Six Things I Learnt from the Chelsea Game by Uche
Looking back at Arsenal’s game against Chelsea yesterday, I must say that our performance wasn’t bad. Of course everybody has an opinion on this game from the positive to the negative but here are a few things that I would say I got out of this game.
1. We Have Improved:
Before, this Arsenal team did not put up a fight against teams like Chelsea, especially last season. In fact, the smaller teams even showed more fight than we did playing against Chelsea. But after last night’s performance, it is evident that we are bolder and better in every aspect. We went from losing 6-0 to losing 2-0 in a very tight game.
2. This was a game of fine margins:
I will be the first to admit that I missed the first half of the game but from what I saw in the second half, we outplayed Chelsea. In fact, they parked the bus and were visibly nervous all through the game. I never expected us to have as much possession as we did – and they only let us have that much possession out of fear that we will hurt them if they came out with all guns blazing. So this is good.
3. Exceptional Quality Made the Difference:
Very often when we lose, we call our manager and players average. But that is not always true. Let us not let anger rob us of our ability to be fair. That game was tight and what won it was the exceptional quality possessed by Diego Costa (the league’s best striker), Eden Hazard (the league’s best attacking midfielder) and Cesc Fabregas (premier league’s best number ten). When you play very well and you get undone by the brilliance of a Luis Suarez or Cristiano Ronaldo, don’t beat up yourself too much. They are the best players in the world for a reason. We had such players once in Thierry Henry and Patrick Viera and they won us tight games too against very good opposition.
4. Jose Mourinho is Tactically Superior to Arsene Wenger:
Believe me, it hurts to admit this particular point but I am at peace in conceding the obvious. Once upon a time Arsene Wenger was the new and unknown kid on the block with all the innovative ideas and he stormed the premier league and won a bunch of titles back when Manchester United dominated everything. But alas, all good things come to an end. No coach or team can dominate forever. Ferguson and Wenger’s dominance was undone by Jose Mourinho back in the day and today, even Jose Mourinho accepts that the competition is fiercer than ever. You only need to mention these three names to get the so called Special One thoroughly humbled. They are Pep Guardiola (who beat him 5-0 in their very first El Classico in la Liga), Jorgen Klopp (who humbled Mourinho 4-1 in a Champions League master class inflicted by Robert Lewandowski) and Diego Simeone (the newest genius manager on the block who won la Liga last season and eliminated Mourinho’s Chelsea from the Champions league at Stamford Bridge by thoroughly beating them 3-1). All three managers are younger and hungrier than Mourinho and have beaten him resoundingly. So managers dominate in cycles and I have made peace with the fact that our boss is no longer the best and may never be able to beat a Mourinho led Chelsea side.
5. Arsenal is not going to win the Premier League:
Our best chance of winning it was last season, but we screwed it up by not buying additional strikers to share the burden with Olivier Giroud. The competition is too fierce now and we are not ruthless enough to win. I don’t see Wenger telling Wilshere or Chamberlain to get into the opposition’s box and try to get fouled so we can get a penalty. But that is the kind of ruthlessness that coaches like Mourinho and Guardiola employ to get ahead when the going gets tough. Guardiola does it regularly with Arjen Robben and Mourinho did it on Sunday with Eden Hazard. Wenger is too idealistic to do stuff like that.
6. Arsene Wenger Loves his Midfielders:
For as long as Wenger remains the boss, he will do things his own way even when he is wrong. The whole world agrees that we need pace and wingers to balance our team. The Galatasaray master class confirmed that much. But Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil will always be in Wenger’s starting eleven and in each other’s way. That is as certain as the rising sun and I am done losing sleep over Wenger’s ways. I will enjoy the game when we play well and sulk when we don’t. Why fight the things we cannot change?
Have a good one folks. Peace.