Arsenal fc vs Chelsea fc
That’s 9:00 pm Nigerian time
The crux of the matter is that we must win today.
Forget about the analysis, the statistics, the history, and all what not.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to 90 minutes of football.
90 minutes of football that has the potential to make or mar a season.
Yes, there are games like that which either give you confidence, or kill your morale, and this I believe is one of them.
The Manchester city game does not fall under that category for the following reasons:
1. It was not a derby
2. We had excuses, like the fact that we visited Naples to play Napoli barely two nights before that game, while Man city had an extra 24 hours to prepare.
3. Nobody really expected us to win, so there really wasn’t much pressure… Man city have been nothing short of prolific at home
4. We knew we would still be topping the table even if we lost
5. It wasn’t a home game
6. Man city are not our rivals
7. Mourinho is not their coach
You will see that all those reasons become reversed in relation to the Chelsea game.
It’s a derby, at home , against our rivals, we go 4th if we lose, had a long rest so no excuses… You get the point.
Wenger has said that they must prove that they are champs, and the only real way to do that is to win the premier league.
I agree… But… It all comes down to holding your own with the big boys.
Yes, it’s all fine winning the lower and mid-table teams, but the fact remains that, if you can’t hold your own against your direct rivals, sooner or later, you WILL lose confidence, and then start dropping points against the little teams.
Some argue that losing home and away to Mancity, Chelsea, and Man Utd, and winning all the other games will win you the premier league. Mathematically, yes… But what’s the guarantee that you’re gonna win all the other games.
Fact is, you’re not. If it were that simple in fact, then we should be comfortably topping the league even if we lose today, but everyone knows that’s not the case.
You have to win these games to be a champion.
You get three points, while taking 3 points off your direct rivals
That’s what makes this game a 6 pointer.
Let’s not forget the mental aspect of this tie.
Remember when Man Utd ended our 49 game unbeaten run, the Arsenal we saw after that were a totally different side. They started dropping points recklessly, and like it or not, it was directly linked to that defeat.
In fact, we went on to win just 9 of our next 17 fixtures in the premier league.
I’ll also take you back to how our 2-0 victory over Bayern in Munich restored our confidence and made us the most in form team in the premier league for the rest of the season. Coincidence???
You cannot deny that morale and mentality plays a part in football as it does in every aspect of life, so think twice if you think that tonight’s result will have no bearing on the rest of the season. It will.
There are rumors surfacing that Koscielny may keep his place in the squad after recovering from a nasty injury he sustained against Man city.
Fingers crossed on that one.
Wilshere will be facing the first of his 2 game ban, and I guess it’s an indictment on his form of late that there is hardly anyone missing him.
I want my Jack back.
Podolski is available for selection, having made a full recovery.
Sagna. Mertesacker. Koscielny. Gibbs.
Arteta. Ramsey. Rosicky. Ozil. Walcott.
Maybe Cazorla could come in for Giroud while Walcott plays the center forward role, but I hardly think the manager would like to try something new in a game like this.
It’s difficult to pick our best 11 especially with the form of some of our players suffering(Cazorla, Wilshere), but whoever the manager picks, they just have to be confident, pass the ball accurately and give 100%.
Surely that will be enough to win us this game.