What We Learned: Wenger still can't beat Jose Mourinho; 0-0
Chelsea and Arsenal shared a point in this crucial game between the two London clubs fighting for title race. Jose Mourinho explained how it was mission accomplished from this match and how he set up his team for a result rather than risking going 5 points behind the Gunners. Arsenal had more possession but, it was Chelsea with more shots on goal and we came really close with Lampard hitting the cross-bar after a brilliant pass from Eden Hazard.
Let’s take a look at some major points we learned from this game and how it will shape up our title aspirations going into the boxing day fixtures and into the new year.
Jose Mourinho chose the right tactic for this game
The Portuguese manager opted to play a defensive counterattacking system trying to get a result rather than risk losing and going 5 points behind Arsenal. Now, we are just two points behind leaders Liverpool who play Manchester City this weekend. Some people might criticize the decision but, for a team which couldn’t ‘kill opponents’ while we had lots of opportunities, it was a risky to play an attacking formation against title contenders in a match away from home.
Frank Lampard played incredibly well in the 4-3-3 system
Really, who couldn’t see this coming when the line-up was announced? John Obi Mikel was brilliant unsurprisingly in the holding role and he stopped Ozil and all attacking plays from Arsenal coming from Midfield. Lampard and Ramires were a real threat going forward and especially Lampard as he went very close to giving us the lead after a brilliant pass from Eden Hazard. This formation may do us a lot of favor in many upcoming big games against Liverpool and Southampton away as we head into boxing day fixtures.
The partnership of Cahill and Terry was unbeatable; joint MOTMs!
The two English center backs were totally incredible in this game and earned their accolade of joint Man of the match winners as Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher from sky sports studio couldn’t pick out one for the accolade. Terry did well in many aerial challenges and Cahill dealt well by blocking many shots and clearing dangers. This partnership is the reason we have a talented, quality CB such us Luiz sitting on the bench. And it looks like Jose will stick by this pair in front of Cech for important games as we go into the 2nd half of the season with Luiz getting some games alongside the either or even in midfield.
Wingers should have done better to feed the striker
Eden Hazard, Willian, Schurrle, Oscar. All of whom Mourinho had put in for the wide position didn’t do their offensive job very well as was planned by Mourinho. Fernando Torres didn’t do well with few of the chances he was presented but, we should have done much better on the counter. Willian missed an incredible chance which looked like it was going to end with the Blues taking the lead. But, instead he didn’t find the back of the net nor was it a great attempt into the keeper. Mourinho has sounded over many times he isn’t happy with the strikers performance and the team’s ability to kill off opponents by scoring one or two and not allowing them to get back into the match.
League position looking better than a year before
Some fans argue on twitter that we won last year’s fixture against Arsenal at Emirates by playing Mata and Oscar since the start but, we must remember it is a completely different Arsenal team we see now on the pitch and we are still well in the title race compared to last season. By the time we beat Everton 2-1 at Goodson park away during this period last season, we were trying to get maybe 2nd or 3rd in the table let alone trying to win the league. It was under caretaker ‘interim’ boss Rafa Benitez. Fast forward a year on and we can convincingly take this away point in the title race we can’t fall behind. The team is much more stronger in depth as was proven when we saw David Luiz and two time POTY winner Juan Mata on the bench. We are just two points behind the leaders who play another title contender in Manchester City this weekend.
So, when looking into the positive, Jose Mourinho was correct in seeking result rather than an attacking philosophy of football that envisaged to built upon for the next decade. The Special One put it this way after the game: ‘We came to win, we wanted to win but it was very important not to lose,’ assessed Mourinho, ‘because if we did we are five points behind the leader. With a point we are two behind the two leaders and that is a completely different picture. We tried to win but we are not unhappy with the point.’
Also Mourinho lamented the cry-acting of certain Arsenal players who are bringing bad habit into English Football.
Asked about complaints that John Mikel Obi should have been shown a red card for a challenge on Mikel Arteta, Mourinho spoke about the reaction of Arsenal players: ‘They like to cry but I prefer to say that English people, and I give Frank Lampard as an example, would never provoke a situation like that. Players from some other countries have that in their blood. Even if you are hurting, even if there is contact, even if the opponent was aggressive with you – come on, let’s go, this is English football.”
Thanks for reading and please let us know your opinions through comments below. Don’t forget to share this article and follow me on twitter (@FahmiCFC) #KTBFFH!!!