Arsene to surprise Chelsea with a Mourinho like plan to nullify Hazard


Alexis Sanchez has been nominated for Barclay’s Premier League Player of the Year award, which is fully deserved. The Chilean’s first season at the Arsenal and in the Premier League has been fantastic: his obvious quality, combined with a very British willingness to dig in, immediately won our affection, not even mentioning the huge contribution he made to keep our season on track at the very beginning; yes, he faded a little bit during winter but that was totally expected and somehow physiological. No break, no rest and the consequence can only be a dip in form.

I hope he wins that but I am almost sure he won’t.

Anyway, this is not the point.

His main challenger to this prestigious award certainly is Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, whose prouesses will almost surely win him the prize at the end of the season – and here comes the fulcrum of this piece: the Belgian winger will definitely be Chelsea’s main threat when José Mourinho’s men come to the Emirates Stadium next weekend; of course, a fit Diego Costa and an inspired Cesc Fàbregas could definitely do some damage –  as they did during the reverse fixture – but Eden Hazard could prove to be the difference between these sides.

Arsène Wenger has a huge task going into this game; he must find a solution to cancel the obvious mismatch Eden Hazard will create on our right flank: Hector Bellerín, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Débuchy all have one weak point the Belgian could exploit.

Let’s play a game then: If I were the manager.

If I were the manager, I would definitely make sure my right-back is fast enough to stay close to the Belgian when his quick feet will get him an advantage: bye-bye Calum Chambers – you are not the ideal candidate here.

That leaves us with Hector Bellerín and Mathieu Débuchy: the Spaniard is quicker and fitter, the Frenchman more sound defensively and more experienced; also, the latter has more strength in his upper-body and a better elevation, which could prove to be handy when Diego Costa will shift to our right side, as he usually does.

It would seem like an easy decision, however Mathieu Débuchy has played the whole game (plus extra time) against Reading in his first game since January – hence I am not sure he could cope with the torrid time Eden Hazard is likely to give him.


The Decision – 1 from 3

To gamble or not to gamble, that is the question!

Personally, I’d stick to Mathieu Débuchy; I know Hector Bellerín has offered some great performances and is fitter than the former Lille and Newcastle man (although he is playing through some pain in his ankle) and I also reckon it seems unfair to drop him, however Mathieu Débuchy’s qualities suit the task better.

His more aggressive style and deeper knowledge could help containing Eden Hazard influence on the game and prove to be decisive in the game.

Of course, it is a huge gamble, I know.

The Frenchman looked shattered at the end of the FA Cup semifinal on Saturday but has seven days to recover; he can play 90 minutes on Sunday, if well supported by his teammates.


In my view, the key to this duel is here: we should not leave our right-back alone.

Either Mathieu Débuchy or Hector Bellerín will need help.

If I were the manager, I would build a very solid triangle around Eden Hazard and make sure he finds life very difficult in trying to escape from there.

Solidarity will be the key to finally get the three points against a team led by José Mourinho, hence Arsène Wenger would need men with high levels of energy and huge fighting spirit: if I were him, I would place Mathieu Débuchy at right-back, Aaron Ramsey in front of him and Francis Coquelin through the middle, making sure that the Welshman tracks back each time we don’t have the ball and the young defensive midfielder closes down when Eden Hazard cuts inside.

Ramsey and Coquelin to effect a triangle around Hazard


Basically, we’d need to put together the kind of performance that won us the three points at the Etihad Stadium and the FA Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford.

It is going to be difficult to resist the temptation to outplay, outclass José Mourinho’s side and give them a good spanking because there’s nothing more pleasant on Earth than seeing that arrogant egocentric clown’s team get battered – but we must resist. Even if we will be playing at home and we will have the ball for the majority of the game, it would be calamitous to be lured forward and leave spaces behind us – this is what José Mourinho’s plan is all about and it can hardly be considered a surprise call.

Let’s surprise him by playing his own game: nullify your opponent’s strength first.

If I were the manager, I would do this.

Yet, I’m quite sure Arsène Wenger will do the opposite to prove there is some divine justice in football, won’t he?

Of course you are, Arsène, you stubborn, narcissistic idealist 🙂

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21 Responses to Arsene to surprise Chelsea with a Mourinho like plan to nullify Hazard

  1. Kelvin April 22, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    I would rather have harry kane of tothenham win the Pfa player award than Eden hazard. As for mourinho’s chelsea coming to the emirates. I think i prefer hector playing at Lb

    • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 9:57 am #

      Hi Kelvin, thanks for your comment!
      About the PFA player of the year, I’m not sure I’d like a Spurs player to win it – again.
      Hazard has been as consistent as Kane but will probably end up with young player of the year instead as this is his breakthrough season.
      I’m sorry but I don’t agree with Bellerín playing at left back, it would be very bold especially as Monreal is playing very well

    • matheus mathias April 22, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      I think Mathieu debuchy must start with francis coquelin assists him.

  2. Mike T April 22, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    All that will happen if you overload the left flank is that Hazard will either float inside or is switch to the right flank.
    Alternatively if the left full back tracks him that will create room for the full back to push on without fear
    Love them or hate them Chelsea are top for a reason and in reality they don’t need to win the game whereas Arsenal can’t afford to approach the game with anything other than a win as their main objective.
    Chelsea will no doubt try to take full advantage of set pieces and will overload the area with players who are very strong in the air whereas the lack of height in defence could be an issue

    • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 11:36 am #

      Hi Mike, yours are very good points – especially the one stating that Chelsea do not need to win while we definitely must win.
      This, combined with Chelsea players’ ability on the counter, is the main reason why we should not charge forward but be a bit more conservative and ensure Moureen’s men won’t get too much room.
      About set-pieces, Kos and Gabriel are not very tall but they’re both good in the air, as is Giroud: will these three, plus Ospina coming out, be enough to counter Terry, Cahill, Matic and Diego Costa? I hope so…

  3. junior April 22, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    i think boss wenger must start Debuchy on the right back and Rambo infront of him(right wing)…and the DETECTIVE as a holding mid.

    • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      Thanks junior, glad we agree 🙂

  4. Mark Tuite April 22, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    How is this inventive or different all you’ve done is swap debuchy for bellerin and it’s the same players we’ve used in the last 6 games and there no way he should pick debuchy over bellerin as he’s not in the same league overall as bellerin arm

    • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Mark, it’s not about being inventive – I believe it’s more about focused.
      If picked, Ramsey would have to play a totally different game compared to the last ones, during which he pushed forward a lot.
      As you can see, names might be the same but instructions are definitely not.
      About Bellerín, please do not overhype the kid: he’s been brlliant at times but also very nervy – at Stoke or against Burnely. He can become a very good player but he’s very early to throw out a judgment. Débuchy is more experienced and better at defending, in my opinion.
      Thanks for yours, by the way!

  5. Lalit syal April 22, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    My team would be Ospina, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertasacker (if he’s not injured otherwise Gabriel), Bellerin, Coquolin, Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, Cazola, Giroud

    • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      Hi Lalit, thanks for your opinion.
      I agree on the line-up bar Bellerín – as I woudl play Débuchy instead.
      But you already knew that, didn’t you? 😉

  6. Tboycfc April 22, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Even if you play Bellerin, Debuchy and Chamber, it will still be difficult to stop Hazard. And if you build triangle around Hazard, you will give Cesc, Costa and Willian enough chance to do the damage.

    • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 11:44 am #

      Hi Tboy,
      of course CFC have plenty of good players but there’s a reason Hazard is likely to be this year’s PFA player of the season. He’s been involved in 15 of your last 18 goals – hence limiting his influence will make life a bit more difficult for your team.
      Any of your players can do damage, of course, so can the likes of Cazorla, Özil, Sanchez and Giroud if they have the chance.
      Come what may, as long as we don’t give Hazard too much space I’m confident we can get a result

      • Tboycfc April 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

        The writer said it all. Chelsea don’t need to win while it’s a must win for Arsenal. The match is more than a potential title decider- it’s more of Arsene Wenger vs Jose Mourinho than Arsenal vs Chelsea. Mourinho will do everything not to lose the game. I still don’t see Wenger defeating Mourinho now. My verdict- Draw

        • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

          Thanks Tboy, I agree it’s very Wenger v Mourinho even if I didn’t mention it in my piece.
          Chelsea will be happy to settle for a draw and maybe take all the three points on Arsenals’ first mistake; as unlikely as it is, only a win could let us dream about the title – but I reckon it’s virtually impossible to catch the Blues.

  7. Dutchmoney April 22, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    Hazard is simply just unstoppable and the most annoying part of it all is there is nothing you or anybody can do about it and that hurts so bad..hahahahahaha….., BLUES FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!

    • AndreaR April 22, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Chelsea fan, the word “money” in your nickname…it makes sense.

  8. Mike April 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    I do prefer belerin @ d right back cum welbeck in front of him due his tallness,he may be able to compete wit d aerial ball

    • AndreaR April 23, 2015 at 7:39 am #

      Dear Mike, thanks for your comment.
      Danny Welbeck’s aerial ability could prove to be a valuable asset, that’s a good point!
      Yet, I’m not convinced by his defensive work: he covers a lot of ground, tracks back very well but he might lack the ability to win the ball back. I’d still pick Ramsey instead, he’s also more aware tactically. About Bellerín, I’m afraid his youth could really prove to be an issue on such a game, especially against Hazard


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