Arsenal stun Chelsea in brutal annihilation | The heroes review

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courtesy @allthatchas

courtesy @allthatchas

I geared up for misery yesterday. I had it all planned out. 2 episodes of Game of Thrones, I was going to start The Jinx, then I was going to finish the night listening some early years Radiohead, curled up in a ball, nursing my teary red eyes with whatever the America version of Kleenex is…

So you can imagine the shock when we pulled off the most impressive victory, since, what, Manchester City away from home a couple of seasons ago?

Chelsea set out with a strong squad. We had the shadow of an on-form ex-captain, Cesc Fabregas, hanging over us. We had Diego Costa snarling to stab at our psyche. We had our disgraceful record of not scoring against them in six and not taking points off them competitively since 2011.

The line-up didn’t surprise. Wenger opting for what he knows right now. Coq-Caz through the middle, Alexis up top… Theo on the right… Iwobi on the left. You couldn’t argue it was a bad team. It was very strong. I just had worries about Santi’s legs through the middle and Coq getting torn to shreds with his high press.

It was not to be. We cruised the game. Utterly dominant in every single way. I can’t remember seeing a Chelsea side so shocked into submission. We had more heart, more structure about our play and way more purpose. Conte mentioned in the press conference after we beat them tactically and physically. LOVED hearing that.

I’m not as good as the others at writing match reports, but I’ll just give an overview of what I liked.

Firstly, star man of the day, and there were many, was Laurent Koscielny. What and absolute hero he was. His day built with an agenda in mind. Nullify Diego Costa like a silent assassin. The Brazilian was so deep in his pocket, he was suffocating on the lint. He was totally bossed. He was roughed up. He was outsmarted. He didn’t get a sniff all day. A beast of a performance. Mustafi next to him was also a powerhouse as well.  Quite incredible considering he’s only a few games into his career. Straight in the mixer. Big shout out to our new scouting team, looks like we’ve nailed a bit of that vintage Leicester ‘who the fuck is that?’ with our signings. Going back to the classsic days!

Alexis Sanchez looked the part through the middle. I’m still not sure if it’s a long term solution, but flanked by Iwobi and Walcott, he looked very happy. He opened the scoring through some superb ferreting, he managed to beat Cahill’s foot to the ball, charged through on goal and dinked the most perfect chip into the far post over Courtois.

Theo Walcott had an banger of a game. The boy, as it stands, looks like a man. What’s with this new found love of tackling? He made 5 attempts and won 3, our most successful defender! The guy was a quiet beast out on the pitch. All that personal training over the summer has paid off. Maybe the realisation that he’s got to make something of his career jolted him? Maybe he just watched a video of himself against West Ham last season? Whatever it is, he looks a different player. He landed the second with some fox-in-the-boxing. Iwobi made some lovely exchanges in the middle of the park, threaded Bellerin into the box, the Spaniard crossed first time to Theo who was on hand to slot home. A very Arsenal goal.

Iwobi really does make me smile. He’s the most exciting youth team player to drop into the side, since, Bellerin? He makes fast decisions, he boasts stunning composure for someone so young and he’s adding productive habits to his game. He’s the Nigerian Alex Hleb… with goals, and a smile.

Our final goal started with Koscielny passing to Ozil, the German turned Kante like an absolute hero, ran the length of the pitch, laid off Sanchez who shipped a pretty horrible ball back, but Ozil watched the ball over, expertly drove his volley into the ground and over Courtois. What a finish. What a performance!

Other notable names… Hector Bellerin added another £5m to his price tag. He’s such a good young pro. He never shirks responsibility, he’s a beast going forward and he’s fast becoming critical to our play like Ashley Cole was back in the day. That last ditch tackle towards the ends was spectacular.

It was a shame to see Coquelin hobble off. Nothing more disappointing for a player in good form to pick up an injury. He looked utterly broken, like he knew it was something bad. Hopefully it’s not. Good thing is we now have a squad capable of dealing with that sort of injury. We have a squad capable of dealing with most things now bar maybe Alexis and Ozil… but jeez, how many teams could deal with those two picking up injuries?

Xhaka had a solid game when he did land on the pitch. He’d made the third most passes of the game by the time we’d finished, nailing 93% of his 49. It’s a good time for him to drop into contention. We have a fairly nice run of games in the Champions League, League Cup and League. I think you’ll see him cement his place and I think you’ll see a more free-flowing style of football start to develop over the next three months.

Listening to the managers after the game was chalk and cheese. Wenger praised the collective pace of the team and the commitment of his players. Conte said his players didn’t have the right attitude and said his team are only good on paper these days. Oh how the tables have turned. Arsene Wenger deserves a lot of praise for that performance out there. He stuck it out with Alexis Sanchez, a man many don’t think suits the central role, he persisted with Theo Walcott again and he looks a different beast and he threw Iwobi into the mix who is super young and green. He was rewarded.

As for Chelsea. Let’s talk Cesc. Pulled off on 54 for a young defender? Nothing says ‘I hate you’ quite like that. I liked that the Arsenal fans applauded him off. We might not like that he went to Chelsea, but remember, we bought Ozil instead and we didn’t give him a route back to England where he wanted to be with his kid. He’ll always be one of my favourites from a pure skill level, it’s sad to see him in an unloved situation, but glad we’re not gunning for him in a hateful way, we’re better than that.

I’ve had people messaging me, asking if we’re going to win the league. I’d say enjoy the moment. Enjoy beating a team we’ve not tanked in ages… and in the most cliché possible way, take it one game at a time. This is an incredibly strong league this year, with the best of the best competing. It’s going to be a long slog like last season. Question for me is, do our players have enough commitment to put in performances like that all season? Do they have the energy to care in every game? Does Wenger have the nous to elevate their skills?

Lots of ifs… but what a day. Savour it. Let’s move onto the next!

Also, big middle finger to Rob Beasley. His book release strategy was about as impactful as a Jose Mourinho personal review.


489 Responses to “Arsenal stun Chelsea in brutal annihilation | The heroes review”

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  1. Steveyg87


    Here’s the thing, I don’t have beef with you

    but you are relentless in your witch hunt of anything good about a Wenger team, we get it. the team is probably the most mentally fragile football team on the planet. But when we exorise our demons, in this case, Chelsea. Enjoy every drop of it, it doesn’t happen often and should be like topping up at the gas station, you don’t know when the next time is gonna be with us.. WE FUCKEN BEAT CHELSEA 3-0, process it, enjoy it!

  2. Joe


    How happy will you be in us beating Chelsea when we are not close to challenging for the title come May and wenger then sings a new 3 year deal?

  3. STV

    “youbut you are relentless in your witch hunt of anything good about a Wenger team”

    Not exactly. I tends to undermine Wenger obviously but I am happy with the win like any other supporter.

    Anyway cheers


  4. Joe

    Or will use it as ” we can use that win to build on for next year”. ” wenger will learn from it for next year”. Etc etc. Like Man U win last season was meant to be built on. And wasn’t

    City the year before.

    How many teams have beaten Chelsea since we have last beaten them.

    Make a list of it. You’ll be surprised at the amount of teams that have. Bottom of the table team

  5. N5

    The win against Chelsea was very satisfying and we played brilliantly. However, I understand all the pessimism still. We’ve done this kind of thing a million times under Wenger. I think Joe pointed it out yesterday that we beat Manure 3-0 and then how did that end up.

    I think under Wenger a EPL or an ECL is never going to happen which is why I feel satisfied with these smaller victories as I’m sure we’ll have nothing tangible to celebrate and the seasons conclusion.

  6. Sam

    I think Coquelin injury is bad, still no news

    get well soon Francis
    Hopefully Xhaka will pick up immediately n help our good run

  7. Sam


    Why is it hard for Joe to figure out we are not the same team as last season

    Arteta n Flamini gone
    Ramsey, Giroud n Mertesacker not in the starting line-up
    five change is already a major change
    Last season Coq got injured Flamini came in to torture us
    this season we lost Coq, Xhaka steps in

  8. STV

    In 2015, basically every team forfeit their chances Chelsea took advantage something Arsenal too, could’ve done last season if not for Wenger’s ineptitude and inadequacies..

  9. Joe


    What you fail to understand is that no matter what puzzle pieces change , our puzzle ‘master’ is a buffoon


    The win against Chelsea was very satisfying and we played brilliantly. However, I understand all the pessimism still. We’ve done this kind of thing a million times under Wenger. I think Joe pointed it out yesterday that we beat Manure 3-0 and then how did that end up.I think under Wenger a EPL or an ECL is never going to happen which is why I feel satisfied with these smaller victories as I’m sure we’ll have nothing tangible to celebrate and the seasons conclusion.

    That’s the most sensible post I’ve read on here since we beat Chelsea.

    Thank you.

    Well other than Red’s post hahah

  10. Sam

    Joe should also know that Arsenal are traditionally bigger club than Chelsea
    the russian rubble is the only thing that helps them step on our throats
    they are really worried its coming to an end, we are now putting them in their place.

    rubble or not
    understand what this victory means, We don’t care if Cahill had diarrhea before game, we beat the cunts n did it with style.

  11. loyika

    @ N5?

    2 seasons back we had won 2 FACs (might not be a big deal to you, but it got the trophy drought monkey of our backs at last)

    Granted last season was a total fcuk up in the league as we should have won it over Leicester if we took our chance, but if you don’t have hope as a fan then what more do you fcuking have to supprt your team then!?

    Bundesliga teams might as well not bother as Bayern will surely win it again innit, sane thing with other teams in La Liga as it will either be Madrid or Barca (with AM being an anomarly)

    Being a supporter os about having hope that your team will do well regardless. Thats why Newcastle, Villa fans and so on still try to turn out for their matches on matchdays even in the Championship, thats why West ham fans still man up and go to the London Stadium. THAT’S WHAT FANS DO MATE!! (which you know) You hope for the best and prepare for the fcuking worst.

    If you already knew what the result would be because its been like that for the past 12 years then why bother!? As people keep saying; one could do something else better with their time.

  12. Skinnywill

    Very pleased to see Walcott back to something like his best. He will always be short technically especially compared to the likes of Ozil, Carzola et al but at his best he can score and assist and be a real threat and deserves his starting spot currently. He looks physically tougher and I understand according to the stats he was our most effective tackler on Saturday!

  13. Sam

    They usually cheat to beat us anyway so fok them
    we made sure all our tackles are clean
    Team Kostafi kept Costa out of our box n made he didn’t have a single shot on goal

    Foking amazing

  14. Joe


    Is 12 years not a big enough of a sample for you haha

    Being deluded in thinking this season will be any different doesn’t make you a better supporter.

    Just makes you deluded

  15. Joe

    Thinks you can just turn off the Arsenal

    That right there is the problem with the wenger era fans.

    They think Arsenal is just something to pass the time.

  16. STV

    Loyika don’t kid yourself. Athletico are a genuine contender with a very strong squad. I suggest you to watch them this season.

    Regarding Arsenal you could argue we could support Oxford but to think we shouldn’t be fighting for title every season not top 4 is perfectly reasonable.

    Some goes in to extreme because of the scripted pattern every season going under Wenger’s stewardship and seeing the same mistakes over again.

    The supporter discontent in such a circumstance is normal and it could happen with any team. Do you honestly believe there’s one fan out there who don’t want to see their team winning a title deep down ??? Had we given or performed our best in the past, no one would be so disappointed either.

    I agree with N5 you can still find happiness in your team despite the negativities the manager brings.

    If he had a decent season and leave at the end of season I think you can see a unified support for the club everywhere.. It’s not rocket science.

  17. salparadisenyc

    A win is a win in the end, what made this one particularly impressive was the style and level of commitment put out.

    Something we’ve not had in ages, something most constantly nag about within this space. I saw that lineup pre-game and thought wtf is Wenger doing, Coq/Caz and Sanchez through the middle, deluded!

    Think we saw in a competitive 90 what Wenger’s been seeing in training regarding Sanchez thru the middle. Flanked with Iwobi and Walcott that pace will punish, Giroud’s gone from 1st choice to potentially 3rd. Iwobi’s rise the key for me.

    Consistency been the achilles for Wenger over the past decade but if that group finds it and plays with that commitment over the course of this season? No doubt the title is attainable, a fair few are going to give Wenger credit for riding it out, myself included.

  18. The Iceman


    ‘About GGs 1 loss season which to me holds just as much weight’


    The world according to Joe…

    Winning the league losing one game holds the same weight to Joe as going the season INVINCIBLE.

    What a cock.

    Joe you really struggle with the comprehension of simple words. I’ve told you fam get your mum to get you that dictionary for Xmas……

    cos you boy are struggling.

  19. RJM

    Chelsea should have dropped points against West Ham and Watford, weak refeering allowd Costa to stay on the pitch and score the winners. Let in 2 against Bristol Rovers and Leicester in Cups, lost to Lpool, really they could be sitting on 6 points in the league.
    Our Wenger brigade talk like beating them is like turning over Bayern or Barca!
    Lets see some consistancy first before we talk about challenging (for the first time in a decade)

    Was well happy to see us spank them though!
    Will be even happier if we see the same professional discipline and desire from the players going forward.

    Dont give me tactics, fucking hell! Cahill gave us the first, Hazard the second and it looked like their whole team gave up for our third!
    Its all up to our players, tactically Wenger’s hopeless. Pretty much by his own admittance, he lets the players get on with it anyway. Thats why we can look so good when it clicks and fucking awful when it dont.

  20. N5

    @Loyika. I never say never mate and I do feel an FA Cup or a League Cup are both very possible, but the value of these cups have declined considerably in my mind in the past decade. All the big clubs really want EPL or ECL which I just don’t see happening with Wenger.

    Leicester can give all clubs hope, I get that. But Wenger has become king of the bottle jobs in the past 10 seasons.

    I’m happy we won and I still really enjoy watching us, but I can’t help but feel than other that 2 times since 2005 we’ve had a disappointing ending to each and every season and even one of those cups felt like a consolation.

    I will cheer on the club regardless and I will support whomever is playing but sadly my optimism is what it is currently.

    Still beating Chelsea, Manure, Tottenham and the like is still very satisfying.

  21. VP


    You’ve been celebrating the victory against Chelsea in the same exact way a Spurs fan celebrates a rare victory against us.

    And now you’re resorting to petty little insults because most folks have moved on and have managed to digest the result for what it is.

    Move onto the next game please, you’re embarrassing the fan base.

  22. Mark

    I’m a Ugandan who has never travelled to watch Arsenal play. Bt I’ve watched Arsenal on TV all my time as a supporter which 18 years to be precise. Which y I find it utterly appalling that supporters of this great club who share similar or greater passion for the club than me cannot front credible footballing arguments without trading insults or belittling a certain class of fans who choose to support the manager. I’ve backed the manager too in my arguments with fellow fans in my country nt because he doesn’t make mistakes bt rather because I believe he is more intelligent than me so I give him the benefit of doubt. Cases in point, I believe u called it Coquelin’s high pres, I wasn’t a fan, I hated that he was way ahead of Cazorla that he let him sit while he ventured forward, bt I’m not that strong minded abt my opinions that I can ignore the results of that kind of setup, we’ve won 4 in row in the league so I admitted to myself that I might have been short sighted there. Another case in point, Iast year that Sanchez would make a far more intelligent striker than Walcott because of wat he has in his locker. I thought through the middle, he could do all the things Walcott couldn’t like dribble, shoot on sight, catch sloppy defences like Chelsea’s unaware. So it took the manager awhile to recognize that bt I didn’t abuse him or abuse those who thought he was a waste through the middle. I disagreed bt took their points on board as well. So N5 ur argument seems abit void as well, u saying that uve had a 12 year sample abt how each Arsenal season under Wenger will turn out, then my QN would be y watch wat u already know? Everything in great in life like love, family etc is mostly hope, u hope for the best all the time, coz u can’t determine the future today bt rather prepare yourself for what might happen, the key word being ‘might’. Similarly as a supporter u hope that ur team upsets the odds en wins. Bt this business on this page of pipo on here using every win, loss en draw to show how useless the manager is, is pointless at best.

  23. Bob N16

    Joe, you label optimism as delusion. Are we not allowed to dream that this season, all the pieces of the jigsaw could now be in place, even though our manager has seen better days?
    On another point, I was at Stamford Bridge the day we lost in 1991. That was a great season, just as Wenger’s three premierships. Personally I have enjoyed Wenger’s way of playing more than any other in my time obsessively following Arsenal since 1972 (aged 7). Don’t get me wrong I’ve wanted Wenger out for several years BUT I hope that he could just get one more title.

    Saturday gave me a little more hope, Joe, call me deluded if you wish but when I use my season ticket this Wednesday, as I have for countless seasons, me and my mates will be hoping for an Arsenal win – as ALWAYS.