Arsenal vs Chelsea: One big fat preview, plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on December 26, 2010 21:10
After a long, long break I’m in the mood to write a fat preview to get back in business ahead of what is maybe the season’s most important game.
Tomorrow Could Be The Start Not The End
Pick one Arsenal game where in the preview the words “must win” are never pronounced. It’s one of the most overused clichés in sports, isn’t it? But ironically enough tomorrow’s is indeed a massive game for a number of reasons.
Let’s start from the obvious. As it was at Old Trafford against Manchester United, THIS is the best time to face the Blues and if you’re a Chelsea fan reading this, believe me, mine is a compliment. Carlo Ancelotti’s side is well-equipped to do well in England and also in Europe but losing Ray Wilkins in the way they did was – as Arsene Wenger said – disruptive.
Having said that, a win would still be a huge psychological boost for our players. As captain Cesc Fabregas said there is a fear factor which is preventing us from enjoying the game and give the best in big games and getting all three points tomorrow would hopefully destroy this barrier.
But, as the title of this part says, a win should not be the end of all our problems against big teams. Tomorrow’s is just the first of many and many steps the players are to take to show that they indeed matured on the pitch and not in pre-match interviews as unfortunately has been the case for the last seasons.
There wasn’t much going on before Christmas but Arsene Wenger’s interview to Al Jazeera Sports was one hot topic everyone was talking about.
As some said, the lady interviewer asked almost all questions we, Arsenal fans, wanted to ask our manager. Unfortunately he failed to give a direct answer to direct questions and as I said in the comments section of one part of this interview I was very disappointed at how he compared us to Chelsea and Manchester City when he spoke about spending £150m.
I will not repeat myself, but it’s about time many open their eyes and understand that many of the fans asking for new signings are not expecting £150m to come out of the piggy bank when these are to be made. We spent £15m on Andrey Arshavin, it was January, and we all know the difference he made, at least in his first season.
More interesting interviews came from Wojciech Szczesny who keeps showing how he has the right attitude to be a top class goalkeeper and Nicklas Bendtner, ready to fight for a regular place which is good to hear as I believe he can be a big, big asset during this busy schedule period.
It is very, very harsh but according to myself and others Lukasz Fabianski should incidentally be dropped just when he started to put back-to-back confident performances.
But it’s the way forward. Lukasz was given way too many chances to prove himself and all the mistakes he made in the past – including that horrendous one against Chelsea in the F.A. Cup – have put him in a very funny situation where waiting for a fresh mistake has become the rule and not an exception. Just like the Newcastle game.
In front of the young Pole, I would opt for the experience of Sebastien Squillaci alongside the power and hungriness of Johan Djourou. On the wings, no changes with Gael and Bacary. Not that I wouldn’t make any changes on the left if options were available, but as it is we have none.
In midfield, welcome back Diaby! I could go on and on and on until the New Year on how important Abou can be for us and until Easter on all his problems, especially consistency. I know some don’t rate him at all and I can understand why as he had some shocking patches in the last three seasons but believe me, on the day he is just what we missed so far in midfield.
Hoping that Alex Song and Andrey Arshavin used the break to rest properly, Cesc Fabregas should be back from injury to captain the side with Samir of course on the right and, also back from injury, Robin up front. It seems Arsene Wenger admitted that Marouane has been disappointing in his last two games so it wasn’t just my imagination after all.
That’s all, happy belated Christmas and as always remember you can submit your own line-up at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook. Oh yes, before I forget, I have three Arsenal 2011 calendars I would like to send to two of our readers(I kept the third one). There’s no competition associated to it, just drop a line in the comments section such as “I want to barter my new Ferrari for the calendar” or “I’m ready to sell my body for a calendar”, you know the drill, and I will then pick one at random.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the mentality ahead of big games has been spot-on for the last couple of seasons and there’s no need to change it. The players are hungry and want success.
I do not need to change the Arsenal mentality because the Arsenal mentality is fantastic and very strong.
This team is hungry and the players want success. It is more about belief and belief comes by focusing on playing together and the way we want to play rather than thinking can we beat Chelsea or not.
We can beat Chelsea but the best way to beat them is to focus on what we want to achieve and how we want to achieve it.
Chelsea captain John Terry is confident the Blues can register a win at the Emirates. He told Chelsea’s official website how the players will focus on making a flying start, taking advantage of the defensive problems of the Gunners.
We think we can go there and do what we did last year. If we’re not thinking that, we shouldn’t be playing.
Everyone is in the right frame of mind; it will be two weeks by the time the game comes around since we’ve played. We’re raring to go and want to get off to a flying start.
Defensively they’ve conceded goals, and with our strikeforce and the threat we pose opposition sides all the time, one goal and a bit of confidence and everything is looking bright for us again.
It just takes that one thing to set it off, and hopefully a goal away at Arsenal will do that, and we want to get back to keeping clean sheets.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
As always, tune in for team line-ups, streaming links, half time and full time reports, post-match thoughts, video highlights and what the press is writing. And of course, do contribute if you want to by making use of the comment box available at the bottom of the post as it’s always nice to hear your opinion. And as a final note, if you want to go one step further than just leaving a comment and want to have your articles published on our website, take a look here for more information.
And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.