Five things I learned from the Chelsea game

WTTGT Writer: Vivek Arulnathan

Oh!!!! Simply brilliant! While I certainly was backing Arsenal to surprise Chelsea at home, not even in my dreams did I believe that Arsenal would come from behind twice and then put a full strength Chelsea to the sword with some enterprising attacking displays. Van Persie once again stole the show but there were signs today that Arsenal aren’t a one man team that many perceive them to be. Here are five things that caught my attention during a magical 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge.

Koscielny proves his worth

 For all our attacking brilliance, Arsenal would have lost this game if not for some brave defending by Arsenal in the second half, especially by Laurent Koscielny. He was a bit off pace early on but soon settled into the game to put in an assured display. He once again read the game in advance, making several vital interceptions, looked assured and calm in possession and kept Torres out of the game for long periods. With Mertasacker at fault for Chelsea’s first half goals, I believe TV5 and Koscielny are on course to become Arsenal’s first choice partnership at the back.

Walcott is a big game player

He wasn’t at his best coming into this fixture, but he once again produced a good display to prove that he is an important player in this team. He can be frustrating at times with his inconsistency but he has always upped his game against bigger opponents. He was Arsenal’s best player in the first half as he regularly beat Ashley Cole who is one of the world’s best left backs. He produced a couple of delightful balls early on and showed a lot of pace, commitment and skill as he took his goal. Arsenal should begin contract negotiations with him and secure a deal as he has the potential to become one of Arsenal’s key players.

Fifteen years of experience comes to the fore

This was a game in which both teams attacked with heart and passion but Arsene Wenger’s experience played a big role in deciding the course of the game. Villas Boas is a talented manager but showed his inexperience by substituting the likes of Ramires and Sturridge and bringing on Malouda and Merieles. Without Obi Mikel and Ramires, Chelsea lacked presence in midfield that allowed Arsenal to get through the closing stages quite comfortably. Wenger on the other hand replaced Walcott with Rosicky and he provided the work rate in midfield towards the closing stages.

Away fans have been phenomenal

This was Arsenal’s first away win since April and the travelling fans deserve credit for sticking by the team despite their lack of success. They were fantastic at Old Trafford despite Arsenal being thrashed 8-2 and made their presence felt at Stamford Bridge with some enthusiastic chanting and singing. It was high time they were rewarded with a thrilling win for all their support and commitment.

Ramsey can be the new Cesc Fabregas

Arteta was supposed to be the replacement for Fabregas but it is the Wales captain who has slotted into that role with Arteta playing the deeper role that Wilshire occupied last season. For the first time since his return, Ramsey has produced back to back performances that were brilliant at best. He looks more confident with his passing and the killer balls are starting to come. He also made several late runs into the box that caused Chelsea loads of problems and was unlucky not to score. If there is one player at Arsenal who can dictate the game from midfield, it is Ramsey and I can’t wait for Wilshire to join him.

With Arsenal producing a vital win, I am now all set to witness my country’s first Formula One race, the Grand Prix of India. It is turning out to be one hell of a weekend! 

 

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