What Should Arsenal Take From The Chelsea Match?

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    Updated: October 6, 2014
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    In sports, teams are defined by only two things, wins and losses. Wins gauge how well a team is as a unit and how well coached they are, while losses shows their flaws and where they’ve fallen short from ownership on down. There are no moral victories. Moral victories don’t show up on stat sheets or in the in columns. No Gooners were happy about the loss to Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge yesterday. It was a loss to a bitter rival. Although I don’t find a point in moral victories or joy in the fact we did not get thrashed 6-0 like last season, there are some aspects of the game that you can take some good from. I’ve always said that if a team losses a game but learns from the loss, and it makes them a better team; then at least something good came from it. No one should be happy about the loss yesterday, but some of the aspects of the game should put a lot of things in perspective for Arsene Wenger’s men.


    The Gooners Are Still Missing That Little Bit Of Spark…


    Yesterday’s loss against Chelsea highlighted that in big matches this Arsenal side still keeps falling short. This could be for a number of different reasons or maybe just two specifically. Either the squad’s mentality in big games is fragile, or Arsenal is still missing the quality they need in these games to get a result. I think yesterday may have been a combination of both. All match long I kept saying both teams looked reserved and timid, and I was right. A friend and fellow Chelsea supporter I was speaking to during the match told me something I did not realize until the moment he said it, neither team wanted to make the mistake that would cost them three points. He was right. Both managers and both teams were locked in a chess match of who could keep possession and make mistake free football.Unfortunately for Arsenal, it was a momentary piece of individual brilliance by Eden Hazard that was the difference.

    Santi Cazorla failed to get Hazard off the ball and Hazard used his skills to not only get a penalty off Laurent Koscielny, but it also got Koscielny a yellow card that would prove important later on in the fixture. But that momentary lapse of concentration by Santi and then by Koscielny was massive. But it was not only the lack of concentration that cost us, because if we would have had Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott in the side, that may have also proved to be the difference. Chelsea was a full strength, and for the most part so was Arsenal. But that Arsenal team was talented enough to get a result on Sunday, and in the end, we just didn’t get it done. But like I said in the beginning, it’s what you take from these games that makes a team a smarter squad going forward.


    Mathieu Flamini Was A Titan In Midfield…


    Last week I wrote a piece on why Wenger should not start Mathieu Flamini at defensive midfielder against Chelsea. I wanted Wenger to start Francis Coquelin or Abou Diaby. Anyone other than Flamini was basically what I wanted. Every game I watched in which Flamini featured this season, he was just not good enough for this Arsenal team and he cost us valuable points because of his poor play in front of the defense. But in the match against Galatasary in the Champions League, Flamini looked like a completely different player. I was in shock of how great he was against the Turkish side. He was making timely tackles, great interceptions, perfect passes, disrupting passing lanes, the works. Their were two Gooners who told me I was too Harsh on Flamini in my earlier piece, and they both told me that Flamini would be our best player on Sunday.

    And I though they had both lost the plot completely. Those two Gooners are, @fazjac_debra, and LittleBitArsenal’s Editor, @EvaMcL3. And both of these brilliant women were correct where so many Gooners, including myself, were wrong. If Flamini had not played as well as he did at Stamford Bridge, the game could have become out of hand in an instant. Chelsea was not there to sit back and get a result. With the form they’ve been in and with playing at home, they wanted a repeat of last season’s destruction of Arsenal. But after a few minutes of seeing that not only were Arsenal up for the game and that Flamini wasn’t being bullied, it became a midfield chess match.


    Neither Danny Welbeck nor Diego Costa had a sniff of the ball yesterday because of how great Nemanja Matic and Mathieu Flamini were on the day. Had every player in the Arsenal side played like Flamini then maybe Arsenal could have left the Bridge with at least a point. So there will be no more harsh words or criticism of Flamini from my end unless his performances become beyond reprehensible. But from what I’ve seen from the Frenchman in the past 7 days, he still has something to offer the Gooners. And I’m glad he proved a lot of people wrong, including myself, with his performance against Chelsea.


    Wenger Out Will Never Not Be In Style…


    “Wenger has lost his passion for the game!!!!!!” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that over the past 9 years from Arsenal fandom, I would have enough money to buy a significant share in Arsenal. To think that a man who helped build the Emirates stadium, turn down offers to coach from Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germaine and Real Madrid in order to get the Gooners back to prominence has lost his passion for the game or the club is an absurd thought. It’s sad that it took Wenger shoving Mourinho on the touchline for half of our supporters to finally believe Wenger was still passionate about football and Arsenal.

    If anything Wenger is too passionate about football. Wenger still believes that football is a beautiful game based solely on the game being played on the pitch and not the money or politics that comes with winning. Wenger built that Invincibles side with the same amout of money that Alexis Sanchez cost us, maybe even less than that. He’s a football romantic in a world that only looks at that here and now and what have you done for me lately. Wenger has his faults, and his stinginess in the transfer market to just get that one or two extra players that will put Arsenal back firmly on top will always be the bane of Gooners existence. The money is there and we all want him to spend it. But if he doesn’t, he just doesn’t.

    It is within all of our rights as supporters to complain and criticize, but the man has brought the club out of the dark ages of a 9-year barren trophy run and won the FA Cup and Community shield for us in 2014. And I know his results against the bigger sides last season and this season so far haven’t been wins, but barring Man City last season, Wenger was the only manager with a trophy out of the top 6 teams. Yesterday, “WengerOut” was trending as it is after every loss, and the non-Wenger out people are immune to it or don’t care at this point. All I have to say is the loss against Chelsea wasn’t about what Wenger didn’t do correctly. Flamini was great, and there was enough quality to at least nick a point at the Bridge. He got his tactics spot on as well because one 3 occasions yesterday the passage of play through the final third is what let Chelsea off the hook. Heavy touches by jack Wilshere or too much passing by Mesut Ozil and Sanchez and Cazorla when a shot was necessary came back to haunt us.

    And the Yellow Koscielny got earlier in the game also came back to haunt us too when Koscielny was scared to play Costa on his goal to put the final nail in Arsenal’s coffin. Wenger had the team ready, put the players out there, came into the game undefeated in the league and had Flamini playing like Gilberto Silva in the game we needed him to come up big the most. Wenger has his faults, but yesterday was not one of them. I understand Mesut Ozil should have been deployed in center, and if we want to harp on that then fine, but the players had opportunities to score regardless of where Ozil was and just did not finish it off. It’s only October. Early October.

    There is a lot of football left to be played. Save the Wenger Outs for another time, for now we should all just focus on Up The Arsenal. Let’s stop being the most divisive supporters in World Football and let’s piggyback off the FA Cup win and Community Shield win. Support the club, the squad, and the Manager. Arsenal is not out of the title race yet, and I believe there are still a lot of surprises left in this long season. The Gooners will rise to the occasion, and prove all the doubters wrong. And as always, “In Arsene We Trust.”

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    1. Golf

      October 23, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      I agree with this story.
      I support Mathieu Flamini
      Thank you for information sharing

    2. Brent

      October 11, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Over the past few years I feel like I continue to watch Arsenal put together great quality on the field that doesn’t manifest into the type of attacking results one would think their side should produce. They have great creativity and attacking flair and their ability to maintain possession is usually top in the EPL yet they still fail to really really push for the top title. Meanwhile Chelsea is able to produce goals with a combination of great defensive/counterattacking tactics, individual talent, and a direct to approach to moving the ball forward and taking advantage of even the smallest of opportunity. And if Arsenal can’t take anything like that from the Chelsea game then they should try to kidnap Costa.

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