EPL 2006: Day 2 (Chelsea 1 – Arsenal 0)

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
August 21st, 2005 • 2:10 pm

A really poor game. After a captivating opening 10 minutes, it all just fizzled out and the rest of the match was spent passing the ball around, with little imagination from either side. As usual, Arsenal kept trying to score the perfect goal and failed against a strong Chelsea defensive display. And as usual Chelsea got lucky, with a bounce off Drogba’s knee that ended up in the back of the net.

When the Gunners had the ball, far too many times, I felt like shouting “Shoot!,” and instead saw yet another pass and a move getting nowhere. Like the commentator said, sometimes you just have to shoot and hope for a lucky deflection. Chelsea scored a lot of lucky goals like this last season, and it looks like it’ll be more of the same this year. Arsenal badly need a striker that stays permanently in the centre of the attack and can poach goals. Too many times we saw a good move on the side and a cross and no one to receive it in the centre of the attack.

And again Wenger failed to use his substitutions to reshape the team and try to go for it. Taking Fabregas off and putting Flamini on in the 80th minute is just not good enough, especially when you are one goal down and need to take chances! I know we don’t have much depth in the squad and can definitely not afford to bring on three substitutes with a total value of 75 million pounds (!), but still… Something had to be done, and Wenger didn’t do anything significant.

Thierry Henry was not particularly convincing either as a striker or as the captain. I didn’t see him do much to try and rally the troops. Lehmann did have a few very important saves early in the game, but again was not entirely blameless on the Drogba goal either.

Based on today’s display, it’s not going to be a very interesting season for Arsenal fans. Unless Wenger can still make a couple of key acquisitions in the next 10 days, I just don’t see this team rising to new heights or even claiming a domestic trophy.

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