Match Preview: Arsenal vs Chelsea (051)

There is simply no getting away from Arsenal’s form right now. Results have been poor, but our performances against West Ham, Southampton and Man City were unacceptable.

Arsenal host Chelsea at Emirates Stadium tonight, a team on a five game losing streak and a tactically incompetent Frank Lampard in charge. If there’s a game to bounce back, this is it.

Arsenal’s record against Chelsea has been extremely good since Arteta took charge, with the Blues beating us just twice – Arteta’s second game in charge and the second game of the 2021/22 season when we had a covid outbreak and a squad crisis.

In his seven meetings with Chelsea, Arteta has come away with four wins and a draw, with wins coming in our last two games against them.

This record, combined with Chelsea’s awful form should fill the squad with confidence, as it is essential that they bounce back quickly and get three points on the board. The season cannot finish on a whimper. Arsenal have to push City all the way.

Since the horrorshow at City, Arsenal have had a week to rest and recover, and most importantly, Arteta has had a week to work with his players, and the hope is that he does something to address the instability of the team.

If he is going to play Rob Holding, he has to play a double pivot. Thomas Partey looks lost trying to cover three positions, and it is massively hindering the balance of the whole team, so it is now essential that some kind of tactical or personnel tweak is made to stabilize things.

Arteta may not have the depth that Pep Guardiola has, but he still has a squad that many would kill for, and it is now on him to get creative with his lineup, and for the player’s to stand up and take responsibility for their own performances.

Blaming Rob Holding is easy. We know he’s not good enough, and he is an easy target. But, there have been 10 other players on the pitch for the last three games who have not hit the level expected of them. Every one of those players must step up and change the current perception of the team.

A month ago, no one wanted to play against Arsenal. Now, most clubs will feel they could get something against us, and with 11 goals conceded in our last four games, who could blame them?

Beating Chelsea tonight is the first step in that recovery, as there are still five games to go, and Arsenal need to show they have the desire to fight until the bitter end. 

Written by: Adam Keys (@AdamKeys_)

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