Photo: Action Images
You get bullet points today, because this was all so predictable, you don't need the usual longform style...and I don't feel like writing it.
- Well, at least it wasn't 6-0 this time. You can't say that Arsene learned nothing from last time - we sat somewhat deeper and other than their second goal, never really gave them space in behind our back line. It's a shitty silver lining, but it is one.
- Then again, he's learned absolutely nothing regarding the placement of Mesut Ozil. The German is getting brickbats from the Gooner faithful on social media, and maybe it's partially deserved. But, he has demonstrably proven over and over again that he is only effective through the middle, so the fact that he was out right once again in a match of this magnitude is a failing (one of the multitudes) of the manager. End of.
- Martin Atkinson is a joke. I have seen some poorly-officiated matches in my time, but this is up there among the worst of the worst - though in fairness it wasn't just Chelsea that benefited. To be honest, Alexis Sanchez may have walked for his collision with Thibaut Courtois. It would have been harsh, but I've seen them given. Towards the end, Danny Welbeck was lucky to stay on after a wild lunge on Cesc Fabregas. That said, Gary Cahill absolutely should have walked for his vicious foul on Sanchez, and how Fabregas escaped his blatant handball in the box without a penalty is absolutely beyond me. It was still 1-0 at the time, and assuming that we would have put that away, it would have been a completely different match - for one thing, it would be unlikely that we'd have pushed up high enough to allow the second goal to happen. It'd be a fallacy to say that Atkinson cost us the game single-handed, but on the other hand he damn sure had a significant effect.
- Arsene shoving Jose Mourinho, sadly, will probably be one of the highlights of our season. I don't know about the 14th Street pubs, but Woodwork absolutely exploded when they showed that replay.
- Speaking of, among the zillions of reasons that Mourinho is a vile human being, you can now add an utter disregard for the health of his own players. The second that Sanchez collided with Courtois, anyone who has been concussed before could recognize immediately that the Belgian keeper was in la-la land. The tell is when the player doesn't move at all while on the ground - if you've just been shaken up, you'll normally roll around, hold your hands to your head, maybe shake your head, etc. Eyes closed, still as a painting? No doubt that was a concussion right away, and he should have been immediately substituted. It's not a joking matter, either - another shot to the head and *death* becomes a possibility. You don't fuck around with head injuries.
- For the most part, I don't think that most of our players played badly. I would characterize 90% of the game as us doing well box-to-box, but then failing to find the right pass to get in behind what admittedly is a fantastic Chelsea defense. Ozil and Sanchez were both a little disappointing, Santi Cazorla tried hard but couldn't find a way, and Danny Welbeck was blameless with the lack of service he received.
- That said, Jack Wilshere continued to show that he has absolutely no business anywhere near our starting XI. The boss seemingly must always have a teacher's pet that always plays regardless of form or merit, and it looks like Jack is it this season. Laurent Kosicelny is going to take the pelters for conceding the penalty, but it never would have gotten there if Wilshere wasn't an absolute turnstile in the buildup to it. Not only that, but Chambers also could have stopped it and taken a yellow had Atkinson not booked him earlier for a trifling foul. That said, let's not take anything away from Eden Hazard's run - it was majestic.
- We all hate Interlulls, but this may be the most fortuitous one we've had in ages. The team looks like it could some time away to get their shit together, and hopefully the injury returnees we have coming back on the other side of the break give us some kind of spark.
- No, really...die in a fire, Mourinho.
The Modern Gooner Player Ratings:
Szczesny 6, Gibbs 7, Koscielny 6, Mertesacker 7, Chambers 7, Wilshere 4 (Rosicky N/A), Flamini 7, Cazorla 7, Ozil 6, Sanchez 6, Welbeck 7
Man of the Match: Damn sure wasn't any of ours. Diego Costa for the Playstation-esque second goal.