A Dent Rather Than A Smash

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It’s all well and good wanting to win, but I sometimes wonder who gains the most from saying things like “we want to make Chelsea suffer” and “I do not really like the way Chelsea have played this season”. It can spur the opposition on, not yourselves, Mr Lauren, don’t you know. Not that they need that, of course. Still, there’s no doubt there’ll be some more choice words in print between now and tomorrow night from both sides, as there always is for a 1st v 2nd clash.

It’s a biggie alright, but for Arsenal fans it doesn’t have the same nailbiting edge as, say, the game in 1998 when we went to Manchester ‘Not For Sale’ United and won 1-0. Nobody possessing their full complement of faculties thinks that a win for us will do anything other than delay the inevitable. CSKA Chelski have the bit between their teeth, and when that happens – as happened to ourselves in 1998 and 2002, and the Mancs in 2003 – there’s really nothing that’s going to stop them.

That’s not to say that it’s not important. The race for second place is on, and we need to win. There’s also the delicious sub-plot involving our very own Guide To London Hotels, Ashley Cole. If the Chelski fans haven’t come up with a witty ditty for our number three, I’ll be disappointed. They’ve had several months to finetune something.

With Gilberto and Vieira in the midfield, I have no fears about being outmuscled in the middle, and nor do I have any concerns about a defence that has tightened up no end recently. The big thing, of course, is no Thierry Henry.

But I wouldn’t rule him out just yet. You know how these things work…


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. vivb

    I think it is an important game, since the charity shield we haven’t beaten any of the major English teams, we have drawn with Chelsea, lost three times to Man Utd and once to Liverpool. Even beating Bayern equated to a 2 leg defeat in Europe.

    Although we have more points after 32 games than at anytime before in the Premiership (apart from last season) failure to beat our nearest competitors is not a good sign.

  2. halfNice

    Yes it is a big game and I’d love a victory for us. But I think a draw is a more realistic expectation. If only to preserve our record of them not having beat us in the League for (how many?) years.

  3. Farnborough Gunner

    I agree entirely with vivb; our record against big teams is not good this season. I feel the outcome of the Chelsea game will have a big pyschological effect on how we approach the cup final; having lost 3 times to ManU this season we could do with a result against Chelsea to boost confidence. Otherwise our failure to beat the big teams will not bode well for the cup final.

    I also belive the Chelsea game is a bigger game for us than for them. Whatever the result they will almost certainly go on to win the league. They would enjoy rubbing our noses in it, but it probably doesn’t really matter to them. We need a result for the points and phychologically.

  4. RotorGoat

    Ten, it is. Ten whole years.

  5. halfNice

    Thanks, Anorak! 🙂

  6. Gerry Gooner

    I think its important for morale that we don’t lose tomorrow. I agree with the above- we’ve lost against liverpool and twice against utd- the other ‘big teams’. We’ve had a sense of superiority over Utd the last few seasons- we put the 6-1 defeat down to ‘ a freaky result’. When it mattered we beat them (the couple of one nils at old Trafford). This season when we lost at OT- we harped on about the injustice of it all so that defeat didn’t count in our minds. However I believe the 4-2 loss at Highbury was more important in that we can have no excuse- we were outclassed/ outfought/ outplayed. I still believe we have a slight psychological advantage over chelsea despite the champions league loss last year. I believe it is very important to retain this for next season more so than this one regardles if they are to win the title or not. Ditto the importance of the final against Manure- we owe them big time. Can someone arrange for me to speak to the team before both these games- all of a sudden I feel I can motivate them more than the manager……………….

  7. Rams

    He has said he has been misquoted and never said that. I expect fireworks tonight, Will Jose reyes come out of Thierry’s shadow, he is good enough to be a star when nobody expects it

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