There’s nobody here, just like the old days. Arsenal smother Chelsea

By Tony Attwood

Oh what fun.  After such a miserable three results, smashing the Russian Oligarch XI 2-4 at the oil terminal was a wonderful victory.   And the “There’s nobody here” song was a beautiful bonus.  Even the complete cock up on the BBC Radio 4 news this morning in getting the score wrong and utterly failing to correct it, couldn’t take the shine off the moment.

Of course we are still not back in the “not a trophy” position of fourth, so derided by the anti-Wengerians, but a victory is always worth celebrating.  At least by those who really support the team, rather than the media.

Here’s the table.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 32 24 5 3 75 20 55 77
2 Liverpool 32 23 7 2 83 22 61 76
3 Chelsea 31 18 8 5 66 27 39 62
4 Tottenham Hotspur 32 18 3 11 56 38 18 57
5 Arsenal 32 18 3 11 49 39 10 57
6 Manchester United 33 15 9 9 52 48 4 54
7 West Ham United 33 15 7 11 52 43 9 52

We are not likely to be overtaken by Manchester United, and also the so heavily hyped West Ham United seem to have blown themselves out, so it is just us and the Tiny Totts, fighting for fourth.

And yes of course we should have got this sorted out a couple of weeks ago instead of being beaten three in a row by teams further down the league, but it happened and we have finally responded.

The very old stadium at Chelsea, which should have been replaced long ago, has a capacity of 41,837 but the official attendance was just 32,249.   Clearly, Chelsea fans have had enough of the Russian ownership – but that ongoing saga was hardly mentioned on TV.  Although the broadcasters couldn’t hide the remorseless Arsenal chant of “There’s nobody here; just like the old days, there’s nobody here.”

Meanwhile, I wonder what the feeling is among Chelsea supporters.  Shame at their taking of the Russian money perhaps – although in talking to Chelsea fans I’ve never felt that at all.   Or is it shame now at the way the club has been rebuilt?  Probably not.

Or maybe annoyance at the way that when the owner didn’t get everything his own way over the building of the new stadium, and just suddenly pulled the plug on the whole project?   Especially when other clubs including Arsenal and even Tottenham have managed to get the new ground built.

In his post-match commentary, the manager spoke particularly about the way both teams kept changing their shape, and beyond doubt that made it even more exciting and interesting.

Paul Merson said after the game “advantage Arsenal”, but warned that no one expects anything for Manchester United which could be dangerous.

So we can take a quick peek at where we are now compared with this stage in recent years just to see if there has been any progress or whether we are constantly slipping backward…

Season Pos Pld W D L F A GD Pts
2021/2 5 32 18 3 11 49 39 10 57
2020/1 9 32 13 7 12 44 36 8 46
2019/20 7 32 11 13 8 47 41 6 46
2018/9 5 32 19 6 7 65 40 25 63

So we have not yet recovered to the position achieved at this stage by Unai Emery ins 2018/19, when by this stage we had six points more than now, and a 15 goal better goal difference, but it is certainly an improvement over the last two seasons.

There is an interesting headline in the Telegraph this morning reading “Thomas Tuchel blames Chelsea pitch as angry Cesar Azpilicueta confronts own fans after Arsenal defeat”.  Tuchel apparently said that the pitch was “awkward” and “difficult” for his players.  He added that the pitch “is not in our favour and the ball bounces very, very awkwardly”.   The implication is clearly that Chelsea suffer because they are a team of quality players who thrive on accurate passes while Arsenal just kick the ball, and hope for the best.

There was also a most interesting moment at the end when Azpilicueta went over to one spectator and confronted him at the end of the game.   That was an unusual development although I wonder if it is being seen on other grounds.

However that was not the end of the matter for in an interview afterwards, the manager said of the confrontation, “I saw it.  Honestly, I can also understand the fan.”  I am not sure that does much for the psychology of the player nor relations between the manager and the rest of the team, but of course I am sure Tuchel knows what he’s up to.  I’m not sure I do, but then that hardly matters.

Mikel Arteta spoke about Saka taking the penalty saying, “For him to have the courage to take the penalty, because I’m sure it was in the back of his mind, it took great character and courage.”

I think most of us would agree with that.

18 Replies to “There’s nobody here, just like the old days. Arsenal smother Chelsea”

  1. Asking whether a Chelsea fan feels any shame about their owner is as pointless as asking a Spurs fan how he feels about winning trophies.

    Neither question bears any relationship to the real World.

  2. During one of the interviews the interviewer pointed out the raucous celebrations that could be heard in the Arsenal dressing room.

    I wonder if we’ll get criticised yet again for ‘over celebrating’ ?

    Nothing would surprise me.

  3. So

    Chelsea show their inconsistency yet again. Winning by 6 at Southampton and a brilliant performance to win in Madrid, bookended by embarrassing home defeats to Brentford and Arsenal.

    Being undone by an ex academy player they let go to one of their neighbours.

    Fielding yet another £100 Million waste of money.

    And their I was thinking it’s only Arsenal that f-up like this.

  4. Just had a look around to see what the little spuddies have to say about the top 4 race following last nights result and it’s quite interesting.

    One of the things they are getting all excited about is the fact that last nights result makes them pipping us for 4th on Goal difference a real possibility. Apparently they would really ‘love it, just love it’ if that happened.

    Well you know what those little spuddies are like, getting all excited about winning nothing again is what they do, after all when you never actually win anything you have to make the most of these things don’t you. Do I sense another little ‘mug’ for the spuddy shop coming on? I think so.

    But what would it say? Something catchy like:

    ‘We pipped Arsenal for 4th at the toilet bowl, but didn’t actually win anything again and they didn’t actually care that much anyway, but hey we’ll take it because we are that desperate’

    I said ‘little’ mug. Might have to be a slightly bigger mug to fit that little lot on, but hey, a mugs a mug !

    Anyway, apart from bragging rights would anyone really care that much if we ‘only’ got Europa League football next season ? I did, but I think I have changed my mind ?

    I say ‘think’ because I’m still not 100% sure either way, because there could be implications. For example does it matter to the club? What I mean by that is will it make any difference to whether certain players will stay or go? Well I suppose that depends on whether they feel we are heading in the right direction to achieve what they want to achieve?

    All these young guys may be saying,”we can do this”. “Lets stick together and see where we can take this club. How good would that be?” I don’t know. Maybe I’m just dreaming?

    And would failing to get in to the Champions League affect who we can get in? Or again would they think, “I don’t care. I can see where this club is going and I want to be a part of it”.

    Again I just don’t know. Again, am I just dreaming?

    All I do know is that I’m enjoying the journey, and nothing, repeat nothing, would give me greater pleasure than seeing our own group of home grown young guns take us back to the top.

    I can dream cant I ?

  5. Tony , you really have to get over Wenger’s departure , it’s not good for your health.

    The game was exciting to say the least but as much as it was very expansive I felt that a little more pragmatism was required when we were in front . I was pleased for Elneny , whilst others took the plaudits his experience a calmness under pressure stood out . A much wasted midfielder in my opinion.
    The game was played at a fast pace but there were times when we needed to put our foot on the ball and put ten or fifteen passes together instead of just lumping it away to come straight back.
    Still onwards and upwards looking at both ours and others fixtures we are still in the hunt just a shasme about the 9 points we lost on the trot.

  6. Despite recent disappointments there is still a wonderful spirit in the Arsenal dressing room. We had no luck at all in the three matches vs Palace, Brighton and Southampton, yesterday the bounce of the ball went our way at crucial times and heavens be praised we got a penalty and Eddie found his finishing boots.

    Middlesex Ramblers are still slight favourites I think, looking at the fixtures, but we’re back in the hunt and with our fantastic supporters behind the boys we have a 50/50 chance.

  7. porter

    The thing is, when people still constantly attempt re write Wengers history in an inaccurate, or at the very least, non contextual light, I feel it is only fair that anyone who wishes to challenge that, and or at the very least put the other side, should be entitled to do so, without being advised to ‘let it go’.

    It’s not a matter of ‘letting it go’, at least not in my case, it’s a matter of defending a legacy that the media, by and large, and on the back of that far too many Arsenal fans, continually attempt to discredit.

    I loved Wenger and thought he was un fairly treated, even by Arsenal FC themselves, but when he was gone he was gone. I supported Emery, I now support Arteta, because at the end of the day it is ARSENAL I support, and have done since the 1960’s.

    If I, Tony or anyone else feels the need to reference, defend or critique Wenger, I think that is fair enough to do so. He was a massive part of our club and 5, 10, 15, 50 years on he will still be so.

    So for me at least porter, it’s not about ‘letting it go’ or ‘not letting it go’, it’s simply about trying to prevent the re writing of history, and trying to defend a legacy that deserves to be defended.

  8. Allezkev

    “Despite recent disappointments there is still a wonderful spirit in the Arsenal dressing room. We had no luck at all in the three matches vs Palace, Brighton and Southampton”

    Very well said.

    We all know we wasn’t brilliant in those 3 matches, especially the first half against Palace, but with better finishing, and or just a bit of luck we could/should of avoided defeat in all 3, and given the statistical dominance we had, as I showed recently, we could even of won a couple of them.

    As for the Middlesex Ramblers as you call them, I agree they are still favourites, and as I said earlier, they are getting all a bit unnecessary over the prospect of pipping us for 4th on goal difference, which is actually pretty sad when think about it.

    And as for the away support, again as you say, magnificent.

  9. Legacy or whatever even Wenger has been quoted as saying that he stayed too long. We needed a fresh impetus because we were treading water.
    I have had the highs and lows since Tom Whittaker starting out watching football combination matches at Highbury so I think that i have the right to say let it go .
    I too believe that it was unfortunate the way that things finished for him but there are very few divorces that end happily especially if at the time one partner does not want to go.
    However the history books will take care of any legacy and when people read them in the future , the chances are that the dissenters will no longer be with us albeit neither will I.

  10. porter

    “i have the right to say let it go”

    Yes you do, as I/we have the right to defend Wenger, and or his legacy whenever I/we see fit.

    And whether Wenger said he stayed too long or not is irrelevant. He may well of done he may not, but it’s not about that, it’s about the rewriting of history and the attempt by some (not accusing you of this porter) to trash his legacy.

    It seems we’ll have to agree to disagree my friend.

  11. As I said the history books will decide and form whatever legacy there is . I won’t be here to influence things anymore than I could about the achievements of Herbert Chapman , Bertie Mee or George Graham .They are the past and we have to look forward and lets hope that the board have chosen well and things look up from here on.

  12. Porter

    You seem to be missing the point.

    It’s not about history books yet to be written because I haven’t got a clue what they will say, and neither have you.

    It’s about how history is being written here and now, because what is being written, here and now, is already often as not simply untrue, or as I said before, at the very least an inaccurate, non contextual version of history.

    As such, if I don’t agree with what is being written, or said, not only do I have every right to say so, I believe it is vitally important I say so.

    You may not care about Wengers legacy? You may be happy to let people in the media, or on the TV, or even on these very pages, re interpret history? You may even agree with them? That is your prerogative.

    I certainly am not and do not, so as such I will not be ‘letting it go’ any time soon.

  13. I don’t see your conspiracy .
    If you wish to see people hiding in the shadows that’s up to you however Wenger was excellent in his first years he bought success to a club that had been in decline after the George Graham period however after Dein went , things began to slide .He tried to change his style it didn’t work . His legacy will be in two bits for me . 1 good the other average.
    But as you say lets leave it because we will never fully agree.

  14. Porter,

    I’ll kind of side with Nitram on this one.
    I ain’t crying because Mr Wenger left. Do I feel he was not treated right by Arsenal ? Yes I do. Do I feel that he was mishandled by the so-called press and a virulent section of so-called fans ? You bet.

    Unai Emery came in, and what did we see ? The same mob going after him. We’d get Fergusson (my Lord !) and he’d be hounded the same way pretty quick. This is just something that keeps happening with Arsenal. And defending a legacy is in this regard ok with me.

    As for the game itself, I think we could see that the youth of the squad means they are not yet experienced enough to ‘manage’ a game’s flow. We’ve got to give them time to acquire that via experience. Thus, to me, CL or EL does not matter. It does look like one or the other is becoming a reality which is a huge compliment to all at Arsenal.

    To me the most important now is how they will manage the transfer period. Who leaves, who stays, wo comes.
    Our team is not large enough I feel for an EL/CL run. Just look at what happened these past few weeks. Our 2 pistons, ESR, Tierney and Tomy have been out and this has shown on the field. Their threat has not really been replaced, not that the players replacing them were not good, just they are not the same. All 3 games lost showed how Arsenal was not able to get the ball into the box, use the wings as well as it was before the international break. Our team balance has suffered.

    So the team needs some added manpower to go for european championships.

  15. porter

    Where did I say there was a conspiracy? Don’t put words in my mouth.

    I just don’t agree with what a lot of people say, and I certainly don’t agree with your assessment.

    In fact your comment is one of the very reasons I continue to argue as I do because you are doing exactly what I have been saying people do. You are splitting his tenure at Arsenal in half, praising one and criticising the other, without any context at all.

    Once Arsenal had committed to building the Emirates Stadium Wenger went 10 years on a zero net spend, yet still maintained top 4 status whilst 2, then 3 teams spent an average of £30 to £50 Million Nett PER SEASON on players.

    Most of the teams bellow Arsenal in the league, including Liverpool and Spurs, were spending much much more than Arsenal.

    How anyone can call that ‘average’ is beyond me.

    Then we started to spend more, still not like those 3 but more, and:

    13-14 4th FAC
    14-15 3rd FAC CS
    15-16 2nd CS
    16-17 5th FAC

    How anyone can call that ‘average’ I do not know.

    No wonder you want people to ‘let it go’. No facts. No perspective. And worst of all, absolutely no context ! Just your opinion that achieving all that was ‘average’.

    Thank you so much porter for highlighting to me exactly why I do what I do.

    Average? Seriously ?

  16. Chris

    I agree with just about all you say.

    I said a couple of days ago that I thought our biggest miss was our full backs. Not only for what they give us attacking wise, but because they are pretty good defenders as well. But even more than that they occupy 2 opposing players the entire game. Neither of them can be left alone for a minute. So as you say players have been missed.

    But the odd thing is, if you saw the stats I did, we still dominated those 3 defeats in terms of possession and shots. It’s just we didn’t hit the target often enough (1 in 4) and conceded too many of the shots on our goal. Not a good combination.

    And the funny thing is, last night we had less possession than in those 3 matches. Less shots on goal, and still only managed 1 in 4 on target, yet we scored 4 goals. In fact we scored with every shot we had on target, as did Chelsea. As I said last night that could be some kind of record, 6 shots on target in the entire match for 6 goals !

    So last nights game was a bit odd really. From one extreme to the other.

    As for the future.

    I now tend to be erring towards the EL, mainly to protect the youngsters, but I’m still not sure. In fact, listening to Arteta he seems in no doubt that the CL is crucial. “Game changing” are his words. Well if that’s what he thinks is best then who am I to disagree ?

    And as for strengthening the squad. Well I think it needs it, especially if the players muted to leave leave, but who and where exactly I think I’ll leave to the experts.

  17. Nitram,

    MA is in the loop in terms of transfers and in terms of finances. He knows what is coming and most probably there are players would want to be in the CL and may choose another club because of that. So I’d expect his comment to be motivationnal and very realistic as to the next step in rebuilding the team. Maybe Eddie may be convinced to stay if CL is there.

    The fact that MA pretty much apologised to Eddie in public was very interesting to me. This was more about a message to pass on to the player then some ‘oh I’m sorry’ kind of thing. This was the manager admitting a fault to a player and a team. Funny that pretty much no one seems to have taken notice (Tony did).

    Would EL enable to get some youngsters more playing time ? I’m coming to doubt it. At the first defeat, we’d have full bedlam again. So maybe Cl is better in this regard with the added chance of clinching a consolation spot in the EL if the qualifying does not succeed, as well as for the finances ? And it would give a very good measurement of where Arsenal now stands.

  18. I truly would love for our youngsters to stay together next season and move on up in their development . I would love a few more to join them next season.
    I too am not too bothered if we played in the Europa Cup or in the CL . The very fact that we qualify is testament to our progress.
    That being said , I do miss St. Totteringham’s days !

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