I Knew Arsenal Would Bottle It Against Chelsea – That’s Why I Bet On It!

So Arsenal lost to Chelsea. AGAIN.

Arsenal’s record against Chelsea is awful and we all know that against Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger has failed to win once (except in a friendly game masqueraded as a trophy). I believe that in the last decade our only win was at Stamford Bridge when AVB was in charge (I may be wrong). Nevertheless our record is atrocious.

We went into yesterday’s game as league leaders (kind of) and were up against a side badly struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Yet I still felt we’d bottle it.

First of all, Chelsea always show up against us and secondly, we just don’t believe we can beat them. We don’t have the “mental strength” to overcome a physically intimidating side.

I was so convinced that I put a bet on Chelsea to win, with odds of 11/4. The £20 bet gave me a £75 return.

I felt dirty doing it, but Chelsea matches are the closest you’ll get to printing money. When it comes to Chelsea, we bottle it big time.

And so the game started. Things were pretty even until 18 minutes when Mertesacker lost the plot. He made a ridiculous challenge and once the red card came out, the game was over.

Or was it? Ordinarily a 0-0 scoreline with 10 men is difficult but it isn’t impossible to see out a draw. But unsurprisingly we endeavoured to make it harder for ourselves, making mistake after mistake.

The first mistake was taking off Olivier Giroud. Our one striker who is in form and he gets taken off. The one player who could nick a goal from a set piece. Utter madness.

The second mistake was giving the captaincy to Theo Walcott. If anything he should have come off as he is well off form at the moment – and his lack of control or involvement in the game proved that.

And the third mistake was taking off Joel Campbell and not Theo Walcott, when Alexis Sanchez came on.

Yet another Chelsea game where Arsenal gave it their best shot of royalty fucking it up. Maybe it’s better off to just give them the 3 points in the future and rest the players instead.

Does The Liverpool Game Mean We’re Not Genuine Title Contenders?

If you read my post yesterday you would have seen that I wasn’t at all confident about the game against Liverpool. We have been sluggish recently and just about done enough against sides like Sunderland, Newcastle and Bournemouth. Liverpool at Anfield would be a completely different beast, especially with the famous Anfield crowd behind them and Jurgen Klopp’s high intensity game.

In the end it was a pulsating 3-3 draw and it’s hard to assess whether it was a good or bad result.

I had a feeling we would struggle and after 10 minutes a mistake from Theo Walcott (who has been suffering from poor form of late) gave the ball away on the edge of our box – Emre Can’s shot was pushed away by Petr Cech but Firmino – a player who has been inconsistent this season – lashed home from 6 yards out.

Arsenal’s response was positive and 4 minutes later a clever and fantastically executed slide rule pass from Joel Campbell picked out Aaron Ramsey’s run and he smashed the ball home at the near post.

Liverpool took the lead for the second time and it was Firmino once again who scored. Isn’t it just our bad luck that a player who has been struggling for Liverpool recently suddenly finds his form against us?

Again Arsenal equalised when Olivier Giroud smartly poked in an Arsenal corner and the game was 2-2 at the break.

The goals Arsenal conceded were sloppy but we did well to peg it back twice.

After the break Arsenal took the lead on 55 minutes when Olivier Giroud collected Joel Campbell’s deflected pass and minced Kolo Toure to plant the ball into the bottom corner. From then on for the first time in the game Arsenal had a lead to protect and it was a last minute goal from the Welsh Xavi that shared the points.

Probably a fair draw on the balance of play but regular readers will know I don’t care who deserves the points – all that matters in the Premier League is getting points on the board whether you deserve to win or not. Against Newcastle we were fortunate but got the 3 points, and against Liverpool after leading 3-2, surely a side that has aspirations to win the league should be seeing that out?

It was a killer blow when a win at Anfield would have been a huge confidence booster. A last minute goal conceded could be perceived as a weakness and fragility on Arsenal’s part.

So what are your thoughts on the game?

Does coming back against a tough Liverpool side show we are true title contenders?

Or does conceding a last minute goal show that we lack the experience to go on and win the Premier League this season?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Amazing Arsenal Get The Job Done!

What a night for Arsenal!

We all knew the scenario – Arsenal needed to win 2-0 or have a 3-2 win or better. And tonight Arsenal were professional, efficient and clinical.

For the first goal, Mesut Özil played a simply sublime reverse ball into the path of Aaron Ramsey, who crossed from the left for Olivier Giroud to score a header at the near post. The Olympiakos goalkeeper should have done better but no-one cares about that.

For the second, Mesut Özil again was involved with a pre-assist as he played a ball over the top for Joel Campbell. He held the ball up extremely well and played a lovely ball into the path of the big Frenchman to slot in from close range.

Arsenal were in dreamland on 66 minutes when Nacho Monreal’s cross/shot hit Elabdellaoui on the arm and the referee gave the penalty. It’s one of those that would never be given in the Premier League but in Europe anything is possible and the referee awarded the generous penalty.

Again, no-one supporting Arsenal cared and Giroud finished the penalty to give Arsenal a 3-0 lead and all but cement a place in the final 16.

Overall it was an amazing match and one where Arsenal in previous seasons would have slipped up on. Arsene Wenger said knowing what we needed to do was an advantage but against Monaco and Bayern Munich in previous seasons it ended up being a hinderance. I’ve always felt that just playing our football resulted in Arsenal scoring more goals and having a set number of goals to score crippled us. But Arsenal did the job tonight and the players, fans and management should be celebrating tonight.

Arsenal Blow It Again – But This Time They Have Valid Excuses

We’ve seen it many times before, Arsenal are in a position where they could top the league table by winning a match but then bottle it. But to say that happened yesterday would be unfair.

Hey look, I’m as disappointed and infuriated as you are that we didn’t beat West Brom yesterday but it was always going to be a tough day for Arsenal. And let’s look at Manchester City and Real Madrid this weekend – they could have had worse days at the office.

Arsenal took the lead after another Mesut Özil assist, with an emotional Olivier Giroud heading in from close range. The early signs looked good.

But after that it went pear shaped.

And you could consider all the factors as bad luck:

  • Our main enforcer Francis Coquelin got injured and his replacement Mikel Arteta was well off the pace and scored an own goal.
  • Laurent Koscielny gave Rondon far too much space to burst into the box and deliver that decisive cross, which you could possibly excuse him for considering the tragic events of last week.
  • The goal that West Brom did score was a bit of a fluke, lets be honest. Morrison would whack that over the bar 99 times out of 100.
  • The Santi Cazorla penalty – two points here. The first was that there were 2 West Brom players about 4/5 yards into the box before Santi even hit the ball. And the second is obviously the condition of the penalty spot – you can’t blame Cazorla for the penalty spot collapsing.

I would be the first person to condemn Arsenal if they were poor and threw away the 3 points, but considering all those factors that went against us, you can excuse them this time.

Added to that the horrendous injury list we have, it was always going to be an uphill battle yesterday.

Arsenal Have No One Else To Blame But Themselves For Chelsea Defeat

We all know what Chelsea and Diego Costa are all about – in fact we all know what Jose Mourinho is about as well.

Before the game, I predicted that Chelsea would beat Arsenal. We’ve been lame so far this season, especially upfront, and so it proved.

We have no leaders in the team (no change there) and even though this was a Chelsea side in apparent crisis, I had no confidence going into the game at all.

Jose Mourinho is many things, including a top class arsehole, but he has Arsene Wenger’s number and knows exactly how to get to him. From making inappropriate comments in the media which Arsene Wenger was very prickly about in his pre-match press conference, to purposely waiting outside the tunnel to shake Arsene’s hand before the match – Arsenal had lost well before a ball was kicked.

Arsene finds it hard to hide is hatred for Jose Mourinho and in a sport where the top managers excel in mind games, Arsene Wenger falls short. Before going into the match, Arsenal’s mental strength (as it were) was shot.

Arsene Wenger could have been defiant and given Jose Mourinho some snide comments back, but instead by “refusing to rise to the bait” we looked weak and timid. Would Sir Alex Ferguson have responded in such a manner? Of course not, he would have shown some fight.

And so to the game itself. The stupid thing is none of what we saw was unpredictable was it? Chelsea are like a wounded animal, struggling in the Premier League, so it was blatantly obvious they would resort to dirty tactics to get a result.

Jose Mourinho is a winner who does what it takes. Arsene Wenger always wants to win beautifully and sometimes we need to fight and get those 3 points. And by fight, I mean dig in and not respond like Gabriel did.

Yes, Diego Costa is a horrible excuse for a human being and yes, he is a cheating arsehole, but we know what he’s like. We also know Mike Dean is the worst referee when it comes to Arsenal games (remember his record of awarding 11 penalties in 11 games at Old Trafford leading into the 50th game of our Invincibles run?) and he looks for absolutely any excuse to send off an Arsenal player or give unjust penalties.

We should have concentrated on football and let the authorities sort out the histrionics afterwards. The Arsenal player should know that the most important thing is the team and the result so to get sent off is ridiculous.

We have no leaders in the side to take control and tell the players what to do – no Tony Adams figure who knows what’s best for the team on the pitch and understands how the game works. Yes, Costa treads an extremely thin line and he will get his just desserts soon enough – but Gabriel is now missing for 3 games when we badly need central defenders.

Another problem is that we don’t believe. We had a decent opening 15 minutes but never looked dangerous at all.

Seriously, we might as well not turn up to a match against Chelsea because we’ll never get a result against them as long as Arsene Wenger is in charge.