Sentimentality killed the cat. Arsenal 0 – 1 Chelsea

Sentimentality Killed the Cat?

Ultimately, 2 fundamental errors cost us yesterday.

A la Lehmann in Paris, The BFG didn’t need to make the tackle.

Per's needless tackle
It was 18 minutes into the game, so if Costa had beaten Petr, we had plenty of time.
Costa ain’t the quickest, so Per could have stayed with him and held him up a bit until cover arrived.

Who says the 45 year old would have even got a shot on target ?!!!

All that aside, I think Wenger made the crucial error and let sentimentality get the better of his judgement.


I understand the logic in wanting to play on the counter attack with quick forwards when you are down to 10 men and therefore Theo would be the obvious choice over Ollie….
But, at present, Theo couldn’t hit a Cows Arse with a Banjo and couldn’t beat an egg,
Whereas, Giroud (in tandem with Magic Mezut) has been scoring goals for fun recently…

I think Theo being the Testimonial Captain for the day fuzzed Wenger’s vision and ultimately cost us any chance of at least keeping The Man Who Will Save The World’s unbeaten record going…

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I don’t have the stats to hand, but in 75 mins I don’t recall Theo beating his man, making a meaningful pass or remotely threatening the Chelsea defence.

Without Giroud, the attack had no focal point, our set pieces had no target and ultimately we paid the price, again.

One day we will play Chelsea on a level field and one day we will overcome.



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6 Responses to Sentimentality killed the cat. Arsenal 0 – 1 Chelsea

  1. Ron January 25, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    Worringly wenger’s decision making is really poor at the mo.Against Chelsea we needed to be strong mentally and physically.Flamini and Mertes starting makes us weak from the off, the armband nonsense showed Wengers mind was not focused on the real job especially as Walcott has been playing like his legs are tied together.It was not Campbell’s sort of game.Gabriel looked controlled and to have learnt from his last Chelsea experience ,at least now he should get a run and if Elneny is not good enough to replace Flamini right now why buy him.When he took off Giroud, who looked up for it, Wenger basically surrendered.

    thankyou feel a bit better but still frustrated at what could have been and how far we need to go still

  2. Victor Thompson January 25, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    Hi Steve. I agree that it should have been either Walcott or Campbell who went off and Jermaine Jenas summed it up well on BT Sport today.

    I was watching the game with my son who is an Arsene worshipper and when I saw the line up, I said that I was worried because Chelsea were lining up with their back four and a midfield of five with Costa as their only proper striker. Obviously they were going to pressure midfield which was ostensibly Flamini and Ramsey. Our forward line was Campbell and Walcott on either side of Giroud, with Ozil floating around to pick up passes from our defence/ stroke midfield to supply the ammunition for two fast wingers and a target in Giroud.

    It was obvious that Chelsea had no great scoring ambition but they guaranteed that they would be organised and that none of our forwards would find any room to play. Ozil was shadowed throughout the game and he was constantly cocooned in blue shirts when he got the ball. The only person on our team who caused their defence any problems was Bellerin but in comparison to Chelsea, he left spaces behind him which were exploited by Willian or Oscar. Unlike us, when either of those guys got the ball, the Chelsea midfield and Fabregas in particular backed them up.

    They played as a unit and they kept their two rows of four together so that in any given situation on the pitch our player in possession had no room. Our defence was not in any recognisable shape. Kos and Mert were often at waving distance from each other and Flamini and Ramsey were feeding more passes to Chelsea players than ours. That was an invitation for the entire midfield including their hit men Matic and Mikel to move forwards. Flamini was steamrollered and Ramsey was too busy trying to recover the last ball that he had passed to a Chelsea man to be of any deterrent . costa was free to roam and he waited on the shoulder of Mertesecker waiting for the inevitable pass for him to run on to. The overall picture was that we were playing like headless chickens whereas Chelsea was like a panzer battalion in regimental formation crushing our midfield as always.

    It was a tactic perfected by Mourinho against us and they can play it with their eyes closed. Even in their current worst season for years they were able to deny us a goal. I understand that it is approaching 800 minutes since we have scored against them in the league. When they scored their goal ( which is usually all they need ) the writing was on the wall.

    Mertesecker was sucked into the trap and as the lynchpin of our defence and captain ( with due recognition of Walcott`s sentimental elevation ). he was aware of what Costa was doing but he moved away from him and invited the pass from Willian which sent Costa spinning away from him. He had obviously meant to play Costa offside and that is why he glanced at the referee before he chased Costa. He had blundered and he was panicked into making a clumsy tackle which gave Costa the perfect chance to exagerrate the most feeble of contacts and claim a foul. It was also obvious that if the referee gave it, it was a red card since Mertesecker was the last man.

    Thereafter we were struggling with 10 against 11 but at least Wenger corrected the lack of shape in our defence. If you have a recording of the match you will find that he too resorted to two rows of four and that is why Chelsea found it more difficult to make progress as they had in the first half.

    Those fans who have watched the premiership all season will know that it is almost biblical for all teams to play that formation and those who do it well, always cause us trouble. Arsene knows it. He must have realised what Chelsea were up to. I am simply a football fan with no coaching badges but I got exactly what I expected from Chelsea and it was confirmed when I saw Hoodink`s selection. When he has been kippered by Chelsea so many times by the same tactics especially since Drogba left, why does he continue to play the same way against them? Why has Mertesecker not learned how to play against them?

    I am afraid that the substitutions he made against Stoke and his lack of tactical nous has probably cost us a title we were well capable of winning. before I get lambasted by the Wenger fanatics, I would be grateful if any of you would point out my mistakes in any of the above points.

    Steven Ward in The Sun ( not one of my favourite reporters ) has said today that Arsenal will not win the title this year and they will never win it under Wenger. I fear he is right. Wenger makes too many mistakes. Charlie Austin came on for his debut for Southampton at the Weekend and scored within minutes. he could have signed him for buttons in todays market. He`s English, always puts a shift in and scores for fun. He is only 24! How was it not a mistake not to sign him?

    it is just so frustrating.

    • Wellmington January 26, 2016 at 9:41 am #

      As you say, Chelsea came to attack on break and crowd Ozil, playing Mikel AND Matic was proof from the off

      2 points from 9 not a great start to the year, I pray it’s a blip & with players coming back we will be up there in May

  3. DEW January 25, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    I agree on Walcott assessment especially after the break, he is good when he plays relentlessly. Campbell feet weren’t also fresh.

    But I wonder why the defensive structure of arsenal at the midfield is not under scrutiny. Arsenal was chasing the shadows, and many players were very exhausted towards the end of the game. Because our defense at the middle field is not efficient. I believe it is due to this reason arsenal can not win major trophies any time soon. And if it were not for the points gotten from Arsenal, chelsae would be 2 points from the relegation by now. We really make many poor teams look champions, and many poor players B’or nominee.

  4. Victor Thompson January 26, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    Well said Dew.

    • Wellmington January 30, 2016 at 6:35 am #


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