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Arsenal v Chelsea: Mr Wenger in rhetorical and metaphorical mood.

By Bulldog Drummond

Mr Wenger summarised the current position with a combination of metaphorical statements and rhetorical questions when he said to the assembled hacks, “We have been in a few finals – has it changed your mood?  No. I have no illusions at all.”

The Mirror, reporting the comments along with several other papers, then wrote, “When it was pointed out that some supporters were even getting impatient during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, in which his side led 4-0 after 22 minutes, Wenger added: ‘He [the negative fan] gets your ear. That’s the best example. Out of 100, even if ten have a negative mood, the ten get your ear more than the 90.

“We have been in a few finals; has it changed your mood? No.  You celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years and yet you kill us even though we have won the FA Cup three times in the last four years.  It’s like that, we have to live with that. I have no illusions at all. The mood is decided by you.”

The statement reflected the position we have been writing about in Untold for many years the media decides what is news, and then decides how to interpret that news.  I find it encouraging to hear Mr Wenger express that view.

Certainly there is far, far less media interest in today’s game than there is in transfer rumours, with the latest tale about Arsenal suggesting we are about to sign Jonny Evans of West Brom as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a grand total of £75 million.  However it is also reported that Evans would have liked to go to Manchester City instead. (As the boss said, they set the mood.)

Allegedly WBA would be happy to sell Evans for £20m so that they have more more in the coffers to buy an attacker.  They have so far scored 19 goals this season in the league – the same as Burnley.

Apparently Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Huss Fahmy of Arsenal are now all in Germany working on completing the Aubameyang arrangements for around £50m or a lower fee including a Giroud loan.  Dick Law has stayed in London to work on the Evans arrangements.  Allegedly.

Mr Wenger summed it up saying, “We are busy on all fronts. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad, we’ll take.”

On the layout of the new team however we are still waiting to see what is going to be done.  Mr Wenger suggested Henrikh Mkhitaryan could play a similar central midfield role to that which Santi previously played and reminded the hacks that he met Mkhitaryan before Man U got him, and discussed signing for Arsenal.  “I see him first in a wide position, but I’m thinking about a possibility to play through the middle,” he added.

Although of course it doesn’t apply tonight, the question of Aubameyang is not just one of whether the transfer will go through but also quite how he and Lacazette fit together into a team.  The only way this can happen logically is by changing from a central striker and two wingers to the notion of two central strikers rampaging together.

That could be interesting to watch and would presumably mean a modernised 4-4-2 system, with the conventional four at the back, two deep midfield, two attacking midfield and the two strikers.  But that still leaves Arsenal fitting Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in, with both the latter two being more defensive.  If Ramsey and Wilshere are not considered strong enough defensively then one of them has to drop out to make way for Xhaka.

So on to today’s game.

We have been having rather a nice run against Chelsea of late: well, at least decent-ish, with not a single defeat in the last five…

Date Game Res Score Competition
27 May 2017 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-1 FA Cup
06 Aug 2017 Arsenal v Chelsea W 1-1 FA Community Shield
17 Sep 2017 Chelsea v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
03 Jan 2018 Arsenal v Chelsea D 2-2 Premier League
10 Jan 2018 Chelsea v Arsenal D 0-0 League Cup
But we have been known to have some bad runs too in relation to Chelsea, which one would rather forget, but for the sake of completeness and balance (for which Untold is world famous) I include them here.
.
Date Game Res Score  Competition
18 Apr 2009 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-2 FA Cup
10 May 2009 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-4 Premier League
29 Nov 2009 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-3 Premier League
07 Feb 2010 Chelsea v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
03 Oct 2010 Chelsea v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League

I particularly remember that 1-4 which was extremely horrible.  But more recently it is not too bad overall.  We have won 75, they have won 62 and 57 have been drawn.

Next up the teams.

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10 comments to Arsenal v Chelsea: Mr Wenger in rhetorical and metaphorical mood.

  • para

    We have to be really good tonight, especially because of the away goals thingy, and outscore or match them concerning goals.

    Anyway here’s another of those stupid nonsensical silly(well you get the gist) football rules.

    [i]No number may be used by more than one player on a team and no player may use more than one number in the course of a season.[/i]

    Anyone care to explain to me a valid reasoning of this rule? Would be grateful. 🙂

  • Good post, Tony.

    Just a pinickity point: your comment re J. Evans @ 20m doesn’t match dozens of sites stating 30m, or thereabouts, is the price to pay.
    If we buy him, that’s another “oldie” with no sell-on value.
    In 5 years’ time we’ll have an empty pot for (no) transfer dealings.

    Mkhitaryan – zero return @ 34-35 yo.
    PE Aubameyang – zero return @ 34-35 yo.
    Evans – zero return @ 34-35 yo.
    That’s 100m(+), zero return. Is that so different as a scenario of Sanchez and Ozil running down their contracts and leaving on a FREE.
    Much the same as I see it.

    The man with an economics degree has usually (80% approx) bought young/young-ish, throughout his tenure.

    Don’t bother yourself posting any stats for my benefit, Tony. I’ve got the stats for every deal, both ins-and-outs of every year of Arsene’s tenure.
    Players’ age at point of purchase; their years of service; profit/loss. All I need.

    Cheers, Big Al

  • @para

    Maybe to save any confusion, at any time, in any situation…
    Think of a ref booking a player. He looks at his number.

    If that’s daft, ask Tony (the boss of this site).

  • Sorry. I only wanted to make the 20m/30m comment.
    Got carried away.

    100m outlay, nothing recouped. Grrrrr…

  • Josif

    @Bulldog

    And there was a run in the league when Chelsea hadn’t beaten Arsene’s Arsenal in his first nine seasons in charge.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Big Al

    As has been stated on many occasions, AW had little to spend whilst we were paying for the stadium. That has now changed. Further, the concept isn’t as simple as what you buy and sell for. You have given no consideration to what is generated in between those two instances. If players contribute to the success of the team, this creates a real return on investment. Given Man U have the biggest debt of any club in the world, pay high prices and often sell on cheaply, there is obviously value to be gained in the middle. We have reached a stage where we don’t have the debt of other clubs and can amend (not completely change or compete with) our transfer policy.

    PS I hate you for giving away your location when it’s tipping down with rain here!! How is the old place, I bet it’s changed slightly since I was last there in 1990 🙂

  • Hi Goonermikey
    I moved here in November, 2001.
    And even since then it’s changed immensely, some would say “not for the better”.

    We’ve had lots of rain since before Christmas. Sometimes heavy.

    You talk of Man Utd. Fair enough.
    Other clubs? Here’s one, a big one at that…
    “Former Liverpool FC managing director Christian Purslow has revealed the Reds were just one day away from administration.”

    Good luck, Mikey. Enjoy the game later… I’ve got to find a bar at 2.45am showing the match; I’m 7 hrs ahead of UK.

  • para

    Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand
    Maybe, but i’m sure his notes can be updated before the match that number 7 in team_x is now player_x? A simple thing i think.

    //
    Anyway, i hope the lads are focused, solid and determined tonight.

  • There is no point trying to fit everyone in at once, because it is impossible.

    Lacazette naturally hints for the balll and gets bored without service so you could play him at 10 and Pierre at 9 or the other way around. You could play Ozil at 7 and Mikhi at 11 and both Ramsey and Jack. But you left £33m on the bench and have no defensive midfielder at all.

    When the platform for a good offensive line is a good…

    But why look at it as a game by game thing, you play the league or you play the CL. Neither match day squad misses out. It’s not like La Liga or Serie A or Ligue 1 or in Germany. 4 competitions, and you may play United, Barcelona and then City. We need to be prepared for anything.

    I a man satisfied that the only thing missing from Iwobi’s game is a bit of shot technique and composure. Touch of work rate which is coming.

    And Nelson is ghost on that pitch, with Elneny showing clearly why aren’t you showing for the ball against City, Iwobi, Xhaka were guilty.

    Bayern and Barcelona leave it that way always and now City, man in possession should have two short options and thus be able to go direct as the defense move to close those options.

    Alexis was right, collective laziness, probably because others have been doping.

    We need a consummate wiseman and an offensively minded more complete AN and similarly a technically proficient DM if we get the CF.

    RB, LB, CB. We have potential internal solutions or are best suited to picking up a rare gen at the WC.

    As Mahrez didn’t qualify for the coming. WC again he is a player who will benefit from the break, but isn’t likely to appreciate over summer and could be praised away.

    But as I pointed out, an increased wage budget can be offset by less spending over a significant period with investment here and now.

    Off to dinner.

    My boss went and lost him mind, another case win, or payout prior to court. We are up to 2200£

  • Cyrano

    I enjoy reading the comments on here, but Dwayne, do you talk like this in real life? Super cool, man. Wish I could understand most of what you say 🙂 That £2200 story, though, I want to hear more about that. So specific, so tantalizing…