Here we have our usual “View from the Enemy” ahead of our big London derby against Chelsea this weekend. Arsenal haven’t beaten Chelsea in our last nine League meetings and we certainly don’t want to make that ten on Wenger’s anniversary of 20 years at Arsenal. Although Chelsea have a good recent record against us, the fact is that they have only been playing catch-up, as Wenger’s overall record against our neighbours reads as 19 wins, 19 defeats and 16 draws. Maybe Wenger will make it 20 wins on his 20th anniversary?
Okay, it’s a bit worrying that we played Chelsea on Wenger’s 500th game and his 1000th game, and were soundly beaten both times. But records are made to be broken, so let’s see what Chelsea’s official website had to say about the game……
Saturday tea-time is the appointment for our first London derby of the season away from home. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton begin the build-up to the capital clash…
On Thursday Arsene Wenger celebrated 20 years since his arrival at Highbury in 1996. He might shy away from mentioning any anniversary just before a Chelsea match. After all, his 1,000th game in charge in 2014 could not have fallen any flatter for the Frenchman, as the west Londoners served up a 6-0 thrashing.
His 500th match, in 2005, was decided by Didier Drogba – the first three points for the Blues against the Gunners in almost a decade. Now it is the Blues who are aiming for a nice, round 10 Premier League games unbeaten against Arsenal. That is the longest run the Alsatian has had to endure against any one club.
Chelsea’s previous best unbeaten sequence against the north Londoners was seven games, achieved twice, between November 1963 and September 1966, then December 1967 and August 1970.
The Blues have won four Premier League matches at the Emirates, more than any other visiting side..
A 20th anniversary traditionally means not a gift of pastry (as one fan at Nottingham Forest this week seemed to think), but China. However Wenger has resisted any yearning for the Yuan and his stint in north London continues, at least till May 2017, the end of his current contract.
He has been in charge more than 10 years longer than any other league manager; the second longest-serving is League Two Exeter City’s Paul Tisdale. In the Premier League it is Eddie Howe, who has been at the helm at Bournemouth for nearly four years.
Over the two decades Wenger has steered the Gunners to nine major trophies, Chelsea scooped 18, with seven different coaches at the tiller.
The capital’s top two clubs do have something in common: losing at home to Liverpool this season. Jurgen Klopp’s men had the better of a seven-goal curiosity on the season’s opening weekend against Arsenal, who are currently unbeaten in four, while Chelsea were bettered 1-2 by the Merseysiders last time out in the league.
Since then the Blues managed a most remarkable comeback at the home of champions Leicester City in the League Cup, eventually winning 4-2. That was the first time in the Roman Abramovich era Chelsea have recovered from 0-2 down to win.
You have to go back to Frank Lampard’s last-minute opportunism on 17 August 2002 at Charlton for the most recent example. Our coach that day? The Foxes’ Claudio Ranieri. This was Leicester’s biggest loss at home for a year. Each of Leicester’s last five defeats at the King Power has now come against teams from the Smoke, including Chelsea, twice.
Saturday’s all-capital clash is the third of the campaign. Last season the Blues finished ‘mid-table’ of the five sides, and Arsenal fourth. The Gunners lost twice on home soil to their neighbours: West Ham and Chelsea.
We came fourth out of five in London but came second in the League! Crazy stats! We really need to change our failures in London derbies this season, starting tomorrow!