I am sure there will be many pundits around this week with advice for Arsene Wenger on how Arsenal can beat Chelsea, and the first one to weigh in is the ex-Gunners star Charlie Nicholas, who believes that we need to flood the midfield to stifle Chelsea’s counter-attacking force.

“Arsenal should play with two holding midfielders, because that’s exactly what Chelsea will do,” Nicholas told Sky Sports. “They’ll come to the Emirates and they’ll stick Nemanja Matic in there and they might stick John Obi Mikel or Kurt Zouma in there too, and Arsenal need to counter that.

“That might mean playing Aaron Ramsey slightly out of position, slightly right of Francis Coquelin, who has been very impressive lately, and I’d just ask him to sit in there when Arsenal don’t have the ball.

“Wenger might have to consider sacrificing Santi Cazorla for that to work, but I’d just like two midfielders to sit and try and control the middle, where Cesc Fabregas will be, and Eden Hazard – the ultimate danger – will be floating about too.”

“This is the best Arsenal have been playing in five or six years, and I think the players sense that. The squad’s got its best balance and the best competitive edge for years.

“We’ve got Theo Walcott on the bench, Jack Wilshere on the bench – there’s great talent throughout the squad.

“Sure, they’re getting a little bit of luck here and there, but they made it count against Reading and they move on to another final. It’s not about how you play in the semi-final, it’s about getting the job done.”

I think that comment should be the same for this game against Chelsea. We are all desperate for Arsenal to beat Mourinho’s team (and Fabregas!) and I for one don’t care how we win it as long as we get the three points at the end of the day. Wenger can play with 10 midfielders as far as I’m concerned, just so long as he finally outwits the Portugese twat!

Tags Chelsea Mourinho Wenger


  1. Id say the key would be to score the 1st goal.
    Need to try more shots from outside the box….and from the Man U game I’d say the defenders and Holding midfielders play an important role going forward..cos Man U guys didn’t realise the amount of space they were given going forward with Chelsea concentrating on man marking the rest of the midfielders.
    Also chelski are very conscience of players getting to the byline to cross, will do whatever possible to prevent that.. The Belerin goal vs Liverpool myt be what we need – the Full back to cut in and shoot..
    MU 70% ball pos and no goals – means Mou doenst care how much of the ball you have so long as you don’t create quality chances.
    Hate Morinhou’s tactics….

    1. We’re talking about a team that played Matic and Zouma at home. I am almost 100% certain that he will do the same against us since it worked so well against Man Utd.

      I love how our midfield looks when Ozil and Cazorla pull the strings together but we have to be realistic. With those two and Coquelin in midfield we will be destroyed. Debuchy is in no shaoe to play a decent EPL team let alone go head-to-head with Harard. Bellerin has amazing talent and potential but is not ready to handle Hazard without someone like Welbeck helping him out.

      Coquelin will have his hands full with Oscar and Fabregas and likely to sit centrally and cant be expected to stop Hazard cutting in and linking up with those two. We need another midfielder who is prepared to stay on the right and stop Hazard’s marauding runs. The only man capable of doing so is Ramsey. One of Cazorla and Ozil has to be sacrificed, and I think Ozil is more capable of breaking down Zouma and Matic.

      Giroud has been in terrific form but Cahill and Terry will be able to deal with him easily especially considering that Matic and Zouma will cut out most service through the middle. Our best hope of winning is soaking in the pressure and by counter-attacking through Sanchez and Welbeck cutting in from the wings.

      Bellerin Koscielny Gabriel Monreal
      Ramsey Coquelin
      Welbeck Ozil Sanchez

        1. Someone should have sent that to Owen, you only have to look at it and know most players would hit that ball out wide.. a few bad players would have just layed the side ways pass off. To hit the ball inch perfect for Sanchez with four players in line of fire and a further two around Sanchez… not many can see that kind of pass and fewer still can succeed. Owen you dumb son of a Beach!!

      1. i would go a bit diffrent i would stick depuchy at the back and go 442 rotating to 433 as needed
        ozil ramsy coquelin carzola

        Played a hard match this evening and got man of the match agaist a very pacy counter attack team that uses long balls we were 2 down in the first 15 minits i moved down to a defencive role it was hard as ilike to play in a compact passing game i stock to it i worked hard we ended up wining 6 4 the amount of interceptions and headrs i got to i surprized myself hahaha love football

  2. But they work…he’s successful with them…Why be a hater for the sake of being a hater…surely you’re better than that…right?

  3. I did not watch the game against Reading (and I don’t like watching replays), so I can’t tell how well Debuchy faired; otherwise I’d have preferred him to Bellerin against Chelsea, since Bellerin is more adventurous and Hazard is never the man to be left alone for a second.

    Somehow, I’d like the German Rhino to start, not Gabs, because of his physical attributes (which he annoyingly hardly uses to his advantage. With koscielny next to him and Le Cock in front, he’d do just fine (I’m only worried for his agility, otherwise he has a way of reading games nicely).

    The LB position? Monreal (hoping he’s fit). In the midfield, like I said, the importance of having our very own Furious Cock cannot be overemphasized. But I do think he should be paired with Ramsey, while Santi takes the sole playmaker role with Ozil on the bench.

    Upfront, we should have a front three of Sanchez, Giroud and Welbeck. And in goal, it’s definitely the guy whose sh*t is always clean: DJ Ospina.

    I think with the above team, we can make Maureen strip for us.

  4. We need to tighten the midfield up considerably but I don’t think dropping Ozil or Cazorla is the best way to do that. I’d be tempted to play one of them out of position on the left and switch Alexis onto the right. Versus Hazard I’d like his tenacity there to fight against his skill – plus it means Hazard has to worry more going back towards his own goal. Bellerin back into the team, same with Monreal. Giroud up top. CM of Ramsay + Coq with Ozil/Cazorla rotating in the number 10.

    What will most likely happen though is the team we saw against Liverpool with maybe the only swap being Gab in for Mert if he’s injured. Wenger will ask Ramsay to defend Bellerin on the right and Ozil and Cazorla will both play deeper so we become more of a conventional 4 – 5 – 1 instead of a 4 – 1 – 1 – 3 – 1.

    Bottom line – if we can get the first goal we can win. Conceding early would be a nightmare. This game will come down to who can break the deadlock.

  5. The reason Zouma started was to neutralize Fellaini, it didn’t have to do with being outwardly defensive. We’re more likely to see Mourinho’s standard XI as he’ll try to press high to rob us of te ball in high areas or Fabregas moving to no.10 to put Ramires alongside Matic to hinder the counter attack

  6. I think I read Charlie Nicholas’s article on Bleacher Report(BR), yesterday. And I did comment on his opinion on Arsenal starting 2DMs for our Emirates Stadium Chelsea game, to counter the Blues who are believed will start with 2DMs for the game. I agree with him on Arsenal starting 2DMs for this game. But for his two footed better ball retention, I prefer Cazorla to the erratic ball retention Ramsey to pair Coquelin to shield our back four. Ramsey often gives the ball away. He can’t do holding job efficiently against Chelsea. But since he is a goal scorer, the boss should start him. But confine him to his box to box attacking midfield job to score a goal for Arsenal. Ofcourse Arsenal have the capacity to beat Jose Mourinho’s Blues outfit at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening. And I believe our beating Chelsea without any iota of doubt in my mind. The Gunners will comprehensively beat the Blues. Let us wait to see the boss Gunners update before I will proceed with my further comment.

    1. They’re gonna leave us with 80% possession expect Ozil to play as well, we need him to create chances none of our players are capable of

  7. If Arsenal lose, the EPL title is gone.
    But if Chelsea lose they are
    still in a strong position.
    For that reason I think Arsenal will
    be the more desperate side and edge it.

  8. To beat Chelsea, Arsenal need to be fast on counter. To do this, Ramsey needs to release ball on time. Hazard needs to be held. And defense should be tight. Arsenal good luck

  9. I think Debuchy n Walcott should start coz most probably Mourinho will park the bus n let us have the possession. So Matic n Zouma may start. Its really difficult to penetrate through the middle. Our attack should come from wide, n Sanchez n Walcott r the best options. Bebuchy s more experienced n solid defensive player. We should get the lead n after 70 mins we should replace Walcott for Bellerin.

    1. not many teams can score against Chelsea when they play defensive deep at their small ground and are full of energy.

      the few who have taken advantage when Chelsea do play like that have done it one way. they pin Chelsea back, pump the box with crosses and passes with numbers in the box.

      that means getting width from the FBs and using the top 3 down the middle. that means playing ramsey over Walcott because Walcott attacks space behind. there will not be space for him. ramsey is better in tighter areas.

      we could also use bellerin pace in defence, especially counters and against hazard.

  10. How Arsenela can beat chelsea?? Easy, swap coaches 🙁 🙁 🙁
    One always beats the other 🙁

  11. the pace of theo is needed in this game. can we not use the little mozart at some stage in this game. theo loves to score against the chelsea bus

  12. I think a full fit jack wilshere would do alongside coquellin,carzola behind giroud Sanchez left welbeck right…though seeing that jack os not yet match fit I’d take a chance with either chambers or Ramsey…a disciplined Ramsey!…jack can get a sub on

  13. To avoid motivating the other
    team, Wenger and Mourinho
    always engage in a week long
    love fest heaping praise on each other 🙂
    Wenger ” Jose is the best I love him like a son”
    Mourinho ” Arsene is the greatest, my role model”.
    Bleh 🙁 Let the mind games begin.

  14. Charlie Nicholas is wrong. You can counter one tactic by doing the same. That is what a ten year old would do when playing chess for the first time.

    But he does have a point on sacrificing someone. But he has the wrong footballer. It is Ramsey who needs to be sacrificed.

    Arsenal best chance is to play ozil and santi in the middle. I remember a CL final between barca and united. After united got beat fergie said afterwards that his team couldn’t get the ball from Xavi and iniesta. His team was starved out of the game.

    Our best two CMs at maintaining possession are ozil and santi. Ramsey is great in the middle and personally I love the Rambo ozil combo. But Ramsey can lose the ball trying something too clever.

    Suppose Wenger can play him on the wing because bellerin is just awesome. He will make overlaps, make up width and add to the attack. He will occupy hazard by pinning him. Sure hazard out wide will needs some doubling up but bellerin should be one of the few who has the attributes to silence hazard.

  15. Good news is that all three Chelsea strikers are injured. That means Cesc may start as false 9. Hazard as LW. Willian as RW. n Oscar as CAM. So there is more scope for Hazard to cut inside n shoot n he vl get lot of through balls from Cesc n Oscar. So Debuchy n Le Coql should neutralize the left side attack from Chelsea as they try to attack from the wings. Monreal n Ramsey should Neutralize the right side attack. We need pacy CB’s so it should be Gabriel not mert. Ozil n Giroud should put through balls to Sanchez n Walcott as its very difficult to attck them through the middle. Hopefully we will win it by 2-1. All the best Gunners…

  16. The lineup:
    Debu kos gab monreal
    Arsenal 1-0 chelsea

  17. Arsenal can beat Chealsea, the only problem is; Mourinho always beat Wenger, which means as far it is wenger, we don’t stand a chance.
    Talking about strategy, I’ll pick a 4-4-2 formation judging from united game. Jose will surely defend knowing how Arsenal always play and will make use of counter attacks with Hazard and drogba breaking free.
    The back four should be Bellarin, Per, Kos and Monreal. I chose Per over Gabriel simply because per is more compose and we really need composure. Also if we’re playing 4-4-2, per will be given enough support. The next four should be: ozil, Ramsey, francis and Alexis. Here, Ramsey and francis will be more or less immobile while Ozil and sanchez to the creating and cuTting job. The top two obviously Giroud ahead and Danny slightly behind. This way chealsea will be outplayed and with luck, ozil and sanchez will produce enough threat 4rm the sides forcing Ivanovic to mind his business.
    The moment we play one CDM we’re dead because Jose will make oscar and hazard rubbish our back with the help of Cesc and before you know it we’re sorry.
    Lastly, I pray this time wenger borrow some sense of tactical substitution because that is very important. Looking forward to a Record-breaking Matchday!

  18. Honestly I don’t think Ozil can shine in this type of match because it will be too physical for his liking. You can be rest assured that 3 out of Mikel, Matic, Zouma and Ramirez will play in this match. They will snuff life out of Ozil.

    I think we need Gabriel and Coquelin to start in this type of match.

  19. We should find a tactics to counter



    Because that is what I xpect, if mourinho could park the bus at home against a uNited team hit by defensive-injury crisis

    He will do exactly that against an inform Arsenal away.

  20. Some positions are certain

    RCB-Gabriel (Per is injured)
    LB- Monreal
    RB -???

    DM- Coq
    CM- ???

    LW- ???

    CF- Giroud

    In RB its either Debuchy or Bellerin
    benefits -good offensively, pacey
    Demerits – inexperienced, prone to committing foul and yellowcard

    Benefits- Experienced, good defensively, an okay offensive player
    Demerits- not 100%match-fit

    Benefits- better tackler, can work in a Double DM play.. Outside shot threat.
    Demerits- average ball retention and control

    Benefits- good ball retention and control, nice ball distribution
    Demerits- lack of height, poor tackler, lacks physicality

    Benefits- goal-threat,pacey,takes attention off his teammates n creates space with his movement
    Demerits- hardly support defense.

    Benefits- has it all n supports defense
    Demerits- except he tends to hold the ball that bit too much.
    More effective through the left than the right.

    Merit- support defense, can join santi n coq in midfield
    Demerit- cnt penetrate from the rightwing like a true winger because he isn’t hence lil or no offensive threat.

    Cazorla – same as Ramsey.

    Merit- preferred position
    Demerit- none

    Merit-good dribbler,creator
    Demerit- limited space to create from d wing, not strong enough to get past Ivanovic n Willian consistently, offers lil support to defense.

    Ramsey- same as in RW

    Santi-same as in RW

    Merit-creativity, can drag matic,zouma/mikel from the middle with his movement off the ball especially when he is man-marked bcos he ll be.
    Demerit- not a goal-threat as he hardly shoots and always looks for the pass.

    Merit- okay passer, goal-threat, support defense
    Demerit -cant split defenses open like Ozil does with his pass.

  21. My only comment on the Chelsea game is to leave Per on the bench. Having said that he`ll play and score the winning goal Haha!

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