It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since I’ve been away on my holidays, that is for sure. Again, many thanks to Debs especially and JAT and Wills for their contributions whilst I’ve been away… now that I’m back you will get a slightly more frequent set of posts… I hope!
I write this in the early hours of Wednesday morning having just seen Chelsea being beat by Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge and seen Mourinho say the word “best” twelve times in one sentence. Ah, the joys of the Champions League. It was a weird game, one where you thought Chelsea would eventually score, and one you didn’t think Inter Milan would. But Inter played a containment and counter attack game, which frustrated the home side. Looking at the stats post game, Inter actually had more shots on, shots off and corners, so maybe Mourinho was right.
What does mean to the Champions League – well, it means the rough and ready hard hitters which are Chelsea are out of the competition – and that’s good news for us in many ways – why? Because if we want to win the Champions League, Chelsea are a team that we would most likely like to avoid. We’ve played them without beating them this season – their rough and ready approach has been too much for us. It’s good for us in the Premiership too – confidence after losing to Inter Milan twice and Man City means that they’ll be low on confidence.
Personally, one thing that I noticed is that Chelsea didn’t have enough creativity to unlock the Inter defence and one thing we have an abundance of is just such a talent – players like Nasri, Rosicky, Cesc, Arshavin and Walcott are game changers and players that can create something out of nothing, create a pass through the defence, the eye of the needle stuff, and that is why we’re more prone to the Champions League. The teams left in the tournament do try and play – Inter, United, Lyon, etc and most likely Barcelona – and that’s a reason that we can consider the Champions League a realistic trophy that we can win. Of course we have a nemesis in Man United and of course we have revenge to exact on Barcelona, but if we want to win it, then we have to beat them all.
And of course, that’s something that has been prevalent in the title race and the win against Hull was sensational for us. We’ve been played well recently and are the form team in the Premiership – for the first time in a while, we have options – with Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky, Arshavin etc and have a proper striker in Bendtner up front. But the more impressive thing, is that in the last couple of games, we’ve been winning – especially the 5-0 against Porto without our spine of Gallas – Cesc – Van Persie.
The run in is obviously very tight at the moment and Chelsea do have a game in hand, but our run in is definitely the easiest on paper – yes, I know, no games are easy, but we can definitely beat the likes of the lower teams and we definitely struggle against the better teams. With the exception of Man City at home and Sp*rs away, we should definitely win all our games. And to be honest, I don’t see why we can’t beat those two as well.
One player who can make a big impact on our season is Theo Walcott and every time he comes on he seems to scare the opposition into submission. I think he’s still better as an impact sub at the moment, but as he progresses, he will edge his way into the team.
Ray Parlour was recently on Question Time on Arsenal.com and had this to say about the young Englishman:
“Players like Theo Walcott have massive potential. I would not say he has had a bad season it is just that he has not had a run in the team. Against Burnley, he was brilliant, absolutely fantastic. But if you are going to be a big player you need to do that week in week out at a consistent level. Theo will do that once he gets his injuries sorted out. Once he does that he can be a massive player for Arsenal. The ball he put over at the start of the second half at Hull was like Beckham in his prime. But Theo has got pace as well. He has just got to get injury free now and get a run in the team.”
His first few games back to be honest were poor, but since then, he has been getting better and better and he is starting to look the part now. He can cross, dribble, run and pass, maybe he will be the key to winning the title and Champions League. People forget Theo is only 20… and the player himself is out to prove himself:
“I have had so many injuries this season, people don’t realise how hard it is to come back from setback after setback after setback. You can’t be at your best straight away and if you think you can, then you put more pressure on yourself. That’s what I had been doing this season. The best thing is I do know what’s going on on the outside, but I don’t listen to it, I only listen to people around me. It’s doesn’t bother me whatsoever. Maybe if I keep performing like I have it will shut people up.”
With no midweek game this week, a close look around the CL and run will keep us busy and a preview of the West Ham game this weekend to come…
Until tomorrow, adios for now…