Football is a funny thing and can do strange things at times, take last season in the Premier League as a prime example. One of the odd little quirks in the game is how most clubs tend to have what we call bogey teams and Arsenal are no different.
It may be just a coincidence when you seem to always struggle against a certain club, because the runs always come to an end sooner or later, but I think it does sometimes become an issue for the players and managers and can become something of a mental issue as well.
The situation with Arsenal and Chelsea is a bit different, because for the last 20 years it has either been for one or the other, with the first 10 years under Arsene Wenger seeing us dominate the Stamford Bridge club, never losing and winning 10 out of 19 matches up until August 2005.
But the pendulum then swung and the Gunners have had a miserable time against our London rivals. We may have beaten them in the Community Shield, when Wenger finally got the better of his fierce rival Jose Mourinho, but we have not won one of the last nine Premier League meetings and that needs to change.
The boss feels that the time is right for that to happen and he even suggested in an Arsenal.com report that the tide could turn again and see us become their bogey team once more instead of the other way around.
He said, “I explain it by the fact that they always had strong teams. Maybe we have a hurdle to overcome. It’s what you call an inconvenient fact.
“But a quality of a team is to change things – when you have an opportunity to change things, you take it. We have a chance to reverse what’s happened in recent years against Chelsea. There were periods where we won always, periods where we couldn’t beat them, so let’s hope we go into a new era where we can deliver.”
Do you think today will mark the beginning of a new era for Arsenal and Chelsea?