By Bulldog Drummond
So we return to the pre-season games after an interruption with the cancellation of the American trip, with the game against Chelsea.
Despite the cancellation of the American meander we have managed to put in a few friendly games
- 13 July: Hibernian 2-1 Arsenal (Easter Road)
- 17 July: Rangers 2-2 Arsenal (Ibrox Stadium)
- 24 July: Arsenal 4-1 Millwall (London Colney)
- 28 July: Arsenal 4-1 Watford (London Colney)
I may well have missed something but all I have seen written up for Chelsea are two such games…
- 17 July: Chelsea 6-1 Peterborough (Cobham Training Centre)
- 27 July: Bournemouth 1-2 Chelsea (Vitality Stadium)
Investment in Chelsea’s squad has been astronomical of late although in the last six years the League has been a bit of a roller coaster for them with a finishing position of 1st, 3rd, 4th (twice), 5th and 10th. Better than Arsenal of course – 2nd, 3rd, 5th (twice), 6th and 8th (twice) – but we haven’t sunk quite as low as 10th. Nor have we spent anything like the amount of money.
Since 2016 Chelsea have had four managers: Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel.
Arsenal have also had four: Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg and Mikel Arteta.
Overall we are still comfortably in the lead in terms of games against them, winning 80, losing 65 and drawing 58. And indeed our recent performances against them have not been at all bad. For of the last 14 from May 2017 to May 2021 Arsenal have won seven, lost three and drawn four.
|27 May 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||FA Cup Final|
|06 Aug 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||1-1||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|
|18 Aug 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||3-2||Premier League|
|19 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-0||Premier League|
|29 May 2019||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||4-1||Europa League|
|29 Dec 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||1-2||Premier League|
|21 Jan 2020||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||2-2||Premier League|
|01 Aug 2020||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||FA Cup Final|
|26 Dec 2020||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||3-1||Premier League|
|12 May 2021||Chelsea v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
Interestingly those last two victories marked the start and end of our glorious run last season in which through the final two thirds of the season we had the second best performances of any club in the league in terms of points and goals.
This summer Chelsea have let 22 players go, including Olivier Giroud and Fiyako Tomori (£30m to Milan) but have only brought in the keeper Marcus Bettinelli on a free.
Overall they have released five players, two players transferred on a free, seven leaving for an undisclosed sum, six going out on loan, and four leaving for a disclosed fee, suggesting that the Chelsea approach of buying up lots of youngsters and farming them out to their favoured clubs has continued. But so far this season what is lacking here is what we used to see (and what Chelsea were so heavily criticised for) – that loaning out of youngsters to favoured clubs around Europe.
We have now spent £17.2m on Lokonga, £6.8m on Tavares and £50 on White.
In terms of injuries we have Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes with a knee injury and that’s all.
Sports Mole have a team of…
The Daily Canon offers something rather similar
No one else seems to be offering a clear projection of the lineup, and indeed one can’t blame them. I am sure there will be quite a few changes at half time and on the hour.
The statistical enquiry of 2021
- How tackling is changing in the PL and how it is affecting clubs’ position in the league
- Making up statistics about Arsenal is ok… until someone bothers to check.
- New fouls and yellow card data suggest refs are reacting to club ploys.
- Buying players does not mean success as last season shows…
- All change with PGMO and the refs.. But what change?
- The last five years proves one big thing: nothing is guaranteed.
- Injuries Time to sack Tierney according to one part of the media
- Next season starting lineup and the new Financial Fair Play rules