. I think most of the players had a good game, but as a team, we were a click behind chelsea. as Brian Clough would have said it, dominating possession and dominating games are two different things. and so it proved. Chamakh was good without the ball, but his technique to hold up play with the ball on the ground is just not quite there. not that he has become a bad player overnight in my eyes, but here was his 1st real test in an arsenal shirt. and he needs to improve, given he’s still adapting to the league. Wilshere was my man of the match. Fabianski had a good game. Song was fine. he did get caught out a few times, but that wasn’t his mistake(one incidence comes to mind where Nasri played a poor pass and got intercepted). Song was definitely fouled for the 1st goal.
    but what hurt me most was when after the 2nd goal, i heard chants of “there’s only one team in London” go on for ages. I think we seriously need to win something this year. and Carling Cup could be a good start. may be it has become a mental issue for our team as well which is causing our sloppiness from time to time. its time to prove the fact once more:

    Arsenal – 13 league titles.
    all other teams in London combined – 6.

    • desigunner says:

      I’ve often wondered if we have a mental block and it prevents us from being as creative as we can be on the pitch or forces some individual errors. Sometime last season I did write an article saying Arsene should use a sports psychologist or someone with that kind of expertise. Not sure if he has or if he knows something in that field himself, but I can’t see any harm in doing that.

  27. 7masters says:

    I don’t really feel deflated after watching these game due to
    1. We played with Guts and Efforts
    2. Despite Billion spent on Chelsea both on field and Bench we Played much better.
    3. We played right to the end without getting any issue with dead legs, While Chelsea where plain lucky and looked tired except we missed Walcott who would have destroyed them. We lacked pace so despite all those openings by Nasri, Wilthshire, Arshavin, Rosicky we lacked someone who could run faster to those balls.
    4. Drogba Goal was pure fluke but still a goal any way.
    5. Fabianski played well
    6. The only weakness was lack of a good finisher
    7. We exposed Chelsea and the only Threat really now comes from Manchester City.
    8. No matter what the gutter press say Watching Manchester United and Chelsea make me smile they are simply not good enough something has died with these two. Chelsea have been lucky so far with easy games while United have not won away for record seven games? Also they are conceding stupid goals.
    9. Arsenal look solid all around and Most of youngster are goner break into first team easily Etc Jet, Wiltshire and others.
    10. Our collective defending is beginning to pay dividend at last.

    Whoever is blaming Song should know Ramires made same mistake in Chelsea last games which led to them losing to Citeh. Please get off the players back and support the team. Arshavin was by far our best player while Diaby showed something today which was shocking. Arsenal medical team bullied him into playing on after behaving like he broke his leg. He should have known Essien would not get out of way and let the ball go wide. It seem some of these injuries are due to mostly the players themselves apart from Cesc.

    I think after watching last few games on Chelsea, Manchester United the premiership is their for taking.Losing to West Brom and Drawing to Sunderland hurt more than Losing to Chelsea at Home. We need to be ruthless with lesser team or we are doomed.

    Arsenal today made everyone proud and let hope we get our players in one piece from International Games.

  28. meditation says:

    If you watch the tottenham game again he wasnt pointing to chamakh to make the run. He was pointing to denilson to pass it to chamakh thats why his pass was so instant. Denilson when he made the pass to arshavin didnt look. It was a good pass from arshavin but for me its a lazy trait some of his first time passes. He needs to establish his authority more on games ,demanding the ball. I wrote on here a while back about the defensive mind of this team.They struggle in defence and attack at set pieces because of there defence mind set,because if you achieve being the best defence in certain aspects you then know how to achieve the best attack against other defences in same aspects.Its not a coincidence that most players who benefit from set pieces are defence minded.There are not enough defence minded players which causes a physical chain reaction which spreads out the arsenal team rather than compact and as a unit. In my opinion a couple more defensive minded players are needed who dont know how to attack but defend and pass it too the attacking players. Wingers are needed because people who play in the hole have grown up avoiding alot of defensive tasks hence arshavins half arsed games. Thats why were seeing two types of games from arshavin when really in his true role we would see the clinical aspect and he wouldnt be exposed to the left wing duties. Having players or trying to play players in different positions is a double edge sword.PROS: Unpredictable,strength in depth, a wider variation of vision, thoughts and imagination,rotation,unity, greater possibilitys,balance. CONS: Imbalanced,confusion,inconsistency,variations of doubt,unfocused on job in hand,predictable,basics forgotten because your trying to do more than the simple and many more. The players who fans have disliked have been victims of this confusion and because the players are young it takes more time for them to grasp all these dynamics unless your mature like fabregas or wilshere or the big players from early. Hopefully it comes together but i feel it will take a few more years for them to become one within themselves then as a team. That can be the problem building a team with younger players and as adventurous as arsene is being.The managers have to do better with being strong and disciplined.I hope ARSENE isnt becoming graham taylor “DO I NOT LIKE THAT”. He needs to stay focused and calm because arsene and pat rice are starting to look like graham taylor and phil oniel.The substitutions look like panic actions rather than a calculated, well thought out move. I think arsenes feeling the pressure.Especiallly with all these justification interviews he has been doing recently. I think he doesnt need to give a fuck. He needs to get stronger and do what he does best which is inspire and help this team succeed.Arsenal, arsene, the players need to stop talking and do. Thats a part of humility in which they are missing and they aim to be humble.DO THAT BY LETTING EVERYBODY ELSE TALK

    • 7masters says:

      Dude you should have at least made gap Despite good points it hard to read you.

    • desigunner says:

      Some excellent points there but I agree with 7masters, if you separate the paragraphs it would be much easier to read. Right now I’m sure many will not read it even though your points are pretty sound.

      I’ve seen the Tottenham incident three or four times and I do feel he was pointing for Chamakh to make the run. When Denilson had the ball Chamakh was deep and not in a dangerous position. Arshavin knew Denilson will pass to him, it’s what Denilson does, and he had already thought of his pass and was telling Chamakh what was expected.

      Of course, we can have different opinions on this but given the way Arshavin puts some first time balls that are not read by his team mates I’ll stick to my version.

  29. ak47 says:

    yup good display for the most,. chelski were lucky with the first and lucky song got shook but some say you create your own luck?
    with hindsight i think wenger made the right choice with the keepers and defence though personally i would have chucked another like vertonghen in, but going into the forth year of injuries to our top players is starting to grate ever so slightly!! is van persies passion for our club partly down to our willingness to keep a crock?

    maybe that was a little harsh, he has done wonders and has tremendous ability.
    but surely buying a few more quality additions wouldnt hurt? would similar signings such as vertonghen, hazard or gourcuff have made any difference in the games recently lost?

    i think they would have, would shavin be as sloppy if he had competition? the same for song. i thought project youth before the start of the season were at a stage where adding quality to 1st squad wouldnt hamper their progress. i really thought he’d spend a little not only as a sign of intent but as a sign he’s prepared for the injury problem. oh well…. my seat belt is well and truley tightened.

    and thank you for reminding me about the corner issue cos i been vexed for a while as to why we unless robins playing cant whip the ball in and have a hard time beating the first man, we seem on the most part to lob it in which baffles the mind considering the players we have!!!!

    • desigunner says:

      I feel the issue isn’t simple. There aren’t many who have the talent that RvP has. Those who have will still take time to adapt to the league. It’s not as easy as buying groceries off the shelf so we can’t really blame the manager for not buying.

      I mean it’s easy to say buy Hazard, or Benzema, or Dzeko or anyone for that matter. But will they really do what we need? How do we judge that?

  30. VR says:

    All and all, we still have a good team and should be challenging for 3rd or 4th. I’m still supporting my team, GO Gunners. After all it could be worse….. we could be in Liverpool’s shoes !!!

  31. arvind says:

    All good points here. I think that there are some that for me stand out. Im still disappointed with Arshavin. His work rate is only good for a quick 3 seconds when he gets the ball. I observed him as usual not tracking back, losing the ball often. shooting from distance to keep himself busy in the game, and luckily not being able to keep pace with Ramires on the break away that was fortunate to be off sides when the ball was played. He is useless when it comes to team defense. He is lazy and a complete waste of money. I know he has a handful of goals this season but I feel that is deceptive to his overall play. I would have subbed Vela for more pace, and width. Also, AA gets knocked off the ball all too easy. At the worst, Vela could do no worse than Arshavin. He is younger and more motivated and finally…more FIT!

    the other point is that I feel that Eboue should have been on the field. Sagna played well and was in a forward position on the wing quite a bit. The difference is that he stays there and just tries his best to cross after cross. Eboue is more adventurous and would make runs into the box and offer a more direct attacking threat I feel.

    Oh well…. I was thinking that overall the game was a fair result of how we played. Of course, the trip to the Emirates would be the real decider on our performance when we have more of our key players back.

    • desigunner says:

      I think you’re being harsh on Arshavin. He’s been very important to us so far this season. He played a big part in the win against Blackpool, scored the winner against Blackburn, created a lot and scored at Partizan, and so on. His goals and assists stats show what he has done. Anyway Chamakh compensates for his work rate. Every team will have one or two players who don’t track back all the time.

  32. Phil23 says:

    All I could think all game was ‘we’re going to dominate them at home with 2 of our 4 missing starters.’ To be honest I think we will go on a winning run after this game and lets not forget that twice last season Chelsea got complacent after beating us and went on terrible runs both times if I remember correctly.

    • desigunner says:

      It’s all about runs. We need a winning streak. Five – Six league games and we’ll be back in touching distance. Won’t be easy, especially with a game against City coming up real soon.

  33. Shrek says:

    Far too many passes around the box ,too much tippy tappy football happens , one of the reasons this works for a Team like Barcelona is because they have in Iniesta and Messi 2 world class players who go directly at defences. In our team we have Arshavin who in his day can do wonders but is far too inconsistent to even be considered on the same level as those two.
    Another thing I agree with you Desi is we are pathetic at set pieces , even Fabregas for all his world class abilities doesn’t have the free kick in his armour , RVP does but he hardly remains on the pitch for anything.
    We need a better defensive midfielder who will just sit back and help out the defence as Song doesn’t seem to be the world class option we need , and Chamakh has to be more direct instead of going down easily in the box for penalties . Why did Wenger not start Rosicky? He could have brought Wilshere on later .He could have had Denilson start in the middle along with Song with Nasri in the Cesc role as he relishes being there and Rosicky on the right .Why does Wenger take so long to substitute any player…….? Our defence has to be better organized .Fabianski had a good game IMO, should do good things to his confidence although he could acted a little more alert during the first goal as there was no other place Drogba might have tried to put the ball in .No world class keeper could not have done anything abt the free kick, it was that good. We need such raw power in our shots at times, Rosicky used to have that but has lost his mojo :-). We seriously need to start trying to score from distance.
    We tried but couldn’t.

    • desigunner says:

      It would work for us if we had RvP and Cesc. On Sunday, Barca were missing Xavi and Villa and were only able to draw at home against Mallorca despite dominating. These things happen.

      I can’t see Barca winning at Stamford Bridge with 5-6 key players missing.

  34. Ajinkya says:

    we will have to sign ‘he-men’ for our team in january.

  35. Gbenga says:

    Much as no one wants to say,Mike Dean was a disaster y’day.Appaling that Mlouda,Essien,Drogba got away with those blatant fouls without even a free kick. Then Ramires foul on Chamack was a penalty.

    • desigunner says:

      I agree with you Chelsea got away with a few fouls. But I don’t think that would have affected the result much.

  36. winston says:

    I thaught we played well enough to win or at least get a point.I am not sure what Song is doing making forward runs trying to score goals.He should be the defensive holding mid fielder. Diaby for me is a waste of time.Can some one please tell me when was the last time he really made a difference to the out come of the game.In mitigation I think we should take heart we turned up for it but didn’t have a little luck.The truth is without Ces and finishing skills of RVP we will always struggle against teams which shut shop.Some positives to take.I think we will finish in the top four allright.Anything else like the carling or FA cup will be a bonus

  37. Kushagra India says:

    I full agree with you on Arshavin no one picks his intelligent runs except when Cesc is playing,that’s why I believe he should play in the middle when Cesc is absent

  38. critic says:

    from what i see charity had less clearcut opportunity than arsenal and still they managed to win. That says it all. This is the same old arsenal of the season before, fck injuries they r not going away, so it will be always a 2nd string arsenal team, hence get over it.
    How did chamakh missed that rosicky cross??
    all in all same old story…no set piece plan as u said…lots of possession no outcome…3 clear chances missed…chelsea took none of their clearcut chances and scored goals from nowhere…
    even spuds have beaten charity twice now…wtf is with arsenal??
    we should concentrate on our 3rd place, coz it’s going to be tough city spuds they r no more pushovers….and not behind arsenal anymore…

  39. metalhead says:

    One thing I learned after watching the match was that if you want to win titles you need a clinical striker and that clinical striker is not Chamakh. I know he is hard working, good in the air and all but his finishing especially on the deck leaves a lot to be desired. How badly we missed Van Persie. He is the one player in this Arsenal team who can score out of a half chance and that is the kind of player we needed to win this game. Even if Arsenal scored a couple of goals there was no guarantee that we would have won it. Chelsea were in total control even towards the end when they took the foot off the pedal, it looked they could step it up a notch if required. Also, towards the end Arsenal had given up on defending. They were all over the place.

    All in all I think it was a decent display by Arsenal. But one feels Arsenal, at least with this current squad haven’t crossed the bridge from good to great.

    I wish we can have the luxury of having a full strength squad at least from November till the end of the season at least. If that is the case I’m confident we can win something.

    • desigunner says:

      The problem is, there aren’t many clinical strikers around in teams that would sell for a fair price. When someone like Ibrahimovic flops at Barca, how do we know which striker is or isn’t going to work out. Chamakh deserves more time before he is criticized.

      • metalhead says:

        Well, in all honesty Ibrahimovic is a grossly overrated player. But you’re right it’s easy to be critical he probably needs more time. I still feel Chamakh is better suited to play a support striker’s role not as an out and out striker. I’d be the happiest person if he can prove me wrong.

  40. CestLaVie says:

    btw, Jack Wilshere is on twitter. He tweeted a picture of him verifying that it is the real deal.

  41. shooter says:

    This has only a vague connection with our last game, but there are two thing that i’d like to point out:
    1.Sunderland-Man Utd. Did you see that game? Suddenly I feel that Arsenal played excellent there. Sunderland could’ve won the game with Utd by at least two goals…
    2.Am I the only one who feels that PL has become a very good place for butchers this season? Did you see the horrible tackles from De Jong and especially the one from that lunatic called Karl Henry? De Jong wasn’t even booked but fortunately Henry got send off, thank God. I think the FA should really do something against those horrendous fouls. Referee training, maybe, a big suspension for Mr. K.Henry, perhaps? This should help Arsenal a lot…

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah Sunderland completely dominated United. Once again shows how difficult it is with a few key players missing.

      I still maintain we didn’t do well but our defenders were superb in that game.

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