What is the key difference between struggling Arsenal and on-fire Chelsea?

Chelsea beat Arsenal at Stamford Bridge yesterday with a dominant display, and now look even more certain to win the Premier League title, but what is the difference between our sides?

We are one of only three teams who can boast a win over our rivals this season, but the truth is that we have failed to win a Premier League title since 2004, whereas the Blues have picked up four since then, and look destined for a fifth.

Of course the West London side were bought by a billionaire in Roman Abramovich, and have spent money like no end, but our club is not owned by poor people, and our income is up there with the best in Europe. Is our limited spending the biggest obstacle?

Antonio Conte will become the third manager to guide the Blues to the league title since we last won one, while we have stayed loyal to Arsene Wenger. Interestingly however, this will be their fourth different formation which they won it with.

Didier Drogba has been partially blamed for the shift from the old English 4-4-2 formation, with his strength and hold up play credited with changing the need for two up top. Only one of their title wins came with predominantly using the 4-2-3-1 formation which is used heavily by our side in recent years, and there I cant remember a single game where Wenger has chosen to try and mix that up.

Conte made the decision to disband the previously favoured 4-2-3-1 after the loss to Arsenal this term, and his 3-4-2-1 has worked amazingly, so why cant Wenger look at using another formation?

The Frenchman has also spoken on a number of occasions about how there is nobody available in the transfer market who is better than his current options, so he should have no excuse for not managing to mount a serious title challenge.

We were favourites for a time to sign N’Golo Kante from Leicester last term, and he has probably been the signing of the season, but we chose to move for Granit Xhaka instead, who cost almost the same price. With Kante would it have been us topping the table?

Is their players or squad really 12 points better than ours? Is Kante the difference? Is it down to our predictable tactics? Or is Wenger really the problem?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Chelsea tactics


  1. ger burke says:

    in my opinion the difference between us and chelsea is simple . we have ozil , they have hazard. mediocre versus world class in other words.

    1. gotanidea says:

      This is one of the reasons. Hazard is definitely world class. Ozil is also world class but only in his fans’ minds.

    2. braaf says:

      So Hazard scores one great goal and all of a sudden he”s the best thing since sliced bread?

    3. leo...fourteen says:

      ozil is so mediocre a player..doesn’t make any difference..lazy…jeez….wish we had kross

  2. Uzi Ozil says:

    We have Wenger… A predictable manager. Always pick players he wants leaving out players like Perez and the likes. Someone that stick with same formation no matter who we play. Someone that never really plays to some players strength. Someone that never learns.

    Whereas, Chelsea has Conte. Someone that learns after we humiliated him at the Emirates. He changed the formation and it’s working. He makes early sub when necessary. He gingers his team.

    Don’t get it twisted. I hardly slate Wenger but I have had enough and am so pissed. .. He was a great manager but not anymore.

    We don’t deserve this. Do we? Same script over a decade.

  3. Juhi McLovin says:

    I think we are giving thw Chelsea match too much attention. We won them at home and lost away, that happens.

    Games we really should take a look at are:
    Watford H 3 points lost
    Bmouth A 2 points lost
    Everton A 3 points lost
    Spurs H 2 points lost
    M’borogh H 2 points lost
    Pool H 3 points lost

    In other words we were already trailing 3 points at the beginning because Wenger wasn’t ready for th season. That’s also 10 POINTS lost at HOME. That is absolute disgusting.

    Note that we have scored in every single of our defeats so we can score alright. But we can’t defend for sh**. We have lost 11 points after we scored the first goal.

    Simple issues but Wenger is neglecting that. Is he even aware of this? Obviously not because didn’t even bother to look at Santis replacement. 32 year old player with history of injuries in the past 12 months. Of course he was gong to get injured. Not even going to start with this apathy concerning tactics. That’s a whole another chapter.

  4. mark says:

    Arsene Wenger is the difference and here’s why:

    We have a manager that accepts being in the top 4 as success.

    No real or true winning mentality.

    Has his favourites.

    Tactically predictable (or inept).

    Revered for his past success.

    Too soft with players.

    No grit.




    And above all, we have a club that accepts his 4th place mentality because they are making a profit.

    I’d rather be a club that wins the title and then has a difficult season that a club that accepts 4th place consistency as ‘success’.

    Until he goes, we are not going to win a title again. Sad, but true.

  5. Bolly from Borehamwood says:

    The key difference is the manager.

  6. mehmoud says:

    A manager who is so concern about money,he will not sign good quality players because he does not want to pay 30-40millions. And yet there are so many players on the weekly wages list who does not deserve to be at Arsenal.why not selling them and at least buy a real striker.
    Can someone tell me when Walcott will upgrade himself to the next level, will he ever improve at all. As long we have ox,theo Gabriel and of course
    Useless RAMSEY .sell them and bring new breeds,Because they will never improve,we will always be behind as we have this bunch.
    Sourness make a comment about Theo regarding the first goal ,he was walking around he didnt use his brain where he shouldlace himself,he is the same game after game,

  7. HA559 says:

    Mentality and willingness of certain players to win the ball back. More players (certainly the ones in attack) pull out of challeneges than making them. Chelsea have more ball winners than Arsenal.

    This is why it’s important for Welbeck to get back in this team and certainly before Bayern Munich game. Put him and Sanchez and let the others fight for the third spot, although I think it’s time to play Perez.

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    Chelsea changed their manager, we didn’t, that’s the difference. Everyone knows exactly how to setup against Arsenal, because Wenger never changes anything. Conte is new to the league, so it will take a while for other teams to cotton on to his tactics. I’m sure next season, it’ll be a little tougher for Conte.

    Even if one hadn’t faced Wenger for something like eight years as a rival manager, those preparation notes from eight years ago would still be applicable today. That’s how embarrassing Wenger has become from a tactical point of view. Arsenal are not always the easiest team to beat because we’ve always had quality players that can turn a game, but Arsenal are definitely the easiest team to prepare for.

  9. Break-on-through says:

    I think one of the key differences between the two is Chelsea obviously practice fowls. They have the players taking turns, rarely you see the same player make consecutive fowls. They are clever with it, half the time it looks like they tried for the ball but end up just blocking off a player. Mourihos Chelsea was very good at this stuff, and it looks like Conte has brought his own dirty/gritty side of game along with him. When Wenger arrived, he gained a side that was one of the best at this type of stuff, then the foreign players learned a bit too. It’s all gone now, never would Wenger practice these arts, but allot of the winning teams seem to be very good at it all the same.

    1. HA559 says:

      We don’t have that in our game, if we did Coquelin woul’ve wiped out Hazard instead of bouncing and spinning of him yesterday. I don’t like to see this continuously but sometimes you need to do it.

      Mustafi was the only player who got yellow card yesterday.

  10. HA559 says:

    Also to add, our midfeld is completely broken this season. There is no fluency in midfield. The ones playing there don’t know how to play with one another.

    I think we’re going to need a big summer window.

    We need a ready made leader to come into the team. Unless you get a vocal player another one like Mustafi nothing will change on the pitch. You sure know Wenger will sign that new contract so he won’t go

    We need a GK, one fullback, CMF and striker.

    Before that you have to cut your loses on some players.

  11. Laois Gunner says:

    Abramovich is the key difference between Chelsea and Arsenal, Chelsea have him and we have Kroenke and Gazidis etc. Abramovich attends Chelsea games and punches the air when they score and celebrates with those around him when they win, which goes to show that he cares passionately about his club and therefore invests for success. Kroenke on the other hand views Arsenal as a profit generating vehicle only and isnt really bothered about results on the pitch as long as we qualify for the champions league each year, and the income that brings. AFC are just a part of his money generating portfolio along with other mediocre sports teams with loyal fan bases.
    When Mourhino lost the dressing room last season and Chelsea floundered Abramovich outed him and Chelsea got Conte and he has turned the team back around, we have had mediocrity for the last decade but Wenger has been retained because he tows the company line and doesnt rock the boat, while we have the combination of this board and manager we can forget about winning the Premier League for the foreseeable future, they invest for profit not success and Wenger is complicit in that.

  12. BUR says:

    We have an ineffective manager who is so outa touch. Players who can’t and won’t tackle. We have a squad of wage collectors and not club men.

  13. Bobbyraz says:

    What’s next for our beloved club? Will Wenger leave on his own I highly doubt it, I think death is the only thing that can free arsenal from his bondage, I’ve been saying it for a while now its not even abt signing players anymore the tactics, favouritism, late sub’s, its all just too much how can one manager be so terrible how can one club have so many average/lilly livered players Walcott, ozil, jenkinson, sanogo, chambers, Gabriel, Ramsey, mertesacker, giroud, Gibbs, monreal. How can one club have 11 terrible/below par players my God we need a revamp starting with the dictator, God help arsenal fc

  14. DANDY GUNNER says:

    This was like a training game for Chelsea. Arsenal players looked clueless. But the real difference is our Manager who lost control and gets himself sent to the stand when he knew we had a very important game coming up against the league leaders Chelsea. This loss has ended Arsenal,s part in the 2016/2017 Premiership. This is down to Mr Wenger and the Board by not buying TOP Quality Player’s. The present squad is just not good enough and the evidence was there for all to see on Saturday against Chelsea.

  15. leo...fourteen says:

    I wont wanna come back here n see yall celebrating when we even go 20 games unbeaten…I dnt care if we turn to be another below par united team after ferguson..I want wenger to leave…he is a barrier to our team’s development… im wondering how sanchez would relish playing under conte..even hazard wud look like a confused monkey shud he join this arsenal team..

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