Arsenal played well against Chelsea, and we HAVE progressed!


It has always been said that when posterity records a historical event, the conclusions drawn from that event depend on who wrote what. It never ceases to amaze me how the media and some of our own fans end up with a completely subjective and negative view of a good performance put in by our Arsenal players.

I watched our Chelsea game yesterday from start to finish and in the game I watched, Arsenal did everything but score a goal. We dominated the game and wanted the win – while Chelsea wanted a point. We played the League leaders off the park, and made their best player, Eden Hazard, disappear for ninety minutes. In fact, when the final whistle was blown, Chelsea players were jumping with joy. Their captain John Terry jumped the most, to the point that I started wondering if they had just won the title at the Emirates. In other words, the almighty Chelsea were so scared of us that a point gained was viewed as triumphant. So why then would I read the papers and see headlines like ‘Arsenal Cannot Win Title With Giroud in Attack’, ‘Cesc Fabregas Shines on Arsenal Return’, ‘Arsenal Needed to Ask Different Questions of the Chelsea Defense’, ‘Ten Years Without a Title is Boring’, amongst many others. Am I missing something here? Was it QPR that we played against? Did we lose the game? Did we play against ten men? Were we dominated on our own home ground? Why is a draw against the best and most defensive team in the league being spun as a loss? Okay I get it….almost. The media doesn’t like us – and they sure like their talking points.

When the world hates on you out of habit, you can almost understand that. But when your own fans begin to ‘trash talk’ your own club, when you are performing well and above expectations, you have to be pissed off – and that is exactly how I feel. I was on this forum yesterday reading the article that reviewed the Chelsea game and while the review was balanced as I expected, I could not believe how negative and despondent some of our own fan’s responses were.

Again, could it be our thwarted sense of entitlement that has us feeling we SHOULD have won the game? SHOULD? Have you guys ever analyzed the different players in these two clubs? Let me draw your attention to a few things you may have missed. This Chelsea team cost a lot more than ours to assemble. Going by how much they spend on players, they should be the ones wincing in pain for not thrashing us. Aaron Ramsey who played on the right wing yesterday cost 5 million pounds. His opposite number in Chelsea (Willian) cost 25 million pounds. Francis Coquelin, our new midfield hero is a youth player that cost us around half a million pounds. Nemanja Matic cost Chelsea 25 million pounds.

Santi Carzola cost us 11 million pounds and Ramirez cost Chelsea 23 million pounds. Should I keep going? This is a total mismatch but we were so good that you wouldn’t realize it. Chelsea bought their right back Ivanovic for 9 million pounds way back in 2008. Hector Bellerin stood toe to toe with him yesterday and totally marked Eden Hazard out of the game. In fact my six year old was asking if Hazard was playing. Hector is a recently promoted youth player that cost us around half a million pounds. Given the price at which these different teams were assembled, a game against Chelsea should be your typical David versus Goliath story. But that is no longer the case. Imagine us jumping with joy at drawing with Sunderland? John Terry was ecstatic over a point! Maybe drawing with Arsenal these days is now the equivalent of winning a trophy? And to that I say thanks for the compliment.

Chelsea won the league in the first half of the season. They only need five points now to get over the finish line. Nobody can stop them getting those points. We spent the least and came the closest and for that, we should be respected and not ridiculed.

I can understand fan disappointment at not winning the game but our reactions should be measured and intelligent. Arsenal has grown in leaps and bounds within a year. Some of us may not understand what progress means, so maybe we should take them through it. Progress for Arsenal means going from losing to Manchester City 6-3 last season to beating them 2-0 this season. Progress means thrashing Liverpool 4-1 this season when only last season, they beat us 5-1. Progress means winning the FA cup after nine trophy-less years and being on course to win it yet again. Progress means having Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Thomas Rosicky on our bench. Progress means having no room for Lucas Podolski on our bench. Our opponents have spent hundreds of millions of pounds and are desperately hoping for a fourth place qualification. I mean, 65 million pounds for Angel Di Maria? 35 million pounds for Elaquim Mangala, a back up centre back? And we are the ones being criticized to death for not winning the League? So much for objectivity. We need to wake up and start telling the truth. We need to start writing our own historical accounts of what is happening in football today, or our haters will do it for us – and you all know what that means…..


Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria

Tags Bellerin Chelsea Coquelin Matic


  1. i agree with this in the sense that if you compare the two clubs in transfer fees- its a large divide.
    the progression ive seen is the emergence of coquelin bellerin and monreal plus ozil finding his feet (all critical).

    but we need 3 players- cb, dm ,st- lads do we want to make a real splash in champions league-?
    chambers is not near ready against the real elite at cb-an kos prone to injury due to reoccurring problem an merts age- cb is needed
    coquelin is really quite brilliant but one player in that rough an tumble posiion- very risky
    giroud also fantastic but we need something different,

    we dont need to splurge crazy money- 50 should cover it- with our scouts 50 will get us all 3-
    an no not bloody pogba hummels an cavani lol
    -were smarted than united

    1. get khedira on a free transfer(yeah I know he’s not a CDM but a box-to-box midfielder he’d make good back up for both ramsey and coq) and cava-oh sorry I mean lacazette or reus?!

      1. The amount of football Kedhira’s played over the last two seasons would be a concern but if he’s fit in the summer snapping him up for free would be a great move. He’s a 20m player easily. There’s been talk of him wanting massive wages and being a free transfer would allow us to pay him more. But realistically he won’t get ridiculous wages at most club’s anyway. Great midfield presence and could see him playing alongside the likes of Ramsey and Jack.

    2. Of course 50 can get you three players, players like Chambers, Welbeck or, Dibuchy.But can it get you three plateau like Alexis, no it, will surely not.

      1. fabian schar 10 mill
        imbula/schneiderlin – 15 mill (kondogbia would cost alot more)
        lacazette/dybala 28 mill

        just over 50 😉

        1. Oh how I wish it, would work like that.Didn’t Souhampton sold their three star players for a fee more than 20 mil? Didn’t Chambers ( who is not a regular starter at Southampton) came to Arsenal for 16 mil? So Why would Southampton sell their star player for 15 mil?
          And good luck getting
          lacazette/dybala for 28 mill.

          1. u think barca could have got more than 33 mill for alexis?
            you think montpellier could have got more than 10 for giroud?

            the player does have a say in where they go- not highest offer
            its not – oi dybala man city offered 40 mill- all the best u floppy haired rugrat

            1. Liverpool offered £40m for Alexis and he still said no. Being a London club saved us £7m it seems. But of course, we were the better option for Alexis anyways. Far more stable than Liverpool. Think he’d have chosen us even if we played in Durham.

  2. I sound like a broken record but pls release rosicky/diaby/flamini, sell theo/ (we have OX/gnabry/Ramsay) who can play in his position as well as Jenko (bellerin/debuchy are miles ahead). Also sell podolski, the guy is a complete liability, we have sanchez now so we don’t need him.

    We desperately need 4 players this summer (GK/DM/CB/ST) to win this league and these 4 players need to be quality players

  3. Last season we finished 3pts behind Chelsea, and lost only one game more.

    At the moment we’re 10pts adrift of them, we’ve lost four more games, and we’re only one defeat away from equalling last season’s record. Chelsea have four less defeats than last season at the moment.

    Chelsea finished with 82pts last season, and are currently on 77pts, so one would expect them to improve on last year’s points tally. We need 12pts from the remaining 15pts just to equal last years points tally.

    Both teams were also strengthened during the summer.

    No title challenge this season. Last season we were top longer than anyone else. That’s regression, not progression.

    Although we went out in Europe at the same stage as last season, one really has to consider who we lost too. Monaco were the weakest team left, in the midst of an injury crisis, whilst we had almost all our best players available…yet we still lost. So again, that’s regression.

    We badly need to win the FA Cup just equal last season.

    So with the figures I’ve mentioned, and the fact we have a stronger team this season, I am really struggling to see the progression. Yes there has been an improvement in the big games in the second half of the season, but it actually means nothing, once you look at the facts and the figures. Obviously a proper judgement cannot be made until the season ends, but we’re going to have to win all of our remaining games just to slightly improve on last season.
    I would say Chelsea have progressed, but as of now, Arsenal definitely haven’t.

    1. I call bull$hit on your comment. The season is not over. If we win FA Cup and ending anywhere above 4th place then it is progress.

    2. well that is right if you conisder the whole season. However you can’t over look the fact that we had five new players coming in, whilst loosing a solid regular player in sagna, plus the fact that we had mad injuries (worse than usual) possibly due to faitigue after the world cup. If you look at arsenals results since Jan its the best been playing the league for almost a decade.

      1. Don’t fall into his trap. This kind of supporters were the worst thing happening to Arsenal in the last decade. Their negativity and lack of belief in the club/team made it all happen this decade. Fortunately their voice is not loud anymore because no one gives a cr ap on what they have to say. It is OK when you have constructive criticism but when the numbers are in fornt of you and your team plays the best football in the league then you have to wonder why they aren’t supporting Bayern or Barcelona.

        1. Do you even know why people are so negative about Wenger? I am so fed up AKB’s like yourself Budd, that criticize real fans because they dare to question the almighty Wenger, even though there is so much factual evidence to support the claims that Wenger is not good enough any more. You do realize that fans who criticize Wenger, only want what’s best the club. I actually cannot believe that some of our fans get hoodwinked by a few good performances against the big boys. It makes me laugh that people seem really positive about next season after another poor season, just because we’ve finished well. How many times has this happened? Are we seriously going to keep saying the same thing every year “oh well, poor season again, but we finished well, we should push on next season”. But we never push on.

          And please explain one very simple fact. Mourinho strengthened the weak areas of his squad and look what’s happened, why didn’t Wenger do the same? Not only did Wenger not strengthen the weak areas of the squad last season, he refused to strengthen for this season as well! I would so love to hear you defend Wenger on that, and you can’t use the old finances excuse any more.

          No, wait…my bad! I forgot, he did strengthen. Sanogo, Flamini, and Welbeck were those key signings we needed.

          I suppose AKB’s are happy to start the season on the back foot, so I suppose the likes of Sanogo and Flamini, etc, were perfect signings.

          1. Real fans? You? You have no clue what a real fan is. A real fan sticks to the club in bad times and remains humble and anonymous when the team is at its best. Because that means to be a true fan. To be happy when they have a good run and to believe in the future when things are worse.
            As for Wenger I have nothing to add anymore. I did that over the years and luckily people realized what he done for this new Arsenal. It is hard to separate the club from Wenger. It is hard to find a manager anywhere in the world who did so much for a club (a club, mind you, a club not a team) better than Wenger. A club does not consist only the the team that plays. A club revolves around the fans, teams and community. Few good performances will always make me smile. I don’t shout my Arsenal allegiance when we win, I shout it when we lose. That means to be a fan. A real one.

  4. Great article! The person Chelsea should be cheering for is the guy who only had a small cameo yesterday. Roman A.
    Just what I want to do be cheering for the guy with the open wallet.
    Too bad there can’t be control of it because FFP is a joke.

  5. There’s no doubt that this 2015 squad is loads better than the season prior. I’m just frustrated by the lack of planning yesterday. How doe we expect to use our regular attacking methods against a team we haven’t scored on in a couple of years?

    Hector/Nacho stayed back most of the game yesterday which makes sense, given Hazard and Willian. That’s why we really needed the width on offense however we repeatedly saw mainly Rambo cutting in. Rambo had a great game, but I cannot tell you how many times the guy ended up on the left wing. That then stopped us from being able to switch the field because he was on the left and Hector couldn’t push up much with Hazard lurking. Then Ramsey would tire himself out by running back to the right to help Hector or didn’t come back to help him at all. Ramsey is best in the midfield, for the love of god Wenger keep him there!

    I just feel we could have planned our attacking strategies better prior to playing to Chelsea. We didn’t.

    1. We looked most dangerous when Bellerin went forward yesterday. I think Ramsey played well, but in a game like that where you have to stretch the opposition to create space by getting the ball out wide, Ramsey wasn’t the man. Ramsey had to either play in CM instead of Cazorla, or be on the bench. We needed a winger on the right. Walcott is the obvious shout, but of course he doesn’t seem to be in favour, so I’d have expected Welbeck to play there instead. I was a little surprised at Ramsey being selected to be honest, though I really enjoyed his little flicks yesterday. Welbeck isn’t really a wide man either though. He has the ability but comes too central for my liking. I think yesterday, Oxlade Chamberlain would’ve been perfect if he was fit.

    2. Why are u people blaming ramsey for the lack of width?!
      he is a midfielder.. its his natural tendency to come inside.
      Every1 here is too afraid or ignorant to not blame the guy who is at fault for the lack of width… i’m taking about wenger and SANCHEZ btw
      Sanchez drifts in ALL THE TIME (been saying that since the monaco home leg..even Henry conviniently blamed welbeck for the lack of width and not sanchez)

      Well you fanboys may not like it but i’m just stating the facts..

      1. 1. “His natural tendency is to come inside” I know that’s why he shouldn’t play on the wings
        2. “I’m talking about Wenger” did you not see me talk about our lack of tactics?
        3. “and SANCHEZ” I said mainly Rambo for god’s sake because Sanchez really doesn’t do it that often
        4. And if we’re not talking about Ozil, don’t call me a fanboy of anything. I love Ramsey, just not on the wings.

        1. agree with everything except sanchez
          watch the games carefully, 90% of the times he drifts inside. i just don’t get how no one sees that sanchez is the real culprit for lack of width.

    3. Dear @Mesut O-healed, that game was tactically tight with little room for both teams to over commit in going forward. This is the kind of game you lose 1-0 or it ends in a draw. In this kind of game, chances are few for both teams and whoever is more clinical wins. So Wenger got it right. I was itching for walcot to replace Ramsey but now I know why wenger is playing ramsey on the flanks. In the past, the more we attack, the more open we are to counter attack. Each time we played the top teams, we were true to type, attacked like hell and lost. These games are like playing chess. Do you know why hazard went missing for 90 minutes? Because we did not overcommit with bellerin bombing foward. That would have left him with acres of space to tear us apart and the boy is clinical. So it was bound to end this way. We had few chances and so did they. None of us were clinical enough. Per and Ozil had chances and blew it. In these kinds of games, the chances are few and far between. If you noticed, in the last ten minutes after we took off the Coq and brought in Welbeck and Theo, we attacked well and looked like we were going to score but when they countered, they were dangerous as well and we had to foul them on every occasion to stop them. That is how come we picked up three yellow cards in ten minutes. look, this was a tight game featuring two very good teams that did not give the other breathing room. A draw is a fair result.

  6. Always win your home games and at least draw your away games and you should win, I said should win the league.
    Another thing,apart from Real ,Barca or PSG I don’t want to read we’ve been outbid by a any other club for players.No more excuses next season.How many years have we been 2/3 players short?Not anymore I hope. No more lightweights like Gibbs and Walcott. Fihgters with skill like Sanchez. Most of the teams who’ve won the league have toughies in their squad not ballet dances.Old Berkhamp could dish it out. Anyway COYG.

    1. LOL @ fighter with skill like sanchez
      What skill is that exactly?
      losing the ball or keeping it for too long?

  7. I’d love us to do the same at Stamford Bridge next season. We may not have the players we once had but make no mistake, Wenger knows how to set up a defensive team. Wenger managed Arsenal when we only conceded 17 goals in an entire season.

    If we get a big DM in the summer to contrast Coquelin, we’ll be solid. Coquelin is quick, agile and fierce. Perfect for defending counterattacks which is what we have to do most games. But if we’re up against it away from home, someone bigger and more powerful would add a lot more metal to the squad and make is a lot more difficult to break down, especially if they play alongside Coquelin. We’d have a lethal counterattack with Alexis, Welbeck/Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain/Walcott. For this type of game I’d also put Cazorla in over Özil as No. 10. Cazorla has quicker feet and is better defensively too.

    I know we still have a big battle on our hands for 2nd place, but my mind has been on next season ever since we beat Liverpool and secured CL football.

  8. I really want to know, how Tottenham and Newcastle managed to beat Chelsea then?
    If just down to spending power, teams like Chelsea wouldn’t lose to teams like Tottenham and Newcastle and they wouldn’t draw to teams like Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
    If we are going to associate results down to spending power, then teams like Southampton, Swansea, Stoke, Dortmund, Monaco would not have won against Arsenal.

    Spending power is not going to bring you results by itself.You need a manager who is a tactical genius and a manager who reads/know the opponent well enough and bring the best out of his players. City is a better example, if it’s based on spending power City would have been a force in England and Europe.

    It’s down to tactics,everybody knows what the tactics of Mourinho was going to be.Chelsea played Man Utd the previous week and Chelsea had 30% possession, they parked the bus.One would think that the game between Chelsea vs Man utd would give Wenger a good idea how to approach the game but he got it all wrong.

    1. Simple. Chelsea underestimated them. They didn’t underestimated us which is even a bigger compliment. Worth to say though that they were trashed at stamford bridge.

    2. It’s not down to spending power but it’s an element. If you build a squad that costs £300m and are playing a £150m squad then you will have purchased more talent. It doesn’t mean the team on the day is necessarily better but objectively you will have paid to have more talent in the team. Any team can beat any other team on the day – across a whole season though the quality you have is important and it is far easier to buy quality then make it. Money doesn’t equal success but it’s certainly part of the equation.

      Your reflection on the Chelsea team is stupid because Chelsea against us and Man Utd played as a brick wall. Against Southampton, Spurs, Newcastle and other teams they did not. Mourinho isn’t a tactical genius otherwise he’d win every season – he is a guy who has the best possible facilitation for his squad and if he was that great of a manager then this would translate to victory every year. It doesn’t because he can’t get it right every game, his fall back however is having the best defense. He built this defense and it has been proven to get him points from games they deserve to lose. He built a squad as well which can do this ultra compact bus park. That isn’t good tactics – that’s negative tactics. If you choose to draw games then you are not winning either. It was only the situation of this game that made this a good result for Chelsea so stop painting it as something it isn’t. Chelsea are not this perfect team who are unbeatable – they’re just very hard to beat (as is every team) if they choose not to play football. A tactical genius would have beaten us yesterday. He didn’t.

      Also how stupid are you to say City haven’t been a force in England. 2 titles in the past 4 seasons disagree with your assessment. The fact they’ve slipped away this year is funny but not representative of them as a club.

  9. Thank you for a well thought article that highlights the fact it’s not all doom and gloom. I understand both points of view in that we are both not necessarily progressing in terms of points (which is a better signifier then position at times) and that we have improved significantly on the pitch. I’d like to consider a few elements starting with this game.

    Chelsea wanted a draw and played for a draw. In the last 10 years how often have a Chelsea who wanted a draw not got a draw or won? I’d say maybe 2 or 3 times. SO considering they are the champions this year I don’t think it’s hard to say that not winning isn’t a sign we are bad or not good enough but rather that a defense specialist will defend like crazy. AND we still could and should have won but for several times where a great chance was sent begging and wide (i.e. Mert, Welbeck, Cazorla, Ozil). The fact Chelsea were celebrating this draw as a win says everything about the game. The ONLY reason the press isn’t insulting Chelsea for being negative little anti-football shits is because this result has tied up the PL. As I said weeks back this was their last hurdle and they managed to clip it and keep running. It has no real reflection on us as a team because it just reflects Chelsea can kill a game and on a different day we would have won. Before people say “then we should have gone more attacking and just beaten the bus” but you ignore the fact Wenger would prefer the point then a loss and Chelsea were set up for fast counters. All their attacks in the game came from counters where we lost possession in silly places. Wenger played 65 minutes with the intention to try and get what he could, then he took off Coquelin and said “we can win this”. And we nearly did. So get over it – we fell just short of a big win, but we were the better team. Take that to heart.

    Second point is the fact that this season was lost far too early because we screwed up royally. At the start of the season we had no real DM. No centre backs (Kos and Mert were out!). We had a tonne of deadweight vying for games. Our best players were all underperforming because of a poor pre-season. We got it wrong. Blame Wenger if you like for that but you then have to credit him for what happened. He saw his mistakes and adapted our style. We scraped by and he slowly adapted and shifted matters until we got injured players back and actually started playing football. Since his tactical shifts and the return of our squad we have been the best team in the PL. End of the day, that’s progression because Wenger changed his position and adapted! Next transfer window he may even adapt more because he’s changed how he thinks on the game now. I wanna see what happens next season with this newly found team!

    Third and most annoying to me is that we talk about that night at the Emirates where we fell apart to Monaco. We didn’t get dominated in that game, we flopped at the key moments. Mertesacker committed suicide for the team and was at fault for 2 goals that shouldn’t have occurred. We still should have managed to go through but just fell short. Anyone saying “it’s not good enough” needs to realise we have no right to go through. This wasn’t a third division team in the FA Cup who are so below us that they can’t win. This is a team equivalent to any top 6 prem team on their day and we happened to meet them on a good one when we totally had a mare. If we didn’t fight back and go out on GD then fine – we were shit – but it’s a cup competition ffs! Do you want to remember that City and Chelsea both went out the FA cup to non PL opponents? Or that NO PL team got further then us and we were the only one to not lose outright? FFS Chelsea went out to a team with 10 men! Get real! Anyone can win in a single game and sometimes things fall the way you need them to. Stop crying over spilt milk and holding it up as the be all and end all.

    In summary – grow up and stop imagining we are entitled to win things. We’re not. Look at things objectively, but look at them both quantitatively and qualitatively. Just because a points total is smaller doesn’t mean you’re not as good, just because you go out of a cup competition against a worse opposition doesn’t mean you’re terrible. Actually assess whether or not the club is building a better squad and whether or not the tactical direction of the club is moving in a positive way. I think you’ll find that we very much are moving in the right direction and if we can win a second FA Cup and stay second in the league then we have improved on paper too.

  10. Uche Edochie, after carefully reading your post with mounting interest, I must confess that it totally captures my thoughts/view on the game. You can’t get everyone to see things your way and we learn to live with that. If we all tied down jobs akin to Wengers, I wonder what the world would be saying about us. Wenger remains the man for the job.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs