Good morning children of the new forest. It’s 1000 games today. An amazing amount of league games to smash through. So incredible. So amazing.
It’s just a number.
It means nothing today.
Today is not a celebration of Arsene Wenger.
Today is about three points at Stamford Bridge.
Today is about turning over Mourinho.
Today is about proving we can think about an opponent that boasts class and deliver 3 points
Today… we show the world where we are as a Premier League contender.
TODAY, WE DINE IN HELL
Yeah, ok, so the last line was a little over the top, but if you said the first few lines in a Spartan voice, naked, in the living room, powering a kitchen knife into the air… your neighbours would be a impressed, maybe even a touch aroused?
Erotic moments aside, this is a hugely important game for us. Is it about just taking a point? Not for us. It’s about taking the three points. We have to win today. If we do, it kicks us off into a pretty impressive position to take a shot at the league. We’re the underdogs here, that’s great for the boys, but the reality is, we need to deliver today.
We’ve been slow starters this season. Sometimes that’s felt tactical, but more often than not, it’s felt like we’re just slow out of the traps. My main concern today is that we lack mobility and pace around the pitch. As David Hillier said on the podcast yesterday, if Giroud doesn’t hold the ball up, we’re fucked. He did a poor job of that against Spurs. Without a good game from him today, it’s difficult to see where we can get any love… because no one can run in behind… and he’s certainly not going to offer any pace up front.
It’d be great to see us go bold. Chelsea have pace that’ll stretch us. Matic and Hazard are explosive around the pitch and there’s a lot of energy in the middle of the park for them. The great thing from our perspective is they’ve played a big game midweek and Willian and Ramires are suspended. Regardless of how easy it was, they’ll still have had less time to prepare and to recover from it. Mourniho won’t have a tactical master plan wrapped in prep like he normally does.
I’d love us to try something different today. Now, I know the game is important, but if we set up as we have been, it’ll be relatively easy for Mourinho. For me, throw a curve ball in there. Maybe give Gnabry a go out wide… we need some pace. Combine that with Chamberlain and we have a driving force in the middle and out wide.
Santi has to sit in the hole and he needs to really show his mettle today. In the middle, it surely has to be Flamini this time?
It’ll hopefully be a great encounter. I’d quite like to see Arsene get the better of Mourinho for once.
“It is not possible to have 1,000 matches unless the club is also a fantastic club in the way they support their manager, especially in the bad moments – and especially when the bad moments were quite a lot.”
Comments like the above are just there for media bait, but the issue is, until Arsene does something about it, he’s always going to right. You can’t hide behind a stadium that was built ten years ago forever. It’s time to deliver. The reason he doesn’t deliver against Jose is because when it comes to playing great teams… we don’t have a game plan… and Jose does. He knows how we’ll play, and he sets up to nullify that style. Hopefully we’ve learned that. Hopefully there’s a surprise when it counts.
Hopefully it’s ‘Happy 1000th Arsene’…