Monday, October 20, 2014
Tags Posts tagged with "chelsea"

chelsea

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Sami Khedira’s agent has played down suggestions that the German international is on the verge of joining Arsenal by revealing the player has yet to be contacted by any suitors.

The 27-year-old midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates in the last week with speculation in the British press fuelled by bold claims in Spanish publications Sport and Marca that the Gunners have already agreed a fee with Real Madrid.

Taking a step back from the exciting prospect of another World Cup winner sporting the red and white, the way this rumour continues to twist and turn is increasingly suspicious. Here’s our attempt at a timeline of events since last weekend…

Sunday 13th July - Khedira wins the World Cup; misses the final after getting injured in the warm-up.

Monday 14th July - Catalan paper Sport declares Khedira to Arsenal, on a 4-year-deal, is pretty much done. We report the report…everybody does the same.

Tuesday 15th July - Stories emerge overnight, via Twitter, that Khedira’s wage demands could scupper Arsenal move. Mourinho/Chelsea link emerges…not a new link. Podolski pours fuel on the fire by shouting ‘Arsenal’ when Khedira is asked where he’ll play his football next year when interviewed at Germany’s homecoming parade.

Wednesday 16th July - Mundo Deportivo report it’s between Arsenal and Chelsea for Khedira. Toni Kroos, deemed to be Khedira’s replacement at the Bernabeu, officially signs for Madrid.

…which leads us to today and the quotes from his agent, Jorg Neubauer.

“We are not in talks with Arsenal. I don’t think a fee can have been agreed, otherwise I would have been told.

“When a club have an interest I am sure they will call me and we will speak about things. The same goes for Chelsea.”

As a further twist, El Confidencial today claim that Khedira has apologised to Madrid for saying he wants out and is eager to re-enter negotiations about a contract extension. His current deal ends next summer. They also claim, this ‘apology’ might have come too late and that Madrid are set on selling him.

All in all, the whole thing is as clear as mud…which leads us to one thing. An updated poo-ometer rating. This rumour is close to peak poo.

8poos

 

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It’s pretty gross but Cesc Fabregas is a Chelsea player now. We’re not linking to any of their nonsense or the rest of the stuff written about.

But, in a statement, the former captain confirmed the news we brought you last week, saying, “Yes, everyone knows that Arsenal had the first option to sign me. They decided not to take this option. It wasn’t meant to be. I wish them well in the future.”

Arseblog News doesn’t need to tell you how much we wanted him back and the idea of him celebrating goals with that pack of racist, piss-drinking, goat-felching cuntbusters is thoroughly unpleasant. As is him being managed by that man.

Let’s just hope that our manager has got his plans in order this summer, because this could be a decision that turns out to be a big regret.

Ugh.

Arsene Wenger has hit out at Sky for the way Arsenal’s game against Hull City was moved this weekend.

The fixture was originally scheduled for this Saturday, but after Chelsea’s progress in the Champions League, Sky shifted things around to provide Roman Abramovich’s club more time to prepare for their Gazprom sponsored semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

It means that thousands of Arsenal fans, who had booked train tickets, hotels and more, were inconvenienced with just eight days notice and Wenger says the Gunners have never been accommodated like that by the broadcasters.

“We never got any help on that front. Never,” he said. “There is no written rule. When you speak to the Premier League, it is not the Premier League. It is the television companies who help. It is not the Premier League.

“The television companies decide who plays when and some clubs have maybe better introductions with television companies. We never had and we never tried to influence the decision of Sky or any other company.

“If you want to know more, you look at the teams who have been protected since the start of the season and the teams who had the biggest rest between games. You will see and you come to your own conclusions.

“I don’t question the objectivity of the television companies but sometimes their choices don’t look very rational.

“I told you what I think about Chelsea – it is not my problem. If you want an objective view – just make your analysis between Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City, Man United and all the other teams who play in the Champions League and you will come to your own conclusions.”

The Arsenal fans who have been messed around have little or no comeback and although TV’s influence over the fixture schedules is all too obvious, there has to be some consideration for the people who are, as the mawkish television ads would tell you, the soul of the game.

 

Tomas Rosicky has admitted Arsenal’s defeat to Chelsea was a ‘slap in the face’ and ‘like a suicide’, but has the midfielder wants to focus on the positive aspects of the season.

The Gunners face Swansea tonight with a chance to close the gap at the top of the table to 4 points, and the Czech is expecting his teammates to provide the right response to what happened at the weekend.

“There are still eight games to go and so many points still to play for,” he told Arsenal.com.

“When I played in Germany for Borussia Dortmund and we won the title there, in the season that we won it we were five points behind first place with four games to go and we still managed to win it.

“Everything is possible but the most important thing at the moment is to bounce back straight away.

“If you see in the past almost every time we had a negative result we always had a good reaction up until now. We have the experience of turning a negative into a positive very quickly. I’m expecting the same thing to happen on Tuesday.

“I’m very confident that we can turn it around again and we have two big games at home now.”

Rosicky was one of the only players to come out of Saturday’s defeat with, if not credit, not no credit. Let’s hope tonight he can contribute to a good Arsenal win.

Arsenal are set to appeal Kieran Gibbs red card, and the red card decision itself.

With referee Andre Marriner making a complete bollix of the situation, and sending off Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it’s likely the left-back will be available for the game on Tuesday.

However, Arsenal are also to appeal on the basis that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s handball did not prevent a goalscoring opportunity and therefore the red card itself should be rescinded.

We have yet to discover from the officials on what basis they made their decision. Marriner seemed content for Arsenal to take a goal kick, but then changed his mind to award both a penalty and a red card.

With no monitor on the sideline for the fourth official, the options are that he either got guidance from somebody who did have video in front of them, or he was swayed by protestations from Chelsea players and management.

Neither option covers the referee in glory and a full explanation of his decision should be demanded.

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46 – Minute in which Arsenal registered their first shot
2 – Shots Arsenal rang up in that final minute of the first half
0 – Shots Arsenal took in the first half that were from inside the 18 yard box
1 – Penalties Mike Dean should have awarded Arsenal in the first half which would have resulted in at least 1 Arsenal shot on goal from a prime position — in a tight match like this that would have made all the difference, especially considering the fact that Chelsea only created one shots from a prime position in the entire match
7 – Shots Chelsea took in the first half
1 – Shots Chelsea took from outside the 18 yard box in the first half
1 – Shots Chelsea took from prime areas in the first half
6 – Shots Chelsea took in the second half
0 – Shots Chelsea took in the second half from prime positions
5 – Shots Arsenal took in the second half
2 – Shots Arsenal took in the second half from prime positions (e.g. Giroud’s shot in front of goal)
11 – Backpasses Arsenal made in the first half
6 – Backpasses Arsenal made in the second half
7 – Backpasses Chelsea made in the entire match
5 – Tackles Arsenal made in the first half (5/11)
12 – Tackles Arsenal made in the second half (12/16)
9 – Tackles Chelsea got away with in the first half (9/12)
7 – Tackles Chelsea got away with in the second half (7/10)
26 - Clearances Chelsea forced Arsenal to make in the first half
16 - Clearances Chelsea forced Arsenal to make in the second half
1 – Second half clearances that were described by the television commentators as coming off “Mertesacker’s Meaty Forehead”
1 – Blocked cross by Mertesacker’s Black Forest Ham legs in the second half
13 – Clearances Arsenal forced Chelsea to make in the first half
23 – Clearances Arsenal forced Chelsea to make in the second half
7 – Clearances by John Terry in the second half
0 – Clearances by John Terry that were described by the television commentators as coming off “Terry’s Racist Blockhead”
13 – Clearances by Vermaelen (led all players)
10 – Clearances by Mertesacker
5 – Interceptions by Sagna (led all players)
4 – Interceptions by Vermaelen
2 – Misplaced passes by Mertesacker and Vermaelen combined (out of 115)
20 – Misplaced passes by Aaron Ramsey
17 – Number of Ramsey’s misplaced passes that were in the Chelsea final third
4 – Aerial duels won by Sagna (of six, led Arsenal)
7 – Aerial duels won by Torres (of 11, led Chelsea)
3 – Aerial duels won by Giroud (of 10)
4 – Aerials won by each of Ivanovich and Azpilicunta (they were both perfect, so was Cahill 3/3)
1 – High boots to Özil’s face that Ivanovich got away with
3 – Fouls called on Rosicky (led all players, the hatchet man)
1 – Fouls called on Obi-Mikel
0 – Fouls called on Obi-Mikel in that challenge with Mikel Arteta which should have been a red card

8 – Key passes by Hazard, Lampard, and Willian (key passes are passes which lead to a shot)
6 – Successful dribbles by Hazard, Lampard, and Willian
6 – Key passes by Ramsey (2), Walcott, Gibbs, Giroud, and Özil
4 – Successful dribbles by those same players
2 – Number of last season’s MVP players that were left on both benches (Mata and Cazorla)

7am

All stats today via various Opta-based outlets as I have a tooth that needs attending. Not sure which will be worse, the dentist, or this game.

Last night’s 2-2 draw between the Chavs and the Spuds means for the first time in quite a while all three contenders for the last two remaining Champions League spots have played the same number of games (36).

If you’re anything like Arseblog News you’ll no doubt have spent much of the last few weeks staring wild-eyed at the Premier League table, frantically mouse-clicking between fixture listings and scratching your head over the various permutations.

The good news is that our fate is vert much back in our own hands – if Arsenal win their two remaining fixtures against Wigan and Newcastle they’ll finish at least 4th.

Of course, football being football, anything could happen so here’s a simplified run down of the best and worst outcomes based on if we don’t take maximum points.

[It's a slow news day...]

If Arsenal take 4 points…

Max total points: 71

Best outcome: 3rd
How: Chelsea get 2pts maximum. Spurs get 4pts maximum and don’t recover goal difference. Arsenal enjoy +3 goal difference swing with Chelsea due to ‘big’ win.

Worst outcome: 5th
How: Chelsea get 2pts minimum and goal difference remains in their favour or secure 3pts.  Spurs secure 6pts.

If Arsenal take 3 points…

Max total points: 70

Best outcome: 3rd
How: Chelsea get 1pt. Spurs get 3pts maximum. Arsenal enjoy +3 goal difference swing over Chelsea.

Worst outcome: 5th
How: Chelsea get minimum 1pt and maintain current GD over Arsenal. Spurs get 6pts or alternatively seal 4pts and enjoy a very unlikely +13 goal difference swing on Arsenal.

If Arsenal take 2 points…

Max total points: 69

Best outcome: 3rd
How: Chelsea lose both games and surrender +3 goal difference. Spurs take maximum of 3 pts and don’t recover goal difference.

Worst outcome: 5th
How: Chelsea take minimum 1 pt. Spurs either take 3pts and recover GD with big wins or take 4pts or more.

If Arsenal take 1 point…

Max total points: 68

Best outcome: 4th
How: Chelsea are 2pts ahead so can’t be caught. Spurs take maximum 2pt.

Worst outcome: 5th
How: Chelsea get minimum 1pt. Spurs get 3pts or 2pts & Arsenal suffer unlikely defeat which wipes out +13 goal difference.

If Arsenal take 0 points…

Max total points: 67

Best: 4th
How: Chelsea can afford to lose both games. Spurs secure maximum 1pt.

Worst: 5th
How: Chelsea can lose both games. Spurs take 2pts maximum.

____

Let’s hope the above has merely been a wasted couple of hours and that we don’t need to refer to it. Two wins please Arsene, then we can spend the summer saving for hair implants…

Theo Walcott’s second half strike wasn’t enough for Arsenal as Arsene Wenger’s side went down 2-1 to Chelsea following a disastrous first half showing. An early Juan Mata strike and a Frank Lampard penalty did the damage as the Gunners toiled in the January snow in West London. While there was plenty of heart on show after the break, for all the possession it was profligacy in front of goal that proved costly.

It was the same starting line-up that beat Swansea in midweek albeit with a weaker bench with both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski missing through illness. For their part Chelsea left Ba and Terry on the bench with Torres leading the line.

Chelsea certainly started brighter but it was Arsenal who had the first clear-cut chance after only four minutes. Cazorla found Walcott who quickly slipped in Giroud. Bearing down on goal having beaten the offside trap the Frenchman looked a good bet to score but arrowed wide in haste.

The miss was to prove very costly. A minute later we went behind.

Ramires studded Coquelin’s ankle in the midfield, the ball fell to Ivanovic who lofted a diagonal ball to Mata. The Spaniard controlled beautifully and slapped a finish high past Szczesny despite pressure from Diaby. 1-0. 

On the touchline Wenger quite rightly went mental about the fact that no foul was given in the build-up.

Eager to keep up the tempo after the restart Cazorla, who initially struggled on the left of midfield, produced a good save from Cech. Not to be outdone Eden Hazard wriggled through our defence forcing Szczesny to palm his shot over the bar. It was an action-packed first ten minutes.

The longer the game went on the more Arsenal struggled under Chelsea pressure. Defensively we looked shaky with the trickery and dribbling of Blues trio Mata, Hazard and Oscar testing the discipline of our back four.

In midfield Ramires had Diaby in his pocket. Twice he got the better of the Frenchman inside 30 seconds, the latter eventually to a scramble in the box which saw Szczesny in a second phase of play trip the Brazilian. The Chelsea man definitely left his leg hanging to ensure he went down, but with contact made the referee was always going to give the penalty. A yellow card was produced for the Pole, Lampard stepped up and calmly slotted home to make it 2-0.

By this point we were all over the shop, wildly hacking the ball clear in an attempt to clear the lines only for Chelsea’s defence to gang up on Giroud and push forward again.

In the final third the best we offered were awful crosses from Sagna and Gibbs while Walcott put three consecutive corners into Cech’s hands. As you might expect, feeding the Chelsea goalkeeper only served to provide the home side with a platform to launch more quick attacks.

We needed to press in midfield but for all Jack Wilshere’s anxious and angry pleading with his teammates there was little reaction. Coquelin, Diaby and Sagna were the worst offenders, each lackadaisical both in and out of possession.

Although Wilshere started to impose himself on the game his moments of quality were met with no end product. A dinked ball to Giroud wasn’t brought under control and Walcott was twice offside from incisive through balls.

Were it not for wild finishing from Ramires and Torres we could well have been further behind before the break. Just to sum up a horrible half for Arsenal, nice work by Coquelin in injury-time was rewarded with another offside flag for Walcott. Our new £100,000 a week man did that annoying shoulder shrug thing he does.

Wenger sent the side out early after half-time, presumably thinking five minutes in the freezing snow was the best possible team talk.

It nearly proved dividends. A foul by Cole on Walcott on 47 minutes gave Wilshere the chance to loft a ball into the box. When it dropped at Mertesacker’s feet the German composed himself but could only hit his shot straight at Cech. A sign of more positive things to come?

For once Walcott beat the offside trap from a Cazorla pass, but bearing down on goal he too could only shoot directly at the Chelsea keeper. We were going for it at least.

Further pressure came from a Giroud header from a clipped Gibbs cross; a poor effort in truth, but at least he managed to get in the position.

Finally just before the hour mark Walcott timed a run correctly latched onto a Cazorla through ball and slotted past Cech. It was a goal which we deserved and another very tidy finish from a player improving in one-on-one situations. 2-1.

Coquelin, who was lying on the turf as we scored, was immediately replaced by Aaron Ramsey, while Walcott also required treatment before the restart.We nearly grabbed a quick equaliser after a fine break involving Gibbs, Cazorla, Ramsey and Wilshere released Theo again. This time he cut in from the right only to scuff his effort wide.

Chelsea looked very anxious, perhaps mindful of the two goal lead they let slip against Southampton on Wednesday, as we continued to up the tempo. More good work by Walcott drew another foul from Cole on the edge of the box. Cazorla took charge but his curling effort was blocked by the wall.

Vermaelen had Szczesny and Sagna to thank for denying Torres after being caught by the Spaniard’s pace twice in two minutes as the game entered the final third. With limited options on the bench Andrei Arshavin was introduced for the tiring Diaby while Ba replaced Torres. It was obvious as we entered the last ten minutes that our energy levels were depleted; the game a much slower affair than it had been at the start of the half.

Chelsea should have sealed the win when Ba skipped past Szczesny and rolled the ball goalwards only for Vermaelen to miraculously block the ball. It was a massive let off.

The Belgian then hit a low drive from a free-kick just past the post and Giroud tried his luck from 30-yards just before we entered injury-time. There were as many as five corners during the five minutes added on but despite Walcott and Giroud coming close we just couldn’t muster the equaliser.

It was a fine showing in the second period, but as with the game against City last weekend, you just can’t afford to give opponents two goal leads. We lose again and sit sixth in the table six points off the Champions League pace. Granted we have three home games in the Premier League coming up but we’re really struggling for momentum now.

Thomas Vermaelen wants his Arsenal team to ‘send out a statement’ during today today’s game with Chelsea at the Emirates.

The skipper, who missed last Sunday’s draw with Man City, will come back into the side and admits that given the way the team are playing anything less than three points would be ‘disappointing’.

Speaking in today’s official matchday programme, Vermaelen said, “A win today would send out a statement that we’re in very good form.

“We’re a home and this means that any other result would be a little disappointing. We’ll be going for the three points today, aiming to make sure that only one of these two teams remains unbeaten.”

The captain isn’t blind to the quality of the opposition though and spoke about the threat of his international teammate, Eden Hazard who will certainly occupy Carl Jenkinson down the right hand side.

“People talked about him a lot when he played for Lille,” said Vermaelen, “and understandably so because he’s one of the most talented players in Europe.

“At Chelsea he has already shown what exceptional quality he has. He can do a lot with the ball and has the ability to decide a game on his own, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on him.”

But Vermaelen is confident this Arsenal has what it takes to do the business today.

“It will be a tough game but we’re full of confidence after a really good performance against Man City and can’t wait to get going against another unbeaten side. ”

The Arsenal matchday programme is available to download on iPad – click here for details.

It’s all about Robin

10 - League goals by Robin van Persie in the 2011/2012 season
10 - League games played by Robin van Persie in the 2011/2012 season
28 - League goals scored by Robin since January 1, 2011
27 - League games played by Robin since January 1, 2011
21 - Career games in which Robin van Persie has scored two or more goals for Arsenal
20 - Number of those games that Arsenal have won (1 draw, 4-4 Newcastle)
4 - Games in the 2011/2012 season in which Robin van Persie has scored two or more goals
4 - Arsenal wins in the 2011/2012 season when Robin van Persie scores two or more goals
2 - Number of away matches in which Robin van Persie scored two or more goals against Chelsea
2 - Number of those games that Arsenal have won
2 - Career hattricks
7 – Arsenal shots on goal in 90 minutes today
4 – Robin van Persie shots on goal today
3 – Goals scored today
1 – Assists provided by Robin van Persie today
1 – Number of away fans Robin van Persie gave his hattrick shirt to

Other people played football too

2 - Career Arsenal goals by Gael Clichy
2 - Career Arsenal goals by St. André
180 – Degree turn in St. André’s game after he scored
2 – Number of 5 tackles André made before scoring
4 – Number of 6 tackles André made after scoring
2 - Number of his three interceptions he made after scoring
1 – Number of blocks André made to keep the game in Arsenal’s favor (90th minute)

94 – Pass completion rate Mikel Arteta
78 – Passes attempted by Mikel Arteta
10 – Long balls attempted by Arteta
9 – Accurate long balls by Arteta
4 – Attempted tackles by Arteta
4 – Successful tackles by Arteta
1 – Accurate through balls by Arteta
1 – Key passes by Arteta
1 – Assists by Mikel Arteta
1 – Career assists for Arsenal by Arteta

83 – Pass completion rate Aaron Ramsey
60 – Passes attempted by Ramsey
3 – Number of shots by Ramsey (1 on goal)
2 – Number of 5 attempted long balls completed by Ramsey
2 – Number of attempted tackles by Ramsey
2 – Number of tackles won by Ramsey
1 – Accurate through balls by Ramsey
1 – Successful dribbles by Ramsey

22 – Number of clearances Chelsea forced Arsenal to make
11 – Number of successful clearances by Arsenal
18 – Number of clearances Arsenal forced Chelsea to make
7 – Number of successful clearance by Chelsea
5 – Number of Arsenal’s 11 failed clearances that went through Per Mertesaker
2 – Number that resulted in a scummy cunt scoring a goal

2 – Consecutive matches against Chelsea that Theo Walcott has scored
2 – Consecutive Arsenal wins when Theo Walcott scores against Chelsea
6 – Consecutive losses to Chelsea by Arsenal when Theo Walcott played
4 – Career goals against Chelsea by Theo Walcott
1 – Theo Walcott’s first Arsenal goal came against Chelsea (Carling Cup final)

1 - Successful crosses credited to Arsenal by Opta
2 - Minimum number of successful crosses credited to Arsenal by Tim
2 - Number of those crosses that came from Theo Walcott
13 - Last minute of the game that Arsenal had a successful cross or corner
0 - Successful crosses or corners that Arsenal needed to win the game

500 – Arsene Wenger wins
70 - Bob Wilson’s age today
5 – Most goals conceded at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea’s entire eight year history
4 – Time ante meridiem  which I woke up to watch this match
-8 – Arsenal Premier League goal differential after the 4-3 loss to Blackburn
+7 – Arsenal Premier League goal differential since

Find more stuff like this from me on twitter @7amkickoff

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