Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea: season, unbeaten run over

Cesc knows it's all overI said I wanted to start afresh this week but it’s pretty hard to do that after watching Arsenal lose 4-1 to Chelsea in the final meaningful game of the season.

Knocked out of the FA Cup a fortnight a go, knocked out of the Champions League in excruciating circumstances during the week, last night’s loss to Chelsea ended our Premier League unbeaten streak and confirmed we will finish fourth this season. It’s a pretty bleak time to be an Arsenal supporter.

I thought the defeat summed up our season pretty perfectly. We were bright and sparky early on, causing Chelsea all sorts of problems in the first half-hour with some excellent football. Theo Walcott was at the heart of everything, but he showed again that he still has a long way to go to fulfill his potential, making poor decisions despite crafting some good openings. But one cheap free-kick and one clinical header later and it counted for nothing.

Nicolas Anelka’s well-struck second before the half-time whistle was as clear an indication of the ruthlessness that sides like Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have and we just don’t. He found space in the middle of the pitch and from 25 yards out let fly. Lukasz Fabianski maybe could have done better but Anelka’s willingness to back his chances shows what confidence and dare I say it, experience, brings.

The second half brought with it three goals. Kolo Toure unfortunately put through his own net before substitute Nicklas Bendtner powered an outstanding header to pull one back and give the crowd something to cheer. With 20 minutes to go and the team possessing lifted spirits I thought we might come back to draw but Chelsea put paid to that notion in the final minutes when an offside Florent Malouda added a fourth.

It would be easy to criticise both the team and the manager for this result but I’m not going to. It would have been immensely difficult to step up for this game after the United loss and in the opening half-hour you could not fault our workrate nor the quality of our performance. Only the finishing was lacking and unfortunately we were punished for it. Or, as Arsene Wenger put it after the game:

“Today we missed seven or eight clear-cut chances and on every single mistake we made we were punished.”

The problem is that experienced players are more likely to take their chances than inexperienced ones and the finishes of Alex and Anelka were a huge contrast to the attempts by Walcott and Co. I’m not going to harp on about the need for new players or question the current season, not yet anyway, but I don’t think there would be many people that would disagree with that statement.

As with the United loss I’m pretty dejected after this result. The season is over, the unbeaten run is over and it’s really been a bastard of a week. I was planning to have a podcast for today but the simple fact is that I’m too pissed off, too disappointed, too frustrated to analyse the last two results. Like Wenger, I need some time to step back and assess the situation before I make any major conclusions about our season as a whole.

I’d better leave it there for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more bits and pieces but until then, keep smiling if you can.

Have your say on Arsenal’s 4-1 loss to Chelsea by leaving a comment.



  1. As usual AW says there is nothing wrong and highlighted the positives. I would say this guy is a dangerous man.
    The whole house is in danger of collapsing and he still maintain a defiant stance.
    Arsenal better stop him before he does further damage .

  2. Spanish Fry i said it and i will say it again Song is not a DM look at how freelly chelvs passed the ball through our midfield and Headless Song hasn’t a mind to know that its about positioning not running after any one you see with the ball hence exposing our defence. I think for those of you who watched the whole match saw what a DM plays like when Denilson came on he won us possession 5 times and stopped shots coming in from the Central midfield which Song can’t do but only makes Cesc,Theo,Nasri,Van and Diaby look so tired and out of the game.

  3. I watched the 1st half yesterday but only listened to the 2nd half. The game started brightly with Walcott having a couple of chances before Diaby took the ball off Cesc’s toes who I feel had good chance of scoring whereas Diaby was stretching, these things happen though. My question is though why do we paly 4-5-1 at home? Doesn’t Wenger have faith in his midfield players anymore? After the goal Arsenal players were dejected and the fact that we then conceeded another one to Anelka, we should have bought him when we had the chance, finished the game for us. It is obvious that we need a tall strong central defender, Alex’s goal, though well taken, was a pure shambles by our defence, he was about a foot over our nearest defender. We also need a good solid DCM who can win the ball then either run with it or pass it, gosh we used to have one of those didn’t we, now what was his name, I think he was French, and I thjink he used to have a number 4 on his back. It is funny but yesterday’s game was pointless to be honest and I am not really that upset, in fact I hope it wakes Wenger and the Arsenal director’s up and we do delve in to the transfer market, what would we be like with someone such as Gututso, probably spelt wrong, or even Carrick. On a final note we definetly need to get another centre forward, Ade for all his words just isn’t delivering, he may have had one good season, when the team was actually playing well, any good formula one driver can win the title if they have a good car behind them. People say we are interested in Villa, well if he is available please get him, at least that purchase hopefully would make Cesc stay. The season is over now, lets hope the summer brings some changes, and lets get these changes in before the season starts and not after we have qualified for the CL next season. Maybe we should play the kids next week against manure.

  4. Pretty footbal does not win matches. Arsenal has proved it time and again.
    As long as tte young Spanish midfielder without some real hardnose defeders like Gallas etc in his central midfireld endeavours and ball distribution he will remain on the loosing side against the sides that matter., like MU L’pool MU Barcelona and the likes.
    Time for Wenger to understand that, no matter how good the children are they can not match experience. The mediocrity of our strike force, no matter how pretty the ball on the carpet, has once again proven… you can not walk every ball into the net!!!!
    Time for an overhaul, in my mind even the manager!

  5. Well said SF, I think you’ve summed up pretty well what we all feel.

    Yesterday did indeed sum up our shortcomings as a team and as a squad. There was, once again, only half the first team out yesterday, and the understudies once proved beyond any doubt that they’re not good enough compared, to the players that Man U, Chelsea and Liverpool can call on. I thiught Fabianski had a ‘mare again yesterday. His positioning is all wrong, his decision making is all wrong and he once again flapped about like a headless chicken. AW says he’s a world class ‘keeper. If he really believes that then we’re in serious trouble. Silvestre looked the old man that he is. Diaby strolled about in that languid, nonchalant way of his, and it was only after half an hour that I even realised RvP was on the pitch. I think it was Taygoon who described him as a magician last week. Well, he did an impressive disappearing act yesterday.

    Frankly, I don’t know where we go from here. This season we’ve comfortably been the 4th best team in the Premiership, but we’re 9 points and several light years away from 3rd. We all know we need new players, but how many do we need to really challenge. I’ve been encouraged by people like Song this year, who’s come on well, and (dare I say it!) Bendtner, who made an impact again from the bench yeaterday. But these boys are still nowhere good enough to help us challenge the likes of Man U or Chelsea.

    I’ll be glad when this season peters out and we can all have a few weeks off!

  6. Spanish Fry, call a spade a spade not a big spoon. we have failed terribly, but not because of the players, supporters, or because MAN U /Chelsea are good. the problem is this guy called AW, u know, i have always seen pple with courage come up n say, “I FAILED” this guy always comes up with excuses. for what. he is just one hell of a person taking us straight to destruction. i looked at the faces of Cesc, RvP,Nasri and just saw the dejection that we all feel. it sums up the general feelin and mood of the sprtrs. we have to change our kind of play and get experience into the club. teams are getting physical everyday and AW thinks Arsenal shuld be protected by refs from tackles. isnt that stupid, isnt it a glaring reminder of where AW has brought Arsenal from. the days when we were winning trophies to this days when number three on the table is far away.


  7. What, no podcast today?

    Anyway, im tired of this. We are so predictable these days, everyone sees our weaknesses. Its time for AW to open his eyes and stop lying to himself. We need some reinforcements, especially at the back.

    Lets hope Gallas, Clichy, Eduardo, Arshavin and Rosicky get a good pre-season under their belts in the summer, they have alot of work to do next season.

  8. Every game with fabiaski and Silvester we will always lose. I always wonder where AW collected them. The sooner they disappear the sooner arsenal will be stable at the back.
    If you dont believe me check the on past games & the few remaining.

  9. Hope Arsene gets to read this!!

    WHY Arsene, WHY?

    1.. Why is it difficult to see that whatever it is you are doing is not
    2.. Why did you play RVP as a lone striker yesterday?
    3.. Why didnt you play Bendtner from the go?
    4.. Why are you scared of Chelsea’s height?
    5.. Why do you insist on playing Diaby on the left when Vela, a more
    intelligent, better footballer rots on the bench?
    6.. Why cant we just play 4-4-2 with Nasri out on the left, Walcott in the
    right, Song and Cesc in the middle?
    7.. Why do you keep playing Diaby when cleary the guy does not merit a
    place even on the bench?
    8.. Why do you keep lying to us telling us we dont need to sign players?
    9.. Why cant you see the difference a 27 year old Arshavin has made to the
    team since January?
    10.. Why did you send Senderos on loan and sign Silvestre, an over the
    hill player your greatest rivals were very happy to let go?
    11.. Why cant you see that the best why to win something is by weakening
    the your closest rivals which right now Villa and Everton?
    12.. Why did you let a mere 200k quid stop you from buying Alonso?
    13.. Why dont you do more to keep your best players?
    14.. Why cant you see that the last time you built a winning team it was
    based on a tight defence with big players like Sol Campbell?
    15.. Why cant we repeat the summer of 2000 and 2001? You bought Pires,
    Lauren, Sol Campbell (2001), and Wiltord?
    16.. Why cant you remember that the above mentioned players were all ready
    made stars at their prime? The French contingent have just won the EURO
    2000, Lauren the Olympics, CAN 2000,2002, finalist in the Cup winners Cup
    with Mallorca.
    17.. Why cant you go out and cherry pick the best players from around
    europe? players hungry for success? players needing a place in their squads
    for the world cup? players like Lescott? Cahill? players like Diego? decent,
    talented and not too expensive.
    18.. Why dont you hire Tony Adams to sort out your defence?
    19.. Why cant you see that there is a big gulf between potential and the
    end product?
    20.. Why are you doing this to the fans?

  10. i am yet again lose again and especially to chelsa is too much. i am tired of potential and promise id rather have goals and wins. in the first 10 min we should have been three up. arsenal must learn to take their chances to be more clinical and ruthless. we have lost that killer instinct. keeping the ball passing it around doesnt count for nought if you lose. let us guys as fans make our voices heard. this week against utd we dont want a win we demand is the only way to restore pride to north london. neverthereless i love arsenal.

  11. Why cant we just play 4-4-2 with Nasri out on the left, Walcott in the
    right, Song and Cesc in the middle?
    Good idea, with rvp and adebayor up front. song is a good enuf cdm. why play bendnter before vela?

  12. i have been sayin all year long about the boss, he needs to step away not from this season rather from his own ego which left arsenal with no trophy all these years….if he can do that i know arsenal can get more …if not, be sure that we will face trophy less season next year…..

    some times you have to see what is going on around, rather than concentrating on your own think the whole year…

  13. Next season’s team will look remarkably different from the team that we have seen through this year.

    This year you’ll remember we

    * Finished 4th in the EPL contrary to all predictions which had us in free fall (remember the “should Wenger go if we don’t make the Europa League)
    * Got to the semi-final of the Euro Cup and the FA Cup
    * Went 21 games unbeaten
    * Beat the EPL record and our own club record for minutes at home without conceding a goal
    * Our ladies team won the treble including winning the league for the 6th successive year on the last day of the seas, and the FA Cup for the fourth successive year – a fair way to say goodbye to Vic – not least after several senior profile players abandoned ship and went to play pro football in America.
    * Our Academy team won the league by so many points it was embarrassing for everyone else. The kids are also in the Youth Cup Final, and look like they will win the north/south league play off.
    Next season the team will be quite different. It looks like we will have five players who are either new, or played very limited football this year for us… Eduardo, Rosicky, Arshavin will all appear more, while we will have two new players, a midfielder and a defender. Effectively almost half a new team.

  14. @ Justin,
    That’s if Arsene fight hard to keep the team together. Else, if the boys move on.. Arsenal will be left to the barest bone..

  15. Ezra, at least someone see’s the value of Denilson. It’s not about running around like a headless chicken, or putting in 1 or 2 crunching tackles that we all remember.

    It’s about the correct positioning to make the interception or at the very least blocking the passing lanes.

    @gunner, Wenger has admitted his mistake in not buying wisely last summer.

    If you believe Myles crap about that £200k then I can see why you think Adams (see his defensive record at pompey) is the man for defensive coach.

  16. I agree with most of gunners points but with no. 10 I reckon he sent senderos over to milan as the italians play a lot slower and to boost his confidence as he did have a few shockers but again I would of liked him instead of tweety and don’t forget senderos and dijorou are both swiss and I think they would comunicate better than most cb’s in the league. Also I still can’t for the life of me wonder why a real big club hasn’t gone for cahill as the lad is awesome and 1 of the main reasons why everton are so good as he would be better than barry any day.

  17. Dear ‘Gunner’


    (a) Don’t you quit whingeing and look at the positives
    (b) Not contradict yourself by telling Wenger to play on the left, then Nasri
    (c)Why don’t you admit that you thought a year ago that Song, Bendtner and Senderos were shit, just like everyone else
    (d) Why dont you stop using the easy position of hindsight to lambast Wenger
    (e) Why dont you fuck off to Chelsea or Liverpool. After all, their spending has won them heaps, right?

  18. I also agree with Ezra and Wengerball

    Denilson’s work is not his constant nipping at a player like Song, but positional.

    He will be better than Gilberto

  19. Nothing has worked for us this season. AW has put tremendous faith on the young guns. But the truth they are delivering the goods. Another disappointing season. I personally think this is our worst ever squad under AW. I think diaby is giving nothing for team but he is still in the squad.He can’t pass the on the wings and can’t hold the ball in midfield. I think there should be some sort of freshness in the squad. I personally don’t want these player in Arsenal. Diaby,Denilson,Silvestre,Toure,Gallas,Adebayor,benthner,sendrous.
    I think it is time for toure to move on as well because he is also making mistake. Diaby,Denilson are not good enough to be in the arsenal team. Adebayor,benthner I am not against them but they lack pace. I want RVP,Eduardo,Vela. Adebayor,benthner they lack the finishing touch they both can’t hold the ball against the big team. I would prefer an pacy and good finishing CF like henry. Because we need an CF who has pace for the type of play we play. And Atlest 2 Midfiled player. Both of them must be tall and workman type of player and who are readily commits himself in the midfield. And at least two big CB. Who elbows an opposition CF and make the opposition team doesn’t even think of standing in the penalty book in corners and free kicks. Hope AW does something

  20. ALGunner – pretty much kinda sorta agree with you but I wish you and others wouldn’t keep lumping Bendtner in with the usual suspects. To my eyes he’s getting better and better + he puts himself about, he’s tall and he scores goals. He’s the only one who fricken did score against Chelski.

    So yeah – Diaby, Sylvestre definitely out and I think we may have to add Fabianski to that list. I’ve seen AW get rid of better keepers than him in the past.
    Denilson I think can be saved but he can’t be an automatic first choice.
    I don’t like to lose Toure but his form’s all over the place.
    Gallas I don’t trust.
    Ade is ‘too busy looking good.’

    That’s six players we could get shot of and have new guys in instead. No time for sentiment now, Arsene. Let’s go.

  21. I was following that BBC article quite well but couldn’t stop myself laughing when Dixon included CRonaldo in the “work their socks off” category.

  22. Yup. Very well stated Lee Dixon. This particularly hit home for me: “The only one in the Manchester United side who you could argue does not (work their socks off) is Dimitar Berbatov and he falls in the special talent category.

    I’m sick to death of hearing about manure – and I love Arsenal for ever – but the shits hit the fan now. Or should I say ‘the fans’…

  23. At this point, there’s really nothing for us to play for other than pride and some of the players proving that they belong. While that should be enough incentive to play well, it does take away the sense of urgency, etc. I don’t think we need several “star” signings. Instead we need to sign 2 or 3 players with mental toughness, strong personalities, and leadership skills.


    p.s. It will get worse before it gets better – at Old Trafford, I mean. BLAH!…

  24. To be 4th for me isnt only bad news for us but it might also bring us some fruits in terms of experience during the pre-season.I totaly agree with Lee dixon,Samir nasri is good but lacks good run, as well as Diaby who is the worst in our club.We lack acceleration all the way and as AW said: Our full back is very shaky.I totaly agree with LeeD, personally, beleive that Song is gud enough to be a CDM.We also need a gud striker, Im totaly convinced that Ade doesnt deserve his paycheque charge, he shud go or must work his socks off.

  25. Disappointing is an understatement,,,
    Since Viera left, is it a coincidence that the Gunners have never won anything even the Carling…? is there any lesson from that? AW has a perfect excuse that the team is young, its four seasons, no trophy, when is this team going to grow up AW?
    As much as AW insists on looking at the positives, which is great, however the negatives far out weigh the positives. Almunia opines that AW needs to find a solution
    could he be part of the problem? Guess we need a world class gk and Almunia is not one.
    It sad that Arsenal fans have been left to long for next season.. Lets hope the back to back defeats by the big boys would elicit a radical reaction from AW and the board.All in am in Arsenal to stay, hope this would just remain that a a four season blip, and that soon and very soon we going to see trophies..

  26. There is a bit of a trend set by Arsenal the last 4 odd years. We lose all the few cup games we are contesting in a span of 10 days or so. Then we lose interest in the league. Mentally everyone goes to holiday before the season is over. Bouncing back is not really our cup of tea! What now? There are a couple of areas that need to be strengthen in the summer. And I’m hopeful it will be addressed for next season.

  27. Is wenger a blinkered fool? YES! Does he have to justify his transfer policy to anyone or are the board quite happy for him to buy cheap foreign useless players? I think all that matters to the board is that we get 4th place so they can get more money. But where does this money go? Not on players that for sure. We were just lucky that aston villas season fell to bits or we would be in the europa cup. Maybe that’s what it’s going to take.

  28. @ nw68 – “We were just lucky that aston villas season fell to bits or we would be in the europa cup.”

    I can’t say I agree with that statement.

  29. nw68 – no – not lucky. They put together a really good unbeaten league run just when they needed to and just when we were all tearing our hair out. They’re good enough to do that. What they’re not up to at the moment is the killing blow that will get them through these semi-finals etc. they keep losing and haul them into League Championship contention. The ‘chips are down’, ‘backs to the wall’ and all the other cliched stuff. This can be done with a few more strong players – PLUS I feel we need a real leader on the pitch. A proper Captain (like Tony Adams). Currently they almost seem to take turns being captain.

  30. I have never expected us to win the CL this season or the title but I had a hope for the FA cup which Wenger threw away. Chelsea are a bore we absolutely played them off the park we had more possession shots on goal If it wasn’t for Walcott’s poor finishing on the day we could’ve been 2 nil up we had more possession more chances they had 4 scored 4. I’m not too disappoited but I have to admit we lost because we have ofensive players doing defensive duties Nasri Diaby and Fabregas were ball watching at times no flying tackles no fight Its not only up to Song to do that the whole team, have to do the dirty work, but I don’t blame them its not in their make up to harass the opposition for the ball The solution is simple if we get the right players to do the dirty work players who have nothing in mind but to win the ball back close players down and throw their bodies around like a break wall. I couldn’t beleive Anelka cut through the middle with such ease it was criminal.The right players will come in in the summer and hopefully we will be back stronger

  31. Dixon is spot on! I perhaps disagree with the ‘new goalkeeper’ comment – I think Almunia has actually been quite good this season (Fabianski hasn’t though, which is a shame because he seems like a decent fellow).

  32. Also, rumours of Mascherano exit.

    I wonder, would we solve a lot of problems by signing Tevez and Mascherano? 🙂

  33. I love Tevez but dont think he is what we need. We need a guy that can play up front alone and has some speed. IMO it has to be David Villa (ideal) or Karim Benzema. Villa would bring the winning mentality right away I feel. Throw in a DMF (Diarra from Madrid?) and a CB (Sakho?) and we should be set. Ade and Diaby should be done IMO

  34. Please we should Sell Diaby, Adebayor and dash out Sylvester. He is wooful and cant compete in heading. We should buy Richard from Aston Villa, and another defender. Then we should get a good energetic striker (Martins of Newscastle could be considered along with a very good one.)

  35. Against Man U this weekend, please Wenger should Use the small boys with a strong defence and we will win the match. Lets use Wilshare, Vela, Nasri, Fabrigas, Theo and others. We should have good defence with these guys and we will be good

  36. @Le Gunner i do agree with you, how Anelka sliced through the midfield was truly criminal, Nasri was escorting him, and Sylvester was actually running away towards the goal instead of tackling him!! giving Anelka the time and space to pick his spot and let fly. AW needs to get a workhorse in mid field an Essien, Gattuso type of player who can harrass the opposition.

  37. MoMoney – remember, we had Diarra once! Before we sold him to Portsmouth.

    Arsenaldamu – actually we had a Gattuso player – Flatuso! (i.e Flamini).

    We stupidly sold him. A very very bad decision by Arsenal in my opinion.

    I’d buy Flamini back, look into David Villa/Tevez, and look for one other centre back.

    I personally would love Stephen Ireland to play for Arsenal – I think he is a great player (plus, he is Irish!).

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