Wenger versus Mourinho, The Professor versus The Moaner; Arsenal versus Chelsea. It may only be the Capital One Cup as i’ve heard many say, but Arsenal vs Chelsea is always an entertaining, energetic fixture that we as fans love to watch. Mourinho stated in the week that he is upset about his fixture list being congested and bemoaned us having an extra days rest compared to Chelsea after they played Manchester City on Sunday. If your spend hundreds of millions of pounds on players throughout your reign, you have a squad eligible of rotation. Amongst the substitutes on Sunday were David Luiz, Samuel Eto’o, Juan Mata, Mark Schwazer, Azpilicueta and Willian. That’s half a squad rotated before we’ve even reached the players not in that squad. If there is only one thing I expect from this match, it is that both teams will rotate rather heavily to ensure freshness and try to remain in the Capital One Cup.
It has been a torrid time for Fernando Torres since his £50m move from Liverpool a few years back. In his prime he was an out and out goal scorer, clinical and precise in his finishing and Rafa Benitez effectively built a squad around him. Since his move, I would argue that although Torres’ scoring boots seem to have been misplaced, his overall play has been fantastic. Think of Wayne Rooney – He used to have outrageous efforts from 40 yards out that would occasionally take the roof off of the net but the majority of the time reach row Z, but now manages to pick a twenty yard pass and assist his team mates into play. Having watched Torres closely, I believe he has matured in a similar fashion to Rooney. He may not be the out and out goalscorer he once was, but he has added teamwork into his game; an attribute not to be sniffed at. Chelsea fans finally seem to be warming to him and that’s only going to produce confidence from the boy. I think he is a long way from being finished at Chelsea and wouldn’t be surprised if he notched up 10+ assists this season.
A man who hasn’t been doing anything to prove to Arsenal fans why they should give him a break is Frimpong. I’m sure we’re all aware of what he tweeted yesterday but just in case you aren’t I’ll recap. He was asked why he wasn’t in the squad to which Frimpong responded ‘Lol I wanna laugh’ and a minute later tweeting ‘Sometimes I wish I was English and White #realtalk’. Emmanuel was quick to try to justify his tweet as being unrelated to football and even Lethal Bizzle tried to defend him backing up his claim that he wasn’t talking about football. Frimpong is an idiot, it is as simple as that. I was actually a big fan of Frimpong’s a few years ago and held him in high regard as well as high estimations that he would make it at Arsenal. I thought he had exactly what we lacked in the middle of the park for years – a bit of aggression. I remember him playing against Liverpool in a game at The Emirates that we lost and he went in disgustingly on Lucas if memory serves me to get sent off. I started to think he may be lacking a bit of intelligence football wise but at his age he would learn and sort himself out, but now I genuinely am worried about his state of mind. To put it into perspective, he is the same age as Jack Wilshere. They have both had lengthy time out through injuries and came up through the youth system together. Compare the two. Wilshere represents England and Arsenal on a regular basis & has had his fair share of controversy but lets his feet do (most of) the talking. Frimpong seems to be falling into the same trap as Connor Henderson and Craig Eastmond in getting a contract with Arsenal and thinking they’ve made it in the big time. I feel sorry for players like Henri Lansbury who worked really hard and committed himself to being a footballer but didn’t make the cut only to see the likes of the aforementioned spunking their talent up the wall. I don’t think Frimpong is good enough for us after watching his unsuccesful loan spells and his general attitude. There is absolutely nothing I love more than players proving me wrong so I would be delighted if he became a world beater in the middle of midfield for us and in five years time someone shoved this blog in my face. Watch this space.
Onto the match however and as I mentioned before I think we will see some heavy rotation from both sides. That being said I would like to think we have experienced players in the squad that can match Chelsea’s squad. Santi Cazorla would be in my starting lineup as he hasn’t looked his sharpest since coming back from injury. Thomas Vermalean should be granted the opportunity to start and stake his claim back in the heart of defence. I would like to see Nicky B start up top and give Giroud the rest he deserves. Carl Jenkinson could come in for Sagna and Nacho Monreal should also be given some game time to allow Kieran Gibbs a well deserved rest; although that being said Gibbs didn’t represent England during the international breaks so he could start. Serge Gnabry will almost certainly start after his excellent introduction to the Crystal Palace match, winning us the penalty. Ryo Miyachi could see himself handed a start too. I would also like to so Viviano start his first game for us. Chelsea are likely to field Juan Mata, Mark Schwarzer, Demba Ba, Kevin de Bruyne and Michael Essien.
- Arsene Wenger has NEVER beaten Jose Mourinho.
- Chelsea have beaten Arsenal in their last three Capital One Cup meetings
- Chelsea have only conceded once in their last three away games (Norwich)