By Bulldog Drummond
So here we are again in the next round of the ICC. We’ve drawn/lost one, and won one thus far, and here’s the league table. Chelsea’s previous game was a 1-1 draw with Inter which they won 5-4 on penalties.
Obviously Tottenham have been doing rather well, but just as with Manchester City doing rather poorly I am not sure how much this tells us about anything. Much depends on how the manager of each club is using the competition.
Granit Xhaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Nacho Monreal and Lucas Torreira have now all returned to training after their holidays, but it’s surely too soon for them to be involved, so the team could well be similar to that for the last match.
Meanwhile, we’re told there is a new contract for Emile Smith Rowe. This, as I understand it is not so much about him doing what he is doing in this competition, but rather because of his progress in the last year. It is also interesting to see that there has been no talk about a loan, where he could be roughed up by second division thugs or ignored by a manager who doesn’t like his style.
“So, do pre-season games matter, or do they not? Arsenal supporters would be well placed to argue the latter, especially considering their infamous summer of 2015, when the club signed Petr Cech and beat Everton 3-0, Lyon 6-0 and Wolfsburg 1-0 to lift the coveted Emirates Cup, before unexpectedly beating Chelsea 1-0 to lift the Community Shield. The end result? A humbling 1-0 loss at home to West Ham on the opening day of the season.”
Of course like other journalists, if there are two ways of spinning an Arsenal story they will knock Arsenal rather than praise, they will do it, but it might be interesting to contrast this with
- 11 July 2003: Peterborough 1 Arsenal 0
- 19 July 2003: Barnet 0 Arsenal 0
- 22 July 2003: SC Ritzing 2 Arsenal 2
- 25 July 2003: Austria Wien 0 Arsenal 2
- 29 July 2003: Arsenal 1 Besitkas 0
- 31 July 2003: St Albans City 1 Arsenal 3
- 2 August 2003: Celtic 1 Arsenal 1
An uninspiring pre-season. And you might recall what happened next.
Arsenal have been experimenting with different tactics as far as I can see so far. We have had 4-2-3-1 and then we have had 4-4-2. as players have moved around.
Indeed Mr Emery has a reputation for being anything but fixed in his views on how a team plays. He prepares everything and knows all about his opponents and so uses different systems depending on who we are playing. That is why he has bought such a variety of players to the club. And why Untold thinks Arsenal will progress up the table this season. All he needs to do is take our away form back to where it was in recent years.
Chelsea, according to the Independent, play an “asphyxiating high-press” with a lot of harrying and hassling to make the defence panic, do back passes and make mistakes. In which case I suspect we might respond with a very solid back four with two defensive midfielders in front. With an attack of Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette and Aubamayang against a high pressing team we most certainly should make those high-pressing defenders come at us leaving us spaces around the back.
For Chelsea the reports say that Kurt Zouma is injured, but Callum Hudon-Odoi should be playing. Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud, Gary Cahill, Michy Batshuayi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Thibaut Courtois are apparently not yet back in the squad. There is talk elsewhere that Willian can’t be with Chelsea because he couldn’t get a visa. There seems to have been quite a few visa issues this summer – I suppose it is a foretaste of what it will be like next year when the UK is not in the EU, especially if everything is then still being re-negotiated.
Goal.com has not followed my thinking at all on this one and has given Arsenal this team
Bellerin, Papastathopoulos, Mustafi, Kolasinac;
Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Mkhitaryan;
Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Interestingly the Standard went with exactly the same line up as Goal.com, so either the club is putting out some sounds as to what will happen, or else one copied from the other, which is a bit naughty.
The Chelsea “Weaintgotnohistory” web site notes that Arsenal spent just “not much more” on their entire summer transfers than Chelsea spent on Jorginho alone, adding that “generally speaking, such a scattergun approach (many, lower quality signings) is less preferable to surgical striker (fewer, higher quality signings).”
We shall, perhaps, see. Anyway, for the first time this season we can do a meaningful head to head report. Feels just like the old days. Here’s the last 10…
|19 Sep 2015||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||2-0||Premier League|
|24 Jan 2016||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||0-1||Premier League|
|24 Sep 2016||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||3-0||Premier League|
|04 Feb 2017||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
|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|
|24 Jan 2018||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||League Cup|
Four wins for us, three for Chelsea, and three draws.
And here are Chelsea’s last five of last season…
|28 Apr 2018||Swansea City v Chelsea||W||0-1||Premier League|
|06 May 2018||Chelsea v Liverpool||W||1-0||Premier League|
|09 May 2018||Chelsea v Huddersfield Town||D||1-1||Premier League|
|13 May 2018||Newcastle United v Chelsea||L||3-0||Premier League|
|19 May 2018||Chelsea v Manchester United||W||1-0||FA Cup|
Three wins, a draw and a defeat. Our last five were not quite so satisfying, although the Burnley game was great fun.
|29 Apr 2018||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|03 May 2018||Atlético Madrid v Arsenal||L||1-0||UEFA Europa League|
|06 May 2018||Arsenal v Burnley||W||5-0||Premier League|
|09 May 2018||Leicester City v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
|13 May 2018||Huddersfield Town v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
Two wins and three defeats for us. It seems an awfully long time ago. But I’ve still got the t-shirt from the Burnley game. Wore it the other day too. Still liked it.
The program to get Arsenal up to third in the League this coming season
- Beyond any doubt Infantino is getting his way. Next: Fifa will leave Zurich
- World Cup chaos: the bits you may have missed
- Fifa establish their unchallengable right to change football rules as they go
- Extraordinary report claims Arsenals’ FA Cup win was not a major trophy!
- 2022/23 Women’s Champions League Juventus v Arsenal – match preview