Arsenal 1 – 2 Chelsea: Post Mortem

A loss. A loss to a title rival. A loss at home. All in all a bad day in the office. I’ll try not to too negative, but how flat was that performance? Resting the first XI was supposed to re-invigorate the team and keep them fresh, but instead, they all seemed off. Second to the ball, devoid of ideas, sloppy, lazy. If we play anyone in that frame of mind, we’ll lose. An early injury to Diaby didn’t help – Ramsey and Arteta in the middle for the most part of the game didn’t quite work. Gervinho was just confused. Our line up was…

Mannone

Jenkinson – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Gibbs

Arteta – Diaby

Ramsey – Cazorla – Podolski

Gervinho

In the match programme, Vermaelen said: “A win today would send out a statement that we’re in very good form.”. So, what does a loss at home mean? Now, I’m not going to slate the team, it’s been a positive-ish start to the season, but I don’t think Chelsea played particularly well and for that reason, it really felt like we gave them the game. When we needed to up the pace and try other things, we couldn’t. It actually felt like we were captain-less  The first goal was for Chelsea and it came through some poor defending from Koscielny, who despite being grabbed all over by Torres, was too focused on the player and not his position or the ball. Torres flicked it in 1-0 to Chelsea. After conceding, we stepped it up a gear and Gervinho got one back just before half time with a good turn and finish.

The second game became a battle of chess, Chelsea not scared of us at all and happy to play and defend, but another defensive mistake let to another Chelsea goal. Arteta losing the ball in midfield, Vermaelen giving away a free kick and then Kos and Mannone somehow allowing the free kick to go directly into the goal – it was one of those cross come “end in net” goals. At 2-1 down, we didn’t seem to have the fight to go and try and get the winner, it all seemed a bit too lethargic. Diaby’s early injury and his replacement with Ramsey, really did unbalance the team, and it felt that we never really recovered from that.

Lessons we learnt today:

  • Gervinho should play on the wing, not up front
  • Giroud needs to start scoring
  • Oxlade isn’t quite ready for the deep lying central midfield role
  • Diaby will miss a chunk of the season with niggling injuries
  • Walcott’s lost his spark on the right wing, doesn’t seem too interested

Arsene spoke generally about the game and was disappointed about the way we conceded the goals today:

I feel we played against a good team, but we gave the game away. They had three shots on target and scored two goals, from soft set-pieces. Defensively we were just not at the level you have to be in a game like that, which is where we were punished today. For the rest, we have shown quality and spirit but we have to show more personality and authority on the goals we conceded.

And on Mertersacker’s exclusion he said:

That is a decision which was based on the opposition we played. You can say it was a wrong one maybe, but I believe [that statement] is a lowering the quality of the players who played, they are internationals.
If you do not play Koscielny or Vermaelen and cannot win the game, you will ask me the same question

We’ll see what happens on Wednesday, but I’d expect Kos & Vermaelen to play again and I would expect Giroud to be given the 90 minutes.

Adios for now… here’s hoping for some positive results for us in the other games…

  • Max Whittington

    Wenger’s fault, period. Mertsacker has been the rock of our defense. They has 3 chances and scored 2 from set pieces thanks to Kos. Elsewhere, Ramsey is simply not good enough to start for arsenal. Giroud is no Chamakh, Chamakh actually scored when he first started. Giroud is far worse, I don’t think I want to see him again. 3rd time I’ve seen him get passed the keeper, only to waste it.

  • Bonathan

    iv no idea why we play gervinho thru the middle up front. i would have thought that podolski would play there if giroud wan’t picked. i mean, are we really trying to replace van persie with gervinho? it makes no sense.

    podolski can equally play thru the middle or on the left. he’s probably more comfortable thru the middle if anything, so why play gervinho there?

    these are worrying decisions being made after a good start to the season.

    probably shouldn’t have left out mertersacker either. but i guess that’s easy to say now.

  • Bonathan

    and yes, i was surprised that …
    a) ramsey started the game, i’d have went with cazorla centrally, oX and gervinho wide

    and
    b) having decided to start ramsey in the more advanced position, why then did he not use coquelin rather that ox to replace diaby. it obviously wasn’t in keeping with what he started with, and i thought it was a bit early in the game to go changing tactics.

  • Bonathan

    answer- i just noticed, coquelin didn’t make the bench.

    can someone please explain to me the point in having both mertersacker and JD on the bench??? ridiculous. it should have been coquelin, if he was injured , then someone else, but not another CB. what a waste of time, i hate to see that

  • Berth

    You guys should free Wenger, the better team won today and Robert Di matteo keeps owning Wenger. Sometimes if a coach(RDM) beats you tactically you should use your experience to bully the coach; Fergie(forget today) is good at it.

    We can’t keep our head down. We should keep fighting.

  • parick

    The problem is that we have been so starved of success that our tongues hang out like a hungry puppy at the merest suggestion of a decent signing. Yes, Cazorla and Plod are decent players, even very good players, but to suggest that they match up in quality to Fabregas or Robin Van Persie is simply absurd. Plod ticks a lot of the boxes but he is not a match-winner, a game- changer like Robin. He reminds me of Geoff Strong or Geoff Hurst – a guy you can rely on not to miss the easy chances but needs more gifted players around him. And, frankly, at the moment we simply do not have them. Which brings me to Cazorla: it was disheartening to see how easily he was hustled off the ball. He is no Alfredo de Stefano (or even Xavi or Iniesta). The essence of the Arsenal game is control of midfield. Yesterday (and in second half against Montpellier) we didn’t have that. We coped at Man C because Mancini chose tactics which allowed us to outnumber his side in midfield. Now the secret is out, it is unlikely that he or any other manager will give us that advantage again.

  • ArseBum

    Agree with Bonathon – Coquelin or Diaby or Jack to play with Arteta.

    Ramsey shouldn’t play deep as he likes to get forward too much and doesn’t have the presence.

  • Master J

    I think it’s high time Giroud started scoring especially when needed him most. We lost to a team that utilises their chances than we did.

  • prime

    ramsey keep losing the ball….again…sigh

  • Berth

    Ramsey has lost a yard of pace since his injury and that spark is also missing.

    I belief Jack the lad will be back; where I think he could triumph where Ramsey and Eduardo has failed is in the fact his injury was not a severe broken leg and the guy is a warrior. A Boy king you can rely for war.

  • Berth

    In the last game Arteta was ok not terrific ; and am the first to admit that we missed Song to help dictate the game. Overall we need to start scoring or we will keep pilling pressure on the defence. Last season we started badly but V.P saved our a**. This season might be slightly tougher cause that extra quality is surely missing; if you doubt, think about the everton and that goal against spurs by V.P

  • German

    @ Berth:

    Arteta looked tired in the last game. He’s old, it’s not like he can perform at that speed every game.

    Giroud needs to start up front as he adds presence – Gervinho back into midfield.

    Coquelin / Diaby / Jack + Arteta / Frimpong / Ramsey

  • ArseFan101

    For tomorrows game:

    Martinez
    Jenk – Mert – Verm – Gibbs
    Arteta – Coquelin
    Oxlade – Cazorla – Gervinho
    Giroud

    If we play that team, we will win.
    Walcott, Ramsey, Podolski on the bench.