"Let's beat the crap out of Arsenal" - Chelsea 3 Arsenal 5

Posted on October 29th, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Arsenal's recent improved run of form continued today as we travelled across London to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, going into the game many viewed us as heavy underdogs and certain figures like Bruce Buck thought the points were already in the bag ..

You'd have to wonder if Bruce's comments somewhat riled Wenger as he decided to come out with his own Winston Churchill style speech at the midweek AGM. His words were of true motivation as he urged fans to get behind the team and look at the positives that exist around the club. It's hard to tell if Arsene's words had much affect on the away fans though as they're amazing week in week out!

The Team

Sticking with the defensive partnership that worked in last weekends Premier League game Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny started centrally with Santos on the left and Djourou on the right. There were some woes from fans as they noticed Vermaelen was only on the bench but you have to remember he'd played 87 minutes in his Carling Cup comeback midweek so it made sense to give him a little rest after his time out and not risk another recurrence or setback.

In the middle Song, Ramsey and Arteta featured, a midfield partnership that is still gaining understanding each week and we're beginning to see the results now as the team find it easier to pass amongst themselves, create space and keep the possession that we're used to. Although I seem to notice Arteta kind of fades into games, even though he's there and playing well if you watch 45 minutes it seems hard to remember specific things he's done .. well that's what I find, anyone agree?

Up front we had Gervinho on the left, Robin Van Persie centrally and Walcott on the right. Interestingly all three now see to drift in and out of positions and it's not uncommon to see Robin on the left, Theo move up top and Gervinho take the right hand side, certainly makes the defenders job tricky working out who they're meant to be marking with that kind of continuous movement. The pundits also seem to be warming up to new boy Gervinho who now has 4 assists and 1 goal in his last 3 Premier league games, although that's probably due to their Arsenal hatred and any excuse to slate a rare underperforming Gunner yet praise them when they gain form ..

The Match

I'm sure you've all seen the game and watched parts in absolute thrill yet had to hide behind a cushion in fear when Chelsea attacked? A feeling both sets of fans would've gone through today as attacking seemed to take a higher priority than decent defending, then again our shirts do say 'Forward', so realistically what else would you expect?

Of the player ratings I've seen today Djourou seems to come out worse scoring around 5/10. As his role was to defend you can't really argue, it wasn't too good but we survived so that's all that matters. One thing I'll say is that at least when he plays right back and strolls out of position it's not as devastating for the defensive line as it can be when he gets caught centrally as the two centre backs can provide some cover. I still favour Vermaelen, Koscieleny, Mertesacker and perhaps Song ahead of him in the centre back position.

Andre Santos is a player whose starting to grow on me, he's very attack minded and confident on the ball with a lot of "tekkers", if you've not noticed his silky skills then pay attention when he goes past players or receives the ball in a tricky position next time. It's also just been pointed out to me on twitter by @MertesackerFan4 that Clichy scored 2 goals in 6 years yet Santos has scored 2 in just 2 months, nice statistics!

Moving up the field a certain Theo looked great today, gave me a lot of pleasure to watch him leave Cashley in the dust as he whipped in some brilliant early crosses that could've provided even more goals!

The last player to get a specific mention (bet you can guess who) of course, the one and only Robin Van Persie, or God as he's better known. Our dutch master now has 28 goals in 27 appearances, spectacular figures that highlight just how good he is. It's nice to see how much the club means to him and I've confidence that him and Theo will commit their futures to the club in the coming months.

Overall it was a superb game to watch, highly exciting and provided many fireworks a week early .. sorry that was awful.

Onto the Next Game

If there's any team out there that should be watching and worried about our recent form you'd be sure that would be Marseille, having beaten them away a few weeks ago they now travel to England in the Champions League to face us while we're at the top of our game. I wouldn't be surprised to see God start on the bench with either Chamakh or Park upfront as we've more or less secured our place in the knock-out stages but it would be nice not to mess around, beat Marseille and take the top spot. I'll also be at the game (Clock End) so a number of goals wouldn't go a miss!

Brucey Bonus

After Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck demonstrated his personal lack of dignity midweek saying the following:

"Let's beat the crap out of Arsenal!"

I feel it's only right to end by dedicating this blog entry to him, thanks for spurring us on Bruce!

Hope to see all you Gunners in full voice at the Emirates Tuesday night, Up the Arsenal!

-thorpeAFC @thorpeAFC

Written by Dan

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