Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Arsenal v Chelsea post-match thoughts

I am sick to the back teeth of seeing us lose to Chelsea in the exact same way every season. We have plenty of possession but are way too predictable and easy to defend against so Chelsea just flood the central areas and counter attack against us and score. It's frankly getting rather embarrassing. Chelsea must be rubbing their hands when they play us.

Also, it's getting really repetitive and annoying how poor our big game mentality is. We approach them so timidly and don't really start having a proper go until we're losing. Why? It's ridiculous. I watch Everton a lot when they play at home to the big teams. Most of the time what they do is start quick, sharp and with a high tempo, and also mix up their style of play. It puts the opposition on the back foot and unsettles them.

We like to give them the initiative by backing off and letting them have the ball unpressurised and then make it all so easy for them to defend against us and counter attack against us. Then we finally show some urgency and authority when we go behind. But then of course we're still too easy to defend against.

I just can't understand why our manager hasn't observed this and thought "you know what lads, we might need to mix it up a bit against Chelsea and change out style a little bit. They catch us on the counter virtually every time we play them so let's watch our for that". But no.

And this leads to us going 1-0 down in virtually every big game. Sometimes even 2-0 down (which we did a few times last season). Here's a list of the big games over the course of this season so far and last season where we went 1-0 and 2-0 down:

  • Man City away
  • Chelsea at home
  • Man Utd away (2-0 down)
  • Tottenham at home
  • Chelsea away (2-0 down)
  • Man City at home (2-0 down)
  • Bayern Munich at home (2-0 down)
  • Liverpool at home (2-0 down)
  • Dortmund at home
  • Chelsea at home (2-0 down)
It's just way too often and it's a problem that needs addressing and sorting out. But we know it probably won't be and that we'll probably be in the same position on Saturday against Liverpool.

On Carl Jenkinson, I really do have doubts about whether he'll ever be good enough for us. The lad has unquestionable spirit and heart but has very little footballing ability. He's pretty inept at crossing, passing, keeping the ball and clearing the ball- his kicking of the ball generally is poor.

Yes he's young and has time to improve but it's worrying when he's been here for 2 and a bit years, played a lot of games and still looks like he hasn't improved technically at all. He still looks so incredibly nervous on the ball and uncomfortable. Defensively he's generally sound but his lack of improvement in those other areas is alarming.

On the plus side, the atmosphere was much better tonight- as it usually is when we ply Chelsea to be fair. The fans sang a lot, loudly, and roared them on a couple of times, loudly.

(Image courtesy of http://www.nononsensefootball.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Carl-Jenkinson.jpg)

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